Opening Segment with The Authority – Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Kane, Randy Orton and Seth Rollins
This was an entertaining segment to kick off Raw, with Triple H hilariously constantly promoting the WWE Network – for only $9.99 a month. It worked because he was so smug about it. The segment helped to promote Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns at Summerslam, as well as Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose who would both be in Beat The Clock Challenges to determine who gets to pick the stipulation. Then naturally Stephanie promotes her upcoming Summerslam match with Brie Bella and we are told they will have a contract signing. The segment ended off with Roman Reigns coming out, and a match was made for ‘right now’ with Kane vs. Reigns in a Last Man Standing Match!
Last Man Standing Match Roman Reigns vs. Kane
What a way to kick off Raw, with a brutal match between these two big talented guys! It was a back and forth match with a lot of big moves, and the weapons were out and these two were really going at it. This was almost a PPV caliber match, if it went on another 10 minutes. Having this free on TV was a bold move and one all of us fans really appreciate, it ups the ante for PPV matches. Both men looked very strong through this match, and it was clear from the start Kane was not taking this lightly. They did promote the brutal beat down from last week that Reigns received from Orton, noting Reigns may not be in top form.
The ending came about when Reigns hit the Superman Punch, Kane gets up tries to put the moves on Reigns but Reigns give him a hell of a spear. 10 count is done as Kane is trying to get up and Reigns picks up the victory.
After this match I believe they showed a great promo package for Lesner vs. Cena at Summerslam as both men were not present. The package was really well done and Lesner gave one of his best pieces of mic work ever for it. Really great match hyping and it does make this match seem like a big deal.
Mark Henry vs. Damien Sandow
So, this match was hyped around sport, which went over my head as an Aussie. Basically Sandow came out to get a lot of heat and Mark Henry returned as the crowd hero to shut him up. A quick match, that served to return Mark Henry and continue the losing streak of Sandow.
Beat The Clock Challenge Dean Ambrose vs. Alberto Del Rio
Easily match of the night, this was 15 minutes of pure awesomeness. Both men really brought their A game and again this was definitely a PPV caliber match, and think it surprised us all that this lasted 15 minutes, because Beat The Clock matches usually don’t last too long. Both men got to showcase their talents, and Del Rio was extremely vicious (which I am sure made my good friend Stephanie very happy), wanting to basically torture Ambrose. But Ambrose as he does takes the punishment and manages to come back with a big move.
There were a few highlights but the to rope move near the end of the match by Del Rio on the injured elbow to Ambrose was an OMG moment. It looked absolutely brutal and Ambrose sold it well. The finish came off fast as Ambrose managed to get in Dirty Deeds and got the victory. The commentators did mention that Rollins had a lot of time to beat, as as I suspected, this wasn’t the last we’ll see of Ambrose on Raw.
Sin Cara vs. Rusev w/Lana
Well we didn’t get to see this match because it happened during the ad break, but I guess if you had the app you could have seen it. Not much really to discuss about the match, as post match Lana spoke and decided to sing happy birthday in Russian to Putin. But she was cut off by Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter. Rusev and Swagger will have a Flag Match at Summerslam, and Zeb Colter delivers a speech as only he can. Not impressed by this Rusev attacks Swagger with the Russian flag. Colter is left in the ring, but Lana just insults him.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro
Now I think this was to see who would face The Miz for the US Title at Summerslam, I can’t really remember if they mentioned it, I just assumed as The Miz was there. This was a really good match, good action and Cesaro was very forceful and vicious. It seemed obvious to me who would win the match and for some reason Cesaro has been losing matches he should be winning. This was no different as Cesaro lost after Ziggler’s finisher and it didn’t seem to have a big impact. But yes Ziggler won and he faces The Miz at Summerslam, and I am hoping he wins but I can’t see that happening. The Miz did a post match beat down because he’s a heel and all.
I can’t remember when these segments happened during Raw, but a quick rundown: Paige was interviewed about her attack on AJ on Smackdown, it was revealed that AJ would return at Main Event. Randy Orton spoke backstage and they replayed his beat down of Reigns from last week. Kane walked into the office of The Authority and handed Stephanie his mask.
