By Ryan Kester
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match
It's both disappointing and understandable to see Cena walk away as the new champion. Disappointing simply because this path is so well worn it's ridiculous; understandable because Cena is really the only man that could carry the championship to WWE's planned SummerSlam without the burden crushing his run.
For many of the reasons that some of the match's participants, notably Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, and Cesaro, made intriguing potential winners of the match are the same reason why they wouldn't work to hold the belt after Brock Lesnar's participation in SummerSlam was announced. It makes no sense for WWE to hotshot the belt around the waist of any of these men if it's earmarked for Lesnar.
Cena is a disappointing champion because he does not need the belt. The desire to see a new star be made is palpable, but make no mistake, if one of the men mentioned above were to win the belt, they would not be made by this run. Cena can absorb a short title reign; for the rest it would mean their first presence in the main event would be short-lived and forgettable. It's by no means desirable to see Cena be champion again, but it's a far more desirable outcome form this PPV than to see a new star fade because they were given the top spot when the storytelling wasn't there to back them up.
Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match
This was a wild ride from bell to bell. Each of the match's participants went all out, and a special mention has to go to Seth Rollins for the bumps he took. Both the superplex and the crazy backdrop on the suspended ladder were brutal to watch, and both helped elevate the match to make it feel special despite a second Money in the Bank offering being present on the card.
Kane's presence at the end of the match let some of the wind out of the sails, but it could retroactively be a boon if it gives WWE a chance to get some distance from Ambrose and Rollins. They certainly need a proper end to their feud, but it could be far too easy for WWE to burn through their feud before Rollins' story plays out with The Authority, and it would benefit both Rollins and Ambrose more if the end of their feud coincided with Rollins' exit from The Authority's story.
The Uso Brothers vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
What a way to start the show, and provide an unrealistic set of expectations for what was to follow. This match was met with high expectations heading into the show, and it managed to rise to the occasion. Both teams showcased a dynamic they have yet to tap into before, and it made for a fresh and exciting experience.
Ideally, the heels would have walked away with the titles considering The Uso Brothers' lack of a solid heel team to work with, but WWE could easily find another reason for the two teams to meet again. If they can produce half as quality of an effort as they gave last night, that would be most welcome.
Despite the positives above, they served as a series of oases in a desert of Raw filler at-best. It's disheartening to see a show that could have been spectacular reduced to merely solid when all it needed was a modicum of attention paid to the undercard offerings of the evening. Still, the high points were high enough to make up for the lackluster filler, and the night managed to produce enough memorable moments to be worth the asking price.
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