Brock Lesnar/ Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman might be the only man capable of telling the audience straight in the face that he’s there to sell someone to them and then do it successfully. The advocate not only sold the Beast but upped the stakes by building the image of a god for his client.
Heyman also made sure to set the Beast on Seth Rollins. He reminded Brock of all that Rollins has done. As if Lesnar needed any more reasons to destroy Seth. The way things are presented to us. It’s not a question of whether Brock will crush Seth but how long the punishment will last.
There was one line Heyman said that raised some flags. He called Lesnar “the sword that will pierce Seth Rollins’ shield”. The combination of words “Seth Rollins’ Shield” set a few alarms off in my head. If Reigns wasn’t in such a compelling feud with Bray Wyatt at the moment, I could have come up with quite a lot of speculations based on this.
Ryback vs. Big Show (No Contest)
No one watched the match for the match itself. The Miz was the life of the segment. Even the chants were directed at him and he made sure to respond appropriately. I have to say, I was entertained by the A-Lister.
In the ring, things were very much even. The moment Ryback was about to win, Miz got involved. He was hoping to take both man out while they were down but things didn’t work out well. Let’s just say that there was a rock and there was a hard place, and in between, there was the Miz.
I’m still rooting for the A-lister to win at Battleground. He might not be the best wrestler in the ring but he can bring entertainment to the show.
Brie def. Paige
Yet another Bellas vs. Paige match. It was the numbers game vs. Paige and Paige lost. Again. The Divas Division is stale. Change is needed.
Looking at how Alicia Fox is dressed and what the refs are doing, we might soon have Foxy do the Twin Magic with the Bellas.
Sheamus def. Roman Reigns (via Countout)
The Chicago crowd tried to sabotage this match but they were wrong. The fight was good and all the hackling was unnecessary. By the second half of the match, the majority of the audience was responding to the action in the ring.
I liked what I saw in the ring but if I didn’t know Bray Waytt was going to screw every match Reigns was in, I might have been more excited. The music hit, the lights were out, Reigns chased off Bray but it ended up being a phony. Meanwhile Sheamus won by countout.
Randy Orton made his return. The Celtic Warrior didn’t run away, he ran towards the Viper and although Orton came on top it can easily be explained by the fact that Sheamus had been in a match just before, so no momentum lost.
In general, the booking was smart. Reigns and Sheamus had to clash because of the way MITB ended. However neither of them can lose clean to the other if the suspense is to be kept. Plus, Bray made things interesting again by pulling another trick form the bag. Two birds with one stone.
Seth asked Triple H for advice on how to deal with Brock. Hunter told him to challenge the Beast. Seht was delighted by the idea of doing something that nobody would expect.
I thought the segment missed the point entirely. How are you going to surprise the crowd and most importantly Brock, if you’ve already publically announced that you want to challenge him as a trap?
This is a segment I loved. We had a pathetic first half where Rusev delivered a bitter, degrading speech. Then Ziggler came out with Lana to rub it in his face. And then things changed. Rusev attacked Ziggler brutally and turned what seemed to be a terrible segment into a spectacle.
The Bulgarian Brute is healed and he violently manhandled the Show Off. That level of violence is what fits Rusev. Lana’s expressive reactions sold the segment. It got the crowd roaring. Since Rusev’s healed, the WWE needs to simmer down the love drama and focus on the brutality between Dolph and Rusev.
Dean Ambrose def. Bo Dallas
Bo’s comment on the Rusev/Ziggler situation was that bad things happen to bad people. I like Bo. He’s our window into the word through the eyes of a heel. According to Bo, all heels are face. I love his distorted image of things.
The crowd was chanting LET’S GO AMBROSE/ WE BOLIEVE. The truth is that if we ignore booking and long term implications of matches, this was a fun segment to watch. Bo had his moments but the Lunatic Fringe came on top.
However, if we are to think about the position Ambrose is in, the injustice would shine through.
King Barrett def. R-Truth
Whoever saw Barrett in Japan knows what he’s capable of. This is below his level. And this storyline IS making a joke out of the King of the Ring tournament. At least Barrett won.
Seth Rollins Calls Out Brock
Seth talked and talked, trying to get the Beast angry but what did it was calling Brock “Paul Heyman’s bitch”. Rollins was hoping to get a three on one advantage on Brock but what happened was that Lesnar came out carrying two axes and destroyed J&J’s new car.
That car was going to go and we knew it. It was featured in too many segments to survive the night. J&J also got a taste of Brock’s power. Rollins ran for his life.
It was a smart segment. It gave Brock the retribution he craved, it gave the crowd a spectacle and saved Lesnar vs. Rollins for Battleground.
New Day def. Lucha Dragons
The New Day are alive and clapping happily. That is enough of an accomplishment on its own after their run in with Brock in Japan. On top of that they picked up a victory.
I’m also satisfied with the delegation of responsibility in the team. The idea of searching for the weakling isn’t taking them apart and that’s good. Xavier Woods wasn’t in the match but he saved the match. He pushed Kofi out of the way and started the beginning of the end for the Lucha Dragons.
How am I supposed to see Darren Young as face when he’s that douche who always wears sunglasses inside to look cool? The only other person, who does that, is the Miz! I might have been exposed to too much of Bo Dallas’ logic, but I see the New Day as the face team in this.
John Cena def. Cesaro
What. A. Match! It was simply incredible. After the opening exchange between Cesaro and Kevin Owens I thought that Owens was going to interfere and screw Cesaro again but it was all clean.
Counter for counter, this was amazing. John Cena showed moves we didn’t suspect he knew. Cesaro was finally allowed to demonstrate to the world the extent of his true skills. I have pages and pages of notes with highlights of this fight but there is no point in going over them. It was simply a classic.
Kevin Owens attacked Cena and failed. Then again, if Owens can’t beat Cena for the title I see no one who can, so I’d go with Owens at Battleground. It is true he now “needs” the championship.
Kudos to Cesaro for paying homage to Tyson Kidd with that armband in the end. That’s respect. I hope that this situation will lead to a Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens feud after Cena loses the title. The matches will see will be unforgettable.
What were your impressions of RAW? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!