The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 06/25/18 Review

It’s time for the last edition of Raw in the month of June. The big match advertised this week will see Dolph Ziggler defending the Intercontinental Championship against Seth Rollins, who Ziggler beat last week for the title. We will also learn more about the Extreme Rules lineup on July 15.

Live from San Diego, California, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1309 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.

The show began with a graphic saying “In Memory of Leon White ‘Vader’ 1955-2018.”

Let’s Hear From Kurt Angle And Constable Corbin

Kurt Angle, the Raw General Manager, was in the ring as his music played. Constable Baron Corbin was in the ring with him wearing dress clothesline. Jojo the ring announcer announced Angle, so Corbin made her announce him as Stephanie McMahon’s appointed constable of Raw, which satisfied Corbin.

Angle talked about how the winner of the Raw main event at Extreme Rules will go on to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. Angle said that over the weekend, Paul Heyman posted on Facebook starting rumors about Lesnar’s status. Angle said he wanted to set the record straight with a guarantee…and here comes Roman Reigns.

There was a mixed reaction for Reigns as he walked down to the ring with a purpose while the announcers talked about Heyman’s words. Reigns said don’t mind him. He just wants to hear Angle’s explanation face to face. Angle said fair enough and here comes Bobby Lashley to interrupt.

Lashley got in Reigns’ face to say that Reigns has had three years of chances to beat Lesnar, but he couldn’t get the job done. Lashley told Reigns to move on, which led to “yes” chants. Lashley told Reigns to move on. Reigns said “move on” like Lashley did ten years ago? Reigns said that “Bob” was in the main event of WrestleMania (the Trump/McMahon hair match was not the main event really although it was a huge deal) and then he moved on. Reigns said that Lashley wanted to try to MMA and then mocked Lashley for his MMA career. Lashley did well, but Lashley did not become a big star in MMA like Lesnar. Reigns talked about how he has main evented the last four WrestleManias and told Lashley he’s the man around here. Lashley said that Reigns shouldn’t dismiss his credentials because he’s got the tools to beat Lesnar.

Angle let them know that it will not be a multi-man match at Extreme Rules. Angle said that plans changed because Lesnar pulled out of the deal and it’s off the table for now.

Lashley asked what Angle means. Reigns talked about how Lesnar doesn’t care about any of them in the ring, anybody in the crowd, anybody in the back or anybody watching at home. Reigns said that Brock doesn’t give a sh— and Angle said he knows how he feels. Lashley said maybe if Lesnar didn’t have to stare at Reigns every single time and maybe somebody that was an actual challenge to him. Lashley said that Lesnar is tired of Reigns just like the people in the arena and the fans cheered. Lashley said that Brock would come back if he had a real challenge like the person standing before him…which is Lashley.

Reigns said it looks like he doesn’t have a match at Extreme Rules, so he challenged Lashley to a match at Extreme Rules. Angle said he would take it under advisement.

The Revival duo of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder did the interruption for the second week in a row. Dawson talked about how supposed top guys get opportunities handed to them. Wilder said they didn’t think Lashley and Reigns would co-exist against them. Wilder said they were wrong then, so they asked Kurt about the match. Corbin said let’s get this party started. Angle called for a referee as the show went to break.

Analysis: It was an interesting opening promo mainly due to the way Lashley talked shit about Reigns and the fans loved it. That should tell WWE management that the fans are sick of Reigns in a face role, but nothing ever changes even when the crowd supports people against Reigns. That was the best Lashley promo since his return to WWE. Reigns did well too. As for the Extreme Rules multi-man match changing, who knows? I don’t understand why WWE thinks this is compelling television to say that they are going to have a match, then cancel the match and we still have no idea what is planned. I’m glad The Revival are in a match again this week because they’re a good team, but I would like to see them in a meaningful storyline that’s better than this.

(Commercial)

This week on Smackdown: Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the US Title.

The bell rang after the break.

