The Spotlight On Raw for 8/10/2015

Monday Night Raw emanated live from Everett, Washington last night and I found the show to be quite enjoyable.  WWE is steadfast on the road to Summerslam and we found out a few more of the matches for the “Biggest Event Of The Summer”.  Let’s get right into some of the highlights on the show.

Highlights:

The MVP Of The Night: Goes to Randy Orton!  Orton not only competed in two different matches for over 30 minutes of the night but he was on absolute fire having the top two matches of the night.  The guy is just so fluid in the ring and I don’t think it’s possible for him to have a bad match.  Orton first competed in a number one contender triple threat match against both Cesaro and Kevin Owens.  The three men pulled out all the stops until Orton pulled out the win laying out both men with an RKO in about 18 minutes.  This led to Orton getting a title match later in the evening against Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship and those two had another great match.  Orton and Rollins have undeniable in ring chemistry and go so fast in the ring, they may very well be the two best in ring performers in WWE today.  There were so many near falls that I started to think that Orton was going to win the championship, especially after the impressive RKO out of nowhere.  Sheamus costing Orton the championship win did a good job of presenting Sheamus as a despicable heel.  That said, I then actually thought Sheamus was going to cash in and win the championship in his own right.  A great non finish there and this continues the program between Orton and Sheamus heading into Summerslam.  That said, with Orton and Sheamus both having the champion beat, you could theoretically have a believable three way in the works if John Cena can’t go at Summerslam.  I expect Cena to be there, after all he is Big Match John, but it’s good to know there’s a believable back up match if he can’t go.  Of course, if Cena can go, then there’s a great match in place for Orton and Sheamus with a ton of momentum behind them after last night.  All around good stuff overall.

Miz TV- I absolutely loved the Miz TV segment last night in so many ways.  Between his work on tough enough and his work in the ring, really since the Mizdow stuff, the miz has been on quite a roll.  To me, he is getting closer to the level he was at in 2011, when he was in the main event of WrestleMania, then he’s been in quite some time.  As for this particular segment, it was, first off, great to see Daniel Bryan get a chance to shine in front of his hometown crowd and good to see Bryan back on Raw in general.   It’s amazing that, this day in age with books being so much less popular, that Bryan’s book is a New York Times bestseller and it’s good to see him getting the attention he deserves for this feat.  I also felt Bryan did a good job in not backing down from the Miz but using what the Miz was doing, in putting him down, to focus that onto Miz’s current opponents for Summerslam.  Lastly, Ryback’s return came off very well as he looked about ready to kill the Miz.  After this segment, i not only wanted to see Daniel Bryan return to get revenge on the Miz for his remarks but also can’t wait to see the triple threat match at Summerslam for the intercontinental championship between the Miz, Ryback and The Big Show.

Celebrities Done Right- The third highlight this week, and it was tough as there was a lot I liked about this show, goes out to Stephen Amell.  It’s a strange comparison but to me this reminded me of the way Lawrence Taylor was used prior to Wrestlemania 11 in that Amell was referenced a few times throughout the night as being a guest until being baited by a Stardust pie shove.  In the end, I like that Amell knows getting into a WWE ring is going to be very tough but feels like he has no choice because he has to defend himself.  Triple H was great in also looking at Amell like he had a death wish and demanding lawyers give him signed documents before agreeing to let Amell compete at Summerslam.  There was also added intrigue by Triple H announcing Amell as Arrow, getting you to think Amell may appear at Summerslam in character.  In the end, my favorite part of this is that WWE is using Amell’s appearance to help give a bit of spotlight (pun intended) to King Barrett, Stardust and Neville.

Closing Thoughts

It’s not easy to have three hours go by so fast that you’re left wanting more but, for me, Raw did that this week.  Aside from the highlights mentioned, I also really enjoyed the New Day segments, those guys continue to get the most of their new roles and they’ve been a joy to watch.  The same thing can be said for the Divas who looked great again this week and had the crowd hooked their entire time out there.  Lastly, I also liked that Undertaker and Brock Lesnar were both not on the show this week.  Thier brawl was so good coming out of Battleground that it makes sense to hold both of them away from one another until their big showdown for the final Raw before Summerslam next week.

