It was the night after Battleground, and the WWE had a lot of planning ahead of them. With the Undertaker back in the mix, the show was bound to be interesting. Unfortunately, my expectations were set too high for this episode. With 4 weeks left until Summerslam, seems to me that the WWE is willing to take their time and slowly build feuds.
Hate or love the angle from last night, I’m sure every fan was marking out from Taker’s entrance. It never fails to give me chills. Also, his theatrics never get old. Taker’s promo was decent, nothing over the top, but it was good for explaining Battleground to the fans. Overall, solid segment, and with the short use of time they found a way to excite the crowd.
Charlotte vs Brie Bella
I’m surprised they fed Brie to Charlotte once again, but it was a testament to how well Flair can carry an opponent. I was going to type a comment of on how Brie didn’t look bad at the beginning, but then I jinxed her as she botched Charlotte’s dive. Normally the match is slow after the commercial break, but I was impressed with the high pace they were showcasing. For a contest that started shaky, these two found a way to engage the crowd and bring the excitement level up. I really liked how Charlotte’s combo looked on Brie, power moves usually come across well on smaller opponents. Overall, solid match, and it added to what was so far a good show.
Los Matadores vs The Primetime Players
I didn’t care for the Matadores, probably because they’ve been off television for quite some time. Even though the wrestling quality was there, the interest level wasn’t. Titus’ presence made this match worth watching, and the New Day saved it. The former tag champs didn’t even have to say or do much and they stole the match.
The Miz vs Big Show
This was another match I couldn’t care for. I was hoping they’d use this episode of Raw to insert the Miz into a new program, but I was wrong. Instead they enjoy rehashing this tired feud. In all fairness though, show’s post-match promo was quite enticing.
Paul Heyman Promo
As I’ve mentioned, Heyman’s promos never get old, but this one fell flat in comparison to his last few. What I did like about this promo was how Heyman addressed why Taker would wait so long to seek out revenge. This was used more for Paul to explain the basis of the feud than cut a typical promo. The first part of this segment was a little dull, but it made a massive come back when both Taker and Brock made an appearance. The brawl had me marking out left, right, and centre. The simple use of this plot device just showed how much these characters despised one another. Along with this, their strength was showcased because of how many wrestlers had to hold them back. Overall, amazing segment, and it officially has me amped for their contest at Summerslam.
Luke Harper vs Roman Reigns
Right when Ambrose made his way out to standby Roman’s side, I knew we probably wouldn’t see Sting on this show. It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen Luke Harper on Raw, so this was a refreshing change. The crowd was actually a large part of this match being fun, because it moved pretty slowly. If Roman didn’t really hurt himself, he did an amazing job at selling it. His initial reaction when landing outside of the ring had me wondering if he broke something in his arm .After that spot with his arm, the match still had a tough time gaining momentum. For some reason it felt like they couldn’t get it going. The spot of the bout was Roman’s double apron dropkick, simply because he caught both Bray and Luke. The post-match brawl was the most entertaining moment of this entire match.
Seth Rollins Promo
For me personally, I was looking most forward to hearing from Rollins. After all, he was caught up in the middle of the entire Lesnar-Taker, so his point of view was going to be the most interesting one. The moment with Lilian Garcia was absolute gold, and it was a well used heel tactic from Rollins. I was truly enjoying this promo until Cena came out. Although, I plan on reserving my judgement until we see something official come from this. I will admit, their back and forth was pretty solid. A champion vs champion feud would be interesting, and part of me thinks that these two might just pull it off. They did feud back in December and January, but much has changed since then.
Paige & Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks & Naomi
I personally wish Sasha and Naomi came out to Sasha’s theme song, as it’s one of the better ones in all of WWE. This was the second divas match on the card, I had to double check and make sure I was watching Raw. The entire contest flowed extremely well, and felt fluid. It’s evident that the call ups have motivated the other divas. The spot of the match was Becky’s springboard kick onto Sasha. It looked like it made contact, and if it didn’t Sasha sold it well. While the Becky and Sasha were the main standouts, Naomi was right up there with them, in terms of matching them in skill. I was extremely shocked with the result, I would have never imagined that Paige would tap on Raw. Without a doubt, this contest was the best one of the night.
Cesaro, Randy Orton, & John Cena vs Kevin Owens, Rusev, & Sheamus
Before this match we were given a beauty of a segment with Rusev. As terrible as the Rusev-Lana program was, that backstage segment was hilarious. Owens and Cena were brilliant to start the bout. In my opinion, their feud can’t be over yet. They continued to show dislike for each other every time they stepped foot in the ring. In a strange sense, Orton and Sheamus were complete after thoughts. The match stopped making sense once Owens and Sheamus made their way out. It gave me the feeling that this episode was going to end on an anti-climactic note. I was interested in watching Rusev overcome the odds, but instead this became a massive joke with Lana distracting him. Lana-Summer should not even be showcased in the main event. I couldn’t care less about that feud, and this show left me with a bad taste.
Last night’s edition of Raw was meant to lay the land for Summerslam. This was accomplished for only one program, which was Taker and Brock. The WWE didn’t do a great job at setting up new programs, but most of the show ran pretty smooth. There weren’t too many segments that were a waste, and they all had some sort of purpose. Hopefully next week they’ll setup a few more feuds .The low point was the main event while the high point was the Taker-Lesnar brawl. Overall, I give this episode 6.8/10