Reviews

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 07/13/15

Live from Atlanta, Georgia this is the Raw Deal for episode #1154. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

There was a video package summarizing things from last week with Brock Lesnar destroying J&J Security and their car while Seth Rollins ran away to avoid an attack. The video was over three minutes long.

The crushed Cadillac was by the stage at this week’s Raw. Brock Lesnar made his entrance with Paul Heyman.

Opening Promo with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman

There were loud “Suplex City” chant as Heyman started it off with his usual “ladies and gentlemen” line. He had a long intro for Brock calling him the “Beast of Battleground” among others. Heyman said his heart is pounding through his chest no because he’s fat, but because history will be made when Lesnar enters the ring as a challenger. Heyman mentioned Lesnar as a challenger history beating The Rock at SummerSlam 2002, beating Randy Couture in UFC and last year’s SummerSlam when he beat Cena for the WWE Title. Then Heyman mentioned Lesnar would still be champion today if it wasn’t for Rollins. Heyman said that Lesnar will enter as the challenger on Sunday, but he will not leave the ring the same way. He ranted about how Lesnar is going to destroy Rollins.

Seth Rollins’ music started as the WWE Champ showed up on the stage with Kane. They stared at the Cadillac that was destroyed. If The Authority and Kane run Raw then why would they have the Cadillac there? I know it’s a mistake to ask logical questions.

Rollins said he can’t wait until Sunday when he wipes the smile off Lesnar’s face. Rollins slipped up trying to say “inanimate object” when talking about the car and the crowd got on him for it, so he told them to shut up. Fans chanted “Justin Bieber” at him. Rollins called Lesnar a thug and vandal. He said that he’s going to take a trip to Suplex City, but he’s going to bring the matches and gasoline so he can burn Suplex City to the ground.

Lesnar grabbed the microphone: “I can take you to Suplex City tonight, bitch.” The crowd cheered wildly for that.

Kane said he understood tensions are high, but urged them to remain calm. Kane told them there would be a contract signing later in the show. He said he will ensure that the signing goes smoothly. Kane told Heyman that if Lesnar does anything to spoil it…Heyman wondered if Kane was threatening Lesnar.

Heyman mocked Kane by telling Lesnar that they were being threatened by “Undertaker’s baby brother” and fans chanted “baby brother” at him. That’s when Heyman mentioned that Lesnar beat Undertaker at WrestleMania. Heyman sarcastically wondered what could go wrong in a contract signing. Heyman told Rollins if he intentionally upsets Lesnar then Suplex City comes tonight to Atlanta.

Analysis: When I hear “contract signing” I immediately groan. They do them way too often. The match has been advertised for over a month, so we’re supposed to think they haven’t signed a contract yet? It’s silly. Heyman’s promo work was great like usual. I like that Lesnar even fired off a threat because he rarely speaks, so when we do hear from him it carries a lot of weight.

The announce team of Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show.

(Commercial)

A tag match starts it off with The Miz joining the commentary team since he’s in a triple threat match at Battleground against Ryback and Big Show.

Ryback & Randy Orton vs. Big Show & Sheamus

After about five minutes of intros and video packages, Ryback hit a cross body block over the top to take out Sheamus as they went to break one minute into the match.

(Commercial)

Orton worked over Sheamus in the ring in a preview of their match at Battleground on Sunday. Miz spoke about his strategy facing Show and Ryback. Miz lied about main eventing a stadium of 90,000 at WrestleMania 27. Heels lie about numbers, but he did main event in a forgettable match. Sheamus took control over Ryback while Miz was rambling on about his movies that I haven’t seen because I have good taste, or at least I think I do. Ryback came back with an atomic drop on Sheamus followed by Orton nailing a dropkick. Orton drove Sheamus back first onto the security wall at ringside. Back in the ring, Sheamus with a knee to the gut, shoulder tackle, high knee and forearm smash took down Orton. With Orton stumbling outside the ring, it’s time for another commercial. He did a drunken Flair-like stumble before he fell.

