Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 7/27/15: A Night Of Firsts

WWE RawBy Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 7/27/15)

A Night Of Firsts 

– SummerSlam’s still a good month or so away and the buzz is already amidst thanks to last week’s all-out locker-room brawl between Brock Lesnar and Undertaker, which received more flashback video packages (two on this show particularly and from last week’s Smackdown) which was good. It’s ironic that this was branded as a “night of firsts” at the beginning since it speaks to how routine the show has felt in recent weeks, despite one big angle coming out of the shows, like the “Diva Revolution” or the brawl.

– Everybody’s eyes must have rolled simultaneously when The Authority’s beloved music hit and out came Triple H and Stephanie McMahon for another one of their famous 20-minute Raw intros. Given the circumstances surrounding SummerSlam, it can be said a slight exception could be made, since everything they announced here could only make viewers want to stick around. From the first segment, we knew about the confirmation of SummerSlam being a four-hour show with Taker vs. Lesnar as the main event and for Raw – The Big Show vs. Dean Ambrose, Paige vs. NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks, Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton and Alicia Fox/WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte/Becky Lynch. Rollins coming out fit the moment since he was able to use the theme of the show to back his claims to being a Champion that backs what he says. Who didn’t see United States Champion John Cena coming out and challenging Rollins for his Title? Why would he expect Trips/Steph to be on board with that plan? We got the tired “Authority gets one over on our hero” angle when we got the announced main event of Rollins vs. Cena for the United States Championship. The only cool thing was seeing Steph troll the crowd by making it look like she’d say yes to it.

– Given how The Miz was out continuing to brag about how he took a splash from Show the week prior and was better than Intercontinental Champion Ryback, all bets are on for that triple threat match at SummerSlam. As for the Ambrose-Show match, it was what you’d expect, as Ambrose did a lot of great selling and high-flying for Show, constantly on the upstart of a comeback before letting his guard down when Show KO-Punched him through the ropes for a countout win. Of course Show can’t walk away on top, so he crashed through the barricade like a big buffoon. It is what it is.

– The “Marvel vs. DC”-esque feud between Neville and Stardust carries on, as we got pretty much the same thing from Smackdown; fancy Neville squash, just inserting Fandango in place of Adam Rose, with a picture-perfect Red Arrow finish, followed by another odd Stardust promo on the TitanTron and a confused Neville. Love Stardust’s over-the-top demeanor and celebrating, but we shudder to think that this whole feud is over Neville having a move called Red Arrow with Stardust having beef with the “Green Arrow.” Where does it all lead though? Doesn’t feel sufficient enough for a SummerSlam match.

– While the Diva Revolution has been a blessing for instant quality action in the Division, they risk overexposure with all the mix-and-matching booking style. The Paige/Charlotte/Becky Lynch trio is a solid one, but we haven’t seen a hype video for Lynch, who is easily being overshadowed by the upstart Charlotte and Banks. They fixed some of that later on in the night, but it will still take a lot more than that. That said – the tension or “bad blood” as Tay-Tay would call it, captured between Team BAD and The PowerPaige Girls was solid in their argument over just what the Diva Revolution meant to both parties and who was really behind it all. It might’ve also helped that their match immediately followed the segment.

– Of the Divas action we saw on the show, the Paige-Banks match was the best of it. The intense hatred by the six ladies carried on here, as you really felt the battle for bragging rights was on. Paige and Banks also worked well together, on both a physical and technical level in the ring. This was no pushover Divas bout by any means. Given all the commotion on the outside, it made sense for the Referee to again eject them, but once that happened, the match got even better as all the focus was on both ladies in the ring. It was impressive seeing Banks get out of the PTO and switch it to her Bank Statement submission to make Paige tap out. Good match after it was all said and done.

– Rollins had a good opportunity to win the United States Championship by night’s end and he played up the possibility really well with a confident backstage promo. He made himself sound credible by bringing up the moments when he beat guys without any help and that Cena was only beating “the rest the company had left over.”

