RRC 2014: July 28th

The Raw Review Crew

July 28th 2014: On this week’s Raw Review Crew… Cena proves he can wrestle, Cameron proves she can’t and a really really long beat down.

Krizbii... Welcome to this week’s RRC, JCWonka can go first.

Justin C...

Opening Segment, Cena/Cesaro: The opening Cena wasn’t bad Cena, it wasn’t great Cena but I thought he did a good job of sounding serious during his promo. He didn’t resort to corny and stupid jokes, and sold the seriousness of his match with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Paul Heyman again brought the goods. And the Cena/Cesaro match was very good. They did a good job protecting Cesaro, essentially making a “Super AA” be the reason that he lost. Cena was no slouch in the match either. A good opening 40 minutes of the show.

Paige/AJ Segment: This gets a hit because I like that they are letting these two develop some kind of feud. Paige is starting to develop a little bit of character. And seeing both women hand out some physical beatings two weeks in a row is different for the Divas Division. Maybe a No DQ match at SummerSlam? If any two Divas could pull this off, it would be these two. I like that the WWE is actually giving two really good Divas some time to develop a really feud.

Roman Reigns/Randy Orton: The WWE did a good job of here of making people care about Orton/Reigns. Orton’s beatdown of Reigns was a good way for him to get some more heat heading into their match at SummerSlam. Sometimes you have to make the top guy look weak and vulnerable to sell a match, and they did that here with Reigns. It’s something they haven’t done with Cena, which is why people don’t like him.

Chris Jericho/Seth Rollins: The two were having a good match before the ending. Pretty much everyone saw the ending coming from a mile away, so it kind of took away from my full enjoyment of the match. Maybe I would have liked it a bit more, but it kind of seemed like they didn’t fully get out of second gear during the match. It was still enjoyable, but not as good as you might expect from these two.

Bo Dallas Losing: Part of me thinks the WWE did this just so Bo Dallas didn’t pass The Undertaker in terms of wins in a row. Hell, you could even argue this was a worse decision than having Undertaker lose at Wrestlemania. Let someone that matters beat Bo. An R-Truth win over Bo will mean nothing in the end. Let Bo keep growing as a character, then have him snap over someone that matters more when he loses.

I don’t know where to put the Stephanie McMahon/Brie Bella segment. I didn’t like that it was the last thing on RAW. And I thought some of Brie’s acting was awkward. But it is tough to deny that this doesn’t have some heat behind it. And once again, Stephanie McMahon played her role great. I think that is why I’m actually enjoying some of this angle.

I thought this was another good show. It had a couple of good matches and did a good job of building to a lot of matches at SummerSlam. I’m giving the show a 6.

Be sure to check out my latest piece on HTCWrestling, where I tell you Why Brock Lesnar as WWE Champ is Best for Business.


The Main Event!
Steph getting to close the show didn’t bother me, but they could at least have got Brie some acting lessons while she’s been off TV, her delivery is so passionless that she’s the one who comes off like a heel, bullying poor Steph to give her exactly what she wants. The whole segment was dying on its arse until Steph slapped Brie off the apron, but the brawl (and Jamie Noble chant) made for a fun end to the show. I’m not really sure why they needed the other Hunter/Steph promo earlier on, it didn’t really add anything except some bad Jericho humour.

That Other Minor Match at Summerslam
I wasn’t a big fan of Cena’s opening promo, he started off OK, but after Heyman said his bit, it reverted to shouty Cena fighting hardship and overcoming adversity to stay the champ, but at least there were no corny jokes in there. Cesaro splitting from Heyman was a great idea, except he then ended up backing up Heyman this week. Cena got the chance to show he really can wrestle, but the side effect of Cesaro’s bizzare booking since Wrestlemania is that no matter how great the match was and how good Cesaro really is, on paper it took Cena twenty minutes to beat a guy who has spent a month doing quick jobs in the midcard.

Paige & AJ
It’s a bit strange how they still haven’t fully gone the heel route with Paige, it seemed like they did last week, but then this week she was being nice and AJ got to let her crazy out, although that always got a face pop when she was a heel. It’s a different approach but I don’t mind it, they can both heel it up a bit while playing nice, and just let the fans choose a side.

The End of The Streak
R-Truth? really? It’s a bit like when Santino had the Honkameter, Bo’s streak is meaningless as he’s an awful worker in a mostly comedic role, but if you invest time in building it up, there’s no point in just throwing it away as if it was nothing. Since Dallas had almost become a face that could fill Santino’s role and the score was almost up to Taker’s, he was ripe for being the victim of a Lesnar beating before Summerslam, instead he lost to R-Truth so that he could ditch his unlikely face turn to stay a shitty heel that nobody will ever care about.

Feuds Plodding Along
Fandango’s feud with Summer and Layla goes on, but there’s no possible pay-off, unless he gets yet another valet or they go for a Noble/Nidia/Gunn/Torrie resolution of all sleeping together. The Funkadactyls split is doing nothing but causing terrible matches, I’d rather watch Eva Marie than Cameron, that’s how bad she is. The New Nation did absolutely nothing while watching a six man tag, Dolph still seems to be aiming for a shot at Miz, while Double Dust are stuck in backstage promo hell rather than getting in the ring, although being in the ring doesn’t help Sandow who seems to have a permanent role as a costumed jobber for no apparent reason. The other angle going nowhere is Swagger and Rusev, it’s the same old thing every week and if Swagger doesn’t win, I’m not sure where else they can go with it.

I Miss the Shield
With no Ambrose around it would have been a perfect chance for Rollins to try to cash in his briefcase, instead it was never even suggested and Seth had a decent-ish match with Jericho instead with an inevitable Wyatt Family ending. Reigns was supposed to wrestle Kane, but ended up on the end of a long boring beating by Orton, Kane just left because that’s what demons do I guess.

Final Thoughts
With Summerslam set to be mostly rematches from Battleground, there’s not really much movement in most of the angles, they’re just keeping them luke warm with minimal progress. Where they actually put effort in was better with Cena/Lesnar staying hot despite Brock not being there and Brie getting her job back so she can face Steph in a match. Although most of the show was pretty average I’m going to bump the score up a bit for the Cena/Cesaro match.

Score: 6.5

RRC By The Numbers
Last Week: 7.75
2014 High Score: 8.5 (Apr 7)
2014 Low Score: 2 (Feb 3, May 5, May 12)
Writer Averages
Krizbii: 5.6
Justin C: 5.3
2014 Average: 5.4

Average Score: 6.25