Before I begin this week, just a note to say this is the last time I plan on writing a Raw Deal live until January. That’s because the NFL is back next Monday and when the NFL is on I watch it live while Raw gets the DVR treatment. What that means is it will get posted on Tuesdays hopefully by about 1pmET or earlier. It all depends on how much I get done after the game, then in the morning and so on. I’m not writing any less. It’s just not going up on Monday nights for the rest of the year. Like George Costanza once said, “it’s not you it’s me.”
Live from Des Moines, Iowa this is the Raw Deal for episode #1110. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.
Highlight Reel Hosted By Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho was in the ring to host the Highlight Reel at the start of Raw. He sucked up to the crowd by mentioning they were in Des Moines, Iowa and said he loved cheap pops. Jericho said his guest is a man that has been given everything in life on a silver platter. He was referring to Randy Orton.
Triple H’s “King of Kings” music interrupted Jericho as Triple H entered the ring along with his buddies in The Authority: Randy Orton, Kane and Seth Rollins (with briefcase). They were all wearing suits. Jericho said he thought Randy was coming out on his own, not with his law firm.
Hunter made a short joke about Jericho by saying he never grew up figuratively or literally. Hunter told him that he had business to take care of. Jericho mentioned that Hunter usually doesn’t conduct business in the ring unless his wife is getting arrested. They insulted their clothes with Hunter making fun of Jericho’s scarf and Jericho mocked Hunter’s pink tie to which replied “it’s violet, nimrod.” Hunter talked about re-watching Lesnar vs. Cena at SummerSlam and mentioned you can get it for $9.99 on WWE Network. He thinks it might not be best for business to do Lesnar vs. Cena at Night of Champions and he’s contemplating doing something different. Jericho: “You mean to tell me you can only get WWE Network for $9.99?”
Orton spoke up to say he’s the only man that can beat Lesnar and he’s earned everything that he’s gotten. Kane talks about how it should be a guy that wears a certain mask to unleash a demon on the Beast Incarnate. Rollins was cheered as soon as he spoke because he was in his home state of Iowa. It was a loud pop too. He wanted to face Lesnar. Jericho did a promo talking about himself as a way to say he wanted a shot at Lesnar.
John Cena stormed down to the ring. Cena was mad about what was going on and mentioned that he made Hunter tap out at WrestleMania 22. Cena said it’s not about back in the day. It’s about today. Cena said he invoked his rematch clause and Hunter authorized it. Cena mentioned that he would sue Hunter for it if he took the title shot away, which could lead to Cena as COO and then he would fire Triple H. Cena told him that the rematch is happening. He said what he did last week, that he was going to beat Brock Lesnar’s ass.
Hunter mocked Cena for threatening a lawsuit. He told Cena that he knew what his job is. No matter what, he does what is best for business for WWE every single day. Hunter talked about how Cena’s career ending at the hands of Lesnar at Night of Champions isn’t good for business. Rollins suggested cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase. Orton mentioned that he didn’t get a rematch after he lost at WrestleMania. Jericho told Orton he’s lost so many title matches since then. Jericho reminded Orton that he got beat by Roman Reigns and Orton said he would drop Reigns if he was there.
Roman Reigns took his sweet time to get down to the ring by entering via the crowd like usual. Reigns told Orton to drop him. He reminded Rollins that they had unfinished business. Reigns told Hunter that his name belonged in the WWE Title mix too.
Hunter did the obvious thing (after he said Brock Cena instead of Brock Lesnar, which was a weird mistake) and made a six man tag: John Cena, Roman Reigns & Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton, Seth Rollins & Kane. Hunter said he’ll watch the match from ringside to see who proves they are worthy of facing Lesnar.
Rollins tried to attack Reigns, but Reigns knocked him down and then Reigns threw the briefcase at Rollins when he was out of the ring. The heels retreated.
Analysis: We all knew what was going to happen when they were out there. I would be shocked if Cena was replaced in the Night of Champions WWE Title match. It was nice to hear Rollins get cheered by the fans in his home state. Cena threatening HHH with a lawsuit was pretty weird, but makes sense because he wants the WWE Title match. It was also nice of them to remember Orton never got his WWE Title rematch although he did get other title shots, so that’s close enough. It was the Teddy Long tag match special although technically the Teddy tag is when there’s a match going on, then interference and a tag match is formed after that. Close enough. It felt like a really long segment that went 18 minutes.
