Reviews

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 07/06/15

Live from Chicago, Illinois this is the Raw Deal for episode #1153. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

The show begins with a video package showing key moments from last week’s Raw.

Brock Lesnar’s music hit and out walked Lesnar with his advocate Paul Heyman. There were some “suplex city” chants matching Lesnar’s “suplex city” shirt that says Chicago on it. Heyman: “I am the advocate for the nightmare of Suplex City…Brrrrrrock Lesnarrrrrrr!” Lesnar was smiling after that. Heyman did a promo about how Seth Rollins was in trouble for what he did to Brock and mentioned that the people with Rollins will have to deal with it.

Heyman summarized some things Lesnar has done like beating The Undertaker’s streak and some fans booed. Heyman said don’t boo him haha. When Heyman mentioned Lesnar beating John Cena for the WWE Title at SummerSlam last year the crowd cheered that. Not much of a reaction when Heyman mentioned Roman Reigns. Heyman told Rollins that he broke the 11th commandment: “Thou shalt not intentionally provoke the beast.” Crowd cheered. Heyman mentioned all the times that Rollins has upset Lesnar as the camera focused on Lesnar’s face looking straight ahead with intensity.

Heyman said that at Battleground on July 19, his client will get his hands on Seth Rollins and will take the Championship back. He assured us that the title match may take place in St. Louis, but the beating and the suplexes begin tonight. Heyman fired up the crowd by saying that this “was the City Hall of Suplex City” while mentioning the Allstate Arena – cheap babyface pop to mention the arena and city. More “suplex city” shirts. Heyman said that since Rollins will be there, Lesnar isn’t going anywhere tonight. He said that somebody has to tell Rollins that waiting for him is the beast Brrrrrock Lesnarrrr.

Analysis: A very good promo by Heyman like usual. Like typically does, he summarized all of the things that Brock has done and used it as a way to put over how angry Brock is due to everything that Rollins has put him through. They really drove home the “suplex city” phrase because the crowd was chanting it, Heyman said it many times and they even focused on Lesnar’s shirt that had the phrase on it too. Heyman ended it by saying that Lesnar isn’t going anywhere, which is another way of telling people to stay tuned because Lesnar will be around later.

The announce team of Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show. Cole mentioned that Kane is in Hawaii on vacation as they showed some photoshop pics of Kane that were on WWE.com this past week. They also said we’ll see highlights of the J&J trip in their new Cadillac on Raw.

Big Show entered for a match against Ryback. There’s no ramp for this show.

(Commercial)

The Miz showed up to watch this match.

Ryback vs. Big Show

This is not for Ryback’s rarely defended IC Title. Miz had a microphone in his hand while sitting on a chair and yelled at them to get going. Show nailed Ryback with some chops while Miz encouraged Show to do more. Ryback came back with a Thesz Press, but Show chopped him down again. JBL said this triple threat was Big Show, Big Guy and Big Mouth. Well played. Ryback got some shoulder tackles in, then some punches and Miz distracted him, which led to Show slamming Ryback out of the corner. Time for a break.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Ryback couldn’t get Show up because he was still hurting. Fans were yelling “Cleveland sucks” at Miz, so he said he’s from Hollywood not Cleveland. Ryback nailed a running shoulder tackle to take out the knee of Show and then a rounder shoulder block took Show down. Ryback nailed a Meat Hook Clothesline followed by a splash for two. Ryback went up top, but he missed the splash when Show moved. Show nailed him with a Chokeslam. Show nailed an elbow drop off the middle rope. Miz went into the ring to attack Show. The match went about ten minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Big Show

Analysis: *1/2 They tried their best, but it was pretty boring and that finish with Miz getting involved was very predictable. I know the whole point of it was to have Miz annoy everybody on the microphone. I just thought it took away from the match too much. The DQ finish is just a way to protect both guys without making them look weak going into Battleground.

