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Monday Night RAW Recap: Cena and Rollins sign their SummerSlam contract

We’re just six days from SummerSlam with a nice summer card beginning to fill out. John Cena’s returning tonight and Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker are both going to be at the arena. The celebrity feud with Stephen Amell is actually a nice little feud, showcasing Neville, Barrett and Stardust who are all major names in search of angles. Perhaps this will send them into the major spotlight.

Let’s go…

We are LIVE(!!!) from Minneapolis, Minnesota for Monday Night RAW!!!

JBL, Cole and Saxton are the guys at the desk.

We start with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Steph welcomes everyone to RAW and says that they’re only six days away from SummerSlam — so tonight will be huge. Triple H says that it’s four hours long. Careers will be defined and scores will be settled. Triple H over the SummerSlam card while Demi Lovato’s “Cool For the Summer” loudly plays in the background. It’s amusingly ironic watching him try to plug a huge, manly Title Match while we’re hearing a song about a girl who wants to have sex with other girls.

AT SUMMERSLAM:

  • The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
  • John Cena vs. Seth Rollins
  • Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper 
  • All three Divas teams in a “3-Team Divas Elimination Match”

TONIGHT:

  • Cena/Rollins contract signing
  • Luke Harper vs. Roman Reigns
  • Nikke Bella vs. Sasha Banks 

Jon Stewart will host SummerSlam!!!

Out comes Randy Orton for a match.

MATCH #1: Randy Orton & Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens & Sheamus
Cesaro and Owens starts but Owens chickesn out and tags Sheamus and, already, we’re seeing the chicken-shit ending forming. Sheamus looks irritated. Cesaro tags in Orton. Sheamus chickens out and leaves the ring. We’re a minute in and nobody has done anything. Finally, Sheamus hits Orton with a shoulderblock. Orton comes back with his own. Sheamus exits the ring again. The crowd gets on him for the mohawk. Finally, Sheamus tags in Owens. Orton fights off Owens and tags Cesaro who hits a six-second delayed suplex. Owen fights back but Cesaro hits a Springboard Uppercut. Owens exits the ring.> When we come back Sheamus hits a Rolling Senton on Orton. Owens tags in with a Reverse Senton and gets two. Mudhole stomp by Owens and some punches. Owens tags Sheamus after putting him in the heel corner. Sheamus stomps at him, then chokes him against the ropes. Sheamus hits a Kneelift and lariat and gets a two count. Tag to Owens who locks Orton in a side headlock. Finally, Owens tosses Orton outside the ring. He tries to follow up but Orton side suplexes him into the barricade. Orton crawls into the ring. Owens follows and it’s hot tags on both sides with Cesaro hitting uppercuts on Sheamus. He knocks Sheamus down and hits a cross body for two. Cesaro goes for the Swing but Sheamus gets to the bottom rope. Sheamus comes back with a Spinning Powerslam, then goes top rope but Cesaro hits a badly-timed uppercut for two. Cesaro goes for a Neutralizer but Sheamus breaks out. Cesaro kicks Sheamus on a run, then tags in Orton. Sheamus doesn’t realize it, so it’s Vintage Orton on Sheamus. He sets up for the RKO but Owens runs into the ring. Orton tries an RKO on him but Owens breaks. Sheamus gets up and he eats the RKO. Orton wins it for the team as Cesaro pulls Owens out of the ring. Mark it around 13:00.
WINNERS: Orton and Cesaro
RATING: **. A little messy, especially toward the end. Crowd was way into it, though. Orton and Cesaro really do work well together.

Cole recaps The Undertaker and Lesnar’s feud since Battleground and Cole still acts like we haven’t seen him since WrestleMania XXX.

We get an Undertaker promo where Undertaker says he has no remorse. The Gates of Hell are opening and Lesnar’s name is being called. At SummerSlam, Lesnar will never rest in peace. The Undertaker looks ancient. I wish he’d retire.

LAST MONTH: Rollins broke John Cena’s nose.

Rollins is backstage with Triple H and Steph. He says that Cena hasn’t looked him in the eye. Kinda hard when…y’know, he’s not around. He says that Cena will finally sign the contract. He says that after he beats Cena at SummerSlam, he feels like he should get a Legends statue at WWE Headquarters. Steph and Triple H agree. Rollins says he won’t let them down.

