Monday Night Raw
Date: June 27, 2022
Location: Sames Auto Arena, Laredo, Texas
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Jimmy Smith
It’s a very special night as John Cena is here to celebrate twenty years (to the day) of his WWE debut. That should be enough to carry the night and that might need to be the case. This is also the go home edition of Raw for Money In The Bank, meaning it’s time to build momentum, establish dominance, and maybe even come up with an original tagline for what the participants are doing. Let’s get to it.
Earlier today, John Cena returned to quite the hero’s welcome, meeting a bunch of applauding wrestlers and backstage workers. He does kind of deserve it.
Money In The Bank Qualifying Match: Battle Royal
T-Bar, Mustafa Ali, Shanky, Akira Tozawa, Rey Mysterio, Dominik Mysterio, Ricochet, Shinsuke Nakamura, Jinder Mahal, Riddle, Miz, AJ Styles, Ciampa, Reggie, Shelton Benjamin, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, Veer Mahaan
Tozawa is tossed out fast and Mahaan clotheslines Benjamin out. The Mysterios and Ali get together and eliminate Mahaan, leaving R-Truth to try to dance with Shanky. Mahal is having none of that though and Truth is tossed. Styles eliminates Mahal and Shanky, with T-Bar throwing Reggie onto them.
We take a break and come back with Ali gone at Ciampa’s knee but Styles knocks Ciampa out. Miz blocks Rey’s 619 and hits the short DDT, which isn’t enough for the elimination. Dominik tries to get rid of Ziggler but gets tossed himself. Miz manages to toss Rey but can’t do the same to Riddle, who gets back in underneath the bottom rope. Ricochet knocks T-Bar to the apron, where he pulls Ricochet out with him.
Ricochet gets thrown onto a standing ladder before diving back to the apron. A not so great headscissors takes T-Bar out as we take another break. Back again with Riddle, Miz, Ziggler, Ricochet, Nakamura and Styles still alive. Miz hits a middle rope ax handle on Riddle but hurts his leg on the landing and goes down. Nakamura knocks Ziggler out but gets kicked to the floor by Riddle. Miz is down on the floor (not eliminated) with medics looking at his knee as Ricochet is catapulted onto the middle rope.
A spinning crossbody is dropkicked out of the air by Styles, who throws Ricochet out. That leaves us with Riddle vs. Styles, with Corey saying we’re down to two. Styles loads up the Phenomenal Forearm but Miz pops up to pull Styles out, meaning it’s Miz vs. Riddle. The hanging DDT drops Miz but he counters the RKO into the Skull Crushing Finale. Riddle manages to hurricanrana him out to the apron and the RKO is good enough to give Riddle the win at 19:23.
Rating: C. It was a battle royal and they almost had to go with Riddle getting the win here. At the end of the day, he has one of the biggest stories in the company at the moment and it involves Roman Reigns. As for the match itself, it was a long battle royal but at least they had some star power there at the end and that is what makes these work as well as they can most of the time.
Commentary: The field is complete!
Commentary: There is one spot left!
Get it together people.
The Street Profits introduce John Cena….but he’s on the wrong side, meaning the camera has to swing around a bit. They ask Cena for advice at Money In The Bank but he reminds them of their success. Cena tells them to never stop, which they interpret as……Never Give Up.
Shawn Michaels, Big Show (he doesn’t even go here), Booker T., Daniel Bryan (he doesn’t even go here either), Trish Stratus and HHH all congratulate Cena on his 20 years.
Riddle is fired up about Money in the Bank and shakes Kevin Patrick to blow off some of the steam.
Jimmy Uso vs. Montez Ford
Uso runs him over to start but gets armdragged into an armbar for his efforts. That’s broken up and they head outside, with Ford being sent into the steps as we take a break. Back with Ford fighting up and hitting a clothesline, followed by a kick to the ribs. The running Blockbuster gives Ford two and he hits a heck of a dive against the barricade. Back in and one heck of a frog splash finishes Jimmy at 9:50.
Rating: C+. They had a good enough match here, but I could go for ANYTHING ELSE to keep the story going until Saturday. Have them talk to each other if you have to, but find a way to fill in the gap a bit differently. They’ve done this over and over now and odds are we’ll see it again on Smackdown, because you have to complete the concept you see.
The Mysterios run into Finn Balor and Damian Priest. Balor talks about Rey coming up on his 20 year anniversary but says Rey hasn’t been doing so well as of late. Priest gives Dominik a sales pitch and Rey has to be held back. The match seems to be set for next week in San Diego.
