This past Sunday night was WWE SummerSlam, which I wrote about in detail here and I enjoyed it a lot. In addition to that, earlier on Monday I wrote about the things that WWE did right at SummerSlam. Check those out now if you haven't done so already.
Live from Las Vegas, Nevada this is the Raw Deal for episode #1108. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.
There was a video package to open the show that utilized the opening video from SummerSlam and then photos from SummerSlam. It focused on all the big matches ending with Brock Lesnar's WWE Title victory over John Cena.
The theme song of Daniel Bryan started the show, but instead of Bryan it was Stephanie McMahon in her "Steph! Steph! Steph!" t-shirt that's a knock-off of Bryan's shirt. Then Stephanie's music started to play. The announce team of Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield welcomed us to the show.
Stephanie said that SummerSlam was an epic PPV and that some fans were saying that it was even better than WrestleMania. One of the reasons why is because they crowned a new WWE Champion and she said Brock Lesnar would be presented a new WWE Title. She wished John Cena a speedy recovery. Stephanie also mentioned Chris Jericho losing to Bray Wyatt while Dean Ambrose learned that Seth Rollins was the one that really made The Shield. She added that by far the biggest loser of the night was her opponent Brie Bella and she said The Authority always wins. Then Stephanie plugged the $9.99 price for WWE Network. She also thanked her husband Triple H for standing by her and staying faithful unlike Daniel Bryan, who she claimed cheated on Brie Bella. Stephanie introduced Nikki Bella.
Nikki walked to the ring in a black dress and one of her shoes came off when she walked down to the ring. She put it back on and entered the ring with Stephanie. When Nikki started to speak the microphone didn't work right away, but it started after about five seconds. Nikki said that it was supposed to be about the Bellas together. She called Brie selfish and said she was sick of Brie telling her that she was never going to have a husband. They managed to insult Bryan again while also plugging WWE Network as a way to watch Stephanie's match again. Nikki said she can say she lost a sister, but in a lot of ways she never had one. Nikki talked about how she felt free and it feels so damn good.
Brie Bella walked out to the ring in her "Brie Mode" shirt. Fans were chanting "yes" for her. Brie wondered what Nikki was doing. She said they were sisters for life. Brie said she could forgive her and then Nikki slapped her. Nikki said she would never forgive Brie. That led to Brie leaving the ring as the fans chanted "you sold out" to Nikki. That was the end of that segment.
Analysis: It was a 10 minute segment dedicated to the Bella Twins that was below average. That was the most important promo of Nikki's career. There were times where she looked comfortable, but for the most part it was pretty awkward. It looked as if she forgot her lines a few times, so Steph talked to her on the microphone to get her going again. Brie's coming off like such a loser in this storyline. She doesn't even say that Steph's lying about Bryan and then she didn't even fight back when she got slapped by her sister. At least they're getting to do more than just smiling and looking pretty, but I don't know if they're skilled enough to carry a story like this. Both Bella Twins have improved in the ring a lot in the last two years. As actresses they still have a long way to go. Steph is much better.
Later in the show is Brock's WWE Championship celebration. It's Big Show & Mark Henry against Erick Rowan & Luke Harper up next.
There were replays of the Bella Twin segment to start the show.
The Harper/Rowan team entered and then Big Show & Mark Henry made their entrance. The German announce team was at ringside.
Mark Henry & Big Show vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper
There was a "sexual chocolate" chant for Henry. Good crowd. Big chop by Show to Harper and then a body slam. Harper was able to slow down Show a bit by punching him in the ribs. Show ended up fighting out of the corner. Show threw Harper over the top to the floor, so you know it's floor to commercial time.
