With just under two weeks remaining until SummerSlam from Los Angeles, WWE Monday Night Raw came to us live from the University of Texas, Austin last night and what a night it was. Things started off with a bang and ended with the top heel in the company standing tall. Let’s jump right into it.
The Authority is Loving Life
Raw kicked off with the Authority making their way out to address the WWE Universe. Triple H takes the mic first and immediately begins hyping the WWE Network (this would be a theme throughout the night, overdone even by WWE’s standards), and letting fans know that this is the best SummerSlam card ever. Trips begins to list the matches out, and announce that later tonight Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins will be competing in a ‘Beat the Clock Challenge’ as Rollins will take on Rob Van Dam and Ambrose will face Alberto Del Rio, with the winner getting to pick the stipulation for their match at SummerSlam.
Stephanie McMahon grabs the mic and gets the loudest boos of the evening while announcing that the official contract signing for her match with Brie Bella (which Triple H reminds us that you can see on the WWE Network for just $9.99) will take place later on Raw. McMahon plays to the crowd and says that if Brie gets out of line she will slap her so hard she’ll end up in the hospital with her husband Daniel Bryan.
Next up on the mic is Randy Orton, who has some strong words for his opponent Roman Reigns.
“The best part of SummerSlam is my guarantee to you.” Orton said, “I guarantee you will witness me continue to methodically decimate Roman Reigns. Roman took…my opportunity at being WWE Champion. If you think what I did to him last week was anything, just wait. That was only a taste.”
This of course brings out the big man himself. Reigns music hits and he makes his way out through the crowd and says that he took everything Randy Orton had and he’s still standing, and since Triple H likes great deals he has an offer for him, he’ll come down and beat Randy Orton for free tonight.
Triple H grabs the mic again and says that Reigns and Orton will have to wait. He says that Reigns will take on the Demon Kane in a Last Man Standing match that starts right now! What a way to kick off Raw.
Roman Reigns: Demon Slayer
We come back from commercial with our first match of the night already started. Michael Cole plays up the fact that Kane has been in plenty of Last Man Standing matches, while this is the first time Reigns is competing in one.
Despite the disadvantage, Reigns absolutely dominates the Demon early on. As they usually do, things eventually turn and Kane starts using weapons ringside to wear the Samoan down. After hitting Reigns with the steel steps, Kane attacks him viciously with a kendo stick, then picks up the stairs and slams them off of Reigns’ skull.
Reigns makes his comeback and slams Kane’s head into a chair propped on the turnbuckle. Reigns hits a Samoan Drop and sets up for a big Superman Punch, but Kane grabs him in mid-air and delivers a massive chokeslam through a table.
That was an awesome spot.
And somehow, Reigns answers the call before the ref can count to 10. Kane can’t believe Reigns got up and goes absolutely ballistic, grabbing a chair and setting it up in the middle of the ring to Tombstone Reigns onto. The big man reverses and DDT’s Kane onto the chair, followed by a huge Superman Punch. For some reason the ref doesn’t begin his count (HINT: INCOMING SPEAR) and as Kane gets up Reigns goes for and eventually nails a Spear. Kane can’t answer the call and the Samoan takes home the victory.
Defeating the Demon Kane with a Spear in such a match is a huge sign of confidence from WWE. The company is trying to emphasize the power of Reigns, and having him keep Kane down for a ten count only using his finisher is sure to do so.
Who Beat the Clock?
The most interesting series of matches on Raw came during the Beat the Clock Challenge between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. The rules were simple, whoever won their match the fastest would get to pick the stipulation for their bout at SummerSlam.
First up was Ambrose, who took on forgotten man Alberto Del Rio in a very entertaining match. Del Rio has fallen pretty far down the WWE totem pole, but took advantage of his match with the red-hot Ambrose and put in a solid performance.
With Ambrose looking to win the match as quickly as possible, his sloppiness allowed Del Rio to take control and wear him down, targeting Dean’s injured left shoulder. Del Rio really showed how great of a heel move-set he has, the only issue is he really can’t get any heat from the crowd. After about 12 minutes of back and forth action, Ambrose and Del Rio exchanged two pretty incredible moves off the turnbuckle.
First it was Ambrose hitting a spinning DDT on Del Rio.
But only a minute later, Del Rio would get his revenge with this incredible move that somehow still wasn’t enough to keep Ambrose down.
As the match went over 15 minutes, Ambrose was finally able to catch Del Rio with Dirty Deeds for the 1-2-3, winning the match and setting the time to beat at a very doable 15:42.
