By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw Hits
Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade: Another strong television match with Andrade getting the win this time around. The match was a strong Hit and yet we’ll have to wait to see where they go next to determine what it actually means. After all, Mysterio and Andrade have had good television matches in the past and
Miz TV with Goldberg, Shawn Michaels, and Dolph Ziggler: As much as some fans would prefer to see Michaels face Miz after being mildly teased with the possibility, the live crowd clearly knew where this was going based on the Goldberg chants that preceded his introduction. It’s a nice last minute addition to the pay-per-view. Ziggler is a good opponent for Goldberg in that he can be booked to take a squash loss and the company isn’t sacrificing a meaningful heel.
Trish Stratus and Natalya vs. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair: I’m still not sure why Lynch and Flair would be asked to team up and they didn’t just go with Lynch and Stratus vs. Charlotte and Natalya. I’m guessing that someone still feels its important to have Natalya show some babyface qualities going into her match in Toronto even though the Canadian fans who want to cheer her will do so regardless of how she is positioned in the storyline. Putting that aside, I like the way they saved Trish for the pay-per-view by not having her tag into the match. It was also nice to see Charlotte remain consistent by taking a cheap shot at Lynch before walking out on her.
Bray Wyatt attacks Kurt Angle: This angle would have meant more had creative made a bigger fuss over The Fiend character attacking Mick Foley at Raw Reunion. They made it feel like a big deal in the moment, then it was quickly forgotten while they shifted all legend attack shaming to Dolph Ziggler for kicking Shawn Michaels the next night on Smackdown. Nevertheless, I like that The Fiend struck again and that it appears he will be using the Mandible Claw on a regular basis.
The IIconics vs. The Kabuki Warriors vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross in an elimination match for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles: The Hit is for the end result rather than match quality. The Bliss and Cross pairing has turned out to be a lot of fun. It feels like it’s shifted into a different direction than originally intended and they haven’t quite figured out what the dynamic between the characters is these days, but they continue to have a unique charm.
Harley Race video package: A classy tribute to the late legend.
WWE Raw Misses
Roman Reigns whodunnit: The latest chapter of the whodunnit featured someone attempt to kill Reigns with a car just six days after they attempted to at least maim him with production scaffolding. It’s really idiotic when you stop and think that the mystery person will end up wrestling Reigns rather than serving years in prison. If you can get past that and the poor selling that Reigns did after avoiding death, then you’re probably enjoying this more than I am. It’s a strange way to work toward Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan if that’s where they are going with this, and it appears they are based on a clip that shows Rowan in the area of the scaffolding. It will be interesting if the mystery is solved tonight in time for a SummerSlam match or if the hook will be for viewers to watch SummerSlam to find out the identity of the mystery attacker(s).
Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins: We get it. Rollins keeps getting up and won’t stop no matter how bad things seem. The story is too similar to what we saw going into WrestleMania, and I’d much rather see a showdown match between two healthy versions of the characters.
The Viking Raiders vs. Jay Alexander and Idris Abraham: Even Corey Graves made note of how silent the live crowd was during the latest Viking Raiders squash match. He did his best to spin it by saying that the crowd was hushed after witnessing the brutality of the Raiders, but this just isn’t working. It’s great that Ray Rowe and Hanson enjoy the Viking culture. Perhaps they should go back to being badass biker types and save their Viking love for their personal time because it continues to make their act look hokey.
The OC vs. Ricochet, Big E, and Xavier Woods: A Hit-worthy match as far as the in-ring work was concerned, but WWE has to know that the formula of turning singles matches into tag matches or tag matches into six-man tag matches can be seen coming a mile away and in this case served no purpose. They teased a match between the current tag team champions of each brand and then expected viewers to be excited about seeing the match evolve into a meaningless six-man tag match.