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WWE Monday Night Raw Recap for 7/20/2015 – Fallout from Battleground, Undertaker Attacks Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins’ Next Challenger, Where to Go for Kevin Owens and John Cena, and More

It’s the night after Battleground.  Last night became very interesting when Undertaker made his presence felt in the main event between Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins.  Is he back for revenge on Lesnar for breaking the Streak?  Is he back to go after Seth Rollins for belittling his brother, Kane?  Or is he after both men?  Also, John Cena successfully defended his US Championship against Kevin Owens.  Will Owens try one more time?  Where do those men go from here?

Show Open, Live from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO.

They open with a recap of the main event from Battleground last night.  Undertaker’s familiar gong and music plays, and he makes his way to the ring.  Michael Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton check in on commentary.  They talk about Taker’s accomplishments and history, highlighting that Lesnar ended the streak at Wrestlemania 30.

Taker takes a deep breath into the mic and says “I stand here tonight a relentless, remorseless, cold-blooded, vengeful, grim reaper.”  He says streaks are made to be broken, “that is the painful truth.”  He says that Lesnar continuously, week after week, month after month, reminded everyone of Lesnar’s greatest accomplishment.  “And now I say, enough.”

Taker talks about Lesnar taking what was smoldering ash and turned it back into a raging inferno.  “Last night was my true resurrection.  You see, Lesnar, you can’t kill what won’t die.”  Taker talks about how the two of them have a new destiny.

“And I will challenge your mortality.  I will conquer what has yet to be conquered.”  Taker says that like all living things, man or beast, Lesnar will rest in peace.  Taker’s music plays and he exits.  As he leaves, Cole says that Undertaker has been thinking about the loss at Wrestlemania 30 every minute of every day.  JBL says that “Wyatt Earp has returned to Tombstone.”

Taker was good here, and the live crowd reacted positively to him throughout the segment.  I’m surprised that they didn’t talk about Lesnar attacking Kane, but they can build off of this.  Small thing here though is that Cole’s commentary wasn’t lining up with the narrative Taker was telling.  Taker had accepted the loss, but was irritated that Heyman and Lesnar were continually boasting over it.

Backstage, Triple H is watching on a monitor and he says he hasn’t seen that look in Taker’s eyes in a  long time.  Stephanie says that the SummerSlam main event has fallen into their lap, and she says she will call marketing.  Hunter says that he wants to keep Taker and Lesnar apart, so he will call Heyman and tell them to not bother showing up tonight.  The fans didn’t like that.

The announcers hype Cena, Orton and Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens, Rusev, and Sheamus for the main event, and Charlotte taking on Brie Bella to start the show.

Back live, Tamina Snuka, Naomi, and Sasha Banks have joined the announcers for this first match.  Cole sends it into a recap of the segment from last Monday when the three ladies were introduced to the Raw audience.

Match #1 – Charlotte (w/Paige and Becky Lynch) vs. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox)

Early on, the commentary team talks to Team BAD.  Naomi says that Tamina and she did not join Paige because while they want change and don’t like the Bellas, they want it on their terms.  In the ring, Charlotte no-sells a chop from Brie, then sends her to ringside.  She tries a follow-up dive, but no one is home.

Brie gets a run of offense in.  She hits some kicks like Daniel Bryan does, but the crowd mildly chants no at it.  She hits a two count off of a drop kick, then comes back with a kick attempt but Charlotte avoids it.

Charlotte fires up on Brie with chops and a running kick for a near fall.  She sets up the Figure 8, but Nikki gets on the apron.  Charlotte sends her to the floor and Brie tries to take advantage, but Charlotte is up to the task.  Charlotte lands a spear, then locks on the Figure 8, and Brie taps out.  Team BAD gives them credit but look unimpressed.  The commentary team runs down the highlights.

They did a good job of establishing why the factions exist, but I don’t want them to.  Establish the three NXT ladies as characters of their own rather than this group warfare stuff.  That said, a good television match from the ladies again tonight.

The announcers hype that Lesnar vs. Undertaker is now official, and they show some storyboard work.  Cole hypes that SummerSlam is sold out, then moves on to a WWE Network shill.   Cole then moves on to hype Harper vs. Reigns.

Backstage, Triple H is on the phone with Heyman, telling him that the deal is done for Lesnar vs. Undertaker.  Miz is trying to get a word in but Hunter ignores him and tells Heyman that it’s a lucrative deal.  Hunter finally gets assertive, saying “grow a pair, tell your client not to come here tonight.  Thank you.”

Miz gets Hunter’s attention and complains about being knocked out by Big Show last night.  Hunter tells him he isn’t listening and doesn’t care, then books Miz against Big Show for tonight.  “Now get out of here, Obi-Wan.”  Miz leaves, complaining his face still hurts.  Hunter gets back on the phone.

Match #2 – The Prime Time Players vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito)

Typical PTP match to start.  Darren Young sells for the Matadores in the early going.  He finally gets the hot tag to Titus, and he goes on his run of dominant offense.  He clears the Matadores from the ring.

New Day interrupts.  Xavier Woods says they are there to congratulate, and the power of positivity is found in the most unlikely of places.  That lets Matadore hit a backstabber on Titus to get the win.  New Day mocks the PTP “millions of dollars” dance and yells that they’re terrible.

I can’t help but think that we’re getting some sort of multi-team tag match at SummerSlam. And your champions losing to Los Matadores is not a good situation, even with the distraction.

Cole sells Reigns vs. Wyatt for later, and the six man tag match main event.

