For the second straight week, Raw kicked off with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. I'll take that over the usual Authority opening promo. Heyman cuts a promo that itself, isn't special, but his delivery is top notch. He just recaps a ton of Brock's accomplishments and reminds us that Brock will beat Seth Rolling at Battleground. In an effort to kill the crowd, they move to Ryback vs. Big Show. I'm not a big fan of guys facing off before a Triple Threat PPV match. I think it hurts the impact of the actual PPV match. The contest itself was kind of shitty as it dragged. Miz came out to cause the disqualification and he ended up eating a Shellshock and chokeslam. That stuff was fine but the match was dreadful. Following that, it was time for a Divas match. Paige took on Brie Bella, who was accompanied by Nikki and Alicia Fox. They worked a better match than the opener, though a distraction from the outside caused Paige to lose. The Bellas and Fox beat her down after the match, standing tall once again. This was nothing of real note and it honestly seems like this is all just treading water until someone from NXT, hopefully Charlotte, gets called up to save Paige. Until then this is all just running on a treadmill and nobody seems to care enough to fix that. Character development and well written angles are more important for the Divas than just giving them more than five minutes to work with.
To close down hour one, Roman Reigns takes on Sheamus. They had a decent match here that went over eleven minutes. As Reigns seemed poised to win, Bray Wyatt seemed to appear. Reigns chased him down and laid him out, but it wasn't really Bray and instead was someone who remained unnamed dressed as him. This decoy led to Sheamus winning via countout. As he celebrated, Randy Orton returned to attack Sheamus. Yay. These two are oil and water when it comes to their matches for the most part. They've had about a hundred and only maybe tow or three have ever really clicked. So this doesn't excite me. Also, where the fuck did Reigns go? Did he just casually walk backstage after he was duped?
Man, that first hour of Raw was long ass hell and just seemed to drag on and on. Rusev and Summer Rae come out to start hour two and ran down Lana and Dolph Ziggler. They showed up and traded barbs. It nearly led to another Lana/Summer brawl, but Rusev and Dolph get in between. This leads to Rusev showing that he's now perfectly healed as he superkicks Dolph and attacks him with his crutch. Summer also kicks Lana in the back of the head and tosses her out of the ring. Rusev continues to beat on Dolph, even leading to a stretcher job. Not the greatest or worst segment I've ever seen but closer to the bad side. Nobody looks good here. Rusev has looked soft, Lana is moving away from made her interesting, Dolph looks like a dick for throwing this in Rusev's face and Summer Rae is just there.
Time for some more filler in the second hour, as Bo Dallas came out to cut a promo on the last segment. He faced Dean Ambrose and we actually somehow got dueling chants, which I never expected. Ambrose won, which was fine. We need more wins like this, rather than having guys go over other established guys. I just wish the company had something to do with Dean. The dude went from multiple PPV title shots to nothing. Again, as more filler, King Barrett beat R-Truth. I think this worked as the finish to their feud. Maybe. It went on a bit too long and was clearly only this long to kill time. Seth Rollins and J&J Security are out next to call out the beast. They have these odd looking kendo sticks with them. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman come out now. Instead of going after them, Brock gets two axes and proceeds to destroy J&J's shiny new Cadillac. There was a part where he tossed the car door into the crowd and it seemed to hit a kid, which was all over Twitter. I wonder what will come of that. This was followed by Lesnar taking out everyone in what was a really fun segment. He stood tall with the WWE World Heavyweight Title at the end of it, kicking off what would end up being the best hour of the show by a wide margin. I really rather enjoyed this whole segment.
The New Day is out next for a tag team match and their look at the Cadillac is priceless. They recently ran into trouble with Brock Lesnar and kind of ended up looking like that car. They faced the Lucha Dragons in a tag team match that was a fair amount of fun. These are two of the teams that tend to deliver in the division. The Prime Time Players were on commentary and did a superior job to the actual commentary team. Fine stuff to build towards Battleground, but I don't understand why the Lucha Dragons aren't used more. They should be in title picture in some shape or form.
John Cena's US Title Open Challenge was next and it ended up closing the show. Kevin Owens tried to answer it but Cesaro appeared and wanted a shot after coming close last week. I hated how Owens just allowed for his spot to be taken. What I didn't hate was how Cena and Cesaro went on to wrestle for about 30 minutes and put on a classic. This was better than last week's effort and actually a great match. My only real gripes with it was how they kept trying to tease a submission finish. I can never buy those since Cena doesn't tap. Hell, I barely bought any of Cesaro's near falls because of how he's been booked in recent memory. Still though, this match ruled. Cena retained and Owens tried to attack but Cena ducked and hit an AA. I didn't like this. It made Owens look weak and then he made Cena look weak by shrugging off the AA and walking away. Overall, I'd say this was a completely middle of the pack episode of Raw. The first hour was terrible, the second hour wasn't very good but everything after Brock destroyed the car was really good. 6/10.