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WWE RAW recap & reaction (6/26)

This week’s episode of RAW kicked off with Roman Reigns coming down to the ring to his usual reaction from the crowd. The crowd chanted “we want Strowman!” as Roman entered the ring. Reigns paused for a minute and stared at the crowd. Finally, Reigns tried to talk but the crowd booed loudly. Reigns said that Samoa Joe applied the Coquina Clutch to him last week and put him to sleep. The crowd cheered again as Reigns brought up Braun Strowman attacking him last week.

Roman accepted Braun Strowman’s challenge for an Ambulance at WWE’s Great Balls of Fire PPV. Reigns claimed that he is going to lock Strowman in the ambulance and take him straight to hell because the WWE is his yard. Ambulance sirens echoed throughout the arena and an ambulance was shown backing into the stage area. Reigns got out of the ring and started walking towards the ambulance.

When Reigns opened the ambulance doors in the back, nobody was there. Strowman then ambushed Reigns from behind and launched him across the stage. Strowman followed him up there and Reigns was ready for him. Roman connected with a couple right hands and went for a Superman Punch but Braun caught him. Strowman then picked up Reigns and launched him into the side of the ambulance. Reigns bounced off the ambulance and fell to the floor. Strowman then shut the doors to the ambulance, bashed on the back of it and the sirens turned on. The ambulance then drove away and Strowman celebrated on the stage.

Reaction: Solid start to RAW. The crowd in the Staples Center absolutely booed Reigns out of the building. It has now been two weeks in a row that Strowman has gotten the better of Reigns. I’ve got to believe Reigns will get some revenge next week or even later tonight.

Elias Samson performed a song as Cesaro and Sheamus sat next to him. They were about to all start singing but were quickly interrupted by The Hardy Boyz.

The Hardy Boyz & Finn Balor vs Sheamus, Cesaro & Elias Samson

Matt Hardy and Sheamus started off the match in the ring. Sheamus started out on the attack and sent Hardy into the corner. Matt connected with a series of jabs and then tagged in Jeff. Jeff connected with Poetry in Motion on Sheamus. Matt and Jeff teamed up and Suplexed Cesaro. RAW went to a commercial break with The Hardys and Finn Balor in control of the match.

When RAW returned, Jeff Hardy was isolated in the corner. Josh Duhamel joined the RAW announce table to promote the terrible Transformers movie that just came out in theaters. The camera panned back to the ring and Finn Balor had been tagged in and he was stomping on Cesaro. Balor connected with a Dropkick for a two count. Cesaro tagged in Sheamus and he beatdown Balor.

Samson entered the match and continued the beatdown of Balor. Finn attacked Samson in the corner but Sheamus tagged himself in and slammed Balor to the mat. Balor was able to tag in Jeff and he leveled Sheamus with a Clothesline. Sheamus charged at Jeff in the corner but missed and went flying into the ring post. Cesaro dragged Sheamus out of the ring and Jeff leaped off the top rope and connected with a Crossbody onto Cesaro. RAW then went to another commercial break.

When RAW returned, Samson was in control and stomped on Jeff in the ring. Sheamus was tagged in and he continued beating Jeff down. Cesaro was tagged and climbed up to the top rope and connected with a punch for a two count. Sheamus once again was tagged in and Jeff booted him in chest and connected with a Stunner/ Twist of Fate. Jeff tagged in Matt and and Sheamus tagged in Samson. Matt then slammed Samson’s head into every turnbuckle and connected with a Bulldog. Hardy then planted Samson with a Side Effect but Sheamus broke up the pinfall.

Cesaro sent Matt into the ring post and was then tagged into match. Sheamus and Cesaro then connected with a double team move off the top rope but Balor broke up the pinfall. Balor was then tagged in and knocked Cesaro to the mat. Finn punted Samson’s head while on the ring apron and then connected with kick to Cesaro. Balor then Clotheslined Sheamus and Cesaro out of the ring. Balor then flipped onto both of them outside the ring.

