6/27 WWE RAW REPORT: Doucette’s alt-perspective report on Cena celebration, Vince McMahon appearance, Money in the Bank developments, Styles on Miz TV

By Danny Doucette, PWTorch contributor

Full results and analysis of WWE Raw

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WWE RAW TV REPORT
JUNE 27, 2022
LAREDO, TEX. AT SAMES AUTO ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY DANNY DOUCETTE, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, & Byron Saxton

Ring Announcer: Mike Rome


[HOUR ONE]

– The show opened backstage with John Cena, sporting a “20 Years – Never Give Up” video game style shirt, walking through a crowd of wrestlers clapping and greeting him. Cena most notably interacted with Rey and Dominik Mysterio , Shelton Benjamin, R-Truth, The Street Profits, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Dolph Ziggler. Becky Lynch was there with her glasses on looking dejected and clapping half-heartedly. Cena also interacted with Shayna Baszler, Mustafa Ali, Michael Cole, Adam Pearce, Billy Kidman, Bobby Lashley, Ciampa, The Miz, Riddle, Shawn Daivari, Tamina, Reggie, and finally Michael Hayes in a canary yellow suit.

(Doucette Analysis: Nice! A Kidman sighting! This was interesting as the babyfaces and heels were all together. Only Becky was still in character and that was funny, but it was kind of weird seeing heels like Ciampa, Ziggler, Miz, and Baszler be so happy to see Cena.)

-The camera then cut to the crowd where the ring was full of wrestlers. They were set to compete in a “Last chance Money in the Bank Battle Royale”. Rey and Dominik then made their entrance to a big pop from the live crowd. Shinsuke Nakamura then made his entrance next, followed by the last entrant, Riddle.

(1)LAST CHANCE BATTLE ROYAL – Money in the Bank Qualifier

The full list of competitors was Riddle, Shinsuke Nakamura, Dominik Mysterio, Rey Mysterio, R-Truth, Mustafa Ali, Shanky, Jinder Mahal, Ricochet, Dolph Ziggler, Shelton Benjamin, T-Bar, Reggie, Tozowa, Veer Mahan, Ciampa, The Miz, and A.J. Styles.

The competitors brawled with Tozowa being eliminated first by Veer. Benjamin was also then eliminated by Veer. Ali, Rey, and Dominik triple-teamed Veer, but got disposed of. The three quickly regained the advantage on Veer. Rey and Dominik hit a double 6-1-9 on Veer with the assist from Ali. Ali, Rey, and Dominik then dumped Veer over the top rope to eliminate him. R-Truth and Shanky begin dancing together before Jinder breaks it up and then the two start to double-teamed Truth. Shanky and Jinder eliminated Truth. Jinder then turned on Shanky and threw him over the top for the elimination. Styles clotheslined Jinder over to eliminate him. T-Bar gorilla pressed Reggie and threw him over the top rope onto Jinder and Shanky to eliminate him. [c]

Dominik attempted to throw Riddle over the top as a replay was shown where during the break, Ali was eliminated by Ciampa with a jumping knee strike. The crowd was firmly behind Rey and Dominik chanting “6-1-9!” Styles and Ciampa fought out onto the ring apron. Styles gained the upper hand and eliminated Ciampa by throwing him into the ring post, causing Ciampa to hit the floor. Miz then came to beat down Styles and charge Rey, who attempted a 6-1-9. Miz ducked and caught Rey with a DDT. Miz tried to throw Rey out, but Rey stayed in. Dominik attacked Miz and then Ziggler. Dominik tried to clothesline Ziggler over, but Dominik ended up eliminating himself. Miz clapped for this and got some major heat from the crowd as he and Ziggler shook hands. Rey tried to hurricanrana Ziggler over the top, but both of them got back into the ring. Rey tried unsuccessfully to eliminate Miz with a headscissors and all Rey, Dolph, and Miz ended up on the apron. Ziggler superkicked Rey and then Miz and Ziggler threw Rey into the barricade and Rey then fell onto the floor to be eliminated. This got a lot of heat from the crowd. Miz tried throwing Riddle over with an assist from Ziggler, but Riddle hung on as the crowd chanted “Bro!” It looked like Rey, who was still on the floor next to the ring, helped Riddle stay in by preventing his feet from touching the ropes. Ricochet and T-Bar brawled and Ricochet almost threw T-Bar over the top, but he landed on the apron. Ricochet tried to jump off the top rope and knock T-Bar off the apron, but got caught in a choke. T-Bar tossed Ricochet from the ring to the outside, but Ricochet was able to land on a ladder propped upright at ringside. Ricochet looked around to see how to get back into the ring and dove at T-Bar. T-Bar caught him in another choke, but Ricochet fought out and used a headscissors off the apron to eliminate T-Bar. [c]

