The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 09/05/16

TJR Wrestling

The Kevin Owens Show has begun as the Labor Day (or Labour Day) edition of Raw is the first episode of the show since KO won the Universal Championship last week. It’s also the last week of 2016 where Raw won’t have to contend with Monday Night Football on ESPN, which tends to take away a chunk of viewers away from Raw.

Live from Kansas City, Missouri this is the Raw Deal for episode #1215. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

There was a long video package about last week’s Raw main event with Triple H showing up to cost Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins while literally handing the Universal Title to Kevin Owens.

There was an “Earlier Today” clip showing Stephanie McMahon on the phone talking about how Owens wants a big celebration. Mick Foley said that Stephanie won’t talk about last week with him. He said she didn’t answer his calls or texts. Stephanie said she had no idea about what Triple H did last week. Foley talked about seeing her in 1998 and always believing in her because she was good to him. It kept going with him telling some story about how nice she was, so he thinks of her as a girl with a good heart. Stephanie said she was embarrassed as a leader, Commissioner and wife because of her husband Triple H. She said she’s dealing with a lot of different things that you don’t understand. She re-iterated that she had nothing to do with what Triple H did. It kept going and going, but then Mick said that he believed her because if he didn’t then she’d be a liar and a really bad person.

The Raw intro video aired.

Universal Champion Celebration

We were welcomed to the show by Michael Cole as there were balloons all over the arena. The ring had a red carpet in there. Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manager Mick Foley welcomed us to the show. Stephanie introduced the Universal Champion Kevin Owens.

Owens walked out wearing a black suit as well as the red Universal Championship on his shoulder. He didn’t shake the hand of Foley – he posted with the title instead. As Owens posed on the turnbuckle, a lot of fireworks went off as part of this celebration.

Owens thanked them for the balloons and the celebration. The crowd chanted “you deserve it.” Stephanie said he deserved it just like the people were saying. Owens said that last week when Raw went off the air, people chanted “you deserve it” and they were right. Owens turned on the crowd saying that people only chant that because they are trying to get attention. Owens said he didn’t need to be told he deserves it because he’s known it since he stepped in the ring. He admitted that Triple H showed up to give him a nudge, but he already did 98% of the work. Owens said that tonight, Monday Night Raw is officially known as the Kevin Owens Show.

Seth Rollins was in his ring gear and t-shirt. He got in Owens’ face saying that this isn’t about him, so shut up. Rollins complained to Stephanie about everything he’s done for her, but this is how she repays him. Owens said this is about him. Rollins told Owens that he has no problem with him because he understands he’s just a puppet. Rollins told him to shut up. Stephanie told Rollins that she didn’t know. Foley defended her saying that she had nothing to do with it and Foley told Rollins that he has her back. Rollins said that Owens has been Triple H’s guy since he walked into NXT and if they want to back Owens then he’s going to burn their house to the ground.

Owens wondered where Rollins’ passion was in the last few months. Owens said that ever since Rollins came back from him “little injury” the Architect has been drawing blueprints for total failure. Rollins pounded on Owens with punches and knocked Owens out of the ring. Stephanie said that Rollins is indefinitely suspended. Foley said no he’s not. Fans chanted “Foley” after Mick said that.

Foley said that you don’t suspend somebody when their tempers flare, you set up matches. He asked Stephanie to let him make the matches because that’s why she hired him. Foley said he didn’t particularly like Rollins, but he knows he’s talented. Foley said that Rollins will face Owens for the Universal Championship at Clash of Champions on September 25. (Foley actually said Clash of the Champions, which is the old name for it.) Rollins left up the ramp. Owens was mad at Foley for making the match.

Analysis: Good opening segment. I thought Rollins was booked to look like a face here, which is how he should be at this point in the story. It’s not like he’s pandering to the fans. He was just mad about what happened last week, he told the heel Owens to shut up multiple times, he got right in Stephanie’s face and she even tried to suspend him, which isn’t fair and makes Rollins look like a good guy because it makes the audience feel sorry for him. No surprise that they are doing Owens vs. Rollins at Clash of Champions. Now they have to build up the story for them. As for Stephanie and Mick, it’s nice to have them disagree. That’s what they should do once in a while to show their different characters.