Match #3 – Big Show vs. The Miz

Miz is already in the ring when we come back live.  Cole reminds us that Ryback is out of action due to an infection and recounts how Miz ran his mouth last night then again back in Triple H’s office.  Show dominates the early going, rag dolling Miz around the ring and slapping him across the chest.  Miz tries to fight back but gets body slammed for his troubles.  JBL says  Miz is out there unfairly.

Show sets up and hits a second rope elbow drop.  “Oh no, stop the match,” JBL exclaims.  Show hits the elbow drop for the win.  The announcers recap it.

Show cuts a promo and asks Miz what he said last night.  “Big Show’s been missing since the Attitude Era?  Is that what you said?  Can you feel me now?  The only thing that’s missing is Ryback with my Intercontinental Championship.”

The fans chant “feed me more” and Show says he will feed him his fist and take his title.  He says he doesn’t care where it is, he will take it.  He hypes his appearance on Tough Enough tomorrow night and says he can even take the title there.  “Because all of those little male wanna be’s, I’m going to see if they’re tough enough for this.”  Show exits.

That’s not exactly creative work there.  Show won’t be destroying anyone at Tough Enough either.

Backstage, Stephanie and Hunter are with Rob (the artist dude, I’m not sure of his last name) looking over a painting  of John Cena.  Stephanie asks if they he can do one of Undertaker and Lesnar for SummerSlam.  He says he’d be happy to do one.

Hunter spots Heyman.  “Heyman!”  They walk over to Paul Heyman.  He says that Lesnar accepts the main event of SummerSlam and he isn’t there tonight.  He says that he is simply there to deliver a retort for Lesnar and he will be out of there.  Hunter and Steph agree to let him deliver it.  After Heyman walks off, Stephanie says Heyman can’t be trusted as far as one can throw him.  “Yeah, and that’s not far.”  Hunter says they need more security, and half the locker room.

Backstage, Hunter and Stephanie address the locker room.  Hunter tells them they can’t let Taker and Lesnar destroy each other.  “SummerSlam depends on it, which means we’re depending on it.  That means your livelihood depends on it.”  Hunter closes by saying “We’re not asking you, we’re telling you.”

In-Ring Segment:

Lilian Garcia introduces Paul Heyman, who introduces himself.  He talks that Lesnar should be WWE Champion but he isn’t.  He says it’s not because Seth Rollins out wrestled his client, or survived his trip to Suplex City.  “My client, Brock Lesnar, is not the WWE World Heavyweight Champion because of the demonic resurrection of The Undertaker.”

He says that WWE Network viewers got to see history last night because Lesnar went face to face with Undertaker for the first time since April 6, 2014.  He says the date is meaningful because Lesnar defeated the Streak on that date at Wrestlemania 30.  The fans boo mildly and Heyman says that it bothers them but it obviously has the Undertaker pissed off.

Heyman asks why wouldn’t he brag about Lesnar conquering the Streak because it’s Lesnar’s greatest accomplishment.  He talks about the names that have tried to end the Streak – Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Triple H, Edge, Batista, etc.   He says that his client did not fail – he succeeded.  “Now, the Undertaker comes back for his revenge.”  He says that Taker picked his spot because Lesnar took the Streak away, so Taker took away Lesnar’s chance to claim the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

“So now it comes to this, SummerSlam 2015.”  Heyman says since the Undertaker wants to make this personal, “my client, Brock Lesnar, conquered YOUR Streak at Wrestlemania.”  He accuses Undertaker of selling his soul to the devil, “but your ass belongs to Brock Lesnar.”

The gong sounds and the lights go out.  When they come up, Undertaker is in the ring with Heyman.  Heyman begs off, yelling “I’m just an advocate.”  Lesnar’s music hits and he charges the ring.  This fight is on!  The two scrum in the ring for a bit, then Hunter is seen on the ramp sending security by the dozens to the ring.

They momentarily get the two men pulled apart, but it doesn’t last long.  They start brawling again as the ring now fills up with superstars trying to pull them apart.  The fans want them to fight.   Lesnar escapes the ring and runs to the other side, and the brawl is on again.  Now there’s a “let them fight.” chant going.    Hunter yells to “get him out” but Lesnar charges the ring again.

Kansas City thinks it’s awesome.  Taker breaks free and he goes after Lesnar now.  More people separate them.  Lesnar yells “I’m gonna kill you!”  and Taker retorts “you’re gonna have to.”  Finally, a group of men get Lesnar backstage, and Taker slowly walks up the ramp as we go to break.

Backstage, a bunch of mid-carders are with Brock when Taker attacks him again.  The brawl continues, with various talent trying to keep them apart, and failing.   Finally, a bunch of cops surround Lesnar.  “Don’t touch me.”   He offers to have his hands tied and walks off willingly.

This was a pretty fantastic pull-apart.  There wasn’t much contact between Lesnar and Taker, but the visuals were really impressive and made this rematch feel huge.  The live crowd loved it and it was quite the spectacle.  I’m not sure how you put the genie back in the bottle in terms of Taker getting a win back, or a good finish to this match, but none the less this WILL sell the match.

Back live, the announcers talk about the spectacle we just saw.  Backstage, Stephanie asks why Lesnar was arrested.  Hunter says he won’t press charges, but just wanted to get Lesnar to cool off.  In walks Seth Rollins, and and he asks if both men are gone. Hunter nods.

Rollins says that he has a lot to say to both of them, but it’s probably good that they are gone.  He says he doesn’t want to lose his temper.  He says he has a lot to get off his chest, and asks if he can have promo time tonight.  “Sure, it’s all yours.”  Rollins smiles and leaves.

Wyatt cut in.  They focus on a dartboard with Roman Reigns’ image on it, and it’s on Harper’s jacket.  Wyatt says he is never alone because his family knows that he is more than just a man.  He talks about how he is the revolution that sees through Roman’s lies.  He says that “you all” chose Reigns, and will burn for it.  He says that it’s just the beginning.

