Monday Night Raw – August 15, 2016: Stop Me If You’ve Seen This Before Sunday

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 15, 2016
Location: American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves

It’s Summerslam week and Brock Lesnar is here. On top of that things should be back to normal with the full roster back after their Australia/New Zealand tour last week. We should get one last push on all of the big matches, including Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor for the first ever Universal Title. Let’s get to it.

Last week on Raw, Roman Reigns sent Lana into a cake and Seth Rollins didn’t think much of Finn Balor.

Earlier today Rollins was outside waiting for his opponent Finn Balor, or the Demon King. He calls him out for a fight right then and there but no one showed up. Tonight he’ll find Balor instead.

Lana and Rusev are in the ring with Lana saying they’re not leaving the ring until everyone hears what they have to say. There will be no Raw until Reigns comes out here and apologizes. Instead he gets Mick Foley, now in a Have A Nice Raw shirt and with a beard that has its own zip code. Rusev yells a lot and says Foley sucks as a GM. He asks for Stephanie McMahon to come out here instead so here’s the bigger boss to stick up for Foley.

Rusev threatens to call Vince or Shane but here’s Roman to interrupt as well. They insult each other a bit (as heels and faces do) and a USA chant starts up, which is exactly what they were shooting for here. Rusev wants to defend Lana’s honor so Mick makes the match tonight, albeit not for the title.

Sheamus vs. Sami Zayn

Before the match, Sheamus gets some promo time saying Sami is nothing to him because Sami talks a lot on Twitter but he’s just a Sheamus knockoff. Sami throws his shirt at Sheamus and they’re quickly brawling before the bell. Cesaro sits in on commentary as Sami forearms Sheamus in the corner. A headscissors only ticks Sheamus off and he sends Sami back first into the post as we take a break.

Back with Sheamus in control, as a heel should be when you come back from a break. A powerslam gets two on Sami as Cesaro talks about having an offer to go to Smackdown, which a talent like himself deserves. The ten forearms to the chest have Sami in trouble but he knocks Cesaro outside for the big flip dive.

Corey gets on Cesaro for talking about himself a lot and Cesaro brushes him off in a rather heelish manner. White Noise gets two for Sheamus and a Blue Thunder Bomb (Not Michinoku Driver Cole. Even Saxton can get that name right.) gets the same. Sheamus comes back with the Irish Curse but here’s Cesaro for a distraction, setting up the Helluva Kick for the pin on Sheamus at 10:14.

Rating: B-. They were sticking with the basics here but these two doing the basics means a good match. Cesaro teasing the heel turn on commentary is interesting, though I have little reason to believe WWE isn’t going to botch this as well. What’s not interesting is Cesaro vs. Sheamus all over again after Cesaro beat him twice in a row in recent weeks. There’s no logical reason to do the match again but that’s what we’re likely going to get anyway because that’s that we’re stuck with.

Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens say tonight’s match between Owens and Big Cass isn’t one on one because Jericho will have Kevin’s back. Jericho wants to know who certified Enzo as a G. Does he even have a license to be a G? They’re ready for their tag match at Summerslam too and tell Todd/Robert/Brian/Nathaniel so, despite the interviewer being named Tom. Now that was funny.

Post break Cesaro and Sheamus are brawling again when Foley comes in to break it up. Mick loves seeing them fight so we’re getting a best of seven series. AFTER CESARO HAS ALREADY BEATEN HIM TWICE. Egads this booking makes my head hurt.

Dudley Boyz vs. New Day

Non-title and there’s no Big E. at ringside. Before the match, Gallows and Anderson pop up on screen to say they’re trying to cure Ringpostitis. They’re doing everything they can to make sure their results aren’t tainted, including putting eggs in microwaves. They’re well endowed with the right equipment and the ball is in their court. The distraction lets D-Von take over on Woods to start but D-Von clotheslines Bubba by mistake. Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise on D-Von for the pin at 1:38.

Post match the doctors’ experiment was a failure and they need more test subjects. Kofi wants to know why these two think this is a game. Summerslam is their anniversary of being champions and there’s no way Anderson and Gallows are getting their hands on New Day’s rocks.

Rollins is still looking for Balor but no one has seen him. This includes Neville, who says Rollins isn’t ready for the Demon King. Seth yells a lot.

Nia Jax vs. Rachel Weaby

Rachel has blue hair, bright green and pink attire and a lot of tattoos. She’s been watching the Olympics and is ready to bring home the gold. Nia throws her around and knocks her off the top with a single shot to the face. Rachel is out cold but Nia brings her back in for the fireman’s carry into a powerslam for the pin at 1:05.

