Raw's Top Five 8/3/2015: Come Hither Beastie
The last two weeks have been trying ones for fans of the WWE. Not only was one of the most influential superstars blacklisted by the company, but then 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper passed away. Roddy Piper is the superstar that got me into wrestling with his aggressive, no-care promo style, hard-hitting in-ring ability, and all around badass character. He was in his mid-60s, and his death was sudden and unexpected. It's been a tough month for the WWE, with more drama than normal, but hopefully the next month won't be as bad. With that being said, the first Raw of August started off right, live from San Jose, California.
Neville Answers Rollins' Open Challenge
Rollins broke Cena's nose last week, and thank god WWE decided to have Rollins boast about his actions. Rollins said he could outdo Cena's weekly challenge and issued his own, with a caveat that whoever came out had to be shorter than five feet tall and less than 200 pounds. Yes, they hinted at El Torito coming out, but Neville came out instead. The two put on a hell of a match, with Rollins winning in the end. The match was one of the best on Raw in recent memory, and hopefully is a sign of things to come between the two.
NXT Divas Continue the Revolution
Since they've shown up, the NXT divas have shown that they more than deserve to be on the main roster. Frankly, they've shown that they are better than the current main roster divas, which should come as no surprise to anyone who reads my weekly recaps. That being said, I'm glad to see Charlotte and Becky Lynch getting wins over the Bellas, even if WWE can't decide who is face or heel. The match was fast and intense, ending in Charlotte's Figure Eight, to which Nikki tapped out. Hopefully one of the NXT divas wins the title at SummerSlam, but it is looking more like a tag team match is in the cards.
Owens and Cesaro Take Over Miz TV
Miz TV is inherently derivative of Piper's Pit which came before it, and Miz paid tribute to Hot Rod right from the start. While Miz can't hold a candle to Hot Rod, I enjoy the idea of a talk-show platform to allow performers to confront one another in front of the audience. Owens and Cesaro would be the two airing their grievances to one another, but of course it would end up getting physical. As I've said before, anything Kevin Owens does on the main roster is fine by me, and it looks like he will be facing Cesaro at SummerSlam. As long as the WWE lets the two go at it unabated, it will be a hell of a match, and could possibly steal the show.
The Beast Rears His Head
God, Paul Heyman is the undisputed king of promos. If it wasn't for him, I would be much less invested in the Underaker/Lesnar match then I am. I care very little specifically, because we all know that this match will end in Lesnar losing to the Deadman, only to setup the rubberband match for Wrestlemania. However, I could listen to Heyman talk all day, and this promo is another in a long line of match-selling material that should help sell SummerSlam to anyone still on the fence.
A SummerSlam Preview
Well it looks like the rumors were false and Sting won't be at SummerSlam, which leaves an open slot for the semi-Shield/semi-Wyatt Family tag team match. However, this match was a pretty close preview to what we will be getting at SummerSlam, and it was pretty good, all things considered. They let Orton and Sheamus continue their feud, and sent the audience home happy with a win for the faces. I'm still not a fan of Reigns, but pairing him with Ambrose helps.
I can honestly say that WWE turned it around this week for me. Raw was more matches than promos, and even when it was promos, they drove the story and weren't drawn out. Hopefully next week's Raw is as good as this one, but, as always. I'm cautiously optimistic.