WWE continued its lurch toward the biggest party of the summer Monday night, with the penultimate Raw before SummerSlam.
And while there has been a lot to criticize in recent months about the product, big shows like this can sometimes refocus the writers and give them some direction. Case in point, Raw was bookended by strong segments that revolved around the upcoming fatal four-way match for the WWE Universal Championship, a match that will pit four monsters – Brock Lesnar, Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman – against each other.
In between the opening and closing, Raw gave us WWE’s solution to Bayley’s untimely injury, which knocked her out of SummerSlam. We saw Jason Jordan playing the All-American hero… in Toronto… against a local wrestler. We saw Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins continue their little back-and-forth teased reunion. We saw Lesnar abuse Miz and his entourage. And we saw Reigns and Strowman abuse each other.
Raw also put Big Cass in the spotlight once again… and once again had his night end dazed and on the ground.
SummerSlam is shaping up on paper to have some really strong matches, but with a four-hour PPV (plus a kickoff show), it could be marathon watching rather than a relaxing evening enjoying the show.
With that said, let’s find out what clicked and what whiffed. Let’s get to it…
That’s a semi-serious question. Since finally returning to action after nearly a year out, Emma has barely been featured, and when she has, she’s typically lost.
Emma returned after WrestleMania and has had just six matches on Raw, losing five of them, including a #1 contender’s bout on Monday, where she tapped out to Sasha Banks rather than Alicia Fox tapping. This isn’t to say that Emma should be Raw Women’s Champion right now, but she’s one of the more talented wrestlers of the division, and after being out for so long, she could have been a breath of fresh air.
Instead, she has been relegated almost exclusively to multi-woman and tag matches (save for one squash against Nia Jax as punishment for mouthing off to GM Kurt Angle). It certainly feels like she’s being punished for the titillating Emmalina gimmick failing or for some other slight.
Regardless, it’s just frustrating to see a talented wrestler in a small division being under- and misused.