Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 7/11/16: Rollins The Reporter

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By 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 7/11/16)

Rollins The Reporter

– We applauded the Battle Royale opener to decide who’d challenge WWE United States Champion The Miz at Battleground that featured the likes of Darren Young, Apollo Crews, The Usos, The Dudley Boyz, The Vaudevillains, The Ascension, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, Alberto Del Rio, The Golden Truth and Jack Swagger. It switched things up and also gave us Young’s long-awaited “re-debut,” who now had Bob Backlund at ringside. Thankfully, Crews also got a televised entrance and even Corbin was pushed like a beast here to the end. Miz’s pre-taped promo was well-delivered and he stood on commentary, even if he messed up a few lines. The finish was okay, just wasn’t a fan of how Young was the winner mainly for how he stood in the background as Crews/Corbin went over the top rope together. Perhaps it wasn’t the planned finish? Crews looked like he tried to hold on, but fell with Corbin. Luckily, the crowd bought into it and they chanted for Young as he and Backlund celebrated in the ring. Young was later hyped for a SmackDown appearance on MizTV, so that could also be fun.

– The backstage segment with Stephanie McMahon, Shane McMahon and Seth Rollins hyped Vince McMahon’s later arrival and also had Rollins set up the idea of “The Rollins Report,” where he’d reveal a video that showed how “disrespectful Roman Reigns was to the WWE Universe.” We had some slight sibling quarrels, as the whole thing happened from Steph as she rejected Shane’s original idea to have Rollins on the “Ambrose Asylum.” You could also speculate that Rollins would pull something funny out of his hat later on with this promise.

– It was also known at this point that Brock Lesnar would fight Randy Orton at SummerSlam and they hyped him up with his last victory from that weekend’s UFC 200 Pay-Per-View and they also hyped Orton’s return, set to happen at Battleground when he’d be a guest at Chris Jericho’s “Highlight Reel.”

– The backstage segment with Zack Ryder, WWE United States Champion Rusev, Lana and Sheamus was a follow-up to what we saw on SmackDown as Ryder heeded Rusev’s words and challenged him to a Title match later, only to be set up by a sneak attack from Sheamus, who reminded him that they had a scheduled match next and then Rusev simply stepped over the fallen Ryder. Well, that didn’t make him look stronger, but was in line with his underdog character.

– The Sheamus-Ryder match carried off their interactions last week when Ryder got the best of Sheamus with two consecutive pinfalls on Raw and SmackDown, respectively. Ryder rocked a more aggressive nature, but this was what we initially thought – a platform for Sheamus to get his heat back and he won with the Brogue Kick. Not surprisingly post-match, Rusev picked up the pieces and accepted Ryder’s challenge whilst he had the Accolade in place. We assume that was for Battleground.

– A push for Breezango? It must be Christmas or something. There was a little backstory to their match against The Lucha Dragons when Kalisto splashed water in Tyler Breeze’s face after he sneakily tried to insult them in English, unbeknownst that they understood what he meant. The match mainly involved LD’s athleticism, swift in some parts thanks to Kalisto and a noteworthy finish where Breeze stiffly kicked Kalisto hung in the corner and slammed him to the canvas to pin him with tights pulled for the decisive win. At the same time, the win wasn’t met with much care from commentary, who found it more useful to discuss the possibility of these teams and a potential split come the Brand Extension.

– One of the show’s highlights was the “Rollins Report” in-ring segment with Rollins and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose. We had a fierce promo exchange between Champion and challenger and with some time left to pass before Battleground, a one-on-one Title match was set up between the two for the next Raw to decide who’d be Champion come Battleground. Guess this was to give Rollins what he wanted and further establish Ambrose as a fighting Champion. As for Rollins’ exclusive video, it was obvious that it’d be doctored footage with real footage of past Reigns sit-down interviews mixed with footage of Rollins as he asked “hard” questions. Rollins had a solid argument when he brought up that he couldn’t be beat for that Title and that Ambrose stole it from him from behind. Ambrose might’ve had his best promo in the year as he snapped back that he went through hell to get to the belt and would do more to keep it as he put himself over as the “King of the Industry.” There was a tease of this match on this show, but was pushed back a week to get more heat on Rollins, as he’d have it on “his terms.” Still, a great segment overall that increased our interests in the short-term.

– We had significant progress in the Sami Zayn-Kevin Owens feud, as this time, Zayn was on commentary for the Owens-Cesaro match. Well, almost. There was a nice twist to this “ringside presence” game, as Owens was shown backstage in refusal to go out until Zayn was removed, which was approved by Steph. Zayn revealed that Shane had given him approval to be there and before you knew it, tempers flared and they briefly fought until separated.

– Mr. McMahon’s backstage promo hyped the final segment in that he’d name SmackDown’s new Commissioner. A hook, you say?

