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There is a big time feel to Raw this week because the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar is back after not appearing on WWE television for over three months. In addition to Lesnar, Ronda Rousey returns from her storyline suspension. Two of the matches advertised are rematches from the last month with Seth Rollins facing Drew McIntyre and Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin once again. All of this and more as WWE tries to get us more excited for SummerSlam on August 19.

Live from Miami, Florida, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1314 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.

Raw began with a graphic saying In Memory of Nikolai Volkoff 1947-2018 and In Memory of Brian Christopher 1972-2018. Rest in peace to both men as well as Brickhouse Brown.

A replay aired of Roman Reigns beating Bobby Lashley last week to earn a Universal Title shot at SummerSlam.

Brock Lesnar, the Universal Champion, was shown backstage with his advocate Paul Heyman. Lesnar had the title on his shoulder.

Analysis: It was a way to tell the fans that Lesnar was there.

Let’s Hear From Roman Reigns 

Roman Reigns made his entrance to a mixed reaction. The announce team of Michael Cole, Jonathon Coachman and Corey Graves talked about Reigns getting another match against Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at SummerSlam.

Reigns said that every time he comes there the noise is loud, so he gave Miami a shoutout. Reigns also gave “Bob” Lashley a shoutout by saying that he respects him after going to war two times with him. Reigns talked about how he had zero respect for Brock Lesnar. Reigns talked about how Lesnar doesn’t show up to Raw, but he did go to UFC to get in Daniel Cormier’s face. Reigns said he didn’t think Lesnar would get in his face.

Paul Heyman did his “ladies and gentlemen” routine for the interruption. Heyman stood on the ramp congratulating Reigns on the win last week. Heyman noted that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. Heyman said that Reigns should be in a padded cell rather than the main event of SummerSlam. Heyman offered a “spoiler” saying that Lesnar is going to put the Big Dog down and go on to UFC to become a two sport champion.

Reigns told Heyman to shut up. Reigns said they wanted to see Lesnar, so bring him out right now. Heyman said that Lesnar is there, but he is in the locker room and will only come out there when he feels like it. The crowd booed. Heyman said Lesnar will come only if he “feels” like coming out. Heyman said that at SummerSlam, Lesnar will do…and Reigns cut him off. Reigns asked Heyman if Lesnar will actually show up to SummerSlam. Reigns said that if Lesnar shows up at SummerSlam then Reigns is going to send Lesnar to the UFC. Reigns said that he won’t send Lesnar to UFC as the Universal Champion, he’ll go back as Roman Reigns’ bitch. The crowd cheered that. Roman’s music played to end it.

Analysis: It was an opening promo that was done to tease Lesnar’s appearance for later. Reigns was made to look like a badass tough guy in the promo because he wasn’t buying into Heyman’s speech while Reigns got to end it with the “bitch” line that got a big ovation from the crowd. The dialogue in the promo was good with Heyman talking about Lesnar wanting to go to UFC, which is going to make the fans hate Lesnar more because of the storyline that Lesnar is only in WWE for the money. There’s some reality in that storyline too, which is why the crowd boos when Heyman mentions Lesnar wanting to go to UFC. Will all of this lead to Reigns being cheered at SummerSlam? I doubt it.

Seth Rollins was shown sitting in his locker room looking ready for his match against Drew McIntyre later.

Ronda Rousey was shown backstage talking to Natalya with Natalya facing Alicia Fox later on Raw.

Finn Balor made his entrance because he’s up against Baron Corbin up next.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Lesnar was shown reading “The Backwoodsman” magazine while sitting on a couch. Heyman went up to him. Lesnar said he didn’t see what Reigns said because Lesnar doesn’t watch the show. Heyman handed Lesnar his phone to read what Reigns said, which looked like a fake phone and Lesnar threw it down. Lesnar sat back down.

Analysis: That’s a rarity to see Lesnar in a backstage segment like that. Lesnar saying he doesn’t watch or care about the show is another way of getting him heat with the fans.

Baron Corbin made his entrance.

Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin

Corbin dumped Balor out of the ring. Balor went back into the ring with a headlock. The crowd chanted “let’s go Balor” as Corbin hit Balor with an elbow to the face. Balor with forearms to the face followed by a dropkick off the middle rope that sent Corbin out of the ring. Balor with a running forearm that knocked Corbin down on the floor. They battled on the apron with Corbin hitting a punch and a clothesline that knocked Balor down to the floor.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Corbin whipped Balor into the turnbuckle and slapped on an armbar. That armbar lasted about two minutes. It was putting me to sleep. Balor sent Corbin out of the ring, Corbin did his slide out of the ring leading to a clothesline spot that he does in nearly every match. Corbin with another rest hold. Balor sent Corbin to the floor, but Corbin decked him with a punch and hit a back suplex onto the apron. Corbin set up for a slam, Balor slipped out and hit a double foot stomp to the gut. Balor hit a kick that sent Corbin out of the ring. Balor with a somersault dive over the top to take out Corbin.

(Commercial)

Back from another break, Corbin with another armbar. Balor broke free, he countered a Chokeslam backbreaker attempt into a rollup and Balor hit the Slingblade. Balor charged in and Corbin connected with his Chokeslam backbreaker for two. Balor with a leaping kick to the head that knocked Corbin down. Balor went up top, Corbin back to his feet, Balor jumped to avoid and Corbin hit the Deep Six slam for two. Corbin with two running splashes in the corner, Balor sent Corbin to the floor and Balor with a dropkick that sent Corbin into the barricade. Back in the ring, corner dropkick by Balor. Balor went up top again, he jumped off, Corbin moved again and Corbin hit the End of Days for the pinfall win after 20 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Baron Corbin

Analysis: *** It was a pretty good match. Long match. Perhaps too long. Normally a 20 minute match in WWE is going to be over three stars, but it was boring for most of it because Corbin slapped on an armbar for what felt like half the match. I think they should have shaved off five minutes because it would have helped. The match lacked believable nearfalls. Corbin just hit his finish and won clean. Balor really didn’t really come close to winning because every time he went up top, Corbin moved and Balor was made to look like a fool. I thought it could have been booked better.

Post match, Corbin tried to attack Balor. Corbin with a knee to the ribs, Corbin with a knee to the ribs and Corbin sent Balor out of the ring. Corbin hit Balor with forearms to the head. Balor sold it like he was knocked out. Corbin left as his music played.

Analysis: That likely means the feud will continue. I would rather see it end because it hasn’t been interesting. I wish Balor was on Smackdown right now. He has no momentum on Raw and every time it looks like he might be going in the right direction, they stop the momentum with a loss like this.

Paul Heyman was shown backstage with a random guy in a suit. Kurt Angle walked up to Heyman in the hallway, so the guy left. Angle said that Lesnar is contractually obligated to appear in the ring on Raw. Heyman told Angle that is Kurt’s problem and he told Angle to go talk to Lesnar about it. Angle told Heyman that if Lesnar doesn’t appear in the ring tonight then Angle is going to terminate Heyman’s WWE contract. Heyman was shocked and Angle told him he was serious about it. Heyman left.

Up next is a video about WWE Evolution announcement last week.

(Commercial)

A graphic noted that WWE’s Youtube channel has 30 million subscribers. They do a great job with that channel.

The announce team of Cole, Graves and Coachman thanked the WWE Universe for subscribing to WWE on Youtube.

A video package aired about the WWE Evolution PPV announcement. We covered it in detail last week. It’s going to take place on October 28 in Long Island, New York and it’s an all-women’s show. They showed comments from some women talking about it.

Alicia Fox was shown backstage stretching. Alexa Bliss, the Raw Women’s Champion, walked up to her. Bliss said that Mickie James was injured, so she picked Fox to face Natalya. Bliss noted that Ronda Rousey will be in Nattie’s corner. Bliss said that Fox was a trailblazer of the women’s division and told Fox this is her chance to make more history ahead of WWE Evolution. Fox said that she’s going to hurt Natalya so badly she’s going to make Natalya’s cats scream and then Fox did some screaming “meow” noises.

Natalya made her entrance for the match against Fox. Ronda Rousey joined Natalya and Rousey got a big ovation. Rousey’s storyline suspension is over.

(Commercial)

Natalya and Rousey were ready in the ring.

Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss made her entrance first. Alicia Fox was up next to join Bliss. It’s Bliss vs. Rousey for the Raw Women’s Title at SummerSlam on August 19.

