The WWE Universe lost one of its greatest performers last week – a man who made the professional wrestling heel cool with controversy and commentary ahead of its time. However, the show and road to SummerSlam continued as Superstars and fans alike gathered for another edition of Monday Night Raw.
Here’s how the somber episode went down:
The show begins with a ten bell salute and video tribute to the late “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. The word “legend” is often used rather loosely in the wrestling world but Roddy Piper was truly a legend.
Seth Rollins comes out to the address the live crowd in San Jose and the John Cena situation. Rollins, with much pride, discusses how he broke Cena’s nose last week. (The fans love Cena’s pain) Rollins explains how his loss to Cena was based on sympathy before challenging Cena to a title vs. title match at SummerSlam. Rollins states that there will be a WWE World Heavyweight Championship Open Challenge. However, the opponent must be under six feet tall and under two-hundred pounds. Rollins expects his opponent to be El Torito but the challenge is instead accepted by Neville.
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Neville (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
Watching a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match as an opening bout was a welcomed and pleasant surprise. Seth Rollins and Neville both electrified throughout this contest with Neville coming close to victory on more than one occasion. However, Rollins would eventually hit The Pedigree to retain the championship.
Match Winner: Seth Rollins
Match Rating: 8.5/10
Lucha Dragons and Los Matadores vs. The New Day and the Ascension
Following the great performance of Seth Rollins and Neville, this match didn’t feel particularly special. Lucha Dragons were the highlight of the match. Kofi Kingston scores the pinfall.
Match Winners: The New Day and The Ascension
Match Rating: 3/10
The Bella Twins w/Alicia Fox vs. Becky Lynch and Charlotte w/Paige
The Divas Revolution continues and the newest editions of the division continue to impress as Becky Lynch and Charlotte took The Bella Twins to school. Nikki and Brie fared well but it is clear who the superior Divas are in WWE right now. Nikki taps out to the Figure Eight.
Match Winners: Charlotte and Becky Lynch
Match Rating: 7/10
Post-Match: Jojo interviews Team B.A.D. who provide their opinions on what they had just witness. Naomi challenges Paige to a match and takes time to talk trash on Ronda Rousey. (Interesting)
-Miz TV with Kevin Owens and Cesaro-
The Miz opens with a heartfelt shout-out to Roddy Piper and Piper’s Pit. (Very classy) Kevin Owens comes out followed by Cesaro and the two foreign wrestlers exchange words. Cesaro challenges Owens to a fight but Owens declines before taking a cheap shot at Cesaro. Owens escapes The Cesaro Swing and heads to the back.
Rusev w/Summer Rae vs. Mark Henry
Typical big guy match. Rusev wins with a kick.
Match Winner: Rusev
Match Rating: 2/10
Bray Wyatt cuts an eerie promo on Roman Reigns involving a flower. Luke Harper and Sheamus stand by and Wyatt explains to Sheamus how he has always admired his brutality … run.
Zack Ryder vs. King Barrett
This was a quick match that would see Zack Ryder fall victim to the Royal Bull Hammer and King Barrett is victorious.
Match Winner: King Barrett
Match Rating: 3/10
Paul Heyman is out in the ring were he reminds the crowd that it was The Undertaker who chose the impending fight. Heyman claims that The Undertaker is no longer the same and will never be able to defeat his client, Brock Lesnar who then comes out to a massive response. Lesnar throws the steel steps into the ring before entering the squared-circle. Lesnar stands atop the steps, soapbox style. Heyman states that The Undertaker called Vince McMahon earlier this year, begging for a rematch against Lesnar at WrestleMania; a request denied by Vince McMahon. Heyman goes on to explain how The Undertaker will “rest in pieces” at the hands of The Beast. (Heyman is phenomenal on the mic)
Paige vs. Naomi
The trend of two strong Divas matches on a single episode of Raw continues as Paige and Naomi put on a solid contest that would see Paige force Naomi to tap out to the PTO.
Match Winner: Paige
Match Rating: 6/10
Stardust cuts another strange promo on Neville “being his hero.”
The video tribute to “Rowdy” Roddy Piper is played again.
Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns cut a promo on Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper. Randy Orton arrives; telling Ambrose and Reigns to leave him Sheamus. (The guys pay respect to Piper during this segment)
Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Sheamus
All six men looked strong in this match. Good main event put together to end the show. Roman Reigns picks up the victory for his team following a spear on Sheamus.
Match Winners: Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Randy Orton
Match Rating: 7/10
Despite his injury and internet rumors that he requires time off, expect John Cena to return in time to face Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam. Rollins and Cena will only be the secondary attraction in Brooklyn but will manage to entertain and provide the fans with a solid WWE World Heavyweight Championship match.
The girls are doing great and continue to keep fans interested. Charlotte forcing Nikki Bella to tap out to the Figure Eight could be a definitive sign of the future direction of the Divas Championship. Charlotte wearing the belt would be a beautiful sight. Of course, the idea of having Becky Lynch or Sasha Banks as the next Divas Champion is quite appealing as well.
The WWE made multiple references to Ronda Rousey this week; including video footage of her post-fight interview this past Saturday night. Is it only a matter of time before Ronda Rousey competes in a WWE ring.
Bray Wyatt may never completely fit into the WWE Structure but he remains one of the most intriguing characters in all of professional wrestling.
Paul Heyman could sell cow turd to a dairy farmer. Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker do not have to say or do anything else before their scheduled match and Paul Heyman will keep it interesting. Heyman makes you believe that you are about to witness something real; something dangerous. The big fight feel is in full effect.
Much Love for “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
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