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RAW Recap & Review – Episode 1256

Episode 1256

Original Air Date: June 19, 2017
Event Date: June 19, 2017 (aired live)

City: Evansville, IN
Venue: Ford Center

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


Ring Area
Roman Reigns heads to the ring. Reigns says that he can’t be beaten one on one and lists some superstars (all of who have beaten Reigns one on one). He also says he’s main evented three Wrestlemanias in a row and retired The Undertaker. Therefore he declares himself the number one contender for the Universal Title after Great Balls of Fire. Why? Because it’s his yard and he makes the rules.

Samoa Joe heads to the ring. Joe points out that Reigns has never beaten Samoa Joe. He also points out that he is the true number one contender and the next Universal Champ. Reigns says he agrees with something Paul Heyman said last week, that Samoa Joe will always be “just Joe.”

Joe hits Reigns with a headbutt and beats on him at ringside. Joe tries to apply the Coquina Clutch in the ring, but Reigns avoid it and hits Joe with a punch.


Match 1
The Hardy Boyz vs Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
(referee: John Cone; watching in the back: Cesaro, Sheamus)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jeff Hardy pins Luke Gallows after a Swanton Bomb
Time: 6:51 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. Gallows and Anderson began to control the match pretty early by isolating Jeff with some quick tags. Jeff fought back until he could get a tag to Matt which broke the match open. Momentum shifted a few times from that point on until the finish. This was a solid and entertaining match, but nothing really out of the ordinary. I was kind of hoping for a different outcome, but I’m not surprised by the finish here.


Goldust talks about the other side of Hollywood, the side where dreams are shattered. Goldust has been there, but he’s pieced himself together. Goldust then invites R-Truth to join him next week for the premiere of “The Shattered Truth.”

Ring Area
In the ring, Elias Samson needs complete silence so he can tune his guitar. Finn Balor breaks the silence and heads to the ring. Without a word, Samson slowly and quietly leaves the ring.


Match 2
Finn Balor vs Bo Dallas
(referee: Shawn Bennett)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Finn Balor wins via pinfall after a Coup de Grace
Time: 3:33

Match Thoughts
A good but short match. Dallas attacked Balor prior to the match then continued to be extremely aggressive once the bell rang. For his part, Balor was aggressive as well as he made a comeback. I liked the personality displayed by Bo in this one.


Ring Area
Corey Graves gets up and leaves while Michael Cole is talking about stuff.

A trailer for WWE 2K18.

Corey Graves starts to talk about whatever issue Kurt Angle has recently been dealing with when Enzo and Cass walk up. Angle is upset about Enzo’s recent tweet to Conor McGregor. Cass is upset about the recent attacks he and Enzo have suffered. Cass seems to think the culprit is Big Show, Enzo thinks it’s The Revival. Angle says they’ll get to the bottom of it by the end of the night.

Ring Area
Seth Rollins heads to the ring. He says he grew up playing video games, so he is honored to be on the cover of WWE 2K18. He talks about “buying in” and all the things it got him, and how he lost it all. He thanks the fans for giving him a second chance after he returned, saying the cover of WWE 2K18 isn’t his, it’s “ours.”

Bray Wyatt interrupts, appearing on the tron. He says Rollins is contradicting himself by talking about being a new man but celebrating material possessions and conforming to corporate entities. Rollins responds by saying Wyatt might think he’s a god, but to Rollins he is nothing. Wyatt says he’s warned Rollins not to take his name in vain, so now it’s time to make a sacrifice.

The lights go out and Wyatt heads to the ring. Before Wyatt can enter the ring, Rollins dives from the top turnbuckle onto him. Rollins leaves the ring area while Wyatt sits and laughs at ringside.

Charly Caruso welcomes Finn Balor and asks him “what’s next?” Balor says all he can see is the Universal Title, so he’s going to continue to work towards that goal. He begins to give his opinions on tonight’s match between Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns when Elias Samson attacks him from behind. As Balor lies on the ground, Samson tells Balor to never upstage him again. D-Von Dudley, acting as an official, yells for Samson to go away.


