A look back at the June 26th edition of Monday Night Raw, live from the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California.
Roman Reigns comes out to kick off this edition of RAW. Reigns recaps last week’s event and says he’s never been in Ambulance Match so he accepts Strowman’s challenge for Great Balls Of Fire. Roman tells him he’ll take him straight to hell. Roman reiterates that its his yard now as another ambulance backs up into the arena. Reigns makes his way out to the ambulance, he opens the ambulance but there’s nobody in it. Braun attacks from behind as he physically tosses Roman across the stage. The two men begin to brawl, Braun catches Roman mid-air and launches him into the side of the ambulance. He shoves Roman into the ambulance and the ambulance leaves with The Big Dog inside.
Cesaro & Sheamus & Elias Samson vs The Hardy Boyz & Finn Balor
Cesaro and Sheamus accompany The Drifter this time in the midst of his concert. As he begins to play the guitar he’s somewhat thankfully interrupted by Matt & Jeff, The Hardy Boyz who are soon joined by Finn Balor.
Sheamus and Matt start for their respective sides and the two men go back and forth until the Hardys take control early. The Hardys and Finn clear the ring as the action breaks down. Back from the break, Sheamus and Cesaro are wearing down Jeff Hardy. This doesn’t last very long as Jeff gets a tag to Finn and a triple team attempt leads to a near fall. Sheamus comes in off the tag and starts to beat down Balor. Cesaro, Sheamus & Samson begin to dominate as they isolate Balor. Balor tags in Jeff and gets a near fall over Sheamus. Jeff attempts the Swanton Bomb, but Cesaro pulls his partner out and Jeff takes them both out on the outside. A momentary distraction allows Sheamus to capitalise but he only gets a near fall. Sheamus‘ team continues to dominate as they wear down Jeff. Jeff attempts a tag, but Cesaro knocks Balor off the apron and tags in Sheamus. He quickly goes to work on Hardy, but he nails him a Twist of Fate. Both men make tags as Matt squares off with Samson. Matt gets the Side Effect but Sheamus breaks up the pin. Cesaro sends Matt right into the steel ring post and Samson gets the tag to Sheamus. A double team from the Tag Champs only results in a 2-count as Balor breaks up the pin. Hardy fights back and gets a tag to Finn Balor. Finn comes in taking everybody out and quickens the pace instantly. He takes out all members of the opposing team and then tops it off by taking out the Champions with a sensational dive to the outside. He gets Cesaro back in the ring, hits his signature combination of the Swingblade, corner dropkick and finally the Coupe De Gras. Finn Balor & The Hardy Boyz win via Pinfall.
Shattered Dreams Production
Goldust returns for another shoot as he claims there’s something magical in the air and asks if we can feel it. He’s trembling with excitement for tonight as the Shattered Truth hits Hollywood.
Goldust vs R-Truth
Goldust hides behind his personal cameraman but he cheap shots Truth and begins to assault him.
The match ends in a no contest with Truth unable to compete.
Paul Heyman is interviewed backstage and he says the Staples Centre will be on fire when Brock Lesnar arrives. He says Brock will call out Samoa Joe tonight for a fight. Joe grabs Heyman before he can continue as if he’s going to lock in the Coquina Clutch. Joe tells him that Brock will feel the Coquina Clutch tonight.
As a result of last week’s brawl with the Women’s division, it is announced that tonight there will be a 6 Woman Gauntlet Match to decide the #1 Contender for Alexa Bliss’ Women’s Championship at Great Balls Of Fire. Kurt is in his office turning the tumbler as Bayley picks her entrant number.
Miz has some special guests tonight, the Ball family, Lavar Ball and Lamelo Ball. He repeatedly tries to kiss his wife Maryse but she refuses. Lavar says he has one more guest for Miz, the face of the LA Lakers, Lonzo Ball. Miz congratulates Lonzo and Lavar. He talks about a partnership with Big Baller Brand but Lavar cuts him off saying they’re not here for a partnership they already have “BBB.” He tells Miz he’s too low for the BBB. Miz tells them he’s a proven champion an questions the amount of championships in their family. Lavar claims Miz stands for “misinterpreted soul”, and he tells Miz to zip it. Miz calls himself the Michael Jordan of the WWE. Miz tells Lavar he doesn’t want to deal with his kids. He says he wants to deal with Lavar because he wants him to prove what he says. As they square up, they’re interrupted by Dean Ambrose, who comes out sporting BBB. Ambrose tells Miz he’s representing the brand as nobody has bigger balls than him.