– Rusev has been the equivalent of a punchline as of late and this segment with him, Lana Del… Er, Summer Rae and the real Lana didn’t help him. Everybody’s favorite Bulgarian homeboy kept the sexism on fleek by bragging about how to treat a “woman who obeys.” Of course, he made her more blonde by giving her a tiny dog (“Dog Ziggler”? How original) and a headless fish. The Lana we saw here was more of the feminist leader type and while that was good to see her aggressive is back, not sure what to make of her putting Summer’s face in the fish (it’s literal, so it’s PG, we swear) and slap Rusev afterwards. It was all just kind of an “Um, okay” moment that will be another setup for bad pun lines.

– As far as the Tag Team Division, we could’ve assumed the reason they had Lucha Dragons and Los Matadores work together with Tag Team Champions Prime Time Players out on commentary was to push Los Matadores as the latest contenders since they beat PTP last week. With El Torito playing a part on the outside and Los Matadores playing to PTP half the time, that was the safe assumption. All bets were off once New Day came into the equation, though they stole the moment with them mocking Titus O’Neil’s Father of the Year award. With Lucha Dragons pulling out the win with the distraction, it only points to a multi-tag match at SummerSlam more and more for the Titles.

– As far as the angle/segment with Luke Harper “recommitting” to the Wyatt Family, it’s all good as they are killer together. If only Erick Rowan was still around. Bray Wyatt’s promo was one of his better ones, as we’re used to the “Dark Sermons ” by now. A lot of it was filler though we got the gist that they were back together. Good imagery though with Wyatt’s “Pet Talk.”

– The Charlotte/Lynch-Nikki Bella/Alicia Fox match was the weaker divas match, but of still passable quality. Charlotte got good time in the match to perform, but played up Lynch’s hot tag, who ended up winning by submission with the Disarmer. The fatigue was set in on the crowd by this point though.

– Fans were looking forward to the Owens-Orton match from the get-go and safe to say were satisfied with what we got from the action. The two held nothing back from trash talk to harsh strikes and kicks. The two works similar styles so it was fun to all watch go down. Sheamus on commentary made sense as far as his feud with Orton and airing his new “agreement” with Owens, but he lacked a presence at the booth and didn’t really factor until he literally stopped the match by causing the DQ when he attacked Orton. Cesaro making the save also made sense here with his beef with Owens, though Owens got the last laugh with the Pop-Up Powerbomb. We can probably expect a tag match with these four on Smackdown, huh?

– Cena’s backstage promo provided some good last-second hype for his big main event with Rollins and didn’t have anything we never heard before.

– What went in feeling like a “going through the motions” match since these two are rumored to work together at SummerSlam for Rollins’ Title, it made sense for them to face off here since Cena would need to beat Rollins to be in line for the Title shot in the first place. Once we got the stiff knee from Rollins that broke Cena’s nose, we got a winner of a main event that saw Cena show off his toughness by fighting through the broken nose and only added to the competitive nature of the bout. Rollins also pulled out some killer moves, that double suplex from the top rope was a jaw-dropping moment for a great near-fall. The false finishes here simply worked and the finish was acceptable in sealing Cena’s great effort. Only problem is that with this match probably happening at SumemrSlam, did we get too much given away here, since it pretty much took a broken nose for fans to take the first step in buying into the match? Time will tell, but they’ve done a good job with the feud thus far if we’ll get matches like that.

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– The Big Show def. Dean Ambrose via countout

– Neville def. Fandango via pinfall

– Sasha Banks (w/Naomi, Tamina) def. Paige (w/Becky Lynch, Charlotte) via submission

– The Lucha Dragons def. Los Matadores (w/El Torito) via pinfall

– Becky Lynch/Charlotte (w/Paige) def. Alicia Fox/Nikki Bella via submission

– Randy Orton def. Kevin Owens via DQ

– United States Championship – John Cena (Champion) def. Seth Rollins via pinfall to retain 

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 28-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on July 28, 2015, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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