Live from Manchester, England this is the Raw Deal for episode #1172. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.
Thanks to Melo Man for the banner above. I just asked for some pics of Rollins on it and he did a great job with it. I think I speak for a lot of people reading this saying we’ll miss Seth Rollins in the ring for the next 6-9 months. It will probably be closer to nine months since it was a torn ACL & MCL. It won’t be easy for him to get back in six months.
The WWE COO Triple H entered for a promo. The announce team of Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show. They mentioned Seth Rollins suffering a severe knee injury last Wednesday in Dublin, Ireland (on my birthday no less) and he’s no longer the WWE Champion. They plugged it by mentioning that Jonathon Coachman of ESPN broke the news, which is WWE’s way of making them look more credible.
Triple H Addresses WWE Title Situation
The now vacant WWE Title was in the ring on a podium. Hunter praised Rollins for being a fighting champion that successfully defended the title against everybody. Fans were chanting “thank you Rollins” in support of the former WWE Champion. Hunter mentioned Rollins blew out his knee in Dublin, Ireland and is no longer the WWE Champion. Hunter introduced the former number one contender, Roman Reigns.
As Roman entered the ring, JBL said this tournament blows away March Madness (that’s NCAA basketball), which is pretty ridiculous, but it’s a heel announcer trying to be over the top to make a point.
Hunter mentioned that as everybody knows now there’s a tournament. Hunter pointed out how it’s terribly unfair that Roman has to be thrown into the tournament with others. Hunter said it could be easier if all the other guys had to fight eachother in order to face Reigns at Survivor Series. He said that sounds much more fair. Hunter said back when we made Rollins the future of WWE, we almost picked you. Roman looked surprised. Hunter said that Roman has everything you could want in a superstar, but the one thing: the willingness to do absolutely anything to be the man. Hunter told him that’s why Rollins has been the WWE Champion while Reigns has not.
Hunter asked Reigns how it felt at WrestleMania to have Rollins take the WWE Title away from him. Hunter spoke about Reigns has fought his way back to earn this, but he’s been met by walls along the way. Hunter told him that he’s earned his spot – he’s asking him if he wants to be the man because if he wants to be, all he has to do is be “my man” according to Hunter. Asking him on a date? No. He was asking him to be in The Authority.
Roman wondered if Hunter wants him to sell out and Hunter said it’s not selling out. Hunter told him not to get misguided morals because of the fans. Hunter said that “criticism comes with the gate” meaning if he’s WWE Champion he’ll be criticized. Hunter wanted him to understand what he’s offering. Hunter put the WWE Title on Roman’s shoulder as he continued to suck up to him. He told Roman it’s not just about setting up his wife and daughter, but even his daughter’s daughter. Hunter said “all you have to do is be my man.” Hunter extended his hand for a handshake.
Roman told him that everything he has in life he’s earned and done his way. He said that nobody can ever take that away from him. It sounded like some fake crowd noise because there’s barely a reaction from what I can tell. Roman told him no and to take his offer and shove it. Hunter said thanks for reminding me why I didn’t choose you in the first place. Hunter told him he goes to the back of the line and his match is next.
Big Show walked out for his tournament match with Roman Reigns. Hunter did a knuckle touch with him to show his support and Hunter left. That match is next.
Analysis: There’s the typical 15 minute opening promo to start the show. I thought it was necessary because when the WWE Champion is going to be out of action for 6-9 months (closer to nine most likely) it’s necessary to do a promo to open Raw. Hunter’s interaction with Roman was interesting just because there are some fans thinking Roman is going to turn heel. I don’t see it happening, but I think they’re going to continue to tease the idea that Reigns might turn or somebody is going to turn on him. It’s a good opportunity for some sort of big angle to take place. I just think it’s more noble for the face Reigns to say no the heel Triple H.
Here are the tournament brackets. They didn’t show on the broadcast even though they should have.
If you looked at this logically, Reigns would be the #1 seed and would face the worst guy in the tournament, which is Kalisto or Titus O’Neil. Instead, he faced one of the better guys in terms of logic. This is WWE, though. They don’t care about logic. I’ll predict a Reigns vs. Ambrose finals. Outside shot of Reigns vs. Owens. I think Reigns will win as a babyface champion. Then Ambrose will turn heel soon after he can’t beat him.