Back in the ring, Balor planted Cesaro with a Slingblade and Dropkicked him into the turnbuckle. Balor then climbed to the top rope as Matt connected with a Twist of Fate to Sheamus outside the ring. Balor then hit Cesaro with the Coupe de Grace for the victory.

Winners: The Hardy Boyz & Finn Balor

Reaction: What is it with WWE and these 6-man tag matches? It is the same thing every week. This match was 25 minutes and overall was pretty entertaining. However, the amount of distractions during this match was ridiculous. There was a Twitter feed on the bottom of the screen, then a Supercard promo that popped and then the camera kept cutting to Josh Duhamel at the announce table. Half of the time the announcers weren’t even discussing the match. I may be in the minority here but it was driving me insane this entire match.

Another Goldust vignette was shown and he discussed his match with R-Truth next on RAW.

Goldust vs R-Truth

Goldust had his own personal camera man dressed in gold follow him to the ring. Goldust hid behind the camera man once R-Truth got in the ring. Goldust then attacked R-Truth before the match started. The camera man stood in the ring and filmed Goldust beating R-Truth down. Goldust then slammed R-Truth into the ring post and the match never started.

Reaction: This was just as stupid as you thought it would be.

Paul Heyman was interviewed backstage and Samoa Joe interrupted. Joe grabbed Heyman’s head and said that he will put Lesnar in the Coquina Clutch later tonight.

Kurt Angle was shown backstage spinning a wheel. Bayley picked a ball out from inside and she drew a number for the  Gauntlet Match later tonight to determine the #1 contender for the RAW Women’s Championship.

Miz TV w/ The Ball Family

Maryse is still pissed off at The Miz and once again denied him a kiss. The Ball family came down to the ring and Lonzo got a solid reaction from the Lakers fans in attendance. LaVar Ball quite literally pranced to the ring in ridiculous fashion as LaMelo Ball slowly walked behind him.

The Miz and LaVar pretty much started arguing right away. There were three manequins set up behind them and all were wearing Big Baller Brand shirts. LaVar made another “stay in your lane” joke, you know, the one that got him in hot water when he said that to Kristine Leahy of Fox Sports. LaVar then got shirtless and started circling the ring as he argued with The Miz. Dean Ambrose then interrupted and was wearing a Big Baller Brand shirt. Thankfully, this segment came to an end and led to another 6-man tag match.

Dean Ambrose, Slater & Rhyno vs The Miz, Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas

The Miz, Axel and Dallas took turns beating down Rhyno in the beginning of the match. Ambrose was tagged in and took control of the match. The crowd in attendance was absolutely dead at this point. Slater and Rhyno threw The Miz onto Axel and Dallas outside the ring. RAW then went to another commercial break.

When RAW returned, The Miz was in control of the match and connected with a few Yes Kicks to Slater. Heath fought back and slammed Miz to the mat. Bo Dallas was tagged in and beatdown Slater before he could tag out of the match. Axel entered the match and was greeted with a Neckbreaker from Slater. The Miz tagged in and Slater connected with a kick and both Superstars fell to the mat.

Rhyno and Bo Dallas were tagged into the match. Rhyno planted Bo with a Spinebuster for aa two count. Dean Ambrose chased The Miz around the ring. Axel punched Rhyno on the ring apron and then Bo Dallas rolled him up for the victory.

Winners: The Miz, Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas

Reaction: If you are a fan of LaVar Ball and the Big Baller Brand, you may have enjoyed this segment. I thought it was garbage. WWE got what they wanted out of it. LaVar Ball gifs went viral on Twitter and people probably tuned in to see the segment. In a feud that has involved a grandfather clock and a bear riding a tricycle, this segment fit right alongside the never-ending pile of crap that is this Ambrose and Miz feud. I wouldn’t be as bothered by it if it didn’t circle around the Intercontinental Championship.

