Date: August 15, 2014
Location: Key Arena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's the very final show before Summerslam and man alive does it feel like it's taken awhile to get here. The main story coming off of Monday is Cena standing toe to toe with Lesnar and being ready to fight on Sunday. Unfortunately tonight is likely going to be about an hour and forty five minutes of filler and a few minutes of good build. Let's get to it.
MizTV gets things going with the host in a red suit. He talks about how awesome it's going to be when the Hollywood icon gets to defend his title in Hollywood. Nice touch. His guest tonight is Roman Reigns to a solid ovation. Miz mentions his mom being a big Reigns fan and asks if Roman is nervous about his match on Sunday. If Reigns loses, he's going to be a guy remembered in a vest that was once on MizTV.
Miz keeps cutting him off and bragging about his movie career, so Reigns punches him out without standing up. The replays make it look even better as Reigns made perfect contact. Reigns stares Miz out of the ring and says he respects the titles Orton has won, but he's coming at Summerslam.
Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro
Cesaro is going to be a lumberjack on Sunday. A quick knee to the ribs puts Cesaro down and Dean hammers away in the corner. Cesaro comes back with a right hand of his own and a big clothesline. Dean's cross body is caught but he slips over Cesaro's back and clotheslines him out to the floor. Dean follows him out with a plancha and hammers away again. They head back inside for more punching as it's pretty clear we're not getting their A stuff tonight. Cesaro whips him shoulder first into the post and suplexes him on the floor as we take a break.
Back with Ambrose fighting out of a chinlock and sending him to the floor, setting up a suicide dive to take Cesaro down. A tornado DDT gets two for Dean but his arm gives out when he tries for a butterfly suplex. Another clothesline and Swiss Death get two each for Cesaro. Ambrose starts to get on his nerves so Cesaro busts out a Burning Hammer of all things for two. Naturally the announcers ignore it and keep chattering about the lumberjack match. Cole tries to get “Lunatic Fringe” over as the name for Dean's comebacks as he hits the rebound clothesline and Dirty Deeds out of nowhere for the pin at 7:45 shown of 10:15.
Rating: B-. This started slow but got WAY better after the break. I can't believe we got a Burning Hammer, but I can easily believe that Cole and JBL didn't bother to notice it. It's nice to see Ambrose get a pin over a name but I don't like that it's at Cesaro's expense. The problem though is who else could Dean beat? The midcard has been so beaten down that there's almost nowhere else to go.
Post match Rollins comes out and explains the idea of a lumberjack match before declaring himself better than Ambrose. They were never friends, they were never brothers, and Seth never cared about Ambrose one bit.
Miz is holding an ice pack to his face when he runs into Kane. Miz complains a lot so Kane makes Miz vs. Reigns tonight.
Titus O'Neil vs. Dolph Ziggler
Before the match we get a clip of Titus and Heath Slater ruining Hogan's cake after Raw went off the air this week. Dolph swivels his hips to start and sends Titus charging over the ropes. Slater yells at O'Neil to get back in, earning Titus a dropkick to the face. Titus hammers away in the corner but charges into two boots to the face. A Stinger Splash has Titus in trouble, only to have him kick Dolph's head off for two. The advantage is short lived though as Ziggler escapes a fallaway slam and hits a Zig Zag for the pin at 3:09.
Rating: D. Nice job here of making Ziggler look good heading into the match on Sunday. I can't imagine they take the title off Miz this soon, even though Dolph has been ready for a push now longer than most people have careers. Titus and Slater are fine as a harmless tag team, even though I can't imagine them ever going anywhere.
Video on Jericho vs. Wyatt.
Mark Henry vs. Luke Harper
This actually has potential. Big Show is out with Henry. They circle each other to start until Luke tries his luck against Mark's power. It goes as badly as you would expect with Henry shoving him out to the floor and staring down at Harper. Back in and a big boot drops Mark for two before we hit the chinlock. Henry powers up again and loads up the World's Strongest Slam, drawing in Rowan for the DQ at 3:07.
