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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Aug. 18, 2014): SummerSlam fallout, Brock Lesnar is king

WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Aug. 18, 2014) from Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring the fallout show from the outstanding SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV) that went down this past Sunday night in Los Angeles. How could they possibly follow up an "A+" show?

I've slowly learned that the question is irrelevant.

The answer is always "Dean Ambrose".

Click here to get full results with the live blog. Let's get to reacting to all the night's events.


"What? It's for charity?"

Quick note on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Please don't be that person who says you're tired of seeing videos of it, or you're tired of hearing about it, or it's suddenly an uncool thing. This is for a good cause and continued awareness is helpful. Plus, how awesome was Dean Ambrose forcing Seth Rollins to take said challenge?

On to other matters and by other matters I am, of course, referring to the fact that this place, right here and now on Cageside within this very post, is our safe place.

Because Dean is leaving.

He has to be, right? Despite his best efforts, despite the fact that he fought so valiantly to finally get his revenge on his former friend and partner, he was felled. He was battered. Left for dead by that bastard Kane -- who absolutely ruins everything, by the way -- and the dastardly Rollins.

The traitor who just keeps taking from us.

He took The Shield when he chair shotted Roman Reigns and embarked on this blood feud with Ambrose, and now he's taken Ambrose from us as well. That cinder block smash was it.

A Curb Stomp straight from his boot down into our hearts.

Outside of kayfabe, Ambrose has to go film a movie and WWE needed to write him off television. Taking my story hat off and putting my cynical fan hat on, this is unfortunate timing because, well, Dean is as hot as I can ever remember him. He's hitting his stride as one of the most compelling characters on television each week and now he's leaving?

That doesn't feel right.

Still, we'll miss him every second he is gone. And our joy will be impossible to contain once he comes back.

And we'll be calling for Rollins' head.

Segment grade: A


God sized

How many all-time great promos has Paul Heyman delivered this year? Does he just have an infinite supply buried deep in his brain, one he accesses whenever a major event happens involving Brock Lesnar?

He told Ariel Helwani not long ago that he believes his legacy in professional wrestling is dependent on the work he's doing with Lesnar right now. This is a man who just had a WWE DVD produced and released this year laying out his already well established legacy.

That tells you quite a bit about the artist within the performer within the man.

Put simply, he's better than anyone else who has come before him and that's because he absolutely understands pro wrestling psychology. He never loses sight of the story. He's a chess player who never once lost sight of that unassuming pawn you moved into position 14 turns ago. Actually, he's been plotting ahead how best to handle it.

When he finally makes his move, wiping the board of all your helpless pieces, you can't help but sit in awe of him. Because even though you knew he was coming, even though you fully respect his skill, you couldn't do a damn thing to stop it.

That's what he did again last night when he went out with his conquering beast.

He hardly bothered to put over Brock Lesnar. He spent most of his promo putting over John Cena. Because there's a difference between shouting a man down as small before squashing him and admitting your foe is larger than life but killing him with ease anyway.

Beyond that, there's just something so special about the rapport between Heyman and Lesnar while the former is cutting a promo and the latter is going along with it. Those moments when Brock mouths along are oddly endearing.

Also, there was a moment here when Lesnar was tickled by the manner in which Paul says his name. He laughed and told his advocate to do it again just so he could laugh again. What did we learn?

That tickled Brock Lesnar is just as good as every other version of Brock Lesnar.

And Paul Heyman rules the world.

Segment grade: A


A better Bella

I don't think Nikki Bella is some amazing performer by any stretch of the imagination. With that said, she's so much better than Brie that she looks world class in comparison. Sure, there were cringe-worthy moments during her segment -- walking out to the ring and losing a shoe is a special kind of awful, like Jack Swagger losing a title wrapped around his waist by jumping, though Nikki handled her mistake better -- but this wasn't terrible.

It wasn't good either.

I actually enjoyed the interaction between Nikki and Stephanie McMahon. It felt so wink wink, nudge nudge that it was mildly entertaining.

That said, when Brie showed up and wondered why Nikki was destroying their family it quickly became so far beyond cheesy that nothing could save it.

Not even Stephanie's reaction here (via


I won't give up on the potential I believe there to be with a Brie vs. Nikki feud, believe it or not, but we're not off to a great start. What happens when Stephanie exits stage left and they're left to stand on their own without a powerful performer like that to lean on?

This could get ugly.

Segment grade: D


But not least:

  • Why was Ric Flair randomly backstage talking to people? First, he was giving Dolph Ziggler a pep talk before his match with The Miz, then he was reaching out to Randy Orton. Are they so desperate to get him on TV and so lacking in ideas that he's just going to become the old crazy guy who walks around bumping into people backstage?
  • Count me as one of the many who want no part of this Big Show/Mark Henry tag team pairing, especially as it relates to continually pushing The Wyatt Family further and further down the ladder in an already nearly nonexistent tag team division. Henry, as he showed later in the night when he smashed Rusev, works so much better on his own as a HOSS you have no hope of stopping.
  • Speaking of that segment, Lana showed that much more range when she was cuddling in the corner in terror while Henry was inducting her man Rusev into the Hall of Pain.
  • I still don't like this idea that WWE consistently can't help but push that all women are crazy in some way, but I enjoyed the turn in the Paige-AJ story. It was always building to that moment when AJ decided to embrace the craziness she's been shunning to override the crazy Paige was bringing to the table and using to her advantage. Paige's response when she realized what she had awakened was worth all the awkwardness to get us here.
  • Dolph Ziggler is now the guy getting over on his opponents in new and interesting ways and then not only is he winning and retaining his title but he's folllowing that up by avoiding a beat down while dishing out one of his own. My oh my how fortunes change so quickly.
  • Speaking of fortunes changing quickly, Cesaro pinned Jack Swagger clean! And not only did we get that bit of justice but we got Bo Dallas pouring salt in the reopened wound that never should have been closed. This was awesome.
  • When they announced Roman Reigns, Sheamus & Rob Van Dam vs. Randy Orton & Rybaxel, didn't you cringe? Weren't you fully expecting a boring match that would drag down the overall quality of a show that was doing okay despite a few hiccups? And weren't you pleasantly surprised when WWE reminded us that it doesn't matter who is in there, they just know how to do six-man tag matches now? Just me?
  • OH! Adding this late but Ryback being insanely over in front of his home crowd may have been the funnest thing about this show. Orton saying to hell with kayfabe and going with it was awesome. This was fun, and pro wrestling should be exactly that.
  • Gotta tell ya, I'd really rather see Slater Gator running wild over the Dusty brothers.

This was at a disadvantage because it was coming after one of the best PPV shows the company has put on in a long time, but the big stuff delivered strong.

Overall grade: B+

That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you like it, if you liked it at all?

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