That’s going to do it for me this week but coming up later today I’ll have coverage of the Undertaker, Brock Lesnar special that aired on the WWE Network right after Raw last night.  Until then, what were your thoughts on Raw?  Did you are agree with my highlights of the show?  Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to hit the subscribe button so you can get continued coverage of all of the reviews right here at thedailyspotlight.com

The Spotlight on Raw for 7/27/2015

Monday Night Raw just went off the air and emanated live from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma tonight.  I think Raw did a good job in continuing down the road to Summerslam but before we get into some of the highlights on the show, there were some news bits that came out of Raw that set us up for the weeks to come in WWE that I’ll briefly touch on.  At the top of the show the Authority announced that WWE Summerslam will now be four hours long.  I know this was announced earlier in the day but I think it’s a great idea as it makes Summerslam a big deal and almost like the Wrestlemania of the summer.  I really think WWE can move Summerslam to a stadium show soon enough and wouldn’t be surprised to see Summerslam held at the Red Bull arena next year, or hell, maybe even Metlife Stadium.  Also on Raw it was announced that Stone Cold Steve Austin’s WWE Network Podcast will be returning after a one month hiatus.  His guest will be none other than Paige! I saw some stuff on Twitter surprised it wasn’t Sting or Undertaker (would have been a good time for Taker with Summerslam a few weeks away) but I think Paige is a really unique guest and I’m interested to see the chemistry between her and Austin.  If Austin is going to do these podcasts more frequently, it can’t be a top guy every time and with the give divas a chance initiative, I’m glad to see Paige as the choice here.  Truth be told, I believe that f4wonline reported that Hulk Hogan was supposed to be the guest this time around, and obviously that isn’t going to happen.  Let’s get into Raw!

Highlights

John Cena is Beyond Tough- First things first, I thought that Seth Rollins and John Cena had one helluva match and if this is the direction that they’re headed for Summerslam, then I for one can’t wait.  I wasn’t crazy about Seth Rollins tapping out but if the story is that Cena beat Seth when defending his title so he deserves a shot at Seth’s World Title, well then it made sense.  With that out of the way, kudos to John Cena for wrestling the last ten minutes of the match with a brutal looking broken nose.  His nose looked contorted with blood gushing everywhere from his nose after an errant knee to the face from Rollins.  Say what you will about Cena but he’s as tough as they come and showed that old school “the match must go on” mentality last night.  Even if Cena requires surgery, and I assume he’s going to, I don’t expect that anything is going to keep John Cena off of the Summerslam card.

The Opening Segment–  I loved the way that they did the opening segment last night as it reminded me of segments from back in the attitude era.  Having Triple H and Stephanie come out to set up the entire night full of matches (I believe they listed the four matches for the night) was a great idea as it gave the viewer a reason to remain tuned in and a lot to look forward to over the course of the show.  Say what you will about the Authority but when they’re on the screen, it does bring an extra added level of importance.

The Divas Revolution Is In Full Effect- Other than the main event between John Cena and Seth Rollins, the match of the night belonged to the Divas as Paige took on Sasha Banks.  I thought the match was very good and they ladies got about 14 minutes to really let their match unfold and the story develop.  It made sense for Sasha to get the win as it continues to establish her and doesn’t hurt the more established Paige to take the loss.  I also thought the tag match was very good in that Becky Lynch was profiled, I believe for the first time on Raw since being called up.  It was also cool to see Lynch (again no relation, sadly) get the win and then moments later WWE put up a graphic for a one on one match between Nikki Bella and Becky Lynch for this week’s Smackdown.  This made the whole room of people I was watching the show with go “oh wow set the DVR for Smackdown”, which has to be what WWE was going for.  All in all, the divas got about a half an hour of Raw and two matches again this week.  The divas division continues to have a renewed focus and I’m excited to see where it goes from here.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, i really enjoyed Raw this week as they continue to focus a good portion of Raw on more of the in ring product which is nice to see.  We also saw many of the stories going into Summerslam progress with Bray Wyatt cutting a promo reestablishing the Wyatt Family, the continued tease that perhaps Arrow will get involved in the Stardust and Neville feud, the buildup of the tag team division, the Kevin Owens-Cesaro feud and the Randy Orton and Sheamus feud.  I like the focus that WWE is putting on every match heading into Summerslam, it makes the show feel like the Wrestlemania of the summer.  I honestly had no problem with the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar not being on the show this week as the brawl from last week was so good that I feel it was OK to have a week reliving the brawl.  At the end of the day, Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker were both taken out of the building in handcuffs last week, so having them return this week would have been too much.  Besides, WWE already did a good job in promoting that Brock will be back next week, then you have Taker return the week after that and have both of them return the week before Summerslam.