Rating: D. This didn't have time to go anywhere but there's something interesting to another team. Granted I'm not wild on having yet another pairing of big power guys but that's life in the WWE. Big Show vs. Henry down the line doesn't do anything for me, but you can almost sense it coming.
Big Show clears the ring.
Mark Henry/Big Show vs. Wyatt Family
This is joined in progress after a break as Kane made the match on the fly. Points to WWE for doing that during a break and not wasting two minutes of TV time. Big Show chops Harper in the corner and Luke bails to the floor to avoid a chokeslam. Show goes after him and Rowan gets in a cheap shot to take over. Erick comes in legally and drops an elbow for two before choking away on the ropes.
Harper's superkick gets two and a big reaction from the crowd. Big Show fights out of another chinlock and plants Harper with a side slam. The hot tag brings in Henry who cleans house and loads up Rowan in the World's Strongest Slam. Big Show nails Erick with the KO Punch before Henry plants him with the slam for the pin at 5:00.
Rating: C. I'm kind of in shock but this was actually pretty good. The Family can wrestle the power style very well and have the size to match up with Show and Henry but are lanky enough that they can sell the big power moves like smaller guys. I wouldn't mind seeing this again and I can't believe I'm saying that.
LONG recap of Stephanie vs. Brie. They say Stephanie hasn't had a match in ten years, even though she competed (very technically) against Vickie in the mud pit match a few months back.
AJ Lee vs. Eva Marie
Non-title again. AJ charges and sends Eva out to the floor but she's able to snap AJ's throat across the ropes. Back in and AJ snaps, even ripping Eva's extensions out. Paige comes out but takes a beating as well, but it causes AJ to get counted out at 2:07.
Paige kicks AJ in the head and nails a Paige Turner.
Jack Swagger vs. Bo Dallas
Dallas takes him into the corner to start and hammers away. That's the extent of his offense as Swagger shrugs off a spear and grabs the Patriot Lock for the submission at 53 seconds. So much for Dallas meaning anything.
Rusev and Lana come out post match (with Cole calling the Gold Star the Bronze Medal) and do their usual. Nothing to see here.
Post break we get a video of Bo saying he was crawling for the ropes and not tapping out.
Video on Lesnar vs. Cena.
Roman Reigns vs. The Miz
Non-title. Miz runs from Roman to start, earning a calm smile from the big man. Miz's hammerlock doesn't work and a left hand has about the same effect. Now it's time for a chase scene and Reigns is ready for the sneak attack as they get back in. He pulls Miz to the floor and sends him into the barricade as the beating begins. Back inside and Miz goes for the leg to take over. He wraps it around the post and hammers away on Reigns' back.
Cole and JBL debate if Miz is really an A-lister as Miz slaps on the Figure Four. It doesn't stay on long though as Miz opts to punch him in the head, only to get kicked into the corner. There's the Samoan drop followed by the apron boot, but Miz rolls away to avoid the Superman Punch. Ziggler comes out to block Miz's way, allowing Reigns to NAIL the Superman Punch on the floor. Back in and the spear gives Reigns the pin at 7:00.
Rating: C. This was fine and another former World Champion to add to Reigns' pile. I'm not wild on another active champion getting pinned but at least it's not a way to set up a title defense. Miz has a good character but he still isn't the best in ring worker. A few alterations to his offense and look could do wonders for him, including tights instead of trunks. The trunks just don't look right on him and never have.
Overall Rating: C+. I liked this one more than I thought I would as they did a nice job of setting up the pay per view on Sunday. Thankfully there was far less Brie vs. Stephanie which has been one of the major drawbacks to Raw lately. It also helps that this show doesn't have the extra hour of filler matches to dull your brain. Good stuff here and Cesaro vs. Ambrose was a solid match.
Dean Ambrose b. Cesaro – Dirty Deeds
Dolph Ziggler b. Titus O'Neil – Zig Zag
Mark Henry b. Luke Harper via DQ when Erick Rowan interfered
Mark Henry/Big Show b. Wyatt Family – World's Strongest Slam to Rowan
Eva Marie b. AJ Lee via countout
Jack Swagger b. Bo Dallas – Patriot Lock
Roman Reigns b. The Miz – Spear
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