RAW 07/08/16: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY.

As Michael Cole announced at the start of this week’s RAW: we are two weeks out from SummerSlam. That pretty much set the tone for the show, with stories being elaborated on for the summer classic, with some decent matches in between. The show was a bit of a slog, but it was bookended by two good segments revolving around the Universal Title contenders.

As usual, though, we found some good, some bad and some ugly to placate you guys for another week.

THE GOOD

It’s a testament to how good this story is that it is the “good” from this week’s RAW for the second week in a row. Seth and Dean’s “conscious re-coupling” is an excellent story actually being given the writing and performances it deserves. Once again, all this played out throughout the show.

Whereas last week Dean was the one to pour cold water on the reunion, as he has since the beginning, this week it was Seth who turned the tables. First, Seth fought Seamus and lost, thanks to interference from Cesaro. Following the match, Seamus and Cesaro beat Seth, with Dean nowhere to be seen. That led to Seth and Dean having a heated conversation with Dean basically saying, “you’re on your own”.

Later, Dean faced Cesaro and won via roll-up, but he too copped a beating from the tag champs, and this time Seth made the save, probably to prove a point. Following all this Dean outstretched his fist, Shield style, and Seth walked away!!

This was great from the WWE because they could have easily had them re-couple and go on to face Seamus and Cesaro for tag belts. Instead, they are keeping all options open, including a heel turn for either of Dean or Seth and the story feels like it could continue, possibly past SummerSlam. It’s good writing and storytelling and is interesting us greatly.

THE BAD

We are huge fans of the WWE’s women’s division. Like the men, there are some hits and misses, and we will get on to one big “misses” in a minute, but overall, they are generally great. This week, thanks to unforeseen circumstances, we saw two triple-threat matches to determine a new number one contender for Alexa Bliss’s title.

There were a number of problems with the entire segment. One, the matches were generally poor. Two, the woman that put Bayley on the shelf, Nia Jax, is seemingly getting a push. And three, and the most important, because RAW have booked any woman not named Sasha, Bayley, Nia or Alexa, terribly, there was no doubt who the winner of each triple threat was going to be. Bayley beating Sasha a couple of weeks ago was a nice surprise, but there was no chance of that this week, and it was a shame. Especially when you consider over on SmackDown, in their many #1 contender matches, the winner is always very hard to call because all the women on the roster, including Lana, are used properly. RAW has more time to fill than SmackDown, so there is no excuse in badly booking half your women’s division.

Having said that, next weeks match between Sasha and Nia could be a sleeper hit.

THE UGLY

Oooof this was bad. Bayley comes out to discuss her injury, and while thanking the fans who stood by her, some of those fans started booing. The problem was Bayley decided to call out the hecklers, and that went down as well as could have been expected. It was ugly to watch Bayley sink like a stone out there. The worst part of it was it probably wasn’t her fault. She has been booked terribly in recent months and was in no position to call out her detractors; she was always going to come off worse.

This segment raised the question of who told her to call out the hecklers. If it was her, then that was naive, if it was the writers, then that was complete stupidity. Especially, especially, because they were in Canada and Candian fans, bless them, are raucous, mad and contrary. The WWE should know their audience and tailor a segment specifically.

Hopefully, some time off will do Bayley good.

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