Riddle worked on Miz in the corner and tried a charge, but Miz got a boot to the face. Miz got a double axehandle from the top rope on Riddle and Miz appeared to injure his left knee on the move. Miz fell to the mat in pain and slid out of the ring under the bottom rope. Meanwhile, Nakamura eliminated Zigger by hitting him with a kick as he sat on the top rope. Riddle and Nakamura traded strikes and Riddle eliminated Nakamura with a back body drop onto the apron and a Pele Kick. Miz was being tended to on the ringside floor as Riddle and Ricochet went at it. Riddle catapulted Ricochet into therope, but Ricochet recovered into a dive at Riddle. Riddle ducked and Styles caught Ricochet wth a dropkick out of nowhere. Styles then threw Ricochet, who twisted in mid-air, over the top rope to eliminate him. Corey Graves says, “We are down to two” as Riddle and Styles face off in the ring. However, at that exact moment Miz was shown on the floor still being tended to as he was never officially eliminated. Riddle and Styles traded strikes. Styles kicked Riddle and charged at him and got dumped onto the apron. Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm, but Miz snuck up behind Styles and pulled him off the apron eliminating him. Miz proved his injury to be a ruse and tried to throw Riddle over the top to win. However, Riddle stayed on the apron and kicked Miz in the head. Riddle went back inside the ring and Miz almost executed a Skull Crushing Finale, but Riddle countered with Randy Orton’s rope hung DDT. Riddle went for the RKO, but Miz countered with a successful Skull Crushing Finale. Riddle got to his feet and staggered to the ropes while Miz charged, but Riddle caught Miz in a triangle choke. Miz was able to get out and the two competitors exhaustedly hung onto the apron. Miz charged Riddle, but Riddle landed an RKO and Miz fell to the ringside floor for the final elimination.

WINNER: Riddle by last eliminating The Miz in 19:00 to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match.

(Doucette’s Analysis: An okay match. The right call was made to put Riddle in the match and it was done in an intriguing fashion. The Miz had me fooled for a second with the phony injury until they began to telegraph it too much.)

-As Riddle celebrated, Jimmy Smith ran down the updated field of competitors for the Money in The Bank ladder match with an updated graphic. Drew McIntyre, Riddle, Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins, Sheamus, and Omos are pictured, with one spot in the match still open.

-Graphics then aired for the twenty-year Cena Celebration, a last chance elimination match for a spot in the Women’s Money In The Bank, and a two-on-one handicap match later in the show. Doudrop, Nikki A.S.H., Becky Lynch, Shayna Baszler, Xia Li, and Tamina were listed as competitors for the elimination match. Alpha Academy were slated to face Bobby Lashley in the handicap match with Theory as the special guest enforcer.

-The Street Profits cut a promo backstage hyping up John Cena who was going to join them. When the Profits introduced Cena, the camera panned over to their left, where no one was standing, a reference to the “You can’t see him” joke. Angelo Dawkins poked his head into the camera’s view and said “He’s right here” with a smile and pointed to their right. Cena was shown waving excitedly to a nice pop from the fans in attendance. The Profits asked Cena for advice for facing the Usos at Money in the Bank. Cena hyped up the Profits and told them they are former NXT, Raw, and Smackdown tag champions and to never forget who they are and how good they are. Montez Ford points out Cena’s shirt saying “Never give up”. Cena left as the Profits got hyped up and said “We want the smoke!” to end the promo.

(Doucette’s Analysis: Cena and The Street Profits are tailor made to play off of each other. They all have similar high energy promos, so this was good. I thought the invisible Cena joke was a funny touch as well.)

– Back in the arena, The Usos made their entrance. Jey Uso was set to face Montez Ford. [c]

-Shawn Michaels, The Big Show, Booker T, Daniel Bryan, Trish Stratus, and Triple H were all shown in pre-recorded messages thanking and praising John Cena.

