Monday Night Raw
Date: June 15, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
We’re done with Backlash and on the way to Extreme Rules, but the question now is how much of a change we are going to be seeing under the new creative direction. I’m not sure what that is going to mean but we’ll probably be seeing some big changes taking place in one night. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Randy Orton to open things up. He talks about seeing Edge’s intensity back in January and knew that he needed to save Edge from himself, just like Edge saved Orton back in the day. Orton knows he’s the greatest and doesn’t need the WWE Title to prove it. He owes Edge a thank you though, because Edge reignited a fire to be the Legend Killer. Orton wishes Edge was here to see him face to face but he’s in a hospital having his muscle reattached to the bone. He’s heard that Edge is going to be cleared in July…..of 2029. Maybe their paths can collide again, say in nine years?
Cue Christian of all people to say Edge’s redemption is not done. Orton injured him but Christian knows that Edge will be back. Orton thinks Christian wants one more match but Christian says no way because he isn’t medically cleared. There is a way around that though: tonight, Christian vs. Orton, unsanctioned. Orton turns his back on him and says the offer expires at the end of the night. If Christian says no, it proves that he’s nothing more than a coward. Christian doesn’t say anything as Orton leaves.
Angel Garza is asked if he feels guilty about last night’s United States Title match. Zelina Vega tries to answer for him but Garza says he has this. Garza talks about how if you care for anything, you have to fight for it, like they’ll fight Kevin Owens. Garza offers Charly Caruso a special interview after he beats Owens. Charly thinks they could arrange something but here’s Andrade to say Garza will disappoint him if he loses to Owens.
Angel Garza vs. Kevin Owens
Garza goes after the knee to start but Owens is ready for him this time. Cue Andrade to watch and we actually don’t take a break. Instead they trade waistlocks and Owens TAKES OFF GARZA’S PANTS. The threat of a Stunner sends Garza to the floor but Andrade tells him to get back in. Vega breaks it up, says she’s sick of this, and leaves. Back from a break with Garza missing a Bronco Buster but hitting a missile dropkick for two. The leg cranking is on until Owens fights out, only to have Andrade grab Owens’ foot. Garza yells at Andrade and walks into the Stunner for the pin at 6:41.
Rating: C. They started fast here but with a good chunk of it in the commercial, it wasn’t going to be able to do much. Zelina and company fighting each other isn’t the most thrilling story but I’ll take them actually having a story to tell rather than just throwing stuff out there week to week. Owens getting into the US Title picture could help as well.
Post match, Zelina comes back out to say they need to work together. The three leave together.
We look at Drew McIntyre surviving against Bobby Lashley.
MVP and Bobby Lashley don’t appreciate being asked about the loss last night. That wasn’t Lashley’s fault and they’re going to do something about it.
Here are MVP and Lashley to rant about Lana’s interference and Drew McIntyre not giving him an immediate rematch. Cue Lana to say that she does everything for Lashley, including coloring her hair brown and getting a divorce for him. MVP blames Lana for everything but she cuts him off and calls him a snake. Lana says stop the tone because she is a woman thank you very much.
She and Lashley were on a hot streak, but Lashley cuts her off over the “we” part. When is the last time Lana won anything other than a bunch of Facebook likes? He accuses her of using their sex life to get famous but Lana says if that’s what she wanted, she would have slept with someone more famous. Like Drew. Lashley: “I WANT A DIVORCE!” Lana is crushed as MVP and Lashley leave together.
We recap the Street Profits/Viking Raiders over the last few weeks, including last night’s insanity.
The Profits and the Raiders talk about wanting a cinematic universe and an animated series, but here are Akira Tozawa and the motorcycle ninjas. Tozawa wants in the sequel, so the Profits say they’re down for a fight anytime. The giant ninja appears and Erik has to be held back. The ninjas leave and the Viking Profits know what they have to do.
Viking Profits vs. Ninjas
Erik knees Ninja 1 down as the giant ninja is watching from ringside. Ford comes in for a dropkick to Ninja 2 and everything breaks down in a hurry. Double spinebusters set up double frog splashes to give the Profits the pin at 1:24.
Post match Akira Tozawa sends in the Giant Ninja so the Viking Profits huddle. They want the smoke….and here’s the Big Show.
Seth Rollins finds it interesting that no one has seen Dominick Mysterio yet but he knows Dominick is here. Rollins is heading to the ring with a message.
Christian is on the phone and doesn’t seem sure about anything.
