WWE Monday Night Raw (8/26/19): Notes

Venue: Smoothie King Center (New Orleans, LA)

-Opening Sasha Banks promo lacked energy and attitude – same monotone delivery as before. Fans wanted a Becky appearance and confrontation with Banks and they were noticeably disappointed it was Natalya who filled that role instead. 

-I’m not usually a big fan of apron bumps but Drew McIntyre’s slam from the top of the steps onto the apron was pretty innovative. 

-Crowds naturally want to get behind Ricochet for his comebacks. There’s consistent excitement for all his matches. How many other midcard faces on the Raw roster can you say that about right now?

-McIntyre has the combination of size, strength and physicality, but there’s just something missing in terms of having that top level guy feel. I see him in a similar mold as someone like Sheamus — lots to like, just not the complete package.

-Solid work by Ricochet and McIntyre. The match dragged a bit, as McIntyre spent most of the contest treating Ricochet like a rag doll but that was to be expected. Crowd was invested in the ending. Business really started to pick up following the Glasgow Kiss on the outside.

-Baron Corbin vs. The Miz wasn’t bad but putting it in the spot immediately after Ricochet and McIntyre didn’t do those two any favors. There was a noticeable drop off in skill level and fluidity.

-I certainly did not miss the pointless back-and-forth bickering between Renee Young and Corey Graves on commentary. Bring back Vic Joseph, please.

-Zero heat for the Bayley vs. Nikki Cross match. That’s a concern for Bayley considering she got basically the same treatment from a much hotter crowd in her Summerslam match against Ember Moon. 

-Well at least we’ll get to see The Viking Raiders wrestle a team that isn’t a couple of jobb…oops, nope it’s the B Team starting off the Tag Team Turmoil match.

-Karl Anderson and Eric both no-selling that Ivar suicide dive. 

-I understand not wanting to beat the Viking Raiders at this point in their build, but WWE still hasn’t learned that double DQs are absolute crowd-killers. Having two heel tag-teams follow that up definitely didn’t help matters much.

-Not really a shocker the crowd has no cares to give about the randomly thrown together heel duo of Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, two guys who haven’t won any match of note in years. The Revival vs. Ziggler and Roode is in the debate with the Bayley/Cross match as the least cared about match of the night. 

-Add Ziggler and Roode vs. Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder to that debate. 

-It’s a testament to how uniquely charismatic someone like Otis is that he’s been able to wake up and give life to such a dead crowd with his antics. 

-It figures that instead of giving an interesting young team like Otis and Tucker the spotlight, they go with the pairing of Roode and Ziggler, two guys that bored a crowd into silence for multiple matches. 

-Never need to see the Roman Reigns attacks recap video again. Every week, both shows, it’s enough. Had my fill.

-10 seconds into Sasha Banks’ in-ring return and she’s already taking crazy head and neck bumps.

-Love the post match beat down by Sasha Banks on Natalya. Sadistic Sasha worked so well in NXT. Hopefully she gets to show that full side of herself in the Becky feud.

-Thunderous uppercut by Cesaro on Cedric Alexander. I need a Cesaro and Walter trading uppercuts and slaps spot at some point in my wrestling viewing experience.

-Alexander and Cesaro deserved more from the crowd than they got for that impressive overall showing of athleticism. That standing Spanish Fly spot was one of the coolest things to happen on the show tonight.

-Like that “Eyes Wide Shut On” line by Angelo Dawkins. Montez Ford casts a wide shadow in the Street Profits backstage segments but Dawkins always seems to handle himself nicely. Both are naturals on camera. 

-It wouldn’t be a Braun Strowman match without him running into a post.

-An interesting “take down the tall guy at the knees” main event match by AJ Styles and Braun Strowman. A disappointing DQ ending hampered what was otherwise an interesting dynamic between Styles and Strowman. Braun no-selling his leg injury at the end and easily taking out all three members of the OC was also a bit much.

-Overall it was an average show without any glaring weak spots. The in-ring absences of Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch were noticeable. Braun does feel like a main event caliber guy again which is good. The Seth/Strowman dynamic, if handled correctly, has the potential to be fairly interesting. Next week, a bigger dose of Becky will be needed. Unfortunately, crowds simply aren’t responding with the kind of sympathy to Natalya that is needed to build Sasha up into the super heel she’s capable of becoming.

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