July 21, 2015 by Joey Keogh
Battleground wasn’t anything much to write home about and, if you thought maybe RAW was going to erase that memory and start us on the road to Summerslam proper, well, prepare to be disappointed yet again – unless, that is, you like to be shown the same replay, of the same goddamn feud, over and over and over again with no further development beyond “they gon’ have a match, y’all”. The Undertaker opens the show, which is smart booking because it means everyone can leave immediately after he’s done talking. Is it just me or is he walking even slower these days? Sometimes I’m not sure if it’s actually him standing there or just a statue dressed up as him, like that gaudy Andre The Giant trophy that was supposed to be actual size or some shit. It’s weird to see Taker cutting a promo about something that pissed him off almost two years ago. He didn’t even step up to the plate for the three months leading up to his Wrestlemania match, leading Bray Wyatt to effectively feud with himself. Anyway, he does a Batman voice and says shit like “cold-bloodeded” and the crowd stay respectably silent throughout. Also, just in case anyone is keeping score, the powers that be are pretending Rollins had precisely zero offence last night. The video packages have been edited to make it look like he was Suplexed to within an inch of his life and took it like a little bitch, so take from that what you will. Backstage, Trips and Steph are all like “Lesnar definitely won’t show up tonight” which of course means he’s going to be involved in the show in a big way. Yay.
Divas Match: Charlotte Vs. Brie Bella
The ladies get two matches tonight, which is pretty damn cool, but the first one features Brie yet again and that sucks. Sorry, Tumblr, but it does. She’s a shitty wrestler, none of her moves look good, she can’t sell and she screeches like crazy no matter what’s going on. Oh, and her whole persona is based on being wasted drunk. Team BAD are on commentary but only Naomi really gets to talk and she’s boring. Charlotte looks a million bucks as always but all this match really proves is that she needs to move her ass up to the main roster ASAP and show these bitches how it’s really done before it’s too late.
Trips is supposedly on the phone to Heyman, arguing with him about Lesnar, but we know it’s not real because the Heyman he’s putting across in this segment isn’t the Heyman we know and love. The Heyman we know would never take shit from Trips. He has Brock fucking Lesnar in his corner. The Miz looks as though he’s desperate for the loo the whole time Trips is on the phone but it turns out he just really wants to talk to him, mainly about why he continues to dress like a sexy nun. The boss isn’t having any of it. He calls him Obi Wan and gives him a match with Big Show later.
Tag Team Match: The Prime Time Players Vs. Los Matadores
Good news: the matadors are still alive. Or, at least, two dudes have been put in their costumes and forced out on-stage to prance around for a bit and job to the current tag champs to make it seem like they’re still alive. To be fair, this isn’t as clean cut a squash match as one might have anticipated (or hoped for). The matadors put up a fair fight while the Players bask in the glory of still being the tag team champions. Inevitably, The New Day show up to intervene and this gives one of the matadors (I wanna say Frankie…?) the leg up to pin Titus and win. Afterwards, Xavier Woods gloats by telling them “You’re terrible” and they all do the special dance but in a way that isn’t entirely respectful to the message behind it.
Winners: Los Matadores
The Miz Vs. Big Show
You know what we need more of? Big Show matches. You know what else we need more of? Knock-out Punches. This is a quickie, obviously, and the crowd are totally dead throughout, which is understandable. Miz loses after eating a flying elbow and JBL desperately tries to add some weight to the proceedings by yelling “Stop the match!” as though there’s anything actually at stake here. Afterwards, Show pretends he’s going to cut a promo about something interesting but it turns out to just be him shilling Tough Enough. Is that show Kayfabe? I’m not entirely sure what’s going on there, you guys.