Harper interjects, saying that brick by brick they will take Reigns down until there’s nothing left.  Wyatt closes by saying “anyone but you, Roman…anyone but you.”

Match #4 – Luke Harper (w/Bray Wyatt) vs. Roman Reigns:

Wyatt’s intro hits and here comes Harper with him.  JBL says that the family is back together again.  Cole recounts the promo that Wyatt cut moments ago, and Byron says that he will stop Reigns at every turn.  Reigns makes his way through the crowd for this next match.  Reigns stares down the duo as Cole plays stats, saying that Reigns hasn’t won by pinfall or submission since Wyatt cost him Money in the Bank.

Reigns jaws at Wyatt, then Dean Ambrose’s music hits to a big reaction.  Now the sides are even.  Wyatt and Harper regroup at ringside as Ambrose tells Reigns he has his back.  Early offensive exchanges between the two men with kicks and punches.  Reigns hits a suplex and Harper rolls to ringside to regroup going into break.

Back after break, the announcers focus on the Taker vs. Lesnar match and the brawl that we saw earlier.  Harper focuses his offense on Roman’s left arm.  Reigns beats a count-out, then Harper goes back after the arm again.  Reigns gets in a flurry, but Harper cuts him off.

Reigns starts a comeback with a clothesline.  He fires up on Harper, landing a series of kicks and punches, then hitting a Samoan drop with one arm.  Reigns ends up out on the floor and he confronts Wyatt.  He sets both of them up for a double “drive by” kick.

Reigns cues up the Superman punch, but Wyatt pulls him out.  That throws the match out.  Wyatt attacks Reigns from behind, but Ambrose runs over and joins the fray.  Harper runs Reigns into the table, then Wyatt and Harper gang up on Ambrose.  They dominate Reigns, and throw him in the ring.

Ambrose jumps Wyatt from behind, then takes out Harper.  Wyatt tries for Sister Abigail, but Reigns hits a Superman punch.  Wyatt and Harper exit through the crowd as Reigns and Ambrose stand tall.

A good match.  Reigns wasn’t consistent in how he was selling the arm injury, but it’s a small nit-pick.   Harper has some great moves for a big man, so the two ended up putting on a good time filling match.

Seth Rollins is walking backstage, and the announcers remind us that he wanted to talk to Lesnar and Taker but won’t get that chance.  He will address the fans, next.

Back live, they recap the title match from last night yet again.

In-Ring Segment:

Seth Rollins comes to the ring with no one alongside.  JBL says that Rollins was out there by himself, and we’ll never know if Rollins was good enough to beat Lesnar alone.

Rollins eyes up the title belt and smiles.  He says it’s good to see Kansas City too but he has to ask.  He asks how it feels to be wrong about Seth Rollins yet again.  He tells them that they bought into Heyman’s bullcrap propaganda just like the rest of the fans did.  He makes fun of the fans wearing Suplex City shirts and how the fans cheered when Lesnar took an axe to the Cadillac.

He goes on, saying they cheered when Lesnar took out J&J Security and Kane.  He says that they all thought Rollins had punched a ticket to Suplex City and he’d be lucky if he got out alive, let alone with the WWE Championship.  “Well surprise, I’m alive and well, and still the reigning and defending WWE World Heavyweight Champion.”

He puts over Lesnar’s accomplishments, talking about how he rag-dolled John Cena and conquered the Streak.  He says he doesn’t give a damn about Lesnar and says he is the most underappreciated champion in WWE.  He says he took everything Lesnar had and the fans still disrespect him just like they always did.  He says they don’t understand what it takes to keep the title around his waist, and everything he does is centered around being champion.

“Since I won this title at Wrestlemania, I have faced every challenge put in front of me and walked away with my title.”  He says people can talk about the means but the end is all that matters.  He says that Lesnar’s past caught up with him last night.  If he had half the brain that Rollins has, he would have gotten out of there when he saw the look in the Undertaker’s eyes.

He asks for Lilian to come to the ring.  He says that one thing was missing from the match, and says there was an announcement that should have been made after his title match.  She makes the announcement – “Your winner, by disqualification, Brock Lesnar,  however still your WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins.”

John Cena’s music hits and he comes to the ring.  He thanks Lilian but says she no longer has to put up with Rollins’ crap.  “In fact, all of you don’t have to put up with his crap, because that’s all it is.”  Rollins says he has no idea why Cena is out there and none of his business concerns him.  He goes on to congratulate Cena on his big win over Kevin Owens last night.

“You’ve carved out a niche for yourself with that US Open Challenge.  In fact, that’s what you’re probably here for.”  Rollins gives the floor to Cena.  Cena asks that he stay.  He says that fans know when they see the US Championship they see excellence from challenger and champion.  Cena calls Rollins a slimy, weasel-faced, suck-up sell out poor excuse of a champion.

Rollins laughs and says that Cena acts like the US Championship is a symbol of excellence despite defending it against any Joe Schmoe.  He says people have to earn their shots against him.  Rollins tells Cena to not talk down to him, because he isn’t a boy – he is the World Heavyweight Champion.

Rollins says that Cena does the open challenges to placate the fans that hate his guts.  Rollins tells Cena that he can have his challenges, while he keeps being the WWE Champion.  Cena tells him to keep running like he has ever since he became champion.  Cena holds up his belt and says the champ is here.  He says it’s not the title that makes the man, but the man that makes the title.  He calls Rollins a joke and says “you ready to man up now, paartner?”

