Let’s Talk About- RAW 08-01-2016

Week two of the NEW, new Era. How goes it? Let’s find out!

We have a nicely done recap of last week. Hey, who’d of thought episodic TV needs a recap for someone that may have missed last week, you wouldn’t want to have to…read about it, now would you?

Hot open with the Pyro and Ballyhoo. And out comes YOUR Women’s Champion Sasha Banks. Sasha gets a mic and is cut off with “You Deserve it”. Sasha works the crowd and explains the journey she took to get where she is today. She talks about NXT Brooklyn where her and Bailey not only stole the show, but were the show…she is cut off by Charlotte. Sasha, the face, cuts a nice heel promo on Charlotte. Charlotte tells Sasha she doesn’t need Dana or Ric to beat Sasha. Charlotte points out she is still better and that Sasha took advantage of one mistake. Charlotte calls Sasha a one night stand and and Sasha retorts by telling Charlotte that if it wasn’t for one night stands Charlotte probably wouldn’t be here. This brings out Chris Jericho…which I like. The intertwining of the women and men in storylines is something that has been missing for a while, hell, even the intertwining of any storylines for that matter. Jericho continues to put down Sasha and says she isn’t a boss, that she is a brat, which brings out Enzo and Cass. Well, actually just Enzo. Enzo cuts his jib, he tells Sasha that he is a G and Sasha is a boss so they should do some business. They how you doin’ each other over and over, best part about it is that Jericho took the mic away from Charlotte when she tried to interrupt them. Enzo gets on Jericho about how he never makes a point. A little long, but well done back and forth between Enzo and Jericho. Mick Foley’s music hits and out comes….well Mick Foley, well sort of you he didn’t come to the ring…he did have the old school Cactus Jack Leopard print shirt under his jacket. Foley, takes WAY too long to make this match happen.  However, it does happen.

Overview: WAY TOO LONG, but good opening. We do not need to return to 20 minute promos to open up RAW. We just don’t. I would rather have a couple of 5 minute promos or backstage vignettes to fill in this time. I get they have 3 hours but I just hate my wrestling show opening with talking, and talking, and talking, and talking, even when it is interesting. I need some action to get me going, if ya know what I mean.

Match 1 Sasha and Enzo vs. Charlotte and Jericho

Overview: To start Kevin Owens is show at the announce table and he is wearing Saxton’s tie. He is so good at the table. Chris and Enzo start off with a little back and forth leading to a quick tag out by Jericho to get away from Enzo. Sorry, I lost focus, Sasha gets the better of Charlotte leading to a double knee to a ground Charlotte, which was actually a cooch to the face, with the action spilling out to ringside leading to a double suicide dive from Enzo and Sasha as RAW rolls on. As we return Enzo is fighting off JEricho’s onslaught but gets the momentum back after Jericho missed a running splash attempt into the corner. Enzo, elected not to get the tag and ends up playing for it with Jericho Dos-i-do’n Enzo into the corner. Enzo is then put into the Walls but Enzo got the ropes, while Jericho celebrates his “win”. Owens continues to make fun of Saxton on the mic while we see the women get back to it. Sasha hits Charlotte with the double knees in the corner. Dana comes out to interfere, Charlotte goes for the rollup but her rollup is unsuccessful. Sasha slaps Jericho, who was coming into the ring, and is hit with the Natural Selection for the 1…2…3. After the match Jericho hits Enzo with the Code Breaker which brings down Cass. Jericho takes the powder as we continue to hear the announcers bicker.

Overall: Ok, let’s get this out of the way. I like Owens on commentary, however, since this led to nothing besides for Owens to have a throw away line about Enzo interrupting him during the draft, it made me want to stop listening to the announcers. RAW, in two segments, have tried to reintroduce a lot of things they were being praised for getting rid of last week. Do not have the commentators bicker and get rid of the long, just to be long, promos. The match itself was just there. Nothing special but it give Charlotte her win back, through distraction, to lead into the rematch at Summerslam. Jericho and Enzo seem to be the ones that are going to feud so, again, Owens being on commentary was ultimately pointless and distracted for what this match could have been.

Match 2: Braun Strowman vs the Jobber (Who is in it for the money)

Overview: Squash Match. Braun looked a bit better.

Overall: I like squash matches, I think this was just fine to show of Braun. He needs to just kill guys. He seems to be listening to ways to look better and he is trying. He isn’t great, by any means, but I like him and his hoss style of moves. Also, the reverse chokeslam looks a lot safer tonight.

Backstage promo: Stephanie and Mick suck each others egos while they are interrupted by Mark Henry, who wants to fight, and they don’t want him to. Henry tells them they are wrong and Mick puts him in a match with Rusev, tonight, for the belt. Ok so either Mark loses for America again, or he is going to finally get his win back. I am betting on, he loses again and goes to Rio as a loser to represent America. Get your popcorn guys we are about to find out. Also, R-Truth is still looking for Pokemon.

