5 Stars From Last Night’s #RAW
The post Battleground Raw was pretty wonderful last night, and Summerslam is stacking up to be a gigantic, beautiful card. The Undertaker was in 2 (!) segments, Brock Lesnar wanted revenge, the NXT women continue to look great and Cesaro main evented Raw again. Let’s get to the 5 stars from last night’s Raw!
1. The Undertaker
The Undertaker could have theoretically sat in the ring and clipped his toe nails and I’d have him for a star of Raw, because The Undertaker on Raw in 2015 is a happening. In lieu of clipping his toe nails, he opened the show and clearly explained why he cost Brock Lesnar the title at Battleground. He’s not some grumpy old man yelling at the clouds because his streak got broken. He understands streaks are created and mythicized because when they are broken, it’s something special. But for 469 days, Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar have not let it go, and continue to tell everyone on national television that they conquered the Undertakers undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Taker might be an undead mortician, but he’s got feelings too. The way he expresses those feelings are utilizing magic and transporting to the ring and choke slamming and tomb stoning mother f’ers. I wasn’t on board for Taker/Lesnar 2 until this promo and the subsequent brawl, but now I’m all in. I was afraid they’d make Lesnar look like a coward who was afraid of the Undertaker, and it just wouldn’t make sense after the year and a half that Brock just had. But when Brock came sprinting down that ramp and threatened to murder the Undertaker, my fears were alleviated. Brock/Taker forever. Speaking of the brawl…
2. Brock Lesnar (and Paul Heyman)
Paul Heyman came out and cut a wonderful promo on the Undertaker, and a fired up Paul Heyman might be the best character WWE has. You give him 5 minutes and a microphone and he has you eating out of the palm of his hand and begging for Summerslam to start right now. It’s not that hard to get people invested in Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker, but this promo was still gold. After The Undertaker politely asked Heyman to stop bringing up that Lesnar conquered his undefeated streak, you kind of knew Taker was going to show up when Heyman KEPT BRINGING UP THAT LESNAR CONQUERED HIS UNDEFEATED STREAK. Gong, darkness, light, Undertaker in the ring, and Heyman looked terrified. I loved him yelling ‘I’m a human being!’, as if that was going to stop someone who calls himself The Undertaker from ripping his head off. THAT brought out The Beast, and if you’ve ever questioned how scary Brock Lesnar is, watch how fast he got from the curtain to the ring. Someone that big should not be able to run that fast, and then the brawl was on. What made this extra special was that brawl’s like this don’t happen that often on WWE TV, and adding almost the entire locker room was a nice touch. I can’t wait to see where this goes from here, and I’m excited if its booked as two animals just trying to out survive each other.
3. Charlotte & Sasha Banks
I’m lumping these two together because they are the future of the Divas division. If you want to see what women’s wrestling can be in the WWE, look no further than Charlotte vs. Brie Bella and Sasha Banks/Naomi vs. Paige/Becky Lynch. Becky, Paige & Naomi looked great last night as well, but it was clear that Sasha Banks was the star of that match. Same goes for Charlotte and Brie. You see them in the ring, and you think ‘That one. That one is going to be special.’ Charlotte has the pedigree and Ric god damn Flair’s DNA, but she’s so great it doesn’t matter. Sasha can bring up how she doesn’t have a famous daddy yet look how far she’s come, and it simultaneously works for her but doesn’t sound like a detriment to Charlotte. Yes Charlotte is a Flair, but she’s also pretty damn great in the ring, and she’s earned her way to the top. Charlotte, Sasha and Nikki circling the top of the Diva’s division with the rest of the women developing strong secondary storylines is so awesome. Whens the last time there were two Diva’s matches on Raw? When’s the last time they were both great? This obviously has to go beyond the actual wrestling, but the future of the Diva’s division looks very bright.
One of my favorite parts of the show was Rusev’s backstage interaction with Lana. I don’t want to sound like a huge asshole, but Lana kind of deserves everything she’s getting. Dating Dolph Ziggler and expecting him not to get hurt which leaves you to fight your Bulgarian ex boyfriend and his new version of you is like going for a swim and expecting not to get wet. Not the best comparison, but you catch my drift. Nobody gets hurt like Dolph Ziggler. So Lana attaching herself to him was pretty dumb. Secondly, she did screw Rusev over multiple times. Whether it was for his safety or not, you can’t throw in the towel on a guy who is fighting for Vladimir Putin’s honor. That’s how people die, Lana. So to see Rusev and his Summer Lana was not only satisfying, it was kind of hysterical. Rusev kissing Summer Lana while staring directly in Lana’s eyes was some HEEL shit. Following that up by telling Lana she doesn’t look so good was downright mean, but I loved it. Rusev has been one of the best characters on WWE TV for about 9 months now. Get this man a title shot!
“How ’bout that, huh?”. That is my new favorite phrase, and Cesaro main evented (and won) on Raw, so for now, all is well with the world. Orton got the hot tag and the pin, but Cesaro was my favorite part of the match, including the end with the giant swing/catapult into an RKO. Tell me you wouldn’t want to see Orton and Cesaro tag up and start catapult RKO’ing everybody in the world. Another really solid Raw with a bunch of good matches, and they set up the main event for Summerslam. Call WWE butter, because they’re on a roll.