Later on, Rollins made his way out to take on Rob. Van. Dam. in the second match of the Challenge. Throughout the night, Michael Cole and JBL have hyped that Rollins hasn’t been pinned or made to submit since joining the Authority, so odds are he will be tonight. At the last second though it is announced that Rollins opponent will not actually be RVD, it will instead be Heath Slater. So maybe the undefeated streak lives on.
Rollins is very disrespectful to Slater from the beginning, and as the match begins he is soon distracted by Ambrose who has made his way to ringside. This was a great segment as the Lunatic played up his mannerisms and really showed just how crazy he can be. Ambrose grabs Rollins briefcase and things really start to get fun.
Ambrose begins to do a variety of things to distract Rollins, who takes breaks in between beating Slater down to yell at his SummerSlam opponent. First up, Ambrose tears apart Rollins’ contract inside the brief case. Next he moves on to snacks, pouring a soda into the briefcase and then adding some popcorn and JBL’s hat for good measure. This obviously angers Rollins, but for the most part he is still in control of his match. So Ambrose does what any crazed lunatic would do, he jumps on the table and waves the leaking briefcase around to distract Rollins some more.
This really angers Rollins, who becomes so distracted that he doesn’t see Slater sneaking up behind him. Slater grabs Rollins and rolls him up and 1..(yeah okay), 2…(no way Heath Slater beats Seth Rollins, 3… (HOLY CRAP HEATH SLATER BEAT SETH ROLLINS, ONE MAN BAND FTW!!!!). And yes, it was as shocking live as it is in print. I’m not sure what was better about the situation, this gif of Ambrose reacting to the result.
Or this picture of Ambrose’s face as Slater rolls Rollins up for the eventual win.
Either way, Rollins takes the loss and therefore Ambrose will get to choose the stipulation for their match at SummerSlam in two weeks. (Please be a street fight, please be a street fight, please be a street fight)
Your Weekly Reminder to Keep Bo-lieving!
Stephanie McMahon: The Baddest Heel in the Land
The final segment of the night for the second week in a row featured Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella. I’ll ignore the fact that this isn’t even the best Divas feud going on right now (AJ Lee and Paige anyone?), let alone the best feud in the company and focus on just how insanely good Vince’s little girl is at being a heel.
First things first, this feud would be so much better if Brie Bella wasn’t absolutely terrible on the mic. Seriously, she is horrendous, like makes your ears bleed bad. So bad that she can barely get a crowd reaction even when she insults the most hated heel in the company. So basically, she is perfect for Total Divas.
Bella grabs the mic and says that she is going to beat Stephanie down at SummerSlam. Not just for herself, or her sister Nikki, or her husband Daniel, but for everyone that the Authority has screwed over in the past year. Brie names off the Big Show, Vickie Guerrero and the Rhodes family (while the crowd breaks into a LOUD CM Punk chant), and calls Steph a “Petty, conniving, stuck-up piece of trash.”
At this point, Steph goes full heel and it is awesome. I’m not going to even bother summarizing it for you, here is what Steph had to say, word for word.
“Who are you Brie? You’re nothing more than a wanna-be reality star who abandoned her injured husband and stole the spotlight from her sister, just to make a name off of me at SummerSlam. Look in the mirror and you’ll see a selfish, conceited, shell of a woman.” McMahon said, “You’re going to embarrass me? I’m embarrassed just to be in the same ring as you. At SummerSlam I’m going to put an end to your pathetic attempt to make history. At SummerSlam, I’m going to tear your heart out.”
At this point, all hell breaks loose. Stephanie slaps Nikki and Triple H uses the contract table to pin Brie against the turnbuckle while Steph takes advantage of her prone sister. Stephanie picks up Nikke and drops her with a Pedigree while Brie and a laughing Triple H watch. McMahon breaks into a mocking “YES!” chant as her lapdog– err husband cheers her on.
Brie can’t take it anymore and slaps Triple H and makes a move towards Stephanie, who is waiting and slams Brie’s head against the desk. A few seconds later she picks up Brie and delivers a Pedigree to her second Bella of the night as Triple H eggs her on.
The rush of competing again apparently got Stephanie going, as she grabs her husband and gives him a kiss before celebrating as Raw goes off the air.
Stephanie McMahon is the best heel in the company. Period.
It will be interesting to see how these feuds develop next week on the SummerSlam go-home show. Will Brie Bella get her revenge? What stipulation will Dean Ambrose pick for his match against Seth Rollins? And will John Cena or Brock Lesnar bother showing up after skipping this week’s Raw?
So many questions, and we’ll get our answers soon. Until then, remember to keep on Bo-lieving!