Backstage, Stephanie was arguing with Mick about his decision to set up a match at Clash of Champions. Owens showed up to complain about Foley rewarding Rollins with a title match. Foley put Owens in a match against his former best friend Sami Zayn. Chris Jericho showed up in a scarf to put over his best friend Owens as the longest reigning Universal Champion (Owens noted it was seven days, which is funny and true). Jericho called Foley a “stupid idiot” leading to Foley making Jericho vs. Rollins for later on Raw.

Analysis: I’ll never complain about Owens vs. Zayn matches. Some people will, but not me. Love those guys. Rollins vs. Jericho is smart because Jericho’s a true heel that will work a match that will really get the crowd behind Rollins.

Charlotte and Dana Brooke made their entrance. On the pre-show, Charlotte told Dana to take notes since Dana loses so much. Bayley made her entrance. The announce team of Michael Cole, Byron Saxton & Corey Graves welcomed us to the show.

Charlotte (w/Dana Brooke) vs. Bayley

This is a non-title match. Brooke had a clipboard with her “taking notes” apparently. Bayley with some arm drags, but Charlotte slowed her down with a knee to the gut. Bayley sent Charlotte into the turnbuckle face first ten times. The crowd was going wild for that. Can’t deny that connection Bayley has with the crowd. Bayley went for a dropkick by going under the bottom rope and it connected, but Bayley hurt her knee. Charlotte knocked her down with a forearm as they went to break four minutes into it.


Charlotte grounded Bayley with her legs around Bayley’s upper body. Bayley with a cross body block for a two count. Charlotte drove Bayley back into the turnbuckle and then Charlotte stomped down the left leg of Bayley to weaken her some more. Charlotte drove Bayley’s left leg into the ring post. Charlotte applied a Half Crab submission in the middle of the ring. Bayley fought out of it, but then Charlotte snapped Bayley’s left leg into the mat. Good job by Bayley selling the leg injury. Bayley got a quick rollup, but then Charlotte chopped her repeatedly. Bayley with an elbow off the middle rope that Cole called a springboard elbow even though it’s not a springboard elbow. Bayley with a shoulder tackle in the corner, then Brooke yanked Charlotte out of the corner to avoid a Bayley attack with the ref looking right at it. Charlotte got a rollup on Bayley, Bayley kicked out, Charlotte hit heads with Brooke and Bayley hit a Bayley to Belly to suplex for the win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bayley

Analysis: *** Good match. Charlotte’s offense was really believable as she worked over Bayley’s knee for the entire match, then Bayley showed a lot of heart coming back and they did the miscommunication fish with Brooke costing Charlotte. As soon as I saw them doing this match as non-title I figured they would do that finish because they tend to book champions (especially not the major titles) to lose non-title matches. I’m okay with it because Bayley has been booked well with wins in her first three weeks on Raw. If you bring up somebody from NXT and have them lose all the time it doesn’t help them in any way. By having Bayley win three straight weeks it gives her credibility right away. Easy booking. Smart booking too.

Later on Raw, Sasha Banks is back. We also get Rollins vs. Jericho and Owens vs. Zayn.

They mentioned that it was Pediatric Cancer Awareness month, so they showed a video package about Connor, so WWE created Connor’s Cure. The video noted that over $1 million has been raised in two years.

Analysis: The Connor’s Cure logo is all over Raw this week and likely all month. Nothing wrong with that. It’s a good cause.


PLUG TIME: We do a TJRWrestling Podcast every week that you can listen to right here on Podbean or use iTunes by searching “TJRWrestling” or “John Canton” to get it. New episodes go up on Thursdays. This week on the show we will have WWE Cruiserweight Classic competitor TJ Perkins as our guest. He’s a great guy that we’ve talked to before and we’re very happy for his success. It will be a great show and should be available on Thursday.

There was a video package about guys from the Cruiserweight Challenge. It featured Gran Metalik, Akira Tozawa and Jack Gallagher.

Analysis: Others featured in videos in previous weeks were Cedric Alexander, Brian Kendrick, TJ Perkins, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Noam Dar and Rich Swann. Three of them (Gargano, Ciampa, Swann) had WWE deals already while the other seven are expected to start in the cruiserweight division according to a PWInsider report.

