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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
JUNE 6. 2022
GREEN BAY, WISC.
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
-They opened with a video package on the Cody Rhodes injury and then fighting through it in the Hell in a Cell match the previous night.
-Jimmy Smith introduced the show and called Cody’s performance epic. Corey Graves noted that The Judgment Day will expand their ranks by one tonight. Byron Saxton talked about Liv Morgan vs. Doupdrop vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Alexa Bliss later to determine the next challenger for Bianca Belair. Saxton hyped The Street Profits vs. The Usos in a Championship Contenders match (the graphic dropped the apostrophe, after it had been used lately in “Contenders,” for those who still torture themselves trying to figure out how that euphemism for a non-title match can make sense.)
-Cody came out to his music in suit pants and a vest, but not suit coat. His right arm was pretty much just dangling as he slapped hands with fans using his left arm. Smith said in a Hall of Fame career, there are career-defining performances, and last night was one of those for Cody. Fans chanted “Thank you, Cody!” He said that warms his heart. He said he’s seen a lot of people praising his effort “and having reverence for what I was able to do.” He said he doesn’t believe in that necessarily, “because it is a privilege to do what I am able to do.” He said tearing his pectoral tendon completely off the bone is demoralizing, but he doesn’t want to be demoralized. He said for those who don’t know, he has a daughter. His voice began to crack. He said when she is old enough, he wants her to know that in the darkest of times and potentially the lowest time of his career in what could have been the worst night “in what was literal hell,” he wasn’t cynical or jaded, but he stood and fought. Fans began another “Cody!” chant.
Cody said he fought one of the top Superstars in the history of pro wrestling in Seth Rollins. “I don’t like him, either,” he said in response to a fan. He said the rivalry is over and he is officially done with Seth Rollins. He said with that in mind, he wanted to talk about what’s above him. He looked up at the Money in the Bank briefcases. He said the contract inside of those has eluded him his entire career. He said in four weeks, maybe somehow, someway he will be able to climb that briefcase and cash it in and become the WWE Undisputed Universal Champion. Seth’s music played.
Seth limped out. Smith said he’s not exactly dancing out as they’re used to seeing. Saxton said Seth is likely going through emotional pain after not being able to beat Cody. Cody looked leerily at Seth as he entered the ring. Seth looked choked up with emotion. “I still do not like you,” Seth said. “But after what you put yourself through last night, you have earned my respect.” Seth said the world is calling it one of the gutsiest performances in the history of the business. He said he is the toughest person he has ever been in the ring with. Cody seemed to accept those words and take pride in them.
Seth said he might be the last person he needs to hear this from, but “Dusty is very proud of his baby boy right now.” Cody looked like he was holding back tears. His chin quivered as fans chanted “Cody! Cody!” Seth said he came out there to shake his hand. Cody shook his left hand. Seth leaned in and had a few words off mic, then limped out of the ring. Cody’s music played. Graves called it a classy gesture by The Visionary, showing class in defeat. Cody watched Seth as returned all the way to the back, then clapped. Graves said Cody is scheduled for surgery on Wednesday. Smith said his mental focus is on MITB on July 2, “which is not a lot of time.”
Cody smiled and waved to fans in the entrance area. Seth then attacked Cody with a sledgehammer. The announcers were outraged. WWE officials ran out and tried to talk Seth to back away (including Joe Hennig, the former Curtis Axel, who is a newly-hired producer for WWE).
(Keller’s Analysis: It seems unrealistic Cody would be ready in time for MITB, but it seems they put that out there so it would be seen as Seth’s fault for the post-match attack setting Cody back several more months. If it weren’t for WWE’s culture of repeatedly doing swerves where a heel acts nice and then pulls the rug out from under viewers, you’d think that was the start of a Seth babyface turn so Seth could fill Cody’s top babyfaces slot for the next 4-6 months or even longer. Cody is really carrying himself like an alpha centerpiece babyface. His earnestness and likability there was top level.) [c]
-They showed Cody struggling to stand. He was offered a stretcher, but he chose to walk to the back on his own without assistance. The announcers reacted to a replay of Seth’s attack. Graves said throughout his career, he has justified nearly everything Seth has done and he considered him a friend. He said that attack, though, was the most disgusting thing he’s seen from anyone in his tenure in WWE. They went to Graves, Smith, and Saxton on camera as they looked outraged and repulsed by Seth’s actions.
