Refs Reflection : Monday Night Raw 12th August

Alex Knowles

One week away from Summerslam and a very good Raw to hype up the biggest party of the Summer. Certainly for the main event matches anyway. Not a great way to kick off the show with Bryan going over Barrett as we had seen this coming last week and on Smackdown so the match wasn’t exactly momentum building but it did allow for the McMahon family saga to come in to play. I have to say I am reserving judgement on this power struggle idea between Vince and HHH. Take away the horseplay and give the angle a bit more grit and an edgy feel to it and I think we could be on to a winner. I hate to say it, but keep Stephanie out and make it about Hunter and Vince. HHH joining the title match as the special guest referee is a good move for the show and adds that extra bit of sparkle – as long as the match is not overshadowed by this storyline. The WWE is white hot for DB to go over on Sunday night, but what’s in store could be anyone’s guess –just don’t make it over the top stupid. I’m going to stick with the Cena / Bray angle for a second and reflect on the Miz TV segment which was one of the finest pieces of promo work I have seen all year. A simple storyline of the Wrestler vs the Entertainer which keeps both men face and from a fans point of view can leave you understanding the other mans point of view. The verbal debate between both men – that is how you sell a match. Cena doesn’t do the usual strike attack but squares up to Bryan – clearly antagonised by his opinions on him as a wrestling talent. The line between shoot and work is blurred. I can only wonder if they have the same intense discussions when it comes to Brie or Nikki? (Speaking of which – I watched Total Divas on you tube – absolutely loved it and thought it gave a great insight to the personalities and talent outside the ring – I’ll put my balls back in my purse later…) So a well set up match and one I am really looking forward to come Sunday night. Definitely has the Summerslam majestic feel to it.

If The MacMahon family saga is starting to gather momentum with this particular ref, then there has to be a counter balance. Coming down in my estimation quicker than Choppers choke slam is the Sandow / Cody feud. I was SO up for this a couple of weeks ago but it seems that all momentum has slowed to a dull whimper. Cody did himself no favours on commentary when telling King he would have done the same thing to Sandow if he had the chance at Money in The Bank. Then at the end of the discussion told Jerry – ‘you don’t do that to your best friend’!! What the hell are they feuding for then…and why do we have another MITB winner vs the other MITB winner match? Don’t get me wrong – the matchup between them on Sunday is going to be solid – more than solid as they are both excellent in the ring…just a shame there is no really credible story behind it.

Good to see the Shield getting a decent promo to help raise their stock again on Raw. These men are excellent on the mike as they are accomplished in the ring and I look forward to seeing who dares take them on from the locker room. The new vs old argument and the ‘ghost of Andre the Giant’ quote pleases me as it confirms it won’t be the Uso’s. Clearly we will get confirmation on Friday that the Big Show and Mark Henry will be the ones to face the Shield which should be another physical encounter. This is wrestling so let’s just forget The Hall of Pain and the Giant kicked seven shades of s%*t out of each other last year!

Great Khali vs anyone – I went to the toilet. I would encourage you to do the same as well at this point in any show. Unfortunately I did think this was one too many shows for both Kane/Wyatt and Punk/Lesner. Only because the segments were obvious and if last week took them both to the top of the mountain in terms of Summerslam hype, this week they are heading down the other side. I’m still excited and looking forward to both the inferno match and the best vs the beast, but take the Wyatt scene first.

Kane is in a throw away match with Darren Young so we know Bray and the crew are coming. The problem is the entrance is so slow that it’s obvious Kane is not going to be in the ring – cause why is the Devils favourite Demon going to wait 45 seconds for the family to walk down slowly, lay Bray his chair – then get in the ring to attack him? I would have had the henchmen in the ring, and Kane not on the entrance ramp but right behind the rocking chair. BOOOOOM.

Same with Punk / Lesner – I’m glad Punk acknowledged early on he wouldn’t be facing Heyman and didn’t play to the obvious gimmick but knew he was walking into a trap. A trap which Heyman admitted in the ring, a devilishly, cloven-footed, detestable and dastardly trap that only an astute genius such as Heyman could come up with…A handicap match with him and Lesner. Really, REALLY…That’s it. That’s your plan – that IS the Summerslam match but with you also fighting…but you’re not a fighter? Still good to see CM Punk ‘outsmart’ the tenacious duo on this occasion and stick it to Lesner. We are all looking forward to seeing Heyman finally get what he deserve – lights out at Summerslam. But again – should be a great match because as of now and like the Cena / Bryan duel I have no idea what direction WWE are going to go. Del Rio vs Kofi was a solid TV bout. You may disagree with me and I like Del Rio as a worker but I just don’t have any enthusiasm for his and Christians match. Both very talented men –just not got the chemistry for me for this to be a major Feud on a Summerslam card. – Look out for Sandow maybe?

Finally as soon as the battle Royal was announced it was clear RVD is going over and getting the Title shot at Dean Ambrose US belt. Great booking. I’m sure both men won’t be overly glad they are the You Tube pre show and not on the main PPV card – but they should see it as a compliment. Two fantastic workers, they can directly influence the buy rates and bring in the last minute fans who are still questioning the purchase. RVD is yet to lose so I’m excited to see where this match leads.

So that’s it for me – I can’t wait for Sunday evening – going to be a great show and I look forward to giving you my thoughts and reflection next week…till next time…