SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Opening Segment – HIT: This was definitely the highlight of WWE Raw. Brock Lesnar is fun as the babyface cowboy. It is nice to hear him talk for himself. He is better than many people give him credit for, although some of his timing isn’t always the best. I enjoyed his interaction with Paul Heyman. They are doing the best to try to make fans care about seeing Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the hundredth time, but I’m not sure how well it is working. Theory was also good in his interruption, teasing a Money in the Bank cash in after the last man standing match between Lesnar and Reigns. The physicality at the end of the segment with Alpha Academy attacking Lesnar was strong. Yes, Lesnar’s F5 on Otis through the announce table is probably what most people will remember, but the stair shot to the head of Chad Gable was awesome.
The Judgement Day / Mysterios – MISS: I am not a fan of The Judgement Day as a faction. It just isn’t working. I don’t care at all about their attempts to recruit Dominik Mysterio to join their faction. I suppose I don’t care enough about Dominik in general and I have no interest in seeing a potential feud between him and his father. Rey Mysterio vs. Finn Balor was good, but in the context it was hard to get into considering the storyline.
Belair vs. Carmella – MISS: This rematch was perfectly fine until the ending when Becky Lynch got involved to cause Bianca Belair to lose via a count out to Carmella. Becky gave a good pre-match promo about wanting to face Belair for the Women’s Championship at Summerslam. So, I didn’t understand why she would help Carmella get a win here which will guarantee that she gets the next title match. I don’t need to see a third title match between Belair and Carmella if for no other reason than the fact that Corey Graves finds a way to somehow become even more unbearable than usual (and he’s always the most unbearable human in the world) during a big Carmella match. It was a lame ending which drags out this feud needlessly and didn’t make any sense from a character standpoint in regards to Lynch’s actions.
Miz & Ciampa vs. Styles & Ezekiel – MISS: This is another storyline which I don’t care about. I don’t buy Ciampa’s reason for joining up with The Miz. I still don’t like their team. I am not looking forward to Logan Paul being on Raw next week. As a big fan of AJ Styles, I don’t like seeing him involved in all this. Having him team with Ezekiel doesn’t help. Nothing Ezekiel does interests me either, especially without Kevin Owens’ involvement.
The Usos & Omos vs. The Street Profits & R-Truth – MISS: How do you ruin a great thing like The Usos vs. The Street Profits? Get Mr. 24/7 involved. R-Truth can be entertaining and he was throughout this. But, his frivolity brought down what was a serious and intense situation. The Usos were good in their promo to start things out. The Street Profits were good in their interruption. I am not thrilled by the mystery guest referee angle as I am worried that the referee will play too big a role in their rematch at SummerSlam. Having R-Truth audition for the role didn’t work as it was too goofy for the situation. Having MVP and Omos get involved felt far too random. The six man tag that followed was fine, but I don’t like having one of the Profits take the loss when you had Truth right there to do the job.
Lashley & Riddle vs. Theory & Rollins – HIT: So this was not a good episode of Raw at all, but it started well and ended well with this tag team main event. These are four talented wrestlers, especially Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins. They are doing a nice job of building up to the eventual match between those two as well as the United States Championship rematch between Lashley and Theory. I don’t know what to think about Dolph Ziggler’s involvement yet, but I suppose I will take a wait-and-see approach to what they do. It is hard to get excited about Ziggler’s involvement in anything.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at email@example.com.
CATCH-UP: 7/11 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW RESULTS: Full report on Brock Lesnar’s return, Lashley open challenge, more
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