Raw opens with Paul Heyman in the ring. Basically talks about how Brock will win at Night of Champions and all that. John Cena comes out. John Cena asks where Brock Lesnar is. Cena reiterates what he said last week about wanting a fight. Paul Heyman acts like he’s about to introduce Lesnar, then laughs. He says Brock is on a private jet, and that jet has been delayed. But he’ll be here. Heyman tries to make his exit, but Cena grabs him. Says that if Lesnar’s not out here in about eighty minutes, “during halftime”, then he’s going to kick his ass. Heyman tries to exit, but Cena stops him. Says that he doesn’t trust him. So he grabs him in a headlock and takes him to the back. When did WWE have a halftime? Did they invent one just now?
On the WWE app, John Cena threw Heyman into his locker room. The Great Khali, who was just standing in the hallway, is called over. Cena asks in punjab to make sure he doesn’t leave. “I got it” Khali says as he stands guard. This is perfect use of Great Khali. Do not have him win stupid squash matches against infinitely more talented people. Just have him be a goofy backstage character if you absolutely need to have him around.
This brings a question. If I just saw the entirety of that segment on Raw, why do I need the app to watch it?
Kane vs. Chris Jericho: Yes. A match I didn’t want to see in 1999, I can now watch in 2014. Thank the heavens above for this new generation of WWE talent. Jericho tried, but this was still a pretty uninteresting match, though it wasn’t bad. Jericho seemed to be bleeding somewhere. Kane then undoes a turnbuckle. Kane does remind me tons of Toru Yano in that they both feud with guys they shouldn’t be feuding with. Though at this point Yano has more of an upside than Kane. Kane went for a chokeslam, Jericho blocked it and pushed him into the exposed turnbuckle, allowing Jericho to roll him up for the pinfall. Turned into a perfectly alright match. Do I ever need to see it again? Hell no. With that said, I fully expect a rematch on Smackdown or Main Event.
This brings another question. Didn’t Jericho completely destroy his knee last week in a match against Bray Wyatt? Why did he not sell this during the match? Or brought up at all?
They have a new ad for the Network. It sounds like Sum41 music. So you know Kevin Dunn and Vince McMahon love it because that’s the time period (2001) when they last listened to anything in the world of popular music.
Heyman is calling Lesnar, but he has no cell service in Cena’s locker room. That’s odd. Why wouldn’t he have internet there, but everywhere else in the arena has wifi?
Renee is with Roman Reigns. Talks about his match for tonight against Seth. Says that he’ll be punching him so hard his knuckles will be bleeding tonight.
Jack Swagger vs. Bo Dallas: I guess they timed out Night of Champions and this didn’t even make the preshow. They had a perfectly alright back and forth match. Bo went for the bodog, but Swagger managed to transition it into the Patriot lock for the victory. Not much to it, but at least the right person here won.
Paige and Nikki Bella vs. Brie and AJ Lee: The latter two are supposed to be faces. This is like my two least favorite feuds of the year combined into one. Which is good, because now I can hate them both in one easy segment. Brie goes to tag AJ, but Nikki takes her out. Paige hits Brie with the rampage for the victory. Nikki then laid out Brie after. Remember when she going to get over after feuding with Stephanie?
AJ and Paige skipped after the match. I DON’T GIVE A FUCK. TELL ME HOW THIS IS SUPPOSED TO MAKE ME INTERESTED IN THEIR STUPID GOD DAMN MATCH ON SUNDAY. Seriously, the booking of these women.
Bray Wyatt cut a promo. I don’t care because they’ve stopped caring.
Paul Heyman looked nervous backstage, like he was about to have a mental breakdown. This was really funny for some reason. Back from commercial, he tried to weasel his way out of the door, but Great Khali grabbed him. He grabbed his phone and threw it to the floor, revealing it to be fake (which I guess we weren’t supposed to know, but it was obvious). Khali threw him back in and picked up the phone again like he was going to talk in it. This is the best part of Raw so far.
Big Show vs. Bray Wyatt: What a compelling match to keep my interests here. They proceeded to have a boring, plodding match, so I decided to fast forward through this. Sorry, but if there is one match I don’t need to see ever, even moreso than Chris Jericho vs Kane, it’s Big Show versus Bray Wyatt in the battle of the boring big guys. Big Show had the match won (of course) when the Wyatts just ran in for the DQ (of course). Then Big Show destroyed the Wyatts anyway (of course) while Bray Wyatt no sold it and just posed. Because you know, if there is one person that needed to be booked strong in WWE right now is the 40+ year old Big Show who has been wrestling on weekly television since 1995. I hated absolutely everything about this segment and perfectly illustrates WWE’s innate ability to get no one ever over.
The Usos and Sheamus vs. Stardust, Goldust and Cesaro: Welcome to midcard hell. This was an alright match, but i’ve seen so many long matches on this show already I was absentmindedly fast forwarding through some of it. But really, it wasn’t bad. Usos managed to clear house, with one doing a huge dive taking out Gold and Star Dust and the other pinning Cesaro with a big splash. The finish was pretty fun.