Match 3: The Shining Stars vs. the Golden Truth

Overview: Goldust gets beat up R-Truth tries to catch Pokemon on the apron. Goldust goes for a tag but R-Truth isn’t paying attention. Stupid…yeah, stupid.

Overall: Waste of time, yeah. You know what? I’m not counting this as a match!

Finn Balor interview (In-ring): Great entrance by Finn. I like that they are using the announcers and in-ring interviewers and changing it up a bit. Also, I figured it would not last very long before Finn was interrupted by Seth Rollins. Seth takes over the mic duties and tells Cole to take a hike, HAHAHAHAHA. Seth puts over FInn but he keeps telling him everything he did, Seth did it first, HAHAHAHAHAHA. Finn asks if he is done. Finn tells him that Seth did do some of those things but he is going to be the first WWE Universal Champion. Seth say “I know I said you Melissa Mccarthy but he isn’t an actual comedian. Seth tells Finn that this Raw and this is his show and his ring. Finn makes fun of Seth’s laugh. Finn tells him wherever he has been there was always someone there that was “The Man” and he came in and beat them to be the man. Seth tells FInn he has never face a guy like him. Finn tells him he earned his shot and that Seth was handed his. Seth tells him he has never been handed anything, but at Summerslam he will be handed the championship when he beats Finn. FInn tell him the only thing he is going to be handed, is his ass, Seth’s own ass, not Finn’s. Seth tries to take FInn out but is bicycle kicked for his efforts.

Overall: Good back and forth between the two. With no, real, beef for them to have against each other, yet, this was a good way to start building animosity between them. I liked it and I thought they both put on an honest promo that I believed.

Match 3 is now: Mark Henry vs. Rusev © for the WWE US Championship

Overview: Lana introduces her new husband Rusev. Woo, Hey, Woo Hey, out comes Mark to the sweet, sweet, saucy music….maybe no saucy. Anyways, Mark looks to be in pretty good shape, secondly Rusev demands to be introduced first as the champion.Henry starts off by tossing Rusev around, it is at the moment I realized Rusev has US Champion printed on his trunks! Rusev had to bail out of the ring and restart. It worked because Rusev started kicking the crap out of Mark’s knee and thigh. Mark crushes Rusev off the middle rope as Raw rolls out the barrel. We come back to Rusev trying to establish dominance to the backside of Mark, meaning he was going for the Accolade. Mark keeps trying to fight him off but Rusev finally gets him into the Accolade for the tapout win.

Your Winner and STILL WWE US Champion: Rusev

Overall: So they decided for Mark to lose another one for America before sending him to the Olympics. Rusev pointed this out during his post-match promo…and at that point I started to Markout thinking this would be a great time for him to be cut off while talking about how no American deserves a gold medal by Kurt Friggin’ Angle I look up waiting for the cut off and I get…ROMAN FUUUUCKING REIGNS!!!! FUCK THAT. Absolutely no reason to have him cut that promo and rustle my jimmy with the payoff being Roman. Now getting away from me and my wants. This did get Roman cheered, made Roman look like a badass and gives him an opponent that should lead to, A. Him winning, and B. him being atleast 50/50’d by the crowd. Going back to the match, not much to say Mark looked good, if not slow, while Rusev worked around those weaknesses.

Nia Jax is featured, good promo package for what little they have in footage of her.

Who’s opponent? We came back to Titus nothing even being introduced live on the air.

Match 4: Titus vs. Darren Young

Overview: Nice, fast, start to the match with Darren getting Titus into the corner, clean break, until Titus tackles him as Darren backed down. Big chop by Titus. Titus catched Darren and puts him over his knee, twice, and ragdolls him out of the ring. Titus keeps killing Darren, and then decides to just drop him, carelessly to the mat. Titus then slams Darren hard. Darren tries the babyface comeback. Darren gets after Titus but is schoolboy’d for the 1…2…3!

Your Winner: Titus O’Neil

Overall: Slow, sloppy, boring in spots, match. Titus just decided mid-match to throw Darren around without a care of how or where he landed. Match was skippable but it did set up a possible match at Summerslam. The backstage promo proved me right with Backlund screaming at Titus and Darren taking him out from behind.

Backstage with Sheamus and Cesaro wanting to get a shot at the US belt. Mick puts them over, but bring up some points that are keeping them down. He tells them to get out into the ring and take out their aggression on one another and the winner will get a future championship match.

Match 5: Nia Jax vs. A Jobber

Overview: Squash Match. However, let me take a moment to point out that I would like to see Nia in some different gear. Not because it is unflattering or not fitting of her character, but rather, her gear looks like super Shredder and I just can’t get that image out of my mind.

Overall: I love the build for Nia. I hope she is working competitive matches somewhere to get better. But I love that they are just building a monster. Also, the Jobber’s hair was on point or fleek as the children would say, in the ‘90’s…when I was a kid…

Match 6 New Day vs the Club

Overview: New Day cuts a promo, shill their cereal, and tell you to go buy it because they could use the money. Open with Anderson and Big E. I look down and then back up and I see Anderson too sweet Gallows and get rolled up by Big E for the 1…2…3! Quickly Anderson and Gallows get their heat back and beat the crap out of the New Day. They gave Big E two boots of door as the Clubski move towards a showdown at Summerslam.

