Big Show Attacked Big Cass
As I said last week, Enzo Amore has really stepped up his promo game in this rivalry and I'm happy Cass has done the same. He still has an issue with looking like he's about to cry every time he talks, but he's already better on the mic than he was before and the intensity he's showing is awesome. This was probably the best promo he has ever cut. Big Show confronting him made sense given their previously established issues from before Cass turned heel, though I could have done without Show manhandling him as much as he did.
Finn Balor def. Elias Samson
I'm somewhat surprised this match wasn't added to the Great Balls of Fire at the last minute, if only to get Balor on the show, but perhaps there wasn't enough time. It's cool Samson has been positioned on Raw as a midcard competitor, and he scored a ton of offense over Balor here, but Balor really should be facing stars on his level. This was a good match for what it was, but I'm ready for Balor to move on to something more meaningful.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson def. The Hardy Boyz
The Hardy Boyz were not shy in teasing becoming "broken," with Matt using that exact word to Gallows and Anderson. Hell, Jeff even said they should fade away and classify themselves as obsolete! They have been heavily protected up to this point in WWE, so I have a hard time believing they'll be reduced to jobber status now that they don't have the titles anymore. Rather, I think there's a plan in mind with them suffering a few losses before becoming "broken" while also using them to elevate teams like Gallows and Anderson and The Revival, which should be a great feud. Gallows and Anderson needed to win this match since The Hardyz were hurt, anyway.
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins Crashed "The Mizzes" on Miz TV
Miz comes across as obnoxious every time he does segments such as this one but in the best way possible. He continues to kill it in this role and I hope he never loses the Intercontinental Championship. I feared for the worst when Miz name-dropped Ambrose a few times, thinking that their never-ending feud was continuing, but it instead led to Seth Rollins coming to Ambrose's aid. I know Ambrose denied backstage afterward that a Shield reunion was happening, but I believe that is where this is headed.
Bayley and Sasha Banks def. Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax
I wasn't thrilled with the fact that this was a rematch from last week's Raw, but it was logical considering Bliss and Banks have unfinished business from Great Balls of Fire and Jax "injured" Bayley in that tag team match. Once again, it was well-wrestled and furthered the feuds involved effectively. It was interesting that Bayley pinned Bliss and not Banks. Could we get a Triple Threat for the Raw Women's Championship at SummerSlam between those three?
Goldust def. R-Truth
This feud has certainly exceeded my expectations over the last two months, but I can't say I was extremely excited for their inevitable one-on-one encounter. Despite Goldust's recent rebirth as a heel, people have been conditioned to not care about either of these two for so long that they had no incentive to get hyped about this bout. It was pretty flat, but if nothing else, the right guy went over. Goldust has been brilliant as a heel lately and I'd hate it if he spent the rest of his run treading water in the undercard.
Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe Confronted Universal Champion Brock Lesnar
First and foremost, Lesnar and Angle sharing a ring together for the first time in over a decade was a sweet sight and brought back memories of their epic battles. It isn't often we get to hear from Lesnar, but he delivers on the mic every time we do. It's ridiculous that Reigns isn't a heel after that attack on Braun Strowman on Sunday, and it's even more ridiculous that he might be getting a Universal title shot despite the loss to Strowman. Joe was awesome here as usual, and I liked that they announced the No. 1 Contender's match between Reigns and Joe one week in advance. I could certainly see Strowman interrupting that so it's a Fatal 4-Way at SummerSlam and no one gets left out.
Akira Tozawa and Cedric Alexander def. WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville and Noam Dar
Thank the lord it looks like the Alexander vs. Dar program is on the verge of ending with a the two fighting in an "I Quit" match on Tuesday's 205 Live. Tozawa came close to capturing the Cruiserweight Championship at Great Balls of Fire, so he should get another shot at the strap before Neville moves on to his next challenger, and having him pin the champion here was a smart move in moving in that direction. With Austin Aries gone, these are the top four Cruiserweights in the division (okay, maybe not Noam Dar), so this was a nice little tag team match.
Bray Wyatt def. Seth Rollins
I applaud WWE for putting fresh faces in the main event slot of Raw each week, but has anyone been that invested in the Rollins vs. Wyatt feud to warrant it going on last? Granted, their Great Balls of Fire encounter was better than I thought it would be, but it wasn't nearly on the level of what we're used to seeing from Rollins' matches. This was another solid albeit unspectacular outing from them with a surprising finish. I honestly expected Rollins to get his win back, but thankfully the feud is likely over. Now, Rollins and Ambrose can team up against the Miz-tourage. It would be better if that was blown off sooner rather than later so Ambrose and Rollins can chase the tag titles in time for SummerSlam.
With Great Balls of Fire being one of WWE's strongest showings all year, it was imperative that they followed it up with a hot edition of Raw. As it turned out, this wasn't an amazing episode, and it definitely did drag toward the end, but there were enough highlights (the Lesnar/Angle/Reigns/Joe segment, the tag team division being showcased, Cass' promo, and the Shield reunion tease) to make this a thumbs-up show. The wheels are already in motion for SummerSlam, which is encouraging, and next week's Raw should be stacked with Reigns vs. Joe and Angle revealing what his recent controversy has been all about.
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