Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Raw Oklahoma Review

After a few weeks without it, we got back to the weekly Authority opening promo. Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Seth Rollins come out to hype SummerSlam being four hours. I won't lie, I completely expect that to mean we get more musical performances and an extra long in ring segment like WrestleMania. They run down the card for tonight, hyping everything as being" FIRST TIME EVER!" They literally say that as often as they would say "$9.99" last year at times. John Cena interrupts and is surprisingly nice to the Authority despite them making his life hell last year. Cena runs down Seth again and wants a title shot. Stephanie tells the fans no but Triple H decides that we get the match tonight, only it'll be for the United States Title. We're also told that the Stone Cold podcast will be back next week, with special guest Paige. She certainly seems like a lesser name than his usual interviews, which makes me think this was Hulk Hogan's spot, which obviously can't happen now.

Dean Ambrose vs. Big Show opens the show and is surprisingly, a first time ever match. Miz was on commentary. I honestly have no idea what the point of this match was. Show beats up Ambrose for the majority of it but Ambrose keeps getting up. Show just keeps putting him down and wins via countout. Show tried to attack after the match but Ambrose dodged and he went through the usual corner guardrail spot. Did we need to see that Ambrose was resilient? Have we not seen that already? Did Show need to look dominant only to look like a dumb fuck after? Just strange booking.

Moving on, Neville beat Fandango in a fine little old school lower card match. Stardust cut one of his strange promos after. Give Cody Rhodes a ton of credit because he absolutely lives and breathes this gimmick. He gives it his all. I need more from Neville and creative to buy into this feud more though. With all of the rumors flying around, it's like Neville is a placeholder for Stephen Amell and he deserves better. We got a backstage argument between Team BAD and Paige, Charlotte and Becky. This was fine but my biggest gripe was how they just had to bring up how Stephanie McMahon is the reason for the Divas Revolution. Like, it was fine for her to introduce them to give it an important feel, but leave it alone. The Smackdown video package for Sasha Banks airs against as she and Paige get the first hour main event slot. I really wish Sasha Banks would come out with her title. She talks about being champion, she has it backstage and she has it in her match graphics. Either have her with it or don't mention it, stick with one. Early on, this wasn't the best, but once they got going, it clicked. Sasha Banks is, in my opinion, the best female wrestler in the history of the WWE and she's only 23. Paige is someone else I enjoy but she's been pretty bad since Mania, so seeing her motivated and having a good match was great. Sasha won with the Bank Statement in about fourteen minutes, in the best thing on the show so far.

Rusev and Summer "Lana" Rae come out for a promo, which turned out to be glorious. This entire feud should be atrocious but Rusev is comedy gold right now. He brought out a dog as a gift for Summer, but because it was ugly and neutered he called it DOG ZIGGLER! The next gift is a dead fish that he calls Lana. Rusev is on fire. Lana comes out and rubs Summer's face into the fish before slapping Rusev. When she leaves, RUSEV THROWS THE FISH AT HER! It was short, hilarious and I can't get over the image of him throwing the fish. Next week on Raw, Brock Lesnar will return, which will be in San Jose, the location where he lost the WWE World Heavyweight Title.

As Los Matadores takes on the Lucha Dragons, the Prime Time Players are on commentary. They bill this as FIRST TIME EVER, but it was on a Smackdown earlier this year. I guess Smackdown really is irrelevant. Titus was gold on commentary and the match was solid. New Day came out and, like Rusev, was comedy gold. Kalisto gets the win for his guys but it felt like it played second fiddle to the New Day/PTP beef. Either the match was pointless or there's a multi-team title match coming up at SummerSlam. Why build an actual tag feud for a big PPV when you can just throw a bunch of teams into it?

          We were joined by Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper for the next in ring segment. Coming into the show, there were tons of rumors about Adam Rose returning as Leo Kruger and joining the Wyatts. That didn't happen as this was just Harper recommitting himself to Bray. It was overly long, dragged and not very entertaining. What came next however, was enjoyable. Becky Lynch and Charlotte took on NIkki Bella and Alicia Fox. Two Divas matches are the norm now huh? It wasn't as good as Sasha vs. Paige, but was still a fun tag match. Becky made Alicia tap to her armbar, which was good since she's gotten the least amount of shine among the recent NXT callups, despite her being the second best in my eyes.

Do you know what kind of match came next? A FIRST TIME EVER ONE! Kevin Owens faced Randy Orton. Now these are two of the best guys on the roster and I would love to see a big program between them. Sheamus was on commentary and, after eleven or so minutes, he caused the disqualification by attacking Orton. Cesaro ran out to even the odds, but got taken out by Owens. Owens and Sheamus stood tall, but it was nice that Owens stared a hole through Sheamus since they did have beef last week. Overall, this was fine stuff and I'm glad we didn't get the clean finish as Owens/Orton could be great in the future.

          Time for the main event, as John Cena defends the United States Title against Seth Rollins. Commentary hyped this as the FIRST TIME EVER THAT CENA DEFENDS THE US TITLE VS SETH! That's reaching. These guys wrestled too many times at the end of 2014 so it's not fresh at all. The match itself was good and Cena took a knee to the nose which clearly broke it. He was gushing and his nose was out of place. Still, he fought through it and ended up winning. Via submission. There is my problem. Seth has been booked poorly as champion but this may have been the worst. He couldn't get himself DQed so Cena wins and can still earn the shot at SummerSlam? Hell, there were tons of better ways to do this and they went with the worst possible option. Cena continues to have good matches, but the booking baffles me at times.

All in all, I'll say this was a middle of the road episode of Raw. Some stuff was good, like the main event match, Sasha vs. Paige, Rusev and the New Day, but some stuff was really bad, like Seth tapping out, the Ambrose segment and the dull Bray Wyatt stuff. For me, the good slightly outweighed the bad. 5.5/10