John Cena Addressed the Audience
I don't think Cena was ever advertised for this show in advance, so him showing up (not to mention kicking off the evening) was a pleasant surprise. He seemed genuine when he said he was happy to be back after so long and I enjoyed his little rap battle with The Usos. Cena's appearances are far and few between nowadays and therefore they've become special. I know he has one last run left in him, but the timing and the circumstances need to be right.
The Usos def. Raw Tag Team Champions The Revival (Non-Title)
Rikishi was a logical manager for The Usos here considering he's their father, but D-Von looked out of place standing in the corner of The Revival. I realize Bubba/Bully Ray reportedly turned down the invitation to appear, but they could have found another role for him that didn't feel as forced as that. The actual match was well wrestled, but I'm getting tired of the Usos vs. Revival rivalry. All of their matches deliver, but they're simply trading wins at this point without any end in sight.
Drew McIntyre vs. Cedric Alexander Went to a no Contest
I fully expected McIntyre to get his win back over Alexander after what happened last week, but I'm glad he didn't. I'm also glad Alexander didn't beat McIntyre for a second straight week, either. They shouldn't be losing to each other at this point, so having them brawl before the bout could begin was an effective way for their feud to be furthered. I don't know where it's leading, mind you, but it's cool to see Alexander get television time out of it.
The Viking Raiders def. Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
Viking Raiders have been beating up local athletes for months to little reaction from the fans in attendance, so it was high time they took on two members of the main roster. Despite Hawkins and Ryder being multi-time tag team champions together, Viking Raiders defeated them with ease. In other words, this exactly what it needed to me. Here's hoping they can enter a real rivalry soon so fans can be given a reason to care about them, because at this point, they're just treading water.
Roman Reigns def. Samoa Joe
Joe has undoubtedly become the new Bray Wyatt: he talks a big talk but can never back it up whenever it matters most. He cut a great promo prior to this match, only to lose to Reigns in decisive fashion. It was a perfectly solid match yet one we've seen several times in the past. Reigns didn't benefit much from this, and unless they have another match planned for SummerSlam, then this was completely pointless.
Paul Heyman Interrupted Seth Rollins on Miz TV
I know this wasn't the focus of the segment, but man, Miz could not feel any more directionless at the moment. There was no sign of Dolph Ziggler after they encountered each other last week, but WWE could very well go back to it as soon as SmackDown Live. At any rate, this was designed to hype Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, and for me, nothing has changed since last week: I still don't care about it. This is the same stuff we saw going into WrestleMania 35 and I'm ready for some fresh faces in the Universal Championship picture that deserve to be there. I'm slightly shocked Lesnar wasn't on this show seeing as how it was Raw Reunion and how, you know, he's the Universal Champion.
Rey Mysterio def. Sami Zayn
This could have been a really fun match if given time, but instead, it was all about the legends. I was totally fine with that, but what I'm saying is that this is a feud I'd love to see continue, especially since it'd give both men something to do. Sgt. Slaughter, The Hurricane and Kurt Angle were all announced for this episode ahead of time, but I was not expecting Rob Van Dam whatsoever (I avoided the online spoiler beforehand). He's currently under contract to IMPACT, so that's awesome WWE was able to work something out with them to get him to appear.
Seth Rollins def. United States Champion AJ Styles by Disqualification (Non-Title)
If you were hoping for another instant classic from these two like what we got from them at May's Money in the Bank pay-per-view, you were likely disappointed. This was all angle and the commercial break halfway through didn't help matters. The Club coming face-to-face with D-Generation X was kind of cool, but them being forced to back down by the legends didn't do them many favors. It isn't even like Rollins received much of a rub from DX and the nWo because he's already a made man. Plus, where the hell was Ricochet to further his feud with Styles? What a weird waste of time.
Bray Wyatt Attacked Mick Foley
Foley was the one who unveiled the 24/7 Championship in the first place two months ago, so many of us probably figured he'd be involved in the shenanigans with the title in some form or fashion on this show. He was briefly before he was attacked by "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt. I didn't think Wyatt would hit him with Sister Abigail, so the Mandible Claw worked just as well. This was more of the same from Wyatt, so fingers crossed he switches it up with something different next week. If nothing else, it's encouraging to see him target top names and not just random losers.
Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch and Natalya Brawled on Moment of Bliss
Lynch and Natalya are doing their best to hold their own on the mic in this feud and I commend them for it, but similar to Rollins vs. Lesnar, I have zero interest in their match at SummerSlam. Lynch is far from the same Superstar she was going into WrestleMania, while Natalya has been on ice for ages. I'm sure it'll be a quality contest, but it's beyond predictable that Lynch will win. I did like how Lynch brought up Natalya's friendship with Ronda Rousey, but that just goes to show Lynch vs. Rousey is the real draw, not Lynch vs. Natalya.
Braun Strowman def. Randy Rowe
On commentary, Corey Graves referred to Rowe as "Randy Rhodes" on more than one occasion, which was obviously intentional because it sounded a lot like Brandi Rhodes. Don't think for a second that wasn't a coincidence with WWE now at war with AEW (or so it seems). (Update: John Gentile informed me on Twitter that Randy Rhodes Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist, so that's apparently what he was referencing. My bad.) Otherwise, this was a pretty standard squash match for Strowman that the crowd sat on their hands for. It's great he won that Last Man Standing matchup against Bobby Lashley at Extreme Rules, but I have no clue where he goes from here.
Stone Cold Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair Gave a Toast to Raw
These types of segments never end well. For example, Ric Flair's 70th birthday celebration earlier this year never got started due to being crashed by Batista. I expected something similar here, but it was fairly straightforward with Austin addressing the audience and bringing all the legends in the ring to share a beer with them. It was a feel-way good way to close the show and send the crowd home happy, yet did nothing to benefit the current roster or make me want to tune in next week. This felt like a wasted opportunity to get someone new over. I suppose Kevin Owens hitting a pair of Stunners with Stone Cold made too much sense.
WWE does these reunion shows every now and again and although they're a blast for the nostalgia, they rarely ever do anything to help Raw in the long run. The show has been struggling for a long time and WWE desperately needs to make new stars instead of relying on the old guard. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this episode and everything it had to offer, but why would I tune in next week? Who came away looking better than they did before? Why would I give two craps about SummerSlam? WWE should address those issues before doing another one of these novelty shows again.
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