WWE RAW Review
September 1, 2015
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
After attending all three fantastic WWE shows last weekend in Brooklyn, including a RAW that was far and away the best RAW of the year, I was very excited to watch this episode to see how they followed up on all the big things they touched on. As I said on No Static Radio yesterday afternoon, this is a really important episode because it’s going to set the tone for the next few months. We’re not going to have Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker making a lot of appearances. Monday Night Football will be starting up soon as well, so that fall/winter lull is going to begin to kick in. How will they navigate around those holes, particularly the absence of Lesnar and Paul Heyman? Is it going to be as bad as last year’s fall/winter period? My gut says no. That was pretty epically bad.
That being said, this episode of RAW was filled with some hits and misses. A lot of the stuff was pretty decent, but the crowd killed a lot of the presentation. This was one of the worst crowds of the year. I’ll touch on it more, but it wasn’t like they were presented with a lot of bad stuff and were dead at the end. They were dead from the beginning and never woke up, even for the bigger stars. I figured I’d lay that out before I start. Now what were the hits and misses? Let’s find out!
Sting is apparently losing his mind
After making a surprise return last week on RAW and being granted a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Seth Rollins at Night Of Champions shortly after, a lot of buzz was surrounding what Sting would say to kick off RAW. There was a lot of intrigue, but the booking was also weird because they had him lose at WrestleMania to Triple H in a screwjob finish, which was his first and only WWE match. To top it off, the next night on RAW, he didn’t even make an appearance on the USA Network portion of RAW. He appeared on the WWE Network instead and didn’t say much.
Sting came out to a very light pop (I thought it was that his music was cued up too loud and you couldn’t hear the crowd, but I later figured out that the crowd just stunk) and wanted to address why he’s fighting Seth Rollins. Before he did that, he spoke about WrestleMania, making the claim that Triple H pushed him to his limits and he pushed Triple H to his limits. In the end, the better man won. Ok, I’ve never been hit in the head with a sledgehammer, but I imagine there would be some brain damage as a result and some memory loss. Sting is putting Triple H over like they had this mammoth duel with the better man winning a hard fought match. Um… Triple H hit him in the head to pin him in the cheapest manner possible with interference from a bunch of older wrestlers, including one whose name shall not be named on WWE television, brother. Then Sting got up and shook his hand after the match. How does that make Triple H a man exactly? Then to make things worse, Sting isn’t facing Rollins to prove that he’s better than him… he’s facing him to prove that Rollins isn’t better than Triple H. Am I missing something here?
There were two options they could have went with. Option one is just completely ignore it and say he wants the title because it’s the one prestigious prize he hadn’t won in 30 years. They kind of did that. Option two is to say that he wants to beat Triple H’s golden boy as revenge for cheating to win at WrestleMania. Putting Triple H over as this tremendous competitor who seemingly beat him straight up isn’t an option, but somehow that’s what they did. It’s not even like Triple H is a face. They flip flop his character a bit to fit the story, but as of this past RAW, he’s a heel. This was just all kinds of ridiculous and made Sting look like a complete and total moron. Not trying to be negative, but anyone with half a brain can see how illogical and ridiculous it is for Sting to be saying all that stuff.
Seth Rollins still hasn’t gotten his statue back
In the final segment of the show, they marched out Seth Rollins to call Sting out to get his statue back. I partly expected him to actually get the statue back, but with Sting makeup on it. Rollins talked about how he’s the best, possibly better than Triple H. This brought out Stephanie McMahon for what was shaping up to be another castration promo because no one can ever get over on The Authority. Stephanie warned him not to talk about her husband before literally saying that Seth Rollins is the man. Ok…
That brought out John Cena, which was perfect for the segment because he has a grievance and a rematch due against Rollins that they hadn’t mentioned all night. It was perfect. Unfortunately, even Cena’s appearance couldn’t wake the crowd up. Cena even said before running down to the ring that they were taking it easy on him. Cena cut a pretty tame promo before saying that he’s owed a rematch for the United States Championship. Since every title is on the line at Night Of Champions, Stephanie reluctantly booked the match. I thought it was a decent segment, but the show ended kind of flat since there was no action to at least wake the crowd up a bit. I am excited to see how Rollins pulls off these two matches with vastly different opponents. Cena is a guy who is arguably still in the prime of his career and putting on some of the best matches of his career, and Sting is an aging legend that is on the back nine of his career. It’s a big show of confidence in Rollins that they have him doing these two matches. Rollins will have his chance to show that he truly is the best wrestler in the world right now.