Post match, Miz attacked Show with punches and kicks. He attacked Ryback too. Then Show got up, then Ryback got up and Miz was in trouble. Miz was trapped. He tried to reason with them, but Ryback nailed him with Shellshock. Show picked up Miz and nailed him with a Chokeslam. Ryback hit Show with the Meat Hook Clothesline to knock him down. The crowd cheered. Ryback ended the segment celebrating with his IC Title while Show went up the ramp.

Analysis: It was nice seeing them destroy Miz like that because that’s what everybody wanted. Good booking in that regard. It was fine as far as an angle. I just don’t think the match worked that well.

John Cena has a US Open challenge later on Raw.

(Commercial)

Total Divas is back for another season this Tuesday night at 9pmET on E Network.

More photoshop pics of Kane in Hawaii. This is WWE comedy because they love doing the photoshop jokes. The announcers do over the top laughing while most viewers at home just groan because of how cheesy it is.

Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury were in the Cadillac outside of Wrigley Field, which they called a dump and a letdown as a way to upset the local fans.

Paige vs. Brie Bella (w/Alicia Fox & Nikki)

Brie was in control early on with a headlock. She put Paige up against the ropes, her allies grabbed Paige to attack and when Brie went for her running knee, Paige moved so that Brie hit her pals outside the ring. Paige did her come back with kicks, clotheslines, a standing side kick to the face and shoved her into the corner. Brie got a knee up and then missed a missile dropkick. Paige sent Brie into Nikki on the apron and then kicked Fox off the apron. Brie hit a X-Factor facebuster for the win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Brie Bella

Post match, Fox hit an axe kick on Paige and then Nikki nailed the Rack Attack.

Analysis: * It felt like a repeat. Nobody wants to help Paige. I don’t know what the divas match at Battleground will be because Paige loses so often that she should be out of the picture by now. This is likely building up for Charlotte and/or Sasha Banks to be called up to the main roster soon. I assume it’ll be after Battleground, but there’s no clear indication of when it will be.

A summary of Roman Reigns’ issues with Bray Wyatt were shown.

Reigns entered for a match with Sheamus.

(Commercial)

Sheamus entered after the break.

Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus

They were both aggressive after the bell rang. Reigns yanked Sheamus off the ropes, gave him a body slam and a clothesline over the top to the floor. Reigns went after Sheamus outside the ring and tossed him into the barricade. Back in the ring, Sheamus hit a high knee. They battled on the apron, which led to Sheamus ramming Reigns head first into ring post to send Reigns to the floor. There’s the vintage floor to commercial break.

Analysis: The first hour is nearly over. It’s been below average so far.

(Commercial)

Sheamus had Reigns in a headlock as the match returned from the break. Reigns avoided an attack and hit three clotheslines in a row. There’s a fourth one in the corner. They exchanged holds in the ring, then Sheamus landed on the ropes and Reigns hit his running dropkick on the apron. Samoan Drop by Reigns in the ring. Sheamus avoided a Superman Punch and hit an Irish Curse backbreaker. Sheamus went for an attack off the top ropes, but Reigns nailed him with a Superman Punch. Bray Wyatt’s graphic appeared. The lights in the arena were off, so the crowed lit up the arena with the cell phone light.

There was a guy walking down the aisle that looked like Wyatt that Reigns nailed with a Superman Punch. Wyatt was laughing on the video screen. He said “anybody but you.” The ref rang the bell and it was announced that Sheamus won by countout. It went 10 minutes.

Winner by countout: Sheamus

The camera wasn’t on Reigns after Wyatt was on the screen. Where did he go? No signs of him.

Analysis: ** This was the second Reigns/Sheamus match without a good finish. Where did Reigns go after that punch on whoever that was? He wasn’t even shown again. Are we to assume he just ran to the back? An explanation would have been nice. The match was fine, but you can tell that WWE doesn’t want either guy doing a job, so they just come up with other ways to end it.

