Another day. Another dollar. Another RIB. Did you miss me? Probably not. It’s ok.
This is the Monday Night Raw after Night of Champions which was pretty good. Laredo, TX was on fire but that’s probably no different from most days. We get started right way with the Wyatt Family. Bray said some ambiguously hypnotizing things and was interrupted by Roman who wanted to fight.
I have no shame in admitting this: I was holding my breath and praying nothing would happen to Roman as he walked down through the crowd. Everything was just going a bit too well. The crowd liked him; he was fist bumping and acknowledging people on the way down. But after so many fan incidents, I was genuinely scared for him. People need to stop being assh*les. Stop rushing the superstars. Stop jumping the barriers. Stop throwing things at them. They are not circus elephants. They are humans. And if you did that to an elephant, that makes you a double assh*le.
Anywho, great opening. Roman got his name chanted and received a great ovation. He really is improving. He and Bray do have great chemistry with one another. I think Bray can get something good out of most people. He’s completely into what he’s doing.
Bray told the Family to stay back while he and Roman brawled. Of course, the Family couldn’t stay out for long. They jumped on Roman which led to Ambrose coming out which then led to Randy Orton coming back for vengeance. I loved every second. I’ll take a twenty-minute opening brawl over an opening promo any day.
We then got a backstage segment with… Corporate Kane?! Kane was so pleasantly awkward which made his interaction with Seth so uncomfortable. I mean that in a good way. Kane lets Seth know he has his rematch for the U.S. Title later on. Fan-Freaking-Tastic.
Stardust & The Ascension vs. Neville & The Lucha Dragons
A great, fast paced match that saw our favorite human Botchamania reel, Sin Cara, botch as soon as he tagged in. Good job on commentary to acknowledge it and explain, perhaps, why that happened. There’s nothing worse than pretending like everyone didn’t just see what it is they just saw. I thought he really hurt his arm coming in, and I hope he isn’t injured.
Neville is insanely gifted. Watching him move gives me a headache. I say that with admiration. Same with Calisto. I hope the WWE knows what they have with him because the man is hot fire.
We get another backstage segment with Seth Rollins and The Authority. Kane is being, like, totes weird ya’ll.
Ryback vs. Bo Dallas
Kevin Owens is Intercontinental Champion! Please, don’t let anything happen to this man. I’m one of those that believe that men make titles and not the other way around. That feeling is only exclusive to professional wrestling.
This match was not about Bo, but just keeping the feud going between Ryback and KO. Good job on those death stares by The Big Guy. I felt the hatred through the screen.
“Byron, don’t get sassy over there.”
Why does Byron turn into a deaf mute when there’s a guest on commentary? The other guys always keep throwing back to him as if to say, “Say something you jerk.” Maybe KO’s presence is just too much for Byron to handle. I think KO has the makings of a classic, throwback heel and I love it. No matter how talented he is, he puts the effort to make you hate him. Like Jericho, Edge, and CM Punk used to do. Sky’s the limit for KO.
Wooooooooooooo!!! Ric Flair comes down and cuts a deep, personal promo like only the Nature Boy knows how to do. The man meant what he said. The moment that he and Charlotte shared was fantastic. She’s got Dad’s selling skills and emotions down to a fricken T.
So all was going swell, and things were starting to get a bit cheesy when all of sudden…
I got my wish! She turned! And scorched the earth with words! Yes! I love those moments where truth and kayfabe blend so well together. I won’t go over the whole promo (you should watch that for yourself), but it was good and it did a few things: It separated PCB which needed to happen, it gives Charlotte a personal feud after Nikki Bella, Becky Lynch becomes a “wild card” (which is great if you’re healthily paranoid), and Charlotte is now The Target. A formidable one at that. I’m excited to see where this goes. Maybe the trigger on this should have been pulled on last week’s Raw for maximum emotional impact, but, as we all know, timing the trigger pull is not one of WWE’s strong suits.
Charlotte vs. Brie
A meh match. Brie still doesn’t know whether she’s face or heel. Charlotte is going to make a great champion and I do think others can learn from the way she sells. She understands she’s telling a story with her movement.
