Reviews

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 09/14/15

Live from Memphis, Tennessee this is the Raw Deal for episode #1164. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

Get ready to hear “season premiere” throughout the show. They like to use the term because a lot of television shows do it. That’s because those shows have season finales along with season premieres. Raw doesn’t really have a finale, but they will say it and annoy us anyway. It’s something they do for advertisers while viewers at home can wonder why they are doing it.

There was a video package about last week’s Raw where Sting destroyed the Seth Rollins statute with a garbage truck.

Raw begins with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon aka The Authority for a promo. There was Connor’s Cure logo on the ramps because it’s Pediatric Cancer month. More details later. The announce team of Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Byron Saxton were shown on camera welcoming us to the show.

The Authority Speaks To Start The Show

The middle rope in the ring is in gold in honor of Pediatric Cancer month. Stephanie welcomed us to the “season premiere” of Raw. She spoke about different people leaving an indelible mark in WWE. Triple H said those stars will be led into the future by one man: the US & WWE Champion Seth Rollins. They mentioned Rollins facing John Cena for the US Title and facing Sting for the WWE Title with both matches at WWE Night of Champions.

Stephanie said tonight on Raw we’re going to see history and said it’s one of the biggest divas matches ever. We’ll either see Charlotte become the Divas Champions or see Nikki Bella become the longest reigning Divas Champion.

Triple H said there will be more history made because for the first time ever, Sting will wrestle on Raw. He hyped him up as the six time WCW Champion and did an over the top setup to get to the point. The crowd cheered loudly for it. Hunter announced the Big Show as Sting’s opponent. Hunter asked: “Are you ready?” The crowd cheered.

Stephanie said the Tag Team Championship match is up first. “It’s a new season and it’s a New Day.”

Analysis: Way to have an exciting “season premiere” with the usual suspects talking for ten minutes. I think putting Sting in a match is smart. I just don’t think it was smart to do it without announcing it days in advance. They should have set it up last week on Raw or on their website in the days before the show as a way to get people excited it. I understand wanting to save it for the start of Raw, but if you wanted to create some buzz, telling people about Sting’s first match on Raw in advance would have been a good idea.

The New Day entered with their titles and Xavier Woods had the trombone with him. They danced in the ring. Stephanie joined in with them. She wanted Hunter to join, at first he shrugged it off and then he did some bad dancing too.

Analysis: That was comical in the “white people can’t dance” kind of way. It’s funny when Stephanie does stuff like that and Hunter rarely does, so it drew a good reaction. I’m sure Vince McMahon was laughing backstage. Are they heels? They’re not consistent.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Big E was doing snow angels in the ring while Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were jumping over him. Their ridiculousness is awesome. Both teams got in-ring intros by announcer Lilian Garcia.

Tag Team Championship: The New Day’s Big E & Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O’Neil)

There was a big powerslam as well as a legdrop by O’Neil on Big E. The Dudley Boyz were shown looking on backstage because they face the winners of this match at Night of Champions for the Tag Team Titles. Big E took down O’Neil in the ring, then Kingston tagged in and O’Neil decked him with a hard chop to the chest. Young tagged in, nailed Kingston with a clothesline and a belly to belly suplex. Big E tagged in, but Young nailed him with a forearm shot. Woods started playing the trombone on the apron, the ref looked at him, Kingston tripped him up and Big E nailed Young with a clothesline. The New Day worked over Young in their corner as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Woods was playing The Pink Panther song! That was awesome. The champs were isolating Young outside the ring with Big E driving Young back first into the barricade. Woods was yelling at ringside: “Do not touch my trombone.” When Kingston went up top, Young got his boot up and it’s hot tag time for O’Neil against Big E. O’Neil is great when he’s on fire as he unloaded with clotheslines, then a big boot to Big E and three backbreakers to Kingston. The crowd was loud as O’Neil nailed a running corner splash on both guys followed by a slam on Big E for a two count. O’Neil with a Spinebuster on Big E. Kingston nailed Young with Trouble in Paradise outside the ring. Woods was on the apron with the trombone, so O’Neil yanked off a part of it. Big E capitalized with a forearm shot to the back. Big E set up the Big Ending and Kingston jumped off the top for the double team version. Kingston covered O’Neil for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The New Day

Post match, The New Day celebrated on the announce table. Big E was gyrating, Woods was playing the trombone and Kingston was dancing with JBL’s hat after he stumbled off the table a bit. Love their celebrations!

