Raw starts with John Cena coming out. Says that he was hoping it wasn’t the case, but he is facing Brock Lesnar. He says people might want to see him get his ass kicked by Lesnar. People chanted yes. He says at SummerSlam, he knows he’s facing a beast and he’s getting his ass kicked. He’s going to SummerSlam to win, however, for those who cheer and who boo. He says the Authority and the fans don’t realize that if Lesnar wins, hey, he’s a mercenary- he’ll fight when he wants when he wants. And who wants a champion like that.
Heyman comes out. He says it’s brave for Cena to realize the beating he’s going to get at SummerSlam. He’s never been “victimized”, he claims. He’s taken beatings, but he’s never victimized. Undertaker knows what it’s like to be victimized, and no one’s seen him since Wrestlemania. Lesnar is looking to conquer Cena at SummerSlam, and his client is on the offensive. Brock Lesnar is not going to just pin Cena, he’s going to victimize him. Lesnar has salivated at the fact when you wake up at SummerSlam you will realize that you’re no longer champion. He will be, yes, victimized and conquered.
Cena says cut the crap. Key word is passion. Mentions how people chant ECW and how that gets Heyman’s heart beating. He works his ass off because he loves this place and he has passion for it. Lesnar is big, strong and a super athlete but he doesn’t have heart. He will walk into SummerSlam as champion and he’ll leave as champion.
This brings out Cesaro. He says even Paul Heyman and I parted ways, he won’t let him insult his friend. He’s a big muscled up billboard. Cena comes toward him, but Cesaro says stop. Where did you get those shoes, K-Mart? You can’t wrestle in those. Oh wait, yeah, you can’t wrestle. Cesaro challenges him to a match, and Cena accepts, so here we go. This was a great segment, I should mention.
John Cena vs. Cesaro: They mat wrestle to start. Cesaro gains control and puts him out of the ring. Cena blitzed back into the ring and went for a bulldog, but Cesaro countered. Cesaro went for the swing, but countered with a rollup. Yes. Cesaro hit the deadlift suplex off the apron but only a nearfall. Cesaro gets the swing on Cena then turns it into a modified cloverleaf but Cena espaces and starts his comeback. Cena climbs up the top rope with Cesaro on his shoulders but Cesaro knocks him off and goes for a crossbody but Cena rolls through and tries the AA but Cesaro lands on his feet and hits the uppercut for a nearfall. Thats the longest sentence I’ve ever written. Cesaro goes for the neutralized but Cena counters. Cesaro gets a boot to Cena’s face. He goes for a move off the top rope but Cena climbs to the top and hits the AA off the top rope for the pinfall. This match was awesome. ****1/4
Stephanie says she’s been keeping appearances all week, but she can’t face her children knowing their disappointment. She can’t get the smell off. Hunter tries to talk to her, but Orton interrupts. Orton says it was supposed to be him last week who got the title shot. Orton says make it Cena/Orton at SummerSlam. Triple H says plans change, and that as long as Roman Reigns is in the picture he’s not getting a title shot. He wants another title shot? Finish Roman Reigns. He says tonight he’ll get the job done tonight. Triple H says Reigns is facing Kane tonight. Orton says he has a problem with Reigns, Kane and also…you. They exchange glares. Those three teasing feuds with one another is the last possible thing I want to see in life.
Paige makes her way to the ring. She wants to set the record straight. She let her emotions get the best of her, but she and AJ are still friends. She crossed the line last week, and she promised she’d never do something like that again. She came off as insincere, obviously. AJ says no one believes her. She knows what it’s like to get a title taken away in an instant. She doesn’t play little girl games. I don’t say things about someone and whisper behind their back. If I’m going to talk crap about you I’ll say it to your face. Paige says if you don’t believe me I guess you’re crazy. AJ says what did you just call me? Paige apologized, but says she’d never make fun of her mental health. AJ says sure, yeah, that was an honest mistake then lunges at her and they have a brawl. Paige stops her and says calm down. Paige says let’s just be friends as he sulks up the ramp. The excited fans chant CM Punk as AJ’s music plays.
