Scott’s Raw Recap 6/30/14

One back...one to go? (Courtesy WWE)
One back…one to go? (Courtesy WWE)

Monday Night Raw
June 30, 2014
Hartford, Connecticut

We open with a montage from last night in Boston (which I was at, great crowd) and the main event which saw John Cena become a 15-time World Champion. Everybody has bitched and moaned about it all day, but there is a method to their scrappy madness. We then head into the XL (formerly Hartford Civic) Center and immediately get ON YOUR KNEES DOG. Last night Triple H and Stephanie were not happy at the end, but tonight they have their usual shit-eating grins on. Hey that guy has a Whalers sign! We’ll see a lot of those tonight. Stephanie enjoys the homecoming since she was born in Hartford. For the first time in months we have CM Punk chants. She talks about Daniel Bryan’s now much longer recovery. She talks about Seth Rollins’ MITB win and how he holds the gold briefcase. She guarantees that when that contract is cashed in, we will have a new WWE World Champion. Triple H then glows over the new WWE World Champion, #15 last night. John Cena comes out, and he was the belts snapped together and around his neck. That actually looks pretty cool. Cena has this cool old school 2004 thing about him tonight. I like it. First off Cena says to Daniel Bryan when he comes back he will get a title shot and that elicits a YES YES YES chant. Stephanie big times that and announces that Cena will be on the cover of the WWE 2K15 game, which comes out soon. Cena is curious why they are so happy. He shows last night when the Authority were clearly not happy that Cena won. Stephanie said that was taken out of context, as they were concerned about Randy Orton and Kane. Cena and Triple H talk “thug” about being in New England. Triple H says he likes Cena and he has no beef with him, so Cena can do things the easy way or the hard way. Cena says he’ll do it the way he always does it, the hard way. So Triple H announces on July 20 at Battleground in Tampa, Cena will defend the title in a Fatal-Four Way match against Randy Orton and THE DEMON Kane, and tonight he’ll face those guys in a tag team match and Cena’s partner will be the other guy in the 4-way; Roman Reigns. Good pop for that. Cena gives Stephanie “crap about a pool of crap.” He leaves but Triple H reminds Cena that “there’s always a plan B” and with that out comes the current Mr. MITB, Seth Rollins. He’s in our first match.

MATCH: Seth Rollins vs. Rob Van Dam
These guys have already worked a few TV matches and look good together. That opening promo was pretty good, as I like this dynamic with Cena and the Authority. Cena had a different feel tonight, he really did. He wasn’t as cheesy or silly as he normally is. Rollins hits this cool reversal where he rolls RVD over and creates this single leg crab submission. Good back and forth and a great spot has RVD go for the Froggie, but Rollins rolls out to the floor so RVD does a cross body on the floor. Rollins recovers to win with a curb stomp. WINNER: Seth Rollins

Renee Young gets in the ring, and Rollins calls her “toots”. He says the briefcase is his golden ticket. He continues until he is interrupted by Dean Ambrose. Ambrose fires off the next line so well: “From one scumbag to another..” He says he will haunt Rollins and every time he tries to cash in Ambrose will be there to “mess it up.” What a great twist to the storyline. Ambrose is a star.

Out comes the awesome Rusev. Lana cuts a promo about America being accustomed to failure, and the USA USA chants start. She is right about parents telling kids it’s all about participating and not winning and losing. That is a bunch of crap. Lana is damn hot. She has that look Maryse used to have. We are interrupted by Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger? Wait, what? Zeb starts getting in Lana’s face about freedom of speech and how a Real American can stop the “Rusev Crush”. So this guy injures Dolph Ziggler and Bad News Barrett and is rewarded with a face turn? Well the “WE THE PEOPLE” chant is really loud. Rusev attacks and Swagger drops him with a couple of arm drags. Rusev and Lana are beside themselves and the crowd is hot. Maybe this face turn will actually work.