WWE Title Tournament First Round: Roman Reigns vs. Big Show
We start with a match that has happened way too many times this year. Apologies if I don’t go into details because we’ve seen it so often. Reigns was in control early, then Show dominated the action and got a nearfall with a splash for two. The announcers mentioned their great match earlier this year, which I was at in Chicago for Extreme Rules. Show tossed Reigns out of the ring, then tossed him back in and Reigns started his comeback. What was the point of that spot? Show countered a bodyslam with a slam of his own. Time for a break.
Back from break, Reigns was throwing punches to start his comeback on Show, but then Show caught him with a bearhug. Reigns broke free with a Samoan Drop as Cole mentioned Rollins was WWE Champion for 221 days. Show slowed him down, but Reigns nailed him again and hit a running Drive By dropkick. Show caught him during a Superman Punch attempt and Show caught him with a Chokeslam for two. Reigns came back with a Superman Punch that wobbled Show, so Reigns ran the ropes to hit a Spear to win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall and Advancing to Quarterfinals: Roman Reigns
The win means Reigns faces Cesaro or Sheamus in the quarterfinals.
Analysis: ** I doubt there was anybody watching this that thought Show had any chance of winning this match. You shouldn’t have believed in Show either since he barely wins any matches. He’s not there to go over a guy like Reigns in this situation. It felt like all of their other matches. Show controls much of it, Reigns makes the heroic comeback with the Superman Punch and Spear and that’s it. If it was five minutes shorter it would have been fine with me, but they did a pretty good job in a two segment match. With that said, if Reigns won this match in about five minutes and looked more dominant it may have helped him.
They showed the brackets after the match. Why not show them before the tournament begins? That’s a bit silly.
There was a clip of The Undertaker’s debut at Survivor Series 1990 and then clips of Kane’s debut in 1997 as well. No Isaac Yankem or Fake Diesel clips, sorry friends. Later tonight we’ll hear from The Wyatt Family.
They showed an outdoor shot of Old Trafford where Manchester United plays since Wayne Rooney is one of the best players on the team and he’s at ringside. I’m only a casual soccer/football fan, but I know he’s been a damn good performer for a long time.
Kevin Owens walked out with the Intercontinental Title. He mentioned that we should buy his theme song to put change in his pocket while noting he has pockets on his gear. Owens said that we need change in WWE because people root for the same things. Owens ripped on England for not being smart fans and mocked them for supporting the Queen and the Royal Family while calling it the dumbest thing. Owens said he’s a prizefighter and when he stands in the ring as IC & WWE Champion, nobody will be able to deny that this is the Kevin Owens show.
Analysis: He’s arguably the best promo man among the wrestlers in the company – Paul Heyman is best overall. It’s him or Bray Wyatt.
Kevin Owens vs. Titus O’Neil
No reaction for O’Neil aside from a few dancing fans. O’Neil took down Owens with a shoulder block outside the ring. They went to break about one minute into it.
Owens got some offense in, but O’Neil pounded him down with some hard punches in the corner. Shoulder tackle by O’Neil followed by a clothesline and body slam. With O’Neil still on offense, Owens was able to counter him by shoving him into the ropes leading to the Popup Powerbomb for the win in about seven minutes.
Winner by pinfall and Advancing to Quarterfinals: Kevin Owens
The win means that Owens will face Neville or Bad News Barrett in the quarterfinals.
Analysis: *1/2 It was a quick match where the winner wasn’t in doubt. O’Neil did okay while on offense, but he’s still just a tag team wrestler that is very average in singles matches. Owens finishing him off the way he did was well done. I just think the match was hurt by the commercial because it was like a seven minute match with the three minute commercial thrown in.
Paige was interviewed by the lovely Renee Young. Paige ripped her because the last time Renee talked to her she accused her of something she didn’t do, which was the attack on Natalya that was revealed to be Team Bad. It was just a quick promo with Paige saying she’s going to take out Becky Lynch tonight. She added that she’ll take out that “B” so she can face that “C” (Charlotte) alone at Survivor Series.
A video showed Undertaker and Kane winning World Titles. Another reminder of Wyatt doing a segment eulogizing Undertaker and Kane on Raw.
The divas get the top of hour two spot with Becky Lynch entering alone for her match with Paige.
Paige vs. Becky Lynch
Nice to see Paige brought out her shoes with the UK flag on them. Fans cheered for Paige since she’s from England. Lynch is from Ireland. Paige dominated the early part of the match until Lynch came back with an overhead suplex. Paige stopped her with a standing side kick for two. Paige was able to hit her Rampaige DDT, but Lynch was by the ropes and she grabbed the ropes as her way to break up the pin. Paige got a rollup with tights, but Lynch was able to kick out. Then Lynch rolled her up as she pulled on the tights and it was enough to get the pinfall win after about five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Becky Lynch
Analysis: *3/4 It wasn’t a clean win for the babyface, but it made sense in the story since Paige tried to cheat to beat her first. I’m not a huge fan of beating Paige in that situation since she’s the number one contender. What that most likely means is they’ll do the match again either on Smackdown or Raw next week with Lynch getting the win. That’s just typical WWE booking. As for the time, I would have liked to see them have a longer match.