(Commercial)

Orton was isolated in the heel corner. Show wanted a Chokeslam, but Orton slipped out with a DDT. Ryback got the hot tag and went to work on Sheamus with a Thesz Press as well as a big splash. Sheamus got a boot to the face only to fall victim to a Ryback spinebuster. The Miz did a promo yelling at Ryback to quit pandering. Sheamus got a rollup for two. Ryback came back with a Meat Hook Clothesline. Miz yelled at Big Show to get Ryback. Show ended up nailing Ryback with a KO Punch. Show ran after Miz all the way up the ramp to the floor. After all of that, Orton nailed Sheamus with a RKO. Ryback went up top and hit a top rope splash on Sheamus that was good enough for the pin after 15 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Ryback & Randy Orton

Analysis: **3/4 A pretty good tag match that ran a bit long, but they ended it well. Ryback is at his best on the receiving end of a hot tag and the crowd loves his offense, so the finish was well done. My gripe is that Ryback really didn’t sell that Show KO Punch for very long. He climbed the top rope after about ten seconds, which isn’t enough selling. The crowd liked it a lot, so I guess it’s fine. I’m a little surprised that Sheamus got pinned, but all four of these guys get booked strong that somebody had to take the fall. Better than a DQ finish.

Kane and Rollins were bickering backstage with Rollins complaining about the contract signing. Kane said he had a plan. Rollins said please don’t let him provoke Lesnar. Kane told him that if he keeps this up then it will not end well for one of them.

Dean Ambrose entered for a match against Bray Wyatt.

(Commercial)

Bray Wyatt made his entrance in the darkened arena and his lamp. When he blew out the lamp, Roman Reigns showed up behind him.

Reigns attacked Wyatt by tossing him into the security wall. Then he tossed him back first into the side of the ring. Reigns whipped him into the ring post and then nailed a dropkick on the apron. Ambrose was watching this while standing by the announce table. In the ring, Wyatt tried to fight back, but Reigns nailed him with a Superman Punch. When Wyatt got outside the ring, he nailed Reigns in the head with his lantern to try to break free. It staggered Reigns, but he didn’t stay down. The show went to break with Wyatt going up the ramp.

Analysis: What a weird commercial break. It didn’t feel like there would be one right there because Reigns was pretty close to Wyatt, but they went to commercial anyway. No Ambrose vs. Wyatt match. Maybe they will do it on Smackdown. I liked Reigns going after him the way he did, but the ending of the attack wasn’t that good.

(Commercial)

Hello New Divas

Team Bella was in the ring with Nikki holding a microphone while Brie and Alicia Fox were beside her. Nikki talked about beating AJ Lee for the Divas Title last November. She mentioned holding the title for 232 days and said she’s the definition of fearless. She said that she is “the” Total Diva as if that is some great accomplishment. Nikki said that Team Bella are dominant and they have all the power because of the Divas Title. She said that they run the division, which led to Stephanie McMahon’s music hitting.

Stephanie made a “rare” appearance on Raw according to Cole, who said she has an interest in the divas. Stephanie made it very clear that she owns WWE and the legacy that WWE leaves behind rests on her shoulders.

Stephanie said that Team Bella has been unstoppable, but she mentioned there’s a revolution for women’s sports by mentioning women’s soccer, UFC and tennis. She said it’s time for them to make a change in the divas division right now. The crowd was cheering. Stephanie introduced Paige, who walked down to the ring.

Nikki commented that she didn’t understand why Paige is out there since she has failed so many times. Stephanie said that Paige is there because she wanted her out there. She told Paige that she needs backup, but for some reason nobody has been willing to stand by her side. I can blame bad writing as a reason.

Stephanie introduced NXT diva Becky Lynch. Great to see her on the main roster because she’s a very accomplished performer that had a real breakthrough within the last few months. She’s very good in the ring technically.

Stephanie brought out a woman who was bred for this business and is genetically superior: Charlotte. Yes! She’s an awesome performer that has been great in NXT for a couple of years. This is long overdue. I’m glad she’s finally on the main roster where she belongs. She hugged Paige and Becky. The crowd let out a “Woo” in honor of Charlotte’s dad Ric Flair.

