Monday Night Raw
Date: June 20, 2022
Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
We are less than two weeks away from Money in the Bank and that means we are probably in for some qualifying matches. Those can make for some interesting showdowns, though I’m not sure I would get my hopes up for that around here. On top of that, Riddle gets to deal with the fallout of losing to Roman Reigns on Smackdown. Let’s get to it.
In Memory Of Tim White.
Here is Bianca Belair for a chat. After getting in her catchphrases, she says that the match with Rhea Ripley isn’t happening….for now. So who gets the title shot at Money in the Bank instead? Tonight we have five women competing, in the form of Alexa Bliss, Liv Morgan, Carmella, Asuka and Becky Lynch, in a fatal five way match to see who gets the shot. All five competitors come out one by one to say they should get the title shot while also taking shots at each other. Belair says she is ready for a fight so let’s have the match. Standard revolving door intro as the women continue to be catty to each other.
Alexa Bliss vs. Liv Morgan vs. Asuka vs. Becky Lynch vs. Carmella
One fall to a finish. Bliss and Morgan trade rollups to start and then roll around the ring on a small package attempt. Carmella comes back in to cover both of them until Asuka comes in to miss a bunch of strikes to the face. A spinning backfist drops Carmella but Becky trips Asuka to the floor. Bliss’ running Blockbuster gets two on Carmella, who rolls Bliss up and yells at her. Back in and Morgan sends Carmella into the corner before going up, only to be shoved onto the pile. Corey: “Who is headed to Money in the” and we go to a break.
Back with Becky escaping the Asuka Lock and hitting the Manhandle Slam on Asuka. Bliss comes off the top for the save and gets her own two with Morgan and Carmella making their own save. Becky drops Morgan but gets pulled to the floor by Asuka for the save. Bliss tries Twisted Bliss but hits raised knees, only to have Carmella superkick Morgan for the pin at 12:23.
Rating: C-. So they’re just punting on the title match? I’m not sure why Ripley is out but Belair could probably wrestle herself to a more interesting match than anything Carmella is going to be able to offer. Carmella hasn’t been around since Wrestlemania but now she gets a title match because someone is out? I know Becky and Asuka vs. Belair have been done but….Carmella? It’s almost like having such a shallow women’s division can cause problems.
Post match, Becky Lynch is yelling about not being at Money in the Bank. Post break, Becky is still yelling and eventually gets a Money in the Bank qualifying match against Asuka for later tonight. Becky is not pleased, though she might not be as surprised if she had read the official Raw preview that advertised Lynch vs. Asuka in a qualifying match.
Here is Vince McMahon for a chat. This week marks the 1517th episode of Raw, continuing its role as the longest running weekly episodic show in history. For that, Vince thanks the fans for being there for them. Twenty of those years have been dominated by John Cena, who is back next week. End of speech, though Vince does trip a bit on the way out of the ring. Now that felt like trolling.
Video on Roman Reigns vs. Riddle on Smackdown, with Reigns retaining but getting taken out by the returning Brock Lesnar after the fact. Reigns vs. Lesnar, Last Man Standing at Summerslam.
Here is Riddle for a chat before his Money in the Bank qualifying match. Before the match, Riddle talks about swearing vengeance against Roman Reigns for injuring Randy Orton. He got THIS close on Smackdown but a big spear was enough to beat him. Now Riddle can’t challenge for the title again, but he can win Money in the Bank and cash in to end Reigns’ reign of terror. We hear about the other participants, with Riddle wanting to hit Seth Rollins with a ladder for what he did to Cody Rhodes.
Cue Omos and MVP to interrupt, with MVP suggesting that Riddle is REALLY high right now if he thinks he has a chance against Omos. Tonight, Riddle is going to have a bad comedown when Omos slams him down. Riddle likes the joke but promises to take Omos down with an RKO, which is spelled with three letters.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Riddle vs. Omos
Riddle has taped up ribs but charges at him to start, setting up some rapid fire kicks in the corner. Omos takes him down with a side slam and hits a running elbow to crush Riddle. The logical bearhug goes on for a good while until Riddle fights out again. Some running shots in the corner are cut off by a toss across the ring but Riddle gets his feet up in the corner. The Floating Bro staggers Omos but the RKO is countered into the chokebomb for the pin at 3:51.
