7/20/15 – Jake Laber – @wrestlerosters
With Andrew on vacation, we once again welcome our friend Jake Laber (@jakelaber) for his guest review of this week’s Raw.
Heyman and Lesnar Respond Verbally and Physically to Undertaker
Raw kicks off with the Undertaker’s unmistakable music after the highlights air of his surprise attack on Brock Lesnar last night at Battleground. Typical Taker entrance, followed by Un-der–ta–ker chants. “I stand here tonight a relentless, remorseless…cold-blooded grim reaper.”
He acknowledges the streak being broken, but notes how Lesnar kept reminding everyone that Brock conquered the streak (even though, of course, it was Heyman in actuality). The crowd is deathly quiet for Taker’s first speech in months as he states that, just like all living things, Lesnar will Rest. In. Peace. This was a refreshingly brief opening talking segment.
Backstage HHH tells Stephanie that the main event of Summerslam just fell into their laps. Trips says he will tell Brock and Heyman not even to come tonight so as not to jeopardize their encounter. Brock will definitely be there.
The storyline explanation for Undertaker’s return makes perfect sense. Heyman and Lesnar constantly gloated about conquering the streak (like heels would do). Now they need to be punished for their arrogance. It’s just ironic that Lesnar is a babyface now.
Charlotte (w/Paige & Becky Lynch) vs. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox)
Team B.A.D. (Sasha, Banks, Naomi, and Tamina) is on commentary. Charlotte is physically dominant early on but Brie dodges her on the outside as we have a mid-match commercial break. Brie hits some Daniel Bryan kicks to a kneeling Charlotte’s chest, garnering some “Yes! Yes! Yes!” chants. The crowd is fully behind Charlotte, though, as she comes back and gains control. She got a very good pop when she won with the Figure 8.
Charlotte is the early star of last week’s NXT call-ups, picking up wins in back-to-back nights.
Backstage HHH is on the phone with Heyman, telling him of the Summerslam main event and also advising Lesnar to stay away. An interrupting Miz ends up getting a match with Big Show later tonight for his trouble.
Los Matadores vs. Prime Time Players
It’s all Los Matadores early on against Darren Young. Maybe PTP should just start out with Titus O’Neil in the ring if he always dominates when he comes in. Once again, they gain a massive advantage when Titus comes in. That is, until New Day’s music hits and distracts PTP, allowing Diego or Fernando to pick up the pin on the tag team champs.
It looks like the Prime Time Players are not done with New Day, and a champion loses on television again.
Miz vs. Big Show
“The whole Marine franchise is at stake here, all because [Miz] is put out here against an angry giant.”
Big Show wins a squash match with an “elbow drop” off the middle rope. He takes the mic post-match, claiming Ryback has his Intercontinental Championship. Show will take it from him anywhere, even tomorrow night on Tough Enough, if Ryback wants to bring it there. I guess Big Show is on Tough Enough this week.
Lesnar and Undertaker go to war
Backstage HHH spots Heyman. Paul assures him Brock isn’t there, but Heyman does want to issue Lesnar’s retort to Undertaker. HHH and Stephanie gather a large portion of the locker room to tell them Summerslam depends on them keeping the Beast and the Deadman apart.
Heyman is in the ring, and blames Undertaker for Brock not being champion right now. Heyman talks about all who could not conquer the streak. “Why wouldn’t I brag about that day after day!?” He says they each took something from each other (the streak and the championship), and now it’s on for Summerslam. “You can sell your soul to the devil, but your ass belongs to Brock Lesnar!”
After that line, the lights go out and Taker appears in the ring, stalking Heyman. Lesnar’s music hits and he sprints to the ring for a fight. As they brawl, HHH brings out security, who is unsurprisingly no match for Brock and Taker. Basically the entire locker room comes out for the pull apart and Brock is still able to break free and get to Undertaker a couple of times, and Taker to Lesnar once.
The superstars finally push them apart. After a commercial break, the locker room continues to walk with Brock backstage. Undertaker flies onto Brock from off screen and they keep fighting back and forth with more unsuccessful pull-aparts. This lasted long enough until the next commercial break where Brock was finally taken away with zip-tie handcuffs.
What more will we see between these two before Summerslam? It is looking like we will see a lot of Paul Heyman, and I don’t even care if this is the only time we see Undertaker and Lesnar in the same place before their Brooklyn showdown.
