Tuesday, August 25, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 24th, 2015

The show begins with a clip from earlier in the day of Triple H & the WWE World Heavyweight & new United States champion, Seth Rollins at WWE Headquarters. I somehow totally forgot that HHH promised him a statue last week if he won. That's what they discuss here and Haitch promises to give him one and that it will be revelaed tonight.

In the arena, Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman hit the ring in stride like always. Heyman does his usual awesome schtick except this time he's the pissed off advocate. Heyman gets to the point and says that Brock wants Taker. Not at Mania, not at Royal Rumble, not at Survivor Series, not at Night of Champions -- NOW! Brock is bouncing ready for Taker to come out as Heyman tosses the mic and backs into the corner. And out walks... Bo Dallas. This is going to be absolutely great. Lesnar already has a smirk on his face as Bo skips down. After a short spill, Brock floors Bo and nails him with 5 suplexes before teasing leaving only for Heyman & the crowd coax him back into the ring to nail Bo with an F5. This was good fun. On the surface, that is. When you think about the long term picture though, it looks like we're gonna get anywhere from a several week or month(s) long absence of this story before they bring it up again. I don't like it. The finish at SummerSlam was good for what they were trying to accomplish, but I don't think anyone wants to see what they were trying to accomplish and that's the biggest problem. If Taker is back, I'm sure people want to see him face other new talent aside from Brock. The same goes for Brock as well. He's only faced two new opponents in first time matches since returning whereas he's had multiple meetings with Taker, Triple H, & John Cena, - all people we've seen him face before during his first run. Sigh. Looks like we're in for Round 3 of Taker/Brock. YAAAAY. It doesn't bother me all that much though because I've come to realize that it is what it is.

1) New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods) vs. Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto)

New Day comes out and continue to be great by extending their characters even further. This time Xavier Woods was introduced playing a trumpet as Big E & Kofi sang. It may not have been the greatest rendition of the song, but it showcased the charisma that has allowed the trio get as far as they have under the New Day banner. The match gets going and is every bit as entertaining as you'd expect. Lucha Dragons hit all kinds of stuff early. Commercials hit and we come back to New Day in control. Kalisto gets the hot tag for a nice little finishing run that ends with Big E & Kofi picking up the win. Fun little exhibition. Hope this isn't the end of Lucha Dragons being featured on TV every week, though.

Match rating - **3/4

As New Day is celebrating and the Prime Time Players are giving their thoughts about a rematch on commentary, pyro hits and WHAT THE FUCK?! IT'S THE DUDLEY BOYZ! BROOKLYN, NEW YORK EXPLODES! Bubba Ray & Devon clean house on New Day and even put Xavier Woods through a table via 3D which was crazy to see. They roll out of the ring and the dream verbal battle takes place for a moment as TITUS & DARREN JUMP OUT OF THEIR SEATS as Bubba yells "Do you know who we are?!" I love it! Nice subtle tease of that confrontation. WOW, I was not expecting this at all. I didn't get on Twitter prior to the show so I guess it paid off if there were rumors of this that I may have seen. The tag division continues to soar. I have a feeling the fall/winter will be filled with amazing contests. Especially if The Usos return and Rowan gets well enough for another run with Harper. BAH GAWD!

2) Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper
I heard the match these duos had at SummerSlam was disappointing so with this rematch being scheduled, I expected it to be the MOTY candidate they were capable of. And while it wasn't that, it turned out to be pretty fantastic. The usual great tag between the former Shield and Wyatt Family members. Crazy finish then ANOTHER SURPRISE. Lights go out. Come back on and a big ass dude is on the apron with a black sheep mask on. He takes it off to reveal himself and no one knows who it is, not even me. He fits the Wyatt Family bill perfectly though. Even bigger than Harper, gruff look, beard, long hair. Turns out his name is Braun Stowman and he skipped NXT and made it straight to the main roster. He takes out both Reigns & Ambrose, revealing his arsenal in the process which includes an impressive modified chokehold. All around quality stuff here. My next question is where does this leave Rowan when he returns? Will he turn babyface and even the odds for Ambrose & Reigns. Only time will tell. None the less, this was great.

Match rating - ***1/4

Miz TV with Paige, Charlotte, & Becky Lynch
This was truly the definition of a mixed bag. On the surface, it was a fine enough segment. It wasn't hard to get through and was somewhat entertaining. However, if you look into the things that are said, you'll likely get frustrated. The fact that the statement "Wins & Losses don't matter" were uttered amidst segment supposedly promoting a more meaningful and equally positioned Divas Division is enough to consider this a fail. A brawl breaks out and that leads us to a trios match.

3) Paige, Charlotte & Becky Lynch vs. The Bellas & Alicia Fox
As I said on Twitter, I really don't know what to say. The crowd chanted "We Want Sasha" during the MizTV segment and when they realized they weren't getting her, the true star of the divas division on NXT and the main roster, they turned on this match completely about half-way through. They did the wave, chanted for CM Punk, and praised themselves by saying "We are awesome." It got on my nerves because these ladies really worked hard. You had Paige trying all she could to get them back onto it with her signature clothesline combo and a running flip off the apron, but it was too far gone. I think WWE has learned that they need to tweak their approach to the "Divas Revolution." I'm just not sure what they need to do.