Harper was actually in control a bit as Rowan distracted Show and Harper hit a dropkick to send Show out of the ring. They tried to keep Show down in their corner. Harper threw Rowan into Show for a clothesline and then Harper hit a superkick for two. Gator Roll by Harper on Show was pretty slow. Harper hit a back suplex and tagged in Rowan, who nailed Show with a clothesline. Bodyslam by Rowan on Show, which is impressive. Big Show nailed Rowan with a DDT. Henry received the hot tag. He hit Rowan with clotheslines. Henry picked up Rowan, but Harper nailed him with a boot to the face and that was good for two count on Henry. Show went back in the ring to knock out Harper with a punch. Show hit Rowan with a KO Punch to the face, which led to Henry picking up Rowan and dropping him with a World's Strongest Slam for the win after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Mark Henry & Big Show
Analysis: **3/4 That was a good TV tag match with the veteran babyfaces looking good against a physical heel team. Like Cole said during the match, it's rare when Harper is the smallest guy in the ring. They followed the classic tag team formula with Big Show getting worked on for the majority of it, then Henry was on fire after the hot tag and they finished it off in impressive fashion. It looks like WWE is going to build them up as babyface tag team title contenders against the much smaller Usos. It could lead to a multi-team match at Night of Champions or simply a regular tag match.
Later in the show is a Ziggler/Miz rematch for the IC Title. Coming up next we'll re-live Ambrose vs. Rollins from SummerSlam.
Dolph Ziggler was in the locker room with the IC Title. Ric Flair was there to tell him he was on a roll. The Miz showed up to tell Ziggler he wasn't worthy of that IC Title and that tonight the title comes back to Miz. Ziggler said Miz wasn't an A-lister and told him he was just an A-Hole. Clever. Miz left angrily. Flair let out a Woo.
Analysis: Flair was rumored to manage both guys at various points. It looks like he'll just show up once in a while without a consistent role.
They showed photos of the Lumberjack match at SummerSlam. Seth Rollins was interviewed by the lovely Renee Young. She said congrats to Rollins and he said he proved that he's a future WWE Champion as well as the future of the entire WWE. As he was talking, Ambrose showed up and dumped a bucket of water on him. Ambrose said: ""What? It's for charity." That was funny. They started brawling and then officials like Fit Finlay, Jamie Noble & refs broke it up.
Analysis: The feud is continuing obviously, which is a great thing. I hope they have another two or three more PPV matches. It could be the feud of the year.
There was a replay of the Rollins/Ambrose segment.
Triple H and Kane were talking backstage. Seth Rollins complained about Ambrose. Hunter said Rollins would have a rematch with Ambrose. Hunter said the WWE Universe will get to decide the stipulation so when Rollins beats him the blood will be on their hands (the fans) and Hunter told him to finish it.
Analysis: I remember two years ago when WWE went to 3 hours full time they did a big press release saying they would have fan interactive things all the time, but they really don't do it that often.
Natalya was in the ring for a match. The new Divas Champion Paige entered by skipping. She said she still loved AJ and that she was dedicating this match to "my little AJ."
Paige vs. Natalya
This is not for Paige's Divas Title. Natalya went for some pinfalls early, but Paige kicked her in the back of the head. Paige did a slow crawl followed some headbutts. AJ Lee's music started up and Lee skipped down to ringside. That distracted Paige, which led to Natalya doing a rollup for the win in two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Natalya
Analysis: It was so short that it's hard to rate it. The "play the music and then do a rollup finish" is the worst way to end a match. Hate it. The fact that it was done for a non-title match makes me hate it even more. That's nothing against the women. I'm a fan of both. It's just a bad finish.
Post match, the camera barely showed Natalya. It stayed on AJ. AJ did a promo from outside the ring. She said that she respects Paige, she loves Paige and she dedicates her life to Paige. She needs to get in that ring to shake her hand. Paige left. There were "CM Punk" chants so WWE hit the AJ Lee music to end the segment.
Analysis: Good promo by AJ to remind us she's a crazy chick. Since champions usually get rematches they'll probably do another Paige/AJ match at Night of Champions unless they want to do it on TV before that.
Here's the Rollins/Ambrose match stipulation vote on WWE App: No Holds Barred, Falls Count Anywhere or No Disqualification. All are pretty similar. They always do stupid polls like that with similar choices.
The WWE Title presentation is coming up next.
New WWE Championship Presentation
The ring had black carpet in it and there was a table with a red cover on it. Triple H and Stephanie entered. Stephanie was in a black dress because it's apparently black dress night.
