Reviews

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 07/04/22 Review

wwe raw july 4 lynch asuka

This week’s WWE Raw featured Becky Lynch vs. Asuka in the main event, plus the fallout from Money in the Bank.

I am writing this late on Sunday, July 10 because I was off last week for a vacation. I’m going to do a condensed review meaning I won’t do play-by-play for all the matches or as many details for the promos, but I’ll still have the analysis and star ratings. I’ll do play-by-play for the main event. I wanted to do a review just so I can do every episode. That’s always my goal every year.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1519 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

A video package aired about how they are going to celebrate the Fourth of July.

The Raw commentary team was Corey Graves, Byron Saxton and Kevin Patrick filling in for Jimmy Smith, who was on vacation. Patrick does play-by-play on Main Event, so he does have some experience. They did a rundown of matches coming up including Liv Morgan celebrating her Money in the Bank win that saw her end up as the Smackdown Women’s Champion.

Let’s Hear from Bobby Lashley

There was a big ovation for the new United States Champion Bobby Lashley with the fans chanting “Bobby” for him. Lashley talked about being the US Champion while adding that it’s not the title that makes the man, but it’s the man that makes the title. Lashley said that there’s not another man in any division or any promotion that can beat him for this United States Championship. Here comes Theory.

Theory made his entrance with the green Money in the Bank briefcase in his hands. Theory claimed that the world was talking about the youngest Mr. Money in the Bank in history. Loud “you suck” chants for Theory at that point. Theory was greeted by “WHAT” chants in the ring while he bragged about how he came through in the clutch. Theory claimed he could do this all day. Lashley said that Theory didn’t even deserve to be in the Money in the Bank match. Theory said that Lashley will fail to beat him n the six-man tag team match they will have. Theory said that he’s going straight to the top with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Theory also said that he was informed that at SummerSlam, he’ll get a rematch against Lashley for the US Title. Theory also mentioned the Roman Reigns-Brock Lesnar Last Man Standing Match and claimed that whoever is Last Man Standing, they’re going A-Town Down. Theory said that he’s going to walk out of Nashville as the greatest champion in WWE history. Lashley said that’s “if” Theory makes it to SummerSlam and Lashley said that these people deserve fireworks. Theory hit Lashley repeatedly with the briefcase. Why so many camera cuts? Lashley fought back with a huge spinebuster and Theory left.

Analysis: It was a way to start the show with a babyface promo on a holiday Raw, so that’s a smart move. The fans were really into Lashley there. Theory got heat for being a cocky heel that he is all the time. We also learned that we’ll get to see Lashley-Theory again at SummerSlam. I think Lashley keeping the title at SummerSlam makes a lot of sense.

Rey and Dominik Mysterio were interviewed backstage by Megan Morant. Dominik said there’s nobody he wants to learn from more than his father. Rey said that he doesn’t want to brag, but they’re the first father-son tag team champions, so he must be doing something right. Rey said it’s his first match in San Diego in ten years and Dominik’s first match in San Diego.

The Mysterios got a big pop for their entrance. In case you don’t know by now, the 619 move that Rey has been using is because San Diego’s area code is 619. It is Rey’s way of paying tribute to his city. Finn Balor and Damian Priest attacked The Mysterios from behind. The match was after a break.

(Commercial)

Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest

Balor was wrestling in black leather pants instead of the trunks that he usually wears. Dominik did an armdrag on Balor across the ring and that led to Priest tagging in. After Dominik sent Priest out of the ring, Rey hit a senton on Priest on the floor. The heels took after a Balor distraction led to Priest punching Rey. Dominik got a tag back in, but Priest caught him doing a 619 attempt and Priest sent Dominik into the barricade.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Dominik as the face in peril, he hit a move on Balor and Rey tagged in with a twisting DDT on Priest for a two count. Rey with a seated senton off the top got two because Balor made the save. Dominik launched Rey to the top for a hurricanrana for a two count. That was a great spot. Priest stopped a 619 attempt from Rey. Balor wanted the Coup de Grace off the top, Rey moved out of the way, then the Mysterios hit a double 619 on both opponents (the fans loved it) and Rey did an Eddie Guerrero shake for a Frog Splash, but Balor got the knees up to block for a two count. Priest tossed a chair into the ring, Balor grabbed it, Rey bumped in the ring and the referee turned around to give the Mysterios the DQ win due to the referee thinking Balor hit Rey with a chair. It’s a classic Eddie Guerrero finish. It went 12 minutes.

