WWE Raw Rundown: Brock Lesnar receives the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt, Seth Rollins Curb Stomps Dean Ambrose on concrete blocks, and The Bella Twins begin their feud
By Ryan Kester
A lot is said on this site week after week about how great Heyman is on the mic, but the man keeps topping himself. His repeated return to Lesnar's new catch phrase coupled with a recap of what happened during the SummerSlam main event presented it as an event that was truly special. The booking of Brock Lesnar's appearances this year would make him look like a badass alone, but Heyman's promos are what push Lesnar over the top and provide his matches with that can't miss feel.
On a complete side note, it's good to finally see a single belt for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. With the authority figure situation how it is, it wouldn't have made sense for such a belt to have been presented to a babyface The Authority was feuding with, so delay was understandable. That being said, a single belt solidifies the merging of the two titles and it's good that that moment has finally arrived.
Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose
Much like Heyman with his promos, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose top themselves with every match they have. It was a sign of confidence for WWE to allow them to wrestle in the main event slot, and they more than delivered on the occasion. Hardcore spots will never be as brutal as they were in year's past, but Rollins and Ambrose proved that those matches can still feature creative spots.
Ultimately, it's good to see Ambrose take a spot that will keep him off of television. Time for Rollins and Ambrose to be away from each other will only prolong their feud and ensure that fans don't get burned out by seeing too many of their matches in too short of a time.
The Bella Twins
For my money, the feud between Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella jumped the shark with the pseudo-Claire Lynch angle. It was a waste of several solid weeks of build, and what little excitement the feud had left was undone with Nikki Bella's turn.
WWE has a lot of work to do if they are wanting this feud to mean anything. Brie was given several strong moments heading into SummerSlam, but that was derailed the past week. Nikki, on the other hand, has served as such a background piece that she didn't have much of a babyface persona, which undermines the impact her turn could have. WWE could make up for some of the inherent weaknesses of this feud if they keep Stephanie McMahon involved and stirring up trouble, but if they choose to go that angle, they might as well have kept the feud between McMahon and Brie.
If there's anything positive to take away from what little advancement we saw on raw, it's that Nikki can play the flippant heel well enough. Both Nikki and Brie will still need work as their delivery is collectively rough, but with attention and shorter talking segments, it has the potential to be better than I am fretting it will be.
Overall, Raw wasn't a bad show, but it didn't capitalize off of the momentum coming out of SummerSlam in any meaningful way. It certainly isn't the end of the world, but WWE had a prime opportunity to keep people excited and instead chose to try to explain why SummerSlam was awesome rather than show viewers how the quality of SummerSlam would continue on the road to Night of Champions.
If you have any questions or comments or just wish to chat with a fellow wrestling fan about whatever, then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter.
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