Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - WWE Monday Night RAW Thoughts and SummerSlam 2015 Predictions
By Mr. Tito
Aug 17, 2015 - 11:45:34 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on @titowrestling

Baby I like it RAW, baby I like it RAW!!!!! Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING coming straight to you immediately following RAW tonight. Now, many of you keep asking me to review RAW each week. Then, when I review RAW, I'm called "grumpy" and "negative" because I shoot straight from the hip. Geesh, which do you want?

In all honesty, 3 Hours of WWE programming that is NOT a Pay Per View is just brutal to me. Only so many in-ring promos, drama, and rigged together matches that I can take. Plus, the RAW formula has barely changed since 1997. Go watch those episodes of RAW on the WWE Network and observe that booking and production look virtually identical. 18 years later, too...

It's a chore for me to strictly watch all 3 hours of RAW, minute by minute... For the first half of RAW, I'm taking care of my kids and negotiating their bedtimes. I usually check in and begin closely watching RAW about at the 9:30pm. At that point, the WWE has to earn my viewership. In order to retain me, they must be interesting by 10pm. If I see pure garbage, I can check out. Netflix is a wonderful thing and right now I've been binging through the Office and Wentworth. There's always Smash Bros or Mario Kart 8 to play online... Hey, the National Football League is about to come back to Monday Nights (even though last year's games sucked). So much to do... I usually check back in at 10:45pm to finish the show as the Main Event is always important to me.

The world is full of options and many wrestling fans have families to take care of... 3 hours of RAW is brutal to get through. It just is...

Right now, I'm really experimenting with the possibility of "cutting the cord" on Cable Television. Comcast is just getting too expensive and I'm watching less and less of it with Netflix and other forms of streaming entertainment out there. I may still catch the RAW replay on Hulu but I would be less inclined to "cut the cord" if RAW and even Smackdown were redeeming to watch. Instead, they are just vehicles to promote Pay Per Views and 5 hours of that is just too much. I'm getting to the point where I might just watch WWE Pay Per Views because I still like to watch actual WRESTLING. I enjoy seeing the staged athletic competition at its highest level and only the WWE Pay Per Views on WWE Network is giving that to me. Very rarely that a RAW match impresses me and you have to deal with 2 hours and 45 minutes of a show just to get that one decent 15 minute match.

So that's why I don't review RAW... Just too damn busy and reviewing shows is just painful for me... I'd rather get creative on my columns and write about high level topics as opposed to telling you what I thought about a show.


I am pretty excited about SummerSlam. Past few SummerSlam events have been quite excellent and it seems that the WWE has returned to being quite serious about this event. In the past, SummerSlam served as a sequel to Wrestlemania as some follow-up match from Wrestlemania always occurred at this event. Then, the show sort of became its own big event without too much reliance on Wrestlemania (pretty much once RAW started). I would say that I could name entire cards of SummerSlam better than I can other shows, besides Wrestlemanias. There are some SummerSlams that I greatly admire as events. Do yourself a favor and check out SummerSlam 2002 for one of the most excellent shows of all time.

Overall, the 2015 show looks pretty good... Lots of potential for breakout matches and just in time to head into WWE's fall season where WWE management begins to consider what might work at a Wrestlemania event. All wrestlers involved should take this event very seriously and try new things to impress when they can.

I may give NXT Takeover a serious watch this weekend... Pretty cool of the WWE to give us a loaded weekend of original wrestling content to enjoy. Ladder Match, too, between Finn Balor and Kevin Owens. Sure, why not? I have the WWE Network now and I might as well use it.



- I thought Becky Lynch looked amazing tonight in her singles match against Tamina Snuka. Love her look and abilities. So much talent in the NXT call-ups for the Divas division and this may wind up being Triple H's ultimate legacy by giving the Divas Division some new life.

- Good segment with Rusev/Summer Rae and Dolph Ziggler/Lana. Some good heel stuff with Rusev cowering behind Summer Rae but then Lana delivering a sweet kick to the side of Summer Rae's head. Dolph's return was met with a good reaction. Happy with this segment although it's just 1 week before SummerSlam and a match was quickly added to the Pay Per View following this segment. Come on, WWE.