Rating: C-. These losses with Riddle trying so many of Orton’s moves and mannerisms could be leading somewhere, as I could see Orton being sick of Riddle losing using his stuff. Throw in Riddle dedicating a huge match to Orton and then losing and some seeds are being planted. Riddle vs. Orton is a huge match if that is where they want to go, and waiting so much longer makes it worth the effort. Or RKBro is back as the most over act on Raw. Kind of hard to lose either way there.
Post match Omos lays Riddle out again and leaves, with Seth Rollins coming to the ring. Rollins kicks him to the floor and laughs at Riddle for losing back to back matches. He promises to win the briefcase and cash it in on Roman Reigns, who has been ducking him since the Royal Rumble. The speech takes so long that Riddle gets back in, only to get kicked in the ribs and Stomped.
Here is Theory, on the pose down platform from last week, for a chat. After looking at a recap of Theory spraying baby oil on Bobby Lashley to blind him last week, Theory brags about how great he is and how no one can touch him. Next week is the twenty year celebration of John Cena but Cena’s time is up and Cena’s time is now. Theory does some poses but Lashley pops up behind him. Theory loads up the selfie and sees Lashley, who blinds him with the baby oil. The spear cuts Theory down and Lashley promises to take the US Title. Good segment here, as that selfie thing is a good way to go for Theory.
We recap Edge being thrown out of the Judgment Day a few weeks back.
Theory is annoyed about Bobby Lashley, who doesn’t deserve a US Title match. However, Adam Pearce has ruled that if Lashley can win a gauntlet match tonight, he gets the title shot at Money in the Bank. Three opponents to be named.
Jey Uso vs. Angelo Dawkins
Before the match, the Usos promise to keep smashing people and the Street Profits want to fight. Dawkins sends him into the corner to start for a spinning splash. Jey low bridges him to the floor though and there’s the suicide dive. Some right hands rock Dawkins and we take an early break. Back with Jey hitting a pop up neckbreaker for two but walking into the Silencer. A superkick drops Dawkins so Jey goes up top, only to dive into a Sky High for the pin at 7:20.
Rating: C. Not much to this one again and that isn’t surprising. It’s the same idea that we have seen time after time as WWE’s ability to book a tag feud continues to be more or less horrible. This does give the Profits a bit of momentum, but it isn’t like this is some great idea. Just get on with it and give us what should be a nice tag match at the pay per view.
We see Elias in the back playing guitar when Ezekiel comes in to say Elias is his #1 fan. They sit on a couch together, with Elias talking about going around the world, writing songs and playing shows. Elias says he is a changed man and won’t be insulting Nebraska when he goes out there. He is proud of what Ezekiel has done and hits the Walk With Elias catchphrase. They seem cool with each other, despite sitting on very opposite ends of the couch for no adequately explained reason.
Here is Elias in the ring for a concert. After hitting the catchphrase, Elias is ready for a song about Ezekiel but here is Kevin Owens to interrupt. Owens doesn’t buy any of this and accuses them of FAKING THE VIDEO. Owens: “I SAW A MOVIE WITH A T-REX IN IT LAST WEEK!” Ezekiel pops up on screen to say that they are different people and wishes Elias luck with the concert. Owens is a little bewildered and Elias sings about how he is back for one night and Owens is a liar. That’s enough for Owens, who goes after Elias but gets beaten down. The guitar to the back sends Owens bailing.
We cut to the back where Owens falls through the curtain and explains how Elias did all of that and blames Elias for everything. He wants to face Elias, Ezekiel or their younger brother Elrod next week….so here is Ezekiel to accept the challenge. Owens is so mad that he…sits down in a chair. Owens: “ELROD!!!”
Bobby Lashley has to beat three opponents in a row to win here. First up it’s Chad Gable, who gets taken down to the mat without much effort. Back up and Lashley sends him flying with a suplex, followed by a running forearm to knock Gable outside. Gable gets posted and then rather delayed vertical suplexed back inside. The spear is countered into an ankle lock though and Lashley is in trouble. Back up and Gable hits the moonsault, only to have Lashley pop up and grab the Hurt Lock for the tap at 5:42.
