Hey, it’s WWE Raw! It’s that show that better try and explain why the main event of last night’s PPV was ruined by an old man…
The show started with that self-same old man coming down to the ring, slowly as his dongs rang out. I know it’s a minor thing but he hadn’t even ironed his trenchcoat.
You may have noticed I’ve been less than complimentary about The Undertaker, and I make no apologies for this. He’s been programmed with the realest character in the business right now and it sticks out like a sore thumb that he’s totally unreal, and their encounters suffer from it.
But on with the show… The Undertaker finally made it to the ring and cut a talky. He said, in a voice resembling someone trying to do an impression of Randy Savage, that he stood there a “relentless, remorseless, cold-blooded, vengeful, grim reaper.” Okay.
He said that streaks were made to be broken but he didn’t like the way Brock Lesnar kept going on about it. Bit petty. He said Lesnar had taken something that was once smouldering ashes and turned it into a raging volcano. He said Lesnar couldn’t kill what would not die – ain’t that the truth! – and that he would conquer what was yet to be conquered.
He said that, in the end, just like all things – man or beast – Lesnar would rest in peace. His dong went off again and he walked slowly to the back.
Backstage, in The Authority’s office, HHH & Stephanie McMahon were excited about Brock Lesnar versus The Undertaker at Summerslam. Okay. Stephanie said she’d get marketing it right away and HHH said he’d talk to Paul Heyman to tell Lesnar to stay away from The Undertaker. Good luck with that.
The announcers wowed about The Undertaker and then hyped tonight’s main event – a six-man featuring John Cena, Cesaro & Randy Orton versus Kevin Owens, Rusev & Sheamus.
After a break, Team Naomi were at ringside, and Charlotte’s music brought out Team Paige. They showed footage from backstage at Battleground, where Charlotte and Ric Flair had an emotional encounter. Then Brie Bella’s music played and Team Bella came out, too.
So they had a Charlotte versus Brie Bella match, and Team Naomi joined the announcers for commentary. They heeled it up, and were good value. Naomi’s probably better than her husband is on Smackdown but her twin sister didn’t get injured leaving her nothing to do, I guess.
Charlotte and Brie worked hard but, you know, it’s Brie and nobody really cares about the women, despite this brave effort at a relaunch. And, weirdly, where the size difference between Charlotte and Sasha Banks never seems to be an issue on NXT, Brie looked tiny out there, so they did a spot where Charlotte wiped out on a dive to hamstring her.
It didn’t matter, because Charlotte got the win with the Figure Eight, which Team Naomi acted all non-plussed about, while Team Paige celebrated in the ring. Team Bella? Team Losers.
Backstage, in The Authority’s office, HHH had a row over the ‘phone with Paul Heyman about Brock Lesnar coming to Raw. I’d love to have heard the other side of it because it never seemed like he gave Heyman enough time to say what he was supposed to have said. The Miz tried to interrupt to complain about The Big Show punching him at Battleground, and when HHH eventually hung up he booked The Miz against The Big Show as punishment.
Hey, it’s Los Matadores! Remember when they turned heel before Wrestlemania because the four-way tag-team title match required two babyface teams and two heel teams? And how that was immediately forgotten? Anyway, they were in the ring, with el Torito, ready to fight their opponents, The Prime Time Players.
So Titus O’Neil & Darren Young came down to the ring and they had a match. It was not a title match because I don’t know why. Young sold early but then O’Neil came in and hit a sweet pounce on one Matador, while Young recovered to hit his suplex on the apron on the other.
Then The New Day came down the ramp, being all positive and shit. This distracted The Prime Time Players enough for O’Neil to get hit with a lungblower and Los Matadores picked up the surprise win. Out on the ramp, The New Day celebrated with the “Millions of Dollars” dance.
After a break, The Miz was in the ring, getting cheap heat from the crowd. The Big Show’s music played and he came for their match. The Miz tried to wear The Big Sh0w out by running in and out of the ring but The Big Show knocked him down and then hit a second-rope elbow smash for the win. At least it was short.
