KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (11/14)
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The following is Wade Keller’s WWE Raw report with contributions from James Caldwell from five years ago this week originally published on PWTorch.com…
WWE RAW REPORT
JULY 7, 2014
MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
By Wade Keller & James Caldwell
[Hour One] Raw from Montreal opened with The Shield’s music playing. From the crowd came Roman Reigns, who walked through a sea of people down to the ring as Michael Cole introduced the show on commentary. Cole said what’s unique about Raw is The Authority is not here tonight; they’re on vacation. What’s that?
Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler were shown on-camera setting up the show before Reigns spoke from inside the ring. Reigns said unlike some people, when he comes to the ring, he comes with a point. Reigns said Triple H put him in the fatal four-way WWE Title match at Battleground because he thinks it’s best for business. He said Hunter thinks maybe he (Reigns) can neutralize John Cena, which he can do, or Kane can neutralize him (Reigns), which he can’t. And then Randy Orton walks out with the title. But, he won’t.
Pause for a mix of chants related to Bret Hart and John Cena, apparently. Reigns waited out the chant, then said, “When Roman Reigns is in the house, you damn right Cena sucks,” which popped the crowd. Reigns said what The Authority wants is irrelevant and what Orton says is irrelevant because he’s the next WWE champion. The crowd popped, then Kane’s pyro interrupted. Reigns stood in the ring amused as Kane stood on the stage glaring toward the ring through his mask.
Reigns asked Kane if he’s standing in for The Authority tonight since he’s just Triple H’s lapdog. No wait, just Randy Orton’s b—-. Ooohs from the crowd. Kane slowly walked down to ringside, where Reigns met him with right hands. A brawl broke out ringside, then Kane rolled Reigns into the ring, but Reigns knocked him off the ring apron. The brawl continued into the crowd, where the two men traded blows and control.
Back to ringside, then back into the ring, which brought out referees to try to separate the two. But, Kane grabbed one of the refs and chokeslammed him. Agents then spilled out to break up the fight. Finlay roughed up Reigns a little bit, then Reigns shoved Jamie Noble aside and speared Finlay in half. Kane wanted a piece of Reigns again, but Reigns dropped him with a Superman Punch, popping the crowd. Shield’s music played as Kane retreated up the ramp to the stage. [c]
Back from break, The Wyatts were in the ring for tag action. No Bray Wyatt, just Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. They stood there waiting out their theme music before The Usos walked out on-stage to be introduced for the opening match.
(1) THE USOS vs. LUKE HARPER & ERICK ROWAN
The Usos clotheslined Rowan over the top rope early on, then Rowan limped around ringside back to the heel corner to regroup. Harper got in offense, then Rowan eventually found himself back in the ring, where he lost control of the match. Jey tagged in, but he lost control on Rowan. The Wyatts exchanged tags heading into commercial.
[c] After the break, one Uso hot-tagged the other, and the announcers didn’t seem confident in saying who tagged whom. You never hear the announcers talk circles around a wrestler’s name like they did here. The closest Cole got was “the high-flying Usos” after a dive in the ring. Lawler said, a minute later, “Look at this flying Uso!” They still hadn’t figured it out. JBL used a dreaded (by Vince McMahon pronoun) as he said “he” almost got him on a subsequent pin attempt. One Uso saved the other after a powerbomb by Harper. A minute later Harper blind-sided an Uso with a clothesline and got the win. JBL said as far as he’s concerned, that makes them no. 1 contenders. Yes, usually that’s the case when someone beats the reigning champs.
WINNERS: Rowan & Harper at 11:03.
-At ringside Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL plugged a “hassle-free” preview week of WWE Network, with “no strings attached, no credit card required.” They touted the 90 percent satisfaction rating among subscribers. Then they shifted to plugging Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose in a Smackdown rematch.
-Backstage Orton told Kane it took a lot of nerve for Reigns to put his hands on him like that. Orton said if he needed him, he would have been out there “lickety-split” to help him because he has his back. He said he hopes Kane has his back at Battleground, implying he wanted Kane to help him become champion again. Kane said “one way or another” the World Title is coming back to The Authority. Seth Rollins walked in and said with The Authority not there, it’s more important than ever that they have each other’s backs. He said no matter whether Kane or Orton wins at Battleground, “I promise you I’ll think twice before cashing in” the briefcase. Orton told Kane he’s “really starting to hate that kid.” Kane said, “Not nearly as much as I’m starting to hate you.” [c]
-WWE Fact: Total Divas was nominated for a Teen Choice Awards for best Reality Show.