(Doucette’s Analysis: I’m pleasantly surprised they had Bryan and Big Show appear. Once upon a time WWE used to pretend like people who left didn’t even exist anymore.)

-Kevin Patrick was backstage to interview Riddle. Riddle dedicated the win to Randy Orton and said he loves him. Riddle said he’s been losing matches lately, but John Cena told him not to give up and that’s how he was able to get the win tonight. Riddle excitedly said he was going to Vegas.

-The Usos stared menacingly as The Street Profits made their entrance.

(2) JEY USO (w/Jimmy Uso) vs. MONTEZ FORD (w/Angelo Dawkins)

Ford and Jey locked up to start. Jey missed a punch and Ford caught him in a headlock. Ford shoulderblocked Jey down and did the DX crotch chop towards Jimmy. Jey was able to get the advantage by clotheslining Ford down. Jey missed a corner charge and Ford arm dragged him and locked on an armbar. Jey tried to get some offense, but Ford performed a double leapfrog and locked on another armbar. Jimmy tried to get into the ring for a distraction, but Ford was able to stay focused and knocked down Jey with a dropkick. Jey bailed from the ring. Ford tried to run after him with a kick off the apron, but Jey was able to counter and throw Ford into the ring steps. [c]

Jey stomped Ford in the corner and whipped him into the turnbuckle. Ford exploded out of the corner with a clothesline. Ford got another clothesline and some kicks on Jey. Jey tried to fight back, but missed a strike and Ford nailed a flying clothesline on him. Ford performed a handstand flip into a backflip splash for a two count. Jey flipped out of a back body drop attempt and pushed Ford into the turnbuckle. Jey executed a back suplex into a neckbreaker on Ford for a two count. Jey shouted “U-SO!” at the crowd and went for a charge. Ford superkicked Jey then followed up with a Blockbuster for a count of two. Ford went to the top rope, but Jimmy distracted Ford. Dawkins tackled Jimmy and Jey hit a dive on Dawkins. Ford then dove onto Jey and got him back in for the Frog Splash and a pin for he three count.
WINNER: Montez Ford in 9:00.

(Doucette’s Analysis: Good match. I am looking forward to the Money in The Bank match. It should be quite good.)

-The Profits celebrated in the ring for the fans as The Usos looked on angrily.

-Backstage, Rey and Dominik were walking and got stopped by Finn Balor and Damien Priest. Balor said everyone is celebrating John Cena and mentioned that Rey has been in WWE twenty years as well. Balor listed Rey’s accomplishments, but asked what Rey isn’t teaching Dominik. Priest attempted to recruit Dominik saying Rey is leading him down the wrong path. Priest also said something in Spanish to which Rey replied in Spanish as well. Balor interrupted and called Rey a bad father to which Rey got fired up. Priest and Balor left while Dominik held Rey back. Rey challenged Priest and Balor to face him and Dominik in a tag match next week in San Diego.

(Doucette’s Analysis: They’ve been teasing this Rey-Dominik breakup angle for so long. Please don’t do it here. Dominik in The Judgment Day? No, thank you.)

-Cena’s career retrospective was advertised as being up next. [c]

-Still photos aired of moments in Cena’s career.

-Jimmy Smith introduced a video package of some of Cena’s career highlights. Also highlighted were his Make-a-Wish contributions, admiration for the U.S. military, along with his movie and media appearances.

(Doucette’s Analysis: This was a great video package. It’s surreal looking back on all Cena has accomplished, especially vividly remembering his debut on Smackdown in 2002.)

-Kevin Patrick was in the ring and introduced The Miz for an interview.


[HOUR TWO]

-Patrick asked Miz about Logan Paul making a WWE comeback after being his tag team partner at WrestleMania. Miz said he set up Paul’s return and that they will team again at SummerSlam. Patrick asked Miz about his and Paul’s relationship after Miz turned on him at WrestleMania. Video of the moment was shown as Miz called himself the “Biggest full-time superstar today”. Miz promoted his upcoming “Today” show appearance and Miz and Mrs. to show that any celebrity that appears in WWE uses Miz’s fame to gain notoriety. Miz said he told Paul after WrestleMania that the Skull Crush Finale was a lesson and that Paul understood. Miz said he and Paul will one day become the Undisputed tag team champions. Patrick asked if Paul was disappointed with Miz losing the battle royale earlier. Miz said the only disappointment is A.J. Styles. Patrick asked about Styles mocking Miz’s balls. Miz defended his balls as Styles hurriedly walked to the ring and punched the Miz. Miz laid on the mat holding his law looking shocked. [c]

