I didn’t have high expectations going into this show. It was the 4th of July and I’m sure the WWE knew most Americans would be busy with other festivities. It was shame for the rest of the world, because this Raw felt like a waste.
Food fights in the WWE are a huge cliche for holiday shows, but I’d be lying if I said this opening segment didn’t make me laugh. That food fight might have been the biggest one they’ve done. It genuinely looked like the wrestlers themselves were having a good time, and that made me smile. Also, who hit KO with the pie?
Rusev vs Titus O’Neil
The timing of Rusev’s entrance was perfect because it was directly after the national anthem. There’s no easier way for him to gain heat.
What exactly was Titus wearing? Were those supposed to be some sort of boxing trunks? I thought they looked terribly awkward on him. Either way, he was able to get the crowd behind him, so I’ll assume they didn’t care about his appearance. The two wrestled a mediocre match, and had the right finish. Rusev is performing well in his current role, and it’s great to see how much heat he can attract.
The Social Outcasts vs Enzo Amore & Big Cass
Unlike Titus, the Social Outcasts costumes actually made sense because they added to the comic relief. This segment was more about the promos, which were a lot more effective and entertaining than the actual match. At the same time, a squash was needed to keep the momentum going for Enzo and Cass.
Charlotte/Sasha Banks Promo
I love Sasha Banks as much as the next fan, but the first part of her promo made no sense. On the other hand, her definition of “boss” was neat. Charlotte’s promo was much more logical, because she has a point about Sasha not being deserving of a title shot. Banks has literally done nothing to earn a match against Flair, and I didn’t realize that until this promo.
Dean Ambrose vs The Miz
It bothered me that the announce team made no mention to their match on Smackdown. What was point of even booking this match if they weren’t going to address the obvious context?
Of course Ambrose had to win this match. He’s the main champion and he definitely can’t be losing to anybody lower in the food chain. The match on Smackdown was fun, but there was no need to have the Miz face Ambrose again. He lost once already, so why set him up to lose again? I understand that he’s cowardly heel, but back to back losses isn’t helping the credibility of his title.
Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler
After the Ambrose-Miz match, I had mentally checked out of this show. Along with that, it would’ve been nice for them to create some type of context for this match. That’s what Smackdown does better than Raw, they give each wrestler a chance to interact before their match. Even a small confrontation backstage would’ve sufficed.
Usually these two have great chemistry, but something seemed off about this contest. There was a lack of intensity. It wasn’t a bad match, it just wasn’t as good as their previous encounters.
The post match promo Ambrose and Rollins was more entertaining than the matches each man participated in. It carried more significance than the in ring action and was a lot more exciting.
Golden Truth vs The Vaudevillians
Remember when the Vaudevillians were in the mix for the tag titles?
This match caught me off guard, because it implied the Golden Truth was still feuding with Breezango, as they were sitting at ringside. We haven’t seen those two teams interact in weeks.
John Cena/AJ Styles Promo
Cena’s promo from this show was probably one of the weaker ones he’s delivered as of late. I actually found AJ’s promo to be stronger for the first time. The only thing that bothered me were his comments about getting burined. When AJ says Cena wants to bury him, what does that mean in kayfabe? I know that line appeases to many hardcore fans, although there’s no logic to it. I was annoyed over that, but it didn’t ruin the promo for me. Styles and the Club talking about beating up Cena throughout the year was very funny.
Having Enzo and Cass run in to save Cena was a smart decision. There appearance helped bring this show back to life.
Becky Lynch vs Summer Rae
I liked how they mentioned this was supposed to happen last week until Becky and Natty got into a brawl. Summer Rae did botch a suplex, but that didn’t stop these women from wrestling a decent match. This was a great way to give Becky a win, and keep her looking strong.
Team USA/Multi-National Alliance Backstage Promos
There was big difference between each of these team meetings. Team USA was more focused on being patriotic, and I found it to be rather lame. The Multi-National team on the other hand focused on how this team full of heels and face would get along. Their meeting was much more entertaining and funny.
The New Day/Wyatt Family Promo
Out of the three promos between these teams, this one was definitely the worst. The only thing that kept it alive was Xavier’s monologue on how dangerous the Wyatts can be. His character brought up a good point, which was that the New Day can’t always be fun and games. As fans, we need to hear that before the teams compete in the ring.
Team USA vs Multi-National Alliance
I can’t believe this was the main event. Actually, I should have figured that out once AJ and Cena were at the top of the last hour. The placement of this 16 man tag just showed me the company was willing to phone it in for this show. I did get a good laugh from the Canadian entrance and how far apart Jericho, Zayn, and Owens were from each other. That was a subtle way of showing their dislike for one another.
The placement of this match wasn’t the fault of the contestants in it, so it was up to them to make sure action was entertaining. There was a good blend of everything, and each worker was given the chance to utilize their signature spots. It also helped that the announce was into the match. The spot of the match was definitely the face off between Cesaro and Swagger. Seeing both of them use the “we the people” stance was a mark out moment. They all managed to keep matters interesting, and didn’t just wrestle all the way through. What I mean by this is the use of quick eliminations and a chair. KO disqualifying himself was fitting for his character, because he only cares about inflicting pain on Sami Zayn.
The ironic part about this match was that the Multi-National Alliance included all the fan favourites, yet the fans still cheered more for Team USA. It’s good to know they had fun with a main event like this.
Fun Fact: In kayfabe, Kane is from (which I assume is separate from the USA), and in real life Kalisto is from Chicago. Go figure.
This episode of Raw was easily one of the worst ones they’ve produced this year. There was only 3 high spots, while the rest felt like nonsensical filler. Somehow the first 40 minutes were the strongest. I’m guessing this is because they knew people in the US wouldn’t be watching. The low points of the show include Ambrose vs Miz & Rollins vs Ziggler, while the high point was the opening food fight. Overall, I give this show a 3.5/10.