We’re just a few weeks away from the biggest event of the summer – SummerSlam. Last week, WWE confirmed the main event for the PPV, with the current WWE World Heavyweight champion John Cena defending the title against the one in 21 – 1, Brock Lesnar!
This week’s RAW opened by looking back at what happened last week. The show kicked off with the WWE World Champion John Cena coming down to the ring to acknowledge his new opponent and the number one contender for the title at SummerSlam – Brock Lesnar. Cena acknowledged the fact that he will take a beating at the PPV, but made it clear that Lesnar will have to beat him to an inch of his life to take away the title from him. Cena mentioned that no one can control the beast, not even Paul Heyman, which was a cue for Heyman to make his way out. Heyman then cut an intense promo about Cena being dismantled by his client come SummerSlam, and mentioned the fact that the last person who faced Lesnar hasn’t been heard from since.
This riled Cena up, as he mentioned Heyman and himself being just as passionate, and made it clear that even if Lesnar beats him down, he will still find a way to walk out as the champion at SummerSlam. Cena tried to channel his intensity, and claimed that Lesnar will have to beat the last breath out of him to win the WWE World Heavyweight championship at SummerSlam, and this brought the ‘King of Swing’, Cesaro out. Cesaro said that even though Heyman and he amicably separated, Cena couldn’t talk to his friend that way. He then called Cena a “Jacked up, walking, talking billboard”, which was hilarious. He pandered to the crowd, saying Cena couldn’t wrestle, which received a big pop. Cena then challenged Cesaro for an impromptu non – title match to start the show!
Analysis: Now that is how you build up interest for a show that is of the magnitude of SummerSlam. Heyman, to his credit, outclasses himself every week, and only a guy like Heyman could bring out the intensity out of Cena, which has been lacking for the past few years. Cena – Lesnar II has all the makings of being one of the biggest matches of the year just on paper, and if their teaser is any indication, they will bring the house down come SummerSlam.
John Cena vs Cesaro
Great back and forth match between Cena and Cesaro, as Cena tried to prove that he could go with one of the best wrestlers on the planet. Cena tried to chain wrestle with Cesaro in the beginning of the bout, and later hit a few unorthodox moves. Cesaro was in control for most of the match, but Cena found his way back and nailed an AA for a near fall. Cesaro later decked Cena with an uppercut for a nearfall, and then locked Cena in the ankle lock, which Cena fought out of. The match ended when Cena hit the AA from the top rope to pick up the pinfall victory.
Winner: John Cena
Rating: *** ½
Analysis: That was an outstanding back and forth match between the two. Cena couldn’t lose, but Cesaro could come out looking like a million bucks, which was exactly what happened. Cesaro is over with the WWE Universe, and the company should turn him face and make him feud with a top tier name, which is what I think will eventually happen. Cena found a way to win the match, which will be the psychology going into his bout against Lesnar at SummerSlam.
Backstage, Stephanie confronted Triple H and said she couldn’t go to prison, and see the look of disappointment in her daughter’s eyes. Triple H consoled her, and said he’ll take care of everything. Orton interrupted them, and whined about Lesnar taking his place at SummerSlam. Triple H said as long as Roman Reigns was around, he wouldn’t let Orton get his shot. Triple H mentioned that Roman was scheduled to take on Kane later in the night. Orton mouthed off about them and said now he has a problem with Roman, Kane and Triple H. Will we see a Roman – Kane – Orton triple threat match at SummerSlam?
Analysis: According to the reports, Roman was supposed to take on Orton at SummerSlam, but their live event matches have received a lot of flak and negative criticism, and there has been heat on Orton for not working a good match. This might force the management to showcase a triple threat match instead of a singles match at SummerSlam.
Paige then made her way out and apologized for acting the way she did last week. Paige said she snapped because AJ took her title away from her, and that pushed her over the edge. She said nothing of that sort will happen again, and this brought AJ out. She said she understood why Paige did what she did. Paige insinuated that AJ was crazy, which ticked AJ off. AJ then attacked Paige and sent her packing to the back.
Analysis: Now we have a legitimate feud between a face AJ and a heel Paige, which is the right way to go. Both are natural in their own characters, and things will get interesting now that we have two talented individuals. Although, AJ messed up their previous match, which raised quite a few eyebrows. Maybe it’s time we see Natalya in the picture? Nah, that’s just wishful thinking.
Back from commercial, and Triple H and Stephanie made their way out. Triple H rants on the fans for making fun of Stephanie’s arrest, and said that it was all a big misunderstanding. Triple H then said Brie wouldn’t drop her charges, and Stephanie invited Brie to the ring, but the call was answered instead by Chris Jericho! Jericho came out to a big pop, and he made fun of Stephanie for getting arrested. At one point, he even sang “Bad Boys” from the TV show Cops, and the crowd sang alone with him. Triple H tried to cut him down, but Jericho made fun of Triple H as well. Jericho asked for a match with Bray, but Triple H told him that he had to wait till SummerSlam for that. Rollins decked Chris from behind with the briefcase, as Triple H then made a match between Jericho and Rollins later on in the show.
The Miz and RybAxel vs Dolph Ziggler and The Usos
At SummerSlam, The Miz will be defending his newly won WWE Intercontinental title against Bo Dallas and Dolph Ziggler if the reports are to be believed, and the two squared off this week in a huge 6 man tag team match. After a lot of back and forth action, Dolph Ziggler won the match for his team when he nailed the Zig Zag on Ryback. RybAxel is also set to face The Usos for the WWE tag team titles at SummerSlam, although nothing has been confirmed yet.
Winners: Ziggler and the Usos
Rating: ** ¼
Analysis: That was a decent tag team match, but it was a clash of styles, with the highflying Usos against a slow – paced RybAxel, and the same can be said about Ziggler and The Miz. The only reason why Miz became the champ is to get his movie over, while it was evident that the fans wanted to see Ziggler becoming the new WWE IC champion.
R- Truth vs Bo Dallas
Bo Dallas ran his mouth off, and took a victory lap even before the bout started, and Truth rolled him up inside the ring to beat Bo, handing him his first loss!
Winner: R – Truth
Post match, Bo decked Truth and unloaded on him. Bo dropped Truth with vicious clotheslines and punches. He finally snapped back and took another victory lap.
Analysis: That was certainly interesting. This might set up a feud between Bo and Truth, but I’d expect Truth to join Xavier, Big E and Kofi in the new Nation of Domination – esque stable in the company. It was surprising to see Truth beat Bo to hand him his first loss, but it wasn’t like Bo’s run till now has been impressive.
Back from commercial, and Justin Roberts introduced Lana and Rusev. Lana cut her usual anti – American promo, putting Russia and Putin over. Zeb and Swagger interrupted her, as Zeb cut a promo ripping Lana and Russia. Zeb and Swagger then chanted “We the people”, as Rusev and Swagger brawled in the ring. Rusev got the upper hand in their encounter, but Swagger turned it around with a Patriot Lock and Rusev managed to scramble out of the ring, leaving Swagger standing tall to end the segment.
Analysis: That was a decent little segment to hype their match at SummerSlam. Rusev and Swagger were holding their respective flags, which would indicate that they will indeed collide in a flag match at SummerSlam. I’m glad that Vince Russo isn’t booking this stuff in the WWE.
Damien Sandow vs Adam Rose
Sandow came out dressed as an astronaut, uttering the famous “Houston, we have a problem!” phrase. He ripped on the fans, as Adam Rose made his way out. Rose told Sandow to be a Rosebud, and not a lemon. Rose then quickly decked Damien with the Party Foul to pick up the victory.
Winner: Adam Rose
Analysis: I’m just sad for Damien. That’s all I have to say.
Roman Reigns vs Kane
Orton attacked Roman while he was still making his entrance. Reigns turned things around and took Orton down, but Kane came out to make the save. Reigns decked Orton with the Superman punch, but Kane took Roman down with a chokeslam. Orton then continued attacking Roman, sending him into the barricades and then nailed the draping underhook DDT. Orton then RKO’d Roman twice on the announcer’s table, breaking in the process. Orton ended the segment by posing over a lifeless Reigns.
