WWE Raw Aug. 16, 2021: 3 things the company got right

Damian Priest, WWE (photo courtesy of WWE)
Damian Priest, WWE (photo courtesy of WWE) /

You know what’s the worst part about WWE recycling the same tired booking tropes and show structures for Raw every week (other than watching it happen in real-time)? Having to find new ways to introduce these pieces to describe this monotony.

That said, not everything on this show was “look at the clock to see when this boring circus ends” material. Most of it was, but WWE showed some refreshing foresight a few times throughout the three-hour telecast.

So, which of these parts of the program stood out for the right reason. Well, let’s dive in and see what went well.

These are the three things WWE got right on the Aug. 16 episode of Raw.

Damian Priest continues to win

It’s nice to see that WWE DOES know how to build up a top contender prior to a big championship match. Over the last few weeks, the company has effectively presented Damian Priest as a credible threat to Sheamus’ United States Championship.

They continued that trend when the former NXT North American Champion pinned The Miz while “The Celtic Warrior” watched the proceedings from the commentator’s desk. Who would’ve thought scripting a babyface challenger as a winner who doesn’t fall for heel distractions and doesn’t talk like a dork would resonate with the audience?

The match didn’t last long — as most matches against Miz should go, especially when he’s in street clothes — but it got across the point that it needed to: That Priest has a real chance to take the title away from Sheamus.

The closing segment with Bobby Lashley and Goldberg

Look, the idea of Bobby Lashley defending the WWE Championship against Goldberg at SummerSlam still generates a level of excitement equal to being served a plate of Brussels sprouts, but they deserve credit for at least trying to earnestly heat this match up.

WWE accomplished this on the go-home show by keeping things simple. In the closing segment, Goldberg came out and cut a good (for him) promo centered around his son, Gage, being the inspiration for his in-ring comeback.

Lashley brought it on the stick, too, particularly when he said he would leave just enough of Bill for the former WCW World Heavyweight Champion to tell people he was retired by “The All Mighty”. Most importantly, it ended the way it needed to, especially if Lashley is retaining on Saturday: Goldberg spearing the champion.


Could you imagine how bad these 24/7 Championship skits would be without R-Truth? Even the ones with Truth are often rote exercises designed to get the lower midcarders on TV without devoting actual storylines to them (hey, they gotta save that time for….Lilly!). Still, it is fun seeing what Truth comes up with in pursuit of that pointless (for everyone else) belt.

Even after a few weeks, the “Reggie avoids geeks by doing his flips” gimmick has quickly approached the sell-by date, but leave it to Truth — whether he’s noting how Reggie went into “Xbox mode” or by dressing like a Call of Duty character in tree camouflage — to mine something entertaining out of whatever skit he’s in.

Next. WWE Raw: SummerSlam go-home edition. dark

In short, Truth was great here, Akira Tozawa continues to be underutilized with his current gimmick, Reggie was Reggie, and most of this was skippable (except for Truth).