Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Rowdy Raw Review

After the tragic passing of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Raw opens with a ten bell salute. Following a beautiful video package, out comes Seth Rollins. He has a new John Cena parody shirt which is great. He brags about breaking Cena's nose and plays it on the screen numerous times. The WWE would show and discuss it about 38 times throughout the night. He challenges Cena to a title for title match at SummerSlam. The crowd is pro Seth as he issues an open challenge for his belt. After a commercial, he reveals that he has qualifications for it. The challenger has to be under 6 feet and less than 200 pounds. Jojo, interviewing him, says that leaves El Torito. Instead, Neville answers because he's basically a hobbit. The match they have is better than the one right after Neville debuted. Despite his booking as of late, the crowd and myself bit hard on a Red Arrow near fall. He tries it again, but misses and eats a Pedigree. Well done segment here. This did more for Neville than the past three or so months and Seth looks great as he won without help. Bravo.

Next, we get an eight man tag team match teaming the Ascension with the New Day against Los Matadores and Lucha Dragons. Sound familiar? That's because it just happened on Smackdown. See why Smackdown doesn't matter? Even when you get a fun match, it'll just get repeated on Raw. The Prime Time Players were on commentary again and did well. Kofi Kingston pinned Kalisto to win another fun outing but it's clearly leading to a multi team match at SummerSlam, which just feels like such lazy booking. Can a legit tag team division not be booked? To close out hour one, the girls get the slot again. Charlotte and Becky Lynch faced the Bella Twins. They, along with Paige are now known as the Submission Sorority. The match itself was solid but unspectacular. It again suffered from one of my biggest issues with Raw and that's the fact that we have to go commercial during pretty much every match. It's annoying and takes me out of things. It went about twelve minutes and Charlotte made Nikki tap out. It does seem like they're building Charlotte to be the one to dethrone Nikki, which is fine. Jojo interviews Team BAD backstage and it's not one of their better promos. Naomi handles most, which may explain it. She also calls out Ronda Rousey, which is not a wise move.

                  The Miz came out to host MizTV next, and gave credit to Piper for wrestling talk shows. His guests were Cesaro and Kevin Owens, which is interesting since one guy is great on the mic and one isn't. However, Cesaro did a good job here. He didn't trip over his words and kept things short and sweet. Everyone played their role here. Owens was the dick heel, Cesaro was the badass babyface and Miz's facial expressions throughout everything was priceless. Cesaro wanted to fight but Owens didn't, only to attack him and bail when Cesaro got the upper hand. This has been a fun feud, but does anyone else think it would have been better if the US Title was involved?

They showed Ronda Rousey's tribute to Roddy Piper from UFC 190 before moving into Rusev vs. Mark Henry. Rusev has been incredibly entertaining as of late, but not when he only is allowed to work a dull match with someone like Henry. In the department of "Rusev can still CRUSH" it worked fine as he beat a big guy with no nonsense. Moving on, Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper cut a promo in what looked like Eric Foreman's smoky basement. For some reason, Sheamus is there too. I mean, yea they're teaming up tonight but it kind of takes away from the aura of the Wyatts. Next, King Barrett faced Zack Ryder and I don't know why. I understand wanting to get Barrett a win but did this really accomplish anything? Everyone beats Ryder and Barrett is still a joke. Also, his work on the mic has gone downhill fast in this role. To close hour two, Paul Heyman came out to hype SummerSlam. Of course, he had to show us recaps of Battleground and the night after because we all apparently have short term memory loss. He brought Brock, who grabbed steel steps and stood on them while Heyman talked for some reason. Heyman claims that last time, Undertaker needed an ambulance and a year off after facing Brock, but this time, he'll need last rites. Heyman can sell a PPV like no one else, but I still don't see the appeal in this match. It's certainly not the reason I'll be watching SummerSlam. Still, the segment did what it needed to.

The "Divas Revolution" that we hear Michael Cole plug so often continues next. We get Paige taking on Naomi next. I didn't like this idea. We've seen these two wrestle a fair amount of times and most haven't been very good. They mention on commentary that Naomi is upset because everyone says that Charlotte is the most athletic Diva now and not her. Why not do Becky Lynch and Paige vs. the Bella Twins earlier and a fresh match like Charlotte vs. Naomi here? Instead, Paige and Naomi have a dull match that seemed to go on forever. Paige wins with the PTO before going off and doing a rather fun interview on the Steve Austin podcast. We go to the Piper tribute video again before Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Randy Orton cut a promo about the main event. That main event comes on and turns out to be better than I expected. All six men (Orton, Ambrose, Reigns, Wyatt, Harper and Sheamus) worked hard and had a fun, chaotic brawl. Reigns speared Sheamus for the win and that's how the show ended. It seemed like a lackluster way to end the show though. I would have opened with this match and closed with Seth/Neville. The six man tag came off as a dark match segment where the faces stand tall. All in all, Raw was a mixed bag this week. There was good (Neville/Rollins, the fun main event and MizTV) and bad (the lackluster close, Paige/Naomi & Barrett/Ryder). Honestly though, a middle of the pack show is better than some nights. 6/10.