Over the past few days the "Hall of Fame Forum" has been hyped up to open Raw. Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels would kick things off by discussing the upcoming match between John Cena and Brock Lesnar. I wonder if Hogan has any hard feeling towards Shawn overselling the hell out of his offense at SummerSlam 2005. That's still one of the funniest matches I can remember. Anyway, Hogan continues to say that John Cena is the greatest thing since him, while HBK and Flair are realists who think that Brock is going to kill Cena. Cena comes out and says he's going to get his revenge because HES FEARS NOTHING AND REGRETS LESS! He didn't actually say that but it was the usual Cena stuff. This was only alright, not the big promo that it probably should have been. The best thing was Shawn Michaels being sassy.
SummerSlam rematch time as Jack Swagger, sans Zeb Colter since he's recovering from Rusev's kick at SummerSlam, faced Rusev. With their constant back and forth and matches on Main Event, Battle ground and SummerSlam, these two have developed some good chemistry. We got another solid outing between them that ended via ref stoppage again. I like this idea because it makes Rusev look like a beast while Swagger never gives up. Bo Dallas makes sure to inform Swagger that he once again let his country down.
The United States Champion came out next to do some color commentary. Similar to how Cesaro did commentary for his match on Main Event last week. Can I just point out that while I like the new WWE logo, it's so strange that it's on the right side of the screen. It belongs on the left side dammit. Anyway, Rob Van Dam went one on one with Cesaro and the winner would become the number one contender to the United States Title. So, it doesn't matter that neither guy has the best win/loss record huh? This wasn't as good as their SummerSlam kickoff match and Cesaro picked up the win. Oh well, their match at Payback was really good so I look forward to more Sheamus/Cesaro. They will have some badass hard hitting matches.
Time for the rematch of the rematch. Natalya vs. Paige III. Despite beating Paige twice last week, Natalya doesn't earn a Divas Title match. Seriously? This couldn't be a title match? Whatever. Their stuff is good and Paige wins before skipping around the ring. Of course, AJ Lee comes out and the distraction allows Natalya to clothesline Paige. AJ calls Paige an english muffin and says she's more sincere about loving her. She kisses Paige's hand and leaves and I am LOVING the mind games between the two.
Seth Rollins held a eulogy for his fallen former brother in arms, Dean Ambrose. We all know that Ambrose is off filming a movie so I wonder what's next for Rollins until then. He cuts a good promo and puts himself over for creating the Shield. Seriously, Seth can go on the microphone and it was the one thing I was worried about when he first got hired by the WWE. Roman Reigns decides to remember that he was part of the Shield finally and comes out. It's honestly bugged me badly that he just gave up on having an issue with Seth. He brawls with Kane and crashes the eulogy. Decent stuff and I wonder if we're getting Rollins/Reigns at Night of Champions. Where would that leave Randy Orton?
The Tag Team Titles were up for grabs next as The Usos defended against the team that beat them last week, the Dust Brothers. The fans weren't really into it but it was a good little match. Cody continues to nail the Stardust character even if he's honestly above it. One of the Usos messed up their knee and got counted out. Goldust demanded a rematch right now as he seemed to think that a countout win for the titles wouldn't earn them another rematch next week. I guess if Natalya didn't get a title shot, they probably wouldn't get another. Cody and Goldust attack the Usos and the heel turn is on! I'm quite surprised by this but I really like it. I'm sure Cody and Goldie can do good things with this and it sets up what should be a good one at Night of Champions.
I guess the Authority is off tonight, so Kane decides to book himself and Seth Rollins against Roman Reigns for later tonight. Then we get another vignette from Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman to build towards Night of Champions. It was really good as this is when Brock's promos are at their best. He can say little badass things while Heyman sells everything. Anyway, up next we were supposed to get Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz again but we got Miz's stunt double, Damien Mizdow instead. Miz was on commentary and this didn't click. The whole segment was pretty poor.
So, Jerry "The King" Lawler was now going to be psychiatrist with the Bella Twins. This sounds like it will be dreadful. Brie Bella was sincere and apologized for whatever she did to upset Nikki. Nikki wants no part of it and says that Brie acts like the victim. They talk about ultrasounds for some reason and Nikki berates Brie's looks and Daniel Bryan. This whole thing has been cringeworthy so far. This should just be about Brie abandoning Nikki and that's it. I can't believe that Brie is an attention seeker when Nikki went out and got huge fake boobs. Seriously, when looking at the Bella Twins together, Nikki's rack is the first thing a guy notices. Nikki slaps Lawler, which the camera misses, and she beats up Brie. Besides this being terrible, why the hell can Brie ruin Daniel Bryan segments but John Cena and Nikki Bella never interact on screen?
Handicap match time as Seth Rollins and Kane faced Roman Reigns. This wasn't a long match and Seth attacked Reigns with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Rollins and Kane bust out the cinder blocks again, but Roman Reigns is no Dean Ambrose and he saves himself. Rollins escapes but Reigns ends up laying out Kane with the Superman Punch. This all did not get anywhere near the level of crowd reaction that Ambrose doing this would. It was actually a pretty lukewarm reception. I still wonder what role Randy Orton will play in all of this or at Night of Champions period.
Los Matadores met SLATER GATOR in a match that the crowd cared nothing about. It was a total filler segment. For some reason Los Matadores get the win here before we cut to the FOURTH recap of the Hall of Fame forum. I fucking hate all of these damn recaps. WRITE A FULL THREE HOUR SHOW AND THIS WOULDN'T HAPPEN. Bo Dallas beat Kofi Kingston next in another short match and he badmouthed Jack Swagger, which caused the Real American to come out and slam Bo. Also, Big Show and Mark Henry vs. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper is announced for Smackdown, while Main Event gets RVD/Seth Rollins.
When the WWE announced that John Cena and Bray Wyatt would main event Raw my first reaction was, well, Bray's going to lose to him yet again. John Cena runs to the ring and it's like the savage beating that Brock gave him never happened. Yay. No bandages or taped up ribs or anything. Harper and Rowan get involved, so out come Big Show and Mark Henry. In a move that Theodore Long would love, this is turned into a six man tag team match playa. Even with the six man tag though, John Cena cleans house, makes Harper submit and hits all three Wyatt Family member with AAs. So, this was so stupid. First of all, can John Cena look vulnerable? How bad would it have been if Bray was able to beat him with a bit of cheating because of the beating that he took from Brock? Whatever. The Wyatts are pointless and it's all thanks to the Cena feud.
Another mediocre episode of Raw. It seems like it's either hit or miss with this show. There was some good like the eulogy for Ambrose, the Cesaro/Sheamus stuff, the AJ/Paige stuff and the Dust Brothers heel turn. There was some terrible with the Wyatt Family death, the Bella segments and the absurd amount of recaps. This episode screamed "meh". 4/10