Bobby Lashley and Roman Reigns vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)

Lashley and Reigns cleared the ring with clotheslines to knock both guys out of the ring. Wilder sent Reigns out of the ring, Lashley was distracted and Dawson hit a stun gun on Lashley on the top rope. Dawson with a clothesline. There was a double team suplex by The Revival on Lashley. Lashley with a neckbreaker on Wilder. Dawson tagged in against Reigns with Reigns hitting a leaping clothesline. Reigns with the ten clotheslines in the corner on Dawson. Wilder pulled Dawson out of the ring leading to Reigns hitting the Drive By dropkick on both members of The Revival as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

The show returned with The Revival in control with Dawson hitting Reigns with punches. Wilder hit a cheap shot on Reigns that the ref didn’t see. Reigns with a boot to the face of Dawson, so Wilder tagged in with stomps. Wilder slapped on an armbar on Reigns followed by a head whip to keep Reigns down. Dawson with a knee to the face of Reigns. Reigns whipped Dawson into the turnbuckle and Reigns hit a Samoan Drop. Lashley with a hot tag against Wilder with Reigns hitting an overhead belly to belly to suplex to both heels. Lashley hit corner clotheslines. Lashley with a spinebuster on Dawson. Lashley with a delayed suplex on Wilder. Lashley set up in the corner, Reigns tagged himself in like Lashley did last week and Reigns hit a Superman Punch. Reigns wanted a Spear, Lashley tried a tag, but Reigns wouldn’t do it. Dawson knocked Lashley off the apron. Reigns with a Spear to Dawson. Wilder with a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! using the tights to pin Reigns. It went 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Revival

Analysis: **3/4 It was a standard tag team match that we see on Raw all the time with a surprising finish. Reigns was the face in peril, Lashley got the hot tag and it looked like The Revival were done, but they managed to get the surprising win. That dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~! strikes again. It feels like this is building to Reigns vs. Lashley in a singles match at Extreme Rules or before that. Perhaps we’ll see this tag team match again this week. Reigns can kick out of multiple F5's against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, but then he can lose to a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! That's why it is so deadly, my friends.

The Revival celebrated the win with the announcers saying it was their biggest win on Raw, which is true.

Post match, Lashley and Reigns got in each other’s faces. Lashley got mad about Reigns tagging himself in and getting beat by those guys. Reigns just stood there taking it.

Still to come: Ziggler vs. Rollins for the IC Title and Alexa Bliss is live on Raw.

Matt Hardy, one half of the Raw Tag Team Champions, did one of his over the top promos giving praise to Axel and Dallas for their performance last week. Bray Wyatt talked some trash about The B Team. Wyatt blew out the light to tell San Diego they are here.

Matt Hardy made his entrance first. Bray Wyatt was up next for the Raw Tag Team Champions. Hardy vs. Axel up next.

(Commercial)

PLUG TIME: The death of Vader last week was sad. Over at The Comeback, I wrote a tribute to him with ten of my favorite Vader matches that I think you should check out…I also wrote a review of the excellent WWE 24 documentary on the Hardy Boyz on WWE Network. You should check out the documentary and read my review about it too. I think it was one of the best documentaries WWE has ever done….My latest retro review is WWE Unforgiven 2005 featuring John Cena vs. Kurt Angle in the main event while the best match of the night was Matt Hardy vs. Edge in a Steel Cage match.

Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas aka The B Team did their promo mocking the Wyatt and Hardy duo with their impression. Axel imitated Hardy while Dallas imitated brother Bray. It was the second week in a row where they did this where they said that Hardy and Wyatt would enter a beehive since they are The B Team. They coughed due to smoke in the room.

Analysis: Good effort. It was a bit funnier this week.

It’s official for Extreme Rules on July 15: Hardy and Wyatt vs. Axel and Dallas for the Raw Tag Team Titles.

Matt Hardy (w/Bray Wyatt) vs. Curtis Axel (w/Bo Dallas)

They battled on the top rope with Hardy going for a superplex type move. Hardy slipped off the middle rope and Axel fell on top of Hardy for the pinfall win. The match went less than one minute. I didn’t even watch the first part of it and the match was already over.

Winner by pinfall: Curtis Axel

Analysis: 1/4* Match of the year. Or not. It was just done to give Axel a fluke win to continue the push of the B Team as a team that is continuing to find a way to win.

Post match, Hardy said that the resilience that Axel used to capture that victory was wonderful. Hardy and Wyatt applauded them. Axel and Dallas just left.

Analysis: I guess we can pencil in a Wyatt vs. Dallas match next week. I’m sure their daddy Irwin R. Schyster will be marking out backstage.

The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Jonathon Coachman summarized the Sasha Banks/Bayley issues with photos from last week instead of using videos.

