Written by Michael Dworkis, special guest commentary by Bill Bodkin
(RAW Opening Reviewed by Bill Bodkin)
RAW Opens with the Requisite Promo: Luckily, the man with the best theme music in the business kicks things off. And what’s great about Seth Rollins is he knows how to troll like a boss. “Monday Night Rollins” and “You Can’t See Knee” were great. His rant about Cena’s rap career was absolutely brilliant, and I’m glad SOMEONE brought that up. In fact, Rollins has become great on the mic in the past few weeks. It’s much less wimpy cowardice, and whiny brattiness and more snarky smugness. And that’s what he needs to be. Then we get the brilliant ‘live via satellite’ promo from Cena.
And the Requisite Interruption: CESARO with the monster, monster pop. Cesaro rips Rollins, and says he deserves a shot at the title.
And the Requisite Second Interruption: Kevin…F’n…Owens. Owens comes out and after an initial verbal fumble, he kills both Cesaro and Owens for never beating Cena. And how he deserves a shot.
The Third, Unfortunate Interruption: Randy Orton comes out. And this why we can’t have nice things! Randy Orton has been in the title hunt forever, keep him out of the picture.
Seth tries to weasel his way out of things, and accidentally calls all three of them ‘jerk offs.’ Thiss brings Triple H out, and he makes it a triple threat between Orton, Cesaro and Owens. The winner fights Seth in the main event. I have a feeling the winner of the triple threat is going to come “outta nowhere.”
(Michael Dworkis takes over the review)
It’s Going To Happen Moment: When the cameraman gets a close-up of Stephen Amell, Mr. Green Arrow in the front row.
RAW Continues with “Let’s Keep ‘Em Confused: Okay, once again we do another 180 and watch the Bellas get booked as faces against Team BAD. Bad, is the operative word as Naomi is now shifted to one-line jibjab, Tamina remains the Diesel of the group, and rightfully so, Sasha Banks is presented more as leader of the trio. Brie Bella goes on a tear as the crowd chants YES YES YES because OH MY LORD DANIEL BRYAN will be on Miz TV later tonight. Brie gets the win, but Paige, Charlotte, and Lynch, dropping the “Submission Sorority” in favor of Team PCB, who were doing commentary at ringside get involved for yet another all-out brawl between the three trios. Starting to get a tad repetitive here.
Bodkin Commentary: Fun match, but can we talk about how much Naomi has regressed a wrestler? She can’t even execute a leap frog at this point. Team PCB? Sounds a lot like PCP or ICP, couldn’t we come up with something better? Oh, and what douche canoe didn’t take two seconds to Google, ‘Submission Sorority’ to find that was in fact a porno.
Backstage Backpeddling: Seth Rollins apologizes to Triple H, but he has to defend tonight anyway. Triple H gives the “to be the man you have to beat the man” type of pep-talk with some altered words, but we get the idea. Everytime the phrase is used some internet meme-maker believes Ric Flair is coming out of retirement.
It’s a New Day: It really is. I don’t know which is more exciting, to see Los Matadores get handed another loss, or to watch Big E. Langston and Kofi Kingston have a secret contest of who can skip around ringside like an escaped loon. Decent match with Los Matadores, who at this point everyone has figured out is Primo and Epico. Following the match, New Day slowly snap when being informed the Matadores and Lucha Dragons are joining them against the Prime Time Players, making the WWE Tag Team Championship match at SummerSlam a Fatal-Four Way.
Bodkin Commentary: Kofi’s skipping has become the best entrance in wrestling. The New Day’s post match celebration…also the best thing in wrestling.
This Should Have Been The Main Event… at SummerSlam: Cesaro and Kevin Owens put on a display of brawling ballet, while Orton jumps in once in a while to do something we have never seen before, if we lived in caves. Orton contributes next to nothing, yet somehow manages to gain crowd favor. I am constantly amazed at the performances by Cesaro and Owens, yet unsurprisingly disappointed in Orton. Chants of “This is Awesome” were easy to hear when Owens and Cesaro took to the mat, and shockingly vanished when Orton returned. As much I enjoyed watching this bout, Orton dropped both challengers with consecutive RKOs to win.
During this match, JBL needed to revert to broken-record mode in order to remind us Orton could become a 13-time champion, and Cena is one away from tying Ric Flair.
