SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
ORLANDO, FL. AT THE PERFORMANCE CENTER
JUNE 15, 2020
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH SPECIALIST
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe
Top 10 Moments from Last Week’s Show:
Backlash Results Pertinent to Raw
Apollo Crews defeated Andrade to retain the U.S. Championship
Raw Women’s Champion Asuka and Nia Jax worked to a double count out. Asuka retained her title.
Drew McIntyre defeated Bobby Lashley to retain the WWE Championship.
Randy Orton defeated Edge in what was dubbed the Greatest Wrestling Ma … (ah shut the hell up with this already)
Overview and Items Advertised by WWE
We come off Backlash and turn our attention to tonight’s Raw as we move now towards the summertime and perhaps start thinking about SummerSlam. WWE’s big summer event was planned for Boston, but we’ll see if that comes to fruition given the current global situation. Last night they told us that Extreme Rules would take place on July 19, most likely from the Performance Center. Here’s what’s advertised thus far for tonight, which was put out by WWE via video available on their website:
Since my primer came out, WWE announced additional segments and matches for tonight’s show:
Randy Orton to open Raw after winning the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever.”
Asuka and Nia Jax to compete in Championship rematch after double count out.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre & 24/7 Champion R-Truth against Bobby Lashley and MVP
Ric Flair to appear live on Raw tonight
Why did Seth Rollins invite Rey Mysterio and Dominick to Raw?
Randy Orton defeated Edge in what WWE billed as the greatest wrestling match ever. It appeared Edge was injured in the match, which will write him off TV for a while (writing him off would have likely happened anyway). That said, Orton will open Raw and likely set course for what is next, which could be targeting Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship. Former Evolution member and two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair is set to appear, which could be related to Orton opening the show. Flair may also appear via video, as he did recently.
Asuka will once again defend her Raw Women’s Championship against Nia Jax. Last night they worked to a double count out, a finish they haven’t used all that often as of late. I expected another match at Extreme Rules to be honest, which could still happen.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre and 24/7 Champion R-Truth will team to face Bobby Lashley & MVP. This is just a combining of things as last week, Lashley went after Truth during a backstage segment where Truth was up to his goofiness. Last week, Lashley and MVP defeated the Viking Raiders. Last night, Drew retained his WWE Championship over Lashley.
Drew McIntyre Continues as WWE Champion Thanks to Lana
Lana you got some ‘splainin to do.
Last night, Drew McIntyre retained his WWE Championship over Bobby Lashley with MVP in his corner. Drew started out at a disadvantage as Lashley locked on his signature Full Nelson before the bell. He had it on for quite some time before letting go. Drew was offered the opportunity to not go through with the match, but he expectedly pressed on.
Several weeks ago, Lashley had asked his “wife” Lana not to accompany him to the ring for his matches. Lana and MVP chatted before the match last night, and thus you knew she’d get involved. That said, about 10 or so minutes in, out came Lana. Lashley had dominated, but she told the referee Drew was cheating. Drew headbutted Lashley into Lana, which send her flying onto MVP (which was very poorly acted). Drew hit his Claymore Kick to score the pin, retaining his title. MVP looked on with disbelief. Lashley gave Lana a dirty look. Here’s Lashley, MVP, and Lana in an exclusive after the match:
MVP expects there’ll be another shot for his client Lashley:
The champagne celebration has been put on hold.
TEMPORARILY!!!! @ Orlando, Florida https://t.co/CgrRnjWT9c
— MVP (@The305MVP) June 15, 2020
We’ll find out where they head with this tonight.
Frank’s Analysis: I expect that they’ll get the “Extreme Rules” nod for next month. Lana’s involvement with the match was expected, so I didn’t take issue with it. Don’t mistake that for liking the decision to do so. The problem I have is they do these distraction finishes all the time as they feel it’s the only way to keep a storyline going.
Rey Mysterio & Dominick’s Invitation to Raw
Last week, we moved forward with the ongoing saga between Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins. Several weeks ago, Seth “scarified” Rey by shoving his eye into the corner of the ring steps. He has stated that is was for the greater good of Raw. Two weeks ago, he held a “retirement” ceremony for Rey. Later on in the evening, Rey and his son Dominick were interviewed. Dominick vowed “an eye for an eye.”
Seth sat in on commentary when Samoa Joe and Tom Phillips interviewed Rey via video. He said the doctors weren’t promising anything, but his prognosis looked good. As soon as he could return, he vowed to kick Rey’s ass. Seth invited Rey and Dominick to come to Raw so he could explain why he was sacrificed. Rey knew he was only being invited because he wasn’t medically cleared. Tonight, we find out if Rey & Dominick accept the invite and find out what Seth has up his sleeve.
Frank’s Analysis: Wade Keller and I talked about the segment with callers last week, which was very well done. They’ve made this a big story on Raw. It’s great to see something like this progress without a title involved. With the recent “changing of the guard” and Bruce Pritchard in charge of writing both Raw and Smackdown, we’ll see if there are any changes. Everything is on the table.
Other Match Results and News Items from Last Week
Raw Women’s Champion Asuka & Charlotte defeated the IIconics (Peyton Royce & Billie Kay) and Smackdown Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks & Bayley (Smackdown Women’s Champion).
Aleister Black & Humberto Carrillo defeated Austin Theory & Murphy
In advance of Edge vs. Randy Orton at Backlash, Edge’s best friend Christian had him on the Peep Show. Randy Orton appeared via video to hype their match.
Raw Tag Team Champions the Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) and the Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) tied 5-5 in a decathlon event.
Andrade defeated Kevin Owens and Angel Garza in a triple threat match to earn the right to face Apollo Crews last night at Backlash for the U.S. Championship. There was dissention teased between Andrade and Angel Garza, both managed by Zelina Vega.
In advance of defending the WWE Championship against his client Bobby Lashley at Backlash, MVP had Drew McIntyre on the VIP Lounge. Drew then sat ring side to see Lashley and MVP beat the Viking Raiders.
Charlotte Flair defeated Raw Women’s Champion Asuka in a non-title match. Nia Jax intervened late to cause a distraction.
Last’s night’s show was a miss for me overall, with the positives being the wrestling in three matches. Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus for the most part was decent. Until the distraction finish, I thought Lashley vs. Drew was particularly good. Edge vs. Orton I thought was incredibly good, but I did not need the fake crowd noise. Historically, this match may have been looked upon more favorably had the NXT & PC wrestlers just reacted organically. People tweeted that WWE has been using enhanced audio for years, but that is not the point. At any rate given the idiotic cinematic sequence between the Profits and the Raiders and overall, how things were handled last night and on Smackdown, I am not confident in WWE programming moving forward. There’s going to be a lot of Vince McMahon written all over the shows given Bruce Pritchard now oversees the “streamlined writing team.” Oddly enough I’m not so against Paul Heyman being removed from his position writing Raw because personally, I don’t think the show has been all that great in recent times. It was better relative to what it was in year’s past, so I think that served as a mirage. I’m just very skeptical about Pritchard holding the reigns to both shows.
RECOMMENDED: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 6/8: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show in a crowd free environment including final hype for Backlash, Christian’s return, Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair, and more
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.