MATCH: Usos & Sheamus vs. Wyatt Family
That tag team opener at MITB may be the best tag team match of the year. It’s definitely a top 5 MOTY candidate too. Rowan has grown so much as a worker, as he was always the creepy one who did the occasional power move. Sheamus, as much as I still can’t stand him as a face, worked his butt off last night, doing a majority of the yeoman’s work during that ladder match. This match is good, but being on Raw definitely takes the starch out of what could be a great match. Bray needs to get the pin here to assert himself and his superiority. Harper kills Jey with a clothesline to maybe earn another title shot. WINNERS: Wyatt Family

Tom Phillips is with Nikki Bella who talks about her sister Brie. Stephanie interrupts her and says she’s facing the Funkadactyls tonight in a handicap match. It could have been a tag match, but Stephanie says her sister Brie abandoned her.

Bo Dallas comes out and he wants 60 seconds of silence for the injured Bad News Barrett and Daniel Bryan. He literally sits for 60 seconds. We go back to last night on the MITB pre-show when Daniel Bryan came out and punked out Bo Dallas. If Bryan does have to have another surgery, he could be out until next May. He could be toast by then. BOLIEVE! I’m gonna puke.

HANDICAP MATCH: Nikki Bella vs. Funkadactyls
Do I like Nikki Bella now? Maybe these girls are less annoying when they’re apart. Naomi and Cameron win easily. WINNERS: Funkadactyls

Cameron is pissed because Naomi got the pin and they start shoving each other. Cameron leaves Naomi in the ring. I wish Nikki won. Wait, did I just say that.

We go back to Friday night, when Bad News Barrett separated his shoulder and he’s out for “several months”. So Swagger is rewarded with a face turn again? So the IC Title is vacant, and at Battleground a battle royal will decide the new champion. Out comes Paul Heyman, who bloviates about 21-1 and then talks about Cesaro winning the battle royal. The IC Title is beneath Cesaro. He was US Champion for months in 2012. This Barrett thing bugs me because Swagger is a sloppy asshole.

MATCH: Cesaro vs. Kofi Kingston
Cesaro wears a robe to the ring, that’s old school and badass at the same time. Kofi’s in the battle royal at Battleground which he won’t win. Something happened during the break and Kofi Kingston won the match. WINNER: Kofi Kingston

Cesaro beats the crap out of Kofi after the match. Why do they even care about the WWE App anymore?

We get a commercial for Twisted Tea with Adam Rose and Santino.

We’re back from break and wow, in my home state it’s….Damien Sandow, dressed as Vince. Brutal. Triple H’s impersonation of Vince in 2006 was way better than this. This suit is way cheaper looking than Vince’s actual suits. Sandow throws off all the Vince-isms. He fires off names, and as usual Austin’s name gets the biggest pop. As “Vince” he enters Sandow into the battle royal. Stephanie gets on the screen and rips into Sandow for impersonating Vince. She goes over the whole “Vince built everything from scratch etc.” So Sandow must face one of the other participants in the battle royal.

MATCH: Damien Sandow vs. Great Khali
WHY DOES KHALI STILL WRESTLE? Well he wins with one chop to the skull. WINNER: Great Khali

So all day rumors are a former WWE Champion is coming back, and the moment is now. Who is it? It’s the Miz. Who gives a fat shit? He’s back from shooting “The Marine IV”. Still nobody cares. He asks if anybody missed him. Hmmmmm…nope. He said he was begged by directors to stay and do many more films, and is better than the WWE. He came back because of all of the crowd. He thinks the WWE Universe believes he’s a fluke. He wants respect and he has many assistants. He won’t leave until everybody gets off their seats and kiss his butt. Suddenly we get pyro out of nowhere and we get a real returning champion: CHRIS JERICHO! The Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah comes back to a big ovation. Jericho comes into the ring, and says nothing. Miz breaks his stones about being “2012 Jericho who says nothing with a Lite Brite jacket”. Jericho takes his jacket off as Miz keeps yapping. So Jericho calmly drops a Codebreaker. The place goes nuts, and he’s about to say RAW IS JERICHO when the lights go out and the Wyatt signature hits. The lights come up and all three Wyatts are in the ring. Jericho gets the snot beat out of him and Wyatt hits Sister Abigail. That was interesting, and very cool.