Sasha Banks was shown talking to Kurt Angle backstage.

The Authors of Pain were shown backstage. Akam shoved down some random dude that was standing there. Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews were standing there with Dana Brooke. Titus said that they know the Authors of Pain are new, but the backstage crew works hard and they should show them respect. Akam and Rezar said thanks but no thanks. Authors of Pain left for a match up next.

(Commercial)

Bayley was shown backstage hugging Alicia Fox. Angle showed up to welcome Fox back to action. Angle told Bayley she’s teaming up with Banks. Bayley didn’t want to team with her, but Angle told her they would have to do it.

Analysis: Welcome back Alicia Fox. She was injured for about five months.

Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) vs. Rich and Rex Gibson

Rezar with a boot to the face of Rex. Rezar slammed Rex onto the side of the ring apron. Akam tagged in with a kick that sent Rich out of the ring. Akam with a running slam that sent Rich into the turnbuckle. Rezar tagged in and they did the clothesline/leg sweep combo known as the Last Chapter for the pinfall win after one minute.

Winners by pinfall: Authors of Pain

Analysis: 1/4* Easy win to put over Authors of Pain. No offense for the jobbers.

Post match, Rezar and Akam punched the hapless duo of Rich and Rex Gibson. Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews ran out for the save. The Authors of Pain left.

Analysis: That will likely set up a tag team match next week with AOP getting another win.

Angle was shown in the office with Constable Corbin. Angle said he was trying to make the show exciting. Finn Balor showed up wondering why the multi-man match was canceled. Corbin talked shit to Balor about how he beat him last week. Balor made fun of Corbin’s outfit saying it was from TGI Fridays. Braun Strowman walked in with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Strowman suggested that he wants to be Kevin Owens’ tag team partner this week. Strowman suggested Corbin and Balor as the opponents. Angle said it’s a great idea. Balor got in a shot on Corbin: “Check please.”

Analysis: It’s the usual Raw format where they set up main event tag team matches during the show. The same four guys were in a tag team match last week.

Alexa Bliss is up next.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear From Alexa Bliss and Mickie James

Alexa Bliss, the Raw Women’s Champion, made her entrance with the lovely Mickie James. A video recap aired of Bliss getting destroyed by Ronda Rousey last week leading to Rousey getting suspended for 30 days when she attacked Kurt Angle and referees. The video package lasted about four minutes.

James did a big introduction for her buddy, the goddess of WWE and the three-time Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. Bliss thanked her for it. James told Bliss that she deserved it. James called Rousey a crazy maniac and Bliss said that’s why Rousey is suspended for 30 days. Bliss said that she’s a champion that bounces back. Bliss said that the baddest woman on the planet is spoiled. Bliss said that even after everything that happened, Rousey doesn’t know WWE rules and Bliss cashing in Money in the Bank the way she did was 100% legal. James said that what Bliss did was one of the greatest Money in the Bank cash-ins ever.

Bliss complained about how she must defend her title against the bully Nia Jax. Bliss said that it depends on the condition of Nia’s arm. Bliss bragged about how Jax is still in physical therapy, Rousey is suspended and Bliss is still here as the Raw Women’s Champion. Bliss said that Jax must paint herself as the victim in her friendship. The fans did the “what” routine, Bliss said I’ll tell you what (good job by her playing off the crowd) and Bliss tried talking about her storyline with Jax with Bliss talking about how she is the real hero in this story because this is real life. Bliss talked about how she has overcome every obstacle in her life including seven other women in Money in the Bank, plus Jax and Rousey. Bliss said they can boo all she wants, but she is still a champion. The fans chanted “you suck” at Bliss.

Natalya’s music hit for the interruption. Natalya stood on the ramp saying that the countdown is on for 23 days for her friend and training partner Ronda Rousey comes back to deal with Bliss. The fans cheered. Bliss mocked Natalya for being able to count backwards from 30. Bliss said that it’s surprising that Natalya left her five-star vacation for Total Divas and said that she posts her whole life on social media. Bliss told her you don’t have to post your entire life on social media. That is some good advice.

Natalya told Bliss that she talked to Angle and that Bliss has a match with Natalya right here, right now. Natalya said that she didn’t come back from Tahoe alone. Here comes Nia Jax to support Bliss. Jax got a nice pop. That match is next.

