How was RAW?
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman opened the show, talking about Lesnar laying waste to Big Show at MSG, then turning their attention to The Undertaker. It didn’t take long before Big Show came out to respond to Lesnar & Heyman’s words, saying he was inches away from becoming the slayer of The Beast, but Big Show wanted to be the bigger man and admit that Lesnar was better, sticking his hand out to congratulate Lesnar, but Lesnar wasn’t having an ounce of it:
Lesnar is an unstoppable monster right now, but will he defeat Taker at Hell In A Cell (HIAC)? I have an extremely difficult time imagining a scenario where Taker wins, if only because Lesnar is for sure going to be with the company after next year’s WrestleMania, while Taker is a 50/50 –if the odds are even that good.– Seeing a very long stretch of time where Lesnar is taken seriously though, has been good to see; it annoyed the hell out of me when he returned to WWE after a stint in UFC, only to lose to pretty much everyone he faced, for two friggin’ years. Lesnar has earned this run as a Beast to be feared, but who will end it? And when?
Seth Rollins was backstage talking to Stephanie McMahon about what he’s supposed to do next, now that Big Show was hurt, since they were supposed to partner up later in the night, but the only thing Steph said was for Rollins to figure it out, since he’s The Man.
Here’s where I got frustrated, when Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Randy Orton teamed to take on The Wyatt Family in a 6-Man Tag match. Why are we getting this match this week? This is a PPV match, not a random RAW, and certainly not when we have weeks to go before HIAC, where two of the 6 will face off in a singles match. If this were the go-home episode of RAW, then I would be fine with it, since there’s not going to be a match at HIAC between the six of them, but HIAC isn’t this Sunday, it’s in three weeks. If this whole story line evolves, where we see Orton face Luke Harper or Bray Wyatt himself next week or even Ambrose facing any of the three, then I’ll be more okay with it, but the feeling I’m getting is we’re going to see this match at least once more before going to hell on the 25th.
The match itself was actually pretty good, that’s not my complaint, because I ended up enjoying this round of their feud:
The way these six work together is impressive, but outside of Reigns always looking like he’s improving, it’s been very refreshing to witness Orton become more interested. When Orton cares to produce, he’s a great talent, but everything comes so easy, and there are so few guys who are as athletic as him, so he doesn’t have to try all that hard most of the time. In this feud though, Harper and Bray are both very athletic, especially for big men, and Braun Strowman has shown signs of it as well, but nothing definitive just yet. The way Bray and Reigns are talking about HIAC being the end of this though, really makes me wonder what’s next for each of them. It would make sense to see Orton turn towards Bray, but who is Reigns next opponent? It can’t be Harper or Braun, not if the feud is supposed to be over, so who would Reigns turn towards? I wouldn’t mind seeing him go after the IC Championship –not win it, but go after it.–
Sheamus walked down the ring, insulting the Boston Celtics mascot, saying if they wanted a real Irish warrior, they should have used Sheamus, then noted how there was a real life leprechaun in the ring…in the form of Neville. Sheamus entered the ring, kept verbally jabbing Neville, until Neville had heard enough, started kicking and throwing forearms, pinned Sheamus against the corner, and kept the offense going until the ref pulled them apart for long enough to ring the bell. King Barrett was sitting on commentary, saying how Neville was too good for the way he was attacking Sheamus, but the bell rang, Neville continued the attack, kept going after Sheamus in the corner, the ref kept having to pull Neville off before needing to DQ Neville, and then Barrett had seen enough, got up on the apron, distracted Neville long enough for Sheamus to unleash a Brogue Kick, picking up the win. I get that Neville and Barrett have history, but wouldn’t it make more sense for Barrett to target Stardust? Perhaps that will end up being a Triple Threat match, but for now it appears that Neville is Barrett’s focus.
Kane was talking in the ring, wanting to be Rollins’ partner, but Rollins wasn’t hearing it, he didn’t want Kane messing with his head. The two of them got face to face, arguing back and forth, and when Rollins asked Kane what would happen if Rollins took Kane to hell right then, Steph had heard enough, coming down to the ring to make a few announcements: there would be a Kane vs Rollins match at HIAC for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but there would be an additional stipulation, where if Demon Kane doesn’t win, Corporate Kane will be relieved of his duties as Director of Operations. I like that the match has a lot more at stake than just the title, because it was too obvious that Kane stood no chance of winning the title, much like Sting wasn’t actually going to win –no matter how much I wanted him to.– Kane losing now means more than it did before, him losing his position of power, him being knocked out of The Authority is a big deal, but what will it actually mean? Will Demon Kane run rampant after that? Or will Kane take a long break from TV?
Paige and Natalya put on a great singles match, with nothing on the line except bragging rights, but that was enough. It’s been a long time since Nattie was a real competitor, but when she debuted as a member of the Diva’s Revolution, she lost her first bout; last night corrected that mistake though, where Nattie forced Paige to tap out to a Sharpshooter after a pretty violent back and forth. I’m hoping we get a real feud out of this, especially if Paige is being kept out of the Diva’s Championship picture for now; seeing these two trade wins for a few weeks or so would make things in the division interesting. If they could turn this into a respect thing, where Nattie wants Paige to admit that Nattie is a deserving member of the division, then adding in the stipulation of this feud being for the Number One Contendership to the Diva’s Title, would be a huge step forward.
