• Jayden Becker

WWE Raw Review 6/15/20



The night after Backlash sees the return of two former Champions on Monday Night Raw. Randy Orton speaks out after his victory at Backlash and Bobby Lashley confronts his wife Lana. Rollins awaits the appearance of Rey Mysterio and his son, Dominik.


R-Truth and Drew McIntyre team up with McIntyre’s title on the line. Apollo Crews defends his US title. The IIconics challenge Bayley and Sasha Banks for the Women’s Tag Team Championships. Nia Jax and Asuka have a rematch after their double count-out at Backlash.


A jam-packed episode of Monday Night Raw lets jump into it.


Randy Orton Speaks Out After His Victory


After Orton defeated Edge at Backlash in “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever”, he came out to give an update on Edge. Orton announced that Edge tore his tricep in the match and that Orton could have finished him there but decided to punish him more. Orton believes that now he is the greatest wrestler ever and has reignited the fire of his former self, the Legend Killer.


As he continues to insult the career of Edge, former WWE superstar and champion Christian walks down the entrance ramp. Christian is extremely upset with how Orton is talking about his best friend and calls him a cold calculated SOB. Orton believes that the only reason Christian came out was to challenge him to a match. Although Christian is unable to compete legally, Orton offers him an unsanctioned match.


Later that night, Christian accepts the offer from Randy Orton. This comes after 2x Hall of Famer Ric Flair tried to talk him out of it.


Takeaways:


Welcome back Christian, we saw you last week in the Peep Show segment but I doubted it would be anything more than that. We have seen Christian plenty on Fox for WWE Backstage, but I never expected him to return to in-ring action.


It’s honestly a shame that Edge is going to be away for a while given his tricep injury. As I said in the previous article, we will most likely see this feud end at Wrestlemania, by that time Orton could be WWE Champion if the company gets sick of McIntyre. This would be a great final moment for the two legends.


Kevin Owens vs Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega


The last time we saw Angel Garza and Kevin Owens, Garza found himself with a stiff chin after being stunned by Owens for trying to interrupt the match between Apollo Crews and Andrade.


Garza jumps the bell but is quickly thwarted by Kevin Owens who takes advantage early. Andrade makes his way down the entrance to get a closer look at the matchup after losing the night prior. Garza falls off the apron in front of Andrade but the former US Champion steps to the side instead of catching Garza. The two argue, causing Zelina Vega to leave ringside in a fit of anger.


As the match comes to an end, Andrade tries to distract the official to help Garza. Garza doesn’t take advantage of this, however, and is stunned by Owens. Kevin Owens pins Angel Garza for the victory.


Vega returns from backstage saying that the two need to stop fighting against each other and need to fight together.


Takeaways:


Maybe instead of trying to solve the Raw tag team problem with ninjas, they can use what they already have to develop the division. I would have Garza and Andrade together instead of apart as it looks like the dynamic is moving. It has been reported that Vince McMahon looks at Angel Garza as a young Eddie Guerrero. That is pretty high praise coming from the Chairman.


Whatever they do going forward, Ninjas shouldn’t be the option of choice.


Lashley and Lana Speak Out


This segment sees both MVP and Bobby Lashley blaming Lana for Lashley’s loss at Backlash the night prior. Lana enters and explains that she has done everything for Bobby, even divorce Rusev.


MVP doesn’t want to hear this however as he calls her a thot and continues to blame her for Lashley's downfall. Lashley interrupts MVP and tells Lana that he agrees with MVP and wants a divorce.


The two walk off leaving Lana in shambles.


Takeaways:


I mentioned that having Lana interfere and costing Lashley the match might mean that we will find her and MVP being written off TV. Although I now think MVP is here to stay, Lana might be finding the boot. It’s honestly not her fault for she has done nothing but be great for the company as she has done everything that they’ve asked. Given that Rusev, now Miro, is gone for the WWE she might have to leave as well given the connection. If she stays and finds a different way to contribute, I wouldn't be upset either.


Viking Profits vs Akira Tozawa and Ninjas


Backstage, the Viking Raiders and Street Profits are found talking about their encounter with Akira Tozawa and his group of ninjas. Both teams assembled and became one unit, the Viking Profits. Tozawa in earshot approaches the group wanting a rematch. The Viking Profits oblige, fearful of Big Ninja, the one ninja that caused them to run away.


As the match starts the Viking Profits destroy the ninjas, squashing them as quickly as possible. An angered Tozawa calls on Big Ninja to confront the Viking Profits. Before he can attack, the Big Show enters to scare away the ninja duo.


Takeaways:


What do I even write here? My whole body hurts. I don’t even understand anymore. WHY IS THIS THE ANSWER? Paul Heyman is relieved of his duties, what should we do now? … I got it, THE BIG SHOW!!!


