I sometimes try to be smart with review titles, mainly for my own pleasure. This is just the truth and what I think would get you to click on the review, Cagesiders. This episode of Raw was a massive improvement. And it all starts with Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins.
I admitted last week that I was about to end this feud because Lesnar just … he has a formula – or he has a formula – a long time ago. Ever since I defeated Undertaker at WrestleMania. He is this boss who has never been so interesting in this build. The match is fun, but no one expects people to beat it, and then we find another challenger.
The Lesnar Carousel, if you like.
Well, this man tried to assassinate Seth Rollins on this show. And I'm not entirely convinced that Rollins is still breathing.
It started with the rise game between Dolph Ziggler and Rollins, who was out of the race prematurely. Ziggler entered Shawn Michaels music for obvious troll reasons. It was also a great use of an old rope. Rollins quickly gained the upper hand until Lesnar came out and gutted the man completely. Suplex to Suplex, F5 to F5.
But then it got dark in a way that Lesnar's stuff does not usually do. Like an animal, he usually quenches his thirst for violence, gets bored, and leaves.
This time? He refused to stop. He grabbed a chair, slapped Rollins with it, opened it to a sitting position and then hit his opponent on the exposed back with F5. Over and over and over and over …
And after a commercial break, we had an anarchic scene backstage. Roman Reigns and Becky Lynch watched helplessly as Rollins was driven to an ambulance just to be ambushed by Samoa Joe and The OC. As this happened, Lesnar WIEDER attacked to tear Rollins from the stretcher and f5 him again.
You know. I want to make sure he's really dead.
And now I stalk and bleed segments, but then we have this massive 8-man brawl to end the show. Cedric Alexander jumped from the damned Tron. It was great and everyone looked good.
What kind of show was that? Where does it come from?
When we talk about great things that characterize the participants, hey, a Gauntlet match! for summer slam. And if you thought Mysterio vs. Cesaro sounded amazing … just right.
A springboard into an uppercut? Nuts!
Mysterios crucifix and rope counter? Absurd!
The transition to a high rope bulldog? Cesaro and Mysterio are you both SERIOUS ?!
Rey won with the 619 in a Frog Splash. I wanted Cesaro to make 619 hits in this match – or at least try – but that's … the smallest complaint ever. These two are crazy good at this wrestling thing.
Sami Zayn was next and was beaten in no time. His situation was probably the only one that bothered / not busy me. Where is this going for Zayn? Will it help his own story? If not, could not we have done anything else?
After that, we have Andrade versus Mysterio, which is always one of the best things ever. This time, however, they were not so concerned with the surreal spots as they were trying to get Andrade some heat. And it worked! He mocked Mysterio, ridiculed Eddie Guerrero with the Three Amigos and tore Mysterio's mask from his face after the damned match.
When Ricochet came down, he had the crowd stuck in his corner. It made his job so much easier and he delivered with enthusiasm.
I really loved his promo in the end. He seemed very vulnerable, as if he could not believe that he had won the US championship of Joe. But this time he really believes in himself. I can dig it out.
The OK wins the Raw Tag Team Championships.
The OC has OG: Only Gold.
… That was lame. Excuse me.
So! Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows showed some actual character advances in this episode! Weeks before her heel twist, AJ Styles cursed her for getting soft. He scolded her for her showboating and for losing her edge.
In this triple-threat match, they stopped doing all the stupid things. You never showed. They were content to be on the outskirts of the game. And in the end, Gallows made a sneaky label to eliminate the usos and the revival.
That's great! That's the kind of stuff we need more from: characters who have a mistake and do something to fix it. That's frankly storytelling in a nutshell. And it's great for a tag division that has been Usos and Revival for a long time, essentially.
Another great thing – this match was very good. The OK can go. So we do not just have a story that makes sense, but also a tag team that can stage entertaining matches.
That's all I can ask for.
A moment of bliss – I like that this one was pretty quiet here! Bliss and Nikki Cross just did their thing and talked about a few things that happened last week and that are not the skull frying pan that WWE used to beat us up with. Becky showed up in the Jumbotron to say, "I have evidence for your trash-talk, cross as well, you're embarrassed." Perfect for a match on the same show.
Becky Lynch defeated. Alexa Bliss. And then Becky Lynch def. Nikki Cross – This resulted in two similarities to illustrate the dichotomy of this relationship between bliss and cross. Bliss faked an injury with crocodile tears to get out of her match. Cross, incensed to defend her friend's honor, occasionally challenged Lynch.
Cross has the potential to be a damn babyface when the turnaround comes.
What made this better was how well Natalya prepared it. Come down and look bad. She shot off her heels and left Lynch a farewell gift to catch with a submission before the show.
Highlights of the Championship 24/7 –
The show began with a continuation of the feud between R-Truth and Drake Maverick. She and her future partners had a mixed-day match that destroyed Maverick. The usual gang was there to capitalize, and Mike Kanellis somehow got away with the title.
He also lay down for his wife Maria to put her heel on his chest and win the title for him. And strange as the stuff of emasculation is … it's worth it, if Maria happy "Pregnant Champ!" Screams.
It's a really, really weird dynamic. But hey, wrestling.
Viking Raiders defeated. Local Talent – With all the other madness, these guys just do not sting me that much. And that's a shame, because their tag moves are really cool.
So many of these reviews are based on expectations. My expectations affect the grades and for some time I have not expected much from WWE. 1-2 good segments? Hey, I'll take it. B or C or whatever.
I was blown away this week. I had no idea that the show could be so engaging.
In Heyman We Trust, Cageside?