• Jayden Becker

WWE Raw Review 6/22/20



This week's Raw is billed as Championship Monday where all but the WWE Championship is on the line. Raw Women’s Champion Asuka takes on Charlotte Flair. Women’s Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Bayley face The IIconics. Shelton Benjamin has a rematch against United States Champion Apollo Crews. The Viking Raiders finalize their competition in a match for the Raw Tag Team Championships against the Street Profits.


Edge speaks out after his injury suffered at Backlash. Rey Mysterio returns to the Performance Center with his son Dominick after he was sacrificed by Seth Rollins.


Nobody is safe on Championship Monday, let’s jump right into it.


Dolph Ziggler Returns to Raw


Drew McIntyre enters to start the show. He mentions his victory with R-Truth over Bobby Lashley and MVP which saw his WWE Championship on the line. Before he can continue, Dolph Ziggler makes his returning appearance on Monday Night Raw.


Ziggler explains that he and Robert Roode were traded from Smackdown to Raw in the AJ Styles trade. This encounter jogs the memory of both superstars, especially Ziggler, who reminds McIntyre that he is owed something.


Ziggler challenges McIntyre to a WWE Championship match. McIntyre accepts, setting the table for Extreme Rules.


Takeaways:


Before I get into the title match we must talk about the trade. Ziggler being traded to Raw is a smart move given his storyline running dry on Smackdown. The genius move is moving Robert Roode with him to Raw. This not only makes this a “legitimate trade” but bolsters up the Raw Tag Team Division. If you have been reading for the past month you know how long I’ve been begging for a fix on Monday Nights. This is a great step in the right direction. We won’t see Roode until he is allowed to leave Canada, but his return will be glorious.


Although I am happy about the trade, this challenge seems a little rushed. Having this build for a week or two could have done this match more justice. Either way, it is set, I wonder if this gets turned into a match with some form of stipulation or rule change.


Nia Jax Takes a Seat


The last we saw Nia Jax, she was quickly counted by the official after pushing him down after acknowledging a rope break. Jax makes her entrance and takes a seat in the middle of the ring. She believes that she was cheated out of the Raw Women’s Championship twice. Before she can articulate her reasoning, R-Truth enters as he is scheduled to have a match at that time.


Truth has a difficult time having a conversation with Jax as he worries that she is Akira Tozowa in disguise. The real Akira Tozowa appears behind the announce table with ninjas, they chase R-Truth away to the back.


Before she can continue, Charlotte Flair enters to confront Jax. Jax insults Flair saying that she only got to where she is because of her father, Ric. Flair attacks Jax, ending with the officials breaking up the melee. Flair leaves with an injured shoulder that could affect her in her championship match.


Takeaways:


Nia Jax continues to get her push seemingly no matter what she does or how she does it. Her build has helped her get there for sure. This isn't a bad thing, just a curious option with Shayna Baszler filling the same role.


With that being said, where is Shayna Baszler? She beats Natalya two weeks in a row and is no longer on television. At one point she was in line for the Raw Women's Championship. This might be for the best as she has already gotten over with the crowd and the possible future "Brock Lesnar-esque" reign should start in front of them.


Viking Raiders vs Street Profits (c) - Raw Tag Team Championship Match


Before the match, the two teams are found in the back conversing. The two teams agree that even though they will compete in this match, they will always be the Viking Profits and good friends no matter what.


The Viking Raiders dominate early on by isolating Dawkins. Ford tries to gain some momentum but is caught and slammed onto Dawkins on the outside. Dawkins enters on a hot tag and dominates, so much so that the Street Profits connect with the Viking Experience.


Playing along with the "anything you can do we can do better" attitude, all four competitors start to do cartwheels in the ring. Ivar misses the big splash from the top rope, meant to emulate Ford’s finisher. Ford hits the splash of his own and pins for the victory.


The Street Profits retain the Raw Tag Team Championships. After the match, the two teams hug it out. Peace isn’t kept for long, however, as Andrade and Angel Garza attack the Street Profits from behind. It is confirmed the two are joining the Raw Tag Team division and are going for the titles.


Takeaways:


Do you ever just get emotional when things just work out? I can’t believe it. Ask and you shall receive I guess. I guess you can consider the division partially fixed at this point. The return of Robert Roode will finalize it but now there is a true heel tag team to feud with the Street Profits and Viking Raiders. Ziggler and Roode would make that 4 teams total and by then we will hopefully be out of the no-fans era of wrestling.


For now, I’m happy.


Asuka (c) vs Charlotte Flair - Raw Women’s Championship Match


With Charlotte Flair still hurt from the altercation with Nia Jax, the challenger is coming in with a disadvantage. Asuka targets the arm early on. As Action falls out the ring Flair takes control with a strong kick. Nia Jax looks on from backstage.


