9/21 RAW: WWE’s problems on display

WWE RAW Review
September 22, 2015
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com

Last night, WWE produced a terribly boring episode of Monday Night RAW. Aside from the main event, which was very good, I was watching the show and counting down the minutes until it was over. I knew the show was bad, but I didn’t know it was so bad it would surpass the low rating of last week, which at the time was the lowest non-holiday RAW ever since 1997 when they were routinely getting their butts handed to them by WCW. Monday Night Football has traditionally hurt ratings, but as Adam Martin detailed last week in an article, they’ve always held up. Not this year.

I detailed the reasons why I think this is happening last week. To recap, the show predictably opens up with a talking segment, everybody trades wins back and forth so no one gets over, and the company frequently doesn’t advertise big names appearing on the show ahead of time to try to pop a rating. This week, two of the three things continued on. Yesterday, they decided to advertise a big name appearing ahead of the show. The only problem is they advertised this person knowing they weren’t there in a cheap promotional tactic. They advertised Sting as being there as little as an hour before the show, but at the same time TMZ broke the story that Sting was already at home recovering from a neck injury. I’m sorry, but that’s ridiculous. Those cheap, sleazy kinds of tactics are part of the reason why people always thumb their nose at WWE.

John Cena and Seth Rollins have yet another great main event

I remember one of (if not the) first matches these two had back in December 2013 on Smackdown. I remember watching it and marveling at how they worked together. That was a great match that is still memorable to me almost two years later. The chemistry hasn’t faded between them. They’ve had quite a few big matches since December 2013 and every one of them has been unique and good in their own way. From their Tables Match at WWE TLC last year to the match where Rollins relocated Cena’s nose to the other side of his head, each match is something neat. It’s a testament to how good both men are. The only thing WWE has to worry about is giving this match away too often that it becomes like Cena/Orton, but Rollins is a way better opponent and can do more for Cena, so there’s some time before that happens.

Last night, they had another fun main event for the WWE United States Championship. They went back and forth with some pretty neat spots. I loved seeing Rollins put the STF on Cena. I also loved them reversing out of their finishers before Rollins countered a hurricanrana into a turnbuckle powerbomb. It was just a lot of fun. I’m glad they gave a finish to the match. Even though the champion loses again, it’s just refreshing to see a match not end with a cheap DQ. The post match stuff was an eye roller, but I’ll get to that.

Quick Thoughts

I guess Kane is turning into Joseph Park/Abyss from TNA. You’ve got the cheesy smile Corporate Kane and the masked Demon Kane now. This is actually smart booking on WWE’s part. Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker is the real main event of the upcoming show. Seth Rollins vs. Kane will be an undercard match. Could you imagine the uproar if Kane was in a main event on a PPV/special event? We’ll see how this plays out over the next few weeks, but I’m not in love with split personality Kane. It seems like it’ll get old really fast. As for the stunt when Kane pulled Rollins under the ring… next!

RAW opened up with a promo for the 54th straight week. It was advertised to be Sting, but we got Bray Wyatt instead. Wyatt talked, then Roman Reigns came out, and they fought. Dean Ambrose and Randy Orton joined the ruckus as well. The crowd was pretty silent for this (a trend for the entire evening). I don’t know if they were expecting Sting and were mad he wasn’t out there or if they just don’t care about this rivalry. Also, where was the follow-up on the Chris Jericho incident?

Neville and The Lucha Dragons got their win back against The Cosmic Wasteland. Sin Cara botched a move big time early on. We’ll be seeing that on Botchamania no doubt. This wasn’t a good match.

Ryback squashed Bo Dallas and was attacked by Kevin Owens shortly after. It looks like this rivalry will continue. It is what it is.

Paige turned heel on Charlotte and Becky Lynch by running them down along with the rest of the Divas Division. Paige got cheered by the end of the promo because most of the things she was saying weren’t wrong. The great heels are always wrong, but they believe with all their heart that they’re right. If the supposed heel says things that are all true and people agree with, are they really a heel then? Still, I liked this. It was much needed in this lackluster Divas Revolution.

The match with Charlotte and Brie Bella went a little too long and was quite sloppy. Having a match for the sake of having a match is never good. They should have just left it with Paige turning heel and Nikki Bella taunting Charlotte after. This match was overkill.

Sheamus, the guy who holds a briefcase that could make him a future WWE World Heavyweight Champion, defeated Mark Henry in a deafeningly silent arena. The crowd was bad all night, but they could completely care less about this one.

You know the crowd is bad when they don’t even pop for The New Day. The New Day was as entertaining as ever, particularly with Xavier Woods holding up a specimen bag with a shard of wood that was supposedly removed from his hindquarters. This six-man tag was a lot of fun, but you wouldn’t have known it from the crowd reaction.

Naomi defeated Natalya in a match that took place for the sake of having a match. Natalya had a talk with Paige before this match, but she played no role in it. So what exactly did this accomplish?

Big Show defeated Cesaro in a match that showcases everything that is wrong with WWE. You can love or hate Cesaro, but you can’t deny that he’s been getting over with the crowd organically. Cesaro has done it multiple times throughout his WWE career and each time WWE has squandered the opportunity. Cesaro was in the Elimination Chamber in 2014 and won the inaugural André The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Cesaro was buried soon after. Vince McMahon would go on to say that Cesaro doesn’t have the “it” factor. Yeah, sure. Now he gets over again, and they’re feeding him to The Big Show. Does Big Show really need to look strong going into a match he has no chance of winning against Brock Lesnar? They couldn’t just feed The Miz to him… you know, the guy he was originally feuding with? You want to know why WWE hasn’t created any new superstars in ten years? This is why. I’m not saying Cesaro is the next John Cena, but his ceiling is higher than this for sure.

Overall Impression

Well, it looks like this is going to be another long fall/winter for WWE. The product is ice cold and so are the ratings. The era of the mid-card is continuing. Luckily for them, there is a lot of time to shake things up and get people excited. A few format changes to the show and putting some momentum behind guys by not trading wins will do the trick. If they continue on with the status quo, the only way they’ll be able to see out the 100,000 seat stadium in Dallas is relying (yet again) on a bunch of legends coming back. That’s not good business because as we saw on Sunday with Sting, the legends they’re relying on are getting really old and their bodies can’t hold up like they could even a year ago.

Bump of the Night: Orton giving Harper a back suplex on the table
Match of the Night: John Cena vs. Seth Rollins ** 3/4

Final Rating: * 1/2

Well those are my thoughts. Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know by commenting or using one of the other two options to get in contact with me.

E-Mail – MikeyT817@gmail.com
Twitter – @MikeTedescoWV

Check out my recap of this week’s RAW here. Please check out my live recap of RAW every Monday at 8 PM EST.

Thanks for reading!

Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Monday Night RAW for Wrestleview.com.