Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Deadman Rises Raw Review

After the shitty finish to Battleground, the WWE had the Undertaker himself kick off Raw. While I'm not a fan of the return, it was a nice throwback to have him open the show. He cuts a promo saying that streaks were made to be broken but Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman just had to continue reminding people about it. Nobody interrupts as he just says that Brock will rest in peace like all living things. Taker's deadman stuff can be a bit dated, but at least this was different. Backstage, Triple H and Stephanie are watching and announced Taker/Brock at SummerSlam. Yay. /endsarcasm. Our opener pits Charlotte against Brie Bella. Team BAD was on commentary, while the two girls in the ring did good work. To think that about a year ago, Brie was in a big time angle with Stephanie, while Charlotte was tearing it up on NXT. It's good to see. They were given about nine minutes and Charlotte won via the Figure Eight.

The Prime Time Players are out to take on Los Matadores in a non-title match. It's a relatively short bout that Los Matadores wins for some reason. I mean, I get that the New Day, in their always entertaining fashion, caused a distraction, but there were better ways to get their feud across. No need for a jobber tag team to beat the champions. Next, Miz faces Big Show due to him interrupting Triple H earlier in the evening. Show makes quick work of Miz, winning in under two minutes. Apparently, Miz got legit injured during this. There goes more problems with the Intercontinental Title division. That belt's curse is getting so problematic, it's even hurting challengers.

HHH & Steph gather the locker room to tell them to protect the SummerSlam main event. If I was them I'd be like "fuck that, let them kill each other, then maybe one of us can headline." Paul Heyman come sout and talks some shit about Brock ending the streak. Undertaker does his trickery and just appears in the ring. He goes after Heyman, but Brock shows up and they brawl. The locker room runs out to try and break them up but it's easier said than done. Brock keeps getting free and attacking. He shouts "I'M GOING TO KILL YOU" to which Undertaker expertly responds with "YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO!" The brawl even continues backstage. It was all masterfully done, but, I'm still not excited for the match. As I said before, either Undertaker returned just to lose or Brock is going to lose at SummerSlam and waste two years of extremely protected booking. Couldn't that go towards making a new mega star instead of giving Undertaker another notch on his belt? Side note, but commentary bailed once Brock showed, which gave this an extra little something.

Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper are out. Bray cuts a promo, saying that he's never alone and his family is always by his side. Harper even gets some mic time in. Dean Ambrose shows up to be on Roman Reigns' side as he faces Harper. After about thirteen minutes, this ends with Reigns winning via DQ and we get a brawl between the four. I'm guessing that we get two thirds of the Shield against two thirds of the Wyatts at SummerSlam. Remember how good their six man tags were? This will probably be a lesser version of that. It gives Ambrose something to do, but I wish they had more for him than to be in a tag team match on the second biggest Pay-Per-View of the year.

The WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins is out to brag about retaining his belt. He even has Lillian Garcia enter the ring to rightfully declare Lesnar as the winner but to announce that Seth is still the champion. He's such a good scumbag heel. John Cena interrupts, eliciting groans from the IWC. He talks about what he's done for the United States Title and how he defends it nearly every single week, while Seth has ducked and dodged challengers as champion. While he's not wrong, it did kind of add to making Seth look weak as a champion. On the flip side, it again added to how important the US Title has become. They nearly come to blows but Seth decides against it and retreats. It seems like they may be going for Cena/Seth at SummerSlam, which makes me wonder why they didn't have Cena drop the title to Kevin Owens. Maybe they want to do Title vs. Title, but Cena/Seth would have had a similar effect if Owens had won the strap.

Usually, a nine minute Divas match is enough for the show. Not tonight though as we now get a tag team match pitting Becky Lynch and Paige against Sasha Banks and Naomi. And guess what? This got even more time than Charlotte/Brie. Becky and Sasha were their usual great selves, while Paige and Naomi were on their game, with neither really botching. They built for a hot tag to Paige that the crowd popped hard for. It was a really solid tag team match that ended when Sasha made Paige tap to the Bank Statement. Becky remains the only callup without a win yet but that's fine. She's looked good and man, Sasha making Paige tap out in her first Raw match is pretty legit. It is then announced that this Thursday on Smackdown, Sasha and Naomi will face the Bella Twins. I'm unsure if the shine for the girls will continue but I'm loving it right now.

In the back, Lana is interviewed about Dolph Ziggler's status when Summer Rae appears. She is dressed like a knockoff Lana and when Rusev shows up, he's smitten. He makes out with Summer, who then slaps Lana. We go to our main event which pits Cesaro, John Cena and Randy Orton against Rusev, Kevin Owens and Sheamus. This was a fun match. Sheamus walks out during it, shortly before Owens kicks Rusev and does the same. That was odd, but it left Rusev alone. He actually does well until Lana shows up for a catfight with Summer. That distraction allows Cena to hit him with an AA, before Cesaro swings him and slingshots him into an RKO. Orton covers for the win and the three faces stand tall to close the show. Honestly, this was one of the better Raws in recent memory. I mean, nothing that they did was pointless. Having two Divas matches that took almost 25 minutes was wise. It showcased them and meant that we got important stuff instead of fluff with people that nobody cares about. The main event was good, the Taker/Brock brawl was fun, the Seth/Cena segment was solid and the Wyatt stuff worked. The only things I didn't like were the Miz/Show and PTP stuff. Outside of this, this Raw was great. 8/10.