RAW Thoughts

TwisterIt should be a very intriguing RAW episode tonight. After the events of last night’s Battleground, we’re left with no new champions and a main event which resulted in a no-finish. Does Seth Rollins get involved in Undertaker’s feud with Brock Lesnar? Does John Cena not have any challengers for the U.S. title? Does anybody even care what happens to Ryback at this point? I guess it’s time to find out!!

Undertaker vs Lesnar– We kick things off with a recap of what happened last night in Battleground‘s main event, with Undertaker costing Brock Lesnar his chance at winning the WWE world heavyweight championship. It was just an odd ending to the PPV.

Thankfully, we don’t have to wait long to find out why…

UndertakerUndertaker, deservedly, receives a massive ovation from the Kansas City crowd. Basically, Taker’s pissed because Brock Lesnar won’t shut the fuck up about ending his WrestleMania winning streak.

Taker went on to say that last night was his “true resurrection”, because ‘you can’t kill what won’t die.” Wait…

I’ll be honest…the crowd was quiet and respectful and hung on his every word. I don’t remember the last time I heard a superstar command the crowd quite like that.

The problem with this segment is that now you’ve got Undertaker…a guy who people love as a true wrestling legend…and Brock Lesnar…a guy who the people want to cheer because of his sheer awesomeness…going at each other like two rabid dogs and people simply won’t know who to cheer for. Is there a heel or babyface in this particular situation? Does it matter? It’s just…bizarre. I’m not against it by any stretch; the timing is just weird for me.

Charlotte vs Brie BellaTeam BAD (Naomi, Tamina, and NXT women’s champion Sasha Banks) are going to sit at ringside and be on commentary for the match of Brie Bella vs. Charlotte. And yes, both were accompanied by their respective teams.

CharlotteListen…when Charlotte does her entrance, she IS a superstar. There’s no “I’m just another chick” about her…which is freakin’ awesome. Everything Charlotte does inside the ring just screams out “I’M THE WOMAN!!” and that’s awesome. And the greatest thing about her is that she not only gives that vibe in NXT, but it certainly has carried to the main roster with her.

Charlotte vs Brie 2The match started off shaky, with Brie trying to ground Charlotte with a headlock and the director missing some of Charlotte’s signature spots (understandable, but dude needs to do his homework). Plus with the director missing spots, the camera picked up things that probably didn’t need to be picked up.

Quite frankly, Charlotte sold WAAAAAY too much for Bella. Thankfully, in the end Charlotte whipped out some more signature spots (big boot, spear, and the Figure 8) to make Brie tap.Charlotte vs Brie

– Oh god…we’ve now got Los Matadores taking on the WWE tag team champions: the Prime Time Players.

The match was just moseying on along. It was nothing fancy but also nothing great…by any stretch. Just as PTP were about to take the match, The New Day came out and did a bit of distracting.

Next thing you know, the champions suffer a pinfall defeat to Los Matadores. Now THAT’S gotta be embarrassing.

Big Show vs Miz– Sigh…NOW we’ve got Big Show taking on Miz. Listen…I understand the need to have a one-on-one match between these two in terms of storyline purposes, but that doesn’t mean I have to like the match.

Comedy aside, this was terrible. Thankfully, this was comedy. And it didn’t take long for Show to destroy Miz for the 1-2-3.

Does this mean Big Show is a babyface AGAIN?? No, Show grabbed the mic and did a heel promo to turn the crowd against him about wanting Ryback‘s Intercontinental title. Yawn.

Triple H and Stephanie spoke in front of the entire WWE locker room and told them to get in between Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, should that end up happening. We had Heath Slater and Curtis Axel sightings, which was quite interesting.

Paul HeymanPaul Heyman was in the ring and ready to provide Brock Lesnar’s “retort” to Undertaker. In less than two minutes, Heyman brought up how Lesnar ended Taker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Probably not the best idea…

“You can sell your soul to the devil, but your ass belongs to Brock Lesnar!!!”Paul Heyman

THEN IT WAS ON!!!

It didn’t take long for Triple H to bring out security and then the entire locker room. But this was fantastic because both men continued to leap over everything in their path and find a way to get at the other one.All hell breaks loose

Did the segment go on a little bit too long? Perhaps…but if you’re not excited to see this rematch at SummerSlam, then you’re not really much of a wrestling fan and you should probably turn the channel.

“I will kill you!!”Brock Lesnar

“You’re gonna have to!!”Undertaker

Damn…that’s just awesome. After the commercial break  the two men were backstage and went at it again.

Eventually, cops showed up and tookLesnar into custody so he could “cool off”. I don’t even care…I’m super stoked for this match.

Bray Wyatt & Luke HarperBray Wyatt and Luke Harper deliver a promo to tell Roman Reigns that the Family is back together. I feel bad for Harper on one side, since WWE can’t seem to figure out what to do with him. On the other hand, they shouldn’t have split up the Family so soon because Harper was the PERFECT disciple for Wyatt. Hopefully, we’ll have some fun continue to take place with these two.

Wyatt and Harper then make their way out to the ring to take on Reigns. The fireflies were out in FULL FORCE in Kansas City. Having said that, Reigns got a pretty big pop, as well. Before the match started, though, Dean Ambrose made his way to ringside to help even things out for Reigns.

