RAW Thoughts

HulKKKamaniaAfter an absolutely insane day of wrestling-related news, we’re focused on RAW in Tampa, Florida. How will WWE bounce back from a highly-surprising but low-rated episode last week? Let’s fine out!

– We open with a recap of the “statue unveiling” for Seth Rollins, only to have Sting waiting to attack him. This week, “The Vigilante” is going to speak to the WWE Universe… Sting 1Sting 2Sting looked fired up to be delivering a promo live on RAW, and rightfully so. After calling out Seth Rollins for sucking as champion, Sting says that he’s ready to be Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship. It was pretty short but made the point. I’m not sure why he didn’t wear one of his robes, because he doesn’t look like a potential world champion in just a t-shirt and black tights. 

Once he was finished, Seth Rollins is shown backstage talking with Stephanie McMahon. The conversation quickly moved from discussing Sting to discussing how Sting told Rollins that he isn’t as good as Triple H, to which she agrees. This is obviously setting up the eventual Rollins babyface turn and money-match against his mentor…which should be an interesting journey.

Dolph & LanaThe Denim Twins (i.e. Dolph Ziggler with Lana) come out and are ready to take on Rusev (with Summer Rae). I gotta say…I can only imagine how crazy difficult it must be for both Rusev and Lana. I realize it’s all “sports entertainment” and all, but when you’re dating and living together it can’t be easy to see your partner kiss somebody else. I just hope it doesn’t affect the real-life relationship of Lana and Rusev because before their on-air split, they seemed like a REALLY happy couple. 

Ziggler vs RusevThe match itself was alright. I realize that these two have a program going on, but I just don’t see the in-ring chemistry between the two of them. Nothing personal against them…sometimes two guys have it; sometimes they don’t. Ziggler worked tremendously well against somebody like Sheamus. Rusev worked extremely well against John Cena. These two together? Not so much.

What I’m starting to really dislike about Lana (yes…I actually said that in a sentence) is the fact that she still screams in that annoyingly shrill voice. That was perfect when she was a heel, but now she’s a babyface and she comes across as a psycho.

Out of nowhere, Ziggler hit the Zig Zag on Rusev and it looked like the match was over…

…but Summer Rae interfered to cause the DQ. Lana jumped in the ring and the two rolled around for a bit before Ziggler dragged her off.

Cat fight!Thankfully, we got to see more of Lana’s ass than we ever have before:

Lana's ass#ThankYouInternet

– Ziggler was being interviewed backstage and proceeded to go to his dressing room alone. While Renee Young was talking to the camera, you could see Summer Rae enter Ziggler’s locker room. Intriguing…what’s the deal?

PCB Beat The Clock– All three members of Team PCB are in matches tonight. If all three win their matches, then the one who wins in the fastest amount of time will be the new #1 contender for Nikki Bella‘s Divas championship and will face her at Night of Champions, a few days AFTER she becomes the longest-reigning Divas champion of all time. The announcers throughout the night talked about how the #1 contender might be able to stop the reign or some such nonsense. Ugh…what a joke.

Becky LynchAnyway…first up is Becky Lynch (#swoon) as she takes on Alicia Fox. The crowd was absolutely dead for this. Again…similarly to last week…I don’t blame this on Team PCB in any way. Instead, I fully blame Team Bella for sucking the air out of the building. Nobody cares about the Bellas or Fox (who is actually a decent worker). The crowd simply couldn’t have cared any less than they did, which is a shame because these women deserve better. It’s hard to believe that WWE has completely fucked the “Diva’s Revolution” after a month.

In the match itself, Lynch made Fox submit in 3:21…which is a pretty impressive time.

Becky Lynch - time to beat

Ryback was interviewed backstage about his match against Big Show. It was abysmal and I just wanted “the big guy” to shut the hell up. Thankfully, a scared Summer Rae went running with a scream down the hallway. The camera panned and saw Dolph Ziggler, all wet from the shower and in a towel. He shut the door and we went to the ring.

– Let’s just hope that Ryback vs Big Show is quick and relatively painless. Well…it is when you DVR the program and skip over the match. I’ll give them this, though…they didn’t sit back and take it easy.

Anyway, Miz (who was on commentary) distracted Show and Ryback hit the Shell Shock for the win. Lillian Garcia then announced the winner as “The…Ryback!” Yawn. Here are the highlights…

– It’s now time for the second Beat The Clock match with Charlotte taking on Brie Bella. In a “blink and you’ll miss it” time, Charlotte won in 1:40.