Moments like these make me wonder why I watch professional wrestling in the first place. The only thing I can think that could work out of this is having the Big Show return to get Big Ninja over, but at this point who knows. I don't even want to say welcome back to the Big Show. Don’t get me wrong he’s a legend but when is this running joke going to end. Don't be surprised if he turns heel in two weeks.


Jordan Omogbehin is the identity of Big Ninja. Standing at 7’3’’ he is the tallest Superstar in the company. Omogbehin would be better served with a mouthpiece that could turn him in the next Great Khali or legitimate monster. Instead, he is stuck with the infamously squashed Akira Tozawa. Shame.


Seth Rollins Invites Rey and Dominik Mysterio to the ring


Rollins last week invited Rey and Dominik Mysterio to Raw. Although Rey didn’t accept the offer, Dominik did make his way to the Performance Center.


Rey Mysterio appears on the TitanTron to confront Seth Rollins while he is still recovering from his eye injury. Rey threatens to end Rollins if he or any of his “goons” touch his son. Rollins gives Dominik an ultimatum, either join Rollins’ side or become a sacrifice like his father.


Dominik crawls under the rope behind Rollins and clotheslines him from behind. Before Rollins or his disciples can get their hands on him, he runs through the crowd and away from trouble.


Takeaways:


Although this may be possibly the final chapter in Rey Mysterio’s career, this is most likely going to be Dominik’s first. Some of you may consider the custody battle between Eddie and Rey to be the first, but let's look past that. Dominik has pretty large shoes, and a mask, to fill if he does decide to go this route.


This could also confirm a contract resigning from Mysterio to the WWE as he wanted to make sure Dominik would be taken care of.


Liv Morgan and Natalya vs The IIconics


The last we saw the IIconics they lost in the Triple Threat title match at Backlash the night prior. In this matchup, we see how they fare in normal 2 on 2 tag team action.


As the match starts to develop Billie Kay pushes Liv Morgan on the apron. Natalya rolls up Kay but kicks out at 2. Morgan enters on a hot tag and dominates. Kay is pinned again but the count is broken by a distraction from Peyton Royce.


The IIconics gains control and performs their double team finisher on Morgan for the victory. Natalya confronts Morgan backstage upset with her performance, understanding why Ruby Riott let her go from the Riott Squad.


After the match, The IIconics call out Sasha Banks and Bayley for a championship rematch at next week's Raw. Later that night as Banks and Bayley celebrate their Backlash victory and Bayley’s Birthday, the IIconics interrupt to get an answer. Kay slaps Banks across the face forcing the hand of Bayley to put the Tag Team Titles on the line for next week.


Takeaways:


Although these moments happened throughout the show, I thought it was best to compile them into one since they all relate. The Women’s Tag Team division can survive with these three teams, but surviving and thriving are two separate things. The IIconics since there return have added plenty to this division and deserve plenty of credit. It still would be nice to see new tag teams be formed, possibly for the underutilized.


Apollo Crews (c) vs Shelton Benjamin


Before this match backstage, MVP was found having a conversation with United States Champion Apollo Crews congratulating him for his victory at Backlash. MVP, much like how he did with Lashley, offered his services to Apollo Crews. Although Crews respects the offer, he declines. MVP, rephrases the offer, threatening Apollo Crews. An interview before the match sees Shelton Benjamin encouraging him to take the offer, as long as it’s on the table if he’s still champion.


Benjamin starts the match strong with MVP looking on from backstage. The two competitors trade blows. Benjamin rolls up Crews but is caught with his feet on the second rope for leverage. Moments later, Crews rolls up Benjamin and grabs the second rope as well. This time, however, the champion isn’t caught and sneaks away with the win.


Apollo Crews wins with an underhanded tactic.


Takeaways:


This very well could be the start of the heel turn of Apollo Crews, it was originally rumored months back this would happen but I thought the ship sailed after the music change. Although still not confirmed, joining sides with MVP is a push but I’m not sure if this is the push Crews should want.


This might be a stretch but this could be compared to the Jinder Mahal push as the WWE tried to break into the growing Indian market. With the Black Lives Matter movement being as prevalent as ever in the United States, black superstars have been present on WWE television more than ever. This is great not only for the company but professional wrestling in general which has suffered from a racist past.


One of the main problems with this, however, these black superstars are being pushed as heels, much like how Mahal was pushed. Why would the Indian market want to root for a bad guy, and why would the black community want to root for a group of newly formed heels to lose to a white guy. It just doesn't make sense to me.


