I really felt the three hours this week. The first weak Raw since the brand extension, although it wasn’t completely awful, it just dragged a lot. Daniel Bryan’s hyped up appearance really led to nothing. The big takeaway from this show is that they seem to be succeeding in getting fans to cheer on Roman, even if it’s only a temporary solution.
Seth Rollins promo
I really liked Rollins’ promo on Balor this week. I was expecting some kind of in-ring rebuttal but we didn’t get that. I think that they’re trying to protect Balor to a degree given that his mic skills aren’t great. You’d think they would have tried that with Roman a year ago, but eh. Rollins was really solid and came off super confident. I’m looking forward to their match.
Rusev and Lana wedding celebration
Some won’t like this and it was a bit cheesy and simple, but it was great, it worked. Roman is the most over he’s been in ages because of this stupid little feud. You knew from the get go that Lana was going to wear the cake, but it was still great when it happened. And Roman really wasn’t that bad on the mic this week. I don’t know that the Roman Reigns Experiment won’t just fall apart again as soon as they push him back to the main event, but for now, Rusev is the right opponent for him.
Rusev vs. Cesaro
This was a solid match and the crowd was hot for it, a lot of people seemed to expect a title change, and I did for a minute too. I’m not bothered by Cesaro losing here since he came out of this looking strong and he only went down after repeated interference from Sheamus. A strong match. I have to agree with everyone else though, Cesaro would have been better suited on SmackDown where there’s more opportunity for him.
A minor hit because these squash matches are great. We need more of these. I know eventually Strowman is going to have to try and work a lengthy competitive match, and it’s not going to be pretty, but in the mean time I get a kick out of him destroying a different jobber each week.
Lesnar and Orton interviews
These are awesome. I wish they would do more of these serious sit-down interviews but they only ever seem to do them for Lesnar feuds and sometimes in NXT. The video package was great and Lesnar and Orton both came off as badasses going into a match to win.
Cesaro vs. Sheamus
We’ve seen this match a lot, and it looks like we’re going to see more of it over the next few weeks at least, but Cesaro and Sheamus are great together. I liked that Cesaro got another win here and they’re not just going 50/50 towards a PPV blowoff, and Sheamus costing Cesaro a championship match later in the show gives their feud a little extra kick.
Gallows vs. Kofi Kingston
Super quick match, but I do like that Gallows got a win here. All the nut jokes kind of kill the threat of Gallows & Anderson though. I like that they’ve been made out to be a threat by sidelining Big E, but now they’re turning it into a gag to make testicle puns. But otherwise, this was okay.
Daniel Bryan appears on Raw
There was honestly no point to this. I like Daniel Bryan, but his appearance here added nothing to the show or any storylines. When Cesaro came out, I thought that they were going to trade him to SmackDown or something and that’s why they brought Bryan in. But no. They just had him out there to have a back and forth with Foley. It really makes this brand split seem so stupid to have crossovers already. I can forgive Orton and Lesnar to extent, but they have to draw a line somewhere.
Enzo vs. Jericho
It’s a good thing that Enzo is so brilliant on the microphone, because he is really not great in the ring. Everything he does just looks a little too sloppy and all of his offence looks weak. While I didn’t mind the promo that led into this, the match just wasn’t great. And the finish struck me as stupid. I get that Jericho was about to win off of a distraction from Owens, but it seems heelish for Cass to get Enzo DQ’d rather than go directly after Owens. But eh, that’s just a minor gripe.
Darren Young vs. Titus O’Neil
This was a short match, but it sucked. I don’t care about this feud at all. I’m hoping it’s just a small thing to fill time on TV and they’re not actually building these guys up for some big SummerSlam match.
Neville & Sin Cara vs. The Dudley Boyz
It’s unfortunate that Neville has come back and it’s like they’ve got nothing for him. It’s almost as if he was never sidelined. They’ve slotted him right back into an irrelevant slot on the card that does nothing. There was nothing wrong with this match, there was just no meaning behind it so it made the show feel like it dragged some more. Although Bubba staring down D-Von after the match was interesting. I wonder if we’re going to get a Bully Ray run? Now’s the time for it, considering they need more uppercard heels than nostalgia tag team acts.
Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke
Dana is now barred from ringside at SummerSlam. This felt a bit pointless aside from that stipulation. And Sasha asking Foley for a handicap match tonight just made her character seem so stupid. The match wasn’t terrible but it only went a couple of minutes so it didn’t have much chance to be bad. I’m not sure that this Dana/Charlotte act is really working. I feel like she worked better when she was with Emma because they were more or less on the same level as each other, but Dana seems like she’s playing Charlotte’s sidekick. I don’t see a good pay off coming out of this.
All photos via WWE.com