WWE RAW Review (8/21/17): You Both Suck
Summerslam has come and gone, and outside of two good tag matches and a bat shit crazy main event, it felt like just another pay per view. Usually a show with three great matches would be considered a success, but Summerslam had THIRTEEN matches. 3/13 isn’t a great percentage for your biggest show of the summer. Alas, we’re now moving forward to the fall with the follow up Raw from Brooklyn. Let’s get to the review!
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Braun Strowman, MONSTER
It was going to be pretty hard for WWE to screw up a no DQ/no count out match featuring Lesnar, Reigns, Joe & Strowman, but the way Braun was booked in that match exceeded my expectations. He’s looked fantastic for pretty much this entire year, but Sunday night was magical. He destroyed everyone in his path, especially Brock Lesnar, and for the first time in Lesnar’s career he was stretchered out of a match. That’s badass. Braun didn’t end up winning the belt Sunday, but he made sure to remind Lesnar just how much of a monster he is last night. Lesnar/Strowman for the Universal title is confirmed for No Mercy, and I can’t wait to see these two go at it again.
Even though Lesnar is only around part time, it’s been refreshing watching him these last two pay per views. He put on a great match with Samoa Joe at GBOF, and was equally as great at Summerslam. He sold his ass off for Strowman and made him look like a legitimate monster, which is always great to see. It’s also going to be interesting watching Lesnar play the underdog. He never was able to German Strowman at Summerslam, so if he’s finally able to at No Mercy, it’ll be a huge spot.
WHY, PART ONE
Big Cass and Enzo have been feuding since the late 70s, and even though Big Cass has taken out Enzo every time they’ve been in the ring together while also proving himself right that Enzo’s mouth gets him into fights he can’t win on his own, we got ANOTHER Enzo/Cass match last night. Cass beat Big Show at Summerslam, which for all intents and purposes should’ve been the end of the feud, but for some reason they booked a Brooklyn street fight instead last night. The match ended up being a throwaway due to Cass’s injury, which could go either way. We’ll know later on today if it was legitimate, but he did a great job of selling it if it wasn’t real. While you never want to see anyone get hurt, if this is the only way to end this feud and have both guys move on to literally anything else, I’m all for it.
WHY, PART TWO
Emma and Nia Jax fought again, and Nia murdered her again. In other news, the sky is blue, the grass is green and the POTUS likes to stare directly into the sun.
WHY, PART THREE
Elias is consistently one of my favorite parts of Raw, but WWE is testing my patience by pitting him against R-Truth. I understand they both have musically involved characters, but Elias is too good to be slumming it up with R-Truth. Elias wins easily, and I hope he moves onto something more meaningful very soon.
Gran Metalik, Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali took on Drew Gulak, Noam Dar, Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari because there’s only time for one short, mashed together Cruiserweight match on WWE’s three hour wrestling show. If you’ve seen this match once, you’ve seen it a million times. Metalik, Swann, Alexander & Ali are all studs, but when they’re only given 5 minutes combined to show their stuff you’re going to get a crowd reaction like we saw last night, which was everyone more invested in the wave than the Cruiserweights. At this point talking about the Cruiserweights is like beating your head against a steel door, and until WWE changes up the way they’re present & wrestle, the crowd will continue not to care.
The Makings Of A Real Tag Team Division
The 1-2 punch of the Hardy’s vs. Rollins/Ambrose & Jason Jordan vs. Finn Balor was the best actual wrestling on the show, and I can get into Rollins/Ambrose as a take on all challengers type of team. They tore the house down at Summerslam with Sheamus & Cesaro (which shouldn’t have surprised anyone) and had another solid match last night with the Hardy’s. As good as the Hardy’s still are, knowing that the Broken characters are a possibility gets more and more distracting. I know there’s a ton of legal stuff to get sorted out, but all I want is for Broken Matt & Brother Nero to start tearing it up with Rollins, Ambrose, Sheamus & Cesaro. Nobody needed a change of scenery more than Ambrose, and putting him back with Rollins seems to have rejuvenated him the past few nights. If we can add a few more teams to the tag team division, we might be in for a great stretch of tag team wrestling.
Boss vs. Goddess
This wasn’t an ideal night for the Women’s division. Nia Jax squashed Emma, and the only other segment featuring the women was a short verbal confrontation between Sasha Banks & Alexa Bliss. We’ll get Bliss vs. Banks next week for the Women’s title, which is always a good to great match.
A Fresh Matchup
Earlier in the night Jason Jordan approached his dad backstage and asked for more competition, so Kurt Angle put him in a match with Finn Balor. Reading that sentence out loud is very weird. Anyways, Jordan vs. Balor was really good, and unfortunately this match was performed in front of a crowd that was going on hour 11 of wrestling over the past three days. I understand being disinterested in the Cruiserweights because WWE hasn’t given us a reason to care about 98% of the division, but you shouldn’t need a reason to get hype about Jason Jordan vs. Finn Balor. Jordan’s character isn’t polished yet, but he’s still an ace in the ring, and Balor is at his very best when he’s fighting a bigger, stronger guy. Balor winning is obviously the right call as he should always be in the upper mid card, and this could turn into a good story for Jordan as well, as he bit off more then he could chew and might need to readjust his game plan before going after some of the bigger fish on Raw.
Main Event – You Both Suck
Earlier in the night, Kurt Angle announced the newest Raw superstar, John Cena. You may have heard of him? Cena came out and did his usual song & dance, which summoned the protector of yards Roman Reigns. Thankfully the conversation was kept to a minimum between the two, because no two wrestlers sound more robotic and unrealistic than John Cena and Roman Reigns. Cena has the ability to at least elicit some passion if he’s really into a feud, but Reigns has the same monotone delivery whether he’s fighting in the main event of WrestleMania or he’s ordering chicken wings from a local restaurant.
The star of the first segment is The Miz, who once again ethered both Cena & Reigns with his ‘moments’ promo. Miz excels at blurring reality and wrestling storylines, and he always, always, always makes a good point. How many moments do Reigns & Cena get? It doesn’t matter how often they get cheered or booed, or how often they win or lose; at the end of the day, they’re still Roman Reigns & John Cena, so they’re going to be in the most important spots when it matters. Miz is having such a great year, and it’s a shame that even though he’s the IC champ, he’s far and away the third most important person when Reigns or Cena are around. The 1B star of this segment is obviously Bo Dallas’s jacket.
After Samoa Joe came out to confront Reigns and Cena, GM Kurt Angle made the main event a tag match between Cena/Reigns & Miz/Joe. If you guessed that the match would end with Cena AA’ing Miz and Raw going off the air with ‘tension’ between Cena & Reigns, then congratulations, you’ve been paying attention. Cena/Reigns is the money feud and I understand that, but I wish they didn’t have to do all this at the expense of their only mid card champion who consistently kicks ass on the microphone and in the ring. If you were wondering how the Brooklyn crowd felt about all of this, they end the night on a ‘You Both Suck’ chant. I feel you, Brooklyn.
Join us next week when John Cena & Roman Reigns continue to begrudgingly be friends.