Here’s Rollins to talk about how Rey Mysterio has been invited here but has declined the invitation. That’s taking the coward’s way out, but his son Dominick is here instead. Cue Rey on screen to say this is Rollins’ one warning. Rollins doesn’t understand the warning and asks Rey to be a good father for once and have his son join Rollins’ movement.
Austin Theory and Murphy are out to find Dominick right now so Rollins will get him sooner or later. Rollins says Dominick is an adult who makes his own choices. As Rollins drops to his knees, cue Dominick from behind to jump Rollins. Murphy and Theory charge in so Dominick runs away and gets out, with Rey coaching him from the screen.
R-Truth wants to give Lashley and MVP his condominiums for the loss last night. Last night, Lashley went to Claymore Country so he must be jet lagged. That must be a raw deal, and yes that’s a pun. Tonight it’s Truth/Drew McIntyre vs. Lashley/MVP, but Truth runs from a fight at the moment.
Post break, Lashley and MVP find Truth under a training ring but here’s Drew for the staredown. MVP says Drew is a pretender and wants tonight’s tag match to be winner take all. Truth: “YAHTZEE!” Drew says it’s on, but doesn’t seem thrilled as Truth doesn’t seem to get what “winner takes all” means.
Liv Morgan/Natalya vs. IIconics
Natalya goes after Kay to start but gets kicked down by Royce. Kay gets in a top rope double stomp to the back for two but Natalya grabs a rollup for the same. The kickout sends her over to Morgan for the tag and a springboard dropkick gets two on Kay. Everything breaks down and Morgan’s rollup gets one on Kay. Instead it’s Royce getting a blind tag and A Fall From Grace finishes Morgan at 2:22.
Post match the IIconics want the Women’s Tag Team Titles. They call out Bayley and Sasha Banks right now but no one comes out. They’ll do it next week instead.
Big Show talks with Christian about how this might be a trap with Orton.
Natalya yells at Morgan for making rookie mistakes and understands why Ruby Riott let her go. Morgan walks away and Natalya rants about the lack of respect after she built this division brick by brick. Lana comes in to say Natalya thinks she has it bad. Lana was supposed to be married to the WWE Champion and now this happens. Natalya gets it.
Here’s Christian for a chat with Charly on the stage. Christian says he won’t be disrespected, so if Orton wants to give him one more match, he accepts.
MVP comes up to congratulate Apollo Crews on being United States Champion. It’s one thing to be a champion but you need to be a smart US Champion. Crews is going to need someone to guide him and MVP offers his services. That’s not happening, but MVP gets serious by saying the only way Crews keeps the title is with MVP’s help.
Charlotte and Ric Flair have a chat about Charlotte having plans for later tonight.
Apollo Crews vs. Shelton Benjamin
Non-title and Crews has new music. Benjamin suplexes him into the corner for a running knee to start as MVP is watching from the back. The chinlock doesn’t work and Crews nails an enziguri. The standing moonsault gives Crews two but Benjamin slips out of a gorilla press. Shelton grabs a rollup with feet on the ropes for two but the referee catches him. That means a rollup from Crews, who grabs the rope himself to finish Benjamin at 2:08. It didn’t feel like a heel turn, but rather Crews giving Shelton his own medicine.
Tozawa and the ninjas, one of them a referee, comes up to Truth and shouts something while pointing at the 24/7 Title. The threat of a crane kick sends them running, though Drew standing behind Truth might have something to do with it. Drew wants Truth to be serious for a second because this is a big deal. Truth gets serious and understands.
We recap Asuka vs. Nia Jax, which started when Nia got annoyed at Asuka for being awarded the Raw Women’s Title for winning Money in the Bank. They went to a double countout last night.
Asuka is ready to finish Jax.
Truth has good news for Drew: only the WWE Title will be on the line tonight. Truth knows what it’s like to lose a title and Drew won’t have to feel that tonight. Drew doesn’t look convinced.
The Viking Profits talk about a chariot race next week when Big Show comes in. They thank him for his help and he thanks them for the free shirts. Show has liked the competitions but maybe they should have a Tag Team Title match. Say next week. The Profits are in so Show demonstrates some dancing.
Raw World Title: MVP/Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre/R-Truth
McIntyre is defending and Lashley or MVP can pin either McIntyre or Truth to win the title. Drew drives Lashley into the corner to start and it’s a Glasgow Kiss to rock Lashley in a hurry. Lashley goes with the power and starts elbowing McIntyre in the head, allowing the tag to MVP. Drew gets to clothesline Lashley outside and hits a neckbreaker on MVP, but Truth tags himself in.
