By: Frank Hyden
GOOD- Opening confusion
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre cut a promo about destroying Randy Orton at SummerSlam. All kinds of technical glitches were happening, which were revealed to be caused by Retribution in the TV production truck. After a commercial, Drew rallied several of the faces backstage to fight back against them before Seth Rollins and Murphy walked in. They jawed a bit and hyped Rey Mysterio being on the show tonight. These segments weren’t great by any means but they furthered the Retribution stuff a bit so that’s better than nothing.
GOOD- Apollo Crews beats Shelton Benjamin
Benjamin was actually in control of this short match until R-Truth ran out and caused Benjamin to get rolled up. The Crews win bars Benjamin and Bobby Lashley from ringside at SummerSlam when Crews defends his US Championship against MVP. The Hurt Business put the boots to Crews until Ricochet, Cedric Alexander, and Ali ran down for the save. In the commotion, Benjamin booted R-Truth and pinned him to become the 24/7 Champion again.
GOOD/BAD- Angel Garza beats Ivar and Zelina Vega poisoned Montez Ford
The GOOD is for Garza beating Ivar, although Ivar did his unbelievably shitty cartwheel again. On rare occasions the cartwheel looks all right but most of the time it looks like crap. This was one of the bad times. Ivar is the RAW version of Otis, though I prefer him because he’s much more serious than Otis is. But they still try to put some of the same types of comedy elements on Ivar that they do with Otis. After the match they showed surveillance footage of Zelina being the one to poison Montez. This started a brawl between The Street Profits and Garza and Andrade. I’m not a big fan of that storyline but at least it’s over.
BAD- Natalya beats Mickie James and Seth Rollins promo
The match itself was okay, though no entrances for anyone, a recurring theme tonight for some reason. Natalya beat James by countout but Rollins had come out partway through and started yelling at Samoa Joe on commentary so the focus shifted entirely to that rather than the match. It just makes James and Natalya look insignificant to just have their match be bigfooted like that.
GOOD- Shayna Bazler and Asuka beat Bayley and Sasha Banks
Part of the way through the match Nia Jax attacked Shayna and they brawled backstage, though no DQ like in weeks previous when that stuff happened. Anyway, Bayley and Sasha worked over Asuka and beat her up until Shayna returned and got the hot tag and cleaned house. Asuka got Sasha in the Asuka Lock and Shayna got Bayley in the Kurifuda Clutch for the tapout. Pretty good match.
GOOD- Peyton Royce beats Ruby Riott
No entrances again but this was already a short match. It was good while it lasted, though, but Peyton got the win after shoving Ruby into Liv Morgan on the outside.
GOOD- Dolph Ziggler beats Erik
This was RAW Underground stuff and these few segments involving Dolph over the weeks have done more to get him over than the past few years combined. Dolph acts and looks like a badass in these segments. Dolph used an eyegouge to beat Erik and they set up him vs. Ivar next week.
GOOD- Rey and Dominick Mysterio get some revenge on Rollins and Murphy
Rey said he was going to be in Dominick’s corner at SummerSlam before they called out Rollins. It was a ploy, as Dominick attacked him from behind with kendo sticks. Dominick and Rey beat Seth and Murphy with the sticks for a minute before they escaped. Good segment to further hype Seth vs. Dominick.
GOOD/BAD- The Hurt Business beats Apollo, Ricochet, and Ali
This was really fast-paced because it was an elimination match. It was too fast, actually, as guys were being beaten way quicker than normal. Ricochet and Ali were eliminated first, then Apollo eliminated Benjamin and MVP (clean!) before Lashley pinned Apollo. Cedric Alexander ran out and pinned Benjamin to win the 24/7 Title before Benjamin won it back minutes later.
GOOD/BAD-Nia/Shayna on Underground and Montez Ford beats Andrade
They teased Nia vs. Shayna on RAW Underground and I assume they’ll build towards that, which could be really cool. After that, Montez beat Andrade in another quick match. Montez was flying all over the place, showing his athleticism. I’m not a fan of these short matches but damn Montez leapt off the screen here.
GOOD- Shawn Michaels promo
Shawn cut a good promo talking about the people who owe Ric Flair for inspiring them. It was a good and heartfelt promo that ups the impact of what Orton did to him. As Shawn went to leave he got RKO’d and punted by Orton. Drew McIntyre ran out and tended to Shawn as Orton left. Orton came back, though, but Drew was ready and was throwing him all over the place. He went back to check on Shawn again but then Orton hit him with a RKO. This was a good way to end the show and make Orton seem like a dangerous threat to Drew.
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