Raw Heeds the Advice of a Crazy Old Jew – A Raw Recap 8/1/2016


The August 1, 2016 edition of Raw was live from Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA, where I just so happen to have been myself.  If anyone is curious, the presale code for the WWE Holiday Tour House Show at Philips for December 29th is simply the word Atlanta.  Feel free to grab some between now and Friday at midnight.

In any event, let’s get on with the meat and potatoes shall we?  Yum, speaking of meat and potatoes, have you joined the DietBet yet?  It’s only a $32 buy in to get healthy with The Dark Match.  Trust me, considering what I’m giving up to reach the goal, I’m fairly certain you can hit 4% of your body weight in a month.

Raw is Jericho

Look, I know the key point here is that they let Sasha Banks open the show, which is awesome, but this is my Raw recap, so I’m going to stick with forcing you to drink it in maaaannnnnn


But seriously, A WOMAN OPENED RAW THAT WASN’T STEPHANIE MCMAHON!  That happened, I was there.

Sasha came to the ring to a chorus of cheers and a resounding you deserve it chant, except from the numb nuts sitting next to me with his screechy girlfriend who seemed to only want to cheer for heels, expect the Gift of Jericho, oddly enough……stupid idiot.

Sasha got a few lines in, some of which she fumbled over because she’s still getting her footing.  Keeping her off TV for so long probably didn’t help.  But after she made a few statements about being the Boss, Charlotte came in, dressed like some sort of Cirque Du Soleil Disney Princess.  Charlotte has really come into her own with this heel character though, she’s getting so much better as time goes along on promos and her in ring performances, particularly of late, have been nothing short of fantastic.  Last week’s match with Sasha was great and that moonsault was awesome.

Sasha starts in on Ric, which draws out Chris Jericho to tell her she’s a brat, which bring out SMACKTALKA SKYWALKA to let Chris and Charlotte know they’s a cupla hatas.

This became a mixed tag match following a Mick Foley appearance.  There’s crazy chemistry with Sasha and Enzo, not quite Enzo and Carmella good, but it’s good.

It goes back and forth for a while until Enzo is down on the outside, and a Dana Brooke distraction creates an opening for Natural Selection and the heels take the win.  After the match, Jericho hits a Codebreaker on Enzo and proceeds to start to beat him down when that 7 foot tall guy came out and scared him away.  This was his only appearance of the night, which was a little odd to me.  He may be nursing some minor injury.

Braun Strowman and Nia Jax have the same writing team, apparently.

I can do these recaps simultaneously as two random jobbers were waiting in the ring for an opponent when Braun/Nia made the way to the ring, handily slaughtered their opponent, and left after getting an extra lick or two in on the jobbers after the pinfall to really solidify that their bad guys, as if we didn’t get the point.


Braun, unlike his female counterpart, was sporting a strange new hairdo.  I can’t even find a photo of it, but just imagine this guy was somehow crossbred with Steven Seagal.  Yeah, something like that.

The World’s Worst Travel Agents vs R Truth’s Pokemon Go Addiction


The Golden Truth waged war with The Shining Stars, who want to remind you that tourism is not expensive and Puerto Rico is beautiful, at least the three small sections of the nation that they show in the clips.  Or rather, Golddust was outnumbered because R Truth needed to catch a Pidgey sitting in row 3 of section 104.  I think the Shining Stars won, I don’t know, they mentioned Pokemon so they lost my attention for about 10 minutes.

Finn Balor knows how to say the word ass properly, oh and Seth Rollins was there too


Everyone’s least favorite member of the WWE broadcast team, and don’t even try to tell me Otunga is worse, Michael Cole was in the ring to do one of his stupid interviews with Finn Balor and to remind people he’s still relevant.  He failed on both parts, because half a question in Seth Rollins took over to conduct an interview and stir the pot, which lead to a minor scuffle with Finn hitting a spinning kick to the midsection and a pele kick on the more probably winner of the Summerslam match.  I’m happy however this match goes, I’m even more excited to see the Demon entrance on the grand stage.

Rusev defends the US Championship against….wait, Mark Henry?  Was I drunk at Raw?

So yeah, in what I am kind of starting to think is some sort of retirement tour for Mark Henry, who botched about 3/4 of this match, he convinced Steph and Foley to give him a US Championship match as a former Olympian and the WWE Ambassador to the Olympic games in Rio.  I have to ask, does anyone else think it is a terrible idea to send Sexual Chocolate to the land of the Zika Virus?  You’re just turning a small thing into a global epidemic.

Anyway, Rusev let Henry put on his show for a while, some “you still got it” chants in between the obvious mistakes on Mark’s part (granted he’s probably pretty rusty), but Rusev would eventually Crush with the Accolade for the tap out.

Following the match, Rusev went on one of his anti-American tirades only to be interrupted by Roman Reigns.  Yes, the same Roman Reigns who won the Heavyweight title at Wrestlemania is likely after the US Championship at Summerslam.  I’d say, “oh how the mighty have fallen” but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this Roman segment and the crowd went from boos to being pretty well behind him too, so it wasn’t just me.  I won’t like, I even did the “OoohAhhhh” thing.  I could really get into this match.

Also, congrats are in order, as Rusev and Lana became wedded this weekend.

