RAW Thoughts

Eat Sleep Conquer RepeatWe’re gearing up for Night of Champions and you gotta wonder if interest is building at all. WWE has brought in some older stars to boost the interest, but are the storylines holding up? I guess it’s time to find out as we kick off RAW in Baltimore, Maryland…

– We kick things off with the United States and the World Heavyweight champion, Seth Rollins.

This speech probably went a little bit longer than it needed to be. Or maybe it needed to be written a little differently. Either way, this wasn’t the most exciting promo that Rollins has ever delivered. In fact, Rollins actually made this more about the statue than it was about the two titles he is defending. Very strange…

Sting then appeared on the screen and said that he was there and so was Rollins’ statue…all he had to do was “come and get it”.  This, obviously, did not make Rollins happy. Then Sheamus came out to speak to the champion. He told Rollins that he sounded stupid for being more interested in a statue than he was about Sheamus and his Money In The Bank briefcase. Sheamus then basically called his shot for the Night of Champions PPV…saying that if Rollins actually got by Sting and finished his second match against John Cena, then he just might have a THIRD match against him.

The whole thing can be seen below…

– As a complete aside, can I just say that 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown actually looks like a decent movie? Is it wrong to think that Dean Ambrose might actually end up being the next big action movie star?

– Rollins was out back talking with Triple H, wondering if he had a plan for the evening. Trips said that since Rollins was “the man”, he was going to prep him for Night of Champions by placing him into two matches tonight. The first would be against Intercontinental champion Ryback and the second would be as a partner to WWE World Tag Team champions New Day to take on the Prime Time Players and John Cena.

On one hand, you think that Triple H was trying to play with Rollins…playing the tightrope between babyface and heel. On the other hand, you really believe that he has a plan to help Rollins become the greatest champion in the history of WWE…and he consistently needs to push Rollins in order to make him realize just how great he really is.

Or maybe it’s just WWE Creative not giving a shit about consistency and throwing whatever they want out there to see if it works or not. Who knows?

Paige vs Sasha Banks– We’re now ready to see a rematch from last week with Paige (accompanied by Becky Lynch & Charlotte) taking on Sasha Banks (accompanied by Naomi & Tamina). With the online complaining about the burial of Banks in recent weeks, I’m really hoping for a great showing between these two extremely talented women.

Paige vs BanksThe match was good, but not great. There is just a huge stink of “average” with Tamina and Naomi and it’s becoming harder and harder for Banks to break out on her own. The lack of heat is due to the 50/50 booking that WWE Creative has assigned to the “Divas Revolution”. It’s actually hurt them more than it has helped.

In the end, Banks rolled-up Paige for the clean pinfall. Sure, Naomi briefly distracted Paige…but Banks was in a spot where she could have rolled-up Paige at any point. It didn’t come across like Paige got screwed…it came across as though she was beaten by a better wrestler. I just don’t understand the booking of the Divas in WWE. It’s been bizarre.

Of course, nobody really mentioned what Paige noted on social media after the match was over…

Really?

Double PinInteresting…

Roman Reigns & Dean AmbroseThe Ascension is in the ring and ready to take on the team of Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, who BOTH made their way through the crowd as though they were The Shield all over again.

Doomsday DeviceThe match itself was fine, even if it was basically a squash (would you expect anything less from The Ascension at this point?). It was nice to see Baltimore give Reigns more cheers than boos for a change…the guy has worked his ass off to earn the respect of the fans.

The Wyatt Family then appeared on the big screen to issue a warning. It’s interesting to think about who the partner of Reigns and Ambrose will be at Night of Champions. Speculation is that Baron Corbin will get the call-up from NXT. I hope that’s not the case, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Backstage, Ryback is doing an interview when he is confronted by Kevin Owens. OMFG…PLEASE let Owens feud with Ryback and win the Intercontinental title from him and end our misery. How awesome would that be??

Rollins vs RybackRyback is ready to take on Seth Rollins. Good lord I dislike Ryback. He’s just so average in every way but his physique…and his gimmick/character is so stiff and wooden and borderline heel without ANY of the “coolness factor” that someone like Rollins has. The new gimmicky think for Ryback is to let one of the kids in the audience hold onto his Intercontinental title for him during his match…in an obvious way to get more cheers. Ugh…he’s so lame.

Thankfully, Rollins carried “The Big Oaf” to a very passable match. And no, I’m not going to give Ryback credit because this was 80% Rollins. In the end, Sting appeared on the TitanTron and distracted Rollins long enough for Ryback to roll him up and CLEANLY PIN THE WORLD CHAMPION. What the hell?

– Backstage, Rollins was looking for his statue when he bumped into The New Day, who proceeded to be awesome.

