The Raw Review – 20th June 2016

Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The Raw Review

As the self proclaimed new era begins to develop we were given one hell of a surprise at Money in the Bank. Not only did Roman Reigns drop the title to Seth Rollins but Rollins then lost it to Dean Ambrose as he quickly cashed in his Money in the Bank contract that he won earlier in the night. Tuning in for this weeks Raw I wanted to see what the Lunatic Champion is capable of following the fallout of the previous nights madness.

The opening segment saw the WWE World Heavyweight Lunatic make his way to the ring to address the crowd about how he has finally got his hands on something he’s been working towards for two years. It was a sweet moment that turned awfully sour when the former champion, Reigns, interrupted to the usual sound of boos. What was unusual, however, was the lesser member of the Anoa’i family tree’s irate response to the crowd as they started chanting “you can’t wrestle”. Though I would usually agree with those sentiments he’s clearly come along way in recent weeks so it was hardly surprising to see him rise to this like a petulant child that’s been banned from using his toys. This natural response from Reigns saying, “take a sip of your beer and shut your mouth”, is the reason why he should be a heel. Acting like someone he isn’t makes his character seem more forced and only encourages the fans to reject him further. With the recent news of his suspension for breaking the wellness policy maybe some time away will do him good. His wrong doing should be worked into his gimmick somehow so he can finally be given the chance to be a heel.

The Lunatic Champion and co
The Lunatic Champion and co

Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens was up next which was greeted by the announcement of the Spanish Commentary team sitting near Michael Cole as he said “you know it’s a big Raw when we’re joined by our Spanish colleagues”. No, Maggle, it doesn’t mean it’s a big night. It means someone is going through the table! Back to the match itself, it was all we’ve come to expect from these two bearded Canadian rivals. Two friends in real life slugging it out in a kayfabe rivalry that generates highly believable contempt for one another let alone fantastic wrestling matches. This was exemplified by Owens comments of “I hate you” to Zayn. Even though he would probably hate me I just love KO but it was great to see Zayn pick up the win in his true underdog style. Hopefully this feud continues to develop into the Intercontinental Title picture.

As you may have picked up on recent weeks I am rather excited about the brand split. I cannot wait to watch the live draft but when John Laurinaitis showed his ugly mug I felt like wanting to switch off right away. There’s just something about that lanky streak of secretion that I can’t stand. Whether it’s that he sounds like he’s losing his voice or just the god awful suit he had on last night I’m not too sure. His mere presence ruined this segment for me and I couldn’t wait for the show to move on.

John Boreinaitis
John Boreinaitis

You can imagine how refreshing it was to me to then hear Enzo and Cass’ music and see Shane O’Mac joining in with their intro. You can tell the roster feel really comfortable with the prodigal son being around and it’s great to see him getting along so well with the babyfaces in the company. He’s like the boss everybody wish they had. Speaking of things I wish I had, I wish I had hatred for the Vaudevillains. I know I shouldn’t like them but I can’t help myself for thinking they’re great heels that would do incredibly well as Tag Team Champions. They may not be getting as big of a push as they deserve at the moment with Enzo and Cass getting all the limelight but maybe, come the time of the brand split, they will be the ones to eventually take the gold away from The New Day.

A man with a lot of pressure on his shoulders is the Phenomenal One, AJ Styles. He’s beat Cena, albeit not in clean fashion but he really needs to start picking up some major scalps at a PPV. He’s arguably one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He’s earned his nickname for a reason so the WWE have to start treating him like the legend he is. Feuding with Cena is the first step towards this and his current arrogant attitude is a great bit of character development. There’s phenomenal insults that are coming out of nowhere and it’s great to watch such two legendary wrestlers go at each other verbally as well as in the ring. For it to work for Styles in the long run he needs to be allowed to go on and dominate with the The Club. Speaking of which, Anderson and Gallows, who look like they’ve been sharing sun beds with Tyler Breeze and Fandango, are playing a great side role in this feud. They’re AJ’s boys through and through and it’s great to see them apologise in such a way to their leader.

