Courtesy of WWE.com
By Jeff Hamlin, WrestlingObserver.com
The Big Takeaway: In a phenomenal start to the buildup of the SummerSlam main event, The Undertaker made his first Raw apperance in over a year. It culminated with a sensational pull-apart brawl with Brock Lesnar, which was the textbook way of how to build a main event between two larger than life titans. It looks like John Cena will face Seth Rollins at SummerSlam, as well, so the Kevin Owens is history.
The Undertaker (star created in 1990) showed up to “Undertaker” chants and big cheers. He said he’s a remorseless, vengeful grim reaper. He said the painful truth is streaks are made to be broken, but Brock Lesnar (star created in 2002) had to remind everyone week after week of his greatest accomplishments, and enough is enough. Lesnar has taken what was once smoldering ashes and turned it into a raging inferno. Undertaker said last night was his resurrection.
He said Lesnar can’t kill what won’t die and he will challenge Lesnar’s mortality. He will conquer was has yet to be conquered. In the end, just like all living things, man or beast, Lesnar will rest in peace.
HHH (star created in 1999) and Stephanie McMahon (star created in her own mind) watched this scene elated from backstage. HHH said Undertaker and Lesnar would main event SummerSlam. However, HHH didn’t want Lesnar or Paul Heyman showing up tonight and putting the main event of their next PPV at risk. Stephanie left to call the marketing department to start promoting Lesnar-Taker (shouldn’t that have been done weeks ago?) while HHH called Heyman and told Lesnar not to show up to the arena. Yeah, if I had promoted Pacquaio-Mayweather, the last thing I’d want is to have Mayweather show up at a press conference or something.
Team BAD, Sasha Banks (just arrived), Naomi (50/50 club) and Tamina (50/50) were at ringside for the Divas match.
Charlotte (3rd Raw) was shown embracing her father Ric Flair after her match at Battleground last night.
Charlotte defeated Brie Bella (9:00)
Charlotte won with the Figure 8. Brie Bella (50/50. Since a pattern?) was a step slow in spots, particularly when Charlotte missed a Pescado before the break. Brie threw kicks to Charlotte’s body and the crowd chanted “Yes” in salute of Daniel Bryan (star created in 2012, despite the company’s best efforts otherwise). Nikki, Alicia Fox (50/50) were in Brie’s corner while Paige (50/50) and Becky Lynch (2nd Raw) cheered on Charlotte.
HHH was on the phone with Heyman when The Miz tried to talk with him. Heyman resisted but HHH told him not to bring Lesnar to the building. Meanwhile, Miz was mad about Big Show punching him last night. HHH really wasn’t listening and said Miz would face Big Show tonight and told “Obi One” to leave.
Los Matadores defeated the Prime Time Players (C) in a nontitle match (4:03)
Diego (jobber) pinned Titus O’Neal (50/50) with a back stabber after the New Day came out and distracted the Prime Time Players, who still aren’t as over as their push. El Torito has added a muscular body costume that makes him look like Giant Gonzalezito.
The Big Show defeated The Miz (1:28)
Show (star created in 1995 by WCW) pinned the Miz (50/50 after the most drastic fall from the top of the card in company history) with an elbow smash off the second rope in a squash. Show challenged Ryback for the I-C title and said he would appear on Tough Enough tomorrow night and told him to show up then. So they’re shooting angles for Tough Enough now.
HHH and Stephanie were backstage talking to an artist backstage about creating a mural for the SummerSlam main event when they saw Heyman. When they confronted him, Heyman quivered and said he just wanted to deliver Lesnar’s reply to the Undertaker. Heyman swore Lesnar wasn’t there. After he left, HHH and Stephanie didn’t believe him and said they needed extra security.
Next up was the time honored tradition of HHH and Stephanie dressing down the entire locker room. HHH said their entire livelihoods depends on keeping Lesnar and Undertaker apart tonight. HHH said they weren’t asking the locker room, they were telling them.
Heyman was in the ring to deliver Lesnar’s retort. He blamed Undertaker for Lesnar not being WWE Champion. He brought up April 6, 2014 as the night Lesnar conquered the Undertaker’s undefeated streak, which got some boos. And 469 days later, the Undertaker has returned for revenge.
Heyman brought up all the names who challenged the Undertaker at WrestleMania and failed. He didn’t mention C.M. Punk. In a babyface manner, Heyman said Undertaker sold his soul to the devil, but his ass belongs to Lesnar.
The lights went out and Undertaker was in the ring. Taker teased going after Heyman when Lesnar’s music hit to a huge pop. The announcers hit the road, the crowd went nuts, Lesnar ran to the ring like he had $10,000 in his hands as they started brawling. It was one electric scene. A group of jobbers first tried to break them up to no avail. HHH came out and emptied the locker room to get them apart. The ring was filled with midcarders, which now includes Kevin Owens (Cena program, which is a new third category. And a populated one, at that). Meanwhile, Roman Reigns (on the verge but not a star yet) and John Cena (star created in 2005) were MIA. Lesnar got free twice before about 30 guys got to him. Crowd chanted “This is awesome.” Great hype segment.
Once Lesnar got to the back, he saw Undertaker and it all started again. It was humorous watching R-Truth (jobber) and Bo Dallas (jobber) on the ground trying to pull Lesnar off. No announcers for any of this. You just heard police finally separating Lesnar, who had his hands cuffed with plastic bands. Lesnar told the officers not to touch him as he was escorted to a police van.