Analysis: **1/2 A solid tag team match that pretty much puts an end to PTP as top contenders to the tag team titles. The right team has the gold and they proved it in this match. I liked how they used Woods to distract, which led to Big E hitting a cheap shot on O’Neil. I think O’Neil does a great job when he makes the hot tag. Woods is amazing outside the ring. He probably wants to be in the ring more, but I think it’s better when they do it this way because of how entertaining he is outside the ring.

The Dudley Boyz showed up on the stage to trash talk New Day in the ring. They pointed at New Day saying they were going to win the titles. No microphone on anybody, but a lot trash talk from both sides.

Analysis: I think they should have had the Dudleys do a promo there. It would have got over well with the crowd too.

The announcers welcomed us to the show again saying “season premiere” again. They went over matches and segments to come.

There was a video of Sting teaming up with Dusty Rhodes at Starrcade 1988 against The Road Warriors.

(Commercial)

Triple H and Stephanie were in the office talking about their dancing. The WWE/US Champion Seth Rollins showed up to talk to them. He was happy about Sting in action, but he was mad about his statue getting destroyed. Rollins complained about Cena and Sheamus, so Hunter set up Cena vs. Sheamus for Raw. They told Rollins to relax. He was happy. Rollins said “you guys rock” and Hunter didn’t want to dance again.

Analysis: I’m sure people at home are excited to see Sheamus against an opponent he’s never faced before. Now that’s sarcasm.

There was a replay of last week’s divas segment.

Charlotte and her father Ric Flair were interviewed by Renee Young. She said she’s ready while Ric said that he lives his life vicariously through daughter. He put over how the girls have done a great job. He said he’s going to be watching all night long. She just said watching the Bella Army crumble will be a dream come true.

Analysis: That was okay. Love seeing Ric fired up. They have combined for six divorces. I guess I’m mean for saying that, but I feel bad for her carrying on her dad’s divorce legacy.

Paige entered for a match.

(Commercial)

Sasha Banks made her entrance. They plugged a live event in Montreal this Friday. WWE house show business has been down all over of late and it’s rare for them to advertise house show tickets during Raw, so that’s not a great sign.

Paige (w/Becky Lynch) vs. Sasha Banks (w/Naomi & Tamina Snuka)

They had a big fight on Smackdown that ended in a no contest, so they were very aggressive in this match too. A video of what happened on Smackdown would have been nice, but they got nothing. Banks worked on the left arm of Paige by stomping on it, stretching it against the ropes and doing a double foot stomp against it. Cole just said “Sasha Banks capturing the attention of the sports entertainment world with matches like this.” I hate this commentary so much. Say wrestling. I’m fine with sports entertainment once in a while, but not the way he said it. Anyway, Paige made her comeback and nailed an awesome release German Suplex. Banks landed on her head and sold it in a big way. Paige went for her running splash outside the ring, but Tamina moved Banks out of the way. Back in the ring, Banks hit the Banks Statement knee to the back leading to the submission win after six minutes.

Winner by submission: Sasha Banks

Analysis: ** A good match that was shorter than I would have liked, but they made the most of the time they were given. Banks worked over the arm of Paige and Paige had a great comeback with that awesome German Suplex. It looked a little dangerous although it appears as though Banks is okay. The ref saw Tamina pull Banks out of the way and did nothing because we have to assume refs are idiots. With all the losing Paige has been doing of late, I assume she’s turning heel soon because WWE tends to do that when people go on losing streaks.

Post match, Naomi and Tamina attacked Paige and Lynch. Charlotte was in the back getting ready for her title match, so they were all alone. Tamina dumped Paige out of the ring. Then they dumped Lynch out of the ring. Team B.A.D. celebrated in the ring.

Analysis: It was a simple post match attack to showcase dominance by the heels.