Dean Ambrose is at ringside for commentary for the Reigns match.

MATCH #2: Roman Reigns (w/ Dean Ambrose) vs. Luke Harper (w/ Bray Wyatt)
Ambrose grabs a chair and rolls it over to Bray, then threatens him if he moves. In the ring, Reigns hits some quick shots to the jaw. Harper comes back with shots of his own, then rams Reigns’ head into the corner. Harper hits a side headlock. Reigns fights back and misses a clothesline but manages to send Harper outside. He follows and hits the Sitting Dropkick. Bray doesn’t look pleased. After a break, Harper has Reigns in a side headlock. Reigns breaks but ends up in a Michinoku Driver for two. Another headlock by Harper. Reigns suplexes out of it but Harper kicks Reigns in the face on a run. And it’s another headlock by Harper, followed by the dumb Gator Roll which I had hoped had vanished permanently, but there it is. Reigns breaks free again and hits clotheslines. Harper hits an elbow and kneelift but Reigns hits a lazy looking Samoan Drop. He hits some shots in the corner and sends Harper out of the ring. Reigns clotheslines him. Back in the ring, Harper hits a kick to the gut but Reigns hits an uppercut. A series of counters and Reigns hits a Sunset Flip for two. Some running around and Reigns hits a huge clothesline. Reigns goes for a Samoan Drop but just stands there like a moron and lets Harper elbow him in the face. Reigns sets up the Superman Punch but Harper leaves the ring. Reigns follows and gets Superkicked in the face. Harper gets back in the ring and tries to run at Reigns but it’s a Superman Punch on the rush. Reigns gets in the ring but Harper hits the Spinebuster and gets two. Harper goes for a Powerbomb and hits it after some counters. Harper goes for the Discus Clothesline but Reigns nails him with the Superman Punch and Spear and we’re done at around 15:00.
WINNER: Roman Reigns via Spear
RATING: **1/4. Not bad. Got better toward the end but the match was far too long with way too many headlock spots. Also, there’s no velocity. Bray just sat there, doing nothing. I’m not looking for a dirty finish but he didn’t even need to be there.

Post-match, Wyatt comforts Harper. Lights go down and it’s Follow the Buzzards anyhow. 

MATCH #3: Tamina (w/ Sasha Banks & Naomi) vs. Becky Lynch (w/ Paige & Charlotte)
Tamina shoves Becky backward, so we’re already about a third of the way through her repertoire. Headbutts by Tamina.and a failed Samoan Drop. Tamina misses about three lariats but finally catches Becky and hits a Spinebuster. Body slam and Chinlock while Cole and JBL sit there and tell us that “The Bellas created the original Divas Revolution.” Riiiiiiiight. Becky breaks and Tamina kicks her in the corner. She whips Becky in the other corner but Becky fights out of it. Tamina misses a splash. Becky goes top rope and hits a really weak Missile Dropkick, then the Disarm-Her for the win around 4:00.
WINNER: Becky Lynch via Disarm-Her
RATING: *. None of this means anything. Tamina is still terrible and shouldn’t even be here and Lynch is the least interesting of the new Divas. This will continue as long as the McMahons continue to be petty with this “AJ Lee Divas Title Record” bullshit.

LAST MONDAY ON RAW: Summer hit the Accolade on Lana.

And wouldn’t you know it? Lana’s on commentary with Rusev and Summer in the ring.

MATCH #4: Rusev (w/ Summer Rae) vs. Mark Henry
Again, huh? Ok. Henry beats on Rusev inside, then outside the ring. He rolls Rusev back in and hits a standing Powerslam for two. Then he repeats it for another two. Rusev goes outside again. Henry follows. Rusev throws him into the steel post. Back in the ring, it’s a Superkick as Lana offers us such insight as, “Well…he’s…he’s screaming like the Bulgarian Brute he is…” Rusev struggles to get the Accolade on Henry which barely happens because Henry’s just a giant pile of beef in tights. Rusev wins anyhow at around 2:43.
WINNER: Rusev via Accolade
RATING: DUD. 