Hunter said it might have been the best SummerSlam ever (I don't agree - always have to go with 2002) and not just because his wife Stephanie won after 10 years. Hunter put over the WWE Title match as a match we'll remember. Hunter and Stephanie unveiled the new WWE Title. It's basically the old WWE Title except the new WWE logo is on it. I'm just glad they don't have two World Titles anymore.
Brock Lesnar was introduced. Hunter shook his hand. He entered along with Paul Heyman. Lesnar was wearing his "Eat Sleep Conquer Cena" shirt. Hunter handed the WWE Title to Lesnar. There was a pose by Lesnar, Hunter, Stephanie and Heyman as a camera guy went into the ring to take photos. The four of them also posed on each side of the ring. Fans were chanting "Lesnar" for the new WWE Champion. Hunter raised Lesnar's hand. Stephanie left with Hunter.
Paul Heyman let us know his name and kept saying things about "the one" as his way of saying he was Lesnar's advocate. He said that that Lesnar didn't just beat or victimize, but he conquered the title holder. He did a big intro for the reigning, undisputed WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World. Lesnar posed with the WWE Title as some people cheered.
Heyman said that John Cena wasn't there and people cheered that while Lesnar laughed. Heyman told us that Cena can't physically appear thanks to his client Brock Lesnar. The camera went close to Lesnar's face as he said "I love when you say that." Heyman compared the run on top of guys like The Rock and Steve Austin saying they had runs on top of about 3.5 and 4.5 years. He mentioned that there's been one man in WWE for the past 10 years and that man has been John Cena.
Heyman told us that he respected Cena because he never gives up. He even ranted that his kids liked Cena and that pisses him off. He would even make him a Paul Heyman Guy if he had time and Heyman said before SummerSlam, Cena would have been the greatest champion in WWE history. He told us that Lesnar doesn't share that opinion. Heyman kept on ranting about how Cena's street cred died at the hands of Lesnar just like Undertaker's career died at the hands of Lesnar. He said that the Cenation was conquered by Brock Lesnar. The same thing will happen to anybody that tries to take away the WWE Championship from Lesnar. Heyman told us that his client is not a man, he's The Beast and he'll lay wreckage to any man that tries to take the WWE Title from him.
That led to Heyman telling us what happened at SummerSlam by saying he imposed his will on John Cena. "This is what they call Basic Brockanomics." He said: "Eat Sleep Suplex Repeat." Then he said "Suplex Repeat" repeatedly because Lesnar hit 16 German Suplexes at SummerSlam. He added in a "F5 Repeat" also. Heyman ended it by saying they conquered John Cena.
Analysis: It was a ten minute promo by Heyman that was awesome. A lot of it was thing that he says all the time, but he did a great job of adding to it by going nuts with the "suplex repeat" part and putting over Lesnar huge. The crowd loved seeing Lesnar with the gold. That doesn't mean he's going face. It just means the fans realize he's a dominant champion. My favorite part of the promo was when Lesnar was telling Heyman that he loved how Heyman said his name. There's no indication at this point if they're doing Lesnar vs. Cena at Night of Champions although I hope it happens again with a stipulation.
There was a replay of Nikki slapping Brie from earlier.
They reminded us to vote on the Rollins/Ambrose match.
Dolph Ziggler entered for a match and he told the fans "you did this" as he went to break. That's his way of saying the crowd reactions have helped him. I agree.
Plug Time: This coming Tuesday we are pleased to announce that our guest on the 50th edition of TJRWrestling Radio will be WWE Hall of Famer Bret "The Hitman" Hart. The show will start at 10pmET and Bret will be joining us at the beginning of the program. We will ask him questions about his illustrious career and talk about the current WWE product as well. It's okay if you miss our radio show live because you will be able to download it any time using the TJRWrestling Radio link, which will also allow you to play it in your browser, on your phone or other handheld device. You can also find us on iTunes as well.
The Miz made his entrance. They got the title match intros from Justin Roberts.
Intercontinental Title: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz
JBL said he was going to bet on Miz to win this. There was a dropkick to the knee by Miz. He wrapped Ziggler's left knee against the ring post and they went to break there.
