SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
AUSTIN, TEX. AT THE FRANK ERWIN CENTER
JUNE 3, 2019
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
LAST WEEK’S RAW RATING: 1.61 (.12 DECLINE FROM PREVIOUS WEEK)
Arena, Items Advertised by WWE, and Show Start Time
WWE Raw returns to the Frank Peteani … just kidding – the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX. after last appearing in December of 2016. The arena, which opened in 1977, has not been a stranger to WWE as Smackdown appeared in December of 2018. Events have emanated from here going back to 1990, with one of them being my favorite wrestling show when I started watching WWF and that’s Saturday Night’s Main Event. In fact, the episode taped on April 28, 1990 was the first WWF event held in this arena according to prowrestling.fandom.com.
We will wrap up matters on the build to Super Showdown which takes place this Friday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Here’s what’s on tap for tonight’s show according to WWE.com as of this writing. The arena’s website does not show a start time for the show but it’s typically 30 minutes before Raw for the purpose of filming Main Event. It should be 6:30 p.m. local time:
Matches & Segments
- Heyman announces Lesnar will cash in on Rollins
- Not dead yet
- Roman Reigns to team with The Usos to battle Drew McIntyre & The Revival
- These colors don’t run
- Ladies First
Brock Lesnar Cashing in on Seth Rollins
It’s been a whirlwind week, to say the least, in regard to the Money in the Bank contract.
Last week we were under the impression that Brock Lesnar, winner of the 2019 MITB ladder match, would make his decision as to which champion he would cash in on between Universal Champion Seth Rollins and WWE Champion Kofi Kingston. With both champions standing in the ring, Lesnar came down with Paul Heyman holding the briefcase as a boom box (or Beast Box if you will) and danced in the ring. When it was obvious Lesnar and Heyman were wasting both champions’ time, Seth walked out while Dolph Ziggler attacked Kofi from behind. Dolph challenges Kofi at Super Showdown for the WWE Championship. Seth is set to defend the Universal Championship against TGIFriday’s own Baron Corbin at the same event, as a result of Corbin winning a fatal four-way “elimination” match last week.
Later in the evening, Lesnar & Heyman came out indicating that Lesnar was making his decision. Seth Rollins came out, hoping the cash-in would be against him. Heyman read the MITB contract, and Lesnar decided not to cash in when he realized he had a year to make his decision. Lesnar told Seth “screw you” and walked away with Heyman, to the disgust of Seth.
Stephanie McMahon condemned Lesnar & Heyman’s actions, and called for a meeting with upper management:
Paul Heyman had this response:
— Paul Heyman (@HeymanHustle) May 31, 2019
I don’t know what to make of these tweets from NXT’s Matt Riddle, but I thought they should be included here:
I’ll be there to ruin it bro, see you Monday at RAW https://t.co/OjhR8U2L2X
— matthew riddle (@SuperKingofBros) May 31, 2019
— matthew riddle (@SuperKingofBros) June 3, 2019
Frank’s Analysis: I have to admit, I laughed in a guilty way watching Lesnar dance in the ring. I invited everyone from the Torch to a Brock Party at my house this summer. I’ll provide the food and cook, while everyone else brings the booze. The other thing I got a kick out of was Brock not knowing he had a year and slapping Heyman with the contract as if he were a dope. You have to laugh, otherwise you’ll make yourself nuts watching this company. I’m not sure what Stephanie was condemning. Perhaps it was the bait and switch nature of what happened? It’s not like that hasn’t happened before with Money in the Bank winners. It doesn’t matter. Heyman made it clear Lesnar is cashing in tonight. We’ll see if it actually happens and judge the overall story to date after the show. As far as Matt Riddle’s tweets it would be really cool to see something develop between he and Brock, although I can’t in good faith put money on them bringing him up from NXT so soon. Who knows as stranger things have happened. I’m just imagining the interactions with Riddle, Brock, and Heyman.
The Undertaker Returns
The Undertaker is set to go one-on-one with WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg at Super Showdown this coming Friday. It will be their first match ever on TV.
The Undertaker’s last appearance on Raw was to interrupt Elias the night after WrestleMania at the Barclays Center. He has made sporadic appearances in recent years. The most notable were in the run-up to the last Super Showdown in October of 2018 for his match against Triple H, and in the build-up to Crown Jewel for his tag team match with Kane against D-Generation X (Triple H & Shawn Michaels).
During Goldberg’s first tenure in WWE from 2003-2004, The Undertaker was a member of Smackdown while Goldberg was on Raw. Undertaker had been feuding with Kane, Brock Lesnar, and Vince McMahon while Goldberg enjoyed a brief run as World Heavyweight Champion. At WrestleMania 20, Goldberg would have his last match in WWE at the time against Brock Lesnar while Undertaker returned after a several-months long absence to face his storyline brother Kane.
Goldberg would return to WWE in late 2016 and have an extended program with Brock Lesnar spanning from Survivor Series to WrestleMania 33 in 2017. He captured the Universal Championship from Kevin Owens but would drop it to Lesnar at that WrestleMania in what turned out to be his final match of that tenure. Meanwhile Undertaker, who had long transitioned to be a part-timer, was involved with Roman Reigns.