Match 3
Akira Tozawa vs TJP
(referee: Darrick Moore; at ringside: Titus O’Neil; at the announce table: Neville)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Akira Tozawa wins via pinfall after a diving senton
Time: 7:23 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. Neville interrupted it by coming out after the first couple of minutes, but once that was out of the way the match became quite good. TJP seems to be in a position where it’s not really surprising whether he wins or loses a match, but he always has an interesting performance with whoever he’s facing. Tozawa is always solid and is seeming to get some increased crowd support which is nice.


Ring Area
After the match, Titus gets in the ring and announces Tozawa as the winner. He tells Tozawa that once he becomes the Cruiserweight champ the money will start flowing in. Neville has heard enough. From the announce table on the stage, Neville says that he will annihilate Tozawa. Titus thinks Neville looks like a scared little boy. Neville looks angry as the segment ends.

Kurt Angle discusses something with The Revival as we go to a commercial break.

R-Truth accepts Goldust’s invitation for next week, but there will be no movie premiere. Goldust will get got.

Bo Dallas is upset, so Curtis Axel tries to make him feel better. The Miz walks up and talks about how they were so much better on the set of Marine 5 than they are in WWE. Miz proposes that they both join The Miz’s entourage. Dallas and Axel seem to think about it.

Charly Caruso welcomes Samoa Joe. She asks him about Roman Reigns, so Joe shows footage of his debut match on RAW where he beat Reigns. He also says Reigns better be careful about what he wishes for if he wants to be the number one contender for the title Joe plans to win at Great Balls of Fire.


Match 4
Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe
(referee: Rod Zapata)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Samoa Joe wins via KO with the Coquina Clutch (after a distraction from Braun Strowman appearing on the tron)
Time: 15:08

Match Thoughts
A very good match. This was given enough time to build from a feeling-out period to a progressively more energetic and more hard-hitting match. This was an important match for Joe, and even though the finish doesn’t completely put over Joe’s ability to beat Lesnar, I think it still did a pretty good job of giving him some momentum.


Ring Area
After the match, Braun Strowman heads to the ring. Reigns is still down when Strowman enters the ring. Strowman picks Reigns up and hits him with an inverted chokeslam. Strowman then challenges Reigns to an ambulance match at Great Balls of Fire, but Reigns is in no shape to respond at the moment.

** And here I was enjoying our vacation from “Monday Night Braun.” **

Ring Area
The Miz heads to the ring for “Miz TV.” Surrounded by a big red gift box, some champagne, and two bears, Miz introduces his guest: Maryse. Maryse is still upset about the last couple of weeks, so Miz apologizes once she enters the ring. He blames Ambrose for the problems he and Maryse are having and says that he will never put Maryse in harm’s way. Maryse leans in to kiss Miz when Ambrose interrupts and heads to the ring.

As Ambrose enters the ring, Miz pulls Maryse in front of him. In doing so, Miz causes Maryse to spill champagne all over herself. Miz then tries to attack Ambrose but misses and breaks the clock he gave to Maryse as a gift. Maryse walks away.

Ambrose attacks Miz and throws him from the ring. Suddenly, the bears attack Ambrose from behind. They remove their masks to reveal Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Miz gets back in to the ring and hits Ambrose with a Skull Crushing Finale.

Kurt Angle discusses something with Big Show as we head to a commercial break.


Match 5
Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neil vs Cesaro & Sheamus (RAW Tag Champs)
(referee: John Cone; watching in the back: Hardy Boyz)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Cesaro pins Apollo Crews after a combination White Noise and diving neckbreaker
Time: 4:12

Match Thoughts
This was pretty good. It felt a little short and like they just had to quickly move from one thing to the next, but there was nothing wrong with the match.


A promo video for Samoa Joe versus Brock Lesnar. Joe knows what he wants, and he’s not afraid to do what it takes to get it.