Winners by disqualification: Rey & Dominik Mysterio

Analysis: ***1/4 A fun tag team match that was well worked by the four guys in the match. The Mysterios kept fighting back, they had some good nearfalls and the fans were obviously into it a lot since The Mysterios were at home. The finish was a bit cheesy, but it was a feel good ending since the fans know about the Eddie Guerrero match ending, so that’s what they went with here since it’s a babyface way to end it. Since it’s Raw, I assume they do it again next week with Balor & Priest getting the win.

The Miz was interviewed by Megan Morant about Logan Paul saying he was coming for The Miz. That led to Miz telling Logan to retract his statement so that they can become Undisputed Tag Team Champions. Miz said if Logan doesn’t work with him, Miz said that he will be relentless and make him humble. Miz talked about facing AJ Styles and his “American super-sized balls” since talking about “balls” is a thing with Miz now.

AJ Styles made his entrance for a match against The Miz.

(Commercial)

There was an “Earlier Today” video shown of The Street Profits hosting a cookout with members of the Raw roster and some extras on hand as well. The American Alpha duo of Chad Gable & Otis showed up to annoy everybody. Otis bragged about eating hot dogs, Angelo Dawkins claimed he was a champion at eating hot dogs and that set up a contest.

Rey and Dominik Mysterio were shown walking backstage. They were attacked by Finn Balor and Damian Priest. Balor and Priest threw them into some objects in the backstage area.

Analysis: That’s another reason there’s going to be a rematch between those two teams.

AJ Styles vs. The Miz

Styles was dominant in the first few minutes. Styles jumped over the top with a forearm to Miz on the floor.

(Commercial)

Styles continued the offense with a barrage of strikes, a corner clothesline and the Ushigoroshi slam sending Miz’s head into AJ’s knee for a two count. Miz got some offense getting out of a Calf Crusher and hitting a DDT for two. Styles recovered quickly after that with a Phenomenal Forearm for the win after six minutes.

Winner by pinfall: AJ Styles

Analysis: **1/2 A solid match between two veterans. Styles was on offense for most of it and easily put Miz away. Both guys could use wins since Styles has lost a lot this year while Miz has the feud with Logan Paul, but I’m certainly fine with Styles getting the win.

Post match, Ciampa attacked The Miz with an attack from behind. Ciampa whipped Styles into the ropes so that Styles hit the ring post. Ciampa wanted a running knee to the head, Styles avoided it and hit a Pele Kick. Miz saved Ciampa and hit the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz smiled at Ciampa, who smiled back, so they might be allies now. Miz shook hands with Ciampa.

Analysis: I think Miz and Ciampa as a pairing is good because Miz is better when he has somebody with him rather than when he’s on his own. They could go for a tag team match at SummerSlam with Miz & Ciampa against Logan Paul & Styles instead of just doing Miz vs. Paul in a singles match.

(Commercial)

A video package aired showing Liv Morgan winning the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match and then becoming the Smackdown Women’s Champion later in the show.

Let’s Hear from Liv Morgan

Liv Morgan made her “watch me” entrance with the Smackdown Women’s Title in her hands along with a big smile on her face. The fans popped for her as well with “you deserve it” chants. Liv talked about how her dreams came true in one single night at Money in the Bank. Liv told the fans that the support of the fans got her through that because the fans have stayed with her on this journey every step of the way. She was smiling a lot. Liv said the fans gave her confidence to defeat Ronda Rousey on the same night to become the new Smackdown Women’s Champion. Liv said that this championship isn’t just for her, this championship “is for all of us.”

Natalya interrupted the promo saying Liv should thank Natalya because she’s the reason was able to cash in the Money in the Bank contract. Natalya said it was because she destroyed Rousey’s knee with the Sharpshooter. Liv said that Natalya is having a hard time accepting that she lost to Rousey, so it makes sense that Natalya would come after the target on Liv’s back. Liv told Natalya she can find her on Smackdown.

