WWE Raw Results: Ronda Rousey Sends a Message and Top Takeaways
The August 6 episode of Raw continued the build to SummerSlam on August 19 with a gripping interview from Paul Heyman and the free television in-ring debut of Ronda Rousey.
The show, another hit-or-miss broadcast, gave fans plenty of good and bad to talk about as one of WWE's most prestigious events draws near.
From feuds losing steam to those picking it up, relive Monday's broadcast with these four big takeaways and how they may affect the product heading into Brooklyn for the summertime spectacular.
Ronda Rousey Sends Message in Dominant First Raw Match
To call Ronda Rousey's first match on Raw a one-sided ass-kicking would be a massive understatement.
The UFC Hall of Famer shook off a scathing pre-match promo from Alexa Bliss and Alicia Fox to pummel Fox, tapping her out with the Armbar. While it was hardly a match up to par with her first two bouts, it did not have to be.
It was a showcase for Rousey weeks before her latest shot at the Raw Women's Championship, and in that regard it succeeded.
Rousey looked like a world-beater, capable of obliterating Bliss come SummerSlam and taking the title that has eluded her over the last two months.
That is the story WWE has told, so hopefully that is the payoff fans get to enjoy come SummerSlam.
The question is whether Bliss gets to look more competitive than Fox did Monday night.
Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler Is Running Out of Steam
Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler have had some stellar matches over the Intercontinental Championship and have strengthened the prestige of that title. But their rivalry has descended into repetition, with little in the way of exciting new developments to keep fans invested.
Yes, the company is telling a story that should culminate with the return of Dean Ambrose to help counteract the constant interference of Drew McIntyre, but before that presumably happens at SummerSlam, the company needs to produce solid build to maximize the moment.
Monday night's handicap match was slow, uneventful and not particularly compelling. The writing team would have been better off with the Rollins-Tyler Breeze team, if only because it would have been something different at a time when the rivalry needs it.
Unfortunately, a lackluster match did little to create any excitement for the SummerSlam encounter between Rollins and Ziggler. Instead, the impending return of Ambrose seems more likely to draw fans' interest.
Ruby Riott's Return Brings Jolt of Life Back to Women's Tag Team Feud
The return of Ruby Riott on Monday's show brought renewed energy to the ongoing rivalry between The Riott Squad and the team of Sasha Banks and Bayley, a program that desperately needed a boost in order to stay fresh and interesting.
The teams have worked each other so often that the rivalry was in danger of becoming repetitive and stale. The return of Riott from injury, though, will help bring a spark to the program that should culminate in a match at SummerSlam.
Even if it is as part of the show's kickoff festivities.
Riott is the unquestioned leader of the group, and though Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan have done an admirable job of carrying on in her absence, Riott's attitude and in-ring ability help bring it credibility. Now that she is back, all is right with the faction.
Whether that enhances their act and allows them to score some much-needed wins in the coming weeks remains to be seen.
Paul Heyman Is the Greatest Asset WWE Has at Its Disposal
Paul Heyman is, without a shadow of doubt, WWE's most valuable performer.
Monday night, emotion painting his face, he showcased just how much his relationship with Brock Lesnar means to him on a personal level. There were tears. There was discomfort. It was not always fun to watch. But by the end, when Heyman brought up The Beast's decimation of Roman Reigns, the advocate still managed to sell his client's pay-per-view main event to the masses despite his anguish.
Heyman ran the emotional gauntlet, no doubt channeling real, raw emotion as he put over just how much Lesnar means to him, and the result was some rare gripping television on WWE's flagship.
The undisputed best performer WWE has at its disposal when it comes to promoting and conveying the emotion of a story, one can only hope Heyman sticks around long after Lesnar decides to call it a career.