Analysis: They went to break, Miz entered. They worked for two minutes and went to break. Too quick on the break.
Back from break, Ziggler hit a leaping DDT. Miz was able to come back with the Figure Four Leglock since he was working n the knee of Ziggler and Ziggler was able to make it to the ropes. Ziggler was outside the ring. When he was on the apron, Miz knocked him off and Zigger was out of the ring for the countout loss. It went 8 minutes.
Winner by countout: The Miz
Ziggler retains the title even after the countout loss. Post match, Miz attacked Ziggler outside the ring. When they went back into the ring, Ziggler hit the Zig Zag on Miz. Post match, Ziggler limped away favoring his left knee.
Analysis: *1/2 The effort was there. I like their matches. That countout finish means they're probably going to keep the feud going possibly until Night of Champions. I didn't like Ziggler getting his heat back after the match. It should have ended with Miz having the advantage. The timing of that match was bad. They worked for two minutes, had a three minute break and then went three more minutes. I know they have the WWE App, but let's not pretend like everybody watching the show is going to turn on the WWE App during a break.
Jack Swagger was interviewed backstage by Renee Young as they showed pictures of his loss to Rusev when Swagger passed out. Swagger said it was an opportunity of a lifetime to defend the country he loved. He said what makes America great is they grow stronger when times are tough and said "that's We The People." He said he was going to pick himself up and come back swinging.
Swagger made his entrance for a match.
Cesaro is the opponent for Swagger. No Zeb Colter since he was kicked by Rusev at SummerSlam.
Jack Swagger vs. Cesaro
This is a rematch from last week because they are running out of foreign heels for Swagger to face. Cesaro was working on the ribs of Swagger, which are taped up under his singlet. JBL is overdoing it saying Swagger let the country down. Cesaro put on an abdominal stretch. Swagger hit a boot and then a Swagger Bomb for two. Cesaro slammed Swagger so his ribs hit the top rope. JBL kept ranting about Swagger letting down America. Hip toss by Cesaro sent Swagger rib first onto the turnbuckle. Cesaro went for a big boot, so Swagger put him in the Patriot Lock. They were tied up on the ropes, the ref broke it up, Cesaro did an eye poke that the ref didn't see and then Cesaro hit the Neutralizer for the win. The match went about five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Cesaro
Analysis: ** It's been a while since I could put a "Winner" by the name of Cesaro. That ends his long losing streak because apparently Swagger's doing a loser streak. JBL was ripping Swagger the whole match for letting down America. The match was mostly dominated by Cesaro. The crowd was solid, but you could tell they were waiting for a Swagger comeback and it never happened. It's nice to see Cesaro win although I don't know if it will mean anything.
The inspirational Bo Dallas showed up on the ramp to say that 318 million Americans were let down when Swagger lost to Rusev at SummerSlam. Dallas said look at Swagger now losing again. He lost his manager Colter and his self respect. "You've lost your dignity, but you can get it all back...you can get it all back...you just have to Bolieve." JBL said Swagger couldn't get it back even if he did Bolieve.
Analysis: I'm still a big fan of the Dallas gimmick, but he's clearly lost some steam. Good promo here with Dallas as annoying as ever.
Chris Jericho was interviewed by Renee Young. Jericho said he realized he's never faced anybody like Wyatt and the upside down spider walk is the most disturbing thing he's ever witnessed. He said when Wyatt told him he's already dead it's because he's dead inside. Jericho said he has three things that Wyatt will never have: the fire, the fighting spirit and the best fans in WWE history. He knows that the Jerichoholics will have his back no matter what he does and they will chant "Y2J" for him. That's something that Wyatt can't take away from him. JBL ripped him saying he was making excuses.
Analysis: That was a basic post PPV preview with a babyface saying that even though he lost he wouldn't stop doing what he does and would fight back from it.
Up next is Roman Reigns, Sheamus and Rob Van Dam vs. Randy Orton, Ryback and Curtis Axel.
This Tuesday on main event it's Big Show vs. Erick Rowan.