Here’s a long John Cena career retrospective, complete with a look at Cena debuting against Kurt Angle and Undertaker giving him the famous handshake of respect. We also see stuff on his Make-A-Wish work and wrap it up with the testimonials. I know he might not be the most popular and there are some fair criticisms about him, but my goodness Cena is one of the all time legends for a reason.
Here is Miz for a chat, but first we need to look at Logan Paul training at the Performance Center. Miz promises that he and Paul will be back at Summerslam, but first we need to look at Miz turning on Paul at Wrestlemania. Miz mocks the idea of the interviewer being a journalist and hypes up his own media career. After Wrestlemania, he told Paul that was an education and promises that they will be Tag Team Champions. The only disappointment is AJ Styles, which prompts a question about Miz’s tiny……and we are NOT making that a thing. Cue AJ to deck Miz and the match is on.
AJ Styles vs. Miz
Styles starts fast and hits the drop down dropkick but Miz is right back with a shot of his own. The running crotch attack in the ropes drops AJ again and the ax handle gives Miz two. The chinlock goes on for a bit, only to have Miz get knocked to the floor. Styles misses the moonsault though and Miz drops him again as we take a break.
Back with Miz hitting the YES Kicks but AJ snaps off a German suplex for a breather. The fireman’s carry neckbreaker gives AJ two but Miz gets in a shot of his own to cut him off. AJ counters the Skull Crushing Finale into a rollup for two and there’s a brainbuster to leave both of them down. Styles loads up the Phenomenal Forearm but Miz bails to the floor and takes the countout at 13:00.
Rating: C. Not exactly a great match but Miz being a coward continues to work out for him. This felt like a match sent out there to fill in time though and that is rarely a good feeling. It was fine while it lasted, but both guys seem to be waiting on something to do. Miz has that in the form of Logan Paul, though I don’t know about Styles at the moment.
John Cena meets Ezekiel, which has him a bit confused. Cena asks about Elias, who is apparently giving Elrod (yes Elrod) a tour. His advice to Ezekiel though: never forget who you really are. Ezekiel leaves but Theory comes in and hypes himself up, listing off his accomplishments. Oh and Cena is a grown man wearing jorts. Theory loads up the selfie but Cena slips away.
Kurt Angle, Randy Orton, JBL, Chris Jericho (there’s a gasp), Stephanie McMahon and Steve Austin all pay tribute to John Cena.
Here is Bianca Belair for a chat. After a look at Carmella jumping her last week, Belair lists off her catchphrases and tells Carmella to come get her right now. Cue Carmella to say she has the beauty and the brains and is going to take the title on Saturday. Kevin Patrick tries to ask Belair another question so Carmella tries a cheap shot, which earns her a right hand to the face. Belair stands tall. This felt like they had to get these two on the show and they couldn’t think of anything else.
Liv Morgan and Alexa Bliss are friends now but they won’t be on Saturday. Badly written lines with worse line reading ensues.
Liv Morgan vs. Alexa Bliss
Asuka is on commentary. Feeling out process to start with some grappling going to Bliss. She misses the moonsault knees though as Asuka can’t quite master English again. Bliss avoids a middle rope dropkick and grabs the chinlock. Back up and Oblivion misses, allowing Bliss to grab the DDT. That’s countered into a rollup to give Morgan the pin at 3:23, leaving Asuka worried/surprised.
Rating: C-. Asuka was a bit of a distraction here but the match wasn’t going to be much in the first place. This felt like the kind of match where Morgan was supposed to build momentum but, as is the case every time, it has nothing to do with a ladder match. I don’t know how much of a chance either of them have on Saturday, though I can take these two getting a few minutes to remind us that they’re around.
Video on John Cena’s Make-A-Wish stuff. Still absolutely incredible.
Here is Vince McMahon to introduce John Cena, who comes through a tunnel of adoring stars. With Vince gone, Cena says this is a milestone, which he rarely likes to celebrate because he is always looking forward. However, tonight he has been looking back at what he has done and he couldn’t do it without these people. Cena has been allowed to do this for two decades and that is because of the fans.
The people have been honest enough to tell him when he sucks and kind enough to tell him when he doesn’t. Cena has been waiting for that right moment and this feels like that right moment. We get a THANK YOU CENA chant and he says his heart is beating out of his chest. Cena thanks the fans for moments like that one and for making him who he is. He has always said WWE prepared him for anything and he doesn’t mean Fast and the Furious or Peacemaker.