(Doucette’s Analysis: Another week of a Miz-centered interview, which is fine. But unfortunately, more talk of balls. I guess commercials for Miz and Mrs. just aren’t enough. I like that they’re laying the groundwork for Logan Paul to return without going all in just yet. Paul was good in the ring and is obnoxious. That’s perfect for wrestling so let’s see what they do with him going forward.)

-A graphic aired for a one man show featuring The Undertaker in Nashville, Tenn. the night before SummerSlam.

(Doucette’s Analysis: Speaking of surreal…)

(3) THE MIZ vs. A.J. STYLES

Miz charged Styles, but got taken down with punches. Styles chopped Miz from corner to corner and hit him with some strikes. Styles Irish whipped Miz and hit a dropkick. Styles hit Miz with a backbreaker and Miz begged for mercy, but Styles kicked him. Miz countered another Irish whip with a knee to the gut. Miz kicked Styles in the head, choked him on the ropes, and jumped on Style’s back. Miz kicked Styles in the corner, but Styles fought out. Miz got Styles back into the corner and hit a clothesline and double axehandle off the top rope. Miz put Styles in a chinlock as the fans rallied Styles. Styles fought out, but Miz countered with a kick. Styles tossed Miz over the top rope and tried a dive. Miz moved and Styles caught himself on the apron. Miz evaded a moonsault attempted by Styles and threw him into the barricade. [c]

Miz had Styles in another chinlock as Styles fought out. Miz countered with a kick and a DDT for a two count. Miz kicked Styles, but Styles countered the final kick attempt. Styles hit a German suplex, some strikes, and a clothesline. Styles then hit a sliding clothesline, a jumping elbow strike in the corner, and a sitout facebuster for a two count. Styles signaled for the Styles Clash, but Miz countered. Styles reversed the counter into a sunset flip. Styles rolled out of the way of a Miz kick attempt and hit a fireman’s carry neckbreaker for a count of two. Miz chopped Styles in the throat. Miz flipped a charging Styles onto the apron. Styles dazed Miz with an elbow strike and missed a Phenomenal Forearm. Miz charged at Styles, but was met with a boot to the face. Styles tried to go to the top rope, but Miz kicked him off and landed a double knee facebuster for two. Miz punched Styles on the top rope and tried a superplex, but Styles slipped under Miz’s legs. Styles tried a rack bomb, but Miz slipped out and hit a few kicks to Styles’ head. Miz hit a flying knee out of the corner for two. Miz tried a Skull Crushing Finale, but Styles rolled him up for a two count. Styles nailed a Pele Kick and a brainbuster, but did not go for the pin. Styles was busted open a bit and went for the Phenomenal Forearm. Miz decided to bail to the top of the stage and was counted out.

WINNER: A.J. Styles in 12:00 via count-out.

-Backstage, John Cena talked with Ezekiel. Ezekiel introduced himself to Cena, and Cena said he was “‘Zeked up” to meet him. Ezekiel said Elias always talks about Cena. Cena asked if Elias is here and Ezekiel said he’s showing his other brother Elrod around. Ezekiel said he loves to “Walk with Elias” and “Trod with Elrod”, but he wants to make sure the whole world wants to “Speak with ‘Zeke”. Cena told Ezekiel to never forget who he really is. Ezekiel thanked him and walked off. Cena smiled as Theory walked up behind him. Cena faced Theory and his face turned serious as there was an audible “Oh!” from the crowd. Theory said he would introduce himself, but Cena already knows who he is. Theory said everybody knows who he is. Cena wanted to speak, but Theory stopped him. Theory said he should be celebrated, because he’s there every week. Theory said he puts it “A-Town down” and Cena is so out of touch he doesn’t know what that means. Theory said he can do this all day and is twenty-four and the youngest United States Champion of all time. Theory rhetorically asked Cena how many championships he had at twenty-four, which was none and that he was not even in WWE. Theory said he is Mr. McMahon’s hand-picked protege and he can’t be touched. Theory said it’s 2022 and Cena is a “Grown-ass man wearing jorts”. Theory said he wanted to capture it with a selfie and took out his phone. By the time he went to snap the picture, Cena turned around and left. Theory noticed Cena left and looked angry.