Here are Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar for their big talk before Summerslam. We see Orton and Lesnar trading sneak attacks in recent weeks. Heyman starts his catchphrase….and here’s Heath Slater to interrupt. Paul hopes that someone put Heath up to this because it’s really stupid.

All Heyman can do is laugh as Slater talks about Raw understanding what Smackdown can’t get. Apparently if Slater fights Lesnar tonight, he gets a job. Heyman just ignores him and goes into his promo about Orton but Slater cuts them off again. Heath knows he’s going to get hurt very badly but he has to do this for his kids. Brock actually talks because he can respect Slater fighting for his family. He actually wants to talk about Slater’s kids….who he doesn’t give a censored about.

Slater can walk out of here on his own two feet or stand here and keep ticking Brock off. Heath actually tries to fight and gets suplexed half to death, followed by the F5. Heyman puts on Heath’s sunglasses and praises his courage before laughing at the idea of Orton being a viper. It’s his job to hype up the match on Sunday but Lesnar won’t believe a word Brock says about Orton being a real threat. Brock is the box office at Summerslam and you should buy it to see a once in a lifetime athlete. This FINALLY wraps up with Heyman saying Brock is dominant.

That’s the problem with how Brock has been booked over the last year: if no one, including the reigning WWE World Champion, why in the world would I want to see him fight again? We know the ending because Brock can’t be touched so it gets a little boring. Like Heyman’s speech here, which just kept going and going as Heyman said the same thing he’s said for over a year.

Big Cass vs. Kevin Owens

Before the match, Enzo talks about cooking zucchinis, sausage, burgers, frankfurters and those two pieces of Canadian bacon. Cass shoulders Owens down to start but Kevin knocks him off the apron and into the post as we take a break. Back with Cass breaking up the Cannonball with a boot to the face but getting sent outside again. Owens can’t hit the apron powerbomb and gets backdropped, only to have Jericho jump Cass for the DQ at 6:23. Not enough to rate but Cass looked competitive here and that’s all he needed to do.

Enzo and Cass get beaten down post match.

Reigns is ready to fight no matter what Rusev has ready for him. Rusev jumps him from behind and sends Reigns into a steel wall.

Prime Time Players vs. Shining Stars

Yes they were feuding just a week ago but earlier tonight Titus apologized so they’re back together for a third run. Darren and Epico get things going before it’s quickly off to Titus for a slam. Primo comes in and dropkicks Titus in the knee to take over, only to have Titus splash him in the corner. We get Titus suplexing Darren onto Primo for two but Bob Backlund accidentally distracts Titus, who is knocked off the apron by Darren. The Clash of the Titus plants Young and Primo gets the pin at 2:42.

Jinder Mahal vs. Neville

Neville dropkicks him outside and hits a corkscrew moonsault to the floor. The Red Arrow doesn’t work yet and Mahal kicks him in the face for two. A chinlock goes nowhere and Neville kicks him in the head to set up the Red Arrow for the pin at 2:57.

The bosses casually mention that Jon Stewart will be at Summerslam when Rollins comes in to find the Demon King. Mick suggests that he try it in the ring.

Here’s Rollins to call out Balor and give him one more chance to show himself tonight. No one shows up so Rollins laughs it off and calls this match just another chapter in his book. He’s the face of Balor’s failure but something we can’t see (maybe a fan jumping the barricade) cuts Seth off. Seth keeps laughing and the lights start flickering and go out. Red lights flash and here’s Demon Balor for the first time in WWE.

The fans are getting into the arms pose now and that’s a very good sign. Rollins has no idea what to think of this and Balor, now with writing all over the right side of his body, gets in his face. The fight is on and Balor cleans house as he should in this case. Balor misses the Coup de Grace but hits a flip dive over the top to take Rollins down. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of them having Demon Balor show up here. This match needs some buzz and this is going to do it.

We look back at Lana being sent into the cake last week.

Golden Truth vs. Gallows and Anderson

Gallows and Anderson are in their doctors’ coats. Truth gets kicked in the face to start but gets in the spinning forearm for a breather. It’s a double tag to Goldust and Anderson with Goldust hitting his bulldog and powerslam. Not that it matters as the Magic Killer ends Goldust at 2:18.

New Day comes in for the beatdown post match and it’s Gallows saving Anderson from a trombone to the testicles.

Charlotte talks down to Dana Brooke about wanting a taste of the spotlight. Dana failed her when it mattered the most but Charlotte will win the title anyway. Charlotte leaves Dana in tears.

Alicia Fox vs. Charlotte

Sasha Banks is on commentary. Fox hits some dropkicks to start but gets pulled off the middle rope for two. Natural Selection ends Fox at 1:25.

