The build for the rematch between The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar was the focus of this show, but there was some other stuff too. It’s this week’s Raw Report…
Show opens with a video package centering around the shocking return of The Undertaker on Sunday. This should be a fun show…
And The Undertaker is out to start the show. Cole puts him over massively, as does JBL. Byron on the other hand just gives his standard robotic thoughts. Taker talks about how Lesnar has been walking around bragging about his win over him at WrestleMania last year, and that’s started to annoy him. He officially challenged him to a rematch at Summerslam. While this was good, it is odd that they glossed over the Kane injury from last week – or that Taker was at WrestleMania this year in a match with Bray Wyatt. Like the Taker/HHH match from WrestleMania 17, I guess we’re just supposed to forget about all that.
We cut backstage and Triple H and Steph are talking about how awesome the main event of Summerslam will be. Steph says she’ll get onto the marketing team for the show and HHH says he’ll call Heyman to tell him not to bring Lesnar to the building tonight.
1. Brie Bella vs. Charlotte
Team BAD are out on commentary, but don’t really add anything. This match was quite sloppy and the lack of practice the NXT girls get to go over their matches is starting to show. Charlotte knocks Brie to the outside and then does a dive over the top, but The Bellas move. However, Charlotte was about a mile away from her before she moved, so she would have missed anyway. Back in the ring, Charlotte throws some dodgy-looking chops, but then hits that awesome neckbreaker. She locks in the Figure Eight for another submission win over Brie Bella.
Backstage, HHH is on the phone with Heyman, but is being interrupted by The Miz. Triple H argues with Paul, and then tells the Miz he has a match with Big Show.
2. The Prime Time Players vs. Los Matadores
Yep, this match really happened. Some pretty good action in a short match, with the Matadores flipping about all over the place. Titus gets the hot tag and runs wild, but as he’s setting up for the win, The New Day come out. They say they’re here to “congratulate” The Prime Time Players on their victory last night. But this lead to Titus getting distracted, and Diego hits him with the Backcracker for the win. Looks like we’re getting another PPV match between New Day and the Prime Time Players.
3. The Miz vs. The Big Show
This was over quickly. Big Show threw him around like a ragdoll and then pinned him after an elbow from the second rope. After the match, Big Show kicked Miz some more and then announced he was going to be on Tough Enough tomorrow. Show was a heel here, so it looks like his babyface turn from last night wasn’t a full turn.
HHH and Stephanie were backstage talking to an artist who had painted John Cena, and they hired him to do the artwork for Summerslam. Suddenly, Triple H notices that Paul Heyman is in the building and runs over to him. Heyman said that Lesnar wasn’t here, but The Authority don’t believe him. HHH says they need more security.
In the locker room, HHH and Steph stand in front of a curtain and tell their WWE Superstars that their liviloods are at steak if the main event of Summerslam doesn’t go down. This was a key indicater of who they think is a star. Cena, Rollins and Reigns were nowhere to be seen, but Owens was there with Cesaro and Rusev.
Paul Heyman comes down to the ring to cut an awesome promo on The Undertaker. He talks about breaking the streak, and how much that must piss Taker off. Heyman says that Taker may have sold his soul to the devil, but his ass belongs to Lesnar. This was so awesome. Suddenly, the lights went out – and Undertaker was in the ring. Heyman backs off and says things like, ‘I’m just a human – I have kids!’ Lesnar’s music hits to a MONSTER POP. Cole shouts, ‘that’s it, I’m out of here’ and runs away with the rest of commentary. This brawl was wild. HHH sent security geeks down to begin with, but then sent out the rest of the JOB Squad to pull them apart. This included the likes of Adam Rose, Fandango, The Ascension and Bo Dallas. Yep, Kevin Owens was there to ensure he’s in the midcard with Cesaro and Rusev. They finally pull the two apart, but they keep breaking free to get in more shots on each other. This felt really out of control and it was great.
After the break, Lesnar was being taken backstage by the JOB Squad, they run into The Undertaker again and another brawl breaks out. Take them to opposite exits, guys! Lesnar is pulled off Taker by R-Truth and Bo Dallas. That was weird. Lesnar is then told to calm down by the police and he’s arrested and carted off.
We cut to HHH, who tells Steph that he won’t press charges against Lesnar. Seth Rollins comes in and says it’s a shame Lesnar and Taker are both gone as he had something he wanted to say to both of them. He then asks if he can go to the ring to address the WWE Universe.
In a dark and spooky room, Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper cut a promo on Roman Reigns. He’s having a match with Harper next.
4. Luke Harper vs. Roman Reigns
This was actually pretty great, but it was ruined by a cheap finish. Reigns was selling his arm the entire match and was suffering from the numbers game. That is until Dean Ambrose came down to be in his corner. The action spilled to the outside with Wyatt throwing Reigns into the announcer’s table and Ambrose brawling with the heels. Back in the ring, Harper locks in the Crossface, but Ambrose runs in again to attack Harper. Roman hits the Superman Punch on Wyatt as he was going after Ambrose. Crowd was super into Roman and Ambrose.
Seth Rollins came out for a promo, and calls himself the most under appreciated champion of all-time. He’s probably right there. He says he had the match in control last night, and was robbed of his chance to beat Lesnar by The Undertaker. He asked Lilian Garcia to announce him as the winner of last night’s match by DQ, which she does. Then John Cena came out. Yep, it looks like Cena is going for the title again. At least that makes sense why he beat Owens last night. Cena calls Rollins a lousy excuse for a champion and tells him to man up. Cena laid down a challenge for Rollins, but he never accepted and just walked away. Summerslam is really being built around Undertaker and Lesnar, so it doesn’t matter who Cena is facing – but couldn’t it have been someone different?
5. Sasha Banks & Naomi vs. Becky Lynch & Paige
More Divas action – the revolution continues! Team Bella were out on commentary and didn’t sell their two loses in 24 hours. Way to put over Charlotte. This suffered from the three-hour Raw crowd, as they didn’t seem to care. They tried really hard though. Banks tapped out Paige with the Bank Statement.
We then got a segment to promote Jake Gyllenhaul’s new movie Southpaw featuring the crew from Tough Enough. Bizarre.
Backstage, Renee Young talked with Lana about her relationship with Dolph Ziggler. This feud is killing what momentum she did have. Summer Rae appeared, and she was dressed like Lana. Rusev walked up and kissed Summer, telling Lana she looked tired. Lana was upset, and then Summer slapped her. They walked off laughing.
6. Sheamus, Kevin Owens & Rusev vs. John Cena, Randy Orton & Cesaro
Big time main event feel for this, but it had really odd psychology again. Remember last week when Cena took on a beaten Rusev, and he was in a babyface position even though he’s a heel? Well they did that again this week. First, Sheamus walked out of the match, and then Kevin Owes followed suit. So Rusev took on Cena, Orton and Cesaro on his own. It was so weird to see Cesaro struggle for the hot tag when they had a two-man advantage. Lana came down and attacked Summer Rae, distracting Rusev and leading him to getting the AA, Giant Swing and RKO for the pin. Poor Rusev.
This was a show built around Undertaker and Brock Lesnar and it did that really well. The rest of the show was okay, but uninspiring. Cena/Rollins feels like a lame-duck feud, especially as we just had them do a series of matches at the tail end of last year. Only this time it’s for the title, I guess.
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.