(2) NIKKI BELLA vs. ALICIA FOX – One Arm Tied Behind Back Stips
Nikki got her ring entrance on TV, Fox did not. Justin Roberts announced each woman would have one arm tied behind her back. After the ref tied Nikki’s left arm behind her back, Fox blew off the ref’s attempt to tie up her left arm and instead attacked Nikki. She gloated to fans at ringside, then went back to taking shots at Nikki, then back to the fans. She eventually, strangely, found a tub of bottled beverages under the ring. She opened a couple and splashed them all over Nikki and the ring. Then she gloated at ringside.
WINNER: No contest. Nobody bothered to DQ anyone or announce the status of the match. It just turned into an angle, which the crowd rejected with a mix of silence and “boring” catcalls. [c]
(3) RUSEV (w/Lana) vs. ROB VAN DAM
Lana asked Canada to accept the leadership of the “world’s true peacekeeper, Vladimir Putin.” They stared proudly at the big screen image of Putin. RVD’s entrance interrupted. A minute in RVD set up a top rope move, but Rusev yanked him by the throat to the mat. As Rusev settled into a chinlock, an inset interview aired with Zeb Colter who asked Lana to step out from behind her commie skirt and have Rusev accept a match against Jack Swagger at Battleground. RVD surprised Rusev with a small package for a near fall, then landed some kicks and a top rope sidekick. He signaled for the Rolling Thunder, but Rusev moved and then kicked RVD. Rusev yelled out a couple times and then applied the Accolade for the tapout win.
WINNER: Rusev at 4:38.
-They showed Orton backstage heading to the entrance tunnel for his match. [c]
-After scenes of Montreal, a clip aired of the Reigns-Kane segment at the top of the show.
(4) DEAN AMBROSE vs. RANDY ORTON
Orton controlled the early minutes, but Ambrose made a comeback a few minutes in. [c]
After the break, they showed that Orton threw Ambrose into the ringside steps and took back control. Orton concentrated on Ambrose’s already injured left shoulder. Ambrose countered a backbreaker into a sudden figure-four. (Now was that so hard, Miz?) Orton reached the bottom rope to force a break. Ambrose climbed to the top rope and leaped off of it, but Orton never turned around, so Ambrose just landed on the mat behind him. Orton gave him a standing dropkick. The crowd chanted “You f——ed up” and the announcers tried to cover for it by saying Ambrose is crazy and Orton there was lucky.
Orton took control again. Lawler called out Orton for taking time to gloat mid-match against someone as tough as Ambrose. Orton, such a perfectionist with a temper, was probably just trying to calm himself after the botched spot a minute earlier. Ambrose made another comeback, ducking a charging Orton, who tumbled ringside. Ambrose threw Orton into the ringside barricade. He then began throwing chairs wildly into the ring. An “E-C-Dub!” chant broke out. They bleeped a chant or something right before that. Orton recovered and DDT’d Ambrose off the ringside barrier onto the padding at ringside. Ambrose barely beat getting counted out. Orton went for another DDT inside the ring, but Ambrose slipped free and scored two near falls with leverage pin attempts. Orton then hit Ambrose with a DDT quickly for the clean win. JBL called it a hell of a match.
WINNER: Orton at 17:40.
-Renee Young interviewed John Cena. The crowd booed. Cena totally channeled Dusty Rhodes on this interview as he talked about taking care of “biddness.” He even did some of Dusty’s limp-wristed signature hand-gestures. Reigns walked in and wished him luck tonight. Cena said he doesn’t need lucky tonight. Reigns said he’ll need it at Battleground.
Back from break, Fandango was at the announce table to announce his inclusion in the IC Title battle royal at Battleground.
4 — DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO
Fandango said sometimes he likes blondes, sometimes brunettes. He said mostly he likes himself. He said he is the only true showoff in WWE. He also said he is the Fonze of WWE. Late in the match, Ziggler sprung on Del Rio for a Fameasser, which resulted in a two count, then Fandango excused himself. His music played and Fandango hopped on the announce table to dance and taunt Ziggler, who made out with Summer Rae last week. Del Rio then popped Ziggler in the head and scored a three count. Del Rio gets another U.S. Title shot fresh off losing to Sheamus on Smackdown. As Fandango continued to dance and taunt Ziggler, Cole hyped the U.S. Title match tomorrow night on the Network, where re-run title matches are free.
WINNER: Del Rio at 4:34.