A recap of last week’s events when The Wyatt Family attacked Randy Orton on Raw and Jimmy Uso on Smackdown. The idea is nobody is safe if you tag with Ambrose and Reigns.

Miz TV with the Wyatt Family up next.

(Commercial)

There was a video about Connor Michalek, who passed away last year and they named the Connor’s Cure charity of him. They showed videos of him as well as clips of Daniel Bryan talking about him at the Hall of Fame. Go to WWEshop.com to purchase the official Connor’s Cure bracelet.

Miz TV With The Wyatt Family

The Miz was talking about grabbing ratings with this season premiere edition of Miz TV. He introduced The Wyatt Family. The Wyatt Family trio of Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Braun Strowman entered to their ominous music as the arena lit up with cell phone light.

The lights were off in the ring a Bray sat with Harper and Strowman. Miz said that he’s not the partner of Ambrose and Reigns at Hell in a Cell. Way to get the PPV name wrong, Miz. It’s Night of Champions. Wyatt told Miz to ask Strowman about who he is. Miz put the microphone in front of him, Strowman took off the black sheep mask and just stared at Miz. Wyatt talked about that people just want things without thinking of the consequences. Wyatt said he wants Miz to suffer, he wants Reigns and Ambrose to suffer. He wants to people to pay for their sins like he has already shown Randy Orton and Jimmy Uso. Wyatt said it didn’t matter who shows up at Night of Champions because they all fall down.

Analysis: A good promo by Wyatt where he got the point quickly. He just wants to make everybody suffer and sometimes it’s that simple. At least Bray got the PPV name right.

Reigns and Ambrose entered together through the crowd. The Miz hyped up their appearance, so Ambrose kicked him in the ribs and tossed him in the ring. Remember when Miz main evented a WrestleMania? It actually happened.

Reigns and Ambrose stood face to face with The Wyatt Family. Reigns said Wyatt made him sick sitting in a chair. Reigns mentioned them taking out Orton and taking out his cousin Jimmy Uso – his blood. Roman is really close with The Usos, so there’s credibility when he says it like that. Reigns mentioned how Wyatt couldn’t beat him on his own and they couldn’t beat them at SummerSlam, so Wyatt has to surround himself with monster. Reigns said they found a third, so that means it’s three on three and they’re going to whip their ass. The crowd cheered for that. Reigns said they’re going to make it a war in six days. “And we’re going to win. Believe that.” Wyatt just laughed at him. The Wyatt symbol appeared on screen, so I guess they all left without fighting.

Analysis: I thought Reigns was awesome in delivering that promo. Just like Wyatt, he got to the point quickly. Sometimes they have him make jokes and it falls flat, but when he talks like a badass he comes of as a lot more believable. I’m not sure who the mystery will be, but I think Randy Orton, Cesaro or maybe Daniel Bryan. I guess Kane is possible too, but it makes more sense for him to go after Rollins.

There was a clip of the Great American Bash 1990 when Sting beat Ric Flair to win his first World Title. A great match worth checking out if you’ve never seen it. Their first Clash of the Champions match is better, but I like this one too.

Sting vs. Big Show later and John Cena vs. Sheamus is up next.

(Commercial)

Cena was greeted with “John Cena suuuuuucks” singing as he said “the orchestra is out tonight” to the camera. Sheamus had the Money in the Bank briefcase with him like usual.

John Cena vs. Sheamus

Early on, Cole said something about how this is their first Raw match in years. I don’t know if that’s true, but I assume it is. They wrestled for about one minute and went to the break with Cena on the floor.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Sheamus was in control with a flying knee drop off the top with Cena on the mat. After a Sheamus chinlock, Cena hit the back suplex. He connected with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Sheamus elbowed out of AA, but Cena nailed a Tornado DDT for a two count. Sheamus came back with a submission where he ties up Cena’s legs with his arms and Cena got to the ropes. Sheamus nailed Cena with ten clubbing blows to the chest. Cena applied the STF submission. Fans chanted “Ce-na sucks” to the “New Day sucks” chant while Cena hit the ten clubbing forearms to the chest. High knee by Sheamus followed by a forearm smash to take down Cena. They had a really nice exchange where they took some big shots and then a suplex into a slam connected for Sheamus for a two count. Sheamus went up top, Cena avoided an attack, Cena had him on shoulders and slammed him face first into the mat. Cena applied the STF in the middle of the ring. Sheamus powered out with a rolling senton, but then he walked right into an Attitude Adjustment for Cena for the win. It went 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: John Cena

