SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Bourne vs. Miz: I was disappointed, but not surprised that this match only went 4 minutes. I would’ve liked to see it go twice as long, but WWE is trying to put Miz over right now, so he got he strong dominating win over Evan Bourne. The match was good while it lasted, so I am giving it a marginal Hit despite the short time. A large part of the Hit is for the crazy backwards leap frog huracanrana by Bourne. That move alone was worth a Hit. Miz looked very aggressive in the match and he continues to be built up as a potential WWE Champion.
Nexus’s Plan: Like last week, WWE booked Nexus to have a strong plan which works well for the group. This week, they targeted potential Team WWE replacements, first going after The Hart Dynasty in a seven-on-two attack, then going after Mark Henry in a six-on-one attack after he told John Morrison and R-Truth that he wanted to be part of the team. As I said last week, I prefer these types of tactics from Nexus, using their numbers and doing hit-and-run attacks to being just over powering in a tag match like they were a few weeks ago. Once it became clear that their attempt to get The Great Khali to defect had failed, they took him out also. It isn’t realistic that that attack would have him out of the match at SummerSlam, but I will over look that fact as I would rather see pretty much anyone else on the Raw roster in the match.
Orton – Sheamus: I don’t know if Randy Orton and Sheamus can deliver a great match on Sunday. I suspect it is going to be good, very intense and physical, but also too methodical at times. It should be a good match, but I doubt it will be as good as the hype, considering how good the hype has been. That hype continued very nicely in the last episode of Raw before the PPV with the in ring confrontation between the WWE Champion and his challenger. Both Sheamus and Orton were very strong on the mic. I liked Sheamus’ promo to start off the segment, and their verbal interaction after Orton came out was very good too. It is quite a simple storyline. Sheamus is the Champion. Orton wants to be the new Champion. If Orton loses, we now know that he has to go to the back of the line and won’t get a rematch, which is a simple way to add more drama and intrigue to the match. The physicality was a nice tease to see them finally wrestle at SummerSlam. They both performed very well in the spot at the end when Orton teased the punt, and Sheamus reacted scared as he realized his danger on Sunday. Sheamus got his heat back later when he attacked some of the NXT rookies which worked well. Also, I was glad that the attack happened after their match, as I expected Sheamus to just interject himself 30 seconds into the match.
Closing Segment: The final show down of the show between Nexus and the rejuvenated Team WWE was a really strong ending for Raw and for the final Raw hype of SummerSlam. It was obvious the main event of John Cena & Bret Hart vs. Edge & Chris Jericho wasn’t going to be a real match, so the non-finish didn’t bother me at all. The entire point was to have Jericho and Edge realize that they made a mistake when quitting Team WWE so that they would change their minds in the end. The build up to the brawl at the end was very well done as Morrison and Truth came to stand with Hart and Cena, then Edge and Jericho waffled, before coming to the ring to rejoin the group. The crowd popped big time for it as they finally got to see a unified group taking on Nexus. I don’t know if the shaking main camera was legit or not, but either way it was very effective in selling the intensity and excitement of the live crowd and translating that feeling for the audience watching at home. You want Nexus to look strong, but you also want to give the fans hope that Team WWE will come out victorious, otherwise why buy the PPV? This was well done.
Divas Summer Spectacular: I’m not sure what they actually called this triple threat Divas tag match, but it was something like that. I guess this is progress (in terms of respecting the Divas) as in past non-PG years this would have likely been some sort of bikini water fight. The problem with the match is the same problem with almost every Divas match on Raw over the bast year-and-a-half. It had six Divas and lasted less than 3 minutes. There was more focus on Santino Marella the special referee than on the Divas themselves. Any horny male viewer who might want to tune into this type of display was likely disappointed in the fact that their bathing suites weren’t as revealing as long time fans are used to. In fact, some of their regular ring attire is more revealing that that. And while they played up the beach theme, there was no water involved. So if you are going for sexy, it wasn’t that sexy. If you are going for a good triple threat tag match, then you failed because it wasn’t very good. It is like they were trying to have their cake (a sexy spectacle for the men) and eat it too (a regular tag match), and neither worked. Then, in the end the focus was again on Marella when Tamina randomly came out to spank him. Couldn’t they be doing something meaningful with her and the Usos?