WWE Raw Results: Highlights, Analysis, and Grades for July 17

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Elias Samson vs. Finn Balor

Result: Finn Balor defeated Elias Samson via disqualification

Rating: 3.0 out of 5 stars

So proud of Samson for getting to play the War Memorial a couple of times. He’s so talented!

Something that has been bugging me about Samson: WWE finally proved they understood what a “drifter” is, and since debuting on Raw no one has called Samson “The Drifter.” It’s frustrating, because they got it so right, and dropped the nickname.

On to the action in this one, this is by far the best Samson has looked in the ring, probably ever. I absolutely loathed his presence on NXT until the very end (El Vagabundo es bueno!), but he’s really growing on me. And with his in-ring stuff connecting, there are probably big things on the horizon for him.

Now, a lot of people are likely upset that Balor is “stuck” in this feud with Samson. But it was great for both guys, for very different reasons. First, it let Samson get a better connection with the WWE Universe – sure, they hate him, but he’s supposed to be hated. Mission accomplished.

Second, it was a good treading water thing for Balor while Bray Wyatt was off rebuilding himself by beating up Seth Rollins. It gets him some work, keeps him in front of the crowd, and, huge gash on the head from a guitar shard aside, protects him physically.

And then Bray Wyatt. Remember back during the Superstar Shake Up – in April – when Bray issued a challenge to Balor via spooky jumbotron? Apparently, WWE finally remembered, because we’re doing that now. Bray has momentum for the first time in forever, and Balor is picking pieces of a Taylor out of his skull. Should be fun!

Kurt Hard At Work

Clearly questioning whether Samson knows Jeff Jarrett, Angle makes another match for next week. I feel like he’s the teacher who’s planning on being out and is putting together sub plans, hoping that whoever fills in is competent enough to follow what he set up.

Forever The Revival

I know I said this last week, but I am thrilled to have The Revival back on television. I’ll talk about it more during their match, but look at how logical and well thought out their reasoning for last week’s attack was. Perfect.