Bobby Lashley and MVP vs R-Truth and Drew McIntyre (c) - WWE Championship


Earlier in the night when they were confronted, MVP and Bobby Lashley put up the offer for a winner take all match. Drew McIntyre putting his WWE Championship on the line along with R-Truth putting his 24/7 Championship on the line. Before McIntyre could decline, R-Truth hastily accepts, to the dismay of the WWE Champion.


Later that night with McIntyre stressing over the upcoming match, R-Truth informs him that he was able to get a title taken off the match. Sadly, this title was the 24/7 Championship and not McIntyre’s WWE Championship.


As the match gets started, McIntyre maintains control over both Lashley and MVP. A Glasgow Kiss from McIntyre downs MVP as he sets up for a Claymore Kick. With McIntyre in his corner, R-Truth tags himself into the match. McIntyre can only watch with R-Truth being pummeled. If R-Truth is pinned, the legal man will become WWE Champion.


McIntrye is finally hot tagged in and asserts himself as the dominant force. A top rope clothesline from McIntyre downs MVP. After a future shock DDT, Lashley breaks up the ensuing pinfall. R-Truth brawls with Lashley on the outside.


McIntyre connects with the Claymore kick and pins MVP. At 1, he lifts himself from the pin and tags in R-Truth to finish the job. R-Truth pins, 1… 2… 3.


Drew McIntyre retains his WWE Championship.


Takeaways:


I thought this was great throughout the show, enhancing my point on why R-Truth should be a future WWE Hall of Famer. He doesn't hold the accolades of other Hall of Famers but has given so much to the WWE and professional wrestling in general. He walks that fine line of comedy wrestling and someone who can produce in the ring. Surprisingly the 48-year-old can still work in the ring at a high level. I can’t say that for a lot of people.


Nia Jax vs Asuka (c) - Raw Women’s Championship


This match is a rematch of the upsetting double count-out finish at Backlash. Nia Jax is strong off the opening bell but Asuka returns the favor with technical skill to gain the advantage. Asuka won’t last long doing this, however, as stiff right-hand from Jax downs the champion. With Jax outside the ring, Asuka tries for a baseball slide but is caught. A powerbomb from Jax plants Asuka hard on the mat outside.


Inside the ring action returns as Jax tries to finish the Champion with a Samoan Drop. A pin from Jax is stopped from a rope break by Asuka. Jax doesn’t like this as she attacks the official, pushing him to the ground. The official goes to disqualify Jax but notices Asuka rolled up Nia Jax. The official quick counts Jax with Asuka gaining the victory.


Asuka retains her Raw Women’s Championship.


Takeaways:


Now, this is how you keep the status of both superstars without making them look like they botched a Pay-Per-View. I would’ve been happy if this was the ending of their Backlash matchup. Jax still looks strong and Asuka is the champion. I got into an argument about winning and losing in WWE. Just because Jax lost, it doesn’t make her look weak given the scenario.


Christian vs Randy Orton - Unsanctioned Match


With Christian accepting his offer earlier in the night although told otherwise he is ready to compete.


With both Superstars in the ring and the match about to start, Ric Flair runs down the ramp to try and stop the match. Flair can’t convince the determined Christian as he believes he needs to do this for Edge. As the bell rings, the dirtiest player in the game Ric Flair hits Christian with a low blow from behind.


With Christian down climbing up on his hands and knees, Orton punts Christian leaving him lifeless. Orton carefully pins him for the 3 count. Orton feels a sense of anger at Christian for making him do this to him.


Takeaways:


When I first saw Christian's return, I was expecting him to replace Edge in the storyline. This would be much like how it was when Edge originally retired. This isn’t the case and Orton is more heelish than ever. I’m curious what they do with Orton from here. He can't go for the WWE Championship as he will suffer a loss against McIntyre and the US Championship is already developing a storyline with Apollo Crews. It would be a shame for the WWE to waste this opportunity but I find it difficult to think of where Orton can go from here.


Also, Ric Flair is my idol and I aspire to be like him at all times.


Wrap Up:


The aftershow for the past to Pay-Per-Views have been tremendous. The Raw after Money in the Bank saw the news about Becky Lynch and this episode saw the return of Christian. Both have had their flaws so not perfect, but things rarely are in professional wrestling.


Pros:


  • Randy Orton Speaks Out After His Victory

  • Kevin Owens vs Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega

  • Lashley and Lana Speak Out

  • Seth Rollins Invites Rey and Dominick Mysterio

  • Apollo Crews (c) vs Shelton Benjamin - United States Championship

  • Bobby Lashley and MVP vs R-Truth and Drew McIntyre (c) - WWE Championship

  • Nia Jax vs Asuka (c) - Raw Women’s Championship

  • Christian vs Randy Orton - Unsanctioned Match


Cons:


  • Viking Profits vs Akira Tozawa and Ninjas

  • Liv Morgan and Natalya vs The IIconics


Final Grade: B+


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