Winner: Big Show
Backstage, in some closet somewhere, Trips and Steph have gathered the jobbers for an important announcement about Lesnar. Namely, they have to protect Taker from him because he’s very old and may drop dead at any moment – for real this time, not in a Goth way. Everyone conveniently has their names emblazoned on the backs of their shirts so we know who’s worthy of being in the wide shot and who’s getting blazed back in their winnie. There’s also this weird moment when the Hs are admiring this godawful painting of Cena that some mark did when they spot Heyman on the other side of the parking lot or whatever and this poor lady has to run to get what looks like a newborn baby out of frame. Speaking of Heyman, he’s the best part of RAW tonight. Again! He cuts an inspired promo about how Taker took his time getting mad at Lesnar and how it doesn’t really matter what the old prune says anyway because Lesnar technically succeeded last night. Unfortunately, Taker shows up just as it’s getting good, leading Heyman to beg for mercy and cower in the corner. Then Lesnar’s music drops and, somewhat hilariously, the commentators are like “I’m outta here!” “Me too!” and mics are dropped left and right. The two aul fellas brawl for a bit and then the security team come out and it’s like a game of Spot The NXT Stars. Then the entire locker room spills out and it turns into Spot The Forgotten Jobbers. The one take-away from this segment is that the incomparable Brad Maddox is still alive and still employed by the WWE. Long may his reign of terror continue. Rollins shows up once he’s made absolutely certain that Lesnar and Taker have been removed from the building, and he’s all “I got somethin’ to say” but it’s not a Misfits reference, he’s being quite literal.
Luke Harper Vs. Roman Reigns
Harper has a Reigns dartboard emblazoned on the back of his jacket that he immediately takes off pre-match because I guess it’s somehow going to get in the way more than his saggy, old man’s under-shirt? His promo with Wyatt in that smoky den he’s always in is great, but it does beg the question; why do these guys hate Reigns so much? Is it because he has lots of sex? A decent car? I wanted this match to be better than it was, but in spite of Ambrose and Wyatt being ringside throughout nothing of note really happens. Wyatt steals Byron’s chair and makes him stand for the whole thing, which is kind of funny. Outside interference comes at the end but it’s too little, too late. They can all do better than this (okay, maybe not Reigns, but you get me).
Rollins has got some serious heat in Missoura, and he’s going to use it to remind these toothless yokels that he’s still the champ and there ain’t nary a thing they can do to stop him. He makes Lillian announce him as the winner of the match last night and she’s very confused. But that may be because her tin-foil shoes are baking her feet like potatoes. Cena shows up. He may be the least annoying he’s been in a decade, but he still loves getting involved in things that have nothing to do with him. He’s all like “You’re a shitty champ and being US champ is better anyway and I don’t even want your title I SWEAR” Missoura love this because of course they do. The chant “USA!” and we all collectively hate them. Rollins counters by pointing out that people have to earn the right to challenge him, whereas Cena lets just anyone have a go (oo-er). This angers him and he rips off his shirt for a fight. They tease it but then Rollins shrugs it off and leaves.
Divas Tag Team Match: Paige & Becky Lynch Vs. Naomi & Sasha Banks
Not only do we get two Divas matches tonight but finally we get to see Paige and Becky wrestle – in a tag team no less! The Bellas are on commentary for this but Nikki sounds like she’s working one of those phone sex lines and the other two don’t say much besides “Come on, Brie”, which is weird because, like, she’s not even in the match you dumb broads. Cole struggles to call this one, referring to Becky as “Betty Lynch” and doing his usual “She calls it the clothesline” bit. Banks wins it for her team with the Bank Statement, Paige still looks strong in spite of tapping out and, hell, this might actually be the beginning of a real revolution. More of this, please.
Winners: Naomi & Sasha Banks
Backstage, Lana is chatting to poor, long-suffering Renee when Summer shows up looking exactly like her. Rusev then appears, to be like “Summer, you look great. Lana, you look terrible. I go for my match now”. This angle sucks but this was kind of funny in a really, really dumb way.
Main Event: 6-Man Tag Team Match: Cesaro, Randy Orton & John Cena Vs. Kevin Owens, Sheamus & Rusev
Worst. Main Event. Ever. Seriously, this is lame-ass booking to the extreme. Why couldn’t the ladies just close the show? At least they got some reaction. This shit puts the crowd to sleep faster than fucking Big Show. Predictably, Cesaro and Owens look terrific. It’s also nice to see Rusev in a Main Event, and Orton has a fire in his belly in spite of his lifelong quest for pants coming up short yet again. But otherwise this is a total snooze-fest. Sheamo leaves after a bit and then Owens leaves and it’s just Rusev on his own. Then Lana comes out and attacks Summer, which gives the faces their moment to hit the coolest spot in an otherwise garbage RAW (not the best achievement, admittedly) with a combo involving an AA into a Swing into a slingshot into an RKO. It’s a thing of beauty. So amazing, in fact, that were there not a gif of it, I’m not convinced I would believe it actually happened. RAW, why must you tease us so?
Winners: Cesaro, Randy Orton & John Cena