WWE Week In Review: The Good And The Bad (08/09/15-08/15/15)

ith eight days to go before SummerSlam, we’ve officially reached the point where WWE seems to be limping toward the finish line. It was an uneventful week, with the...
Randy Orton
With eight days to go before SummerSlam, we’ve officially reached the point where WWE seems to be limping toward the finish line. It was an uneventful week, with the creative team padding the card with a couple matches we pretty much already saw coming.

The Good

Breaking Out?

I wrote last week that WWE was misusing its young NXT talent. Instead of having the less experienced wrestlers take part in big matches, they are often relegated to squashes over inferior talent on the roster or even “local talent.” Prior to this week, Baron Corbin was perhaps the poster child for my argument. Week after week he’s been hyped up as the “Lone Wolf,” dominating whichever poor bastard gets tossed into the ring with him. This week on NXT, Corbin picked up a microphone and stated that he was being under-challenged. This acknowledgment was already a step in the right direction.

Enter Samoa Joe, and just like that, fans have received one more match to look forward to on an already stacked card at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn.

This is precisely the way to use Samoa Joe, a proven force to be reckoned with in the eyes of practically every professional wrestling fan. Have him challenge the young buck who has looked every bit the dominant heel but who has not truly been tested. This is the perfect way to utilize Samoa Joe and also a grandiose attempt to get Corbin over with the fans, to convince them that he can actually compete.

Green Arrow

It’s no secret that WWE likes to tinker with the idea of bringing celebrities in for one-off matches. The mindset is that it’s a win-win for both parties involved: each TV program attracts a new fanbase. But it’s also no secret that more than a few of these matches have crashed and burned in terms of quality of wrestling and entertainment. So by the time Stardust vs. Stephen Amell at SummerSlam seemed inevitable in some capacity, the reservations were understood.

However, at first glance, it seems the creative team may have something here. Amell had a fine, albeit brief, debut in-ring scuffle with Stardust on Raw, when he easily leaped the ropes, a la his newfound rival. His backstage convincing of Triple H to schedule the match was also decent, certainly far better than what we’ve seen from celebrities in the past. While this is obviously no guarantee that the bout at SummerSlam will be something we’ll be talking about a couple years from now, it’s certainly enhanced our interest.

However, King Barrett and Stardust getting along is a bit of a sight for sore eyes. Given Barrett’s character, it’s a head-scratcher and what seems like the latest misstep in the handling of the five-time Intercontinental Champion under the “king” moniker. It was reported that the Miz was originally planned to team with Stardust, which would have made a lot more sense given his Hollywood persona. Could SummerSlam be the night the Bad News Barrett name makes its return?

The Bad

Raw Fiasco

The main event this week on Raw was a disaster in every way possible.

Randy Orton beating Kevin Owens and Cesaro for a chance to wrestle for the World Heavyweight Championship was fine. Owens and Cesaro are set to square off at SummerSlam in what could easily be the match of the night. Both are supremely over with the fans right now, and Orton is always a safe bet to please the crowd because of the inevitable appearance of the RKO “out of nowhere.”

But the match felt methodical and half-hearted all the way through. Simply put, at 11:00 p.m. est on a Monday night, it was an absolute snoozefest. Once Sheamus appeared, it went from lagging to near comical.

The fact that the creative team thinks anybody at all still cares one iota about the Orton-Sheamus feud is stupefying. They’ve beaten dead horses before, but this horse has passed the rigor mortis stage and has started to decompose. Furthermore, when Sheamus tried to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase, why in the world did the referee not know what to do with it? Cashing in the contract has become standard practice in WWE, so it was rather odd to see the referee put up some sort of a fight.

I’m not sure if Orton was late getting to the ring or if it was just poorly drawn up, but either way it made for an almost impossibly bad ending to Raw.

Wrestledelphia.com contributor Tyler Sablich can be reached at . Follow him on Twitter at .

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