The announce team of Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & John Bradshaw Layfield discussed what’s to come. It’s Henry/Show vs. Rowan/Harper. We’re also going to see Ziggler/Sheamus vs. Cesaro/Miz. Ziggler and Sheamus were shown walking backstage together.
Dolph Ziggler & Sheamus vs. Cesaro & The Miz w/Damien Sandow
Miz had Damien Sandow as his stunt double at ringside along with a makeup artist on hand. Ziggler was on the defensive, but then he created some space with a hip toss to Miz. Sheamus went after Miz and hit a running knee lift to the face of Miz as well as a hard clothesline. Sheamus hit the clubbing forearm blows to the chest while on the apron and then a Rolling Senton for two. Cesaro made a blind tag and hit a dropkick on Sheamus, who didn’t see Cesaro come in. The show went to break without anybody on the floor. That’s rare.
Back from break, Sheamus tried a comeback except that Cesaro did a bridging Fallaway Slam for a count of two. Sheamus hit a shoulder block off the top rope. Miz tagged in and Ziggler made the hot tag to a big ovation. Ziggler was on fire with clotheslines, a corner splash and a neckbreaker. Rollup by Ziggler for two and then a DDT by Ziggler for two as Cesaro broke it up. Sheamus took Cesaro as they went over the top to the floor. Miz left the ring and told Sandow to go into the ring.”Action” by Sandow was hilarious. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag on Sandow. Miz went back into the ring and hit the Skull Crushing Finale on an unsuspecting Ziggler for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Cesaro & The Miz
Post match, Miz had his makeup artist put some makeup on his face.
Analysis: **1/2 There’s a finish you don’t see often. Miz literally left the match and told Sandow to replace him. Ziggler was focused on him so Miz capitalized and looked like a genius for coming up with that. It’s not a finish they should do often, but I didn’t mind it because it was different than what we usually get. Good to see Miz get a win because he could use it after being booked so poorly.
There was a replay of the Bella Twins segment last week.
A video package “Growing Up Bella” aired about some Bella Twins history with Nikki Bella telling us about how her prom date only took one picture with her because he ended up leaving with Brie.
Analysis: There will be more “Growing Up Bella” segments during the show. I can’t say I’m excited about that development.
Rosa Mendes, Cameron & Eva Marie vs. Layla, Naomi & Summer Rae
There was about 30 seconds of action before all six women got into the ring to have a catfight. The ref called for the bell.
Match Result: No Contest
Post “match” Naomi hit her flying ass move that’s called the Rear View on Cameron. Then Layla & Summer Rae hit dropkicks at the same time on Eva Marie & Rosa. They didn’t really sell them well. That ended that segment.
Analysis: That segment went about two minutes total. What’s the point? You have three hours. If you have talents that can barely bump in the ring and you have no confidence in them having a decent match what’s the point? What a waste of time. I don’t see how that segment is supposed to sell anybody on watching Total Divas.
There were replays of Seth Rollins’ adventures the last two weeks. There was also a reminder of the six man tag match main event. Big Show & Mark Henry vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper is up next.
Analysis: The first hour is nearly done and it’s been awful.
Mark Henry & Big Show vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper
Henry was pounding on Rowan at the start. Harper tagged in and was able to knock Henry down. They went to break two minutes into the match.
Analysis: The commercial breaks were off balance all of the first hour because that first segment likely went long. Bad first hour.
Harper was working over Henry in the corner. Rusev and Lana walked out to the ring because they have an issue brewing with Henry. Show received the hot tag and nailed Harper with some clotheslines as well as a shoulder block. Show kicked Rowan in the ribs. Show went for an attack outside the ring, but Harper avoided it. That meant it was Show’s turn to play babyface in peril. Rowan nailed Show with a boot to the head. Harper nailed Show with a kick as some fans chanted “Sexual Chocolate” for Henry. Rowan bodyslam on Show and Cole reacts like he can’t believe it even though we’ve seen it nearly every week for the last month. Show hit a DDT on Rowan, but they messed it up a bit.
Henry tagged in and so did Harper. Clotheslines by Henry, then a corner splash and a powerslam on Harper. Rowan made the save. Show threw Rowan outside the ring. Rowan threw him into the announce table. Henry picked up Harper for the World’s Strongest Slam. Rusev went into the ring and hit a jumping kick to the face of Henry. The ref called for the bell for the disqualification. The match went ten minutes.
Winners by disqualification: Big Show & Mark Henry
Post match, Harper tried to attack with a chair. Show punched it out of his hand. Rowan thought about attacking with a chair, but Show scared him off.
Analysis: ** We’ve seen this match enough times to know all the spots they’re going to do. Rusev getting involved in Henry’s business shows they’re probably going to have a match at Night of Champions. I wouldn’t mind that at all. The timing is weird because of Henry teaming with Show, but it will probably be one of those things where Rusev goes through Henry and then has to beat Show after.
There was another “Growing Up Bella” segment with Nikki Bella. She talked about getting a car with her sister. She claimed Brie stole her car and driver’s license. There was a picture of a crashed car. When the officer asked for a license, Brie gave Nikki’s instead of her own.
Analysis: Nikki’s the heel that is aligned with Stephanie McMahon and we know that heels lie, so it’s one of those outrageous things where she’s telling lies about her sister. It’s not something that makes me mad, but it’s not good television either.
A John Cena video package is up next.
The announcers mentioned that NFL player Michael Sam was invited to Raw next week. He was cut by my St. Louis Rams this past week. It was because the Rams defensive line is great and it was going to be tough for him to make the team anyway. It seems unlikely that he would be on Raw next week because he’s trying to get on another NFL team.
There was a video package about John Cena that basically summarized things we’ve already seen.
Paul Heyman stood on the stage to do a promo. He said he was the advocate for the WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World, Brock Lesnar. No Lesnar on Raw. Heyman showed pictures of Lesnar’s win over Cena at SummerSlam. Heyman added that Lesnar emasculated Cena at SummerSlam. Heyman brought up that Cena didn’t listen to reason with the Hall of Fame panel and Cena didn’t listen to Triple H earlier. Heyman mentioned that HHH sees Cena as a cash cow that will be milked all that he can. He ended it by saying Lesnar was going to win.
Analysis: All of Heyman’s promos are awesome, but there was nothing new to this one except he added the word “emasculated” to his usual diatribe about Lesnar. No sign of Lesnar this week. He’s expected to be on Raw on September 15 in two weeks.
A graphic showed that it will be Lesnar vs. Cena at Night of Champions. The announcers discussed the situation. At least JBL tried to push the idea that Cena might be removed from NOC.
Jack Swagger entered the arena. Zeb Colter was with him after being away for a few weeks. Swagger had the American flag with him.
Plug time: If you’re a fan of the NFL you should join the TJRWrestling NFL Pick ‘Em pools. There’s a pool for straight up and point spread on ESPN.com. Both are free. No prize for the winner although maybe there will be if I can think of something creative. I’m not going to pick my beloved St. Louis Rams every week, but I’ll probably pick them more than most people. I’m just saying.
There were replays of Jack Swagger losses of late.
Jack Swagger vs. Curtis Axel
Since Ryback is out with some groin and hip injuries that needed surgery, Axel was alone. Swagger was in control. Axel hit some clotheslines on him. Bo Dallas was on the stage. He brought out three “fans” and they sat down on chairs on the ramp. Axel hit a dropkick that sent Swagger out of the ring and Colter encouraged Swagger. No crowd reaction for Swagger’s comeback. He kept pointing at the crowd. At least they chanted “We the People” when he did the salute. Swagger with the Patriot Lock and Axel tapped out in a 3 minute match.
Winner by submission: Jack Swagger
Analysis: * Just a short match to put over Swagger after all the losses he’s had of late.
Post match, Dallas told Swagger he wanted him to listen to some fans that were disappointed in Swagger losing at SummerSlam. Dallas introduced Richie, who apparently bet on Swagger to beat Rusev and now the bank is taking his farm. Bo told us that Angelo is a tailor who immigrated to the US a few years ago and now he failed his citizenship because of Swagger’s losses. Colter didn’t seem upset by that. Bo mentioned that Jennifer’s son used to love Swagger, but now her son wants to be like Vladimir Putin. A picture of Putin was shown on the screen. Bo encouraged everybody to stand up, put your hand over your heart and repeat after him: “All you have to do is Bolieve.” Swagger looked on with anger.
Analysis: Bo did fine. It was entertaining although it felt like it took a while to get to the point. His delivery is good at least. The Angelo guy was a WWE employee named Nicky Sampogna who you can follow on Twitter @njsamps. Dallas taking on Swagger could be a solid match whenever they finally have a match.
Six man tag main event is up next.
Adam Rose vs. Titus O’Neil w/Heath Slater
Slater knocked down the bunny outside the ring. The bunny took down Slater and punched him. That distracted O’Neil, which led to Rose rolling him up for the win. It was about one minute.
Winner by pinfall: Adam Rose
Analysis: A meaningless match that made me want to change the channel.
Back to the announcers. Cole: “What a night it’s been.” I would add “bad” before “night” there.
There was another Growing Up Bella segment with Nikki Bella. She said Brie has been conniving, jealous and self centered. She showed photos of her grad. Nikki said she had to take Brie’s final exam for her because Brie wasn’t doing well in school. Nikki said Brie passed because of her.
Analysis: The problem with these segments is they don’t make anybody want to see them have a match. It makes people want to change the channel.
Rusev entered with Lana for a match after the break.
The announcers plugged WWE Network.
Lana did a promo ripping on Labor Day. So they’re building up sympathy for Labor Day by saying Russians work on Labor Day unlike Americans? The writers that came up with that should realize that Labor Day is not a wrestler that can get revenge on the evil foreigners. The fans didn’t care.
Rusev w/Lana vs. Zack Ryder
Rusev hit a kick to the face and hit the Accolade. Ryder tapped out in under one minute.
Winner by submission: Rusev
Post match, Mark Henry went into the ring to attack Rusev. That led to Rusev leaving the ring. Henry did a promo talking about America. He said he just opened an International Wing in the Hall of Pain and Rusev is going to be the first inductee. The crowd cheered that.
Analysis: He should have challenged him to a match at Night of Champions, but that didn’t happen. It will happen soon.
Hunter talked with Stephanie McMahon backstage. She spoke about the opportunity to give back. Hunter smiled and said he loved her. Stephanie said she was going to make an announcement and that she can’t wait to see Nikki’s face when she announces it. Hunter gave her a kiss. She left. He wished her luck.
Stephanie McMahon entered for a promo near the top of hour three. She was there to commend Nikki Bella for standing up in the face of adversity and telling her story. She called out Nikki to the ring. Nikki was in a short dress.
The crowd was chanting “boring” during the promo of Stephanie as she continued to rip on Brie. Stephanie called Nikki the face of the divas division that she’s been looking for and is granting Nikki a shot at the Divas Title.
Brie Bella walked out to her music. Stephanie said that music belongs to Nikki. Brie didn’t care. Brie confronted Nikki to say that she has destroyed her family. She wondered if she did it for the Divas Title. Nikki said she did this for herself. She told Brie that Bryan’s going to divorce Brie.
AJ Lee’s music interrupted and there were “CM Punk” chants as she went into the ring: “Hi boss lady.” She went right up to Stephanie’s face to tell her that the Bellas should do their own thing at their own time and leave the Divas Title to AJ. As Stephanie sounded like she was going to announce something, Paige skipped down to the ring. Paige just said this whole thing is missing the “bloody” Divas Champion. Bloody is a British term. It didn’t mean she was bleeding. Just want to clarify for the sick freaks out there.
Nikki said she could make this all go away. She told Brie she’ll forgive her under one condition, but only if Brie makes a sacrifice. Nikki wanted Brie to quit. That led to Brie shaking her head no. Nikki told Brie to go home to make some “troll babies” with Bryan. Brie acted like she was going to leave as Nikki berated her, but Brie shoved Nikki onto her ass and Paige fell down after Nikki bumped into her.