Roman Reigns vs. Kane is an actual match tonight. I know I mentioned that earlier, I just have to reiterate. Kane is not the guy to get Roman Reigns over. Kane is not the guy to get anyone ever over.
The Authority come out. They’re not all smiles, sadly. Fans started chanting “JAILBIRD”. Triple H says we’ve had a lot of good times together, but last week you laughed at my wife when she was arrested, and he’ll never forgive us for that. Do you know what that did to my wife, how badly that hurt her, and you think it’s funny. It’s all over a simple misunderstanding. Brie antagonized Stephanie. All the charges against her were dropped except the assault charge. Stephanie has asked Brie Bella to come out here tonight so we can put this incident behind us. Stephanie gets the mic and more “Jailbird” chants start. She asks for Brie to come out.
Brie Bella comes out, looking a lot like Chris Jericho. He says he just wants to let you know how I feel about this whole unfortunate incident in song. He and the crowd start singing the theme from Cops. Triple H says you think this is funny? Chris Jericho says, uh yeah. Orange is the new black, you know. Jericho starts making fun of Triple H. Jericho has a question. Why didn’t you leave with Stephanie when she got arrested last week. Triple H says you should be focusing more on Bray Wyatt than on us. Jericho says yeah, I want Wyatt in the ring tonight. Triple H says no, he’ll have to wait until SummerSlam, but tonight…Seth Rollins comes in and pelts Jericho with the briefcase. Triple H says he’ll be facing off against Rollins tonight. Triple H’s music plays as Rollins stands over Jericho.
Rybaxel and The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler and the Usos: Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston and Big E were backstage looking at the monitor. Whatever happened to the Miz’s face on the titantron gimmick. Have the already dropped that? So they keep Sin Cara’s annoying counterproductive lights but not this? After commercial, they were there at ringside. Usos gets worked on until Dolph makes a hot tag and clears out Ryback. A while later, Ziggler wins with the zig zag. Not the most productive explanation of the match, but it wasn’t much either aside from the times Ziggler was in there. I’m not sure why Nation 2.0 was at ringside when they didn’t do squat.
R-Truth vs. Bo Dallas: Dallas says he knows he’s lost a lot of matches lately, but someday he thinks he’ll win, he just has to bo-lieve. R-Truth then won with a rollup immediately, because of course. Bo Dallas grabs a mic and pretends to be a good sport, but then jumps him, leaving Truth looking like a goof. I guess they did this so they can cement Dallas as a heel, but at the same time it was pretty counterproductive.
Rusev and Lana were in the ring. Cole instructed us to use #Russia to talk about this on social media. Uh oh. She runs down the flag, saying it all stands for a country ruled by a coward and fed off of the country’s apathy. Obama wags his finger at Russia and does nothing else. They show a picture of Bush for a few seconds, I guess to run him down too, before Jack Swagger comes out. Coulter says look at this flag. It represents family and thanksgiving, how they survived another year. It represents a family watching football together, pickup trucks, pretty girls and beer. But you know what it represents, it represents the thousands of Americans who died for that flag. When you run down this country, you make it real easy for people to stand up and say we the people. Swagger jolts down the ring and immediately jumps Rusev. Rusev tries to put in the Accolade but Swagger reverses it into the Patriot lock then throws him out of the ring.
Damien Sandow comes out as an astronaut. He says he’s been looking for signs of intelligent life but he could find none. Adam Rose comes out. He says he’s a sour little spaceman ever since he landed on Earth. Rose says his catchphrase. Sandow jumps him, but the bell rings and immediately gets pinned with the party foul.
Kane vs. Roman Reigns: Orton jumps Reigns as he makes his entrance through the crowd but Reigns gets the better. Takes out Orton with a Superman punch but Kane chokeslams him. Kane then leaves. Best Kane match ever. Orton then beats down Reigns for an eternity, eventually building to a spot where he RKO’s Reigns through the announce table…only for it not to break. Orton leaves in a huff, then comes back and does it again, this time breaking. This was good, probably the best thing Orton’s done since turning heel, but man this could have been accomplished in a lot less time.
