Raw starts off by Michael Cole welcoming us to THE SEASON PREMIERE of Monday Night Raw. Why is this the season premiere? Because today’s the day NFL returns to Mondays, so tonight’s the signal that they need to step their game up. Judging by last week, that won’t be much of a challenge.
Steel Cage Match: Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt. Starting off with the big guns. I wonder if Chris Jericho will be scared by a small child in a goat mask and lose the match that way. It’s worked for Bray before, you know. Started slow at first, but people got into it and Jericho busted his ass turning this into a pretty fun little match. Jericho went to the top of the cage and did a CROSSBODY. I did not expect that one bit. Jericho favors his leg after as he tries to exit the cage but Wyatt grabs him and starts beating on his leg. In pain, Jericho can’t stop Bray Wyatt throwing himself through the door and onto the floor as he secures the victory. Way better match than their previous two efforts. ***1/2
After the match, Wyatt destroys Jericho, throwing the cage door against Jericho’s bum leg and eventually laying him out with the Sister Abigail.
Kane and Seth Rollins were chatting about the previous match when Triple H walked in. He reiterated this was THE SEASON PREMIERE. I’m sensing this will be hammered home constantly Randy Orton walked in. He asked if he could do something to Roman Reigns that would make what Seth Rollins did to Dean Ambrose look like another day in Sunday school. Triple H gave his permission. Orton promised he won’t regret it.
Dolph Ziggler came out. He talked about how there was a scandal last week in Hollywood in which people on “the cloud” had their iPhones hacked, revealing some…well, revealing pictures. This led to some photos of Miz in the bathroom wearing face cream and shaving his chest. I don’t know how these were taken on a cell phone as they looked rather professionally done. Also who was in the bathroom with Miz during this? This brought out the Miz and his stunt double. He said to stop or he’ll never work in this town again. Dolph said oh well, show it anyway. It was the Miz, nude (censored of course) getting spray tanned from behind by Sandow. Miz sics Damien Sandow on him, but Ziggler destroyed him and kept Miz at bay when he crawled into the ring. They showed the pictures again. I bet Vince McMahon had a big case of laughing fits over this one. It was fine though.
Natalya and Rosa Mendes vs. AJ and Paige. Paige worked on Rosa and wouldn’t tag in AJ. Rosa was horrible. Look, she’s a pretty woman and was fine as a manager. But truth be told, she’s maybe slightly better than Eva Marie who has been wrestling for a little over a year. Rosa’s been wrestling for eight years. Rosa walked over to Nattie like she was going to tag her. “TAG ME” Nattie pleaded. “TAG HER” I pleaded. Rosa instead went back to Paige, who ended up controlling the match again. BOOOOO. AJ ends up tagging herself in by slapping Paige’s boob and quickly ends the match with the black widow. I thought this was worse than the one minute match from last week.
Paige was mad after the match because AJ tagged herself in. AJ took her title and looked at it, then gave it back. AJ skipped away. I hate this feud.
Jericho was being tended to by doctors in the medical area when Orton simply just ran in and jumped him for no real reason. “What can I say” Orton retorted as he left Jericho on the floor reeling. “It’s the season premiere”. I think this was designed to make us remember these two are feuding, kind of. I think it’s more established on Smackdown than on Raw.
Paul Heyman is in the ring. He wanted to talk about John Cena. Sure enough, John Cena came out. Cena says go ahead, talk. Paul Heyman says his client has authorized to tell him how to beat Brock Lesnar at Night of Champions. Cena says hold your breath, I already know how to beat him. His strategy is simple, never give up. Gives him a t-shirt, says this is his strategy plan. Paul Heyman says is it just him, or can John not help being John Cena? That’s his biggest problem. He lives to be John Cena. He lives for the kids who comes to live events to chant at the top of their lungs “Let’s go Cena”. Heyman asks him to give into temptation. When people chant “Cena sucks” it gets to him, doesn’t it. He begs him to tell them to shut up. Give up hustle, loyalty and respect and he’ll show him how to beat Lesnar. Heyman says that he believes in Cena. But Lesnar says you don’t have it in you.
Cena teases like he’s going to yell at the fans, but he stops and instead tells Paul Heyman to shut up.
He knows what Heyman is up to. He wants him to give in so he can pop a few people in the crowd. He says he knows Heyman is intelligent but he knows nothing about his world. His world is about be John Cena, repeat. He talks about the kids he meets and the time he met a military guy who gave him his purple heart. And he wants to throw all of that away to win a match? He cuts to the chase. Next week he’s going to fight someone. And if Brock is too busy to step away from his vacation, he’ll fight him. This was really, really long but well done.
