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Ambrose and Rollins: This is a minor Hit as The Miz-tourage is small potatoes for a reunion between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. I am sick and tired of this never ending feud between Ambrose and The Miz. However, the performances of Ambrose and Rollins were very strong here. It is good that Ambrose is not willing to accept Rollins back with open arms. Even with all the time that has passed since Rollins turned his back on The Shield, he should still be angry. I liked how Rollins apologized to Ambrose. This was a case where the scripting and the acting were both good. The bit with Rollins telling Ambrose to hit him in the back with a chair worked well. I wish it was happening under other circumstances, but I am curious to see where they go from here. Ambrose and Rollins might move on from this to face Cesaro & Sheamus as there doesn’t seem to be another babyface option to face the Tag Champions at this point.
Bliss vs. Bayley: This was a good match. It was good to see Bayley show more fire here than she has in the past. She has been hurt with how she has been booked all year long. It seems like she is starting to get a better reaction lately, so that’s encouraging. Performances like this where she brings the fight to Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss will help. The interruptions by Nia Jax and then Sasha Banks to even the score worked fine. It was smart to have Bayley win with her finisher instead of the roll up. That was a stronger finish to the match. Next week we will see a #1 contender match between Bayley and Banks, but I have a feeling that it will end the same way this week’s main event ended, as a no contest to set up a triple threat, or even possibly a fatal four way at SummerSlam. But, that is a possibility for the Universal Title also.
No Purple Ropes: WWE finally smartened up and didn’t change the ropes from red to purple for the Cruiserweight matches on Raw this week. That is a smart move. If they want 205 Live to have a different look from Raw and Smackdown, then go with the purple ropes for that show. But, keep them red like this on Raw. They should be a part of the show, not feel like they are separate from the rest of the roster. The purple rope change has become a signal to the live audience for a bathroom break. Hopefully this will help get a stronger reaction moving forward, but it is just a start. They need to still present the Cruiserweight’s better than they do.
Hardys vs. The Revival: This was a good tag match, the first in what I’m expecting to be a very good series of matches between The Hardys and The Revival. It was a bit formulaic, but they executed that formula very well. The revival cheating to win with the distraction and then the hook of the tights leaves open a reason to have a rematch. It also is another reason why the Hardys might become broken in the future.
Reigns vs. Joe: This was a good main event until the ending. Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe were having a very strong #1 contender match to see who would face Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam for the Universal Championship. It was a nice long match. It was physical and hard hitting. Joe and Reigns have had good matches. They have a nice chemistry in the ring together. The match went back and forth nicely. They both got in a ton of offense and looked strong. I was disappointed, but not surprised by the Braun Strowman interference. If his plan was to ruin the match and not allow Reigns to win, I’m not sure why he waited so long before coming out. Reigns could have won in the first 5 minutes of the match. This is one of those moments that doesn’t make logical sense. We will have to see what happens going forward. Most people have been assuming a triple threat match or a fatal four way at SS. That is still a possibility. But, if they want to go with Reigns vs. Lesnar to save a Joe vs. Lesnar rematch for down the line, and possibly to have Reigns vs. Cena at WrestleMania, then this attack by Strowman sets up a Strowman vs. Joe match at SS. Of course, we could get Joe vs. Lesnar and Strowman vs. Reigns again. Or the triple threat, or more likely, the fatal four way. Those are all legit possibilities. Therefore, despite my disappointment in the ending of the match, it sets up some intriguing possibilities moving forward without a predictable outcome which is nice.
Interrupting Music: I know this is nothing new, but for some reason it bothered me this week enough that I had to comment on it. Why would the audio tech play a wrestler’s music when he or she is coming out to interrupt a match that is in progress? It makes no sense to me. It happened twice on this show. The first time was when Nia Jax came out to interrupt Bliss vs. Bayley. If her interruption was impromptu, did she stop by the audio tech position to tell them to play her music? Why did they play her music, but not Sasha Banks’ a minute later when she also came out during that match? In the main event, Strowman came out to interrupt and got his music played too. The real problem is that when a wrestler comes out to interrupt a match, it is a move of rebellion. They are doing something wrong. They are doing something against the establishment and against the authority figure who made the match in the first place. So, why would you play their music?