The two square off for a few moments, but Rollins smiles and backs off to boos.  Cena calls him the champion and Rollins smiles and says “yes I am” from the ramp.  Cena holds up the US Championship and yells “The champ is here!”  Cena’s music hits as Cole says that it’s not the last we’ll see of Cena tonight.  He and Byron Saxton hype the six-man tag main event.

It feels like they’re going to Cena vs. Rollins for SummerSlam, and I don’t like it.  I think Cena is doing a good job of elevating talent and doing the US Championship challenges.  It’s not time for him to enter the WWE Championship picture again, at least at the moment.  If this is what they had in mind, perhaps Owens needed to win last night, somehow.

The Bellas are on commentary for the next match.

Match #5 – Becky Lynch and Paige (w/Charlotte) vs. Sasha Banks and Naomi (w/Tamina Snuka)

In the early going, Banks and Naomi control Becky Lynch.  The commentary team chats with the Bellas about the revolution.  Nikki says she welcomes it.  Back from break, Lynch continues to sell for the heel duo while the announcers continue to hype Nikki up, and continue to talk about “the revolution.”

Sasha gets the tag and slaps Becky before covering for two.  Becky continues to sell for the heels.  She teases one tag but gets cut off by Sasha.  Becky finally kicks Sasha away.

Hot tag to Paige.  She goes off on a flurry against Naomi.  Superkick, then she rolls Naomi over into the PTO.  Sasha Banks breaks things up, but Paige dumps her to ringside.  Tamina takes a forearm shot when she gets on the apron.  Naomi gets the cheap shot by draping Paige onto the ropes.  Tag to Sasha, she locks on the Bank Statement for the submission win.

The more they say “revolution” the less impact it has.  The presentation is still a mess overall.  That said, another good women’s match that was given time.  I stand by my earlier statements though that they needed to give Lynch, Banks, and Charlotte individual introductions and characters.  This faction thing isn’t working.  They did a great job in the ring tonight, but it still seems like they’re just good hands in the ring and not stars.  It’s week 2, so hence my continued skepticism.

Back live, they hype that Sasha and Naomi will take on the Bellas on Smackdown.  They move on into a recap of the brawl between Undertaker and Brock Lesnar.

They move on to recap the attack by Rusev on Dolph Ziggler from two weeks ago.  Ziggler has been out a couple weeks now.  Renee Young is with Lana backstage, and she says that Ziggler is healing and is wating to be medically cleared.  Summer Rae pops up, dressed similar to Lana.

She asks if Lana likes it, saying that it makes her look smarter.  Rusev enters and tells her she looks angelic.  He says his actions will speak louder though, and kisses Summer.  He tells Lana she looks tired then laughs and leaves.  Summer slaps her, and Lana cries.

Congratulations, WWE.  You gave me my nightly “Zero Fucks Given” segment.

Match #6 – Cesaro, John Cena, and Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens, Sheamus and Rusev (w/Summer Rae)

Cesaro gets the first entrance and the announcers put him over for how he has performed of late.  They also hype Orton’s performance from last night at the pay per view, calling it classic.  Commercial break. Cena got his entrance during the break.  After break, the heels get their entrance.

Cena and Owens start it off, but he immediately tags out to Rusev.  Rusev teases a test of strength but they tie up instead.  Rusev hits a fallaway slam on Cena.  Rusev tags out to Owens, and he takes advantage of a downed Cena.  Cena sells for Owens in the early going.  Cena locks on the STF, but Owens is able to get out and create separation.

Owens tries for a cannonball after a DDT, but Cena moves.  Tags out to Sheamus and Cesaro.  Cesaro starts off with a cross body then unloads a series of uppercuts.  He looks to go swinging with Sheamus, but Owens breaks it up.  Cesaro back body drops him, then Rusev lands a kick.  We go to break.

Back live, the heels continue to generally control the flow of the match.  Cole points out that it’s Raw #1156.  In the 3-hour format, it feels like Raw #11,156.  Anyhow.  Sheamus gets the better of Cesaro and asks the crowd if they’re entertained.  They seemed to be.  Cesaro hits uppercuts, but Sheamus cuts off the comeback and pushes him to the corner.  Rusev checked and Cesaro puts him down.  Owens tags in and cuts off Cesar from tagging.

Cesaro starts shoving back, and as a result Owens knocks Sheamus from the apron.  Sheamus and Owens start arguing.  “What the hell was that?!”  They scrum momentarily, then Sheamus goes out and grabs his MITB briefcase and leaves.  Cesaro and Owens scrum in the follow up with Owens getting the better of it, and Owens forcefully tags Rusev into the match.  He makes a comment about a Lana wanna be.  Owens and Rusev get into it momentarily, and Owens tags him with a superkick.  Owens leaves the ring, and Rusev is on his own.

Orton gets the tag and he hits a couple of clotheslines, then a power slam.  Rusev comes back with a knee but Orton tags him with an exploder suplex.   Rusev’s on the apron so it’s Elevated DDT time.  Orton is hearing voices, and he coils up for the RKO.  Rusev shoves him off and kicks Orton.

Lana comes walking down the ramp, with purpose.  She throws a shoe at Summer and spears her down.   KC loves it, Rusev hates it.  Lana smiles and fixes herself, then walks away.  Back in the ring, Cena hits the AA, Cesaro sends him swinging, and out of a slingshot from Cesaro Orton hits the RKO to pick up the victory.

They show Summer selling the Lana attack as the faces celebrate in the ring.  Cole hypes Undertaker vs. Lesnar one more time to send the show home.

I guess this is “Book Rusev Poorly” month.  The guy goes from having what I considered to be a good feud with John Cena (even if he came up on the short end of it and it went one match too long) to having to face Cena in a title match after working a 20 minute qualifier match, then he gets left to the wolves here with his tag partners exiting like this.  Very, very strange booking for a guy that I think has a lot of promise.

