Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 8/3/15: Champions Survive

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 8/3/15)

Champions Survive

– As always with WWE and paying respects to passing legends, the on-screen tribute to Rowdy Roddy Piper was classy, with all the talent on stage wearing “Hot Rod!” shirts, his music playing out the scene, followed by a great video package.

– Things started with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins bragging about his nose-breaking injury to John Cena to a pro-heel crowd, doing what he could with it by playing the sarcastic sympathy card for heat. Rollins proposed a “Title vs. Title” match at SummerSlam, using it as a way to make himself sound good by Cena needing to show up or risk forfeiting his Title. Nothing was made official of course, so perhaps WWE is waiting to hear on word of Cena’s medical condition before moving forward with plans. It was also a good lead-in to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship “open challenge.” Rollins’ new “Never Shuts Up, You Can’t See Knee” shirt also helped add to the segment. It’s like “Owen 3:16 I Just Broke Your Neck” all over again.

– Rollins’ in-ring promo verified the legitimacy of his challenge, with The Authority making it someone who needs to be under six feet tall and under 200 pounds, everyone expecting it to be El Torito or other enhancement talent. Nice sudden swerve for it to be Neville after El Torito’s music hit. It was a nice surprise, but people had to be skeptical if Neville would actually win the belt. Something had to give, unless Neville gave a great performance. Luckily, that’s what we got and more, as this was even better than their first encounter, Neville brought something extra to the table, with some very close near-falls. Rollins also looked good by avoiding being in position for the Red Arrow numerous times. The Red Arrow near-fall was brilliantly done with the crowd’s reaction taken into account. Good finish when Neville missed the second attempt going right into the Pedigree. That might’ve been Neville’s best performance to date actually.

– The eight-man tag match was literally a repeat from Smackdown in every sense – as it was The Lucha Dragons/Los Matadores against The Ascension/Kofi Kingston/Big E with the Tag Team Champions Prime Time Players on commentary. El Torito must feel bad he missed a World Title shot by about 20 minutes. Match was entertaining while it lasted – a bit more contained with some nice outside dives, but this ended with Kingston hitting a top rope Trouble In Paradise to get the win. If they are building to a multi-team match at SummerSlam, then they should tone down on all these six and eight-man tags, because it takes all the novelty out of it. Unfortunately, WWE won’t heed these plans, since we’ll have another six-man tag on Smackdown with The Prime Time Players/Mark Henry vs. The New Day.

– The Bella Twins-Charlotte/Becky Lynch match saw boxed promos from both teams; Team Bella showing confidence with the Championship, being proud to be the target and Team Paige giving their perspective on the “Diva Revolution,” which was all fine and good. Are they now the “Submission Sorority”? Very cheesy name. We still think Power-Paige Girls was a good fit. The action was entertaining, and it also made sense to show Team BAD watching backstage. There’s still a tendency for these matches to feel like pointless battles, but at least the finish showed Charlotte making Divas Champion Nikki Bella tap out to the Figure Eight.

– Team BAD’s backstage promo responded to the last match and involved Naomi challenging Paige to a match later on and used some heat with Ronda Rousey talks for the segment. Naomi was good here at least.

– The MizTV segment with Kevin Owens and Cesaro was interesting in terms of seeing heel Miz pay homage to Piper for the wrestling talk show influence, which would draw cheers. Owens’ portion of the segment was brief as he played to Miz as a big fan of his. Cesaro coming out drew a great reaction and the fans pulled out all the “Cesaro Section” signs, which was a great visual. The back-and-forth between Cesaro and Owens was great, as Cesaro called Owens an embarrassment who walks away, while Owens claimed he accomplished more in three months than in Cesaro’s three years. Also liked the improv remark Cesaro made when Owens’ chair got stuck to him after he stood up. Also liked how The Miz sold his happiness to watching his guests fight but was dissed by Owens and then shoved into Cesaro. The physical scramble between Cesaro and Owens was also fun to watch. Owens walked away from it, bragging about fighting on his own terms.

– The Rusev-Mark Henry match was a basic buffer, as Rusev worked in all his usual spots, but no Accolade this time. Yup – the guy who is teaming with the Tag Champs later in the week can’t even beat Rusev, who he probably outweighs by a good 100 pounds or so. WWE logic.

– The latest Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper fog promo was more good stuff with a flower as a metaphorical representation of Roman Reigns and his partnership with Dean Ambrose. Interesting to also see Sheamus thrown into this magical room, but it served as passable main event hype.

– The King Barrett-Zack Ryder match was another buffer bout for Barrett as he cut yet another generic King promo. His character still isn’t going anywhere worthwhile. It’s beyond apparent there are no clear plans.

– The Paul Heyman/Brock Lesnar promo was much like any usual Heyman promo – well-delivered and logical. He essentially called Taker a “bitch” and made the argument that Lesnar would eliminate Taker forever. Heyman sold that SummerSlam match as if he were a car salesman selling the last car on earth. “The Match That Is Too Big For WrestleMania”? Exactly. Also liked the visual aide of Lesnar standing on the steel steps above Heyman, as he spoke.

– The Paige-Naomi match had some good in-ring action while it went on, with Naomi working in some convincing offense, but ended up tapping out to the PTO, keeping the “Submission Sorority” in power, or something like that. The Divas should elaborate a bit more about what being “on top” entails for them. Is it more than just the Championship? This faction warfare is going to grow stale quickly if they run through all these match combos too soon.

– Stardust’s Facebook interview promo talked about how Neville pandered to the crowd and ended up losing for it earlier. We also got the announcement that Stephen Amell would be on Raw next week in Seattle. SummerSlam match/angle imminent.

– The Reigns/Ambrose backstage promo had Ambrose also pay homage to Piper, and Reigns was good showing a fighting attitude. Orton’s appearance sold his feelings of wanting to get his hands on Sheamus also made sense here. Call us crazy, but we can actually a bit of “Hot Rod” in how Ambrose carries himself.

– The six-man tag main event between Orton/Reigns/Ambrose and Wyatt/Harper/Sheamus was mostly entertaining despite a few sloppy rough spots, but it actually added to it, if that makes sense. The fans were hot for the final minutes and it ended with Reigns getting the pin on Sheamus after he Speared him. Nothing that advanced any storylines despite the faces winning, but there is still ample time before SummerSlam to address all that.






Quick Results

  • WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Open Challenge – Seth Rollins (Champion) def. Neville via pinfall to retain
  • Eight-Man Tag – Kofi Kingston/Big E (w/Xavier Woods)/The Ascension def. The Lucha Dragons/Los Matadores (w/El Torito) via pinfall
  • Charlotte/Becky Lynch (w/Paige) def. The Bella Twins (w/Alicia Fox) via submission
  • Rusev (w/Summer Rae) def. Mark Henry via pinfall
  • King Barrett def. Zack Ryder via pinfall
  • Paige (w/Charlotte, Becky Lynch) def. Naomi (w/Sasha Banks, Tamina) via submission 
  • Six-Man Tag – Randy Orton/Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose def. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Sheamus via pinfall

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-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, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on August 6, 2015, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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