Oli Davis rounds up the biggest professional wrestling news in his daily WrestleTalk column…
Roman Reigns beat Bray Wyatt
Now Extreme Rules is out of the way, Raw can finally start with fresh matches that aren’t just the same people facing each other over and over again…OH COME ON!
While Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt actually had a very good match, this is still the Big Dawg’s yard, in which Wyatt was beaten clean in the middle.
The Miz Elbow Drops A Clock
The Intercontinental Title feud was wonderfully woven through the night’s episode, with Dean Ambrose initially interrupting a Drifter song to demand his rematch, but then being sent home to ‘cool off’ by Kurt Angle.
In a welcome change, the Miz’s Championship Celebration segment was designed to get the babyface over rather than just letting the heel make everyone feel bad for 15 minutes.
Firstly, Miz and Maryse thought the guy in the bear suit was an imposter, so he got a Skull Crushing Finale. Poor #MizBear. Then Miz brilliantly beat up a giant present thinking it was Ambrose, dropping elbows like Ric Flair. Turns out it was a grandfather clock present from Maryse. Ambrose eventually unveiled himself as the cameraman, showing that babyfaces sometimes do outsmart heels.
Big Show & Enzo Amore beat Galanderson
Shortly before that, as The Miz was walking to his championship celebration, he came across Big Cass knocked out on the floor – the mystery attacker strikes again! Because he’s awesome, Miz didn’t stop to help.
Enzo managed to get Big Show as a replacement for his match against Galanderson later on, where Show did a cute Certified G-iant act, but Cass seemed heelishly jealous when they got backstage. Cass is still a suspect, and now we can probably add Big Show’s name to the mix, too.
The Plot Thickens….
The Kurt Angle texting mystery also continued, with the Raw General Manager interrupting a Michael Cole link to talk to Corey Graves. It’s really great to see WWE telling intriguing stories once again.
Sheamus & Cesaro beat Heath Slater & Rhyno
It wasn’t all great on Raw, though, with the wrestling focus really suffering. The aforementioned Big Show and Enzo match went two minutes, as did the new tag team champions Sheamus and Cesaro beating Heath Slater and Rhyno.
Kalisto beat Titus O’Neil
And Kalisto beating Titus O’Neil in two minutes by hooking the tights.
TJP beat Mustafa Ali
In a relative iron man performance, TJP and Mustafa Ali went a whole three minutes in their Cruiserweight fight. Neville finally granted TJP a title match on 205 Live afterwards, beating him up on the ramp.
Alexa Bliss beat Nia Jax
Alexa Bliss also isn’t getting paid by the hour, masterminding a DQ win by provoking Mickie James and Dana Brooke to attack her during her title defence against Nia Jax.
Initially Bliss wanted an Alexa…This Is Your Life segment to celebrate beating Bayley, but Kurt rightfully said no, because that was one of the worst segments in Raw history. Usually I don’t like it when wrestling buries its own angles but…yeah, that one actually was.
Samoa Joe No. 1 Celebration
In the night’s best segment, Samoe Joe boasted in the ring how he’ll be taking the Universal Title at Great Balls of Fire and that he ain’t scared of the beast. A wild Paul Heyman appeared and, just like he did for Finn Balor two weeks ago, cut a promo putting Joe over strong. But unlike that Balor angle, Joe was able to take Heyman’s set-up and raise the segment’s quality even higher.
Joe cornered Paul and menacingly described how he’s going to choke him out – not using a microphone to make it all the more real – and then put him in the Coquina Clutch. Joe is such a good heel, the crowd actually chanted “We Want Brock”.
As Paul was being tended to backstage later on, he got a phonecall from his client – the Beast’s name saved in all caps. Heyman told The Beast to be at Raw next week. He’s going to be seriously grumpy.
Samoa Joe beat Seth Rollins
Kurt Angle made Joe vs Seth Rollins for the main event after the attack. Despite both being excellent wrestlers, they struggle to click in the ring. Seth eventually lost when he was distracted by a random Bray Wyatt ‘BLUGH!’ flash frame in a tedious match.
The real gem, though, was back when Kurt first made the main event, where he went face-to-face with the Samoan Submission Machine, bringing back memories of their brilliant TNA feud, and, to this day, the biggest money match in Impact’s history.
So that was this week’s Raw in about four minutes. Here’s the usual ratings recap, from top to bottom – In Awe, Cor, AVRAWGE, Poor and Bore.
Even though four of the six matches went about two minutes each, the angles and show-long narrative threads were so well done, it didn’t really matter. Rather than each feud existing completely independently of each other, and only existing within its designated 15 minute slots, stories interwove both with each other and throughout the night.
This week’s Raw is Cor.
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