Raw

Raw Rollup – “Big sweaty men” Edition (Aug.23)

Credit: WWE.com
Credit: WWE.com

It upsets me that the WWE couldn’t properly follow up a good PPV. This episode in particular felt like it was written on the fly.

Opening Segment

The mark in me was cheering for Seth at Summerslam, but I was still looking forward Finn Balor’s reign as champion. There was so much hype around his call up, and it’s a shame that he couldn’t ride that momentum. Fans know how hard Finn has worked to get to the top, and I’m sure most of us feel bad for him.

After Balor relinquished the title, I really wish they just handed it to Seth. The show is starting to feel bland with no real champion, and I’ve gotten sick of this tournament style chase. Within a span of 10 months, we’ve already seen three different tournaments for the top title.

Seth Rollins vs Sami Zayn 

Could they not have given Seth another opponent? I know him and Zayn have amazing chemistry together, but we’ve seen this match several times within the past few months.

This contest became a lot more interesting when Zayn appeared to have rolled his ankle. It was difficult to tell if he actually hurt himself or if he was just selling, however I’ll lean towards the idea of it being a work. That moment alone gave this match some much needed drama, and it completely worked. It allowed for Sami to look like the underdog, which he’s excellent at playing. I’m sure most of us knew Seth would win, but they did a good job at distracting us from that with the injury angle.

Kevin Owens vs Neville

In terms of work rate, this match was awesome. These two have met several times in the past, and they never fail to disappoint. It’s like watching the ultimate good guy vs the biggest jerk in the locker room.

Initially I wasn’t a fan of Jericho being ring side, because it showed how KO couldn’t win on his own. That mind set changed as I realized they didn’t want Neville to lose clean. To me, that’s a sign that they still want him to look strong moving forward.

Was it so hard for them to announce the fatal four way for next week in the opening segment. That way we’d know there were only going to be four qualifying matches, instead of being confused for a full hour into Raw. Something’s telling me they may have just thought of that half way through Neville vs Owens.

The New Day/The Club Promo

I can’t say I cared for the New Day’s celebration, and for some reason the segment felt quite stale. That’s not something I normally say about the trio, but this segment didn’t click.

One thing I enjoyed about this promo was how the Club came out and took their opponents more seriously. It only made sense for them to be upset, because they were screwed over the night before.

Karl Anderson vs Big E

Wow, they couldn’t think of a better way to kill them momentum of the Club’s promo. What exactly was the point of Anderson losing clean to Big E? It didn’t accomplish anything, other than making the challengers to the tag team titles look like a joke. I was optimistic about this feud on Sunday night, but this match killed a lot of that. In no way does the Club look like a threat to the New Day.

Titus O’Neil Promo

Did Titus not practice his promo, because it didn’t sound like he did. This segment died a horrible death, as it just fell flat and the fans in attendance let Titus know that. Also, he went for a way too long. Whoever decided to have this promo on the show should be fired. Something like this would have been better saved as a backstage interview.

Brock Lesnar/Randy Orton Video Package

This video package was great, and I believe it delivered the message they wanted it to. After seeing Lesanr F5 Shane, it’s clear they want his character to be the unhinged monster heel. That’s something I can get behind, because it reignites the excitement of Brock.

What I absolutely hated about this segment as a whole, was the interview segment that followed it. What was the purpose of interviewing Stephanie if all she was going to say was “there will be repercussions”.

Big Cass vs Rusev

Big Cass and Enzo lost last night, so why would Cass deserve a shot at qualifying for that fatal four way? Him being in this match, completely took me out of it. In fact, the only highlight was Rusev delivering a kick to Enzo. That was funny because of how random it was.

If you were to tell me that Big Cass would be one match away from becoming the Universal Champion by the end of Raw, I’d assume you were telling me about some absurd fantasy booking.

Charlotte Promo/Bayley Debut

Up to this point of the show, Charlotte was the saving grace. Her promo was excellent, as it proved that she knows how to be one of the top heels in the company. This promo in particular was a lot smoother and I’d go as far as saying it was her best one yet.

Regardless of how predictable Bayley’s debut was, I still marked out, because it meant she’s finally on the main roster. I was also taken back by how fluid she sounded on the mic. We know that’s not her strength, but it didn’t look like her weakness.

Side Note: If you can, watch this segment again, and pay attention to Dana Brooke. She didn’t speak at all, yet her mannerisms were amazing.

