Monday, October 19, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - October 19th, 2015

The show starts off with STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN! BAH GAWD! Huge pop from the hometown Dallas crowd. Austin keeps it short and sweet. He does the "hell yeah" schtick, says son of a bitch a few times, plugs the podcast, AND introduces the Undertaker all in under five minutes. Taker comes out and wow, it feels like 1998. Austin & Taker starting Raw in 2015 is like, weird and crazy. Anyway, Taker says a few words about Brock which brings out the Beast Incarnate himself. Heyman says Brock will avenge the tainted victory Taker got at SummerSlam. Taker says the depths of hell will look like the gates of heaven compared to what he's going to do to Brock inside the cell. The Dead Man cuts the throat and sticks out his tongue after teasing a brawl with Lesnar.

1) John Cena & The Dudley Boys vs. The New Day
They sure are hitting the highspots tonight. WWE isn't afraid to hide their desperation in increasing the extremely low ratings. None the less, these six are regulars and this delivered for what it was. Dudleys & Cena do stuff in the first minute or two. New Day takes over with, you know what, THE BEST HEAT SEG IN THE BIZ. Cena is isolated and makes the big awaited tag to Devon. Great final minute with Cena exemplifying what has made 2015 one of his greatest years yet in one move - a flying cross body off the top turnbuckle to the floor. Crowd popped huge and so did I. John never stops. Big E tosses Bubba into the pole while Xavier rolls up Devon in the ring for the cheap win.

Match rating - **3/4

Cena & The Dudleys charge after New Day post-match. Big E & Kofi get away, but Xavier isn't as lucky. AA from Cena followed by GET THE TABLES. Power bomb through the table for Mr Woods. No pun intended. Cena has an open challenge at the Hell in a Cell PPV on Sunday so this could very well be his last Raw for a bit. It's so bittersweet. BUT this is the perfect time to plug a piece I wrote on who should dethrone Cena as champ in his absence. I wrote several different scenarios however the Samoa Joe one looks like the most likely at this point, so check that out by clicking here!

Cole announces that Randy Orton isn't at Raw and wasn't on the Mexico tour either. They say it's because of injury and that The Wyatt Family "got to him" again. This leaves Ambrose without a partner at NOC.

Cameras immediately cut to the Lunatic Fringe backstage chatting it up with FINLAY AND DEAN MALENKO BAY BAY! After a commercial break, Renee interviews Ambrose. He's sick of the Wyatt's and is looking for a fight. The usual stuff you'd expect from him.

2) Sasha Banks & Naomi vs. Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox
The best of their respective teams so this should be extra solid. And well, it almost was. Everything in the first half was fine. It started off with a sweet Foxy/Sasha exchange that was only distracted by Brie shouting "FOXY!" in some form or fashion for a total of 10 times in the first minute. That's a legit number too, because I counted as soon as I heard the first yelp from her. None the less, Sasha tags in Naomi and they do a nice combo before Naomi ends up getting isolated for a minute or two. Good hot tag for Sasha and Nikki gets sloppy in the closing sequence, but it's still solid enough. I liked the counter Naomi had for Nikki's finisher before eventually getting nailed with the dreaded rack attack. The biggest complaint here is the minimal involvement for Sasha considering she's the most over of all four women.

Match rating - **1/2

Shawn Michaels & Triple H are in the back. Weeeee.

Shawn Michaels strolls down to the ring after commercial and takes a bite out of some kid's pizza at ringside. That boy wild! I'm still not interested in what he has to say, though. These cheap attempts at ratings leave a sour taste in my mouth. HBK says a few words then the WWE Champion comes out. Rollins & HBK have a debate about him copying him. Most probably walked away from this looking at Rollins as a cheap version of Shawn. Rollins asks for his music to be hit, it isn't. HBK asks for his to play, and it does. He leaves after announcing that Rollins faces Ryback next.

3) Seth Rollins vs. Ryback
This was a relatively quick contest so it wasn't as good as their first match. It was a fine little match though. They went through some solid power/speed stuff that you'd expect from their size dynamic. Rollins did some work on the ribs of the big guy. It led to nothing, but it was there. A pedigree out of nowhere gets the champion the victory.

Match rating - **1/4

4) Cesaro, Neville, & Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev, Sheamus, & King Barrett

LOADED TRIOS ACTION BABY! Ziggler & Cesaro come out first and grab Cesaro Section signs will posing with a bunch of fans who are hyped. But those guys aren't over, right? HA! I popped hard for Neville being their partner. It's almost a dream team that I didn't even know that I wanted. The Bulgarian Playboy, Sheamus, & King/BadNews/Wade Barrett are their opponents. Neville starts off with Rusev which is a first time meeting, I think. They have a great exchange. Cesaro gets tagged in to another decent pop and gets a second or two to show off before Neville gets back in the mix. The Man That Gravity Forgot ends up being worked over by the tough bastards on the opposing side and you KNOW he takes that beating so well. They tease a tag, but Sheamus knocks Ziggler off the apron. Neville is able to create some separation and gets to Cesaro. POP! Cesaro lays waste to everyone in sight and looks right at the hard cam as the crowd ROARS! Tell me why this guy isn't a star! This begins an awesome final few minutes. Cesaro & Sheamus do their thing, Ziggler gets his tag which was built to extremely well with all the teases, Ziggler & Barrett trade a number of nearfalls, Neville hits a sick springboard dive, it was the best! Ziggler gets shoved onto the second rope by Barrett and SHEAMUS WITH A BROGUE KICK FROM THE FLOOR! Ziggler then eats a bull hammer and Barrett pins him for the three count. Great six man!