After the match, The Big Show grabbed a mic’ and ran down The Miz. He was angry that The Miz had said he had been missing since the Attitude Era and wondered if The Miz could feel him now. He then said the only one missing was The Ryback and he was going to take his title from him. He then hyped his appearance on this week’s Tough Enough and basically threatened to punch all the fellas on that show out.
Backstage, HHH & Stephanie were admiring some of Rob Schamberger’s (look him up) art and Stephanie asked him if he could do one for the main event at Summerslam. As in do a painting to advertise it, not paint live in the ring as the main event. Although…
HHH noticed Paul Heyman was in the building and demanded to know why. Heyman said that he was just there to give Lesnar’s rebuttal to The Undertaker and then he would leave. He walked off towards the ring and HHH said they might need all the security they had and half the locker room if Lesnar did show up.
After a break, HHH & Stephanie addressed half the locker room. They said they knew they were asking them to put themselves between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker but that the main event at Summerslam needed to be protected. He then ordered them to stop any trouble and they excitedly gossipped about it.
Hey, it’s Paul Heyman! He came down to the ring to give Brock Lesnar’s rebuttal to The Undertaker’s opening speech. He asked a rhetorical question – why is Brock Lesnar NOT the WWE World Heavyweight champion tonight? He said it wasn’t because Seth Rollins outwrestled, or out-fought him, or even that Rollins survived Suplex City , it was because of The Undertaker.
He said that Lesnar and The Undertaker went face-to-face at Battleground for the first time since April 2014, the night his client conquered the streak. He said he knew that it bothered some of the crowd that his client had ended the streak but that it bothered The Undertaker even more. He said The Undertaker had waited 469 days for revenge, and all that time Heyman had bragged about ending the streak because it was a big accomplishment.
He said Shawn Michaels, HHH, Ric Flair, Edge, Randy Orton, and Batista had all failed to end the streak, but his client – Burrrrrrock Lessssnar – did not fail. He said that The Undertaker had come back for revenge, ripping the WWE title away from Lesnar just as Lesnar ripped The Undertaker’s greatest achievement away from him.
At Summerslam they would collide, and The Undertaker wanted to make it personal. He said The Undertaker had sold his soul to the devil for revenge but that his ass belonged to Brock Lesnar.
The lights went out and The Undertaker’s dong rang out, and when the lights came back on The Undertaker was in the ring. Heyman begged off as The Undertaker backed him into a corner and then Brock Lesnar’s music hit and Lesnar came SPRINTING down the ramp.
They started brawling and HHH appeared on the stage and sent security goons down to the ring to break it up. That failed so he called out half the locker room to get down there and they eventually – though with some difficulty – split the two up. Lesnar shouted, “I’ll kill you!” at The Undertaker, who shouted back, “You’ll have to!”
They broke free to resume fighting but eventually got hauled back by the assembled throng, and the show went to a commercial break.
After the break, Lesnar and The Undertaker were being led down a corridor backstage but they broke free and began fighting again. They were eventually separated, and The Undertaker was led away while Lesnar had his hands tied up and was taken somewhere else. This would have been an ace segment if it didn’t include a cartoony old man.
After another break, the announcers replayed footage of the brawl, and then threw backstage to The Authority’s office. HHH & Stephanie talked about Lesnar being arrested and Seth Rollins walked in. He said he had a lot to get off his chest and he wished Lesnar was there to hear it. HHH sighed and told him to go say what he had to say in the ring.
Hey, it’s Bray Wyatt! He cut a talky from wherever he cuts his talkies from. He had Luke Harper standing next to him, and Harper also said a few words. The gist? Anyone but Roman Reigns.
After a break, Luke Harper came down to the ring, accompanied by Bray Wyatt. Roman Reigns came out from where he lives now, up in the cheap seats, to fight Harper. Wyatt stayed at ringside, which drew out Dean Ambrose to even things up.