Bayley vs Dana Brooke

Luckily for Bayley, this entire crowd knew of her from NXT. It helped, because it allowed for her to feel like a big deal to all the casual fans.

For those of you that don’t know, Bayley is essentially the underdog in all of her matches, and they showcased that very well throughout this match. Along with that, it allowed for Dana to look strong, which isn’t something we’ve seen a lot of.

I can thoroughly say I enjoyed Bayley’s first match on Raw. She did such a brilliant job at giving the audience a glimpse of her character, while putting forth a good match.

Johnny Knockout vs Braun Strowman

I don’t know what to say about Knockout’s pre-match comments. Was that supposed to be funny? Braun Strowman’s matches have been a highlight of Raw within the past few weeks, but I can’t say that for this episode. His odd opponent completely ruined it.

The Dudleys Say Goodbye

I had to watch this segment from start to finish just to make sure if it was real or a work. Well, once it was over, I still didn’t know. So many outside interferences occurred, and it was tough to tell. Regardless of what it was, I thought it turned out to be a strong segment. The Dudleys were able to receive one last pop from beating down the Shining Stars, and the Club was able to gain some of their heat back by ruining everything.

Chris Jericho vs Roman Reigns

Considering how terrible this show was, I need to give this crowd credit, because they still managed to stay alive for this contest. Even though they did spend the entire match booing Reigns, at least they cared to do that much.

Match wise, everything about this was pretty fluid. Jericho especially made it entertaining through his facial reactions and trash talking. I actually considered this to be unpredictable. Yes, you could say Roman winning was obvious, but you had to take outside interference into consideration. His story with Rusev  wasn’t properly concluded and Owens was going to help out Y2J. I genuinely thought Jericho had a chance.

Conclusion

I like to think I’m a very optimistic fan, and I hardly ever view the product in such a negative way. Well, I’m not holding back any punches, because this show was garbage. This could have been the worst episode of Raw I’ve seen in quite some time. Everything was a low point, except Bayley’s debut/Charlotte’s promo, which was the high point. Overall, I give this show 3/10 (I’d give it a 0/10 if it weren’t for the women’s segment).

6 thoughts on “Raw Rollup – “Big sweaty men” Edition (Aug.23)

  1. I know what you mean about the Title, another fatal 4 to decide who is in the picture.
    The other thing that got me was the way Mike Foley was nodding his head, he really looked like he was waiting for instructions on what to do. Do they have even rehearsals? (understand this was done on the fly given the injury) but its like they have to know trust in letting the talent create the moment.
    The same must be said for Titus, someone was in his ear and it made for a worse promo than Reigns
    And Lana introduction, what was with that, need to work on the focus there
    I thought Knockouts comment funny because seriously what do you say when you’re a local talent about to be a squash match, that charisma might get his booked in the indies
    I feel like the Dudleys speak might be a face turn, (besides that might be the right time to retire my understanding signed a new one-year deal) they will make a good transitional opponent for when New Day Loses the title and before they can regain
    Glad Bayley is now in the big time, which they had of delayed Becky Lynch and brought her up for the Mania fued

    Like

    1. Like I already mentioned, this is the third tournament style stipulation created for the main title within the past 10 months. I understand Finn being injured was a swerve, but for a company that’s publicly traded, I’d expect them to be prepared for situations like that. I mentioned in another comment that I wish they had just given Seth the belt. That would allow them to move forward and find a number one contender.

      Did the Dudleys actually sign a new one year deal? I was under the impression that they were legitimately leaving.

      Bayley was great on Raw. She’ll bring a new swagger to the women’s division, and we have yet to see a character such as hers.

      Like

      1. Or Even a chance to develop Mick character. Have Rollins run a gauntlet of three matches. Cesaro, Zayn and Reigns (Faces so no KO or Y2J, still reckon reigns is in turn territory but they haven’t pulled the trigger). And if he won all three he could be the champion. There your match at the top of each hour. But agree something original, cause handing over the title has been done before.

        Here a story i can find http://whatculture.com/wwe/the-dudley-boyz-sign-new-wwe-contract

        So looking forward to her character, and the Sasha Bank Heel turn to prove she is the Boss!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Damn! That would have been a brilliant idea! They could have even done the last gauntlet with Sami and teased him beating Seth. That would have the crowd going nuts.

        Like

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