Alicia Fox (w/Alexa Bliss) vs. Natalya (w/Ronda Rousey)

Natalya got a rollup for two. Fox sent Natalya face first into the middle ropes. Natalya went for a submission, Fox went to the ropes and bailed to the floor. Fox pulled the ring apron to trap Natalya and she kicked her. Back in the ring, Fox got a two count. Fox with a headlock. Fox slapped on a modified abdominal stretch. Natalya slammed Fox down, but Fox came back with a running clothesline. Natalya with a basement dropkick followed by a hard clothesline for two. Fox with a cross body for two and a Northern Lights Suplex by Fox got two. Fox always did that move well. Fox taunted Rousey, so Bliss hit a forearm on Natalya without the ref seeing it because he was distracted by Fox with Rousey. Fox with a running boot to the face for the pinfall win after about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Alicia Fox

Analysis: ** The match was okay for the time given. Fox getting the win They told the story that Rousey cost Natalya the match because Fox distracting Rousey led to Bliss hitting the forearm on Natalya leading to the finish. It was good teamwork by the heels and bad work by the faces. Fox needed the win to give her some credibility.

Post match, Rousey chased after Bliss. They went into the ring. Fox kicked Rousey, but that didn’t work because Rousey got back up. Rousey hit a Samoan Drop slam on Fox in the ring. Rousey went after Bliss again on the floor, but Fox hit Rousey with a forearm to the back. Fox sent Rousey into the barricade two times. Fox and Bliss left up the ramp.

Analysis: This was designed to show that Fox was going to be an asset to Bliss in this Rousey rivalry with Bliss. My complaint with this is that Fox got up from Rousey’s finisher very easily. It was too soon. Sell more, please.

Brock Lesnar was backstage on the couch with Paul Heyman trying to talk Lesnar into appearing on Raw. Heyman said that Lesnar can talk about SummerSlam and how he’s going to be a UFC Champion again. Lesnar was reading “American Frontiersman” magazine this time. Heyman said that Miami will give Lesnar the conquering hero’s welcome that only he deserves. Heels lie. Lesnar said that Heyman has no idea how under his skin he is getting right now. Lesnar said that he doesn’t care about the WWE Universe, he doesn’t care about Heyman and he’d rather be at his house. Lesnar told Heyman to get him a steak (medium well) with a baked potato and steamed broccoli. Heyman was frustrated and he left.

Analysis: The drama continues. It would be even better if Lesnar told the camera guy to leave too, but in WWE they don’t acknowledge the cameras in backstage segments like that.

Still to come: Rollins vs. McIntyre and Sasha Banks/Bayley vs. Riott Squad. Also, Braun Strowman vs. Jinder Mahal.

There was a guitar sound to let us know Elias is next.

The commercial for Smackdown let us know that Jeff Hardy returns to Smackdown to confront Randy Orton. Plus, Samoa Joe and AJ Styles will be live on Smackdown Live.

(Commercial)

Ronda Rousey and Natalya were backstage with GM Angle. Rousey said she wanted a match. Angle told her that next week she’ll have her first ever match on Raw against Alicia Fox.

Walk With Elias

Elias did his usual promo with the guitar. Elias plugged his “album” (do four songs really count in an album?) called Walk with Elias leading to fans chanting “Walk with Elias” along with him. Elias ripped on Miami for worshipping Pitbull and worshipping a low life like The Rock. Fans started a “Rocky” chant. Elias said that The Rock wants no part of Elias. The crowd booed him heavily for that.

Bobby Lashley made his entrance before Elias could start playing his song. Lashley got into the ring with Elias.

Lashley said he wanted to see Elias up close. Elias said that Lashley wants to sing with Elias, so he asked the crowd if they want to see it and the crowd chanted “yes” for it.

Elias sang the song Rockin’ Robin and Lashley joined in, but Lashley wasn’t very good at it. Elias attacked Lashley from behind with a forearm to the back. Elias said it ain’t happening like that. Lashley fought back with punches followed by an overhead belly to belly suplex. Lashley’s music played to end it.

Analysis: It was a segment designed to set up a match between them. It wasn’t that interesting to me. They did the same routine at the three Raw live events over the weekend, so they had a chance to practice it and it was still boring.

Kevin Owens was shown backstage talking to Baron Corbin. Owens sucked up to Corbin for being KO’s son’s favorite wrestler. Corbin said he’s there to inspire. Owens said that Angle is disrespecting Stephanie McMahon’s authority because if Brock Lesnar goes to the ring then Braun Strowman can cash in the Money in the Bank contract on Lesnar. Corbin said that is Angle’s problem, but he told Owens that as long as Strowman has the contract then it belongs to him. Corbin left.