A suplex sends Truth into the corner and it’s off to Lashley to send Truth into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Truth kicking MVP down and making the hot tag to McIntyre to clean house. McIntyre suplexes MVP and hits the top rope shot to the head for a bonus. The Futureshock connects with Lashley making a save. Lashley’s spear to Truth goes into the steps and the Claymore hits MVP….but McIntyre tags in Truth. A Rocket Launcher pins MVP at 9:12.
Rating: C. This felt like it could have been a fine house show main event around the horn for a few weeks and that’s not bad for a quick TV match like this one. They were playing up the drama but it wasn’t exactly easy to buy early in the third hour on Raw. Still though, what we got was good enough for a short deal.
Ric Flair can’t talk Christian out of the match.
Here are Bayley and Sasha Banks for a chat. Bayley says she’s ready to celebrate the win but it’s also her birthday! It’s going to be a week long celebration, starting tonight, then moving on to NXT to beat Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart before they go back home to Smackdown. Sasha isn’t happy with the IIconics, but here they are to interrupt. They didn’t hear an answer to their challenge and call out Sasha for collapsing under pressure. Royce slaps Banks, sending Bayley into such a frenzy (Bayley: “IT’S MY FRIGGIN BIRTHDAY!”) that she accepts the challenge.
We look back at Dominick jumping Rollins and vamoosing while the vamoosing was good.
Rey Mysterio will be back next week.
Raw Women’s Title: Asuka vs. Nia Jax
Asuka is defending in a rematch from last night’s draw. Jax goes at her to start but has to power out of a cross armbreaker. The running hip attack misses though and Jax ties her in the ropes. What looked like a Samoan drop is countered into a quickly broken sleeper, meaning Asuka can start kicking at the legs. Jax’s big right hand drops the champ but she has to power out of a triangle. This time it’s a powerbomb on the floor to drop Asuka and we take a break.
Back with Asuka having to fight out of a torture rack and hitting a running basement dropkick for two. Jax puts her on top but Asuka slips out of a super Samoan drop and hits a running dropkick to the ribs for two more. The kicks to the chest are shrugged off though and the Samoan drop connects. There is no count though as Asuka’s foot is under the rope. Jax shoves the referee so he holds up the DQ, only to have Asuka roll her up for a pretty fast pin at 8:54.
Rating: C. Well Jax didn’t kill anyone and Charlotte wasn’t involved so I’d call this a big win. The ending would suggest a rematch at Extreme Rules and while a third match in about a month is a bit much, neither match has broken ten minutes so it’s not like we’ve seen them doing this over and over for long stretches. Just find the right gimmick or it could be bad in a hurry.
Orton thinks Christian is a legend but he’s ready to finish him with the RKO.
Randy Orton vs. Christian
Unsanctioned…and here’s Ric Flair before the match starts. Flair has talked to Edge and he isn’t cool with this happening right now. Christian takes the mic and says he has to do this so the bell rings….and Flair hits Christian low. Orton hits the Punt on Christian and, after looking like he regrets it a bit, gets the pin at 1:01. I’m curious about where this could be going, but Flair and Orton reuniting doesn’t do much for me.
Post match Orton says he didn’t want this to happen and asks why Christian is here. Medics check on Christian and Orton says he didn’t want to finish Christian….but it’s Christian’s fault. He interrupted Orton a few hours ago and now this is what he gets. More glaring ends the show.
Overall Rating: C+. Well, it wasn’t boring. That’s quite the compliment for the show and it’s a good sign for one night. There were enough stories to keep the show moving and they had a little drama in the right places. This did feel like something of a course correction and while a lot of the stories are things that have been set up before, they are heading in somewhat different directions. That being said, I have little confidence in WWE to keep something like this up as they have haven’t shown much in the way of maintaining momentum in recent years.
Kevin Owens b. Angel Garza – Stunner
Viking Profits b. Ninjas – Double pin off frog splashes
IIconics b. Liv Morgan/Natalya – Fall From Grace to Morgan
Apollo Crews b. Shelton Benjamin – Rollup with a grab of the rope
Drew McIntyre/R-Truth b. MVP/Bobby Lashley – Rocket Launcher to MVP
Asuka b. Nia Jax – Rollup
Randy Orton b. Christian – Punt
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