Hits & Botches: Raw 8/15

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Hits

Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman promo

081_RAW_08152016dg_1354--5b745a64dc59273aa9072ed66f58d842This was probably the best thing on the show for me. Heyman was fantastic as always and honestly, Heath Slater was entertaining here as well, and not just in his usual self-deprecating goofy sort of way. The fans were getting really into the idea of seeing Slater vs. Lesnar happen then and there. I was critical of the Slater stuff at first, but I’m kind of sold on his current “free agent” storyline. Lesnar was also great here and his “I don’t give a shit about your kids” line was well delivered. A solid segment.

 

Sheamus vs. Sami Zayn

025_RAW_08152016dg_0524--d3f93bd387fc703b0fdcc2c81c1b0ae4A solid TV match where Sami got a big win and Cesaro got some payback. They didn’t blow away the crowd or anything, but it was solid and Sami’s gotten some decent wins under his belt lately. Hopefully post-SummerSlam they can find something for him to do. Sheamus and Cesaro are great together but my god, they’ve already wrestled twice, I have no interest in a Best of Seven series between them. On paper I like the idea of a Best of Seven, but really it’s going to be six meaningless matches and one blow off, and ultimately it isn’t going to matter because they never do anything long term with either Sheamus or Cesaro. This is just a way to hold them in place and give them something to do for the next month.

 

Jeri-KO

093_RAW_08152016mm_1648--2a8a0b3fb20e445706543d80c62b5917Jericho and Owens are so great together. They make a great tag team and they’re a great natural duo for Enzo and Cass to feud with. I do kind of hope that when Jericho decides to take his next sabbatical, Owens gets the chance to shine as a top heel on his own.

 

Nia Jax squash match

066_RAW_08152016dg_1057--d06e138c81704703ac986897d80f6d37I’m still digging the squash matches and Nia looked particularly confident and fierce this week. I dug her new finishing move. I also applaud whoever is finding these jobbers because they are perfect for Nia and Strowman to run through each week.

 

 

Neville vs. Jinder Mahal

127_RAW_08152016mm_1774--4eb49b12ef239b635c48d262684d4768This wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. Jinder Mahal has already slipped right into being a job guy, but also, Neville’s a guy that should be winning. Neville’s looked more serious since his return and I hope this win is the start of a push for the guy.

 

Charlotte vs. Alicia Fox

190_RAW_08152016ej_1924--9c38f13f0f0c15feb2b5c57add004972The match wasn’t anything to write home about, but I didn’t mind Sasha on commentary and I liked the simple but effective post match beatdown. They’re still building towards Dana vs. Charlotte sometime down the line, and I’m just not excited about that. But for the immediate future, I’m looking forward to the Charlotte vs. Sasha rematch, and I really hope that Sasha sells her leg on Sunday after this attack, otherwise this will have felt kinda pointless.

Botches

Rusev calls out Roman

014_RAW_08152016mm_0043--1ca5debaedbebd55a9b3cdab355d748aI love Rusev, I think he’s such a great heel and he’s really solid on the mic. But this segment dragged on too long. I don’t like Stephanie coming out and playing the babyface. I don’t know if they’re actually trying to push her as a face now or if she’s just pretending, but it’s not really clicking. Roman has seemed a bit more comfortable on the mic lately but I’m still not a fan of the direction they’re going with his character. Rusev and Lana were great here, but overall this segment just dragged longer than it needed to.

 

Roman Reigns vs. Rusev

221_RAW_08152016mm_3246--5f43bb219a80931ad810185a9579021cThe match was okay, but it went way too long. And a way too long main event at the end of a three hour show is a bad thing. Roman picking up the win makes me think that Rusev will probably get his win back at SummerSlam. At least, I hope so. Roman and Rusev aren’t bad together, I just hope they shave like 10 minutes off their match at the PPV.

 

“The Demon King”

146_RAW_08152016mm_1993--cc7d0cfcde7ff7fcdc1c15ff040b545aAn awesome disappointment. I’m not a fan of the “Demon King” nickname they’ve tacked onto Finn Balor, and I really don’t like that they gave away this moment for free on Raw in front of a crowd that wasn’t all that into the show anyway. I don’t see the reason for this. Balor looked awesome, and the crowd did respond pretty positively to it, but it’s not going to have the same effect at SummerSlam when he comes out in his demon gear. And given the build, I’m starting to think that Rollins will probably win the belt, when I really think Balor should win it here.

 

New Day and Gallows & Anderson

043_RAW_08152016mm_0983--cf478239cbcb7372ce80603f2b20f91bI’m just not feeling this feud. There’s a limit where the “ball” jokes stop being funny and just become repetitive and tiresome. On one hand, it’s great that Gallows & Anderson took out Big E because it makes them seem like a legit threat. But on the other hand, them dressing up as doctors as making testicle puns makes them look the opposite of a serious threat to New Day. And I still like New Day, but you can definitely tell there’s something missing without Big E. I think we’ll see a return at SummerSlam, but I’m more than ready for a title change.

 

The Primetime Players “reunion”

121_RAW_08152016dg_1925--77607d74e100b7a9ac602b2273e5d227This is so stupid. This is the dumbest feud they have going right now. I don’t care about Darren Young and I don’t care about Titus O’Neil. This match with the Shining Stars was predictable and I just have no interest in seeing another Young/O’Neil match.

 

All photos via WWE.com

 

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