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June 16, 2015

Your WWE Raw roundup: The Beast is back and wants WWE World Heavyweight title

Wrestling WWE
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Seth Rollins looks on in shock as Brock Lesnar makes his return to WWE.

Dusty Rhodes was celebrated again on Monday night, this time in the way of highlights throughout Raw dubbed, “Celebrating the Dream.” Even after showing the same video package at the beginning of Raw that they showed at the beginning of Money in the Bank, many people were still upset by the sudden passing of the ‘American Dream.’ WWE has hit a homerun with its tributes to Rhodes, and it continued on the WWE Network after Raw went off the air.

Here’s a taste of what that special offered.

If you currently subscribe to the Network, and you haven’t seen it yet, I absolutely urge you to watch the one-hour special, “Celebrating the Dream,” that aired right after Raw went off the air Monday night. It’s one of the best productions I’ve seen from WWE, and it continually outdoes itself year after year. Kudos.

As for those career highlights WWE aired during the course of Raw? You can check those out below.

Now to the show. Here are some of the main stories coming out of Raw:

The WWE World Heavyweight Champion opened up Raw from the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Quicken Loans Arena. And despite Rollins praising Dean Ambrose bringing everything he had to him at Money in the Bank Sunday night, he said his “A” game was good, but not as good as his. Ambrose’s music hit and he marched to the ring and brawled with Rollins, who retreated to the back after a bit.

Ambrose wasn’t happy with that, so he staged a sit-in by sitting in a chair in the middle of the ring until Rollins came back out.

Unfortunately for Ambrose, Sheamus showed up at the request of The Authority to get Ambrose out of the ring, but the two wound up having a pretty good match together that saw Ambrose come out on top after Randy Orton appeared and distracted Sheamus.

I really am not sure why WWE thinks having its Money in the Bank winner lose the night after he won the briefcase, but I’ve long stopped trying to understand WWE’s booking decisions. Look at King Barrett, who once again lost to R-Truth Monday night. I just don’t get it.

Rollins approached J & J Security backstage and offered to take them back under his wing if they could give him a huge hint as to who Triple H and Stephanie would announce as the  No. 1 contender to his title. They didn’t oblige. Rollins then confronted Kane backstage and laid into him, again, and I still don’t know where it stems from. Rollins just sort of started hating Kane out of nowhere after he won the title at WrestleMania. It really feels like they need to at least have a match to blow off the tension. That’s not a match I want to see, but continually booking segments like that doesn’t do either of them any favors.

The Authority made the announcement as to who would be the new No 1 Contender for Rollins’ championship during the main event segment, and Rollins wanted to be present for the occasion. With Rollins in the ring, Triple H gave an impassioned promo about taking a step back and analyzing his investment in Rollins.

“If you want to know what you have with a lump of coal, you stick it under immense pressure. That pressure does one of two things; the pressure either causes it to crumble and turn to dust and render it useless, or that pressure turns it into the diamond that you always hoped it could be.”

Talk about motivational speeches; I think Triple H had one of the best ones ever given the storyline he was following. He said the pressure was on and that familiar string hit and Brock Lesnar was back. JBL with some good continuity, saying Lesnar must have been reinstated from his suspension back in March.

Lesnar made his way to the ring and stared down Rollins as Rollins left the ring and headed to the back. There’s your Battleground main event, and I, for one, am looking forward to it. With Paul Heyman’s evilish handshake to both Triple H and Stephanie, I’m really digging the story so far. It seems like Lesnar is full blown babyface now, and while I’m not so sure he’ll win back the championship he lost at WrestleMania, any match involving Lesnar is a spectacle to behold. Really glad he’s back.

Conspicuous by his absence, United States Champion John Cena was nowhere to be found on Monday night as he was selling his injuries at the hands of NXT Champion Kevin Owens from Money in the Bank. Michael Cole said Cena was suffering from a lower back contusion, severe muscle spasms and bruising.

Owens completely exploited that and demanded a rematch against Cena, one that would see the United States Championship on the line. If this is what WWE was going for in getting Owens some mega heat by also putting some main roster gold on him, I’m totally buying into it.

Another fantastic promo by Owens was greeted by Dolph Ziggler when Owens made an open challenge, but the NXT Championship wouldn’t be on the line. And, once again, Owens was involved in a fantastic match and came out on the winning side, defeating Ziggler with his patented pop-up powerbomb. Some good close falls here made this match better than it probably would have been otherwise, but Owens has looked like a superstar in every single match he’s been in thus far. The common denominator here is Owens. He’s the man. And he wasn’t done yet.

After Machine Gun Kelly’s musical performance on the stage, Owens came out and clapped. After MGK went to give him a handshake, Owens just looked at the hand, reminiscing that’s what Cena did the night before. MGK said something to Owens and then pushed him, resulting in Owens conveniently powerbombing him into a [padded] table below the stage. The reaction was fantastic by all involved, and it really made Owens look like even more of a monster. Great stuff all around.

Roman Reigns, who had his hands on the briefcase ready to bring it down and become Mr. Money in the Bank, called out Bray Wyatt, who cost him his chance to win the Money in the Bank Ladder Match on Sunday night.

Reigns showed some gumption in his promo, saying he was pissed and wanted Wyatt in the ring. Of course, Wyatt’s best promos come from the big screen, and this was no different. We got a pretty basic answer from Wyatt as to why he cost Reigns his Money in the Bank opportunity, and that’s because he felt like Reigns stole his spot. Wyatt said Reigns was selfish and reminds him of someone who was called the Chosen One. I don’t think we’re talking about Jeff Jarrett here, either. Wyatt said the people thought Reigns would lead them to paradise, but now they know he won’t. He can’t. Wyatt will haunt and destroy Reigns.

Wyatt then held a picture up of Reigns and his daughter from the Ad Council and Department of the U.S. Health and Human Services commercial. Reigns’ expression completely changed, so we’re already knuckles deep in a very personal issue between the two. Such a great promo and builds really well to their match next month at Battleground.

The fact that Wyatt hasn’t held some sort of title at this point is mind-boggling. The guy understands the business and gets a reaction no matter who he’s working with or what city he’s in. He deserves a chance to run with one of the secondary titles or the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Paige was trying to unite the Divas, and I still don’t understand why. Her whole M.O. has been saying the Bellas are basically holding the division hostage, but it’s hard to believe the storyline and angle. I mean, I get it, because they’ve used “Twin Magic” twice in the last two matches against Paige, but she’s the wrong messenger for the Divas division. Nobody can trust Paige, and that’s where the storyline is going, but let’s get some more Divas on the camera than just the Bellas and Paige. Let’s get some NXT Divas up on the main roster.

Match rundown

     • Dean Ambrose d. Sheamus by pinfall via a schoolboy after Randy Orton distracted Sheamus. Orton and Sheamus then brawled after the match.

     • R-Truth d. King Barrett by pinfall via rollup.

     • Non-Title: Kevin Owens (c-NXT) d. Dolph Ziggler by pinfall via the pop-up powerbomb.

     • Kane d. Randy Orton by pinfall after Sheamus interfered and gave Orton a Brogue Kick. Kane made the match a ‘No Holds Barred’ match before Sheamus got involved.

     • The Miz d. Big Show by countout after Big Show was staring down Ryback outside of the ring, who was doing commentary.

     • Handicap Match: The Bellas d. Paige by pinfall via the Rack Attack.

     • Prime Time Players and Neville d. The New Day by pinfall after Neville hit Kofi Kingston with the Red Arrow.

Wanna talk wrestling? Sports? Follow me on Twitter @nickpiccone