A replay aired of Braun Strowman’s segment with Jinder Mahal last week to set up the match this week. Strowman vs. Mahal is next.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for Miz and Mrs. on USA Network on Tuesday after Smackdown.

Braun Strowman made his entrance. He got the loudest ovation of the night so far. Strowman had the Money in the Bank briefcase with him. Fans chanted “Get These Hands” for him.

Jinder Mahal entered with Sunil Singh. They don’t get much of a reaction.

Braun Strowman vs. Jinder Mahal (w/Sunil Singh)

Kevin Owens showed up at ringside. Strowman knocked down Mahal. Owens grabbed the MITB contract. Strowman freaked out. Strowman chased Owens, so Owens gave it to Singh and Strowman knocked him over. Owens went running up the ramp. Strowman went after him like a dumbass, so Mahal won by countout. Mahal celebrated his win. The match was less than two minutes.

Winner by countout: Jinder Mahal

Post match, Strowman ran down to the ring, but Mahal left. Strowman let out a yell.

Analysis: I’m not going to rate this because it was a story more than a match. The story was about how if Strowman loses by countout at SummerSlam then Owens would win the MITB contract, so it shows how easily Strowman could lose a match that way.

Kurt Angle was in the office. Baron Corbin showed up with a phone saying Stephanie McMahon was on the phone. Angle talked to her. There wasn’t much to it other than a tease of what might happen with Lesnar.

The announcers plugged matches still to come.

(Commercial)

There was a shot of the Raw locker room featuring the lower card talent. Mojo Rawley got in the faces of Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, The Ascension and Mike Bennett. Rawley said that he is for real. Rawley bragged about beating Tyler Breeze and No Way Jose. Heath Slater, Rhyno and Bobby Roode were in the locker room as well. Roode clapped his hands in Mojo’s face. Roode asked Rawley if he has a problem with him. Rawley asked what Bobby is going to do about it, then Roode tripped him up and they brawled on the floor. Agents and referees showed up to break it up.

Analysis: The Rawley vs. Roode storyline has been set up for weeks, so it was another way to continue the trash talk and likely set up a match between them.

The Titus Worldwide group entered with Apollo Crews in his ring gear, Titus O’Neil in a suit and Dana Brooke along with them. The Authors of Pain duo made their entrance looking badass.

Akam (w/Rezar) vs. Apollo Crews (w/Titus O’Neil and Dana Brooke)

Akam hit Crews with a belly to belly suplex. Akam launched Crews across the ring. Akam slapped on a headlock. Crews hit a jawbreaker, Akam picked up Crews and Crews hit a running kick. Leaping clothesline by Crews. Step up enziguri by Crews and a standing moonsault for a two count. Akam slammed Crews down again, Crews moved against the turnbuckle and Crews got a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Akam for the pinfall win after two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Apollo Crews

Analysis: * A quick match to give some momentum to Titus Worldwide sine they lose nearly every match they have. I don’t love the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! finish, but it’s a way to protect Akam because it was just a rollup. That’s the first AOP loss on the main roster although it’s not a big deal in singles.

Drew McIntyre was shown warming up backstage. He’s up next against Seth Rollins.

(Commercial)

Next week on Raw: Ronda Rousey’s first match on Raw is against Alicia Fox.

Seth Rollins made his entrance to a loud ovation from the crowd. Rollins challenges Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship again at SummerSlam.

Dolph Ziggler, the IC Champion, made his entrance in street clothes. Drew McIntyre followed Ziggler.

