RAW Review 08/15/2016
RAW REVIEW 08/15/2016
Hello Misfits, it’s The Wrestling Classic here with this weeks Raw Review. It is week 4 of the brand extension and Raw of the New Era, we’ll see if Raw can keep up the momentum they’ve been on the last few weeks. Also, its the week of Summerslam and this is the go-home show to the big event. This Raw needs to get us highly anticipated for Summerslam as it is only 6 days away.
WWE Raw comes to you live on the USA Network from the American Bank Centre in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The show opens with a video package highlighting last weeks events. Similar to how they opened the show last week, full with the William Shatner sounding narrator. Although, I find them kind of humorous, I do like that they open the show refreshing everyone’s memory.
It immediately cuts to Rollins outside the arena, where he cuts a promo about how he is going to be the first Universal Champion in six days but he had unfinished business with his Summerslam opponent Finn Balor. Rollins calls out the Demon King and he doesn’t appear. Rollins said if the Demon King is not man enough to find him, the man is going to find the Demon King.
1. Rusev/Lana Opening Segment
There is no intro video for tonights show, as it cuts to Rusev and Lana in the ring right away. They refused to leave and Rusev says Roman Reigns ruined the greatest moment in his life last week. There will be no Raw unless Reigns comes out and apologizes. Instead, Mick Foley comes down the ramp and asks Rusev to leave the ring but Rusev refuses. Rusev tells Foley that he sucks as a General Manager and that Reigns has done nothing to deserve a title shot. Reigns gets opportunity after opportunity. Rusev says Stephanie McMahon needs to come to the ring because he respects her.
Stephanie joins them in the ring. Stephanie says Rusev is demanding respect, but not giving any to Foley. Stephanie goes on saying that she supports Foley and the decisions he makes. Rusev tells Stephanie that maybe he will give “that little” Daniel Bryan and her big brother Shane a call because they know how to appreciate talent. Reigns’ music hits and he makes his way down the ramp. Reigns tells Rusev that if an apology will end this, then he is sorry. He is sorry that Rusev found the website where he met his wife. He is also sorry that one day Rusev and Lana are gonna bump uglies and have the ugliest little sasquatch babies.
Reigns says he doesn’t want to wait till SummerSlam. Stephanie says the match will happen at the PPV. Foley adds that if Rusev wants to defend Lana’s honor, he can do so in a match against Reigns tonight. The U.S. title match will happen at the PPV, but tonight is about respect.
The segment started off hot and then cooled down a lot with the announcement of the match. I got really confused on why they were giving one of Raw’s big title matches for Summerslam away on tonights episode…all in the honour of Lana. I was hoping for a screwy finish at this point. Its crazy how that having Reigns in the mid card has made him so much more likeable. Thus far, every week a different group of stars opened up the show, and I like that its not like the same people opening each show.
2. Sami Zayn def. Sheamus
Byron Saxton was in the ring to interview Sheamus before the match. Although losing the last two weeks,Sheamus said he proved that he’s more dominant than Cesaro. He said he is moving on to greener pastures. Shemaus questioned who Zayn is and said he’s a brave man on Twitter who makes comments about him. Sheamus played into “you look stupid” chants and said the fans paid to see him, then asked who is stupid now. Sheamus said Zayn can say what he wants on Twitter, but he’ll take his head off.
The match was competitive back and forth action. The finish came when Cesaro walked down to ringside to distract Sheamus and he got hit with a Helluva kick allowing Zayn to pick up the win.
I enjoyed Cesaro on commentary and I think its because everything he says sounds so natural and real compared to scripted bogus they want him to say. The match was decent and I’m glad they let Sami pickup the win. I know he only picked up the win because it helped further the program between Cesaro and Sheamus but I hate how since Zayn moved away from his feud with Owens, they got nothing creative for him. I hope they have plans for Sami following Summerslam because as of right now he’s not doing anything which really disappoints me.
Backstage, Tom Phillips interviews Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens. Jericho and Owens are gold together and always find a way of being heels yet comedic at the same time. Jericho said the Owens vs. Big Cass match is not a one-on-one match because he has KO’s back. Owens said he and Jericho are closer after one week than Enzo and Cass are now. Chris Jericho starts questioning who certified Enzo as a G. Owens said you can’t teach Cass how to spell properly because there’s now A or W in soft and that english isn’t even his first language. They called Phillips various first names throughout this promo, which I always enjoy. Jericho did the “watch it” routine and Phillips played along. Owens said that by it, Jericho means watch him beat Cass tonight and then humiliate Enzo and Cass in their hometown at SummerSlam.