Seth Rollins & New DayThen along came Edge & Christian, who proceeded to reek of awesomeness. THEN the Dudley Boyz made an appearance to say that they were going to take on the winners of the New Day vs Prime Time Players title match next Monday on RAW. REALLY fun segment.

Miz & Summer RaeSummer Rae strutted down to the ring so she could address and apologize to Rusev. They recapped the entire soap opera in a pretty decent package, with extra props going to Summer Rae for legit crying during her segment with Miz on Smackdown. VERY impressive.

Once Rusev came down to the ring, Summer proceeded to deliver a Daytime Emmy-worthy performance as she apologized profusely.

He accepted her apology and proceeded to blame Ziggler for everything, including for Lana not appearing at RAW (it wasn’t because of her broken wrist…it was because of her broken heart).

This brought out Dolph Ziggler, who threw a couple of “zingers” Rusev’s way before superkicking him and ending the segment. At the end of the day, the feud will apparently continue even with Lana’s injury.

Randy Orton vs Sheamus– In “the feud that will never end”, we’re now ready for Randy Orton to take on Sheamus. It’s not that their matches have been that bad, it’s just that there’s only so much they can do to make things different and new and entertaining.

Unlike past matches, they decided to start things off slowly. Not sure if that was the most entertaining way to go about the match, but I’ll admit it was certainly different from their other matches.

Wyatt Family vs Randy OrtonOnce the match mercifully ended with an “RKO outta nowhere” (but not soon enough for my tastes), the Wyatt Family made their way out to the ring. Why? Y’see, Orton was seen speaking with Reigns and Ambrose prior to the match, so to ensure he would be taken out of the equation they destroyed him.

It almost looks like Braun Strowman is already adding to his silly “giant sleeper thingy” finisher by doing a lame-duck version of Big E’s finisher. It looked sloppy and no more “devastating” than John Cena’s AA.

– The Dudley Boyz are taking on Los Matadores. I can’t wait for this squash to take place. Kill ’em, Dudleyz!!

At the end of the match, THIS happened…

Well that was unexpected. Does this mean Torito is joining the Lucha Dragons now or is he being released? So weird.

In any case, the Dudleyz didn’t like what they saw, so they came back down to the ring and put one of the Matadores through a table to a massive pop.

Cesaro vs MizCesaro made his way out to the ring to take on The Miz. Earlier, Miz offered to turn “The Cesaro Section” into “The Cesaro Nation”. Cesaro, as you’d expect, turned him down. Y’know, as much as I love Cesaro and how much more expressive he’s been since his matches with John Cena a couple months back, he needs better ring gear or a better entrance. When he walks out, he’s just boring. Inside the ring and during a match, he’s magnificent.

Outside the ring? Yawn. Something needs to change soon if he ever wants to be considered upper echelon in WWE.

Anyway…just when you thought the match would be pretty decent, out came Big Show to chase Miz away and cause a double count-out. On his way out, he gave a Knockout Punch to Cesaro.

Soooo…is he a babyface or a heel? What the hell is the point?? If nobody cares about Big Show either way, then why are we wasting air time on all of this??

– Oh FFS…Team Bella is now out to massive indifference from the crowd to talk about her joke of a title reign. Thankfully, Team PCB came out so Charlotte could have a few words. Team PCB vs Team Bella

SIDE NOTE: Charlotte looks so much better without a ton of make-up on. She’s really a natural beauty.

Team PCB takes on Team BellaAnyway, Charlotte told Nikki Bella that she’ll be facing Bella on RAW next Monday BEFORE the Diva’s title record is broken. Then Team PCB attacked the Bellas without rhyme or reason. I mean, they came across as being heels and that just boggles my mind. Who the hell is booking this shit?? But don’t just take my word for it, watch it and judge for yourself…

Main Event– It’s now main event time!!

Excuse me if I decide to sit back and try to enjoy this match…

Cena vs RollinsIn the end of an entertaining match (in spite of the lackluster Prime Time Players), Cena pinned Kofi after an AA. It was a nice attempt to give the rub to the PTP, but they barely did anything and nobody seems to care about them.

Sting is an assholeRollins rolled back into the ring and was fuming. Sting then AGAIN appeared on the TitanTron to rub it in a bit. Then Sting proceeded to throw the Rollins statue into the back of a large garbage truck, which destroyed the statue in seconds as Sting (on the side of the truck) drove off.

We ended the show with Rollins freaking out. Actually, we ended the show with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin saying “hello” to Edge & Christian, as they prepare to do his podcast live on the WWE Network.

**********

Another okay episode of RAW. Was it great? Nope. Was it terrible? Nope. It had some entertaining moments but no really good matches. It’ll be interesting to see how they bounce back with next Monday’s “Season Premiere” of RAW.

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