Post match, Paige sent her out of the ring. Paige tossed Lynch into the announce table. Cole was freaking out about it being on the announce table. Then Paige applied the PTO submission on the announce table. Charlotte came running out to break it up while in her ring gear. Paige went up the ramp to avoid a confrontation while Charlotte helped Lynch.
Analysis: Way to take your time, Charlotte. Why did Cole go crazy because it was on the announce table? It’s a submission move. It not like it hurt more doing it there. Anyway, good cheap heel attack by Paige. I think she’s much better in that role.
They showed the tournament brackets. Three more matches coming on Raw. There are also three tournament matches on Smackdown. Ziggler vs. Miz up next.
Next week on WWE Network, there’s a WWE Legends discussion show with JBL talking to Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and Triple H about The Undertaker to celebrate his 25 years in WWE. It airs after Raw with another new episode after Smackdown next Thursday. That sounds great.
There was a video package about WrestleMania tickets going on sale and the party they had at AT&T Stadium. One of the guys in the video was my good friend Kurt Zamora, who writes NXT reviews for us at TJRWrestling. He was in the video saying they have been waiting for this and then at the end saying this will be the best WrestleMania ever. The prices are pretty ridiculous in terms of the being significantly higher from previous years, but I’ll be there. I just don’t plan on getting tickets until a few months.
WWE Title Tournament First Round: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz
This is not a new match, but it’s been a while. They both started in WWE about a decade ago and are from the Cleveland area. Both are former World Champions too. Miz took control of the action by attacking the left knee of Ziggler to keep him grounded. Miz slammed the knee of Ziggler into the mat. Miz went for a corner attack, Ziggler moved and Miz went crashing into the turnbuckle. Ziggler got a backslide for two, then he was selling the knee and Miz booted him in the face for two. The crowd isn’t into this that match aside from cheering or Ziggler mildly. Miz applied the Figure Four Leglock, but Ziggler was able to make the ropes. Miz took his time to walk around a bit, then walked right into a Superkick and Ziggler covered for the win after five minutes.
Winner by pinfall and Advancing to Quarterfinals: Dolph Ziggler
After the win, Ziggler looked at the WWE Title at ringside. Thanks to that win, Ziggler will face the winner of Dean Ambrose vs. Tyler Breeze.
Analysis: ** It was a solid match for the time given. I liked the Superkick finish by Ziggler because he doesn’t win a lot of matches with that move, but the way they did it with Miz walking into it was perfect. Ziggler hit the move in such a way that it looked devastating and having Miz kick out of it would have been foolish.
There was another video package about Undertaker and Kane that showed Undertaker returning to scare Randy Orton at Survivor Series 2005. There was also a clip of Daniel Bryan and Kane winning the Tag Team Titles at Night of Champions 2012. Another reminder of The Wyatt Family coming up later.
Alberto Del Rio, the US Champion, and Zeb Colter in his cart appeared on the stage with the MexAmerica flag. Colter ripped on the fans for being haters of MexAmerica. He said that Germany already tells England what to do and even Scotland doesn’t want to have a thing to do with them. Del Rio said that the people are ignorant and haters. Colter transitioned to talking about the great opportunity that Del Rio has to be WWE Champion. He’s in a tournament match on Smackdown. Del Rio ended it with “viva MexAmerica” and JBL said he’d love to join.
Analysis: It was just a promo to hype Del Rio’s match on Smackdown. I don’t know what else to say except Del Rio has spent a lot of his money in his WWE contract on baby oil.
The Team Bad girls were dancing backstage on their way to the ring.
Natalya was in the ring waiting for her opponent as Cole mentioned Natalya doing a tweet calling out Team Bad while questioning who the leader was.
