The show opens with The Authority coming down to the ring with Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, and Kane. Triple H gives himself credit for creating the SummerSlam card. He goes through each match stopping in between to promote the price of the WWE Network….which is $9.99. He sets a Beat the Clock match tonight for both Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Rollins will face RVD and Ambrose will face Del Rio, the winner in the shortest time gets to choose the stipulation for their match at SummerSlam. Stephanie promotes her match before Triple H talks about the main event between John Cena and Brock Lesnar. Randy Orton says at SummerSlam he will decimate Roman Reigns for taking away his chance for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Roman Reigns comes down to the ring. He delivers his promo in the crowd but he says The Authority can let him come down to the ring and beat Orton’s ass for free. Instead Triple H sets up a last man standing match between Roman Reigns and Kane and which begins when we return from commercial.
Roman Reigns vs. Kane in a Last Man Standing Match
I like starting the show with this style match. It’s something we don’t usually get to see on Raw let alone to open the show. Obviously if you’re looking for a five star LMS match you won’t be getting it for free on TV. There was a pretty cool spot where Kane countered the Superman Punch and chokeslammed Reigns through a table. Weird moment, after hitting a DDT on to a chair and a Superman Punch the official does not start counting. After a spear from Reigns, Kane stays down for the ten count and Reigns is your winner and we go to break. Again, decent LMS match for TV.
After the break we get a promo/vignette from Brock Lesnar and John Cena similar to what they did when Brock returned to the company. What is neat about this is it is basically Lesnar with no filter and we hear from him directly what he thought about defeating the Undertaker at WrestleMania. On Cena’s end it is pretty much the prototypical Cena-esque promo. The video ends with Lesnar saying he is going to leave Cena bloody in a pile of his own urine and vomit. Intense.
Back from break and Sandow comes out wearing Oklahoma Sooners gear which obviously doesn’t get him any new fans in Texas. Out comes hometown favorite Mark Henry.
Mark Henry vs. Damien Sandow
This match was a perfect blueprint for a squash match. Henry wins with the World’s Strongest Slam.
Backstage with Adam Rose and the Rosebuds talking about a curse and a mirror which transports him into some alternate reality where he wears a suit and carries a briefcase, a Lemon. Okay then….
Dean Ambrose vs. Alberto Del Rio in a Beat the Clock Match
I had a really tough time following this match. Typically when time is a factor I’m looking for fast paced action or at least something to keep my interest. I find myself having this issue a bunch with Del Rio. There are moments where he can piece a match together great on his end but other times it is like watching paint dry. Back from break and the match is already hitting the eleven minute mark. The pace picks up around the thirteen minute mark when ADR hits a reverse super-plex. Del Rio goes to lock on the cross armbar but Ambrose reverses and hits Dirty Deeds and wins the match at 15:42
After the match we get a recap of what has lead to Brie Bella facing Stephanie McMahon at SummerSlam. Later tonight both women will sign the contract making their match official for SummerSlam.
Rusev vs. Sin Cara
Now here’s one to chalk up to WWE making no sense. It was a squash match that started and ended before they returned from commercial break. Lana cuts a promo and sings Happy Birthday to our President. She gets interrupted by Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter. Kudos to WWE not breaking this down and keeping it going. Rusev vs. Swagger is as old school is as it’s going to get in WWE and a flag match is a no brainer. However when it comes to tonight it looks like Swagger gets the short end he gets tossed by Rusev. He and Lana corner Colter but evidently they show mercy and leave him be. Interesting. Were it me I’d actually use the spot to get even more heat on Rusev. No one would enjoy seeing an old man being but in a Camel Clutch by an anti-American Russian sympathizer.
Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler
Pretty quick match. I was hoping for it to go a little longer because both men are favorites of mine bt I’ll take what I can get. The IC Champion The Miz enters the ring from the commentary where he and his SummerSlam opponent for the title Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler throws a superkick but Miz ducks.
Backstage Tom Phillips is standing by with Paige. Paige sends AJ well wishes and says she is excited about their match at SummerSlam.
RybAxel vs. Goldust and Stardust
This match really didn’t get going until Cody got the tag in. He wins the match with a finisher that I didn’t catch the name of. Dark Matter or something like that. If you’re in a rush you can skip this one.
Backstage Kane interrupts The Authority, doesn’t say anything, then hands his mask over to Stephanie. I guess he is going back to Corporate Kane?
Chris Jericho vs. Luke Harper
Nice little stipulation for the match, if Y2J wins both Harper and Rowan are banned from ringside for Jericho’s match against Bray Wyatt at SummerSlam. The match was going great. I was really enjoying how they played up Jericho’s smaller size compared to Harper’s. Bray Wyatt interferes in the match causing Rowan to get disqualified. Bray Wyatt will be going at it alone versus Jericho at SummerSlam.
Diego w/ El Torito, Summer Rae, and Layla vs. Fandango w/ Hornswoggle
This match was ummm…yeah. Hornswoggle’s bald head dancing and Layla just being Layla is worth the viewing though.
Backstage Renee Young is with Randy Orton. They wanted to know Orton’s thoughts on what happened earlier this evening with Kane but instead he wants to show a video of him destroying Reigns last week.
Bo Dallas vs. R-Truth
Another quick match but in the short amount of time both men had they showed they have some pretty good chemistry, so much so I think it would be a great Pay-Per-View opening match. Bo wins with a rollup while holding the trunks. Both men brawl outside the ring with Bo getting the upper hand.
Back from break and Bray Wyatt cuts a promo. I have no clue what this guy is saying and I don’t think I ever have, but it always sounds so cool.
After another WWE Network plug they replay the Cena/Lesnar vignette from earlier.
Rob Van Dam vs.
Seth Rollins Heath Slater in the 2nd Beat the Clock match
EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS WAS AMAZING. No it really was. Having Ambrose out there screwing with Seth and his briefcase was fantastic. Near fall after near fall for Slater. JBL’s hat gets stolen again! In the end Slater pulls off the upset of the year and wins via rollup. This Friday Dean Ambrose will choose the stipulation for his match versus Seth Rollins at SummerSlam.
Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella Contract Signing
Triple H excuses himself from the proceedings seeing as there is a conflict of interest with his wife “stepping out of retirement for this historic match”. Stephanie asks about Daniel Bryan’s recovery which Brie responds asking if Stephanie has recovered from getting arrested. After a lame joke Brie says she’s fighting this match for all the WWE Superstars Stephanie has done wrong. Stephanie fires a serious verbal assault back. After the contract has been signed Stephanie whacks Nikki Bella with the contract. Triple H uses the table to trap Brie in the corner. Stephanie picks up the limp body of Nikki and hits a absolutely beautiful Pedigree right in front of a trapped Brie Bella. Brie hits Triple H and tries to fight out of the corner but Stephanie cuts her off and slams her face into the table. She picks up Brie and drops her with another perfect Pedigree. The show ends with The Authority celebrating in the ring.
Final Thoughts: This Raw had a lot of matches that looked great on paper but aside from Jericho/Harper every match was sort of bland. I’m guessing this was due to time constraints as this show had a ton of segments. This show was great in the sense that the matches for the SummerSlam PPV took a logical advancement and made each match much more important. As for the contract signing that segment was spot on A+. I’m thinking Stephanie saw Brie was struggling a bit to get her message across and her tongue lashing kept the segment going. Her using the Pedigree and doing it as good as her husband sealed the deal for me. Yeah, I wanna see this match.