Reviewing the Review – Monday Night Raw: July 25, 2014

Battleground is over and we can head to Summerslam like a lot of people want to. Even though the big surprise for Monday’s Raw was the worst kept secret in about forever, it’s still a cool feeling when you know something huge is coming and you just have to wait for the big reveal. Let’s get to it.

HHH opened the show and talked about the Authority not getting the title back last night. He then went on a hilarious rant against internet fans, saying he was so mad that he might have to Tweet until his fingers bled or, Heaven help him, SEND OUT AN INSTAGRAM! I cracked up at that line because of the voice and the way he delivered it.

Anyway the point of this was that HHH isn’t sure who is going to face Cena at Summerslam but everyone in the back is going to have the chance to prove their worth to him. This brings out Orton, who HHH says is the frontrunner for a title shot. Kane comes out and says he’s the best option. Roman Reigns appears and says no one wants to see Kane vs. Cena and NO ONE wants to see Cena vs. Orton again. Kane gets laid out with a Superman Punch and HHH makes Reigns vs. Kane/Orton right now.

The handicap match was fine with Reigns pinning Kane after a spear. It’s a bit of a stretch but the team got in an argument at the end and Reigns capitalized. They kept it moving as well so it never got beyond the suspension of disbelief. Reigns pinning a former World Champion is a good thing for him.

Now we get to the other big story of the night. Stephanie McMahon gave Nikki Bella a four on one handicap match but noticed Brie Bella in the front row. She wanted Brie ejected but Brie had a ticket. They yelled at each other a lot and Stephanie slapped her, which somehow got Brie dragged off. Nikki was of course destroyed in the four on one handicap. Stephanie said that Nikki was going to quit soon, which seems to be her big plan.

Later in the night, Stephanie was arrested for battery and taken away in handcuffs. HHH promised he would get Stephanie out of jail in five minutes (and for some reason asked the cops if they were driving a hybrid), but instead stayed at the arena to make his announcement on the main event. We haven’t yet heard any backlash against HHH for not being there for his wife but you can imagine the sort of thing you’re going to hear.

The Bella vs. Stephanie segments were entertaining for the most part as Brie is actually a decent actress. Stephanie is perfect in her role and the story is acceptable enough. The problem is without Bryan, a lot of the interest goes down. I’d assume he’d be in Brie’s corner when we get the match at Summerslam though. One last note: I’m not sure if it’s the hair color or the more natural look, but Brie comes off as much more beautiful than Nikki. She did on Total Divas and she did again on Raw.

Bo Dallas beat Damien Sandow. It seemed like Bo had turned face here but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Jericho was going to do the Highlight Reel but the Wyatts laid him out in the back. Apparently this was filmed at Battleground because Jericho wasn’t at the arena. That’s a basic idea and a trick that worked fine. Bray did his usual schtick about war and Abigail. He really needs to be a monster again.

Dolph beat The Miz because Miz is the Intercontinental Champion and therefore he must be defeated any time he wrestles. It’s life in the WWE.

Seth Rollins was told he shouldn’t face Cena at Summerslam. Cesaro came in and confirmed that he was no longer a Payl Heyman guy and asked to be put in the title match. HHH said Cesaro can get in if he beats Dean Ambrose tonight. Cesaro as a mercenary is an interesting idea.

AJ Lee and Paige beat Emma and Natalya. Post match Paige turned heel and beat up AJ before skipping away. Paige with a big smile and skipping away is rather appealing to look atl.

Zack Ryder beat Fandango with help from the girls. Let this one sink in for a bit. I’m not sure what the endgame is here but Layla and Summer dancing is never a bad thing.

Flo Rida knocked Heath Slater down, just like he did at Wrestlemania a few years back. He then performed a medley of songs and no one cared. I have no idea why WWE thinks this is a good use of TV time.

Kofi Kingston/Big E. lost to Ryback/Curtis Axel in a nothing match. The interesting thing here though was Xavier Woods coming out and saying that these two deserve better. It sounded a lot like the start of a new Nation type stable, but heel turns were only implied. Granted something like this almost naturally turns you heel as face stables rarely last long term. Kofi and Big E. getting something to do is a good thing though and Woods has the credentials to pull off the intellectual leader.

Rusev beat Great Khali in a better match than you would have expected. Same stuff here though.

The Dusts, Cosmic Key.

Cesaro and Ambrose had a nice brawl that ended with Ambrose hitting Cesaro with a chair. Dean caring more about violence and hurting Cesaro fits him fine as all that matters is Rollins right now.

The big ending to the show was of course HHH coming out to reveal the opponent and Reigns taking out Orton. HHH was left alone until Paul Heyman came out with Lesnar. HHH agreed that Lesnar gets the shot and Heyman talked for a good while about how awesome Brock was and how he’ll conquer John Cena at Summerslam. Good promo, even though we knew he was coming about a month ago.

Raw was good for the most part but again could have used an hour being cut out. Lesnar being spoiled hurt it a bit as the Orton and Kane stuff was just a big waste of time. To be fair though, WWE had put out a lot of stuff from Heyman so they acknowledged the spoilers and took away some of the shock intentionally.

You can see the top of Summerslam’s card already and a lot of it looks solid enough. We’ll have Brock destroying Cena, Reigns vs. Orton, Rollins vs. Ambrose and probably Brie vs. Stephanie. That’s not a bad card for a huge show and things should be entertaining enough. Raw was good enough this week but it was little more than setting the stage for the upcoming shows.

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  1. Greg says:

    Just thought you should know some of your ebooks are torrents now. History of wwe title and one other i cant remember

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It doesn’t surprise me. There isn’t much I can do about it unfortunately.

  2. ted says:

    “Brie vs. Stephanie.”

    This has to be happen?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I can’t imagine otherwise but Nikki vs. brie is also a possibility.

  3. ted says:

    What did we as fans do to be punished with Brie vs Stephanie?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I wish I could answer that. The story and build aren’t bad but good night the match could be a disaster.

    ted Reply:

    Could be? Steph has never EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEver shown any flair in the ring. Brie is passable on her best day. This is just unnecessary.

    No one has ever been able to give me a reason “aside from being in the right family” Why Stephanie needs to be an onscreen character.

    She can’t act, She can’t wrestle, Even the superficial reason is lame. She is average looking at best. Can we please just give her something to do backstage and keep her there?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I like looking at her and she can be good at being evil when she’s on her game. When she’s overexposed though, it’s too much.

    ted Reply:

    Meh her looks are more subjective. She doesn’t need to be there period. The match will be awful and everybody knows it. It’s just not needed.