Otis comes straight in to jump Lashley though and sends him into the barricade. A splash on the floor crushes Lashley and we take a break. Back with Otis grabbing a neck crank but missing a Vader bomb. The Downward Spiral plants Otis but he fights out of the Hurt Lock. Instead, Lashley hits the spear but Gable comes in for the DQ at 14:22 (total). The beatdown is on until Theory is the third man. Theory hammers away and loads up the A Town Down but Lashley reverses into a cradle for the pin at 16:44.
Rating: C. This is a great example of WWE overthinking something and screwing it up without needing to. You could have gotten the same result and more or less the same match by having this be a handicap with Otis and Gable instead of Theory. Have Theory jump in after the match and get speared or something, which gives you the same ending and no pinfall on the champ. But why do that when you have one idea and insist on running with it?
Bianca Belair isn’t surprised about Carmella getting the title shot and lists off her catchphrases until Carmella jumps her from behind. Belair is so annoyed that she gets up and stares.
It’s time for MizTV, with special guest AJ Styles. After Miz mocks Styles’ theme song, Miz talks about how Styles has been on a losing streak in recent weeks and calls AJ a failure. Miz insults the University of Nebraska but AJ sucks up to them, saying this is Cornhusker country. AJ thinks Miz must be annoyed with his popcorn sized testicles, but Miz insists that this WILL NOT become a thing. He brags about all of his success until AJ talks about how he has had some issues as of late. The brawl is on with Ciampa coming in to knock AJ outside. I like the visual, but do something with Ciampa other than having him start then lose.
Ciampa vs. AJ Styles
Miz is on commentary and Ciampa jumps Styles to start, setting up a running knee to the head. The chinlock goes on but Styles is back with the fireman’s carry backbreaker for two. Ciampa is back with a right hand but the Fairy Tale Ending is countered with a backdrop. The Phenomenal Forearm finishes Ciampa at 4:19.
Rating: C. Another match that should have been better and treated as a big deal but why do that when you can have Ciampa lose again? I know it’s a bunch of backstage politics nonsense, but you look around at the roster and decide that an NXT legend who looks great and can go isn’t worth anything? It’s another case of WWE not just accepting what is right in front of them and that is really, really frustrating.
Post match Styles lays out an invading Miz and steals his sunglasses.
Veer Mahaan talks about how awesome he is and promises more destruction. Fear him. I fear anything involving Veer so they’re off to a good start.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Becky Lynch vs. Asuka
Becky jumps her on the stage but Asuka tries the armbar at the bell. That’s broken up but so is the Disarm-Her, allowing Asuka to kick away. They head up top with Becky knocking her down, only to get caught with a running kick to the face. Becky kicks her outside though and we take a break.
Back with Asuka hitting the hip attack and grabbing the ankle lock. With that broken up, Asuka hits a missile dropkick for two before they head to the apron. Becky stomps her way out of a powerbomb attempt but gets kneed out of the air for the double knockdown. They both beat the count back in, where Asuka blasts her with a kick to the head for the pin at 12:14.
Rating: B-. As usual, there is one match on this show that works because you have some talented people get in the ring and have their match. The problem again though is this is burning through another match between two of the top women in the division when you didn’t need to. Asuka vs. Becky is a big match, but not so much when it has been done so many times.
Becky freaks out to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. This was a good example of a show where the majority of the show wasn’t so much bad, but rather a mixture of frustrating and boring. There was very little on this show that would make me want to see either next week’s show or the pay per view. You had a champion getting pinned when he didn’t need to, a bunch of rematches, a tag match between singles wrestlers and Ciampa losing again. It feels like they were playing Bingo with the most annoying and tried and false ideas that they have over and over again. Nothing show, and that’s a bad sign on the way to Money in the Bank.
Carmella b. Becky Lynch, Asuka, Liv Morgan and Alexa Bliss – Superkick to Morgan
Omos b. Riddle – Chokebomb
Angelo Dawkins b. Jey Uso – Sky High
Bobby Lashley won a gauntlet match last eliminating Theory
AJ Styles b. Ciampa – Phenomenal Forearm
Asuka b. Becky Lynch – Kick to the head
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