Hits & Misses HITS & MISSES - 7/6 WWE Raw: Heyman's Opening Promo, Lesnar Destroys a Car, Cesaro vs. Cena, Presentation of Kevin Owens, more
Jul 8, 2015 - 3:56:20 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Specialist
Heyman's Promo: This was far from Paul Heyman's best work on the mic, but it was still good enough to get a Hit. Part of my positive attitude towards this promo is just the fact that we have missed Heyman's presence on Raw since the night after WrestleMania. I think there is going to be a bit of an adjustment period for Heyman with Brock Lesnar as a babyface. But, it won't be a huge adjustment as he was basically cutting babyface promos for Lesnar in the WM build up despite Lesnar still sort of being a heel at that point. Here, Heyman did a good job of getting the fans hyped to see Lesnar taking Seth Rollins to Suplex City which was the goal of the promo. So fans should have been wanting to watch the rest of the show.
Rusev Destroys Ziggler: I continue to dislike the storyline involving Rusev, Lana, Dolph Ziggler and now Summer Rae. Rusev, Lana and Ziggler have all been hurt by it. The performances from all four have been bad. There is zero chemistry from either couple. Rusev was actually a pretty dominant heel United States Champion who didn't need much help from Lana to retain the Title. So it sounded disingenuous of Ziggler to say that Lana was the best thing that ever happened to Rusev. This was another bad segment, but I am giving it a Hit because I did like the fact that Rusev beat down Ziggler with the crutch. It worked well as a surprise that his ankle is now healed. Rusev wrestling is better than sad Rusev out of the ring, so I am hopeful that he can get back on track here. Plus with an apparent throat injury, Ziggler might not be able to talk for awhile, which is a good thing.
Lesnar Destroys a Car: Seth Rollins' plan to call out Brock Lesnar so that he and J&J Security could beat him up with axe handles wasn't the best plan I guess. The pure visual of Lesnar destroying J&J's new $50,000 cadillac was great. We've seen similar segments multiple times with heels getting their cars destroyed by babyfaces, but this one really stands out because of the pure physicality that Lesnar brought to it. I was particularly impressed when he ripped off the door and flung it towards (and apparently into?) the crowd. The beating he then gave Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury was very memorable. I loved that belly-to-belly overhead suplex onto the car. Lesnar needed to get momentum back and this worked well to achieve that goal.
Cesaro vs. Cena: This was another very good match between Cesaro and John Cena for the United States Title. I think last week's match was better. This one suffered from a few sloppy moments. I didn't like Cesaro's spring board uppercut. The physics of it don't work for me (his body is going down, so he can't have that much force with his arm coming up). The spring board stunner always looks bad, and this one missed totally. Cesaro was off on his aim on a few of those uppercuts. The announcers did a nice job covering for some of those spots, so it could have been worse. I don't want to sound too down on this match. I did enjoy it. As I said, it was a very good match. The power shown by both Cesaro and Cena is amazing. They have great chemistry in the ring together. I like the use of the cross face from Cesaro, so I hope this goes forward as a new move for him where he actually gets some tap out wins with it. I also like that we got a clean win here after the interference from Kevin Owens last week. So, while I liked last week's match more, this was still a great main event.
Kane's Vacation Photos: I said last week that I had a guilty desire to watch the cheesy video from Kane's Hawaiian vacation. I guess the lesson here is to be careful what you wish for. Instead of a video, WWE showed multiple times throughout Raw horribly photoshopped pictures of Kane on vacation. This was worse than I imagined. They were just in Japan. Couldn't they have Kane stop off with a camera crew on the way home in Hawaii to actually get some pictures or video footage? Or couldn't they find a beach in Japan that could have filled in for Hawaii? The pictures looked so fake, I almost thought it was a bad set up for the Authority to make it look like Kane was on vacation, since he was clearly not in Hawaii, so that he could surprise Lesnar by actually being at Raw. In the grand scheme of things these bad pics aren't a big deal, but they took away from my enjoyment of the show.
Ryback vs. Big Show: I groaned a little when this was the first match of the show. I'm just not interested in seeing Ryback wrestle The Big Show. The match was ok, but I did not enjoy The Miz's obnoxious antics with the mic at ring side. I have not been a fan of this feud as Miz never seemed to belong in it. WWE needs to find ways to promote matches at PPVs (or special events) which don't involve having multiple matches ahead of time with the wrestlers in those matches facing each other. By the time we get to Battleground, we will likely have seen Ryback vs. Show, Ryback vs. Miz, and Show vs. Miz and other forms of the match ups as well. It gets old. I don't want to see that Intercontinental Championship match. The post-match angle with Show and Ryback getting revenge on Miz was also too long and drawn out.
Sheamus vs. Reigns: The match itself between Sheamus and Roman Reigns was solid. They worked well together and had a good enough match. My issue is that the ending was lame with the Bray Wyatt look alike. It is odd to me that with the lights out and all the distractions that the referee was able to continue to count to 10. I do appreciate the fact that there was an announced winner of the match, but I thought they could have gotten there in a better way. A bigger issue to me is why this match was happening in the first place. After what happened last week with Wyatt physically dominating Reigns to end Raw, Reigns needed a much stronger response this week. Or really any response would have done. This is a case where a promo or an interview with Reigns would have been a better idea. If it happened in the ring, you could have still had the mind games played at the end with the Wyatt look alike, it just wouldn't have cost him a meaningless match. Sheamus could have had a squash match to keep him strong, by actually getting a pin on someone. That could have led to the attack afterwards by Randy Orton. So, ultimately this Miss is for having this match, not for the quality of the match itself.
Barrett vs. R-Truth: King Barrett should have gotten a quick squash over King What's Up. I'm glad he won in a clean and convincing manner, but this match should not have gone nearly 9 minutes with a commercial break. This match should have been 4 minutes tops. I hope that this is the end of the silly gimmick with Truth and his plunger scepter, but I somehow doubt it. I just hope Barrett gets back on track soon.
Kevin Owens: I agreed with the move to have Kevin Owens lose the NXT Title at the Beast in the East special over the weekend. He should move on to the main roster and leave the NXT Title behind. But after losing it, he needed a strong night on Raw to help him move on now that he is cemented on the main roster. I liked what he said when he came out to accept Cena's US Open Challenge, that he used to want the US Title, but now that he lost his NXT Title, he needs it. I was confused when he backed away from Cesaro without any fight. Cesaro came out and said he wanted the match instead, and Owens just left. What? Cena could have been on earlier in the night to say that he had already accepted Cesaro's challenge for the US Title after what happened last week. Owens could have been on separately for a promo addressing losing the NXT Title and vowing to win the US Title at Battleground. That would've built anticipation for an announced main event. And it may have afforded Cesaro a chance for an interview in the back with Renee Young instead of the poor promo he gave in interrupting Owens. Regardless of how they got to Cesaro vs. Cena, Owens should have gotten the better of Cena afterwards. After a 30 minute physically grueling match, Super Cena should not have have been able to fight off Owens' attack. Owens' appearances before and after the main event made him look very weak. This was by far the worst presentation of Owens since his debut.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com's WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at his NEW email address - firstname.lastname@example.org.
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For another view from the original Hitlist author, compare Jason Powell's views to mine by visiting prowrestling.NET's "Hitlist" section here.
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