Analysis: Good heel promo from Bliss with James getting in some good lines too. The crowd reaction against Bliss was really telling because they were as loud against her as they have been for any women’s storyline in a long time. That shows the fans are really behind Rousey in this angle even when Rousey isn’t there.

(Commercial)

The match started during the break.

Alexa Bliss (w/Mickie James) vs. Natalya (w/Nia Jax)

This is not for Alexa’s Raw Women’s Title.

Bliss was in control with a leg scissors around the waist of Natalya. Natalya broke free, she wanted a Sharpshooter and Bliss got to the apron to break the hold. Bliss with a kick to the legs followed by a kick to the head. Bliss with another leg scissors around the waist. Natalya powered out with a Michinoku Driver sitout slam. Bliss did her cartwheel knee attack that didn’t connect at all, but Natalya sold it anyway. Bliss did the step on the back move for two. Bliss told her to give up, Natalya with two clotheslines and a snap suplex. A side Russian leg sweep by Natalya, step on the back and James tripped up Natalya. Bliss with a slap on Natalya, so Jax tripped up Bliss with the ref not looking. Natalya wit ha discus clothesline. Natalya with a Sharpshooter and Bliss tapped out after about five minutes.

Winner by submission: Natalya

Analysis: *1/2 The match was okay with a typical booking situation in WWE where they had the champion Bliss lose non-title. That’s something they do way too often although it has happened less often in the last few months. The story was that James tried to cheat, but it didn’t work well enough and when Jax did it, she made it work leading to Natalya’s victory. I don’t like Bliss losing non-title like that because I doubt Natalya gets a title shot soon, but maybe they can do that match on Raw before Extreme Rules. It was fine for the given, but the match was on the short side.

Post match, James held Bliss in her arms for a bit, which looked funny. Jax went into the ring and hugged Natalya.

Later on Raw is Ziggler vs. Rollins for the IC Title.

Seth Rollins was interviewed by Charly Caruso in the interview area. Rollins said last week he made an open challenge and lost the IC Title to Dolph Ziggler, but he has had seven days to let that loss drive him. Rollins said the version of Rollins that Ziggler will get tonight is like he’s never seen. Rollins said that McIntyre will get the best seat in the house to see Rollins beat his buddy and burn it down.

Analysis: Nice promo from Rollins. I liked his intensity.

Jinder Mahal and Sunil Singh were being photographed by a photographer. The Riott Squad showed up, Ruby took some photos and slammed the camera down. Mahal and Singh were okay with it because they are peaceful. Riott Squad walked off because it’s a six-woman tag match for them.

Analysis: That continues the Riott Squad gimmick of causing trouble in backstage segments.

A commercial aired for the Special Olympics USA games in Seattle with Mojo Rawley and Becky Lynch in the commercial.

(Commercial)

The Riott Squad made their entrance together. Sasha Banks made her entrance, Bayley made her entrance Ember Moon was up last for the team. This match is presented by Sonic. We don’t have those in Canada, but I have had it in the US and it’s good stuff.

Ember Moon, Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan)

Moon worked over Morgan with a leg sweep followed by a slam where Moon sent Morgan face first. Coachman was saying that they should just let Bayley and Banks have a match. We know, Coach. Their “issues” have been going on for like six months without enough matches to settle the rivalry. This storyline is dragging. Bayley and Banks went into the ring to knock Logan and Riott out of the ring. Moon hit a suicide dive to take out two of the heels on the floor. They went to break one minute into the match.

(Commercial)

The match returned with heels working over Moon for a bit. Banks tagged in with a kick on Riott, double knees against the turnbuckle, Logan distraction and Riott with a kick. Bayley broke up the pin. Moon pulled Logan out of the ring and hit a roaring elbow. Morgan with a headscissors on Moon on the floor. Banks knocked Morgan off the ropes. Riott with a small package on Banks and that was enough to win the match. It went about seven minutes, but we saw about four minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan)

Analysis: *1/2 That was a quick match in terms of the action in the ring because we only got to see a few minutes. That could have been set up a bit better, but that’s because the post match angle was more important. The win by the Riott Squad was quickly forgotten.