(1) BECKY LYNCH vs. DANA BROOKE
Becky Lynch made her ring entrance. Brooke was already in the ring. They cut to a video package on Becky’s match at HIAC the night before. Akira Tozawa ran to ringside and was followed by other 24/7 Division wrestlers including Reggie, T-Bar, R-Truth, and Tamina. Brooke rolled up Tozawa mid-match to win the 24/7 Title. Becky said nobody is winning a title during her matches. She said she wanted Brooke to defend the 24/7 Title against her and if anyone interferes, they’ll have to deal with her.
WINNER: No contest in under 1:00. [c]
(1b) DANA BROOKE vs. BECKY LYNCH – 24/7 Title match
Saxton explained the 24/7 rules are suspended during an actual 24/7 Title match. Early in the match, Asuka’s music played and she walked out. Becky was upset and took her eyes off Brooke. She then turned back and gave Brooke an exploder suplex. Asuka stood on the ring apron and got Becky’s attention. Brooke rolled up Becky for a near fall. Becky went back on the attack, but Brooke avoided her charging in the corner. Brooke came back with a handspring elbow and running bulldog for a two count. She then set up a top rope flip senton, but Becky moved. Becky then kicked Brooke in the face. She turned and had some words for Asuka. Brooke then countered a Becky suplex and jackknife pinned her. Asuka held Becky’s legs and Brooke got a three count.
WINNER: Brooke in 2:00 to retain the 24/7 Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: Did anyone at all think they’d see Brooke pin Becky under any circumstances tonight, or really anytime?)
-The announcers threw to a big announcement about John Cena. A video played announcing that he returns to Raw on June 27 at Raw in Laredo, Tex.
(Keller’s Analysis: Well, if you were wondering who could fill Cody’s shoes in the top babyface position on Raw, Cena is quite an answer. Now, that’s weeks away and it doesn’t mean he’ll be an every week performer indefinitely like Cody, but it does give WWE a hook for viewers.)
-Miz and Maryse began their ring entrance. [c]
-Miz TV: Miz introduced his wife. He threw wonderful compliments her way and called her the love of his life. They gave Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti a run for their money with obnoxious smooching. Miz talked about the potential of winning MITB a third time and setting a record. Maryse said this is such a big occasion talking about “Miz and Mrs.” She said her team didn’t even know what Green Bay was. “You’d think we’d be in a city people actually know about,” she said. As fans booed, Miz raised his arm and said: “When my hand goes up, your mouth goes shut. My wife is talking! Do not disrespect her!” Riddle’s music then played.
Riddle walked out and asked what was up with all the harsh vibes. He gave Randy Orton a shoutout. Miz said Randy’s career is over and now he’s going to get beat up by the Bloodline every week. Riddle told Miz to “shut the hell up.” He said he’s tired of fighting Roman’s minions week after week. He said he wants to fight the “Tribal Piece of Trash” and take his WWE Undisputed Universal Championship from him. Miz laughed at “the absurdity” of that goal.
Riddle said his show features his wife dragging him around by his tiny balls. Miz looked down at his crotch. Maryse told Riddle not to talk about her husband that way. She insisted Miz has “average balls.” Miz didn’t like that. She said they are above average. Then she said they’re huge, the biggest ever. Riddle said, “Prove it!” Fans chanted “Prove it!” Miz said, “What the hell is wrong with you people?” Maryse issued a challenge for Riddle to face Miz. Riddle said, “RKO 4:20 says I just smoked your ass, bro.” Miz said he’s in a tuxedo and this is his premiere party, so the answer is no.
Tommaso Ciampa then attacked Riddle from behind. Graves wondered where he came from. Saxton wondered why he targeted Riddle. Miz saw that Riddle was down and writhing in pain, so he accepted the challenge after all. [c]
(2) MIZ (w/Maryse) vs. RIDDLE
The match was joined in progress. Miz had Riddle grounded in a headlock. Riddle fought back and landed a snap powerslam. Miz ran to ringside. Riddle chased him down and ripped apart his dress pants. “All of a sudden Monday Night Raw has become the Thunder from Down Under,” Graves said. Fans chanted “Tiny balls!” Miz, with his dress pants torn but still covering most his striped white briefs, swung Maryse’s purse at Miz, but Riddle ducked and then hit an RKO for the win.
WINNER: Riddle in 3:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Miz was really effective here at giving fans a reason to take joy in seeing Riddle embarrass and beat him. Maryse’s mic work was really good here. There wasn’t a lot to it, but she was believably snooty.)
-An ad aired for NXT 2.0 pushing the fallout from In Your House.
-The Street Profits made their ring entrance. Smith said it’s raining Solo cups. Graves pointed out it wasn’t yet and said not even Saxton screws that up.
