Let’s get this out of the way early: WWE showing a camera angle FROM THE CAR that crashed into Roman Reigns on Raw was hilariously bad. It’s abysmally shortsighted, completely unaware, and hysterically funny.
Cool? Cool. Now let’s get to the good stuff, namely Roman Reigns’ approach to getting the truth.
He was interviewed early in the night by Kayla Braxton who hit him with some basic questions. How are you feeling? How the family? You know, basic stuff, if the threat of workplace death wasn’t hanging over his head.
And Roman came off extremely well in the interview. Not only did he (fairly) subtly reference his battle with leukemia, but he also addressed Samoa Joe and apologized to the man for letting his name be dragged in the mud for all of this. A good guy showing empathy? What a concept!
Most importantly, however, he vowed to get some answers on this show. And he looked like a boss in doing so.
As Daniel Bryan and Erick Rowan were polishing off the New Day in the show’s main event, Reigns authoritatively sauntered into the men’s locker room and demanded everyone clear out. And they did, without hesitation! Makes the guy look cool, don’t you think?
He held Buddy Murphy back who was found at the scene of the forklift incident and demanded answers. And when Murphy was an absolute tool about the whole thing, Reigns beat the ever-loving tar out of him to get his answer: Rowan.
It was Rowan. Which means...Daniel Bryan.
The duo stood in the ring with fairly complex expressions as all this was going down. Rowan looked defiant, while Bryan was caught somewhere between guilt and determination.
I enjoyed the open ending because in theory it gives us some uncertainty moving forward. We still have no idea of Bryan’s motives other than how furious he was with his tag team run. What will he do to Reigns now that the jig is up?
As a main storyline for the show, I quite liked it.
Kevin Owens is nearly as dumb as Seth Rollins
I have no problems with Owens trying to cater to Shane’s reckless habits and to get the man to put his career on the line as well. That’s totally fine, even if he was never going to fall for the obvious bait.
But my god man, what are you doing trying to brawl with a guy that has four lapdogs who always show up whenever he has a problem? On this show, Elias showed up to make the save for Shane, but it could just as easily have been The Revival or Drew McIntyre.
Why are babyfaces so stupid?
And yes, Elias sneaked up to start the fight...but Shane apparently agreed to show up on your show. You had to have known something was up, right?
Ember Moon isn’t getting nearly enough time
The lack of an engaging story defeats the whole purpose of why Bayley chose Moon to be her SummerSlam opponent. How can you “get an opportunity” when your story is so obviously unimportant to the show?
Take this week, for example. Ember Moon was meant to face Natalya in a Challenger vs. Challenger match: a neat concept in theory.
However, this felt destined for a non-finish as soon as they announced it - and sure enough, Nattie forced a double count out with the Sharpshooter in place.
Here’s where things could have been interesting. Bayley ran down to save her opponent one week after she attacked Moon to send a message. This was Moon’s chance to shine and to show that she’s rising up to the challenge.
Aaaaand she refuses help, stands on her own, and we quickly move on to something else. What?
I know we have Charlotte vs. Trish Stratus and Becky Lynch being Becky Lynch, but like...that’s not an excuse. If you’re going to book a feud, do it right.
Charlotte’s arrogance is unrivaled – Trish Stratus came out to rain on the Queen’s parade in several ways. Not only did she rob Charlotte of the chance to show her own highlights, but Trish also admitted that this fight is not ALL about Charlotte; some of it is that she simply missed the lights, the competition, and everything that come with it.
Charlotte, naturally, cannot accept anything that doesn’t inflate her ego. It’ll be interesting to see how this gets woven into the match on Sunday.
Dolph Ziggler def. Ali – Ziggler stole Goldberg’s entrance and attacked poor Rey Mysterio before they could actually fight. Ali came out to right that wrong and give the people an actual match, which is wonderfully in character for him. Ali is slowly starting his journey, trying to be the man he claims to be in his promos. Might want to win some, but still.
Aleister Black def. Sami Zayn – Wow. Well there goes one SummerSlam match, perhaps. I wasn’t a big fan of the camera angle as Black was laying on his...entrance board? What on earth do you call that thing? Anyway, it could have been an awesome visual if done differently.
Kofi video package – Extremely good framing of his issues with Orton. You know how WWE’s video packages go – they’re generally very good.
I forgot about Shelton Benjamin being weird – I bet you did, too.
Chad Gable’s too short to Walk with Elias – MORE GABLE AT ALL TIMES PLEASE. He was so awesome despite saying not a word. He was righteously angry when Elias taunted him before deflating as his own doubts crept back into mind. Someone give this poor guy a hug.
Bray Wyatt’s still terrifying - We got a Firefly Fun House segment where Wyatt pointed to Huskus’ gorging of sweets as a symptom of his own insecurities. He then used that example to point to what Finn Balor’s doing; that confidence, that lack of fear? It’s a symptom of Balor’s ignorance - and potentially his own insecurities. We also got a brief moment where Rambling Rabbit popped up before fleeing in terror and Wyatt holding his head as he longed, at long last, to cause someone else pain.
...Nice knowing you, Finn.
Lots of up and down on this show. Just like Raw, I wanted more from a go-home show; but that Reigns story could be golden.