Reviewing the Review – Monday Night Raw: August 3, 2015

We’re in Summerslam mode now and it’s very fun to see where things are going. You can see most of the card now and I’m actually liking the card that is being presented so far. Last week was about Cena vs. Rollins, so now it’s time to focus on the other main event, assuming Cena can actually go for the pay per view. It’s an Undertaker vs. Lesnar night though so let’s get to it.

The show opened the only way it could have, as we had a ten bell salute to Roddy Piper. He deserves every tribute he receives, including people wearing Piper shirts all night and throwing some Piper lines into some promos. I have no issue with any of this whatsoever and it made me smile all night long. I’ll miss Piper quite a bit as his talking is as great as anyone ever could have been and his promos should be homework for any wrestler today.

Seth Rollins, in a NEVER SHUTS UP shirt, opened the show and we got our first handful of roughly 1839 viewings of Cena’s nose being busted open last week. Rollins has the idea of a match vs. Cena at Summerslam with both titles on the line, but if Cena can’t show up, he can just forfeit the title instead.

I’m not a fan of title vs. title matches, but since Rollins has made it clear that he doesn’t care about the US Title, why not let him cost Cena the title so someone can get the win over Cena while also keeping Cena look strong going forward? The match will be fine, but I’d rather it just be a regular World Title match for the sake of the US Title going forward.

As for tonight, Rollins is issuing an open challenge of his own, but the opponent has to be under 6’0 and weigh under 200lbs. The idea was that it would be El Torito, but Neville came out for a good match instead. This was a better match than I was expecting with some awesome false finishes, including Neville hitting the Red Arrow but Rollins got the foot on the ropes. Rollins wound up winning with the Pedigree and it still doesn’t work for him. He’s a fast paced, high flying wrestler and then he stops to use that kind of a move for the sake of his daddy figure. This was a solid match and did you really expect anything else?

New Day and Ascension beat Los Matadores and the Lucha Dragons. This is completely different than when the opposite happened on Smackdown, because this match actually matters and is likely going to lead to New Day getting the shot at Summerslam. They seem to be building to a multi-team match, which could be interesting if they did it right, which means it isn’t likely to be all that interesting.

Charlotte/Becky Lynch beat the Bellas when Nikki tapped out to the Figure Eight. As I’ve covered about a dozen times already, none of this is going to matter until we get to September when Nikki can actually lose the title. My guess is there’s a big tag match at Summerslam because we haven’t seen enough of them lately. As long as we don’t get the rumored Divas Tag Team Titles, as that would be one of the worst ideas WWE has had in a very long time, which is covering a lot of ground. They’re not needed and would just be another trophy for the Bellas, which is why we’re likely getting them so Nikki can be a Triple Crown Champion or whatever.

Paige and Naomi set up a match for later with Naomi calling out Ronda Rousey. I doubt it leads anywhere, but imagine the reaction if she actually shows up and just destroys one of them one night.

MizTV started with Miz saying none of this would be happening without Piper’s Pit. Simple, true, classy, and a moment that gave me a genuine smile. The guests were Owens and Cesaro, who argued about the merits of actually winning something vs. walking out all the time. Cesaro wanted to fight then and there but Owens bailed again. Cesaro is looking like a star, but both guys need the win at Summerslam. I’m not sure who is winning though and that’s the best feeling in wrestling.

Rusev squashed Mark Henry with superkicks instead of the Accolade, which is nice for a change.

Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Sheamus were ready for the main event. Sheamus kind of fit with this group, but it felt far more like the presentation than Sheamus itself.

King Barrett squashed Zack Ryder. It’s not much, but it’s better than Barrett losing all of his matches before winning the rematches. I’ll take small victories where I can get them.

Paul Heyman came out for his big speech about Undertaker. I think you can fill in the details yourself, but the highlights saw Heyman reading last rites to Undertaker and saying that this match is bigger than Wrestlemania. That’s a great line that makes you feel how big the match really is, and I bought the whole thing. I’m not wild on the match happening and I don’t really want to see either guy win (though Brock should) but the idea is solid.

Paige beat Naomi with the PTO in an average match. There isn’t much else to say here.

Arrow’s Stephen Amell will be here next week to face off with Stardust. This could be really cheesy, but Amell is in great shape and looks tough so it won’t be a disaster if they treat it well.

Ambrose and Reigns are all out of bubblegum. That gave me another smile.

Ambrose, Reigns and Orton beat Sheamus, Wyatt and Harper in every main event six man tag you’ve ever seen. I’m kind of digging these six man main events to close the show, but it doesn’t give me a ton of incentive to stick around until the end of the show if there’s nothing big to build towards. At least the matches have been at least ok.

Overall, this was another moving day episode as most of the card can be figured out or has already announced, so it’s time to make the fans want to see those matches. They’ve done a solid job of keeping the matches from being obvious, which is a really good sign going into the second biggest show of the year. Summerslam looks good on paper, but they’ve got two more Raw’s to mess it up.

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