Moment of the night?
Joseph Nardone: I really enjoyed Seth Rollins’ promo. His ability on the mic is lowkey excellent. Unlike a lot of other guys, he doesn’t even try to have catchphrases and isn’t trying too hard to be “the cool bad guy.” He’s just being a jerk-heel in the best of ways.
Honestly, every time he has gone on the mic since he has come back from is injury, it as though we are witnessing the rebirth of a Superstar on the microphone. I’m not entirely sure people are appreciating it as much as I am, but as far as Monday night was concerned, Rollins’ relatively long promo stole the show.
Travis Wakeman: Lana going face first into the wedding cake. Though for me, this segment was terrible, I found it pretty funny to watch her screaming with all that cake on her face. WWE used a good portion of this show to book the Reigns-Rusev feud before SummerSlam, and I can appreciate that, as it seemed pretty random up until tonight. Twitter seemed impressed with Reigns calling Lana a “mail order bride,” but I found her going into the cake far more entertaining. It will be interesting to see how this match ends up at the pay-per-view.
Riley Kontek: Can I say there was no moment of the night? I am so happy I DVR’d the show. It just dragged on and was incredibly boring. After a couple of exciting weeks of Raw in this “New Era,” they have gone back to presenting us with constant product plugs, replayed wrestling matches from the previous weeks and tons of distractions finishes/DQs. Thank God for fast forward.
Daniel DeMarco: The Lesnar-Orton SummerSlam promo package.
I’ve got to give it to them, WWE is doing quite a good job in building up this match. For a match that actually has not been 15 years in the making, WWE is making it feel like the special match that was intended from the beginning. If WWE keeps it up at this rate, I could see myself genuinely being hyped to watch that match. Because from the onset, I was not. I didn’t see anything particularly special about it. But this steady buildup is starting to win me over, and Raw’s package for the match was a strong step in the right direction.
Jason Hall: It was a pretty uneventful Raw, but I’ll say the Foley-Bryan standoff. Despite both being über babyfaces, it showed the hostility between the two brands without either character coming off too heelish. Foley had his points and Bryan had his own. It also continued the idea of “maybe Cesaro is a better fit for SmackDown,” while also giving him a match beyond the earlier one with Sheamus.
Should Owens and Jericho tag team be anything more than a one-time thing for SummerSlam?
JN: No. Not unless we are talking about them maybe feuding after it. However, as far as them being a tag team, heck to the no.
There’s no reason to lump in two of the best heels – and talkers, for that matter – the WWE has into a tag team. If they want to form some sort of Canadian or facial hair stable, by all means. But to put that much of the same kind of “character/heel” talent into a tag team would be a monumental ruin of what each guy can do individually.
TW: I think it should continue. The two are gold together and together, I feel these two could reach great heights. In fact, an argument could be made that Owens is the best adversary Jericho has ever had. That Canada connection aside, both are great talkers and great in-ring workers. Just look at the segment with Enzo and Cass tonight. Y2J and KO could really feed off of the experience of one another and create a tandem the WWE Universe has never seen.
RK: No, I think once that SummerSlam match is over, Jericho should go on hiatus and Owens should go back to being on his own. Owens is incredibly entertaining and always puts on great matches. He doesn’t need to be playing second fiddle in a makeshift tag team with Jericho. He could always feud with Big Cass on his own if it comes to that, or feud with both Enzo and Cass. Jericho is unneeded, although he’s entertaining.
DD: I’m torn here. On the one hand, I love those two as a team because of their excellent personas and promo abilities that mesh together so well. On the other hand, I prefer Kevin Owens as a solo guy, and I would not like to see him relegated to a throw-away mid-card feud. It’s only the first week, so it is tough to tell how much they can get out of this. If I had to choose right now though, I would like to keep it a one-time thing. Who knows though, this tag team could end up being gold. And they are feuding with just the right guys to bring it out of them.
JH: Yes and no. Yes because the two are golden together. If there’s anyone in wrestling who would be a better fit on paper to be Jericho’s younger ally it’s fellow Winnipegger Kenny Omega. But as far as WWE goes, it’s Owens. They’re both two sarcastic Canadians with excellent mic skills and an ability to draw heat despite being hugely popular. That’s also why the answer is no. Owens and Jericho are both capable of more than a tag-team angle. Owens has the potential to be the company’s top heel and Jericho is the company’s utility man. He’s a big enough deal to get new talent over without losing his luster. Therefore it would be great to see the alliance extend but it’s unlikely. Unless, of course, Jericho becomes Owens’ mentor. But that likely wouldn’t work either with two self-centered characters.
It looks as though we may be getting Demon Balor at SummerSlam, but is there any way Demon Balor can lose in his debut on the main roster and retain that aura?
JN: There is no way. If Demon Balor debuts at SummerSlam and doesn’t win his match, we might as well put his paint alongside the paint used to cover the field at Canton this past Sunday – because it’ll useless.
Seriously. If the WWE is going to have Balor lose, there can’t even be a gram of paint anywhere near his body. In fact, the company should go as far to ban toenail polish at SummerSlam if that is the case.
Basically, don’t let Demon Balor lose in his debut.
TW: I’d say no. Bringing out The Demon should be reserved for special occasions, which SummerSlam truly is. While Balor shouldn’t be “unbeatable” as The Demon, he shouldn’t be booked to lose very often. The Demon needs to represent something. Like Kane with his mask or Undertaker as the deadman, The Demon needs to give Balor a certain invincibility. If Seth Rollins defeats him just like that at SummerSlam, it will be pointless. Many of the regular WWE viewers don’t watch NXT and therefore, have never seen The Demon. Should he lose under that persona, what would be the point of ever using it again?
RK: Yes, I think he’s going to lose and it won’t lose its charm. He will have more chances down the line and big matches to enter and wrestle as Demon Balor. He’s only been on the main roster for a couple weeks, so the fact he’s fighting for a world title is big enough. Going over would be super impressive, but he’s already been smashed over since coming to Raw.
DD: The aura would be lost, at least for the near future. Immediately I think back to Brock Lesnar’s WWE return in 2012 where he lost to John Cena in his first match back. It was not the best thing for Lesnar’s aura right from the onset, but over time it recovered with strong moves made later on. The same thing can be accomplished with Finn Balor, which I hope for because I am not expecting him to defeat Seth Rollins, of all people. It’s an unfortunate circumstance to have such a strong character debut only to lose, but it is not a lost cause.
JH: Yes. The same way Seth Rollins’ opponents have been booked throughout his title reign, by losing unfairly. Let’s be real here: Bálor has to use the Demon gimmick. He used it in every big event during his NXT run. Hell, he used paint during his indie matches outside of NJPW. So in the biggest match of Fergal Devitt’s life, he’s not going to paint up because it’s “too risky” of losing the aura of the Demon. No way. WWE is going to either: A) Book him to look like a million bucks in a questionable losing effort; or B)Have him win. Who says he won’t actually win? Did anyone expect him to defeat Roman Reigns or earn a title shot in his last night? Either way, Bálor is going to walk out of SummerSlam looking like the stronger competitor between the two.