WWE RAW PRIMER 6/29: Sign Here Please… Double Contract Signing for men’s and women’s title matches, Next Step for Rollins and the Mysterio Family

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SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…


WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
ORLANDO, FL. AT THE PERFORMANCE CENTER
JUNE 29, 2020
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR 

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe  

Top 10 Moments from Last Week’s Show

Overview and Items Advertised by WWE

Despite recent reports of multiple WWE talent and employees contracting Covid-19, we continue with Raw tonight as we head towards Extreme Rules: Horror Show which takes place on July 19.  Thus far, three titles are on the line.  This past Friday, Nikki Cross earned a Smackdown Women’s Championship match against Bayley.  Here’s what’s advertised for tonight on WWE’s website:

Double contract signing for Extreme Rules: The Horror Show
Will Seth Rollins continue his reign of terror?

My hunch is we’ll see more non-wrestling segments for the time being unless WWE just throws caution to the wind and has multiple matches with many people involved as they did on Smackdown.  Read PWTorch VIP analyst Todd Martin’s tweets about what they did this past Friday.  Todd tells it like it is and I think what he had to say is important:

Last week's Smackdown featured multiple individuals, including Renee Young and Kayla Braxton, who later tested for positive for COVID-19, interacting with other wrestlers on the show. Producers also tested positive and presumably more wrestlers based on absences this week.

— Todd Martin (@ToddMartinMMA) June 27, 2020

Today's Smackdown was within the recommended time period to quarantine people who interact with COVID-19 positive individuals. Not only were wrestlers like Jeff Hardy, who did a face to face interview last week with Young, not quarantined, they were featured in large groups.

— Todd Martin (@ToddMartinMMA) June 27, 2020

The beginning and the end of this week's show featured practically all the wrestlers on the show out there together for no good reason. In between those there was an 8 man tag and a 4 person match with 2 more wrestlers at ringside, maximizing interaction at the worst time.

— Todd Martin (@ToddMartinMMA) June 27, 2020

Meanwhile, WWE continues to be totally tight lipped to talent and the public about what's going on. The lack of information gives the appearance of an overt cover up. This goes beyond simple negligence to reckless indifference to their talent's health.

— Todd Martin (@ToddMartinMMA) June 27, 2020

Wrestlers ought to band together *immediately* and demand at the very least transparency and independent representation at each show who are there to protect their health. It's obvious at this point the company does not have their backs or the backs of their families.

— Todd Martin (@ToddMartinMMA) June 27, 2020

As of this writing, WWE does not have their official preview up, so I suspect it will be up later in the day.  The other major items I expect them to follow up on are:

Charlotte Flair and Nia Jax multiple brawls last week leading to Charlotte’s injury
Natalya & Lana and their growing partnership / Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott reunite to have a tag match against them?
MVP courting U.S. Champion Apollo Crews to be his client
Akira Tozawa and his 24/7 Championship
Building to Big Show vs. Randy Orton
Building to the Viking Raiders vs. Andrade & Angel Garza.  Raw Tag Team Champions the Street Profits will likely be tied into this.  Triple threat at Extreme Rules?  (WWE has me so programmed to expect these matches these day)

Double Contract Signing: Asuka and Sasha Banks Sign for Raw Women’s Championship, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler Sign for WWE Championship

Well, I suppose they’re doing a different type of contract signin

Last week, we learned of two championship matches that will take place at Extreme Rules: The Horror Show.  Dolph Ziggler arrived from Smackdown, interrupted WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, and announced that he and Robert Roode were sent to Raw to complete the trade for A.J. Styles.  He and Drew talked about their history from two years ago, and Dolph then challenged Drew for the WWE Championship citing that he needed a challenger for Extreme Rules (not that WWE couldn’t come up with a method to determine a challenger, but whatever).  Drew accepted, and the match was announced officially later in the show.

Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks later retained the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions over the IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce).  After the match, Sasha expressed jealousy over Bayley being a double champion.  She then challenged Asuka to a Raw Women’s Championship match, who earlier in the evening retained her title after finally defeating Charlotte.  Asuka accepted but was then double-teamed by Bayley and Sasha.