"You're welcome" - Styles clashes with Cena
“You’re welcome” – Styles clashes with Cena

I have very little to say about Baron “Jeremy” Corbin at this moment in time. Beating the likes of Dolph Ziggler and Zack Ryder is hardly a step up from winning the Andre The Giant Mouthful Royale. If Corbin is to gain any real credibility he needs to be feuding with the likes of the Wyatt’s. Having said that their promo looked fantastic!

The Women’s Championship match was a bit strange. First Natalya has bizarrely turned heel and then Paige gets a title shot out of nowhere. There’s serious questions that come to mind with Paige. I mean, is she a face or a heel? Is she still with that guy from A Day to Remember or is she with Del Rio? I’m not interested in her title shot because it doesn’t feel deserved. I also don’t know quite what it is but I can’t stand Dana Brook. Charlotte is playing her part brilliantly. She’s irritating and arrogant yet I still appreciate how great she is altogether. Still, Dana tries to be the same and I find myself developing a real disliking to her. She’s supposed to come across as incompetent at times as the protege but when you watch her you realise that’s just who she really is. She is actually incapable of the simplest task. Poor old Dana couldn’t even lift Charlotte’s leg onto the rope properly. Only credit I can give her is that she sold that right hook from Sasha like a dream. All things considered it was a pretty good match and Charlotte, rightly so, came out the victor. With Sasha Banks returning to a huge pop maybe it’s time for Dana to start getting her act together in order to help the genetically superior one. It was also a dream come true of mine to see Paige and Sasha standing side by side with the Women’s title in hand. Incredible.

Dreams do come true
Dreams do come true

The Wyatt’s are back! I’ve been waiting for this ever since the WWE teased a promo picture on Twitter some weeks ago. It’s very interesting to see them go head to head with The New Day considering they haven’t faced each other yet. It’s interesting because I never would have imagined such a feud to work but when you think about it there could be some genuine gold to be struck here. During his time away Bray seems to have been working on his mind controlling skills as every time he stared at Woods he began to look possessed. I can’t wait to see how this develops over the coming weeks. Please WWE do not mess this one up!

I understand that there’s a certain level of points scoring that needs to go on during a feud but O’Neil made Rusev look weak last night. It’s a good job Rusev didn’t actually lose that match or else it would have completely undermined his title defence at Money in the Bank. Hopefully Rusev continues to dominate his opponents in future matches or else he’ll be left with Fabergé Egg all over his face. If you don’t get that then you really don’t appreciate Russian art.

Things are shaping up nicely with the WWE Brand Draft just around the corner. The number 1 contenders match was pretty good up until Maggle Cole called Dirty Deeds the Pedigree. How can you get it so categorically wrong? Even JBL must be thinking “what the f**k did you just say?”
With Roman Reigns currently out of the picture it leaves us all wondering just what will happen between Rollins and Ambrose? Surely it won’t be just the two of them in this feud. There’s a few factors that make it all seem a bit iffy. Did the company already know of Reings issue before Sunday night and they had him drop the title as a result. It did seem rather surprising for them to make him drop the title considering they’ve pushed him harder than your mum. The count out was also rather disappointing as it set up the Shield triple threat for Battleground. It seems to me like they knew they couldn’t book such a huge match so early in the Wrestling calendar so they deliberately booked the match knowing it wasn’t going to take place due to Reigns suspension. WWE conspiring to drag out material? Surely not!

Welcome to the Asylum
Welcome to the Asylum

JBL’s Best Bits:

“Byron, you could be draft into ECW. Who knows?” – We all know that wont happen, John.

“THE UNIVERSE IS IN ALIGNMENT. EVERYTHING IS OKAY!” – Well, thats definitely not the reaction John Laurinaitis deserves.

“He lied because it served his purpose” – Ironic for JBL to say such a thing on commentary.

“You don’t exactly have the look of a normal champion” – What’s normal about men competing for a belt that is pre determined? Wrestling is stupid isn’t it?