Carmella was up next with Graves getting excited to see his wife. Carmella rambled on about how they should take their business over to Smackdown so they can leave the spotlight on her. Morgan said all eyes were on Carmella when she lost to Bianca at Money in the bank and Morgan told Carmella to make her get out of the ring. That led to Morgan trying to fight off Natalya and Carmella, but here’s the save by Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair. That led to Morgan and Belair clearing the ring. It led to WWE Official Adam Pearce announcing that tag team match starting right now.

Analysis: A good promo from Liv Morgan celebrating her title win. That was followed by the typical trash-talking heels leading to a tag team match. It’s how WWE loves booking these things.

(Commercial)

Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan vs. Carmella & Natalya

Belair started with Carmella, then Morgan faced off with Natalya, who managed to take control and apply a Sharpshooter on Morgan. Belair helped Morgan get out of it and Natalya countered a Powerbomb with a headscissors. Belair hit a delayed suplex on Natalya, but Carmella was legal and she superkicked Belair into the ring post.

(Commercial)

Belair was the face in peril for a bit, Morgan got the hot tag and was on fire with a kick to Natalya’s head. Morgan with double knees for two on Natalya as Carmella made the save. Natalya came back with a clothesline for two of her own with Belair making the save. Carmella shoved Belair into the ring post. Morgan kicked her way out of the Sharpshooter and Morgan hit the Oblivion off the ropes for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan

Analysis: *** A good match that probably went on too long because Raw’s a three-hour show with some time to kill. I think this would have been better at around eight minutes. The face in peril part of the match went on too long. The result was obvious because it was done to put over the babyface champions to continue Morgan’s positive momentum while Belair is always booked strong in every match.

They showed the Fourth of July cookout party from “earlier today” again. Omos was standing there, the 24/7 Title comedy crew was running around and Reggie ran into Omos. That led to Omos tossing Reggie off screen. Ezekiel was telling family stories to The Street Profits. Elias sprayed ketchup on a hot dog, but he missed his mark and the hot dog sprayed onto Seth “Freakin” Rollins in a white shirt. Rollins laughed about it, stared at Ezekiel and left. That would lead to the next match.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance with the graphic letting us know that Seth has won 13 championships in his WWE career.

(Commercial)

Ezekiel vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Ezekiel was in control early on with a German Suplex that led to Rollins retreating to the floor. Back in the ring, Rollins hit a neckbreaker. Ezekiel was aggressive after that while giving Rollins a back body drop over the top to the floor. Ezekiel with a press slam sending Rollins over the barricade to the floor.

(Commercial)

Ezekiel remained on offense with a fallaway slam and two corner splashes. When Zeke went for another corner splash, Rollins sent Ezekiel face first into the turnbuckle. Ezekiel got nearfalls after a jumping knee (with a hard leg slap) along with a neckbreaker. Rollins tried a move off the top, but Ezekiel hit a spinning Powerbomb for two. They did a bunch of spots with Ezekiel getting nearfalls including a backslide pin, Rollins kicked out and Rollins hit The Stomp for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good match with Ezekiel getting plenty of offense before he lost to the bigger name in Rollins. This was about 80% of Ezekiel on offense to show that he could hang in there against Rollins. It made sense for Rollins to get the win in a match like that since Seth needs wins after failing at Money in the Bank and losing the Cody Rhodes feud as well.

After the match, Rollins was leaving the ring and then he decided to change his mind by going after Ezekiel in the ring. When Rollins charged, Riddle showed up and dropped Rollins with an RKO out of nowhere! The fans popped for that.

Analysis: I think this was done to set up a match between Rollins and Riddle at SummerSlam. At Money in the Bank, Riddle hit Rollins with an RKO off a ladder, so Riddle keeps getting the advantage. Since Seth doesn’t have another obvious match at SummerSlam, I assume the plan is Rollins vs. Riddle. It should be an excellent match.

It was back to the Fourth of July part from “earlier today” on Raw. They showed the Hot Dog Eating Contest with Akira Tozawa somehow eating 48 hot dogs, Otis ate 23 and Dawkins ate 22. Otis looked like he was sick from eating too many hot dogs. Theory told Gable and Otis he’ll see them out there later.

The United States Champion Bobby Lashley made his entrance for the second time on the show.

