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SummerSlam is RAW?

Was tonight SummerSlam? Oh, no… It’s Monday, which means it’s RAW. They sure gave a lot of PPV matches and events tonight.

Anyone else notice the recent pushes? Who in particular? Big Cass, Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Big Show, Bacon Rorbin… All BIG guys. Vince McMahon must be in heat or something…

You know how on SmackDown, they do split-screen, they air commercials and mute the commentary. They NEED to do the same on RAW. I am getting tired of rambling incoherent commentary, or just give me Corey Graves solo. Joey Styles did commentary on his own, why can’t Graves?

This should have been saved for SummerSlam Part One: You knew this was going to happen eventually, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins do The Shield Fist Bump. They argue, they brawl, Cesaro and Sheamus enter to antagonize, Rollins and Ambrose fight off the tag team champions, and then do The Fist Bump.

This would have been much better, if they were forcibly paired together for SummerSlam, and during the match things get crazy, Ambrose and Rollins are ruling the ring, about to hit the big finish, THEN to the Shield Fist Bump and hit their finishers to win the tag team championships. That would erupt the arena. But, no, this kicks off RAW.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a great moment, the crowd erupted, it was really cool. But it could have been cooler.

RAW’s next match sees Sasha Banks defeating Nia Jax in a great match. It no longer shocks me when women have better matches than men, because they are clearly just as, or more talented.

I’m not going in order, but really, Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor tonight, when it was booked for SummerSlam? I enjoy The Miz and the antics. But it gets a bit predictable when you know where it is heading. Once again, the anti-GM resentment which Miz did against Mick Foley, is now turned towards Kurt Angle.

I love it when the crowd boos Elias Samson. I get a bit confused when R-Truth randomly shows up, but he gets beat up for showing up. I’m happy. By the way, Samson’s song was hysterical.

Here’s something unsurprising, Big Cass can’t talk. Not because his promo skills still need work, but the live crowd is BOOING relentlessly, we are talking Vickie Guerrero interrupting booing. When he finally gets going with this massive heat on him, he does cut a solid promo about being the best big man and going solo to win. He got a ton of heat, and the interruptions fueled the crowd to boo louder and louder. Someone back there must have told Cass to stall his promo just to build the heat. It worked. Enzo comes out to make fun of Cass for being KO’d two weeks in a row, and makes fun of Cass for being booed so loudly. Big Show is brought out, but suddenly, Anderson and Gallows arrive and we get a fight.

This gets interesting.

Another should have been a SummerSlam moment: Akira Tozawa defeats Neville for the Cruiserweight Championship.

Yep. This was supposed to be a SummerSlam match, correct? Yet tonight we watched a great match, should have been saved for Sunday. A title change, which for the Cruiserweights is huge, on RAW? Neville held the belt since the Royal Rumble, and took down everyone. Are ratings struggling? It was a hell of a finish. A countered Rings of Saturn, Neville missed the Red Arrow, and Tozawa hits the top rope Senton finish for the win.

I can get behind Titus O’Neal as a manager. He’s got a good look and good mic skills for his role. I complete forgot Apollo Crews existed, until he ran out to join the celebration.

Backstage: Mickie James tells Emma to stop whining via Twitter. They will have a match later.

Backstage: Big Show tells Enzo he isn’t missing SummerSlam for a broken hand.

A creepy finish… to set up the Real SummerSlam match.

Balor and Bray have a great match. One has to wonder why this couldn’t be a weekly occurrence? You know, having a ton of good matches in a three-hour program? I couldn’t tell if Bray was wearing a Cthulhu or Hydra T-shirt. The real kicker was the abrupt finish which sees Balor taking the loss, and then being covered in BLOOD.

I guess we will be seeing The Demon Balor at SummerSlam.

Mickie James defeated Emma in a pitifully dull match.

Recap when Jason Jordan soured The Miz TV segment. Tonight he starts off with a one-on-one, which is thrown out when The Miztourage of Axel and Dallas interfere just when Jordan was about to get a quick victory, but then The Hardy Boyz rush out for the save and we get this turned into a six-man tag match. Decent back and forth, Matt Hardy makes the hot tag to Jeff and the faces clean house for the win.

Guessing this is where The Hardyz will feud since The Revival are out with injuries again.

Our main event has Vince behind a locked door as Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns, and Samoa Joe are all in the ring together. Rabbi Paul Heyman is convinced this is a shot at boosting ratings, and a conspiracy to remove the WWE Universal Championship from Lesnar’s waist. Cutting a great promo as always, saying a fatal-four way is a cheap way of getting the belt off Lesnar, instead of finding one person to be the next big thing. The mere hinting of Roman Reigns gets a loud boo, and Heyman even stabs in his defeating of The Undertaker. The best part, Brock doesn’t have to say a word. Following that lengthy promo, Samoa Joe comes out and threatens to put Brock to sleep. Oh my. That lasts all of a minute, and Braun Strowman is out next to cut a one minute promo, interrupted by Joe.

It is enjoyable to hear them bicker about who beat up Reigns more.

Roman Reigns comes out, with no words, just spears. Strowman clears Reigns and Joe… and we get a crowd erupting as Strowman and Lesnar stare each other down but are held back by security. They inevitably dispose of disposable security, until Kurt Angle brings out the mid-card section of the locker room to reign them in. Go Curt Hawkins!!

So, this is the build for SummerSlam. I will compliment WWE on being brave and bold to showcase some real top-notch matches tonight. It did the job of hyping the live crowd and adding more intrigue for SummerSlam.

Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis has been a writer for The Pop Break since 2010. For over a decade he has contributed columns featuring Anime, Comics, Transformers, Television, Movies, and most notably, Professional Wrestling. Additionally, one of the key players in the original Angry Nerds column and a guest on one of Bill's various podcasts. When he is not grinding away at his next feature, or shouting expletives at the television while playing video games or watching wrestling, Michael actually has a full-time job,as a Mental Health Professional, working at a medical practice in New Jersey, and runs his own telehealth private practice. A family man through-and-through, requiring his three children to memorize all the Autobots and Decepticons on the collection shelves while also educating them in all things Marvel and Star Wars. You know, the stuff Disney owns.

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