Naomi walked out with Tamina. Naomi complained about how she has unfinished business with the Bellas and with Paige. She said that they are all the competition that she needs.

Stephanie brought out somebody else who isn’t afraid to stand up for themselves: “The Boss” NXT Champion Sasha Banks. My personal favorite diva among the NXT girls is Banks, who is a complete performer with so much talent in-ring as well as character traits that work. Banks also has one of my favorite theme songs in WWE. She sided with Naomi and Tamina.

The women were separated in three groups of three as Stephanie said that she set the table of opportunity and she wants to see who’s going to take it. The six women surrounded Team Bella as fans chanted “this is awesome” for them.

Banks pulled down Nikki by her hair, which set up a huge brawl between the nine women. Charlotte nailed a dropkick on Brie and chops. Naomi nailed Charlotte with a kick to the head, so Paige applied the PTO submission on Naomi. Tamina kicked Paige in the head and Nikki took out Tamina, then Brie took out Naomi. Banks hit double knees against Brie and Fox. Lynch kicked Banks out of the ring. Fox missed an axe kick on Charlotte, who put the Figure Eight submission on Flair (Cole called it Figure Four). Lynch put an armbar on Brie and then Banks applied her Banks Statement submission on Nikki. The crowd was going wild for this! Wow! This was great. More “this is awesome” chants from the crowd.

After Team Bella was dispatched from the ring, the other six women argued in the ring although nothing physical by them.

Analysis: Finally. That’s what we’ve been clamoring to see for months in terms of the divas because it’s something different than the same old story of Paige as a loner for several months. That worked so well and created a moment that people won’t forget because it made the divas feel important for the first time in a long time. I’m not sure about having three groups of free, but I guess we’ll see how far it goes in the coming months. My minor gripe with the story is I think Paige should have introduced her two allies. Then Naomi could have introduced Sasha. I know that they had Stephanie do it because it makes it seem more important when she’s out there putting over the divas, but it made the wrestlers look second rate. Typical McMahon wanting attention. Like I said it’s only a minor gripe. I assume Natalya is out of things for now because her husband Tyson Kidd is dealing with a major injury, so she’s spending time with him although she was at Raw. When the time is right, she’ll be in the mix too. For now, this is definitely a moment and segment worth celebrating. Hopefully this does change things for the better.

We got a reminder of the contract signing main event.

(Commercial)

The New Day were in the ring for a tag team match. Xavier Woods said it was his hometown as he called it the greatest city on the face of the Earth. Big E laughed about how last year the city shut down over an inch of snow. Woods complained about the Atlanta Hawks lost in the playoffs. Kofi Kingston said that they are positive they will win back their tag team titles at Battleground. Big E said “prime time is our time” while the other two laughed as if it was hilarious. I enjoy their work. They crack me up.

When they plugged the NXT Takeover show in Brooklyn in October, Cole corrected the Figure Eight thing I mentioned earlier.

The New Day vs. The Prime Time Players & Mark Henry

I guess Henry is a face again. Sometimes he’s a heel. Who knows? He’s not a major player anymore. About one minute into this match, the PTPers and Henry tossed the three New Day guys outside the ring for the commercial break.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Woods dropped O’Neil with a dropkick to the knee. Quick tags by New Day as they all took turns stomping away on O’Neil in the corner. Kingston dropkick on O’Neil, then a tag to Woods with a shining wizard and Big E hit a big splash on O’Neil. Woods taunted O’Neil, which was a mistake because O’Neil crushed him with a clothesline. Hot tag to Henry, who unleashed with clotheslines for everybody. Woods chopped him down with a kick to the face. Things broke down from there with the other four guys battling outside the ring. Henry caught Woods in his arms and put him down with the World’s Strongest Slam for the win. It went eight minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Prime Time Players & Mark Henry

Post match, Henry joined the PTPers in the Millions of Dollars dance.

