Powell's WWE Raw Hit List: Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman, Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose, Brie Bella and Nikki Bella, The Uso Brothers vs. Goldust and Stardust, Mark Henry steps up for America and teams with Big Show all in one night
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw Hits
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman: Heyman followed up his great gloating promo from the night after WrestleMania 30 with another "I told you so" classic. I am surprised that they had Lesnar on the show and didn't bother to set up his next match, but perhaps that means we'll see him again before Night of Champions. They have to have the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at Night of Champions, right? Heyman, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and the broadcast team all did a great job of emphasizing how lopsided the SummerSlam main event was and making it feel like a major happening and something worth going out of your way to see even if you missed it live. I'm sure some fans who attended the show won't feel the same way since he was advertised, but it was clearly the right move to leave John Cena off Raw last night to sell the beating he took the night before.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose: The backstage angle with the ice bucket was great, and the match was even better. These two have the hottest program in WWE, which appears to be on hold while Ambrose films his WWE Studios film. Corporate Kane getting involved was actually a nice touch for a change, and the injury angle was well done even if the blocks crumbled too easily. Is this feud headed to Hell in a Cell?
Mark Henry and Big Show vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan: It's a shame that WWE didn't put the tag titles on Rowan and Harper, and that's coming from someone who enjoys the Uso Brothers' act. Harper and Rowan could be defending the titles against the Uso Brothers, Henry and Show, and even Goldust and Stardust in traditional heel vs. babyface matches. Instead, the only heel team the fans take seriously lost, while the two babyface challenger teams both went over. Still, I enjoyed the match and I expect the eventual Uso Brothers vs. Henry and Show match to be highly entertaining.
Mark Henry and Rusev: Henry stepping up as the new hope for America was very well done and clicked based on his Olympic background. It is strange that he's teaming with Show while feuding with Rusev, but perhaps the idea was to make it seem like Henry interrupting Rusev was spontaneous. I can't help but think that Henry's return would have been so much hotter had they saved it for this moment rather than wasting it on a throwaway segment with Damien Sandow.
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz: A good match with another semi-surprising finish. I really thought they were going with the one day title change and putting the strap back on Miz. I like the count out finish as it sets up the need for a rematch and I assume we will see it at Night of Champions.
Jack Swagger vs. Cesaro: A rare win for Cesaro as Swagger sold his rib injury and the beating he took from Rusev. Bo Dallas appearing after the match was a lot of fun. I certainly enjoyed it more than JBL's odd rant on Swagger. Where were Michael Cole or Jerry Lawler when it was time to stand up to the heel?
Roman Reigns, Sheamus, and Rob Van Dam vs. Randy Orton, Ryback, and Curtis Axel: A good time killing six-man tag match. We see the rapid fire finisher sequence a lot in these six-man tag matches, but they never seem to get old. The live crowd kept the early portion of the match fun with their cheering for hometown boy Ryback and I got a kick out of Orton's over the top reaction.
WWE Raw Misses
Brie Bella and Nikki Bella: Bad acting sets up a program that I have no interest in seeing. It's a big letdown for Brie Bella to go from feuding with Stephanie McMahon into what felt like a cliche sibling feud. I can live with Nikki turning on her sister even if I have no desire to see them feud, but why would her character align with the woman who made her life miserable? I hope they will at least offer some explanation for this. It's odd that they play on some of the themes from Total Divas such as Nikki wanting to get married and have children, yet they continue to leave out the fact that the man who won't marry her or agree to have children with her is John Cena. It's like they want you to believe that the feud is rooted in reality (or at least reality television real), but they have to know that anyone familiar with the Total Divas storyline can't view this as realistic when they don't acknowledge her relationship with Cena. Don't get me wrong, I'm not even saying they should address the Cena and Nikki relationship on Raw. Rather, I feel they would be wise to keep the two worlds separate. On a positive note, Stephanie McMahon's promo about her SummerSlam win was a lot of un.
The Uso Brothers vs. Goldust and Stardust: The Goldust and Stardust act just isn't doing anything for me. I loved the Cody Rhodes and Goldust act, yet while Cody is really trying hard to make the Stardust character work, I'm just not feeling it and I don't sense that the live crowds are right now either. Perhaps it will work if they turn the Dust Brothers heel at some point.
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