Drew McIntyre (w/Dolph Ziggler) vs. Seth Rollins

The battle of the bearded men with black hair began with Rollins trying to use his speed, but McIntyre caught him and hit a suplex. Rollins kicked McIntyre into the barricade. Rollins went for a suicide dive, McIntyre caught him and sent Rollins into the barricade. McIntyre did a catapult that sent Rollins throat first into the black steel that was under the ring. Ouch. They went to break one minute into the match.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Rollins with a dropkick while McIntyre was on the apron. Rollins hit a suicide dive, Rollins back into the ring and Rollins hit another suicide dive. Rollins pulled up the ring apron, so Rollins drove McIntyre shoulder first into the side of the apron. Rollins went for a suplex, McIntyre reversed and Rollins came back with a Falcon Arrow slam for a two count. Rollins with a kick to the gut, but McIntyre came back with a spinebuster for a two count. Rollins went for an enziguri, McIntyre picked him up and Rollins hit a hurricanrana. Rollins hit two superkicks to put McIntyre down. Rollins up top, McIntyre met him there and McIntyre hit the White Noise slam off the middle turnbuckle for a two count. Rollins got a rollup for two. Rollins hit The Stomp on McIntyre. Ziggler went into the ring to attack Rollins leading to the disqualification. The match went about nine minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Seth Rollins

Analysis: *** Good match that could have used more time. If this had a few more minutes and Corbin/Balor had less time that would have helped both matches. McIntyre was protected by the finish they did because Rollins had him beat and Ziggler interfered at the perfect time to prevent a pinfall loss for his buddy Drew.

Post match, Rollins and Ziggler got into a brawl. Ziggler was in control early, but Rollins hit a clothesline to knock Ziggler out of the ring. Rollins hit a suicide dive to take out Ziggler on the floor. Rollins went up the ramp to end it.

Analysis: It was a solid build for the Rollins/Ziggler match at SummerSlam. I don’t think Seth should get the title back, but it might happen.

A replay aired of Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman having a promo exchange to start the show. That was followed up with Angle telling Heyman that if Lesnar doesn’t go to the ring then Heyman will be fired. That led to the clip of Heyman pleading to Lesnar.

Roman Reigns was shown in his locker room watching something on an iPad. Angle and Corbin showed up. Angle said that Stephanie asked that Reigns be removed from the building. Reigns said he didn’t care about Stephanie. Angle said he was just following orders. Reigns said that Angle has been in Roman’s position and he knows Angle is not a yes man because Angle is an Olympic champion. Reigns wondered if this was necessary. Corbin called for the cops to get Reigns, so Reigns left. Reigns decked Corbin with a punch to end it.

Analysis: It was just another way to build up sympathy for Reigns in this story. That “locker room” looked so fake because of how small it was.

(Commercial)

There was a video produced by Sonic that featured Mr. Perfect because it was about honoring a superstar. Clips aired of Mr. Perfect in those famous vignettes that he did.

This week on 205 Live is Cedric Alexander vs. The Brian Kendrick.

The lovely Charly Caruso was in the ring. The B Team aka Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel (the son of the previously mentioned Mr. Perfect), the Raw Tag Team Champions, were introduced for an interview. A clip aired of Dallas and Axel winning last week over Hardy and Wyatt in a bit of a fluke manner.

Caruso noted the 7-0 win streak they have had. Dallas said the “B” in B Team stands for dream. Yes, he said that. Dallas said this is real. Axel said that some people are living their dreams, but they are dreaming to live. Dallas thanked the WWE Universe for their support. Axel said that last week was weird when Hardy and Wyatt applauded them and then they attacked The B Team. Axel suggested they come out there and get in their face. That was the cue.

Bray Wyatt’s logo appeared on the screen. When it came back to the ring, Wyatt and Matt Hardy made their entrance. Hardy and Wyatt did a promo with Wyatt saying that nightmares are real because they are about insecurities and subconscious fear. Wyatt said that they are the B Team’s nightmare manifested. Matt did the laugh. Matt said they will haunt the B Team until they are deleted.

The Revival duo of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder interrupted the promo. Dawson said that he didn’t know what Matt and Bray said while wondering how those teams were on top of the tag team division. Wilder said that they beat Reigns and Lashley. Dawson told Matt and Bray to step aside. Dallas got in the middle of it, Wyatt shoved Dallas and that led to a brawl between The Revival and Wyatt/Hardy. Hardy and Wyatt cleared the ring of The Revival. The crowd barely reacted to this.

Analysis: The Raw Tag Team division is hurting right now. There aren’t enough teams and the booking has been weak. This segment reminded us of that. I am glad The Revival might be in the title picture, though, so that’s a good thing.

(Commercial)

The obvious tag team match was set up for after the break. The B Team were on commentary for this match.