Asuka starts to attack the shoulder again with an armbar to put more stress on the previously injured shoulder. Flair powers Asuka up while still in the submission into a powerbomb. The challenger can’t connect, however, as Asuka reverses the powerbomb into a modified Asuka Lock. Flair taps out as she reaches for the ropes.


Asuka retains her Raw Women’s Championship.


After the match backstage, Flair is attacked by Nia Jax. Jax doesn’t hold any punches as she slams the injured arm of Flair with the lid of a storage cart.


News releases after Raw that Flair will be out for a substantial amount of time to get surgery.


Takeaways:


Get well soon Charlotte. Although she is kayfabe hurt with a shoulder injury, Flair will be getting surgery and taking time off from WWE. We will most likely see her back around the end of this year or as a return Royal Rumble entrant. Either way, she has gone from all 3 shows to a well-deserved break, leaving behind a Charlotte Flair sized hole to be filled.


Edge Gives an Update on his Injury


After his match at Backlash, it was reported shortly after that Edge suffered a torn tricep that needed to be surgically repaired. This will keep Edge out of in-ring action for at least 6 months. Edge describes what he felt during the match and how he felt the panic in Randy Orton.


Edge believes that a fire has been lit inside of him, much like the fire that was lit in Orton. When Orton punt kicked Christian, Edge was turned from the PG Superstar that made the return at the Royal Rumble to the Hall of Famer, Rated R Superstar.


Takeaways:


As I mentioned in the previous Raw Review, this could be a blessing in disguise given the final match between the two will be held at next year’s WrestleMania. The TV time here does hurt that idea given that he is still appearing on WWE television.


No matter what injury Edge has, he can still cut an amazing promo. The promos always feel like they are coming not from a script, but Edge's soul. Only a few superstars can accomplish that and Edge is one of them.


Get well soon Edge.


R-Truth vs Akira Tozawa w/ Ninjas


With both Superstar ready to compete, Bobby Lashley and MVP enters before the bell officially rings. Lashley wrecks the Ninjas on the outside before reaching R-Truth. Akira Tozawa hides underneath the ring.


Lashley locks in the full-nelson on R-Truth as punishment for the aid in helping Drew McIntyre retain his WWE Championship.


With R-Truth left out to waste. Tozawa takes advantage of the situation, pinning the unconscious R-Truth. Akira Tozowa is the new 24/7 Champion.


Takeaways:


Although this was a fun segment, it continued to get over the fact of Lashley being an evil heel. I am disappointed R-Truth is no longer the 24-7 Champion but I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets it back in a week or two.


R-Truth for the Hall of Fame.


Natalya w/ Lana vs Liv Morgan


The last we saw these two, Liv Morgan and Natalya lost a tag team match to the IIconics due to poor performance from Liv Morgan. After frustration from Natalya, Lana was able to make good friends with the Hart Foundation product. Surprisingly, Lana accompanies Natalya to the ring for this match.


Natalya finds herself in control throughout the match until Morgan works her opponent outside of the ring. Lana interferes on the outside distracting Morgan from her match. Natalya takes advantage of this and locks in her patented sharpshooter.


Natalya wins with help from her newfound friend Lana.


Takeaways:


Well, it looks like Lana is here to stay, at least for the time being. Getting her away from her previous storylines could help distance her from the awkward truth of current events. Rusev, now known as Miro, has been streaming on Twitch. I highly recommend giving it a look and supporting a wrestler who is currently looking for work in a tough time is always a good thing. Impact Wrestling has been reported as a buyer, no word on AEW as of late.


Also, who is buying the tombstone for this Liv Morgan burial?


“Best Performer in History!” - Ric Flair to Randy Orton


Ric Flair, the dirtiest player in the game, makes a second appearance two weeks in a row. Before he starts with Randy Orton, he mentions that his daughter Charlotte will deal with Jax down the line.


Randy Orton enters with a smile on his face. Flair, with no hesitation, names Randy Orton the best performer in history. Orton, mentions nostalgia and how it has played a role in recent weeks. This nostalgia, in the eyes of Orton, has been contorted to shape and cement his legacy.


Before Orton can continue, the Big Show has heard enough and makes his appearance. The last we saw the Big Show was in his WWE return last week on Raw (as a babyface this time). Big Show wants to punish Orton for what he has done but is interrupted with compliments from the Viper. Big Show can’t respect these compliments, causing Orton to threaten him.


Orton rolls away before the Big Show can get his hands on him. The Viper leaves with a warning to the giant.


Takeaways:


Now someone is going to need to replace Edge. The Big Show in all honesty was probably their first call. A fun thought could’ve been a John Cena return but it’s way too soon for that. Roman Reigns was an option as well although he is still self-quarantining. The two people I noted are both designated to Smackdown but I’m expecting the brand split to end soon.


The Big Show is not known for taking big bumps this late in his career, so don’t expect a match at Extreme Rule to be “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever… Again.”