Sheamus vs. Seth Rollins. They were having their match when Cesaro to come out, telegraphing interference as we headed into the break. The match ended when yes, Cesaro had a tug of war with Sheamus over the US title. This DISTRACTED Sheamus, allowing Rollins to hit the curb stomp for the victory. Cesaro attacks Sheamus after, leaving him lying after the Neutralizer.
Celebrities are plugging Jerry Springer’s appearance later tonight.
Rusev comes out with Lana. Lana sang the Star Spangled Banner, but changed the words to refer to Russia. They then played Russia’s national anthem as there was a picture of Putin being shown. The announcers were appalled. JBL said that on this night in 1814 Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner so this was DISGRACEFUL. This was short, but effective I guess.
They plugged the NXT Takeover show. We’ll see the stars of the show in action N(E)XT.
Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn vs. Tyson Kidd and Tyler Breeze. Yes, on Raw. The crowd chanted OLE as Zayn was on offense. A lot of the match was the heels working on Zayn. Neville was tagged in and did a great comeback. Michael Cole plugged that International Superstar Kenta will be making his debut on NXT this Thursday. That’s bizarre to hear, to be honest. Zayn did a huge dive to the outside, taking out Kidd. Neville took out Breeze and unleashed the Red Arrow for the pinfall. Good match given the time, and the crowd reacted as well as they could for three guys debuting without fanfare and Tyson Kidd.
Now it’s time for the Jerry Springer segment. Stephanie came out and introduced Jerry Springer, who was out with a guard that’s not Steve Wilkos. Which, by the way, was the last time I actually watched the Jerry Springer show. Jerry talks about how he’s been solving family dysfunction for the last 24 years, so let’s bring out Brie Bella. Brie, indeed, came to the ring. Footage was shown from last week. Nikki came out and shook Brie’s hand, ready to accept her apology from last week. She won’t forget how she was treated, but she has moved on. After all, she is a sophisticated, sexy woman with a Divas title match coming up. Nikki then showed footage from Total Divas with Brie looking rather unflattering, being a bridezilla and hurling insults at Nikki. The twins argued for a while. Footage was shown of their parents asking for them to settle their issues. This eventually brings out their brother, who sides with Brie. He tells Nikki to stop pretending she’s the victim. Eventually this ends up with the sisters, Stephanie McMahon and Jerry falling to the floor, rolling over each other. This actually ends up injuring Jerry legit with bruised ribs and a twisted ankle and had to be stretchered out. Oops. This abruptly ended the segment, which was…well, what it was.
Gold and Star Dust vs. Los Matadores. Usos cut a inset promo saying when you hurt an Uso, we hurt you back. Matadores did have a suicide dive spot, but that’s about it. Stardust won with his new modified STO finisher that he calls dark matter. I remember when he did the diamond dust and that was cool. But it seems like every finisher now needs to be an STO.
Usos came out and jumped the heels after, sending them reeling and exiting behind the stage.
They aired a tribute to Joan Rivers.
Heath Slater vs. Adam Rose. I skipped through this, to be honest. It’s WWE’s new lazy comedy match. Adam Rose quickly won. They seem to be building towards Slator Gator vs. Adam Rose and the Bunny. Ok.
Roman Reigns promo. He has an anidote for the Viper’s venom. If one person should be exempt from creative’s horrible verbiage, it’s the guy you’re hoping to be the next big star.
Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns. Imagine a Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns match. No, really, do it now. I’m pretty sure you know how the WWE style works, and you more than likely have seen their match at SummerSlam. Done? Good. That was the match they had. Went about as much as one would expect, very paint by the numbers but it was fine. The crowd was also into it, so at least there’s that too. Orton, who was getting his tail kicked towards the end, called out Seth Rollins and Kane to interfere. They promptly did for the DQ. Doing twenty minutes matches for a non finish is so fucking lame.
As the heels were beating down Reigns they had the cage lowered. As the cage was lowering, Reigns made a comeback and laid out all three, sending Kane and Rollins to the outside. Reigns grabs a chair Rollins had left in the ring and was about to attack Orton, but was distracted by looking at Seth and Orton jumped him. Rollins launched off the cage with a crossbody, taking out Regins. Kane entered the ring and a 3 on 1 beatdown ensued. Rollins laid out the chair and hit the curb stomp to finish the deal. Orton, Kane and Rollins stood tall as Raw went off the air.
A million times better than the last two episodes. Seems this week WWE wants to care about what they actually want to air on TV, and I’m assuming that’s because the NFL is back in full force and thus needs to step up their game. They’ll still be clobbered in the ratings tomorrow, I’m sure, but hey at least they tried. And next week promises to be newsworthy as it seems that Brock Lesnar will be there to answer John Cena’s television. I’ve gone from zero interest in Night of Champions to maybe kind of interested now, so it’s an improvement!