Charlotte and Dana were backstage with Charlotte yelling at her. Dana tried to apologize. Charlotte said she was just embarrassed in front of the world in front of the “Sesame Street Kid.” Dana said she’ll make it up to her. Charlotte told Dana that she’s “sorry” and then hit her with a hard slap.

Analysis: Is it the end of this pairing? Do people care? Maybe they should send Brooke back to NXT so she can develop some more because she needs it. I’m not sure if the world would care about her as a face. What it could do is set up Brooke to be a more serious, effective heel.

Bo Dallas showed up with a “Bo-lieve in Bo” sign. He’s in the ring with an unnamed opponent. Bo told the guy to “Bolieve in Bo” and dropped the microphone. Bo’s wearing a singlet now so he changed the look.

Bo Dallas vs. Kyle Roberts

Thanks to Cole for giving us the Kyle Roberts name. Dallas unloaded on Roberts with some fists. Dallas hit the Rolling the Dice finisher. It’s a spinning neckbreaker like move. The match went one minute.

Winner by pinfall: Bo Dallas

Post match, Bo took his sign and left.

Analysis: 1/4* It was a quick match to try to re-establish Bo as a more serious wrestler after he was booked as a joke for a couple of years. The announcers kept saying it’s a “different” Bo to drive it home for the viewers.

Backstage, Jericho and Owens were backstage. Jericho said he’s going to give Rollins the gift of Jericho because Owens is his best friend and Rollins is just an ass. Jericho hugged him. Owens told him to go do it and Jericho said “it” to end it.

Analysis: They’re the best. I’m a biased Canadian, but it’s true.


The great Chris Jericho walked into the arena with his scarf and a smug look on his face. Seth Rollins made his entrance to a pretty good ovation.

Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho

Rollins was aggressive early as he stomped away on Jericho in the corner. Jericho left the ring, so Rollins took him out with a suicide dive. When they got back in the ring, Jericho booted him in the face to take control. Rollins came back with a running clothesline, then he dumped Jericho out of the ring and sent Jericho into the barricade. Rollins with a boot to the face. Jericho used the ref to position himself in a favorable spot and hit Rollins with springboard dropkick with Rollins on the apron, which sent Rollins to the floor. Break time.


Back from break, Jericho was still in control, but then he sent Jericho face first into the middle turnbuckle. Fans were chanting for both guys, but it sounded like more of them were cheering for Rollins. Nice move by Rollins hitting the Sling Blade for two. Rollins hit a Blockbuster neckbreaker off the middle ropes. Jericho was able to come back with a Walls of Jericho attempt, but Rollins got a small package for two. Rollins with a running knee to the face. Jericho avoided a top rope attack and applied the Walls of Jericho. Rollins was able to get to the ropes to break free. Kevin Owens was shown watching backstage. Rollins came back with a leaping kick to the head and a side kick for two. They battled on the top rope with Rollins sending Jericho down, but then Rollins missed a frog splash. Jericho with a Lionsault gets two. Rollins blocked a Codebreaker, Jericho came back with an enziguri kick. Jericho ran the ropes, Rollins kicked him and nailed a Pedigree for the pinfall win after 14 minutes. Crowd cheered a lot for that Pedigree.

Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good, competitive match between two of the best performers on Raw. The crowd was solidly behind Rollins, which is why it was smart to put him against Jericho, who is one of the better heels in WWE. When Rollins hit that Pedigree he had the crowd fully behind him. They even reacted as he just locked in the move and once he hit it, they really reacted to him. He didn’t act like a face in his actions, but they responded to him like they would a good guy. No surprise that Rollins got the win because he needs positive momentum going into the match at Clash of Champions.

Later on Raw it’s Zayn vs. Owens in a non-title match. Cesaro vs. Sheamus match three is up next.


Cesaro made his entrance. Highlights were shown from last week with Sheamus working on the back of Cesaro to weaken him before Sheamus won with the Cloverleaf submission. There was an “Earlier Today” promo from Cesaro saying once he breaks his spirits he knows he’ll be right back in this series. Sheamus said he’s the dominant one worthy of a championship match. It was noted by Cole that match four will take place in London, England at a live event.

