Don’t Leave Me Hanging – A Raw Recap for 7/25/2017

It’s the last Raw for July 2017 fresh off the disappointing SmackDown Live PPV, Battleground.  I, and the fans in attendance in Washington DC, hope this is at least somewhat better.

Fatal Four Way

We are set for a collision course for destruction…is what I would say if I was a commentator for this fine program.  But I’m not.  After Braun Strowman interfered in the #1 Contenders match last week on Raw, Angle is here to address who will actually be the #1 Contender for Raw.  It’s no surprise, all three man believe they should be.  Roman, because he’s a jerk, Joe, because he’s not afraid of Brock and has one his two previous matches against Reigns, and Strowman because he’s…er…Strowman.

It’s an easy solution that I’m sure Brock and Heyman won’t like.  We’re getting a Fatal 4 Way at Summerslam for the Universal Championship.

It quickly becomes chaos requiring Angle to empty the locker room to contain these three.

Jason Jordan-Angle angle

Jason’s good ol’ Dad sets him up with his first opponent, Kurt Hawkins.  I feel like he’s getting his Dad’s treatment.  He’s set up for an easy win and is now really cocky.  It’s like he suddenly knows he’s a better wrestler than the rest of the locker room.

He quickly dispatches Kurt Hawkins with a Belly-To-Back Suplex and a spear for a win.

I think we will have heel Jason Jordan very quickly.  Kurt Angle is a definite face.  Something seems fishy about this…

Mini Shield Reunion

One of my favorite things about Monday Night Raw is awaiting to see what Bo Dallas wears this week.  You know I Bo-Lieve in his weird camo jacket with cut off sleeves, popped collar, and some weird gold jewelry.  What background actor from Sons of Anarchy is he going to look like next week?

Before the match, Seth wants to talk strategy but Dean isn’t really having it.  Seth mentions that they have three guys they need to watch out for.  Dean says, no, there’s 4 guys I have to watch out for, lumping in Seth with his opponents.

That being said, they work as an excellent team.  As someone who missed the initial Shield run, it’s easy to see why they were instantly on top and so dominant.  Seth and Dean particularly have a great chemistry together, either as opponents or allies.  I get it.

Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins Vs. The Miz and the Miztourage

Dean starts off strong against all three members of the Miztourage.  He tags in Seth who draws heat for a significant portion of the match just getting beat down relentlessly from all three guys.  Seth sells great but what makes it even better is the selling that Dean is doing in the corner.  You feel just how anxious he is which just draws more heat to the heels.  Seth finally gets the hot tag and him and Dean go to town.

After a terrible DDT, Miz gets Dean setup for a second Skull Crushing Finale but Seth comes flying in with a knee to the Miz to save the day.  Dean hits the Dirty Deeds for the pin.

Seth puts out his fist for the standard Shield celebration but Dean leaves him hanging.  But Dean thinks about it.  He’s clearly excited for the win.  He almost turns around to go back in the ring to relive his glory days.  But he doesn’t.

I love this story.  It’s doing something useful for both of these guys.  And yes, Dean has been wrestling Miz for what seems like forever.  But now it’s not the forefront.  It’s just in the background of a much bigger story.

Bayley Vs. Sasha Banks for #1 Contendership at Summerslam

Battle of the friendship.  Alexa calls Sasha and Bayley Team Gag Reflex, which rolls off the tongue a little easier than The Boss and Hugger Connection.

It’s a very physical match, not as good as their famous Brooklyn match but what can you expect, really.  Lots of striking sets this apart from their previous bouts.  And it seems like there’s a bit of a fire in Bayley.  A fire that she needs to prove that she can handle it.  Maybe this is the story all along.  Maybe that Kendo stick match was intentionally bad so we can tell this story?  I suspect it’s just luck though.

Sasha hits a slightly ugly Frog Splash but Bayley is able to kick out of the pin and roll Sasha up for the win.

I have a suspicion that this is not the end.  We have several weeks to go.  I feel like Vince is keeping his options open to change this one up if he feels like he needs to.  I don’t think he has 100% faith in Bayley right now so I wouldn’t be surprised if he added Banks to make it a Triple Threat.

Everything Else

  • Emma is tired of not being on TV.  She interupts a Renee Young (what?!) interview with Kurt Angle to threaten to date Jason Jordan.  It seems like a good tactic until Kurt books her in a match with Nia Jax.  No entrance so we know what that means… She got in some offense but she was definitely jobbed out.  I’m sure there’s an actual name for this but Nia hits some sort of flip into a senton on Emma.  Unusually acrobatic for Jax.  Meanwhile on SmackDown Live, Lana gets that weird Saxophone burlesque show entrance to lose in 10 seconds.  As much as SmackDown has sucked lately, it’s still the land of opportunity in some respects.
  • So speaking of Renee Young, she did most of the backstage interviews tonight.  Is this a permanent thing or just because we are in the run-up for Summerslam.  If I were her, if you cancelled my show and took me off the road with my husband, I’d want to fix that.  She also could be on Raw to teach some of those Human Microphone Stands how it’s done.
  • A banged up Finn Bálor is looking for revenge from last week.  He gets Samson in a lot of great offense here.  I know people are freaking out that Finn is currently hanging out in the midcard, but he’s actually having really good matches with Samson.  I think people need to chill out.  Not everyone can be at the top all the time.  Sometimes you need to elevate lower and mid card guys buy having the top guys face them.
  • Speaking of top guys, The Revival came out and cut a promo on how they are running the tag team devision.  They ran off The New Day to SmackDown and they shattered the Hardys.  What’s next?  The Good Brothers show up to handle the elite team that is The Revival and put them in their place.  Just like in their Main Event match a couple of weeks ago, Anderson and Gallows were working face in this match.  Karl even built things up for a hot tag.  It all turned around when The Hardys showed up looking for revenge on Dash and Dawson for delivering a Shatter Machine not too long ago (maybe it was just last week?!?).  That distraction led to a Shatter Machine on the Club for an easy pinfall.  Casual Fridays Jeff and Matt come to the ring to get their revenge.  Matt hits a Twist of Fate while Jeff climbs the turnbuckles in his Orange Crocs (hey, if you take as many crazy bumps as Jeff, let the man be comfortable) to set up for the Swanton but The Revival get out of there.
    • Meanwhile, Cesaro and Sheamus are watching from the back.  I’m convinced they put a green screen on the TV and they actually shot this weeks ago.
  • Enzo is the definition of insanity and gets beat down by Cass once again.  After several slams and big boots, Big Show comes to support the little guy.  Cass threatens TO SNAP ENZO’S NECK!?!  What is up with Raw and attempted murder.  Big Show hesitates and Cass is able to hit Show with a Big Boot and just continues the beat down on the giant.

    Tozawa refuses to sit out tonight despite insistence from Titus O’Neal and probably his doctors and trainers.  He calls out Neville who appears and gloats about beating him in the past.  After being called a shell of his former self.  Tozawa headbutts Neville and hits a top rope senton.  Daivari appears out of nowhere and hits both of them with his crazy lariat thing.  A great Cruiserweight segment.

  • We also get a weird commercial for Sonic with Bayley and The Hardys where The Hugster is really excited about hot dogs.