Analysis: *3/4 The match was okay. Way to put over the guy not in a PPV match. I’m starting to think the New Day will win back the titles on Sunday. I hope so because they are better with the titles. That’s nothing against PTP because I like them too, but it’s more fun with heel champs especially when they are obnoxious heels like New Day.

There was another video package about the Rollins/Lesnar story. This was shown at the start of the show. Contract signing later.

(Commercial)

King Barrett vs. R-Truth

Oh crap not this again. I’m skipping play by play on this out of protest because I’m tired of this match. Truth got the win clean with the Lie Detector after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: R-Truth

Analysis: * Barrett continues to be booked terribly. I don’t understand the point behind it or how any WWE employee could consider this good for Barrett.

Post match, Truth went under the ring and brought out his cape made out of towels as well as his paper crown. He grabbed his plunger that is his sceptre as well.

Analysis: This is painfully bad. At least the match and post match was only about five minutes long. Let’s move on.

There was a video from last week with Rusev injuring Dolph Ziggler. They made up some throat injury for Ziggler. He’s filming some WWE movie in Vancouver so he’s out for about one month.

John Cena made his entrance with the US Title and told the camera it’s time for the US Title Open Challenge. But first, a commercial.

(Commercial)

Cena looked ready for a match. Cole reminded us that Cena’s against Kevin Owens for the US Title at Battleground.

Rusev made his entrance with Summer Rae. If you missed Smackdown, Rusev now wears black boots instead of wrestling barefoot. Smart move. Rusev said he’s the greatest US Champion ever and blamed Lana for costing him the US Title. Fans chanted “USA” at him. He said USA is why he broke Ziggler just like he’ll break Cena.

Kevin Owens showed up. He did a promo saying that he’s said many times is if anybody beats Cena for the US Title it’s him. He told Cena he can take the US Title from him tonight and at Battleground, Cena can have his rematch.

Rusev called Owens a “stupid French American” which was hilarious. French Canadian is more accurate. Then he ripped on Owens for having two first names. Owens told Rusev to take his Lana wannabe, take the flag and stick it up his Chernobyl.

Cesaro interrupted things while wearing his Cesaro/Kidd shirt in honor of his injured partner Tyson Kidd. Cesaro got right in Cena’s face. Owens and Rusev argued with Cesaro. The three guys started brawling in the ring. Cesaro cleared the other two guys out as the show went to break.

Analysis: That was different for the US Open Challenge. They need to re-hire Teddy Long so he can show up randomly to make matches when guys start brawling like this. Rusev had some good lines. I enjoy his promos a lot because he’s out there as the evil foreigner that throws in some jokes once in a while.

(Commercial)

The match was announced after the break with the winner getting to face Cena. Cena joined the commentary team for the next match.

Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Rusev (w/Summer Rae)

Cesaro nailed Owens with a dropkick as Cole sucked up to Cena by putting over the US Title. Cannonball by Owens on Rusev and then Cesaro nailed uppercuts on Owens. Cesaro hit an uppercut on Rusev for a two count. Owens did a Codebreaker move on Cesaro while he landed on Rusev. The crowd did the dueling chants for Cena. Owens slammed Cesaro while Cena put over the future of the company by referencing the divas segment. Rusev hit a superkick on Owens for a two count. Rusev hit a spinning slam on Cesaro that caused Cesaro land on the back of his head. All three guys were down for a bit.

Rusev gave Cesaro a slam while Cena said WWE is loaded with talent right now. Owens wanted a superplex, so Cesaro went there and did a sunset flip powerbomb on Owens, who suplexed Rusev down. That was a very unique Tower of Doom spot as the fans chanted “This is Awesome” for it. Cesaro nailed a dropkick on Owens in the corner followed by an uppercut on Rusev. Owens nailed a Tornado DDT on Cesaro for a two count that was broken up by Rusev, who hit a headbutt off the ropes. Owens went for a German Suplex on Rusev, but he couldn’t do it so Cesaro gave a German Suplex to Owens, which led to a double German Suplex spot. With Owens and Cesaro standing outside the ring, Cesaro hit a corkscrew dive over the top to take out both guys. That was impressive!