Sheamus was celebrating in the ring with the briefcase when Randy Orton’s music hit. Orton attacked Sheamus with some punches at ringside. Sheamus sent Orton into the steel ring post. Sheamus sent Orton back into the ring, but that was a bad move because Orton nailed him with a RKO to end this altercation. I guess being sent into the ring post means nothing because Orton didn’t sell it at all.

Analysis: Orton was away for a couple of weeks on vacation. This will lead to a match at Battleground. Congrats to Orton on his recent engagement and good luck on marriage number two. Don’t ask Ric Flair for advice. Woo!

The announcers plugged WWE Network and mentioned it’s in Italy now.

Triple H was in the office when Rollins showed up. J&J were with him. Hunter told J&J to leave so he can talk to Rollins. Hunter wondered what they should do about Lesnar. Hunter suggested that Rollins do something unconventional. That led to Hunter reminding him what Heyman said and Rollins realized that he needs to call out Lesnar. Rollins did a fired up promo about being the man. Hunter encouraged him and told him to show him. Rollins left while Hunter looked on confidently.

Analysis: I love how Hunter wanted to talk to Rollins alone, but it’s okay to have a camera right there filming it. Oh WWE logic, you’re so weird sometimes. This was just a way to advertise Lesnar and Rollins having a confrontation. At least it’s not a contract signing.

(Commercial)

Rusev was in the ring with his crutches and Summer Rae was with him. He said he was there to apologize as the crowd did the “what” routine at him. Fans chanted “we want Lana” and Rusev responded with: “I give you Summer!” He spoke about apologizing about giving a year of his life for being with Lana. He wants to apologize for the stupid Americans for taking her under their wing. He also apologized to Dolph Ziggler for saying that he’s not at his integrity level or his strength. He said that he was better looking and more passionate than Ziggler too.

Summer said that they should be showing Rusev the respect he deserves. Rusev told “hot Summer” not to waste her precious words. He kissed her hand and looked in her eyes, but Ziggler’s music hit.

Dolph Ziggler walked out with Lana to the ring. He wondered if Rusev’s ankle is broken, but he wonders if his brain is broken too. Poor Ziggler always has the cheesy lines. He said that everything Rusev got in WWE was due to Lana. Ziggler mentioned “it’s gone” referring to Lana and that he found her. Ziggler kissed Lana right in front of Rusev. Summer yelled at them. Lana took off her heels, so Summer did too. Rusev attacked Ziggler with a crutch in the back. He hit him repeatedly with the crutch. Rusev hit a standing side kick with the boot on.

Rusev took the boot off and tossed it outside the ring. Summer kicked Lana in the back and then tossed her outside the ring. Ziggler tried to come back, but Rusev jammed the top of the crutch into the throat of Ziggler. There were EMT’s at ringside with a board to take Ziggler away. Rusev attacked Ziggler with another crutch with several shots to the back. The show went to break there.

Analysis: Good segment that sets up a match with them at Battleground. Rusev was originally expected to be out for about two months, but it’s been a bit less than that. It wasn’t an injury that required surgery, so it’s nice to know that he’s healed and ready to return for action. They can probably save the mixed tag match for SummerSlam with the selling point of Lana having her first match. I like the slow build to it. I’ve always been a big fan of Rusev and think that WWE needs him as a top heel, so it’s good to see him back in the mix. They can probably have a good big guy/little guy match at Battleground.

(Commercial)

There were replays of Rusev’s attack on Ziggler.

Bo Dallas entered the ring for a promo. Dallas said that what happened to Ziggler shows that bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people like him. “All you have to do is bolieve.” Dean Ambrose entered for a match.

Bo Dallas vs. Dean Ambrose

Ambrose was aggressive, but Dallas nailed a clothesline to the back. Fans were chanting “Let’s Go Ambrose” and others were chanting “We Bolieve.” That was a fun dueling chant. Dallas celebrated some mild offense. Ambrose avoided a knee drop. Ambrose hit some forearms, a splash in the corner and then a bulldog. Ambrose hit the flying elbow attack off the top onto Dallas. Ambrose nailed his bounce off the rope clothesline and then Dirty Deeds for the win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dean Ambrose

Analysis: * A short match to put over Ambrose with a clean finish. Dallas only got a bit of offense, so it was basically a squash. Ambrose needs a feud because there’s nothing for him at the moment, which is a shame. The rumor is that it might be Kane, but that won’t be furthered this week.