(Commercial)

After a break, it took about six minutes for the entrances and Money in the Bank video packages to take place. That meant Lashley was in the ring for about ten minutes waiting for this match to start.

Theory, Chad Gable & Otis vs. Bobby Lashley, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins

Gable was working over Dawkins a bit early on, Ford tagged in and hit an impressive cross body block off the top rope. Ford hit a clothesline along with a standing moonsault on Gable. Lashley and Ford each hit delayed vertical suplexes with a military salute since they were both in the military. Dawkins hit a somersault dive over the top onto the heels on the floor.

(Commercial)

The heels were in control with Theory working over Ford, but then Ford hit a DDT. Gable pulled Dawkins off the apron to prevent a tag and Otis clotheslined Dawkins. Lashley made the tag, so Theory tagged out while running scared. Lashley was on fire against Gable with suplexes and a flatliner. Dawkins ran over Theory by the commentary table. Lashley with a running powerslam on Gable got a two count with Otis making the save. Otis was selling the stomach issues as he hit a back elbow, but Lashley hit Otis with a Spear. Montez Ford with a Frog Splash on Otis. Gable with a suplex on Lashley along with a top rope moonsault for two. Lashley was back up with a Spear on Gable for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winners by pinfall:Bobby Lashley, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins

Analysis: *** A fun win for the good guys. Easy win for Lashley and The Street Profits since Alpha Academy isn’t really getting pushed these days, so I figured Gable would be the guy that got pinned. Theory is going to be protected in a match like that and that’s what happened. Otis did a nice job of selling the stomach issues.

After the winners left the ring, Otis was in the ring with Gable. Otis was stumbling around and puked due to the hot dog eating earlier in the day. Gable: “Who did this to my number one guy?” They replayed it, which led to the crowd getting grossed out.

Analysis: I am sure the horny grandpa Vince McMahon thought this was hilarious. It’s an audience of one, after all. He loves the puke comedy, pal.

Becky Lynch was interviewed by Megan Morant. Becky said she’s mad as hell while complaining about Asuka. Lynch said that she was a fighter while adding that there’s no holding back against Asuka in a No Holds Barred Match. Lynch said she’s ready for Asuka, but she’s not ready for No Holds Barred Becky.

R-Truth made his entrance in an Uncle Sam outfit for “Uncle Sam’s Fourth of July Celebration” as the graphic informed us.

(Commercial)

Uncle Sam’s Fourth of July Celebration

R-Truth introduced himself: “I’m Uncle Sam, y’all.” Truth said it was his favorite holiday where they celebrate the movie Independence Day. Truth mentioned the brave superheroes that saved the Earth from the alien invasion in 1996: Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Vivica A. Fox. Truth read his favorite passage from the constitution: “Welcome to Earth.” Punch. Tremendous performance.

Analysis: It was mildly amusing. Truth tried, but the material wasn’t great.

It was interruption time with Ludwig Kaiser introducing us to a man worthy of celebration. It was the “Ring General” Intercontinental Champion…Gunther.

Gunther made his way down to the ring with Ludwig Kaiser and the IC Title around Gunther’s waist. Truth encouraged “USA” chants from the crowd. Gunther slapped the wig off R-Truth’s head. A referee showed up to start the match.

Gunther vs. R-Truth

Gunther with a boot to the face. When Truth tried a kick, Gunther avoided it and hit a clothesline. Gunther hit a Powerbomb for the pinfall win at around one minute.

Winner by pinfall: Gunther

Analysis: 1/4* Squash city. Gunther is one of my favorites, so I don’t mind that.

Alexa Bliss was shown walking backstage with Lilly the doll in her hand and Sarah Schreiber was there for an interview. Bliss said she was happy for Liv. Bliss said she thinks it’s time for her to get some championship gold again. Bliss said it’s time for Twisted Bliss. Asuka interrupted the interview to say she’ll beat Becky Lynch tonight and then go on to become the next Raw Women’s Champion.

Analysis: Bliss has no direction right now other than being a grown woman in her 30s carrying around a doll.

(Commercial)

There was a mysterious promo video that aired with different images and cutaway scenes. People are guessing it’s for Edge because it’s some things that could be related to him. We don’t know for sure right now.

A video package aired about the rivalry between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar, who are facing off again at SummerSlam. The video package was better than some of the recent matches they have had.