There is some history with Goldberg and Undertaker. They had a confrontation in 2017 where Brock Lesnar was also involved, as well as ‘Taker eliminating Goldberg in that year’s Royal Rumble:
Last week, we learned that the Undertaker will be on Raw tonight. Goldberg is set to appear on Smackdown tomorrow night. These appearances are no doubt to discuss their upcoming match. Here are the previous confrontations between Undertaker and Goldberg from 2017:
Frank’s Analysis: It looks like we’ve settled to a point where Undertaker does these international shows and especially the ones in Saudi Arabia. He did the Greatest Royal Rumble, Super Showdown in Australia, Crown Jewel, and now this Super Showdown. You wonder now if Goldberg is going to start doing the same. Shawn Michaels came out of retirement for Crown Jewel, right? Anyway, at least there’s some history between Undertaker and Goldberg but I can’t be positive WWE will bring it up.
Roman Reigns & The Usos vs. Drew McIntyre & The Revival
Last week, Shane McMahon took on and defeated Lance Anoa’I who is the cousin of Roman Reigns.
Before the match he lauded about the Anoa’i legacy in the history of WWE. He talked about the Wild Samoans (Afa and Roman’s father Sika), Yokozuna, Rock’s grandfather Peter Maivia. He proceeded to say he witnessed all of their accomplishments and all of their “mistakes.” Following the short match against Roman’s cousin Lance, in which there were “A-E-Dub” chants (referencing AEW), Drew McIntyre and Shane double teamed him before Roman came out for the save.
Meanwhile, the Usos and the Revival were at a Memorial Day celebration in which they were involved with a ring toss. While things seemed copacetic, they got tense when Scott Dawson of the Revival knocked a beanbag out of mid-air. The 24/7 Championship was also involved at the celebration.
Tonight, feuds get combined and Roman makes ANOTHER appearance on Raw via the Wild Card rule as he teams with his cousins the Usos (Jimmy & Jey) to take on Drew McIntyre and the Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
Frank Analysis: The Wild Card rule is the Vince-I-Want-Roman-On-TV-As-Much-As-Possible rule, plain and simple. He can’t push anybody on the undercard, which is loaded with good talent. Oddly enough though, I like Roman commiserating with the Usos. I always thought they should form some kind of faction, as the Usos “cool-factor” (what’s left of it anyway after all the nonsense recently) could rub off on Roman. Naomi could be involved too with Tamina and Nia Jax when she comes back. Vince McMahon doesn’t think of these things because the fans may like it, so we can’t do that! At any rate, this should be a good match. At least they announced it ahead of time, so it feels like it has some importance.
Rey Mysterio To Relinquish the U.S. Championship
Last week on Raw, the announce team discussed the U.S. Championship situation. They re-hashed the match at Money in the Bank that saw Rey Mysterio defeat Samoa Joe to earn the title. They revealed that in the post-match attack Joe delivered to Rey, Rey separated his shoulder. Here’s the video played last week, which features Joe coming out to the announce team stating that Rey will give back the title that is rightfully his:
Rey relinquishes the title tonight.
Frank’s Analysis: Last week I reported that Rey’s shoulder was injured, and he was rehabbing, and it looked like WWE may have been holding off until they know more. If Rey is to miss significant time, that’s a big blow to the roster as he can always be counted on for great in-ring action. It’s especially big because the boss doesn’t know how to utilize his entire roster. Obviously, we can’t expect the title to be handed back to Joe, even though he can lay claim that his shoulder was up during the match. My guess is Vince McMahon will decide north of three times throughout the day tomorrow how to determine a new champion. Why bother trying to speculate?
The Lady Stands Alone?
Last week, the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions the Iiconics did their usual jobbing this time to the combination of Nikki Cross and Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. Following the match, Lacey Evans came out and appeared briefly as she had in her first few months on TV.
On Smackdown she lost a non-title match to Bayley and got into a scuffle with Charlotte Flair following the match. Lacey and Charlotte seemed to be forming an alliance as of late, but apparently no more as a result of what happened.
Lacey has been vocal on Twitter over the past week but nothing specifically at Becky or Charlotte. We’ll see what’s next for her. Stomping Grounds is the next PPV at which Lacey and all the women will be allowed to wrestle.
Frank’s Analysis: The Iiconics are a waste of time as champions. No offense to those women personally, but their act is grating and annoying. The Women’s Tag Team Championship means nothing just over three months into its existence. Both champions fought on TV last week including Becky, whose match wasn’t even advertised ahead of time and she’s the top start on the roster. Once again you have the rest of the roster sitting and doing nothing. I didn’t think Charlotte and Lacey were really forming an alliance, as it’s hard for two “catty” women to co-exist, but it doesn’t make sense to blow it up after just a couple of weeks. Whatever happens happens. Again, it doesn’t make sense to speculate but rather watch and evaluate.
Not Advertised for Follow Up
•The “Electric Chair” segment debuted with Sami Zayn. He said fans could ask him about AEW if they wanted. He went on to lose a non-title match to Universal Champion Seth Rollins in an impromptu match. I don’t understand the gain from having an electric chair segment.
•In one of the few highlights on Raw, Ricochet defeated Cesaro in about ten minutes. The match was well done and competitive, which means Vince McMahon probably hated it.
•Episode #4 of the Firefly Funhouse aired.
•A.J. Styles announced he was injured and couldn’t partake in the fatal four-way to determine a #1 contender for the Universal Championship. The match was won by Baron Corbin over Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley, and the Miz. The match was billed oddly as an elimination match. Lashley and Strowman were counted out, but the announcers didn’t make that clear at first. Like most things on Raw, it made no sense. Corbin pinning the Miz does because, well you know, Corbin. He challenges Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship at Super Showdown.
Follow me on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.