This had the feel of a dark main event, given the feel good ending.  All the babyfaces got their finishers in, and they got a lot of shine at the end of the match.  The live crowd loved all of it, and it was fine for what it was.  I think at the core this show was about setting up Taker vs. Lesnar, and the rest of the show wasn’t nearly as important.

And yes, that was the highlight of the night.  As I said earlier, the genie is out of the bottle for really recapturing the energy off of Lesnar taking the Streak from Taker, but I am definitely paying attention and interested in where they go with this and what kind of match they come up with.  You’ll never get the Streak back, but I’m at least intrigued.  I would presume we’ll see the card continue to come together over the coming week.

Drew will be by tomorrow night with Around the Ring – we’re flip-flopping nights – to give his thoughts on this show and talk other things pro wrestling and more.  I’ll be by Thursday with my Around the Ring segment with more discussion of the week in wrestling.  Thanks for following along tonight.

 

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WWE Battleground LIVE Reaction and Results for 07/19/15 – Lesnar vs. Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Owens vs. Cena for the WWE United States Championship, Wyatt vs. Reigns, plus lots more!

WWE Battleground airs live from St. Louis, MO on pay-per-view and the WWE Network starting at 8pm Eastern.  We will have live coverage of the show, beginning with the preshow, later this evening.

The current lineup for the evening is, as always, subject to change.

  • Seth Rollins (c) vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
  • John Cena (c) vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE United States Championship
  • The Primetime Players (c) vs. The New Day for the WWE Tag Team Championship
  • Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
  • Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
  • R-Truth vs. King Barrett for the King of the Ring Crown (pre-show match)

There’s plenty of rumor and speculation surrounding this event too, so be sure to tune in and follow along with our coverage, as well as on Twitter @RingRap for live tweets throughout the night!

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The NXT Report: 07/15/15 – Banks vs. Charlotte for the Women’s Championship, Samoa Joe in Action, plus Gable & Jordan, Blake & Murphy, plus more!

NXT 7/15 2015

Quick Video Recap from last week

Charlotte/Sasha Banks Tag Match leading them to face each other in a title match for the NXT Women’s Championship.

NXT intro to Full Sail Crowd

First match of the night

Chad Gable/Jason Jordan vs Steve Cutler/Elias Sampson

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Wentz’s Blog: Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks on Raw can be Revolutionary, But for Who?

I just got back home from a major truck show and back into the swing of all things wrestling last night when I saw that the trio of Sasha Banks, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch all arrived on Raw. As a fan of the quality of work that these women have produced in NXT, I have to say I’m pleased.

I have said it before on Ring Rap Audio and in Around the Ring that I believe there is money in women’s wrestling when they are properly presented. When women are presented as strong, athletic characters that fans can connect with, they react positively. Look at the NXT ladies matches from the various “Takeover” events for proof. Yet at few points in WWE’s history have they presented their ladies as such.

I believe it was Kevin Eck (former WWE creative, now affiliated with Maryland Championship Wrestling) who said that WWE is content to present the women as “crazy catty bitches.” I viewed last night as an honest effort at changing that mindset, but I’m very mixed on what I saw.

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WWE Raw Reaction and Results for 07/13/15

WWE Raw is LIVE in Atlanta, GA, and it’s the go-home show for WWE Battleground, which airs this Sunday.  What will Seth Rollins’ response be to Brock Lesnar’s utter destruction of the Cadillac Rollins gifted to J&J Security?  Will Kevin Owens make his presence known with John Cena?  Will Cesaro get another chance to have an epic match?

Due to travel commitments, we will have delayed coverage of tonight’s broadcast, which is also rumored to have NXT standouts Charlotte and Sasha Banks appearing.  Keep an eye out on Ring-Rap.com once the show begins and follow along!

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WWE Smackdown *SPOILERS* for the Show Airing 7/9/2015

WWE is taping Smackdown in Milwaukee, WI tonight for the show that will air this Thursday, 7/9/2015 on SyFy.  The following are spoilers pertaining to the program.  If you want to find out what’s going to happen this Thursday, feel free to click that ‘Continue Reading’ link.  Spoilers tonight are courtesy of LordsofPain.net.

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WWE Raw LIVE Reactions and Results for 07/06/15

WWE Raw kicks off starting at 8pm EST, as we head into WWE Battleground. We will have live coverage of the show, including the fallout of Kevin Owens losing the NXT Championship, Brock Lesnar’s return to the program, and lots more!

Be sure to join us starting at 8pm EST, and follow along on Twitter as well!

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WWE Smackdown *SPOILERS* for the Show Airing 7/2/2015

WWE taped this week’s Smackdown show at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA last night.  The following are the spoilers for the taped show, which will air on 7/2/2015.  If you want to know what went down, click on that “Continue Reading” link below (and of course you know what to do if you don’t want to know!).  Spoilers this week courtesy LordsofPain.net.

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WWE Smackdown *SPOILERS* for the Show Airing 6/25/2015

Tonight in Toledo, OH, WWE taped their Smackdown edition that will air on Thursday 6/25/2015.  You can watch the show unspoiled, or you can click the “Continue Reading” link below and find out what all went down on the program tonight.  Spoilers tonight are courtesy ProWrestling.net.

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WWE Monday Night Raw “Sort of Live” Coverage for 6/21/2015 – The Road to Battleground, Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar, and More

Tonight, Raw comes to us as we embark on the road to Battleground.  We know Brock Lesnar will challenge for the WWE Championship he didn’t really lose at Wrestlemania to Seth Rollins.  Will Rollins timidly back away again, or will he step up and face the Beast Incarnate directly?  Will John Cena continue to sell the attack by Kevin Owens at Money in the Bank, or will he return as if nothing is wrong?

