By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Cesaro def. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins by Disqualification (Non-title)
While I wasn't too high on Rollins tapping out clean to John Cena on Monday's Raw, this promo was effective in helping him regain some of his lost heat and I loved how he tried to change the focus to him surviving Brock Lesnar at Battleground. Cesaro's mic work only continues to improve and he did well for himself here. The match was tame compared to their encounter last week, but it was merely designed to set up the main event tag team match, so there was no reason for this match to go longer than it did before the interference from Kevin Owens.
The Lucha Dragons and Los Matadores def. The New Day and The Ascension
I get why they wouldn't want to put the Matadores and The New Day on the same team because The New Day cost them a win this week on Raw, but how much more sense did it make to have them team with their opponents from Monday instead? My disdain for the Matadores gimmick is well-documented and I wish they'd either go away or go back to being Primo and Epico because they add nothing to the division in their current roles. I assumed this would be a relatively throwaway bout, but it actually exceeded expectations and I appreciated The Lucha Dragons scoring the win for their team.
Rusev def. Jack Swagger
It's been several months since we last saw Rusev vs. Swagger, but it still feels as if they've had a million matches against each other. Don't get me wrong, they've always worked well together, but there's only so many times you can go back to the same match with the same outcome every time. I was surprised to see this turn into more of a competitive contest than a squash for Rusev, but it made sense to make Swagger look somewhat strong in his home state. Granted, he still lost, but his post-match attack on Rusev left me wondering whether we'll be seeing another incarnation of the rivalry, and I surely hope not.
Stardust def. R-Truth
As I've noted in the past, I've never been the biggest fan of Stardust and wish he'd go back to being Cody Rhodes, but the latest incarnation of his character is working for him. He's handling the vignettes and promos nicely and the comic book effect will work well when the Green Arrow/Stephen Amell reportedly comes in. This was an easy win for Stardust with the post-match bit managing to further the feud between himself and Neville.
Cesaro and Dean Ambrose def. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens
I venture to guess that John Cena was originally scheduled to be Cesaro's partner given he'll likely be facing Rollins at SummerSlam, but due to the broken nose he suffered on Raw. Randy Orton would have been a logical pick since he was saved by Cesaro after his recent match with Owens, but Ambrose wasn't a bad choice whatsoever. In fact, I really enjoyed the chemistry he had with Cesaro as his partner and they contested a highly entertaining match against Rollins and Owens. I was a pleasantly surprised by Cesaro scoring the clean win over Owens, though I'm waiting for Owens and Rollins to get big wins to reestablish themselves.
This felt like a shorter show than usual, but that might have been due to the multiple Raw replays. Even still, I've always said how I'm a fan of less being more and that approach worked for this show. Even the matches I didn't care match about coming in (the eight-man tag team match and Stardust vs. Truth) served a purpose and were worthwhile. The night felt centered around Cesaro, which was a refreshing change of pace and I hope he gets the long overdue treatment of a star going forward.
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