Miz, Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel vs Dean Ambrose, Heath Slater & Rhyno
Ambrose starts the match against Miz, but Miz quickly tags out to Bo Dallas. Ambrose takes the fight to Dallas, but he manages to tag out to the Miz. A retreating Miz brings in Curtis Axel. Ambrose tags in Slater and he takes control to Axel almost immediately. Rhyno comes in off the tag and the two men double team Axel. Rhyno beats down Axel, but he manages to fight back and brings in Miz. Miz takes control as he beats down Rhyno and tags in Dallas. Quick tags leave Rhyno in a heap in the corner, as Axel comes back in. Rhyno fights back and gets the tag to Dean Ambrose. The momentum shifts as he takes our everyone from the opposing team. The match breaks down as Slater, Rhyno & Ambrose. Back from the break and Axel is in firm control as he and Dallas viciously beat down Slater. Miz comes in and beats down Slater, but a distraction allows Slater to try for a tag. Dallas comes in for his team as he cuts off Slater’s attempt for a tag. Axel carries wearing down Slater, Miz tries to prevent Slater making a tag but he drops Miz and finally tags in Rhyno. A distraction from Miz allows Axel to cheap shot Rhyno and Dallas rolls him up for the pin. Miz, Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel win via Pinfall.
Enzo makes his way to the ring following the emotional events of last week. He says he needs Big Cass out in the ring with him right now as they need to talk. Cass makes his way out. The Universe boos Cass and Enzo points out that, that reaction hurts him. Just like how Cass hurt Enzo last week. Enzo says he knows he’s not the biggest guy, but he does have the biggest mouth. He calls Cass his brother and he refuses to let him break that bond. Enzo says whatever Cass did is in the past now. Enzo wants to focus on the future and he wants to be WWE Tag Team Champions with Cass. Cass takes the mic and tells him he never knows when to shut up, but he claims to be ashamed for his actions last week. Cass says he accepts Enzo for who he is and he isn’t going to change him, he agrees that they’re brothers and he apologises for last week. The two men shake hands and make up as they hug it out. They stand tall at the top of the ramp and out of nowhere, Cass drops Enzo. He then picks up his “brother” and throws him down the ramp.
Cass approaches the commentary position and then threatens Corey Graves for exposing him last week and tells him to stay out of his business.
Seth Rollins vs Curt Hawkins
Hawkins goes on the attack early to the surprise of everyone in the crowd as he gets an early near fall. He continues the beat down to get a second near fall. Hawkins is totally dominating the match and is in total control of his opponent. Seth fights back as he knocks Hawkins off the apron and out to the floor, sensing the opportunity, Seth capitalises as he launches himself to the outside with a Suicide Dive. Back in the ring and Seth hits the Swingblade as he builds momentum. Hawkins blocks one Superkick, but he gets caught by the second one moments later. Seth hits his new finish and pins Hawkins. Seth Rollins wins via Pinfall.
Bray Wyatt appears on the tron, he says Seth to a leap of faith last week. Bray claims Seth blindly leads ignorant people to a place of no return. He says that if he truly valued redemption he’d give into his true self and that he’ll him along that path of redemption. Bray says he will save Seth Rollins. Bray says July 9th will be the date of his reclamation.
Mickie & Dana draw their entrant numbers for the Gauntlet Match.
Brock Lesnar arrives as Heyman waits in the parking lot.
Sasha draws her entrant number for the Gauntlet Match.
Heyman makes his way to the ring and cuts the usual awesome promo as he introduces his client, The Beast Brock Lesnar. Heyman calls Joe the exception as he doesn’t fear Brock Lesnar. He says that Joe cheap shotted Brock last time they brawled. He calls Joe a Samoan Dumbass. He says now is the time to start fearing Brock Lesnar. The music hits and Brock makes his way out, Joe jumps him from behind and locks in the Coquina Clutch. Brock tries to break out of the hold but Joe won’t let go. Lesnar starts to fade as Joe locks the hold in tight, members of the RAW roster come out to pull Joe off Lesnar.
Lince Dorado vs Neville
Akira Tozawa is ringside to watch the match and possibly scout the Neville. He attacks early taking control of Dorado. He tries to fight back but Neville grounds him and re-assumes control. Dorado catches Neville with a Superkick sending him to the floor, he follows up with a dive to the outside and rolls the Champion back in for a near fall. Neville fights back and locks in the Rings of Saturn. Neville wins via Submission. Neville gets in the face of his challenger and dares him to step in the ring. Tozawa gets in the ring and out comes Titus O’Neill and he ask them why they want to fight for free when Titus Worldwide is presenting a Cruiserweight Championship Match at Great Balls Of Fire.