AJ grabbed the Divas Title. She skipped around the ring with it. Stephanie told AJ to give her the Divas Title, which AJ did without incident. Then she left. Paige left too. There was a replay of Brie shoving Nikki.
Analysis: The whole point of that was to have Brie finally push back against Nikki. The involvement of AJ & Paige seemed so random, but it’s probably because they are going to do a four diva match at Night of Champions although nothing was announced. Nikki’s acting is okay although she’s very over the top so I can see why some people hate it. That AJ/Paige feud has lost a lot of steam. We’ve seen them wrestle enough. The multiple “boring” chants should be what WWE listens to. I agree with the crowd.
There was another reminder of the six man tag match later. There’s wrestling on this show? I almost forgot.
This week on Main Event it’s Miz TV with Dolph Ziggler.
Next week on Raw it’s Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt in a Steel Cage.
Bray Wyatt did a promo about the cage match next week. He spoke for about 15 seconds and told Jericho to run. That was it. Maybe if his name was Bray Wyatt Bella he would have had a chance to talk more.
Goldust w/Stardust vs. Jimmy Uso w/Jey Uso
The dust boys turned heel last week. Goldust tried to apologize for it, but the Usos weren’t having it as they attacked. Goldust was in control, but Jimmy nailed him with the butt splash in the corner and a superkick. He covered, so Cody interfered to prevent the loss. Jey went after him, so Stardust kicked him in the injured left knee. Jimmy went back in the ring. Goldust hit the Final Cut to win the match in three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Goldust
Analysis: * A quick match done to make a champion lose a non-title match like they usually do.
Post match, Goldust & Stardust attacked Jey. Goldust slammed his left knee into the ring post. Stardust grabbed a steel chair and nailed the knee of Jey. Jey yelled loudly. He sold it like it was a big deal as doctors and referees checked on him.
Analysis: That’s a good wrestling angle. It’s a classic story we’ve seen many times over the years, but it works. I like the heel turn of Goldust & Stardust. They were boring before. At least they’re more interesting now.
More replays of Seth Rollins the last few weeks.
The Authority trio of Kane, Orton and Rollins were talking backstage. They were probably saying: “holy crap this show has been bad!” We couldn’t hear. I’m just assuming.
There was a replay of Mark Henry and Big Show from earlier.
Mark Henry and Big Show were in the locker room. Show said they could be the most dominant team in WWE. Henry said he knew that, but he had to go after Rusev for his country. Show said he would be in his corner. Henry told him he wanted to do it alone. Show fired him up by saying he needs to induct Rusev into the Hall of Pain.
Analysis: This could lead to Show turning heel because he seems to turn every year. I think it makes more sense if Rusev beats Henry in a feud. Then Show has to step up to face Rusev after and Rusev will beat him too. It would build up Rusev in a big way.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon entered the arena to watch the main event at ringside. John Cena made his entrance as we were reminded again that it’s Lesnar vs. Cena at Night of Champions unless Hunter changes his mind.
This week on Smackdown it’s Paige against Brie Bella non-title.
Next week on Raw it’s Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton in a SummerSlam rematch. They also announced Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho in a Steel Cage Match. They’re actually advertising matches next week because the NFL is back. They should advertise matches in advance more often, but they are set in their ways.
Roman Reigns entered for the main event followed by Chris Jericho. The heel team entered individually in the following order: Seth Rollins, Kane and Randy Orton.
John Cena, Chris Jericho & Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton, Kane & Seth Rollins
Roman Reigns cleared the ring of the heels and they went to break about one minute into the match. It’s only 10:43pm during this commercial so they have plenty of time to have a long match.
Reigns was still in control after the break, but Orton hit his backbreaker to counter a Reigns attack. After Reigns was sent outside the ring, Rollins tagged in. The heel team made a bunch of quick tags. Reigns was able to tag in Jericho. He was on fire hitting everything that moved. Walls of Jericho by Jericho on Rollins. Orton broke it up. Reigns with a Superman Punch on Orton. Kane with a Chokeslam on Reigns. Cena with Attitude Adjustment on Kane. Rollins hit a flying knee to Cena’s face. Jericho and Rollins each got a nearfall in. Jericho hit a Codebreaker on Rollins as they went to break. Second commercial of the match at 10:54pmET.
Analysis: Bad time for a commercial with a guy hitting a finishing move. I know it’s shown on the App, but let’s not pretend like everybody watching is going to be happy about that break.
Back from break, Jericho was still the babyface in peril. Rollins went for a cross body attack off the top rope that Jericho countered with a dropkick. Kane prevented Jericho from tagging in Cena. More quick tags as Orton entered for the heel team. Jericho knocked Orton off the top rope and Jericho hit a cross body block for two. Kane tagged in for his team.
Cena received the hot tag. He nailed Rollins with a boot to the face. Big clothesline by Cena on Kane. German Suplex by Cena on Rollins although it was a bit sloppy and more like a back suplex. Cena delivered the Attitude Adjustment to Kane. Reigns wanted the tag, so Cena tagged him in. Reigns hit the Spear on Kane and covered him for the win. The match went 22 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: John Cena, Roman Reigns & Chris Jericho
Analysis: *** It was a good six man tag that got a lot of time. Reigns was the face in peril for most of it. Then it was Jericho’s turn. Cena was in the ring for about three minutes and looked the strongest of the group. It was odd seeing him tag in Reigns at the end because the story is that Cena wants to prove he’s ready for Lesnar, so why would he tag out when he could have won? Kane getting pinned isn’t really new. That’s all he seems to do as part of The Authority.
Post match, Rollins tried to attack Cena as Cena was telling Triple H that he’s ready for Lesnar. That didn’t work out for Rollins because Cena gave him the Attitude Adjustment onto the announce table. The table didn’t break.
As Raw went off the air they advertised Michael Sam being invited to Raw. Also Orton vs. Reigns and Jericho vs. Wyatt in a Steel Cage match. The show ended with Cena celebrating in the ring.
Analysis: They pushed next week’s show hard, which is something they almost never do. Once again that’s because the NFL is back next week.
Three Stars of the Show
- Chris Jericho
- Seth Rollins
- Mark Henry
3 out of 10
Last week: 4.5
2014 Average: 6.06
2014 High: 9 (April 7 & June 30)
2014 Low: 3 (September 1)
Last 5 Weeks: 4.5, 6, 6, 4, 7
That’s a 3 out of 10. The lowest score I’ve given a Raw episode this year and I think I’m being generous about that too.
I’m not sure what to say about this show except that it was the worst Raw of the year. I don’t know how WWE could produce a show like this where they thought it was an entertaining product.
The selling point of this show was whether Triple H was going to change the main event of Night of Champions even though they advertised Lesnar vs. Cena the entire show. Did they think the fans believed that Hunter would change his mind? It’s not a strong enough angle to get people excited about a three hour television show. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the viewership numbers and that people tuned out in the third hour.
Another point that needs to be mentioned is that they spend all night talking about WWE Network, which has WWE PPVs. They didn’t add any matches to Night of Champions on September 21. All we know for sure is Lesnar vs. Cena and Sheamus vs. Cesaro. You want people to buy the WWE Network? Great. Give them a reason to. Build up PPVs like Night of Champions better.
The in-ring action was well below average. For a three hour show it was very disappointing to see how little they cared about putting on entertaining matches. It makes me really miss Daniel Bryan.
I hate when Raw is bad, but that’s what it was this week. Worst Raw of the year. I was looking at Twitter all night too. Lots of people didn’t like this show.
If you’re a fan of the NFL you should join the TJRWrestling NFL Pick ‘Em pools. There’s a pool for straight up and point spread on ESPN.com. Both are free. No prize for the winner although maybe there will be if I can think of something creative. I’m not going to pick my beloved St. Louis Rams every week, but I’ll probably pick them more than most people. I’m just saying.
Check out my feature column archive that’s exclusive to WhatCulture. I write there every day. Some recent posts include some urban legends about The Undertaker, things that WWE wants you to forget about Kevin Nash and going up on during the week is a look at the best September WWE PPV matches you should find on WWE Network. I’m nearly at 25 million views on there. Pretty awesome. Thanks for the support!
That’s all for me. Have a great week.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org
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