So Reigns and Harper had a match, and it was an okay match but it lacked feeling. They went back and forth but Reigns was about to win, readying the Superman Punch, when Wyatt pulled him out of the ring for the DQ.
After the match, Ambrose sprinted round the ring and took down Harper, while Wyatt fought Reigns. Wyatt got rid of Reigns and then sneak-attacked Ambrose, and Harper threw Ambrose into the timekeeper’s area. Wyatt & Harper then dragged Reigns into the ring.
Suddenly, Ambrose came back to life and made the save. He hit the rebound clothesline on Harper but got caught by Wyatt for Sister Abigail. Before Wyatt could hit it, Reigns hit a Superman Punch on Wyatt, and the heels took a powder. Ambrose & Reigns stood tall in the ring. This feud must continue!
Backstage, Seth Rollins was shown walking down a corridor, presumably towards the ring, and they went a commercial break. During the break, Rollins enacted his favourites from the Ministry Of Silly Walks, arriving at the Gorilla position just in time for his music to hit as the commercial break ended.
Hey, it’s Seth Rollins! He came down to the ring and cut a talky on Brock Lesnar. He said everyone had bought into Paul Heyman’s propaganda, and everyone bought their Suplex City t-shirts. He said everyone cheered when Lesnar destroyed his $55,000 Cadillac, and everyone was happy when J&J Security and Kane were taken out. But, after all that, he was still the WWE World Heavyweight champion.
He said he didn’t care about Lesnar, saying he took Lesnar’s best but he was still the champion. He said everyone could talk about his means of keeping the title but all that mattered were the ends.
He said Lesnar’s past caught up to him when The Undertaker attacked and he couldn’t helped but feel cheated out of a victory by Lesnar & The Undertaker. He got Lilian Garcia to get in the ring and do the end-of-match announcement that he was still the WWE World Heavyweight champion.
This brought out John Cena, who told Garcia she could leave the ring and not deal with Rollins’s crap any more. Rollins wanted to know what Cena was doing out there, since his business was nothing to do with him. He sarcastically congratulated Cena on his victory over Kevin Owens, and then said that this must be the US title open challenge, so he would leave Cena to it.
Cena told him to hang back for a second. He told Rollins that he was a “weasel, suck-up, poor excuse for a champion,” and that actions speak louder than words. He said Rollins’s actions every night make people lose faith in the WWE World title and gain respect for his US title. “Thanks chief, I owe you one,” said Cena.
Rollins got mad and said Cena acted like he was carrying some symbol of excellence because he’ll defend the title against anyone but people had to earn a shot at his title. Rollins said Cena could have his open challenge while continued being THE champion in WWE.
Rollins left the ring and Cena called him a coward, who ran away from every challenge he’s faced since becoming champion. He said it wasn’t the title that made the title, but the man that made the title, and challenged Rollins to a fight.
They both removed their shirts and it looked like it was on but then Rollins waved it off and smirked and walked to the back. Cena smiled, said “the champ is here,” and they went to a commercial break.
Now some people have taken issue with Cena cutting Rollins’s balls off here. But Rollins IS a weasel champion. His whole thing is that he won’t fight fair and will run away if he doesn’t have the numbers. I don’t doubt there have been times when Cena – or whoever – have sabotaged a youngster, but this ain’t one of them. It plays EXACTLY into both men’s booking to do what Cena did.
After a break, the announcers hyped the re-invention of the Divas division and Team Bella were at ringside, joining the announcers on commentary. Paige & Becky Lynch came out, with Charlotte, to represent Team Paige, and then Sasha Banks & Naomi, with Tamina, came out to fight for Team Naomi. And then they had a tag-team match.
So Becky Lynch was supposed to be injured but she didn’t look it here. And they had a decent match, all the girls got their shine and Sasha Banks got the win for Team Naomi when she made Paige tap out to the Bank(s) Statement.
