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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (July 21, 2014): Lesnar returns, Stephanie arrested, SummerSlam!

WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (July 21, 2014) from Miami, Florida, featuring the fallout show from the Battleground pay-per-view (PPV) that went down this past Sunday night in Tampa, Florida. It was an unbelievable improvement from the night before.

Click here to get full results with the live blog. Let's get to reacting to all the night's events


Ladies and gentlemen...

There are no words to accurately describe Paul Heyman and the manner in which he absolutely owns everything about pro wrestling. He is a master at what he does, and that's especially impressive because he does it all.

I'm just going to transcribe his promo from last night and let you read his brilliance:

"My name is Paul Heyman and my client Brock Lesnar conquered the Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Which is why, at this moment, my client hereby officially announces his intention to conquer John Cena and take the WWE world heavyweight championship at SummerSlam.

"Now, my client officially acknowledges this divide that permeates through the WWE Universe. There are those who wear their green t-shirts and pump up sneakers, and they scream with great passion their love and adulation for their hero by saying at the top of their lungs 'let's go Cena'. And there are those who offer the contrarian opinion and whose mommies don't tuck them into bed at night and they will say with great fervor and passion 'Cena sucks!'

"Now, it doesn't matter to my client which side of the fence you want to ride on. This malpracticing Dr. of Thuganomics is in for the beating of a lifetime. I don't just stand out there and spew hype and hyperbole. I exploit historical facts to shove my points down your throats. To wit: I offer you what happened the last time my client, Brock Lesnar, zeroed in on someone and decided to give them a beating.

"For years, everybody said I want to be the one to beat the Undertaker and snap the streak. But that wasn't good enough for Brock Lesnar. At WrestleMania, my client, Brock Lesnar, gave such a violent beating to the Undertaker that Vince McMahon had to ride in the ambulance to the hospital with the Undertaker because even our heartless chairman was concerned for a dead man's well being and life.

"Oh, John Cena? That same beating awaits you. And please don't confuse my client with some stereotypical vilain that comes out here and say 'John, you can escape this beating by giving up your title and laying it down at my feet.' Brock Lesnar makes you no such offer. John Cena, you can't escape this beating.

"At SummerSlam, my client, Brock Lesnar, will take John Cena down.

"Brock Lesnar will punch John Cena's face in.

"John Cena, you are going to be hurt by Brock Lesnar.

"Brock Lesnar is going to injure John Cena.

"Brock Lesnar is going to mangle John Cena.

"And then, and only then, Brock Lesnar is going to F-5 John Cena and strip John Cena of the dignity of being the WWE world heavyweight champion the same way Brock Lesnar stripped the Undertaker of his dignity and exposed the streak as just being a myth; the same myth that Brock Lesnar hears every week on television when John Cena is referred to as being the greatest WWE champion of all time. Fifteen world titles in 10 years... now that sounds like something worth conquering.

"I pledge allegiance to the greatness of the conquerer who stands before me. And to his dominance, for which I stand, one Cenation, under John, now divisible, with no more hustle, loyalty, or respect for all.

"Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman and I'm the one behind the 1 in 21 and 1, and at SummerSlam, my client, Brock Lesnar, will beat John Cena and become the WWE heavyweight champion of the world."

We're not worthy.

Segment grade: A



He wins ... always

Triple H knew.

He absolutely knew.

Triple H knew that Battleground was going to piss people off. He may not have known the matches would be as sloppy as they were, or that the stalling they had to do would come across so bad, or that people would generally respond with as much vitiriol as they did for almost everything about the show.

What he knew was that a lot of fans were going to get pissed about John Cena winning (something something LOL something something) and, thanks to the great power of social media, they were going to give voice to that in the time between the PPV and last night's episode of Raw.

He also knew Raw was going to tear the house down with a show featuring Stephanie McMahon getting arrested and Brock Lesnar returning.

Oh, and no John Cena.

So he went out at the start of the show and did some trolling. Knowing all would be forgiven by the end of the night, he went out and blasted the fans for tweeting about how much they hate WWE for all its booking decisions and how much they constantly threaten to riot and/or stop watching altogether.

"You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to tweet my displeasure. That's right, I'm going to jump on social media and I'm going to tweet about it until my fingers bleed. I might even send an Instagram or a Vine. That's right, and in that tweet in however many characters I get, I am going to threaten. That's right, if I don't get what I want, I'm going to riot. And if that doesn't work, well then by god, me and my friend Mark, we're going to stop watching."

In the same way Vince McMahon was the perfect villain for Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1998, Triple H is the perfect villain for the Internet Wrestling Community in 2014.

Long may he reign.

