I always go to the WWE‘s page to see where Raw is taking place so I can figure out a building to put in the post. First off, I’m annoyed that Mick Foley is “inviting” Daniel Bryan on the show already. Second, Anaheim‘s architecture is almost as dull as the crowds there. I used the Anaheim Ducks practice rink last time the WWE was in Anaheim. That’s about it unless you count the Honda Center where Raw is taking place. So I decided that LA was close enough to pull pictures from.
We get the new format recap, intro, Puff Daddy hype then finally Enzo Amore & Big Cass. They talk about how Enzo was talking up how well he was doing with Sasha Banks but it was all ruined by Chris Jericho. He comes out and tells Enzo that the only reason he’s still around is because of Big Cass. Kevin Owens comes out as back up for Jericho. They come into the ring to talk to Enzo & Cass. They spoke to someone and became closer than brothers. Owens keeps pounding home the “Enzo sucks” theme. Big Cass is the reason Enzo is around so Owens hates him too.
Enzo is taking on Chris Jericho after the break. I tuned out of the match because, stop me if you’ve heard this before, Enzo is selling 90% of the time. He got things started before the break but Jericho was already back in control after it. Enzo finally gets in some offense but he doesn’t look all that smooth. Enzo goes for a huracanrana but Jericho turns it into the Walls of Jericho. Enzo reaches the ropes to break the hold. Enzo gets a two count off a cross body. He connects with another one from the inside out. Owens interferes but the referee doesn’t see it. Jericho connects with the Code Breaker. Big Cass comes in and boots Jericho for the DQ. Big Cass throws out the tag team challenge for Summerslam which is accepted.
Mick Foley is on the phone with “Stephanie McMahon” when “The Boss” Sasha Banks asks for a handicapped match with herself vs Charlotte & Dana Brooke. Foley offers her a match against Brooke. If Sasha wins, Brooke is banned from ring side at Summerslam. If Brooke wins, it is a handicapped match.
Jerel Nelson gets an entrance against Braun Strowman. Reverse choke slam win for Strowman.
Mick Foley gets to have a segment with Puff Daddy. Foley is getting front row seats in Columbus because that’s where Puff’s sold the least amount of tickets. Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston come in to explain that Big E is hurt this week. Puff Daddy sort of gets in trouble for saying nuts.
Titus O’Neil is taking on Darren Young again. O’Neil takes it to Young early in the match up. Young wins with a roll up and a handful of tights. This mini-feud could have more meat to it.
Seth Rollins has learned a thing or two in the past week. Rollins informs us that Finn Balor isn’t his real name. Duh. Balor disrespected Rollins by saying he was handed his title opportunity. Rollins place is at the very top of Raw but it;’s not out of arrogance. He’s going to have stories told about him 200 years from now. He’s going to become the first Universal Champion. Good promo even if it was kind of boring.
Sheamus is taking on Cesaro once again. How’s Mid-Card Hell, guys? Cesaro catches my attention with a suicide dive. They got back to the standard hard hitting match though. Cesaro ducks out of a Brogue Kick & reverses into a roll up. Sheamus turns it around with an Irish Curse Backbreaker. White Noise only gets a two count. Sheamus then acts frustrated. Cesaro goes back on offense from the breather. Cesaro reverses Sheamus almost into the referee who ducks. Sheamus does clip the ref and proceeds to roll up Cesaro. Sheamus complains to the recovering ref. Cesaro rolls up Sheamus for the win.
I enjoyed the video package of Randy Orton taking on Brock Lesnar. They’re manufacturing some of the heat for this one but I still look forward to the match. Orton is so losing so it isn’t that interesting to me either.
The Dudley Boyz are taking on Neville & Sin Cara because of a backstage confrontation. I was amused by even Byron Saxton’s apathy to the choice of Sin Cara. He gets to sell for his team which is no surprise. What is a minor surprise to me is a miscommunication between Devon who clotheslines Bubba Ray. Devon ends up taking the pin after Red Arrow. Bubba Ray stares at Devon after the match as Neville & Sin Cara awkwardly celebrate.
Rusev & Lana come out to celebrate their marriage with the WWE Universe. Their photo package is just as boring as an Anaheim crowd. Roman Reigns gets a good pop because this segment was just dragging out. Reigns makes fun of Rusev for not having a best man. He pours a toast for them. Reigns calls him a Sasquatch and Lana a mail order bride. Reigns going low against Rusev and accuses him of not being good in bed. Rusev attacks. Naturally during the fight, Lana gets knocked into the cakes. “That’ll make Twitter” Michael Cole with the most WWE quote ever on Raw.
Mick Foley gives Rusev a US Title match against Reigns at Summerslam.
Sasha Banks comes out first to take on Dana Brooke who has Charlotte at ring side. Brooke gets a pin fall after kicking a charging Banks. Brooke followed up. Brooke brings Sasha over to Charlotte who misses Sasha and clocks Brooke. Sasha follows up with a knee to the face then the double knee drop in the corner for the win. These matches with Brooke have not been very good.
I really loved the Finn Balor video package. The setting was perfect. Nice stool, lighting. The special effects to turn him into a demon a touch lame but still a fun reveal and a great way to fill you in on the legends that Balor channels as the Demon King. I don’t believe I saw that if they used it in NXT.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson do a video saying that Big E has “ringpostitis”. They show us his “balls” in a large mason jar. They go on to site “symptoms” as they loop Big E being crotched. They say that Kofi Kingston is next on the list.
Kofi Kingston has a match with Luke Gallows. Xavier Woods & Karl Anderson are on the outside. Anderson ends up besting Woods which distracts Kofi. Gallows flap jacks Kofi for the win. Anderson & Gallows go for “ringpostitis” but Woods cuts them off with a chair.
Goldust & R Truth have a skit with Scooby Doo. Moving along now.
Mick Foley introduces Daniel Bryan. They mock make up with each other. They bicker more. Rusev comes down complaining. Cesaro answers the bell. Cesaro gets a US Title match tonight. It starts after a break. Cesaro gets the upper hand early. Rusev starts throwing Cesaro into ring posts shoulder first. He continues to work it over. Cesaro gets a short lived come back. Rusev cuts him down. Rusev tries to go for the Accolade but Cesaro fights out with an electric chair. Cesaro nails the spring board upper cut. Cesaro Swing into the Sharpshooter. Sheamus jumps up onto the apron. Cesaro clocks him. Rusev gets the drop on Cesaro. He kicks out at two. The ref gets run into. Neutralizer but the ref is recovering. Rusev pokes Cesaro in the eye. Sheamus Brogue Kicks him from the outside. Rusev pins Cesaro for the win. Roman Reigns comes out and spears a celebrating Rusev. – Kevin DiFrango