Seth Rollins (what does it say when the WWE Champion is an afterthought? It says he isn’t a star yet) walked up to HHH and Stephanie and asked for a chance to address the fans. He’s the champion, shouldn’t he get interview time without having to ask anyone?
Bray Wyatt (Cena program) and Luke Harper (50/50) were backstage. Wyatt said the fans annointed Reigns and they would burn for it. Harper said they would pick Reigns apart until there was nothing left.
Roman Reigns defeated Luke Harper by DQ (13:01)
They had a good match until a cheap finish where Wyatt tripped Reigns after Reigns hit a drive-by on Harper and Wyatt. Reigns sold his right arm most of the match. Harper is the proverbial “good hand in the ring” that’s great for making guys shine. He did a great job in this match. Dean Ambrose (50/50, check the PPV records if you don’t believe it) came out to be in Reigns corner. Michael Cole said Reigns hasn’t won a match since Wyatt cost Regins the Money in the Bank match. How can anyone who attends a house show take that statement seriously?
Wyatt threw Reigns into the announcer’s table. Ambrose starting brawling with the heels until Wyatt threw him into the timekeeer’s table. Harper clamped on a crossface on Reigns until Ambrose ran back in. It ended with Reigns hitting Wyatt with a Superman’s punch just as Wyatt was about to give Amrbose Sister Abigail. Reigns was more over in this segment than a long time. Very good presentation.
Rollins came out to very little reaction. He bragged about still holding the WWE title after Battleground and called himself the most underappreciated champion in the history of the WWE. Rollins says he can’t help but feel like he was robbed last night after the Undertaker got in the ring to interrupt the main event. He asked Lillian Garcia to get in the ring and asked her to announce him as the winner from last night’s match. She started to announce Lesnar as the winner by DQ, but Rollins was still champion.
Cena (star created in 2005, the Chris Berman of the WWE) came out. Rollins thought Cena was there to issue another U.S. Open challenge. Cena said he was there to thank Rollins. He said every time the fans see the US Championship belt, they would see excellence from challenger and champion. If it wasn’t for Rollins, that wouldn’t happen and called Rollins a lousy excuse for a champion. He said Rollins’ actions make people lose respect for the WWE championship and gain respect for the US Championship.
Rollins shot back that Cena can keep worrying about the US title, he would keep on being the WWE Champion. Rollins started to leave, but Cena said Rollins was about to walk away from another challenge. Cena dared Rollins to man up, said the man makes the title and called Rollins a joke. He challenged him to man up. Rollins teased going at it with Cena and naturally left. So it looks like Rollins vs. Cena at SummerSlam, though that wasn’t announced.
Sasha Banks and Naomi defeated Paige and Becky Lynch via submission (13:29)
Banks won with the Bank Statement on Paige. Team Bella was on commentary with Brie not selling her two losses in 48 hours to Charlotte at all. This was the curse of a 3-hour show as fans treated this as a popcorn match. The charisma of Banks and Lynch didn’t translate to a bigger crowd, at least not tonight. Fans did get interested after Paige got the hot tag. Match was OK.
Next, of all things, was Jake Gyllenhaul training for his role in the upcoming film “Southpaw.” Billy Gunn, Lita and Booker T talked about how Gyllenhaul works so hard for the role. All I can say is if you compare Gyllenhaul’s physique from his Donnie Darko days to his 2010 film “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” it’s….interesting.
Renee Young talked with Lana (50/50 after being on the verge of getting over huge, inexplicable face turn killed it) regarding Dolph Ziggler. She said the doctors haven’t medically cleared him, but he’s talking again Then Summer Rae (50/50) peared dressed as Lana. Rae said Rusev (Cena program) like her in that outfit. Rusev walked up and kissed Rae, then told Lana she looked tired. Lana looked shocked. Rae started to console Lana, but slapped her instead and walked off laughing. For a movie that didn’t do very much at the box office in 1994, there sure are a lot of wrestling angles based on “Single White Female.”
Randy Orton, John Cena and Cesaro defeated Kevin Owens, Rusev and Sheamus (14:56)
Apparently they were looking for ways to have weirder psychology than last week’s Rusev-Cena match. As the heels were getting the heat, Cesaro (50/50) pushed Owens (Cena program) into Sheamus (not a star because the fans aren’t biting even though the company sure is pushing), who collided with Rusev. This led to Sheamus pushing Owens and walking out. Owens went to tag Rusev, but Rusev was still down after getting hit by Owens. So Owens slapped Rusev, then kicked him, and left, as well. So Rusev, the heel, was left alone to face three babyfaces. It was a weird sight seeing Cesaro crawling to make a hot tag in what had turned into a 3-on-1 match. It ended with Lana coming down and tackling Summerr Rae, tearing the bun out of her hair. In the ring, Cena gave Rusev the AA, Cesaro gave him the Giant Swing into Randy Orton’s (star created in 2007) RKO, which is the most over finisher in the company. Orton got the pin.
SUMMARY: You can’t say enough good things about that Lesnar-Undertaker pull apart. That’s what makes the WWE wonderful. And this was a good show. However, did you notice any new stars in the above section created after 2007? No. Which is what makes the WWE so frustrating. They know what to do with the hand they’re dealt, so why can’t they just do it? I know Dave’s annual Wrestling Observer Awards are reserved for entities, not concepts. I wish that would change, because the notion that the WWE is a star creating company might be the most overrated concept in the industry.