• Jayden Becker

WWE Raw Review 6/8/20


Writer's Note:


I wrote the articles for last week’s Raw and Smackdown but I didn’t feel right posting them due to current events.


The COVID-19 pandemic has given us a lot of time to reflect on ourselves. With the pandemic lasting over 3 months and protests taking over our nation due to the mistreatment of people of color in the United States, we should all now reflect on the world around us and what we can do to make life better in our homes, communities, and country.

No matter where you stand on health or political issues, professional wrestling and the professional wrestling community has been an escape from the world outside our homes. While we don’t know where the next day will take us, let us all tread these unknown waters together.


Thank you.


JB

The Backlash go-home episode of Monday Night Raw sees Sunday’s card gets filled. The new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Bayley make an appearance. United States Champion Apollo Crews finds his challenger for Backlash. MVP hosts the VIP Lounge and Christian returns for the Peep Show.


The Viking Raiders and Street Profits battle in a Decathalon to continue their feud. The action doesn’t stop there as Aleister Black and Humberto Carrillo take on Seth Rollins’ disciples.


Opening


As the show opens we are greeted with the current Raw Women’s Champion Asuka as she is scheduled for a match with Charlotte Flair. Flair, the night prior, lost her NXT Women’s Championship to Io Shirai in NXT Takeover: In Your House. Smackdown’s Sasha Banks and Bayley make their entrance, however, as they are now allowed to jump from brand to brand as the new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions.


Their celebration is cut short as Charlotte Flair enters the conversation. After Flair gives her remarks, The IIconics join in on the fun to announce the Triple Threat Match at Backlash for the Tag Team Championship. This match will include Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, The IIconics, and current champions Bayley and Sasha Banks.


The tension is broken as all women brawl in the middle of the ring, ending with Flair and Asuka standing tall.


Takeaways:


Here it is. As the ring started to fill I could only be grateful to see that this is one of the best, if not, the best women’s divisions in WWE History. If I were to rank the top female competitors in the company, this segment would’ve had the full top 6 excluding Becky Lynch who is out preparing to become a mother.


I am slightly disappointed that the Women’s Tag Team Championships are going to be defended in the Triple Threat Match given that these are all the women’s tag teams. New tag teams need to be formed or called up soon to continue to build the weak division.

Asuka and Charlotte Flair vs The IIconics vs Bayley and Sasha Banks


This match was made official throughout the commercial break as the dust settled from the opening brawl. Charlotte and Asuka have a tough time being a cohesive unit early on, tagging themselves into the match to their teammate's dismay.


Asuka tags herself in and flies out of the corner knocking Bayley off the apron. The IIconics interfere in the action but to no avail as Asuka maintains control. As the match comes to a close, Flair climbs her way to the top rope for her patented moonsault. Asuka tags herself in once again and wraps Billie Kay in the Asuka Lock. Kay taps out as Flair is still perched on the top rope.


As Asuka celebrates her victory, she is attacked by Flair after the match. The two still have a match to settle the score in the main event.


Takeaways:


The wrong team won here. I understand Asuka and Flair are at the top of the Women’s division as it stands currently but what just occurred has further buried the already weak Women’s Tag Team division. Two competitors that have never teamed up before beat the former and current Women’s Tag Team Champions. It doesn’t matter anymore who wins at Backlash because we know now that they aren’t good enough to beat two women that argue through the whole match. Two singles competitors should never beat an established tag team. Period.

Rey Mysterio Interview


After Rey Mysterio and his son Dominick joined Raw last week via satellite, Mysterio makes another appearance to give an update on his injured eye. This week, however, Seth Rollins decides to join in on the interview by kicking Byron Saxson out of his seat.


The doctors tell Mysterio that his eye is healing but still don’t know when he could return to the ring, if ever. Mysterio also vows to make Rollins pay for his actions. Rollins still believes that what he did was a good thing and invites Mysterio and his son to Raw next week.


As an argument ensues, Aleister Black jumps over the announce table and attacks Seth Rollins.


Takeaways:


We are going to have to wait and see where this goes with Rollins and Mysterio. This might be a match that builds up to Summerslam given the right love and care. No matter what happens we know Rollins is going to be fine. My thought process lies in the wake of Mysterio and his career with the WWE.