The six guys in the six man tag made their entrances as we near the top of hour three.
Randy Orton, Ryback & Curtis Axel vs. Roman Reigns, Rob Van Dam & Sheamus
They worked for about one minute before going to break.
Back from break, Sheamus hit the ten forearm shots to the chest of Axel and then Ryback. The heels ended up isolating Sheamus in their corner. The fans chanted in support of Ryback since he's from Vegas. Orton tagged him in and the crowd cheered. The fans were chanting "feed me more" for Ryback. Orton tagged in and wanted his DDT on Sheamus, but Sheamus countered it. Hot tag to Reigns as Axel also tagged in. Reigns nailed Axel with an uppercut and then hit a running dropkick outside the ring. Reigns hit Axel with a Superman Punch and then hit one on Ryback when he was on the apron. Reigns set up for a Spear, but Orton came in to hit him with a backbreaker. RVD tagged in and was on fire against Axel. Kick to the face and then a split legged moonsault or two that Ryback saved. Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Ryback. Orton hit the RKO on Sheamus, who was favoring his right leg. RVD kick to Orton and then Reigns hit a Spear on Orton. Axel threw Reigns into the turnbuckle. RVD knocked down Axel with a kick. Five Star Frog Splash by RVD and they got the pinfall after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Roman Reigns, Rob Van Dam & Sheamus
Analysis: *** Going into the match you would think Reigns would get the win, but it was RVD that finished it off. They followed the tag match formula with Sheamus getting worked over most of the match, then it broke down and everybody hit their finishing moves for the finish. Any time WWE does six man tags that get more than 10 minutes they almost always follow that formula.
There was a replay of Rollins/Ambrose from earlier and a reminder for the vote about their match.
There was a backstage segment with Randy Orton and Ric Flair. I had to step away, but was told that Orton just told Flair to get out of his way unless he wants to be reminded why Orton is the Legend Killer.
Bray Wyatt did a promo by himself backstage. He was laughing about his win. He said maybe Jericho is right that Wyatt doesn't have a soul. One thing is for certain that Jericho can't comprehend: he called himself the new face of salvation. There was a shot of the crowd lighting up the arena with their cell phone light. "Follow the buzzards." That ended it.
Analysis: Just a standard promo from Wyatt. It was short. They're probably going to have a third PPV match since his feud with Jericho is 1-1 right now.
The Usos went to the ring and the show went to break. There were several commercials right after entrances this week.
There was another replay of the Bellas arguing in the ring.
The Usos vs. Goldust & Stardust
This is a non-title match. The Usos are wrestling in their Usos shirts. Got to sell that merch. Lots of quick tags by the Usos as they worked on Goldust in the ring. There was a tag to Stardust and then The Usos isolated him in their corner. Jimmy applied a chinlock on Stardust. There were a lot of armbars and chinlocks by The Usos in this match. Back suplex by Jey for two and then another chinlock. Stardust almost made a tag, but instead he did a sunset flip on one of the Usos (I think Jey) and that was enough for the win. The match went six minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Goldust & Stardust
Analysis: * That match didn't click at all. I like these guys too much to call it bad, but that's what it was. The Usos kept grabbing armbars and chinlocks. They didn't do many of their offensive moves. There was no hot tag for the finish. It had a flat finish. That was the third loss for champion(s) on this show since Paige and Ziggler lost earlier although Ziggler wasn't a pinfall loss and his title was actually on the line. Vintage WWE booking of champions.
Another reminder of voting for Ambrose/Rollins.
This Friday on Smackdown it's Rob Van Dam taking on Randy Orton.
Rusev entered along with the ravishing Russian Lana. She said Vladimir Putin was so proud of Rusev for beating Swagger at SummerSlam. As she continued to talk she was interrupted by the music of Mark Henry. He's going to do some wig splitting twice in one night.
Henry said he's represented the US twice in the Olympic Games and he was proud of it. He's never had a problem with anybody and their country except for the way their country did it. He said it got under his skin to see that Russian flag raised in his country. It made him sick as the crowd chanted "USA" at him. He told Rusev the power is not gone in America and he guarantees none of the people in the building feel that way. Henry told Rusev he was going to give him a personal guided tour into the Hall of Pain. Fans chanted "USA" for Henry.
