The SmarK Rant for WWE Monday Night RAW – 06.13.22
NOT A DREAM. NOT AN IMAGINARY STORY.
SOOOOOOO…Tommy Hall is off having a child or whatever, and I figure that since he’s been writing for the site faithfully for like a decade now, I can repay him by covering RAW tonight while he’s off tending to his offspring and whatnot. Wish me luck!
And yeah, this is really happening. Not even trolling you. This time.
OK, I can do this.
MONDAY NIGHT RAW.
We’re reviewing it. For real.
Three hours of wrestling. With a posedown main event.
Gonna start any minute now.
OK, there’s the page break. It’s really happening now.
Let’s do this.
MONDAY NIGHT RAW.
We’re back. Back reviewing this show again. This show that consumed my soul and left it for dead so many years ago.
Live from Wichita, KS
Your hosts are Jimmy Smith, Bryon Saxton & Corey Graves
The Miz joins us to start, with his guests, the two Money in the Bank briefcases. And to a lesser degree, Paul Heyman. Miz points out that the winner has an 85% chance of successfully cashing in, although I think that’s disregarding the times where the winner of the case lost it to someone else, because that would skew the math somewhat. So Miz is all blah blah blah about cashing in and points out that whoever wins the case will likely cash in on Roman Reigns. Heyman isn’t worried, and hypes up Roman’s defense against Riddle on Smackdown. So this brings out Riddle, and Miz demands respects on behalf of Paul Heyman and himself. And we discuss Miz’s balls for some reason. So Riddle promises that Roman will have to kill him to stop him, but Heyman announces the stipulation for the match: If Riddle fails to win the title, he’ll never get another shot at the title as long as Roman is champion. Cody must be producing this show. So this brings out the Usos for a word, but the Street Profits even things up and we take a break. This felt like a very paint by numbers segment.
Montez Ford v. Jimmy Uso
It’s rather sad that Jimmy has now fallen to #3 on the list of notable DUI screwups in wrestling. And really it’s not even close. Jimmy chops on Ford to start while the fans chant “We want the smoke”, which illustrates why the Profits would fit so well with Riddle as a unit while Orton is out. Montez escapes a slam attempt and comes back with a dropkick for two and goes to an armbar. “With everything on the line Friday, can the Usos afford to lose here tonight?” Are they supposed to be talking about the Riddle match? Because the result of this match has zero to do with that. They head to the apron and Jimmy gets a suplex out there on THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING and we take a break. Back with Jimmy in control with a bodylock on the mat. Montez fights out of that with a back suplex and makes the comeback as the camera cuts SEVENTEEN MILLION TIMES and an enzuigiri gets two. CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT. It’s literally impossible to follow the basic sequence of action a lot of times because they’re switching angles every half second. Montez with a spinebuster for two, but Jimmy gets his own enzuigiri and comes back with a samoan drop for two. They head to the apron again and Jimmy runs him into the post this time, but he charges and hits it himself. To the top, and Ford gets knocked down, but takes Jimmy down with a rana that mostly misses. Montez to the top again for a frog splash, but that misses and Jimmy gets the pin at 12:46 because the Usos don’t ever lose for some reason. Match was fine, but the crowd was dead and there was nothing special to it. **1/2
Last week: Cody tears his pec so completely that it leaves an ugly red and blue bruise on his neck. HORRIFYING. But then Seth interrupts his goodbye speech and lays him out with a sledgehammer.
Meanwhile, Seth Franklin Rollins sits down with Generic Create-An-Interviewer Slot #1 and talks about his very special relationship with his sledgehammer and how’s going to qualify for the Money In The Bank match and cash in again. But then he spend too much cackling with glee at the thought of sledging AJ Styles, and AJ lays him out from behind.
Last week: Dana Brooke pins Becky Lynch to retain the 24/7 title. I don’t want to sound that way about it, but what the actual hell happened to Dana’s face? She doesn’t even look like the same person anymore.
24/7 title: Dana Brooke v. Becky Lynch
No match, as Becky attacks to start and puts the boots to Dana in the corner and tosses her to the floor before stopping to cut a promo about YOU FANS. So she’s declaring for the Money in the Bank match, but Asuka interrupts and they brawl, as Becky runs away and leaves. This was all rather pointless. One match in the entire first hour, good times.
Money in the Bank qualifier: Alexa Bliss & Liv Morgan v. Doudrop & Nikki ASH
So Alexa is just back to being a non-supernatural smiling babyface again? Okey dokey. Nikki and Alexa trade armdrags to start and Alexa dropkicks her and then tries a headscissors on Doudrop that doesn’t go well. Doudrop with a senton for two and the heels take over as Nikki gets a necksnap for two. Nikki with a chinlock, but Alexa fights out and makes the tag to Liv, who runs wild with kicks on Doudrop. Liv with a missile dropkick for two and Alexa adds a neckbreaker for two. Doudrop takes out Liv and they double-team Alexa for two, but Nikki poses too much and Alexa hits the DDT for the pin at 4:31. This was pretty bad, especially when they were trying to make tiny Alexa and Liv look like threats to Doudrop. * I don’t get why you have to win a tag team match to qualify for an every-man-for-himself ladder match, but I might have missed something during one of the camera cuts where they mentioned it.
Last week: Judgment Day recruits Finn Balor, and then they all turn on Edge because reasons. This is supposed to make Edge into a top level babyface again, by the way.