That’s going to do it for me today but what did you think of Raw?  Are you excited for Summerslam?  I’ll be back later today with the Tough Enough Power Rankings.  Tough Enough airs tonight on the USA Network and it’s being promoted that Sasha Banks, Tamina Snuka and Naomi will all be on hand.

The Spotlight On Raw for 7/13/2015

First off I like to apologize for being off the grid these last few days. I’ve been a bit under the weather really since last Wednesday and it just got worse until finally kicking my ass all weekend. I’ll get more into that on tomorrow’s Daily Spotlight but thankfully I started feeling a bit better just in time for a great Raw (and an awesome Home Run Derby, which I’ll also get into tomorrow morning). As for Monday Night Raw, it emanated live from Atlanta, Georgia and was the final stop of the road to WWE Battleground. Without any further ado, let’s get right into some of the highlights of the show… 

Highlights: 

1) Divas Get Their Chance- Tonight’s Raw didn’t only see one call up from NXT but rather saw three call ups as Charlotte, Becky Lynch and NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks all made there Raw debut tonight. The segment was probably the greatest womens segment since Paige debuted and beat AJ Lee for the women’s title the night after Wrestlemania 30. This was really a relaunch for the women’s division in WWE as Stephanie McMahon showed up to introduce the three ladies from NXT. What made the segment even more special was that the crowd absolutely exploded with “This Is Awesome” chants and showered the ladies with praise. It was really a telling sign as to how far NXT has come that the NXT women were instantly reconized and admired for their athleticism and past accomplishments. If you only have time to check out one segment from this week’s Raw, its this segment right here. 

2) The U.S. Title Open Challenge- What else is new? These segments are great every week and it is nice to see that each week more and more people continue to come out and challenge John Cena. The U.S. Title has become the most prized possession in WWE & it’s great to see how John Cena has brough prestige back to that belt. Cesaro continued his streak of having the best match on Raw as he and Rusev (and for a little while Kevin Owens) had a great, nearly , 24 minute match. It was great to see that Rusev is back showing his aggressive side and it was nice to see him, not only, getting a big win over Cesaro but also to see him getting a DQ victory over Cena. Kevin Owens costing Rusev the match ,after taking himself out of the three way, added some heat on Owens. Owens is obviously respected and, by a certain percentage of the audience, adored. The problem with that is that he’s being counted on to be a top heel in the company so by having him taking himself out of matches and then also costing the fans the opportunities to see clean finishes, (with Cesaro and now Rusev) the crowd may be more inclined to boo him. WWE has done a good job over these past few weeks of adding Cesaro and Rusev to the Cena and Owens story. They’ve used a hot feud like Cena-Owens to create new contenders for the US title in Cesaro and Rusev and giving both of those guys a rub in the process. Good stuff all around. 

3) The Champ Stands Alone…Confidently?!?– This week Brock Lesnar continued his destruction of the Authority by taking out Kane after previously taking out J & J Security. This set up the showdown between Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins well in that now, theoretically, Rollins is all alone to face Lesnar. In the process, however, I felt that Rollins cut his best promo to date in that he claimed not to be afraid of Brock Lesnar while also rediculing  Kane.  He  also, correctly, pointed out that while Lesnar had gotten better of all of his past challengers, he never did get the better of Rollins. I felt the end of Raw did a good job in setting the stage for the Battleground main event and a number of possibilities moving forward. If Seth Rollins proves he doesn’t need anyone and defeats Brock Lesnar retain the championship, he’s a made man. If Brock Lesnar wins back the championship and Triple H doesn’t come out to help Rollins or fails to help when he does, this starts issues between Rollins and Triple H. Lastly, it’ll be interesting to see where Kane goes from here after being verbally undressed and humiliated by Rollins to end the show. 

4) Stardust Returns- While I was surprised to see Stardust return as a heel (presumably to continue his program with Stephen Amell), it was great to see Stardust back on Raw for the first time since the untimely death of Dusty Rhodes. I thought Stardust cut a great promo to hype his return prior to his match with Neville and seemed incredibly passionate. It was nice to see him get such a warm reaction from the crowd and it’ll be interesting to see just how long WWE will be able to keep Stardust a heel. 

