Again, later than I wanted to get this out to you, and while there's a lot I could say about SummerSlam, I'm just going to jump into the RIB so you don't have to wait any longer. Love you all!
In Ring Segment > F-&B+
The F is for obvious reasons. It hurts to see Balor having to hand that strap over. Balor will always be the first, but it's not good when anyone is injured, but in the first match for a new title, and then wins, only having to drop it – less than 24 hours later. It's heartbreaking. Hopefully we see Rollins, or whoever is Universal Champ, facing Balor at WrestleMania.
I loved that Sami was the first guy out to the ring to get in Rollins' face. Someone bigger might have made more sense, but Sami has such heart. Jericho, KO, and even Reigns made a lot of sense, but I wanted Cesaro! Cesaro more than deserves to be in that run for the Twizzler Title! Ugh! I will say that I loved seeing Cass go out there, but worry that they will split him up from Enzo too soon, which will only hurt them both. Look at what's her name on SmackDown who just doesn't have the personality without them.
All that being said, I'm not surprised we are getting a tourney, it's what happens for a vacated title. I think it's time they come up with something new, because, to me, tourneys are too obvious. Like Sami facing Rollins first, like Sami had a chance to advance, at all, facing Rollins in his first match.
Tourney – Sami Zayn vs Rollins > A-
Of course these two stepped up and gave the fans a great match. They worked hard, and the clearly excited fans at Raw, but there was no way that Rollins wasn't going to win this match. As much as I love Sami, and worry that maybe they should ban Rollins' powerbomb into barricades and corners, there's no way Rollins wasn't going to be knocked out of the running for the Universal Championship this early!
Winner – Rollins
Owens vs Neville > B+
I adore Neville for his ring work, but he's so devoid of personality, it's almost unnerving. I understand loving professional wrestling and wanting to be one, but you'd have thought that some of these guys who are unable to get anything across to the fans would have been weeded out, or given acting classes, before this point. As I said, I adore Neville, but he just doesn't seem to have enough personality to carry him across a room, never mind to the main roster of the WWE.
KO and Jericho together are fantastic, but I worry about how they might end up if they face off next week in the match to decide the Universal Champion. If KO wins next week, will Jericho want the first chance at it? Okay, only time will tell, but KO would be a great swerve to hold the strap, especially since everyone expects it to be Rollins who will win the Universal Championship next week.
Winner – KO
In Ring Segment > A
New Day is so solid as a group, but in so many ways, Big E is the glue that binds them together. I see Wood, who is a fantastic performer and a great wrestler, someone I've loved since he was Consequences Creed in TNA, doing quite well for himself in the future. He could be in the Cruiserweight Division, could tag with Kofi, or some other great thing. He is the total package, and continues to prove that he's so much more than TNA gave him credit for. Kofi was flailing for so long, but New Day has made him great again, given him a new life in the WWE. They really made him relevant.
But then there's Big E who has more personality than most on the roster, and I'm thrilled he's allowed to be who he is, dialed up to 12, because, as we always say, they are the best characters in pro wrestling. Big E, because of his size, his ring work, his personality, his ability to emote, his ability to talk, his charisma, and how over he is, will have a great career, and will be WWE Champion, or Universal Champion at some point in the future. I'm thrilled about this, because I've liked him from word go.
Big E vs Anderson > B
This wasn't a wild, or overly exciting match, but it did tell a story. Not only did the two men in the ring tell a story, but the three guys outside the ring told a story as well. It looked good, but I have to go back to thinking that Anderson and Gallows were going to be so much greater than they have been. I hope things pick up for them, because things are really sucking for them!
Winner – Big E
In Ring Segment > F-
O'Neil really couldn't seem to get the words out of his mouth tonight. What a mess! He would have been the better face than heel of the former team. He finally got his speech under control (sorta, not really), and tried really hard, but he really just couldn't seem to get the fans behind him in any way. What a bleeping mess! And, if either had to be heel, it should have been Young with Backlund by his side. I agree with the fans, I want Slater. O'Neil did handle the chanting for Slater fairly well, but it took too long for Backlund to come to the ring. What an epic mess of a segment. The fans were so into Raw, but this killed any excitement they had, and really sucked all the way around.
Backstage Segment > B+
Steph looked great here, and said what she should have said about Brock, but we all know that he's not going anywhere, and we will continue to be stuck with him in the WWE. I'm so over Brock and everything he does.
In Ring Segment > A
I really like that Lana has been wearing white and cream since she got married. All of her outfits are very bridal looking, and look great on her, while not being at all chaste. She's a beautiful woman and continues to evolve, something not enough Superstars do, but she's mastered evolving her look, and is always beautiful doing it.
Enzo and Cass are just fantastic on mic, no matter the opponent!
Cass vs Rusev > B
While I don't want to see Enzo and Cass split up, I like that he's in this match for the Universal Championship. It's a good step for him, a way for him to show what he's got, but still not send him off on his own. Heck, Trip was WWE Champion while still running with DX, so why would they have to split them up? All that being said, it's too early to pull the treb on him.
This match was solid, told a story, but really made Rusev look like a puss. It was good for Cass, who has a huge career, but Rusev will too, but looked like a total wuss here.
Winner – Cass
Backstage Segment > A
These two are a riot together! KO is the best heel, but this incarnation of Jericho is so interesting, and so much fun to watch. He's smarmy and annoying, but he plays it perfectly, as always! I could watch these two banter for three hours and be thrilled. So much better than what the WWE was a few years ago! Personality makes or breaks a Superstar, and these two have it in spades.
