So…SummerSlam was actually really good on Sunday night! It had issues, yeah, but nearly so many of them as most PPVs do. Thank goodness the Universal Championship is off of Brock Lesnar. What an awful run that’s been. We never saw the belt and Brock has the personality of a manila envelope. The only time we saw any was when Heyman was writing the segments he was in.
My favorite thing was Braun. We were so sure Braun would cash in (I think we all said it in the predictions) and Vince trolled us beautifully. You really can’t do that any better. We may question his decisions over and over again as fans but he got that totally right. We’re all just waiting for Braun to do it. Vince is dangling the carrot and I’m going to love every second of it while it goes on. Okay, on with the show…
In-ring segment – Roman Reigns, Finn Bálor, “The Constable” Baron Corbin, & Kurt Angle
Well this was brave! I can’t say I expected it either. I was wondering how Vince would handle the Brooklyn crowd tonight and he clearly just decided to troll them. I like it! Brock’s run is the very worst in WWE history (I’m not being a mark; we just never saw the belt). It’ll be so nice to see it on TV again on a regular basis.
We can say whatever we want but like him or hate him, Roman makes us react. That’s really all that matters. You don’t have to like him for Roman to be successful. You just have to react…and you do. We all do. Really nice to see them decide to give Finn a shot at getting back. Though we knew he wouldn’t win, it was still the right thing.
It bears saying again but Corbin is a rock star in his current role. Who knew he’d do this well. He’s a great cowardly and crooked heel. I love him like this. Kurt came out and undid Baron’s attempted re-booking perfectly. Very nice segment.
“The Constable” Baron Corbin vs. Bobby Lashley
Bobby’s run this time has been quite disappointing. When he debuted, he’d been gone so long that no one remembered him and he forgot to bring a personality with him. As a result, WWE was caught trying to get him over to a new crowd. Their solution? Tell his back story a bit in a horrifyingly bad angle with Sami Zayn. Sami moved heaven and earth to make it work but he was no match for bad writing and a completely boring Lashley. He’s only been interesting in the Brock/Roman angle. That angle ended and now, he’s back to being boring.
This isn’t to say that he can’t do it in the ring. He can and this wasn’t a bad match at all. Very nice back and forth – more than I thought we’d get. Gone are the days when Lashley is an unstoppable monster a la Brock. ‘Course, Corbin can work pretty well too so that makes sense. Lashley came away with the win but that was more about Corbin than about Lashley. Lashley is fairly directionless at this point.
Backstage segment – Kurt Angle & Paul Heyman
Paul is always fun and Kurt was up to the task too. They know the fans are over Brock’s reign so it’ll be a while. Still, he does have a contractually-obligated rematch coming. We just don’t know when it’ll happen.
Backstage segment – Kurt Angle & “The Constable” Baron Corbin
This was quick and fun. Corbin’s mad and he’s not going to take in anymore, gosh darn it!
The Boss N’ Hug Connection (Sasha Banks & Bayley) & Ember Moon vs. The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, & Liv Morgan)
This was fun, even though we’ve seen permutations of this for weeks now. Ember Moon, Sasha Banks, and Ruby Riott are absolute stars. One of them has had the trigger pulled for her before. The other two are waiting. Hopefully, their time comes. Liv, Sarah, and Bayley leave me largely cold. Ruby got the win over Sasha here and while I don’t like seeing Sasha do the job, I’m happy that Ruby got the pin.
In-ring segment – Triple H.
This is a reminder of the fact that WWE will be in great hands once Vince hands over the reigns (which he will only likely do at his own funeral). Trips was really loving those NXT chants. He should have been. NXT, yet again, murdered the main roster’s show.
As if we needed any reminding, he talks a very good…ahem…Game. He screwed up a bit while doing it but he still came across well. The crowd was into his entire promo and it really was good.
So what’s the problem?
This feud was ages ago. This may be nice nostalgia trip but they’re really going to have to build this well for me to care. As of now, no matter what Triple H. did here, this announcement leaves me nonplussed.
Dean Ambrose (w/ Seth Rollins) vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Drew McIntyre)
Love that Seth came out wearing the new Dean Ambrose shirt. I have no clue who’s idea it was for him to come out wearing one gold wrestling boot but okay…
This was a good match! I don’t remember Dean’s clotheslines being so vicious before! Wow! Of course, everyone had to get involved a bit and it was really creatively done.
As for the title change last night, the rumor I’m hearing is that Dolph’s refusal to re-up the contract they gave him the day of SummerSlam. If that’s it, it’s quite likely that they’ll still work something out. I enjoyed Dolph’s run and the feud was great too.
In-ring segment – Elias & Curt Hawkins
I’m not sure what to make of what happened at SummerSlam with him, honestly…and I like that I don’t know. It’s fun to not know. Who messed with Elias’ guitar? We’ll find out and when we do, I’m sure it’ll be fun. It was cool seeing Elias legit smile when everyone shouted “WALK WITH ELIAS!”. He really enjoyed that.