Sasha Banks and Bayley (c) vs The IIconics - Women’s Tag Team Championship Match


This match comes to be after The IIconics forced the hand of the champions after attacking them in a promo segment last week. The match almost ends in the first few seconds as a big boot downs Banks out the gate. The IIconics continue with control as a corner double team move sees Bayley gets nailed with a sharp knee.


As the match nears its end, Banks reverse out of the IIconics double team finisher into the Bank Statement. Peyton Royce taps out in the center of the ring.


Sasha Banks and Bayley retain the Women’s Tag Team Championships.


After the match, Banks expresses her jealousy of her best friend Bayley. Seeing her with two belts doesn’t sit right. Banks wants a title match. To the surprise of many, Sasha Banks challenges Asuka to a Championship match at Extreme Rules.


Asuka enters and accepts the challenge. Bayley and Banks attack leaving Asuka battered.


Takeaways:


My point of the end of the brand split grows by the minute. Although Banks has been recently booked strong, I don't think she takes the title off Asuka here. This won’t be at the fault of Banks, however, the fault of her best friend Bayley.


A Summerslam break-up is shockingly still on the table.


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


Before this match starts MVP hosts his infamous segment, the VIP Lounge. This edition sees guest Apollo Crews before his US title defense. MVP continues to offer his services to Crews. These offers once again are rejected by the US Champion. As Shelton Benjamin makes his way to the ring, he attacks from behind with the distraction of MVP leaving Crews hurt for his match.


As the match gets underway Benjamin still has the advantage. A standing moonsault from Crews is thwarted with an armbar to the injured arm of the champion. Action falls outside the ring allowing for Crews to use his environment for benefit. Crews tosses Benjamin into the ring post dazing him. A spin-out powerbomb plants Benjamin for the 3 count.


Apollo Crews retains his United States Championship.


After the match, MVP applauds Crews for his valiant victory. MVP tries to raise his hand just to be snatched back by Crews. Bobby Lashley sneaks out from behind and locks Crews in a full-nelson, directly injecting himself in the US title picture.


Takeaways:


I think WWE used their better judgment and decided not to turn Crews heel. A match between Lashley and Crews would be great for Extreme Rules. A victory here for Lashley is due given his great storyline with McIntyre for Backlash. A gimmick for Lashley has finally stuck, and we have MVP to thank for that.


Rey Mysterio Returns


The last time Rey Mysterio was present in the Performance Center, his eyeball was shoved into the corner of the steel steps in a sacrifice from Seth Rollins. His son Dominick joins him in his return this week. Dominick secretly went to the Raw last week to get revenge on Seth Rollins for what he did to his father.


Mysterio confronts his son about his actions the week before. Although Mysterio is proud of his son, he is still angry with him knowing the risks of this business. Mysterio now wants to fight for his son, much like how his son fought for him.


Seth Rollins has heard enough and makes his entrance. As Rollins makes his way down the ramp he drops to his knees flanked by his disciples. His calvary is stopped, however, as Humberto Carrillo and Aleister Black attack Murphy and Austin Theory from behind. This momentum doesn’t last long as Rollins prepares to gouge out the eye of Dominick. Carrillo and Black save the young man as they chase Rollins and his disciples away with steel chairs.


Takeaways:


After a few weeks of hearing the same promo be repeated seemingly over and over. This was slightly refreshing given Mysterio was in person. I can’t tell you how much true in-ring experience Dominick has but he still looks extremely green. Nothing time can’t fix but you have to wonder what will happen to him if and when Mysterio leaves.


Wrap Up:


One of the scarier nights in wrestling. When multiple championships are on the line anything can happen. This was used very wisely by fixing the Raw Tag team division and developed storylines now in the eyes of Bruce Prichard and not Paul Heyman. This shift to streamline creativity so far has been working well… besides the ninjas.


Outside of the WWE, Sammy Guevara of AEW has been suspended indefinitely without pay after the resurfacing of comments he made about WWE's Sasha Banks in 2016. Although he has apologized for the comments, Sasha Banks did release a statement about the issue condemning Guevara's comments. Guevara will reportedly undergo sensitivity training and will be reevaluated by AEW after completion.


Pros:

  • Dolph Ziggler Returns to Raw

  • Viking Raiders vs Street Profits (c) - Raw Tag Team Championship Match

  • Asuka (c) vs Charlotte Flair - Raw Women’s Championship Match

  • Edge Gives an Update on his Injury

  • “Best Performer in History!” - Ric Flair to Randy Orton

  • Sasha Banks and Bayley (c) vs The IIconics - Women’s Tag Team Championship Match

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

  • Rey Mysterio Returns


Cons:

  • Nia Jax Takes a Seat

  • R-Truth vs Akira Tozawa w/ Ninjas

  • Natalya w/ Lana vs Liv Morgan


Final Grade: B-


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