24/7 Champion R-Truth and Carmella def. Drake Maverick and Renee Michelle in a Mosh Pit Tag Team Match; Mike Kanellis def. Truth to Win the 24/7 Championship
Regardless of whether you're a fan of the 24/7 Championship stuff or not, you have to admit that it was refreshing for someone other than Seth Rollins or Brock Lesnar kick off the show for once. As you'd probably expect, the "Mosh Pit" stipulation was just another way of calling this a Lumberjack match. This was complete comedy and was thankfully kept (relatively) short and sweet. Despite Truth retaining his title, he was then immediately pinned by Mike Kanellis, who then voluntarily dropped it to his pregnant wife Maria later in the show. I'm genuinely curious how she'll be beaten for it. Will WWE wait until the baby is born to have her lose the belt? I'm only half-kidding.
Ricochet def. Andrade, Rey Mysterio, Sami Zayn and Cesaro in a United States Championship No. 1 Contender's Gauntlet Match
It's worth noting that there was wrestling during one of the commercial breaks, so hopefully that means that Vince McMahon's dumb edict about there not being any wrestling during commercial breaks is finally over. At any rate, this was a good Gauntlet match with some fun mini matches mixed in. Cesaro looked strong in defeat against Mysterio during the first fall, Zayn was beaten in a matter of seconds (what else is new?), Mysterio vs. Andrade was well wrestled it lasted, and Ricochet vs. Andrade was a blast. Ricochet vs. AJ Styles was always the endgame for SummerSlam, but I liked that Ricochet had to earn himself a rematch for the title instead of randomly being granted one for no reason.
Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch Interrupted Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross on Moment of Bliss
I haven't been into the Lynch vs. Natalya program since the moment it started two weeks ago and it's safe to say that this segment didn't do anything to change that. Bliss, Cross and even Lynch didn't say anything of note, and in fact, I felt this did more to damage Lynch than help her with footage being shown of her being a bully to Natalya and Fit Finlay (yes, Finlay) before the show. I guess the idea is for Natalya to be the babyface going into SummerSlam because the event will emanate from her native Canada, but based off the reaction Lynch received her, that tactic clearly did not work.
The O.C. def. The Usos and The Revival in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match to Win the Raw Tag Team championship
One of The Usos recently suffered another DUI, so it would have been comical for them to become Raw Tag Team Champions here. Then again, they won the belts right after that same Uso got a DUI earlier this year, so I put nothing past this company. The actual match was very enjoyable, but it's a shame the biggest possible tag team matchup was thrown out on television with very little hype. Revival were never given a real run as champions and I assume The O.C. won't be much different, but at least this gives a bit of a boost to The O.C. with every member of the group now holding gold.
The Viking Raiders def. Johnny James and Cole Carter
Vikings Raiders recently defeated former Raw Tag Team Champions Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins and faced off with The New Day on Raw, so it was strange to see them go back to beating local athletes. At this point, I don't think they gain much from decimating losers fans aren't familiar with. Everyone knows their offense and understands what they can do in the ring. It's high time they get put in a real rivalry and are given direction.
Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch def. Alexa Bliss by Referee Stoppage (Non-Title); Lynch def. Nikki Cross (Non-Title)
Lynch vs. Bliss was decent at best from an in-ring standpoint, but what amazed me the most about it was that WWE still expected fans to cheer Lynch despite how she was shown being a bully earlier in the evening. That's how harmful their booking is. The match that followed between Lynch and Cross was marginally better but felt like filler before Natalya came down to the ring to attack Lynch.
Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler by Disqualification
Rollins and Ziggler can always be counted on for a quality contest, but even though it's been a while since we last saw them go one-on-one, I'd be content if they never encountered each other ever again. Plus, it was difficult to take Ziggler seriously as a threat to Rollins considering how he's been positioned as an enhancement player for some time now. Brock Lesnar then interfered and laid a brutal beating on Rollins which included multiple F5s on a chair. It was a hell of an angle, but I don't know how much it moved the needle for me in terms of my excitement level for their SummerSlam match.
Roman Reigns, Cedric Alexander and The Usos Brawled with Samoa joe, Drew McIntyre and Raw Tag Team Champions The O.C.
This segment was originally billed as a "Samoan Summit," and if you're asking me what the hell that means, I have no clue. We never got to find out because it eventually descended into complete chaos with Reigns coming out and brawling with Joe. McIntyre then emerged to aid Joe, only for Alexander to help out Reigns. The Usos and The O.C. also got involved and it turned into one giant mess. I don't mean that in a bad way as I thought this was an effective way of furthering several feuds at once, but it sure seemed to set up an eight-man tag team match of some sort for next week's show.
WWE's build for SummerSlam, at least on the Raw side, has been very underwhelming so far. This show wasn't a total loss, however, as it featured a few title changes, some entertaining matches, and a hot ending. It was a better edition of Raw than usual, but it's hard to call it a true success when it did next to nothing to get me more amped up for SummerSlam than I was before. I commend the company's effort to get me and the masses to care about Rollins vs. Lesnar and Lynch vs. Natalya, but neither feud is clicking for me. If nothing else, at least we have Styles vs. Ricochet to look forward to.
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