The Miz was interesting on SmackDown and had probably the most entertaining run of his career there. On RAW, he is back to being a comedy act. Dean Ambrose is the definition of boring right now. He brings nothing to the show and the crowd doesn’t give a damn when he is in the ring. Ambrose was once a badass as Jon Moxley and was cool as hell as a member of The Shield. Those days are gone and he is now wearing Big Baller Brand shirts, bear costumes and dressing up as a camera man. This segment was pure trash, but it wasn’t for wrestling fans. I’m sure those new viewers that tuned in won’t stick around as WWE continues to phone in their TV shows every week.

Paul Heyman was shown backstage waiting for Brock Lesnar to arrive. Heyman appeared to be pissed off and kept checking his phone.

Enzo Amore came down to the ring and said that he has been trying to get in contact with Big Cass all week. Enzo called Cass down to the ring and Cass accepted the offer. Cass still had the same entrance music with Enzo singing it for some reason. Cass had his fist in the air the entire time he walked down to the ring.

The crowd booed Cass and Enzo said that he knows that reaction hurts Cass. Enzo stated that Cass was right about a lot of the things he said to him last week. Enzo admitted that his mouth was too big for his own good. Enzo said that Cass was his brother and that is a bond that he doesn’t want to break. Enzo said that he still wants to become RAW Tag Team Champions with Cass.

Cass grabbed the microphone from Enzo and said that Enzo never knows when to shut up. Cass said that he was ashamed of what he did last week. Cass then apologized and asked for Enzo’s forgiveness. Enzo forgave him and the two hugged in the ring. Cass then attacked Enzo on the entrance ramp as the crowd chanted “a**hole”. Cass then picked Enzo up above his shoulders and threw him down the entrance ramp.

Reaction: I thought this went on a little too long. It was obvious what was going to happen, but I’ve still got to give Enzo credit here. His reaction to Cass revealing himself as the attacker last week was great and he did a very good job with his promo tonight. I’m sure that Cass and Enzo will have a match at Great Balls of Fire. I don’t envision a scenario where Cass doesn’t simply beat the hell out of Enzo. Cass will hopefully do well as a Superstar.

I’m more interested in the future of Enzo. He is not the best in the ring, but his promo skills are off the charts. The problem is that WWE is so damn watered down right now, I feel like we won’t get to see the best of what he has to offer. I’m just worried that we are going to see Enzo in some kind of useless feud with the Titus Brand or be turned into a jobber. I wish managers were still a big part of WWE because I think Enzo would be excellent in that role. I have a feeling he is going to become a very minor part of RAW every week following the conclusion of this feud.

Big Cass threatened Corey Graves at the announce table. Cass said that Kurt Angle has told him that he cannot lay a finger on him. Cass told Graves to stay out of his business from now on and brought up Corey Graves having “dirt” on RAW GM Kurt Angle.

Seth Rollins vs Curt Hawkins

Hawkins controlled this match early but Rollins took control after a couple of minutes. Rollins connected with a knee to Hawkins’ face for the victory.

After the match, Bray Wyatt appeared on the jumbotron and cut a promo. Wyatt said that he will melt away Rollins’ lies with fire and that he will cleanse Rollins with the flame of a true god. Bray claimed that he was inside Rollins’ mind and that he was everywhere. Wyatt told Rollins to give in to his true self or he will burn.

Winner: Seth Rollins

Reaction: I don’t give a damn about this feud at all. I am so sick of Wyatt’s scripted promos. They have no meaning behind them. There are still thousands of people putting on their cell phone flashlights whenever Wyatt appears for some reason. I’m guessing we have already seen the best of Bray Wyatt in WWE. He finally got a run with the WWE Championship and the WWE booked him in an absolutely horrific feud with Randy Orton that culminated in back-to-back terrible matches at WrestleMania 33 and Payback.

Wyatt was then brought to RAW in the Superstar Shake-Up and is back to cutting these ominous promos and claiming he is a god. Is everyone supposed to just forget how terrible Wyatt’s WWE Championship run was? All I took from Wyatt’s WWE Championship run is that the WWE does not believe in, thus I have lost interest. I’ll be writing the same thing next week during RAW when Bray cuts another useless promo.