Natalya vs. Naomi (w/Sasha Banks & Tamina)
The fans were chanting “we want Sasha” with Natalya encouraging the crowd as a way to upset Naomi. There was a spot early on where Natalya was outside the ring, the ref was looking at Naomi and Banks shoved Natalya into the ring post. Naomi did a chinlock. Natalya came back with a clothesline. Banks was on the apron, Natalya went after her and Naomi went for the rollup with Natalya kicking out at two. Natalya was distracted by Tamina, which led to Naomi jumping up in the air with her butt out (her finisher), Natalya just stopped, Tamina went to the floor and Natalya applied the dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Naomi for the win after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Natalya
Analysis: * The dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~! strikes again! My most hated finish. This felt like the old divas booking where they only get two minutes to have a match and I feel sorry for the girls because they don’t get enough time. I’d rather see Natalya win with the Sharpshooter. The rollup finish is overdone. Put her over stronger with her finishing move.
Post match, Banks tried to attack Natalya with Natalya fending her off. Natalya applied the Sharpshooter on her with Banks tapping. Tamina broke it up with a superkick. Banks put the Banks Statement submission with Naomi putting the Banks sunglasses on Natalya to embarrass her.
Analysis: It’s basically the same thing they did in the other women’s match. The face wins and the heel attacks after the match. It’s building to a Banks vs Natalya match, which should be great and likely will see Banks getting the win to elevate her.
The next Undertaker/Kane video showed Undertaker beating Edge at SummerSlam 2008 inside Hell in a Cell. Then it showed Kane interrupting the Edge/Lita wedding with Kane coming from under the ring to attack the priest with a Tombstone.
Sheamus entered for a tournament match with good buddy King Barrett by his side.
It was mentioned that Barrett will be on ESPN Sportscenter Tuesday night. Cesaro made his entrance. Barrett did a promo talking trash to soccer star Wayne Rooney at ringside. Cole explained some tweets by Barrett trash talking Rooney months ago. Barrett said he would offer to fight him, but he would hate to see Rooney’s son see his own father fail and said his son gets to experience it every time when he’s on the field. The crowd booed loudly. Good way to get cheap heat.
WWE Title Tournament First Round: Sheamus (w/King Barrett) vs. Cesaro
They did some grappling on the mat won by Cesaro, which led to Sheamus bailing to the floor. Back in the ring, Cesaro nailed him with a clothesline as well as an uppercut shot that sent Sheamus outside the ring. Cesaro missed a corner charge and Sheamus nailed the Irish Curse backbreaker. Clothesline by Sheamus knocked Cesaro down on the apron as they went to break.
Back from break, Sheamus hit a tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Great spot out of the corner with Sheamus flipping Cesaro off the turnbuckle and turning it into a two count. Awesome counter wrestling by Cesaro doing a flip to counter the backbreaker and then lifting Sheamus up to drop him down with a reverse Samoan Drop like move. Huge boot to the face by Cesaro. They did a crazy spot where Sheamus gave him a suplex over the turnbuckle, then Cesaro turned it into a suplex of his own so both guys went crashing to the floor. Wow! You don’t see that move very often. Both men got back into the ring before the ten count of the referee. Sheamus hit the White Noise slam for a two count. He never wins with that, but that nearfall got a good pop. Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick, but Cesaro avoided it and turned it into a Sharpshooter with Sheamus getting to the ropes quickly. They exchanged forearm shots. Cesaro was selling a right arm injury, so attacked with the left hand. Cesaro put Sheamus on the top rope and nailed an impressive dropkick. Cesaro with an uppercut sent Sheamus over the barricade. Cesaro slapped the hand of Rooney, so Barrett confronted him. Sheamus nailed Cesaro with a forearm smash. Sheamus talked trash to Rooney at ringside and then he went into the ring. Barrett poked Rooney with his finger, so Rooney slapped him and Barrett bumped to the floor. Sheamus was distracted by that, so Cesaro nailed a forearm smash and then hooked his arms to do a pinning sequence for the win after 16 minutes.
Winner by pinfall and Advancing to Quarterfinals: Cesaro
Thanks to that win, Cesaro faces Roman Reigns in round two of the tournament. I expect a Reigns win in a very competitive match designed to put Reigns over with the best possible opponent.
Analysis: ***1/2 A damn good match from two guys who always have entertaining matches together. I liked the interaction with Rooney too. Barrett’s bump was ridiculous, but it drew a good pop and that’s what matters. It was even better since they were in front of the appreciative England fans. The physical style of their matches is enjoyable to watch because you can see that they are really connecting with some of those uppercuts, but it’s not like they are hurting eachother. They just know they can wrestle that kind of style together and make it work. I’m happy for the Cesaro win, but I’m a little surprised that Sheamus would lose in the first round. They really need to do a better job of booking him as a top heel especially since he’s holding the Money in the Bank briefcase. There are other people in the tournament that he should be booked better than, but I love the Cesaro win so it’s fine with me. Don’t forget about Sheamus with Money in the Bank either. He could end the tournament with the cash-in win. It’s not my pick, but it’s definitely possible.