Sheamus and Cesaro argued backstage and are being kept apart by WWE officials. Foley came in to break it up and then made a best of seven series between them, which starts at Summerslam. It’d be cool if something was on the line, but apparently it’s matches for the sake of matches where both men have a program to work. Cesaro has already beaten Sheamus two times in a row, but I suppose this means we get another 7 matches between them with explantion.
Similar to last week but not as effective, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows cut a promo about Big E’s testicles and stuff again. Claiming they can’t wait to get hold of the rest of the New Day’s rocks.
3. The New Day def. The Dudley Boyz
There seems to be tension between the Dudley Boyz after losing to Neville and Sin Cara last week. I guess they play off that again, because the finish comes after D-Von accidentally clotheslined Bubba Ray, which was followed shortly by Kingston hitting the Trouble in Paradise on D-Von. Following the match, Anderon and Gallows appear on the screen again taunting Big E’s injury. The New Day cut a semi-serious promo on Gallows and Anderson, surprisingly trying to call them immature because E’s injury was serious.
It was your typical Raw match and segment, once again to progress the feud between The New Day and Gallows and Anderson. I thought last week’s skit by Anderson and Gallows was funny, but I’d rather them not become jokesters on a regular basis. I want them to be the team to defeat the New Day but I’d rather them be an asskicking duo rather than a team who enjoy playing doctor and making jokes about balls. Leave that stuff for the New Day or Golden Truth. The more interesting story here, is if they’re going to split the Dudley’s and if they do…why? This is not TNA and in the WWE, the Dudley’s are better together than as separate stars.
Backstage again, Seth Rollins walks backstage looking for the demon king. He asks Neville, and Neville says that Rollins may think he’s ready, but he’s faced the demon and knows Rollins is not ready.
4. Nia Jax def. Rachel Leavy
Leavy gets a promo before the match talking about women and their success in the Olympics and says she’s going take to home the gold. Jax then murders her in quick fashion.
Jia Jax destroys yet another local competitor in quick fashion. In the similar style as the Braun Strowman squash matches, the local talent got to cut a promo before the match. I’m still hoping this all leads to Nia feuding the winner of the Women’s Championship match at Summerslam following Sunday.
5. Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman Segment
Before Heyman can talk, Heath Slater comes out on the stage. Hyman asks Slater if someone put him up to this or if he has been listening to the voices in Randy Orton’s head. Heyman asks why in god’s name would he interrupt Brock Lesnar? Slater says he is the hottest free agent in the WWE and since the people in charge of Raw and Smackdown Live can’t see that, he is coming to Heyman. Heyman says that he isn’t laughing with Slater, he is laughing at him. Heyman says he would never advocate for Slater. Slater says that’s not what he meant. Slater says that if he can beat Lesnar in a match he will get a Raw contract and a match at SummerSlam.
Heyman said Slater is doing way too much partying on the Freebird tour bus in Texas. He said the joke is over and tells Slater to hit the bricks. He told the production truck to cut Slater out of the picture. Heyman delivered his self introduction but Slater climbed onto the apron and yelled, then told Heyman not to disrespect him. Slater said he has kids that he has to feed claiming that “My two little girls at home and all the other kids that I have are relying on me.” He indicated that he doesn’t want to get his ass whooped by Lesnar, but he has to.
Heyman tells Slater that he is trying to save him. Lesnar grabs the mic and says he understands and appreciates what Slater is trying to do. Lesnar says that Slater has guts and he adds that he has kids too. Lesnar gets in Slaters’ face and says, “I don’t give a sh*t about your kids”. Slater starts to leave but takes a swing at Lesnar. Lesnar almost decapitates him with a clothesline. Lesnar german suplexes Slater over and over again taking him to Suplex City. Lesnar F5s Slater and tosses him out of the ring. Heyman says he is here to promote the match at SummerSlam. He is supposed to convince you that Randy Orton has a chance against Lesnar, but that’s not the case. Heyman won’t lie to the people Orton has no chance. The hype here is that you get to see a once in a life time athlete, Brock Lesnar compete.
I really enjoyed this segment. The involvement of Slater made the Heyman/Lesnar promo about his match at Summerslam not feel repetitive. I love what they are doing with Slater on both shows and honestly this is the first time in years that people are looking forward to when Slater is going to show up. I know I sure look forward to seeing him every week right now. Of course, I was sitting at the edge of my seat expecting Orton could appear but that wasn’t the case. I usually get tense when Lesnar grabs the mic, but it was perfect, mostly when he delivered that I don’t give a shit about your kids line. I was curious to see how Heyman would sell the match and I don’t think there is a better way than the approach he took. The average fan doesn’t see Orton as a threat to Lesnar. Sure, there are some fans questioning whether “WWE will punish Lesnar by having him lose to Orton” but Heyman’s hype should be the same even if that were the case.
