10 Thoughts on… WWE Monday Night Raw for August 3, 2015
1) Seth Rollins Lays Out Two Challenges: After the opening tribute to “Rowdy”Roddy Piper we see Seth Rollins come to the ring and, as usual, run his mouth. Bringing up his breaking of Cena’s nose, making him more heel-like in the process, was a bonus for this feud as it adds insult, quite literally to injury. Rollins challenged Cena to a Title for Title match at Summerslam, winner take all when both titles will be carried out of Summerslam by the victor. Cena, not being there, could not respond last night but I’m fairly certain it’s a guaranteed match.
Rollins then put out his second challenge of the night. An open challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship challenge. With “two caveats”, that the challenger be under 6 feet tall and under 200 lbs. JoJo asked Rollins if that meant it would be a match against El Torito and when El Torito’s music hit you could feel the groans around the world. I wasn’t the only one thinking “Are they seriously doing that match?” The music stopped and was replaced my Neville’s and I, as well as many other fans, were instantly excited to see the upcoming match.
2) Neville v. Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: We all knew going into this match that Neville winning the title off of Rollins was a one in a million chance. Still, WWE has surprised us in the past. Tonight, despite Neville not taking the title from Rollins, we saw one hell of a match with both men putting on a great show. The fact that they were rivals on NXT meant these two had chemistry and a vast range of skills. With the pedigree for the win Rollins looks like a strong champion but Neville looked like a true contender.
3) The New Day & The Ascension v. Los Matadores and The Lucha Dragons: Again with the guest announcers and it actually bothered me that the Prime Time Players weren’t in the match or at least in actual action. I can’t believe I’m saying this but when Xavier woods said “Commentary again? I’m glad that you’re fighting champions,” I have to agree. However, seeing the four main teams batting it out, with a victory for The New Day meant this was a decent match. Each team put on a good show however, in the end, outside distractions lead to the win.
4) Nikki & Brie Bella (with Alicia Fox) v. Becky Lynch & Charlotte (with Paige): I’m happy the divas are regularly getting some time now which shows how things are, in fact, changing. Seeing Paige and Alicia outside the ring in the “Hot Rod” shirts, as many divas and superstars would do throughout the night, was a nice tribute. The match itself was pretty good and while the team of Becky, Charlotte and Paige has been dubbed “The Submission Sorority” am I the ONLY one tired of all these submission wins? I’m glad Charlotte picked up the win for her team and I take nothing away from the skill it takes to pull off a great submission move but seriously, let the women win via pin fall now and then!
5) Miz TV with Cesaro & Kevin Owens: This brewing rivalry between Cesaro and Owens is interesting, especially given the strength and skill each man has. Miz opened by referencing Piper’s Pit, another nice tribute, before slipping back into character and saying he’s the best, blah blah. When Cesaro blasted Owens for walking away from challenges “Walk Owens, Walk” it was a great moment. Owens blasting Miz and saying “Why don’t you let the two guys who can actually fight handle this, OK?” was a great moment, something I’m sure we’ll hear Miz rant about for a few weeks.
6) Mark Henry v. Rusev: Rusev picking up the win makes him look dangerous for when Ziggler finally returns. Seeing Rusev actually wrestle this week was nice but this match was kind of easy to forget. It happened, it was over, I forgot it existed for the most part until looking back on the card for last night. Oops? Perhaps it’s because this isn’t the rivalry or perhaps it’s because it looked too easy for Rusev to win this match didn’t stand out at all.
7) King Barrett v. Zach Ryder: Okay, let’s face it, neither of these men should be jobbing/ filling up space on the card. While Barrett isn’t treated as a jobber (hello King of the Ring win) he hasn’t been put in any real limelight lately, aside from his feud with R-Truth. Neither competitor is my absolute favorite by any means and I am, admittedly, a bigger Barrett fan than a Ryder fan but the fact is, these men are capable of a better match. Barrett winning and coming out looking strong and on top of his opponent is needed to keep him seen as a serious competitor but I wish, even if it was for a second, that they let Ryder work a bit more and look like a serious competitor too.
8) Paul Heyman Ranting & Raving: Okay so Paul Heyman comes out and what does he do? Talk about his client Brock Lesnar, of course. Heyman is improving the feud without needing Lesnar and Undertaker to be visible/ to come to blows again. While I would’ve liked an appearance by the Undertaker I can accept that tonight was about Lesnar. A great promo, overall.
9) Paige v. Naomi: Another Diva’s match? Well things truly are changing as the teams get more time on screen. Paige and Naomi put on a great show, Naomi was arrogant and played her new heel persona perfectly. Another win via submission but I guess that fits the name of Paige’s team very well. Still waiting for a pinfall victory though.
10) Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Sheamus v. Roman Reigns, Randy Orton & Dean Ambrose: These six men are great in the ring. The newly reunited Harper & Wyatt haven’t missed a beat and the chemistry with all the men involved made this match exciting and fun to watch. Each man was able to land big moves and showcase their strengths. The tangible animosity between the respective rivals was even better. Seeing Reigns, Orton & Ambrose win was great too, especially given the close calls throughout the match. The pre-match tribute to Piper, and Ambrose sporting his shirt throughout the match rounded out a good Monday Night Raw that I’m sure Piper was watching and enjoying.
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