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RAW Recap & Review – Episode 1257

WWE RAW
Episode 1257
#RAW

Original Air Date: June 26, 2017
Event Date: June 26, 2017 (aired live)

City: Los Angeles, CA
Venue: STAPLES Center

Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T
Ring Announcer: Jojo

 

Ring Area
Roman Reigns heads to the ring. Reigns talks about what happened last week after he was beaten by Samoa Joe and Strowman returned to RAW. He accepts the challenge Strowman made last week for an ambulance match. He continues to speak when he is interrupted by an ambulance backing up next to the stage.

Reigns goes to investigate. When he opens the back doors of the ambulance he finds nothing. Braun Strowman suddenly attacks Reigns from behind and throws him across the stage. The two men brawl until Strowman throws Reigns from the stage into the side of the ambulance. He tosses Reigns into the ambulance and has it drive away.

Ring Area
Elias Samson is in the ring with his guitar. He’s joined by Cesaro and Sheamus. The three of them are about to sing a song together when the Hardy Boyz’ music interrupts.

 

Match 1
Elias Samson & Cesaro (RAW Tag Champ) & Sheamus (RAW Tag Champ) vs The Hardy Boyz & Finn Balor
(referee: Chad Patton; guest commentary: Josh Duhamel)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Finn Balor pins Cesaro after Coup de Grace
Time: 10:35 (2 breaks)

Match Thoughts
Good match. Samson didn’t seem to be much of a factor in the match, but everyone else looked good. The pace was kept decently high in this one. It did kind of feel mostly like a Hardy Boyz versus Cesaro and Sheamus match (with Balor added an exclamation point at the end), but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m not sure if I’m totally into a Balor/Samson feud anyway.

Josh Duhamel was pretty distracting at the announce table though. It wasn’t necessarily his fault, but the entire middle segment of the match was devoted to promoting his TV and movie stuff. The announcers talked about it somewhat to the detriment of the action in the ring. It didn’t feel like they were weaving advertisements into the commentary, it felt like they were taking a break from commentary to read come commercials.

 

Backstage
Goldust says “it’s showtime!” Tonight, The Shattered Truth hits Hollywood.

Ring Area
Goldust heads to the ring with his own personal cameraman. R-Truth comes out next. He approaches Goldust, but Goldust uses his cameraman as a shield. Goldust then attacks R-Truth, beating him up and slamming him ribs-first into the ring post. Referee Shawn Bennett calls off the match that was scheduled to happen between them.

Backstage
Charly Caruso welcomes Paul Heyman. Heyman says Lesnar will be here tonight, and he will call out Samoa Joe for a fight. Joe grabs Heyman from behind but doesn’t attack him. Joe tells Heyman he’s saving the Coquina Clutch for Lesnar.

Backstage
Kurt Angle has Bayley draw her number for tonight’s gauntlet match to determine the number on contender for the RAW Women’s Title. Bayley seems pleased with her draw.

Ring Area
Miz and Maryse head to the ring for “Miz TV.” He talks a little about himself before introducing LaVar and LaMelo Ball. LaVar then introduces Lonzo Ball. Miz is happy about his new partnership with Ball, but LaVar isn’t interested in a partnership with Miz. Miz and LaVar get into an argument which leads to both men going topless. Dean Ambrose comes out and heads to the ring before any actual action happens.

Ambrose says “balls” a lot and expresses his enjoyment of free t-shirts.

 

Match 2
Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas & The Miz (IC Champ) w/ Maryse vs Heath Slater & Rhyno & Dean Ambrose
(referee: Rod Zapata)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Bo Dallas pins Rhyno with a schoolboy after a distraction and a punch from Curtis Axel
Time: 9:19 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Pretty good match. The Miz worked well with his new teammates. This match did a good job of giving the “Miz-tourage” some decent credibility.

 

Video
A video package of Enzo and Cass, the mysterious attacks over the last few weeks, and their breakup last week on RAW.

