WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Highlights and Analysis from June 3June 4, 2019
WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Highlights and Analysis from June 3
The Deadman rose Monday night, as The Undertaker returned to WWE's flagship show just four days before an iconic one-on-one dream match against Goldberg at Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia.
The Phenom's return to Raw was the most notable moment in a show that teased Brock Lesnar cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase on universal champion Seth Rollins and featured the latest chapter in the ongoing rivalry between Raw women's champion Becky Lynch and top contender Lacey Evans.
The noteworthy broadcast looked to return the red brand to relevance after several months in which NXT and the debuting All Elite Wrestling overshadowed the once-dominant show.
Did it accomplish its goals? Find out with this recap of the June 3 broadcast.
Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon Interrupt Roman Reigns to Kick Off Raw
Roman Reigns kicked off the broadcast, but before he could say anything, Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre interrupted.
McMahon vowed to defeat The Big Dog at Super ShowDown. Reigns accused the prodigal son of relying too heavily on McIntyre and then revealed that at WWE Stomping Grounds (worse than Great Balls of Fire?), he will square off with The Scottish Psychopath.
McIntyre promised McMahon would be victorious Friday and then said Reigns would be dismantled at his hand at the next pay-per-view on June 23.
The heels started making their way to the ring when The Revival sneak-attacked Reigns. The four-on-one beatdown was short-lived, as Jimmy and Jey Uso rushed the ring to make the save and set up the night's first match.
There was nothing special about the content of this promo segment, but thankfully it was a quick one that gave way to the night's first match in short order.
Yes, opening promos that set up matches are tired and cliched, but if they have to exist, the quicker the talking wraps up and the fighting begins, the happier the audience.
The revelation Reigns will face McIntyre at Stomping Grounds only lends credibility to the idea WWE Creative has no clue how to book something fresh, new and exciting.
Roman Reigns and The Usos vs. Drew McIntyre and The Revival
An early onslaught by Reigns and Co. ended when Jimmy Uso found himself on the receiving end of a concentrated beatdown at the hands of McIntyre, Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson for the majority of the contest.
A late hot tag to Reigns sparked a babyface comeback and had the cousins looking like surefire winners. Interference from Shane McMahon resulted in Jey crotched on the top rope and a pissed-off Big Dog seeking retribution.
He left himself open to a Claymore kick from McIntyre, though. Back inside, Jimmy tried to come to Jey's rescue, only to be pulled to the floor and flattened with the Shatter Machine by The Revival.
McIntyre blasted Jey with another Claymore to score the win.
After the match, the heels built more heat for themselves, culminating in McMahon delivering a spear to Reigns to put over their showdown Friday.
McIntyre and The Revival defeated The Usos and Reigns
The idea of a faction including McIntyre and The Revival is the first thing about this McMahon push that has not completely sucked.
Wilder and Dawson looked right at home surrounded by high-profile stars like The Scottish Psychopath and Shane-O-Mac, lending further credence to the belief they are top guys WWE Creative woefully underutilizes.
The match itself was basically every super fun multi-man tag team match WWE presents these days, with additional spark added by the all-time-great Usos.
The post-match beatdown was clever in that it made McMahon that much more unlikable and set up for Reigns to smash him in Saudi Arabia.
Of course, the last two times it looked like McMahon would get what was coming to him, he inexplicably beat The Miz and robbed him of whatever credibility he had left as a babyface, so there is that.
'Miz TV' with Seth Rollins
The Miz welcomed universal champion Seth Rollins to "Miz TV."
He talked about the possibility of Brock Lesnar cashing in Money in the Bank and changing the planned Universal Championship match between The Beastslayer and Baron Corbin in Saudi Arabia.
Rollins vowed to focus on Corbin because he is the fighting champion he said he was.
Lesnar and Paul Heyman arrived at the arena and stalked toward the ring before thinking again and walking off, leaving fans in the arena to chant "burn it down" as Rollins watched on.
That was uneventful.
Lesnar teasing a cash-in on a show where it has already been advertised he would is about as WWE Creative as WWE Creative gets right now. This was a waste of a segment that barely touched on the idea of Rollins facing Corbin Friday at Super ShowDown.
Worse? It was hardly worth trotting out Miz for. The Hollywood A-Lister feels like an afterthought in the wake of his feud with Shane McMahon. There is no way a guy that talented, who can talk fans into supporting him or jeering him, should go wasted.
Lars Sullivan Attacks Lucha House Party
The Lucha House Party made its way to the ring for a six-man tag team match. Before the team could compete, though, Lars Sullivan's music played.
The Freak stalked toward the ring and sought to punish the trio in the same fashion he has in recent weeks.
Instead, the elusive Kalisto led Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik in a fiery babyface rally that ended with them dropkicking Sullivan out of the ring and leaving him seething on the arena floor.
The luchadores could have obliterated Sullivan with chairs, ladders and tables, and to be honest, no one would have believed Kalisto, Dorado and Metalik had a chance in hell of beating the NXT export in Saudi Arabia.
This definitely did nothing to change that.