Becky Lynch entered for the main event.

(Commercial)

Asuka made her entrance for the main event. These two women have main evented several episodes of Raw in the last few months. Asuka brought out a garbage can with her while Lynch had a table and chairs on the floor. They showed Asuka’s return two months ago and talked about how they have had a conflict ever since.

No Holds Barred Match: Becky Lynch vs. Asuka

It’s the main event, so I’ll go play by play for it. Asuka threw a garbage can at Lynch followed by a sliding kick. Asuka with a chair to the back. Lynch tried wedging a chair against the turnbuckle. Asuka with a back fist to the face. They teased doing moves onto a steel chair, but Asuka found success with a dropkick and a bulldog into an open chair in the ring. Lynch avoided being sent through at able by kicking at Asuka on the floor. Lynch with an Exploder Suplex on Asuka on a pile of chairs on the floor. Lynch with a chair to the back, Asuka with a chair jab to the ribs and Asuka hit a running hip attack that sent Becky crashing through the barricade.

(Commercial)

Asuka sent a chair into the ring, but Lynch kicked her down to the floor. Lynch put a chair onto Asuka, then Lynch used another chair and hit Asuka. Lynch went up top, Asuka fought back and set up a pile of chairs in the ring. Asuka superplexed Lynch onto the pile of chairs for a two count. Ouch. That’s a rough bump for Lynch’s body and Asuka’s head hit the chairs. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Asuka put a trash can on Becky’s head, then Asuka delivered several kicks and a back fist to the trash can. Asuka went up top and hit a missile dropkick onto Lynch, who had the trash can on her. Asuka got a two count out of that. Asuka heard the table chants, so she grabbed a table from under the ring. The fans cheered for that. Lynch sent Asuka into the steel steps and then Lynch slid the table into the ring. Asuka was back in the ring, so Lynch hit her in the back with a chair. Lynch set up a table in the ring. Asuka went for the Asuka Lock, Lynch backed out of it and Asuka punched Lynch off the apron. Back in the ring, Asuka got an umbrella. Asuka attacked with the umbrella, Lynch grabbed it for her and when Asuka went to spray the green mist, Lynch blocked it by opening the umbrella. That spot was too fake and too contrived, but it worked I guess. Asuka with a roundhouse kick to the side. Asuka set up Lynch on the table, but Lynch stopped Asuka on the top rope. Lynch set up Asuka on the middle rope, Lynch got a hold of Asuka and Lynch hit the Manhandle Slam for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Becky Lynch

Analysis: ***1/2 A great, physical match where they did a nice job of utilizing weapons building to some nearfalls until Lynch hit that big Manhandle Slam off the middle ropes. It’s a move I’ve seen Lynch do against Doudrop as a big move, but not through a table like she did here. I like it as a finish because it took something a little bit extra to put Asuka away. That puts over Asuka’s toughness while also putting over Becky’s resiliency for being able to find a way to get the win.

Lynch celebrated the win shouting “yes” and saying “I am back” repeatedly. Asuka remained down on the table. Lynch had her hand raised as the winner. End show.

Analysis: It could mean they are going with Lynch vs. Belair for the Raw Women’s Title at SummerSlam. Since Lynch got a decisive win over Asuka like this, it’s certainly possible. There is also Rhea Ripley waiting for whenever she’s able to compete again.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Becky Lynch
  2. Bobby Lashley
  3. Asuka/Seth “Freakin” Rollins

 

The Scoreboard

6.75 out of 10

Last week: 6.5

 

Final Thoughts

There were several pretty good matches around the three-star range and a bit higher than that. The problem with this Raw was there wasn’t anything that interesting or memorable. Yes, they progressed some stories well for SummerSlam, but it was just an average show in terms of storylines. Most of my rating is for the matches being solid most of the night.

Five matches got between 10 minutes and 14 minutes, so that’s a pretty good effort in terms of giving the wrestlers time in the ring. I thought Lynch/Asuka was the best match, I liked Rollins/Ezekiel, the women’s tag team match was fine and the two men’s tag team matches were booked well.

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Check out the WWE PPV Review archive right here. You can contact me using any of the methods below. Go Toronto Blue Jays. Be safe and smart out there.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport