WWE RAW recap & reaction (6/19)

This week’s episode of RAW with Roman Reigns coming down to the ring to a chorus of boos from the WWE Universe. WWE had teased that Reigns was making a big announcement tonight in regards to SummerSlam. Reigns stated that he cannot be beaten one-vs-one. Reigns bragged about defeating Finn Balor, Bray Wyatt and Seth Rollins recently. Reigns stated that he put Braun Strowman out of action and has main-evented his third WrestleMania in a row.



Roman said that he retired The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33 and “Undertaker” chants broke out in the crowd. Reigns said that he doesn’t care who wins at Great Balls of Fire and proclaimed himself as the number one contender for the Universal Championship. Reigns then said RAW is his yard and that he makes the rules around here.

Samoa Joe interrupted and came down to the ring. Joe got right in Roman’s face and stated that Reigns has never defeated him. Samoa Joe said that he is the true #1 contender and the next Universal Champion. Reigns said that Heyman was right last week and said that Samoa Joe will always be “just Joe” to him. Joe then headbutted Reigns and knocked him out of the ring. Joe continued the assault and bashed Reigns into the barricade. Joe went for the Coquina Clutch but Reigns blocked it. Reigns connected with a Superman Punch that sent Joe out of the ring.

Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns will have a match later on tonight.

Reaction: RAW started out with a bang tonight. Reigns pretty much declared himself as the #1 contender for the Universal Championship. I would love to see a feud between Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns that means something. I think Samoa Joe adds so much to RAW. Instead of attacking Reigns from behind, he got right in his face. Samoa Joe just comes off as a badass and you are able to convince yourself that he has a shot to win any match he is a part of.

The Hardy Boyz vs Gallows & Anderson

Matt and Jeff controlled the match early. Sheamus and Cesaro were shown backstage cracking jokes with each other while watching the match. Jeff connected with Poetry in Motion onto Gallows and followed it up with a Splash for a two count. Gallows then took control and bounced Jeff’s head off the turnbuckle.

Anderson was tagged in and he connected with a couple of right hands that knocked Jeff to the mat. Anderson tripped up Jeff on the top rope and Jeff landed crotch-first on the top turnbuckle as RAW went to a commercial break. When RAW returned, Sheamus and Cesaro were once again shown watching the match while Jeff was still trapped in the ring.

Jeff hit the Whisper in the Wind onto Gallows and Anderson and hit the mat hard. Jeff finally was tagged in Matt and he connected with a series of right hands to Anderson. Matt then slammed Anderson’s head into all three turnbuckles. Matt planted Anderson with the Side Effect but Gallows broke up the pinfall. Matt knocked Gallows out of the ring with a Clothesline. Gallows then hit a boot to Jeff’s face outside the ring.

Gallows grabbed Matt’s leg while the ref was distracted. Anderson then connected with a right hand. Gallows and Anderson then hit the Boot of Doom on Matt Hardy for a two count. Jeff Hardy was tagged in and Matt Hardy planted Gallows with a Twist of Fate. Jeff then connected with a Swanton Bomb for the victory.

Winners: The Hardy Boyz

Goldust cut a promo on R-Truth in another vignette. Goldust invited R-Truth to the debut of his new motion picture The Shattered Truth next week.

Elias Samson was in the ring and told a story about his dad giving him a guitar when he was 15 years old. Samson said that his father told him that he could go wherever he wanted to with his guitar. Samson then joked that his father probably never thought he would drift into a horrible town like Evansville. Samson started to play his guitar, but quickly realized that it was out of tune. Samson yelled at the crowd to be silent while he tunes his guitar. Finn Balor’s music hit and Samson never got around to performing his song. Samson walked out of the ring and RAW went to a commercial break.

Finn Balor vs Bo Dallas

Bo attacked Balor before the match started. Balor got to his feet and the referee called for the bell. Bo then leveled Balor with a Clothesline and then slammed him into the barricade outside the ring. Dallas then hit Balor with a knee outside the ring. Bo brought Finn back in the ring and went for a pinfall but Balor kicked out at two. Balor knocked Bo to the mat and stomped on his several times. Balor Clotheslined Bo out of the ring and then punted his head on the ring apron. Balor then launched Bo into the barricade a couple of times as the referee counted.