Show Open, Live from Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN

Raw open, then we get Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton on the call of the show tonight.

Brock Lesnar’s music hits and he and Paul Heyman head to the ring.  They show footage  of Lesnar returning last week, with Cole selling Rollins vs. Lesnar at Battleground in a month.  Heyman introduces himself, and says that it’s his pleasure to give us the Raw return of Brock Lesnar.  He sets up footage from the night after Wrestlemania, where Brock went apeshit on everyone and every thing, F5’d Michael Cole and a camera guy, and ended up suspended.

Heyman says that there is no mystery or cliffhanger surrounding how he got Lesnar back on the show.  He says the didn’t want his money, but an apology.  Heyman pointed toward the announcers and says that he was informed that if Lesnar didn’t apologize, he would not be allowed to return and get his shot at the title.

Lesnar walks to that side of the ring, looking down at the announcers.  He leaves the ring while a small “Suplex City” chant starts.  He walks over to JBL and shakes his hand, then walks to Cole.  Cole is scared shitless.  Lesnar sticks his hand out, then grabs Cole and gives him a noogie before sitting him back down.  He shakes Cole’s hand and says he’s sorry.  “We’re good.” Cole says nervously.

Lesnar heads back to the ring.  Heyman details what Lesnar will do to the “sleazy, slimy” Seth Rollins.  He talks of how Rollins was the first NXT Champion, adding “I wonder how that happened.”  He says Rollins has been protected by the Authority since day one.

Heyman says that Rollins might think he’s flying to Battleground, but actually “has a one way ticket to Suplex City, bitch.”  Heyman talks about J&J Security, noting they beat Rollins.  He talks about Kane as well, then moves on to how fans want to see someone defeat Rollins.  Heyman closes the promo referring to Lesnar as the former, and future, undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

The announcers hype Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus for later, then show Dean Ambrose walking backstage.  He has Kane, after the break.

The live crowd was attentive, but it wasn’t hot for this as I would have expected.  That said, it was a good segment.  I enjoyed the way in which Lesnar apologized, especially how he treated Cole.  There are some odd dynamics at play with Heyman negotiating with the Authority to bring Lesnar back and such, which may have cooled the reaction a bit.  Fans will get behind Lesnar faster than they will Heyman, for sure.

Match #1 – Dean Ambrose vs. Kane:

Cole points out that Saxton ran when Lesnar approached in the opening segment.  In the ring, Kane and Ambrose make their way to ringside.  Ambrose hits a leg drop on Kane as he’s laid out over the ropes.  Kane takes back control of the match and throws Ambrose into the steps going into commercial.

Out of break, Ambrose hits a missile drop kick and clips Kane, rolling him up for two.  A bit later, Ambrose sets up Dirty Deeds, but Seth Rollins’ music hits.  Ambrose pays attention to the music and watches Rollins come out.  Kane goes for a chokeslam, but Ambrose escapes and hits a suicide dive on Rollins.  Ambrose goes top rope, kicking Rollins away.  Kane hits a chokeslam for the win.

Cole asked in commentary if Rollins is trying to extend an olive branch.  One can only figure that the story will be that Rollins tries to make amends to all of the Authority for protection against Lesnar, but we’ll watch it play out over the next month. 

Indy seems quiet tonight for this show.  Usually it seems Raw crowds start hot and fade – but this one doesn’t seem hot at all.

The announcers talk about John Cena defeating Kevin Owens at Money in the Bank over still shots.  Cole points out that Cena will be on tonight’s show.

Noooooooooo!  I was really hoping he’d sell the attack a little longer.

Backstage, Rollins takes exception to Kane saying he’s afraid of Lesnar.  He almost says he doesn’t need Kane, but instead stops and says it’s about family.  He offers a handshake but Kane blows him off.

The announcers narrate over still shots from Money in the Bank where Bray Wyatt cost Roman Reigns the briefcase.  They air footage of their interactions on Raw and Smackdown in the past week.  They hype Reigns vs. Wyatt at Battleground.

The Prime Time Players come out, and they’ve got the next match.

Back from break, they show Titus O’Neil accepting his fatherhood award.

Match #2 – The Prime Time Players vs. The Ascension:

New Day watches on from a monitor.  Big E is eating and talking at the same time.  Young hits his gutbuster move on Viktor and the match is over.

Match #3 – Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus:

Sheamus comes out prior to commercial, Reigns after.  They work back and forth early, then Sheamus takes the advantage going into the next commercial break.  Raw is Commericals.  Back live, Reigns gets control of the offense, then tries a leaping punch but Sheamus catches him with a good shot instead.

Sheamus hits a series of backbreakers and covers for two.  Sheamus follows with a clothesline by catapulting him into the bottom ropes, then locks on the Cloverleaf.  Reigns breaks it in the ropes, then comes back with an elbow and a series of strikes.  Reigns clotheslines Sheamus to the floor, then hits him with a leaping clothesline a bit later, sending Sheamus across the announce table.

Bray Wyatt appears on the Tron.  Looks like he’s having a tea party or something.  He talks as if he’s talking to a child, saying “we’re back here waiting on you.  Find me.”  Reigns leaves the ring for the backstage area, taking a countout loss.  The camera pulls back, and there’s an empty child’s rocking chair.

WWE needs to get better about announcing finishes of the matches.  Dark Wyatt here is good, so far.  It’s a different edge to his character.  As for the match, the two men worked hard and I hope Sheamus gloats about his win at some point soon.