(Doucette’s Analysis: Theory was excellent here. You could see he was ready for this promo. He looked like a million bucks. The crowd reacted strongly as well, which is definitely what you want if you’re WWE. Cena looked a bit like a chump by just walking away, though.)

-Bianca Belair made her entrance to the ring as a graphic aired for a face-to-face between her and Carmella. [c]

-More Cena tributes aired. This time with Kurt Angle, Randy Orton, JBL, Chris Jericho, Stephanie McMahon, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

(Doucette’s Analysis: Jericho and Austin got great reactions here.)

-Bianca stood in-ring as video played from last week, which showed Carmella winning the number one contender’s match and then attacking Bianca.

-Kevin Patrick asked Bianca what was going through her head ahead of the match with Carmella. Bianca said she wants to talk to Carmella face-to-face. Bianca bashed Carmella for attacking her from behind last week. Bianca admitted she should have known Carmella would resort to cheap tactics because she thinks she has to. Bianca said Carmella doesn’t respect herself and has the potential to be great, but is so worried about her looks. Bianca said if Carmella is not bringing competition she is wasting Bianca’s time. Carmella made her way out and said she’s not insecure at all, she’s just smart. Carmella said she is not respected because of how she looks and she won’t apologize. Carmella listed her accomplishments as a former two-time Money in The Bank winner, tag team, and Smackdown champion. Carmella said she will take respect if she isn’t given it along with the Raw championship because “Mella is Money”. Carmerlla began to leave the ring as Patrick asked if Bianca respects Carmella. Carmella tried to attack Bianca from behind with a kick, but Bianca countered and punched her. Carmella laid on the ringside floor glaring and Bianca celebrated.

(Doucette’s Analysis: Better promo for Bianca here. She made some good points about Carmella and looked smart by blocking her attack. Carmella gave a decent promo as well.)

-Sarah Schreiber was backstage with Liv Morgan and Alexa Bliss. Schreiber mentioned that Liv and Bliss are friends and the Money In The Bank match is every woman for themself. Bliss said she and Liv are “friendly”, but she doesn’t have friends because she doesn’t trust anybody. Bliss said she does like Liv and calls her athletic and resilient, which will make her a champion one day. Bliss said it won’t be Saturday, though. Bliss said she won Money In The Bank before and can do it again. Bliss mentioned getting Lily a matching Money In The Bank briefcase as well. Liv agrees she will be champion one day and that they’re not friends. Liv said she will knock Bliss off the ladder to win the contract. Liv said she learned from John Cena over the years to let someone know when their time is up. Liv said her time is now. Bliss told Liv to bring it, to which Liv said she will beat her tonight. Bliss boops Liv’s nose with Lily’s hand and Liv boops Lily’s nose. Liv’s music played and she headed to the ring from the backstage area. [c]

-Back at ringside, Jimmy Smith introduced Asuka joining the commentary desk as Alexa Bliss made her entrance. Corey Graves asked Asuka if she will win Money In the Bank for a second time, to which Asuka replies that she will and speaks very quickly in Japanese. Graves said Asuka told Byron Saxton to put his head down because his bald spot is blinding her.

(4) LIV MORGAN vs. ALEXA BLISS

Liv and Bliss locked up to start and Liv took advantage with a headlock takedown. Bliss countered with a headscissors. Liv countered with a headscissors of her own. Bliss charged at Liv, but Liv caught her in a waistlock. The two competitors traded a few more waistlocks and Bliss missed a corner charge. Liv hit a back splash on Bliss and tried another, but Bliss got her knees up. Bliss hit a rolling knee drop on Liv and tried a backflip splash, but missed. The two women recovered and took each out with a double clothesline. Meanwhile, Graves asked Asuka who she is concerned with in the Money In The Bank match, Asuka said Liv. Back in the ring, Liv hit a back elbow on Bliss, but missed a second-rope dropkick. Bliss nailed a dropkick for a two count. Bliss applied a chinlock on Liv. Liv fought out, but Bliss countered with a kick to the midsection. Bliss tried a choke, but Liv applied a sleeper. Bliss reversed into a jawbreaker, but Liv came back with an enziguri. Bliss staggered into the ropes and Liv tried to dive at her, but Bliss caught her with a backbreaker. Bliss signaled for a DDT, but Liv rolled her up for a surprise three count. Asuka was shocked as well.

