RAW Thoughts

Flair turning Miley heelWe’re in Atlanta for the final RAW before Battleground. I’m anticipating a fun show with some final storyline pushes taking place to help promote the “PPV”.

Lesnar and Heyman– And out first comes “The Beast” Brock Lesnar with his advocate, Paul Heyman.  Heyman broke down the previous three times that Lesnar walked into a ring as challenger but walked out as a champion (vs The Rock, vs Randy Couture, and vs John Cena). Just as he was about to go into the popular “soon to be reigning, defending…” catchphrase, the music hit and out came Kane and Seth Rollins.

Kane and RollinsKane announced that at the end of the night, there would be a contract signing. Heyman called Kane “Undertaker’s baby brother”, which resulted in a “baby brother” chant. Basically, Lesnar isn’t supposed to touch Rollins during the signing. You know some kind of chaos will take place.

Coming up later tonight…

Sheamus vs OrtonRandy Orton decides to team with Ryback to take on Big Show and Sheamus. I understand the premise of having the four of these men face off against each other, but for me it takes away from the heat that Orton and Sheamus have generated over the past month or so. With Miz on commentary, both Ryback and Show have an ongoing story, too…but it seems more comical than anything else. At least the match was done in a serious way.

Big Show vs OrtonI think Miz is actually the favourite to win on Sunday, if I can be honest. It doesn’t appear that he’s got ANY shot in hell, and he’s far and away the most over guy of the three, so it makes sense to put the strap back on him. The match had a very slow and deliberate pace. I understand that with singles matches, but tag matches really shouldn’t drag on so much. I know they’re telling a story inside of the ring, but damn…all four competitors are capable of so much more. At least it’s on early in the evening.

Ambrose– For the hundredth time, Bray Wyatt was about to take on Dean Ambrose. Listen…these two had a feud, had a blow-away match that Wyatt won, and have battled occasionally since. I loved their initial matches, but now this is just overkill.

Thankfully, Roman Reigns attacked Wyatt from behind and beat the ever-loving snot out of him.

Bray Wyatt vs Roman ReignsI’m a little surprised that they gave so much away, considering their match takes place at Battleground, but to see Reigns get a little bit of retribution was nice for storyline purposes. The feed cut to commercial way too early and I was staring at a black screen for 45 seconds.

Team Bella– Ugh…Team Bella is in the ring and Nikki has a damn microphone. Jeez. You know what’s funny? I watched a clip of Total Divas and actually heard Nikki say that she thinks she can be the new John Cena of the Diva division. It’s absolutely insane…she’s a JOKE who is in her position because of (a) her boyfriend and (b) her looks. As she’s going on and on and on, she’s interrupted by Stephanie McMahon.

Who the hell do I cheer for and who do I boo in this situation? FFS…why do they keep role reversing with every woman in the company? Be a babyface or a heel and stick with it. McMahon then told Bella to stop running her mouth and brought out Paige because she’s trying to start a Diva Revolution.

McMahon then introduced BECKY FUCKING LYNCH as the new woman on Paige’s side. HELL YEAH!!! I think this is phenomenal. BECKY LYNCH

But wait, there’s more!!! IT’S CHARLOTTE!!!!!CHARLOTTE

Then Naomi and Tamina Snuka came out to interrupt the festivities. They complained about getting what they deserved. McMahon then introduced someone who was going to join those two: SASHA FUCKING BANKS!!!!SASHA BANKS

This is brilliant. I can’t believe that they did the smart thing and brought up Banks as a heel. What a brilliant move. Now there is a revolution in the women’s division! All of the women went nuts and it disintegrated into an all-out brawl. The segment ended with Banks, Lynch, and Charlotte all locking on submission holds on Team Bella.Submission City 2 Submssion City 2Submission City

Unbelievable.

Sometimes all you need is a spark to start a revolution….Here we go #NXTProud @wwenxt

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And backstage, a very proud father watched his daughter properly debut on RAW…Ric Flair watches Charlotte debut

This is going to cause a LOT of waves in the women’s division. I can’t wait.