Back in the ring, Cesaro hit a cross body block to take out Rusev. Owens nailed Cesaro with a superkick and then a springboard moonsault on Rusev for two. Owens was sent to the floor as Rusev nailed a fallaway slam on Cesaro. Owens hit a superkick on Rusev while he was trying for the Accolade on Cesaro. Rusev hit the Alabama Slam on Owens. Rusev went for the Accolade on Owens, Cesaro broke it up with a kick and Cesaro hit an impressive delayed vertical suplex on Rusev. Owens slapped both guys in the face, so they both stomped on him. Cesaro with uppercuts on both guys and then Rusev nailed Owens with a clothesline that sent him out of the ring. Owens walked away saying he didn’t need this anymore.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Rusev had Cesaro in a headlock. After breaking free, Cesaro hit a springboard uppercut shot to take down Rusev. Cesaro destroyed him with some huge uppercut shots in the corner followed by a dropkick against the turnbuckle. Cesaro went for a superplex spot, but Cesaro countered it by hitting a suplex on the side of the apron in a very unique move. That one looked painful. There’s no countout in a triple threat match, so there was no count. Back in the ring, Cesaro stunned Rusev with uppercuts, then a dropkick and his superplex failed because Rusev shoved him off. Rusev went for a diving headbutt off the top rope, but Cesaro moved and Cesaro applied the Crossface submission. Cena was warming up outside the ring. Rusev hit a spinning powerslam for two. Rusev hit a spinning heel kick followed by a running back splash. Rusev went for the Accolade, but Cesaro fought of it and did the Cesaro Swing! Cesaro turned that into the Sharpshooter with JBL saying it was for Tyson Kidd on the mend in Canada even though he’s really in Tampa. Rusev broke it up by grabbing the ropes although there’s no rope break. Cesaro took out Cesaro with a dive outside the ring. Back in the ring, Rusev slammed Cesaro off the top rope and nailed him with a side kick to the face. Rusev covered for the pinfall. It went 24 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Rusev

Analysis: ***3/4 What a fantastic match that went from a triple threat to a regular match and it was exciting the entire time. What’s great is that we haven’t seen this combo before, so it was really unique. They busted out some unique moves that drew big reactions from the crowd, who were really into this match. I think part of the reason it was so interesting is because we hadn’t seen those three guys in a singles match or a triple threat before. That freshness is a big reason to get excited about the match. I liked that Rusev got the win because they really need to re-establish him as a top heel. I’m a bit frustrated with Cesaro losing again, but he’s such a good wrestler that he’ll be fine as long as they keep putting him in long TV matches. As for Owens, he’s not really hurt by the loss because he wasn’t involved in the finish at all.

Cena entered the ring for his match against Rusev.

(Commercial)

The in-ring intros began for the US Title match with Rusev looking exhausted.

United States Title: John Cena vs. Rusev

Cena was in control early because Rusev is exhausted. Cena hit a suplex for a two count. Cena with a belly to belly suplex for two. Cena hit two running back elbows in a row against the turnbuckle. Cena nailed his shoulder tackles followed by the spinning suplex and then he connected with the Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop. When Cena wanted the Attitude Adjustment, Rusev fell on his back and applied the Accolade submission, which drew a big reaction from the crowd. Rusev held onto the Accolade when Kevin Owens showed up to kick Rusev in the head. The ref rang the bell after six minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Rusev

After the match, Owens hit the Popup Powerbomb on Rusev. He talked trash to Cena saying nobody was taking the title from him except Owens.

Analysis: ** That finish didn’t surprise me at all because I had a hard time believing that somebody was going to do the job. Both guys are protected so much that WWE didn’t want to book a finish.

Kane was backstage talking to some woman about what’s to come. Rollins showed up to say that if this plan doesn’t work out then it’s on Kane.

Analysis: That is WWE foreshadowing basically telling you the plan won’t work out.

