Opening promo from The Authority and John Cena
– Raw has two ways of opening the show that make me die a little inside. The Authority comes out, or John Cena comes out. Tonight both of them came out, giving us all enough time to place our bets on who would play the cool person who cracks jokes nobody really likes, but continues to do it anyways.
– WWE’s transformation to self promotion has reached a point where they tried to promote SummerSlam (SummerFest!) going to four hours as a big announcement. Four hours just means we get to see a lumber jack match of Adam Rose vs Fandango and Booker T holding up his Hall of Fame ring to the crowd for an extra 15 minutes.
– I assume The Authority flipped a coin backstage and decided to help Seth Rollins this week (sometimes they like to set up road blocks for him for no apparent reason other than that they’re bored?) as they booked a US Title match between Cena and Rollins.
– I realize this reads as really snarky, but I promise you I’m not doing this to be “cool internet guy who hates everything”, I’m just really really bored of the Authority (worst story driving characters in wrestling) and John Cena randomly showing up demanding title shots and judging people.
I just want to be surprised or entertained once in a while, you know? I don’t want to know the outcome of the main event of the show right after the intro. “Oh, Cena is winning tonight, got it.”
Big Show vs Dean Ambrose
– I am normally not a big fan of Big Show matches because he is a pair of dress pants away from being Corporate Kane, but anything that keeps Big Show away from Ryback and The Miz for a week is a good thing
– The commentary team (the worst part of Raw bar none) is like an unfunny Dad. They heard a little snippet of something pop culture related at the water cooler that morning, and now they won’t stop talking about it. Oh Dean Ambrose is a lunatic? LET’S PUSH THAT NARRATIVE DOWN YOUR THROATS AT ALL COST.
At one point Dean Ambrose untied the Big Show’s boot, which to normal people a) was funny and b) bought Dean some time to recover as Big Show sweated all over his own hands trying to tie it back up. This was a funny, original moment in a match against Big Show where original moments are a dying breed.
To JBL it was just another sign that Dean Ambrose is GAWD DAMN INSANE. HE’S A LUNATIC MAGGLE! WHAT’S NEXT, WEARING HIS HAT BACKWARDS?? WHAT OTHER CRAZY THINGS DOES DEAN HAVE PLANNED??
– At one point Dean’s shirt got ripped and it looked like he either had a cape on, or was wearing shoulder holsters. This added to the match.
– Big Show continues to get wins I don’t think he needs, and he got another one tonight by beating Dean Ambrose via countout. The story was that Big Show beat up Deano, but because Dean has so much heart (or as JBL assured us, because he is a god damn lunatic) he kept trying to fight on. However a KO punch on a Dean dive through the ropes (an awesome spot by the way) left Dean unable to get back into the ring before the count out.
– After the match Big Show decided to try and body check Dean through the barriers because he had an “OMG Moment” stored up. Dean dodged out of the way, and again, JBL talked about how crazy Dean was, as Dean made his way to the back limping like Keyser Soze.
Also, for some reason I felt Dean should have played air guitar after he dodged Big Show. I don’t know why, but I’m pretty confident he should have.
Fandango vs Neville
– Neville faced off against a glimpse of what his post-NXT career could look like, as he took on Fandango.
– If you’ve watched WWE’s Swerved, you’ll know Fandango’s character should be changed to “Cocky Coffee Barista” as soon as possible.
– Neville won the match handily, then Stardust cut a promo in which he drew on the influence of every bad batman movie villain ever made.
– Cody is trying SO HARD to make Stardust work, and god bless him if he can do it, but I just can’t see a huge future for this character. Stardust will peak when Stephen Amell punches him at a PPV and costs him a match.
Sasha Banks vs Paige
– The new color coded Diva’s division (everyone gets assigned a hair color) is fun to watch.
– Please call it the “Women’s Division”. The “Diva’s Division” has a long history of being garbage, so why not start fresh and just call it the “Women’s Division”. Calling it the Diva’s division is like calling the men’s side of the roster “The Gladiator Division”. It’s campy and unnecessary.
– I wonder how much Naomi has to hold back her hatred of watching Sasha Banks do her character but way better every week. “But I’ve got glowing shoes!” she said to herself, crying in the shower.
– Unlike the Gladiator’s Division, where the NXT talent’s career path is “solid push until John Cena buries me”, the Diva’s division looks to be open ended. Which is a good thing. Sasha getting a clean win over Paige is awesome.
– Somehow this ends with John Cena pinning the entire Diva’s Division on a PPV, doesn’t it?
– I love love love stables in wrestling. I honestly couldn’t be happier about the fact there are three alliances in the Diva’s Division. What I want, though, is more time dedicated to showing the bond between these three.
Right now it just feels coldly logical as to why these ladies are all aligned. I mean, Alicia Fox has spent the last two years turning heel to face every other week, why not spend some time telling us why she’s aligned with the Bella’s aside from “WE WERE ON TOTAL DIVAS TOGETHER.” Paige, Becky and Charlotte joined a hair coloring club? Just give us some small reasons as to why these people are in alliances, that’s all I ask.
– JBL also assured us that he will assuredly ruin Sasha Banks “The Boss” moniker as hard as he can. “LIKE A BAWS!” was shouted so many times that I actually wanted to drop kick my TV in the faint hope he would feel it.