Brock Lesnar was shown arriving at the arena. Paul Heyman came down to the ring to cut a promo. Heyman called Samoa Joe a “Samoan dumbass” and introduced Brock Lesnar. Samoa Joe attacked Lesnar from behind on the entrance ramp and applied the Coquina Clutch. Lesnar’s face turned bright red but Lesnar was able to fight out of the hold. Lesnar drove Joe into the LED screen but Joe once again locked in the Coquina Clutch. Members of the WWE locker room came out and pulled Joe off of Lesnar.

Reaction: This segment accomplished what it needed to. Samoa Joe needs to seem like a threat to Lesnar and seeing him take down Lesnar with the Coquina Clutch accomplished that. Having said that, I have been waiting 2 hours for that segment and it lasted about a minute.

Lince Dorado vs Neville

Akira Tozawa was ringside for this match. Shawne Merriman was in the front row directly behind him. Dorado connected with a few kicks and knocked Neville out of the ring. Dorado then flipped onto Neville outside the ring. The action returned to the ring and Neville quickly locked in the Rings of Saturn for the submission victory.

After the match, Tozawa got into the ring and was about to fight Neville. Titus O’Neil interrupted and said that Neville will be defending his Cruiserweight Championship against Akira Tozawa at Great Balls of Fire.

Winner: Neville

Reaction: Neville and Tozawa will put on a great match at Great Balls of Fire and hardly anyone will care. The Cruiserweight Division has completely flatlined and I don’t know too many people that tune into 205 Live regularly. It is staggering how many feuds there are on WWE programming that have zero buzz behind them.

Michael Cole stated that Roman Reigns escaped the ambulance and is now looking for Braun Strowman.

Paul Heyman was interviewed backstage. Heyman made fun of Joe for sneaking up from behind to apply the Coquina Clutch to his client, Brock Lesnar. Heyman was sweating bullets and cut a promo on the match between Lesnar and Joe at Great Balls of Fire. Heyman cut an entertaining promo and said that Lesnar was going to defeat Joe at Great Balls of Fire and Joe’s manhood was going to crawl back into his stomach.

Alexa Bliss had a discussion with Nia Jax backstage. Bliss said that the two of them are both judged on how they look and that was not right. Bliss said that there was not a single woman in the Gauntlet Match later tonight that can drag her down. Bliss stated that Nia Jax doesn’t need it, but went on to wish her luck anyway. Nia responded and said that no she doesn’t need luck and vowed to win the match and take the RAW Women’s Championship away from Alexa Bliss at Great Balls of Fire.

Gauntlet Match To Determine #1 Contender For RAW Women’s Championship

Bayley vs Nia Jax

Bayley and Nia were the first two Superstars in the match. Bayley stomped on Nia’s foot to start off the match and connected with a couple of forearms. Nia picked Bayley up and launched her into the turnbuckle. Nia leveled Bayley with a Clothesline and beat her down in the corner. Bayley fought back and connected with a knee. Bayley climbed to the top rope and connected with an Elbow Drop to the back of Nia’s head. Nia kicked Bayley into the turnbuckle but Bayley once again knocked Nia to the mat. Bayley attempted to climb up the ropes but Nia knocked her down and planted her with the Samoan Drop for the victory.

Winner: Nia Jax

Mickie James vs Nia Jax

Nia controlled the match early and launched Mickie across the ring. Nia stomped on Mickie James as she was against the turnbuckle. Jax locked Mickie in the Bear Hug in the middle of the ring. Mickie fought out of the hold and connected with a series of kicks. Mickie then connected with a Mick Kick but Nia was unfazed. Nia then shoulder tackled Mickie for the victory.

Winner: Nia Jax

Dana Brooke vs Nia Jax

Nia quickly knocked Dana to the mat and connected with a Leg Drop for the victory.