Fandango vs. Diego: Diego won quickly with a rollup after Torito distracted Fandango on the top rope. Fandango asks the question everyone wants to know, “WHY”, only to get gored in the balls. That’s a laugh, simple storylines in the WWE. Everyone knows feuds just keep existing for no reason until they feel like dropping them.
Stephanie meets with Nikki Bella backstage. Nikki says Brie will be arriving shortly. Stephanie says she hopes we can settle this issue reasonably. Nikki says it’s not too often people like you get served with a plate of crap, just hope you like the taste of it. That’s a weird line.
More Stardust and Goldust nonsense. Something about a cosmic key. “They have it” the chalkboard in front of them said mysteriously.
Naomi and Natalya vs. Cameron and Alicia Fox: Naomi takes out Alicia then does a thesz press to the floor taking out Cameron. Alicia throws her back in the ring and takes a scissors kick, but Cameron demands a tag and starts working her over. Cameron slaps were reminiscent of Jenna Morasca’s, if you can even comprehend how terrible they were. Naomi rolls her up and puts her in a leg scissors and she submits.
Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho: Seth starts out, working over Jericho, but sure enough Jericho starts to build some momentum. Jericho tries the lionsault but Seth rolls out of the way. Seth delivers a buckle bomb but misses the curbstomp. Jericho tries to turn it ino the walls of Jericho but Seth counters with an enziguri. Rollins launches off the top rope but Jericho turns it into the codebreaker. The Wyatts then appear and just jump him, with no ending to this match, which otherwise was turning into another fun match. Wyatt lays him out with the Sister Abigail and they all pose.
Stephanie comes out. She stands before them a humbled woman. Getting arrested is a life-altering experience. Brie Bella comes out and says get to the point, or are you going to be a snively rich bitch. Stephanie asks to drop all the charges, as she says she doesn’t deserve this. Brie says she deserves to go to hell. Stephanie says she’ll treat Nikki Bella better going forward and will give her a raise. Brie says that hold on, you’ll have to meet all of my demands. She wants her job back. Stephanie says hey, I gave your sister a raise, one Bella is enough. Brie leaves, but Stephanie says fine you’re rehired. She goes to leave, but Brie says wait, one more thing, she wants a match at SummerSlam. Stephanie’s all like oh, you want a Diva’s title match, or a Total Divas spectacular, okay. Brie says, no, she doesn’t want that match, she wants a match against Stephanie. Stephanie hemmed and hawed until finally agreeing to the match. She pretended to cry as she walked over to Brie and suddenly Stephanie smashes the mic into Brie’s face as she was leaving, saying at SummerSlam I’ll make you my bitch. Stephanie mockingly does the yes chant as Brie enters the ring and they have a brawl. Agents come ringside to break things up and separate them as they exchanged words at one another as Raw went off the air.
I liked this show a lot. It was the first week where you really get the idea that they have a solid direction of where they’re going for SummerSlam, and it sounds like a fun show. Cena/Lesnar should be good, and Stephanie/Brie Bella has some heat on it heading forward. Reigns and Orton made things interesting after Reigns’ layout on the show and Seth and Dean…well, they didn’t do anything with Seth or Dean. That’s a good question to ask around, where was Dean Ambrose in all of this. Regardless, this was a good show, and throw in the opening match, which was fantastic, and you have a pretty damn good show.
PLUG: One week in and the G1 is shaping up to be better than last years, which was considered one of the greatest tournaments of all time. Even though the schedule is easier compared to last years, people are still getting hurt, with Makabe suffering a fractured jaw which seems to put him out of action (though not confirmed yet) and Tanahashi visited a hospital today citing issues with his neck. You might be asking why I’m detailing all of this. Well, who knows how the rest of the G1 will fare because we have about another two weeks full of cards, with day 6 occurring in the wee hours of Thursday morning. You want to know whos in, who is out, and what matches to look out for, right? Voices of Wrestling will have coverage (maybe even by me, as I covered days 3 and 5) but if you want an alternative, check out my coverage of shows I don’t do a review of here on my blog, where you can read coverage of days 1, 2 and 4. Tons of great matches in the first 5 days, and hopefully there will be more, as long as more people don’t cripple themselves along the way.
Featured Video – Dusty Rhodes showing Devitt the ropes: