This week’s Raw kicked off with a promo from John Cena. It was a typical Cena promo until Roman Reigns decided to come down to the ring. Cena continued with the promo until Reigns told him to, “Get to the damn point.” This led to a standoff between the two titans. Side note: I love Reigns’ silent charisma. He can get his point across without saying much. His body language is superb. As the two squared off, Dean Ambrose appeared on the titantron. He told them to focus on beating the crap out of Rollins, Orton and Kane later tonight.You know shit’s going to get bad when Dean Ambrose is the voice of reason. Suddenly Kane, Orton and Rollins appeared behind Ambrose. They proceeded to beat the crap out of Ambrose. As Ambrose laid beat down on a crate, he gave one of my favorite lines of the night. “Is that all you got?” This led to a vicious curb stomp from Rollins to Ambrose on top of the crate. That was a nasty beat down to start Raw.
Sheamus vs The Miz
Sheamus continued his streak of giving one of the best matches of the night. I really like Sheamus. The guy is a workhorse and honestly I’m wondering if he can possibly even have a bad match anymore. The Miz showed no signs of ring rust and was as sharp as ever. Eventually, The Miz got the pinfall after a rollup following a missed Brogue kick. It was definitely a fun match that set the bar for all the matches that had to follow it.
Dolph Ziggler vs Fandango
Fandango is in a bit of a slump lately. He’s been losing a lot lately, even losing BOTH Summer Rae and Layla. His loss was Ziggler’s gain as not only did Ziggler get the win(after Summer Rae and Layla danced on the announce table to distract him), but it appears Ziggler won both the ladies… erm… admiration. Seriously, Layla took the time to check out his ass. Dolph’s shit eating grin said it all ladies and gentlemen.
The Usos get ambushed by the Wyatt Family
Originally The Usos were supposed to face Titus O’Neal and Heath Slater, but Harper and Rowan were having none of that. They assaulted the tag team champs mercilessly as they were making their entrance. The violent attack ended only after Harper and Rowan lifted one of the Usos over their heads and drove him to the mat. It was a brutal beat down that highlighted just how dangerous Harper and Rowan are.
USA – Russia Detente
This segment served to help get Swagger and Colter over as babyfaces(they were very much over with the crowd) and help set up the inevitable Swagger/Rusev match at Battleground. It worked on all points. Colter and Lana had a fun exchange that ended with Colter getting the better of Lana verbally and Lana slapping the taste out of his mouth. That caused everything to breakdown. Swagger and Rusev collided and we actually saw Swagger get the better of Rusev, even locking him in the Patriot Lock. Swagger is a guy who can physically match Rusev very well in the ring. I think this match may be the sleeper of Battleground. Sunday can’t get here soon enough.
Rob Van Dam vs Albert0 Del Rio
This was a short match that was packed with exciting moments. These two guys are two of the best in ring workers that WWE has, and it showed even with a shorter amount of time to deliver. They went back and forth throughout the match until Del Rio picked up the win with his Cross Armbreaker. The whole purpose of the match was to add excitement for the upcoming Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal. It succeeded. That match should be interesting as their are several people who I could see winning.
Alicia Fox and Cameron vs Nikki Bella
I get what this match was supposed to do. It’s designed to get sympathy for Nikki Bella until Brie Bella comes back. Here’s the thing though. I’m really starting to not care about it. I can only watch a person face so many handicap matches in a row before I lose interest. This story has passed that point with me. Of course Bella lost. Either find something new to do with this story or just move on.
Big E vs Cesaro
Cesaro suspiciously came out minus Paul Heyman for this match. I have my suspicions for what is being set up with him, but I’ll get to that later. This match saw the two wrestlers trading incredible power moves and hard hitting shots throughout. Cesaro got to highlight just how vicious he can be throughout, even bringing in a couple chairs. Well, a chair. The other he threw at Kofi Kingston, who was ringside with Big E. Kingston made the save before he could use the chair, however and Cesaro ended up defeated thanks to the Big Ending. This little losing streak of Cesaro’s is curious to me. I fully expect him to come into the Battle Royal a white hot ball of fury. He’s still my pick to win the IC title.
Chris Jericho Promo
Ever since Y2J returned and the Wyatt Family started targeting him, I’ve been waiting for moments like this. Jericho is easily the best mic worker on the WWE roster. Hell, I’d put him in the top three of all time. Anyone that can name drop naked Mideon in his promo and it makes sense just wins at life. Bray Wyatt appeared on the titantron and addressed Jericho using his insane ramblings to perfect effect. The lights went out and came back on and Harper and Rowan were in the ring. Jericho managed to escape their clutches, but Bray was waiting for him and leveled him with a hard forearm shot. He then gave Jericho Sister Abigail on the stage and posed over the fallen rock star. For those that are wondering, Wyatt was sporting a nasty black eye he received from a certain legendary superstar at a house show. It looked incredibly painful.
AJ Lee vs Eva Marie
AJ won with the Black Widow in a bout that surprised nobody. Eva Marie is so green that she has no business being in the ring with the Divas Champion. That wasn’t the interesting thing about this match. No, what was interesting was Paige sat in on commentary. After the match AJ hopped up and sat on the announce table and traded compliments with her new “friend.” I’m very curious to see where this goes. The way both Divas were acting, I could see either one turning on the other. I’m honestly excited to see what happens next between the two best women wrestlers in WWE.
Bo Dallas Open Challenge
Okay, I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a Boliever. The guy cracks me up! Who should happen to answer his challenge? None other than the Great Khali. Now, normally a Khali match is bathroom break material to me, but Dallas actually managed to get an entertaining match out him! I know right, who saw that coming? When he shouted at Khali for chopping him, I laughed my ass off. When he won by countout(after a Bo-Dog outside the ring), I found myself cheering. And when he tried to console Khali only to get hit by the great chop, I laughed my ass off again. Not much is funnier than a punch drunk Bo Dallas. It wasn’t a classic by any means, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t have a good time with it.
Ric Flair interview
Ric Flair(the man behind Bray Wyatt’s busted eye) returned to Raw! It’s always a treat to see a legend such as The Nature Boy. He was asked about the main event at Battleground. He gave everyone their props, but ended up picking Cena. This brought out Roman Reigns. He got in the ring and shook Flair’s hand. That was a genuine sign of class. This led us into our main event. As Cena made his way out, he paid respect to the Nature Boy and handed him the former World title(of the two belts) before heading into the ring.
Roman Reigns and John Cena vs Seth Rollins, Randy Orton and Kane
This match was a great way to cap off Raw. It had a good twenty five minutes or so to tell it’s story and every competitor used the time for maximum effect. It ended in complete chaos. Cena got speared. Kane ate an Rko. Orton got nearly broken in half by another Reigns’ spear. In the end, it was Roman Reigns standing tall. They are really building Reigns up as a top guy. It’s nice to see someone other than Cena or Orton being billed as such.
Oh, and as far as my Heyman prediction goes? Brock Lesnar returns either at Battleground or at the Raw afterwards and destroys whoever(most likely Cena) the champion is. Bank on it.
Overall Raw Grade: A