Analysis: That will be weird to not have a match televised. I assume they’ll show clips of it on Youtube and as well.

Best of 7 Series: Sheamus vs. Cesaro (Sheamus Leads 2-0)

Cesaro had tape on his left shoulder and back to sell his injuries. Cesaro was aggressive early. Sheamus did a back body drop that Cesaro sold in a big way due to the back injury. Cesaro with a clothesline on the floor, but then Sheamus drove him back first into the side of the ring. Back in the ring, Sheamus hit a powerslam. Cesaro hit several uppercuts and Sheamus came back with three backbreakers in a row. There’s a fourth backbreaker for a two count. Sheamus picked Cesaro up above his shoulders and then dropped him back first onto the knee. The ref checked on Cesaro, but Cesaro said no. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick for the victory. Sheamus covered for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Sheamus (Sheamus Leads Best of 7 Series 3-0)

Analysis: ** It was an okay match. It was a bit shorter than I would have expected and I’m surprised by the outcome. Obviously it sets up the storyline of Cesaro being desperate and in a must win situation for every match. The story has been good in terms of having Sheamus work on the back relentless. His offense was great in this match. It was a believable story that worked. As mentioned, the next match is an untelevised match on Wednesday in England.

Another mention of that tweet that Sasha Banks sent earlier. They have put over that tweet about five times.


The Shining Stars are in the ring. They were doing a promo about Puerto Rico, but were interrupted by Enzo & Cass.

Enzo Amore & Big Cass made their entrance. Enzo did his “cuppa haters” bit. He sucked up to the crowd noting they were in the middle of America in Kansas City. Enzo noted it was Labor Day and listening to SS speak is painful like Labor. It’s the wrong kind of Labor, but it led to Enzo laying down on the mat with Cass leading the crowd in “how you doing” chants. They mocked look at a baby and said that there’s only one to describe the Shining Stars: “SAWFT!” Enzo gave the “baby” to a fan at ringside.

Analysis: What a bizarre promo, but at least they got to the point at the end and the crowd was into it. That’s all that matters.

Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. The Shining Stars (Primo & Epico)

Cass dumped the Shining Stars to the floor. Enzo hit a suicide dive to take both guys out and the show went to break there.


Epico with three straight suplexes in a row kept Enzo from tagging in Cass. Primo with an attack to the back of Enzo. Saxton thought that was the first birth on Raw, but Graves corrected him that Mae Young gave birth to a hand. Saxton is not that good at his job. Cass got the hot tag, hit the body slam, elbow drop, corner splash, big boot and a tag to Enzo. Primo tripped up Cass. They went outside the ring, then back in. Then Enzo took down Primo with a cross body block. The ref made Cass leave the ring. Epico capitalized with a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Enzo with tights for the win after 7 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Shining Stars

Analysis: *1/4 A basic tag match with a surprising finish. The dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~! strikes. I don’t think it means too much other than giving the Shining Stars a rare win. Enzo & Cass will probably get the win back soon. Just a basic television feud here. Not much more to it.

Owens vs. Zayn is later.


A commercial for Smackdown aired about AJ Styles confronting Dean Ambrose in the ring. I’ll have that review up after the show is over on Tuesday night.

Sami Zayn was interviewed backstage by Tom Phillips. Zayn said that he thought beating Kevin Owens would help his career. He noted that he beat Owens at Battleground and his career is directionless. Zayn said that there was a little bit of jealousy. Owens showed up to say that a couple of years ago he felt like he was trying to catch up to him since Zayn was hired by WWE first, won NXT first and was drafted to Raw first, but Owens won the race because he has that Universal Title. Owens said that the title means that he’s better than Zayn. Owens told Zayn that Zayn is nothing. Zayn said that the race between them is not over and it never will be. Zayn told Owens that he will win the Universal Championship too and he’ll do it on his own. Zayn said he won’t need Triple H to hand it to him on a silver platter. Zayn left.

Analysis: Great promo. Zayn has improved a lot in the promo department in the last few years. He showed it here. It’s an easy story to tell because of their history.

