Previously on: John Cena responded to Brock Lesnar’s “SummerSlam” challenge, Chris Jericho went to his old bag of tricks to make fun of Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella got her job back.
The big news: “WWE Raw” kicked off with The Authority doing the hard sell on the WWE Network. It was fun, but also seemed a bit off. “SummerSlam” is coming up and a lot of time was spent getting the crowd to chant the monthly price of the service. Obviously, WWE needs the subscribers but what an odd way to go about it.
They then set up a couple matches for the night. First, Kane and Roman Reigns battled in a Last Man Standing match. After a hard-fought bout, it was Reigns who stood supreme, though he was bleeding. The Authority also set up a Beat The Block challenge, for Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Whoever beat the clock would name the stipulation for their “SummerSlam” match.
Ambrose was up first, fighting Alberto Del Rio. He set the pace, beating ADR in 15:42. Originally, Rollins was set to face Rob Van Dam. At the last minute though, The Authority swapped him out for Heath Slater. It’s the most villainous thing ever. Not because it would likely give Rollins a quick win, but because the match against RVD could have been so awesome.
Something insane happened, though. Slater actually won! Sure, it wasn’t entirely fair. Ambrose appeared and did everything he could to distract Rollins, from wearing JBL’s cowboy hat, to eating Rollins’ “Money in the Bank” contract. A win is a win though, meaning Ambrose gets to name the stipulation for their “SummerSlam” match.
The main event slot of the show consisted of the contract signing for Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella at “SummerSlam.” It was the well-deserved main event segment last week, and it was again this time around. The feud between these two is white hot and keeps getting better. It’s not going to be a technical wrestling match, but could give other bouts on the card a run for their money in terms of entertainment.
Triple H and Nikki Bella were out there as well, adding a bit of fun to the proceedings. Brie played the video of Stephanie getting arrested again, and it was just as awesome now as it was a couple weeks ago. Brie wants to beat Stephanie for everyone she’s wronged, which led to a gigantic CM Punk chant. A little misguided on the crowd’s part, but appreciated all the same.
Stephanie throws her family legacy in her face, asking who Brie is in the history of wrestling is anyway. Naturally, once the contract is signed, the attack begins. Triple H traps Brie in the corner, while Stephanie delivers a pedigree to Nikki. Brie slaps Hunter across the face, but Stephanie then pedigrees her as well, before making out with her husband. That was a great segment, showing how vicious Stephanie can be in the ring. Her pedigree wasn’t bad either.
Meanwhile, after banishing Erick Rowan from ringside at “SummerSlam,” Chris Jericho faced Luke Harper this week. After a short, but hard-hitting match Bray Wyatt and Rowan interfered, causing a DQ. Of course, that mean Harper is now barred from ringside, as well. This gives Jericho and Wyatt the chance to go out there and have one of the most entertaining matches on the show, without outside interference.
John Cena and Brock Lesnar both had the night off, which is a bit surprising. Cena is off filming a movie, while Lesnar isn’t a regular on the show. It’s not a slight against Cena, but it’s a little odd that he used to be the guy who would fly in for “Raw” from any movies he was making. This is the guy who hassled The Rock repeatedly for choosing movies over wrestling. It will be interesting to see if anyone brings this up down the line in a feud.
While they weren’t there, WWE did a fantastic job of covering their bases. They presented two sit-down interviews, conducted a lot like those the UFC utilizes to promote their fights. They were great character pieces that sold their upcoming match more than a simple in-ring promo ever could. It’s moments like this that WWE’s production people deserve all the credit in the world. When needed, they can make very compelling video packages.
Odds and ends:
- Did you know WWE has its own network? If not, you watched this episode on mute because they wouldn’t stop selling it.
- Rusev’s match against Sin Cara happened during a commercial break. The entire thing.
- Kane unmasked again. Remember the first time he did it and it was a huge deal? It’s not like that anymore.
- Fandango has replaces Layla and Summer Rae with Hornswoggle. Really.
- Of course, Hornswoggle leaves him too.
- Bo Dallas avenged his loss against R-Truth, though he did it by cheating.
- Damien Sandow was a college football player this week.
- Hulk Hogan will celebrate his birthday next week with “special guests.” Is that code for Jimmy Hart?
- Roman Reigns beat Kane
- Mark Henry beat Damien Sandow
- Dean Ambrose beat Alberto Del Rio
- Rusev beat Sin Cara (during commercial)
- Dolph Ziggler beat Cesaro
- Goldust and Stardust beat Rybaxel
- Chris Jericho beat Luke Harper by DQ
- Diego beat Fandango
- Bo Dallas beat R-Truth
- Heath Slater bean Seth Rollins