Luke Harper (w/Bray Wyatt) vs. Roman Reigns (w/ Dean Ambrose)
Before the match, another “Anyone but you, Roman” promo aired with Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper. After Reigns’ entrance, Dean Ambrose’s music suddenly hit to even the odds. The commentators reiterate that Wyatt’s one goal is to ruin Roman Reigns life. Reigns sold left shoulder damage after being thrown through the ropes to the outside.
He was still able to hit a side suplex on Harper with one arm, but Harper kept the advantage a while longer. A distraction by Wyatt caused Reigns to deck Bray on the outside, but before he could hit a Superman punch on Harper, Wyatt dragged him out of the ring, ending the match. Wyatt and Harper were able to double-team Reigns until Ambrose evened the score, and he and Reigns stood tall.
It seems Reigns and Wyatt will face off again at Summerslam, but how will Ambrose and Harper factor in?
John Cena challenges Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins comes out and asks the audience how it feels to be wrong about Seth Rollins again. He doesn’t give a damn about Brock Lesnar. He feels he’s the most underappreciated champion in history. “You can talk all you want about the means, but the end is what matters.” After feeling “robbed” by both Lesnar and Undertaker last night, Seth invites Lillian Garcia into the ring to make the official post-match ring announcement that never happened at Battleground. When she finishes, John Cena’s music hits and he joins Rollins and Lillian in the ring.
Cena excuses Lillian. Seth congratulates Cena on retaining the U.S. Title and offers to leave so Cena can have another open challenge. Cena mentions that respect for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is declining and U.S. Championship respect increasing thanks to Rollins slimy actions. Cena is absolutely correct. Seth tells off Cena and begins to leave. Cena is able to stop him and says “The title doesn’t make the man; it’s the man who makes the title” and offers to square off with Rollins. They tease fighting, but naturally, Rollins runs away again. Okay, he walked.
This was an interesting tease, as Rollins doesn’t really have a ready-made opponent for Summerslam.
Paige & Becky Lynch (w/ Charlotte) vs. Naomi & Sasha Banks (w/Tamina)
Team Bella is on commentary. So, we have our second nine-woman segment of the night. This is a pleasant surprise after Michael Cole implied the main event was next after Cena’s music continued playing before the commercial break. Speaking of commercials, we go to one here with Sasha in control of Becky. This continues until Paige finally gets the hot tag. She briefly locks in the PTO on Naomi. Sasha broke it up, and a brief distraction by Tamina allowed Sasha to apply the Bank Statement on Paige to force the tapout.
No big surprise here that Sasha got the win after Charlotte beat Brie earlier. It will be interesting to see who gets the next Divas Championship opportunity, or if it will be a multi-woman match, and also just how long Nikki will hold on to the title.
Lana gives a brief interview with Renee Young saying Dolph Ziggler is home and talking again. Summer Rae walks in, dressed exactly like Lana, asking if she likes it. Rusev enters the scene as well and kisses Summer while creepily glancing at Lana.
John Cena, Randy Orton, & Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens, Rusev, & Sheamus
Cena and Owens faced off to begin, but Owens tagged Rusev in before any physicality. Owens was next in though and fought Cena for a couple minutes before both tagged out. The fans are very behind Cesaro as almost gets a Cesaro Swing in on Sheamus before Rusev superkicks him. Raw goes to the final commercial break.
After Cesaro shoves Owens into Sheamus on the apron, Sheamus confronts Owens about hitting him in the face, and lays out Owens with a double axe handle. Owens reaches for a tag to Rusev who is still down on the outside, and seconds later when Rusev is finally available for the tag, Owens tags him in aggressively. They fight and Owens leaves after laying out Rusev.
It is down to three on one. Randy Orton gets the hot tag and takes advantage of the solo Rusev. Lana comes out and takes out Summer Rae while everyone watches. Cena hits an Attitude Adjustment on Rusev, followed by a Cesaro Swing, and a slingshot into an RKO. The good guys celebrate as Raw goes off the air at 10:07 Central Time.
Cena’s win over Owens was not mentioned much tonight, so Owens was protected a bit in that regard. The U.S. Title picture is a little unclear right now with Owens losing the rubber match with Cena, Rusev’s impending match with Ziggler, and Cesaro unsuccessfully taking the title from Cena twice already.
– Once again, no belt for Sasha Banks.
– During Reigns entrance I spotted a guy wearing his “Austin 3:16” shirt backwards with the skull on the front and writing on the back.
– We were 4-for-6 having mid-match commercials.
– Each hour started with a talking segment: Undertaker, Heyman, and Rollins.