Hopefully everyone enjoyed fireworks, food, and lived to tell the tale. Welcome to the Raw after Money in the Bank! Claire is back in the saddle doing her blog, and I’m here filling in the details.
Let’s talk Raw!
One More Road to Cross...
Life after WrestleMania isn’t exactly fun for Becky Lynch. The master of the Big Time can’t get right and keeps coming up short in pursuit of what she believes is her championship. Becky believes Asuka is the author of her all pain. It was Asuka who made her rematch with Bianca Belair a triple threat match at Hell in a Cell. And it’s Asuka who is always lurking.
Asuka, for her part, seemingly made it her mission to make Becky’s life miserable. Asuka believes Becky whines way too much and is so far from the woman who bestowed her the Raw Women’s championship two years ago. If Becky is annoyed, Asuka is disgusted.
But it was Becky who called for a No Holds Barred match. And it was Becky who chose violence when she pulled a table from under the ring before the match even started. Those are touches I love because it’s showing and not telling. Yes, I know Becky hates this woman but illustrating it in a way that serves her character and the match is just good storytelling.
The table, it turns out, was just part of the equation. Asuka and Becky used trash cans, kendo sticks, and chairs as well. Asuka launched a trash can at Becky as her opening salvo! Why hip toss or lock up when you can take out the trash? The other two big moments of the match came courtesy of Asuka superplexing Becky onto a pile of chairs, and, of course, the ending.
In a call back to their match proceeding the Hell in a Cell match, the ending involved a parasol and green mist. Asuka found a parasol under the ring—seriously, who cleans that place?—and Becky snatched it from her. Asuka went for the green mist, which Becky blocked with the parasol. Both women get to the top turnbuckle, with a table positioned directly underneath them. After a bit of a struggle, Becky Manhandle Slams Asuka through the table, getting the W and exorcising her demon.
This was a great way to end the show and a good end to their story. At least for now. I’m not sure what’s next for Asuka. Maybe a change of scenery on Friday nights or a potential feud with Alexa Bliss, which WWE foreshadowed tonight. But Becky wants Bianca’s title. With Carmella, and possibly Rhea Ripley in front of her, we’ll see how David Bowie’s favorite marches forward.
Rey and Dom Phone Home
Props to The Judgment Day. They started the match with a surprise attack, which makes all the sense in the world. They’re bad guys; be bad. Their sneak attack got Rey Mysterio and Dominik’s hometown crowd fully on board with the father and son issuing an ass whopping to Damian Priest and a Finn Balor dressed like a member of The Revolution.
This is a weird spot for Damian and Finn. This is their first true outing as a team and Judgment Day’s first test as a unit without Edge. But, clearly, they’re not beating Rey and Dom in their hometown.
WWE split the baby and gave us a DQ finish. Normally I'd complain about that but Rey used Eddie Guerrero’s chair trick, popped the crowd, got the W, while Damian and Finn keep their shoulders off the mat. We also got a vicious post match beatdown courtesy of Judgment Day to boot. So yeah, I’m pleased.
Miz, as a character, will never out-wrestle AJ Styles. Miz’s only play is outsmarting Styles. For a moment, a very brief moment, Miz found that moment. He used AJ’s momentum against him and threw his head into a middle turnbuckle. But AJ recovered after Miz got in a few licks, and got the W with a Phenomenal Forearm.
Short-lived victory though because the main thing to talk about here is Ciampa. Once again, NXT’s black heart roughed Styles up after the match, giving Miz a chance for the last laugh. After Miz executed a Skull Crushing Finale on Styles, he and Ciampa shook hands. Soo...they’re a thing now? Officially? I’m not sure what they’re doing with Ciampa on the main roster. I’m not even sure they know what they’re doing with him. But at least this is something and hopefully, with Miz, it leads to something more.
Hopefully. I know, I know, just let me dream.
Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan vs. Carmella & Nattie. Before I get to results and who did what to whom, let’s talk about how we got here in as few words as possible.
