I apologize to my readers for not covering Impact last week. My hands were full with a close friend’s wedding, but I’m back this week as it’s Summerslam week.
This was Raw’s go home show for Summerslam, and it didn’t feel like it was. There were some bright spots, but they were quickly overshadowed by lazy writing.
Rusev was pure gold in carrying this promo. He knew how to be a presence in the ring and on the mic. He was able to channel his character’s anger, and cut one of the best promos I’ve ever seen from him. Also, I found his complaints against Roman to be quite logical. Why does Roman continue to get chance after chance? The highlight of segment was Rusev completely shouting over Stephanie McMahon. That was one of the few times where Stephanie didn’t out heel the other heel.
Just about everything in this segment flowed, except the outcome. Why was there a need to have Roman vs Rusev on this show? It would make sense to have the fans wait until Summerslam, because the tension is high between the two. They could have easily broken out into a brawl, and that would have been a great way to give the fans a sneak peak.
Sheamus vs Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn felt like a nobody going into this match. We haven’t seen him in two weeks, and he was being used to push a lackluster feud. The actual match wasn’t bad, it was just tough to be invested as I’m currently not invested in either of the wrestlers. It also didn’t help that Cesaro was putting me to sleep with his commentary.
It was nice to see Sami get a pop for his win, but what does it mean moving forward? He was simply used as a catalyst, and he most likely won’t be present at Summerslam.
I like the idea of a best of seven series, but just not for Sheamus and Cesaro. I imagine they’ll probably go seven matches, and that’s just not something I care to watch.
Dudley Boyz vs The New Day/Gallows & Anderson Taped Promo
I don’t care how cheap the humour is in the ringpostitis skits, they make me laugh pretty hard. Both Gallows and Anderson are known to be funny guys, so they easily know how to work with that kind of material. It’s great to see how the New Day isn’t taking this as a joke, but more seriously. It gives their act more layers, instead of them just being one dimensional comedic wrestlers.
Nia Jax vs Rachel Lee
We probably won’t ever see Rachel Lee on WWE television again, but she came across as a very likeable person. When Nia Jax destroyed her in this match, it only made me feel sorry for he. In that sense, this squash match worked well.
Paul Heyman/Brock Lesnar/Heath Slater Promo
When I heard Brock Lesnar was going to be on this show, I wasn’t expecting him and Heyman to be interrupted by Heath Slater. I didn’t mind though, because his intentions of challenging Brock were exciting. Along with that, his promo was excellent! For a man that relies on comedy, his words here were full of intensity. I thought him knowing he’ll get destroyed, only reminded the fans why Brock is the most feared member of the WWE locker room.
Kevin Owens vs Big Cass
I actually wasn’t expecting much from this contest, however it turned out to be fast paced and hard hitting. Jericho and Enzo were great at ringside, because their presence helped with the drama. The post match attack by Jericho and Owens was great, as it attracted a lot of heat from the fans. It was simple, but it received a reaction, so it worked.
Primetime Players vs The Shining Stars
As someone that didn’t get the chance to watch the pre show, seeing Young and O’Neil come out together was quite confusing. Initially I was going to write about how that was a dumb decision, but I enjoyed how the match played out. I actually believe this is how the feud should have begun.
Neville vs Jinder Mahal
The only reason I cared to watch this match was that Neville was involved. I believe the WWE has done a decent job at making Neville seem like an attraction on Raw. In a way, he’s a smaller version of Nia Jax/Braun Storwman, minus the no name local talent.
Seth Rollins Promo
Throughout this show, Rollins was great with his backstage skits. On top of that, I thought he cut an excellent promo on why he’s more of threat than Finn Balor will ever be. Like most, I was taken back of from that fan running in during this segment. What exactly goes through the mind of someone that does stuff like that?
I have a feeling many fans will be against Balor debuting his demon look on this episode of Raw, but I thought it worked. He could have waited until Summerslam to debut the look, however this segment showed all casual fans (that haven’t seen Balor) how threatening he can when coming out as the demon.
The Club vs Golden Truth
Gallows and Anderson should have won this match a lot faster than they did. There’s no way a lower mid card worker like Goldust should even be able to challenge them they way he did. Regardless of that, I’m glad that they still won and were on the show to further their feud.
It was smart to have the New Day come out and attack them afterwards, because it gives the fans a reason to be more excited for their match at Summerslam. I especially loved how Gallows made sure to grab the jar before retreating from the New Day. This was a subtle detail, however it was very funny.
Alicia Fox vs Charlotte
There wasn’t much to the actual match, but it worked well in making Charlotte look strong. It’s been four weeks since her loss to Sasha, so any win on television is great for her credibility. The post match antics is what made this entertaining. While Charlotte did have Dana help her out, it was crucial she stood tall. It gives us a reason to believe she has a chance on recapturing the women’s title.
Roman Reigns vs Rusev
After that great backstage brawl the two had earlier in the show, I didn’t see what the point was to this match. If anything, they could have just continued the brawl at the start of the match before the bell rang. Wrestling wise, these two had a ton of chemistry, but it’s just a shame this match happened six days before their championship match. I believe it just took away from the hype leading into Summerslam.
I’m surprised the WWE didn’t even make this match slightly shorter, as they went the full length. After the second commercial break, this contest did start dragging. The best way to have ended this show would have been by having Reigns pass out during the Accolade. That way Roman doesn’t tap or get pinned, plus it allows Rusev to look as strong as he did at the start of the show. I just don’t think they gained anything from having Reigns win clean.
The main story covered on this show was the Roman/Rusev program. It started off strong, but completely fell flat by the end of the episode. They should have cut the length, given it a non finish (or not have the match at all), and let the Rollins/Balor narrative end the show. Plus, that would have put more emphasis on their new title. The low point of the show was definitely the main event, while the high point was the Lesnar/Slater promo. Overall, I give this show a 5/10.