Analysis: *** A very good match by two guys who know eachother well and know how to put together an entertaining matchup when they get 15 minutes like they did here. People that don’t like them probably hated it, but I don’t mind them because they work hard. They had several instances where they had believable nearfalls as well as submissions that teased an ending well. With that loss, Sheamus lost clean in back to back weeks to Randy Orton and John Cena. That’s something WWE does sometimes when a guy is ready to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase, so it might happen on Sunday. WWE likes to book a guy to be a loser in the weeks leading up to the cash-in so that when that person becomes WWE Champion, he has ready made opponents.

They had JBL at ringside with the signs plugging WWE Network. Then Saxton had the “start your free month now” sign.

They had a Nikki Bella countdown clock for the Divas Title reign that expired at midnight. That only makes sense if the title was won at midnight, which it was not.

(Commercial)

Ryback and Kevin Owens Have a Chat

The Intercontinental Champion Ryback was in the ring and did some awful Elvis impression that drew no reaction. JBL on commentary said that we saw Triple H dance and this man sing, so he wondered what else was going to happen. That sounds like a line he was fed because he said it while Ryback was talking too.

Kevin Owens showed up with a microphone as well as a book in his hand. He mentioned the book The Secret played a big part in Ryback’s life. Owens had the book in the ring. Ryback wondered if he could read and Owens said he can probably read better than Ryback. Owens said he felt sorry for Ryback and the delusional idiots that believe this garbage.

Owens was in the ring as he said that Ryback’s a monster that is probably the strongest guy in WWE, but he’s weak as he held up the book. Owens went to toss the book out of the ring, but it was still there. Then he threw a piece of it in Ryback’s face.

Ryback explained who he is and what he’s about. He wakes up hungry, he kicks the day in the ass, he goes to bed and he wakes up saying “feed me more” so the crowd chanted that with him. Ryback said that he respects Owens journey to get to WWE. He admitted he was given a skyrocket to the top, but then he fell down and he climbed his way back to the top of the mountain. He said he stands there as the WWE Intercontinental Champion.

Owens said if he gets an opportunity at the IC Title then he’s going to take it from him. He said he’s going to show Ryback that he’s a weak, little boy. Ryback said earlier tonight he went to The Authority and set up Owens vs. Ryback for the IC Title at Night of Champions. Ryback said he’s not just some big guy, he’s “THE Big Guy.” They had a staredown to end the segment. Owens walked out of the ring.

Analysis: They needed a promo segment to add some heat to this feud, so I didn’t mind the effort. Some of the dialogue that Ryback said wasn’t great. He tries hard. I just don’t think he’s that good of a talker, but the crowd likes him at least. Owens is probably the best talker among active wrestlers in WWE. I hope Owens wins the title (he’s my pick) because I feel like he’d be the best champion they could have right now. Plus, I like heel champions more.

They showed the WCW Starrcade 1997 clip of Sting beating Hollywood Hogan for the WCW Title. Cole pointed out Big Show (then known as The Giant) holding Sting in the air after the win. That match was so huge for WCW, but in typical WCW fashion they missed it up with a fake fast count that should have never happened.

Analysis: The Hogan clip is a bit of a surprise since he has been kicked out of WWE, but they had to show that clip in telling Sting’s story.

(Commercial)

Stardust had The Ascension with him while Neville had the Lucha Dragons with him.

It was going to be a singles match, but it ended up turning into a brawl. The Lucha Dragons hit dives to take out The Ascension out of the ring while Neville nailed a clothesline on Stardust. Neville went for a running dive, but The Ascension pulled Stardust out of harm’s way.

