The Raw Review – 15th August 2016

Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The Raw Review

Less than a week away from what is set to be an exciting SummerSlam the wrestling world gathered to witness the Monday Night Raw debut of Finn Balor’s ‘Demon King’ persona. The smarks of the world that watch NXT wouldn’t be as excited but nonetheless it was bound to draw up huge excitement as the show began with Seth Rollins searching for the Demon King – even though Balor told him last week in a promo that he was going to meet him soon enough. Do you not watch the product Seth?

Following on from this we were greeted in the ring by real Bulgarian, Rusev, and his fake Russian wife, Lana. Not only is she getting her monies worth out of that wedding dress she is also doing her best to convince us that Roman Reigns unfairly got his shot against Rusev at SummerSlam for the United States Championship. We already know, Lana. Don’t waste your precious breath. Instead Mick Foley decided that the two men should fight as the nights main event in honour of Lana… Nope, I didn’t get it either. This is the same kind of crap from the Attitude Era that is seeing this current “New Era” take one El Torito step forward and then two Great Khali steps back. The company is trying to convince us that Reigns isn’t being force fed to us by making him compete for the lesser title on the show yet they still put him in the nights main event? They’re more clueless than our Smackdown Live reviewer, Elliot Dyson.

"Who sucks more than my Dude Love gimmick?"
“Who sucks more than my Dude Love gimmick?”

Finally, after what already felt longer than Raws stretched running time of three hours, we got to see some wrestling. For the second week running we got the Tango vs Fanta match up of Sheamus and Sami Zayn. Credit where it’s due these guys have put on a great match twice on the spin. I’m starting to become genuinely interested in this little feud which will sadly come to an end at SummerSlam when Cesaro and Sheamus settle the score. The match ended when Cesaro, who was sat on commentary, caused a distraction to Sheamus allowing Zayn to land a Helluva Kick right into the soft cushioned beard of his opponent. Got to say, I think I will be avoiding this one when I make my SummerSlam accumulator. The only real winner here is pro wrestling for having such an amazing talent like Sheamus.

The New Day beat the Dudley Boyz in a match that saw a TitanTron appearance from Doctors, Anderson and Gallows. They seem to be sticking with this ‘Ringpostitus’ gag whilst Big E is still recovering from a, let’s say, significant injury to his massive balls. I’m clearly not as good at being metaphorical like the Doctors are. Oh, Koffi landed a Trouble in Paradise to beat the Dudleyz. Shocker!

Looks just like the pickled egg jar in my local chippy
Looks just like the pickled egg jar in my local chippy

Nia Jax drove her Chevy to the levi again this week by winning another squash match against local jobber, Rachel Levi (get it?). Who knows what will happen with Jax? The WWE certainly don’t know either.

My favourite segment of the night saw Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar get interrupted by the hottest free agent in sports entertainment (that contractually can’t work for any other company). Heath Slater challenged Lesnar by saying he would earn that elusive Raw contract if he could beat the Beast Incarnate one on one. Oh how we all laughed as Lesnar brutally hit the one man band with suplex after suplex and then finished him off with an F5. What’s the bet that Orton lands an RKO outta nowhere on Smackdown Live as a response? Hopefully Slater gets that contract soon but if other wasted talents are to go by he may do just fine on other promotions.

"Heath Slater?.." Yes, Heath Slater babaaaay!
“Heath Slater?..”
Yes, Heath Slater babaaaay!

JerichOwens is really happening and it’s sure as hell is going to culminate on one of these two monster heels turning on each other at SummerSlam. I can see it now – Enzo somehow rolls up Jericho for the win and the Ayatollah of I’ll have a Corona blames Owens which then starts a new feud that we all want to see. It’ll definitely be more entertaining than seeing them embarrass Enzo and Cass any further than they already are. There’s just nobody better at trash talking than Owens and Jericho. The match itself was a one on one between Kevin Owens and Big Cass that saw Cass win by disqualification after Jericho couldn’t help but interfere. We were also treated to a delightful Super Kick and Code Breaker combination at the end by Y2KO. That sounds so much better, admit it.

"Welcome to Raw is JerichOwens" - It just doesn't sound right to me.
“Welcome to Raw is JerichOwens” – It just doesn’t sound right to me.

There was a very apprehensive Prime Time Players reunion which saw the duo lose to the Shining Stars after Titus O’Neil was receiving “coaching” from Bob Backlund. This one time only partnership just served as an iron in the proverbial fire to keep this feud going between Darren Young and Titus O’Neil. The saddest part about this match was that although the Shining Stars won again it was yet again due to a distraction to one of their opponents. Just give them a chance! Let them win cleanly against the New Day and have them as the most hated tag team in history.

In his first televised match since returning to Monday Night Raw, Jinder Mahal, lost to Neville. Really, I don’t see his place in the roster at this point in time and it seems like a bad time for him to make a return when he wasn’t particularly hot property in his last run with the company. Who knows, maybe he will lose to Slater and he takes his place on the roster. That would be good. I should book for WWE… or just write Heath Slater story lines. I like Heath Slater, okay!?

The Demon King finally showed himself as Seth Rollins was conveniently in the ring making one last search for the former NXT darling. The two fought briefly before Rollins fled after being cleared out of the ring. Even though they’ve prematurely given fans the Demon King it sure as hell is going to be a fantastic match between these two at SummerSlam for the WWE Universal Orlando Resort Championship.

> Insert flame emoji here <
> Insert flame emoji here <

There’s only so many times I can hear “you want it, you got it, The Golden Truth” without realising how ironic it is becoming. Sadly, I don’t want it anymore. Anderson and Gallows made short work of them by finishing off the children’s entertainers with a Magic Killer. Kofi and Woods of the New Day came charging down to the ring to attack the Doctors of Doom (trademark pending) before they scampered away before Woods could give them a little “Trombonitus”. With the New Day seemingly without Big E at SummerSlam I think it could be the right time to give some other tag teams a chance with the gold. After all, the New Day will still be highly popular and entertaining without it.

Sasha Banks joined the commentary team to watch Charlotte beat Alicia Fox. The Boss pointed out that Dana Brooke looks like Miss Piggy which sounds a little harsh but really is fantastic call from the Women’s Champion. The match obviously ended with Charlotte beating Alicia Fox but Sasha came down to the ring to confront Charlotte after she gestured her, much like your mum, to come and get some. It was Dana Brooke who had the last laugh after she took out Sasha unawares to allow Charlotte to lock in a Figure 8. Cold, calculated and clever – I think Charlotte might reclaim the Women’s Championship at SummerSlam.

As was highly advertised throughout the night the main event was a match between the greatest United States Champion of all time, Rusev, and the worst member of the Anoa’i family of all time, Roman Reigns. In fairness the two men put on a good match that should get people in the mood for disappointment when Reigns predictably wins the title at SummerSlam. The dumbest thing of the night was seeing Rusev land diving headbutt after diving headbutt as if he couldn’t foresee Reigns dodging one of them. Then again, Rusev doesn’t have much time to watch wrestling when he gets to spend his life with Lana. Win or Lose at SummerSlam, Rusev is the real winner.

I know, Lana. We're disappointed too.
I know, Lana. We’re disappointed too.