The action returned to the ring and Balor connected with a Slingblade. Balor then hit a Dropkick that sent Dallas off the turnbuckle. Balor then connected with the Coupe de Grace for the victory.

Winner: Finn Balor

Reaction: It took me a moment to realize that Bo Dallas was in the ring. I had completely forgotten about him. This match was more entertaining than I thought it was going to be. Balor seems to have nothing to do on RAW right now. I thought they had a feud planned out between him and Bray Wyatt around the time of the Superstar Shake-Up. I guess that isn’t happening and Balor will just wrestle random matches against Bray’s brother Bo. I’d like to see Balor in some kind of actual storyline. As for Elias Samson, he has quickly become one of my favorite parts of RAW. Tonight’s promo was great because he didn’t even bother to play a song. He just scolded the crowd and tuned his guitar while the audience booed him out of the building. I thought it was great.

Corey Graves and Kurt Angle had yet another conversation. Graves said that it was too bad that Angle didn’t have a good Father’s Day. Graves then informed Angle that he got the same text he did. Enzo and Cass showed up. Angle started yelling at Enzo for tweeting at Conor McGregor. Enzo and Cass then said that Angle should figure out who has been attacking them for the past few weeks and stop worrying about a tweet. Angle then promised Enzo and Cass that he would figure out who the attackers are by the end of the night.

Rollins thanked the crowd for giving him a second chance and talked about being on the cover of WWE 2K18. The crowd chanted “you deserve it!”. Rollins said that the cover of the game was not just his cover, but the WWE Universe’s as well. Rollins discussed the games slogan “Be Like No One”. Rollins was about to make a promise to the WWE Universe but Bray Wyatt interrupted.

Wyatt blasted Rollins for conforming and selling the game. Wyatt referred to it as a “corporate banner”. Wyatt said that Rollins can wear the clothes of a “good and honest man” but they both know that he is not that man. Rollins stated that he is “the man” and Seth called Bray egotistical. Rollins said that gods only exist in our minds, and stated that Wyatt was nothing but a coward. Bray said it was time to make a sacrifice and then blew out his lantern and the lights went out in the arena. Wyatt made his way down to the ring and Rollins hit him with a Crossbody off the top rope right when the lights came on in the arena. Rollins cut his face open somehow and Bray Wyatt was bleeding from his mouth.

Reaction: Rollins and Wyatt had a decent promo here. I’m just having a difficult time getting invested in this feud. They have nothing to fight over and the feud really doesn’t feel personal to me. I think my major issue with this feud is that I’m completely burnt out with Bray Wyatt. I simply cannot take his character seriously anymore. I fully expect him to lose to Rollins and then jump into another meaningless feud in which he will once again declare himself a god.

Even if Wyatt does wind up winning this feud, I still wont believe in his character. It would take a winning streak and a title run for me to buy-in again. I don’t see that happening because WWE seems to be unwilling to commit to that. Wyatt is now on RAW, a show that has Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Brock Lesnar, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor and the list of popular Superstars goes on. I view Wyatt as a mid-carder on RAW now. He’s among the best on the main roster at cutting promos, yet his words are meaningless if he continues to lose most of the matches he competes in.

Finn Balor was interviewed backstage. Balor stated that he wanted to get his Universal Championship back. Balor was then asked to predict tonight’s match between Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns. Elias Samson then attacked Balor from behind before he could make his prediction. Samson then told Balor to never upstage him again. D-Von Dudley then showed up and demanded that someone get Balor some help.

Akira Tozawa vs TJP

Titus O’Neil came down to the ring before the match started. Titus assumed the role as ring announcer and announced TJP. O’Neil then announced Tozawa as the future Cruiserweight Champion and started screaming like Tozawa into the microphone. The bell rang and Tozawa immediately attacked TJP.

TJP beatdown Tozawa in the corner. Tozawa battled out of the corner and knocked TJP to the ring apron. Neville then came down to the announce table on the entrance ramp. Neville said that he was here to watch Tozawa and claimed that it was foolish of Titus O’Neil to proclaim Tozawa as the next Cruiserweight Champion. RAW then went to a commercial break as Neville took a seat beside the announce table.

When RAW returned, TJP was in control of the match. Tozawa battled back and connected with a running kick to TJP’s head. Tozawa climbed to the top rope but TJP rolled out of the ring. Tozawa then connected with a Suicide Dive as Titus cheered him on ringside. Back in the ring, Tozawa stalked TJP as TJP begged Tozawa to stay away. TJP then slammed Tozawa’s head into the turnbuckle and connected with a Gutbuster for a two count. Tozawa connected with a kick and a German Suplex. Tozawa then climbed to the top rope and hit a Senton Bomb for the victory.

After the match, Titus celebrated with Tozawa in the ring. Titus then grabbed the microphone. Titus announced that he and Apollo Crews will be facing Sheamus and Cesaro later tonight. O’Neil said that Tozawa will become the next Cruiserweight Champion if he signs with the Titus Brand. Neville stood on the announce table and called Titus a peasant. Neville then warned Tozawa again to tread carefully. Neville said that he will annihilate Tozawa. Titus then called Neville a scared little boy and said that Neville will be annihilated by “the power of Tozawa”.

Winner: Akira Tozawa

Reaction: Neville and Tozawa can certainly put on a great match. I’m not sure if the inclusion of the Titus Brand is helping this feud at all. I will say that I would much rather watch Titus O’Neil as a manager than as an in-ring performer.

Kurt Angle was shown talking to The Revival backstage.

R-Truth responded to Goldust in another vignette. R-Truth accepted Goldust’s invitation and will have some kind of confrontation with him next week on RAW.

Curtis Axel was backstage with Bo Dallas. The Miz interrupted and stated that he has noticed that neither have them have been looking good lately. Miz called Bo “comic relief” and said that the Bo on the set of Marine 5 wouldn’t be so pathetic. Curtis Axel got in Miz’s face. Miz said that Axel can continue to have backstage matches with catering, or he and Bo can join The Miz. Miz told them to think about it and walked away.

Samoa Joe was interviewed backstage. Joe asked footage to be rolled of a his debut match on RAW 4 months ago. Joe was shown defeating Roman Reigns in that match. Samoa Joe said that Reigns needs to realize who is he dealing with. Joe went on to say that he is going to defeat Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire and then defeat Roman Reigns at SummerSlam.

Samoa Joe vs Roman Reigns

The match started out back and forth. Samoa Joe and Reigns ran into each other but both men stood tall and barked at each other in the ring. Joe then shoved Roman’s head and told him to learn his name. Reigns connected with a series of right hands but Joe responded with a knee to the chest of Reigns. Roman then shoulder tackled Joe and geared up for the Superman Punch.

Joe rolled out of the ring and Reigns dared him to get back in. Joe obliged and the two Superstars circled each other. The two Superstars traded punches and Reigns got the upper-hand. Joe launched Reigns into the turnbuckle and connected with a kick to Reigns’ head. Joe went for the Coquina Clutch but Reigns saw it coming and rolled out of the ring.

Reigns and Joe once again traded punches in the ring. This time, Joe got the upper-hand and headbutted Reigns to the mat. Joe continued to taunt Reigns as he beat him down. Joe charged at Roman but Reigns was ready and planted him with a Samoan Drop. Roman rolled out of the ring and went for the Drive-By but Joe rolled off the ring apron. Joe then picked up Roman and slammed him into the ring post. Joe then connected with a Senton outside the ring as RAW went to a commercial break.

When RAW returned, Joe was still in control of the match as the action had returned to the ring. Joe circled Reigns while he was on the mat and then punched him in the face a couple of times. Joe then applied a Chin Lock as fans of Reigns tried to pump him up. Roman powered to his feet and broke the hold.

Joe knocked him bat to the mat with a headbutt and went for another Senton but Reigns got out of the way. Reigns leveled Joe with a couple of Clotheslines and then kicked him in the face for a two count. Samoa Joe once again rolled out of the ring and Reigns connected with a Drive-By.