Analysis: I’m not sure if that was going to be a match that was scrapped because of time constraints, but man that felt rushed.

There was a really long video package about the Divas Championship with Nikki Bella talking about her nearly year long reign as the Divas Champion. She said she gave us a Divas Revolution and she gave us one. They showed a clip of the Bellas in the divas search and then spending the last 295 days as the Divas Champion. Nikki said she started a revolution and cemented a legacy. I thought Stephanie McMahon started this revolution in that promo? Then they annoyed us with the “divas revolution” phrase for several months. This is WWE where you’re supposed to thank the McMahons and Triple H all the time.

Analysis: That was a good video package. Nikki’s an annoying heel, but she has improved a lot in the last couple of years, so I give her credit for working hard. With that said, for about seven years she was a below average performer that didn’t do a whole lot. Then she started dating John Cena! Okay I went there. I think that factors in a bit, but she has improved too, so it’s not just that. The whole point about the “divas revolution” is giving women a chance to do more in the ring and have longer matches. Basically it’s a way of saying “the creative team actually cares a bit now” and that’s what it is.

(Commercial)

Charlotte had Paige and Becky Lynch with her. I think Paige looks hotter in her non-wrestling gear than she does in her wrestling gear. Nikki Bella had Brie Bella and Alicia Fox with her. Cole just said: “Everybody is talking about the Bellatron.” No. Stop talking. They showed some tweets from Trish Stratus encouraging both women.

Divas Championship: Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella & Alicia Fox) vs. Charlotte (w/Paige & Becky Lynch)

Charlotte was the aggressor early on. Nikki nailed a spinning single arm armbreaker to slow down the momentum. She continued to work on the left arm of Charlotte by draping the left arm over the top rope. They exchanged forearm shots on the apron until Nikki yanked Charlotte down and Charlotte took a bump on the apron. Cool spot as they went to break.

(Commercial)

It’s armbar city for Nikki as they return from break. Charlotte powered out of an armbar hold into a powerbomb-like slam. Charlotte nailed some chops followed by a big boot to the face. I like Charlotte using the big boot because she’s one of the taller women in WWE and it looks impressive when she does it. Nikki nailed a dropkick to the injured arm to cut off Charlotte’s comeback. They did a great spot where Charlotte countered an Alabama Slam that I think yanked down Nikki’s tights a bit because the crowd on that side popped for it. Charlotte nailed a Spear on Nikki. Fox grabbed Charlotte, so the ref was there and then Brie went into the ring to do the Twin Magic switch. Charlotte was able to get a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Brie and of course that was enough for the win. The match was ten minutes long.

Winner by…hold on and wait for it!

The bell rang and Charlotte was given the Divas Title. Her father Ric Flair went down to the ring to celebrate with his daughter. He gave her a big hug as she held up the Divas Title.

After the match, Brie and Nikki were complaining to the ref. Brie had the tissues stuffed into her top again, so she was tossing them onto the floor.

Stephanie McMahon showed up to say she had to protect the integrity of the Divas division. That’s laughable. She said you can’t win the Divas Title by pinning somebody that wasn’t in the match. She said that when Brie put her hands on Charlotte, Nikki should have been disqualified, so the winner of this match is Charlotte, but it’s disqualification so Nikki retains the title.

Winner by disqualification: Charlotte (Nikki Bella is still Divas Champion.)

Analysis: **3/4 It’s the Dusty Finish, folks. It was a hard fought match with both women looking like they had a chance to win and the crowd bought into it. Working on the arm was good psychology. Neither woman hit a finisher, but they went with the dreaded rollup. I would imagine there are people that hated that finish, but it was what I expected. This is what I wrote in my Canton’s Corner column on Sunday: “I think it will be something where they have the match before the record comes to an end, then Charlotte’s about to win and Brie/Alicia end up causing the disqualification. Then they do the rematch at Night of Champions next Sunday with Charlotte getting the title. That makes sense to me as a way to build up the win more.” Nailed it. I thought the booking was pretty obvious just from watching WWE all my life and they went the obvious route.

After Stephanie’s ruling, Nikki did a big celebration with the Bella Twins. Stephanie said that Charlotte will get a rematch at Night of Champions. She said that if Nikki loses by pinfall, submission, countout or disqualification then Nikki will lose the Divas Title. Brie and Alicia put Nikki on their shoulders since she’s the longest reigning Divas Champion ever.

Analysis: That’s no surprise. I think Charlotte will win the Divas Champion on Sunday and it’s going to be a longer match too.

There was a video of Sting’s WWE debut at Survivor Series last year.

(Commercial)

Rusev made his entrance with Summer Rae. I’m not sure how many times Michael Cole has said “season premiere” during this show, but it’s very annoying. He’s up against Cesaro. There are a lot of “Cesaro Section” signs in the crowd.

Rusev (w/Summer Rae) vs. Cesaro

Good power moves by Cesaro early on including a very impressive vertical suplex. Fans were chanting Ce-sa-ro to the tune of the New Day chant. Rusev came back with a spinning heel kick to take advantage. Rusev had on a submission hold. Dolph Ziggler walked out to ringside with a pink box in his hands. Summer didn’t want it while Rusev looked angry about it. That distraction led to Cesaro using his legs to wrap up Rusev and he had a successful pinfall for the win. It went about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Cesaro

Analysis: *1/2 A short match just to add to the Rusev/Ziggler story. I like seeing Cesaro get the win because he doesn’t get that many wins, but it was really just a way to further the story and the match didn’t matter that much. Rusev has been booked like such a loser in the last few months. I hate it. This guy is great and should be more of a monster. What a shame.

Post match, Ziggler went into the ring and nailed Rusev with a superkick. Summer tended to Rusev, grabbed the box and put it behind her back, so the idea is that Rusev has no idea that Summer grabbed the box. She kept on holding it behind her back as they went up the ramp.

Analysis: It shows that Ziggler wants to get revenge against Summer Rae for lying about what happened with them.

There was a video package about WWE going to the St. Jude’s Children Hospital in Memphis earlier in the day. They showed a young girl Kiara at ringside that recently found out she is cancer free. WWE posted a video after Raw with Cena and Sting giving her a hug, which is awesome.

Seth Rollins was shown backstage talking to Big Show although we couldn’t hear what they were saying.

(Commercial)

Backstage, Rusev went into his dressing room alone while Summer still had the box in her hand. He slammed the door shut. Summer opened up the box, then looked back as if she didn’t want somebody to watch (keep in mind she is ON CAMERA doing this) and then Rusev yelled for her to go in the room. We never saw what was in the box

Analysis: So are we to assume he doesn’t watch the show or have anybody in his life that would tell him that she opened the box?

The announcers went over some of the matches added to Night of Champions during Raw: IC Title is Ryback vs. Owens, Tag Titles is New Day vs. Dudeys and Stardust/Ascension vs. Neville/Lucha Dragons is added to the Kickoff Show as well.

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were in their office. Big Show walked into the office. They were happy to see him. Hunter said he’s a problem solver and Sting is a problem.

Analysis: I guess Triple H and Stephanie haven’t watched the show closely because Big Show loses quite often.

(Commercial)

There’s a Nikki Bella “Bellabration” set for Smackdown. Unlike her boyfriend John Cena, she actually works on Tuesdays.

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were at ringside for the main event.

When Big Show made his entrance, the announcers mentioned that Show knew Sting well and said that they had countless battles. This is true. Both of them had more hair back then too.

There was a really good reaction for Sting’s entrance.

Sting vs. Big Show

Sting walked out with a t-shirt and kept his t-shirt on for the match. They did a spot where Sting did the punches in the corner, Show got out of there and Sting turned it into a DDT to take Show down. Stinger Splash by Sting in the corner. Seth Rollins ran down to the ring and Sting went after him. The ref called for the bell. The match went about two minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Sting

Rollins and Show went after Sting. John Cena ran out for the save. Cena and Sting cleared the ring of Rollins. When they went to double team Show, the big man escaped to the floor.

Analysis: * I guess we could say Sting is now 1-1 as a singles wrestler in WWE. I didn’t think the match was going to go that long anyway and having Cena make the save made sense since he’s also facing Rollins at Night of Champions.