– The Owens-Cesaro match was quite excellent upon retrospect, as it was a physical back-and-forth encounter. Cesaro even donned JBL’s hat for a crossbody for some added fun to the uppercut party. A close, even-handed bout that came down to the last move and we liked that it was Owens who got the clean win with a new kind of finisher, sort of a variation to a Torture Rack-esque swinging neckbreaker. No name to it yet, but it looked vicious. The post-match angle was another well-done brawl between Zayn/Owens as Zayn came from the crowd as Owens bragged on commentary after his victory. They also had Cesaro get a little revenge as he hit the Big Swing on Owens when Zayn threw him back into the ring. Guess their tension has come and passed.

– The Club’s backstage promo pushed the tag match for later that pitted Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson against Enzo Amore/Big Cass, which hyped the Six-Man Tag for Battleground that would also add John Cena and AJ Styles to the mix. The Club tried to argue that Cena didn’t care about anybody as his reason for being in Los Angeles in preparation of his open of the next day’s ESPY Awards. They also dropped their signature “Beat Up John Cena!” line. Perhaps it’ll make a t-shirt one glorious day.

– The Titus O’Neil-Heath Slater was fairly average for a glorified squash. Social Outcasts cut a pre-taped promo that poked fun at O’Neil’s latest failed attempts to rescue America and his kids. Yup, anything SO-related doesn’t light our candles so. At least O’Neil looked good here, as he won with the Clash of The Titus.

– Sasha Banks’ backstage promo gave some good hype for her match with Dana Brooke to come later, as she also talked about how she wasn’t fazed by WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte and the heel duo’s attempts to mock her and she emphasized how she thought about this match all weekend and she wouldn’t get mad, but instead get real.

– When a feud was first hinted between WWE World Tag Team Champions The New Day and Bray Wyatt/Erick Rowan/Braun Strowman of The Wyatt Family, we were nervous of this being more about jokes than an intense battle of fear. Thankfully, Xavier Woods and his serious nature compared to his fun-loving ND partners in Kofi Kingston/Big E have helped this feud progress tremendously. The video package that highlighted ND’s visit to the Wyatt Compound was well-done if you could abandon the thought of a film crew being there to show the footage in such raw fashion. It came off incredibly sleek and the camera styles benefitted things. As for what it actually was, it was mainly a back-and-forth brawl where ND barely escaped with their lives by the end. Liked the added effects of there being distant figures in white sheep masks and fireflies in the air. Strowman was also shirtless, which was also different. Maybe this WWE’s answer to TNA’s “The Final Deletion”? Bravo to the video production team though. This feud was way better than anticipated.

– The Gallows/Anderson-Enzo/Cass featured a decent promo exchange beforehand as Team SWAFT once again explained their intentions to team with Cena as to stop The Club from takeover of the whole roster. Styles dropped the point that Cena didn’t care about them because he wasn’t in the building. The action was good while it lasted, but we expected a fluky finish of sorts so we weren’t too disappointed when Styles threw Cass over the barricade for the DQ, but also set up the effective post-match angle where Cena made an appearance to make the save when Club had Enzo surrounded. Like last time, the faces cleared the heels from the ring and it was on.

– The Banks-Brooke match was a decent match designed for Banks to put in a gutsy effort as she was on the lower hand for more than half the match. Charlotte was also a distraction at ringside as she cheered Brooke on, until Banks had the Bank Statement on and she pulled an NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn when she used her foot to flip back over away from the ropes as Brooke drew closer, which caused her to tap out. The post-match promo exchange between Charlotte and Banks was good as the Champ “wasn’t convinced” and told Banks to beat Brooke again on SmackDown for a chance at her Title. Another match set up for SmackDown. They’ve done good with that hype.

– The final segment with Vince, Shane and Steph was obvious newsworthy in the sense that we know knew that Shane would be the SmackDown Commissioner and Steph would be Raw’s, before the more confusing news that they’d both need to seek separate General Managers for their shows. Thought Commissioners and GMs did the same thing in terms of authority. Besides that, it was your basic McMahon promo segment where Shane/Steph try to one-up each other and Vince played the harsh critic in the middle. Guess they tried to garner some interest at the end with the Steph/Shane exchange, but other than Steph’s slap, nothing to report here. Did like how Shane referenced his return in the same building where it happened. Yup, the show ended as commentary yelled “Game on!” but we’d need more convincing of this. Maybe they’ll follow this up well on SmackDown.






Quick Results

  • Winner Faces WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz At WWE Battleground – Battle Royale – Darren Young (w/Bob Backlund) def. Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, Baron Corbin, Viktor, Konnor, Dolph Ziggler, Apollo Crews, Alberto Del Rio, Aiden English, Simon Gotch, Goldust, R-Truth, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso and Jack Swagger 
  • Sheamus def. Zack Ryder via pinfall 
  • Breezango def. The Lucha Dragons via pinfall 
  • Kevin Owens def. Cesaro via pinfall 
  • Titus O’Neil def. Heath Slater (w/Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel) via pinfall
  • Enzo Amore/Big Cass def. Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson (w/AJ Styles) via DQ
  • Sasha Banks def. Dana Brooke (w/Charlotte) 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.

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