Backstage: Cody Rhodes, as Stardust, talked to himself, then his dramatic brother, Goldust, walked in to talk in riddles about the cosmos. Suddenly, Goldust had the 1990s wig on to enhance the weirdness. [c]
Backstage: Fandango was shown walking down the hallway pleased with himself. Layla then walked up to him and asked what that was all about. Fandango said he can’t take someone embarrassing him, but Layla wasn’t so sure. She said she doesn’t know what he would do if Fandango still cared for Summer Rae. They embraced, then Fandango looked longingly across the hallway. There was Summer Rae standing a distance away returning Fandango’s gaze.
In-ring: Jerry Lawler said he did not think he would be back in Montreal after what happened last time he was in this building – when his heart attack happened. Lawler thanked the crowd and the local hospital for their support, then brought out Bret Hart. Hart walked out on-stage in a dress shirt and jeans, then took the mic from Lawler in the ring.
Hart waved to the crowd before pausing for a “Thank you, Bret” chant. “Merci,” Bret said. He said no matter what happened here in the past, it’s always an honor to be back here in Montreal. Hart said he speaks from the heart when he says if he could just have one more match, it would be right here in Montreal. Hart said he’s getting the kind of rush he used to get when he was WWE champion.
Suddenly, Hart’s music played again. Out came Damien Sandow dressed as 1990s Hart with the leather jacket, oiled hair, and pink and black trunks doing the open-the-jacket pose. Sandow described himself as “Bret ‘the Hitman’ Sandhart.” Sandow role-played Hart at Survivor Series 1997, then said his one regret was that he was actually proud to be from a third-world country like Canada. But, his main regret was never being in the same ring as the great Damien Sandow.
Sandow paused before saying he knows talking has never been Bret’s strong suit, but Hart punched him in the face before he could finish the sentence. Sandow spilled out of the ring to the floor, then Hart offered a closing line: “No, punching was.” Hart’s music played, then WWE replayed Hart winding up and punching Sandow in the face. Suddenly, Sheamus came out and shared the ring with Bret briefly. [c]
5 — U.S. champion SHEAMUS vs. DAMIEN SANDOW — non-title match
The match was joined in-progress with Sandow doing Hart’s moves and mannerisms. Sheamus blocked a Sharpshooter, though, and lined up Sandow for Ten Forearms to the Chest that spilled into 15 or so blows. Sheamus then backed up to the corner looking for a Brogue Kick and smashed Sandow in the face. It was good for a three count as JBL mock shouted about this not happened again to Hart in Montreal. As Sheamus celebrated, Cole re-plugged the repeat U.S. Title match tomorrow night on WWE Network.
WINNER: Sheamus at 2:34.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in The Miz, who was sporting cocky sunglasses and a leather jacket. Miz cut off Renee and introduced the contents from a piece of paper. Miz removed his shades and read a letter from a fan, who was so excited when Miz returned, but then that rat-faced, tattooed Chris Jericho interrupted. The “fan” instructed Miz to put Jericho in his place. Sincerely, John Russo. Miz got choked up thinking about what would happen to little Johnny Russo if Jericho ruins his face. But, he’s ready to give Jericho his close-up. [c]
[Hour Three] The announcers pushed the free week of WWE Netweork again.
6 — CHRIS JERICHO vs. THE MIZ
Jericho quickly went after Miz’s money-maker, angering the “movie star.” Meanwhile, the announcers hyped this as a battle of “multi-media stars” who haven’t wrestled a lot recently, so they’re a bit rusty. In the end Miz applied a figure-four leglock, but Jericho grabbed the bottom rope for a break. They came to their feet and Jericho struck Miz right in the face. Miz sold it like a low-blow, then Jericho slapped on the Walls of Jericho for a tap-out win.
WINNER: Jericho via submission at 5:52.
Post-match: The Wyatt video interruption suddenly played. Back in the arena, Bray Wyatt was rocking in his chair atop the stage. Bray taunted Jericho for returning to “save us,” but he can’t even save himself. He said he will never, evvvvver let Jericho forget that these people now sing to a different tune. Because he has the whole world in his hands. Suddenly, Jericho interrupted and told Bray to shut the hell up. “Quiet, Wyatt,” Jericho said. He said Bray is right that actions do speak louder than words. And, his actions are this – he’s going to come up that ramp and beat his ass. Jericho started to leave, but the interruption played. Back in the arena, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper were standing next to Bray to guard him against Jericho. Jericho contemplated making a move, but opted to stay put before Raw cut to break. [c]
7 — Divas champion A.J. LEE & PAIGE vs. CAMERON & NAOMI
Before the match Paige tried to sell being in a good mood despite dropping the title last week, then A.J.’s music played. But, Paige took the mic and introduced her tag team partner with an over-the-top intro. A.J. pretty much ignored her. The announcers noted a lot of combustible elements to this match with Cameron and Naomi not getting along as of late. Back-and-forth, then Paige got the pin for her team. Afterward, Paige excitedly shook A.J.’s hand as if they’re best friends now. Meanwhile, Cameron and Naomi had more issues following their loss. Cameron finger-pointed Naomi on the head, then a shoving match broke out. They eventually scrapped. It turned into more of a fight than a scrap, requiring a referee to separate them.
