Samoa Joe Demanded an Apology From Roman Reigns
First and foremost, I was really happy to see the Raw intro brought back. It's been almost two years since I last remember them doing it. Even cooler, it was cut short by Joe standing on the commentary table saying that he wouldn't allow the show to begin until he received an apology from Roman Reigns because he claimed he wasn't the person who attacked him on SmackDown Live. This was an awesome angle, though Joe stopping his "strike" because Becky Lynch's entrance music hit was slightly silly.
Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair def. Natalya and Trish Stratus by Disqualification
It's amazing to me that Stratus' return to the ring was thrown out on Raw without any prior hype. SummerSlam is in six days. Did they really not have the patience to wait that long? It's not even like this was supposed to serve as a warm-up for her because she never tagged in once. Above all else, I wasn't a fan of Lynch and Flair teaming despite how they feuded for nearly a year. Sure, they teased tension throughout, but Lynch being partners with a heel made no sense, especially when Natalya was the one who came across like a heel this week. Throw in a lame finish to the tag team match and you have yourself some pretty poor booking all around.
Andrade def. Rey Mysterio
These two had a stellar series of matches earlier this year on SmackDown, though I was disappointed their feud was never given a proper conclusion. It's cool that they're rekindling their rivalry now, though it remains to be seen whether this will continue beyond this week. As always, they had tremendous chemistry together and produced a really fun match. Andrade's victory was just the icing on the cake. I'd love for him to maintain this momentum in the weeks ahead, but I fear it will be forgotten about as soon as SmackDown.
Universal Champion Brock Lesnar Attacked Seth Rollins
Man, WWE desperately wants you to rally behind Rollins, don't they? The crowd hasn't turned on him quite yet, but they're making him out to look like the underdog going into his Universal Championship clash with Lesnar at SummerSlam and I don't feel that it's working. The attack on Rollins wasn't as as strong as last week's, but I guess it was supposed to make viewers think that Rollins won't be cleared to compete in time for the pay-per-view (and of course he will be). It should be noted that the crowd wasn't too loud for Rollins' promo and I don't blame them. It's super difficult to care about this feud.
The Viking Raiders def. Jay Alexander and Idris Abraham
As I wrote in an article for Daily DDT last week, this Viking Raiders experiment just isn't working. It doesn't help that they've been facing local athletes since they arrived on the main roster with no end in sight. They've been dominant and have remained undefeated, but it gets less and less impressive when they can only seem to beat enhancement talent. Fingers crossed they enter the Raw Tag Team Championship picture sooner rather than later.
Cedric Alexander vs. Drew McIntyre Went to a No Contest (Kurt Angle Was Supposed to Serve as Special Guest Referee)
Alexander beat McIntyre three weeks ago and their rematch never got underway. It was lazy for them to take the same route with this match, but at least they switching things up a bit by getting Angle involved as well. By the way, if you're wondering what he had to do with this, this show emanated from his hometown of Pittsburgh, so that's why he was out there wearing the referee shirt. Angle's appearance was made worthwhile when Bray Wyatt attacked him as The Fiend.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day def. Raw Tag Team Champions The O.C. by Disqualification (Non-Title); The O.C. def. Ricochet and The New Day
WWE should have just announced this as a six-man tag team match from the get-go instead of doing Big E and Xavier Woods vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson for 30 seconds. Once that was out of the way, this was an entertaining encounter with great work from all six stars. The O.C. beating the makeshift trio made sense and gave Gallows and Anderson a notable win for a change.
Roman Reigns Was Viciously Attacked
Joe wasted a ton of time in the ring calling out Reigns until he finally went out to the parking lot to confront him, at which point Reigns was nearly run over by a mystery driver. I maintain that it's Daniel Bryan because no one else makes the slightest bit of sense, but I'm starting to get the feeling that WWE may wait until the event itself to reveal who has been behind these attacks. Meanwhile, I'm curious if Joe tending to Reigns will lead to him turning face.
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross def. The IIconics, The Kabuki Warriors, and Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville in a Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Elimination Match to Win the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship
The fact WWE held this match on Raw and not SummerSlam should tell you all you need to know about how little WWE thinks of the women's tag titles. They're completely pointless and have been treated like a total afterthought since WrerstleMania 35. Worse yet, the match wasn't that good and featured a handful of awkward spots. Bliss and Cross winning the tag titles a month after they were at odds with each other is a strange move as well considering The Kabuki Warriors have been in chase mode for months. The IIconics had a worse reign that Jinder Mahal and that's saying something.
The Miz Revealed Goldberg as Dolph Ziggler's SummerSlam Opponent on Miz TV
I was wondering why Shawn Michaels was advertised for this segment if he wasn't going to be in action at SummerSlam, but it became clear that he was merely a red herring so that Goldberg's return could come off like a bigger surprise. This was a solid segment and a hell of a hook for SummerSlam. Personally, I like the idea of Goldberg returning to the ring one more time to erase the Super ShowDown match he had with The Undertaker out of people's minds.
I'm still not sold on Lynch vs. Natalya and Lesnar vs. Rollins at SummerSlam, but I am looking forward to a few matches on the card including Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton, Flair vs. Stratus, Styles vs. Ricochet, Finn Balor vs. Wyatt, and now Ziggler vs. Goldberg. All in all, this wasn't a bad go-home show from WWE by any stretch. Nothing was overly offensive, the three hours didn't drag as much as usual, and there were some enjoyable matches and moments. Here's hoping SummerSlam delivers and WWE can get back on track with their programming heading into the fall season.
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