Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman Confronted Raw General Manager Kurt Angle
The reaction Angle received from his hometown crowd gave me goosebumps. It was wise to have him kick off the night, set up what was on tap for the show, and have Lesnar and Heyman interrupt in shocking fashion. It helped the Fatal 4-Way match for SummerSlam as well as establish that they will quit the company if Lesnar loses the title. I don't think that will be the case, but it does play into the rumors of Lesnar potentially fighting Jon Jones in UFC later this year.
The Hardy Boyz def. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
We've seen this match a handful of times before, so while it wasn't too different from any of their past encounters, they work well together and thus this was a fun matchup. The Revival were a welcome addition on commentary as they discussed their beef with The Hardyz and the crowd was engaged in the action. The Hardyz not only got their win back over Gallows and Anderson but laid them and The Revival out on the stage afterward, leading me to think we'll be getting some sort of Triple Threat tag team match at SummerSlam.
Akira Tozawa, Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann def. Tony Nese, Ariya Daivari and TJP
The babyfaces scored a ton of offense in this match, especially down the stretch, but Tozawa was the only one that was truly showcased. That was pretty apparent once Tozawa's entrance was televised and the others' were not. I realize that he'll be likely be challenging for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at SummerSlam, but Alexander and Swann are tremendously talented, too. Thankfully, they did some sweet spots in this match that got the crowd behind them more than usual.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz Hosted Miz TV with Jason Jordan
Jordan showed some potential in his Raw debut match against Curt Hawkins last week, but his promo skills currently leave a lot to be desired. Miz said it himself: Jordan is too "nice" and it won't be long before the fans turn on him. Maybe that will be the intent in time (in order to build to a WrestleMania match with Angle), but definitely not right now. He has a long way to go on the mic, but if he and Miz will be paired in a program going forward, at least Miz can carry him in promo battles for the foreseeable future.
Seth Rollins def. Raw Tag TEam Champion Sheamus
Once Rollins encountered Sheamus and Cesaro backstage, it was obvious where this was headed, and I have no complaints because this was what I wanted to see when Rollins and Dean Ambrose initially "aligned" a few weeks back. The match itself was solid (and Sheamus was protected via the roll-up), but it was the post-match attack and Ambrose's attempted save that was really well done. I love what they've done with Ambrose and Rollins so far and it makes sense for them to come together at SummerSlam given they have common enemies in the tag champs.
Finn Balor Interrupted Bray Wyatt
I don't totally hate the idea of a Balor vs. Wyatt feud because it could be cool to see The Demon match up with Wyatt, but there's no denying that this was another one of those Bray Wyatt promos that went on and on and largely meant nothing. He says so much without saying anything at all. Balor interrupting him was a clever twist, though, and I was glad they didn't waste a Demon appearance on a random Raw. Here's hoping they save that until SummerSlam (unlike last year).
Roman Reigns def. Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman in a Triple threat Match
WWE essentially gave away three-quarters of their SummerSlam main event right here, so I was shocked it didn't close out the episode. Despite that, it was a strong Triple Threat match with everyone involved putting forth an excellent effort and a small taste of what to expect at the pay-per-view. Someone had to take the pin, and I was almost relieved it was Joe because that might mean Reigns isn't winning the Universal Championship so soon. Of course, only time will tell.
Elias def. Kalisto
I was wondering why Elias was getting cheered when he was doing his singing shtick, and it was because he's apparently from Pittsburgh. The commentators even acknowledged that, essentially killing his "Drifter" gimmick dead (to be fair, they haven't called him that in many months). Meanwhile, I forgot Kalisto was on the roster, which is a shame because he is a good wrestler. He just has zero direction. This was decent while it lasted and needless to say, the right guy went over.
Bayley def. Nia Jax by Count-out
Every match these two have had follows the same stagnant formula with Jax dominating a majority of the match with Bayley fighting back toward the end. Bayley is always made out to look like a loser whenever she faces Jax, but at least she managed to escape with a victory this time. I understood the story they were trying to tell, but the fans in attendance sat on their hands for it. I'm sure its placement on the show didn't help matters, either.
Big Cass def. Big Show by Disqualification
I noticed Cass' entrance theme is already different, and if it is, it's an upgrade over whatever the hell he had before. Anyway, this was exactly what I was expecting from Show and Cass. Show and Strowman created magic during their series of matches earlier this year, but Show does not share that same chemistry with Cass it seems. Cass did well for himself here, but I didn't think they would give away as much of the match as they did with SummerSlam right around the corner. The Cass vs. Show feud is fine, but I can do without Enzo Amore's involvement at this point.
Raw has been quite enjoyable on the whole more often than not as of late, but this was a pretty boring show in my opinion. The night peaked with the opening segment and the Triple Threat match was great, but nothing else came close to being as entertaining. You're bound to get a dull show every once in a while, so I wasn't too disappointed by the time it was over. The SummerSlam card for Raw is starting to take shape, and although I'm not highly anticipating the event just yet, they have two more weeks to sell me on the show.
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