WWE RAW Review
July 21, 2015
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
We’re officially on the road to SummerSlam after last night’s RAW. WWE Battleground saw the legendary Undertaker make his return to attack Brock Lesnar, the man who everyone knows ended his undefeated streak at WrestleMania back in 2014. There was a ton of buzz surrounding how they would follow up with that angle on this episode of RAW. I for one was certainly more excited to recap the show than I have been in quite a while. Did they live up to the hype or did it fall short? Also, what else is going on for SummerSlam? Let’s find out!
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar gets off to a really hot start
For the 45th straight week, RAW opened up with yet another promo, but it was The Undertaker coming out to cut a promo so that’s more than ok with me. They also kept it very short and sweet rather than having The Deadman ramble on for twenty minutes. Undertaker came out to an unbelievable ovation and cut a classic promo. Undertaker looks so grizzled, but he wears it well. He’s really aged into that “last outlaw” moniker they were throwing at him a few years back. Undertaker growled into the microphone and finally addressed Lesnar ending the undefeated streak. Undertaker talked about how streaks are made to be broken, but Lesnar just wouldn’t leave it alone. He was tired of constantly hearing about it. Now Lesnar must pay the price. It was an old school kind of promo. It was direct and to the point. It’s one of those “here is my problem with you and you’re going to pay the price for upsetting me” type deals. After that we were off and running.
Paul Heyman was out at the top of the second hour to deliver Brock Lesnar’s retort to The Undertaker. Heyman showed up despite Triple H ordering him not to come due to fear of Lesnar and Undertaker coming to blows and ruining the SummerSlam main event. That’s actually logical. Heyman kept Lesnar on the face side of things and really got the crowd going when he started verbally taunting The Undertaker. Heyman had a classic line when he said that the Undertaker could sell his soul to the devil, but his ass belongs to Brock Lesnar. Heyman’s facial expression was phenomenal after delivering the line. He looked possessed. Immediately after, Undertaker’s bell tolled, and Heyman’s expression completely changed. Is there any aspect of the game that Heyman isn’t good at?
This brought out Brock Lesnar, and they had an absolutely incredible brawl. The intensity was off the charts. It’s not something you see all the time on this show because so many people have had the rug pulled out from under them. These two guys are legitimate stars. One has to wonder if WWE will ever be able to create stars of this caliber again. It’s been a decade since anyone has been allowed to emerge to that level, but I digress. Undertaker and Lesnar were brawling when Triple H called out security. Security was quickly overwhelmed, so nearly the entire WWE roster minus the actual big stars (like John Cena, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, and Dean Ambrose) came out to help. Much to everyone’s chagrin I’m sure, Kevin Owens was out there. Sheamus was there as well and he’s the Money in the Bank holder, so I wouldn’t look too much into everything. I loved the brawl. It was so much fun to watch. I loved the part when Lesnar slipped out of the ring, ran to the other side, and started attacking Undertaker that way. It was so creative and something I can’t remember ever seeing in these pull apart brawls. Usually it’s just the endless breakaways and diving, so that was a neat thing to see.
They pulled them apart and went to commercial, but when we came back, they were still brawling backstage. Lesnar screamed that he was going to kill the Undertaker. It was absolutely intense. Finally order was restored and Lesnar allowed himself to be taken out of the building by security. It was an absolutely epic angle that got this huge rematch off to a hot start. With all due respect to John Cena vs. Kevin Owens at Money in the Bank, this may be one of the most anticipated rematches in WWE history, for real this time. One can only wonder how they’ll follow up on this. They still have a few more weeks to fill.
Seth Rollins potentially has a new #1 contender for the title
Even though there was no satisfying conclusion to the Brock Lesnar/Seth Rollins match, we’re moving on from that fast. I said a few weeks back when they had John Cena in the main event for the first time since January that he might be featured in the main event a few more times. Well, here he is. With Roman Reigns treading water and creative not really knowing what to do about it (they’ve had him dominate, now they’re trying their hand at a losing streak), Cena is still THE full-time guy in WWE.
