Monday Night Raw Musings: July 17, 2017

(If you’ve ever stumbled onto my Twitter account over the past… well ever, you would know that I love professional wrestling. I especially love talking about it on Twitter, but I’ve come to the realization (probably way later than I should’ve, but that’s another story) that spending a shit load of tweets on it when I could simply turn them into blog posts was just bad practice. So going forward, the bulk of my wrestling thoughts will come in the form of Medium posts. I’ll still comment on wrestling here and there on Twitter, but it’s probably best for everyone if I stop rambling and clogging everyone’s Twitter TL. I have absolutely no idea how frequent these posts will be; it could be multiple times per week, once a week, once a month. All I know is I plan to use Medium for the foreseeable future. Thanks to anyone who reads any of these blog posts from here on out!)

So Raw… was solid? I think Raw was a pretty solid show. We finally have Kurt Angle’s secret spilled to the world, we’re probably going to have a Fatal 4 Way at Summerslam for the Universal Title, and Dean Ambrose might be part of something interesting for the first time in ages. Let’s dive in:

  • The opening promo was proof that WWE can do very good storytelling when they want to. Ambrose rehashing about Seth Rollins breaking up the shield, and babyface Rollins being remorseful about what he did three years ago (including giving Ambrose the ability to whack him with a steel chair as a way of making things even between them) was good. Ambrose somewhat reminds me of CM Punk in 2012, where the once edgy and electrifying character had just become much more vanilla and family friendly. Here he was much closer to the Ambrose of yesteryear. It took a heel turn for CM Punk to get his mojo back, idk what it will take for Ambrose to recapture his magic but this was a good start.
  • Titus O’Neil has been one of the best WWE performers in 2017, and he doing the impossible in getting Apollo Crews a genuine character + making people care about Tozawa. He deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame immediately.
  • We’re getting Bayley vs Sasha next week to decide who faces Alexa Bliss at Summerslam for the women’s title. The booking for the women on Raw in 2017 has been for the most part very uninspiring (albeit with some gems here and there including Bayley vs Charlotte and the Women’s Gauntlet match), so it’ll be interesting to see if the women also have a multi person title match considering the men’s title is looking like a four man affair.
  • For what it’s worth; Bayley vs Alexa was mostly very good and if not for the extra stuff involving Nia Jax and Sasha, it would’ve been somewhere in the **** region. It was a solid TV match and one of Alexa Bliss’ best matches in WWE.
  • Look, we all know that Jason Jordan being revealed as Kurt Angle’s illegitimate son is hilarious on many levels (although it must be said that on a scale of 1–10 on the “WWE Wackiness Scale”, it’s probably a 4–5). Still, this is a much better alternative than if it had been revealed that Angle and Stephanie McMahon or Angle and Dixie Carter were having an affair. I don’t want to see Triple H vs Angle at Summerslam or Wrestlemania; both of those guys are old and are way past it. Also: Jordan gets more exposure as a result and we get to have Kurt Angle have a role change as a possible inept GM; busting out his comedic chops once again (which is a good thing considering he’s the best WWE performer of all time when it comes to character work).
  • Seriously, Kurt Angle’s acting was incredible
A proud father if there ever was one
  • The Revival are fantastic and they quite possibly got the best match of The Hardyz since their return to WWE. Long live The Revival!
  • Samoa Joe is on a fucking roll lately. His promos have been incredible since him and Brock Lesnar became a main event program. The subsequent title match with Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire was very good (not quite as good as Lesnar/Goldberg, but close), and his #1 contender’s match with Roman Reigns here was also good until Braun Strowman interrupted things (holy shit the pops Strowman is getting btw are amazing). 2005 Samoa Joe ain’t walking through that door, but the WWE have done great work in making current day Samoa Joe a genuine big deal.
  • A Fatal 4-Way Hoss fight for the Raw Universal Championship at Summerslam? YES PLEASE!

This was one of the stronger Raw’s of 2017. You know Raw wasn’t terrible when you’ve spent over three hours watching wrestling and didn’t immediately hate yourself once the show ended. The actual wrestling was good, the promos were good, Kurt Angle’s facial expressions were once again fantastic. Sure there were some things that dragged the show down, but there were more ups than downs. Good stuff.

Overall Grade: B

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