Luke Harper vs Roman ReignsI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Luke Harper is one of the best big-men in-ring performers I have ever seen in my 30+ years of being a fan. He’s truly the total package in terms of being a unique WWE superstar. I can only imagine what he could have done during the territorial days of the 80’s as a journeyman monster. As it is now, he’s a guy who can potentially beat anyone on any given night…though he’s still considered a mid-card performer right now.

Bray confronts ReignsIt was a pretty decent match between both men until Wyatt got involved to cause the DQ. Ambrose then jumped into the fray and so all hell broke loose. Reigns got taken out so Wyatt and Harper took Ambrose apart. Basically, the heels decimated the babyfaces and left them laying. In that respect, it was an excellent segment that told the exact story it needed to.

Of course, the babyfaces made a quick comeback to send the heels packing and keep the crowd happy.

Seth Rollins– It’s now time for YOUR world champion to come out and address the masses. Out comes the one and only Seth Rollins. He delivered another great promo about how he was awesome and everybody else sucked. Blah blah blah but still entertaining. He even got Lillian Garcia to get into the ring so she could announce him as being WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and we were “treated” with the lame-ass coloured gear and theme song of one Mr. John Cena.

Seth Rollins & John CenaBoth Cena and Rollins went at each other verbally. It was a really great back-n-forth, as Rollins actually looked like he belonged in the ring verbally sparring with Cena. And as expected, once Cena decided to challenge Rollins to a fight, Rollins back-pedaled to fight another day.

Seth Rollins vs John CenaDoes this mean we are getting John Cena vs. Seth Rollins at SummerSlam? Jesus…I hope not. I’m VERY happy with having Cena out of the world title picture as it’s giving Rollins and other people a legitimate shot of getting over on their own. And whether I like him or not, I can completely give Cena credit for putting on some of the best in-ring performances of his entire career since becoming United States champion. I just don’t want to see him as World champion again.

Team Paige– It’s time for a Divas tag team match, with Paige & Becky Lynch taking on Sasha Banks and Naomi. I’ll be honest…I just sat back and watched the match. It was nice to see some nice, hard-hitting wrestling by some great wrestlers (Naomi excluded). It was also a nice showcase for two of the new NXT imports.

Becky Lynch vs Sasha BanksWhat’s even better was that they gave the Divas two segments, which is VERY unusual and hopefully a sign of things to come. I’ll admit, the Diva matches have improved dramatically over the past few months. People like Alicia Fox have improved their in-ring skills, too…so it’s not like you’re just seeing longer crappy matches. Everybody has been picking up their game in anticipation of the 4 Horsewomen of NXT being called up to the main roster.

Paige vs NaomiAt one point, I just kinda looked at the ring and was truly happy to see four separate and diverse in-ring talents and personalities. Paige, Lynch, Naomi, and Banks each have a unique look and feel about them…and that’s really great because the women need to stand out. I see Team Bella and I see three similar women with very little distinguishing one from another. You don’t get that with the women in the ring tonight.

Paige about to winSo the heels dominated Lynch for the majority of the match. The crowd seemed to be a bit quiet, but you could tell that were watching and measuring everybody up. When Lynch finally made the hot tag, the crowd popped for Paige to clean house. That tells me something.

Unfortunately for Paige, Banks hit the Bank Statement and she tapped pretty quickly. Overall, though, this was a pretty good display for all of the Divas.

Lana came out to do an interview with Renee Young and discuss Dolph Ziggler. I actually thought that Young looked hotter than Lana, which is insane to say but the reality of the situation. Summer Rae came out with her hair pulled up and wearing a dress suit/skirt combo very similar to Lana. Then Rusev came out and said that Summer looked beautiful, before kissing her while staring at Lana (who looked visibly upset). Summer then slapped Lana before walking away.

– It’s main event time with a crazy big 6-man match!!

6-man tag team6 man tagAgain, this was a match I wanted to sit back and just enjoy. Unfortunately, things didn’t really click for everybody. A lot of it had to do with Orton and Sheamus being in the ring. While they are pretty awesome gelling with each other, they just didn’t seem to click with everybody else.

Cesaro pushed Kevin Owens into Sheamus and knocked him off the ring apron, which resulted in Mr. MiTB getting pissed at Owens and walking out on his team. Sheamus vs Owens

Next thing you know, Owens is getting pissed at Rusev for not being on the ring apron when he was ready for the tag. One superkick later, and Owens walked out on the match, too.

Lana vs Summer RaeCesaro hot-tagged Orton and the crowd went nuts. It didn’t take long for Rusev to get the advantage back, though. At this point, Lana came walking down to the ring and confronted Summer Rae. The catfight was quick but effective, as Lana left Summer Rae laying.

This completely distracted Rusev, who turned around into an Attitude Adjustment by Cena, then a giant swing by Cesaro, then an RKO by Orton as the crowd went absolutely bat-shit insane. Honestly…the reaction to the sequence was almost Rock-esque in nature.Big Swing

Cesaro, Cena, Orton**********

Overall, this was a very average episode of RAW. The Undertaker/Lesnar segment was fantastic, but that was pretty much all that was fantastic. Lots of storyline development, though, so I have no problem with that. As long as I’m invested in the matches at SummerSlam, I’ll let WWE skate their way through a few episodes.

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