We have arrived at the go-home episode of Raw for Summerslam and the Heyman influence on Raw has been real the last few weeks. Momentum is on the side of Raw and I have loved every minute of it for the most part. I was curious what we would get for a go-home episode because they are so tricky to pull off well. Enough chit chat and let us see what Raw had for us this week.
In Memory of the Fallen
This was such a classy move by WWE to do a moment of silence for the people who tragically lost their lives over the weekend due to the two mass shootings here in America. I won’t get into politics or the topic of gun control because this isn’t the place for it. I will say that this was a total classy move by WWE and one that I should have expected they would do. These are turbulent times we live in across the globe and it ticks me off and saddens me when tragedies like this happen. May all those who were injured from the shooting be able to recover and may all the people who lost their lives rest in peace.
Samoa Joe Promo
The opening intro video was playing and that was a sight for sore eyes. I cannot recall when the last time that was used for Raw but before it could finish, Samoa Joe got on the commentary table and got into the faces of the commentary team. He went off on them because they have been accusing him of attacking Roman Reigns and he vehemently denies all the accusations. Joe was straight fire on the mic as usual and this was masterclass on how to work the mic. The intensity was on point and I hung onto every word he said.
Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair vs Natalya & Trish Stratus
On paper you would think this match would be something, but it was just okay really. I don’t get the pairing of the teams and it feels like a waste to have Trish in the ring before her match against Charlotte. The ring work was fine enough, and Charlotte walked out on Becky which anybody could see coming from a mile away given their history. Natalya would be disqualified by not letting go of the Sharpshooter and she was pulled off by Trish. This just really didn’t do it for me and I really think it has to do with the fact that the Natalya/Becky feud has no heat to it whatsoever.
Rey Mysterio vs Andrade
I am not even going to bother to try and give many details about this match because it wouldn’t do it justice. This match was pay-per-view quality and was simply a masterclass by both men. Andrade and Rey brought it like they always do, and this was simply one of the best Raw matches of the year. This might have even been their best match of their series so far and I am not just saying that because it happened on Raw. This match was that good and Andrade would come out the victor here. If you have not seen this match, do yourself a favor and see it because it was that good.
Maria & Mike Kanellis at the OBGYN
I know there are plenty out there in the wrestling community that hate this Maria and Mike angle, but I love it, and this was another excellent chapter in their story. Mike accompanied Marie to her OBGYN visit and you knew something was going to happen. The way Maria has flaunted being the first pregnant champion has been perfect and she just totally owns it. She went in for her check-up and Mike would take advantage and pin his own pregnant wife while she was in the stirrups. That is a sentence I thought I would never type, and it was hilarious. Mike then went out to the waiting room to celebrate but would bump into R-Truth and Carmella in disguise. Truth rolled up Mike and reclaimed the 24/7 Championship. I have no idea where they can go from here other than having either former Raw tag team champion Nicholas win or have Matt Hardy’s son King Maxel win.
Becky Lynch Backstage
Becky Lynch is trying so hard to make this feud work and this was a good promo backstage. The promo was good, but the target of the promo is the only bad part of this. Besides the fact that I think this feud has no fire to it, Becky was straight fire during this promo.
I’m sorry but Natalya is just horrible on the mic. Becky was straight fire and Natalya was pure meh. She is trying but nothing she says sounds believable. To sum this up, SKIP!
Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman In-Ring
It is weird to hear Heyman’s promos about Lesnar because they are all similar and different at the same time. Heyman did what he always does and that is do a fantastic job at hyping up Lesnar’s dominance. Heyman called into question Seth’s various nicknames and he really sold how Seth is ballsy for showing up at Raw and Summerslam. Seth then came out with a steel chair, but he was too battered from last week and Lesnar was able to get the advantage before he could use it. Lesnar beat him with the chair and would hit him with an F5 to stand tall.
Seth Rollins In-Ring
Fans can really be full of themselves when they do the “What?” chant at times when it doesn’t deserve it. This was another of those times as Seth was selling the 2 weeks of beatings by Brock when he got on the mic. He sold the pain and how he wonders if this is all worth it to chase the Universal Championship. Of course, Seth said it was completely worth it and he would show up to Summerslam and take the title. He even guaranteed it and WWE doesn’t throw that word out just for the heck of it.
Kurt Angle Backstage
Kurt was getting interviewed backstage about being the guest referee tonight in his hometown when the Street Profits would show up. They were just a ball of energy and you could see that Kurt was having a blast being with them. Kurt could not contain his smile and I don’t know if anybody could when working with those two. They then offered Kurt some milk and Kurt told them how he told his wife he wouldn’t do anything crazy tonight. Montez’s reaction to that was priceless and he really does have a bright future in the company. He simply has all the tools you need in a future star. Drew McIntyre then walked in and told Kurt to call his match with Cedric Alexander down the middle or else. The way this segment shifted in tone was perfect.
