WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 17

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2019

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 17

0 of 11

    Credit: WWE.com

    Six days out from Stomping Grounds, WWE Raw had the unenviable task of putting together a show that enticed fans to go out of their way to check out Sunday's pay-per-view.

    On paper, Monday's broadcast was nothing special. Baron Corbin was slated to reveal the referee for his Universal Championship match against Seth Rollins, a new No. 1 contender to the United States Championship would be crowned, and SmackDown Live's Daniel Bryan would be live as one of this week's wild cards.

    Did the show live up (or down) to its lineup's mediocrity, or did WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and the creative team feel the pressure and deliver a broadcast that finally captivated fans and made sure Stomping Grounds is can't-miss television?

    Find out now with this recap of the June 17 broadcast.

Seth Rollins Kicks Off Raw

1 of 11

    Elias opened Raw sporting a referee's shirt and revealed Baron Corbin had chosen him to be the ref in the Universal Championship match between The Lone Wolf and Seth Rollins at Stomping Grounds.

    The Beastslayer appeared, flattened Elias with a chair and pummeled him before grabbing the mic.

    Frustrated and furious, Rollins vowed he is no longer playing games. He promised anyone who aligned with Corbin would meet a similar fate to Elias.

    He dropped the mic and stormed off as the crowd popped for Raw's lead hero.






    Rollins as the champion forced to find an inner beast, walk tall and carry a steel chair is a great story for a guy who has been underwritten since turning babyface a few years back.

    Add an edge, let him express his frustration both physically and verbally and allow the audience to invest in him for that rather than just because he's a really good wrestler.

    This worked, set the tone for the rest of the show and gave fans something to look forward to throughout.

Braun Strowman vs. Ricochet vs. The Miz vs. Cesaro vs. Bobby Lashley

2 of 11

    The No. 1 contender to Samoa Joe's United States Championship was decided in the night's first in-ring action as Braun Strowman, Ricochet, The Miz, Cesaro and Bobby Lashley vied for the title opportunity.

    Before the match, the babyfaces laid out special guest referee Elias as the blatant attempts to rob him of any credibility continued.

    Strowman exploded out of the gate, eliminating Cesaro and Lashley following a powerslam while celebrities such as Seth Green and Jenna Dewan watched from ringside. He bulldozed Miz and Ricochet, looking like an unstoppable force as Joe watched at a distance.

    Angered by their quick dismissals, the heels teamed with Ricochet to ground The Monster Among Men and put him away. A furious and vengeful Strowman tossed The One and Only over the ropes with ease and wiped out The Swiss Superman and The All Mighty at ringside.

    Back from the break, Ricochet took the fight to Miz with his aerial onslaught, but The Hollywood A-Lister dropped him with a DDT for a near-fall and followed up with a figure-four leglock, but Ricochet reversed it and forced the break.

    Ricochet would catch a flying Miz with a Codebreaker and score the win with his 630 splash.

    After the match, Joe attacked, but Ricochet fended him off and stood tall.



    Ricochet defeated Strowman, Miz, Cesaro and Lashley






    Would it have been nice for Cesaro and Lashley not to have been treated like such fodder for Strowman, who is stuck on treadmill booking? Absolutely. But otherwise, this was a fun match with some strong chemistry hinted at between Miz and Ricochet.

    Ricochet was the right choice to win in that his victory sets up a fresh match with Joe and gives the U.S. champion someone who can work his style to perfection.

Becky Lynch Addresses Lacey Evans

3 of 11

    A thunderous ovation by her adopted hometown fans in Los Angeles greeted Raw women's champion Becky Lynch as she hit the ring for one last promo segment before her title defense against Lacey Evans at Stomping Grounds.

    The Man called out her opponent and offered to kick her ass all over the city.

    This brought out The Sassy Southern Belle, and after a brief back-and-forth full of the same jabs we have seen out of them on a seemingly weekly basis, Evans made the mistake of setting foot in the squared circle with Lynch.

    The Irish Lass Kicker delivered a nasty Bexploder and simply walked away—her message to her top contender delivered loudly and clearly.






    This was more of the same from a rivalry that started hot and now finds itself limping along into Sunday's pay-per-view.

    Of most interest here was the outcome of the segment, as WWE's 50-50 booking philosophy would seem to suggest Lynch is dropping the title at Stomping Grounds since she was the one standing tall at the end.

    As solid as Evans has been on the main roster to this point, that would be a huge booking misstep that would alienate the fans who were so behind The Man for so long.