The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) vs. Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy

The heel Revival duo were in control of Hardy on their side of the ring. Hardy hit a Side Effect on Dawson to break free. Wyatt got the hot tag to no reaction with punches for Wilder, who also tagged in. Wyatt knocked Dawson off the apron. Wyatt with a running cross body block on Wilder. Dawson went to the top rope, he jumped off, Wyatt avoided the attack and Wyatt wanted a slam on Wilder, but Dawson kicked Wyatt to knock him down. Dawson sent Hardy back first into the barricade. Wyatt with a clothesline on Wilder. Wyatt went for Sister Abigail, Wilder grabbed his hair, Dawson tagged in and The Revival hit the Shatter Machine on Wyatt  for the pinfall win after about five minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Revival

Analysis: ** The match was decent with an expected outcome because The Revival have been booked stronger in the last few months. This will probably lead a triple threat Tag Team Title match at SummerSlam.

Seth Rollins was interviewed by Renee Young backstage. Rollins said a few words, but Ziggler attacked and McIntyre was there too. McIntyre nailed Rollins with a hard punch to the head with Rollins selling it like he was knocked out. Referees checked on Rollins as the heels left.

Analysis: Rollins had the upper hand earlier in the night, but it didn’t last after that interview. This seems like it will lead to Dean Ambrose’s return because he’s close to returning to action after missing the past eight months after triceps surgery.

Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan of The Riott Squad made their entrance for a tag team match up next.

(Commercial)

Bayley and Sasha Banks made their entrance. Cole said they had matching gear, but it really wasn’t the same gear. The women are using the “Boss and Hug Connection” team name.

The announcers shilled the SummerSlam lineup while plugging WWE Network. I’ve got the full lineup at the bottom of this review.

Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan

The announcers shilled the WWE Evolution event for several minutes. It was hard to pay attention to the action with how hard the announcers were pushing it. Anyway, Bayley and Banks got a lot of offense in. Banks hit a double knee attack on Logan on the apron as the show went to break two minutes into this match.

(Commercial)

The match returned with the heels in control as Logan drove Banks into the turnbuckle and Morgan hit a bulldog off the middle ropes for two. Banks got a rollup on Morgan for two. Banks sent Morgan into the ropes. Bayley got the tag with a neckbreaker on Morgan, then a running knee by Bayley, shoulder tackle and a running back elbow. Morgan with two knees to the face of Bayley. Bayley hit a hurricanrana on Morgan off the ropes. Banks tagged herself in and Banks hit a double knee Meteora attack on Morgan for a two count as Logan made the save. Bayley dumped Logan out of the ring. Morgan with a jawbreaker. Bayley tagged in. Banks with a backstabber leading to Bayley hitting a Bayley to Belly suplex for a two count. The match went nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Sasha Banks and Bayley

Analysis: **1/4 Easy win for Banks and Bayley to show that they are on the same page again. The announcers spent the whole match putting over the Evolution PPV. It’s likely that WWE will introduce women’s Tag Team Titles and Bayley/Banks could be the first champions or one of them will turn to prevent them from winning. I don’t know what it will be exactly, but I can see them as the first champions.

Lesnar was still in the dressing room reading his magazine. Heyman showed up to say that they can go in the ring for a few minutes and then they can go to a private steakhouse in 25 minutes. Heyman noted that Reigns has been escorted out of the building. Lesnar asked if they got paid. Heyman said yes. Heyman said that if they don’t go out to the ring then Heyman will be fired. Heyman pleaded with Lesnar to go out to the ring with him. Lesnar: “We’re not friends. You work for me. I don’t work for you. Do you understand?” Heyman said yes. Lesnar asked Heyman how long he has been leeching off him. Lesnar suggested to Heyman that he should march out there and do his job. Lesnar shoved him away.

Analysis: Lesnar was great here. He was a heel asshole like he should be portrayed and having him talk a lot has helped tell the story. It’s also teasing a Lesnar split with Heyman post SummerSlam because Lesnar may be done at that point. I thought this was really well done.

(Commercial)

Next week on Raw: Bobby Roode vs. Mojo Rawley and Ronda Rousey vs. Alicia Fox in Rousey’s first match on Raw.

Main Event Talking Fest

Kurt Angle, the Raw General Manager, entered along with the Constable Baron Corbin. Angle called out Lesnar to come out there right now.

Paul Heyman made his entrance without the usual enthusiasm that he usually shows. There was a “Nice of you to show up to work Brock” sign in the crowd. The fans sang “na na na na hey hey goodbye” at Heyman, who paused. Heyman said that Lesnar is not coming out there right now.