(3) THE USOS vs. THE STREET PROFITS – Championship Contenders match
A few minutes in, Ford landed a flip dive off the ring apron onto Jimmy at ringside. They cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, the Usos took over against Dawkins. The Usos whipped Dawkins into the ringside steps and then WWE cut to another break. [c]
Back from the break, Ford tagged out to Dawkins, then dove onto Jey at ringside. Jimmy then dove through the ropes and tackled Ford. Dawkins then flip dove over both Usos. He overshot, but made enough contact to take them down. Dawkins gave Jimmy a spinebuster in the ring. Ford then hit a frog splash off the top rope for a near fall, broken up by Jey. Jey leaped at Dawkins at ringside, but Dawkins ducked and he flew into the time keeper’s area. Ford rolled into the ring as Jey was counted out. Riddle celebrated with the Profits afterward.
WINNERS: The Profits via countout in 16:00 to earn a future tag team title match.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good action, although with two commercial breaks, only about half of the match actually aired.)
-They went to the announcers who commented on a replay of the Cody-Seth angle earlier.
-Bobby Lashley made his ring entrance. [c]
-Lashley’s music faded. He said it didn’t have to end the way it has between him and MVP. He said the saying goes you never interrupt your enemies as they’re making a mistake. He said he had MVP begging for mercy in his Hurt Lock and it felt damn good. He said now that he has MVP and Omos in his rear view mirror, he was wondering what’s next. He was interrupted by Theory. Theory walked out and said he doesn’t know what authority allowed him to come out there and “steal my spotlight, but this is my time.” He told fans to shut up. He said Lashley is out there after someone helped him win, whereas he won his match all by himself. He asked Lashley to “get out of my ring.” Theory added, “Actually, let’s take a selfie first.”
Lashley said it’s not Theory’s ring. “Let’s settle this like gentlemen and fight about it,” he said. Theory said they’re going to have a match, but first check out his bicep. He flexed right in Lashley’s face. Lashley showed off his bicep. Saxton said, “It’s a little bigger.” Lashley said if he’s so confident he can beat him, how about he put his U.S. Title belt on the line. Theory asked the fans if that’s what they want. Theory looked at Lashley and said, “You don’t deserve a title match, Bobby.” He said Lashley has defeated Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, and Drew McIntyre, but he hasn’t defeated him. He pointed out he’s Mr. McMahon’s protege. Lashley kicked him out of the ring and said, “Take a walk, kid.” Theory retreated, but kept mouthing off.
-A clip aired of Veer applying his Cervical Clutch on Dominik two months ago leading to Dominik being stretchered out.
-Rey and Dominik Mysterio made their way to the ring. Saxton said tonight is all about revenge for the Mysterios. [c]
-They showed a photo Seth posted on social media holding a sledgehammer with a graphic saying “For the love of the game.” That was spoofing what Cody did Sunday night on social media. The announcers were disgusted by him.
(4) VEER MAHAN vs. DOMINIK MYSTERIO (w/Rey Mysterio)
As Veer came out, a soundbite aired with Veer saying Dominik is nothing but a fly and he’ll enjoy smashing the fly as his father looks on, unable to do anything to stop him. Veer chased Dominik to ringside and back into the ring and then out of the ring again. Graves said Dominik is trying to tire out Veer and frustrate him. Dominik then slidekicked Veer’s hip as he re-entered the ring. Veer brushed him off and threw him down. Dominik landed a kick from the ring apron followed by a wrecking ball kick. He legdropped Veer as he re-entered the ring, but Veer again brushed it off and collided with Dominik chest to chest to take Dominik down hard. They put a countdown clock on the screen saying in less than 20 minutes, The Judgment Day would announce the added member. Veer threw Dominik into Rey at ringside. Then he kicked Rey in the head. They cut to a break as Veer gloated. [c]
Back from the break, Dominik avoided a charging Veer and pounded away at him in the corner. Dominik landed a top rope splash a minute later for a one count. Veer took over with a lariat and then set up a Cervical Clutch. Rey attacked Veer, though, and the ref DQ’d Dominik. Graves said he respects that out of Rey, standing up to Veer. Rey gave Veer a 619.
WINNER: Veer in 9:00 via DQ.
(Keller’s Analysis: I actually liked the underdog babyface here running from Veer. It’s rare that that would seem like anything but a cowardly, humiliating, defeatist strategy, but Dominik isn’t seen as having any chance, so wearing out Veer’s cardio might be his smartest approach. Veer’s promo before the match was actually pretty solid. I’d like to see them add more layers to his character, though.)
-A video package aired on The Judgment Day’s win at HIAC.