Segment grade: A



Brie Bella may not be the greatest performer, but she's clearly getting better as this storyline with Stephanie McMahon moves along. She played her role well last night as the fired superstar who outsmarts her former bosses by simply buying a ticket to their show.

And, of course, calling Stephanie McMahon a bitch and ensuring this dude gets his 15 minutes of fame (GIF via


But it's Stephanie who makes this.

That simultaneous mic grab and slap. Those spooky fingers as Brie lunged at her. The way she called Brie a quitter and a loser as she was being led from the building by security.

All perfect.

We couldn't have known, however, that WWE would pay attention to the details like they so often fail to do. That Brie, as a paying customer who purchased a ticket to watch the show, was assaulted by a performer so she would do what any normal person would in a situation like that.

Call the cops.

They arrived at the perfect time, too, just after a Flo Rida concert that was probably fun for everyone in the building but awful for viewers at home. When the lights came up and two policemen were arguing with Stephanie, it became clear what was happening.

And, again, Stephanie was perfect.

She's used to being the boss, so she argues, thinking she will get her way like she always does. She admits to slapping Brie, perhaps thinking there's no way she'll actually get arrested at her own show, and they arrest her.

This quickly turns to furious anger when Brie shows back up and they square off again, Stephanie, in a rage, screaming that Brie is "GOING TO PAY" before telling the cops she would have their badges and they don't know how much power she really has.

This is how entitled rich people in power act. They think they're untouchable.

It's what makes the rest so delicious.

Stephanie gets to the back, as seen in the third video, and Triple H finally arrives to find out what's going on. He starts making demands of the police and she briefly believes all will be well and she won't be taken away because "you see who my husband is".

But there's nothing he can do, and they continue walking her to the car. It's then she breaks down and her true colors show. She's scared to death, and near tears, and freaking out. She's yelling at the police that it's all their fault while pleading and begging to be let go.

Stephanie was way too good at getting arrested. Her seamless transitioning from every emotion in the book was flawless.

And this angle made Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella the hottest match WWE has right now. That's amazing to think of, but I absolutely cannot wait for what I'm sure will be an awful match, and that just makes it that much more amazing, doesn't it?

Segment(s) grade: A+


But not least:

  • The Paige heel turn was everything we could have hoped for, right? The insincerity was always bizarre but it needed to be to set up that moment when AJ tried to leave and Paige slammed her down by her hair -- and Lee was rag dolled on that spot, which added so much to it; she'll be a great babyface champion considering how much she's willing to give in matches -- before headbutting her into oblivion and screaming that scream of hers. It was all so perfectly executed.
  • Bo Dallas is still on a winning streak in matches that aren't battle royals and Damien LeBrondow was just as amazing as we all thought he would be. Remember when there were still so many complaints about Sandow not being higher up on the card and how he deserved better? The fact that that talk went away is a testament to how great he's been in this role, which is to play every role imaginable.
  • Chris Jericho selling death while Bray Wyatt leaned against the locker he just went Sister Abigail on was the visual of the night. I do love that The Wyatt Family both waited for Tom Phillips to run away before attacking "Y2J" and the only two wrestlers to check on him while he was bleeding from his ear were R-Truth and Zack Ryder.
  • Sister Abigail?
  • Cesaro is no longer a Paul Heyman Guy and we only know this because he just walked up to Triple H and said "hey, I'm no longer a Paul Heyman Guy". This was lazy writing at its worst. At least we got a decent Cesaro vs. Dean Ambrose match later. Still, what the hell is the idea with the Swiss Also-ran Superman?
  • I loved that Zack Ryder thought he was the coolest cat in town with Summer Rae and Layla on his arm, like he doesn't realize he's still the dumb loser who is being used by the two women who just want to continue to rub salt in Fandango's wounds. It so perfectly fits Ryder's character.
  • That said, Ryder won a match on the same show Dolph Ziggler won a match. No need to go check your calendars, yes, this is still 2014 and that's a real thing that happened. The Miz is still Intercontinental champion and he just got a great match from a guy who gives great matches without losing heet while Dolph, dare I say it, looks strong if he's needed later. Mission accomplished on this one.
  • We're all totally in support of a new Nation of Domination, right?
  • WWE handled Lana and Rusev just right after the controversy they created at Battleground. I would have considered keeping them off the show altogether unless they were going to go the full nine with it, but deciding to trot them out and only let Lana speak in Russian before being cut off by Great Khali was fine.
  • Those pre-tapes with Stardust and Goldust have been in the can for months now, haven't they? They binged one night and just taped a million bizarre segments backstage and they're just going to play a new one on every single WWE show until the end of eternity, aren't they?

This was one of the best Raw episodes I can remember. So much fun, up and down the board.

Overall grade: A

That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you like it, if you liked it at all?

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