Back live, the announcers recap what we just saw then send it backstage where Reigns is searching for Wyatt and his daughter.  He enters a room where he hears Wyatt singing, only to find a bunch of pictures of himself with the eyes and mouths cut out.  On the wall is scrawled “anyone but you.”  The song finishes and the camera cuts away.

The announcers talk about the Wyatt/Reigns angle, and shift to recapping the opening of the show with Lesnar and Heyman.

Wow, jumping from one to the other so quickly tonight.  Hard to process stuff like this that has impact.

Backstage, Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury are getting coffee.  Seth Rollins approaches and tries to get them back on his side.  Noble points out all the stuff Rollins said about their height and intelligence.  Rollins tries to smooth things over, calling them more than security and saying they’re his friends.  Rollins makes a pitch and asks if they’re cool, but Mercury and Noble walk off.

They show John Cena’s appearance on the Today show.  They actually showed more of the hosts than they did of Cena.

Match #4 – Neville vs. Kofi Kingston (w/Big E and Xavier Woods, New Day):

About 3 minutes into this one, the official ejects the rest of New Day for getting involved.  Kofi protests, then takes a kick from Neville.  Neville follows up with the Red Arrow to get the win.

The announcers talk about when Kevin Owens powerbombed Machine Gun Kelly last week.  Cole hypes that John Cena will be appearing.  Saxton hypes up Ryback vs. Mark Henry for later.

A commercial airs for the July 4 special that will be held in Japan and air on WWE Network.

Not sure if we will, or won’t, cover that event as it happens.

Cole hypes a USA Network show, then feeds it to a clip of “Mr. Robot.”

Match #5 – King Barrett vs. Zack Ryder:

They show a promo from R-Truth about what he plans to do once he’s king.  Ryder teases the Broski Boot at one point, but Barrett rolls out to avoid it.  Barrett gets back in the ring and hits the Bull Hammer to get the win.

Wow, this show is filled with inconsequential matches tonight and it’s wearing on Indy.  They are really quiet right now.

Cole sets up footage from his interview with Kevin Owens from last week.  After, Saxton hypes that John Cena will appear after the break.

In-Ring Segment:

John Cena comes out and gets a mixed reaction as usual.  He hits the ring and holds up the US Championship.  He calls it a symbol of excellence and he is proud to be the US Champion.  He says that Kevin Owens took the opportunity Cena gave him to show mutual respect and put him out of commission, then he took out a musician.

Cena calls Owens a great wrestler, but thinks he’s a garbage human being.  He says he won’t hand over the symbol of excellence to a dirtbag.  Cena says that Owens beat him, then he beat Owens, but he didn’t win the war.  Cena says he has a choice to make when it comes to the match Owens wants.  Cena says if he walks, Owens is right about him.  Cena says the US Championship will not be protected by politics.

Kevin Owens’ music hits and he comes to the stage, holding the NXT Championship.  Owens says that he guessed he is supposed to be upset by what Cena said about him but he isn’t.  He says he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him.  He says he’s been called out of shape, a slug, and refers to Cena calling him a dirtbag.  He says that this out of shape, slug, dirtbag beat Cena at Elimination Chamber and left him laying at Money in the Bank.  Owens says Cena cares what the people think of him, whereas he cares about championships.

Owens says he took the NXT Championship when he arrived, and now that he sees how much Cena values the US Championship he wants it.  He says he wants to make it a symbol of his own excellence.  Owens tells Cena he will give him something he craves – the approval of the fans.  Owens says he will make sure the fans cheer Cena and boo the “evil foreigner” (Owens is Canadian).  He says something in French, which draws a few boos.  Cena responds by saying the fans are not indifferent to Owens because of where he’s from and the language he speaks, but because he’s a disrespectful scumbag.

Cena throws out some French, then Mandarin, and finally in English.  He says Owens has his match, and he will kick his ass.  Cole says he is certain the Authority will sign off on the match for Battleground.

Well, that breathed some life into the show – some much needed life.  I was hoping Cena would sell the attack at MITB one more week, but, it’s WWE and he’s the cash cow.  A good segment.

Backstage, Triple H and Stephanie are watching on a monitor.  Seth Rollins enters and says he isn’t afraid of Lesnar.  He mentions Kane and J&J Security.  Hunter says that Rollins never needed them.  Rollins agrees but says he wants the family back together.

Stephanie asks if he considered an apology, given the damage he caused.  “Do you think they’d apologize to me?”  Rollins asks.  He says that would go a long way.  Hunter cuts him off and say Rollins is afraid of Lesnar because he’s smart.  He says that Rollins would be an idiot to not be afraid of Lesnar.  Hunter says a smart man always has a Plan B.  Hunter says the words “I’m Sorry” would make the whole thing go away.  Rollins asks about Lesnar showing  up, and they respond that he knows what he has to do.

Rollins legit cracked me up with the “do you think they’ll apologize” bit.

They recap the angle between Paige and the Bella Twins from last week.

Match #6 – The Bella Twins (w/Alicia Fox) vs. Naomi and Tamina:

I’m not sure who is who.  Naomi and Tamina work Brie over early.  Nikki tries to get the crowd behind her.  She takes a hot tag and the fans cheer.  I don’t get it?  Naomi hits the Rear View on Brie, then tries for it on Nikki only to hit Tamina with it.  Nikki loads the Rack Attack and gets the win.

This all just makes my head hurt.  No clear direction, tits and ass finishers, bad character development…ugh.

Cole hypes Terminator: Genisys, which has clips of Roman Reigns mixed in, because, you know, he was in the movie (no he wasn’t).  Ryback vs. Mark Henry is next.

Big Show is on commentary for this one.  He asks Saxton if he stole Booker T’s job.