In Ring Segment > A
Charlotte looks like she's smelling something bad, all the time, and it's not a good look for her, but that seems to be the only look she has right now. Seeing her at TakeOver on Saturday night, she was beautiful. Yes, she was sitting away from Sasha and Becky because she's a heel, but didn't have any issues breaking kayfabe to hug Bayley after her match. Honestly, if I'd been able to see TakeOver before Raw, I'd have known Bayley was coming up to the WWE roster on a permanent basis, but I only got to see it last night after Raw. Bayley is a great addition to the roster, but I'm not sure she should be on Raw. Yes, she's a top female Superstar, but SmackDown is struggling with too many Divas and only a few real female wrestlers. Nattie, Naomi and Becky seem to be lost in a sea of Divas.
Of course Foley was out there for the cheap pops and hugs with Bayley. He's the perfect person to be there with Bayley, as they're so similar in so many ways. So excited to see Bayley on the WWE roster, rounding out the Four Horsewomen! She was glowing, sold it all beautifully, and really gave what and who she is to the world, and we are truly ready for it. The one person who didn't look thrilled was Dana when Charlotte threw her under the bus and into a match.
Bayley vs Dana > B
Whenever Dana is in the ring with anyone, I worry that she will injure someone. Yes, she has a great look, and she's an incredibly strong woman, but she's still too terribly green to be on the WWE roster. Bayley had so much fun in this match, and really showed some of her signature moves to the fans. They sounded a bit dead during this match, which makes me wonder if the crowd mics were turned down, because they were so hot for her before the match started. Maybe it was who Bayley was facing that hurt the fans? Just a thought. That being said, Dana's holds looked solid, better than she's looked previously. Maybe Bayley is one of those who makes her opponent look that much better? Honestly, I've not seen a lot of Bayley, as I've been watching so much AE WWE, but I am starting to mix it up with NXT, and am in love with Bayley. She takes anti-diva to a whole new level, and she's something no other female Superstar or Diva has ever been, and it's so refreshing. I hope she stays healthy and is able to live her dream as long as possible, because she makes me smile.
Winner - Bayley
Backstage Segment > C+
Reigns wasn't really exciting here, but he got his point across. He is pushing this heel thing a bit stronger, and it's working for him. I like that he's not fully on as a heel, but giving more heel than he had been.
Backstage Segment > B+
Dang, Sheamus is a nice looking man, with his clothes on! None of the blinding chest and legs, his hair slicked back, and his nose ring, he's quite attractive, and came across quite well here. He was better here, and showed more personality than he usually does. If he was more interesting more of the time, he wouldn't have such a boring reputation!
Strowman vs Jobber > B
I don't know if this jobber was scripted to say what he said. In some ways, I truly hope it wasn't, because that was so unexpectedly great! Yes, he was splatted, but he did a great job leading up to that splat!
Winner – Strowman
In Ring Segment > A&?
Was this a retirement, or a face turn? I'm still not sure. The Dudley Boyz were more interesting in this segment than they have been for the past year. Bubba Ray really looked emotional here, and D-Von was on like he's rarely been since their return. The fans love the Dudley Boyz as faces, even though Bully Ray is one of the best characters TNA had.
I thought the Shining Stars were there to be sacrificial lambs, walking themselves to the slaughter, but then Gallows and Anderson came out and ended up putting D-Von through a table. That is what makes me wonder if the Dudley Boyz are really done in the WWE. Yes, after 20 years, it might be time, but they're big names, and they can still go, and they're a team, something the WWE doesn't have a lot of right now. Or, they don't have a lot of good ones. Further, I want to see Bully Ray in the WWE! He could be epic, and do what Jericho is doing, helping younger Superstars get over. They were so over here because of where they were, and that they were hugely face, and that's what they have to do to be over in the WWE right now – other than a possible split. Personally, I hope that this isn't the end for the Dudley Boyz, as I don't think they're done.
Reigns vs Jericho > B+
Of course Reigns won this one! That way Jericho won't have to face KO in the Fatal Four Way Match next week on Raw. As long as Reigns doesn't win the Universal Championship next week, I'm all good. Honestly, this was another solid match from Reigns. Last week his match with Rusev was fantastic, and this week he makes Jericho look that much better than he has in a while. All of these chants of, “You can't wrestle!” are really getting to me, because Reigns very obviously can wrestle, and gets better every week. Heck, the way he beat Rusev down at SummerSlam continued to show both his ring skills and his growing personality. I understand that McMahon pushed Reigns too hard and too fast, especially when he should have been pushing Bryan, and that was an epic flop, but that doesn't mean Reigns' is a bad guy, can't wrestle, or should be treated like a pariah each week on Raw. The man is growing in all he does. His mic work is getting better, especially since he's not being pushed to be something he isn't, and his ring work has grown by leaps and bounds. Flair is heralded as one of the best, and he's the epitome of five moves of doom! The smark fans and the IWC need to back the heck off him and let him grow into a top notch WWE Superstar, because he really does have what it takes to be a top Superstar.
Winner – Reigns
While not the best episode of Raw, it wasn't at all the worst! Raw is absolutely better for the young Superstars who are showing so much personality, passion, charisma, and great ring work. It seems as though the young Superstars are really stepping up, and the seasoned Superstars are filling in and helping enhance everything. Hopefully things are going to continue in an upward spiral, not the downward one we'd been dealing with for so long.
Queen of WNW