WWE Raw Thoughts – August 1, 2016

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Source: wwe.com

It’s one week from a really amazing Raw where WWE and their team pulled out all the stops to really make it seem like a new era has been ushered in. Unfortunately this week, the old saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same” can apply here.

The show started off with a promo exchange between Sasha Banks and Charlotte. While Banks is the fan favourite, I’m still loving watching Charlotte get better on the mic and her retorts each week. The ladies help their own.

Then Chris Jericho came down and got into the exchange, followed by Enzo Amore on his own (which was confusing at first – as why would he?). From there, he heard some good back and forth banter between Enzo and Jericho (as well as some innuendo and poop jokes between Banks and Enzo).

This segment didn’t even go to commercial until around 25 min mark of the show. Why did it have to be that long? While it was nice to see new faces at the beginning of the show, it was still a long, drawn out talking segment to start the show.

From there it the promo exchange between all of the people in the ring turned into a mix tag match up where we saw Dana Brooke got involved, causing Sasha to be pinned by Charlotte. I guess this gives more fuel for their re-match at Summerslam. Big Cass showed up at the end but really didn’t do too much. But it did lead to a backstage interaction between Jericho and Kevin Owens who said he had Jericho’s back. This will now lead to a tag match possible at Summerslam between them and Enzo and Cass.

The only other major thing that happened came right at the end of the show when Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar showed back up on Raw to address Brock’s upcoming match with Randy Orton at Summerslam. I thought this was one of the most boring Paul Heyman has been on the mic in a long time. Mix that with the crowd looking bored as hell for most of it and the pair not even touching on Orton’s mentioning of Lesnar’s enhancement scandal, I thought it all fell flat.

For me, the segment was flat until right at the very end until Orton surprised everyone and delivered an RKO on Lesnar. The crowd popped and I was surprised as well as I didn’t think that WWE would have a Smackdown wrestler already cross onto another show only two weeks removed from the draft. I did appreciate that Foley and Stephanie McMahon came out to sell the disbelief and dissatisfaction, but this should have been maybe saved for the show just before the event.

The Seth Rollins/Finn Balor exchange should have been promoted before the show to try and get more people to turn in. Finn was decent, but you can tell he just needs a while longer to get comfortable doing these kinds of segments. I’m pumped to see this match and how the exchange between them got more heated until the end where Rollins went to sucker punch Balor, with Balor retaliating was pretty good.

Did you notice that the majority of the stuff that I just discussed had to do with in-ring promos and not really wrestling? Not acceptable.

Here are a few more notes about the show in random order of them occurring:

  • The jobber matches don’t do anything for me, especially when the announcers talk about how dominant the talent (Braun Strowman and Nia Jax) are. Of course they are dominating – they’re facing “wrestlers” less than half their size. And did Michael Cole have to plug Jax being “plus sized?” You didn’t hear that shit during her time in NXT.
  • Sheamus and Cesaro didn’t do anything for me. It seems these two are both back being stuck in limbo. WWE Creative could have done something with Cesaro’s post-draft rant but what happens? He’s involved in a backstage promo with the people in charge. It was mentioned by Foley that if Cesaro won, he’d get a future shot at a championship – well he won and nothing was explained.
  • The Club got fucking pinned in less than two minutes because of a quick eye off the prize AND The New Day down a member? Horseshit booking/writing. The Club should have just dominated and the ref should have thrown the match out. The Club did not need to be pinned as it accomplished nothing besides them looking stupid and weak in front of the audience that don’t know them well enough yet. How do you expect to build these new guys up as stars this way? We’re back to the same old/same old.
  • Titus O’Neil vs. Darren Young didn’t need to happen. If they want to pit two former tag team partners together, they need to give more background to the audience and make the match serve a purpose. Why were two face scheduled to go against each other. Then Titus cheats to win but Young comes out as the heel in the backstage area with a cheap-shot. Who’s writing this?
  • Last week, the Pokemon Go skits with R-Truth and Goldust was funny as a one-time thing. This week it cost them a match and was poorly done. This should be the last week of it as it serves no purpose.
  • Sami Zayn vs. Seth Rollins was a decent TV match.
  • So Roman Reigns is officially down the pecking order but is still put into a program where he’s vying for a championship belt. Why WWE creative didn’t pull the trigger last week and turn him heel still boggles my mind. I guess they still want to prove they can get the audience to cheer him, so they give the sheeple in audience the easiest way to do it: US talent vs. a foreigner (in Rusev) for the US Championship.
  • I still dig Heath Slater!

That’s it for me. I found myself bored during most of the show. I know that WWE could not put on the show like the did last week or ever keep that momentum to that effect, but this was back to the same old stuff, just featuring some newer faces. Maybe they did this on purpose to put more emphasis on Smackdown, seeing how that was the weaker show last week.

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