WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 26

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterJune 27, 2017

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 26

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE Raw's lethargic jog toward the Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view turned into a full-on gallop on Monday night in Los Angeles.

    Stories advanced. Moments unfolded. Superstars created dynamic images.

    Sasha Banks emerged as the new No. 1 contender for the Raw Women's Championship in a fierce battle with the monstrous Nia Jax.

    Enzo Amore delivered a speech worthy of Broadway. Samoa Joe was the giant sea monster wrapping his tentacles around a great white shark. The Destroyer left Brock Lesnar struggling for air, wobbling on the entrance ramp.

    And the fans inside the Staples Center also watched LaVar Ball make his WWE debut and Braun Strowman cram Roman Reigns into an ambulance.

    It was a busy night that saw the July 9 PPV get new bouts and new moments to build on. The matches weren't stellar for the most part, but everything had a purpose.

    Read on for a look at how Raw unfolded as we break down what worked and what stumbled on the red brand's latest show.

Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman Collide

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    Reigns was in mid-speech about his match with Braun Strowman when an ambulance pulled up. The Big Dog opened it to find nothing inside.

    Strowman attacked his rival from behind, used the ambulance as a weapon and stuffed Reigns inside before it drove away.

       

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I'm going to take you straight to hell."—Reigns.
    • Strowman hurls Reigns against the ambulance.
    • "This could be a painful preview of what will go down in Dallas."—Corey Graves.

       

    Grade

    B

       

    Analysis

    The opening segment offered a brief taste of the Reigns vs. Strowman ambulance match. Its brevity made sure these two didn't give too much away. It was instead a smart tease for the PPV.

    Reigns wasn't quite the indignant golden boy he showed us last Monday, but he was focused and angry. He stayed away from one-liners and a John Cena-like shtick.

    WWE appears to be getting a better idea of how to present The Big Dog.

The Hardys and Finn Balor vs. Cesaro, Sheamus and Elias Samson

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    Elias Samson was set to perform a song with Cesaro and Sheamus before The Hardy Boyz interrupted.

    Actor Josh Duhamel sat in on commentary as the battle unfolded. Matt and Jeff Hardy used superior teamwork to get the early advantage against the heels. The tag champs slowed the pace to shift things in their favor soon after.

    A Twist of Fate allowed Jeff to escape the beating he was taking and let Matt lead a comeback.

    After The Hardys took down two opponents outside the ring, Finn Balor hit Coup de Grace for the win.

       

    Result

    Balor and The Hardy Boyz win via pinfall.

       

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Jeff dives onto Cesaro out on the floor.
    • Matt repeatedly smashes Samson's head into all three turnbuckles.
    • Balor dives over the top rope to take out both Cesaro and Sheamus.

       

    Grade

    B-

       

    Analysis

    Balor and the Hardy brothers teaming up was quite the unexpected, fun pairing.

    Samson got a few moments to show off his heel prowess. Sheamus and Cesaro looked dominant and cohesive for the most part but fell to the curse of midcard champs losing in non-title action.

    Duhamel only got in the way at the announce desk. The commentary team had to juggle calling the match and playing talk-show hosts.

Goldust vs. R-Truth

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    In a backstage clip, Goldust warned R-Truth what was coming to him. He said he was bringing The Shattered Truth to Hollywood.

    Before the match could begin, Goldust went on the attack. A gold-clad cameraman followed the action from up close. Goldust used him as a distraction before beating R-Truth into the mat, leaving his former tag team partner motionless.

       

    Result

    Match never begins.

       

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Tonight, I'm putting the finishing touches on my masterpiece."—Goldust.
    • "I don't know if you know this, but the score is the music of a film.—Graves.
    • Goldust sports his classic ring gear.

       

    Grade

    B-

       

    Analysis

    The concept was never fully realized here. This should have issued a more vicious beatdown. It didn't take all that much punishment to keep R-Truth down for the count.

    And the cameraman was an interesting element but didn't get used in a meaningful way. He was a prop outside of the spotlight for the most part.

The Miz Welcomes the Ball Family to WWE

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    Maryse was ice cold to The Miz as he tried to smooth-talk her.

    He marched on regardless. He talked up LaVar Ball's star status before welcoming him and LaMelo to the ring. LaVar then introduced recent Los Angeles Lakers draftee Lonzo.