They’ve been showing videos of Mark Henry in preparation for a “Mark Henry Rallies America” segment later on tonight.
Somewhere around here they plugged the Peep Show with special guest Chris Jericho as the preshow segment for Night of Champions. Add Christian to the list of people they have on the roster who can’t wrestle, but have like ZERO idea what to do with them other than just appear as segment fillers.
Randy Orton did a promo. He said nothing of note about Chris Jericho for his match on Sunday. When I say nothing of note, I mean he said one or two sentences in the most monotone manner possible about facing Chris Jericho on Sunday. This is supposed to compel me to watch their match. Is promo writing really this hard? Is it hard to sound interested about your upcoming matches? Then why even bother?
Back from commercial, John Cena grabbed Paul Heyman from his dressing room and dragged him back to the ring. He threatened to beat up Paul if he doesn’t produce Brock Lesnar. Heyman asks if this is what hustle, loyalty and respect is all about? He will never take it out on the Cenation, but he can take out all his aggression on him, he is the trigger that can make him the beast. He can’t beat Brock Lesnar. He thought his hatred of him would awaken him, but he can’t beat Lesnar because he won’t allow the beast to awaken. He begs him to attack him.
Cena calls Heyman a waste of oxygen. Heyman tells him to let it go, let him become his vision of a Paul Heyman guy. The crowd chanted YES, which was hilarious. Cena said no and the people booed, which was equally hilarious. He thought this would produce Brock Lesnar, but it’s not, so he’s leaving. Paul Heyman says good, if I were your mother I’d be proud of you…if you had a pair of testicles. John Cena throws Heyman out of the ring when Lesnar’s music hits. He circles around the ring, then just shakes his head. After stalling forever, Lesnar finally enters the ring and immediately lays John Cena out with a German suplex. Lesnar goes to leave, but John Cena like a bolt of lightning comes back and jumps Lesnar, being the aggressor. Lesnar bails, possibly with a broken nose as John Cena said “See you Sunday, Brock”. This was great.
Naomi vs. Cameron: They actually showed the Total Divas clip where Naomi acted totally heelish about Cameron wanting to go train in NXT and be better since they didn’t want her in a active role on the main roster. So of course, Cameron is the heel here and Naomi is the face. MAKES SENSE TO ME! Michael Cole noted how successful Naomi has been since breaking up with Cameron. When was the last time she was on Raw? Like a month ago? Cameron did the splits on the back on Naomi and yelled at the ref to count it without turning her over. Well that’s one for the gif folder. Why didn’t they send her back to NXT again? Cameron was offense and looked terrible. Right as I typed this JBL said she looked great. Shut up. Naomi eventually got the win with a wacky submission. This was so awful.
R-Ziggler and Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz and Damien Mizdow: It was an extremely basic match that was fine. Ziggler won after Miz hit Sandow by accident and he followed it up with the zig zag. Another extremely uninteresting feud for Sunday.
Seth Rollins promo. Roman Reigns is nothing without me, he says. He compares him to a neanderthal. Then he impersonates Roman Reigns by acting like a neanderthal . He literally got on all fours and grunted saying “look I’m Roman Reigns”. He then said he made Roman and that is a fact. This will not get Seth Rollins over as a main event player, nope.
Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns: I thought this was going to be on the PPV? I guess it was announced on Smackdown so it doesn’t matter. This was a pretty damn good TV match. Rollins had Reigns reeling after a powerbomb into the turnbuckles and did the old Shield fist pose, then was about to hit the curb stomp when Reigns blocked it and hit the spear for the victory. Very good TV match.
Ok, so they are doing this at Night of Champions. Why they needed to do this on Raw, I seriously have no idea. Especially since Reigns won clean as a sheet. More brilliant WWE logic that even the 5 year olds they seemingly write this stuff for can see holes through.
Mark Henry Rally For USA time. Of all the stuff happening right now, THIS is going to end Raw? Why not just end the show with the Cena/Lesnar brawl? He talks about how he had to give up his spot in the 1996 Olympics. But thank God for second chances. If anyone here loves America like he does, he knows that he can’t give up in this match against Rusev. Cole mentions all this bad stuff Lana’s been saying about the USA. Henry started to retort when Rusev and Lana came out. Lana ripped America for it’s education and mentioned how Henry also lost at the 1992 Olympics to a Russian. Mark Henry starts saying the pledge of allegiance, but Rusev jumps him and lays him out with a superkick. He puts him in the accolade, but Mark Henry powers out and hits a huge tree slam, sending him reeling. Mark Henry waves the US flag to end Raw. No, really.
I guess in the end this was a mixed bag show. Nothing extremely appalling, just some dumb stuff throughout, some bad matches, tons of filler (save for the Rollins/Reigns match…which I still have no idea why they needed to do it right here, right now) and some great segments hyping the main event for Night of Champions. It seems WWE is trying really hard to make their midcard absolutely not matter. I wish we were at a time when that wasn’t the case. The main event will sell the show, but you can add intrigue to the card by having compelling matches underneath. The majority of this card fails to do that, and it’s all on WWE for presenting it they way they do.