After the match, Bayley went after Banks with punches. Bayley stomped away on Banks. The crowd was chanting “yes” for this. Bayley with a back elbow to the back of the neck of Banks and Bayley whipped Banks hard into the turnbuckle. They left the ring with Bayley whipping Banks back first into the steel steps. Bayley whipped Banks shoulder first into the steel steps. Bayley stood over a fallen Banks saying that Banks deserved this after everything she has done to her. The crowd cheered as Bayley stood over Banks. Bayley’s music played and the fans cheered again. Cole said he didn’t think Bayley could do something like that.

Analysis: That was good. It was an aggressive attack by Bayley with Banks selling everything really well. The spot with Banks going into the turnbuckle looked great. The way Cole was on commentary it might get people thinking Bayley is the heel, but the crowd cheered her, so I don’t think that’s the right way to go. There was nobody there to break it up even though sometimes we see people breaking up attacks quickly. The crowd loved Bayley for this, though, so it’s not like she must turn heel. Banks is the one that is better as a heel. We saw these two have an amazing feud in NXT in 2015, so let them try to do that on the main roster with Banks as the heel. More aggressive Bayley is good, but she doesn’t need to turn heel.

Angle was in his office talking to referee John Cone. Angle told Cone he needs to do something with Bayley and Banks, so Cone should let Angle know when he finds Bayley.

Kevin Owens went into the office to talk to Angle. Owens said he didn’t want to team with Strowman. Angle told him that this could be the start of a beautiful friendship. Owens left looking frustrated.

No Way Jose made his entrance with the conga line.

(Commercial)

Replays aired of the Bayley attack on Banks. The announcers talked about it with Cole saying he didn’t think Bayley could do something like that. Graves, who is sometimes a heel announcer, congratulated Bayley for it.

Mojo Rawley did a promo on his way to the ring. He ripped on the guys in the conga line. Rawley asked for a guy's name, he said his name is Todd and Rawley ripped on the guy wearing a cheeseburger outfit. The fans chanted “Todd” for the guy. Rawley said this moment is the closest Todd will get to being a WWE superstar. Rawley said this is the pinnacle of his entire existence. Fans chanted “Let’s go Todd” as Rawley told Todd that he will never be a WWE superstar. Rawley told Jose that he will not get a rematch with Mojo Rawley.

Jose left the ring, Rawley decked him with a forearm to the face and Rawley left. Rawley walked to the back. The fans chanted “We Want Todd” to end the segment.

Analysis: Rawley was a jerk, so that worked in terms of getting him heat and refusing the match. The fans took over the segment chanting for Todd, though, so good for them. That made me laugh.

Bayley was in the office with Angle with Bayley saying she can explain. Angle said that Bayley needs counseling. Bayley said she didn’t need counseling. Angle said she is going or she is fired.

Analysis: Counseling? It better mean the return of Dr. Shelby from the Team Hell No skits four or five years ago.

Braun Strowman made his entrance with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Good ovation for him as we end the second hour and prepare for the tag match at the top of hour three.

(Commercial)

Kevin Owens made his entrance.

A video package aired of Strowman beating up Owens repeatedly, which seems like a weekly thing on Raw for the past two months. Strowman also threw Owens off a twenty-foot ladder through a table. Owens was reluctant to go in the ring to team up with Strowman.

Finn Balor got a nice ovation. Corbin was booed as usual.

Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens vs. Baron Corbin and Finn Balor

Corbin wrestled in his dress shirt. Corbin decked Owens with a shoulder tackle. Corbin went for a chokeslam on Owens, but Owens broke free and tagged in Strowman. Balor laughed about it. Strowman decked Corbin with punches. Strowman tagged in Owens and told him to get in there while Balor also tagged in. Owens stomped on Balor against the turnbuckle. Chinlock city time for Owens on Balor. Owens punched Corbin off the apron. Corbin went back in, Owens kicked him and Strowman punched Corbin. Owens with a cannonball on Corbin and Strowman with a splash on Balor. Commercial time.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Balor hit an elbow drop the chest into a pinfall attempt for two. Corbin back in, Owens sent him out and Strowman tagged in with a shoulder tackle on Corbin. Strowman with a punch on Corbin, splash in the corner and Corbin with a boot the face. Corbin tagged in Balor leading to Strowman punching Balor in the chest. Strowman with a clothesline that sent Corbin over the top to the floor. Strowman with a running shoulder tackle on Balor on the floor and a running shoulder tackle on Corbin on the floor. Strowman told Owens to do it. Owens tagged in, he ran over Balor and he ran into Corbin, but Corbin hit a clothesline. Strowman shoved Corbin into the barricade. Strowman charged in, Corbin moved and Strowman hit the ring post. Back in the ring, Slingblade by Balor on Owens. Corbin tagged in. Balor kicked Corbin to the floor. Corbin pulled Balor out of the ring and they exchanged punches. They went brawling up the ramp. The ref counted them out.

