Yeah, I took a week off from writing reviews or anything, and now you’re all thrilled I’m back.
IN-RING SEGMENT: KURT ANGLE & BARON CORBIN
Angle promotes Ronda Rousey and berates Brock Lesnar. The Big Dog joins the party. I’m 95% sure we’re getting Reigns vs. Corbin tonight. Big cheers when Kurt says Roman will still face Lesnar at SummerSlam. This is a good segment for Roman to get cheers, since Corbin and Lesnar are universally hated right now. The crowd immediately senses what’s coming when Kurt says “I make the matches.” Here comes Reigns vs. Corbin. I could book this show.
Segment Rating: Four This Is Your Lifes
ROMAN REIGNS VS. BARON CORBIN
It’s so fucking weird that Corbin wrestles in dress clothes. It can’t be comfortable. It doesn’t seem to affect him too much though, he still looks great in the ring. I don’t see it happen in the near future, but I think these two will main event a PPV someday. Corbin has controlled 90% of this match, and I’m not sure if that elevates Corbin, hurts Roman, or does nothing for either guy. I think it’s a damn good match and it’s actually helping both guys. Roman’s resilience is on display as is Corbin’s raw talent. I think the ref actually held his arm up so he didn’t hit the mat for three after the Deep Six. Maybe Roman got his shoulder up barely but that was god damn close, I thought for a second they were gonna botch that. The crowd is definitely into it, and for good reason, this is really exciting. You’d think it’d be a warm up for Roman, but Corbin has people feeling he might pull this one off. Roman fires up the crowd for the spear but Corbin pusses out and limps away from the ring. Finn Balor says NAE! SUPERMAN PUNCH! SPEAR! 1-2-3! BELIEVE THAT! That was a fucking awesome match. I’ll be honest, I thought it was going to suck, but god damn, they really tore the house down there. That’s gonna be really hard to follow. I certainly stand by my statement that they could main event a PPV after that match. Balor gets his revenge after the match, and seeing Corbin get his ass kicked makes the crowd very happy.
Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals
BOBBY ROODE VS. MOJO RAWLEY
Keep pushing Rawley. I love it. He needs to win this feud. I hope he at least gets a SummerSlam pre-show match. He needs to win this feud. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this feud last until SummerSlam to give both of them a match. I still don’t care much about Roode, but he is a very good person to have Mojo feud with right now to keep his steady push going. If they really are doing with him what I hope they are, which is, like I said, a steady push to hopefully some kind of gold, then they have been doing textbook old school booking that I don’t think they’ve done very much in recent years. They started with No Way Jose and now they moved up to a former champ who isn’t doing anything right now in Bobby Roode. They aren’t random matches either, there’s promos and backstage interactions that keep Mojo interesting. He’s not ready to be in the IC title picture yet, so the promos and backstage stuff are perfect to keep him relevant and on an upward path. As long as it keeps going the way it has been, there’s definitely IC gold in his not-too-distant future.
Mojo’s look and his attitude in the ring are perfect. Both of these guys have a ton of intensity and the ring and it’s obvious they’re feeding off one another. Inevitably the match slows down with Rawley keeping Roode grounded. Mojo shows off his awesome strength with a gut wrench suplex. It’s gotten a bit boring with Mojo keeping Roode in just some kind of bear hug. Mojo is getting a lot of heat, which is good, and the crowd is trying to push Roode to comeback. Unfortunately there’s not as much reaction as I thought there’d be when he does, but eventually he is able to get them back into it. Roode is able to counter a Mojo move into his Glorious DDT for the win. I am not happy with that decision and I really, REALLY hope Mojo gets a rematch. The match was pretty good early but lacklaster later on. Overall I enjoyed it.
Match Rating: Five Gold Medals
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: ELIAS
I really have no idea Elias’ documentary or album. Has anybody watched or listened? Let me know if it’s worth checking out. Elias gets a lot of heat running down the crowd, and also runs down Bobby Lashley. Lashley says everything about Elias is a joke. Bobby’s promos are a joke. This one started out really badly but actually got better once he got more serious. Elias attacks which Lashley should have seen coming a mile away. Same thing that happened in the Sami Zayn feud. He comes off as an idiot. He has Elias’ film crew film him doing the hesitation suplex to Elias. That was pretty cool. This was an up-and-down segment with Lashley. They’re headed for a SummerSlam match. I’d say this segment was more bad than good.
Segment Rating: One Katie Vick
Double duty for Reigns tonight, I always love a Shield reunion. It should be a really good match, this has been the main event for Raw brand live shows lately.
REZAR VS. TITUS O’NEIL
I’m pretty sure this is setting up another SummerSlam match: AOP vs. Titus Worldwide. Rezar is beating the living hell out of Titus and working the crowd for heat. Titus and Apollo are two of the most misused wrestlers on the roster. Both of them have CHAMPION written all over them. Titus makes a big comeback, but Akam’s distraction allows Rezar to hit a big boot and a spinebuster for the win. Underwhelming match.
Match Rating: Three Gold Medals
It’s not been a great start to the second hour.