Nia Jax vs. Ann Esposito

They showed Alicia Fox tweeting about being friends with Ann. Jax splashed her in the corner. Esposito got some kicks, then she applied a sleeper and Jax was able to knock her down. Jax with a running hip attack in the corner three times. Jax put Esposito in her arms and slammed her down for the win. It went two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nia Jax

Analysis: 1/4* She’s not like most girls. It says it in the song. Most girls have longer matches, so it’s true. Esposito got a bit more offense than most Jax opponents, but it was the same thing we usually see in Jax matches.

Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson are up next.


Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were in the ring for a promo. They said they are retirement specialists after they retired The Dudley Boyz and they plan to retire The New Day as tag team champions at Clash of Champions. Anderson said they want to show what The New Day is like under their care in the future. Gallows introduced “The Old Day” from the Old Farts home. Some old guy voice did the New Day “feel the power” bit. Three “old day” guys entered the arena with one of them in a cart, another one had a walker and another had a cane. G&A brought them into the ring.

Gallows & Anderson continued to talk as they asked questions to the old guys that are really young guys looking like old guys. I’m not recapping this thing. It’s not a good segment.

The New Day trio showed up on the stage. It should have happened earlier. They approached the ring. Kofi Kingston was talking about how these guys are from the future. Then they just agreed to go after the bald guys. Gallows & Anderson left the ring to avoid an attack.

The three New Day guys went up to the three “old” guys as they did the New Day gyrations. Then the New Day trio did their dance much to the delight of the crowd. They dumped two of the “old” guys out of the ring. Then Big E hit the Big Ending on the guy with Woods assisting him. Gallows & Anderson pointed at them.

A graphic showed us that they are meeting at Clash of Champions on September 25 for the tag team titles.

Analysis: What a terrible segment. Honestly, that was one of the worst segments of the year. Terrible idea. Who thought this was a good idea? I hope the crowd can get back into the show after that mess. This feud didn’t make us want to see New Day vs. Gallows & Anderson. Let them have matches and show what they can do in the ring because that’s a better way to make people care. This segment was painful to watch and write about. I feel bad for the Kansas City crowd that had to witness it because they were great all night and that segment was just so awful.

Owens vs. Rollins at Clash of Champions. Owens vs. Zayn later.


NFL Pick ‘Em Challenge: Here are the TJRWrestling NFL Pick ‘Em leagues for this year. You need an account to join. No cost to join. I’ll send a TJRWrestling shirt to the winner of each – you can pick the shirt.

Straight Up: – My team is named Juan Cantoni

Point Spread: – My team is named Max Power (Simpsons influence)

The season starts on Thursday so you need to sign up before then. If you miss that first game you can still get in on Sunday. Good luck!

Titus O’Neil was on commentary for this next match.

Darren Young (w/Bob Backlund) vs. Jinder Mahal

Young with a neckbreaker early on. Mahal with a stun gun followed by a running knee. O’Neil called Backlund a crazy old man. Chinlock by Mahal. Young with clotheslines, then a belly to belly suplex, a dropkick outside the ring and O’Neil walked down to the ring. Young was briefly distracted by O’Neil, then Young hit the Gutcheck and that was enough to win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Darren Young

Analysis: * A quick match to put over Young. Mahal is just there to put people over.

Post match, O’Neil was staring at Backlund, so Young went after him. Young tackled him and punched him. O’Neil was in a suit. Young kept going after him, but the refs came out to break it up. Young continued to attack with punches as O’Neil went up the ramp. Backlund raised Young’s hand.

Analysis: Good intensity by Young although I don’t think the crowd cares about these guys or this feud because of how bad it has been for a couple of months.

Alicia Fox was shown leaving the trainer’s room since they mentioned she was friends with the jobber girl earlier. Nia Jax went up to her to say it’s not a reality show like Total Divas. Fox told Jax to get out of her face. Fox was freaking out by a table, Jax shoved her back and then left. Fox was freaking out.

Analysis: That was awkward, but I guess it’s the start of a brief feud for Jax by giving her more of a name opponent like Fox.


Braun Strowman made his entrance. Sin Cara was interviewed backstage about how he wants to face Strowman because Braun took off the mask of the guy he beat last week.