Seth Rollins came out after Undertaker and Lesnar had their brawl, and he bragged about surviving his trip to Suplex City and still being the champion. This brought out John Cena, who sarcastically thanked Rollins for helping the United States Championship to mean something due to him being such a terrible World Champion. They teased a fight, but Rollins walked off. I know a lot of people are really upset about this, but who else do they have to challenge Rollins for the title? They can’t go with Randy Orton again. Roman Reigns has had his chances and still has a feud going with Bray Wyatt. Cena is still the top merchandise man and can still move tickets whenever his name is on the headline. This might be the beginning of Cena’s return to the main event.
That leaves the question of what they should do with the United States Championship. Is it going to be champion vs. champion at SummerSlam? They could have Kevin Owens win in an open challenge with Rollins’ costing Cena. Hell, I’ll take Cesaro as the champion. There’s a few ways to go here. I’m interested to see how it shakes out.
Charlotte’s second RAW match (though they don’t want you to remember her first one against Natalya in 2014) was kind of a dud through no fault of her own. It’s just the way it is. This contrived thing with these teams is so weird. So far it isn’t clicking for me. Charlotte worked hard in this one, but her dancing partner just isn’t up to the level she is. After watching so much greatness in NXT, this is definitely a step down. This reminds me of that KayfabeNews.com article with the headline “Main Roster Superstars Now Aspiring to be Called Down to NXT.” I wonder how Kevin Owens feels. Anyway, Charlotte won by submission. I also really liked Sasha Banks on commentary.
The Los Matadores/Prime Time Players match was just there. There wasn’t much to this one. The New Day caused the distraction to give Los Matadores the win. That type of finish has to be the most overused finish on RAW in 2015.
I really enjoyed the Roman Reigns/Luke Harper match. It was hard-hitting and entertaining. The crowd was into Reigns on this night, though. Wyatt pulled him out to cause the disqualification, which brought Dean Ambrose into the mix. The place went nuts for this as Reigns and Ambrose cleared Wyatt and Harper from the ring. The rumor is another member will be added to Wyatt’s side, and Sting will be brought in to even the odds. I wonder who the newest Wyatt member could be.
I really liked the tag match with the women. Sasha Banks really showed up to work, as did Becky Lynch. I was really shocked that they had Paige submit to the Bank Statement in lieu of Lynch. It was a fun tag match. Mercifully I was able to tune out the horrible Nikki Bella commentary.
The main event was very well done. We saw the set up for a lot of potential rivalries heading into SummerSlam. The heel side imploded. Sheamus knocked out Kevin Owens and left. Owens in turn knocked out Rusev and left. Could we see a Sheamus vs. Owens match? Owens showed signs of being a face last Monday on RAW when he insulted Rusev. Owens’ matches also kind of showcase him as a face in my opinion where he really refuses to die. There’s really nothing heelish about how he is at this point other than the fact that he walks off on matches sometimes. I think Rusev will be tied up with Dolph Ziggler. That was also a fun fight between Lana and Summer Rae. Rusev was awesome kissing Summer and staring at Lana before the match. The end of the match was a lot of fun with the faces taking turns knocking out Rusev to pick up the win.
This was an all around very well produced episode of RAW. It might have been the best episode all year. Top to bottom there was nothing that was egregiously bad. For once the show didn’t feel like three long hours. I could take a few more of these on the road to SummerSlam. This was definitely the perfect wedding gift from WWE to me. I get to take the next two weeks off from recapping on a high note. See you all on the other side!
Bump of the Night: Big Show crushing Miz with a second rope elbow drop!
Match of the Night: The six-man tag main event ** 1/4
Final Rating: *** 3/4
Well those are my thoughts. Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know by commenting or using one of the other two options to get in contact with me.
Check out my recap of this week’s RAW here. Please check out my live recap of RAW every Monday at 8 PM EST.
Thanks for reading!
Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Monday Night RAW for Wrestleview.com.