6. Big Cass w/ Enzo Amore def. Kevin Owens w/ Chris Jericho by DQ
The finish comes when Cass tosses Owens out to the apron. Cass goes for a running big boot, but Owens moves out of the way. Cass falls to the outside. Owens sets up the apron power bomb, but Cass back body drops Owens. Jericho pushes Enzo into the ring steps. Cass chases Jericho around the ring. Jericho pushes Cass. The referee calls for the bell.
It was yet another match that was mainly here to further a Summerslam program. The felt like it fully got going however it wasn’t bad. It was just an okay match. The heels getting heat going into the pay-per-view match was logical. It just didn’t feel like they went far enough to generate any true heat that fans will be anxious to see the babyfaces avenge. Regardless, Enzo and Cass are going to be over as fuck with the Brooklyn crowd.
Rusev attacks Reigns backstage after Reigns was talking crap about him in an interview with Tom Phillips. There was a garage door, pipes falling and catering tables all there to make noise to make this brawl seem more intense. Rusev had regained the upper hand when WWE officials came to break it up.
7. The Shining Stars def. The Prime Time Players w/ Bob Backlund
Prior to the match there was video clip from earlier tonight where Titus told Darren Young he was interested in a reunion for one night only between the two. The finish of the match came whenYoung accidentally knocks O’Neil off the apron. O’Neil gets back in the ring and flattens Young with the Clash of Titus. Primo takes advantage and pins Young.
They did stuff and stuff happened .The Shining Stars are a dead act, Titus vs. Young is a dead feud and there was almost negative energy in the arena for this. I’m not going to lie, I zoned out during this match and had to look up the results.
Another Cruiserweight Division teaser commercial aired.
8. Neville def. Jinder Mahal
They did some back and forth, Neville sent Mahal to the floor and hit a sweet corkscrew moonsault. Mahal begged off, sent Neville to the ropes and then laid him out with a big boot. Mahal controlled for about 30-seconds, Neville fought back with kicks and then hit the red arrow for the win.
It was great that Mahal was on Raw this week after his return and also got a full entrance but he’s basically in the same spot he was in when he was last with the company. Neville is one of the most exciting wrestlers to watch today and seems to be slated as the head of the upcoming cruiserweight division.
Stephanie and Mick say that Jon Stewart is going to be at Summerslam. Rollins arrives and says he’s been looking for the demon. He feels he should get the night off since he can’t find the demon. Foley says Rollins should call him out in the ring so see if he appears. Foley uses a walkie-talkie to tell production to hit Rollins music.
9. Seth Rollins calls out the Demon King
Rollins says he has been looking for this Demon King all night and hasn’t found him. There is nothing and no one that can stop him from becoming the first Universal Champion. He is only gonna ask one more time. The Demon King needs to come to the ring right now. Rollins laugh as nothing happens. Rollins says Bálor is trying to intimidate him because he is afraid of him. A fan gets in the ring and is tackled. Rollins says the Demon King will have no choice but to bow down to The Man. The lights go out and Bálor’s Demon music starts to play. Demon Bálor comes out on the stage and eventually get in the ring. Rollins back in the ring and takes a swing at Bálor. Bálor hits Rollins with the Pelé kick. Bálor goes for the coup de grâce, but Rollins moves out of the way.
First off, the fan that ran into the ring needs a reality check. Although, Rollins played it off cool after he shoved him, I wish he whooped his ass. Rumour has it that the fan that rushed the ring had either a knife or wrench on him. Where the fuck was the security? Whether heel or face, its 2016 and wrestlers shouldn’t have to be worried about being attacked by fans when they are just trying to entertain us all. Now moving forward, the segment was really good and up to this point the highlight of the show. The crowd chanted “holy shit” and “this is awesome” for good reason. I just would have booked it differently with the same outcome. First off, I wouldn’t have Balor do his entire entrance. I would have had him play mind games with Rollins and just appear in the ring behind Rollins in full Demon appearance. This way those who don’t watch NXT or anything could have gotten a glimpse of the Demon King but they could have saved his initial Demon entrance for Summerslam. Instead they decided to showcase his entire entrance on Raw infant of this dead crowd. The worst part of this was the fact that it was poorly produced and shot (thanks Kevin Dunn) and felt like a poor man’s version of the NXT entrances. The NXT entrances felt big time and important, this felt like “just another entrance.” I don’t know if the NXT camera crew needs to teach Dunn about new age TV angles but this fell flat compared to the NXT Demon entrances. The crowd did eventually get into it, but Balor doing the entrance in Brooklyn at Summerslam, where he was over big last year would have made for something special. There was no real thought put into this, they had one chance to debut Balor’s special entrance on the main roster and gave it away to a dead crowd. Also, Demon King sounds way too much like Demon Kane.
10. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows def. Golden Truth
Gallows and Anderson come out dawning their doctor coats and carrying Big E’s “testicles”. In a back and fourth match, Gallows and Anderson pick up the win after hitting the Magic Killer/Boot of Doom. After the match, The New day attack Anderson and Gallows. Woods is about to hit Anderson in the nuts with Francesca 2, but Gallows pulls Anderson out of the ring.
Gallows and Anderson shouldn’t have wrestled a back and fourth match against team who has been booked to care about Pokemon Go more than wrestling the past few weeks. I hate the fact that Anderson and Gallows are being booked as comedic act rather than a badass force to destroy the New Day and their silly stupidness. Instead, they found their own form of silly stupidness and are engaged in feud about testicles.
Backstage, Charlotte tells Dana Brooke that she failed her.
11. Charlotte def. Alicia Fox
Sasha Banks joined the commentary team for this match. They worked solid back and forth to open the match, Charlotte then pulled Fox off the ropes in the corner and hit natural selection to pick up the victory. Following the match, Charlotte challenged Sasha to come to the ring. Sasha doesn’t back down and heads to the ring. Dana Brooke arrives and with Charlotte, they beat down Sasha and worked her knee. Charlotte locked in the figure eight as Dana laid the boots to her. After several minutes Charlotte finally lets Banks out of the hold.
Thankfully, Alicia Fox still has a job. It’s been years now, but I wish they went with the whole crazy Fox gimmick they started with Alicia going ballistic after matches. It was the right decision for Charlotte to win gaining momentum heading into the PPV. This was an overall simple and good angle to get heat on Charlotte and to soften up Sasha prior to Summerslam. I hope they continue the whole “knee” injury thing at Summerslam. Therefore, having Charlotte work the knee that she injured with her protege Dana on Raw is a great layer to the story they will tell on Sunday. I’m really looking forward to their match at Summerslam, as they are two of my favourite women wrestlers today. Credit to the ladies here, they delivered the first real segment all show long that had any real heat to it. That is mainly because Charlotte makes being a heel look easy at this point and the fans love Sasha Banks.
There was a Braun Strowman video package. Yippee.
12. Roman Reigns def. Rusev w/ Lana
In a lengthy back and fourth match, the finish came when Reigns went for another Superman Punch from the corner. Rusev cut him off with a shoulder block and applied the Accolade. Reigns reached the ropes to break the hold.Reigns tries the Spear, but Rusev chop blocks him. Rusev kicks Reigns in the back of the head and puts him in the accolade. Reigns gets to the ropes and Rusev is livid. He has no idea how to beat Reign and really plays to it with his facial expressions. Rusev misses a clothesline and Reigns hits the ropes and bounces back to hit a Spear for the victory.
Why?! That is the only reaction I had leaving this match. The final 5 minutes were really good and you just had to get through the painfully average first 20-minutes to get there. I have no clue why you would give away a 25-minute match that is booked to take place six-days from now. It screams that you have no idea how to fill your three hour show with quality content and unique content. On another note, this feud is really winning Reigns some the fans he lost when they were shoving him down our throats. Now before Vince McMahon and company start getting overly excited about this crowd having more Reigns fans than Reigns haters, let’s see how he fares on Sunday in Brooklyn. They need to do what they should have done with Roman in the first place and that is slowly build him up the card now. This match would have been perfect for Summerslam which now leaves me wondering what they are going to do at Summerslam.
I expected more for the go-home show to Summerslam, but it’s usually the Raw after a big PPV that delivers I guess. This show was average and there is just too much going on in these 3 hour marathon Raw shows. I believe the first Raw on the New Era was so successful because it consisted of much more wrestling filling the time rather than silly promos, storylines and so on. The Demon King was the highlight of the night and there wasn’t any particular match I would come back to watch from this show in the future. The only really memorable thing from this edition of Raw is the first ever Demon Balor entrance on the main roster. Its just unfortante it had to happen on such an average Raw. This Raw didnt do much to get me personally excited for Summerslam, but it didn’t have to because the Summerslam card is stacked. My final thought is that I actually think Raw exposed most of their tricks during its first two weeks and now most of the time the writers are just trying to figure out how to fill the majority of the three hours week after week with only a few actual set plans for every week. Whereas Smackdown is slowly progressing week after week and taking their time to reveal what their brand is all about.
Final TWC Rating – 6.5/10
Last Weeks RAW TWC Rating – 7.5/10
That is it for this weeks Monday Night Raw Review. I hope you guys enjoyed it and leave your feedback, opinions and ideas about Raw below.