Braun Strowman vs. Sin Cara

Cara with a dropkick, Strowman with a shoulder block, Strowman with a clothesline and then some punches. Strowman with a chinlock. Strowman sent Sin Cara to the floor. Cara came back with some kicks as well as a dropkick on the steps. Strowman pulled Cara out of the ring leading to a hard landing on the floor. Strowman won by countout after three minutes.

Winner by countout: Braun Strowman

Analysis: * At least there was a bit of progress by having a contracted talent face Strowman instead of a meaningless jobber. I’m surprised by the countout win instead of a pinfall, but it was still a dominant win for Strowman. Sin Cara is pretty irrelevant at this point.

Post match, Strowman nailed Sin Cara with a clothesline to the back of the head.

Analysis: Puts over Strowman as a mean heel more than anything.

Sasha Banks is up next.


The former Women’s Champion Sasha Banks made her entrance. She had a microphone in the ring. Fans chanted “Sasha” for her.

Sasha spoke about how every story has an end. Banks talked about Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Alundra Blayze, Luna Vachon, Trish Stratus and Lita that helped pave the way for women. She mentioned the change that happened last July by saying no more bra and panties matches (those stopped around 2008), no more stupid butterfly title and they finally did what they set out to do. She spoke about how this revolution is about mothers, daughters and all of us. She said that every time she steps in the ring she does it for every little girl that has a dream of being something bigger. Banks told a story about how she saved up money to try to get tickets to get to a WWE show. Isn’t her cousin Snoop Dogg? He should have helped! Anyway, she was getting emotional as she talked about how being in the ring means everything to her.

Sasha said that at SummerSLam, she was pushed beyond her limits. She said that Charlotte tried to break her back and that Charlotte beat her straight up. Sasha told us that she has an update on her condition. She claimed she had some bad news.

Dana Brooke interrupted the promo. Brooke said that the only champion the WWE Universe deserves is Charlotte. Brooke said she’s going to use Sasha’s broken body to step up and finish what Charlotte started at SummerSlam. Brooke threw the microphone at Banks. Banks turned it around with a backstabber followed by the Bank Statement. Banks called Brooke “Miss Piggy” which is pretty harsh. Banks said that the “bad news” was for Charlotte as she said that at Clash of Champions, that Women’s Title is coming back to her.

Analysis: They spent the whole show teasing some “bad” announcement from Banks, yet it turns out that the bad news is only for Charlotte because Banks looks to be cleared for action soon.

Owens vs. Zayn is up next.


Sami Zayn made his entrance first. Kevin Owens made his entrance and we were reminded of the Clash of Champions main event: Owens vs. Rollins for the Universal Title.

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

This is not for the Universal Title. They brawled in the ring early ring. Owens blocked a Zayn attack outside the ring. Owens was in control there, but Zayn jumped onto the barricade and hit a moonsault to knock down Owens on the floor. Break time two minutes into it.


Owens had Zayn grounded with a chinlock. Owens with a senton splash. Owens trash talked, hit a slap, Zayn slapped back, sent Owens to the floor and Zayn somersault dive over the top to take out Owens on the floor. Owens went back in the ring, then out the other side of the ring and Zayn came back with a somersault dive over the top to take him out. Zayn with the Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count, which is always a good believable nearfall. Owens came back with a clothesline in the corner and Zayn connected with an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle. Owens avoided the corner attack. They battled on the apron, Owens draped Zayn’s head on the top rope, corner clothesline and the cannonball corner splash by Owens connected. Owens went for the Popup Powerbomb, Zayn avoided it and Zayn with the one arm half nelson suplex led to a two count. Zayn went for a top rope attack, but Owens pulled him off and Zayn landed on his right ankle. The last two weeks Zayn was selling the ankle injury, so he was back to selling it. Zayn with another one armed half nelson release suplex on the floor. Back in the ring, Zayn went for the Helluva Kick. He couldn’t do it because of his hurt ankle. Owens with a superkick. Owens hit a Powerbomb and covered for the win after 14 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kevin Owens

Analysis: ***1/4 It was the standard very good match from these guys. Zayn wasn’t selling the ankle for the majority of the match, then he did that jump off the top and suddenly it was hurting again. I get why they did it because it was a way to weaken him before the finish of the match. It would be nice if Zayn had an actual feud because at this point he has nothing just like all of last month. His promo earlier in the night about how they haven’t done anything with him was absolutely true. It’s stupid on WWE’s part because he’s such a great performer. Owens winning clean is what was needed to establish him as a credible champion.