With his contract ending soon in a couple of months, this could either be his last push in the company or the selling point that convinces him to stay. With multiple superstars jumping ship to AEW, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mysterio follow suit. Mysterio’s main concern reportedly is the care of his son in the professional wrestling business. This angel has offered some of that of late but still needs more time to simmer.

Humberto Carrillo and Aleister Black vs Murphy and Austin Theory


After the actions of Seth Rollins last week and Aleister Black’s assault this week, this match is now official.


The match moves at a fast pace early on with Murphy and Black trading their offensive prowess and working with immeasurable chemistry. As Murphy tries for the top rope, Black connects with a Black Mass knocking Murphy out cold.


Black pins Murphy and wins the match for his team. Rey Mysterio’s music plays, gaining the attention of Black and Carrillo. Theory attacks from behind as Rollins walks down the entrance ramp wearing a Rey Mysterio mask.


A relentless attack onto Black and Carrillo ends with a curb stomp onto Black. Seth Rollins and his disciples stand tall over the wasted duo.


Takeaways:


A match down the line at Summerslam could see a 3 on 3 tag match with Mysterio and friends standing tall. From there who knows where Mysterio could land after that. My concern also lies with Murphy and Theory.


Having the duo win the tag team titles and Rollins win the United States championship could have them be legitimized after the slow start. Rollins being the leader of his Evolution could set up storylines for himself years in advance as he progresses through his accoladed career.


I also can’t wait for the Wrestlemania main event between Black and Murphy in the hopeful near future. These two can’t put on a bad match together if they tried and are destined for stardom. The two currently are taking different paths to get there.

The Peep Show w/ Christian and Edge


Former World Champion and current Fox Backstage analyst Christian joins Monday Night Raw for a segment of The Peep Show.


Instead of building up his friend, Christian tears Edge down. Christian believes Edge is running on fumes and couldn’t even put on the greatest wrestling match of all time in his prime. Both get into each other's faces as Christian refers to Edge as Adam Copeland.


Christian noticed the doubt that Orton noticed weeks back. By berating the Rated R Superstar, Christian believes that he will pull the intensity that he once saw back when they were a young tag team.


Orton appears on-screen begging for Christian to stop the antics. The Viper promises to send Edge back home.


Takeaways:


The greatest wrestling match ever, coming this Sunday. I’m glad that it is recognized on-screen that this is a daunting task for both superstars to live up to. I’m still shocked that this was the plan they went with but who knows. What makes it so difficult to grasp is that we are expected to believe that the pinnacle of wrestling and every great match before this is now worse because of this.


I just want Sunday to come and for this to be over.

The Viking Raiders and Street Profits Compete in a Decathlon


After weeks of competition, the Viking Raiders and Street Profits compete in ten different events to determine a winner. The Street Profits win the 1600 meter dash, Flip Cup and Hurdles. The Viking Raiders win at Archery, Sword fighting and stick fighting. With the score tied the Street Profits take a 5-3 lead by beating the Vikings Raiders in a dance-off and shot put. The Viking Raiders tie with a Turkey Leg Eating Contest and Pole vault victories.


The event ends tied 5-5.


Takeaways:


With the Raw tag team division depleted due to injury or firing, this has been the only option to keep these two tag teams feuding while staying babyface in process. It has worked as of now and could build to a match Backlash although no match has been announced as of now. If a match doesn’t take place at Backlash, we have to question what has Raw been doing wasting our time for the past few weeks with these meaningless segments.


Have they added to both the characters of the Street Profits and Viking Raiders? Yes. Were they funny at times? Sure. But what's the point if there isn’t a payoff for the titles at the end.

Andrade vs Angel Garza vs Kevin Owens - Winner Takes on Apollo Crews for US Championship


This match comes to be after Kevin Owens was attacked during his United States Championship match against Apollo Crews last week. Owens doesn’t forget this, however, as he attacks both Andrade and Angel Garza during their entrance.


Garza and Andrade double team Owens as the match officially starts. The two have difficulty working together as they technically are opponents in this match-up. As Andrade and Garza fight on the outside of the ring, Vega is caught up in the melee and pushed down to the ground.


With Vega now backstage, Kevin Owens takes control by stunning Garza. Andrade breaks up the pin and covers Garza himself for the victory.


Andrade will face Apollo Crews at Backlash for the United States Championship.


Backstage, Andrade and Garza argue about the outcome of the match but are quickly silenced by the enraged Zelina Vega.