Closing Thoughts

Overall, I think Raw was a really good show, perhaps the best since the Raw the night after Wrestlemania. The show did a good job in building towards Sunday’s Battleground and even beyond. It’s interesting to note that with only Smackdown remaining before the Battleground show, Dean Ambrose (who’s main evented the past two pay per views), Cesaro, Rusev and the Divas are not on the Battleground show. I’m sure some will be added but since Battleground is, likely, part of the larger Summerslam picture, it’s ok not to have everyone on every pay per view. 

That’s going to do it for me but I’d love to hear your thoughts on tonight’s Raw. Until then keep your eyes pealed for a new Daily Spotlight in the morning, updated Tough Enough power rankings prior to tomorrow’s show and a whole lot more right here on thedailyspotlight.com!

The Spotlight On WWE Raw Albany- 4/20/2015

Hello Everyone and welcome to the spotlight on WWE Raw where every Tuesday we’ll have your highights and lowlights from the previous night’s episode.  Now I shoud make it clear that highlights include anything that I personally enjoyed and that I feel like you should go out of your way to see.  Lowlights, on the other hand, can either be something on the show that didn’t work for me whether it be a bad match or bad booking, something you won’t miss much of if you decided to skip that portion of show or maybe just something that all around left an overall bad feeling for whatever the reason.  With that out of the way let’s get into Raw.

The highlights 

1) RKO Outta Nowhere- I loved the use of Randy Orton last night as I felt that by delviering a promise in the beginning of the show that Rany would RKO everyone before finally getting to Rollins, then hitting people with an RKO throughout the course of the night before finally delivering an RKO to Rollins at the end of the night was all great.  It gave fans tuning in at 8 pm that hook, then kept them engaged throughout the show wondering where he would show up next (the highlight for me being catering) and then delivering that payoff at the end of the show was a great way to lay out Raw and get everyone ready for Extreme Rules on Sunday.

2) The Big Red Machine–  I really enjoyed the Kane stuff last night especially his passionate promo against Seth Rollins.  I felt this was the best thing Kane has done since he feuded with Bray Wyatt.  Say what you will about Kane but it seems like the people really want to see him in a babyface role.  I even thought his match with Cena was pretty good and I like that Cena acted very serious for his match with Kane as he had with every US title open challenge.  I’m just hoping like anything that this is not some kind of Authority setup because we just went through that with Rollins a weeks before Wrestlemania.

3) Ambrose and Harper– These guys are just a joy to watch and they remind me to the days of the hardcore division that has been missing from WWE over the last several years.  Ambrose and Harper are both so good and fearless in some of the things they do.  I liked that they brawled around the arena and appreciate the sacrifices both of them take seemingly every time out. 

The Lowlights

1) The Battle For “The Miz”- I’m not sure what I was expecting but it was more than this. Miz & Mizdow had been, what I thought, a great feud with tons of momentum behind them following their breakup at the Royal Rumble. Fast forward just a little more than three weeks & their first blow off match doesn’t even happen on a pay per view and is given just a little more than five minutes here. The ending was also predictable as I don’t think anyone believed Summer Rae was going to be featured against her Marine 4 co star. Then in the end the Miz (who I really feel can be a main event heel for WWE) became a bit player in Randy Orton’s onslaught & did quite possibly the silliest face after taking an RKO. In the end, I just hope these two don’t get lost in the shuffle now that their feud is done, especially Sandow who I thought was on the verge of something good. 

2) Bo Dallas- I liked his promo, I always have, but to me it’s just a shame that their isn’t more to be done with Bo Dallas. I’m in no way suggesting he should have gotten one over on Roman Reigns but to me there’s more to Bo than a comedy heel. Prior to NXT’s rise on the Network, Dallas was a focal point of the brand and I hope he gets a little more juice moving forward. It’s especially sad that while Sheamus got months of build for his return, that Dallas got nothing at all. He’s young, he’s great on the mic & solid in the ring. I hope WWE notices all of this as well. 

3) “Kiss Me Arse”- Sheamus has been on fire since his return to the company as a badass heel. Likewise, Dolph Ziggler has also looked like a cranked up a notch star since the two have been feuding over the last several weeks. I’m sure that the two of them will have a great match on Sunday but that “Kiss Me Arse” stipulation is rubbing me the wrong way. That is a stipulation that should be reserved for the likes of Santino Marella or Henry Godwin, not two former world champions. 

That’s going to do it for me this week but before I go I would like to wish a speedy recovery to Daniel Bryan. I hope that the injury is minor as I would hate to see Bryan go through anymore turmoil in his life.