Goldust and Stardust vs. Rybaxel
The return of the weird ones, after a few weeks of really weird and entertaining promos. This was not a long match, and Goldust got a good beat down from both Axel and Ryback. The saviour was Stardust as he made the come back for his team and and the pair celebrated in the weirdest way possible. I have no idea what the deal is between the two but the post match antics were weird and hilarious. Clearly they both love their characters and I want to see them face some other teams now.
Chris Jericho vs. Luke Harper
Unfortunately I missed most of this match as I had some house work that needed some tending to. I am however liking that Jericho is going up against Harper and Rowan as we saw last week. It keeps the feud alive and it does help these two get over even more. Harper’s entrance was goosebump inducing, it just gets better and better every time. He is definitely going to be one of the break out stars this year, I do see big things for his future.
I missed the end but I did see that Bray came out and delivered Sister Abigail to Jericho.
Rating: Didn’t see enough to rate
Diego w/El Torito/Summer/Layla vs. Fandango w/Hornswoggle
Well with his partner injured, it’s nice to see that Diego with El Torito have been getting some TV time and a really entertaining feud with Fandango. Diego came out with El Torito and the two new BBF’s Summer and Layla, who make for a great team I think. Fandango debuted a new partner …. a glittered up Hornswoggle and it was glorious! This was a comedy segment but one that worked really well. Fandango accidentally hit Hornswoggle and lost, then he attacked Hornswoggle post match. But no one was having that and El Torito and Hornswoggle made up and he left with the group. A really funny segment, I had a blast!
Bo Dallas vs. R-Truth
Once again these two have a match and it is an interesting feud to be honest. There is an odd chemistry between the pair as rivals, and this match wasn’t long but it did further the feud. Bo Dallas cheated to win and R-Truth wasn’t have any of it and attacked Bo post match. However Bo wasn’t having any of that and basically beat down R-Truth. Interested to see where this all will lead.
Beat The Clock Challenge Seth Rollins vs. Heath Slater
Ok well Seth Rollins was meant to take on Rob Van Dam, but The Authority made a last second change and took RVD out of the match and put in Heath Slater. So they are clearly trying to have it easy for Seth Rollins but this turned out to be anything but. Dean Ambrose as I suspected came back out and taunted Seth Rollins. Seth tried to beat up Heath, but he was distracted by Dean Ambrose got his Money In The Bank Briefcase and decided to open it up. So while the match was happening, Ambrose torn up the contract, poured coffee and popcorn in the briefcase and he even decided to wear JBL’s hat and squash it into the briefcase.
Seth Rollins was livid and not paying attention to the match, and the biggest upset in Sports Entertainment happened when Heath Slater rolled up Rollins and got the 1, 2, 3. Yes folks, Heath Slater not only was in the Raw Main Event, but he got the win against Seth Rollins. This whole match and segment was excellent, so well handled and it really builds up the feud. On Smackdown Dean Ambrose will reveal the stipulation, I am guessing either a Hardcore/Extreme match or a Cage match.
Contract Signing Between Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella
Stephanie McMahon came out with Triple H, as Michael Cole waited in the ring. Brie Bella came out with her sister Nikki, the ring was all nicely set up for the contract signing. A lot of words were exchanged, with Triple H being his smug self that we all love. Brie Bella stands up for herself and others The Authority have toyed with, and states she is fighting Stephanie for all of them and that karma is going to get Stephanie. Stephanie fights back with her words, as only Stephanie can do. The pair sign the contract, but then Triple H corners Brie as Stephanie attacks Nikki and delivers the pedigree (A pretty good one too). Then Brie slaps Triple H but gets attacked and also gets the pedigree as Stephanie and Triple H stand tall to end Raw.
A few thoughts that James and I discussed, a possible Nikki heel turn at Summerslam, turning on her sister. It definitely seemed possible after this segment, as Stephanie attacked Nikki to torture Brie. We shall see, but this match has had two months of build up and Stephanie looks in great shape. The pair should have a decent and entertaining match.
A solid show, and a fun one, Summerslam is definitely shaping up and I am excited!
Overall Rating: A