Monday, October 26, 2015
WWE Monday Night Raw Review - October 26th, 2015
The Authority kicks off the show and oh no we're back to this again :-(
It's really not that bad, though. Considering that I wasn't browsing Twitter before the show like usual, I had no clue of the #1 Contender's Tourney that H & Steph were here to announce. They bring Rollins out and have a lovefest before announcing the aformentioned tournament. All the winners from last night are facing off in singles matches with the winners meeting in a Fatal 4 Way at the end of the night. The winner is the new number one contender to the WWE Title. I like. A lot. The segment looks to be over then Roman Reigns' music hits and wow, they just totally gave away the winner of this thing. Nice little staredown between Rollins & Reigns.
1) Roman Reigns vs. Kofi Kingston (w/ Big E) - #1 Contender's Tournament Match
This was alright albeit somewhat underwhelming considering the talent of both guys and the roll they've been on. Kofi's on the best run of his career and Roman is being positioned as THAT GUY so you'd expect this to be great, but it was nothing more than a decent little match. Kofi out quicking and out smarting Reigns came into play throughout the match. They had a good final few moments as usual with Reigns matches. Kofi misses the Trouble in Paradise and gets nailed with a spear. Reigns advances to the finals.
Match rating - **1/4
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Neville
- Big E vs. Dolph Ziggler
UP NEXT: Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
2) Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro - #1 Contender's Tournament Match
The crowd is HOT for the IC Champ and Cesaro. There are Cesaro Section signs and FIGHT OWENS FIGHT chants across the arena. A series of roll ups and pinning combinations make for a fast start with several near falls. The two former Indie superstars then begin slugging it out and the crowd eats up every second. Owens' trash talking gets better and better every week as he gets more comfortable in the WWE setting. I honestly can't remember anyone who does the mid match shouting like him. They did a great unique false finish spot with a double clothesline on the floor. Both men didn't make it back in until the count of nine. This sends into the commercial break with a stalemate. We return to Cesaro making Vince look completely delusional yet again. The uppercut train that ends with a crisp dropkick that I'd say can only be topped by the likes of Okada & AJ Styles. Cesaro starts flying around the ring with a running flip off the ring apron, a cross body from the top rope, and a springboard uppercut from the second rope. Owens is reeling and ends up using the ropes & ref as a barrier to create some separation between he & Cesaro. A precisely placed superkick and a pop up powerbomb earns Owens the victory after a highly entertaining contest. Cesaro killed it once again and KO is starting to gain momentum.
Match rating - ***1/2
3) Charlotte, Paige, & Becky Lynch vs. The Bellas & Alicia Fox
This was a straight forward and to the point match. Usually, Divas matches that last around 7 minutes aren't noteworthy however this was quite the action packed contest. The Divas are truly finding their stride as I said a few weeks ago so this is well worth viewing if you missed it. Good heat between Nikki & Charlotte with them knocking each other off the apron whenever they got the chance, the blind tag from Charlotte to Paige followed by a double drop kick foreshadowed so many things, and the finishing sequence full of big moves topped off this trios contest.
Match rating - ***
Post match, Paige does the inevitable by snapping and attacking Charlotte & Becky which got a big mixed reaction from the crowd. This definitely brings some more life to her character and I'd say that between the match and this post match attack, tonight is the best Paige has looked since her original debut on the main roster.
Renee Young interviews Zeb Colter & the new US Champ Alberto Del Rio backstage. Colter references John Lennon and announces that he & Del Rio are the first citizens of MexAmerica. I guess that's going to be what they call themselves going forward. It sounds like the start of a stable.
4) Alberto Del Rio vs. Neville - #1 Contender's Tournament Match
Based off Alberto's performances outside WWE this year, this could be really good. Based off his match with Cena last night, this could be extremely average. Thankfully it turned out to be the former. Del Rio was vicious from the bell, even slapping Neville multiple times in a stiff manner and basically toying with him. Neville fired back by going lucha on ADR which appeared to throw the former El Patron off his game. This turned into quite the back and forth battle with both men dishing out all their best shots. Del Rio even nailed Neville with the back breaker that put Cena out the night before along with several sick kicks to the head. Neville kept fighting and ADR had to resort to the HANGING DOUBLE STOMP FROM THE TOP ROPE for the win. Great match that gave me hope for Del Rio's second run in the E.
