It’s been a wild few days and not in the best way. So let’s hope Raw cheers up a bit.
Claire’s blog is always the place to be.
Let’s talk Raw!
WWE celebrated John Cena this week. The party felt like a nice trip down memory lane, with several segments dedicated to the PhD in Thuganomics, including various wrestlers referencing his story or his words in their promos. It was a nice touch that showed just how influential Peacemaker was in every room WWE Superstars roamed in a given week.
The ceremony culminated with Cena addressing the thousands in attendance and the millions watching at home. The only reason I’m putting it here is that it was damn good because Cena is still on the mic, and the guy’s shadow hangs over everything WWE does. So, now and forever.
Cena spoke from the bottom of his heart, thanked the fans for keeping it real with him, and begged them to always keep it real with everyone. If they like something, let them know. If they hate something, let them know. The relationship he has with the fans has made him a better man, a better husband and a better professional. There are very few people in all of wrestling who always seem genuine. Eddie Kingston is one of them, Jon Moxley is another. But it’s something Cena has in spades. No matter the era, no matter the situation, he always makes the public believe. That’s the most important aspect of this thing of ours, so a lot of people in WWE should take note.
Cena also dropped some news: he plans to wrestle again. And it won’t be just for “one more game”. He doesn’t know when – the world needs a lot of peace right now – but it will happen. Cena interacted with Theroy earlier in the series, lending Creedence rumored to have these tows set to tango in August. This may be Cena’s next appearance. Maybe not.
Whenever we see him again, be sure to cherish the guy who truly gave his all to this company and its fans.
Imagine me rolling
WWE tells a good story with Becky Lynch. Becky’s collapse since her defeat at WrestleMania took her to dark places. Funny places too, but mostly dark. This week, Becky competed against five other women for the final spot in the Money in the Bank women’s match. Would she have weakened? Would it destroy the competition?
The short answer is yes. I liked Becky’s aggressiveness to start the match. She went after everyone in her path, doing everything in her power as a woman on a mission. Xia Li? Pinned her. Nikki ASH? Submitted her shortly after pinning Xia. Clearly the star of the game, Becky also upped everyone else’s game. Specifically Doudrop. If anyone else dominated as much as Becky, it was Doudrop. She dominated everyone every time the action came out of the ring and she knocked out Shayna Baszler. and Tamina back to back.
It always came back to Becky and Doudrop. Becky unsuccessfully attempted the Manhandle Slam a few times. It wasn’t until Doudrop finally made a mistake that Becky capitalized on someone else’s follies rather than making her own.
Doudrop hoisted Becky onto the top turnbuckle, lost position, and fell victim to the Manhandle Slam.
Becky goes Money in the bank.
A good main event featuring just great Becky and Doudrop are together, and a nice chapter in Becky’s “comeback” story.
One more chance
Battle Royales are a mess, so don’t look for a blow-by-blow recap here. I’m going to talk about the Final Four. Riddle, AJ Styles, Nakamura and Miz. Now the idea here is that the winner gets a spot in the Money in the Bank match. Great, that makes sense. The caveat here is that one of these men can’t challenge for the big WWE Championship as long as Roman Reigns has the belt.
And yet, Riddle won. The audience jumped on it and it was a great ending between him and Miz, but I think he’s not the right cat for this place. Give it to someone without this stipulation, as it increases the suspense in the Money in the Bank match. Maybe WWE surprises me and Brock Lesnar beats Roman…maybe. But the odds of that are pretty slim based on recent history. Which means, in my mind, it’s a person in that game who didn’t shoot that briefcase on July 2, 2022.
Ontario Provincial Police
Street Profits are in their head. Even after Angelo Dawkins’ victory over Jimmy Uso last week, they aren’t quite confident they have what it takes to defeat The Usos. I really like this angle. Despite their list of accomplishments — which John Cena so helpfully laid out — they’re shaken when it comes to Jimmy and Jey. This means that another solo victory over a Bloodline member meant more than just “another victory”. With all that in mind, we have Montez Ford versus the man formerly known as Main Event Jey Uso.
Look, there’s only so many ways I can tell you that these two hit it off. It was great ? No. But it was good because The Profits and The Usos work well together in any setup. The best part was the ending, where Dawkins made sure his partner had a chance to go to the cash desk, knocking out Jimmy before he messed up the work. Montez, in another ridiculous display, nearly hit the briefcases above the ring with a Frog Splash.
Montez picked up the W, which likely means a loss is in their future. Right? I’m not so sure. The Usos are the Detroit Pistons against the Chicago Bulls of the Profits. Every little victory counts, so maybe this is the beginning of the end for Roman’s cousins.
Bullets and my word
During this Battle Royale, Miz took down AJ Styles in typical Miz fashion. The coward faked an injury and waited for the perfect moment to knock Styles out. That’s why during an interview with Miz, AJ rushed into the ring as a kid to Toys R’ Us in 1993 for Power Rangers.
What followed was a solid fight that ended the minute Miz came out. Perfect for his character, Miz left the match without hesitation, handing AJ the count-out victory.
And I agree with that. AJ and Miz aren’t something you randomly blast on a random Monday night. There’s more history here and it deserves a bigger stage. AJ needs a challenge and chases Miz for a few weeks until Slam summer sounds like the right obstacle.
Also? Corey Graves has good faith that Miz has gigantic balls.
Carmella and Bianca Belair’s “face to face” segment this week kinda bored me. Bianca called Mella talented but insecure. EST says Mella is too focused on her looks to realize her potential. Well… there is some truth in that. But, again, the match is days away, so adding that part of the story at this point is moot. Mella came to the ring dressed as a replacement dancer for Bob Fosse, explaining how anything but anxious she is. She is intelligent. And that’s why she will beat Bianca etc. etc you know how it goes.
Carmella then faced off as if leaving the ring, only to kick the champ everyone saw coming. Including Bianca who not only caught the kick but kept watching out of the corner of her eye.
The whole segment was just a little too predictable with no real immediacy. Meh.
I dare you
Before their match, Liv Morgan told Alexa Bliss that she would not only win Money in the Bank in Las Vegas, but beat her this week. Alexa basically said “no”.
Well, Alexa was wrong. It was a fun match between two partners who realize it’s every man for themselves when the big championship is on the line. Liv reversed Alexa’s DDT and got the W with a quick roll. What respect between the ladies after the match, friendly competition and all that jazz. But we’ll see if they maintain that civility when the briefcase is in play.
I can live?
Bobby Lashley handled perennial WWE villains Alpha Academy. Otis and Chad Gable faced Lashley in a handicap match with Theory playing outside the special referee. The match existed to get more heat on Theory, which I’m not sure is needed at this point. But, hey, Chad hit the Hurt Lock and Theory ran away after landing several cheap shots on his Money in the bank opponent.
Interview with Cody Rhodes! The doctors announce nine months of convalescence! He will congratulate Seth Rollins if Seth wins! He got everyone talking in the Money in the Bank game! Back to rehab!
Raw wasn’t exactly worthy to go home this week, but it wasn’t terrible either. Cena’s celebration was a nice touch, and Rawon the side of the Money in the bank the card is finally finished. The biggest blow? No match Elrod, Elias and Ezekiel against Kevin Owens. It is a sin to deprive us of it.
This is my note and I stick to it. Your turn.