THE KEVIN OWENS SHOW
Owens touts Jinder’s relaxation methods as having healed him. After Owens calls for Strowman, the set of the show starts to tip, and then flips over. Braun appears from under. That’s fucking awesome.
Segment Rating: Seven This Is Your Lifes
BRAUN STROWMAN VS. JINDER MAHAL
Owens takes the briefcase to try to get Jinder another count out win, but Braun smartens up this week. Owens does it again and Braun runs him down, and he barely taps Jinder with the briefcase, giving Jinder the DQ win. Sunil Singh takes the briefcase, then gets his brain scrambled by Braun’s foot. It really wasn’t a match, and I’m not a fan of how this was booked. It felt really dumb.
Booking Rating: Six Kevin Sullivans
Kurt gets another castrating phone call, and lets Corbin snicker in his face. That angle is fucking infuriating.
Pretty badass interview with Roman. As bad as their other matches have been, I’m still excited to see this match. And I’ll be seeing it LIVE!
Stephanie’s order is that Reigns is removed as Seth’s partner and it turns into a handicap match. Reigns punches Corbin in the ribs.
We’re informed that Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin is happening at SummerSlam. Bitchin.
HANDICAP MATCH: SETH ROLLINS VS. DREW McINTYRE & DOLPH ZIGGLER
McIntyre’s backbreaker to Rollins looked fucking brutal. Drew is such a beast, and he’s the perfect enforcer for Ziggler. I think at some point, maybe in six months to a year, he’s going to turn on Ziggler and turn face after realizing that he’s getting Ziggler all his opportunities and his wins. He’ll want the wins for himself. Mark it, dude.
Rollins is taking a pretty nasty beating until Dolph misses on a corner splash. Rollins is able to take out McIntyre and make a comeback on Dolph, who is the legal man in the ring. Drew gets himself tagged back in and knocks the shit out of Rollins. After a brief comeback by Rollins, Ziggler hits a superkick for the win. For a brutal beating by two men on one, this was a pretty good match.
Match Rating: Six Gold Medals
THE B-TEAM VS. THE REVIVAL
B-Team has some new high-school-pep-rally entrance music. It fits them. Revival is beating down the B-Team. All of a sudden, the lights go out. When they come back on Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt have replaced Axel and Wilder, respectively, on the apron. They take out everyone. That was terrific.
Booking Rating: Ten Dustys
PAUL HEYMAN INTERVIEW
Renee Young interviews Paul Heyman, who claims he hasn’t spoken to Brock Lesnar and doesn’t know where they stand. That’s really intriguing. Heyman is crying and misses his friend. He is a terrific performer. An awesome and moving segment.
Rating: Nine Gold Medals
THE RIOTT SQUAD VS. SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY
The red tube man died. These are four of my favorites in the women’s division. I’ve become an especially big fan of Sarah Logan. Probably her character follows Asatru, or Norse Paganism, like myself. She has a ton of power and beats the tits out of Bayley for a bit, then Liv Morgan comes in to continue the carnage. Bayley finally creates an opening and gets the hot tag to Sasha at the same time Liv tags Logan. Logan is strong but Banks is quicker. Bayley hits a top rope hurricanrana and Sasha follows with a Meteora for a two count when Liv breaks up the pin. A fan comes out of the crowd to save Liv Morgan from a Bayley attack on the outside, and the fan reveals herself to be RUBY RIOTT! Logan rolls up Sasha off the distraction for the win. I love Ruby!
Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals
What a huge match next week: The Deleters of Worlds, The B-Team, and The Revival in a triple threat match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. That feels like a SummerSlam match, not a go-home Raw match. So now I feel like another team will get involved and we’ll have a fatal four-way at SummerSlam. Maybe AOP.
RONDA ROUSEY W/NATALYA VS. ALICIA FOX W/ALEXA BLISS
I love Rousey’s hair. I love her look in general. I’m really glad Alexa has become more of a true heel instead of a cool heel that gets cheers. She’s getting more boos than Alicia. The boos last through her entire promo, I love it. HUGE pop when Ronda’s music hits. I’ll take a moment to rate Bliss’ promo:
Seven Roddy Pipers
Now to the match. This one has a big fight feel. Fox is roundly booed on her introduction. The crowd chants “Ronda’s gonna kill you”. This is the loudest the crowd has been all night. It almost feels like an old WCW Goldberg match in some ways. Alicia stays on the outside of the ring while Alexa tries to distract Rousey. Bliss takes out Natalya then pulls Rousey’s legs out from under her to give Fox the upper hand. Rousey is not happy, to say the least, and takes it out of Alicia’s body with her fists. Rousey is just toying with Fox and finally locks in the arm bar, which I can attest is probably the most painful move there is. That was as quick as a Goldberg match too. It was kind of a let down, but I guess Rousey matches are more about the spectacle. Bliss tries to attack Rousey from behind and gets tossed. I love the mic spike. Rousey scares me.
Match Rating: Five Gold Medals
Overall Show Rating: Six Gold Medals