Saturday, September 5, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 31st, 2015

Sting opens the show, exactly as advertised. It didn't do much for me at all considering I've never been a Sting fan, but it was still fairly cool to see. Basic promo albeit a bit weird considering the entire jist of it was Sting comparing Rollins to HHH and saying he's not half as good as him. I guess that's gonna be the story within The Authority heading into Night of Champions and Sting won't be around until possibly the go-home show?

1) Dolph Ziggler (w/ Lana) vs. Rusev (w/ Summer Rae)
SummerSlam rematch here. Ziggler gets a great pop that was probably equal to Sting's. He's been over for so long. I've oddly enjoyed this feud barring the first few weeks of it where Rusev became a crybaby although seeing him have his breakdown was pretty hilarious. Speaking of that, he had a small one here during the match which was hilarious. Rusev's been on the best in-ring run of his career here recently and Ziggler is Ziggler so this was very solid. They had a nice callback to the countout finish from SummerSlam only for both men to make it in just before the ten count. They created some good drama here as you can tell. Rusev goes for the accolade only for Ziggler slide under and hit the Zig Zag. Just as he covers Rusev, Summer Rae runs in to cause a DQ. Lana and Summer have another CATFIIIIIGHT before they're separated. It is clear they just used this to build towards the rumored mixed tag for NOC and not a blow off match with a clean finish.

Match rating - ***

2) Becky Lynch vs. Alicia Fox - Beat the Clock Series Match

This is the first of a Beat The Clock series between the members of PCB with the winner getting a title shot. I was hoping this would go long so the series would atleast have a chance of being something memorable. Instead, this goes three minutes. NICE. Foxy taps out. Becky sets the pace for this series. Looks like a night where the Divas could have three solid, lengthy matches is gonna be crammed into 10-12 minutes. I see you, Kevin.

Match rating - **

Ryback is backstage getting interviewed. Pretty good stuff per usual though nothing out of the ordinary. Next thing you know, Summer Rae is heard screaming and running meanwhile Dolph is covering up his nether regions with a towel in the doorway of his dressing room. Oh no. This storyline is about to take an AWFUL turn. Send help.

3) Ryback vs. The Big Show - Intercontinental Championship Match
Wow. This was no where near the disaster that I expected. Started off slow only to have a nice finishing run with a holy shit moment in the form of Ryback hitting a deadly driver on Show off the top rope. Show responding to the "Please retire" chants was funny as well. These guys worked hard here and even threw in some unique counters like Show spearing Ryback out of nowhere amidst a spear attempt. In the end, Miz distracts Show allowing Ryback to hit the shellshock for the win. What was the point of that? None the less, Ryback retains.

Match rating - **1/2

4) Charlotte vs. Brie Bella - Beat the Clock Series Match
The waste of talent in the Divas Divsion continues. Charlotte wins in under two minutes. Blah.

Match rating - *1/2

Renee Young interviews The Dudleys and it's amazing. I loved Bully Ray's heel run in TNA and became a huge fan of his mic work so seeing him spew off here was great. They send off with the signature "Get the tables / oh my brother, testify!" line.

5) Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
The crowd is dead at this point, but Cesaro & Big Kev still bust their ass and put on one hell of a contest. Lots of chops, uppercuts, & strikes. Owens' jawing with Cesaro, the crowd, and even Michael Cole throughout the match definitely added to it. They did an awesome spot where Kevin slapped Cesaro in taunting fashion only to recieve a flurry of slaps in return. Is this New Japan or the Indies?! Other highlights include a gutwrench suplex off the second rope and the springboard swinging DDT from Owens that was countered into a slam by Double C. The end was clever although it came off a bit odd. Cesaro gets his ribs targeted after Owens pushes him off the apron into the announce table. This leads to a pop up powerbomb and victory for Kevin Owens. Don't understand the logic in two consecutive losses for Cesaro by the same man when neither has anything to lose, essentially. Good match, regardless.

Match rating - ***1/2

And here comes the aformentioned awful turn in the Ziggler/Lana/Rusev/Summer story. I don't even want to repeat the corny lines that were said here. Just atrocious. Lana: "She saw you getting out of the shower naked? How do you think that makes me feel?"

6) Dean Ambrose vs. Braun Strowman
Another good showing for the newly debuted Braun Strowman. He dominates Ambrose for a few minutes before shoving Reigns outside the ring which leads to a big brawl and a disqualification. Strowman destroys both Ambrose & Reigns. WWE must really have faith in this guy. The Wyatt Family stands tall once again.

Backstage, Seth Rollins vows to call out Sting later in the night. He's got an issue about not getting his statue last week and stuff. WONDERFUL. Sike, I was hoping for something a little more intriguing for the main event. Well, maybe we'll get something semi-decent with Cena involved since he hasn't been on yet.

7) Paige vs. Sasha Banks - Beat the Clock Series Match
Paige doesn't win in under a minute and 40 so Charlotte is the #1 contender. She hit the rampaige around the 25 second mark only for Sasha to roll to the apron and be pulled out of the ring by Tamina & Naomi. Nice staredown between Nikki & Charlotte post match with the countdown clock in the background counting down til the day Nikki becomes the longest reigning Divas Champion.

Match rating - *

8) The New Day vs. The Dudleyz
Non title, first time ever match here and it's decent. Dudley Boys flurry early only for New Day to gain control and work over Devon. Xavier was on the outside yelling like usual only for Bubba Ray to match him by yelling so loud that he echoed. It was hilarious. Bubba gets the hot tag and Dudleys win with the 3D that gets a huge pop just like last week. PTP was on commentary.

Match rating - **3/4

Seth Rollins comes out to call out Sting. I'm underwhelmed at this point. Stephanie comes out and I'm even more uninterested. THEN John Cena comes out to give me some hope in this closing segment. Cena delivers the goods and says he's cashing in his rematch clause for the US Title at Night of Champions so Rollins has to defend both titles in the same night. Cena leaves and Sting comes out. Rollins poses with both belts in the ring as Sting & Cena look on. Cool moment to close the show with.

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