Reigns then brought Joe back in the ring and went for the Superman Punch but Joe caught him. Joe hit an inverted Atomic Drop, booted him in the face and then connected with a Senton for a two count. Reigns planted Joe with a Superman Punch but Joe kicked out at two. Reigns shook his head in disbelief as both Superstars were on the mat.

Reigns was the first to his feet and went for a Spear but Joe kneed him in the face and connected with an Uranagi for a two count. Joe went for the Coquina Clutch but Reigns avoided it and connected with a Spear. Reigns went for the pinfall but Joe was able to get his foot on the bottom rope to break up the count.

Samoa Joe once again rolled out of the ring as the crowd chanted “this is awesome!”. Joe got back into the ring just before the referee counted to ten. An ambulance was then shown on the screen backing into the arena. Braun Strowman got out of the back and started walking towards the ring. Reigns was distracted and Samoa Joe locked in the Coquina Clutch and Reigns passed out.

After the match, Strowman stormed to the ring as Reigns was waking up from the Coquina Clutch. Strowman had a microphone in his hands and the crowd started chanting “yes!”. Strowman shouted that he was not finished with Reigns and slammed Roman to the mat. Strowman then celebrated in the ring as the crowd cheered him on. Strowman then challenged Reigns to an Ambulance Match at Great Balls of Fire.

Winner: Samoa Joe

Reaction: This match was awesome. I am sold on this feud in the future and cannot wait for it to happen with a title on the line. I’m also pumped that Strowman is back on RAW. Great Balls of Fire is shaping up to be a great show with Lesnar versus Joe and Reigns versus Strowman.

Miz TV w/ Maryse

There were two bears in the ring and a gigantic present. The bears were holding signs that read “I’m sorry” and “please forgive me”. The Miz introduced Maryse and said that he owed her an apology. The Miz handed Maryse a glass of champagne and leaned in for a kiss but Maryse rejected it.

The Miz apologized for destroying the grandfather clock and asked Maryse to open the gift. The gift was the destroyed grandfather clock. The Miz fixed it up and said that he spent several nights in their garage watching YouTube videos on how to fix the clock. The Miz then said that Maryse is everything to him and said that he loved her very much.

Miz then asked for forgiveness and Maryse leaned in for a kiss. Dean Ambrose interrupted and made his way to the ring. Ambrose got in the ring and Miz dragged Maryse in the way. Maryse then spilled her champagne all over herself. Miz then charged at Ambrose but Dean got out of the way and Miz ran into the grandfather clock. Miz once again tried to apologize but Maryse wasn’t having it. Maryse shoved Miz and exited the ring. Ambrose then Clotheslined Miz out of the ring.

The two bears in the ring then attacked Ambrose from behind. Bo and Axel were revealed to be the two Superstars in the bear costume. Miz got back in the ring and booted Ambrose in the face. The Miz then planted Ambrose with the Skull Crushing Finale.

Reaction: Axelmania is back, baby! This promo was entertaining and I’m glad Axel and Bo Dallas have something to do on RAW again.

Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neil vs Sheamus & Cesaro

Cesaro and Crews started out the match. Crews connected with a Dropkick but Cesaro launched Crews into the turnbuckle. Sheamus was then tagged in as The Hardy Boyz were shown backstage watching the match. Sheamus applied a Chin Lock as Titus tried to pump up his tag partner on the ring apron.

Cesaro tagged in and stomped on Crews in the corner. Cesaro leveled Crews with a Clothesline for a two count and then applied a Chin Lock. Apollo battled out of the hold and connected with a kick. Titus was tagged in and he immediately leveled Cesaro with a shoulder tackle. Titus then launched Cesaro across the ring and connected with a Splash in the corner.

Sheamus was tagged in and climbed to the top rope and missed a Clothesline. Titus then tagged in Crews and Apollo hit a standing Moonsault for a two count. Crews was hung up on the second rope and Cesaro hit him with a cheap shot. Sheamus and Cesaro then teamed up and slammed Crews to the mat for the victory.

Winners: Sheamus & Cesaro

WWE aired a video to hype up the Universal Championship match between Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe at the Great Balls of Fire PPV on July 9th.

Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax

Alexa Bliss joined commentary for this match. Nia beatdown Sasha early and launched her across the ring. Banks hit Double Knees off the top rope and Nia fell awkwardly. Emma showed up behind Alexa and yelled at her for walking out on her tag team last week. Alexa ran to the ring and tried to hide behind Nia Jax. Nia wasn’t having it shoved Alexa in the way. Emma tried to kick Alexa but Bliss moved and Emma accidentally hit Nia.

Bliss and Emma then teamed up and attacked Sasha Banks. Dana Brooke and Mickie James then ran to the ring and a brawl broke out. Nia slammed Sasha to the mat and then missed a Leg Drop. Bayley then sprinted to the ring and started throwing punches. Bayley then threw Emma into Alexa and then Suplexed Bliss to the mat. Bayley then hit a knee to Emma’s face. Nia then beatdown Bayley in the corner. Dana and Mickie then attacked Nia and Bayley planted her with a Bulldog. Dana and Mickie then Dropkicked Nia out of the ring. Mickie, Bayley, Dana and Sasha then stood tall in the ring.

Reaction: It was nice to hear the crowd react positively to Bayley coming down to the ring. I have no idea what WWE has been doing with her character, but they have made her appear weak for the past month or so. Tonight was much better. Hopefully next week WWE doesn’t air another awkward interview where Bayley is begging Corey Graves for a hug. I’d honestly prefer to not hear Bayley cut a promo or have an interview for a bit. I’d just like to see her win some matches for a bit and we can all try and forget the tragedy that was her feud with Alexa Bliss.

RAW GM Kurt Angle came down to the ring and the crowd greeted him with “you suck!” chants in concert with his theme music. Angle asked Enzo and Cass to come down to the ring. Enzo and Cass came down to the entrance ramp and cut their typical promo. Enzo and Cass then entered the ring with Kurt Angle.

Angle said that he has been talking with suspects all night long and asked The Revival to come out from backstage. Dash and Dawson came down to the ring with microphones. Angle then asked the Big Show to come down to the ring. Big Show entered the ring and also had a microphone. Big Show called Enzo and Cass SAWFT and said he wouldn’t attack anyone from behind. Big Show then told Angle that maybe he didn’t need to be on his show anymore if Angle thought he would do something like this. Big Show then exited the ring and walked backstage.

Dawson said that The Revival were innocent. Angle agreed and Corey Graves got on the microphone. Graves said that Cass lied about his attack and said that he spoke to WWE’s medical team and that none of them recalled treated him. Graves then showed security footage of Cass staging his own attack. Graves then accused Cass of attacking Enzo.

Cass admitted to attacking Enzo and then scolded Enzo Amore for constantly running his mouth. Cass said that he has wanted to knock Enzo out several times but didn’t because everyone in the back hates him. Cass said that he felt bad for Enzo but he finally snapped and that it felt damn good when he attacked Enzo from behind. Enzo then shed a tear as Cass shouted at him and said that he wanted to watch him suffer.

Cass said that Enzo was even dumber than he looks. Cass said that Enzo was holding him down and that he should be rising to the top of WWE. Cass said that Enzo is the reason he has never been a champ in WWE. Big Cass said that he is where the money is and Enzo just writes checks that he cannot cash. Cass then said that he was through with Enzo and booted him in the face. RAW went off the air with the crowd chanting “you suck!” at Big Cass.

Reaction: This storyline went on too long and most people predicted that Cass was the attacker. Having said that, this was a pretty damn good promo by Cass. Also, kudos to Enzo for showing emotion and reacting to his partner betraying him. I’ve never been a fan of Enzo and Cass, so I’m actually ecstatic that they are not a team anymore. I don’t know what lies ahead for Enzo, but Cass has potential. Enzo is excellent on the microphone and will always have a role on the roster. It will be interesting to see where this storyline goes for the next few weeks. I’m not really interested in a match between Enzo and Cass, so hopefully that doesn’t happen. Overall, I enjoyed this week’s episode of RAW. I’m really starting to look forward to Great Balls of Fire in a few weeks.

What did you think of this week’s episode of RAW? Let us know in the comments below.

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