Ring Area
Enzo Amore heads to the ring. Enzo has been trying to contact Big Cass all week with no luck, so he calls Cass to the ring. The crowd boos when Cass comes out, and Enzo knows the boos hurt Cass. He knows Cass better than anyone.

Enzo says that Cass was correct about some of the things he said last week. Enzo has done a lot of stupid things and gotten himself into trouble, but he always had Cass by his side. They’re brothers, and Enzo won’t let Cass break that bond.

Cass says he was ashamed after what he did last week. He knows he can’t change Enzo, no more than Enzo can change Cass. Cass knows he’s Enzo’s brother. Cass apologizes for what he said and what he’s done over the last few weeks. He holds his hand out to Enzo. Enzo shakes it, and the two men hug.

Their music plays and they head towards the back. When they get to the stage, Cass attacks. He lifts Enzo over his head and throws him down the ramp before walking away.

** This was a really great promo from Enzo. His shtick had gotten stale for me, to the point where I mostly tune him out when he gets on the mic, but this showed another side of Enzo’s character and ability that we rarely see. He’s definitely going to carry the emotional weight of this feud.

I really wanted them to not do the typical “surprise” cheap shot in this segment, but they did it anyway. It could have been a really powerful and interesting segment if they had actually made up with each other, and that could have added passion back to their team which would fuel a run at the tag titles. Instead they’re just going with the clich├ęd tag team breakup story. At least we got Enzo’s great promo out of it. **

Ring Area
Big Cass approaches Corey Graves at the announce table and warns him to stay out of his business. Booker T presses Graves for some sort of explanation, but Graves deflects his questions.

 

Match 3
Curt Hawkins vs Seth Rollins
(referee: Darrick Moore)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Seth Rollins wins via pinfall after a short-arm high knee
Time: 2:59

Match Thoughts
A pretty good match. Pretty short. Hawkins showed some nice aggression by taking an early advantage, but Rollins turned things around pretty easily. As expected. This was little more than an exhibition for Rollins.

 

Ring Area
Bray Wyatt appears on the tron after the match. He makes a point about Rollins telling people to “be like no one” while carrying a corporate flag. He says Rollins will be cleansed by a “true god.” He urges Rollins to give in to his true self. Otherwise he will be burned.

Backstage
Mickie James and Dana Brooke draw their numbers for the gauntlet match while Kurt Angle stares at this phone.

Backstage
Brock Lesnar arrives.

Backstage
Sasha Banks draws her gauntlet number. As the others did, she seems pleased.

Ring Area
In the ring, Paul Heyman says that Samoa Joe does not fear Brock Lesnar, but he also says that Joe has cheap-shotted Brock Lesnar. Heyman says that if he were to pick a fight, he would start a brawl like Joe did knowing that people would come out to break them up. He says a smart man would fear Lesnar, but Samoa Joe is not a smart man. He then introduces Brock Lesnar.

Lesnar comes out to the stage. As he prepares to head to the ring, Joe attacks from behind and puts Lesnar in the Coquina Clutch. Lesnar tries to fight back but is eventually taken down. Some referees (and The Revival) come out to drag Samoa Joe away.

 

Match 4
Lince Dorao vs Neville (Cruiserweight Champ)
(referee: Eddie Orengo; at ringside: Akira Tozawa)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Neville wins via submission with the Rings of Saturn
Time: 3:01

Match Thoughts
This was fine. It was short and felt like Neville was paying more attention to Tozawa at ringside more than Dorado in the ring.

 

Ring Area
After the match, Neville stares down Tozawa. Tozawa enters the ring and looks like he’s about to fight when Titus O’Neil comes out to the stage. Titus informs Neville that he has gotten Tozawa a Cruiserweight Title match at the Great Balls of Fire PPV in two weeks. He also says that Tozawa is officially a member of “Titus Worldwide.”

