It’s always fun when WWE head up to Canada. The Maple country is always good for a few weird crowd reactions, and tonight was no different. I think it caught a number of WWE Superstars off, as WWE Monday Night Raw worked its way towards SummerSlam. Was this an engaging three hours of television, or was it a hype killer?
Sheamus def. Seth Rollins
Jason Jordan def. Jean-Pierre Goulet
Sasha def. Emma & Alicia Fox
Gallows & Anderson def. Big Show & Enzo
Dean Ambrose def. Sheamus
Akira Tozawa def. Ariya Daivari
Nia Jax def. Dana Brooke & Mickie James
Braun Strowman def. Roman Reigns (Last Man Standing)
Kurt Unleashes The Beast
If Miz hasn’t learned anything about MizTV, he shouldn’t bother if he likes not being beaten up. The Miz opened tonights WWE Monday Night Raw, calling out Jason Jordan. Except it was Kurt Angle who answered the call, informing Miz that he’d be hosting a segment of Miz TV with Brock Lesnar. Cue The Miz and Heyman sparring verbally as Brock Lesnar hopped around like a tin of jumping beans.
I guess this shows that Kurt Angle will, in fact, be playing a direct role in Jason Jordan’s affairs – something he said he wouldn’t do. Miz was awesome here, really carrying the can and getting all that delicious heat on him. He also helped further what Paul Heyman was saying last week – that the odds are very much stacked against the current WWE Universal Champion.
Could have done without the IC Champion being wailed on so easily, but I guess that’s the price of being in the presence of Lesnar. I found it so bizarre that he did this segment then disappeared for the rest of the night. Lesnar is the Champion, yet here he was building heat with a guy who’s not in his current feud. Totally weird, really bizarre use of Lesnar when you realise that SummerSlam is mere weeks away.
Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus
Well, Ambrose did tell Seth if he got beat up again – he wouldn’t be coming out to help. So Rollins couldn’t be super surprised when Ambrose didn’t bother rolling out to help him after this match.
Honestly, this match was OK. It was an almost like-for-like repeat of last weeks match – which is par for the course on Raw these days. The big moment came afterwards, as Seth and Ambrose argued backstage. “What can I do to make you trust me,” asked Rollins – who’s done nothing but stab his friends in the back over the last few years.
Jason Jordan vs. Jean-Pierre Goulet
The match itself was laughably forgettable. Kurt’s plan of setting Brock on the Miztourage robbed Jordan of a legitimate opponent, so Angle sent out a local jobber. The best part of all this – he got a bigger reaction than Jordan, who looked dumb founded by the entire thing. The crowd were having none of his rubbish – and they let him know it at every turn.
At this point, Jordan already looks incredibly lost on WWE Monday Night Raw. There’s a feeling that the direction WWE has placed him in will only serve to hasten his decline. Is it too early to say heel turn – ala 2000 Kurt Angle?
Sasha Banks vs. Emma vs. Alicia Fox
Solid match. The majority of it was held up by Sasha Banks and her momentum, although Emma looked good throughout. Cole even acknowledged the #GiveEmmaAChance Tweets that have flooded Twitter in recent weeks – right before having Sasha Banks make her tap to finish the match. I guess WWE’s answer to that is to kill our dreams of seeing more Emma.
Still, the match was perfectly fine, and with Alexa Bliss hanging around on commentary – you just have to know that Sasha is moving on to SummerSlam to face her for the Championship. The more things change, the more they stay the same on WWE Monday Night Raw.
Gallows & Anderson vs. Big Show & Enzo
The problem with this whole feud is that it requires us to care about Enzo and Cass’s ongoing drama – something I think WWE is overestimating to incredible lengths. The fact they’ve roped in Big Show to try and equalise the entire thing only further draws eye rolls from me.
Gallows and Anderson played their part fine – but with nothing for them to gain from this entire thing; the match was entirely about waiting for Big Cass to show up. What a waste of a segment.
Bray and Finn Balor play with their powers
I guess this SummerSlam match is the contest of the teleporters. That’s all I took from this fairly pointless segment. I know WWE wants us to be impressed by all this, but when Undertaker used to do the whole teleporter thing – it was usually as a shocking moment. Here it’s forming the backbone of an entire feud – and that just feels cheap.
Also, I’ll say it again, Finn deserves better than this.
Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro
Actually, a really good television match. You can tell these two enjoy working together, as they took all kinds of risks and high spots to try and get the crowd into the action. It went for a long time too, which makes the fact there was nothing at stake all the more disappointing.
The real story of the match came once it had wrapped up – as Seth Rollins came to the aid of his fallen companion. Except when they actually came to embrace and team back up – Seth decided he had better things to do. Hey, they have to drag this all the way out to SummerSlam after all – there ain’t no way they’re going to give away the big fist bump before the pay-per-view.
For what it’s worth though, I’m hugely into this storyline. It’s interesting and is being well paced to maintain interest. Will the pair capture the WWE Monday Night Raw Tag Team Championships in just under two weeks?
Akira Tozawa vs. Ariya Daivari
Guess we’re back to forgettable Cruiserweight matches on WWE Monday Night Raw now, eh? The match was fine, but nobody seemed to care – and it only exists to push Tozawa as Neville’s potential Conqueror at SummerSlam.
Don’t worry if you forgot this match happened, I did too.
Nia Jax vs. Mickie James vs. Dana Brooke
Your cookie cutter Nia Jax match. She threw the other two women around during the opening of the match – before being eliminated by her own incompetence. This left Mickie and Dana with some time to compete among themselves before Nia returned and basically squashed the pair.
The only interesting thing to come out of this was Alexa Bliss sat in the commentary booth – who seemed to be downplaying the prospect of Nia wanting her Championship. Going off the motions made by Nia Jax at the end of the match – Alexa may want to consider a plan B before SummerSlam.
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman (Last Man Standing)
What a great WWE Monday Night Raw main event. Clearly, the number of matches these two have had in the last few months have rubbed off, as the two work seamlessly together. Moving between large spots, there was a lot of excitement on the show. At this stage, any match between these two has to hit the stage at the top of the WWE Monday Night Raw set – but this time they worked well in that setting.
It was also nice to see the company hadn’t forgotten about Samoa Joe, who popped up to give Braun a huge helping hand. No idea why he wanted Braun to win over Reigns (I guess he sees Reigns as more of a threat?) but the live audience loved the outcome.
WWE Monday Night Raw Overview
It was somewhat bizarre to see Brock Lesnar pop out and appear on MizTV – yet didn’t bother to hang around until the end of the show to face down his challengers. I’m not sure what WWE are doing with him right now and, while it was great for Miz to appear on TV with him, that’s not the match that WWE are building to.
That being said, the other three members of that match are killing it right now. There’s a clear sense that Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman are the future of WWE Monday Night Raw’s main event scene. The company is wise to home in on these if the plan is to slap one of them with the Championship in two weeks.
It was also fun watching the likes of Jason Jordan and Bayley suffering at the hands of the Canadian crowd. Neither had a good night, heavily booed by the audience. I do wonder if anyone backstage was paying attention to that reaction – or if Jason Jordan will be allowed to continue meandering towards the main event scene.
Overall, a solid if unspectacular edition of WWE Monday Night Raw. Two good matches (The Cesaro/Ambrose and Reigns/Braun ones) are worth a look – the rest can be skipped if needed.