Team Bella, on commentary, tried not to heel it up, because Total Divas, I guess. But that just makes things odd when it comes to the crowd knowing who to cheer because they’ve definitely been placed as the heels in this situation so far. Huh.
They showed a commercial for the Jake Gyllenhaal movie, Southpaw. How tall is Jake Gyllenhaal? Starlee Kine knows. And if you get that, I love you.
The announcers flashed back to two weeks ago, when Rusev took Dolph Ziggler out with a crutch to the throat. Then they threw backstage, where Backstage Renee (YES!) spoke to Lana.
Lana said that Ziggler was recovering, that there was no permanent damage to his windpipe, and they were waiting for him to be medically cleared. Then she stared off-camera, where Summer Rae was shown to be standing, wearing a Lana outfit and with her hair in a bun.
Rusev appeared and said Summer Rae looked beautiful, angel-like, and then said actions were better than words and smooched Summer Rae, sleazily eyeing Lana as he did. Lana looked upset and Rusev told her she looked tired. He left to go to the ring for his match.
Summer Rae turned to Lana and looked as though she was about to say something sweet and then SLAPPED THE TASTE OUT OF HER MOUTH. I howled with laughter. I really did. Brilliant heeling. Rusev & Summer Rae and KILLING this.
Hey, it’s our main event! It’s John Cena, Cesaro & Randy Orton versus Rusev, Kevin Owens & Sheamus!
Cesaro came out, and then Randy Orton followed, and they went to a commercial break. During the break, Cesaro and Orton discussed the ongoing situation in Greece. Cesaro was in favour of the Greeks trying to get a better deal from the EU but Orton was having none of it.
After the break, John Cena was in the ring. Turns out he doesn’t care one way or another about Greece. Then the heels made their entrances, and the match was ON.
Cena started the match for his team and wanted Owens. Owens teased starting off but tagged out to Rusev, who got the better of his old foe. Owens tagged in then, and talked trash to Cena, who trapped him in an STF. Owens broke free and hit a DDT, and then went for the cannonball splash in the corner, but Cena moved.
Cesaro and Sheamus came in and Cesaro ran wild with uppercuts and a spinebuster. Owens ran in, Cesaro dumped him aside, but then Rusev nailed him with a side kick. Sheamus took control and they went to a break.
After the break, Cesaro was trying to fight back against the heels. He sent Owens into the ropes and Sheamus got knocked to the floor, but Owens came back and hit a Codebreaker. Sheamus got into the ring and started rowing with Owens. Owens roughed up his hair so Sheamus knocked him down.
Sheamus then grabbed his tiny gold suitcase and left, saying he didn’t need this because he was the next WWE World champion. Owens tried to tag out to Rusev but Rusev was down on the floor being tended to by Summer Rae. Rusev eventually made it up and Owens tagged him, calling him an idiot. Rusev argued with him and Owens superkicked him and left the ring, walking to the back to leave Rusev alone against three babyfaces.
Cesaro finally made the tag to Orton and the crowd loved that. Orton, despite being given nothing in the way of booking, is still hot to the fans, it seems. Orton ran wild on Rusev and readied the RKO but Rusev hit a side kick out of nowhere (heh) to take him down.
Suddenly, Lana walked down the ramp. She confronted Summer Rae, took off her heels, and they brawled, with non-wrestler Lana coming out on top against wrestler Summer Rae. She straightened herself up and walked to the back.
Back in the ring, Cesaro put Rusev in the big swing, which turned into a slingshot into Orton’s RKO. Orton pinned Rusev for the win and the babyfaces celebrated being one lone man.
After the match, Cena led Cesaro & Orton in a curtain call as Michael Cole hyped Brock Lesnar versus The Undertaker at Summerslam, and that’s your show!
This was an Okay Show. It didn’t feel long, as most weeks do, and had momentum throughout with very little wasted time given to anything. I’m not on board with the Lesnar versus Undertaker direction but what can one man do? Apart from lose to three babyfaces, anyway…