** I like the expansion of Titus’ stable. I think he needs more. He needs a tag team and a female wrestler at the very least. I do think he needs to remember that he has other clients though. Apollo Crews needs to be on TV every week if we’re to believe that Titus is actually doing a decent job of managing and promoting superstars. Also, if they do this correctly, this could usher in a new era of managers with stables. I like the idea of that. **

Backstage
Emma picks her number for the gauntlet match. SHe doesn’t seem as pleased as the other women.

Backstage
Charly Caruso asks Paul Heyman for his reaction to Samoa Joe’s actions. He says it just proves everything he’s said about Joe. He knows that the Coquina Clutch is a problem for Lesnar, but he also knows that Lesnar won’t allow Joe to lock it in during an actual match where Joe can’t take a cheap shot.

** I know it’s been said before, but Heyman is really fantastic at adding great deals of intrigue to a match. He acknowledges the danger of Lesnar’s opponents and lays out exactly why they are going to be a problem. Even as dominant as Lesnar is, Heyman manages to add doubt. He respects the abilities of his adversaries instead of dismissing them completely. I like that approach because it means you take his words more seriously. His words mean more than a typical promo. **

Backstage
Alexa Bliss approaches Nia Jax and says they are very much alike. Alexa says people have always judged her for the way she looks, and that’s not right. It’s not easy being judged. She wishes Jax good luck. Jax appreciates the words, but she says she doesn’t need luck.

 

Match 5
RAW Women’s Title Number One Contender Gauntlet Match
Bayley vs Nia Jax vs Mickie James vs Dana Brooke vs Emma vs Sasha Banks
(referee: Chad Patton)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Sasha Banks wins the last fall and becomes the number one contender for the RAW Women’s Title
Fall 1: Nia Jax pins Bayley after a Samoan Drop (3:38)
Fall 2: Nia Jax pins Mickie James after a shoulder block (6:48 – 1 break)
Fall 3: Nia Jax pins Dana Brooke after a running leg drop (7:48 – 1 break)
Fall 4: Nia Jax pins Emma after a Samoan Drop (9:11 – 1 break)
Fall 5: Sasha Banks forces Nia Jax to submit to a modified Bank Statement (21:02 – 2 breaks)
Time: 21:02 (2 breaks)

Match Thoughts
This was good. The first and final matchups were good and competitive. The middle three falls were all kind of throw-away matches, but I understand the need to move the overall match along. If nothing else it helped build Nia as supremely dominant and will help her regardless of the overall finish (not that she needed much help with that).

Sasha versus Nia was good, but you could tell Nia was struggling towards the last quarter of the match. She was tossing Sasha outside a lot and didn’t string more than one or two moves together at a time. With her power she can get away with that, and the announcers put over the “strategy” of it, but you could see she was worn out. Still, she hung in there and helped deliver a nice finish. This was a pretty compelling match, even if it did feel like everyone else in the match was a prop for Nia and Sasha’s advancement (but that’s kind of how these matches work, so it’s not too big of a deal).

 

Ring Area
Kurt Angle heads to the ring after the match and congratulates Sasha Banks. Alexa Bliss comes out next. She heads to the ring and holds her title belt up in front of Sasha. Sasha delivers a dropkick to Alexa and holds the title belt up herself.

 

Show Impressions
I’m glad the main event delivered, because the rest of the matches on this show left me wanting a lot more. Also, with the exception of Enzo’s speech, the talking segments weren’t great either. They were either kind of boring (like Miz TV) or didn’t add anything to the ongoing feuds (like almost everything else).

But as I’ve said a few times now, Enzo was great tonight. The overall story isn’t anything special, but he impressed me on an individual level. I’m also happy that Sasha Banks is the number one contender for the women’s title. Hopefully they’ll get the RAW Women’s Title back on track after the sub-par writing and booking during the Bayley/Bliss feud.

Match of the Night
Women’s Gauntlet Match
I’m still not a huge fan of Nia, but I think she does well in situations like this.

 

 

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