Raw seems to be getting consistently better. Little wasted time and effort made Monday’s show one of the more entertaining productions from the WWE in a while — especially considering the poor outings by SmackDown Live as of late.
All of this was accomplished without the Universal Champion in Brock Lesnar and SummerSlam now has a main event that may be extremely difficult to predict.
Fans got to see the first glimpses of where the Kurt Angle and Jason Jordan storyline is going, Bayley got another win and will face Alexa Bliss at the summer’s biggest party and, while we still don’t know what Bray Wyatt’s beef is with Finn Balor, it will probably lead to the Demon King showing his face again. Not everything was fantastic, but the show was well-rounded and entertaining.
Here are your 5 Winners and 5 Losers from Raw on July 24, 2017.
10. Loser – Why Involve Titus O’Neil?
Titus just seems in the way. In a feud that appears to be building between Akira Tozawa and Neville (which could be a great match at SummerSlam), the WWE is steadfast in their desire to include Titus O’Neil in the story and he simply doesn’t fit. There’s no reason for him to be a part of the Tozawa character, and if he was going to have a beef with one of his stable of clients, it should be Apollo Crews. The pairing is off and it isn’t working.
9. Winner – Opening Segment
The segment to kick off the show was strong. Typically Fatal 4-Way matches are the lazy way out of booking a solid feud between two competitors, but in this case, the dynamic is actually intriguing. All four competitors have a legit shot at winning the title, and the outcome should be a surprise to everyone. The brawl was terrific and the bump by the unnamed security guard will be remembered for a while. Hopefully, he gets a little extra something in his cheque for that one.
8. Loser – No Brock Lesnar
It’s not so much that the opening segment needed Lesnar, but what an opening segment it would have been if Lesnar had shown up. Right when all the competitors finally looked to be at the end, and the WWE Superstars had finally gained some control, Lesnar’s music hits and he comes to face off with Strowman, even standing tall over all four men? That would have made the segment incredible and the crowd would have popped huge for the moment.
7. Winner – Balor vs Wyatt Set for SummerSlam
It hasn’t officially been announced, but what other logical direction will this take. Wyatt versus Balor at SummerSlam seems inevitable, and it will be a great match with all sorts of spectacle. Fans will likely see the return of the Demon King from Balor as he attempts to sink to Wyatt’s level of creepy.
6. Loser – Wyatt Seems Headed Toward Another Big Loss
The Wyatt versus Balor match will be great, but the result might not be so wonderful for Wyatt, who was finally gaining some momentum. If the Demon King does return, the odds of Balor losing that match seem slim and that will once again put Wyatt in a position of uncertainty.
If Wyatt does lose, he may start to rank among the highest quality WWE Superstars being wasted by the company.
5. Winner – Bayley Wins Number One Contender’s Match
This is good news for Bayley who appeared all but given up on by the WWE. She’s had three consecutive strong weeks, and it culminated in a victory over Sasha Banks for the right to head to SummerSlam and challenge for the Raw Women’s Championship. Even if Bayley doesn’t win the title, the likelihood is she has a built in opponent waiting in the wings. The heel turn for Sasha Banks seems inevitable, and this is also good news for the WWE who are much better suited to having Banks play the Boss character she made a hit in NXT.
4. Loser – Jason Jordan Wins Debut on Raw
This is a huge opportunity for Jason Jordan but something about this whole angle seems fishy. Only one week into the reveal, it feels forced and somewhat hokey and as a result, there are subtle impressions that this may all be leading to a heel turn for Jordan. Having a squash match against Curt Hawkins doesn’t do much for his debut, and if this is where Jordan’s weekly performances are going, this story could die off sooner than expected. Could it be that Jordan will turn on Kurt Angle and have daddy abandonment issues? If so, this would be turned into a winner.
3. Winner – Enzo Shines, Even In Another Loss
The WWE needs to figure out how to work with Enzo in a capacity that doesn’t see him lose match after match against Big Cass. This being Enzo’s third beating at the hands of the seven-footer proves Cass is more than Amore can handle, but Enzo is proving to have the higher star power of the two. The fans are clearly behind the little guy and he’s showing that even as he gets his butt handed to him week after week, there’s something there for the WWE to work with.
2. Loser – Anderson and Gallows Face Turn
Did the WWE Universe just witness Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson come out on Raw and become fan favorites? In a quick promo against The Revival, it sure felt like it. They pandered to the crowd and the fans screamed “NERD!” right alongside Gallows. If this was a face turn, there are two major problems. First, where was the build up so that fans could experience the payoff? Second, why have them lose? If this all turns into some sort of Bullet Club faction (which it probably won’t), then great. Otherwise, it feels completely wasted.
1. Winner – Ambrose and Rollins
For the first time in a long time, it feels like Dean Ambrose has a purpose. Are Ambrose and Rollins headed for a match at SummerSlam against the WWE tag champs, Sheamus and Cesaro? Nothing has been mentioned, but that the champs were watching this match from the backstage area, and that there seems to be a slow-building friendship/betrayal building between the former Shield members makes these two entertaining to watch. It doesn’t seem obvious where this story is going and that’s refreshing.
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