Emma draws her entrant number for the Gauntlet Match.
Paul Heyman is interviewed backstage, he’s asked about what happened between Brock and Joe. He says everything he said is true about Joe. He says he’s the one Samoan the other Samoans don’t want to be a Samoan. Joe has to sneak up from behind like a coward. He says Brock really does have his back against the wall and it’s going to be a violent fight at Great Balls Of Fire.
Nia Jax draws her number for the Gauntlet Match and Alexa Bliss tries to question what number she got. Bliss tries to guilt trip Nia as she says they both get judged on how they look and it’s not right. The Champion wishes her luck and Nia says she doesn’t need it, she only needs the Women’s Championship.
Women’s Gauntlet Match
Bayley is first, she’s joined by Nia Jax. Bayley goes on the attack early but barely phases Nia, as she brutally throws her opponent face first into the turnbuckle. Nia begins to go to work as she completely dominates Bayley. Bayley uses her quickness to counter Nia and starts to mount a come back leading to a near fall. Nia drops Bayley right into the corner but she still fights back. Nia knocks her off the top rope and then hits the Samoan Drop. Bayley has been eliminated. The next entrant is Mickie James. Jax takes early control of Mickie as she beats her down in the corner. Nia starts to wear down Mickie with a Bear Hug submission, but James tries to fight back as she breaks out of the hold but Nia gets back on immediately. Mickie fights back but she only angers Nia but Mickie gives it her all as she hits her with several strikes. Mickie gets a near fall. Nia gets caught with the Mick Kick but then counters the Mick-DT and she just runs through James and flattens her. Mickie James is eliminated. Next out, it’s Dana Brooke. Nia just shoves Dana down and hits a massive leg drop. Dana Brooke has been eliminated. Next out to face Nia, it’s Emma. Emma suckers Nia in and floors her with a series of dropkicks. Emma gets a near fall. The momentum comes to a screeching halt, as Nia catches Emma out of the air and slams her down with an emphatic Samoan Drop. Emma has been eliminated. It’s BOSS time now though, as Sasha Banks makes her way to the ring. Sasha goes right after Nia as she slaps her square in the face and tells her to bring it. Nia charges at her, but Sasha drops down and pulls the rope sending Nia to the outside. Sasha flies through the air, but Nia catches her, Sasha escapes the hold and sends Nia into the ring post. She mounts the apron and takes her opponent out with the patented double knees. Back from the break now, and the tide has turned as Nia is having her way with Banks as she just tosses her out of the ring with ease. Sasha starts to fight but she gets caught by Nia and gets flattened. Nia only gets a near fall for her efforts. Nia tosses Banks out of the ring and she just about makes it back in time to beat the referee’s count. She goes right after Jax but she gets dropped. Nia mocks Sasha and continues her dominance. Again she tosses Sasha out of the ring with the utmost ease. Sasha tries everything to fight back but Nia shuts her down. Nia gets another near fall as Sasha kicks out. She continues to destroy her opponent as Sasha tries to fight back desperately. She again sends her to the outside but Sasha beats the count. Nia locks in the Bear Hug submission and wears down her opponent even further. Sasha tries to lock in a Guillotine Submission, but Nia senses the danger and suplexes her over and down to the mat, it’s only good enough for a near fall though. Sasha rolls out of a leg drop attempt and takes Nia out with surely her only chance. Sasha counters Nia to lock in the Bank Statement, but she powers out and hits the Samoan Drop. Luckily, Sasha under the ropes to prevent a pin. She kicks away as Nia approaches her. Sasha counter another Samoan Drop with another modified version of The Bank Statement. She takes Nia to the floor and keeps hold of the submission, Nia Jax taps out. Sasha Banks wins via Submission. Sasha Banks wins the Gauntlet Match and is the new #1 Contender for the RAW Women’s Championship.
Kurt Angle comes out to congratulate Sasha at the end of the match. Kurt raises Sasha’s arm in victory. The music hits and out comes, Alexa Bliss. Alexa holds the Championship high as she squares up to her new #1 Contender. Sasha drops the champion and clears the ring as she holds the title high.
A great episode of RAW, I personally loved it! The matches were great, the promos were good too. My favourite match by far was the main event, what a performance by Nia and Sasha. The result from the Gauntlet Match, sets up a very nice feud with Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks. My favourite segment of course was the Samoa Joe attack on Brock Lesnar. Joe is gaining so much heat heading into this match, Brock’s almost coming across as the baby face. I can’t wait for that match at Great Balls Of Fire. I’m going to give RAW, 8/10.