WINNER: Liv Morgan in 3:00.

(Doucette’s Analysis: Not much happened here. Did Liv and Bliss both get new music or am I misremembering?)

-A video package aired showing John Cena’s contributions to Make-a-Wish.

-”No Chance In Hell” played and Mr. McMahon made his way to the ring. A camera shot showed a fan bowing as McMahon grabbed a microphone. [c]

(Doucette’s Analysis: I’ll give Vince a pass for coming out here since it’s John Cena. But, it’s obvious he can’t help himself.)

[HOUR THREE]

-The roster was lined up on the stage as McMahon introduced John Cena to the ring for a big pop. Cena posed for the fans and soaked up the cheers. The fans chanted “Cena!” Cena called the fans rawkus and said it was his WWE birthday. Cena pointed out a fan’s sign that said “20 years of jorts”. Cena asked a child in the crowd how old he was, and Cena said he looks about six which means Cena has been out of touch fourteen years longer than he’s been alive. Cena said he doesn’t like to celebrate milestones, because he likes to look forward to what is next. Cena said nothing to do with what he’s done, any moment or match. Cena said it has everything to do with the fans and that they’ve let him do this for two decades. Cena mentioned that the fans were brave enough to tell him when he sucked and when he didn’t. The fans chanted “Cena!” Cena thanked the fans and said that this is the right moment for that. The fans chanted “Thank you Cena”. Cena thanked the fans again and said it made him who he is. Cena said WWE and the fans’ reactions have prepared him for anything and made him a better husband and person. Cena said the fans also taught him perseverance because the fans have given him everything they’ve got. Cena mentioned he’s 45 and that he doesn’t know when you will see him in the ring again. Cena said he’s not saying we won’t see him in the ring again, he just doesn’t know when. The fans chanted “One more match” to which Cena said it won’t just be one match. Cena told the fans that going forward if you see something that’s good or something that sucks, “say something”. He said it’s not about him, but about us. Cena hyped up the crowd to make noise and that’s the sound of us. Cena closed with “If you want some, come get some!” Cena hugged and greeted a few children at ringside on his way out. Cena also gave away his wristbands, hat, and shirt to some fans.

(Doucette’s Analysis: Good Cena promo, as usual. This is why Cena was the perennial babyface. You can tell he really felt appreciative. As much as fans dragged him through the mud all those years, it’s good to see him get appreciation in return.)

-Graphics aired for the last chance Money In The Bank elimination match and the two-on-one handicap match. [c]

-Bobby Lashley made his entrance to the ring.

-A recap aired of Lashley attacking Theory during his posedown and winning the gauntlet match from last week.

-Alpha Academy made their way to the ring and were followed by Theory entering in a referee shirt.

(5) ALPHA ACADEMY (Otis & Chad Gable) vs. BOBBY LASHLEY – Two-on-One Handicap Match – Special Guest Enforcer: Theory

Lashley and Otis locked up to start. Lashley grabbed a headlock and tried a shoulderblock and clothesline on Otis to no effect. Lashley then brought Otis down with a dropkick to the legs. Lashley tried a suplex, but Theory jumped onto the apron for the distraction. Lashley took a swing at Theory and chased after him. Gable hit Lashley with a senton from the apron and Otis splashed Lashley on the floor. Gable, Otis, and Theory posed in triumph. [c]

Lashley fought off Otis with punches to the head. Lashley tried a corner charge, but Otis booted him down. Otis locked Lashley in a neck wrench as Theory taunted. Lashley fought back, but Otis took him down with a back elbow. Otis tagged in Gable and the two tried a double team, but Lashley fought out. Lashley tossed Otis out of the ring, but Gable took out Lashley’s knee with a chop block. Gable hit a strike to Lashley’s throat for a two count. The fans chanted “Bobby!” Gable went to the top rope, but Lashley punched him and tried a superplex. Otis tagged in and powerbombed Lashley. Gable immediately followed up with a moonsault, and Otis got a pin for two. Otis and Gable tried a German suplex-clothesline combination, but Lashley broke it up. Otis splashed Lashley in the corner and went to the second rope. Lashley put Otis up on his shoulder and dropped him down to the mat. Gable tried to capitalize and jumped off the top rope at Lashley, but Lashley caught him in the Hurt Lock. Gable tapped out quickly.

