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Hits & Botches: Raw 8/22

Finn Balor handed over his title less than 24 hours after winning it, Bayley debuted and The Dudley Boyz maybe or maybe didn’t retire. So it was a pretty newsworthy Raw this week. No sign of Brock Lesnar but one would assume that we won’t see him until Survivor Series or maybe even Royal Rumble time. Some solid wrestling on this show though.

Hits

Bayley debuts

184_RAW_08222016dg_1915--ff42d2377ba3762bd374c7640962b379Bayley should have been up on the main roster ages ago, it’s absurd that Carmella and Dana Brooke beat Bayley to the main roster. But she’s here now and it’s nice to see her shot right into the title picture – although I think that might also be a result of the limited rosters and Sasha Banks’ injury. Still this was a great debut, the live crowd loved her, she did fine on the mic and her match with Dana Brooke actually wasn’t all that bad.

 

Finn Balor relinquishes the title/opening segment

021_RAW_08222016jg_0091--fb886b4685fe6501edb04f9f4abf114fBit of a sad moment. Balor finally gets called up and gets a monster push, only to get sidelined for six months. I like Rollins’ bucklebomb, but I think it might be time to retire that move. Balor was solid in this segment and sounded very natural on the mic, and there was much less animosity towards the title belt than at SummerSlam. I only hope that when he returns from injury, he’ll still have a top spot and this won’t result in him dropping down the card.

 

The Dudley Boyz retire?

231_RAW_08222016jg_0879--d6248e3bc232578f4c5309144af44e76I’m of two minds with this segment and I think it’s because I was fully expecting this to be Bubba Ray’s big heel turn on D-Von. The Dudley Boyz really haven’t done well since returning, I thought they could have used a brief nostalgia run with the tag titles but the timing wasn’t there given how hot The New Day has been for the last year as the top tag team. The Gallows and Anderson run in and beatdown leaves things open. I assume that The Dudleyz will attack them next week and they’ll have one last match to either put over Gallows & Anderson or have Bubba turn heel on D-Von. But given that the last few weeks Bubba has been giving the evil eye to D-Von, I have to assume that a turn is still coming unless that plan has been scrapped.

 

Chris Jericho vs. Roman Reigns

249_RAW_08222016jg_1038--4f392f4fd36065c6db108730375e07b2A solid main event, albeit with a predictable finish. I don’t think anyone expected Jericho to beat Reigns, even with the Kevin Owens interference. Still a simple and enjoyable main event match.

 

Sami Zayn vs. Seth Rollins

032_RAW_08222016jg_0181--4629a45e9ad6f02c9310e92b42b9de8aI really liked this match and they weren’t even trying all that hard. I was legitimately sold on Sami Zayn having injured himself, although it was apparently all a work. But that’s a testament to his awesome selling. I fully believed that he had busted his ankle and so did the crowd. A great match and I’d love to see a big main event between Zayn and Rollins some day.

 

Kevin Owens vs. Neville

067_RAW_08222016dg_0919--05b64b7cd3e367a5c2c123e166c8ff65Another solid match on a show that had quite a few decent TV matches. Neville looked particularly awesome and Jericho interfering helped protect him a bit. I really want them to do something with the guy, but I feel like they’re holding off on giving him anything at least until this cruiserweight division kicks in.

 

Botches

Titus O’Neil promo

114_RAW_08222016jg_0405--2684033055cf6f7bc2e50e6ab2d9add7Man this was awful. Titus O’Neil in the ring with a live mic for what felt like eternity. He stumbled over his promo, delivery just sucked and this feud is so lame that nobody in the building cared. They popped a bit for Bob Backlund running in and getting the Crossface Chickenwing on Titus, but that didn’t last long. I really don’t care for this feud at all.

 

Big E vs. Karl Anderson

100_RAW_08222016ej_1273--7fb4c5d0e43c06bdd54ae88a91cebae7The match itself wasn’t really bad or anything, I just dislike the way Anderson and Gallows have been portrayed. They should be in line for a title rematch, but they still look so weak, and Anderson was pinned clean in the middle by Big E here. They look like such an inferior team compared to The New Day.

 

Big Cass vs. Rusev

139_RAW_08212016ej_1626--cf2c5a5d704fd5429ed16de03a4b42c1A minor botch here, mainly because I felt that this match just went a bit too long, especially for the type of finish they went with. I would have thought that with a WWE Universal (ugh) Championship opportunity on the line, Rusev wouldn’t voluntarily get himself counted out. It kind of makes the belt seem not worth Rusev’s time. It’s interesting that Cass is getting this big push though, and I kind of like Enzo as his manager better than his tag team partner.

 

All photos via WWE.com

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