Ryback cut a quick video promo on Kevin Owens, saying he was going to capture the IC Championship; but he wouldn’t have the opportunity last night, no, that was actually reserved for Sin Cara. Yeah, you read that right, Sin Cara had a match against Kevin Owens, and it was a lot of fun to watch. Granted, it turned out to just be a squash, Sin Cara managed to get in a fair amount of offense after Owens took time to taunt Kalisto –who was ringside to support his tag partner,– which allowed Sin Cara to gather his strength. It didn’t take much for Owens to get the upper hand again though, tossing Sin Cara into the ropes, while saying nice try to his masked opponent, then slamming Sin Cara down into the mat with a Popup Powerbomb. After the match, Owens went after Kalisto, setting up the luchador for a Powerbomb against the apron, but Ryback ran down to the ring, preventing the attack from going any further.
New Day was backstage with Steph, wanting to cheer her up, but Steph wasn’t having it, telling them that if a single note comes out of the trombone, she would make sure they would experience something so bad, it would make Suplex City look like Disneyland. Their reaction when she walked away, where Xavier Woods lowered the trombone, and all three stood there saying they just wanted to cheer her up, further proved these three know how to do this like consummate professionals.
Rollins tagged with Corporate Kane in a match against the Dudley Boyz, which was okay, but Rollins naturally carried the majority of the match, what with Corporate Kane suffering from a bum ankle after Rollins’ attack a week or so ago. After it looked like Corporate Kane had recovered somewhat, the Dudley’s went after Kane’s ankle, he complained about pain, and was helped to the back, leaving Rollins by himself. Rollins couldn’t handle his opponents though, getting beat down enough that Bubba Ray called for Devon to get the tables, they went for a table, set it up on the apron, but Rollins got to his feet, Dropkicked the table, sending it into the faces of the Dudley’s, and got DQ’d. Shortly thereafter Demon Kane made his way down, Rollins charged at him, got kicked around, and sent back into the ring, where Kane went to hit a Chokeslam or Piledriver, but before Rollins got to his feet, the Dudley’s appeared behind Kane, delivering a 3D to Kane, and walked out. Rollins stood over Kane, mocking him, after Rollins had set the table up in the ring, preparing to put Kane through it with something, but in mid-mock, Kane grabbed Rollins by the throat, got to his feet, overpowered the champ, and put Rollins through the table with a Chokeslam:
Kane getting the best of the champ every single time out, whether it’s on RAW or Smackdown, doesn’t spell anything positive for Kane at HIAC, but we know that going in, so why not have Kane destroy Rollins every week and oftentimes twice.
Team B.A.D. came down to the ring, cut a promo, but were interrupted by Team Bella, then had the second 6-Man Tag match of the night, but this one had a lot less impact than the first. I was really happy to see Sasha Banks get such a huge reaction out of her hometown crowd, along with picking up the Bank Statement submission victory over Alicia Fox, but the match wasn’t anywhere near the level these women are capable of delivering, so it was a little bittersweet.
Charlotte and Becky Lynch were watching backstage, when Renee Young walked up, asked Charlotte if all the goings on with PCB would be a distraction when she puts the title on the line at HIAC, but Charlotte said she’s focused.
Summer Rae had a tribute video for Rusev, took a really long time setting up a proposal –yeah, Summer got down on one knee,– but Rusev actually said yes!…sort of. He’ll put gold on Summer’s finger, when he has gold around his waist. The segment ran way too long, was super awkward and uncomfortable, but perhaps that was the point. All I know is I lost interest about a minute into it, then laughed when she proposed, then laughed harder when he said but not right now. It was amusing, but unnecessarily long.
John Cena closed out the show with another US Open Challenge, but rather than it featuring an NXT roster member –which would have made sense since NXT Takeover is tomorrow,– it was Dolph Ziggler!…oh wait, is that New Day carrying Ziggler’s lifeless body down the ramp? Yeah, New Day seriously took out Ziggler, and were very proud of it. Woods noted that Cena had told them a week ago to get serious, so they took his advice, eliminated Cena’s competition, and sent one of their own members into the ring: Big E. I wanted to see this matchup and I’m really glad it happened, because it was a good match. It was obvious Big E wasn’t going to be winning this one, but seeing New Day rising up the ranks of the roster is a great thing to witness. The ref kicked Kofi Kingston, and Woods out, but as they were heading up the ramp, Big E reacted to it, turned, AA, Cena wins, New Day attacks Cena, the Dudley’s ran down for the save, but New Day expected it, turned the tides incredibly fast, and laid Cena along with the Dudley’s out like it was nothing. New Day was standing tall when the credits rolled, something we’re clearly not used to seeing. If that wasn’t an endorsement that the Dudley’s are going to win at HIAC, I don’t know what is.
The segment I didn’t mention above, but deserves a note, is the segment where Reigns and Cena got together to welcome Breast Cancer survivors into the ring, and bring awareness to the disease. Using your platform to do some good in the world is what this life is all about, helping others, making sure that people are aware of important things like the fight against cancer, and the organizations that help to fund the research. It was good to see, it’s always good to see.
If not for seeing yet another week with multiple 6-man Tag matches, it would have been a little better. These matches aren’t doing anyone a favor, other than delaying singles matches, and allowing WWE to take up a lot of time. I don’t want to see any more Wyatt’s vs Reigns/Ambrose and a third member on RAW, don’t do those matches on RAW any more; if WWE is going to book them, they need to be on PPV‘s and nothing else. Then with the Diva’s one’s, just stop it, please stop, we’re 6-manned out when it comes to the Diva’s Revolution. All that said, I give RAW a:
+ Owens/Sin Cara
+ Breast Cancer Awareness
+ New Day
– The obsession with 6-Man Tag matches
– Summer Rae/Rusev segment ran way too long
That’s The Lowedown on this week’s RAW, thanks for reading, and remember to watch more wrestling!
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The future is bright and full of suplexes!
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