Match 6
Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax
(referee: Shawn Bennett; guest commentary: Alexa Bliss)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Nia Jax wins via DQ when Emma (mistakenly) attacks her
Time: 1:11 (joined in progress)

Match Thoughts
This wasn’t much of a match. There was barely any in-ring action before Emma confronted Alexa at the announce table. Alexa ran into the ring. Emma followed and ended up hitting Nia when she was going for Alexa, ending the match.


Ring Area
After the match, Alexa and Emma attack Sasha before Mickie James and Dana Brooke run to the ring. A big brawl breaks out which Bayley joins soon after it begins. Bayley goes after Alexa and Emma before Nia drives her into the corner. With some help from Sasha, Dana, and Mickie, Bayley attacks Nia before the four of them drive her from the ring.

** This felt like a SmackDown women’s division segment with everyone fighting just for the sake of fighting. **

Ring Area
Kurt Angle heads to the ring. He calls Enzo and Cass to the ring so they can figure out who has been attacking them. Angle tells them he’s been talking to suspects all night long, and he then calls the suspects to the ring. The Revival comes out first, followed by Big Show. Angle lets Big Show talk first.

Show says he didn’t attack either Enzo or Cass from behind. If Show wanted to attack someone, he’d come straight at them. Show is also offended that Angle would accuse him of sneak attacks. Show says if that’s what Angle thinks of him, then maybe Show shouldn’t be on Angle’s RAW. Show drops the mic and walks away.

The Revival speaks next, saying they’ve already proven their innocence to Angle. Angle agrees that they are innocent. Angle begins speaking again, but Corey Graves interrupts from the announce table.

Graves says that no WWE medical staff member supports Cass’ claim that he had a huge lump on his head after he was attacked. Graves also points that Cass competed without being cleared for action after he was “attacked.” Graves also has some security footage. It shows Cass slowly and carefully setting up the area where he was “attacked,” then laying down and holding his head in the same position he was found in by the medics. Graves then accuses Cass of attacking Enzo.

Cass says he did it. He’s tired of Enzo running his mouth. He’s only been with Enzo because he felt sorry for him because no one in the back likes him. It also felt good to attack Enzo from behind. He wanted to watch Enzo suffer. Enzo is dead weight and the reason why Cass has never been a champ in WWE. Cass finishes by hitting Enzo with a big boot.


Show Impressions
I think this show was okay, but I don’t really know if the breakup of Enzo and Cass deserved to be the main event segment. I guess it’s a big deal, but they haven’t really done anything with them as a team. I think one of the most interesting things to come out of the whole situation is Big Show’s reaction to everyone who accused him of being the secret attacker. I wonder if this means he’s headed to SmackDown.

I liked the Joe/Reigns match, but I think Reigns’ speech at the beginning of the show was a little silly. Heels can get away with blatantly lying and ignoring easily recountable facts, but for Reigns to say he can’t be beaten one-on-one is just dumb. And I’m not thrilled about the return of Strowman. I figured the six months recovery time WWE was talking about was just for story purposes so it would seem like a surprise when he came back “early,” but I was hoping he’d stay away longer than this.

I do like that Dallas and Axel are going to get some more time on RAW. I think they can do some good stuff with The Miz. I’d like to see Dallas join Wyatt at some point, but this is alright for now.

I’m getting a little tired of basically the same Goldust and R-Truth promos every week so I’m glad they’re finally going to do something new next week.

I’m not sure what’s going on with the women’s division on RAW. It seems like they’re searching for something that will work well and connect with the audience but they’re just not there yet. The departure of Charlotte really seemed to undermine the division. It doesn’t have to though. There are still a lot of great matchups and potential feuds on RAW.

So yeah, there was a lot of stuff on this episode. I liked it alright for the most part.

Match of the Night
Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe
Even though I think a more clear win from Joe would have been better (especially considering he beat Reigns more definitively in Joe’s RAW debut), I understand the need to keep Reigns believable for the return of Strowman. Even so, this was a good match.



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