Rusev took a shot at Henry, but when Rusev tried a kick it was blocked by Henry. Since Rusev had a left ankle injury that hurt him. Henry picked him up and dropped him with the World's Strongest Slam. Fans were chanting "USA" for him. Henry hit the big splash on Rusev to end the segment as Henry's music played and the fans cheered. Henry slapped the hands of the announcers to celebrate.
Analysis: Earlier in the show Henry tagged with Show and it looked like he was becoming a tag wrestler, but they used him in this spot. He did a good job in the promo as well as the attack as a way to create a new rivalry for Rusev. Since Henry's a former World Champion he has credibility. If Rusev beats him that makes him look like a bigger star. That's how you slowly build a guy up. I have no problem with it as a feud. Once he gets by Henry he'll probably go after Big Show.
The announcers plugged the WWE Network and mentioned a new documentary that followed the three members of The Shield as they prepared for SummerSlam. It airs Wednesday at 8pmET on WWE Network. Their documentaries are awesome, so I'll probably check it out.
Next week on Raw is the return of John Cena.
Jerry Lawler was in the ring to announce the poll results that were displayed on the screen: 41% for Falls Count Anywhere won the vote, 34% for No Holds Barred and 25% for No DQ. Ambrose made his entrance followed by Rollins.
Falls Count Anywhere: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
A dropkick by Ambrose sent Rollins outside the ring and then Ambrose tossed him over the barricade and into the crowd. They took the fight over to the ramp area and battled on the stage. They each countered moves on the ramp until Ambrose was able to hit a suplex on the ramp. The fight went back into the ring and Ambrose brought in a steel chair. He jabbed Rollins in the stomach with the chair followed by a body slam with the addition of the chair. The fans chanted "Let's Go Ambrose" and dropped the chair across the face of Rollins for a two count. Ambrose wedged a chair between the top/middle rope in the corner. Of course that meant Rollins threw Ambrose into the chair. No chair shots to the head, but you can throw somebody head first into a chair wedged between top/bottom rope. Rollins got a two count and they went to break six minutes into it.
Back from break, Rollins attacked Ambrose with kendo stick shots. When I sat ringside at a live event last month and kendo sticks were used you could really tell how little they hurt people. They are so flimsy, but the sound is great, which is why they are used. I know that's obvious, but if you sit up close you can really see it. Rollins ducked a clothesline and hit an enziguiri kick to the head. Ambrose ducked a chair attack and hit a Tornado DDT for two. They did a double KO spot with each guy hitting a cross body block.
When they got back to their feet, they exchanged punches. Ambrose did the slingshot spot and Rollins staged around the ring, so Ambrose nailed him with some kendo stick shots as well as a Russian legsweep with the help of a kendo stick. Ambrose made a crazy face. He tossed eight chairs into the ring. Ambrose set up Rollins on the top rope for a Superplex onto the chairs, but Rollins blocked it. That led to Rollins turning it into sunset flip and then a Powerbomb onto the pile of chairs in the ring. That was good for a two count. The Director of Operations Kane showed up at ringside by the announce table. Rollins brought a table into the ring. He set it up in the ring. He wanted a Curb Stomp, but Ambrose avoided it and then Ambrose gave him a Superplex through a table that was set up in the ring. Huge pop for that move. Kane stood on the apron. Ambrose knocked him down. Ambrose sent Rollins outside the ring and took out both heels with a dive. Ambrose clothesline on Rollins, which Rollins sold with a flip. Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds on Rollins. He covered, but Kane pulled him out of the ring to break it up.
Ambrose sent Kane into the steel steps. Backdrop by Ambrose on Rollins that sent him over the barricade. Ambrose ran across the announce tables and took out Rollins with a dive. Ambrose set up Rollins for Dirty Deeds on the announce table, but Kane came back and hit a Chokeslam on Ambrose. The table didn't break. Rollins stood up on the German announce table and hit a Curb Stomp on Ambrose. The table didn't break again. Kane removed a table that was covering a pile of cinderblocks. Kane put Ambrose's head on cinderblocks. Rollins jumped off the announce table and hit a Curb Stomp on Ambrose that broke the cinderblocks. The ref called for the bell since Ambrose was knocked out. The match went 20 minutes.
Winner by knockout: Seth Rollins
Analysis: **** Awesome match! It gets four stars out of five from me. It's one of the best matches of the year and certainly one of the best on television. All the interference by Kane hurts it a bit, but it was all part of a story to build up the idea that Rollins needs help to get the job done all the time. They did some really cool spots with the Powerbomb onto the pile of chairs and then the Superplex through the table. Those kind of big spots mean a lot more when you don't see them that often. The story they told for 20 minutes was that of two guys that hate each other that were doing everything they could to tear each other apart. At SummerSlam they left us wanting more and they delivered with a longer match here. Then they ended it by leaving us wanting even more because Ambrose got taken out in a major way. I like the story a lot and knowing that we'll get more matches from them is even better.
Raw ended with doctors and EMTs tending to Ambrose. He got taken away on a stretcher while Rollins and Kane looked proud of their work.
Analysis: The reason for Ambrose getting stretchered out is that he's starring in a WWE Films movie called Lockdown that starts filming this month. Most WWE Films productions last about six weeks. While we don't know for sure right now, he'll probably miss Night of Champions in September. I think that it will lead to a Hell in a Cell match at the October PPV of the same name. That would be awesome. The feud deserves it.
I know people are going to miss Ambrose. I will too, but that's just part of WWE. I'm not sure what Rollins is going to do for the Night of Champions PPV. Perhaps a one month feud with Reigns or teams with Orton against Reigns and a partner. Not sure yet. Rollins should always be on PPVs. He's too good not to be.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Dean Ambrose - Both guys shined in the main event, but he was especially on fire.
2. Seth Rollins - One of my favorites in WWE.
3. Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman - I just enjoyed their promo a lot even though Lesnar didn't speak into the microphone. His presence alone is great.
I wanted to put "announce table" as number three since it didn't break, but that might set a new precedent for the Three Stars.
6 out of 10
Last week: 6
2014 Average: 6.20
2014 High: 9 (April 7 & June 30)
2014 Low: 3.5 (June 2)
Last 5 Weeks: 6, 4, 7, 7.5, 5.5
Prior to the main event it was about a 4 out of 10, but that was such a good match that I'll boost it up to a 6 out of 10 because I'm nice like that. It's still a bit below the yearly average.
That main event was awesome. Any time we can get a match on television that good we better enjoy it because they don't happen too often. It was also a good angle to write Ambrose out. We'll miss him. That's for sure.
I enjoyed the Heyman promo a lot. We have heard similar things from him in the past, but there's nothing wrong with emphasizing how much of a beast Lesnar is.
It was a boring show for the most part. There wasn't much done to set us up for Night of Champions and they barely mentioned that it was the next PPV. No matches were announced officially for it although we might get some SummerSlam rematches. There are still four weeks of Raw before NOC, so WWE does have a lot of time.
This wasn't a "can't miss" edition of Raw, but if you missed the main event you should spend 20 minutes of your life to check it out. It was a lot of fun to watch.
This coming Tuesday we are pleased to announce that our guest on the 50th edition on TJRWrestling Radio will be WWE Hall of Famer Bret "The Hitman" Hart. The show will start at 10pmET and Bret will be joining us at the beginning of the program. We will ask him questions about his illustrious career and talk about the current WWE product as well. It's okay if you miss our radio show live because you will be able to download it any time using the TJRWrestling Radio link, which will also allow you to play it in your browser, on your phone or other handheld device. You can also find us on iTunes as well.
Check out my feature column archive that's exclusive to WhatCulture. I write there every day and it's a lot of fun for me. Some recent posts include 10 things WWE you to forget about SummerSlam, a look at some of the best moments of overselling in wrestling, a look at some things that are likely going to happen before WrestleMania 31 and more!
That's all for me. Have a great week.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org