Monday night in Houston was a night that the WWE used to further storylines for Summerslam in a couple of weeks.
It was nothing more, nothing less.
From a storyline perspective, the WWE did a good job of moving the stories along and creating a little more interest in the second-biggest pay-per-view of the year. In the grand scheme of things, this show was a positive.
Looking at it in a vacuum, however, the show wasn’t all that great. It had its highlights, but it had its fair share of lulls as well that made it an average show, in my opinion.
Before we dive into any more details, let’s run through the full results from the Toyota Center Monday:
- John Cena def. Cesaro
- Dolph Ziggler & The Usos def. The Miz & RybAxel
- R-Truth def. Bo Dallas
- Adam Rose def. Damien Sandow (Astronaut)
- Diego def. Fandango
- Naomi & Natalya def. Cameron & Alicia Fox
- Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins went to a no contest
With that out of the way, let’s get into my highlights and observations from Raw Monday night:
Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella may be the hottest angle in WWE
I can’t believe I just typed that, but it’s true. The feud between Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella may be the feud with the most heat right now in the WWE.
The WWE even chose to close the show with the angle this past Monday, where Brie Bella officially challenged McMahon to a match at Summerslam, to which McMahon reluctantly accepted.
But that’s not the main reason why this feud probably has the most heat. It’s because the story has been drawn out for months, essentially since Daniel Bryan was feuding with Kane right after WrestleMania.
Somehow this feud is still hot despite Brie Bella’s lackluster acting. She’s a very attractive woman and she married a helluva guy in Bryan, but her skills on the microphone aren’t really all that good.
But yet, this feud remains hot. That’s partially due to the near masterful work of McMahon. McMahon clearly went to the Vince McMahon School of playing a heel authority figure. She channels her father so much sometimes its scary.
What McMahon also brings to the table is the uniqueness of seeing her in the ring again. She wasn’t kidding when she said she hasn’t competed in a match in about a decade, so just seeing her in the ring with a chance to see her get her comeuppance is special by itself.
But don’t count McMahon out. She’s in tremendous shape and has done some boxing training in the past. She may not be Bret Hart or Kurt Angle when it comes to technique, but she is in good enough shape to be able to do an admirable job.
Quite frankly, the match she and Brie Bella will have doesn’t necessarily call of a scientific clinic anyway.
John Cena and Cesaro have a fantastic match
I think I could watch John Cena go against Cesaro every week and never get tired of it. These two guys just have great chemistry together.
For whatever reason, Cena feels the need to empty the bag of tricks against Cesaro. I know in storyline he was trying to show people that he really can wrestle, but this isn’t the first time Cena has put on a show in the ring.
It just goes to show that with the right opponent, Cena can be great.
This match came after a very passionate verbal exchange between Cena and Paul Heyman. Cena gave this fiery promo about he has a ton of passion for the WWE and that his opponent at Summerslam, Brock Lesnar, does not.
He said that Lesnar may kick the crap out of him, but the one thing he has over Lesnar is heart.
Cena cuts almost the same promo every week and this one wasn’t all that much different from his usual ones. But the way he delivered it with so much more anger made this one stand out to me.
A night of confrontations
A big sign that this episode of Raw was mostly used to tie up loose ends was the number of confrontations that occurred.
WWE.com used the word confrontation to describe four different segments from Monday. Chris Jericho confronted The Authority, AJ Lee confronted Paige, Jack Swagger confronted Rusev and they even referred to the McMahon-Brie Bella segment as a confrontation.
Randy Orton beats on Roman Reigns for a long, long time
Roman Reigns was scheduled to face Kane Monday night, but was jumped by Randy Orton on his way to the ring.
What followed was a very long and brutal beatdown laid by Orton onto Reigns where he RKO’d the rising star through the announce table.
Besides it being very long, I actually thought it was needed. It was needed because it made Reigns look vulnerable for the first time since he’s been on his own, which is a good thing.
Every good babyface has to look vulnerable at some point. It makes the win that much more gratifying when he rose to the occasion to gain it.
Up until this point, Reigns has largely been impenetrable as a singles competitor. He’s usually been the last one standing on multiple occasions, but this beating he suffered Monday night may actually be for his own good.
Bo Dallas shouldn’t have lost
Someone who shouldn’t have looked vulnerable was Bo Dallas, whose winning streak since joining the main roster ended Monday night at the hands of R-Truth. That’s right, R-Truth.
This is no knock against R-Truth. I’ve been a fan of his since his days in TNA Wrestling and believe he still has a lot left to contribute in the WWE.
But for Dallas’ first loss to come during a cold match on Raw to R-Truth doesn’t make any sense to me. If you’re going to have him lose, build up an angle toward it first. Let it happen on pay-per-view so you could make some money off it in someway. At the very least it would make it seem special.
Undefeated streaks aren’t always good for booking purposes, but in the specific case of Dallas I think it worked because of how ridiculous and delusional his character is.
Now he’s no longer undefeated, which means what exactly? If I knew the WWE had some bigger plans ahead for Dallas, I wouldn’t be as opposed to him losing. But since the WWE has dropped the ball before with rising talents (i.e. Cesaro) I’m not so sure they have any idea what to do with him moving forward.
The saving grace for Dallas may be his vicious attack on R-Truth after the match. Maybe the WWE will build off of that in some way. Only could only hope.
Dolph Ziggler-The Miz feud up and running
Dolph Ziggler and The Miz looks like they’re headed for an Intercontinental Championship match at Summerslam, which I would expect The Miz to win.
I hope I’m wrong with that early prediction, but with Ziggler beating The Miz clean last week and getting the upper hand on The Miz in a six-man tag again this week, it doesn’t bode well for Ziggler at the pay-per-view.
Bray Wyatt beats up on Chris Jericho ... again
For what seems like the 17th week in a row, The Wyatt Family left Chris Jericho lying in a heap during Raw.
So far, that’s all this feud has pretty much been. Outside of a few promos and their less-than-stellar match at Battleground, it’s been Bray Wyatt putting Jericho in the Sister Abigail every week.
I hope the WWE ratchets up the creativity between these two soon. I have high expectation for this feud and so far the only memorable thing to come out of it was Wyatt hijacking the Highlight Reel last week, and that only happened because Jericho wasn’t at the show.
No Dean Ambrose on Raw?
What? Why? I think I can safely speak for every WWE fan in saying that we need as much Dean Ambrose as possible.
Not only do people want to see him, but his character doesn’t strike me as a person that’s catching up on some rest and relaxation. He’s the type of guy that’s at the show looking for all kinds of trouble.