Post-match, Rusev and Summer go to leave. Lana climbs into the ring and starts screaming at Summer, who looks incredulous. She comes back to the ring nonetheless and Lana slaps the holy shit out of her. Lana points to Rusev and tells him to get into the ring. Rusev obliges. The crowd chants for Dolph Ziggler who completely misses his cue, complete with Lana breaking kayfabe and wincing because Ziggler hadn’t arrived yet. Dolph shows up and beats up on Rusev who grabs Summer and uses her as a human shield. Lana leaps up and kicks Summer in the head, which looked impressive. Rusev attacks Ziggler but Ziggler hits a Superkick. So, this is nice.

STILL TO COME: Cena/Rollins Contract Signing

MOMENTS AGO: People care about Rusev/Ziggler, so let’s show that happening again.

JoJo catches Ziggler and Lana backstage. Ziggler says that he enjoyed the reaction he got. He thinks there should be one more match at SummerSlam: Ziggler vs. Rusev. He’ll send “that caveman back to the stone age”.

Cole gives us the video recap of Taker/Lesnar.

Big Show is at ringside doing commentary for the next match.

The Miz comes to the ring with a mic. Miz says that Big Show isn’t an actor. He says that all Show does is block lighting and shut down catering. He says that Ryback and Show will cancel each other out. He removes his sunglasses.

MATCH #5: WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback vs. The Miz (non-title)
Ryback knocks Miz down and stomps at him. Miz counters as the two fight over leverage. Finally, Miz knocks Ryback down and stomps at him. Ryback comes back with a Powerslam and Press Slam. Meathook, Shell Shock, done at 2:12 as Show calls Miz a “gender-confused Jedi”.
WINNER: Ryback via Shell Shock
RATING: DUD.

Post-match, Ryback calls Show into the ring. Show leaves instead.

NEXT: Cena/Rollins contract signing.

Steph and Triple H are in the ring. Triple H calls out Seth Rollins. Rollins thanks them for the warm intro and says that he’d like to congratulate Steph and Triple H for putting together the greatest SummerSlam of all-time. But, most of all, he’d like to congratulate everyone here tonight. He says they’ll all be a part of history. They don’t know, when they go to a ball game, that they’re gonna see a no-hitter — unless their team is playing the Twins. This draws a ridiculous amount of heat despite the fact that I know Twins fans who would admit that the Twins suck. He signs the contract. He says that Bob Dylan, who is from Minnesota, once said, “The Times, They Are A-Changin'”. For the longest time, Cena’s been at the top of the mountain, making sure nobody has gotten where he is. Rollins says that Cena’s the bad guy. He’s been holding WWE hostage. The crowd adores this, then chants “YES”, which makes so much sense. He goes on to call Cena a “disease” and proclaims himself “the cure”. At SummerSlam, he will crush Cena’s legacy like he crushed Cena’s face. He says that Cena answered Rollins’ challenge on Tough Enough — not to his face. He even calls Daniel Bryan a “cripple” before Cena FINALLY shows up.

Cena says he isn’t in the mood to “have a seat”. Cena says that Rollina is presumptuous: everyone, love or hate him, is only chanting about Cena, not Rollins. He says that Rollins is the champ — but he’s a “cheap imitation” of John Cena. He says that Rollins was hand-picked by Triple H to be the champ. He calls Triple H all of Triple H’s nicknames. He says that the real champ is here. He says he may need to break the knee that Rollins used to break his nose. He thought about that when he was sitting at home, healing. What he’s doing Sunday will haunt Rollins and the Authority. He’s a 15-time World Heavyweight Champion. He will be that for the 16th time. When Rollins loses, Rollins loses. He says that Ric Flair bestowed the future onto Triple H. Rollins must fight for that legacy…except that Triple H was never Flair’s bitch, then he says, “This Sunday, I’m gonna make you mine.” He signs the contract, drops the mic and leaves.

STILL TO COME: Sasha Banks vs. Nikki Bella

ALSO: Lesnar will be on ESPN SportsCenter tomorrow.

ALSO ALSO: Brock Lesnar’s Homecoming

MATCH #6: The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara) & WWE Tag Team Champions The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young) vs. Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando) (w/ El Torito) & The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods)
So, just to be clear: the tag team that for, five minutes, were the “#1 Contenders for the Tag Team Titles” are now partnering with The New Day. I’m not sure which is more lost, the tag division or the Divas Division. Anyhow, it’s a New Day/Matadores mudhole stomp. One of the Matadors drops a knee on Sin Cara who comes back with a Samoan Drop. Tag to Titus who takes out the entire heel corner like Juggernaut in X-Men, then does away with both Matadores. Diego or Fernando (I don’t care at this point) hits a backstabber on Titus on an Xavier distraction. El Torito attacks Woods and Kalisto hits a Frankensteiner for the win. Sigh…
WINNERS: Dragons/PTP
RATING: DUD. Just…nope.