Winners by countout: Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens

Analysis: **3/4 That was an awkward tag team match with unusual partners. The part where Strowman does his shoulder tackles on the floor is always fun, so when Owens did it and got clotheslined by Corbin that was funny. It didn’t follow the usual tag team formula with a face being worked on leading to a tag. Instead, it looks like they are building to a Corbin vs. Balor match and probably Strowman vs. Owens…unless the multi-man match is back on. I don’t know. I’m just throwing it out there. Raw booking is weird.

Post match, Owens and Strowman stood in the ring as winners. Owens extended his hand for a shake. Strowman wouldn’t do it, so Owens ran out of the ring. Owens: “We did great! What’s your problem?” Strowman got the Money in the Bank briefcase and ran after Owens to the backstage area.

There was a shot of Owens running backstage to avoid Strowman and Owens went into a room. Strowman asked a guy where Owens went. The guy said he just works in concessions and doesn’t know who that is. Way to watch the show! Strowman said it’s the guy that looks like he has a bowling ball under his shirt. Ouch. Strowman left down a hallway without finding Owens in the room.

Analysis: The search continues. Why couldn’t the camera guy tell him? Oh well. I shouldn’t ask questions that WWE will fail to answer. My bad.

(Commercial)

Owens emerged from the room. Owens had his suitcase with him, he told security to come with him and then he made it to the parking area. Owens said he needed his keys. The valet said he didn’t have his keys because he does and it was Strowman standing there with KO’s keys. Strowman said he hopes he has insurance because there is his car. Owens turned to find the car was tipped over in the parking lot. Strowman laughed and went back into the arena. Two dudes went over to the car with fire extinguishers to put out a fire.

The announcers talked about it with Graves once again siding with the heel in Owens.

Analysis: The hijinks of Strowman continue. That was funny although realistically Strowman would be charged for that, but that won't happen in the storyline. I assume it will be Strowman vs. Owens at Extreme Rules.

Seth Rollins made his entrance to a big ovation as the images were shown from last week. Why no video? Because WWE is weird about that.

Dolph Ziggler made his entrance with the Intercontinental Title around his waist. Ziggler’s buddy Drew McIntyre also got his full entrance.

This week on Something Else to Wrestle With on WWE Network is Bruce Prichard talking about The Undertaker’s American Badass run from 2000-2003.

(Commercial)

This week on 205 Live is a 6-Man Elimination tag team match.

Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler (w/Drew McIntyre) vs. Seth Rollins

The match began at 10:35pmET meaning they will get a lot of time.

Ziggler took control early on with an elbow to the face. Ziggler with an elbow to the chest. Ziggler grounded Rollins with a headlock. Ziggler whipped Rollins down and grabbed another side headlock. Rollins got back with a hip toss followed by a dropkick. Ziggler bailed to the floor. Rollins left the ring, McIntyre stood in front of Ziggler and Rollins managed to get his hands on Ziggler. Rollins whipped Ziggler into the barricade. McIntyre had a staredown with Rollins as the show went to break about five minutes into it.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Ziggler in control. They showed a clip of Ziggler knocking Rollins off the apron into the barricade. Ziggler slapped on another headlock to ground Rollins. They got back to their feet and Rollins whipped Ziggler sternum first into the turnbuckle. Ziggler with a back body drop that sent Rollins over the top to the floor. Ziggler talked trash, Rollins with a kick to the face and Ziggler went to the sleeper hold. Rollins pulled Ziggler off his back, they ran the ropes and they collided with a running cross body block that knocked both guys down. Rollins with a boot to the face and Rollins hit the Slingblade. Rollins with a clothesline that sent Ziggler over the top to the floor. Rollins ran the ropes, the ref was looking at Ziggler and McIntyre punched Rollins in the back. Ziggler with a forearm to the back of Rollins. The ref John Cone realized what happened, so he sent McIntyre to the back. Rollins got a rollup, but the ref was distracted by McIntyre. Rollins with a step up enziguri that knocked Ziggler out of the ring. Rollins with a suicide dive to take out Ziggler and McIntyre. Rollins rolled Ziggler back in, Rollins up top and Ziggler hit the top rope to knock him down. They went to break after 16 minutes.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Rollins hitting a knee to the face for a two count because Ziggler got his foot on the bottom rope. McIntyre was ejected from ringside as we saw before the crowd. They battled on the apron with Ziggler hitting a leaping DDT on the apron leading to Rollins bumping to the floor. Rollins slid back in before the ten count. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them and they are right. Rollins picked up Ziggler and hit a Buckle Bomb into the corner. Rollins hit a superkick that got a two count. The crowd really thought that might be it. Rollins with a headbutt. Rollins with a Frog Splash off the top for a two count. Rollins signaled for a The Stomp, Ziggler avoided it, Ziggler wanted the Zig Zag and Rollins countered that. Ziggler got the rollup like last week and sat on top for two. Rollins got a two count. Ziggler sent Rollins shoulder first into the ring post and hit a Zig Zag for two. That drew another loud reaction from the crowd. They were past 25 minutes at this point.

