WWE celebrated Independence Day last night with a July Fourth edition of WWE Raw, a post-PPV show that would normally deal with the fallout of Money in the Bank and start to set things up for SummerSlam, but which was hamstrung by the expected lower holiday viewership and so, like most of the Raws out of the year, had to tread a bit of water instead.
Ric Flair is back… in the WWE intro.
In a move that is hard not to view as part of Vince McMahon's no-selling of his own normally career-ending scandals, Ric Flair is back in the WWE Then/Now/Forever/Together intro, because when they say "together," they mean in everything, including sexual misconduct scandals. Flair took to Twitter to call his removal from the intro last year when the Dark Side of the Ring episode on the Plane Ride from Hell aired the most hurtful moment in his entire career, or in Ric Flair old man Twitter capitalization, "The Most Hurtful Moment In My ENTIRE Career," and to declare that everything is now right in the world again. Okay, so no need to do that "last match" thing now, right? Well…
Theory lays out his SummerSlam plans.
Theory opened WWE Raw by declaring his intentions to win two titles at SummerSlam. First, he wants a rematch against Bobby Lashley for the United States Championship he lost at Money in the Bank. Then, he plans to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase after Reigns vs Lesnar 37 later in the night. Good luck to you, sir. You'll have to catch both Reigns and Lesnar as quickly as possible before they both f*** off on three-month vacations.
It's official: The Judgment Day are jobbers again.
Judgment Day only dropped their former mentor, Edge, a few weeks ago, but they're already losing to Old Man Mysterio and his kid on WWE Raw.
Something Something Logan Paul.
AJ Styles beat The Miz in a match, but got beat down by Miz and Ciampa afterward. Somehow this ties into something involving Logan Paul, so I tuned out.
The Liv Morgan era is off to a great start.
Liv Morgan cashed in her Money in the Bank briefcase the same night she won it, defeating Ronda Rousey on Sunday to become the Smackdown Women's Champion. Unfortunately, WWE doesn't seem to have thought this through, as they didn't have a new program for Morgan ready for Raw this week. Instead, she teamed with Bianca Belair to take on Carmella and Natalya. Or maybe it's even worse. Maybe Natalya *is* the program WWE has planned for Liv Morgan for SummerSlam. Oof!
Maybe there's another brother?
When you put Seth Rollins and Ezekiel in a throwaway match while both men wait for other feuds to resume, someone is going to come out of it looking bad and losing heat. That's why — and try to follow along here, WWE — you don't do that. Unfortunately, that's what they did, which means Ezekiel had to lose. Well, maybe they can build up Elrod instead whenever Kevin Owens comes back.
Otis can't even win a hot dog eating contest.
If there was one thing that, before today, we would have been confident in saying Otis could win, it's a hot dog eating contest. Alas, both Otis and Angelo Dawkins were defeated by Akira Tozawa on WWE Raw last night. Making matters worse, after Alpha Academy and the Street Profits had their 1000th match on Raw last night (this time with Lashley and Theory joining in), Otis vomited on camera. Well, it's been a while since we got a good puking on Raw.
R-Truth faced Gunther in a match on WWE Raw last night. It went how you would expect.
Becky finally gets a win.
After a bit of a losing streak, Becky Lynch finally got a win over Asuka. Of course, if you face the same opponent over and over again for weeks, you're bound to get a win eventually.
And that was WWE Raw last night. Not the worst show ever, but sadly a pretty big drop from the relatively higher quality stuff we had been getting after WrestleMania. Of course, WWE was never going to continue their less-bad streak forever, but it seemed like they were making some kind of effort to be entertaining for a few months there. Now, the company's focus seems to be on preventing Vince McMahon from being canceled, and the rest of the product is suffering for it, which is ironic, because if McMahon was forced out, the product would finally be able to move on from the rut it's been in for twenty years. Oh well. Maybe this guy will turn things around: