TV Recap: WWE Monday Night RAW – Lesnar vs. Taker

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After a shocking conclusion to Battleground, we kick off the show with the man who caused quite the stir, The Undertaker. I thought it was interesting how initially many thought Undertaker shifted to a heel, by costing Brock the WWE Championship. However, Brock was never really pushed as a face. Granted, Seth Rollins is a heel, however so was Brock until the Authority suspended him and his return. Brock was never cast as a face, we just treated him like one because he was going after Rollins. Now that Undertaker is back, one might think Brock is back to being a heel again. Tonight it seems Undertaker is out for vengeance, not for breaking the streak, but by being an arrogant jerk about it. Undertaker admits “Streaks are meant to be broken.” But, he vows to conquer the self-proclaimed unconquerable.

His promo is classic Dead Man with a modern twist. It is chilling. Sadly, JBL ruins the moment for all of us at home by botching a classic movie reference.

Backstage, Triple H and Stephanie rejoice about this main event “falling in our lap” and deciding to tell Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar to take the night off.

First match of the night features Charlotte up against Brie Bella, and there seems to be confusion among the commentary team, which should not come as a surprise, as to who is face or heel. We know Charlotte is face, but Brie seems to be in face mode, and they treat Sasha Banks as part of the problem in the Divas division since she associates with Naomi and Tamina. Poor camera work, as most of the match shows Banks talking, which we do not need to see, but are quite capable of hearing since there is a decent match going on. Charlotte wins via Figure Eight.

Backstage: Triple H has an angry conversation with Paul Heyman over the phone while Miz pathetically tries to get his attention. He winds up earning a match with Big Show tonight.

In the ring, the Prime Time Players dominate Los Matadores until the New Day causes a distraction, allowing Titus to get pinned. Great match, lame finish. The Titus O’Neil is amazingly over.

In our next match, the Miz is squashed by Big Show in both literal and figurative sense. Big Show tosses him around like nothing, ending the match with a second rope elbow drop. I just do not get why he doesn’t just step between the ropes and just knock everyone out. Post-match, he cuts a promo asking Miz if he is still stuck in the Attitude Era. Then goes after Ryback and promises to take the Intercontinental Championship. He also does a cheap plug for Tough Enough, stating he might knock a few contestants out.

Backstage: Triple H and Stephanie confront Paul Heyman, who pleads to have a few minutes of air time to speak for his client. Triple H and Steph believe he is lying and order more security.

We come back from commercial to find Triple H and Stephanie holding court in the locker room, ordering all the wrestlers to serve as cannon fodder… I mean, a wall between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker.

Paul Heyman in the ring cuts his promo, blaming Undertaker as the reason his client is not WWE Champion. Intense. Heyman tells crowd, and sends a message saying Undertaker might have sold his soul to the devil, but his ass will belong to Lesnar, and repeats himself over and over than Brock ended the Streak. This brings out the Deadman, and of course, Brock Lesnar was in the building all along and the brawl ensues. The commentary team bails as security and the entire locker room try to stop the fight. Ascension are in there, Kevin Owens as well, even Jack Swagger and Axelmania is running around! They fail multiple times and the two clash. It is kind of funny to watch Fandango and Zack Ryder try holding Undertaker back.

We come back from commercial and the brawl is going on backstage, and we see Brock Lesnar overcome the sheer force of the Lucha Dragons and Adam Rose in order to break free while Undertaker had to overcome Bo Dallas and the Ascension. Haha. R-Truth manages to calm Brock. Did he get rid of the spiders?

Following the chaos, Seth Rollins meets Triple H and Stephanie, saying he had some pent up aggression of his own, so it’s a good idea to have both Brock and Undertaker removed otherwise things would have gotten worse. Ugh, cheap heel move. Rollins acting all cocky, and The Authority look none too pleased.

We get a promo from Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper, before Harper goes one-on-one with Roman Reigns. Before the match begins, Dean Ambrose comes out to even the odds. This one was like a rocking boat. Back and forth, back and forth, no clear dominator. Eventually the match ends in DQ when Bray attacks Reigns, Ambrose gets involved, but the Wyatt duo manage to come out on top this time.

After a whole bunch of promos and flashbacks, Seth Rollins graces us with an arrogant promo, gloating about still coming out as champ. Seth then gets angry about being underappreciated and put down. John Cena comes out to put down Rollins, call out the “coward’s champion” and offer a chance to step up and face him, but Rollins bails. Is this a tease for the WWE Championship match at SummerSlam? I hope not.

Up next is a women’s tag match with Sasha Banks and Naomi against Paige and Becky Lynch. Sadly, most of the focus on television is on Team Bella joining commentary at ringside, and the production crew forgetting there is a match going on.JBL must be drunk, as he wonders if the women from NXT will either be like the dominant NWO or a failure like WCW. Someone, please, cut him off from the open bar. Please. Love when Paige does the PTO. Broken up by Sasha Banks who then hits the backstabber, rolls into the Bank Statement, forcing Paige to tap out.

Why does Tamina look like an 80’s biker chick?

For some reason, the Tough Enough coaches comment about how Jake Gyllenhaal trained in boxing for his movie Southpaw. That was odd.

Aw hell. Before the main event we get a reminder of Lana’s current status. Summer Rae now dresses like Lana and she makes with the smoochie with Rusev. Lana is horrified. Well, she did get it on with Ziggler while Rusev was watching, so I wonder why suddenly this is not nice? Summer slaps Lana. Waah.

In the main event, we get Cesaro teaming up with Randy Orton and John Cena against Rusev, Kevin Owens, and Sheamus. Never thought I would see Cesaro, Orton, and Cena on the same team. Prior to Sheamus coming to the ring, JBL shouts “get yourself a pint of Guinness and prepare for a fight!” Go home JBL. Go home. Michael Cole talks about how Orton and Sheamus “battled at Battleground.” Go home Cole. Go home. Cesaro was the star of the match. Part-way through a collision with Owens and Sheamus resulted in Mr. Money in the Bank decking Owens and leaving, then argues with Rusev, superkicking him and leaving! Rusev winds up all alone as Cesaro hot tags to Randy Orton who… cleans… house… Except it is only Rusev. Orton is about to go for the RKO, but Rusev superkicks him in time to watch Lana spear Summer Rae. Cena then hits the Attitude Adjustment, Cesaro does the Swing into a slingshot into an awaiting RKO. I never thought I would see Cesaro in full-face mode with Orton and Cena. NEVER. I am astonished.

Overall, not a bad show tonight. The promos got a bit long winded, and there were a lot of backstage segments. However, the matches were pretty solid, and the build to SummerSlam begins strongly with Undertaker and Brock Lesnar. Obvious nods towards feuds between Reigns and Ambrose against the Wyatt Family, and likely another match with the Prime Time Players and the New Day.

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