By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Undertaker Addressed Brock Lesnar
It was wise of WWE to kick off the show with their most talked about name coming out of Battleground, giving it a must-see feel considering Undertaker hasn't spoken since before WrestleMania last year. I know that sounds like it would be common sense, but you never know with this company. It looks like this feud will be focused on the streak, which would be all fine and dandy if this was the road to WrestleMania 31. Why bother returning to face Bray Wyatt if he was still set on avenging the end of the streak? I was hoping he'd acknowledge Lesnar taking out Kane last week on Raw, but perhaps that comes later.
Charlotte def. Brie Bella
Last week's main roster introduction of Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch was tremendous, but now the true test begins. WWE has to start booking the women in a way that will start making fans care about them and their matches again, and this (as well as Battleground) was a descent start. A majority of the match took place during the commercial break, but what we saw was good. At least Charlotte didn't lose in her first match back on Raw like at the Slammy Awards last year.
Los Matadores def. WWE Tag Team Champions Prime Time Players (Non-title)
The match was fine for what it was, but it was painfully apparent to me while watching this match that the tag team division is depleted of its biggest stars (The Usos, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, etc). There aren't any credible heel teams other than The New Day, so it seems we're getting more of Prime Time Players vs. New Day until another duo rises up. Did Los Matadores really have to win? I don't want to see them get involved in the title picture, either. You know they won't win the straps (nor should they), so why bother?
Big Show def. The Miz
Well, this was a glorified squash match. It's a good thing Miz is such a talented talker that he can get his heat back with one promo because this loss obviously didn't do him any favors. It was a logical follow-up to their segment at Battleground, but the Intercontinental Championship feud will continue to stall until Ryback's return, which will hopefully be sooner rather than later.
The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar Brawled
Pardon my French, but holy shit! I figured Paul Heyman was coming out to cut a promo on the ending of Battleground and main event of SummerSlam only for Undertaker to interrupt and that'd be it, but that brawl between 'Taker and Lesnar was off the charts! Although I'm excited to see them in person at SummerSlam, I wasn't enthralled with the idea of a rematch between them, but this officially sold me on it. Where the hell was this before WrestleMania 30?!
Roman Reigns def. Luke Harper by Disqualification
I was glad to see Harper contest a competitive match against Reigns, but Reigns has quickly disposed of Harper in the past, so casual viewers had no reason to believe Harper was going to win. Still, this was a very solid match and they've always worked well together. I didn't mind the non-finish because it protected both guys and the post-match brawl was enough of a preview to wet the appetite of viewers for a potential tag team match at SummerSlam.
United States Champion John Cena Interrupted WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins
All the talk about being an "underappreciated" champion from Rollins had me worried it was leading to Cena coming out... and then out came Cena. They've always had excellent in-ring chemistry together and there is a debate to be had when it comes to which title is the more prestigious of the two at the moment, but I'd rather not see Cena reenter the world title picture while he's still holding the star-spangled prize. I would have been fine with the feud if Cena dropped the belt to Kevin Owens at Battleground. On a side note, you can bet Daniel Bryan would have been facing Cena in a champion vs. champion match at SummerSlam had he not gotten hurt.
NXT Women's Champion Sasha Banks and Naomi def. Paige and Becky Lynch
I assumed we were getting Charlotte vs. Brie Bella on this show and that would be it, but it was great to see them give the women yet another slot on the show. As is usually the case so late in the show, the live crowd was tired, but they were still respectful toward the women and applauded their effort. It was a very well-wrestled tag team bout and I loved how it was Banks who picked up the win over the former Divas Champion, Paige. WWE did an excellent job of establishing Charlotte and Banks as credible competitors, but now we can only hope they can keep it up going forward.
United States Champion John Cena, Randy Orton and Cesaro def. Kevin Owens, Rusev and Sheamus
Cena has been seldom featured in the main event scene since the start of the year, so it was a nice change of pace to see him mix it up with some fresh faces in the a main event of Raw. Owens hasn't gotten along with anyone since he arrived on the main roster, so it was only inevitable before he blew up and walked off on his team toward the finish. The live crowd was red hot for the fantastic finishing sequence and it sent the crowd home happy.
Needless to say, the biggest highlight on this show was the pull-apart brawl between Lesnar and Undertaker. Not only was it incredible, but it managed to sell me on the rematch between the two at the event. The rest of the show was solid on the whole, and while there wasn't much else established for SummerSlam, they still have five weeks to confirm the card. This episode was a enjoyable follow-up to Battleground that has me looking forward to what else is to come in the weeks leading up to the pay-per-view.
All #AskGSM Cruiserweight Classic Halftime Heat Hidden Gems Lists/Rankings Mae Young Classic Mixed Match Challenge News Opinion Previews Retro Reviews Reviews RJ's Two Cents Satire SummerSlam Recall Tribute To The Troops Worlds Collide WrestleMania Recall WWE Starrcade