Kevin does the almost live rundown and I have the luxury of commenting the next morning. Yup, I have the better gig. Short intros are the best. A concept WWE could learn about.
Only two weeks to go before Summerslam and there is no John Cena, Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman and Dolph Ziggler. This gave WWE a good opportunity to showcase some other acts without a long talking segments.
So of course Raw started with another long talking segment. Just once, once this year is it possible for the creative minds and the ultimate decision maker to shock the audience by opening the show with either a short segment or an actual match. Yes I am a proponent of joining a match in progress at the top of a show. Sounds stupid yes but the audience may be so surprised it would force them to stick around to see why this happened. Better yet how about a fight either in the back or in the aisle? Again, it would be a jarring for the audience turning the station and seeing the action is already in progress.
This week it is Seth Rollins turn. Really Seth was killing it on the mic and he took the crowds response in stride. It must be difficult for a heel to maintain their character when half the crowd chants “Thank you Seth” or “Thank you Rollins.” Everyone loves positive reinforcement so this can’t be easy even if you are a professional. Unfortunately the goodness comes to a screeching halt with WWE’s insistence on using props or gags.
The face with someone else’s mouth doing the talking isn’t a heart generator. It doesn’t even make Seth look like a tool or a heel. Instead it is just a groan inducing and a complete waste of time. Why not have Seth just say the same things in his voice, with his facial expressions and his inflection? Oh that’s right he had basically gone over all of his talking points. All this did was drag out the segment.
Having Cesaro come out and save the day by remaining the audience how long the segment has been going didn’t really help matters. Why is he wearing sunglasses inside anyway? Who approved that look? Not even Statham wears them inside. Yes, Jason Statham does not wear sunglasses inside, ever. Cesaro should take note.
Kevin Owens just continues his solid run on the mic and even had Seth turning against him. I always like the heels working together without issues though this exception is allowable. Really didn’t expect Randy Orton’s involvement even though I should have. It must have been the investment in new faces that I forgot he was intertwined here. Randy was hit and miss here though. He rightfully attacked the sunglasses and then took an out of the blue shot at Kevin Owens physique. Owens must not have known that was coming since his “no” response was weak. After the required twenty minutes with a cameo by Triple H and Seth Rollins saying jerkoff, we had two matches set. All of this could have been accomplished in 5 minutes by the way.
This Diva revolution thing is a nice title but the message is getting lost. Having so many women involved isn’t giving anyone breathing room. Who was barking out lines for Charlotte and Becky Lynch? Those two seemed out of their element when if you watch NXT they can both talk just fine. Whenever a wrestler gets the headphones trapped to their noggin, said noggin goes blank. This is a universal thing as well. Only a few have come across well and these two didn’t. It is counterproductive for the angle and for the talent. Paige, the veteran of the three did a fine job but her partners needed help.
On the ring the match was a lot of fun and I have no issue with The Bella’s being faces one week and heels the next. The crowd has been mixed in their reactions from week to week so the Bella’s just need to go with it. It makes them tweeners and something this cluster of talent needs. Team BAD are the heels, PCB are the faces and The Bella’s with Fox are the tweeners. Its ok but it does position Nikki Bella rather strange. The champion has actually been minimized so far in this angle. Sure the commentary has talked up the eventual defeat of Nikki Bella but that’s it. She isn’t vulnerable and by being that tweener champ she doesn’t have any momentum.
The match ending was just terrible. A roll up on the biggest member of any team after dominating the much smaller Brie Bella? It isn’t a heat generating move since but it was a clean pin. Still don’t like it. In order to end this on a positive note; Becky Lynch is gorgeous and deserves more of a spotlight. She picked up a win over Brie Bella a few weeks ago and hasn’t done much since.
The RAW opening needs to be modified by next week. It repeats wrestlers when it could feature Big E skipping down the aisle before New Day matches. Really, RAW could have ended after the New Day entrance. I have always been a fan of Big E but soured on him once New Day came around. I actually told Shahid that New Day had made me hate Big E. Now that they have found their footing and by listening to them on Jericho’s podcast they may be my favorite team. Yes that includes Kofi; someone I have disliked since day one. What team has a better gimmick going right now? This should have been the Primetime Players but the champs are nowhere to be found.
We were given more New Day and I cannot imagine how they got their newest chant by creative. Actually, I do, those out of touch nerds have no clue what the “Hey we want some New Day” chant actually originates from. It is only a matter of time before someone points it out and WWE yanks it like the traffic for Submission Sorority.