Daniel Bryan Speaks and Viking Raiders Smash

4 of 11

    Daniel Bryan and Rowan, SmackDown's tag team champions, made their way to the ring.

    The former was very clear about his disdain for Raw and Los Angeles before revealing he would destroy Seth Rollins in the night's main event and prove why even one-half of the tag champs on SmackDown is better than all of Raw's talent.

    The Viking Raiders made their arrival for a squash match against Randy and Russ Taylor. True to name, they squashed the opposition, scoring the win in one-sided fashion.

    After the match, cameras caught R-Truth and Carmella in disguise at ringside. The bottom half of the Raw roster rushed the ringside area, trying to relieve the former of the 24/7 Championship, but Truth escaped through the crowd.



    Viking Raiders defeated the Taylors






    A one-dimensional promo from a better-than-that Bryan, a squash match that served as a half-assed reminder that Erik and Ivar are still a thing and a mediocre chapter in the otherwise fun 24/7 Championship saga made this segment a mishmash of mediocrity.

'The Kevin and Sami Show'

5 of 11

    Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn presented an edition of "The Kevin and Sami Show."

    The heels revealed they will not be the special referee for the Universal Championship match at Stomping Grounds. Instead, they introduced EC3.

    The former TNA world champion and WWE afterthought appeared, but Seth Rollins and his trusty steel chair quickly obliterated him.

    The New Day interrupted the proceedings and, after some back-and-forth, played with the pummeled EC3, using the Weekend at Bernie's gimmick to announce a six-man tag team, best 2-out-of-3 Falls match.






    The + is in response to the Bernie's callback, which will never cease being awesome.

    Otherwise, this was another brand extension-obliterating segment that made a complete mockery of the wild-card gimmick for the sake of loading the Raw brand with as much star power as possible.

    At least the resulting match should be great.

New Day vs. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin

6 of 11

    New Day struck first in the best 2-out-of-3 Falls match, as Xavier Woods scored a quick roll-up on Sami Zayn to earn his team a 1-0 lead.

    Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens and Zayn would channel their efforts into a concentrated assault on Big E, who just recently returned from injury.

    They beat him down in the corner, isolated him from his partners and tried to even the score. Unfortunately, a hot tag to Kofi Kingston sparked a babyface comeback.

    An errant clothesline from Corbin to Zayn resulted in a heated confrontation with Owens. The Prizefighter superkicked the former Raw general manager before leaving with Zayn.

    By himself, Corbin ate Trouble in Paradise, and Kingston fueled his team to victory with a 2-0 win-loss record.



    New Day defeated Owens, Zayn and Corbin two falls to none






    The idea that New Day would band together as a team, capitalize on the in-fighting among the heels and score the win is one that makes sense and should be booked more often.

    The action was solid, as one would expect from the talent involved, and the entire ordeal continued the spectacular booking accompanying Kingston's title reign.

    What made no sense was beating Corbin here six days before a pay-per-view match. He is already not perceived to be a championship-worthy contender. Beating him in a match that does not involve his opponent makes no sense.

    Of course, in WWE land, that means he will win the title Sunday night or something.

Paul Heyman Returns

7 of 11

    Paul Heyman returned to Raw in an attempt to remind Seth Rollins that the threat of Brock Lesnar cashing in loomed over the universal champion's reign.

    He made it abundantly clear he will not be the referee at Stomping Grounds before turning his attention to the mystery surrounding The Beast Incarnate's impending cash-in.

    He reminded Rollins that anytime he is around, he is vulnerable. Everyone knows The Architect is there, but no one knows if The Beast is.

    With that, Heyman dropped the mic and walked off.






    Heyman as the nagging advocate for Lesnar, reminding Rollins of the impending beating he faces and the potential for losing the universal title, is the perfect way to utilize him without his client ever having to appear on television.

    It works. It is a pattern that has proved effective and one that allows for storyline continuity without having to produce the biggest star in the industry week after week.

The Usos vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson

8 of 11

    Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson returned to television action for the first time in what felt like an eternity as they battled The Usos.

    They beat down and isolated Jey from his partner—all while longtime friend AJ Styles watched from the backstage area.

    They worked him over and even set him up for the Magic Killer.

    A perfectly timed superkick from Jimmy prevented the finisher, sparked a comeback and delivered duel superkicks to score the hard-fought win.

    The outcome displeased The Phenomenal One, which the cameras picked up on.



    The Usos defeated Gallows and Anderson






    The match was nothing to write home about, but it did not have to be.

    This was about the teasing of a storyline development for Anderson and Gallows and their relationship with Styles. Those three Superstars should have continued their on-screen friendship a long time ago.