Charlotte calls Sasha to the ring but Dana takes out Sasha’s knee, setting up the Figure Eight.

Video on Braun Strowman.

Roman Reigns vs. Rusev

Non-title. Roman goes right at him before the bell and kicks Rusev in the face. The apron boot makes it even worse for Rusev but he posts Reigns as we go to a break. We’re joined in progress with Rusev working on Reigns’ bad left arm. Reigns gets choked on the ropes but comes back with a Samoan Drop for a breather. They head outside with Reigns being sent into the steps a few times but Rusev has the US Title taken away from him as we take another break.

Back with Rusev grabbing the mic and saying we’re all Russian wannabes. Rusev chokes Roman with his own ring gear, which isn’t a DQ for reasons that aren’t clear. Roman fights out and knocks Rusev off the top to set up a clothesline to put both guys down. The Superman Punch is countered and Rusev gets two off the spinwheel kick. Four straight middle rope headbutts get four straight near falls for Rusev.

The fifth finally misses and Reigns starts fighting back until a shot to the ribs slows him down. Rusev’s superkick is countered with a Superman Punch for a good near fall. The spear is countered with a few kicks to the head for two more but the Accolade is broken up as well. Another superkick to the back sets up the Accolade until Reigns basically collapses into the ropes. Back up and the spear pins Rusev at 20:39.

Rating: B. It was a solid match with both guys knowing how to do the power stuff but after seeing these two fight each other probably half a dozen times over the last year, I really don’t need to see them fight for thirty minutes on Raw and then watch them in a big pay per view match at Summerslam. Then again I don’t want to see Sheamus vs. Cesaro in four more matches (it’ll be seven) after seeing Cesaro pin Sheamus twice already. At least this was good, but I’m not wild on seeing a champion get pinned clean to set up the title match.

Overall Rating: D+. I really wasn’t feeling this one and a lot of that is due to how they’re booking things anymore. Now I really like the idea of the short, squash matches but you can mix things up a little more than that. Maybe have some of these matches go six to seven minutes instead of having six of them go under three.

The bigger problem here is that, aside from Balor vs. Rollins, I don’t care to see any of Sunday’s matches more than I did coming into tonight. How many of these people won’t be appearing on Sunday’s show anyway? Sami, Strowman, Nia Jax, and Neville aren’t likely to be at Summerslam but they get time (albeit very limited time) here because they need to fill in time. I’m hoping they get this stuff fixed soon because they really don’t know how to put a three hour show together at this point.

Results

Sami Zayn b. Sheamus – Brogue Kick

New Day b. Dudley Boyz – Trouble in Paradise to D-Von

Nia Jax b. Rachel Weaby – Fireman’s carry into a powerslam

Big Cass b. Kevin Owens via DQ when Chris Jericho interfered

Shining Stars b. Prime Time Players – Primo pinned Young after a Clash of the Titus from O’Neil

Neville b. Jinder Mahal – Red Arrow

Gallows and Anderson b. Goldust Truth – Magic Killer to Goldust

Charlotte b. Alicia Fox – Natural Selection

Roman Reigns b. Rusev – Spear

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book, KB’s WWE Grab Bag at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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7 comments

  1. Jay H (the real one) says:

    I thought this week was much better than last week. Also i guess I am a sucker for Best of 5 or 7 Series of Matches so I don’t hate that either. I think it was good too to break out The Demon here given im sure some fans are just to lazy to watch NXT and know what its about.

    Summerslam is looking like a great Show with the 4 Main Events being built very well including Brock/Randy Orton which is a Match ive wanted to see for a long time.

  2. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    I really wish they had saved the best of 7 for Cesaro and Zayn or Neville. Sheamus is good at what he does but he doesn’t exactly have the diverse skill set to pull off several different stories/matches like that.

  3. Jaiden says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t rate, Rusev vs Reigns on booking, like you did last week. Dumbest thing they could have done just before SummerSlam.

  4. M.R. says:

    I don’t understand having Reigns/Rusev wrestle for a half hour just days before their Summerslam match but atleast Fin Balor’s facepaint looks badass.

  5. Liam Fenech says:

    KB I know you’re mad about Cesaros situation and rightfully so but what if this is all part or a storyline? You did menton that Cesaro had betten Sheamus 2 times already so there would be no need for them to fight again. well what if thats the point ? Cesaro said on the draft that he’d rather be on Smackdown what if Cesaro snaps and demands a move to the Blue brand after jumping though so many hoops proving his dominance annd getting no reward for it form the bosses of Raw?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It’s possible. Not likely but possible.

  6. Keith Claridge says:

    This week’s Raw was hard work. Not much to enjoy or get into. Main event was top long. I’m not particularly looking forward to Summerslam.