The Triple Threat match was great and really what did you expect? Three top notch wrestlers in one match has the possibility of being a cluster but it wasn’t. I am not even trying to be a dick about this but what more do you need to know? The ending made sense and no one looked weaker. Cesaro needs to start winning though. Sure he beat Rusev a few weeks ago but what came of that? Anyone else notice there is a lack of Smackdown highlights? Yes Roman Reigns received one this week but for the most part there aren’t too many.
The 2/3 Shield vs 2/3 Wyatt Family would be a lot of fun if they were full teams. Remember how great their initial clashes were? I do, which makes me think this tag match at Summerslam could be really good. Are all of the references about Ambrose being a lunatic or crazy leading to a split? Summerslam seems like the right time considering Dean seems to be the one taking the physical abuse.
WWE is at their best when they do video packages hyping matches that creative and Vince McMahon are strongly behind. The Brock/Undertaker matchup is being pushed so strong even though they have met countless times in the past. It also needs to be said that Brock needs to win at Summerslam or his win at WrestleMania is meaningless. Yes, meaningless. Drag this stuff out and have Brock destroy Taker and then rematch at WrestleMania 32 where Old Man Taker™ finally gets the win.
Luke Harper winning a match is so out of the blue and shocking I don’t want to delete this show from my new 1 terabyte DVR. Yeah, that is ridiculous. I love Luke Harper and he finally getting a big win was invigorating as a fan. The cynical side of me though knows this means he is taking the pinfall loss at Summerslam but whatever. In this moment Luke Harper is on the road to being WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
By his point I was pretty much exhausted watching Raw. They are pacing the show fine but these are entirely too long. Fortunately Daniel Bryan was sent out in order to rejuvenate the hoe crowds as well as the live crowd. No big announcement about returning and no physical altercations but we got a lot of talk about Daniel Bryan’s book and The Miz killing it on the mic. I wish I could get more invested in the Miz. All of my reasons for being weary were on display as Big Show and Ryback made him look inferior. Yes I get it he is a chickenshit heel but damn give the guy some credibility for a little while. While on the subject of The Miz; what the hell happened to Damien Sandow? Wasn’t it Damien Sandow appreciation day on Twitter? There has to be a tag team possibility with him and Zack Ryder.
The Rusev and Summer Rae pairing is finally starting to gel. Summer has stepped up her game in a big way as she has become more physical. Her attack on Lana was really rough looking and that accolade, while titillating, appeared dangerously real. One giant failing of this all is Dolph being away from TV while filming some WWE movie with Kane. (Yes Kevin; Dolph is filming a movie with Kane that is not a buddy cop comedy.)
Dolph and Lana are the real heels here until the beaten down faces finally had no choice but to retaliate. Byron Sexton’s fake consternation about Rusev being obsessed with his ex was hilarious. Um, Lana was at ringside on commentary for Rusev’s match right? If she wants nothing to do with him why the hell is she out there? Why not come out during the triple threat match or Luke Harper and Dena Ambrose? Instead she picks that time to go out with her ex and his new lady? Seems like the other way around to me. Oh and lets not forget the fact she interfered in the match. No one forced her Byron. Someone in the back really needs to pay attention to the angles they create and then feed lines out to the announce team. The hopes that this was some elaborate ruse to hurt Dolph Ziggler are pretty much dashed now but Summer Rae has slowly solidified herself in this angle. If she keeps up the physicality than Rusev will come out the better for this.
Look, I love Arrow. I like the Stardust character. Hell I like everyone involved here but this angle sucks. Wade Barrett being used as fodder when Curtis Axel is sitting backstage with nothing to do is embarrassing. Neville dispatched Wade Barrett so easily why should he be taken seriously at Summerslam in a tag match? The backstage interaction with Triple H and Stephen Amell was nicely done. The wrestlers were put over strong as they should be at all times. I am still not looking forward to the match but I am looking forward to season four of Arrow on October 7.
Yeah showing Sheamus backstage totally gave away the ending of the main event. But then they pull out a DQ finish and I was surprised. Seth should have gone over with a briefcase shot to the head or back of Randy Orton leading to a pinfall win. It is a tainted win for Rollins but way better than a DQ loss. Seth should have some momentum for Summerslam and the best way would be giving him bragging rights week after week. Yes, again, the victories are tainted but the talking points hold up. Whatever, Seth is feuding with John Cena for the foreseeable future so it doesn’t really matter since he will be filling the role of Cena opponent # 134. -Jeremy