Liv hit the ring to celebrate her championship. Nattie interrupted and said Liv owes her because without the Sharpshooter injuring Ronda’s knee, Liv isn’t standing there as champ. Liv invited the smoke. Mella came down and said the spotlight is only big enough for her (weird insertion here) and told Liv to get out the ring. Liv, in short: “Make me.” Mella and Nattie double teamed, Bianca hit the ring for the save, and we got a tag match out of it.
Bianca played a supporting role here, as the spotlight truly belonged to the new champion. Bianca and Mella continued their violent dance, while Liv, after getting a very hot tag from Belair, fought her way to hitting an Oblivion on Nattie and getting her first W as champ.
Solid tag match that might give Liv her first contender while Bianca and Mella keep hating each other.
That’s Gonna Leave a Stain
I knew there was more. Ezekiel and Seth Rollins got it on over a ketchup stain. Actually, a very big ketchup stain. WWE did their annual 4th of July party and Zeke, unfortunately, sprayed ketchup all over Seth’s all-white outfit. Seth laughed like a lunatic after seething for a few tense moments. Seth challenged Zeke to a match—for revenge—and the two put on a pretty damn good bout. But
Elias and Rollins always worked well together in the ring.
Seth found an opening and got the W after Zeke scared him several times during the match. But I knew there was more. Seth made his way back to the ring for more revenge, only for Riddle to appear out of nowhere with an RKO to the man forever known as Franklin Rollins.
Riddle and Seth at SummerSlam sounds like a really fun time with the right story in place.
Fans of Wayne’s World know all about “hurl” and what it means. Some of you may even know about the roller coaster named in honor of Wayne and Garth, “The Hurler.” Why am I bringing up random ‘90s trivia? Because the minute Angelo Dawkins and Otis competed in a hot dog eating contest, the hurl was inevitable. Otis ate 23 hot dogs while Dawkins downed 22. Neither man won since Tozawa ate about 40. Anyway, this was prior to both men competing in a six-man tag match. Lashley teamed with the Profits while Theory joined the Alpha Academy.
Shocker, this was a fun tag match between six good wrestlers. Eventually, the match broke down, as six-man tags often do, and Otis was isolated. Now, through the entire match, Otis held his stomach. So you can guess what happened after the big man suffered a spear from Lashley and a frog splash from Montez Ford.
Grant it, Otis survived the attacks and eventually, his partner took the pin after eating a massive Lashley spear. But after the match? Otis hurled. And it was disgusting. But props for following through on Chekov’s hot dog.
As an aside, the Profits are still rightly upset at how their Money in the Bank tag match ended, and Theory challenged Lashley to a United States championship rematch at SummerSlam.
Look, I know I’m not in the best mood this Independence Day because...well, take your pick, so I’m not the target audience for Gunther vs. R-Truth. Truth, dressed as Uncle Sam, celebrated the film Independence Day, and shouted out the country’s true hero, Vivica A. Fox. And to that, good sir, we are in total agreement. That said, I’m really not feeling a Black man coming out dressed as Uncle Sam in the moment either. Why? Well, again, take your pick.
Anyway, this was the usual “let’s tout out the foreigner for heat on July 4th,” trope that WWE can’t leave in the ‘80s. Gunther came out, got booed, the bell rang, he beat up Uncle Truth, the bell rang, and he walked out with his title in hand.
This entire thing was a big “nah” from me. Well, minus the Vivica shout out. Watch her in that movie and dare to disagree.
Raw gave us some good stuff this week. We got some SummerSlam table setting, with quality matches. I can always do without the obvious time-filling video packages and the less said about that Gunther/R-Truth match the better. That said, if there is a big knock on the show, it’s that nothing truly major happened. This wasn’t a newsy show when it should be with SummerSlam still three weeks away. One of WWE’s weaknesses is sustaining momentum for stories over that period of time. As a result, they normally rush into the actual storytelling aspect one week away from a big show, which isn’t ideal.
That’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.