Kevin Owens v. Ezekial
Apparently this feud is still going. KO dodges a high knee and superkicks Ezekial into the corner, then hits the cannonball and swanton for two. They fight to the floor and Ezekial runs him into the post, and back in with a spinebuster for two. They head to the floor again and Ezekial drops him on the stairs as we take a break. Back with KO holding a chinlock in the ring as they completely waste the stair spot and it makes no difference to the match. Ezekial makes the generic comeback with a corner splash and puts Owens on the floor with a high knee. But then he charges and hits the post, rolling into the ring on the sell, and he wins by countout while KO yells at the announcers at 8:09. This was a bad match with an absolutely idiotic finish. 1/2* If you’re going to book a countout finish, why not have the death valley driver on the stairs lead to the finish, instead of doing an ass-backwards “slip on a banana peel” win where the guy literally knocks himself out on the post and falls INTO the ring? Why does Ezekial even keep getting TV time? And having backed into a “win”, Ezekial wants into the MITB match now. Also Elias is going to be here next week, apparently. Goodie. I’m sure hilarity will ensue.
Meanwhile, Cedric Alexander continues trying to suck up to MVP and looking like a geek.
MVP v. Cedric Alexander
Cedric dives into a flatliner for two, but he gets distracted by Omos and MVP lays him out and drops the Ballin’ elbow for two. Playmaker finishes at 1:38. Good lord they could not make Cedric look like any more of a jobber. No wait, I spoke too soon, Omos throws him out of the ring like Mickie James’ bag of gear and sends him packing for the extra burial. Don’t check your phone tomorrow, Cedric. DUD
Meanwhile, AJ Styles and Seth Rollins do promos on each other. I don’t get Seth’s character at all.
Money in the Bank qualifier: AJ Styles v. Seth Rollins
AJ slugs away in the corner and gets a backslide for two and a rollup for two. Seth slugs away on him and AJ dropkicks him to chase him to the floor and they fight out there. AJ wins that battle and takes over with a backbreaker in the ring, so Seth retreats to the floor again and gets a cheapshot off a chase. Back to the floor again and Seth sends him into the table with a dive as we take a break. Back with Seth slugging away in the ring for two, but AJ gets the facebuster for two. AJ with a corner splash, but Rollins rolls him up for two. Superkick gets two. Seth tries the stomp and AJ reverses it into the calf crusher, but Seth quickly makes the ropes. Seth and AJ trade enzuigiris and slug it out, but AJ escapes the buckle bomb and suplexes him into the corner for two. Phenomenal Forearm misses and AJ hurts his leg on the bump, but he fights back with a neckbreaker for two. AJ goes up and Seth cuts him off with the superplex attempt, but AJ escapes that, but Seth buckle bombs him. Frog splash misses and both guys are out. AJ tries the Styles Clash and Seth counters to a rollup for the pin to advance at 14:55. A really good TV match. ***1/2
Riddle v. Ciampa
Apparently poor Ciampa has also lost his first name in the move to the main roster. Riddle immediately tries for the armbar, but Ciampa powers out of it and puts the boots to him in the corner. They slug it out and Ciampa stomps on his foot and gets a DDT for two. Ciampa with a chinlock and an inverted DDT for two. Riddle fights back with a forearm in the corner and slams Ciampa to set up a draping DDT, but Ciampa counters an RKO attempt into an anklelock. Ciampa with a knee strike for two, but Riddle gets his own knee and goes up with the Floating Bro to set up the RKO to finish at 4:34. Good short match to build up Riddle a bit. **1/2
Last week: Rhea Ripley wins a four-way to win a shot at Bianca Belair.
Bianca Belair joins us to discuss Rhea, and Bianca doesn’t even recognize her anymore! Maybe she’s confusing her with that other woman on Twitter who was claiming that Rhea ripped her off. Anyway, Rhea interrupts and she’s all DARK and BROODING and she’s gonna eradicate Bianca from existence. Who writes this stuff?
Meanwhile, Theory does some pumps in preparation for our main event posedown with Bobby Lashley. Bobby shall not be worthy of a US title opportunity! Strong words.
Chad Gable v. Mustafa Ali
The Ali jobbing tour continues, live on RAW! He needs to build momentum after losing his championship opportunity! Gable takes him down and works the arm to start, but Ali takes him down with a rana. Gable runs him into the corner to take over and gets a bow and arrow hold, and double arm suplex for two. Moonsault misses and Ali makes the comeback with a tornado DDT. To the top, but Otis distracts him and Gable finishes with the rolling german suplex at 3:18. They’re just gonna keep beating this poor guy until he’s completely worthless. *
Veer Mahaan v. Rey Mysterio
How do people watch this show for three hours every week? I was ready to pack it in after the Seth v. AJ match. This thing just keeps GOING. Veer puts the boots to him right away and hits a corner splash while making SCARY FACES, and he tosses Rey to the floor. Back in, Rey comes back with a headscissors, but Veer knees him down, and then charges and hits the post, landing on the floor. So he takes out his frustrations on Dominik, which gets Rey all angry and fired up. And then Veer ignores his offense and finishes with the CERVICAL CLUTCH to tap out Rey at 3:41, complete with SCARY FACE as an exclamation. What a show this has been. Such great booking. DUD
Main Event Posedown: Theory v. Bobby Lashley
Adam Pearce hosts the proceedings, and we run through the usual Vince wet dream poses from Theory and then Lashley, but Theory squirts him with the BABY OIL OF DEATH and celebrates with a selfie to end the show. THANK GOD, I’m done with this show and can let Tommy have it for the next decade again.
I mean, I feel like the term “flaming dumpster fire full of manure” gets a bit overused these days, but that third hour certainly qualified. The Seth-AJ match was pretty good but the rest…yikes. I picked a hell of a week to stop sniffing glue.