Becky Lynch Promo
Becky Lynch denounced the idea of contentment as she addressed the WWE Universe on Monday.
She said the loss to Charlotte Flair at Money in the Bank, with the assistance of Lacey Evans, pissed her off and motivated her to prove no woman can hold her down. The Man vowed revenge on Evans until The Sassy Southern Belle made her presence felt.
Evans expressed disgust that Lynch is the face of the women's division and vowed to dethrone her. Lynch, in turn, mocked her, saying blonde hair does not make her Flair.
This brought The Queen out, and while she may have nine championships on her resume, Evans said she currently has zero. The two heels went back and forth before they exchanged blows.
A referee appeared and a match was underway.
WWE Creative literally does not know how to book a women's title feud without Flair's involvement.
Yes, she's among the best wrestlers in the world. Yes, she has an incredible resume and her star power is undeniable. At some point, though, WWE Creative has to learn that not every title program can revolve around her. It is OK to take her out of the championship picture and pair her up with someone else.
As it is, this is a hell of a learning experience for Evans and one that will only make her better. There are far worse ways to learn your craft than by working with two of the most gifted female performers in WWE history.
Charlotte Flair vs. Lacey Evans
Flair dominated the early portion of the match, repeatedly sending Evans to the floor for a breather and to regroup.
After the break, the action was a bit more back-and-forth, but a high-risk maneuver ended disastrously for The Sassy Southern Belle, leaving her prone to a comeback from Flair.
The Queen tried for the Figure-Four, but Evans booted her off and into the ropes. After running the ropes, they collided with each other in a double cross-body.
Down on the floor, Lynch blasted Flair, drawing a disqualification and ensuring the neverending rivalry continues.
After the match, The Man gained a measure of revenge, dropping Evans with a Manhandle Slam before standing tall with her title held high.
Flair defeated Evans via disqualification
And so the feud must go on.
The match itself was decent enough for an abbreviated television bout, and there was nothing inherently wrong with Lynch getting one over on her rivals.
There just wasn't anything exciting or noteworthy about any of it, either.
We have seen this song and dance before, and a Triple Threat match down the road seems all but certain, presumably at Stomping Grounds. Even if Lynch wins that, though, all signs point to the continuation of her feud with Flair as WWE Creative struggles to convince anyone that any other woman is a credible contender for the gold.
Rey Mysterio Relinquishes the United States Championship
Injured United States champion Rey Mysterio returned to Raw to relinquish his title Monday.
Rey said the industry is in his blood and noted he is training his son, Dominic, for the ring. He said he has all the confidence in the world that his son will carve out his own path and only hopes he can be the best example for him.
Samoa Joe interrupted and said Mysterio should not be dropping the title because he never actually beat him. His shoulders were not down.
Mysterio cut off Joe's insults and said he is a man of his word, that he is here to relinquish the title...to the former champion. He laid the title down in the center of the ring but soon found himself on the receiving end of the Coquina Clutch.
Joe left the ring with his newly acquired title while Mysterio was left to recover in the ring.
This was some classic, old-school-wrestling storytelling here.
The heel interrupts and mocks the honorable champion, who is trying to do what is right. Then, when the good guy hands the title over to the rightful champion, the relentless bad guy beats him down and leaves him in a heap.
It worked, put heat on Joe and continued to tease Dominic's eventual involvement in the squared circle.
Arm-Wrestling Match: Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley
Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley met in the center of the ring for an arm-wrestling match, in case their match at Super ShowDown could not be any less exciting or anticipated.
Lashley stalled multiple times, obviously not looking forward to matching up with Strowman.
A referee finally added chalk to their hands to keep them from slipping, and The Monster Among Men picked up the hotly contested win moments later.
After the decision, Lashley jumped Strowman and left him lying following a powerslam.
Strowman defeated Lashley
Remember that time Strowman won the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia and looked poised to beat Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship but then did not and has toiled away in midcard mediocrity since?
That is child's play compared to a throwaway segment like this and a lukewarm match with Lashley at Super ShowDown.
What a waste of a homegrown guy who looked like a legitimate championship contender just one year ago.
Nikki Cross vs. Peyton Royce
With Alexa Bliss watching from ringside, Nikki Cross looked to impress the "Moment of Bliss" hostess as she squared off with one-half of the women's tag team champions, Peyton Royce.
Royce grounded Cross and worked some submissions to the delight of Billie Kay on the floor. An alert and focused Royce cut off every attempt at a comeback by the Scot. A charge into an elbow by Cross began the comeback, though, as she began to roll.
An unnamed staffer delivered Bliss coffee as the match neared its conclusion. Royce kicked it out of her hand and all over the floor. Kay shoved The Goddess, white pants and all, into the coffee, much to the horror of commentator Corey Graves.
Back inside the ring, Cross delivered a neckbreaker and scored the pinfall victory.
After the match, a furious Bliss hit the ring and cleared The IIconics from it.
Cross defeated Royce
The wacky mismatched pairing of Cross and Bliss might just work if WWE Creative can continue to put the effort into the little things.