Lana and Rusev
– Full disclosure, I love Rusev. He has been unfairly treated by the WWE Universe, as he is a true, if misguided, hero. Yes, his views on women need updating, but damn it, all he needs is a loving woman to teach him to be more open minded. He wins matches clean, he doesn’t give up despite facing insurmountable odds, and he just wants a woman in his life to love. Who can’t relate to that?
– Lana, on the other hand, seems content being a mean spirited ex. From making out in front of Rusev with Dolph “Fashion sense of a 13 year old girl from the early 90s” Ziggler, to physically assaulting Rusev any chance she gets, I just no longer care for her. She needs to move on and let Rusev enjoy his life.
– “Take the fish. Take it. Take it. Take the fish.” Rusev makes me laugh every time he’s on the mic. He’s so earnest yet stubborn. It’s amazing. “Hot Summer” is so stupid it’s awesome. Giving Summer a neutered dog who pees itself and calling it “Dog Ziggler”? Zing. God damn zing. You win this round Rusev.
– I can’t wait for Ziggler to show up, make out with Lana with so little chemistry they might as well be brother and sister (if this was the late 90’s, that would be the end point of this story line), and come off like a dick as he makes fun of Rusev. Ziggler with Lana is on pace to be a front runner for “Worst Face of the Year”.
– Lana awkwardly kicked Summer in the thigh at one point (continuing her abusive ways) then rubbed Summer’s face in the fish, giving us a rare glimpse back into the mind of Vince McMahon’s Attitude Era, back when he loved humiliating ladies in skirts.
Lucha Dragons vs Los Matadores
– Prime Time Players were on commentary which is awesome because JBL shuts up a lot around Titus.
– It was a great match, which is the first time I’ve enjoyed a Los Matadores match in many years. One of the keys to enjoying Los Matadores? Not involving Torito.
– New Day came out during the match to invoke the “Death by Distraction” finish, which ended up costing Los Matadores the match, thus preventing them from becoming the number one contenders.
Yes, read that again, a solid, logical story line that involved four of the tag teams on Raw ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
– New Day is officially one of the best things on the roster. I could watch Kofi skip to the ring all day long.
Bray Wyatt Promo
– Bray Wyatt promos have officially become the new bathroom break now that the ladies are actually allowed to wrestle
– Honestly, Bray Wyatt is hot garbage right now. All he does is talk using dark metaphors. It never goes anywhere. It never has any impact. Nothing ever comes from it. Why should anyone care? He has no substance. He is the Big Mac of the WWE. It fills things up, but nobody feels good about it afterwards.
– Apparently Bray still hates Roman Reigns and Luke Harper has a nice new red vest, that was what I took away from the segment
Becky Lynch & Charlotte vs Alicia Fox & Nikki Bella
– Two women’s matches in one night? Truly it is a new era!
– Nikki Bella continues to leave poor Brie in the dust, as she has grown in leaps and bounds in the ring. Is she as technically proficient as the new ladies? No. But she is turning her character into a power house lady wrestler, which really works for her. You want to do some jumps and spins Becky? Go for it. Nikki will just elbow your face off and do some push ups. I love it.
– I assume John Cena’s workout dedication rubbed off on Nikki, while Daniel Bryan’s love of flannel didn’t exactly help Brie in the same way.
– Becky got the win with her Disarm-Her, as I try and adjust to a world where cheesy puns for wrestler moves make their comeback. Charlotte’s Web!
Randy Orton vs Kevin Owens
– It was a decent match that was used to set up Sheamus running in to attack Randy, which then caused new baby face Cesaro to run in and attack Kevin Owens.
– The important thing out of all of this is that Kevin Owens vs Cesaro is happening. This is a good thing.
– Randy Orton vs Sheamus is still happening. This is a bad thing. I don’t think any single person has thought over the last year “You know what I’d love to see? Orton vs Sheamus.”
Seth Rollins vs John Cena
– Cena wins. We knew that already.
– Cena got his nose busted up badly by a knee from Rollins. The knee didn’t look that bad, but I assume it was powered up by internet rage.
– I’m not a blood for the sake of blood guy, but it does add to the match for me. Seeing Cena with a busted up nose, blood pouring out, helps add to the story they’re telling in the ring. It’s far easier to accept a “Never give up!” speech from a guy who fights looking like his nose was glued on wrong, vs a guy who pops up from a DDT on the cement and easily beats two guys.
It’s why I enjoy Batman. He can get the actual crap kicked out of him, and when he wins, I applaud his tenacity. Superman? That dude shouldn’t be losing in the first place, screw that guy, I bet he’s not even allergic to Kryptonite.
– Seth Rollins has been playing the heel for so long sometimes I forget the amazing arsenal of offense he has. When Rollins turns face again, the crowd is going to absolutely love him. Rollins went into “Unlimited Finishers” mode and started popping move after move on Cena halfway through the match. Loved it.
– If this was any other person, it would be great that Rollins lost clean. Ambrose got a victory over Rollins and it added to the feud. When it’s John Cena, though, it just feels tired. On one hand you have John Cena demanding title shots because he’s John Cena, then on the other hand you have him picking up big wins to prove he should get a title shot. He doesn’t need both.