WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 11th, 2014 - The Final Show Before SummerSlam
1) Roman Reigns vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel
I'm not normally a fan of handicap matches, but Rybaxel are so entertaining that I didn't mind it here. Nice little bout to start the show. Rybaxel dominated early on and had some funny moments before getting disqualified. Reigns then cleans house on Ryback & Axel with all of his moves. Good showcase for Reigns and enjoyable for the most part.
2) Rob Van Dam vs. Seth Rollins
I was excited that we were going to get to see this match since it was supposed to happen last week, but got changed. This was the fun match you would expect from these two. It wasn't a classic, but it was a solid encounter. Rollins picks up the win with a curbstomp.
Stephanie McMahon headed to the ring for her "confession" next. She brought out Bryan's "physical trainer". The woman named Megan Miller, claimed she had been having an affair with Daniel Bryan. Brie comes out and beats both of them up. Interesting segment, but this storyline is starting to become corny.
3) Jack Swagger vs. Cesaro
Since both of these guys are favorites of mine, I was looking forward to this. We never got a feud between these two like expected after WrestleMania and this match made me want that feud even more. Cesaro and Swagger started off with a technical exchange, but this soon turned into a slugfest. The two hard hitters threw everything they had at each other and the result was the best match of the night. Great match!
A sitdown interview with Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt was shown here. Wyatt asked Cole to leave after only a few seconds so it was basically a sit-down discussion between Bray and Jericho. This was a very good segment. Easily the best one of their feud thus far. Great promos from both men that got me hyped for their match.
4) AJ Lee vs. Eva Marie
Paige came out early on which distracted AJ and allowed Eva to pick up a cheap victory. Paige got on the mic and just like Heyman earlier in the night, she turned to poetry to get her point across. Nice segment, but couldn't WWE have picked another Diva to give that big of a victory to? Naomi, Natalya, someone? None the less, this did what it set out do and was pretty entertaining.
John Cena came out to respond to Lesnar & Heyman's promo from earlier in the evening. He delivered another great promo similar to the one he cut a few weeks ago. When Cena is serious, he's bearable. Good work here from Cena. I continue to get more excited for the Lesnar/Cena match.
Brie Bella came to the ring for an apparent match with Stephanie here only to end up getting arrested as Bryan's physical therapist Megan Miller was "pressing charges". I didn't enjoy this at all. WWE is known to overkill certain things and that was the case here. Stephanie getting arrested was fun and very enjoyable, but the crowd didn't really care much for this and neither did I. This story has been great so far, but as I mentioned earlier, it got a little too corny tonight.
5) Dolph Ziggler vs. Heath Slater
Decent match here, but it was overshadowed by The Miz who was standing on the commentary table for the majority of the match. Slater picks up the win via countout after Ziggler and Miz brawl around the ring. Ziggler goes to shake Slater's hand afterwards, but Slater tries to kick him. Ziggler catches his leg and hits him with a Zig Zag. I hope we get a Ziggler/Slater for the IC Title after SummerSlam. This was an enjoyable segment that accomplished what it set out to do which was continue to build tension between Miz and Ziggler before the IC Title Match at SummerSlam.
6) Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
These two have faced off multiple times over the past few years, but the truth is they always work well together. Their bout earlier this year on Raw was really good so I figured this would be a fun watch. It indeed was just that as Sheamus and Orton put on another great match that ended with a sick mid-air RKO. Good bout.
Hulk Hogan's birthday bash closed the show. Ric Flair, Paul Orndorff, and Roddy Piper joined the celebration, but most notably, the NWO reunited as Kevin Nash and Scott Hall came to the ring. Brock Lesnar crashed the party however which was super hype. Cena runs down to make the save and we get an epic staredown between Lesnar and Cena. Good closing segment.
Overall thoughts: Tonight's show was much better than last week's. They did a good job of selling the PPV in every area. Each match was promoted very well and got it's time to shine. Cesaro/Swagger was the match of the night, with Orton/Sheamus not far behind. The only negatives were how cheesy the Stephanie/Brie storyline has gotten, but that's something that can be overlooked. One huge positive is that there were no filler segments tonight. Everything served a purpose, thus the show was more interesting. Overall - a good episode of Raw!