Tuesday Raw Roundtable: Authority Takes Down Roman Reigns, John Cena/Cesaro Impresses, Lana Given “What” Treatement

WWE had another new Raw on Monday, what did the Pulse Wrestling crew think of the show?

Darren Paltrowitz

RAW had a few great moments last night:

– Seth Rollins gifting Apple Watches to J&J Security and Kane and watching their excitement about that. Product placements or not, it was a unique segment.

– Cesaro had a great match with John Cena.

– The eight man tag match was okay, and I’m glad that we got to see The Lucha Dragons back in the title picture again.

But there was plenty of filler in there, for example:

– The Divas scene is a joke. So many great workers in NXT, yet we’re stuck with another variation of Paige versus The Bellas.

– The Intercontinental Title picture is boring, at best. No one takes Big Show seriously because he alternates between heel and face so regularly, and no one likes The Miz.

– Mark Henry jobbed to Big Show. If you’re a former World Champion, you shouldn’t lose so easily to anyone.

– Jack Swagger jobbed to Bad News Barrett. Ditto my complaint about the booking of Mark Henry.

– Dolph Ziggler is incredible in the ring and can have a great match with anyone, but on the mic, he has always been iffy — surprising when you consider that he does stand-up in his off-time. Bringing Summer Rae into this storyline as Rusev’s sympathizer, huh?

Meanwhile, Damien Sandow was one of the most organically popular people on the roster six months ago, yet he hasn’t been on RAW in a while.

NXT, “Swerved” and “Tough Enough” all have my attention — and “Total Divas” is essential viewing in my household — so at least that programming remains worthwhile.

John Turnbull

Not a lot happened on this episode of Raw, and the absence of Brock Lesnar was noticeable. On the positive side, Cena vs Cesaro was very good, the four man tag match was entertaining, and Reigns looks a lot more comfortable in the ring when he has Dean Ambrose at his side. Paige showed once again that she is one of the best workers on the roster, and Dolph Ziggler seems to be enjoying his partnership with Lana.
On the negative, Big Show vs Mark Henry was exactly what you would expect from two over the hill fat guys, Shamus continues to bore even against a solid wrestler like Neville, and Swagger vs Barrett showed that at least one of these guys is lucky to be employed.
TL:DR – Raw is Meh…

Pat Metalhead

Opening segment of RAW got a few laughs out of me, but did anyone else noticed that absolutely nothing was achieved here? Main Event got tossed out in one sentence, and sure, Kane, J&J and Rollins hamming it up was somewhat funny, but the only thing I really got out of there was Rollins applying for Drew Carey’s spot on the Prize is Right. And I’m just not sure that was the intended message.

Why am I still seeing a Big Show/Mark Henry match in 2015? At least they’re trying to generate some interest for the Three-way at Battleground, but the only thing that will makes this somewhat worthwhile for me is if Miz manages to beat Big and Bigger. And the way WWE booking has been going lately, we all know he’s probably just there to take the pin.

Paige and Alicia Fox put on a decent match. Pointless of course, since it’s still all about the Bella’s, but just shows what some of them could do if given some time to work with.

The problem I have with most of Cena’s Open Challenges is that I can’t stop wondering about why his opponents aren’t higher up the cards. Case in point, Cesaro. Very good match, yes, but for me it also served to remind us all that Cesaro still is going nowhere. And that’s a shame. Also, while some will say that Cena’s opponents are getting a boost from those matches (because of how good they are), please tell me who , on that lengthening list, made any progress after that loss? Exactly.

Owens, of course, did a great job of promoting his upcoming battle against Finn Balor in Japan. More on this later.

Nothing against the tag match in se, but didn’t we see that one on Smackdown? And why didn’t Bo Dallas take the pin here?

Some are liking the Lana/Ziggler thing, I just find it cringe-inducing. After that segment only thing I could think of is: Bra and Panties match! Note to WWE, that’s between Lana and Summer Rae, not between Ziggler and Rusev. Just want to make sure.

Red Arrow got defeated by Red Mohawk. Or something.

Oh, Barrett got a win. Oh, Swagger is still employed. Oh, one of my cats is playing with my toes. Only that last thing really got my attention.

Main Event time, completely predictable, some good stuff from Ambrose and Rollins though, and Reigns looks much more confident when he is playing around with his old buddies. That’s all.

Since I’m bored to death even writing about this week’s show, let me take a few more minutes of your time to talk about something that does interest me, and that is the Owens/Finn Balor match on Saturday 4th of July. Or should I say Prince Devitt/Finn Balor’s return to Japan. I can not stress enough how much Devitt achieved in Japan, and how popular and respected he is over there. Don’t miss this one, the crowd reaction to his return might open the eyes of those who aren’t familiar with his time over there. If WWE is smart, they push this one as THE main event, forget about Lesnar/Kingston, it’s not even on the same page.

Phil

Drastic improvement from last week with a very wrestling heavy RAW. Cena vs Cesaro was a treasure and saw “The Evolution of John Cena” continue with him adding a sitout facebuster to his moveset. Kevin Owens breaking up the match broke my heart but it accomplished adding even more disdain for Owens and protected Cesaro in the process. The opening promo was a barrel of chuckles seeing Seth Rollins gifting Kane, Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury with Apple Watches, a vacation to Hawaii and a Cadillac.

The 8-man tag saw Kalisto shine, but not as much as Darren Young who was super aggressive and took a sick bump over the turnbuckle to the outside. Titus O’Neill continued to be the beast of the team. For some reason it being revealed that Lana was using Ziggler to make Rusev jealous only made her more popular and she has a fun catfight with Summer Rae. Alicia Fox impressed in a loss to Paige which got adequate time.

The main event was decent enough and Bray Wyatt getting involved by attacking Roman Reigns both during and after the match was an old-school method of building their feud further, was not overthought and was an ending to RAW that was on the fleek.

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