Loved the Cesaro Section signs. Love ’em.
Bodkin Commentary: Called it. WWE doesn’t care about your Cesaro Section print outs, he’s not headlining Summer Slam. Broken Nose John will come back, with a protective mask, and win the WWE title.
Long Winded Recap: Lots of hype for the upcoming Brock vs. Undertaker II
Vintage Ambrose: This should be the name of a drink. Ambrose talks about no friends and being arrested in various shady locations, while Reigns tries to play straight-man to reiterate his brotherhood with Ambrose and the Wyatt Family is a sham.
Reigns Looking Strong by Doing Nothing: Well, not true. Over the weekend he got clocked in the head by a homemade Money in the Bank briefcase by a fan, and boy did that suck. However tonight, standing ringside as Dean Ambrose and Luke Harper put on an entertaining show, culminating with interference from both Bray Wyatt and Reigns, unfortunately resulting in a victory for Harper. Regardless, Ambrose comes off looking crazy and awesome.
MizTV: Before he takes credit for bringing us our most beloved injury-prone wrestler, Miz takes a few shots at Arrow star Stephen Amell. That was nice. Daniel Bryan comes out to a standing ovation, incredible crowd response. It’s nice to see Bryan have fun with the crowd as Miz cannot get the segment going. The segment gets awkward as Miz either forgot his lines or just couldn’t come up with anything of value. Topic eventually changes to the Intercontinental Championship, which brings out Big Show to interrupt. Crowd starts chanting “Please Retire” which seems to have actually hurt the feelings of Big Show. The second interruption is from Ryback, returns from injury and proceeds to take out everyone and celebrates with Bryan.
Seriously, I think Big Show looked pretty upset.
Bodkin Commentary: Tough Enough is the greatest show of all-time? Well if that’s the case then Koko B. Ware deserves to be in the Hall of Fame before The Freebirds. Oh, wait.
Fooled Me Segment: I was for sure certain Mark Henry was going to job again to Rusev, except the match gets thrown out by DQ when Summer Rae and Lana get into it. Not sure why that mattered. What really shocked, is watching Summer, albeit sloppy, managed to lock Lana in the Accolade.
Bodkin Commentary: Mark Henry had the easiest job of the night. He hasn’t had it this easy since he was standing around ringside with the Nation of Domination. Also, how was THAT not a porno?
We Are Getting What We Wanted: Stephen Amell shown at ringside, recap of Adrian Neville losing against Seth Rollins last week, and Stardust with his after-match commentary of “One more time” translating into “he lost!” The sinister Stardust is seeking a new hero to “embrace the strange.”
Adrian Neville makes short work of King Jobber Barrett, and I have just given up on trying to salvage his dignity. Post match, Stardust runs in and attacks Neville, but turns his attention to Stephen Amell. He smacks the Arrow star and the crowd getting amped, as Amell then leaps over the barrier, then leaps onto the apron, the leaps CLEAR OVER THE TOP TOPE and Spears the crap out of Stardust until “security” breaks them up. Backstage, Triple H cuts a promo on Amell, who fires back, demanding a match with him and Neville up against Stardust and Barrett. The COO does not want to do it, but Amell cuts a damn convincing promo and Triple H agrees to it. For the first time in a long time, this celebrity involvement did not seem forced or stupidly scripted. Amell pulled it off flawlessly while Neville looked more like Frodo than Red Arrow as he was dwarfed by everyone, including the ref.
Bodkin Commentary: Stephen Amell was the best damn actor RAW has ever seen. You can tell he loves wrestling, and he takes it seriously.
A Surprisingly Good Main Event Which Ended In A “Bunch of Stuff Almost Happened” moment: Liked the “Let’s go Rollins” chants during this one. I was impressed, Orton did not sleepwalk through this one. Nice match between them, liked how Rollins mocked Orton using his own moves. Orton then “outta nowhere” planted a top-rope flying Rollins with an RKO, except Sheamus ran in and beat up Orton to end the match on DQ. Sheamus attempts to cash in, but the referee clearly stalled for time as Orton then dove back in and prevented it from happening with an RKO.
Overall, good show. Some matches could have played out better, and I would pay a pay-per-view price to see Cesaro and Kevin Owens main event.
More matches for SummerSlam came together in good form, this might be one of the best SummerSlam events in recent memory.