Welcome to the Raw Review for July 31, 2017. For both this and Smackdown, I will go over what the big talking points were, pick the match of the night, and look ahead to the next show.
If He Loses, We Leave
Brock Lesner has entered himself back into the UFC drug testing pool. This has fueled speculation that he wants to return to the Octagon for one more match. The promo tonight, given masterfully as always by Paul Heyman, will start people thinking that Lesner’s days in WWE are numbered. By playing up the paranoia that the higher ups want to take the title of Lesner, Heyman was almost preparing the WWE Universe for the departure of the Beast. It was a great use of the UFC without once mentioning their name.
While Seth Rollins can play the smirking heel to perfection, I like the repentant character he has played in the past few weeks. This is a guy who knows he messed up three years ago and is begging for a chance to reunite with Dean Ambrose. Equal credit must also be given to Ambrose, who plays the guy who can’t forgive, but also can’t stay away. For a business where loyalties shift regularly, it shows how good these two are at making fans care about them. If this is setting up an Ambrose turn, I would not be happy. Ambrose and Rollins as a tag team would be far more interesting.
Mark of the Demon
Bray Wyatt is an interesting character. His promos don’t follow any traditional structure. At times, it seems like he is talking to himself instead of the audience. Finn Bálor is the target, but some may say that there is no reason for Wyatt to target him. That makes it more scary, a man who sets out to destroy another for no reason. Wyatt is true to his character, that he goes where his mind takes him. But as Wyatt found out, as the lights pulsed red and the sound of a heartbeat filled the arena, sometimes when you look for a man, you find a Demon instead.
Match of the Night
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe ( Reigns wins by pin fall)
How can a Triple Threat Match end where everyone looked like a monster? Look no further then this match. Braun Stowman took everyone’s best shot and still looked like a threat. Roman Reigns took his usual set off moves and dialed them up to eleven. Samoa Joe showed that he might have all the skills to strike at any time. The thought of Brock Lesner joining up in a few weeks makes the Championship match must watch. These four might very well tear the ring apart in their fury to dominate.
This was a weird show. The Triple Threat match occurred at the top of the second hour, leaving Big Cass vs. Big Show as the Main Event. I kept thinking that something big or unexpected was going to happen, but it never did. This show was still good, with Miz and Jason Jordan setting up a rivalry for the Intercontinental Championship. One drawback was the lack of the female superstars. Also, it put a smile on my face to see Kurt Angle in his hometown. There is nothing like coming home.