For a show that was almost exclusively hyped the Kurt Angle secret, fans didn't get what they might have been expecting, but what they did get was a shocker, to say the least. Promoting said announcement worked too as the show earned its highest ratings in over three months.
As the WWE heads toward SummerSlam, it was important for Raw to set matches, establish feuds and give the WWE's second most important pay-per-view a big ticket feel. Not everyone wound up a winner, but there was some good to come out of the program.
The ending with Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns and Braun Stroman was really good, only not making the list because it was equally helpful for all three competitors, and a Fatal 4-Way with Brock Lesnar may not be the best way to go for these men. That's the way things are shaping up for SummerSlam.
Here are the 5 Winners And 5 Losers from the show.
Are we already seeing the WWE's lack of faith in Titus O'Neil and his group Titus Worldwide? We're seeing the first signs of conflict between Tozawa and O'Neil, and perhaps it's because the WWE is realizing this is not a good look for Tozawa. There may be more to this story, but if Titus can't keep his first two clients happy after only a couple months, that's not a good sign.
The Revival needed a big win upon their return. They got it against the Hardy's, and they did so in fairly convincing fashion. It was probably the best match of the show, and that's something The Revival is going to have to be known for doing if they're going to create an established identity on the main roster.
It helps too that The Revival win any way they can. In this case, they had to get a little dirty. That works for them.
This is only a loser if the character changes aren't coming for Matt and Jeff Hardy. If there's no payoff at the end, so many consecutive losses are bad news for a team that the WWE wants to make a legit threat. With that being said, if these losses add up to Matt being "Broken" and Jeff making a major change, it doesn't hurt them in the least and it actually makes sense.
This is a huge opportunity for Jordan. He's in line for a major singles push, and with a name like Kurt Angle in his corner, it screams legitimacy.
The angle itself was a bit over-dramatic, but that's far better than being something the company isn't taking seriously. It will be interesting to see where this goes.
This was a well-done angle, but the lack of crowd reaction is not a good sign here. Fans who were expecting Dixie Carter or something juicy with Stephanie McMahon got an illegitimate love child, and the son is coming from a tag-team everyone wanted to see succeed but won't any longer. That he's been separated from American Alpha may turn out to be a negative for him. Time will tell.
Big Cass showed he's not just a bully who can beat up a talent half his size. There was some risk that Cass was going to come off as not able to back up his claims, but the WWE did the right thing by having him lay a beating on the Big Show in a bout that was more of a scrap and less of a match. Amore did another fantastic job on the mic and it's a good use of his talents.
Raw made the same mistake it did last week in that it stuck the Cruiserweights in a tag match that did little to advance storylines meant for singles competitors. This week, they only a couple minutes to tell a story that can't be told that quickly. One opponent squashed the other, and it just doesn't make for good television.
This match was the best Samson looked since entering the WWE, and he was able to get the upper hand on Finn Balor by taking him out with his guitar. It makes Samson a legit heel and while there's probably still something left in the Balor/Samson feud (that needs to see Balor get this revenge) the WWE also took the opportunity to set up a match between Bray Wyatt and Finn Balor for SummerSlam.
Having Bayley pull off two big wins in consecutive weeks is great for her character—a character that was losing steam quickly—but to do so at the expense of the champion is risky. For Bliss to be a believable champion, she needs to get the upper hand every once and while. Right now she looks like she's weak without the help of Nia Jax.
Like we might have seen with the NWO or Evolution, the Miztourage gave a legitimate beatdown to two very popular and main event stars. While the faction hasn't established themselves as a group to be reckoned with yet, their destruction of Ambrose and Rollins went a long way.
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