(Commercial)

The competitors from Tough Enough were on the stage. I watch the show and the format of it is pretty bad. WWE Hall of Famer Lita went in the ring for a promo because she’s one of the TE coaches along with Booker T and Billy Gunn. She looks great. She officially introduced us to the Tough Enough cast: Amanda, Josh, Chelsea, Mada, Gabi, Patrick, Giorgia, Tanner, Sara Lee and ZZ. The biggest ovation was for ZZ, who has a good personality although seems clueless. Patrick got a good reaction. He’s one of the best guys on the show. I’m not sure what girl is the best. Chelsea was on WWE TV last year as Daniel Bryan’s physical therapist for one episode, but now she’s blonde and I doubt they mention that.

The announcers summed up the Wyatt/Reigns feud leading to their match at Battleground.

There was a promo by Stardust, who received cheers from the crowd. He spoke about how the world needs more heroes and from where he stands the view never changes. He talked trash about Neville. He ended it by saying a star will rise.

Analysis: I would have had Cody come back as himself rather than Stardust because it’s not like the Stardust gimmick is that great.

There was a comic graphic display promoting Neville vs. Stardust up next.

(Commercial)

The Battleground Kickoff Show match is King Barrett vs. R-Truth. Oh crap, not that again. They basically said it will be the end of that rivalry. I sure hope so.

Neville vs. Stardust

The announcers mentioned this was Stardust’s first appearance since his dad Dusty Rhodes died in early June. Fans were chanting “Cody” for him. Neville wanted a handshake, but Stardust kicked him in the stomach. Neville nailed him with a kick to the head. Stardust came back with a Side Effect that Matt Hardy has used for years. After chinlock by Stardust, Neville came back with a series of kicks and a running forearm shot. Neville go a sunset flip for a two count, then a cradle for two and on another pinfall attempt, Stardust rolled through while grabbing the tights. That was enough for the win for Stardust after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Stardust

Analysis: *1/4 It was an average match. I like both guys a lot, but this didn’t work. People wanted to cheer for Cody after his dad died and WWE took that away by keeping him as Stardust. I think that’s a mistake. Cody should do a promo about how he was trying to be something he’s not as Stardust and then say he’s really Cody Rhodes, so he’s going to make his family proud. That’s all they need to do and the crowd will root for the guy.

Lesnar and Heyman were shown walking backstage.

(Commercial)

Contract Signing For WWE Title Match At Battleground

Seth Rollins and Kane entered the ring, which had a table as well as chairs. Rollins said he’s not afraid of Lesnar. He said some other stuff, which feels like repeats based on other things he has said in the last few weeks. I like him, but the way WWE makes their wrestlers repeat themselves every week is annoying.

Brock Lesnar walked out with Paul Heyman. Good reaction for Lesnar again. They went in the ring on to face off with Rollins and Kane. Fans chanted “Suplex City” again. Lesnar sat down in a leather chair while Rollins sat down opposite him.

Heyman suggested that Rollins not take his off the beast Brock Lesnar. Heyman said that ever since Rollins betrayed his brothers in The Shield, he’s wanted to see somebody get his hands on him. He said ever since Rollins sold himself as the future of WWE, they (the fans) wanted to see somebody get their hands on him. The crowd cheered. Heyman did his line about not intentionally provoking Lesnar. He said ever since Rollins stole the WWE Title at WM, Lesnar has wanted to get his hands on him. Heyman says that six days away, the pressure is on Rollins. He said that “every person watching Battleground is paying to see you get your ass kicked.” More cheers from the crowd. Heyman swears that every single person will get their money’s worth because Rollins will get his ass kicked. Heyman told him that this Sunday, Rollins will be going to Suplex City and he’ll be dragged there by Lesnar.

Analysis: Another great promo by the promo master Paul Heyman. The bit about people getting their money’s worth was brilliant. Perfect kind of babyface promo.

Rollins signed the contract first. Lesnar signed the contract right after. As Lesnar was signing it, Rollins reached under the table for something. Lesnar flipped the table over and pulled out an axehandle that Rollins has had in the past. Fans let out a big “oooohhhh” for it. Lesnar slammed the axehandle on the table and then sat down in the chair again.