- John Cena pretty much destroyed Seth Rollins with that promo during the Contract Signing. Absolutely destroyed him and that came after many minutes of Rollins trying to cut a promo before Cena arrived. That's what a main eventer truly looks like, folks.

- Good tag match between Owens/Sheamus vs. Cesaro/Orton and it was such a relief to see wrestling after Triple H/Stephanie were boring things to start RAW. Sad thing is that time after time, the long in-ring promo actually draws better for RAW than an actual match. Congrats to Vince McMahon for conditioning fans to watch long boring talking promos in the ring to start a show.

- I like Sasha Banks and I believe that Nikki Bella has improved greatly as a wrestler... But they were not clicking in the ring tonight. Just a slow, prodding match that had no heat with the crowd. At one point, their boredom prompted a "WE WANT LESNAR" chant. Then again, the placement of this match was probably to get in that last piss break before the Main Event segment. Good win for Sasha Banks, though, by making the Divas Champion tap out.

- I've argued this for YEARS... WWE should do more with pro wrestlers having homecourt advantage or being honored in their hometowns or states. There is something to having homecourt advantage, particularly with the fanbase. Just look at how rabid Chicago fans are for CM Punk at Money in the Bank 2011 or tonight with Minnesota fans going bonkers for Brock Lesnar. Wow @ that Paul Heyman rendition of Battle Hymn of the Republic in honor of Brock Lesnar! I pray that fans pick up on that and sing it at events. SUPLEX CITY has really stuck, too... And then, Paul Heyman said "Undertaker FEARS Brock Lesnar"... Yep, we'll see signs in the crowd this Sunday and onward... Just like "Sabu FEARS Taz" from back in the day. I just love how Brock just stands there and lets Heyman do his thing, offering a smile here and there at how impressed he is at how Heyman hypes him. It's perfect.

GONG for the second time, as the first one was fake... Undertaker appears and hits the low blow again. GONG, said Brock Lesnar's nuts. Chokeslam followed and then a Tombstone. Taker looks to be in great shape right now and that's encouraging for this weekend.

Good RAW, overall... B+. Did what it needed to do in hyping SummerSlam.



In the "WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN / WHAT WILL HAPPEN" format... That's what she said.

Stephen Amell/Neville vs. Stardust/Bad News Barrett
Psychology wise, Mr. Amell should have NO CHANCE IN HELL against 2 trained professional wrestlers. In fact, Aarow should get his arse handed to him... But no, I'm sure Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett will have to sell for this guy. While Amell's show is doing well, it's not exactly influencing the world or elevating him as an A-List actor. Nope... However, we're living in a WWE where Creative has given up on both Barrett and Rhodes as serious superstars. Stardust gimmick guarantees midcard status for life and Barrett can't stay healthy enough for WWE management to trust him.

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Absolute domination by Stardust and Barrett. Amell is unable to hurt either guy.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Neville and Amell will win. WWE actually thinks that having wrestlers sell for Amell will give the WWE mainstream publicity. Yeah, how has that worked out in the past? Mr. T being the only exception...


Prime Time Players (c) vs. New Day vs. Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadors
Fatal Four Way, especially with tag teams, is WWE Creative's way of saying that they have NOTHING for the wrestlers involved. So let's just throw them into a big match together. Sure, it can be fun... Lots of fresh wrestlers to keep the match going and more spots to hit... But in the long run, what does having repeat Fatal 4 Way matches on Pay Per Views do for such a division? Nothing... There's no heat for any of the 4 teams because WWE won't put any resource time into the storylines of the tag team division. Could any of you write a 200 word essay on how much any of the 4 teams have contributed to the WWE? And I'm not ripping the teams. WWE Creative just doesn't care (or Vince hates tag wrestling).

WHAT SHOULD / WILL HAPPEN: Prime Time Players retain. There is no heat among the other 3 teams. As you saw from PTP hanging out with the Seattle Seahawks recently, they are a marketable team that the WWE will keep the belts on for appearances.


Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
Match just made tonight on RAW as I had to add this quickly to my predictions. Dolph Ziggler got the better of Rusev tonight, ditto for Lana on Summer Rae, so thus things will be evened out at SummerSlam with 50/50 booking.

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Dolph Ziggler. This guy's peak is about to run out. Strike while the iron is hot.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Rusev wins. By the heel winning, I suppose it allows for Ziggler to keep chasing the heel to overcome him. Or it keeps Lana chasing Rusev... whatever.


Team Bella vs. Team B.A.D. vs. PCB - 3 Team Elimination
I keep thinking "PCP" in my head which makes me think of two things... (a) Training Day when Denzel Washington makes his rookie smoke it and (b) Chappelle Show when Wayne Brady makes Dave Chappelle smoke it as a parody of Training Day. ANYWAY - What you'll see at SummerSlam is the build up of a new star, probably Charlotte, to eventually defeat Nikki Bella for the Divas Title once the AJ Lee title record is broken. This match should be RED HOT but I think the psychology is that Nikki takes the pin here by Charlotte to begin the build up for a huge match up at Survivor Series 2015 or maybe the event before when the AJ Lee record is done with. Hard to suggest this as I love me some Sasha Banks. So much talent and personality with that one but it makes for a perfect feud afterward with champion Charlotte against Sasha Banks. Yes please.

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: PCB (Paige, Charlotte, Becky) wins by pinning Nikki Bella specifically, with Charlotte getting the big pin.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Team Bella wins. Nikki lost to Sasha Banks on RAW and that tells me that Nikki will pin someone from B.A.D. or PCB this weekend.


Ryback (c) vs. Miz vs. Big Show for the Intercontinental Title
Can I say this? I HATE this match-up... There are no redeeming qualities of this match other than maybe, just maybe, using 2 stiffs to help elevate Ryback. But then again, Ryback has a history of botching various pushes and actually injuring other wrestlers or being injured himself. Even if he wins this match, what guarantees the WWE that he can keep the momentum going? WWE completely ruined Ryback with the heel turn... He should have just kept gaining more and more experience in the midcard until he was ready for the bigtime. WWE pushed him too fast and did a foolish heel turn that has forever damaged him. It's hard to believe in him when Creative has failed to develop him into an adequate star. Meanwhile, Creative is more than willing to give Miz and Big Show repeated chances to succeed even when the fans don't want it.

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Ryback squashes both in under 5 minutes. Pure domination.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Miz regains his Intercontinental Title especially after paying dues on tonight's RAW following a clean loss to Ryback. Ryback's recent injury makes him risky and I don't know where WWE is going with Big Show. Putting the IC Title on a heel with Miz, however, could let one of the former NXT guys rise up as a babyface to gain the title. Neville maybe?


Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper vs. Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose
Mini-Shield vs. Mini-Wyatts... I still don't understand why the Wyatt Family broke up. Historically speaking, stables work in professional wrestling. Pro wrestlers can have friends that stick together, right? Harper and Rowan have done nothing without the family and to an extent, I could argue that breaking up the Shield was a mistake with how WWE Creative overpushed Reigns, depushed Ambrose, and neutered Rollins. I still don't know why Reigns and Ambrose wanted nothing to do with each other after last year's attack by Rollins. Wouldn't it be plausible for BOTH Reigns and Ambrose to go after the Authority? Nope... WWE immediately pushed Reigns to multiple WWE Title shots while making Ambrose jobber to the stars. Now, they acknowledge each other?

WHAT SHOULD / WILL HAPPEN: Wyatt Family... Re-establishing the Wyatts as a stable is a big plus for the WWE. They need stronger heels particularly hoss ones who can actually work. However, they need to be less Deliverance and more about beating the pulp out of any babyface wrestler that crosses them.


Sheamus vs. Randy Orton
To their credit, Sheamus and Randy Orton delivered a good match at WWE Battleground. However, do I want to see more? Ehhhh... Problem is that I just can't believe in either character. So dull to me and that's because WWE Creative has changed-up their characters so much from inception. Why John Cena actually works is a simple word called "consistency". He doesn't have multiple twists and turns to his character. Just straight babyface from 2004 through today. There are only so many Heel/Face turns that one wrestler can do along with the many random WWE Title pushes that each have. Seriously, Sheamus has the Money in the Bank briefcase which I wouldn't doubt he cashes in on Sunday night.

