'WWE Raw' July 14 recap: The final hype for 'Battleground'

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Previously on: Most of the show revolved around the Fatal 4-Way title match at "Battleground." Bret Hart was also there, though his appearance was pointless.

The big news: This week's "WWE Raw" wisely kept the focus on the "Battleground" main event, beginning to end. It started when John Cena and Roman Reigns opened the show with a promo about how each of them is the better man, but they were going to fight together to best The Authority.

Backstage, Dean Ambrose tried to get in on the fun, but was savagely beaten down by Kane, Randy Orton and Seth Rollins. Rollins vs. Ambrose has the possibility of stealing the show at "Battleground." However, they face quite a bit of competition in Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho.

Ric Flair also got involved, cutting a promo saying he favored Cena at in the title match. It was a much better use of the legend than Bret Hart got last week, used simply as to get Damien Sandow's weird gimmick over.

As Flair left, Cena made his entrance for the main event and handed the World Heavyweight Championship over to him. After all, Flair's a 16-time champion and Big Goldie is his title, no matter who holds it. That would actually be a smart way to write that belt off TV. It'll be interesting to see if it sticks.

The main event was a three-on-two match featuring Orton, Kane and Rollins going against Cena and Reigns. As you would expect, the cronies for The Authority let the numbers game help them keep control over Cena and Reigns throughout the match.

Reigns started to finally get in some offense when it appeared that Seth Rollins injured his knee on the outside of the ring. Suddenly, the heels started attacking Reigns, causing a disqualification. The four men in the Fatal 4-way then took turns hitting finishers on each other until only Randy Orton was left standing. Reigns woke up in time to spear him before the show ended, though.

It was an odd moment, for sure. It's entirely possible that ending was an audible called after Rollins hurt himself. The camera wouldn't focus on Seth as he was attended to at ringside, so who knows how bad it actually is.

Elsewhere, Chris Jericho cut a great promo to remind people about his history with WWE, even throwing in references to Naked Mideon and the time Bob Barker punched him out. He trotted out his old "I beat The Rock and Steve Austin in the same night" and history as WWE's only Musical Chairs Champion as well. It was a great Y2J promo, that led him into explaining he's seen it all ... But he's never seen anything like Bray Wyatt.

The beauty of Jericho and Wyatt is they actually are opposites. Their fighting styles and promos couldn't be further apart, but they're both just fantastic. Wyatt's sounder interrupts Jericho and he delivers a promo from backstage, utilizing the silent moments between his words. He wants to know why Jericho leaves them when he goes away. "We remember everything," he tells Y2J.

When Wyatt's words end, the lights come up and Jericho is surrounded by Rowan and Harper. He's able to escape before they get their hands on him, though. He makes the cardinal mistake of backup up the ramp though, allowing Wyatt to attack from behind. One Sister Abigail onto the steel later and Jericho is out.

These two are exactly what professional wrestling about, they are wizards on the mic and the fact that they're going at each other just perfect. They've got the in-ring ability to deliver too, which is wonderful.

Odds and ends:
  • Sting did not make his WWE debut, but he did make his "WWE 2K15" debut with a commercial. Pre-order the new game and you'll get to play as two generations of Sting.
  • Goldust and Stardust's promo is about the scariest thing you'll ever see.
  • The very long debate between Lana and Zeb Coulter was great, but all you get at the end is a match between Rusev and Jack Swagger. Was it worth it?
  • WWE ran a commercial for their CM Punk documentary airing on the WWE Network. Early sign that he's coming back? Probably not.
  • Eva Marie didn't even get an entrance for her match with A.J.
  • The CM Punk chants during A.J. matches should probably stop. We get it, they're married.
  • Stephanie McMahon saying Flo Rida sounds really funny.
  • By the way, Flo Rida will perform on "Raw" next week.
  • Paul Heyman planted the seed for Brock Lesnar's "SummerSlam" return.

Matches: 
  • The Miz beat Sheamus
  • Dolph Ziggler beat Fandango
  • Alberto Del Rio beat Rob Van Dam
  • Alicia Fox and Cameron beat Nikki Bella
  • Big E. beat Cesaro
  • A.J. Lee beat Eva Marie
  • Bo Dallas beat The Great Khali
  • John Cena and Roman Reigns beat Kane, Randy Orton and Seth Rollins by DQ
Photo/Video credit: WWE