The latest episode of Raw had the potential of being a pretty good show, but there were a couple of things that pulled it down that made it merely a decent show.
The WWE has some good things going right now, but the company didn’t necessarily capitalize on them Monday night.
Before we delve any further, let’s run through the full match results from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
- Big Show & Mark Henry def. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan
- Natalya def. Paige
- WWE Intercontinental Championship – The Miz def. Dolph Ziggler via count-out
- Cesaro def. Jack Swagger
- Roman Reigns, Rob Van Dam & Sheamus def. RybAxel & Randy Orton
- Goldust & Stardust def. The Usos
- Falls Count Anywhere – Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose
- Roman Reigns def. Randy Orton
Now let’s dig into the details of what took place on WWE Raw:
Seth Rollins destroys Dean Ambrose
For the second night in a row, the WWE ended its program with a heel standing tall over a babyface in dominant fashion.
Sunday night, the WWE took down its top babyface when Brock Lesnar destroyed John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
On Monday, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose went to war in a falls count anywhere match. The match itself was very entertaining, but so was the ending, which saw Rollins deliver the curb stomp to Ambrose on a stack if cinder blocks.
One night after taking apart its top babyface, the WWE decided to take down arguably its No. 2 babyface. Rollins didn’t even pin Ambrose. The referee simply stopped the match, which kept Ambrose somewhat strong I guess.
Fear not Ambrose fans. He is going away for a little while to star in a WWE Studios movie. He’ll be back in a few weeks and will more than likely hunt down Rollins once again.
As far as Monday night, I thought the execution of all of this was very good. Like I mentioned earlier, the match Rollins and Ambrose put on was very entertaining. They did some pretty sick spots to each before the cinder blocks got involved, such as Rollins power bombing Ambrose onto a pile of steel chairs and Ambrose suplexing Rollins off the top rope and through a table. I also thought Kane’s involvement made sense.
It was pretty awesome stuff and the crowd ate up every second of it. These two finally got to put on a match I thought they were capable of. I only had one problem, which was…
The night of the rematches
I don’t know why the WWE feels the need to do this after every pay-per-view, but for some reason they give away matches the very next night after making people pay for them on pay-per-view or the WWE Network.
This is silly for a number of reasons. For one, you cheat the fans that did pay for the match the night before. The fans that didn’t pay for the match 24 hours earlier get to now see it on free television.
The WWE not only did this with the Rollins-Ambrose match, but it did it with the Intercontinental title match between Dolph Ziggler and The Miz as well.
I can see why the WWE put Rollins and Ambrose on again, as Ambrose needs to be written off television, but why Ziggler and The Miz?
Not only are they giving fans a free pay-per-view match, which is already a reward, but they also gave them a better match than the one that was on pay-per-view.
As good as the lumberjack match between Ambrose and Rollins was at SummerSlam, the match they had on Raw only 24 hours later was probably better.
The WWE spends all of this time telling you to order the network for the grand total of $9.99 per month, only to turn right around and give you a quarter of the card away for free anyway. Why should I pay $9.99 per month if you’re going to give me at least one match for free anyway?
It just doesn’t make any sense to me.
The distraction roll up needs to go away
Another thing the WWE is overly reliant on is the distraction roll up for a finish.
It’s almost comical how much they use it on a weekly basis, and sometimes multiple times on the same show.
It was used only once this week, but it was just as dumb as it was the first 1,000 times the WWE has used that finish this year.
Paige and Natalya were involved in a match. All of a sudden, AJ Lee went down to the ring and skipped around it, much like Paige did to her a couple of weeks ago.
You can only guess what happened next. Just like Eva Marie did to Lee, Natalya rolled up Paige for the surprise victory.
I’m so tired of this finish. Not only because it is over used, but also because it just makes the wrestlers look stupid. Why on earth would someone’s theme distract you from doing you job, which is wrestle a match.
If you were in a real fight, would you turn your back on your opponent because someone else tried to distract you with something as stupid as skipping?
Or would you keep beating the crap out of your opponent. It’s just dumb and it needs to go away. It’s already been used twice in the Lee-Paige alone.
Brock Lesnar receives new WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Finally, there is only one title in the WWE.
Not only did Brock Lesnar receive a new title with the WWE’s new logo on it, it was just that, one title.
Since the WWE unified the WWE and World Heavyweight titles back in December, the champion has been forced to carry around two title belts, which not only looked silly but must have been hell going through airport security.
The WWE essentially retired the “big gold belt” and consolidated the two titles into one.
Thank goodness. How awkward did it look when John Cena would come out with two titles around his neck?