    Now they are on Raw and the brand is devoid of heels, a reunion that sees the former Bullet Club run roughshod over the flagship is exactly what The Good Brothers need to rebuild some credibility with the audience.

    This loss sets that in motion.

Roman Reigns Promo

9 of 11

    Credit: WWE.com

    A frustrated Roman Reigns revealed the disappointment he felt following Super ShowDown, where he lost to Shane McMahon with some assistance from Drew McIntyre.

    After the tired ring-announcement shtick, McMahon appeared from a room backstage and told The Big Dog there is no shame in losing to "The Best in the World." His braggadocios promo gave way to a threatening one from McIntyre, who vowed to disfigure Reigns to the point that his kids will look at him in horror.

    The mention of his family brought Reigns to the backstage area, where he laid out The Revival and put McIntyre through a table.

    In the arena, The Big Dog rocked McMahon with a spear and sent him to the back with a message for McIntyre: an ass-kicking awaits Sunday.






    Reigns kicking ass will always be the incarnation of Reigns that garners the reaction WWE has always desired for him.

    He is a no-nonsense brawler whom fans want to see wreak havoc and beat down bad guys, not the lengthy promo-cutting guy who is way too cool to follow in the footsteps of John Cena when it comes to uninteresting babyfaces.

    This worked. It made him look like an unstoppable force and now sets up McIntyre to retaliate at Stomping Grounds and maybe pick up the biggest win of his main roster run to date.

Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss vs. The IIconics

10 of 11

    Credit: WWE.com

    Women's tag team champions The IIconics wasted little time cutting a promo that mocked the city of Los Angeles and the fans in attendance.

    Peyton Royce and Billie Kay controlled early, working over Alexa Bliss as both her partner, Nikki Cross, and Bayley watched on from ringside. The Scot finally received the hot tag and exploded into the match, nearly scoring a pinfall victory over Royce.

    The champions halted Cross' momentum and worked her over, even going as far as to deliver a cheap shot that knocked Bliss off the apron. At ringside, The Goddess talked trash with SmackDown women's champion Bayley just days before their title match.

    With the tussle at ringside setting up an unfair numbers game in the ring, Royce and Kay were able to capitalize and pin Cross to retain their titles.



    The IIconics defeated Bliss and Cross






    The way the creative team weaved stories into this one really elevated the match beyond the standard fare.

    Bliss completely disregarding her partner to fight with Bayley at ringside is exactly the type of thing her selfish and entitled character would do. Cross showing the guts and resiliency to nearly fight off the tag champions anyway fits her character, as did Bayley checking on the inspirational competitor more than her own partner did.

    Best of all? The IIconics defended their titles in a competitive match that earned them a little more credibility than they had to this point in their laughable run.

Seth Rollins vs. Daniel Bryan

11 of 11

    Credit: WWE.com

    The main event between Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan was nearly ruined before it got started, thanks to a chokeslam by Rowan on the ring apron that drew a disqualification. Suddenly, tag teams such as The Usos, New Day, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, and The Revival hit the ring.

    The teams brawled before it was announced the match would continue with all parties banned from the ringside area.

    The fight that ensued was a hotly contested one that saw Bryan desperately attempting to prove his superiority over Rollins.

    The Architect stunned Bryan early with a flying clothesline and a sling blade but was unable to keep The Planet's Champion down for more than a two-count. The former WWE titleholder responded, catching Rollins with a running knee.

    A superplex from Rollins to Bryan downed both Superstars and set up an action-packed conclusion that saw The Architect deliver a buckle bomb, only for his opponent to answer with the LeBell Lock. The gutsy Rollins survived the hold, delivered the Stomp and picked up the win.

    After the match, Baron Corbin attacked Rollins with a steel chair and left him lying following End of Days to close out the show.



    Rollins defeated Bryan






    Remember that time WWE promoted an entire episode of Raw around Corbin announcing the referee for his upcoming pay-per-view match and then didn't deliver. Almost like that time it built a show around Brock Lesnar cashing in Money in the Bank but didn't deliver.

    This show may have been an improvement over recent episodes, but the bait-and-switch booking is not the way to keep fans tuned in.

    How evil is it of WWE Creative to tease us with the awesomeness of Bryan vs. Rollins, only to remind us all that the universal champion is wrestling Corbin instead in a rematch from a show just two weeks ago?

    The match was good but not up to what it could achieve with more time and a grander stage.

    Instead of booking the same pay-per-view main event every month and overexposing the bouts, give us Rollins and Bryan for 45 minutes, and the complaints may subside momentarily.