Universal Champion Brock Lesnar Destroyed Intercontinental Champion The Miz and The Miztourage on Miz TV
I wasn't expecting Lesnar to pop up on Miz TV, but I'm certainly glad he did. Unfortunately, we didn't hear him speak like he did a few weeks ago, but his actions spoke volumes as he decimated all three heels in spectacular fashion. Lesnar hasn't stood tall in some time, so this was absolutely necessary and these guys can afford to take a beating. Plus, the Toronto crowd ate it up. Meanwhile, the back-and-forth between Paul Heyman and Miz on the mic was nothing short of glorious.
Raw Tag Team Champion Sheamus def. Seth Rollins
After Rollins faced off with Sheamus last week, I was expecting him to do battle with Cesaro this week, but no such luck. This was a decent match while it lasted, but I would have appreciated them switching it up a bit, and I'm sure we'll see Cesaro vs. Rollins eventually. Although Cesaro distracted Rollins from ringside, Sheamus still won relatively clean, so that was unexpected. Dean Ambrose was nowhere to be seen afterward, despite the crowd chanting for him, which was more interesting than if he did come out.
Jason Jordan def. Jean-Pierre Goulet
Jordan shined during his Raw in-ring debut against Curt Hawkins two weeks ago, but this wasn't his greatest showing. It was apparent as soon as the local athlete made his entrance that it was not going to be a good night for Jordan. Yes, Toronto is a "smarky city," but I can see most crowds following suit and slowly turning on him in in the weeks and months ahead. If that ends up being the case, he could benefit from a heel turn and revealing that he was never Angle's son. That would be a worthy swerve.
Charly Caruso Interviewed Bayley
We have officially come to a point where the entire crowd is booing Bayley. That's terrible considering she received a monster reaction upon her main roster debut almost exactly one year ago. Again, this is Canada after all, so not every crowd going forward may be anti-Bayley. I thought the promo she cut was just fine, and I'm not sure who could hate this woman considering she's injured at the moment. Perhaps it's for the best that Bayley is kept off TV for the foreseeable future and comes back better than before.
Sasha Banks def. Emma and Alicia Fox in a Triple Threat Qualifying Match
Banks was much more over as a babyface with this audience than Bayley was, but Emma was clearly the fan favorite here. I didn't think she would win given how she's been positioned lately, but it would have been a cool way to switch things up in the Raw's women's division. Instead, we're back to Banks likely challenging for the Raw Women's Championship at SummerSlam. It does make sense from a storyline standpoint since she has unfinished business with Alexa Bliss from Great Balls of Fire, but Emma deserves much more. As for this match, it was abysmal and I continue to question why Fox is still a part of the roster.
Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows def. Enzo Amore and Big Show
I get the feeling that Show turning on Enzo is only inevitable. I mean, wouldn't you attack the most annoying guy in the locker room, too? At any rate, I was digging this three-way feud up until last week's main event, and that dud of a match soured me on the whole thing. Now, I couldn't care less about who comes out of this on top. I will say that the occasional use of Show has been a pleasant surprise, but Enzo and Cass as singles competitors aren't doing much for me, personally. On the bright side, Anderson and Gallows won a match. Rejoice!
Finn Balor Addressed Bray Wyatt
It's nice to know that the Canadian crowd has yet to turn on Balor like they have Bayley and Jordan. His promo addressing Wyatt was short and sweet (yet lacked fire), but Wyatt nearly blindsiding Balor was almost exactly what we saw last week from them. I'm writing this moments removed from Wyatt's promo and I can't remember a single thing he said. While this is a fresh feud, Wyatt elicits apathy from me at this point and I can't bring myself to invest in him.
Dean Ambrose def. Raw Tag Team Champion Cesaro
Similar to Rollins vs. Sheamus, this was a well-wrestled match, but the crowd sat on their hands for the first half. They put forth a strong effort in the second half and that was when the crowd came alive. You can thank the insane Cesaro for that and his desire to do anything to get the audience engaged. It was refreshing that they received an ample amount of time, though, and the final stretch was fun. Rollins coming to Ambrose's aid was academic and the crowd went wild for the two nearly reuniting. That was an awesome moment.
Akira Tozawa def. Ariya Daivari
I didn't mind that these two had three other matches because each of those encounters were logical in building to last week's No. 1 Contender's match on 205 Live, but this felt like filler. Their 205 Live match was damn solid, but this was quick and forgettable. WWE was using Daivari fairly well for a short while, but this decisive defeat essentially spelled the end of his short-lived pushed. If nothing else, it furthered Tozawa's momentum heading into his WWE Cruiserweight Championship match with Neville.
Nia Jax def. Mickie James and Dana Brooke in a Triple Threat Qualifying Match
James emerging victorious in this match would have been welcomed, but unfortunately, we don't live in a fantasy world. Jax was the one who legitimately injured Bayley in the first place, so you had to know she was winning here. This was basically a glorified squash match with James and Brooke mostly trying to work together against Jax but falling short. Brooke embarrassed herself again with a lousy performance, so what else is new? Another Banks vs. Jax is exactly what this division needs right now (that was meant to be sarcasm).
Braun Strowman def. Roman Reigns in a Last Man Standing Match
Reigns and Strowman always work well together, but I must admit that there wasn't anything too special about this bout early on. It wasn't until they started incorporating the weapons and utilizing the extreme environment that they picked up the pace and went all out. Reigns is an impressive specimen in his own right, but Strowman never ceases to amaze me with what he's capable of. They've had a handful of televised matches this year, yet I'm not nearly as tired of seeing them face each other as I was with Ambrose vs. Miz. I predicted Samoa Joe would interfere, but the match was so excellent that I forgot about him before the finish. Strowman remaining undefeated against Reigns in big time matches is still my favorite thing.
I had hope this would be a hotter show than usual with SummerSlam so close and Toronto being a lively bunch, but there were very few highlights on this dull edition of Raw. The ongoing angle with Ambrose and Rollins continues to kill it and anything involving the Universal Championship combatants is must-see, but the rest of Raw is just kind of there with more of the same. There is no doubt that the three hours dragged on this night and it wasn't the most stellar show, but Raw can redeem itself by holding up its end of SummerSlam with what the brand has to offer.
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