They went up top with Ziggler looking for a superplex, but Rollins blocked it. Rollins teased a suplex to the floor off the top rope. That was just a tease because they went back to the top rope with Rollins hitting a superplex into a Falcon Arrow. McIntyre pulled the referee out of the ring. The fans booed as the bell rang for the disqualification. It went 28 minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Seth Rollins (Dolph Ziggler is still the Intercontinental Champion)

Analysis: **** That was an outstanding match with a very hot crowd in San Diego reacting to nearfalls that never win matches, but they were buying into it so much. It was great to see a nearly 30-minute main event match between two of the best in-ring performers on Raw. I was surprised a bit that Rollins wasn’t a leg injury or some other body part because you would think that was the story of the match, but that’s more of comment about how WWE typically books these long matches. I thought some of the Rollins nearfalls were good although the best one was when Ziggler threw him into the ring post and then hit the Zig Zag for a two count. That one was excellent. I’m not that upset about the ending because it means we’ll probably get this match again soon. Anyway, that was fun to watch with a hot crowd and it was one of the better TV matches of the year.

Post match, Ziggler and McIntyre attacked Rollins with punches and kicks leading to a predictable save by...guess who.

Roman Reigns made the save for his buddy Rollins. Ziggler left the ring and Reigns hit Ziggler with a Spear on the floor. Reigns went into the ring, McIntyre got him with a headbutt and Reigns hit a Superman Punch that knocked McIntyre out of the ring.

There were replays of everything that happened at the end of the match and Reigns making the save. Rollins was announced as the winner and then Ziggler was announced as still the IC Champion.

Ziggler and McIntyre posed on the stage while Rollins and Reigns were together in the ring.

Analysis: It looks like we can pencil in Rollins and Reigns vs. Ziggler and McIntyre for next week. If not next week then maybe at Extreme Rules, but I think next week is more likely.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Seth Rollins
  2. Dolph Ziggler
  3. Bayley

 

The Scoreboard

7 out of 10

Last week: 5.5

2018 Average: 5.9

Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 5.5, 4, 5, 5.5

2018 High: 8 (February 19)

2018 Low: 4 (June 4)

 

Final Thoughts

I give it a 7 out of 10.

Raw gets a good 7 score this week thanks mainly to the main event getting so much time and delivering a great match. The DQ finish will piss off some people, which I understand, but the match quality was so great that I’m fine with that kind of ending if it’s going to lead to another match.

In terms of angles, the Bayley attack on Banks was great. Is Bayley a heel because of that? I’m leaning towards a no because I think the crowd saw it as Bayley being sick of Banks acting like a jerk to her. Banks is the more natural heel. I like that it’s up to the audience to decide.

The crowd was great. They were loud all night long and very vocal during the main event. I love seeing that.

There were some segments that were bad and some matches were too short, but I liked this show. Maybe I’m just in a good mood. I don’t know. It was a pretty good show to me.

The next WWE PPV is Extreme Rules on July 15. Here’s what we know so far.

WWE Championship: AJ Styles vs. Rusev

Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax

Raw Tag Team Championships: Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt vs. Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas

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You can contact me using any of the methods below. See ya next time for the Smackdown review. Go Los Angeles Rams. Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

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