Tuesday Raw Roundtable: Brock Lesnar, Cena/Cesaro, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose

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

Darren Paltrowitz

Three things about last night’s episode impressed me:

– Any time Brock Lesnar is on-screen it is apparent why he gets the special accommodations that he does. He is the top heel or top babyface, whichever booking calls for. I would not even consider watching Battleground if Brock wasn’t on the card.

– The tag team match between The Lucha Dragons and A New Day was great. The Prime Time Players distracted from the match while on commentary, but it was fun to hear Titus O’Neil giving it to JBL.

– John Cena and Cesaro again had the match of the night. The false finishes were overdone, but Cena-haters will have to note that Cena performed a lot more than five moves.

Otherwise, the show was tough to watch. The Divas and Intercontinental title pictures both need new blood. Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt make for a pointless feud. Dean Ambrose doesn’t have a proper feud, nor does “the new sensation” Neville. Sheamus and Randy Orton is something we have seen plenty. Ziggler/Lana and Rusev/Summer is painful.

Fingers remain crossed for an NXT mass upstreaming soon, as I don’t know how much longer I can watch Big Show matches, R-Truth comedy, or Kane storylines.

John Turnbull

Another great promo to start from Heyman, although it seems slightly obvious that Brock Lesnar is not the God of love… because that’s Val Venis.

Big Show vs Ryback was your standard lumbering big man match, the sort of thing that gives Vince a semi but leaves everyone else cold. I have almost zero interest in the triple threat match at Battleground, with the exception of the chance of Miz getting dismembered by a clumsy giant.

Paige vs Brie was more of the same – much as I like Paige the divas scene really needs some fresh talent from NXT.

Reigns vs Shamus was never going to be a technical wrestling classic, but it was suitably hard hitting and both men seemed to be working pretty hard. I’m already getting tired of the Bray Wyatt shenanigans, which probably isn’t a good sign.

Rusev’s face turn seems to have been sidetracked in the face of Lana’s rising popularity, but it’s good to see the Bulgarian Russian healthy. Honest question – can any non-lucha foreign born worker be a face in the realm of mindless U.S.A chants and rampant WWE xenophobia?

Bo Dallas continues to be good on the mic but underwhelming in the ring, while Ambrose wrestled the same match he has for the last 6 months against anyone not named Seth Rollins.

To be honest I watched Barrett vs Truth in 30x fast forward when I realized I was only 100 minutes into a 200 minute broadcast. For crying out loud, WWE.

Brock vs the Caddy was the most entertaining match of the night so far.

New Day vs Lucha Dragons was made more entertaining by the presence of the Prime Time Players on commentary, although the Dragons seem to be working at half speed compared to their contemporaries in Lucha Underground. Welcome to WWE style, folks.

Cesaro is awesome in the ring, and I think he’s finally getting better on the mic. I would love to see him work a program with Kevin Owens. His match vs Cena was maybe not as good as their last encounter but still better than 90% of Raw this week. That triple gut wrench suplex is sweet, and the Swiss Superman knows how to sell like a champ.

Uneven Raw saved by a four star final match and amusing man vs car face-off.

Kevin Cardona

-The opening promo was excellent and any time “Suplex City” is brought forth, this time with a city-specific shirt? I will cheer my little head off. Heyman continues to be the perfect mouthpiece and the best hype man in the business by a landslide.

-Big Show vs Ryback was an unremarkable dud. It was the type of match that as has been said, gets Vince’s jollies off but leaves everyone bitter and flipping the channel for Tour de France highlights. I hate Miz and seeing him get slaughtered makes me giggle, but even that couldn’t save this disaster. It was bad.

-Paige vs Brie was a decent match but you could feel how much you need fresh matchups in the division. Charlotte coming to the main roster would be a god-send.

-Reigns vs Sheamus was what it was. It was passable and it had its moments but it wasn’t going to set the world on fire. I cannot wait for this Wyatt angle to be over. It’s like he’s gone from storyline to storyline with the same shtick. Sometimes it works, often times it doesn’t.

-Poor Rusev! Poor, poor Rusev. At one point the man was being built like a monster. Nowadays? He’s stuck in a lovers tiff with Summer Rae, Dolph Ziggler and Lana. This was supposed to be his face turn! Lana is just so popular and able to draw heat that she’s killing any shot of him being sympathetic even if it makes sense cannon-wise. Rusev is getting Marc Mero’d by Lana.

-Full Disclosure: I hate Bo Dallas so I guess by that measure his gimmick is working. It seems like he’s just never quite improved as a performer. Ambrose on the other hand, has always been consistent.

-On a strictly physical level, Brock beating the bejesus out of a Cadillac was incredibly entertaining. Five out of five stars. Highest rating of the night. I was rooting for the driver side window though.

-New Day vs Lucha Dragons was an entertaining and competitive match made better by the fact that the Prime Time Players were on commentary. Honestly? I’d tune in to every tag match if they were on commentary.

-Cesaro was great in his match with Cena and the crowd truly got behind him. I would love to see him get more opportunities like this at large, but this was a great first foray into that. Cesaro vs Owens has to happen at some point. Like yesterday.

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