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RAW In A Nutshell: Beast Is Back, But He Has Company

WWE
We are on the path to SummerSlam, as the calendar has now turned to August and things are heating up! Tonight, RAW is live from Atlanta, and it’s fixing to be an action packed evening. Most notably, of course, would be the continuing build up toward the first ever Universal Championship match, and even bigger than that? Brock Lesnar, the Beast Incarnate, returns to RAW tonight. Buckle up, the ride to Suplex City might be a bit bumpy!

Best Match of the night:

Zayn and Rollins. Was a really good showing for both men, but Rollins really worked well in this spot, just another tune-up as he heads toward his date with history. Or destiny. Or a new shiny gold belt.

Worst match of the night:

Mark Henry versus Rusev. I apologize to Henry, as I would love to love him. But him plus Rusev? Equals a bad match. Nothing entertaining, it’s just painful to watch. It’s not exactly an endorsement of Rusev either. Some excellent champions could make even the worst wrestler look like a legend. Rusev is not that kind of wrestler.

Crowd Chants of the Night:

Yes! Yes! Yes!

How you doin’

Roman

New Day Rocks

USA! USA!

Let’s go Rollins

Sami Zayn

Suplex City

RKO

Star of the Night

Three for you, because I don’t feel like picking just one. Rollins and Balor, for the work they are doing to hype their match.

Brock Lesnar. Because he can come back to WWE for the first time in months, and command top billing. Just like that.

Spot of the Night:

I can’t believe I am going to put it up here…but Jinder Mahal’s big boot…er…shoe….on Heath Slater. It was a nice looking impact.

Jobber of the Night:

Ariel Monroe. Hands down, not even close. I think the opening bell had barely stopped vibrating when the match was over

Upset of the Night:

Not so much an upset in terms of who won, but how. Stunning win for New Day, as The Club was too busy posing and grandstanding that Big E got a sneaky quick win over the heels. The trio paid the price, however, getting decimated post match.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

The beating that Gallows and Anderson delivered to all three members of New Day. Have to start thinking about the duo as the next tag team champions, I would think. Which would be impressive for Gallows, considering how his last run in WWE went.

Nice hype by Heyman, with Brock bouncing in the ring. And then, just as Heyman finished hyping how the RKO could win Orton a match in the blink of an eye, the Viper slithered into the ring and stunned the former champion with an RKO outta nowhere, before exiting into the crowd.

Botch of the night:

Rollins and Balor had a botched exchange during the cheap shot/physical portion of their confrontation. Looks like they got crossed up on what hand Seth was to be punching with, and which Balor was to be blocking. They did recover nicely though.

While talking about botches, Mark Henry and Rusev had a sloppy portion of the match, in particular following the first, failed, Accolade. It wasn’t even one specific spot, it was several that just looked ugly.

Commentary of the night:

It’s Pokemon no for Golden Truth tonight.

Winning the home run derby doesn’t make you Babe Ruth.

As a general note, I enjoy listening to RAW more now than I did two weeks ago. I like Corey Graves, and by mixing things up, things have become tolerable again.

LOL Moment of the night:

Free agent Heath Slater is still lobbying for a spot on a show. Tonight, he brought Jinder Mahal back with him, and claimed that 2MB was getting back together.

Except that Foley said the two can wrestle right now, for the last open spot he had.

And while Slater was pleading their case, Mahal was lining him up to get leveled by a big dress shoe. And just like that, RAW has a new jobber.

Noteworthy Moment:

Congratulations to Lana and Rusev on their weekend nuptuals.

Roman Reigns is officially knocked down a peg. A very large step down, the former world champion is now going to be challenging Rusev for the US title. Interesting to note, he also was sporting some spruced up duds.

Overall lowlights:

Last week, it was somewhat funny to see R-Truth and Goldust chase Pokemon around, because the game was still new and newsworthy. Now? It’s a bit overdone. Perhaps creepy. Maybe even pathetic.

Putting Balor and Rollins at the 10pm top of the hour slot. Look, I get it, Lesnar is a huge name-made bigger by his recent doping issues-and he’s a big draw. A dominant superheavyweight. I am not disputing his place in the business. However, one of Rollins or Balor is just 3 weeks away from becoming your first-ever Universal Champion. So the buildup between these two absolutely deserves to land in the final quarter hour of RAW, at least once or twice between now and SummerSlam. I’d rather have seen those two in a more explosive segment to close the show tonight, but I suppose the justification today was that Balor main evented RAW last week. It’s a minor nit to pick, but I do like when the champion gets the main event treatment whenever possible.

Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs is appearing on RAW next week. It may be the first thing to get into this spot, two weeks in a row.

Overall highlights:

Balor and Rollins. Loving the build, and I think that match could be an incredibly good, match of the year level thing. The crazy thing is, it’s counterpart on the SmackDown brand could do the exact same thing.

The revamped RAW is growing on me. The announce position is nice, and the in-ring interviews, I can’t explain why but seeing Cole interview Balor-before Rollins interrupted-just took me back to the really old school RAWs and wrestling shows in general, where things like that were a common thing. Same as the true, full-on jobbers.

After the final bell:

Good build up for the Universal Championship.

Interesting new challenger for Rusev. I like it, but will it hurt Reigns (more than he’s already been damaged goods).

Welcome back, Brock Lesnar. That sting you feel?¬† That’s Orton nailing you with an RKO.

 

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