Last week’s Monday Night Raw was something of a marvel. Why? Because it was not only a show that we could say, “it was good for a Raw,” but it was a legitimately great show. There were parts that dragged or didn’t quite belong, but all-in-all it was a really good show. Maybe that spoiled us a bit, maybe we all knew that WWE couldn’t keep up the momentum, but no matter what, tonight was proof that when WWE giveth, they then taketh away.
It was the return of John Cena, which, if we are honest with ourselves, meant that John Cena needed to be redeemed after being mercilessly squashed against Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. See, in WWE if there is a heel on top you need to find a way to keep the kids happy and have the good guys win. So John Cena was always going to come back and murder someone, it was just strange booking to choose him to do it to Bray Wyatt.
I’m not one of those people that when I like someone I get upset when they lose. There’s no need for that because this is a give and take situation, in wrestling you need to create tension, you need to make fans care about characters. I think that without a doubt Bray Wyatt has become one of the most important characters in the WWE today, probably the heel that gets the biggest crowd reactions week-in and week-out. Bray Wyatt shouldn’t be booked like a superman, he is clearly incredibly fallible and should take his fair share of bumps, but with two bruisers at ringside, he should be picking up cheap wins and there should be DQs and chaos whenever things are looking bad for him.
Tonight WWE chose Bray Wyatt to be the sacrificial lamb for John Cena’s fury, which in a way makes sense, because Wyatt is arguably the #2 or #3 heel behind Brock Lesnar (you could make an argument for Orton), except for the fact that Wyatt has taken more losses in singles matches of late than is healthy for the character. WWE attempted to avoid the mark of shame of a loss for Wyatt by turning the match into a six-man tag match, but Cena was still the superman over the entire Wyatt Family at the end.
I get that John Cena needed to look strong, but jeez. WWE needs to figure out how to book their heels because there just aren’t enough to sustain these mega-faces right now beyond reasonable doubt.
Anyway, let’s look at the highlights from the show.
Swagger and Rusev Do It Again
I’ll never consider myself a Jack Swagger fan, but you gotta give Jack Swagger credit for the series of good matches with Rusev over the past month or so. They met again on Raw and while it wasn’t a great match, it was definitely a good match and Rusev winning via stoppage gives us a solid reason to believe that he’s a monster and that Jack Swagger will never give up against him.
The Bo Dallas stuff is hilarious, but it doesn’t really fit into the whole angle. Oh well.
Dean Ambrose DOESN’T Jump Out of Something, Roman Reigns Comes Out Instead
Sure, it would have been amazing if Dean Ambrose had found a way to crash his own wake, but we all know that he’s out for at least a few weeks, so no sweat. It was legitimately surprising that Roman Reigns decided to finally approach Seth Rollins because, well, it made no sense that he no-sold the whole Rollins heel turn in the first place.
I’m not super down on Reigns for being a bit green still in the ring, but am willing to admit that he’s rough around the edges. Reigns working with Rollins will make for an entertaining match if they move forward with it for Night of Champions, for sure.
Damien Sandow Does Miz Better Than Miz Does Miz
Damien Mizdow is perhaps one of the most genious uses for Damien Sandow since he started doing this whole gimmick infringement thing. The Miz is not a guy that we enjoy watching in the ring, but Sandow is, so Ziggler vs. Sandow was quite entertaining for what it was. I’d be on board for Sandow the Miz stunt double on a regular basis while Miz does what he does best; work the mic.
Lesnar and Heyman Were There in Spirit
An interview taped last week at Raw with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman is something that we are absolutely on board with when Raw is like this. Is it as great as them being there live? Of course not, but this is better than nothing. Brock Lesnar really, really shines in these kinds of interviews.
No description needed.
Roman Reigns, Superman
Like I said before, I love the idea of Rollins and Reigns working together. This handicap match was what it was, but you are mostly watching for the post-match shenanigans anyway. Seth’s gimmick now is apparently having cinderblocks available at all times to Curb Stomp dudes onto. That one that Reigns hucked sure as hell wasn’t a fake one, that’s for sure.