Fresh off Battleground this week’s Raw had a certain aurora around it, excitement was in the air and it was all because a 50-year-old man returned to the WWE and was ready to challenge a legit human wrecking machine….YAH!!!
As we put reality to the side to enjoy three hours of pro-wrestling I thought about how WWE seemed to push their younger talent to the side last night to prance around the old show dogs. I get they want SummerSlam to be a big deal and guys like John Cena, Undertaker and possibly Sting will help that, but we can’t forget about the entertaining moments that Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins and company have been giving us.
Opening Segment: Hit
Raw starts off with a gong and the ten-year-old in me goes crazy. I’m not sure the last time Taker was around for SummerSlam but I instantly remember his match against Stone Cold during SummerSlam 98. Taker took his time to deliver a slow-paced promo, but in those ten minutes he captured the entire audience and had me ready for his match against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam.
Following Taker’s promo we cut to Triple H and Steph officially announcing the match for SummerSlam and teasing Lesnar doing something destructive.
Charlotte (w/Paige & Becky Lynch) vs. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox): Hit
We got the trio of Sasha Banks, Naomi and Tamina better known as B.A.D (P.M.S was already taken) on commentary as the diva’s revolution continues. Charlotte is one of the most athletic divas of all time and Brie is Brie. This match was good, but I would have rather seen her taken on Alicia or even Nikki. I’m sure it will be a while before we get Nikki in the ring against one of the NXT divas, but it needs to happen soon. The whole match was fine, crowd really seems to get behind Charlotte.
I’m curious if they continue to let her do the spear given its one of Reigns trademark moves.
Backstage Segment: Hit
The entire segment is setting up how The Authority (or what’s left of them) doesn’t want Lesnar at Raw, which we all know he will be. Miz continues to shine as the pesky I think I’m cool than what I am heel, but I’m not sure I want to see him feud with Big Show till Ryback comes back…actually I know I don’t.
The Prime Time Players vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito): Hit
I’ve always been a fan of Los Matadores even though I might be the only one I still enjoy them as a team. While their gimmick works for their current role within the tag team division I’m not sure it will allow them to grow any further and chances are we never see them get a run with the belts. I did say the same thing about the Prime Time Players a long time ago, but they’ve fixed the issues I had with them and now it’s safe to say they might be my favorite team on the roster.
As far as the match goes it was quick and entertaining, it also continued the feud with New Day as they came down to distract PTP costing them the match. Normally I feel like this feud would have ended at Battleground, but with the lack of diversity in the tag team division it looks like we’ll see another month of PTP vs New Day.
Big Show vs. The Miz: Botch
The best part of this match was that it didn’t last long. Big Show is near the end of the road and Miz deserves a better than being tossed in the Ryback/Big Show feud. Hopefully this doesn’t last much longer.
Big Show cut a promo about Tough Enough following the match…it was pretty boring but this feud has always seemed to be a way to fit a TE plug into the show.
Backstage Promo: Hit
Ever marks favorite artist Rob Schamberger got his moment during this, but it was just a lead in to Triple H and Steph spotting Paul Heyman backstage. Heyman swore to them that Lesnar wasn’t there, sure thing Paul.
When they return from commercial we get Triple H and Steph talking to the entire undercard about how they need to contain Brock Lesnar if he shows up. The worst part about this is mixed in with the land of the misfit toys was Kevin Owens…and so the downfall begins.
Paul Heyman Promo: Hit
How do you make a Paul Heyman promo better? Have Taker interrupt it threaten to attack Paul and toss in an enraged Brock Lesnar. This might have been one of the best pull apart brawls in a long time, with plenty of entertaining moments. Granted you have to ignore the fact that Taker at age 50 easily escaped the grasp of several men, still it was a chaotic mess that couldn’t have been built up any better.
While I’m not exactly thrilled by the finish from Battleground, my interest for this match is growing by the segment. Brock eventually gets taken away in “handcuffs” like a drunk frat guy and everything and everybody calms down.
Bray Wyatt Promo: Botch
I’ve been tired of this Dr. Seuss meets Cape Fear promos, they never seem to lead to much and I feel like I just waste my time trying to figure out what he is trying to tell us. It was fun in the beginning, but never developed into anything.
Luke Harper (w/Bray Wyatt) vs. Roman Reigns (w/Dean Ambrose): Hit
Roman Reigns has been low-key one of the best in-ring performers in the WWE this year, I’m not sure if the secret is out or not but we really need to start accepting it. While I’m still not the biggest fan of his buddy cop friendship with Dean Ambrose, it makes sense to bring him into this feud. I’m not sure if the rumors of Sting being added to this are true, but I hope they aren’t. Wyatt and Reigns both need to shine in this feud and Sting would just crowd this feud. Harper and Ambrose can easily be the role players here.
Seth Rollins Promo Time: Hit
While this might have went a little longer than I would have like it hit the nail on the head and has cemented Seth Rollins has the best heel on the roster….then our world came crashing down. The beat started knocking and down came John Cena. Why? Cena has been simply brilliant with the United States title around his waist so why ruin a good thing? Rumors are that WWE’s management is worried about dwindling merch sales, which seems silly but also seems pretty logical. Whatever the reason maybe I hope that this quickly plays out and Rollins can move on to something fresh.
On a side note….this promo felt a lot like the Jay Lethal/Jay Briscoe feud from earlier in the year. With all the talk about WWE closely watching ROH these days I’m curious if a writer got the idea from them.
Becky Lynch & Paige (w/Charlotte) vs. Naomi & Sasha Banks (w/Tamina): Hit
You can’t say that they aren’t giving the divas enough time. This might have been the first time we’ve seen two divas matches on Raw in months, let alone two with meaning. Sasha Banks is a star in the making with Becky Lynch ready for a Seth Rollins level breakout moment. These girls understand their characters and have been proving they belong on the main roster.
This was the best tag team match on Raw tonight, with everything that needed to happen, happening. My only complaint was having to listen to the Bellas on commentary, aside from Nikki putting Byron in his place. I look forward to seeing what happens when they actually break apart and get real storylines to work with.
Lana Backstage Promo: Botch
Lana with Ziggler is boring and Lana vs Summer Rae is even worse. I’m all for Lana being pushed I just wish it wasn’t so forced. Rusev’s accent is starting to disappear which isn’t something I’m ready to accept. It was fine when Kofi stopped doing it, but I feel like it matters too much to Rusev’s character.
John Cena, Cesaro & Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens, Sheamus & Rusev (w/Summer Rae): Hit
Why couldn’t the six man tag at Beast in the East be this fun? There was a lot going on but it all seemed to work, plus there was a slingshot into an RKO. I’m indifferent about two heels walking out, but each guy did it in a different manner which made it a little better. It was a great way to kick off the buildup for SummerSlam. I hope they continue to give Cesaro moments to shine, he deserves to be mentioned at the top of any WWE list.