Your Winners: the New Day

Overall: Good storyline match. New Day get a win but the Club continues the war. Not much to say, but I liked it in the end and it is still building these guys as credible threats to the tag team champions.

Match 7: Cesaro vs. Sheamus

Overview: let’s hope for a nice clean match with the better man prevailing. If I can’t get that, give me some big men beating the crap out of one another. Sheamus’ music is really good, I just noticed this. We start with one another trading holds and then we go into the uppercut battle. Sheamus gets his slam on as he gets Cesaro to the mat. Like a stupid…face???Heel??? Sheamus picks Cesaro off the mat and is Euro-style uppercut by Cesaro. Cesaro gets Sheamus to the outside and hits the somersault dive to Sheamus. Sheamus gets the 10 count forearm blast and goes back to jeering at the crowd. Like a stupid, FACE? HEEL? What are we Sheamus, goes to the top but connects with the flying shoulder block for a 2. Crowd has died, but Cesaro gets them back into it with a deadlift vertical suplex. Cesaro with a headbutt and a springboard uppercut of the European persuasion. Sheamus titl-a-whirl backbreaker attempt is countered into the Neutralizer by Cesaro for the 1…2…3!

Your Winner: Cesaro

Overall: Match died in the middle but overall this was pretty good. Cesaro and Sheamus worked well together and made sure to pull out some spots in the match to wake the crowd back up. It is hard to have a competitive, big man match during the final hour of the show but they did a good job of it.  Also, awesomely enough we come back to the show and Sheamus and Cesaro are still fighting. They continue to try and get at one another when we get…

Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal are in the ring. Mick comes out and tells them to fight each other for a spot on RAW. Heath tells him that he and Jinder can’t fight and that some spot isn’t going to change that. He turns around and superkicked by Jinder for the 1…2…3!

Your Winner also this is Match 8: Jinder Mahal

Overall: Love this segment/match.. Jinder sending Heath packing was great. Also, glad to see him back.

Jericho is backstage hyping up earlier tonight. Jericho says he isn’t worried about CAss with Enzo because he has someone watching his back…Jimmen Marvin Ludder…We pan out and there is Kevin Owens standing there and says he made that made up but not to worry because Kevin has his back. So I have to retract my earlier statement this is heading somewhere and Owens had a point to be on commentary earlier.

It’s time for your MAAAAAAAIIIINNN EVENT! I don’t count promos as main events.

Match 9: Seth Rollins vs. Sami Zayn

Quick start with Seth taking advantage with chops off the ropes. Sami returns the favor. Nice Moonsault by Sami off the barricade. Seth, like a smart heel, rolls into the ring and right back out to gain the advantage on Sami. Sami, like a stupid face, goes to the top and is crotched for his efforts as RAW keeps Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’.We come back with Sami, who has seemed to have died due to testicular trauma, but is revived and goes for a rollup for a long 2. Seth hits the buckle-bomb but Seth’s superkick is thwarted by a clothesline by Sami. Michinoku Driver by Sami for another long 2. Sami with the blue thunder bomb but Sami can’t put Seth away. Enziguri by Seth and into the Pedigree but is countered into a sweet looking tornado DDT. Helluva kick  misses as Seth dodges but he is hit with the suicide dive.Sami goes to the top again, yadda yadda, but is put into the Pedigree, he fights it off but finally succumbed to the Pedigree for the 1…2…3!

Your Winner: Seth Rollins

Overall: Very good match between those two. Seth worked the match as a heel but he took those hits like a face. He just keep kicking out of everything. Sami keep throwing moves and Seth keep taking them but prevailing and kicking out. Seth looks desperate at the end and starts to continue to go for the Pedigree and gets it which told a good story of,” Yeah, I am better than you but I have to put this away before you beat me.” fun, good main event for a pretty good RAW.

Brock and Paul on RAW: Paul is in the ring and introduces himself, he should do this move often it is over…, He wastes no time and introduces Booorack LEZZZZNAR! Let’s cut to the chase, Heyman put over Brock, artfully and skillfully. He talks him up tells Randy Orton to watch out and in the end Randy comes in and hits a RKO OUTTA NOWHERE! Very nicely done.

Show Overall: Show was still pretty solid this week. We had some filler but again that is just what is going to happen when you have 3 hours to fill. They can not give you the show they gave you last week every week or they will burn through all of their matches in a few months. I like that they are letting the guys talk in the ring. It seems that they are being allowed to have more control over their promos. The feuds they are building have story behind it. The build on RAW’s side of Summerslam seems to be coming along nicely and, again, for a second week in a row I want to see what next week has in store, so…

Until Next Time,

Monty the Yank

Twitter: www.twitter.com/montytheyank