Takeaways:


WWE chose the correct winner for this one. The development of Kevin Owens as the “loser” or “bearer of bad luck” has been great so far. This could add much-needed depth to Owens down the line as he continues to develop as a superstar. What would’ve made this even better would’ve been Owens being pinned for the finish, making him look even weaker for his triumphant comeback story.


This shouldn’t be the end for Vega and her men, the backstage segment confirmed that. Seeing these two develop the tag team division on Raw could put them right back into the spotlight as top tier talent.

Bobby Lashley and MVP vs The Viking Raiders


Before this match, MVP hosts his recurring segment, the VIP Lounge. As MVP introduces Bobby Lashley as his guest, WWE Champion Drew McIntyre enters in his place. McIntyre threatens to Claymore MVP but is stopped by Lashley before he can finish his countdown. The Viking Raiders enter with the Street Profits as the Vikings have a match next.


With McIntyre and the Street Profits watching ringside, the match gets underway. As Lashley and MVP confront the Street Profits, Ivar lands a big splash onto the outside. Lana is interviewed backstage during the match, looking to make the most of her 2020.


As Lashley is tossed outside the ring, he is confronted by Drew McIntyre. To prove a point, Lashley spears the soul out of Ivar on the outside. As the match nears its end, Lashley tags himself in and locks in the Full-Nelson on Eric. It doesn’t take long for Eric to tap out as Bobby Lashley and MVP defeat the Viking Raiders.


Ivar enters the ring to avenge his fallen partner but is caught in the full-nelson as well. The Street Profits try to pry the hands off the neck of Ivar but do enough to hold Lashley still for a Claymore from McIntyre.


Takeaways:


So not only did Raw decide it's a good idea to bury the weak Women’s Tag Team Division but they also threw in the Men’s division. I guess you can argue that MVP and Lashley are a tag team but the Viking Raiders are currently (hopefully) in a feud for the Raw Tag Team Titles.


What was the point of having McIntyre and the Street Profit ringside if they aren’t going to directly involve themselves in the match? In any event, Lashley looks stronger than ever here going to Backlash as he walked off the Claymore from McIntyre.

Asuka vs Charlotte Flair


After being interrupted in the opening of the show, this match was moved to the main event. Before the match starts, however, Bayley and Sasha Banks join in on commentary.


As the match develops, Bayley and Banks have to abandon their post as Flair sends the current Raw Women’s Champion Asuka over the announce table. The IIconics make an appearance in the crowd behind the plexiglass wall. Asuka fights back into the match and climbs to the top rope, Flair notices this and kicks Asuka back to the outside.


The IIconics sneak behind the announce table and attack the Women’s Tag Team Champions. The two teams are barred from ringside as they fight backstage. As Asuka tries to produce more offense, Nia Jax interferes with the match ringside. Jax climbs up on the apron and is knocked off by an Asuka hip attack.


Flair connects with a big boot and pins Asuka to win the match (The official counted three and the match was over, Asuka did kick out at 2 ½ but wasn’t noticed). Jax attacks Asuka after the match, crushing her Backlash opponent with a Samoan Drop.


Takeaways:


It was odd seeing Bayley and Banks on Raw. Did their presence add much to the show? Not really, but I didn’t mind them here. I have to wonder why the Flair feud with Asuka is starting up again now instead of after Backlash. Depending on the outcome of the Raw Women’s Championship Match, the WWE would have jumped the gun here.


This also felt like a repeat of last week with Jax interfering in the match and costing Asuka the victory. This loses points for lack of creativity there.

Wrap Up:


The Backlash go-home show from Monday Night Raw was missable besides the United States Championship Triple Threat Match. Besides a few gems here and there throughout, this show didn’t add much going towards Backlash.


Pros:


  • Opening

  • Rey Mysterio Interview

  • Humberto Carrillo and Aleister Black vs Murphy and Austin Theory

  • The Viking Raiders and Street Profits Compete in a Decathlon

  • Andrade vs Angel Garza vs Kevin Owens - Winner Takes on Apollo Crews for US Championship


Cons:


  • Asuka and Charlotte Flair vs The IIconics vs Bayley and Sasha Banks

  • The Peep Show w/ Christian and Edge

  • Bobby Lashley and MVP vs The Viking Raiders

  • Asuka vs Charlotte Flair


Final Grade: C

12 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All