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DeMarco: Midcard Shines In The Ring On WWE Raw

Monday’s edition of WWE Raw featured amazing talent, and many of them shared one specific trait: they aren’t wrestling at SummerSlam. Is that a problem?

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WWE Raw Andrade

Monday’s edition of WWE Raw featured amazing talent, and many of them shared one specific trait: they aren’t wrestling at SummerSlam. Is that a problem?

SummerSlam is this Sunday, and the card is nearly set. Monday was the go-home edition of WWE Raw, and the show did a great job of building towards Sunday’s event. It did so without featuring many of the key SummerSlam players actually wrestling, instead focusing the in-ring action on talent not appearing on Sunday.

Take a look at the quick results for Raw:

  • Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair beat Natalya & Trish Stratus by disqualification
  • Andrade Almas w/Zelina Vega pinned Rey Mysterio
  • Mike Kanellis pinned Maria Kanellis to win the WWE 24/7 Championship
  • R-Truth w/Carmella pinned Mike Kanellis to win the WWE 24/7 Championship
  • The Viking Raiders beat Jay Alexander & Eric Abraham
  • Cedric Alexander fought Drew McIntyre when special guest referee Kurt Angle was attacked by Bray Wyatt’s Fiend
  • The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) beat VS The OC (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) w/AJ Styles by disqualification
  • The OC (AJ Styles and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) beat Ricochet & The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods)
  • Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross captured the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship in Fatal 4 Way Elimination Match against The IIconcis (Peyton Royce & Billie Kay), The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane) and Fire & Desire (Mandy Rose & Sonya DeVille) VS Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross

All total, 32 wrestlers performed in the ring on Raw. Of them, seven will perform at WWE SummerSlam on Sunday: Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Trish Stratus, Bray Wyatt, AJ Styles, and Ricochet. Mathematically, that’s 22% of the in-ring performers on Raw going on to perform at SummerSlam. Interesting number as it can mean several things.

Talent Needs To Avoid Injury

Seth Rollins took a beating from Brock Lesnar, but the style of the beatdown puts both men in a position to remain healthy for Sunday. Samoa Joe campaigned for Roman Reigns–neither wrestling a match–and both men are likely headed for a SummerSlam showdown. While Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Trish Stratus, and Natalya wrestled, the match was relatively short and was more about the stories than about any major spots. AJ Styles and Ricochet were role players in a six-man tag, neither factoring into the finish. Bray Wyatt was limited to an attack, setting up his match with Finn Balor on Sunday.

You also had the show ending contract signing, which was used to set up Dolph Ziggler vs. Goldberg, also featuring The Miz and Shawn Michaels (not wrestling at SummerSlam).

But here’s the thing: the midcard matches were GOOD.

Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade was a fantastic match that really put Andrade (and Zelina Vega) over in a big way. The 24/7 Championship was a chance for Mike Kanellis, Maria Kanellis, R-Truth, and Carmella to shine. Cedric Alexander and Drew McIntyre furthered their story in a short-but-physical manner. The OC members Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson carried the bulk of their six-man tag team match with AJ Styles vs. Ricochet and Big E & Xavier Woods, who carried most of their match. And it was all very entertaining. Finally, eight women got to put on a long, competitive match that never would have gotten the appropriate showcase at SummerSlam, and did so for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships that many think have been underused.

What does this say about SummerSlam?

That’s the thing. These matches could have been part of the SummerSlam Kickoff, and it’s still possible that something is added there. But the SummerSlam card IS good. Raw was good. I won’t be shocked if Smackdown is good. WWE is really loaded from an in-ring perspective, and after struggling to put it all together we seem to have a more consistent, balanced show on Monday nights. I don’t know what more we can ask for.

As for me, Raw did a great job building to SummerSlam, and showcased some of the great talent in WWE right now. It didn’t ruin anything for SummerSlam, instead made me excited for the event itself, and for what can happen after.


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