How awkward was it when Daniel Bryan would try to do the Yes! Chant with two title belts. It probably contributed to his neck injury. Those belts are about 15 pounds apiece. That’s about 30 pounds of weight he’s shoving into the air.
Now all the WWE has to do is merge the Intercontinental and United States titles and everything will be just fine.
Paul Heyman strikes again
Once Lesnar was presented with his title, it was then time for Paul Heyman to shine on the microphone.
I’m not going to lie, I was anticipating this probably more than anything else on the show Monday, and Heyman came through once again.
Eat. Sleep. Suplex. Repeat.
Eat. Sleep. Suplex. Repeat.
Eat. Sleep. Conquer John Cena. Repeat.
Even with saying all of that Heyman did something I thought was fantastic, which was put over Cena and the fact that he’s been the No. 1 guy in the wrestling industry for the last decade.
Sure, he made Cena look like a million bucks, but it also increased the importance of Lesnar’s domination of him Sunday night.
That’s a lost art in promos these days. The art of making your opponent look good, but making yourself, or in this case your client, look better.
New WWE logo is in full effect
The WWE unveiled its new logo over the weekend and it was in full effect Monday night.
Everything from the turnbuckles, to the title belts and even the big statue-looking thing that sits on top of the stage featured the new logo.
Raw even had some new graphics Monday night.
I’ll miss the old scratch logo. It’s only a memory now, but it’s a fond memory of days gone by.
The logo itself represented a shift in how the WWE presented its product when it was introduced in 1998, as the company went to a more adult-oriented show.
The WWE is nothing like what it was back 16 years ago and now the logo represents that as well.
Opening segment was just bad
Boy, the WWE sure knows how to kick an angle when its down, doesn’t it?
After the silliness of the physical therapist last week, the WWE followed that with Nikki Bella turning on her own sister Brie Bella in one of the more nonsensical heel turns in recent memory.
How did the WWE follow that Monday? By having Nikki Bella come out and cut a horribly scripted and horribly executed promo on her sister.
Nikki Bella just isn’t comfortable with a microphone in her hands, especially when it comes time for her to show emotion.
What was even worse wasBrie Bella simply cowering when her sister slapped her in the face.
Okay, I get that the love she has for her sister is probably hurting her and preventing her from slapping her back, but having her curl into a ball and cry is not going to get anyone on her side?
You know why people like Roman Reigns or Dean Ambrose? It’s because they don’t take crap from people.
Brie Bella should have done something, anything to make it seem like she was angry, not sad that her sister turned on her.
She was even wearing her “Brie Mode” shirt when all of this went down. That wasn’t “Brie Mode” Monday night.
However, Steph Bryan was pretty awesome.
Mark Henry confronts Rusev
It looks like Rusev has another babyface to mow down his way up the card, and that now looks to be Mark Henry as he confronted the Russian (or Bulgarian) Monday.
Notice how Rusev’s opponents are getting progressively more difficult. He started off with Big E, then moved up to Jack Swagger (who looks like a sick puppy now) and is now advancing to Henry.
It’s almost like he’s playing Mortal Kombat and is moving up the single player ladder, but I like it.
Like Swagger, Henry is not going to beat Rusev. He is merely filling a role. He will pose a great challenge to Rusev, but the Russian (or Bulgarian) will come out on top in the end.
It’s just not time to topple Rusev yet.
Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, Big E faction officially dead?
Despite reports swirling that the WWE has given up on the Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston and Big E faction before it even got started, I opted not to comment on it until after SummerSlam.
I figured the WWE had a lot going on heading into SummerSlam and didn’t want the trio to get lost in the shuffle. I gave the WWE the benefit of the doubt.
Well, it’s after SummerSlam neither one of the three were anywhere to be found on Raw. Kingston and Big E were on SummerSlam, but merely as lumberjacks.
This saddens me because these guys need something to do, and it looked like they had something with this faction. It didn’t have to set the world on fire, but it was at least something for them to sink their teeth into.
It just boggles my mind how quickly the WWE can change its mind sometimes. It’s not like the idea was floated before getting the kibosh.
The idea made it all the way to television before someone said, “Let’s not do that anymore.”
Not only is it bad for the talent, it’s also bad television overall. It just doesn’t make any storyline sense to have characters pop up on your television program only to never feature them again.
It’s also insulting the intelligence of the fans.
Big E provided a pretty funny update as to the whereabouts of himself Kingston and Woods as of late.
— Epsilon (@WWEBigE) August 19, 2014
Cesaro is back in the win column
Hey, Cesaro won a match!
It came over his former tag team partner Jack Swagger, who looks like he's on his way back down the card, but I'm sure he'll take it at this point