Match rating- **3/4

John Cena confronts Jon Stewart
You knew this was coming. Stewart comes out to explain himself. He says he didn't want to see Cena tie Ric Flair's record. This brings out another surprise in the form of The Nature Boy himself. Flair says what would you expect. He appreciates Stewart being so concered however Flair says that he messed up and that he respects Cena. Out comes the former US Champ who nails Stewart with an AA after a back and forth verbal exchange. Pretty good for what it was and so ends Jon Stewart's WWE run.

Stardust attacks Bad News Barrett
This was... random. Stardust & BNB were scheduled to face someone in a tag match to continue their team that formed last night. Instead, Stardust attacks Barrett when his back is turned. Yep. Then Stardust mocks Neville, or something and out runs The Man That Gravity Forgot. Neville delivers some offense then goes for the Red Arrow only for Stardust to escape before he could hit it. This story is still going on for a reason that no one knows and the King of the Ring is being used a talent enhancer, essentially. What a disaster, when you think about it.

4) Randy Orton, Cesaro, Ryback, & Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus, Kevin Owens, Rusev, & Big Show
The tag team trend continues for tonight with this huge multi-man that encompasses all the other feuds from SummerSlam that haven't been touched on. It's fairly good as you can't really go wrong with just about anyone in this contest. All the faces got their stuff in. Ryback & Kevin Owens had an epic exchange that looked stiff as hell. It was truly reminiscent of a real fight and made me want to see a program between the two. Somebody book that! The finishing run wasn't all too crazy. Orton gets the ultimate hot tag and some shenanigans lead to Big Show accidentally punching Sheamus allowing Orton to hit him with an RKO for the win. After the match, a ton of shit goes down. Kevin Owens & Rusev seem to be getting along really well as they double team Big Show. Slingshot running cannonball and they leave. Show is getting up and the babyfaces corner him. Superkick from Dolph and CESARO & RYBACK LIFT UP BIG SHOW OVER THEIR HEADS and drop him down for an RKO OUT OF NOWHERE!!

Match rating - ***

Backstage, there's a great segment between Cena and Steph & HHH. They mock Cena going after a lightweight TV show host. Cena responds with saying he's going after Rollins next and cue the security guards taking Cena out of the arena. Stephanie says no one is going to mess this segment up. Pstttttt (don't tell anyone I told you this, but Sting is going to make a *surprise* return)

It was at this point in the show that I realized there would be no Sasha Banks. I cry. Now, I continue with the review.

Seth Rollins is presented with his statue
First things first, Triple H & Stephanie go completely kayfabe to wish Vince a Happy Birthday and lead the crowd in singing it to him. I know kayfabe is almost dead, but I didn't expect it to be broken like this on WWE TV and I usually don't mind it however this time it kinda irked me. I mean, they just got heat for throwing Cena, someone who got booed earlier, out of the building thus showing their power as heels and now they come out for this clearly villanous esque cocky segment and break that heat streak right before it. They said it was gonna piss Vince off so between that and what I just mentioned, you'd think they wouldn't do it. I could just be overthinking it and what do I know anyway so whatever. I probably enjoyed this segment less than most. For me, it was just waiting for the curtain to come up and Sting to be revealed behind it. As soon as they showed the statue earlier and I remembered the rumors of Sting, I put two and two together as this being a possibility. Then, when Cena got removed from the building, I knew something was up. And sure enough, Sting made his return and took out Rollins who made him look really good. Sting got a pretty damn nice pop as well. I mean, duh, he's Sting. As someone who's never cared for him, this didn't do a ton for me like most, but it was a cool moment and I think Rollins/Sting could be very solid if it happens.

And sure enough, after the show went off the air, Triple H officially announced that at Night of Champions, Seth Rollins defends the WWE World Heavyweight Title against Sting. Phew! That was quick! I'm not jumping out of my seat excited for this although I think Rollins is the perfect opponent for Sting. From a character stand point as well as from an in-ring perspective. Rollins can make just about anyone look good due to how action filled his offense is and how smooth he executes things. I'm not saying Sting needs any help, but the truth is that he isn't in his prime anymore so we have to look at the obvious and I think WWE did that. This is how I think WWE should think when booking Undertaker. Don't keep putting him in there with a Brock Lesnar who is physical as hell. Put him with a Seth Rollins. None the less, the main event of Night of Champions is set and it looks to be one for the ages and as I write this immediately after hearing the announcement & watching Raw, I'm actually getting kind of excited for it so who knows, this could be great! If Rollins gets to beat Sting on PPV that will be huge for him and like I said before, it's the perfect match from a character standpoint although H giving Sting a title match so quickly made little sense. So, it looks like we'll just have to wait and see where this goes.

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