WINNERS: Paige & A.J. at 2:20. [c]
Back from break, Paul Heyman was in the ring standing next to Cesaro. Heyman noted he is the advocate for Brrrock Lesssnar, who conquered The Undertaker’s Streak at WrestleMania. He is also pleased to represent — Cesaro interrupted and said he can’t talk to them in English. Because they’re French-Canadians, but they don’t even speak French. Cesaro said the French can’t stand them, and neither can the rest of Canada. Kofi Kingston, sporting taped ribs, came to the ring to face Cesaro in a re-match from last week.
8 — CESARO (w/Paul Heyman) vs. KOFI KINGSTON
In the end Cesaro dropped Kofi with a military press, but Kofi kicked out of a pin attempt. Suddenly, Kofi surprised Cesaro with a quick three count for the win. Heyman sold annoyance ringside. Cesaro again attacked Kofi after losing to him. But, Big E. hit the ring and chased off Cesaro before his music played. Big E. and Kofi stood tall in the ring while Cesaro and Heyman recovered to the stage.
WINNER: Kingston at 1:51.
Locker Room: John Cena was sitting down thinking things over, then Seth Rollins walked in for a civilized conversation between two adults. Cena listened to Rollins offer him measured jabs, such as Orton or Kane taking the WWE Title from Cena at Battleground – if he doesn’t cash in MITB beforehand. Cena listened to his speech, then said he thinks Rollins is full of crap and a bigger deal than he really is after getting a big contract and a futuristic jumpsuit. See you out there. [c]
9 — BO DALLAS vs. EL TORITO
Once the bell sounded, Bo watched as Torito ran circles around the ring. Bo then got down on both knees, so Torito playfully whipped him with his tail. Torito followed with a crotch shot, then a slap to the face, angering Bo. Bo then shoved down the non-injured Matador ringside with Torito. Bo lost his cool, then knocked down Torito back in the ring. He regained his cool and his smile, then dropped Torito with a running Bo-Dog for the pin and the win.
Post-match: A victory lap for Dallas, including “accidentally” running over Torito when he did not see him recovering on the outside and not breaking stride.
WINNER: Bo Dallas at 1:22. [c]
10 — WWE champion JOHN CENA vs. MITB holder SETH ROLLINS — non-title match
Rollins controlled the champion heading to an early commercial break squeezed in before the top of the hour. [c]
[Overrun] Late in the match Cena came back with the STFU out of nowhere, Cena re-applied center-ring of the ring, and Kane’s pyro suddenly shot off. Cena released the hold as Kane walked down the ramp toward the ring. Cena backed right into Randy Orton, who attacked Cena from behind. No bell to be heard for a DQ, as the ref apparently bailed when Kane hit the ring.
WINNER: No Result in 10:00.
Post-match: Orton, Kane, and Rollins beat Cena until Roman Reigns’s music played. Reigns walked down the ramp instead of through the crowd, and Reigns promptly dropped Kane with a Superman Punch. He also blasted Orton in the ring. But, Rollins popped Reigns with the MITB briefcase. Then, Cena took a briefcase shot to the head. Rollins contemplated cashing in the briefcase, but how could he cash in when the previous match never ended? Another ref emerged to receive the case from Rollins, but Dean Ambrose showed up through the crowd to spear Rollins to the ground. Ambrose ran Rollins up the ramp to the back as Cole house-cleaned on no MITB cash-in again this week.
Back in the ring, Cena was waking up as Randy Orton slid into the ring. Orton thought he had Cena ready for an RKO, but Cena sprung on him with an AA. Kane wanted a chokeslam on Cena, though, only to take a spear from Roman Reigns. The Shield’s music played as Reigns and Cena stood tall in the ring. Reigns then yanked Cena’s hand in the air for the faces to stand tall, but Cena was taken aback by the gesture, not trusting anyone right now. “Spear, spear” chant from the crowd, then Cena returned the gesture by holding Reigns’s hand in the air. Cena and Reigns came face-to-face, then Reigns held Cena’s hand in the air to boos. Cena sold slight annoyance as Raw signed off eight minutes past the top of the hour.