Angle said that a real champion shows up, he fights for the WWE Universe, he does charity work and Lesnar doesn’t do any of that. Angle: “Brock Lesnar has to be the worst Universal Champion of all time.” Fans chanted “yes” for that. Hey now, it’s not like Goldberg was good at it!

Heyman sucked up to Angle saying that he was right. Angle said that he tried to mold Lesnar in Angle’s image. Heyman ranted that if Angle has ramifications then they should not be on Heyman, they should be on Lesnar. Angle said that Heyman is full of crap. Heyman said that Lesnar doesn’t respect Angle or any single one of the fans. Heyman said that he respects Angle. Angle told Heyman that his contract is now terminated. Heyman was on his knees begging Angle.

Brock Lesnar’s music hit and Lesnar made his entrance with the Universal Championship around his waist. Lesnar made a slow walk down to the ring and around the ring. Heyman had a smile on his face. Lesnar put the title on Heyman’s shoulder. Lesnar grabbed the microphone from Heyman.

Lesnar to Angle: “Do you got a problem with me?” He asked Corbin the same question. Lesnar picked up Angle and hit him with a F5. Heyman laughed about it. Corbin backed out of the ring.

Lesnar grabbed Heyman around the face and took him down to the mat. Heyman said that he can’t breathe even though he was talking. The fans were chanting “We Want Roman” while some fans were chanting “Roman Sucks” but the “We Want Roman” fans were louder. Lesnar let go of Heyman.

Lesnar left the ring with Angle and Heyman on the mat. Raw ended like that. Reigns did not return. Lesnar walked away alone to end the show at 11:06pmET.

Analysis: I thought Lesnar came across as a huge star as a jerk heel that is very easy to hate. He did a lot of cheap things by the way he walked, what he said to Angle and hitting the F5 on Angle when Angle wasn’t prepared for it. Corbin backing away was fine because he’s a heel like Lesnar. When Lesnar grabbed Heyman, I thought there might be another F5, but Lesnar didn’t go that far. I think it sets up the situation with Heyman possibly costing Lesnar the Universal Title or doing something “by accident” to cost Lesnar.

The “We Want Roman” chant was likely music to Vince McMahon’s ears. That is what Vince has wanted for years. If you look at this angle from a big picture perspective, that’s exactly what Vince wants the fans to do. The whole point of Lesnar having this long reign was to build up sympathy for Reigns and it worked with this Miami crowd. It worked like WWE wanted.

With all of that said, I want SummerSlam to end with Strowman cashing in the Money in the Bank contract on Reigns or Lesnar (I think it would be better if it was Reigns after he beats Lesnar) and have Strowman leave as the Universal Champion.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Brock Lesnar – The champ talked a lot and carried his segments well. He was effective as a badass heel in the main event.

2. Paul Heyman – Good effort by Heyman all night long.

3. Seth Rollins

 

The Scoreboard

5.5 out of 10

Last week: 6

2018 Average: 5.82

Last 5 Weeks: 6, 6.5, 5, 4, 7

2018 High: 8 (February 19)

2018 Low: 4 (June 4, July 2)

 

Final Thoughts

I give it a 5.5 out of 10.

It was a decent show that was below my yearly average score. There wasn’t anything special about it. There were more backstage segments than most weeks due to all the times Lesnar and Heyman were on screen. Angle was on a lot too. The in-ring action was lacking this week without any standout matches even though Balor and Corbin got a lot of time. They just didn’t deliver a memorable match in the 20 minutes they were given. I liked Rollins vs. McIntyre more in half the time with a DQ finish.

The segments with Lesnar and Heyman were the best parts of the show. I love all the parodies of Lesnar reading the magazine too.

The next WWE pay-per-view event is SummerSlam on August 19 in Brooklyn, NY. Here’s the lineup so far.

Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns

WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe

Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Ronda Rousey

For the Money in the Bank Contract: Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens

Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Carmella (c) vs. Becky Lynch

Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Drew Gulak

They will likely add The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan soon. Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton is likely or perhaps a 3-Way with US Champion Shinsuke Nakamura as well. The Smackdown Tag Team Titles will be defended also.

You can contact me using any of the methods below. See ya next time for the Smackdown review. Go Los Angeles Rams. Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook

 

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