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Sheamus 100% clean. Why not? Want to make Sheamus a top star? Then start letting him win matches against big names 100% clean.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Randy Orton lost last year at SummerSlam 2014 putting over Roman Reigns. Time for redemption. Orton wins and WWE might continue having Sheamus chasing Orton for another Pay Per View.


Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
I suggest that we call this match the "Kevin Dunn Memorial Match". However, I actually agree with Kevin Dunn on the look for Kevin Owens. Sorry, but why do you need to wrestle with a T-Shirt on? Do you have some man boobs or love handles that you're hiding? As big and flabby as Dusty Rhodes actually was, he still looked like athlete by wrestling without. I'm not saying that I want to see Owens without a shirt on, but he looks more like a basketball player at the YMCA than an actual professional fighter. He even wears fights under his T-Shirt so that his gut doesn't pop out when he's slammed. On the other hand, I still don't understand what the WWE is missing on Cesaro. He's the Main Event level heel that the WWE has been waiting for but WWE Creative doesn't see it. Funny thing is that he has the look (not flabby) that Kevin Dunn should love but he doesn't...

WHAT SHOULD / WILL HAPPEN: Cesaro wins, particularly 1 day after Owens has to wrestle a Ladder Match on the NXT event. I think Kevin Owens has been a bit exposed when not wrestling John Cena in terms of wrestling the WWE style. He needs to take a breather and just prove himself in the midcard for a few months. Owens is very talented as an in-ring talent but he has to figure out how to impress WWE Creative. If that means getting a little more ripped from the weightroom, then that's what it takes.


Seth Rollins (c) vs. John Cena (c) - WWE Title vs. US Title, "Winner Take All"
Big plus for John Cena if he wears the Bill Laimbeer facemask for the entire match. This is an important match for Seth Rollins. He needs to recapture the momentum he acquired at Royal Rumble 2015 when he dazzled in the ring against Cena/Lesnar in what is currently my "Match of the Year". Cena is going to be a bit careful with the broken nose and so therefore, Rollins will have to take a few more bumps to spice things up. Hopefully, the WWE lets Rollins use the BANNED Curb Stomp finisher for this occasion to help sell the psychology of Cena's broken nose. And start letting Rollins use that move regularly again, the Pedigree is stupid for him. Otherwise, if Rollins can't impress at SummerSlam, it completes his lackluster WWE Title reign following Wrestlemania 31.

WHAT SHOULD / WILL HAPPEN: John Cena wins the WWE Title but I'm leaning towards Sheamus taking the title away from him following the match. Just seems like the Money in the Bank briefcase is convenient enough to avoid the 2 Title Belt problem for 1 wrestler. Historically, the winner of both titles is stripped of the lesser title...

VERY good chance that host Jon Stewart interferes and costs Seth Rollins his title whether it is against Cena or Sheamus. Calling it now...


Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
You know what paybacks are... Undertaker did Brock Lesnar a HUGE favor at Wrestlemania 30 by letting Lesnar end the Wrestlemania streak. Undertaker never debated it, never questioned it, and never badmouthed it afterward. That's a professional and Undertaker's legacy as one of the greatest WWE wrestlers ever increased significantly because of that gift given at Wrestlemania 30. That being said, however, Vince McMahon would like to pay his longtime veteran back. Undertaker is winning this rematch and I believe that Brock Lesnar will be instructed to do his best to sell everything that the Undertaker gives him. Why?!? Aside from Vince wanting to repay the Undertaker, I believe that a 3rd match is in order. IN MY OPINION, the WWE should run Taker/Lesnar #3 at Survivor Series 2015 to help boost that Pay Per View.

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Brock Lesnar is an unstoppable machine and should not lose to anybody in the WWE at this stage in the game, especially part-time broken down veterans (no offense to Undertaker but he has taken a beating in his old age). Brock should win handily and go after the WWE Title again.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Undertaker wins to set-up a rematch at Royal Rumble 2016 or Wrestlemania 32. Probably Hell in a Cell. Yup, you heard it here first.


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