Two weeks until SummerSlam and the action on Raw made sure the matches already set added more heat to their stories or bouts that are sidelined due to injury went underway to find a replacement quickly. All the major players were there and all used quite well.
The Toronto crowd was ‘bizarro world’ once again, booing and cheering the wrong people so to judge based on crowd reaction wouldn’t be fair. Still, even with a different audience, some of the major ideas WWE is trying to move forward with simply aren’t working.
How would the four members of the Fatal 4-Way interact? Where is Dean Ambrose’s and Seth Rollins’ relationship at? What now about an injured Bayley and Scott Dawson?
Here are your 5 Winners and 5 Losers from Raw August 7, 2017.
5. Loser – Toronto Crowd
The crowd is Toronto has been labeled “Bizzaro World” for a reason. Monday, they were in full force. A chant of “let’s go jobber” started, they booed Bayley when she was legitimately upset for her injury and worst of all, they tried to start 10 different chants for the sake of starting a chant and couldn’t get themselves in unison. There are good crowds that can have this kind of heat. This was not one of them.
5. Winner – Destruction of Miztourage
The Miztourage as a group actually works. They’re both dangerous and whipping boys in the same breath, and to see Brock Lesnar destroy them as if he were in the ring with his three opponents at SummerSlam was a nice change of pace to placing the four actual opponents in there together. It allowed Lesnar and The Miz to add something to their feuds without actually interacting.
4. Loser – Jason Jordan
The good news is Jason Jordan didn’t squash Curtis Axel. The bad news is, he squashed a jobber from Quebec, Canada and that’s going to mean a couple things. First, the audience is not going to get behind a baby face that continually squashes lesser opponents. Second, the idea that “his dad” Kurt Angle isn’t setting up quality opponents for him is going to turn on this story, if the idea is to make them a well-liked duo. If the idea is to turn Jordan heel, this is a sneaky way to do it.
4. Winner – Rollins Rejects Ambrose
After weeks of asking Ambrose what he has to do to earn Ambrose’s trust, Rollins finally got it but denied Ambrose when it came time to give The Shield sign of unity in the ring. It would have been a huge moment but the WWE rightly prolonged it, adding intrigue to the story. The only thing that’s uncertain at this point is where the next step is for these two. Are they having a match at SummerSlam versus the tag champs? Are they going to face each other now that Ambrose feels rejected again? There’s only one episode of Raw left before the summer’s biggest party to make that connection.
3. Loser – Booker T
Booker T was simply awful the entire night, but he was at his worst during the Ambrose and Rollins match. He went on tangents that made no sense, he flipped his morals on a number of occasions, he got lost in his own train of thought, and he needed his fellow announcers to bail him out of his own mess on a few instances. He’s always been the weak link on the three-man team but on this particular night, he made it hard to focus on the action. It really wasn’t good. These are the nights you wonder why they don’t go back to a two-man crew.
3. Winner – Cesaro
Usually, tag matches that feature opposite members of a tag team don’t work. On Monday, it did. The Sheamus and Rollins match was excellent, as was the Ambrose and Cesaro match. Cesaro looks like he’s clearly ready to be a major single’s competitor and champion, and has the tools to main event a pay-per-view. As for the splitting up the tag teams and having them fight their counterparts in singles matches, it works because it continues to tell the story of Ambrose and Rollins friction/friendship. When done this way, these types of matches make sense.
2. Loser – Bray Wyatt and Finn Balor
The match will be great and the idea of having these two square off is one that makes sense from a character standpoint, but the WWE is running out of time if The Demon King is showing up at SummerSlam. The company hasn’t done an effective job of giving Balor reason enough to break out that character and the WWE Universe still has no idea why Wyatt targeted Balor as his next victim. The idea of the match is great. The backstory hasn’t been well done.
2. Winner – Sasha Banks
The triple threat match which included Sasha Banks was better than good, and to finally have a reason to place the women of the Raw Women’s Division in triple threat matches makes sense. Sasha should have always been Alexa Bliss’ opponent at SummerSlam and it looks like that’s the direction this is headed now. Had the WWE done this from the start, the fans might not have booed Baley during her speech.
1. Loser – Cass, Enzo and Big Show
What is the point of all this? If trying to show that Cass is a monster, having him knocked out twice in two weeks isn’t exactly proving that. Calling his chin soft doesn’t scream monster. Is it to have Big Show and Enzo strike up a new tag team? That would solve the problem of what to do with the two members, but they’re an awkward pairing. This entire story has disappointed and the only way to make this worth it now would be to put Enzo in the shark gave and give him a mic during the match. It would be a classic moment just to see what he comes up with.
1. Winner – Last Man Standing Match
The Braun Strowman versus Roman Reigns match was pay-per-view worthy. It highlighted both men and the inclusion of Samoa Joe at the end was a logical direction to take the story. The WWE has done well to have these four interact as often as they had, but no one looks relatively weaker than any other member of the match. That makes the outcome unpredictable. If nothing else, the Fatal 4-Way match will be reason alone to watch SummerSlam at this point.
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