There were more clips of J&J Security in their Cadillac, which is different from last week. It was literally just driving around in the rain. How exciting.

Rollins calls out Lesnar later.

(Commercial)

King Barrett vs. R-Truth

This feud is still going on? I would hit fast forward if I wasn’t writing live. Truth hit a clothesline to send Barrett over the top to the floor. The announcers were arguing about kings because they’re bored like I am. Barrett tossed Truth into the ring post, who sold it for a bit longer than Orton earlier. Barrett nailed a boot to the face as Cole actually called R-Truth “King What’s Up” in a serious tone. The show went to break.

(Commercial)

Truth started his comeback with a mild reaction and hit an axe kick. Truth hit a corner splash as Cole wondered how embarrassing it would be if Barrett lost. He loses all the time, so what’s the difference? I guess because Truth is a fake king it’s worse. Anyway, Barrett hit a boot to the gut that stunned Truth. Barrett wanted the Bull Hammer, Truth fought out of it, then Truth went to the turnbuckle. Truth jumped off the turnbuckle and Barrett nailed the Bull Hammer to win clean after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: King Barrett

The replay of the finish looked great.

Analysis: *1/2 A boring match with a good finish although they like doing those “guy jumps off the ropes for the finish” a little too much. If it happens once in a while then it stands out more. Doing it all the time hurts it a bit. Anyway, the feud seems to be over now since the announcers talked about it that way. Barrett needs something meaningful because he has been booked poorly since winning King of the Ring.

Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage with J&J Security on his way to the ring. That’s going to happen at the top of hour three.

(Commercial)

There was footage of Ziggler placed in an ambulance.

Seth Rollins entered for his promo. J&J Security drove out in their red Cadillac and left it right by the entrance. Gee, I wonder if it will be destroyed. (Now that’s sarcasm.)

Seth Rollins calls out Brock Lesnar

Rollins had a wooden axehandle with him and so did J&J Security. He bragged about two weeks ago when they took Lesnar down. At Battleground he’s going to “burn it to the ground” referring to Suplex City. A brief video was shown of the attack on Lesnar. Do they think that we didn’t see it the other 50 times they replayed it in the last two weeks?

Rollins kept on summarizing things from the past because WWE thinks nobody watches their shows. Rollins wondered if Lesnar was the beast that people thought he was…and the fans chanted “Justin Bieber” at him. Rollins wondered if he’s a beast or if he’s just Paul Heyman’s bitch. After about 10 seconds, Lesnar’s music hit and he walked out with Heyman.

Lesnar slowly walked down to the ring. He didn’t enter the ring as the three men waited for him with the axehandles in their hands. Lesnar backed up towards the car by the ramp. He signaled to Heyman, who brought out a cart. Lesnar pulled out an axe and then a second one.

Lesnar took the axe to the side of the car and one of them was stuck in the side of it. Lesnar smashed the windows of the car with the axe. Lesnar nailed one of the tires with an axe to deflate it. The crowd was cheering all of this while Rollins and J&J were in the ring watching on. Lesnar opened a back door, then yanked it off its hinges. That looked impressive. Lesnar tossed the car door about 25 feet and it actually hit a fan in the crowd, but he was said to be okay.

Mercury went after Lesnar, so Brock tossed him down. Lesnar grabbed Noble and did the Kimura Lock on his arm to “break his arm.” Lesnar gave Mercury a belly to belly suplex onto the hood of the car.

Lesnar ran into the ring by sprinting and jumping over the top rope, but Rollins bailed out of the ring and over the barricade. Lesnar chased him, so Rollins walked up the steps to get away from him. Lesnar went back into the ring to pose with the WWE Title.

Analysis: That was a really fun segment. The car attack was obvious going back to last week. Using the axe is a lot smarter than using his body to break it because Goldberg did that about 15 years ago on Nitro and broke his arm. Lesnar’s such an awesome performer although always a concern he might get hurt or hurt somebody by being too aggressive. That bump by Mercury looked pretty stiff, but hopefully he’s not hurt by that bump. I thought it was effective in terms of showing Lesnar is a wrecking machine and Rollins is a cowardly heel champion who is afraid of him as he should be.

(Commercial)

There were replays shown of Lesnar’s attack and then the escape of Rollins. Lesnar stood on top of the hood of the car to end the segment.

Lucha Dragons vs. Big E & Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods)

The tag champions Titus O’Neil & Darren Young are on commentary. They face New Day at Battleground. Kalisto was on fire early on and hit an awesome twisting cross body block to take out Big E followed by an acrobatic kick that sent Big E outside the ring. Woods jumped on the apron to prevent the Dragons from doing a dive. Dropkick knocked down Woods off the apron. Both Dragons went on the turnbuckles and hit dives to take out all three New Day guys outside the ring. It’s time for a commercial three minutes in.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Lucha Dragons were predictably in trouble as Big E was working over Kalisto. He applied the dreaded abdominal stretch followed by the “New Day sucks” bat on his ribs because that’s fun to do. O’Neil was talking about having two degrees during an argument with the announcers. Kalisto hit a kick on Kingston to break free and hot tag to Sin Cara. He hit a springboard cross body block and then a springboard moonsault for two. O’Neil was doing play by play. Sin Cara hit a dive off the ropes for a two count, but Kingston was saved. Sin Cara hit a bridging suplex for two. Big E charged, Sin Cara moved and Big E went to the floor. Kingston was on the floor too. The Dragons hit dives outside the ring, but Big E caught Kalisto and hit a belly to belly suplex. Kingston was able to avoid Sin Cara because Woods pulled Kofi away. Back in the ring, Big E hit the Big Ending assisted by Kingston attacking off the middle ropes. The match went about ten minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The New Day

Post match, The New Day celebrated their win in front of O’Neil and Young.

Analysis: **1/2 That was a good tag match. The New Day needed the win because they’ve been losing quite a bit lately, so getting the victory helps them. I like the Lucha Dragons a lot. They’ll be in the title picture later in the year most likely. O’Neil was okay on commentary, but a little overbearing too. Young really wasn’t noticeable.

Immediately following Raw it’s “The Legendary Stories of Dusty Rhodes” on WWE Network. Cole said: “WWE Network, just like Netflix.” Good promotion for Netflix that they didn’t even have to pay for.

John Cena’s open challenge is up next.

(Commercial)

The commercial aired for Steve Austin on the cover of WWE2K16. It’s available on October 27 in North America, October 30 internationally and you can pre-order now. I’m not a gamer, but cool that Austin is on. It doesn’t mean he’s back in WWE again. Cole said he’s just back in the video game. It’s similar to Michael Jordan being on a NBA 2K video game after years after he retired.

John Cena entered to the crowd chanting “John Cena sucks” for his song while Cena looked at the car. Cole mentioned that it happened to one of JBL’s cars and JBL pointed out that Cena was the one responsible. The announcers mentioned Cena vs. Owens at Battleground and then showed highlights of Finn Balor beating Owens for the NXT Title in Japan this past Saturday on WWE Network. Great match. I’d rate it four stars out of five, but I didn’t write a play by play review of it.

Cena mentioned it sounded like some people were upset, then wondered if it was because Kevin Owens lost the NXT Title and reminded us that the (US) Champ is here. He spoke about how there’s going to be a US Title Open Challenge tonight. Cena fired off some of his catchphrases and was about to start the challenge, but here’s the music of Kevin Owens.

Owens had a microphone in his hand. He said the worst part of Raw is Cena spouting off the same garbage over and over again. The crowd cheered. He walked down to the ring. Owens said that he needs to take the US Title from Cena so we never have to hear his stupid crap ever again. Owens mentioned that he was fine with waiting for Battleground, but now that he’s not NXT Champion he wants the title right here.

Cesaro showed up for a promo complaining about how Owens is the reason why Cesaro isn’t the US Champion right now. He told Owens to get out of the ring so that Cesaro can get his US Title shot against Cena. Cesaro said if you don’t leave right now then Owens will have a problem with him. Owens thought about it and left.

Analysis: I was hoping for Owens vs. Cesaro this week, but I definitely don’t mind seeing Cena vs. Cesaro again because their matches are always great. It was pretty funny hearing the crowd cheer Owens when he was ripping Cena for his repetitive promos. I was glad to see Cesaro show up. Putting him in a big match on Raw two weeks in a row is great for him. I hope this leads to something substantial for him.

The official intros were made by Lilian Garcia to set up the match.

United States Title: John Cena vs. Cesaro

Cesaro hit an uppercut shot. Cena bailed to the floor to set up the floor to commercial right after the bell rang.

(Commercial)

Cesaro is wearing the same “KIDD” armband for his injured tag partner Tyson Kidd again. Awesome to see that support for his friend. Cesaro was in control after the break as he hit a delayed vertical suplex (with a squat) for a two count. Cena caught Cesaro on his shoulders and then dropped him face first. They exchanged some punches, Cesaro slipped out of a AA attempt and hit a DDT for a two count. Double foot stomp by Cesaro off the apron onto Cena’s chest. Back in the ring, Cesaro maintained control with a chinlock. Another commercial.

Analysis: Two commercials within the first six minutes of the match are frustrating. I know they have to do it, but it sucks especially when it’s a great match.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Cesaro hit a backbreaker for two. Cena hit his spinning suplex two times in a row. Cesaro came back with a Crossface submission attempt. Cena was able to fight out of that and applied the STF submission on Cesaro. Cena hit a back body drop. Cesaro hit a gutwrench suplex, then a second one and a third suplex for a two count. He’s so strong. Cesaro hit uppercuts on Cena to stun him and then he wanted the Cesaro Swing. Cena was able to power of that and hit a DDT for two. That was an awesome counter and showed how strong Cena is. Cena went to the top rope and Cesaro nailed a dropkick that sent him to the floor. Cesaro hit a running uppercut while Cena was against the barricade. Back in the ring, Cesaro cross body block caught by Cena, who wanted the AA, but Cesaro landed on his feet. Cena was caught by Cesaro and nailed him with a hurricanrana. Cena hit a slam on Cesaro that sent Cesaro face first into the mat. Cesaro nailed a perfect spinning uppercut off the middle rope for two.

Cesaro caught Cena off the apron and hit a fallaway slam against the barricade. Cesaro charged in and Cena gave him a back body drop over the barricade by the timekeeper’s area. JBL made a good point about giving them some extra leeway because it’s a championship match. The ref could have counted them out, but didn’t. Back in the ring, Cena went up top and was met by an uppercut by Cesaro. Cena used headbutts to knock Cesaro off the turnbuckle and Cena hit a flying leg drop to the back of the head for a two count. Cena wanted AA, Cesaro held onto the ropes and then Cesaro launched him in the air for the uppercut forearm shot for a two count. Cesaro was stunned that wasn’t it, so Cena was able to regroup and hit the Attitude Adjustment. Cesaro kicked out at two. They were both down after that.

Cesaro applied the Cesaro Swing with about a dozen revolutions. Cesaro slapped on the Sharpshooter. Cesaro turned it into the Crossface. Cena slipped out of that and applied the STF in the center of the ring. Cesaro powered out of the STF, had Cena cradled in his arms and turned it into a suplex. That was incredible. Cena went for his Springboard Stunner, but it didn’t connect because Cesaro was still on his feet. Cesaro with the Neutralizer for a two count. Wow. What an incredible match! Cena wanted a Tornado DDT, but Cesaro caught him and slammed him face first into the mat. Cesaro applied the Crossface submission only for Cena to make it to the ropes. Cesaro did his suplex spot with Cena standing on the apron, which always looks impressive no matter how many times Cesaro does it. Cena came back with a Powerbomb, but his cover wasn’t good, so Cesaro was able to get his shoulder up to kick out.

Cena tried for the AA off the ropes. Cesaro wanted the Neutralizer, but Cena fought out of it. Cena had Cesaro on his shoulders on the second rope and Cena hit the AA for the pinfall win after 30 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: John Cena

Analysis: ****1/2 out of five stars. What a match. Wow. I’m tired just sitting here writing about it and those guys made it look so easy. That’s one of the longest matches in the history of Raw. Main event matches going 30 minutes is so rare. Cesaro was incredible like usual, but it was also the first time where we really got to see him in a WWE match at this length. He’s arguably the best in-ring performer in the company. As for Cena, the man continues to impress and adds another great match to his collection this year. I think this was a legitimate match of the year contender. It’s definitely best TV match of the year too. I’m really not surprised that Cena won. My only real gripe is I think they need to cut back on kicking out of finishers as much as they do. Cena ending it with AA off the middle rope was a strong finish because it showed he had to go that extra mile to get the win. The crowd gave them a standing ovation because they deserved it. What an awesome match. Thank you Cena and Cesaro.

After the match, Kevin Owens went in the ring for an ambush. Cena was able to stop that and hit the Attitude Adjustment on him. Owens left up the aisle. The fans were giving Cena a standing ovation.

Analysis: The Cena haters are probably griping about how Cena was in a grueling match and dispatched Owens easily. I think WWE just wanted to show that Cena was at his best on this show. Hopefully Owens wins at Battleground, but if not I think he’ll be okay no matter what.

Cena celebrated with the US Title, mouthed “Thank You Chicago” and there was another shot of the car that Lesnar destroyed. The show ended at 11:15pmET.

Analysis: Last week’s Raw had a really low rating and viewership number. It’s no surprise that WWE went back to Cena by putting him over strong in the last 45 minutes of the show. The match wasn’t advertised, but giving them that much time is great to see. I hope this happens more often with main event matches.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. John Cena – Last week I put Cesaro first. This time it’s Cena.

2. Cesaro

3. Brock Lesnar

 

The Scoreboard

6 out of 10

Last week: 7

Last 5 Weeks: 7, 4, 5.5, 5, 5

2015 Average: 5.66

2015 High: 9 (May 4)

2015 Low: 4 (Feb 9/June 22)

 

Final Thoughts

I’m giving it a 6 out of 10. It was about a 3 out of 10 before that last match, but they sure stole the show in the last half hour. It’s not like my grades are scientific and if people argue about them I just tend to laugh it off.

What a performance by Cena and Cesaro. Most of Raw was pretty boring. However, when you can end a match on such a high note after two guys go all out to entertain us in such a manner it’s hard to really complain about everything else.

That Cena/Cesaro match is one of the best WWE matches of the year. No question in my mind. I think I have Cena/Owens at Money in the Bank in first and also the Lesnar/Rollins/Cena match at the Royal Rumble, but this match is definitely at that level.

Brock Lesnar’s attack on the car was pretty awesome. I read that some little kid got hit with a bit of a door. Apparently he’s fine. That’s why I said earlier Lesnar is so strong that sometimes he probably forgets just how much power he has. Be careful out there, Lesnar. I also like the story of Lesnar not getting his hands on Rollins. Build it up for next week or at Battleground.

There really wasn’t anything else that left much of an impression on me. I just want to watch Cena vs. Cesaro again.

That’s all for this week. Check out my feature column archive that’s exclusive to WhatCulture.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton –mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter@johnreport

Personal FacebookandTJRWrestling on Facebook

More Reviews