Tonight, all four parties involved in the championship matches at Extreme Rules will be in the ring for a contract signing.  Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler will sign the contract for their WWE Championship match.  Asuka and Sasha Banks will sign for the Raw Women’s Championship.

Frank’s Analysis:  I’m not sure the benefit of signing both contracts at the same time since both matches have nothing to do with each other.  Having seen so many of these things, it’s hard to get excited.  More importantly, it’s stupid that Dolph just gets to challenge for the WWE Championship.  At least have him earn it some way or give him some strong wins.  He’s been involved in the Otis & Mandy Rose storyline on Smackdown, which hardly qualifies him as a championship contender.  Why does Sasha get to challenge for the Raw Women’s Championship?  I understand it’s a great match, and one I’ll be happy to see, but explain to us why she gets to do this. 

Next Up for Seth Rollins and Rey Mysterio

Last week, another chapter unfolded in the story of Rey Mysterio & his son Dominic and Seth Rollins.  Rey and Dominic were on hand to confront Rollins.  Rey told Dominic how scared he made him a week earlier when he went to confront Rollins on his own.  While he made him proud, he told Dominic he still put himself at risk.  As Rollins made his way to the stage he eventually knelt at ringside, and Austin Theory and Murphy made their way out.  As they were going to attack Rey and Dominic, Aleister Black and Humberto Carrillo made their way out for the save.  They were able to stop Murphy and Theory injuring Dominic’s eye the way Rollins did to Rey.

Tonight, we’ll learn of the next chapter between Seth Rollins and the Mysterios.

Frank’s Analysis:  I’m intrigued to see where this is going.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see a six-man tag match with Black, Carrillo, and Rey vs. Rollins, Theory, and Murphy which would lead to Rey vs. Rollins one-on-one.  That match sounds like a SummerSlam deal to me, but WWE doesn’t hold off on things all that well.  I’m still not 100% sold Dominic is turning on his father, but I’m not saying it’s impossible.

Other Match Results and News Items from Last Week

The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) defeated the Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship.
Asuka defeated Charlotte to retain the Raw Women’s Championship.  Earlier, Charlotte and Nia Jax got into a physical confrontation in the ring.  Charlotte’s shoulder was “injured” in the attack.  Nia attacked her backstage after the match.  According to multiple wrestling media outlets she is having surgery not related to the attack and will miss six weeks.  WWE posted an update to Charlotte’s injury on their website, citing the pre-match and post-match attack by Nia as the reasons.
In a pre-taped segment, Edge spoke about Randy Orton’s attack on Christian a week earlier.  He said he woke up a side of him that had been dormant, and that’s the “evil” and the Rated-R Superstar.
Akira Tozawa defeated R-Truth to win the 24/7 Championship.
Natalya defeated Liv Morgan.  Ruby Riott tried to comfort Liv later, but Liv would have none of it.
Ric Flair anointed Randy Orton the greatest wrestler ever.  Big Show interrupted and vowed revenge on behalf of Edge and Christian.
U.S. Champion Apollo Crews was a guest of MVP on the MVP Lounge.  MVP once again tried to recruit Apollo, but Apollo rejected.  He then defeated Shelton Benjamin to retain the U.S. title.

Final Thoughts

There was a lot in the way of storylines last week with which to keep up, but I’m not sure much is intriguing.  It isn’t bad though, don’t get me wrong.  I’m into the Rey-Rollins storyline and I’m into what happens with Apollo Crews.  While I like the potential Sasha vs. Asuka match, at least explain why this can happen.  I’m not against brand-to-brand crossings and yes, there is the brand-to-brand invitational rule, but they never explained that a wrestler from one show can challenge for a title on another.  It’s annoying how they got to Drew vs. Dolph, but it’s the In Your House formula where you can give a wrestler a one-month push and give the champ a strong win.  Overall I’m looking forward to the show, just have it all make a level of sense.


Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani.  Questions and discussion are welcome!  Thank you for reading.


CATCH UP… HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 6/22: Alt Perspective coverage including champions night with Asuka vs. Charlotte for the Raw Championship, Profits vs. Raiders for the Raw Tag Titles, and more

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