-The Judgement Day’s Edge, Rhea Ripley, and Damian Priest made their ring entrance. Priest opened by asking everyone to rise for The Judgment Day. Ripley said control is an illusion that led A.J. Styles, Finn Balor, and Liv Morgan think they were going to succeed at HIAC. She said they were always destined for victory. She said they cannot be controlled and their message is spreading like wildfire. “Our destiny has no limitations,” she said. Priest said that is truth being spoken. Priest said Ripley’s destiny is to once again become Raw Women’s Champion.
Edge asked the crowd to be quiet. He said he’s been doing this for 30 years, so they can close their mouths. He said they did precisely what they said they were going to do. He said he was proud of Ripley and Priest. He said they weren’t the only ones listening to their message. He said someone else was listening, and he then introduced their newest member. Finn Balor’s music played. Edge laughed. Saxton said he can’t believe it. Graves said this just can’t be. Smith said maybe he’s coming out to continue his assault on Judgment Day. Graves said it’s possible, but it’s more likely the message has been spread and what Edge preaches has worked. “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” said Graves.
Edge told Balor he saw the look in his eyes change during their match. He said he was ecstatic when Ripley and Priest said he reached out to them. He said he’s always seen how talented he is. He asked how it came to pass. Balor said the look Edge saw in his eyes last night was one of clarity. He said joining The Judgment Day wasn’t a choice, it was a calling. He said he’s tired of pretending to be someone he’s not. “Finally, I am seeing clearly.” He said he saw Ripley and Priest fight with more conviction than ever before. He said he should have been angry and furious, but he wasn’t. He said he was impressed and in awe, so he reached out to them after the show. He said it turned out they have a lot more in common than they realized. Priest said Edge is one of the greatest competitors of all-time, which is why it was an easy decision to follow Edge into the darkness. Priest said they are ready to shed the last bit of limitations holding them back. He turned to Edge and said, “Which is you.” He then clotheslined Edge. Balor, Ripley, and Priest stomped away at Edge. Smith called it the ultimate betrayal. Priest chokeslammed Edge. Balor then landed a Coup de Grace onto Edge’s torso. Edge rolled out of the ring.
Edge stood and put up a fight briefly, but was overwhelmed and knocked to the floor. Balor and Priest then gave Edge a Razor’s Edge onto the announce desk. Balor put a bar in Edge’s mouth and pulled back into an STF style hold. Priest asked Balor to release his grip to let him put a chair under Edge’s head. Priest then bashed Edge’s head as Ripley fended off WWE officials with a chair as they tried to enter the ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: So was that an audible because of Cody’s injury? If so, that’s unfortunate because this felt jarringly out of nowhere. I don’t think Edge as a heel was working well, but it’s was getting better week by week, and this puts Edge in an awkward position of being a babyface merely because heels turned on him, much like Seth when The Authority turned on him. Getting fans back on board cheering Edge is going to be an uphill battle. Priest’s mic work wasn’t great here, either, and now he’s likely the heel faction’s top spokesperson. I like Balor being added, but I wish they told more of a story that laid groundwork for Edge being ousted rather than doing it out nowhere like this. I hope they build on the idea that Balor turned out to be the leader of the decision and tell more of a story that makes it believable that Priest and Ripley would be on board with his persuasion in such a short timeframe.) [c]
-The announcers commented on a replay of Priest, Balor, and Ripley turning on Edge. Graves said Edge opened the doors to more success for Priest and Ripley and he wondered what role Balor had in this.
-Highlights aired of Lashley’s win over Omos & MVP, and then the Lashley-Cedric Alexander conversation last night afterward.
(5) OMOS (w/MVP) vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER
Cedric charged at the bell, but Omos then gave him a head vice slam for the quick win.
WINNER: Omos in under 15 seconds.
-Afterward, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode came out to talk to Kevin Patrick in what Graves called “the Okerlund position.” (I like naming that interview stage off after Okerlund, who did interviews on syndicated TV in that spot 20 years ago.) MVP complained that Ziggler and Roode were taking the spotlight off of Omos. He called them clowns. Ziggler superkicked MVP off the stage. Ziggler and Roode ran to the back.
(Keller’s Analysis: So Ziggler and Roode are babyfaces now? Or are they just Omos’s victims before going back to being a mid-card heel tag team act?)
-Smith touted that last night’s event was the most watched Hell in a Cell in history.
-Omos and Chad Gable made their ring entrance. [c]
-Smith hyped the season premier of “Miz & Mrs.” on after Raw.
