“RAW talking points?” I hear you exclaim, “Are you insane, Gray? Don’t you remember what happened the last time you did the WWE beat? We’re not bailing you out of the nuthouse again!” Relax. It’s fine. There is a method to my madness. Last time out I took myself and wrestling far too seriously, and since my hiatus, I have come to appreciate it for what it really is: pure entertainment. So, I feel confident enough in my sanity that looking at RAW and SmackDown—but not NXT, as the scars of that once noble brand’s fall from grace is still way too fresh to be picking at—every week isn’t going to drive me into a total wrestling breakdown.
Besides, if I don’t like something, that’s what fast forward is for, right?
Now with all that in mind, and coming off the back of a very impressive MITB, let’s try this and see how far down the rabbit hole we can go. It’s time for the RAW talking points for July 4th, 2022.
The Mysterios Channel Eddie Guererro To Prove The Home Town Curse Doesn’t Always Strike
We all know how this usually goes, right? The hometown boy or girl cuts a pre-match promo saying how pumped they are to be back in front of their people, and that they’ll be firing on all cylinders, giving 110%, going that extra mile, yadda, yadda, cliche, cliche, before going out to the ring and eating the pin, usually clean. It seemed that this episode of RAW would be kicking off with that exact scenario, as we were in Rey Mysterio’s old stomping ground of the 619 and he was all fired up to face The Judgment Day.
After all, Rey and Dominick couldn’t pick up a win if their lives depended on it and The Judgment Day are hot s*it right now. Simple maths, yes? Yet, much to my surprise, Rey pulled an old Eddie Guererro out of the bag trick to ensure that The Mysterios would be leaving San Diego with the win, even if they’d be on the end of an arse-kicking for it a little later in the show.
Seemingly becoming frustrated with Rey and Dom refusing to just lay down for them, Damian Priest and Finn Balor decided to resort to cheating when the former threw a chair into the ring for the latter and then proceeded to distract the ref. But instead of Finn being able to lamp Daddy Mysterio upside the head, Rey threw himself down, slapping the canvas as hard as he could so when the ref then turned around, it looked as if Balor had used a foreign object. The ref DQ’d Balor and Priest, Rey and Dom rolled out the ring smiling and laughing, and somewhere in the ether, Eddie Guererro nodded in approval.
We’re Getting AJ Styles and Logan Paul vs. The Miz and Ciampa At SummerSlam, Whether We Want It Or Not
After the WWE did that WWE thing they do where they book a match just because someone suddenly insults somebody else, we got AJ Styles vs. The Miz for the 1,000th time this year. But I didn’t really mind as these two are money whenever they face off in the ring, and even though this did seem hastily thrown together, it was the usual quality you’ve come to expect from the two.
After Styles had picked up the win, the real reason for this bout was revealed as Ciampa attacked AJ from behind. ‘The Phenomenal One’ would gain the upper hand, yet as he set up to hit The Styles Clash, The Miz hit a vicious Skull Crushing Finale before standing side by side with the NXT alumni.
So, yeah, we’re getting Styles/Logan vs. Miz/Ciampa at SummerSlam in a match that will be terrible and see Paul pin Ciampa, killing off any snifter of credibility Johnny Gargano’s greatest foe has left.
The Women’s Match Was Pointless
Okay, let me elaborate. The actual bout between Natalya/Carmella vs. Liv Morgan/Bianca Belair wasn’t terrible by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it was highly entertaining, but the fact of the matter is that there was no way in hell that the WWE would have their Women’s Champions taste defeat. Especially considering that Morgan had only been crowned SmackDown champ 24 hours previously.
What this was was a feel-good, July 4th moment for all those in attendance who cheered Liv Morgan to the rafters from the moment she came down to the ring, until the moment she went back through Gorilla. Still, when you can see the result coming a mile off, it does leave one feeling that the whole exercise was a tad pointless.
Germany Hates Freedom
At least, according to whoever wrote this segment. While R-Truth was celebrating Independence Day in the ring, Gunther came down and beat the living snot out of him, ruining the holiest of America’s days.
The foreign devils stood over Truth, the fans in attendance howled their derision, “USA! USA! USA!” rang out through the arena, and I died a little inside. Vince does realize that this isn’t the 80s anymore, right?
Becky Lynch And Asuka Have The Best Match I’ve Seen All Year
This one is going to take some beating. Quite literally. If you know anything about me or my work here on SPOBS, you’ll know I’m a hardcore/deathmatch freak at heart, and even though I’ve seen quite a few of these types of bouts being done in AEW of late, I never thought that I’d ever see one in the WWE. Especially one that was so good that it’s my match of the year, across all the promotions, so far.
I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen it, yet but know this: if you only watch one WWE match this year, make it this one. It was vicious, acrobatic, hard-hitting, and full of weapons of all shapes and varieties.
It was a brutal ballet of barbaric brilliance and went to prove that Big Time Becks and The Empress of Tomorrow should be allowed to fight from now until the end of time.
It was—in fact—awesome, and the highlight of this week’s RAW Talking Points.