This week’s Raw 8/9/2016 had a strong opening between four of the best talkers in WWE today. We’ll talk about that segment, Roman Reigns showing his true personality, Sasha Banks, and so much more!
Enzo & Cass/Jericho & Owens
What happens when you put 3 of the best talkers in WWE in the ring at the same time along a 7 foot tall giant like Big Cass? Entertainment. Kevin Owens is someone who always pulls me in to what he’s saying because he’s quick to bring up different events from the past. Owens makes me believe in every feud he’s in because he always has a valid reason why he’s fighting someone. Tonight, he likened himself to Cass saying that he had a best friend holding him down, but unlike Cass, he got rid of the dead weight. Right there he want from not having any reason to be in this feud. It’s logical and sometimes that’s all you need in wrestling.
Chris Jericho is someone who has been wildly entertaining lately because he seems to be having fun with everything he’s doing. Jericho has re-invented himself so many times and he still remains one of the very best. It’s a testament to his creativity and his drive. Jericho’s character today is a little bit different than even earlier this year. He’s still a heel, but now he’s a heel that makes things up and keeps talking about people getting “it” (whatever it is). It’s entertaining to say the least and it adds another layer to an already strong character. We have been privileged to have Chris around for an extended period of time this time around and I for one hope he stays on through until at least Wrestlemania 33.
Enzo and Cass have been interesting to me. I was never a huge fan of this team, (not that I didn’t like them, they were just middle of the pack for me in NXT) but they’ve grown on me immensely. Enzo is so spontaneous with the microphone that you never have a clue what he’s going to say. Cass has improved a lot on the microphone and the big man is almost as entertaining as Enzo. More than that though, these two provide Raw with a unique tag-team that you can’t see anywhere else. I, for one, hope they have a long run as a team because I feel like these two are just getting started. They’ll face Jericho and Owens at SummerSlam.
The WWE Women’s Champion has been a welcome change to the title scene in recent weeks. Sasha brings a little bit more validity to the title and from all indications, she will be play the fighting champion character during her reign. Charlotte had a great reign, but her heel tactics had all but run out and the title change a couple weeks ago came at the perfect time. Sasha went in and asked for a handicap match at SummerSlam against Dana and Charlotte so she didn’t have to look over her shoulder, but ended up winning a match to get Dana banned from ringside. The question I have is, what type of outside interference are we going to see to give Charlotte the upper-hand? Could we actually see an even match between two of the best women on Raw at SummerSlam? I certainly hope so, but I’d bet on Nia Jax somehow coming into this equation.
Every week we get one of these! When is it coming? Who’s going to be a part of it? Are we going to have a re-instated Cruiserweight title? So many questions, no answers.
Rollins continued to remind me why he is one of the very best this week by telling me just how good he is. Sounds pretty simple, but Seth sells himself better than anybody in the locker room and backs it up with facts and arrogance. This Rollins is a bit more sure of his abilities than before his injury where he played a more cowardly heel. I’m happy that he doesn’t have the authority or anyone else trying to aid him in his quest. Rollins is just fine by himself and I feel like he’s more entertaining than he’s ever been. I for one am pulling for him to be the first Universal Champion because I think Balor’s chase to the title could be a great feud with Rollins.
Finally. After months of trying to get Reigns to be some type of one man army, he went out there with Rusev and was himself. This is the Roman Reigns that is going to win over the fans and it may turn out that that suspension was the best thing for him. The best characters are the most natural. Reigns had shades of The Rock in the promo, and no, by no means am I saying he is like The Rock. I’m saying that Roman tapped into that natural charisma that The Rock shows every time he steps in the ring. In one segment, my opinion on Roman changed. I would love to see him carry the US title for a few months and build on that personality. I’m glad that he got the opportunity to go out and have a fun segment that showed fans he isn’t one-dimensional.
Gallows and Anderson/New Day
I don’t have a ton to say about this one, but Gallows and Anderson are a lot better without AJ. AJ Styles, through no fault of his own, truly overshadowed this team and it’s great to finally see a bit of personality and a good feud for them. The New Day are finally showing some holes in their armor and I think this tag-title match at SummerSlam should be highly anticipated.
Random Notes & Conclusion
Neville & Sin Cara seem to be a new tag-team from what the announcers were saying and I definitely don’t feel so great about that. Why is Sin Cara stuck in tag-team mode constantly? This is right after breaking up with a much more logical tag-team partner in Kalisto. Not only that, but there looks to be dissension in The Dudley Boyz. I really hope they don’t make the mistake of breaking those two up again.
The US title match closing Raw was interesting to say the least, it certainly wasn’t the best choice in the world. Rusev and Cesaro put on a good match, but I really feel like they’re having trouble with where to put segments right now. The Universal Championship match seems less important than the US title at this point. I know it’s technically the top title on Raw right now, but still. I think after SummerSlam things will be a bit better that way but right now things are kind of just being thrown in wherever.
This Nia Jax package above is a great idea since we haven’t heard from her yet. I want more videos like this for stars that aren’t on Raw or that don’t get a lot of promo time.
Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs was seldom seen and I thought his inclusion was fairly pointless.
Darren Young beat Titus O’Neil. Where is this feud going exactly?
The theme music of Sheamus is still epic.
Finn Balor only being in a video package was disappointing. I guess they’re trying to create a mystery about him, I just didn’t think they mystery would be trying to figure out where he is.
This week’s Raw was a decent show. There were some good matches and each storyline moved along well. The US title is meaningful again which is nice even though it’s over-shadowing the upcoming Universal title match. I just hope the US title doesn’t become an after-thought after SummerSlam. It’s an important piece of the show. All in all though, Raw is doing most things right and I’ve been very pleased with the direction the brand is going in. SummerSlam can’t come soon enough!