– In a backstage interview with Renee Young, the Dudley Boyz gave a great promo as only they can (well…it was 99% Bubba Ray Dudley, so he delivered a great promo as only HE can). They want to put everybody through a table and make their mark in history by becoming the 10-time World Tag Team Champions.

Cesaro vs Owens– It’s now time to give the world another free SummerSlam rematch as Cesaro will be taking on Kevin Owens!! Wow…I think I might just sit back and enjoy this one.

I’m glad I did. This match gave me tremendous joy.Cesaro vs Owens 1

Cesaro vs Owens 3

Cesaro vs Owens 2

They did a finish that protected Cesaro (i.e. injury angle) and put over Owens (i.e. clean pinfall).

– Backstage, Dolph Ziggler was trying to explain to Lana what happened between him and Summer Rae. Very much a soap opera-esque segment. I can’t hate on it, though…there is a very large female fanbase and this storyline caters to them in a very big way.

The Wyatt Family came out to the ring. Bray Wyatt gave a pretty cool promo, which helped introduce Braun Strowman. Strowman then grabbed the mic and said a few words…all the while looking like he ate some bad sushi (or was trying to do a duck face for a selfie). It was very bizarre.

– This “match” was Braun Strowman taking on Dean Ambrose (with Roman Reigns at ringside). I was having flashbacks to watching Great Khali defeating Undertaker, because we all know how that worked out in the end.

Strowman vs AmbroseStrowman was tossing Ambrose around like a rag doll when he shoved Reigns. As you would expect, he didn’t take kindly to that and proceeded to attack Strowman to cause the DQ finish. Strowman then proceeded to dismantle and destroy both Ambrose and Reigns by himself.

Was I impressed with Strowman? I’ll say “yes” because he appeared to be pretty fast for a guy his size. He didn’t stumble or plod around like Khali did (or El Gigante or other “super large” past wrestlers). He looked like he actually knew what he was doing in there…at least enough to work his gimmick of no-selling.

Paige vs CharlotteI was surprised that they threw Sasha Banks in the ring with Paige. I can see her defeating Tamina in under two minutes. But Banks? Nope…not happening.

Is this already setting up the potential break-up of Team PCB?

Team B.A.D. saves BanksPaige, though, actually looked to have Sasha beat as she hit the Paige Turner out of nowhere, but her Team B.A.D. members pulled her out of the ring before the three count. Paige then threw Sasha bank into the ring but time ran out. Paige looked absolutely devastated and the whole thing took away from Charlotte becoming the #1 contender. Just more strange booking of the Diva’s division.

– Backstage, Summer Rae claimed that Dolph Ziggler tried to seduce her in his dressing room. Renee Young then interviewed Lana, who was too upset to say anything.

The entire storyline is summarized in the video below. Ummm…yeah.

– Thankfully, The New Day was ready to entertain the masses. If nothing else, Xavier Woods‘ new hair style would be entertainment enough.

Dudleyz vs New DayThe New Day took on the Dudley Boyz in the Dudley’s first match on RAW in over 10 years. And for some strange reason, the Prime Time Players were AGAIN on commentary at ringside. And to be honest, the commentary totally took away from the match for me. I was trying to get into things, but was too busy listening to Titus O’Neil explaining that he’s legitimately happy to see the Dudley’s back in WWE despite the fact that they want to put ALL other teams through a table.

In a pretty entertaining match, the Dudley’s beat the tag team champions by pinfall in their first match back in 10 years. Think about that. What does that make the entire tag team division look like? 3D

Seth calls out Sting

Seth Rollins entered the ring and proceeded to deliver another great promo. He wanted Sting to apologize for saying he wasn’t as good as Triple H (he said that he was as good as Triple H and, one day, might even be better) and to return his statue.

Then, inexplicably, Stephanie made her way to the ring to zero response from the crowd.

Stephanie yells at RollinsSeriously? This is the current storyline? No…they both agreed that this was simply Sting trying to use mind games, so I guess it’ll continue to be a secondary storyline that sets up the future match. So Rollins then called out Sting once again and demanded his statue. However…

Cena yapping againJohn Cena proceeded to insult Rollins and try to drive a wedge between him and The Authority, just to rile him up. He then proceeded to invoke his rematch clause for the United States title at Night of Champions…the same night he’ll be defending his World Heavyweight title against Sting.

Sting then came out to pose with Cena as Rollins looked constipated in the ring to close out the show.Sting & Cena

***

Overall, this was a very mediocre episode of RAW. Nothing great happened, but nothing sucked…so I guess it was okay.

But what did YOU think? Sound off in a comment below or via social media and let me know!

TWITTER – @_ZAH_

FACEBOOK – The World According To ZAH

 

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