Raw came to you LIVEEEE from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California tonight. With Summerslam less then two weeks away, the card is really filling up and is looking to be one of the most exciting shows of the year. Lets see what happens.
Disclaimer: I don’t really write about all the video packages, but the “get to know Finn Balor” package was pretty stellar. I can’t even fathom the idea of Demon Balor vs Seth Rollins in a New York venue. The Orton/Lesnar package was amazing as well….these guys have done very little compared to everyone else on the roster and yet their match is one of the most anticipated. Only the best.
Enzo and Cass promo with Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens
Enzo and Cass have been delivering some stellar promos as of late and I for one enjoy watching them more then their tag matches. Owens and Jericho on the other hand are essentially going to end up like Jericho/Styles did, but the two of them together are the definition of a dream team. Two of the best in the business on the mic and in the ring? What more can you ask for? WWE must have big plans for Enzo and Cass if they’re sticking them in a Summeslam program with these two.
I’m not sure that anything actually came out of this promo, but Jericho, Owens and Enzo all have great chemistry together (Cass pretty much says everything in monotone to everyone he talks to). Enzo is the perfect person to pair Jericho and this wacky new gimmick of his up with.
Chris Jericho vs Enzo
This match felt like a frat initiation. It was like Jericho was trying to see how much Enzo could take; if he could hang. Enzo’s offense feels like it gets more and more unorthodox by the week so I never know what to think about it, but he did very well against the veteran. The match ended after a distraction from Owens allowed Jericho to hit the Codebreaker, who took a big boot from Cass to score the DQ win. Would have liked to have seen Jericho get a pinfall/submission win over Enzo so that he could return the favor at Summerslam, but it’s fine. Enzo and Cass are winning anyway.
Winner: Chris Jericho (by DQ)
Braun Strowman vs Jorel Nelson (local competitor)
Strowman slid under the bottom rope and went right into that massive clothesline with ease. Not bad for a dude of that size. He got the win with the Reverse Chokeslam.
It’ll be interesting to see when they start feeding him legit guys from the roster to beat the crap out of. The last time WWE used this method that I can remember was for Ryback (look how that eventually turned out) and he went from one local jobber to two local jobbers to actual WWE names so its only a matter of time.
Winner: Braun Strowman
Darren Young vs Titus O’Neil
A short match that again, saw Titus throw Darren around the ring like a toy. Darren got some minimal offense in before rolling Titus up and grabbing the tights for the quick win (so like is he a heel now?). Can this be like, the YouTube exclusive empty-arena pre-show match at Summerslam?
Winner: Darren Young
Seth Rollins promo
One of Seth’s more impressive promos, and I really appreciate it just being him in the middle of the ring with no interruptions. I don’t think there is any way Finn doesn’t walk out of Summerslam as champion (I mean c’mon, they made him lose the NXT Title on a house show) but Seth will go this entire buildup staking his claim as the #1 guy in the company. He knows he’s the top dog and refuses to lose that spot to a newcomer, it’s just unfortunate that the newcomer is Finn Balor.
Sheamus vs Cesaro
I’m not usually a fan of retread matches from the week before, but this one was pretty great. I didn’t feel like I was watching the same match over again, and crowd really started to give a crap when they realized something good was happening in front of them. Sheamus deserves a lot of credit for this one…he took all of those stiff uppercuts (and that one kick to the chin….I mean damn), a weird landing from the suicide dive, and an even weirder landing after the standing dropkick. He might not be as relevant as he used to be but at least he’s not as rough anymore and has been giving guys like Cesaro the rub they need.
The finish came when Sheamus inadvertently knocked the referee down, killing his chance of winning with a roll-up. Cesaro caught Sheamus with one of his own and scored the pin? Again, Cesaro vs Balor anyone?
Dudley Boyz vs Neville and Sin Cara
I thought it was Kalisto at first and was very happy about it, but I was soon extremely disappointed. Oh well.
The Dudley Boyz can still go and they clearly deserve to get that 10th title win, but that window is slowly closing. They went from having excellent high-profile matches against New Day and the Wyatt’s to “lets get him back over since he hasn’t been here for a while” matches with Neville. He looked amazing though…it’d be a shame to see him not get anywhere close to a title anytime soon. He picked up the win hitting Devon with the Red Arrow.
Winners: Neville and Sin Cara
Rusev and Lana wedding celebration with Roman Reigns
This was the slowest and most awkward of all wedding segments we’ve seen on WWE TV over the years. You know that when there’s a wedding segment, the bride is probably going to end up in the cake and that is exactly what happened. Roman Reigns interrupted (the fans might have actually been happy to see him) the celebration, wanting to toast the new couple, who were not having it. Roman and Rusev brawled and Lana was pushed into the cake. Typical.
Sasha Banks vs Dana Brooke
The stipulation was that if Dana won, Sasha’s one on one title rematch with Charlotte would turn into a handicap match. Clearly that wasn’t happening, and while this wasn’t their worst match together, it might have been the most predictable. Charlotte was at ringside, but said and did pretty much nothing. Sasha countered a corner tackle into the Double-Knees for the win.
Winner: Sasha Banks
Luke Gallows vs Kofi Kingston
I’m not sure how I feel about this feud. I’d love to see Anderson and Gallows as Tag-Team Champions but there hasn’t been much to go by these two weeks, so maybe WWE should keep New Day’s run going. Gallows got the win over Kofi after just a few minutes with the Flapjack and the two went for the move they hit Big E with last week on the ring post, but Xavier Woods made the save. Wouldn’t be surprised if New Day wins at Summerslam and then Anderson and Gallows align themselves with Finn later. How glorious would that be?
Winner: Luke Gallows
Mick Foley and Daniel Bryan promo
I was sitting there like “Is this really going to go on for 10-15 minutes?” but after the two of them talked in the ring for a few minutes, Rusev and Cesaro were out there, and the impromptu title match was announced.
United States Championship
Rusev(c) vs Cesaro
At no point did I think Cesaro would win this, but he did do very well for someone pulling double duty. He was the aggressor for a majority of the match, again proving that he is very much deserving of a shot for the Universal Title after Seth and Finn wrap up. It took a distraction/Brogue Kick from Sheamus and at least three kicks to the back of the head from Rusev to put away Cesaro. Roman hit Rusev was a Spear on the outside to close the show….they didn’t even shoot it that well -_-.
Another so-so Raw…I know not all episodes can be as stellar as the one from two weeks ago, but this one felt like the episodes before this “new era” and that’s not the direction we should be going in. Next week is the go-home show before Summerslam so hopefully it delivers.