Curt came out and made this even more fun. He had the crowd though so that’s what matters. He was born on the North Shore in New York so it was nice to see him out there tonight. Elias, of course, ate him. Curt looked perfectly dejected as he started to walk off. When he decided to get in Elias’ face, he did it really well.
That knee to Hawkins’ jaw looked quite real! OUCH! There were a few near-wins for Curt. He really had the support of the crowd! Sadly, he just couldn’t do it and fell victim to Drift Away.
Backstage segment – Titus Worldwide
The inevitable break-up of Titus Worldwide is in the offing. I’m fine with it, honestly. It started to work but Vince pulled the plug on it. They’ve been floundering big time for a while and it’s time to say goodbye to them.
Titus Worldwide (Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews w/ Dana Brooke) vs. Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar)
Titus Worldwide hasn’t worked in a while and the Authors of Pain have never gotten off the ground on the main roster. This was a pretty good match too. Akam & Rezar are tremendously strong. Apollo sold well here too. I still love his standing moonsault. Ultimately, the Authors of Pain (still a stupid name) took this one. This was more about Titus Worldwide’s subtle rift than it was about Authors of Pain.
This has got to be some kind of record! So far, so good with this episode!
In-ring segment – Stephanie McMahon & Ronda Rousey
All of the ladies were out there around the ring while this was going on. Stephanie is an absolutely beautiful woman and while our Queen didn’t like her wardrobe, we all agree that it didn’t detract one iota from her beauty. She also absolutely knows what she’s doing on the mic. She takes all the credit for Ronda’s ascendance to the Women’s Championship and she did it in all her arrogant glory.
It’s impossible not to like Ronda. She really loves what she’s doing. When they chant for her, she really loves it. Ronda gave credit to Nattie, Sasha, & Bayley for all they’ve done to make the Women’s Revolution happen. She even got in a Brock Lesnar shot. Steph responded somewhat awkwardly by saying that she didn’t know who this Ronda was and that this Ronda just wanted to break their arms. Huh? I’m so lost. This was really just an excuse for Ronda to put Steph in an arm breaker again. This is now the third time for this kind of thing. I don’t know where this is headed.
Ronda’s issue is that she fails at so much though. She hasn’t figured out talking (though she’s starting to) and we won’t even get into her “ring work” if we’re calling it that. She was barely competent at SummerSlam and she’s the Raw Women’s Champion! This is a real problem and I don’t know how WWE’s going to get out of this one. She’s being called a quick learner but she’s not. She’s exactly where anyone would be that’s just starting. She belongs in a training center properly learning how to do this, not as the Raw Women’s Champion.
Bo Dallas (w/ Curtis Axel of The B-Team) vs. Scott Dawson
Bo Dallas tends to do quite a bit of the talking here. Loved the Prince reference at the beginning (“dearly beloved”). Curtis talked too but Bo is far better at it. Just ask Flo Rida. Sorry, had to. Dawson put in serious work on Bo’s face! This was a decent match that gave a clean win to Dawson.
Curtis Axel (w/ Bo Dallas of The B-Team) vs. Dash Wilder
This one was mostly about Curtis’ back. Wilder’s finisher was interesting. Of course, now they’ve got twin singles losses against The Revival. I just wish I cared more about The Revival. They are totally vanilla to me. It appears that the story they’re telling her revolves around The B-Team and their egos maybe getting the better of them? We’ll have to wait and see.
Backstage segment – Roman Reigns
This was good. He really has improved on the mic. He doesn’t care about Braun’s impending cash-in. Wonder why…
Backstage segment – Stephanie McMahon, Alexa Bliss, “The Constable” Baron Corbin, & Kurt Angle
Kurt is getting time off? Oh my. This’ll make for good TV. Baron’s face when Steph made him acting General Manager was priceless. This is going to be fun!
Finn Bálor vs. Roman Reigns
If you didn’t like this match, something is wrong with you. Finn and Roman put it all out there and it was really good. The back and forth was just fantastic. Finn’s dives are really the only ones I want to see that aren’t ACH’s (an indie worker). They gave this match lots of time and I absolutely loved it.
The Braun Strowman cash-in is being thought to be a foregone conclusion. Heck, even we thought it was. I love that WWE is making sure it doesn’t happen. Braun tried it face-to-face at SummerSlam and it didn’t work. Tonight, Braun came out and it distracted Finn sufficiently so that Roman could spear and win. Then, we get…THE SHIELD! HA! Vince is trolling us and it’s fabulous. Excellent storytelling here. Who knows when Braun will cash in…but it wasn’t tonight.
What a great way to end “Monday Night Raw”. Heck, what a good “Monday Night Raw” we got! New York crowds are brutal and Vince responded. Good stuff. See you all next week for another “Spot”!