It was not a good night to be Dolph Ziggler. I thought he had a pretty good match against Rusev to open up the physical portion of the evening, but the crowd never got into it. It could be the severe lack of chemistry between him and Lana, but with that crowd it’s hard to tell in this instance. I know being there last Sunday that this match had some steam. Then as he was taking a shower, Summer Rae snuck into his locker room and saw him naked before running out laughing. Later on, Lana was angry with Ziggler because Summer saw him naked. Yes, somehow this is Ziggler’s fault. I’m going to stop here because it’s just way too stupid. Everyone clearly saw Summer sneak into Ziggler’s locker room and later on (quite later on – Ziggler apparently takes ridiculously long showers) run out of his locker room screaming. How that could be Ziggler’s fault and cause Lana to be angry with him is anyone’s guess, but then again, I’ve known a few girls that would spin this situation like this. Mercifully I didn’t marry a girl like that… I think. Hopefully this all ends with Rusev and Lana getting back together and we can forget any of this ever happened.
Ok, I think it’s time to call it for the “Divas Revolution.” The awful Miz TV segment and six-person tag that followed really killed it, but I didn’t get to talk about it. Contrived teams, long matches with no point to them, and wooden acting have doomed them. Calling them “Divas” has also killed their credibility because the Divas Division has the stink of being an absolute and total failure. Now they had them have three Beat The Clock Challenge matches that totaled 6:41 of action. That’s the total of all three matches combined. I didn’t think it was possible for me to care any less about this division, but here it is.
Ryback and Big Show had a match. The way they built it up made it seem like a big deal, but once they came back from commercial and The Miz was on commentary, you knew where this was going. It just felt like a complete waste of time.
Wow – Cesaro and Kevin Owens had one hell of a match. They worked their butts off and pulled off some really cool stuff, but this crowd didn’t give them the time of day at all. This was one of the better RAW matches of the month and got no love at all. That was a total shame. This was one of my favorite things on the show. I liked the story of Cesaro trying to fight through an injury, but coming up short. They’re definitely trying with him and made him look strong in defeat. This was a tremendous match that I think you should check out if you haven’t seen it yet.
Braun Strowman made his in-ring debut against Dean Ambrose last night. Before that, they had Bray Wyatt cut a promo about how the end of days is here. Strowman then took the microphone and spoke a sentence about how it’s the apocalypse. I wouldn’t have had him speak. I also wouldn’t have had him wrestle his first TV match if he wasn’t going to get a quick and dominant win over someone. Why is he facing Ambrose in his first match and not having a finish? Would it kill them to have him face a few jobbers to get over as a huge monster? This match kind of exposed him and he looked lost during the beat down segment at times. The crowd was also dead for the entire segment, so that made things even worse.
My god – The New Day is far and away the best act on this show. They are absolutely hilarious. I loved the lines about The Dudley Boyz being table poachers while talking about all the important tables people have sat at in their lives. Grandma’s table at Thanksgiving with the weird uncle staring at your girlfriend definitely elicited some fond memories from my life. They then fought and lost to The Dudley Boyz in a fun little match that didn’t have any steam, but was good enough for what they were trying to accomplish. The Prime Time Players were pretty much an afterthought in this on commentary.
There are some things on this show to be excited. I loved the Cesaro/Owens match, The New Day does indeed rock, and Seth Rollins is continuing to develop into the best in-ring talent going today. There were also some misses with Sting’s lame explanation, a love saga with four people that have no chemistry, and a failed revolution for the women. All in all, most of the storylines are shaping up nicely and should carry into a better fall than last year. I was wondering where Randy Orton, Sheamus, Neville, and some other key characters were, but absence does make the heart grow fonder sometimes. They don’t have to be on every show. To sum it up, this was a solid show to build toward Night Of Champions.
Bump of the Night: Braun Strowman sending Roman Reigns into the barricade!
Match of the Night: Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro ** 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.
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.