Winner: Nia Jax

Emma vs Nia Jax

Nia grabbed Emma by the hair but Emma broke free and connected with a couple of Dropkicks. Emma climbed to the top rope and attempted a Crossbody but Nia caught her and planted her with a Samoan Drop for the victory.

Winner: Nia Jax

Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax

Sasha connected with some slaps and a Jawbreaker to start out the match. Nia then charged at Sasha but Banks got out of the way and Nia fell out of the ring. Sasha attempted a Suicide Dive but Nia caught her. Sasha wiggled free and shoved Jax into the ring post. Sasha then hit the Double Knees onto Nia outside the ring. Sasha got back in the ring and RAW went to a commercial break.

When RAW returned, Nia was in control and had a Chin Lock applied to Sasha Banks. Sasha powered to her feet but Nia simply tossed her out of the ring. Sasha got back into the ring and connected with Double Knees on Nia in the corner. Nia bounced Sasha off the ropes and leveled Banks with a Clothesline for a two count.

Nia once again threw Sasha out of the ring and instructed the referee to start counting. Sasha got back into the ring but Nia immediately knocked her to the mat. Nia taunted the crowd and then slammed Banks to the mat again. Nia connected with an elbow for a two count.

Nia threw Sasha out of the ring once again and the referee started counting. Banks got back into the ring and connected with a couple of punches. Nia once again knocked Sasha to the mat and stomped on her. Nia hit a Leg Drop on Sasha’s leg and Banks screamed in pain. Nia then rolled Banks out of the ring and once again the referee started counting.

Sasha got back into the ring and Nia locked in the Bear Hug. Nia then lifted Sasha up for a Suplex but instead just threw her to the mat. Nia went for the pinfall but Sasha kicked out at two. Nia went for another Leg Drop but Sasha got out of the way. Sasha then hit a knee to Nia’s jaw and both Superstars fell to the mat. Sasha locked in a standing Bank Statement but Nia powered out of the hold.

Nia hit the Samoan Drop but Sasha rolled to the ring apron. Nia then rag-dolled Sasha around the ring by her hair. Jax lifted Banks above her shoulders and Sasha desperately connected with a series of elbows. Sasha then locked in the Bank Statement in the middle of the ring and Nia Jax tapped out.

Winner & #1 contender for RAW Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks

After the match, RAW GM Kurt Angle came down to the ring and raised Sasha’s hand. RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss then came down to the ring and raised the RAW title in front of Sasha. Banks then Dropkicked Bliss and grabbed the title and raised it above her head.

Reaction: I thought the Gauntlet Match was decent. I would have just preferred to have seen Nia Jax win the whole thing and face Bliss at Great Balls of Fire. Banks and Bliss can put on a better match, I just would like to see Nia be booked as a monster. Sure, she ran through 4 Superstars tonight but ultimately fell short. I would have also preferred to see Nia simply pass out due to the Bank Statement. Instead, she gave up and tapped out. In my opinion, it just made her look completely beatable and lessened the impact of her defeating Bayley, Mickie James, Dana Brooke and Emma.

Overall, I thought this week’s episode of RAW was pretty abysmal. There was no Stone Cold Steve Austin appearance, instead we got LaVar Ball. The best part of the show was the Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar segment. We get to see one more week of that and then the Great Balls of Fire PPV. After that, Lesnar will most likely be gone for a bit after the RAW following Great Balls of Fire. There is just nothing else on RAW that is that interesting. I don’t understand how WWE can have all this talent, all of these writers and this is the best that they can come up with. RAW and SmackDown lack innovation, creativity and compelling storylines. It has been that way for some time now and it is remarkable to me that they haven’t changed things up or put in an effort to improve the show. I have posted a video and podcast review of this week’s RAW on MankyMedia.com.

What did you think of this week’s episode of RAW? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


  • Nicholas Giambattista

    Braun Strowman would not be surprise if he doesn’t win the WWE Unverlasial Championship at Summerslam they put the IC title on him. Because he needs to be holding some kind of Gold soon. He so far over with the fans.

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