Ref’s Reflection – Monday Night Raw 15th July Review

Was this week’s edition of Monday Night Raw any good? YES, YES, YES….

Nothing I enjoy more than my 20 month old son getting me up at 4.15 am – but luckily its Tuesday morning which means I have 3 hours of Raw to watch while the rest of the house sleeps and my boy plays with his toys. WHAT. A. SHOW. – how comes whenever there is a supercharged crowd as there was in Brooklyn last night the episode that follows is off the chart? For me Monday Night Raw has not been this good and as captivating for a long, long time. We are getting wall to wall action, great storylines and PPV quality matches with no interference.
If this is the new style WWE under HHH then it’s a huge thumbs up from me. Not that it has ever been terrible – but the past couple of years while Linda has been running for President of the World – let’s just say Vince had lost his focus.
So let’s dive straight in from the top…

Brad Maddox – I slammed him yesterday for putting over a Raw placed promo in MITB. The jury was out on him and time will tell. I have to say after watching the first 20 minutes of Raw though – I like him. I’m not sure if he is face / heel or what he is. But he can talk and he looks like he has been in that type of role for years. I’m looking forward to seeing how they use him as long as it isn’t down the usual GM route we have seen so many times before.
Giving Cena the option of picking his opponent for Summerslam is just great booking. Daniel Bryan is white hot and a heel turn just so he can face Cena for the belt wouldn’t work nor is wanted by the Universe. Cena gets enough flack that he can take on the heel character as himself and give the audience someone to boo and cheer during the match – but still keep them both babyface. I really liked this.

Randy was out of the blocks with his shinny new case warning Cena he will cash in at any point and he will never see it coming, only to be interrupted by FaaaanDaaaaangooooo. He needed to have a good push tonight given he was lost in the previous evenings MITB and this clearly worked for him. The crowd were singing and dancing the now cult theme tune. No way is he ever going to be a serious heel for my money in the next 12 months, his gimmick is over with the crowd and they will mould him into the superstar they want to see – let’s just hope it’s not another Santino type character where we don’t see him perform. Given the match he had with Orton and JBL’s commentary I don’t see this being the case though.

Mark Henry – looked good standing his ground and taking on the Shield. WWE’s best weapon when they want to turn someone from heel to face in 1 minute with no explanation or reason? Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns. It will be interesting to see which direction the big Texan heads after this. He’s a bad ass at the moment so no need to change this – just endear him to the crowd which I think he can do by giving him more time on the mike and having natural banter with the audience
This followed with Del Rio and Ziggler in another good match up. Dolf did the ditching quickly with regards to AJ and brought closure to his time as a heel. He is so over and looks great in the ring and on the mike. Definitely a fan favourite and along with Bryan fast becoming the main face of the company. His bumps are some of the best I have EVER seen in wrestling and especially given the match he had only the night before. This had the universe going mad for him.
Obvious feud coming up with Langston which will be good to give him some ring time and exposure.

Then Raw took a really negative turn. Sorry guys but I am not a fan of R Truth. I can’t stand his gimmick and would wish some nasty, twisted, out of his mind nut job would come in and give Truth a good kic….
*Enter the Wyatt’s*
Raw has just gone from negative to positive – let the beat down begin.

The Wyatt family have been marketed superbly. This new performance centre and NXT are taking the company to a new level. Debut talent that are hotter and more comfortable in the ring and on the stick than others who have festered in the roster for years. Not their fault either – and some great talent but I can’t see the likes of Alex Riley / Zack Ryder and co making TV time again apart from jobbing to the newbie’s.
Bray Wyatt is going places and like Ambrose will eventually surpass the current faction to become one of the WWE’s top guys in years to come. Bringing Kane into the storyline is also logical and well worked. It freshens his character, splits him nicely from Team Hell No and can lead to a well worked beat down on Daniel Bryan in the next few months.
Team America (or whatever they are called) vs. Uso’s. A throw away match and nothing in particular that caught my eye. Apart from Zeb Coulter who is again a great heel manager from a bygone era. I’m just not feeling it for the tag team division. With the exception of the Uso’s and the Shield it seems to be a comedy club.
Sandow vs. Christian was again another short filler to confirm Cody’s turn and set up a potential Summerslam match up. Looking forward to seeing Cody work face and see if he can make the step up on the card.

Heyman / Punk. Gold! Two of the best in the world just being the best in the business. The Smark in all of us knows they are going to have a blast doing this angle together but the back and forth repertoire this evening was another example of just how good these men are. There is no way they can top this segment tonight…
*Enter Lesner*
They just topped the segment.

Holy Shit – Lesner and Punk are going for it, no waiting for Summerslam, no pony contract signing in the middle of the ring and no selling a slam over the announce table from Punk…, just hard core smashing seven bells out of each other. Before I could even realise what was happening, I was on my feet – my boy flung off my lap as I punched the air with excitement… (ok – so I didn’t F5 my son, but rather put him down gently; then carried on my exuberant cheering)
This final surprise of Lesner and a beat down for Punk had me popping all over the house. (That’s popping…)

And the shows not even finishing on this angle!?? Rob Van Dam vs Jericho in a 20 minute, crowd pleasing and highly entertaining match up. Two great talents having a top class match up and Jericho cementing further his commitment to Wrestling in general by doing what’s good for business and putting Van Dam over clean to keep his momentum rolling.

Finally Cena’s Summerslam selection…one negative thing here for me which was disappointing and that’s having Del Rio on the Apron. As the current World Champion I felt passing him over and allowing the crowd to give Del Rio a small, negative reaction while they waited inevitably for DB was the wrong move. It didn’t do Del Rio any good and cheapened the other belt in my opinion. Plenty of other wrestlers out there so no need to have Alberto.

So let me know your thought and comments below – agree, disagree or report me to social – (that’s a joke, no children were harmed while watching this show)

Till next week – take care peeps