Raw Review – July 22

Raw this week was branded as a “Raw Reunion” as stars from the past were brought back as a way to get fans to tune in and fix the struggling ratings.

The show kicked off with the 16-time World Champion, John Cena, who we have not seen since he came back as the Dr. of Thuganomics at Wrestlemania back in April.

After a brief Cena promo calling the WWE his “home,” The Usos joined Cena in the ring and brought out their dad, Rikishi. Just as the four men were about to dance, they were interrupted by The Revival, who were followed by Devon Dudley.

Out of all of this, we got a six-man tag match, and after a rather good match, Scott Dawson became distracted and ate a superkick, which led to a win for The Usos.

I thought this opening segment was a rather solid way to kick off the show, we saw a few legends and also got to see two of the best tag teams go at it.

As for the rest of the show, I rate the segments down below from best to worst & give my final rating at the end.

Bray Wyatt goes after a legend: 

Last week Bray Wyatt re-debuted by attacking Finn Balor. Well, this week he took it up a notch when ‘The Fiend’ got his hands on Mick Foley. WWE is clearly putting a ton of stock in Wyatt’s new character, and this was just another piece of supporting evidence. Raw has gotten better the last month or so, but Wyatt is still far & away the best thing going on the Red Brand.

A Moment of Bliss welcomes The Man: 

Before Alexa could even finish her first question, Natayla (who is Becky’s opponent at Summer Slam) made her way on to the stage. After the two exchanged some heated words, these two women got into a full-out brawl on the stage.

Boy, it has been a while since I have seen this kind of fire from Natalya, but this is some of her best work in years. This is also the kind of feud Becky needs to keep her momentum going after her three-month, lackluster feud with Lacey Evans. The first two weeks of this feud have been great; hopefully, the final two weeks are even better.

24/7 Title Recap: 

  • R-Truth and Carmella were backstage but were interrupted by Drake Maverick’s wife, Renee. This distraction allowed Maverick to pin Truth & regain the 24/7 title. We then got a brief appearance from the Godfather.
  • Backstage Maverick went to go pack his bag but found it filled with worms. This could only mean one this, the Boogeyman! This startled Drake, who tripped over a bag before being covered by Pat Patterson!
  • But of course, Patterson did not last long as champ. A cut to the backstage area showed that former referee Gerald Briscoe was now the new champ. This, of course, recreating their moment with the Hardcore title from 20+ years ago.
  • The shenanigans did not end there as former WWE Diva Kelly Kelly would pin Briscoe to become the 4th champion of the night.

  • Kelly Kelly went to go show off her newly won title to Candice Michelle, but Melina revealed that she had a referee’s shirt on and Michelle pinned Kelly Kelly to win the title. However, that reign did not last on as Alundra Blayze would get Michelle to tap out. This gave us our 6th champion of the night.
  • The 7th champion of the night came when the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase bought the 24/7 belt from Blayze before she threw the title in the garbage can.
  • Maverick won the title back from DiBiase in a limo. He later raced through the ring while Mick Foley was cutting a promo. Later on as Maverick was trying to leave the arena, R-Truth caught up with Drake and pinned him (again) to become the 24/7 champion (again)

Samoa Joe hates nostalgia: 

Many people were excited about the Raw Reunion show, but Samoa Joe is not one of them. He berated the fans for putting on rose-colored glasses and living in the past when they should be focused on what he could be doing to someone in the ring.

As Joe went on and talked about the Usos and their dad, Roman Reigns would interrupt his promo to stick up for his family. These two goliaths wasted little time going at each other, but Joe would gain the upper hand before Reigns came back to neutralize Joe.

Roman challenged Joe to a match, and after some smack talk, Joe accepted. These two proceeded to have a rather entertaining heavyweight match that is worthy of a pay-per-view.

Rollins vs. Styles: 

To close the second hour we saw our second pay-per-view caliber matchup, this time it was the US Champion AJ Styles taking on Seth Rollins. After AJ’s buddies, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows tried to get in the way Triple H and Shawn Michaels (DX) came out to even the odds.

Just as Rollins was setting up Styles for his finishing move, Seth was tripped, and the Club came in to beat up Rollins, causing a DQ. This, however, was not the end of the segment, as DX would get physical with the Club. When the Club tried to up the ante with steel chairs, the rest of the Clique (Road Dogg, X-Pac, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash) came out to re-gain the odds.

Lost in all the legendary appearances was an actual good match that we have seen before on pay-per-view and could see it again sometime down the line.

Drew McIntyre loses it:

As McIntyre made his way toward the ring, he first passed Alicia Fox and Dana Brooke who were joined by the likes of Kaitlyn, Torrie Wilson, and Santino Marella. Being the heel, Drew shrugged off these “legends” (his words) and went to go seek revenge on Cedric Alexander.

McIntyre did not even wait for Alexander to get to the ring. He threw Cedric around. While Alexander got in a brief moment of offense, this segment was dominated by Drew. I love McIntyre in this role. This is the Drew McIntyre we need to see, this is the Drew McIntyre that should be inserted into the Universal Title picture.

Wrestling Legends take center stage: 

All of the WWE Legends took to the stage to salute the crowd, but a special entrance was saved for Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan. But not to be outdone, Stone Cold Steve Austin’s music hit a massive pop. The Texas Rattlesnake came out, cracked open a couple beers, and thanked everyone for their support. Yes I know, it was for a cheap pop, and it worked for me. Seeing Steve Austin pop some cans in the ring will never not be cool.

Miz TV:

Miz brought on the former Universal Champion, who has a rematch with Brock Lesnar st Summer Slam. Rollins actually had a rather impassioned promo, calling Lesnar a “Seth Rollins wannabe.” Then we got our usual Paul Heyman promo, but Rollins cut him off and told him to take a hike, or he’d come up there and stomp his head into the stage. Liked the promo work from Seth here, but of course, something was missing, oh that’s right. The Universal Champion.

Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn: 

This matchup was set up backstage, and after five minutes or so of back and forth action, Sami Zayn went to go leave the ring when we got out next surprise. Rob Van Dam!

But RVD was not the lone legend who appeared as Sargent Slaughter, Hurricane Helms, and Kurt Angle all came out to make sure Zayn did not leave early. Mysterio would hit the 619, then a frog splash to pick up the win, thanks in part to the help of the legends.

Viking Raiders continue to dominate: 

Instead of local jobbers this week, the Viking Raiders took on the former Raw Tag Team champions, Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins. Though it was a step up in competition, the Viking Raiders picked up another impressive win. It is only a matter of time before this duo is holding the tag team titles.

All in all, I enjoyed this episode of Raw. It was not an earth-shattering episode by any means, but along with all the legends, there were actually a couple of good wrestling segments and promo work heading toward Summer Slam. I am sure some publications will find ways to tear this episode apart, but you have to take it for what it’s worth, it was pure entertainment.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

 

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