WINNER: Bobby Lashley in 9:00.

– Immediately following the bell, Theory jumped into the ring and attacked Lashley with punches and stomps. Otis and Gable joined in the attack and held Lashley to allow Theory to take a selfie. Lashley fought out hitting Otis with a reverse STO and a spear on Gable. However, Theory bailed from the ring before Lashley could attack him. Theory escaped through the crowd while Lashley yelled at him.

-A recap aired of the Seth Rollins-Cody Rhodes match from Hell in a Cell and Rollins’ attack on Cody the next night.

-A graphic aired for an interview with Cody Rhodes up next. [c]

-Jimmy Smith and Corey Graves introduced the Cody Rhodes interview. Cody said rehab is rehab, which is a game of highs and lows. Cody said it pales in comparison to where he was three weeks ago winning at Hell in a Cell, which he called “The prime of his career”. Cody said he wanted to parlay that momentum into winning Money In The Bank. He said he is trying to respect the nine month timeframe given on his injury recovery. Cody said it will be bittersweet watching Money In The Bank. He called it an awesome concept with a talented grouping in the match. Cody called Sheamus and Drew McIntyre with toughness on the level of Harley Race. He said Omos at 7’3” doesn’t need the ladder. Cody mentions Sami Zayn who he said fools people into overlooking his genius level ring IQ. Cody then mentioned Seth Rollins and his successful cash-in at WrestleMania 31. Cody said it would be “something” if Rollins were to win and that he’d be the first to congratulate him. Cody then excused himself and walked away to end the interview.

(Doucette’s Analysis: Excellent promo from Cody. He was more “everyman” Cody here. No fancy suits or big words. I think we’ll be seeing him sooner than nine months, just a hunch. I don’t know how they’ll get there exactly, but either Cody-Rollins for the title or Cody-Roman and Rollins with the briefcase at WrestleMania is seeming like the best option right now.)

-Cena was backstage talking with a producer backstage and Seth Rollins could be heard cackling seconds before he walked into the frame. Rollins walked up wearing white sunglasses, a very colorful suit, and a mesh undershirt. Rollins did a little dance while taking over his glasses and reminded Cena of when he broke his nose. Rollins said it’s good to see him and said he’s the best. Rollins said despite the ups and downs they’ve had, they have a lot in common. Cena’s eyes got very wide. Rollins said they are both international megastars, fashion icons, and both winners of the Money In The Bank contract. Rollins mentioned that’s a sore spot for Cena, because Cena lost his cash-in. Rollins said history will repeat itself for him this Saturday. Rollins mockingly asked if Cena was in the match as M.V.P. and Omos appeared behind them. M.V.P. said like Rollins, he is a visionary, but he sees Omos winning the Money In The Bank match amid broken ladders and shattered bodies. M.V.P called Omos winning a “Foregone conclusion” and no one can do anything about it. Rollins chuckled as Cena patted him, dismissively said “Good luck”, and walked away leaving Rollins staring nervously at Omos.

(Doucette’s Analysis: Fun stroll down memory lane with these two. The producer rolling his eyes as soon as you hear Rollins cackling was funny. This also puts over Omos as the biggest threat and sets up a good story of Rollins overcoming everything and weasel his way to a win.)

-The commentators ran down the Money In The Bank match lineup.

-Becky Lynch made her entrance. [c]

-A graphic aired for Damian Priest & Finn Balor vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio next week.

