This was the go-home edition of Raw as we are now five days away from SummerSlam. Raw was filled with a lot of good moments, like the MizTV segment, and some bad ones, like the mixed tag match.
Let’s take a look back at Monday’s show and see who came out as the biggest winners and losers.
Rob Van Dam—Winner
With no real program leading up to SummerSlam, Dean Ambrose needed a challenger for his United States Championship. WWE duly obliged in deciding to hold a 20-man Battle Royal to find the No. 1 contender.
After a very exciting match, the final two were Rob Van Dam and Mark Henry. RVD lowered the top rope and Henry flew over, crashing on the mat and earning himself a shot at the United States title.
Going from the main event at Money in the Bank to the kickoff match at SummerSlam may be hard for RVD to handle, but he and Ambrose will surely put on a very entertaining match.
Big E. Langston and AJ Lee—Losers
As I mentioned at the beginning, this mixed tag team match was pretty bad. Lee connected with a nice kick to Natalya’s head. A minute or so later, Natalya locked in the Sharpshooter.
Lee tapped and she released the hold, but the referee seemed to be distracted. Natalya had to lock in the submission hold again so that the referee could see it. Langston then went after Hornswoggle, but received a chop from Khali.
Having Langston and Lee lose heading into SummerSlam was a mistake. If Khali and Natalya, two Superstars who frequently lose, can beat them, then Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn should have an easier time.
WWE Championship Match—Winner and Loser
The McMahon family drama has overshadowed this feud in recent weeks. Vince McMahon called out Brad Maddox, who fast-counted Daniel Bryan earlier in the night. Maddox begged for a second chance and wanted to referee the main event match.
Mr. McMahon agreed, but Triple H didn’t. He came out and detested his father-in-law’s idea. He pedigreed Maddox and named himself the referee. We all know what happened the last time Triple H was the referee for a SummerSlam main event.
Luckily, we would get a segment between the two Superstars who will be fighting in the ring. John Cena and Daniel Bryan had one of the best verbal exchanges between two opponents ever. It was the best MizTV segment since its inception. Bryan called Cena a parody. Cena slapped Bryan across the face. It was perfect. This was the promo this feud needed heading into Sunday.
With Triple H as the referee and Randy Orton lurking with the briefcase, anything can happen.
Not only has the intercontinental champion taken a back seat to the CM Punk and Brock Lesnar feud but it doesn't look like he will be defending his title at SummerSlam.
Axel appeared for a total of five minutes on Raw. He tried to give Paul Heyman a pep talk before his match. He then ran down after Punk, but the Best in the World hit him with a chair. Punk then lifted him up at the top of the stage and connected with a GTS.
Axel's first title run has been unimpressive so far. WWE seems to be high on Axel, pairing him with Heyman. However, he has been made to look like a pawn in Heyman's feud with Punk. Let's hope WWE has a plan for him after SummerSlam.
There were other moments that stood out on Raw as well. Big Show finally made his return, coming to the rescue of Mark Henry and RVD. Kofi Kingston had another signature save in the battle royal as he held onto Antonio Cesaro’s waist.
The Shield cut an excellent promo, putting over the United States and tag team titles. CM Punk stood tall at the end of Raw after beating down Brock Lesnar.
What would you rate Raw? Are you looking forward to SummerSlam after this episode?