(6) EZEKIEL vs. OTIS (w/Chad Gable)
Saxton called Ezekiel a newcomer who was looking to continue his winning ways in his rookie year after a loss against KO the night before. Otis absorbed Ezekiel’s early attack and took control. He overhead suplexed him. Smith said he had a tough time against Kevin Owens and things aren’t going better for him tonight. Ezekiel sent Otis face-first into the corner with a Russian leg sweep. Ezekiel chopped away at Otis and then threw a running clothesline. Otis didn’t budge and then lifted Ezekiel. Ezekiel slipped free and landed a high knee and then a crucifix for a win.
WINNER: Ezekiel in 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good to give Ezekiel a win the night after losing. Otis is a mid-card tag wrestler at this point, so he can afford the loss.)
-Afterward, Ezekiel said last night was the most important match of his careered, but he fell short. “Maybe I was a little too zeeked up,” he said. He said he learned from his brother Elias that everyone deserves a second chance. He challenged Owens to give him a rematch next week on Raw. Owens walked out to his music, mic in hand.
Owens asked why he’d give Ezekiel a rematch since he already beat him. He said he’s in such a good mood, though, and feeling generous, that he’ll grant him a rematch. He walked past Otis and Gable as he talked. He said Ezekiel just has to admit to the world right now that he is Elias in order to get that rematch. Ezekiel looked around at the fans. Ezekiel said, “Okay, you got me, Kev. I admit it.” Owens said, “You admit what? Say it! Look me in the eyes.” Ezekiel said, “I admit my name is Elias.” KO celebrated and said, “I knew it. You’re the liar. I’m not the liar. I win!” Ezekiel asked, “So do I have my rematch.” Owens said he’ll happily beat the hell out of him again next week. Ezekiel laughed and said he didn’t think it’d be that easy. He said all he had to do was take a page out of the KO playbook. Owens asked what he was talking about. “I lied,” he said. “I’m Ezekiel.” Owens charged at him, but Ezekiel gave him a high knee. Owens went down. Otis and Gable ran into the ring. Ezekiel leaped to the floor. Graves said Ezekiel stole that out of KO’s playbook. He said if KO is a liar, Ezekiel is a thief.
-A video package aired on Becky vs. Asuka vs. Belair at HIAC.
-Belair made her entrance. [c]
-The announcers commented on The Judgment Day ousting Edge earlier.
-Liv Morgan came out. Smith said therapy is apparently working. Saxton said she seems more at peace with herself and less disturbed. Ripley made her entrance. [c]
-Saxton commented on a Tweet by Cena saying it’s been too long and he’s excited to be back in Loredo, Tex. later this month.
(7) LIV MORGAN vs. RHEA RIPLEY vs. DOUDROP (w/Nikki A.S.H.) vs. ALEX BLISS
Belair watched from ringside. Doudrop and Ripley cleared the ring early and then faced off. They exchanged big blows mid-ring. Morgan and Bliss yanked Doudrop out of the ring by her legs. Then they went after Ripley in the ring. Ripley quickly knocked Morgan out of the ring and then beat on Bliss. Morgan eventually returned and broke up a suplex by Ripley. Bliss threw a roundhouse at Morgan. It showed light, but Morgan sold it anyway. Graves called it a glancing blow, aware it looked pretty bad. Bliss leaped into the arms of Ripley at ringside. Morgan leaped off the ring apron and knocked them both down. Doudrop then splashed Morgan on the floor. They cut to ringside. [c]
Back from the break, Doudrop was in control. Saxton wondered if Doudrop was more motivated because she hasn’t been a champion in WWE yet. Graves said she might be the dark horse here. Eventually chaos broke out with everyone hitting moves and some near falls. Doudrop landed a sitout powerbomb on Morgan. Bliss broke up the cover. Graves speculated Ripley would want Doudrop to win because she’s defeated her before. Ripley met Doudrop on the top rope. Ripley pointed at Belair. Morgan and Bliss then turned it into a four-person Tower of Doom type crash landing in the ring.
All four were down and slow to get up. Bliss crawled over and covered Doudrop while Morgan had Ripley covered. The ref counted both covers at once. The announcers wondered what would have happened. Graves said it might have become a triple threat. Bliss and Morgan battled next. Bliss got the better of Morgan and landed a DDT. She then set her up for her Twisted Bliss. Morgan lifted her knees. Doudrop returned to the ring and attacked Morgan. Nikki interfered. Graves said there are no DQs in Fatal Four-way matches. Bliss dove at Doudrop, but Doudrop caught her and landed a Michinoku Driver. Ripley broke up the cover. Ripley then gave Doudrop the Riptide for the win. Afterward, Balor and Priest joined Ripley in the ring. They stared down at Belair who stood and nodded at her Money in the Bank challenger.
WINNER: Ripley in 15:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Solid main event action. It’s odd they didn’t put Belair on commentary for this match.)