WWE Is Wonderful!!!!: So we got a long video package of WWE at the ESPY awards focusing on Stephanie McMahon getting a Sports Humanitarian Award. Maybe she deserves it, but I’m guessing that ESPN either doesn’t know, or chooses to ignore, the long history WWE has of racism, misogyny, wrestler deaths, etc., plus Stephanie strongly hinting (on Twitter) at the fact that the purpose of doing good things like Conor’s Cure is good public relations. Later on, they had a video on their support for the Special Olympics. My friend’s son just won two medals, a silver and a bronze in swimming at a local Special Olympics event. It is a great organization. It is good to support it. It is great to have the young power lifter gold medalist in a attendance. But with everything else, it just comes across as disingenuous to me. I think if it had happened on another show and didn’t come after the pat on the back ESPYs video from earlier, then I would probably feel different about it.
Kendrick & Gulak vs. Ali & Gallagher: This match went only 2 minutes. That was barely enough time for me to notice the red ropes. I’m not sure what was accomplished in such a short match. It didn’t do much to advance the The Brian Kendrick vs. Jack Gallagher feud, nor the Drew Gulak vs. Mustafa Ali feud.
Enzo / Cass / Show: Enzo Amore is a heel. I’ve always found him annoying and have wanted him to go away. That’s subjective. Objectively speaking, he has been cast as a heel since the Lana and Rusev storyline. His character is basically a small insecure man who talks a ton of trash and then lets someone much bigger than him fight his battles for him. He teased Big Cass with a fight this week, only to duck the fight and let The Big Show fight for him. This is after years of letting Cass do his fighting for him. This week, his promo was overly long. He only attacked Cass after Show had softened him up some by jumping him from behind. And he still got beat up. That’s not a character whom I want to cheer for.
Balor vs. Sampson: Last week, Finn Balor easily beat Elias Sampson. This week, Sampson for some reason got a rematch. There should be reasons why a wrestler gets a rematch after losing. If the other wrestlers cheats or if there is some reason to doubt the validity of the outcome of the first match, then it makes sense to have a rematch right away. If Sampson had hit Balor with the guitar this week in a non-match situation, then Balor could demand a rematch despite winning the first time in order to get revenge. This week, there was no reason to have this match. Balor dominated until Sampson hit him with the guitar. With the tease from Bray Wyatt afterwards, you know exactly how that match is going to go. Wyatt will cost him the match which will set up their SummerSlam match and allow Sampson to get momentum from the win. But, they should have gotten there without this. The guitar shot itself was a Miss for being botched. That was ugly and could have given Balor a concussion.
Angle and Jordon: Ugh. This was a terrible reveal to what was a well done mystery. While I didn’t care about the mystery at all, most fans were into it and were enjoying the ride and looking forward to the payoff. I can’t imagine too many of those fans were thrilled with the reveal that Jason Jordon is the long lost son of Kurt Angle. Angle was way too over the top earlier in the show with this doubts about the reveal and all the talk recently about how this would ruin his personal and professional life. And yet when we finally get to the reveal, he said that he was fully supported by his family and WWE. So, why was he still nervous about it? This fell flat. I’m one of the many fans who believe and am worried that this is all a ruse by The Authority to trick Angle and eventually it will be revealed that he isn’t really his son. Jordon has potential as a singles star, but I am disappointed in the break up of American Alpha who were totally wasted on Smackdown. And while it is a minor point, I wish WWE would address how he got onto the Raw roster. There should have been some talk of a trade, or something.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: WWE RAW HITS & MISSES 7/10: Lesnar-Joe-Reigns, Angle Mystery, Miz TV, Hardys, Balor vs. Sampson, Wyatt vs. Rollins
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Act now and become my 68th Twitter follower@JonMezzera (pretty clever handle right?). Just be aware that I don’t live tweet Raw, I don’t tweet much about wrestling, and I don’t tweet much at all.