Roman Reigns’ music hit and he made his way down to the ring. Owens left the ring to avoid a confrontation. Chris Jericho showed up. He was on the apron too. Mick Foley, the Raw GM, showed up to say this is what we’re going to do. Foley booked a match for next week on Raw: Reigns vs. Owens. If Reigns can beat Owens then Reigns will be added to the Clash of Champions Universal Title match between Owens and Rollins.

Owens left the ring. Jericho tried to attack Reigns, but Reigns avoided it and Reigns hit a Spear on Jericho.

Owens left up the ramp while Reigns stared at him and Raw went off the air at about 11:08pmET.

Analysis: What that does is announce a pretty big main event match for next week with the NFL back in the regular season. It did sound familiar, though. A few weeks ago Smackdown had Ziggler vs. Styles to try to make it a triple threat at PPV. Now Raw is doing it, but in this case the champ Owens is trying to prevent the triple threat.

It didn’t really make sense that Reigns stayed backstage for three hours when he was screwed out of the Universal Title just like Triple H was. When Rollins was out there, he should have been there saying the same thing. Instead, we are to believe that he’s just sitting there in the back not doing anything? That’s a bit weird.

I assume they’ll save the Rollins/Reigns reunion for another time, but it’s clearly building to them as the faces against Owens/Jericho as a main event one of these weeks coming up.

Three Stars of the Show

1. Kevin Owens

2. Seth Rollins

3. (tie) Chris Jericho

3. (tie) Sami Zayn

The Scoreboard

6 out of 10

Last week: 8.5

2016 Average: 5.81 (5.76 since brand split starting July 25)

Last 5 Weeks: 8.5, 6, 4, 5, 5.5

2016 High: 9 (April 11/July 25)

2016 Low: 4 (Feb. 29/Mar. 21/Aug. 15)

Final Thoughts

I give it a 6.5 out of 10.

It was a slightly above average show this week. The first two hours were pretty good. The last hour was awful until Zayn vs. Owens started. It’s an example of how this show is too long and this creative team isn’t capable of doing an exciting show for three hours. I would have fallen asleep if I wasn’t sitting in a chair writing about it.

There was no Rusev and Lana because they got married for the second time in Bulgaria (already had a wedding in America) and are on honeymoon in Europe. I’m not sure if the Rusev feud with Reigns is still going on or maybe they can do Rusev vs. Zayn.

There wasn’t enough of a follow up to what happened last week. No sign of Triple H is a poor way of following up. Perhaps they will save his next appearance for Clash of Champions when he helps Owens beat Rollins.

That Gallows & Anderson segment with “Old Day” was one of the worst comedy bits I’ve ever seen. They were going for laughs, but it bombed terribly.

I’m glad that Stephanie and Mick were not on the show after that first half of the first hour. The focus needs to be on the talent, not the people in charge.

At least The Shining Stars and Bo Dallas won matches. That’s significant, right? Let’s just call it a night.

There’s WWE Backlash on Sunday night, which is a Smackdown pay-per-view. I’ll be back on Friday with a preview and then early Monday morning with a recap.

PLUG TIME: We do a TJRWrestling Podcast every week that you can listen to right here on Podbean or use iTunes by searching “TJRWrestling” or “John Canton” to get it. This week on the show we will have WWE Cruiserweight Classic competitor TJ Perkins as our guest. It should be available on Thursday. He’s a great guy that we’ve talked to before and we’re happy for his success. It will be a great show.

NFL Pick ‘Em Challenge: Here are the TJRWrestling NFL Pick ‘Em leagues for this year. You need an account to join. No cost to join. I’ll send a TJRWrestling shirt to the winner of each – you can pick the shirt.

Straight Up: – My team is named Juan Cantoni

Point Spread: – My team is named Max Power (Simpsons influence)

The season starts on Thursday so you need to sign up before then. If you miss that first game you can still get in on Sunday. Good luck!

That’s all for now. See ya next time for the Smackdown review.

Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays.

John Canton –

Twitter @johnreport

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