Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 8/17/15: The Beast Comes Home

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 8/17/15)

The Beast Comes Home 

– Nothing says “go-home show” like an old fashioned Triple H-Stephanie McMahon opening promo to the show… They plugged WWE SummerSlam on the WWE Network (four hours, mind you) and they ran through the whole card, though someone hit the John Cena-Seth Rollins graphic too soon. Shucks. They hyped Roman Reigns vs Luke Harper, Nikki Bella vs Sasha Banks for later in the show. Seems that announcing matches earlier in the show worked the last time, made sense to do it again here.

– The Randy Orton/Cesaro-Kevin Owens/Sheamus tag team match was a smart way to combine two feuds/SummerSlam matches into one bout. If you’ve been following WWE the last few weeks, this should be no shock to you about Orton-Sheamus being a match. You had a little bit of everything here: Orton and Sheamus squaring off but not giving away too much, the ever-growing popularity of Cesaro and his outstanding athleticism (we’ll excuse the top rope botch) and the cowardice/brutality/trolling of Owens. Despite some rough, less-than-slick botched ring work, the finish was pretty good – as Orton RKO’d Sheamus after being shoved into that direction by Owens, who was held down by Cesaro, giving the faces momentum.

– The Undertaker’s “foggy” promo was quite theatrical, but was eerie and downright perfect. Did he say much? No, not really, but it worked within the context of the setting. The reaper is calling Lesnar’s name and there is no remorse or regret. Eternal damnation? Why not?

– The WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins/Trips/Steph backstage segment had Rollins ask if it was all legit as far as the contract and implied getting his own statue at WWE Headquarters amongst the greats if he beat Cena. Funny. However, little things like that make us think Rollins is definitely not going over cleanly, unless WWE actually wants to spend money to build a Rollins statue.

– The Reigns-Harper match with Ambrose on commentary was a Smackdown repeat, which had us be shown highlights with the brawl between all four men after Wyatt stopped Harper from being pinned. Ambrose also brought a perfect amount of ferocity and “loose cannon” behavior to commentary, also emphasizing his hatred for all things Wyatt and comparing the rivalry to cats and dogs. The match itself was pretty strong, as Reigns and Harper battled it out, Reigns making a strong comeback despite some tough kicks to the jaw by Harper.

– The Becky Lynch-Tamina match was another “original” match from the silly Diva faction warfare. Team Bella was also shown watching on a backstage monitor. Wonder how that all works, that they all find the same monitor backstage to watch the match on, all the time. The match wasn’t much to marvel over. Tamina’s stance as a bodyguard likely gave the nod to Lynch, who won with the Disarmer in her first Raw singles match.

– The Rusev-Mark Henry match with Lana on commentary pushed the Lana-Summer/Rusev tensions further. Why is Henry the sacrificial lamb constantly? Lana was okay on commentary, though she didn’t do much to sell Summer’s Accolade last week besides robotically say, “My neck hurt for a while.” Really? Not surprisingly, Rusev beat Henry with the Accolade, despite Henry fighting out of it initially. Lana did look tough by calling out Summer/Rusev to the ring for a fight, even slapping Summer to the ground, setting the stage for a Dolph Ziggler return, which drew a big pop from the crowd. Obvious SummerSlam match implications.

– Ziggler/Lana’s backstage promo put over the reaction, as Ziggler mentioned the SummerSlam card and pushed for a match against Rusev, one-on-one. Fans might’ve been more receptive for a tag match, but we’d get the same shenanigans either way.

– The Intercontinental Champion Ryback-Miz match with Big Show on commentary was all to push the big triple threat with all three. Show even had the backing of a new “movie” to help him bad-mouth Miz, who used that as fuel for his promo to the ring. The match itself was okay for what it was, which saw Ryback take down Miz with Shellshocked. Ryback then called out Show after the bell, who didn’t accept it and walked up the ramp. Good call to hold off.

– The “Title vs. Title” match contract signing segment did what it had to do. Rollins did his usual bragging and talked about Cena not wanting to accept his challenge in-person and threw in some insults towards Minnesota, going further to call Cena a villain holding the future hostage as a “disease.” Cena’s response – despite a few hiccups – was perfect, painting doubt on Rollins from the perspective of legacy, referring to the 16-time reign he’d get if he wins. The “bitch” line was also a big seller. Trips and Steph’s facial expressions throughout the whole segment were great here. Also liked that there were no brawls or anything like that. We still get the slight feeling that we won’t get a straight result at the end, despite it being a good match most likely. Something has got to go down. Perhaps Kane?

– The Prime Time Players/Lucha Dragons-Big E/Kofi Kingston/Los Matadores match was all about pushing the multi-tag match at SummerSlam. New Day’s “rhyming” promo to the ring was funny, and makes us think they’ll come close as second favorites in the actual SummerSlam match. A second reign could very well be possible. We knew things would break down on the outside sooner or later with Woods and Torito and it led to Lucha Dragons scoring the pin. Okay hype that was propelled by New Day.

– The King Barrett/Stardust “dark lights” promo pushed the tag match against Neville and Stephen Amell. Barrett used cliche royalty lines, while Stardust was better here. Cosmic King? Okay… We can kind of dig it. Considering all the buzz Amell got last week on social media, why was he not featured on the show? Even a video package of him training would’ve sufficed.

– The Banks-Nikki Bella match was okay in retrospect, though it clearly suffered from third-hour fatigue from the crowd, who only seemed to care more about wanting Lesnar. The big news here was that Banks made Nikki tap out thanks to a distraction by Naomi.

– Team PCB’s response backstage promo didn’t really establish anything original. They’re all sticking together? Fantastic. Surely the other teams are doing the same as well.

– The final “Brock’s Homecoming” segment with Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker and Paul Heyman was a worthy close to the show, excelling in an environment very hot for Lesnar. Heyman’s promo again sold the match, focusing on WrestleMania XXX and the low blow at Battleground. On a second Taker tease, he reappeared and did exactly what he did at Battleground, right down to the low blow. Does this certify Taker as a heel in this instance? Strong way to end the show, which gets heat on Taker, if that was the goal in front of Lesnar’s home crowd.






Quick Results

  • Randy Orton/Cesaro def. Kevin Owens/Sheamus via pinfall
  • Roman Reigns def. Luke Harper (w/Bray Wyatt) via pinfall
  • Becky Lynch (w/Paige, Charlotte) def. Tamina (w/Naomi, Sasha Banks) via submission
  • Rusev (w/Summer Rae) def. Mark Henry via submission
  • Ryback def. The Miz via pinfall
  • Eight-Man Tag – The Prime Time Players/Lucha Dragons def. Big E/Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods)/Los Matadores (w/El Torito) via pinfall
  • Sasha Banks (w/Naomi, Tamina) def. Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella, Alicia Fox) via submission 

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 18, 2015, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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