Cross looking to Bliss with admiration but Bliss becoming enraged only by her pants being ruined—not by the Scot's treatment at the hands of the heels—and finally taking her frustrations out on her and Cross' common enemy all helped make this segment far better than it really had any right to be.
Hopefully, any eventual payoff is as fun as the first week or two of the feud has been.
Brock Lesnar Cashes In...or Does He?
Seth Rollins, fed up with the mind games from Brock Lesnar, called out The Beast Incarnate and dared him to cash in Money in the Bank then and there.
Instead, his opponent Friday night in Jeddah, Baron Corbin, made his way to the ring.
The interaction between them led to a physical exchange that ended when Lesnar's music played, creating a momentary distraction that allowed Corbin to deliver End of Days.
With Rollins momentarily downed, The Beast finally emerged from the locker room and proceeded to deliver a brutal and violent beating on the universal champion.
Rollins' back was left bloodied and battered after a steel chair and briefcase-assisted assault from his unrelenting rival.
From the arena floor, Paul Heyman repeatedly implored his client to cash in, but Lesnar refused, saying "Friday," suggesting he will cash in his guaranteed contract at Super ShowDown.
Medics assisted Rollins after The Beast's departure, taking him out of the arena in an ambulance.
The sheer ruthlessness of the beating was awesome. Lesnar punished Rollins, kept the narrative of the low blow alive and left fans thinking Rollins may not be able to even make it to Friday's event. In that regard, this worked.
What did not is that WWE intentionally advertised a cash-in knowing full well it had no plans to deliver. That is bait-and-switch booking the likes of which WCW was accused of and criticized for over the course of its run. That is never good, nor is it an effective way to keep an audience.
It may well bite WWE in the ass, especially if fans tuned in specifically to see Lesnar turn over the briefcase and compete for the title.
Triple H and Randy Orton Come Face-to-Face
Triple H nonchalantly told Randy Orton the two of them know face-to-face segments are all about drumming up interest for a fight. He warned The Viper not to let the suit fool him, though, because he is coming to Saudi Arabia to kick his ass.
After a brief rebuttal in which Orton reminded Triple H that he is not Batista, The Game said The Viper has become every bit as good as he thought he would be. With that in mind, he said Orton is not "the one" to do what no one else has been able to and end his career.
As The Game tried to walk away, Orton asked if Triple H could retrieve his balls from Stephanie's purse.
The King of Kings said Orton wouldn't know the burden of carrying around big balls...because he has never had any.
Remember that time Triple H said at the beginning of the segment that face-to-faces are all meant to hype up a fight?
This didn't do that.
Triple H and Orton exchanged a few insults, but this never reached the level of intensity one would expect from two guys with the long and storied pasts they have. In fact, a very average "C" grade feels just about right for Hall of Fame-worthy talent clearly phoning it in.
Ricochet vs. Cesaro
After two consecutive weeks of strong in-ring action between Ricochet and Cesaro that saw them split victories, the celebrated in-ring athletes squared off in the rubber match Monday night.
Ricochet delivered a pair of headscissors that stunned Cesaro at ringside, including one assisted by the guardrail. A moonsault by The One and Only off the second rope and to the floor knocked down The Swiss Superman heading into the break.
Back from the break, Cesaro delivered a jaw-shattering uppercut that nearly scored him the win. The elusive Ricochet broke free of his opponent's grasp, though, and delivered a kick that stunned the former United States and tag team champion.
The One and Only ultimately scored a schoolboy roll-up for the sudden and surprise victory.
Cesaro, frustrated and upset by the loss, attacked Ricochet following the bell. He retrieved a table from underneath the ring but propped on it was 24/7 champion R-Truth. With Carmella by his side, Truth dispatched of Cesaro.
Soon, the likes of Eric Young, Cedric Alexander, No Way Jose and Co. rushed the ring to try to steal the title. Alexander wiped out most of them, leaving Truth in the ring with Drake Maverick. Carmella wiped him out, and the champ and his associate escaped through the crowd.
Ricochet defeated Cesaro
So, the definitive match in the rivalry between Ricochet and Cesaro was really just the background for this week in 24/7 Championship nonsense?
And this company wonders why no one ever gets over outside of the main event.
Ricochet and Cesaro delivered a solid if unspectacular bout, but the ridiculousness that followed it instantly negated the former's victory. By the time Carmella superkicked Maverick, no one even remembered a match preceded the entire ordeal.
What a waste of talent like Ricochet, Cesaro and Alexander, all of whom should be stealing the show every week but are relegated to shlock like this.
The Undertaker Returns to Raw
The Undertaker returned to Raw in Monday's main event segment.
Just days from a war with Goldberg, he implored the Hall of Famer to leave the smiley family man at home or "our first match will be your last."
He promised to unleash hell on Goldberg and ended the brief promo with "you're next."
And that is how you sell a match.
Short, sweet and to the point, this promo was true to Undertaker's character and just intense enough to make fans A) want to see how Goldberg responds Tuesday and B) see the match play out in Saudi Arabia.
Will it be a wrestling classic? Absolutely not, but it will damn sure be a fun match between two guys whose auras were as important to their overall package as any.