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
Mark Henry is back and looking lean! But I knew he was just there to get kicked in the face and that made me sad. I like Mark Henry. Sheamus wanted everyone to “Respect the Hawk” then kicked my guy in the face twice. Double sad. Sheamus then cut a promo reminding everyone that he becoming WWE World Heavyweight Champion is inevitable. Triple sad.
We get a backstage segment with Kane and The Authority. Kane looked like he tried to grow a Donald Trump hair piece in a fish tank, gave up half way, and then just threw the result on his head.
Steph wanted Kane to, “Give it back.” Kane hit her with a low five. I lost my sh*t. Good stuff.
Paige is then shown with NATTIE! Where you been, girl?! Nattie tried to lecture Paige but she wasn’t having it and neither was I. She did what she had to do. Speak truth to power and set yourself apart. It was great seeing you though Nattie! Bye.
NEW DAY!! w/ Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler & The Dudley Boyz
The highlight of every Raw right now: New Day! Big E’s facial expressions just eat me up. Xavier is amazing. Kofi is amazing. I doubt though you managed to pull a large solid piece of table out of your buttocks. I’m going to have to throw the BS flag on that call. That wood was too dry.
I may sign that petition to build a wall to protect myself and my delicate Ikea furniture from The Dudleys. SAVE! THE! TABLES!
Great match and great action from both sides. I thought Bubba really got hurt from Big E’s splash on the edge of the apron. It looked like he landed his weight right on his head. I hope Bubba is alright.
Favorite Quotes: “I’m not a Baby!” and “Bulgarian tricep meat!”
I loved how Xavier kept talking and Summer Rae was just confusingly nodding along. After a few moments, Summer couldn’t help but catch the NEW DAY! spirit and started joining in on the fun. She even got to put her hands on Xavier’s trombone. Giggity.
The Dudley’s and New Day will continue feuding which just means more fun for all. Xavier provided the distraction and Rusev picked up the victory against Dolph. Trombone was saved from harm. Good Job, Summer.
“WHY DOES DOLPH ZIGGLER HAVE ZIPPERS WITH NO POCKETS?!”
Someone get to the bottom of that.
Naomi vs. Natalia
The return of those light up boots! Naomi is so fly. And a crazy good athlete. Sometimes, I forget just how good she is. It was great to see Nattie back in the ring but she got Chris Jericho-ed.
Hi Nattie! Bye Nattie.
Team BAD being together makes sense and when that ends… imagine the matches we’ll get between Naomi and Sasha…
Big Show vs. Cesaro
Who in the blue hell did Cesaro make angry?! TELL ME! Why have the gods forsaken him? This was just set up to make Big Show look like the scary giant that he is. He’s got to look strong for his encounter with The Beast, Brock Lesnar. He gave a killer promo. It seems those boos and “Please Retire” chants have fueled something in him and has given Show a second wind. But it’s at the expense of Cesaro which makes me sad.
Main Event – John Cena vs. Seth Rollins for the U.S. Title
These two together are just fantastic. They just get their best work out of one another. This was a bit slower paced compared to their incredible match at Night of Champions, but still damn good for a Raw main event.
The flying knee was a bit weird looking because it looked like Cena swatted Seth rather than it landing anywhere on his body. Whatever. The ending sequence was too fast. It was great, but Cena effectively no-sold the frog splash then just walked out. That’s bull-caca. I also have a problem with the WWE World Heavyweight Champion being pinned cleanly twice in a row even if the person doing the pinning is John Cena. Seth can be “sneaky, slimy, smarmy,” but he can’t (and shouldn’t) be a scrub. Even guys like Edge, Jericho, and CM Punk needed clean victories from time to time. I think it’s long overdue for Seth to get one, even if it’s on the Golden Boy. It’s just bothersome.
Kane came on the titantron and reminded Seth that anyone can be a threat. The Demon Kane then rose from the ring and dragged Seth down into the pits of hell. Not a bad way to end an overall good Raw. I’m not excited for Seth vs. Kane for the WWE Title, but Seth needs a clean victory, and who better than a “monster” even though it’s, y’know, Kane.
So what did you think of last night’s Raw? Feel free to leave a comment below.