Match #7 – Ryback (c) vs. Mark Henry; non-title match

Henry got the jobber entrance, but he tosses Ryback around like a rag doll at ringside going into the break.  After break, Ryback mounts a comeback but gets cut off.  Show stands up and yells at Henry to finish  Ryback.  Ryback fights off the World’s Strongest Slam, then hits a frogslplash (?!) for the win.

Afterward, Show gets in the ring and yells at Henry for not winning.  Henry jaws back and writhes in pain as Show leaves.

The announcers talk about Tough Enough returning tomorrow night.  Cole tells us Saxton will be involved.

Backstage, Jo Jo asks Ryback about his title defense against Miz and Big Show at Battleground.  He tells her not to call him Flyback after that finish.  He says the title means the world to him.  He says his parents haven’t spoken in 15 years, but came together to watch him win and defend the title.  Big Show shows up and mocks Ryback.  They end up brawling, and Ryback leaves Show laying.

Let it be known that divorces can be saved by winning the Intercontinental Championship.

They recap what we just saw two minutes earlier…

Cole tells us that Sheamus will face Dolph Ziggler on Smackdown.

Match #8 – Dolph Ziggler (w/Lana) vs. Adam Rose (w/Rosa Mendes):

Rose cuts a pre-match promo saying they don’t get what art, passion, or true love is.  He says this is what love looks like and kisses Rosa.  Everyone groans, except a few pre-teen boys that are jealous.

Rusev is watching on a monitor.  The Bulgarian Stalker?  Anyhow, Rose locks Ziggler in the Hunter Hearst Helmsley Bow early.  He then locks on a sleeper that Ziggler breaks free from.  Ziggler gets some offense then takes a belly to belly suplex.  Rose leaps off the ropes into a superkick, which gives Ziggler the win.  Afterward, Ziggler takes Lana’s hair down and kisses her.  Stalker-Rusev is pissed and throws his crutches.  Summer Rae hands him one back.

I guess Rusev really likes Lana with the hair up.  I kinda liked it down, myself.  Anyhow.  Match meant nothing, much like this whole show.

Backstage, J&J Security and Kane talk to Triple H and Stephanie.  Noble’s still upset over the Dumb and Dumber references.  Noble compares J&J to Yoda from Star Wars.  Stephanie says their ears look like Yoda.  Stephanie admits Rollins hasn’t been a gracious champion but she defends him.  Hunter talks about the pressure of being champion.  Stephanie asks them to go to the ring and hear Rollins out.

They air another ad for Tough Enough and hype Swerved on WWE Network.

In-Ring Segment:

Seth Rollins comes out.  He says he decided to be the bigger man and admit he’s wrong.  He invites Kane, J&J Security to the ring so he can apologize.  Kane’s music plays and the three men come out.  Rollins says he has learned that a team is only as good as the foundation, and they are the foundation.

Rollins says this has nothing to do with Lesnar.  “I beat Brock Lesnar before, and I will beat Brock Lesnar again at Battleground.”  Rollins tells the three that this is about family.  “Suplex City” chants start and Rollins tells them to shut up.

Rollins tells Noble and Mercury first that he is sorry.  He says he has looked up to them his entire life and pattered his in-ring style after them.  He says he would love it if they would be a part of the family again.  He tells them to think about it while he talks to Kane.

Rollins says he owes Kane the biggest apology.  He recalled saying Kane is a dinosaur.  He says they are extinct, while Kane is alive and well.  He says Kane is like fine wine that gets better with age.  The fans taunt Rollins with “Justin Bieber” and “You sold out” chants.  Rollins apologizes to Kane and says he wants him to come back so they can all be family again.  Rollins apologizes to all of them one more time and extends his hand, asking if they will take him back.

Brock Lesnar’s music hits.  He comes out with Paul Heyman in tow, and takes his lap around the ring glaring up at Rollins.  Lesnar jumps on the apron.  Kane and J&J look like they’re ready to fight but they back down and leave Rollins to fend for himself.

Lesnar smiles and Rollins looks intimidated.  Kane jumps Lesnar from behind but Brock throws him off.  J&J Security tries their hand, but he destroys them simply.  Lesnar attacks Rollins, spinning him around and hitting a German suplex.  Lesnar hits it again, then smiles when the fans chant “one more time.”  He hits one more.

Brock sets up for the F5 on Rollins but Kane grabs Lesnar and pushes him back.  Lesnar drops Rollins and takes a chokeslam from Kane.  Lesnar bounces back quickly and tries the F5 again, but gets clipped.  Rollins wraps Lesnar’s leg around the ring post and Kane slams a chair on his knee.  Kane and Rollins put the boots to Brock, and he shoves them off.

Mercury gets in the ring and targets the leg, punching him several times as Kane and Rollins kick him.  Rollins hits a flying knee (it actually looked like it missed wide as Brock moved).  Kane hits a chokeslam, and Rollins hits the Pedigree.  Rollins celebrates with the title to end the show.

Eh…eh.

Typical Authority “gang style” five on one assault to get heat on Rollins. It got heat but I hope we only see this once.  I am not doubting for a moment that Lesnar will annihilate every single person in this segment before Battleground.  I was a little surprised to see physicality here, because I assumed they would go the route of getting people to pay to see Lesnar get Rollins.

This angle was alright for me, but it didn’t prop up what was otherwise a poor show.  This was slow, plodding, and hard to watch.  Nothing felt like it mattered at all, and there was so much filler with mid-card matches lasting only a few minutes that feel like they lead to nowhere.  It’s definitely the summer doldrums for WWE.

I’ll be by on Around the Ring tomorrow evening to talk hits and misses and more about this show, and other things going on in pro wrestling.  Feel free to hit me up with questions and comments of your own on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan before then.  Thanks for following along tonight.