Rollins grabbed the axehandle and he smiled about it, so Lesnar tossed the table into him. Lesnar attacked Kane with shoulder tackles and then nailed a German Suplex on Rollins. Kane pulled Lesnar to the floor, Rollins jumped on Lesnar and Kane nailed a boot to the face of Lesnar. Rollins sent Lesnar shoulder first into the ring post. Rollins hit Lesnar with the axehandle to knock him down again. Kane had the steel steps, so Rollins tossed Lesnar into them.

Lesnar fought out of a Pedigree attempt by Rollins and drove Rollins into the barricade. Lesnar nailed Kane with a F5 on the floor outside the ring. Lesnar went after Rollins, who escaped through the crowd. Lesnar put Kane’s leg onto the steel steps and he grabbed the other part of the steel steps, which he drove into Kane’s right foot. Kane was screaming in pain. Lesnar held up the WWE Title and stared into the hard camera with a serious look on his face. Lesnar went up the ramp with Heyman.

Analysis: The story is that Lesnar has taken out all of Seth’s backup since he took out J&J Security last week as well as Kane this week.

With Lesnar out of the picture, Rollins walked back to the ringside area. They replayed the attack by Lesnar on Kane. It looked good even though the steps really don’t weigh much at all. That’s the magic of pro wrestling, my friends.

Rollins did another promo saying that Lesnar thought he was untouchable, but that he didn’t run through him. He spoke about how he took the WWE Title from Lesnar because he’s better than him. Rollins said in six days at Battleground he’ll do what no other man can do: “I will prove again that you are not a machine, you are not a monster, you are a man with a pulse and you can’t beat me.” Rollins even ripped on the sword tattoo saying he would take it off of him. I’ll bet against that part. Rollins said that he will forever be the WWE Champion.

Rollins looked at Kane, who was being looked at by doctors and referees. He yelled at Kane about how his big plan didn’t work. He told Kane it worked out like his whole career: one big disappointment. Rollins said that Kane is nothing without him and he called him a piece of crap. Rollins called Kane a “wannabe Hall of Famer” while wondering how it worked out. Rollins told Kane that it’s on him and then followed it up with a kick to the injured right leg of Kane. Rollins left with the WWE Tile to end the show.

Analysis: There’s the injury angle to write Kane out for a bit and then likely bring him back down the road as a face against Rollins. I was wondering why the show didn’t just end when Lesnar did his pose, but that’s why. It made Rollins look evil while making Kane look sympathetic.

As for the Battleground match, we’ll have our preview up later in the week. I’m not sure what’s going to happen because I think Rollins will still be champ, but it’s tough to see how they are going to book it. I’m excited about the match, that’s for sure.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Rusev
  2. Cesaro
  3. Kevin Owens

I was really happy to see the debuting divas, but the guys in that triple threat deserved it.

 

The Scoreboard

6.5 out of 10

Last week: 6

Last 5 Weeks: 6, 7, 4, 5.5, 5

2015 Average: 5.69

2015 High: 9 (May 4)

2015 Low: 4 (Feb 9/June 22)

 

Final Thoughts

I’m giving it a 6.5 out of 10.

– It was a good show that was slightly better than average. A bit promo heavy at times, but it’s the last Raw before a PPV, so that happens.

– The divas segment was great and will be remembered for a long time. That’s not something we can say that often. I truly hope this is the beginning of good things for the divas division.

– That triple threat with Rusev/Owens/Cesaro was great. Like I said in the writeup, being a fresh match certainly helped it.

– Most of the Lesnar/Rollins stuff was good. I liked Heyman’s promos as usual. Rollins probably spoke a bit too much for my liking, but he’s come a long way in that department.

– I don’t like that Dean Ambrose is lost in the shuffle. He should be in a feud.

– There wasn’t enough of a final build to Cena vs. Owens. I think one more promo faceoff by them would have helped their match. I’m still looking forward to it.

That’s all for this week. The Battleground preview should be up probably on Friday and then I’ll write about Battleground live on TJRWrestling.net on Sunday while other sites will get it on Monday.

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