Shock Goldberg Return Can't Save Weak SummerSlam Go-Home, More WWE Raw Fallout

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2019

Shock Goldberg Return Can't Save Weak SummerSlam Go-Home, More WWE Raw Fallout

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    Goldberg may have capped off the August 5 episode of WWE Raw by marching through the curtain and announcing his intention to do bad things to Dolph Ziggler at SummerSlam Sunday, but even the return of a Hall of Famer could not make up for an edition that lacked urgency and creative consistency.

    The flagship show failed to properly hype and adequately create interest for the summertime spectacular, a major indictment of the brand after weeks of solid-to-strong television.

    Why didn't Goldberg's return have the desired effect and what other subjects stood out on the show?

    Find out with this recap of Monday's episode.

Goldberg's Return Fails to Rescue SummerSlam Go-Home from Mediocrity

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    Goldberg may have returned in the main event slot of Monday's Raw but the Hall of Famer's appearance did little to help an otherwise mediocre show that failed to leave fans giddy for SummerSlam.

    Just about everything fell flat on a night when WWE Creative really needed to put an exclamation point on what had been a solid month of television. Worst of all, there was a lack of urgency that hung over the show like a dark cloud ready to burst at its seams.

    Brock Lesnar dropping an already battered Seth Rollins with an F-5 felt like just another chapter rather than a crescendo. The 24/7 Championship story, featuring Mike Kanellis pinning wife Maria for the title, only to be pinned by R-Truth, was fun but inconsequential to Sunday's card. An unknown assailant nearly ran Roman Reigns down, and other than a brief moment of genuine concern from Samoa Joe, failed to deliver anything new on the whodunnit front.

    Then there is Goldberg.

    Dolph Ziggler spent weeks running down legends he believed no longer belong in the squared circle. Goldberg was one of them, so after weeks of insults, one would naturally assume the former WCW world heavyweight and WWE universal champion would make it known that The Showoff is next because of the comments he has made of late.

    Instead, he simply walked to the ring, grabbed a mic and spouted off a catchphrase. No rhyme, reason or explanation for why he would come out of semi-retirement to potentially humiliate himself on another major pay-per-view with a subpar performance like the one in Saudi Arabia at Super ShowDown in June.

    Goldberg's return could have taken an otherwise so-so show and wrapped it up in spectacular fashion. Instead, the angle merely brought a spark of energy before fizzling at its conclusion.

Women's Tag Team Championships Find Stability in Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross

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    The IIconics' Women's Tag Team Championship reigned ended Monday, not with a bang, but a whimper.

    It is almost apropos.

    After all, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce's reign was lackluster from its inception. After defeating Bayley and Sasha Banks at WrestleMania 35, the Aussies embarked on a title tenure that saw them barely defend the belts. And when they did, it was in screwy television bouts against The Kabuki Warriors or in squash matches against nondescript enhancement talent.

    Unlike Bayley and Banks, theirs was not a reign of inspiration, thanks largely to a writing team that never really A) felt invested in the team or B) knew what to do with them.

    They were the first team eliminated in Monday's Fatal 4-Way, guaranteeing new champions and putting an end to a reign that should never have happened if WWE Creative did not have obvious plans for it.

    Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross have an ongoing story, have developed a specific dynamic and compelling chemistry. They are exactly what the tag team division needs right now.

    Unfortunately for The IIconics, it may take some time to wash off the stink from their run as champions. Again, through no real fault of their own.

Seth Rollins Booking Continues to Hamper Star, Hurt Popularity

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    There was nothing courageous in the way Seth Rollins was booked on Raw.

    The Architect limped down the ramp with a steel chair in hand and proceeded to get his ass kicked for the second week in a row by universal champion Brock Lesnar. It is easy to see what WWE Creative was going for when it mapped out the segment and pitched it to Vince McMahon.

    It wanted Rollins to come across as a brave, fighting babyface who wouldn't let an injury keep him from seeking vengeance and fighting for what he believes in.

    *Insert cheesy cheerleader GIF*

    Unfortunately, Rollins came across as a total dumbass for going at Lesnar while in no shape to actually succeed. The Rock would have used the element of surprise and got a few licks in before succumbing to the power and fury of The Beast Incarnate. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin would have whooped up on the champion and dropped him with a stunner.

    The geek that has become Rollins? He went straight at Lesnar with a chair and still ended up laying in a heap in the center of the ring.

    How WWE's crack writing team thought Rollins would be warmly received by the Pittsburgh fans, that his emotional guarantee of a victory over Lesnar would endear him to the audience while his recited passion for the sport would somehow erase the display of blatant stupidity we had just witnessed, is a mystery only that team and its fearless leader can answer.