Hits & Misses HITS & MISSES - 8/10 WWE Raw: Owens vs. Orton vs. Cesaro #1 contender match, Miz TV, Stephen Amell, Orton vs. Rollins
Aug 13, 2015 - 6:24:29 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Specialist
Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Orton: After a rather lackluster first hour of Raw (with one Miss and a bunch of just ho-hum, thumbs in the middle type content), it was good to finally get something to like in this triple threat #1 contender match. Kevin Owens, Randy Orton and Cesaro all performed well in this match. It went 18 minutes and featured plenty of good wrestling action. The triple threat format has been done to death, but this was good execution of a stale format. All three got plenty of offense and chances to shine. I particularly liked the final sequence with Orton surprising Owens with an RKO after his failed pop up powerbomb, and then hitting Cesaro with one as well. Orton going over makes the most sense given the circumstances, and Cesaro taking the pin does as well.
Ambrose and Reigns: I was amused by Dean Ambrose's ramblings about not having friends growing up. Roman Reigns did a good job as well in putting a stop to those ramblings. This backstage vignette was a nice throwback to those old Shield videos. They have good chemistry together and it showed here. They did a nice job of contrasting their relationship with the relationship between Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper. At the same time, they also played up their own differences in personality.
Undertaker - Lesnar Video: This was a very good video about the upcoming rematch between The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar. It put the match in proper historical context. It gave multiple wrestlers, past and present, a chance to comment on the match. They successfully painted a picture of this being a different Undertaker than the one that faced Lesnar at WrestleMania 30 when Lesnar broke the streak. I have said all along that I don't want to see another match between these two. I am still not sold on the fact that they will put on a great match, but after Paul Heyman's great promo last week and this very good video this week, WWE is at least doing everything they can to make this match feel like the can't miss match of the year.
Stephan Amell: I don't know who this guy is. I mean I know who he is, but I have never watched "Arrow". I don't think I've ever seen him in anything else. I don't remember ever seeing him interviewed. And I'm not a fan of Stardust. I am not a fan of what WWE has done with Stardust and Neville. King Barrett's involvement seems odd and tacked on, like they needed someone else involved and they picked Barrett's name out of a hat. All that being said, I did like Amell's performance in the backstage scene with Triple H. I like that he is taking this seriously. He isn't doing what some celebs have done in terms of making it too tongue-in-cheek. It was also crazy to hear someone actually stand up to Triple H and cut him off at times. I wish an actual babyface member of the roster had those same balls. So I liked the performance in a poor context, so I will call this a marginal Hit.
Orton vs. Rollins: This is another marginal Hit. Randy Orton and Seth Rollins have faced too many times for this to feel special at this point (which is why it made sense to save a newer match up for a later time). These two do work well together and can sleep walk their way through a good match and that's what I feel they did here. It was good. It was 13 minutes and was a serviceable main event. I don't think anyone was buying into Orton as a legit possible winner of this match, so there wasn't a lot of suspense. It was well executed and the hot crowd that was great for the whole show helped. That RKO at the end was very well done to make it look like he was going to win until Sheamus interfered. The physicality after the match and the tease of the Money in the Bank cash in helped to elevate this solid match to Hit worthy status.
Opening Segment: This was a pretty lame start to Raw. Rollins was ok in his opening promo, but it wasn't particularly good. Using Conan O'Brian's old bit with John Cena on the screen was bad. It wasn't funny. Cesaro's interruption was ok. I kind of like his "and on, and on, and on..." mantra, but it isn't great. I'm not sure pointing out how boring something is (even from a heel) is a good idea. Owens was good, but either Rollins, Cesaro or an announcer should have pointed out that he too has tapped out to Cena, like he taunted Rollins for doing. And both Owens and Orton used the same Authority pun in stating that they should be #1 contender. That shouldn't happen. Triple H did set up some big matches for the show which is good. But, the opening segment on the whole was boring.
MizTV: As much as I was happy to see Daniel Bryan back inside a WWE ring, and as much as the local crowd loved seeing him, I'm not sure what was really accomplished by having him on. I hate the Seahawks, so the local cheap pop didn't work for me as a viewer at home. There were a few amusing moments during his time with The Miz, but much of it felt empty. Hearing him just list some of the things that he has been doing without giving an actual update on this condition or a tease of a return was a let down to me. WWE could have used Bryan to actually talk about the Intercontinental Championship situation. But as soon as he was asked about it, Big Show came out, playing a babyface to Miz's heel. Ryback's return was a nice surprise, and Bryan's involvement throwing Miz into the ring was fine, and the local fans ate it up. However, it didn't do much for me.
Barrett vs. Neville: A match between two wrestlers who have been presented as equals in the past who will be part of a tag team match at SummerSlam against each other, should not go just over a minute long. Obviously it was a set up for the post-match angle with Stardust and Stephan Amell. But, if you are planning that angle, and if you don't have the time to give King Barrett and Neville a decent length for their match, why not have Stardust attack Neville a minute into it and cause a disqualification?
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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