Analysis: That was a good beat-down, but it poses concerns over how WWE would book Orton and Roman at SummerSlam. According to the reports, the fans have been harsh about the Orton – Roman matches during the live events, and even the WWE management is worried about how the match will be received. We’ll have to wait and see how they book the feud.
Fandango vs Diego
Fandango was in the ring, while Diego came out with Summer and Layla dressed in the Los Matadores attire. Torito was also with them, as Fandango started the match aggressively, but Layla and Summer distracted him so that Diego could take advantage. Fandango continued with the offense, dropkicking Diego and later dropping him with a suplex. The end came when Torito, Summer and Layla distracted Fandango and Diego rolled him up to pick up the victory.
Analysis: If I were to make out with Layla and Summer, then even I would be open to job to the other guys later in the program. Perks of being Fandango I guess.
Post match, Torito gored Fandango off the apron as Layla and Summer danced with Diego and Torito.
Backstage, Stephanie had words with Nikki, and Nikki told her that Brie would be in the arena soon. Nikki then told Stephanie that she was full of crap.
Natalya and Naomi vs Cameron and Alicia Fox
The Funkadactyles finally imploded as Naomi and Cameron were on opposite sides this week on RAW. Natalya started things off and dominated the match, and later Naomi came in and went toe to toe against her former partner, Cameron. Naomi finally locked in her leg scissors submission move and Cameron was forced to tap out.
Winners: Natalya and Naomi
Analysis: I just hope Natalya can claw her way into title contention, as the divas division is even worse than the NXT’s women’s division, which says a lot.
Seth Rollins vs Chris Jericho
Seth and Chris were involved in yet another phenomenal back and forth match this week as expected, as Chris dished out everything he had. Good back and forth action between two of the best workers in the business, as Rollins was in control for most of the match.
Near the end, Rollins missed the curb stomp and Jericho rolled him into the Walls of Jericho. Rollins fought out of it, and nailed Jericho with a big kick. Rollins then springboarded off the ropes, but Jericho caught him with the codebreaker! The lights then went out with the Wyatt Family’s graphic, and Jericho was surrounded by Harper and Rowan who worked over Jericho. Bray then decked Chris with Sister Abigail, leading to a DQ finish.
Winner by DQ: Chris Jericho
Rating: *** ¾
Analysis: That was a fantastic match, but the end was as expected. Bray was supposed to win their last match, but he will get that opportunity at SummerSlam. Jericho is one of the few people who can give Bray a legitimate rub, and we can only hope that Bray will not end up like Fandango.
Back from commercial, and Stephanie was in the ring. Stephanie acted like a victim, and said how people have been looking at her like a common criminal. Brie then made her way out, and Stephanie asked her to drop the charges. Brie said she had some demands that Stephanie should agree to in order for her to drop the charges. She asked for a raise for Nikki, to which Stephanie agreed. Brie then said she wanted her old job back, but Stephanie tried to persuade her out of it. Stephanie finally gave in and rehired Brie. Stephanie was about to leave, but Brie told her that she also wanted a match at SummerSlam against Stephanie. Stephanie didn’t want to have anything to do with Brie, but Brie threatened her with the lawsuit. Stephanie finally accepted the match, and slapped Brie once again. Brie pretended to leave, but came back and brawled with Stephanie as the other agents and Triple H tried to break it up. RAW went off – air with Brie and Stephanie having words while the fans in the arena cheered.
Analysis: That was a good segment, but I don’t know how important this feud will be. Does it deserve the main event spot? I don’t know. Unless Daniel Bryan comes back and gets involved in the feud somehow against Triple H, or for the title, I don’t see how this would go on last. Anyway, we will see what happens at SummerSlam.
Over – all rating of the show: *** ¾ (Out of 5 stars)
Two outstanding matches and a couple of really good bouts made the episode very interesting. The opening segment was top notch as well, and we now have to wait and see how SummerSlam shapes up. That does it for this week’s RAW review, and we hope you’ve enjoyed the show.Published 29 Jul 2014, 16:04 IST