    The Miz thought the Balls would enter a partnership, but LaVar scoffed at the idea.

    Things grew intense and both The Miz and LaVar looked ready to fight before Dean Ambrose showed up.

       

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • The Miz says that LaVar is the only celebrity who has been talked about as much him this year.
    • "How many championships have you won?"—The Miz.
    • "There are only two dudes better than me. And I'm both of them."—LaVar.
    • "You going to unleash all the Balls on me?"—The Miz.
    • "Plus, I like free T-shirts."—Ambrose.

       

    Grade

    B-

       

    Analysis

    There is no one on the Raw roster better suited to lead the way for LaVar and family than The Miz. He was the steady foundation for the segment even when it threatened to keel over. His verbal jabs clicked.

    Ball, as expected, fit right into the WWE world even if things got weird with that shirtless moment.

    This appearance didn't result in a classic moment, but it will surely generate some headlines on Tuesday morning. Mainstream outlets are going to show clips of him jaw-jacking with The Miz several times over.

The Miz, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas vs. Dean Ambrose, Heath Slater and Rhyno

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    The babyfaces beat up on Curtis Axel in the early going. The Ax Man, though, managed to get Rhyno in his team's corner and work over the powerhouse.

    Ambrose took down his opponents, seizing the momentum back for his team.

    The Miz and his entourage zeroed in on Heath Slater to swing this back their way. They issued a methodical pace in wearing down Slater.

    Axel eventually clubbed Rhyno with a cheap shot, allowing Bo Dallas to roll him up.

       

    Result

    The Miz, Dallas and Axel win via pinfall.

       

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Rhyno throws The Miz over the top rope to send him crashing into Axel and Dallas.
    • "These are the 'It' kicks now, not the 'Yes!' kicks."—Graves.

       

    Grade

    C+

       

    Analysis

    This is the most powerful Dallas and Axel have looked in a long time. They were stomping on their foes with no mercy rather than warming the bench as they've done for so many months.

    The match was fine. The classic tag team dynamic did its job.

    The next step for "The Miztourage" is for it to be more elitist, more inspired by Hollywood fashion a la The Miz.

Enzo Amore Tries to Reunite with Big Cass

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Enzo Amore bemoaned the fact that Big Cass turned on him. He said that he hated the fact that he lost a friend and a partner.

    The fans booed when Big Cass showed up.

    Amore refused to accept that he and Big Cass were done. He said he was willing to forgive him.

    Big Cass apologized. The two men embraced. The big man flattened his friend on the entrance ramp regardless.

       

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "You want to know how I'm doing? Not so good."—Amore.
    • "Words cut deep and I already bled out, OK?"—Amore.
    • "You are my brother in life, on this roller coaster."—Amore.
    • Big Cass throws Amore down the entrance ramp.

       

    Grade

    A

       

    Analysis

    Rarely do we see such a genuine and dramatic display in WWE. This was real and heartfelt, vastly different from the silly shtick these guys are used to delivering.

    Amore was the most human and compelling he has been since he joined Raw.

    Big Cass' faked contrition worked to perfection. The swerve made his attack that much more powerful. And him rag-dolling Amore at the end was an excellent lasting image.

    It may not be clear what Amore will be able to do on his own, but this feud will be white-hot.

Seth Rollins vs. Curt Hawkins

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    Curt Hawkins polled the crowd about his chances for the match.

    He began the bout by plugging Seth Rollins with punches to the gut. He kept The Kingslayer grounded for a surprising amount of time.

    Rollins soon blasted the heel with a succession of his signature moves.

    After a knee to the face earned Rollins the win, he looked up to see Bray Wyatt lecturing him from the big screen. Wyatt talked about cleansing Rollins.

       

    Result

    Rollins wins via pinfall.

       

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Hawkins blocks the Avada Kedavra and counters with a schoolboy pin.
    • "Look inside my mind, Seth. I'm everywhere."—Wyatt.

       

    Grade

    D+

       

    Analysis

    Wyatt's rhetoric is too convoluted in this feud. There are too many ideas to digest. WWE and Wyatt need to find a way to filter this down into something less ambiguous.

    Is Wyatt trying to convert Rollins to his religion, punish him for his sins or coax the darkness out of him? That question needs to be answered before this feud can gain any traction.

Brock Lesnar Falls to Samoa Joe

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Paul Heyman didn't get far into his backstage interview before Joe showed up with bad intentions. The Destroyer quietly threatened the manager before Heyman skittered off.

    Later in the ring, Heyman talked up his client and called out Joe for cheap-shotting Lesnar.

    When The Beast Incarnate emerged, Joe pounced on him, locking in the Coquina Clutch. Lesnar fell to his knees as referees and wrestlers pulled The Destroyer off him.

       

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "That just proves that Samoa Joe is a Samoan dumbass."—Heyman.
    • "Now's the time to start fearing Brock Lesnar."—Heyman.
    • Lesnar smashes Joe into the LED screen but can't escape the Coquina Clutch.

       

    Grade

    A-

       

    Analysis

    Heyman brought an urgency and sense of importance to this moment and this match. His passion overflowed here.

    WWE surprisingly let Joe look dominant. He left Lesnar woozy and confused. That's just not something you see very often.

    That presumably means The Beast Incarnate is getting his redemption at Great Balls of Fire, but enough of these images of Joe with his fangs out will make him more and more of a viable threat.

Lince Dorado vs. Neville

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    Credit: WWE.com

    A sharply dressed Akira Tozawa sat at ringside to catch the match.

    Neville dominated Lince Dorado. The cruiserweight champ toyed with his foe until the masked man went on a brief, high-flying flurry.

    Moments later, Neville put Dorado away with Rings of Saturn.

    Tozawa looked to confront Neville, but Titus O'Neil came out to stop them. He announced that Tozawa was the newest member of his brand and that Tozawa would face Neville at Great Balls of Fire for the Cruiserweight Championship.

       

    Result

    Neville wins via submission.

       

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Dorado nails Neville with a suicide dive.
    • "When you're the king, you don't have to respect anyone but who you choose."—Graves.

       

    Grade

    C+

       

    Analysis

    Neville's disdain popped on the screen. It was so clear that he thought himself above Dorado, and that's exactly how it should be. The champ is beyond cocky.

    Being a part of the Titus Brand finally paid off for one of its members. Apollo Crews hasn't gained much of anything thanks to the partnership. Tozawa, though, is getting a title shot.

    Tozawa and Neville will put on a great series of matches regardless of how much attention they get in the coming weeks.

No. 1 Contender's Gauntlet Match

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Bayley vs. Nia Jax vs. Emma vs. Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks vs. Mickie James

    Backstage, the wrestlers picked their spots in the match by drawing numbers from a raffle drum.

    Alexa Bliss looked to befriend Jax, who wasn't having it. The powerhouse promised to come after her title.

    Bayley began the bout against Jax. The Huggable One found herself in trouble for a long stretch as Jax overwhelmed her. More aggressive than normal, Bayley still fell short.

    Jax went on to devour James and flatten Brooke.

    Banks showed up and was able to use her fresh legs and quickness to put Jax on the defensive. Jax still rolled over The Boss for a good chunk of the bout. The heel left Banks' right leg damaged.

    After surviving Jax's best shots, Banks brought the predator to her knees with Bank Statement and caused her to pass out.

    Bliss arrived to confront the new No. 1 contender but took a boot to the face.

       

    Result

    Banks wins via submission.

       

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Jax sends Bayley crashing into the canvas after tripping her up off the top rope.
    • "Is there a chiropractor in the house?"—Graves.
    • Jax catches Banks in the air to prevent a suicide dive.
    • "How do you defend yourself when a brick wall is running at you?"—Graves.
    • "Bye, bye, Sasha!"—Jax.
    • Banks hits a thunderous Shining Wizard.
    • Banks clamps on a standing Bank Statement.

       

    Grade

    A-

       

    Analysis

    The slow pace of the contest held it back some, especially in the first third of the match.

    WWE sacrificed Bayley, Emma and others for the sake of building up Jax. As frustrating as that can be for fans of those women, it's good to see the company commit to someone. Jax looked like a beast here, loss and all.

    That final battle with Jax refusing to go down to the Bank Statement was excellent theater.

    Banks will be a great foil for Bliss, but this showdown revealed that The Boss and Jax could make some magic together, too. Their portion of the match was far and away the most compelling.