The heels were out on the floor. Triple H set up a tag team match with Rollins and Show against Sting and Cena. It’s the Teddy Long special. It begins after a commercial. The crowd seemed happy about it.

Analysis: That was very predictable, but I don’t mind it at all.

(Commercial)

Sting and John Cena vs. Big Show and Seth Rollins

The match started during the break. Show was working over Cena in the ring, so they are building up the hot tag to Sting. There was a big spot where Rollins tagged in and then Cena gave Rollins a back body drop over the top to the floor. Great height by Rollins, but also a dangerous bump for the WWE Champ to take. Show was back in there working over Cena. When Cena tried to lift Show, he collapsed and Cena was still down. There were some more spots where Cena came close to tagging in, but Show cut him off. Show did a spot where he did a splash off the middle rope. The camera angle they showed it from was bad because you could see that he barely touched Cena when he landed. Rollins was in there, he trash talked Sting and Cena nailed Rollins with a clothesline. Show tagged in. He went for the splash off the middle rope again, Cena moved and there’s the hot tag to Sting while Rollins also tagged in.

Sting unloaded on Rollins with fists. Stinger Splash by Sting followed by a second one and then a running bulldog. Show took down Sting with a shoulder tackle to cut him off. Cena took out Show with the Attitude Adjustment. Rollins went for Cena, so Sting grabbed Rollins and hit the Scorpion Death Drop. Huge ovation for that. Sting applied the Scorpion Death Lock. He really didn’t lock it in very well as Rollins tapped out within a few seconds. It went nine minutes.

Winners by submission: Sting and John Cena

Analysis: ** They kept it pretty simple. Cena was selling for the majority of the match, Sting only got in there for the last minute, hit some basic moves, some of his signature spots to pop the crowd and got the clean win. Congrats to Sting on being 2-1 in WWE. That’s a joke that is also a factual statement. I’m not sure what else to say. This show tired me out. Basic tag match with an ending that was a little weak because of the Scorpion Death Lock not looking that great.

Post match, Sting and Cena celebrated the win while Rollins was selling outside the ring. Triple H and Stephanie held Rollins up along with his two titles.

Raw ended with Cena telling Rollins he had two matches. Cole said possibly Sheamus as well. The show concluded with a shot of Rollins looking upset about everything.

Analysis: That ending pretty much confirms my thinking that Rollins will still be WWE Champion after Night of Champions. I guess it could be Sheamus, but I really doubt that it’s going to be Sting. Cena will probably win the US Title. I’ll have more thoughts on that in the preview later in the week.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Sting – For his first Raw match ever, I’ll give it to him. Work on that Scorpion Death Lock.

2. John Cena

3. Charlotte

 

The Scoreboard

5.5 out of 10

Last week: 4.5

Last 5 Weeks: 4.5, 6, 7, 5.5, 6.5

2015 Average: 5.89

2015 High: 9 (May 4)

2015 Low: 4 (Feb 9/June 22)

 

Final Thoughts

I’m giving it a 5.5 out of 10.

– Average show. There wasn’t any match or segment that I’d consider great. No matches really stood out this week either.

– There were a lot of promos, some of which were necessary and others that went on a bit too long.

– It was cool to see Sting in a match on Raw. I just think WWE made a mistake in not announcing it days or even a week earlier.

– Despite all of WWE’s attempts to make it a huge show as the season premiere, it felt pretty average to me. That’s pretty sad because it makes me think they don’t know how to make a show feel special anymore.

Here’s the Night of Champions lineup:

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Sting

United States Championship: Seth Rollins vs. John Cena

The Wyatt Family vs. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and a mystery partner

Intercontinental Championship: Ryback vs. Kevin Owens

Divas Championship: Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte

Tag Team Championship: The New Day vs. The Dudley Boyz

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev

Kickoff Match: Stardust and The Ascension vs. Neville and Lucha Dragons

That’s eight matches including the Kickoff Show match. That should be it. The full preview will be posted on Friday or Saturday.

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John Canton –mrjohncanton@gmail.com

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