– Following-up that incredible segment was New Day taking on the Prime Time Players and Mark Henry. Meh…it was okay, I guess. But I think even the announcers were bored with coming down from the Diva segment. The babyfaces won.

– In the weekly “How are we going to embarrass Wade Barrett?” segment, “King Whats Up?” beat King Barrett. Yawn.

– It’s now time for the weekly “John Cena US Title Open Challenge” and out comes Rusev with Summer Rae (the pairing makes NO sense, but she looks smokin’ hot tonight!). He has decided to accept the challenge.

But wait, Kevin Owens comes out to officially accept the challenge so he can defend the title at Battleground!

After a couple of zingers, Rusev and Owens are jaw-jacking before Cesaro makes his way to the ring!

After a commercial break, it was decided that there would now be a triple threat match with Cena facing off against the winner. This is fantastic…Owens vs Cesaro vs Rusev. Bring it on!Triple GermanCesaro vs Rusev vs Owens 1

After some incredibly entertaining action, Kevin Owens decided to simply walk away from the match…

Like last week, I just sat back and watched a REALLY entertaining match. It wasn’t as good as Cesaro vs Cena last week, but it was REALLY good. So this means that John Cena defends his title against either Cesaro or Rusev next on RAW.

Giant SwingCesaro ended up losing to Rusev, who only had a few minutes to recover.

Just when you thought Rusev might make Cena tap, in came Kevin Owens for the DQ and gave Rusev a pop-up powerbomb. GREAT segment.Owens breaks it up

–  Lita came out to introduce the Tough Enough competitors. ZZ appeared to get the biggest pop of the group. I just don’t see the appeal.Tough Enough cast

Stardust is BACK! And he did a backstage promo setting up his match against Neville. When the match started, there was just a slight hint of a “new attitude”, but that didn’t last very long.

They didn’t have a lot of time or a lot of crowd heat, but they had a nice little match for the time that they had. In a bit of a shocker, Stardust rolled-up Neville and clearly pulled the tights to pick up the win. Stardust pins Neville

Lesnar vs Rollins 1– It’s now time for the “main event” of the evening: the contract signing between Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar. Before Lesnar comes out, Rollins “gives his word” that he is not afraid of Brock Lesnar and that on Sunday he will conquer the conqueror again.

Once Lesnar and Paul Heyman enter the ring, the advocate had a few things to say.

It’s a little weird to hear Paul Heyman sound like “ECW-Heyman”, where he is pandering to the crowd for cheers. I know that’s his job because he needs to promote Lesnar as a babyface, but it doesn’t make it any less odd to hear.

Both men sign the contract and it would appear that everybody can go home happy. Rollins, though, casually begins to reach below the table when Heyman calls him out. Heyman catches Rollins

Lesnar flips the table over and finds an ax handle…which he picks up before flipping the table back over again and casually placing the ax handle down for Rollins to pick up.Lesnar finds the weapon

Things quickly escalated from there with Lesnar attacking Rollins and Kane (of course) getting involved. SUPLEX CITY

After a short beatdown, Lesnar then chased Rollins away and began to absolutely DECIMATE Kane. He gave the appearance that he broke Kane’s ankle using the ring steps to crush it.

This is a great story because now J&J Security is gone and (theoretically) so it Kane, leaving a one-on-one battle between Rollins and Lesnar for the title on Sunday.

Rollins got back into the ring and threw a fit, upset that the plan backfired. He grabbed the mic and proceeded to rant on about how he will slay the beast. Very intense promo…one part anger and one part madness.

Rollins then proceeded to run down Kane. He blamed Kane for the unsuccessful plan and said he was nothing without Rollins. He gave Kane a little “love kick” to emphasize his point before posing with the title to close the show.Rollins berates Kane

#Kane is rushed to the hospital by paramedics after injuring his leg on #RAW!

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All in all, it wasn’t a bad episode of RAW. It wasn’t as good as last week, but it was far from terrible. Storylines advanced, there were some MAJOR debuts, and I really got the impression that Seth Rollins might actually escape with his title on Sunday night. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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