Viking Raiders vs Local Talent
Another week and another squash match for the Viking Raiders. I don’t mind squash matches at all as long as they build towards something and it feels like the Vikings are just middling about. The only good thing about this match was when Corey said, “there goes the guy from Coheed and Cambria” because that had me dying. Outside of that, this match is deserving of a SKIP!
Harley Race Tribute
WWE knows exactly how to pay tribute to talent when they pass away, and this was another great one. Harley Race was before my time and I have only seen highlights of his career online. He was truly one of the all-time greats and this video package was perfect in highlighting his career.
Cedric Alexander vs Drew McIntyre
It was supposed to be Cedric taking on Drew, but McIntyre had other plans and attacked Cedric before the match got underway. The difference between this one and the last time they did this was that Cedric was able to get the upper hand on Drew this time. Drew got the advantage early, but Cedric was able to hit a beautiful tornado DDT on the outside. It looked like things would get back on track when the lights started coming down and we all knew what that meant. The Fiend appeared and locked in the Mandible Claw on Kurt. I love that Bray is using that move because only Su Yung uses it at the moment and it fits her twisted character so well and it is totally doing the same for Bray. The way Bray gets into the move reminds me of Mankind when he burst onto the WWE scene and I love it.
New Day vs The OC
I have to say that the OC name is starting to grow on me. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but I don’t mind it anymore. I love that Gallows is back to using face paint and it just adds to their “going back to their Japanese roots” that they have been pitching. This wasn’t much of a match as AJ Styles got involved and it became a 3-on-2 beat down. Ricochet would come down to even the odds and we all know where this was heading.
Ricochet & The New Day vs The OC
With these six men involved, it is easy to see how this would be a good match. Really good stuff here in this match and everybody had a chance to shine during this match. The OC look like a unit and that is great to see. I will always love to see Xavier Woods work the ring because he is so underrated. Things started to break down towards the end of the match as everybody was in the ring and hit all of their big moves. The OC would end up picking up the win here and continue to look strong. The one thing that bugged me about the end though was the referee stopping Gallows from getting onto the apron. He was on his team’s side of the ring and I had no idea why the referee would tell him to get down. Outside of that little blunder, good match.
Samoa Joe In-Ring
How nice it was for Samoa Joe to bless us with another lesson in how to work the mic brilliantly. He came out to the ring to get an apology from Roman Reigns and he said he wouldn’t leave until that happens. Roman’s music hit and he did not come out which only angered Joe some more. Someone then told Joe that Roman was arriving to the arena and Joe decided to meet Roman in the parking lot to get his apology. Roman arrived and the two started jawing at each other when Roman dove back into his car when another car came from out of nowhere to ram him. The car sped off and they cut to commercial. When they came back, they showed how Joe was calling for help for Roman. Roman seemed fine as Jamie Noble and Triple H came out to check on him. I love a whodunnit and this looks to be another one.
Women’s Tag Title Fatal 4-Way Elimination
I do not care how many try to say the IIconics are not good because I truly think they are. They aren’t the best in the ringm but they are the one true tag team in the women’s division. They play their characters so well and I love them for that. I was rooting for them to retain here but I knew they were going to lose, and it was a matter of who would be the new champs. I will also say that somebody needs to make a better theme for the Kabuki Warriors because this mash up is truly horrible. The match itself was rather good and there was plenty of back and forth throughout. Sadly, the IIconics were the first to be eliminated and they would be followed by Mandy and Sonya. This left the Kabuki Warriors and the team of Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross and I was rooting for Cross and Bliss at this point. Alexa and Nikki feel more like a team than Sane and Asuka and it just makes sense for them to win. They ended up winning and becoming the new Women’s Tag Team Champions. You could just see the joy in Nikki’s face over winning her very first WWE title and I loved it.
The rumor going around was that Goldberg would be returning to face Dolph Ziggler and that rumor ended up being true. Miz said he would face Dolph on the Monday after Summerslam and HBK briefly teased that it would be him until Goldberg’s music hit. I really have no desire to see this match because there is another blond by the name of Matt Riddle that would be way more fun to see than this. It will be a squash match and my desire is for Goldberg to go for a spear but is met with a superkick and he loses in quick fashion. That probably won’t happen, and Goldberg will make quick work of Dolph and Matt Riddle will have something to say about that on Twitter for sure. This is a borderline “SKIP!” but for the sheer surprise factor, it isn’t.
Overall, this was a very solid go-home episode of Raw for Summerslam and had plenty of high points throughout. The Rey/Andrade match was masterful and the Women’s tag match was solid as well. Samoa Joe continues to show why he is one of the best on the mic and Becky did too. The 24/7 Championship shenanigans continue to be a highlight every week and the New Day/Ricochet versus the OC was pretty good as well. The only real low points were Natalya’s promo, the Viking Raiders continuing to squash local talent and the whole Goldberg thing. Don’t forget to join us for a Dignified Discussion for NXT Takeover: Toronto on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. EST. We will also have another Dignified Discussion for Summerslam on Sunday and that will start at 4:30 p.m. EST. I look forward to those chats with everybody and make sure you join me next week for another Sovereign Statement.