WWE RAW Review

WWE RAW Review 8/22/16
WWE RAW Review
August 22, 2016
By: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com

After a pretty average effort the night before with SummerSlam, WWE found a way to put together a very good three hour episode of RAW on Monday night.

For a show that struggles week-to-week with a three hour format, tonight felt fresh and the pacing of each segment was put together very well.

It also was nice to see Brooklyn come alive after what was no doubt just wrestling overload on Sunday night with an over six hour presentation from SummerSlam. While they can be snarky and annoying at times (still chanting for CM Punk), Brooklyn came alive and created a very fun television atmosphere on Monday night.

WWE turns a negative into a positive

Injuries suck and they tend to happen at the worst time. This was the scenario for Finn Balor who was coming off a really good match with Seth Rollins the night before to become the first ever WWE Universal Champion. WWE confirmed reports making the rounds on the internet that Balor was indeed injured and would require surgery to repair a torn labrum that will keep him out of action for an estimated six months.

While this clearly wasn’t the plan going forward, WWE was forced to call an audible and setup a series of matches tonight that makes next week’s RAW very interesting. That match, which will feature Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens vs. Big Cass vs. Roman Reigns, has a ton of upside and makes me genuinely interested in the show next week (something WWE hasn’t be very great at doing in recent years with RAW week-to-week).

As I noted in my review last week, WWE seems very intent on sticking with the Roman Reigns train despite the slip up back in June with this 30 day suspension. Outside of a few highlights, we didn’t get a continuation of the feud with Rusev tonight and it would appear the Balor injury caused all kinds of chaos for the time being. Brooklyn was having absolutely none of Reigns tonight and it’s safe to say a good chunk of the WWE audience has felt the exact same way about his character. I truly don’t think a Reigns title run is the answer as things stand now as I was very underwhelmed by his last run earlier this year. Kudos to WWE for inserting Big Cass into a high profile match like this to see how it works out.

As for the matches tonight, all four were actually well done and capped off by a very good main event between Reigns and Chris Jericho. Given the nature of injuries in this company and the recent one with Balor, I’m not exactly sure going that route with Sami Zayn was exactly the smartest thing tonight. Neville continues to be one of the most impressive guys in the ring today and I enjoyed his match with Kevin Owens. It’s clear why Big Cass got the nod over his tag team partner for this series, but it’s also very clear that Enzo is the more popular part of the act. I’m still not completely sold on Reigns as the next John Cena type character that embraces mixed reactions. Jericho was great tonight.

It’s Bayley!

While I enjoyed our first appetizer with Bayley back in July at Battleground, bringing her in officially this way was great and Mick Foley’s promo leading up to her introduction was really well done. Charlotte is really coming into her own on the microphone as a heel and continues to be very comfortable with her current role in the company. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Bayley has a ton of upside as a babyface act on the main roster and I’m really looking forward to seeing what we get from her in the coming months.

The Dudley Boyz say goodbye

With the teases on social media all day Monday, it seemed sort of random for Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley to say goodbye out of no where. It feels like we haven’t seen the last of them with the surprise attack by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson at the end of that farewell segment. I might be in the minority in still enjoying the Dudley’s act for what it is. I’m sure Matt Hardy enjoyed that very loud “DELETE” reaction from the Brooklyn crowd tonight. I will be interested to see if this was truly the last of The Dudley’s in WWE.

Quick Thoughts

* It was pretty cool to reflect on how The New Day started and where they are now.

* Titus O’Neil had just a terrible night on the microphone.

* Braun Strowman squashes are still entertaining weeks later.

Overall Impression

A really solid effort from WWE on Monday night following up SummerSlam. The Finn Balor situation really sucks, but the show must go on and it was nice to see WWE regroup and actually create an interesting scenario for the show next week.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you thought of RAW in the comments below.

Follow me on Twitter: @adamwrestleview


  1. IYou kno, Rollins is starting to piss me off, He retired Sting with those stupid power bombs. They need to stop him power bombing on vertical hard surfaces. He derailed Balor,he retired Sting and he’s messed upCena’s nose. He is becoming more and more reckless and probably ruining plans. I really think we would have seen Sting vs Undertaker at the following wrestlemania. Give him back the curb stomp, but ban upright power bombs

  2. Rusev and Roman storyline did not come to a close and that’s why it is clear to me that Rusev will interfere in the fatal 4 way match next week to cost Roman the title and thus continuing the feud. This will leave us with Big Cass, Owens or Rollins to be crowned a champion. Rollins is the obvious choice and it is still too early for Big Cass but it would be a nice swerve to have Owens win the title. Then he can have feuds with Zayn, Rollins and Jericho as well.
    I thought for sure that Lesnar would be at Raw with Heyman to discuss the beating Orton took but was surprised that he wasn’t there.
    So are the Dudleys retired or not now?

  3. You know, if the ‘E was looking to go with a fresher face to take this new championship for its first real run, and if they’re inclined to stick with this line of reasoning, this could be a perfect time to roll the dice on Kevin Owens.

  4. Do hope Emma comes back after bailey wins the title. Can start a feud with Charlotte over Dana and keep Dana out of the ring, while allowing for a heel turn from Sasha. The women’s division is the most intriguing out of any. Nia Jax doesn’t have to be anywhere in the title picture and she can still be a commanding presence as well.

  5. A swerve to KO would be the smartest move at this point. Big Cass makes no sense as he is still too new (although having him in the match is just fine). They have tried the Roman Reigns project for far too long, and another title run for him would be a train wreck. Rollins….come on, how are you going to reward a guy for putting your inaugural Universal champ on the shelf for 6 months. I understand that accidents happen, but Rollins has now retired Sting and put Balor down with the same move. Accidental or not, they really shouldn’t be rewarding him for this. So the only option left is KO…and why not? He’s over with the crowd, kills it on the mic and has an amazing work ethic…so why not KO?

  6. My guess is Rusev will get involved in the Fatal Four-Way next to keep his feud with Reigns and Jericho will turn on Owens, which means Rollins becomes the new WWE Universal Champion. Perhaps his first challenger will be Sami Zayn.

  7. Apparently the Dudleys declined to sign new contracts with WWE so they have parted ways with the company. That’s a shame because I was sure after last night, there would be a future TLC Match with the New Day, Dudleys, and Gallows & Anderson.

  8. Bayley – nothing special that i could see.
    Titus – awful.
    LOL at them not getting andrea and Sheamus in the same shot – someone get her a box.
    Shame on the crowd for the total apathy at the Dudleyz farwell.

  9. *sighs* Johnny Knockout. And that is why, when I heard they were gonna be including LGBT characters, I panicked. And it’s not even a WWE thing. Really ask yourself when the last time you saw an openly LGBT character in wrestling in general that was presented well.

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