The past few go home shows have been pretty good, and left me excited, I can’t say the same thing about last night’s episode. If this were to take place last Monday, it would have been excellent. The WWE just lost themselves for this episode, and I now have to rely on Smackdown being a good go home show. Luckily for the fans, they covered each program.
I know myself and many other fans have been annoyed with these types of promos in the past, but when Stephanie and Hunter do them once a month, they actually feel special. Even the $9.99 joke felt fresh because they haven’t spewed it in a while. This segment progressively got worse as they promoted Summerslam with Demi Lovato’s “Cool for the Summer”, and Stephanie’s obvious botch on her lines. Don’t get me wrong, I really like that song, but it sounded extremely awkward during this promo. Not only did the song sound awkward, but the promo felt like one long infomercial. They could have at least announced the match that started right after, because I initially thought Orton was making his way out to save this promo.
Randy Orton & Cesaro vs Kevin Owens & Sheamus
Considering how hot Cesaro and Owens are amongst fans at the moment, I thought they would give them something more meaningful. The two have also been involved in multiple wrestling matches, it would have been great to see them not wrestle each other this week, just to build some tension. This was also the third consecutive week of an Orton vs Owens variation. Other than this, I thought the 4 men put on a solid match. I hope this was enough to turn any doubters into believers for Cesaro. He took the most unoriginal match, and managed to get the crowd amped. I found the finish slightly insulting, because why would I care to see Orton vs Sheamus at Summerslam? One just pinned the other clean on TV, so I’m now just expecting the opposite to occur on Sunday.
Seth Rollins Backstage Segment
By this part of the show I was feeling sour, but this segment made things much better. Rollins asking for a statue at WWE headquarters was extremely comical, and especially how he asked for it. He genuinely felt he would reach legend status if he defeats Cena at Summerslam, and that’s a testament to how in tune he is with his self-centered character.
Roman Reigns vs Luke Harper
As someone that consistently watches Smackdown, I usually can’t stand seeing the rematches on Raw, but this one was an exception. With use of Dean Ambrose on commentary, this contest felt different. He alone was able to create tension with Wyatt, and gave the fans a reason to care. The spot of this mediocre match was harper’s big boot, as I thought Roman might have sustained a concussion. The timing was great and so was the sell from Roman. I actually thought Ambrose was the standout in this match, I then realized he should have been used for that spot much more. Did anybody else think this match went on too long? I felt they should have finished it sooner than later, because this was moving too slow. By the time the finish occurred, I didn’t really care.
Becky Lynch vs Tamina
I never thought Tamina was a good in ring performer, but it was refreshing to see her compete in a singles contest. With that being said, she definitely brought her A game against Lynch. The spot of the match was Becky’s missile drop kick followed by the near fall. The move came across as strong, and made Tamina look good for kicking out. I was overall pleased with the ending, because out of the 3 diva callus, Lynch has been given the least amount of attention, and she definitely deserved that moment.
Rusev vs Mark Henry
It was bad last week, but it was slightly better this week. Clearly, this wasn’t meant to further the feud of Rusev-Henry, so why not just feed a jobber to Rusev? I was just happy the two worked a longer match without any illogical DQs. During the post-match antics, I wasn’t sure if Lana gave away Ziggler’s return by peeping at the entrance ramp, but she did pull it off. I was never a fan of this feud, but a returning superstar can make most segments decent. I’m sure I’ll go back to hating it next week.
Miz vs Ryback
Wow. Miz’s promo was amazing, and would have easily been the best promo if it wasn’t for the segment afterwards. After hearing him verbally assassinate Ryback and Big Show, I truly hope he captures the gold come Sunday. I actually didn’t mind Ryback squashing Miz, even though they could have done without it. If anything, it makes only him and Big Show look like threats at Summerslam, leaving the Miz to be a wildcard.
Seth Rollins/John Cena Contract Signing
I really do hope Seth gets his statue. It would allow him to talk even more trash. Jokes aside, Seth delivered an excellent promo here. In essence, he’s been carrying this feud, and he proved it once again. The use of the Bob Dylan example and comparing to Cena to a disease was well put, he really connected with the audience after using those insults. I thought this was the height of this promo, but Cena took it even higher. Maybe it’s because we haven’t seen him in a while but his promo gave me serious goosebumps. Overall, this was easily the highlight of the show.
Primetime Players & Lucha Dragons vs Los Matadores & The New Day
If every superstar was trying to make up for that disastrous opening promo, they definitely did. Everybody was on their game in terms of promos and that includes the New Day. Other than the New Day working the mic, this match could have been executed better. It just felt too cluttered.
Sasha Banks vs Nikki Bella
Technically, this was the main event for Raw, and I was probably the most excited for this match than any other. Their characters are both outspoken and flashy, it was interesting to see them bring it together. What made this even better was Banks taunting Bella by doing pushups right after. Sasha’s style complimented Nikki’s, because of all the powerhouse moves Bella likes to use. I didn’t think Nikki would tap for the second week in a row, but this goes to show fans that she’s willing to put the other divas over. For their first ever one on one, I thought the two had some good chemistry, and delivered a good match.
I’ll admit, I was annoyed to hear that crowd chanting “we want Lesnar”, but I realized it’s not because the match was bad. The crowd was anxious to see the hometown boy, but it was still disrespectful to the performers in the ring. I guess a 3 hour show can drive a crowd crazy.
Brock Lesnar/Undertaker Promo
I got chills down my spine watching the ovation Lesnar received from his hometown. I can’t remember if the WWE ever took advantage of using Brock in this way, but it was done well. It’s tough to keep a crowd energized for 3 hours, but they found a way to send them home excited. Yes, Heyman’s promo was good, but I could only think of when Taker would make his appearance. I’m sure the entire crowd was waiting for that final confrontation, so I found it difficult to pay full attention to Heyman. It was smart of them to book this ending the way they did. It wasn’t complicated, and it left one man looking stronger than what most thought. Another brawl would not have been as special as the first one.
While this wasn’t the best go home show I’ve seen, they did cover all the feuds for Summerslam. Cesaro-Owens and Orton-Sheamus should have gotten something better, because I’m probably least excited for those matches as of now. The low point of the show was by far the opening promo while the high point was the Cena-Rollins contract signing. This was an average episode of Raw, and I did expect more considering this is the largest Summerslam in history. Overall, I give this show a 6/10.
Feel free to leave your thoughts on last night’s episode!