Match rating - ***1/4
5) Ryback & The Dudley Boys vs. Sheamus, Rusev, & King Barrett
The International Alliance team just can't have a bad match. This is their third six man match and it appears that they are really bonding together as they each made their entrance then waited to walk to the ring together. The story here was the losers from last night being placed in this match instead of the contender's tournament. That makes them pissed so they charge each other before the bell even starts. Huge brawl that settles into Devon going at it with Sheamus. Devon ends up getting isolated which builds to the hot tag for DA BIG GUY as the crowd was chanting FEED ME MORE. He gets in and does his thing. Bubba Ray comes in soon after. We get a triple meathook spot from Ryback & The Dudleys which was awesome. They go into the "GET THE TABLES!" schtick after this which allows Barrett to sneak the victory with a roll up on Devon. Well booked match with satisfying action. This was quite good. The icing on the cake was the celebration by the heels. Barrett fucking cut a flip and rolled onto his feet and hugged Rusev as Sheamus joined in as well. I can buy into this three being an official thing!
Match rating - ***
Bray Wyatt has arrived to explain his actions last night. As usual when he attacks someone randomly, he doesn't give a REAL reason why he did it. It's moreso subliminal shit like usual, but it works here only because of who's involved. Wyatt basically says that Taker's soul belongs to him now and asks for a moment of silence for him. During the silence - FIRE PYRO! BAH GAWD IT'S THE DEMON KANE! Does this mean we're gonna get a Brothers of Destruction reunion?! That match on the Mexico tour meant something after all! Kane gets offense in to start with only to get dominated by the numbers game once Harper, Rowan, & Strowman appear. The Wyatt Family beat him down then carry him out on their shoulders just like they did with Undertaker. I'm definitely interested in where this goes.
6) Big E vs. Dolph Ziggler - #1 Contender's Tournament Match
This was in a tough spot on the show. For me personally, at least. It's been a pretty fantastic evening of Monday Night Raw and beyond that, I got distracted during this match with some personal matters. Nothing bad, just had a few things to take care of. With that in mind, I wasn't able to give this my full undivided attention despite not missing any of the contest. From what I took in, it felt like it went slightly too long. Tyler Breeze came out before the match and sat down at ringside with Summer Rae. It was cool seeing him, obviously. Ziggler & E do have a chemistry due to their past together, but it felt like they could've trimmed this down a bit and it would've been better. The final few minutes were great. After they traded momentum for a bit, Ziggler gets the win which actually shocked me! Good for him, though. Well deserved opportunity for the Zig Man!
Match rating - **1/2
7) Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio - #1 Contender's Match
GAWD ALMIGHTY, this was something else. I truthfully didn't know how it would turn out, much like my initial thoughts headed into tonight's show. However, much like the rest of this show, this match completely blew my expectations out of the water and was the perfect finale for what this entire episode of Raw was built around. The big feel, the drama, the atmosphere and the action here all combined to make a match that I'd say is must see. It solidified Del Rio as worthy of the huge push he's gotten only one night into his return, it showed Dolph Ziggler as still one of the most consistent athletes on the card, it gave Kevin Owens his first EPIC moment with his showdown with Roman Reigns, and Roman, speaking of that guy. This match felt like his redemption story. His facial expressions, the way he almost won the crowd over as they gave him mixed reactions only to pop so hard for the finish that the reaction turned into all cheers as he sat in the center of the ring after the three count was made. I didn't think I'd say this, but this could damn near top Cena/Cesaro as my favorite Raw match of the year, it was just so beautiful. Hell, it was one of the best WWE matches of the year overall. From an in-ring stand point, the action was off the charts and undeniably intense. I'd name a few spots or things that happened, but I got so into this that I don't think I'll be able to remember everything in detail which proves that this is something you need to see. There were a number of crazy exchanges and special moments. This was just an overall phenomenal match up. I loved it.
Match rating - ****1/4
The post match staredown between Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins was the perfect sequel to what we just saw. I'm legitimately excited about the forthcoming Reigns/Rollins feud and I have a feeling someone else close to those two is going to be getting involved down the line as well ;-)
~ONE OF THE BEST RAW'S OF THE YEAR~
The way this show built throughout. The new direction of so many different talents. It seems like everyone up & down the card has a new momentum .Paige's turn, the final phase in Roman's rebuilding, the awesome showing from Del Rio to begin his second run in WWE - it feels like we're getting set for a great month ahead. Plus, some WrestleMania talk has already begun so it looks like WWE is planning ahead. This show exemplifies why WWE should rely on the wrestling to do the work because their roster is more loaded than ever and when you give them the chance, shows like this happen. Great show.