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Raw Aug. 4th; or, Buy My Network! Buy My Network!

I’ll always be an advocate for professional wrestling because when professional wrestling is good professional wrestling is great. The WWE was red hot going into this year’s Wrestlemania and felt like it was going to be unstoppable. The guys from the Shield were getting pushed, Daniel Bryan was on top of the world, Triple H and Stephanie were amazing heels and Batista was right up there with them with his “deal with it” gimmick. Bray Wyatt and Cesaro were on the hook for becoming huge, mega-stars and everything looked great.

Then everything died down. Then this summer happened. What happened? WWE Summerslam is in two weeks time now. The John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar match has the potential to be violent, fun and one of the better beatings of the year, many seeing it as a no-brainer that Brock Lesnar walks out as champion. So, of course, right when it comes time to build up to this match, John Cena needs to take time away for film obligations and, of course, Brock Lesnar’s contract only calls for a few dates a year.

So instead we have Triple H opening up the show with a segment where he tried to get fans to repeat “$9.99” after he talked about the value of the WWE Network. Last week the WWE announced disappointing subscription numbers for the WWE Network and this week went into overdrive mode trying to sell people on the WWE Network. This would have been a great idea to do, oh, I don’t know, the past few months, instead of the week after you report your quarterly results.

I mean, JBL wrote “$9.99” in blue pen on a piece of paper and was holding it up at the camera, Jerry Lawler tried to get a hashtag going for #9.99, which anyone who uses Twitter knows, won’t work because of the period. This felt like Billy Mays was reaching from the grave to sell everyone on the greatest new innovation that he’s discovered since that time he discovered how much cocaine his body could ingest before his heart imploded.

This was a three hour show and it felt every second of that three minutes. Let’s try, though, to find some good in this.

Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins are Amazing Together, Considering the Material

This segment wasn’t great. In fact, if this were any other guys, this would have just completely buried them and made zero sense. Instead, both guys kind of made it work, but it still makes next-to-no sense. Seth Rollins is a part of the all-powerful “Authority,” yet Dean Ambrose can come out, take his briefcase, fill it with soda, popcorn and JBL’s hat, rip up the contract and distract Rollins to the point where Heath Slater gets a pinfall victory over him.

If this was quicker, done in a hit-and-run style segment, where Ambrose comes out, takes the contract, rips it up and Slater rolls up Rollins it would have made a lot of sense. Instead, it went on for the entirety of the match. Why? It was still entertaining, but it made no sense.

Stardust Back in the Ring

Finally, Stardust and Goldust are back in the ring. But, once again, it’s against Ryback and Curtis Axel. How many times do these guys have to work together? There are other tag teams in the WWE and there are guys who aren’t utilized on television but still pick up a paycheck. Cody debuts his new finisher, which is a Flatliner/Complete Shot.

Ambrose Gets the Workrate Spot

We did get a 15-minute Dean Ambrose match on Raw this week, the only problem was that it was against Alberto Del Rio. I’m not sure why, but ADR just hasn’t been compelling to watch in the ring for… Well, his entire WWE run. This match was okay, but felt like kind of a waste of a perfectly good Dean Ambrose match on ADR.

Let’s hope that next week’s Raw makes a little bit more sense, right?

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