WWE has made him a better human being, person and husband. Spending moments with the families he has spent time with today has taught him empathy and kindness. The fans have taught him humility and perseverance and every time he gets in the ring, he gives everything he has because these fans give him everything they have. This isn’t about a last name but about people coming together and he’s 45 years old. He doesn’t know when you’ll see him again, though he isn’t saying it isn’t happening. Fans: “ONE MORE MATCH!” Cena: “It ain’t just gonna be one. Don’t worry about that.”
It isn’t about him but about us. If you like something, tell the people. If you see something that sucks, tell the people. Cena thanks the people and asks Laredo to show what kind of noise they can make. Some catchphrases wrap us up. Cena didn’t say much here, but it felt a lot more real than some of the things he usually says. Good stuff, even if it didn’t mean a great deal.
Alpha Academy vs. Bobby Lashley
Theory is guest enforcer. Lashley can’t clothesline Otis down to start but he can shoulder him down. Theory gets on the apron to break up the suplex attempt though, leaving Lashley to send Otis into the corner. Lashley chases Theory outside, allowing Chad Gable to hit a flip dive off the apron. Otis adds the splash and we take a break.
Back with Lashley still in trouble but fighting out of a neck crank. Otis breaks up a superplex and powerbombs Lashley down, setting up Gable’s moonsault for two. Otis goes up this time but Lashley catches him in an electric chair. Gable comes off the top, only to land in the Hurt Lock for the tap at 8:18.
Rating: C. All this match did is make me wonder why we didn’t get to see this match last week to set up Lashley vs. Theory at Money In The Bank. It kept Theory from taking a loss and served the entirely same purpose. At least they kept Lashley looking strong and he should be in for a good match against Theory at the show.
Post match the beatdown is on but Lashley fights them all off.
We look at Cody Rhodes defeating Seth Rollins inside the Cell and Rollins attacking him the next night on Raw.
We get an interview with Cody, who has his pectoral muscle taped up while sitting in a gym. Cody says he might have been flying a little too close to the sun and now he is out for nine months, though he is trying to beat that. He gives his thoughts on the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match, which includes Rollins. If Rollins wins, Cody will be the first to congratulate him.
Seth Rollins comes up to John Cena in the back and laughs to the tune of Cena’s music. Rollins compares their careers and success before saying he’ll win Money in the Bank. Then Omos pops up to scare Rollins a bit, which MVP seems to like. Rollins looks to Cena for help but Cena wishes him luck and bails.
Money in the Bank rundown.
Becky Lynch vs. Tamina vs. Doudrop vs. Nikki Ash vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Xia Li
Elimination match and everyone jumps Becky to start. The ring is cleared other than Tamina and Doudrop but Nikki breaks up the staredown. Ash breaks that up but the fight goes through anyway, allowing Becky to come in with a Molly Go Round to Doudrop. Li comes back in to roll Becky up for two but Li has to deal with Ash. The Manhandle Slam gets rid of Li at 2:32 so it’s Shayna coming in to go after Becky.
With that broken up, Doudrop comes in to crush Shayna in the corner but Tamina makes a save. Ash sends Tamina into Becky’s missile dropkick, only to have Becky Disarm Ash for the tap at 4:25. We take a break and come back with Becky suplexing Baszler against the barricade but Doudrop crushes Becky and Tamina against the same barricade.
Back in and we hit the Tower of Doom to leave everyone laying again in the big crash. Baszler kneebars Tamina but gets splashed by Doudrop for the pin at 10:55. Tamina Samoan drops Becky but misses the Superfly Splash. Doudrop Vader Bombs Tamina for the pin at 12:22, ending my thinking that WWE might actually go there. That leaves Doudrop to miss the Vader Bomb on Becky, who is back with a super Manhandle Slam for the win at 13:18.
Rating: C+. Did they just forget about Becky being a heel for a night? This was Becky mowing down the women’s undercard without much trouble and acting like a total heroine the whole time. I was slightly worried that they would go with Tamina here but they got Becky into the match, as they needed to do. Just remember what kind of a person she is at the moment.
Overall Rating: C. Cena carried this show with star power alone because the rest of the show was only so good. It was about building up two spots in the ladder matches and a few other things for Saturday, as the card is only looking so interesting. You can only get so much out of a pay per view that is about a future title shot rather than the title that night, which might explain why it is in the friendly confines of an arena. The show wasn’t all that exciting, but Cena helped it along well enough.
Riddle won a battle royal last eliminating Miz
Montez Ford b. Jimmy Uso – Frog splash
AJ Styles b. Miz via countout
Liv Morgan b. Alexa Bliss – Small package
Bobby Lashley b. Alpha Academy – Hurt Lock to Gable
Becky Lynch won a five woman elimination match last eliminating Doudrop
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