From the NAI Archive - July 21, 2015 - RAW Response- Promoting Positivity Edition

Taken from

After spending the last 60 hours or so trying to sort through the IWC’s bi-polar responses to Battleground and RAW, I’ve realized once again that in wrestling, just like life, you can’t please everybody.

RAW was great, except it sucked.  Battleground was awesome, until it was terrible.  JBL is an awful announcer. . . .Well, I suppose that’s the general consensus - Hey! Something we can all agree on!

Time to dust all the old favorite.  Let’s get to #PromotingPositivity, people!


First of all, RAW didn’t begin with an Authority promo, so right off the bat, we’re starting positive!  Logic or no logic, reason or no reason, I enjoyed seeing a REAL Undertaker entrance, which really hasn’t happened since Wrestlemania 30.  If this wasn’t a Promoting Positivity Piece, I’d go into a rant on how much I disliked his entrance at this year’s Mania.  If Taker comes out in the daytime, he better be riding a chariot with a vulture on it.

Undertaker seemed to be channeling Christian Bale a bit with the uber-gruffness of his voice (I wanted him to just randomly say “I’m Not Wearing Hockey Pants!”), but I dug his promo.  What I especially liked was the rationale he gave for his appearance.  Sure, I’d have appreciated at least a shout out to his brother, but it made sense to me.

This is the Old Dog in the Yard, he’s not going to mind if he gets beaten.  He does mind when you spend too much time crowing about it.  Now, while that should mean we’ll see Taker vs. Heyman at Summer Slam, I still am OK with this reasoning.  It explains (enough, anyway), why he and Lesnar didn’t have a face-to-face at Wrestlemania, and I’m good with it.

Yes, Mark Calaway is a 50 year old man who looks even older.  There’s no getting around that.  But he still captured my attention and made me interested in this renewed feud - What else do you want?


I’m glad that portmanteau hasn’t taken off.  I really figured it would.

We got not one but TWO solid Diva’s matches, and I got a lot of pleasure out of watching my Twitter feed explode last night because of it.  I couldn’t be happier to see Charlotte AND Sasha get the win in these matches, and while I doubt we’ll get my 9 Diva Triple Threat Tag match at Summer Slam, we’re going to get something worth watching, and that in and of itself is a Revolution.

I’ll also give credit to the Bellas for doing their part in putting over the new talent on commentary during the tag match.  I wasn’t totally listening, but even at half-attention, I could tell they were doing well.

Here’s an odd thought - Had Bayley not broken her wrist, where would she fit into this mix?  Would she be Bayley Bella?

 Ole?  Oy vey.

We’re obviously heading down the road to a multi-team match for the tag belts at Summer Slam.  I was hoping the Matadors wouldn’t be involved, but they seemingly will be after defeating the tag champs (Titus, no less) on RAW.  I’m all for parity, and I’m glad they’re getting some sort of shot, but. . .

Look, Primo and Epico are two solid to above average wrestlers, saddled with a well below-average gimmick.  Can’t they just be. . .You know. . Themselves?  Where’s Carlito when we need him???

The Brawl to end them All

This was a great segment, and while I wish Taker had been able to break free a little more than he did, it makes sense why Brock would physically dominate.  Mark Calaway is feeling this, far more than he seemed to be feeling his feud with Bray.  I won’t say he was just going through the motions, but there’s a distinct difference between The Undertaker of July and the one from March / April.

I found it interesting to see which wrestlers were part of the posse to break up the fight and which were not.  More on that later.

Families United

It might not be The Shield vs. The Wyatt’s all over again, but there is certainly something similar and comforting about the fact that Summer Slam will likely feature Bray and Harper vs. AmbReigns.  Some people were complaining that this made Dean seem like Roman’s lackey, but I don’t see it that way at all.

Go back and watch the promo from the Wyatts.  Luke Harper had almost as much to say as Bray did - These two are on far more equal footing now than they ever were last year.  This is about four men and their issues, not two men and their associates.

Plus, now we can spend 4 weeks wondering who turns on who.  Does Dean abandon Reigns and join the dark side?  Does Reigns sign a deal with the devil to finally reach the success he’s been after?  Do we see more Wyatt Family members?

I’m locked in, and I’ll be watching this storyline very closely leading into next month’s event.

A Sign of Things to Come?

As much as we’ve enjoyed the John Cena Open Challenge (and we have, its been amazing), we all knew it wasn’t going to last forever.  Cena was still going to have a couple more main event runs in him, and by confronting Seth Rollins last night, he assured himself of one of those in the latter half of 2015.

A lot of people seemed to completely forget the last 6 months of greatness with that one promo, which I find a bit hasty.  Here’s what we know so far.

John Cena has done an admirable job elevating talents during the US Open Challenge, and even beyond.  You might not like how it was booked or anything, but the main event of RAW featured Rusev, Kevin Owens and Cesaro - All guys who have worked with Cena in the very recent past.

Cena has elevated his in-ring game, and unlike Brock Lesnar, will be an opponent that Seth Rollins can match up with physically.

Summer Slam, as I mention on this week’s #NAIborhood podcast, is the card where John Cena loses.  If Rollins were to beat Cena, it would be a big feather in his cap, certainly moreso than defeating Randy Orton or his Shield Brothers would do.

Put those three things together, and the time might just be perfect for a Cena / Rollins match.    Or, this is just a slow start to something that could happen at Night of Champions, which logically, would make more sense.

Truth be told, what else should Rollins be doing right now?  Lesnar’s busy with Taker, Reigns and Ambrose are caught up with the Wyatts, what other challenger is there besides Cena?  Orton?  Sheamus?

Everyone take a breath and relax, friends.  This is not the end of the world.  Have a little faith.

The Enemy of my Enemy is. . . Still My Enemy.

The biggest story coming out of the main event is the dissension amongst the heels, as Sheamus, Rusev and Owens all seem to have unfinished business.  Or, at least, the Irishman and the Bulgarian have issues with the French Canadian.

To be honest, I had more issues with Owens being part of the scrum during the Lesnar / Undertaker brawl than I did with him tapping out last night.  They didn’t even seem to address it all that much, which is what Liam seemed to believe would happen on the Battleground post-cast.

I noticed that Ambrose, Reigns, Wyatt, Harper, Cena and Orton weren’t part of the crew breaking up the Beast and the Deadman.  Didn’t see Rusev in there, either.  Why was Owens there?

While WWE midcard is greater than NXT main eventing, purely just based on eyes on the talent, its still not what I think any of us expected.

Still, if we’re heading to a Sheamus / Rusev / Owens Triple Threat at Summer Slam, I’m more than OK with that, especially if Owens can goad Sheamus into putting the briefcase on the line.

Mr. Money in the Bank, Kevin Owens?  Sounds about right to me.


What do YOU think?  Best parts of RAW?  Be Heard.
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