Match rating - ***1/2

WHOO! DA NAITCHAH BOI IN DA HOUSE! He's here to talk about Roman Reigns and announces that he will be Dean Ambrose's partner tonight against Harper & Strowman so there's that. Reigns' music hits and Flair goes wild for him. Before the love fest can continue, The Wyatt Family comes out. Bray, Strowman, and Lu--- WAIT. Do my eyes decieve me? It's Erick Rowan! What a discreet return for him! Reigns gets two chairs and invites Bray into the ring. They sit down face to face for a "talk" which ends in a superman punch from Reigns after he tells Bray that he should be afraid. A brawl breaks out. Reigns nails Rowan & Strowman with a chair along with Bray. DEAN AMBROSE COMES IN FOR BACK UP! It looks like it's now gonna be 3 on 2 tonight?

Backstage, Triple H & Steph are talking with Rollins about what we just saw. H says it's not safe to put Reigns' big Hell In A Cell Match with Wyatt in jeapordy by having him in a handicap match tonight. They speculate on a partner when HBK walks up. They start hinting at Rollins being the guy AND I AM MARKING OUT. THIS CAN'T BE REAL. They tease it more by HBK saying they'd pick him but he has his title defense and they don't want to mess up his good lucks, all that stuff. Rollins has had enough and steps up to be the third man on Reigns & Ambrose's team. OH MY GOD. SHIELD. REUNION. 2. K. 15. This Raw is turning around. WOW.

5) Charlotte vs. Brie Bella
I really don't have much to say about this. It was just another match, nothing wrong with it in particular although it was placed in a tough spot. Everyone, myself included, was salivating over the Shield reunion that virtually just got announced so it was hard to focus and pay this match a lot of attention. Charlotte taps out Brie to the Figure Eight.

Match rating - **

Paige is backstage watching the match and showing off her cleavage. LAWD. Renee Young approaches for an interview and is really pushy because of how lightly Paige is taking everything. They talk about Natalya being laid out on Smackdown. Paige names off various people it could be all the way from Eve Torress to Lita before finally getting serious and going off in Renee. She basically calls her a cheap Erin Andrews and tells her to check herself. Paige is really getting an edge to her character these days!

6) Kevin Owens vs. Mark Henry
BIG KEV AGAINST MARK HENRY! I never thought I'd see this and HE'S TALKING TRASH TO MARK HENRY RIGHT OFF THE BAT! MAH BOY! Henry headbutts him for his troubles and goes on the assault. Henry gets really pissed and yells "YOU A BULLY? I BEEN A BULLY FOR 19 YEARS!" and slings Owens from ring post to ring post. This is the Mark Henry that I like! Henry goes for a splash in the corner and gets caught with a SUPERKICK! I see you, Bucks! Owens sends him into the ropes and dear lord, POP UP POWERBOMB ON THAT MAN! This was the perfect match for these two.

Match rating - **3/4

Owens talks more trash to Henry after while posing with the IC Title when FEED. ME. MORE. RYBACK IS COMING TO THE RING AND HE PULLS THE STRAPS DOWN! IT'S ON! Big Kev flees the ring as Ryback enters, but Mark Henry GRABS HIM! Owens is in the ring and gets a thunderous powerbomb from Ryback! Nice way to hype the IC Title rematch!

TONIGHT AFTER RAW: Brock Lesnar on the Stone Cold Steve Austin podcast!

UP NEXT: Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, & Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, & Braun Strowman - where's Luke Harper?!

7) Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, & Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, & Braun Strowman
The opening of this match was a thing of beauty. Ambrose & Reigns stare down Rollins as he comes to the ring, even laughing at times. The three Shield mates stand in the corner of the ring trading words as The Wyatt Family's music hits. Wyatt, Rowan & Strowman come down and position themselves on the ring apron. The crowd begins chanting "This is Awesome" as the signature staredown reminiscent of their previous battles takes place. Wyatt's walk forward. Ambrose & Reigns do the same. Rollins is left in the corner holding his belt. Roman keeps checking over his shoulder. THE LITTLE THINGS! Finally, ROLLINS STEPS FORWARD AS WELL TO A HUGE POP and thrusts up his title. Rollins then immediately throws us back to the Shield days as he tries to calm down Ambrose & Reigns and send them to their corner so he can start the match. That is, until he finds out his opponent is Rowan and he immediately tags out to Reigns. This is Rowan's first action since returning, obviously, and he looks good hitting the ropes and stuff. Reigns, Rollins, & Ambrose all get turns in the ring in the early going. Ambrose ends up getting isolated by Rowan & the boys which starts the build towards the hot tag which everyone expects to be for Rollins. Strowman rips Reigns off the apron, at one point which leaves Rollins as Ambrose's sole option. Seeing Rollins work the apron and hype the crowd was so weird! Ambrose dives for the tag AND.. Rollins backs off the apron and begins selling the leg. AGHHH. I really thought WWE was gonna give us the full Shield reunion here, but bah gawd they are teasers. This forces Ambrose & Reigns to go the rest of the match alone. This pushes Ambrose to desperate lengths and he brings in a kendo stick which calls for the DQ. Strowman grabs the stick and breaks it over his knee. LOL. That was funny for some reason. It breaks down from this point forward. Reigns hits a PHENOMENAL dive over the top rope to the floor onto Strowman & Rowan. He got some serious air on that one! "This is awesome" says the crowd, I agree. Reigns then nails Wyatt with a spear followed by Rowan and his music hits to close the show. This wasn't that all out match from The Shield boys that I was expecting however this was truthfully, exactly what it should have been. WWE is gonna make us work for that full fledged Shield reunion and I know it'll be worth it. What a teaser this was, though. Very well done even though it left you dying for more especially after how excited everyone got at the prospect of Ambrose, Reigns, & Rollins teaming again.

Match rating - ***1/4

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