We get a ton of build-up to the Amell/Neville match at SummerSlam. This tickles my sister-in-law so and, at the same time, brings me back to my childhood. I can’t help but like it.

We get Stardust and King Barrett backstage. The shit-talk — until Stardust bestows Cosmic Armor upon Barrett. So weirdly ridiculous and goofy.

MATCH #7: WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella (w/ Brie Bella & Alicia Fox) vs. Sasha Banks (w/ Naomi & Tamina) (non-title)
Nikki and Banks shove one another. Nikki shoves Banks real hard, then does jumping jacks which are about as half-assed as her wrestling. Sasha gets some licks in but Nikki hits a quick kneelift, which Cole calls “a clinic” for some reason. Surfboard by Nikki and then a chinlock. Banks breaks but Nikki hits a suplex for two. The Team Formerly Known As the Porn Submission Experts or whatever watches from the back. The two fight into the corner. Sasha hits a forearm and stomps Nikki’s chest. She does push-ups to mock Nikki. When we come back, Banks has Nikki in a dual armlock. Nikki breaks and the fight goes to the corner. Nikki gains the upperhand and completely botches an Enzuguri, whiffing big-time by 2 feet. JBL: “Whoa! Sasha blocked that kick!” Wow. Nikki hits an Alabama Slamma Miggal and it’s a two count. Banks comes back with a Zigg Zagg and gets two. The crowd gets so bored, they all start chanting for Lesnar. Nikki hits a clothesline and goes for the Rack Attack but Naomi hops on the mat for the distraction finish and, right now, that’s just fine with me. Banks hits a Backstabber and then the Banks Statement for the win at 10:33.
WINNER: Sasha Banks via Banks Statement
RATING: DUD. Nope. A terrible match. Neither girl seemed into it. Nikki phoned it in and this was just a disaster. STOP BREAKING AJ’S RECORD AND DO SOMETHING WITH THE DAMN DIVAS.

More ”Taker/Lesnar build-up.

NEXT: Lesnar’s here.

Paul Heyman is in the ring. He sings Brock’s praises and brings him to the ring. Lesnar looks touched and acknowledges a crowd that absolutely adores him. Paul Heyman gets on his knees and does a parody of “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah” which is just as awesome as it sounds — until The Undertaker’s bells chime. The lights come back on but he’s nowhere to be seen. Lesnar and Heyman laugh. Heyman calls ‘Taker “Obi-Wan” and says that all he knows are “Jedi Mind Tricks”. He says that Lesnar will take The Undertaker to Suplex City. He recaps The Undertaker hitting a low blow on Lesnar at Battleground. He says that ‘Taker has never beaten Lesnar. After SummerSlam, he will say the same thing. He says The Undertaker is facing The Beast. The Beast put the “1” in “22-1”. He says that Lesnar doesn’t recognize any of The Undertaker’s legacy. Bells toll again. Arena goes dark.

This time, ‘Taker’s in the ring. He kicks Lesnar in the balls, then hits a Chokeslam and Tombstone as the crowd boos him senseless. ‘Taker turns and looks at Heyman, then celebrates his ass-kicking. He walks off as Lesnar lies in the middle of the ring.

We go off the air with ‘Taker raising his fist in the air.

OVERALL: The show was decent for a going home but felt rushed in the third hour. The SummerSlam card, however, is beautifully built and has all the hallmarks of being one of the best PPV’s in recent memory.

Er…that’s it. 

About Matt Perri

Matt Perri
Matt Perri is one of those literary Ronin you’ve never heard of until he shows up and tells you he’s a literary Ronin. He’s a native Californian, a film buff, old school gamer geek, and a sports/entertainment fan. A lifelong Giants, 49ers and Sharks fan, he also covers the world of pro-wrestling, writing recaps for WWE Monday Night RAW and Total Divas at Scott’s Blog of Doom. You can follow the guy on Twitter via @PerriTheSmark as well as here at The Workprint and his own blog, We Hate Your Gimmick.

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