MATCH: Fandango vs. Dolph Ziggler
Why is Ziggler wearing a generic WWE t-shirt? Is he being fired or something? He has like three t-shirts out. Couple minutes into the match Summer Rae comes out and starts making out with Dolph. Fandango is all flustered and Dolph catches him with a Zig Zag for the win. WINNER: Dolph Ziggler

Match: Rybaxel vs. Dust Brothers
This is a rematch from last night. Nobody really cared last night either. That’s because no one cares about Rybaxel. StarDust is awesome. He’s executing so many different moves he didn’t do as Cody Rhodes. Last night Axel had a onesie on. Not tonight, but it doesn’t matter. The Dusts win. WINNERS: Dust Brothers

Back from break and we are joined by Divas Champion Paige, who successfully defended the title last night against Naomi. Paige says she’s a woman of few words, as she lets the action do the talking. She says many think she doesn’t belong here. She says she’s proven everybody wrong and she’s not going anywhere. She’s suddenly interrupted by AJ Lee! YEAH!!!! AJ is back and she looks pretty good. She says Paige did indeed prove everyone wrong. AJ was wrong in how she acted when she was Divas Champion for 295 days. So she says thank you to Paige. Paige isn’t falling for it, as she says this is what Paige did to AJ the night after Wrestlemania. Paige is slowly turning heel as AJ is obviously a face. AJ wants the WWE Universe to decide if AJ should get her long awaited rematch tonight. Paige bites on the gambit.

DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP: Paige © vs. AJ
Paige is definitely sliding to the heel side now as she’s more vicious, but AJ recovers and rolls Paige up to win the title back! WINNER, AND NEW DIVAS CHAMPION: AJ

AJ skips around the ring with the title while Paige kneels in the middle of the ring crying. Does this mean….? Should this mean…..? Will it mean….?

Triple H is at the broadcast table watching our main event.

MATCH: Kane & Randy Orton vs. John Cena & Roman Reigns
I really like how Cena is carrying himself tonight. He’s got this confident arrogance that doesn’t necessarily make him a heel, but a more confident, less mushy babyface. This is a typical TV main event with the usual fare. Charles Robinson’s hair looks like Flair’s back in 1991. No wonder he’s “Little Naitch”. Cena does a 10 knuckle shuffle, dropping five on each guy. Orton gives Cena an RKO but Reigns pitches him out of the ring. Then he superman punches Kane and chases after Orton. Cena gets disqualified by drilling Kane with the steps. WINNER: John Cena & Roman Reigns

Kane pitches Cena into the ring and is dropped with a Tombstone. A pleased Triple H smiles but feigns concern. He looks over a prone Cena, then waves his hand. Out comes Seth Rollins, about to cash in the briefcase. As Triple H is bitching with the referee, Dean Ambrose comes down and chases Rollins into the crowd. No bell rang, so the briefcase is safe. Kane’s about to go after the out-cold Cena but Reigns comes back and spears Kane. We then get a long cold stare down between Reigns and Triple H for a good 90 seconds. We get a THIS IS AWESOME chant as Triple H walks off and we are out.

SCOTT’S TAKE: So for everybody who was pissed off that Cena won last night, I think you should all admit you jumped the gun. Tonight’s Raw was awesome as we had two returns, one of which may lead to ANOTHER return down the line. Battleground could end up being a solid show if set up properly. One guy who owns the battleground is Graham Cawthon, purveyor of thehistoryofwwe.com. Follow him on Twitter @thehistoryofwwe. Here’s Graham’s Raw Tweet of the Night!

Whoever came up with tonight’s show — I want to have your baby. And I’m not even genetically structured for that.

Author: Scott Criscuolo

Scott Criscuolo is a co-founder of the Place to Be, co-host of the Place to Be Podcast, and was in the radio business for 10 years. He loves all things pop culture, and someday he will be the ghost writer for Triple H's autobiography. Send Scott an email