(6) BECKY LYNCH vs. DOUDROP vs. XIA LI vs. SHAYNA BASZLER vs. TAMINA vs. NIKKI A.S.H. – Elimination Qualifying Match for Money in the Bank

Doudrop, Li, Baszler, Tamina, and Nikki attacked Becky to start. Nikki rolled up Baszler for a one count as Li and Tamina battled in the corner. Nikki & Doudrop double-teamed Baszler and Nikki got a two count from a pin. Tamina superkicked Li and the ring cleared out. Doudrop and Tamina faced off, but Nikki came back in and she and Doudrop double-teamed Tamina. Nikki tried a charge, but Tamnia threw her out of the ring. Tamina and Doudrop traded strikes, including a few headbutts. Doudrop knocked Tamina out of the ring and Becky was back on the apron. Becky kicked Doudrop and hit a Molly-Go-Round off the top rope for two. Li ran into the ring and rolled up Becky for two. Li hit Becky with some strikes in the corner, but Nikki rolled up Li. Li broke out and kicked Nikki, but Lynch hit her with a Manhandle Slam. Lynch pinned Li for the three count and eliminated her. As Becky mockingly told Li “Bye-bye”, Nikki attacked her. Baszler pulled Becky out of the ring and attacked Becky. Baszler attempted a stomp on Becky’s arm, but Becky rolled her up for a two count. Baszler hit some strikes on Becky and was attacked from behind by Doudrop. Baszler grabbed Doudrop in a waistlock and Becky grabbed Baszler in a waistlock as well. Doudrop backed Becky and Baszler into the turnbuckle and flipped Baszler out of a Kirifuda Clutch attempt. Baszler retreated to the corner and Doudrop hit her with a cannonball splash. Doudrop missed a charge at Becky and Tamnia splashed Doudrop from behind. Becky punched Tamina and Nikki pulled Becky off the apron. Nikki jumped off the top rope, but missed Tamina. Nikki shoved Tamina into a Becky dropkick from the top rope. Nikki rolled up Becky, but got caught in a Disarmer and tapped out for another elimination. [c]

Baszler punched Doudrop, but Becky attacked her from behind. Baszler attempted a Kirifuda Clutch, but Becky threw her out of the ring. Becky tried a baseball slide, but Baszler blocked and hit some strikes. Becky hit a Bexploder into the barricade on Baszler. Tamina went after Becky, but almost got caught in a Bexploder as well. Doudrop broke it up with a running splash. Doudrop tossed Becky back into the ring, but Becky rolled back out. Doudrop decided to get Baszler into the ring, but caught a knee strike for a two count. Tamina climbed to the top rope, but Baszler stopped the climb with a kick. Baszler tried a superplex, but Becky stopped the attempt. Doudrop powerbombed both Baszler and Becky off the rope, while Tamina was suplexed. Baszler attempted another Kirifuda Clutch on Doudrop, but got superkicked by Tamina. Tamina tried a Samoan drop and it was reversed into a leglock by Baszler. Doudrop splashed Baszler and pinned her for a three count. Becky attacked Doudrop, but Doudrop fought back with elbow strikes. Tamina attempted to Samoan drop Becky, but Becky pushed her into Doudrop. Tamina missed a superkick and Becky tried a Manhandle Slam, but Tamina nailed a Samoan Drop. Tamina tried a splash, but Becky rolled outside. While outside, Doudrop bodyslammed and splashed Becky. Doudrop attacked Tamina and hit a second rope elbow drop for the three count to eliminate her from the match. Doudrop rolled Becky back into the ring as the fans chanted “Becky!” Doudrop missed the elbow drop on Becky and tried a Manhandle Slam, but Doudrop backed her into the corner. Doudrop put her on the ropes, but Becky reversed into top rope Manhandle Salm for the three count.

WINNER: Becky Lynch in 13:00 last eliminating Doudrop to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match.

(Doucette’s Analysis: Well Becky looked like a huge babyface here. Not sure if that was the goal, but it happened.)

-A graphic showed that the women’s Money in the Bank match is set with Raquel Rodriguez, Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Lacey Evans, Shotzi, and Liv Morgan. Becky pointed at the Money in the Bank briefcases above the ring as the show ended.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a really good episode. I liked how John Cena was a focal point of the show, and it played out in conjunction with the current storylines. It was also cool to see legends on the show talking about his career.

I think we need to embrace Becky Lynch as a babyface again. She tried with the heel role, but fans just love her too much. The Ronda Rousey-Becky Lynch singles match that we never got is still a money angle. Becky could win the briefcase and announce a cash-in for SummerSlam against Ronda.

Was the Kevin Owens vs. Ezekiel, Elias, or Elrod match forgotten about or cut for time? Owens wasn’t seen or even mentioned.

Raw has been doing a very good job of subtle storytelling and foreshadowing future angles as of late. I have enjoyed the past few weeks of the show.

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