Darren Young was never great, as told to him straight by his former tag partner

Earlier in the day, Darren Young and Titus were mid conversation about how Titus likes the whole Make Darren Young Great Again thing but didn’t realize he was ever great to begin with.  Odd, considering you were tag partners for quite a while to have such lowly opinion of your colleague.  In any event, this comment led to a match where, like usual, the only interesting part, and it’s really only nominally interesting at that, was eagerly anticipating a blood vessel exploding in Bob Backlund’s forehead.  Titus won with a handful of tights, which pissed Backlund off, who confronted him backstage.  When Titus told the old man to calm down before he knocked him out, Darren Young came from the side with a cheap sucker punch.  Rest assured, these two will have a preshow match at Summerslam, since it’s apparently going to be 6 days long anyway.

New Day makes dirty fruit sculptures


To even the odds for their match with The New Day, The Club filed a grievance with the brass to ban the odd man out from ringside.  Generally, I would have expected this to lead to The Club having a third man participate somehow, but it didn’t.  Anyway, to determine which of The New Day would stay backstage, they played what Woods referred to as an “intense game of fruit bag” where they pulled fruit from a bag, and the two members who pulled oranges wrestled while the one that drew a banana stayed out.  I mean, I don’t have to spell out what they did with two oranges and a banana, do I?  I’m trying to be more kid friendly.

The New Day won a very quick match, but that wasn’t the point here.  The epic beatdown that followed was the purpose of this taking place.  The Club just laid waste to The New Day when the match was over, and I think they broke Big E’s Banana and Oranges.

Cesaro is not happy, and you need to fix this now


Cesaro and Sheamus meet the GM and Commish in the backstage area in a collective of guys who were pissed the got drafted so poorly.

They’re then pitted together with the promise of the winner getting a championship match of undisclosed purpose at some point in the near future.

Cesaro wins in what was a pretty great match between two truly quality competitors.  But that’s not the best part, and something they likely won’t put on Twitter or anything.  After the match, Cesaro was trying to celebrate with the crowd and got on the ropes to do the tank fist thing when they turned the lights off on him and turned on a promo for one of those WWE Documentary DVDs or something.  Cesaro threw his hands up towards the screen and just started shaking his head.  He just kind of sat in the corner for a few minutes, then just starting walking around the ring high fiving everyone in the front row, he even took one of the professional cameras from the photography staff out into the crowd and was taking selfies with it.  When the lights came back on it was sort of quiet and you could hear him yell, “Hey hey, Look, I’m still here.”  That’s the point where Sheamus sort of reappeared from seemingly nowhere to brawl with him some more.  They’ll probably have another match, which I’m ok with, but they really need to square this disgruntled Cesaro thing.  I am a proud season ticket holder of both the Cesaro Section and Uppercut Train.

Seth Rollins vs Sami Zayn


I didn’t watch the broadcast so I didn’t get any Chrisley, but Seth Rollins is in Sharknado 4, so seek that out.

This match was great, as it was on Smackdown a few weeks ago, I’d say if nothing else I hated that he went for the Pedigree like 10 times before actually hitting it, but that’s nitpicking.  Sami put on a show and Seth was just Seth.  Seth Rollins got the win with the pedigree, but I’m truly hoping that somewhere down the line, these two feud for something meaningful.

Thou Shalt Not Intentionally Provoke The Viper


This was the big Brock Lesnar segment, but really what it was seemed to be a rather irritable Paul Heyman (on account of rumored contract disputes) toeing the line of what he’s actually allowed to say, including saying that Randy Orton should listen to both the voices inside his head as well as that of the Crazy Old Jew warning him to steer clear of the Beast.  And as the gentleman behind me in the crowd noted, as soon as they said Randy Orton’s name, you knew he was coming, and it literally happened so fast that it was most definitely out of nowhere.  A vicious RKO left The Beast down for a moment or two and gave Orton time to escape through the crowd before security and half of the roster came out to run him off, and Mick Foley put on the performance of a lifetime acting like they didn’t know he was coming, even audibly telling Paul Heyman a number of times to inform Brock that it would be dealt with and they didn’t know how he got in there.  Even after Brock had left the stage area Foley was standing with security just laying into them about the invasion of his brand by a Smackdown representative.

It all really just foreshadows that, though likely not tomorrow, Lesnar is going to take Orton to Suplex City on one of the pre-Summerslam Smackdown episodes.

Other things of note from the broadcast and the live show:

Dark Matches/Superstars:

  • Neville def. Curtis Axel with an amazing Red Arrow.  Good to see the Man That Gravity Forgot getting back to form.
  • The Dudleyz def. Jack Swagger and Sin Cara via the 3D.  Yeah, I don’t understand that other tag team myself.

Post Raw match for the live audience:

  • Ambrose, Reigns and John Cena def. Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and AJ Styles via simultaneous finishing maneuvers.  This match was advertised slightly different for weeks going into this show, the majority of the time featuring Jericho in the Owens spot.  But I was really thrilled that this match actually occurred.  I went nuts when the Cena music started right after the broadcast clearly ended (and a good 1/4 of the crowd had already begun the mass exodus for their vehicles.  With Rollins and Ambrose the legal men, Cena landed an AA on AJ as Roman speared KO, both of them falling to the outside, as Rollins walked right into a Dirty Deeds.  This was a very well scripted quick match for the crowd that undoubtedly paid to see at least half these guys back before the brand split was ever announced (like me).

That’s all for me folks.  Hopefully this is all completely coherent, I don’t stay up this late but I wanted to bring you this recap from the arena seats.

Tune in again late Tuesday evening/Wednesday for Jeremy’s Smackdown recap, and remember to sign up for the DietBet here.