Up next is Dean Ambrose taking on Tyler Breeze in a tournament match.
PLUG TIME: We launched the brand new, weekly TJRWrestling Podcast four weeks ago. My good friend Rey is co-hosting with me. Go check out and bookmark our Podbean page where we will upload new episodes every Wednesday morning. For iTunes you can click here or do a search for “TJRWrestling” (all one word) or “John Canton” and it should come up. Subscribing to it would be even easier for you. Last week’s show featured author Kevin Sullivan to talk about his new Undertaker book as we all shared some fun Undertaker memories. New episode will go up on Wednesday. All of our new episodes as well as previous episodes go up on our Podbean page so make sure you check that out on a regular basis.
The announcers mentioned Batista starring in the #1 movie in the world Spectre, which is a James Bond film. I saw it and thought it was very good although a little too long. Cut out 20-30 minutes and I would have liked it more.
Dean Ambrose entered for his match. He received a great reaction like usual.
Tyler Breeze with Summer Rae (and selfie stick) was interviewed by Renee Young for his first match on Raw. Breeze said the world is an ugly place while mocking Young, but thanks to good looking people like him there’s hope. Summer mocked Ambrose’s wardrobe by saying that he looked like a homeless man. Breeze said that you’re looking at the new face of WWE.
Analysis: That was a fun interview. I think Summer might actually do a good job with him unlike the previous wrestlers she managed and didn’t add much to their act. Of course there was a bit of a “wink wink” moment there as they trashed Ambrose to Renee since Renee is dating him. It’s not like they would acknowledge that, though.
WWE Title Tournament First Round: Dean Ambrose vs. Tyler Breeze (w/Summer Rae)
Ambrose went for a suicide dive out of the ring, but Breeze moved and Summer screamed “OH MY GOD!” Ambrose clotheslined Breeze out of the ring and then connected on the dive. Ambrose posed on the barricade with fans as the show went to break about one minute into this match.
Back from break, Ambrose got a nearfall and Breeze hit a Supermodel Kick that Cole called “what a kick” instead of the actual name. It got two. Sorry Breeze. You’re not on NXT anymore where they actually call moves. Outside the ring, Breeze was tossed into the barricade. Back in the ring, they did a pinfall exchange sequence where each guy got in a few counters. Breeze got a rollup with his feet on the ropes for a two count. Ambrose nailed him with his bounce off the ropes clothesline. JBL just mentioned that if they both keep advancing we could see Reigns vs. Ambrose. That’s what I expect. Ambrose nailed a missile dropkick to take out Breeze. Ambrose was selling an injured shoulder, so Breeze tossed him shoulder first into the turnbuckles three times in a row. Double knee attack by Breeze on the arm of Ambrose. Breeze was really aggressive on offense, so the ref had to pull him off and Breeze yelled at the ref not to touch him. Back body drop by Ambrose sent Breeze over the top to the floor. Some kid was yelling at Breeze saying “that’s what you get when you mess with Dolph Ziggler.” That was funny. Breeze went back into the ring, so Ambrose gave him an inside cradle for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall and Advancing to Quarterfinals: Dean Ambrose
With the win, Ambrose will face Ziggler in the quarterfinals next week. That’s the second face vs. face match in the quarterfinals. I think Ambrose will win that one.
Analysis: *** A really good match with some nice psychology since Ambrose was selling the shoulder injury and had a crafty finish with the inside cradle. I like that Breeze was given a lot of offense while the announcers put him over as being smart since he kept going after the shoulder. A lot of fans watching may not watch NXT, so they need to see Breeze look good in a match like this. The problem is that the guy lost his Raw debut, so that sucks a bit. Losing to a main eventer like Ambrose isn’t that bad. Plus, Dean had to use a non-finishing move to win so it’s not like the loss hurts Breeze too much.
The next Undertaker/Kane video showed Undertaker beating Triple H at WrestleMania 28 in a Hell in a Cell match that I loved attending live. It also showed Kane’s dominating performance in the 2001 Royal Rumble. He didn’t win, but he eliminated 11 guys, which was a record for a long time. Later it’s the Wyatt Family doing the eulogy. If you did a shot every time they plugged this you’d be passed out a while ago.
This week on Smackdown there are more WWE Title tournament matches: Ryback vs. Kalisto, Neville vs. King Barrett and Alberto Del Rio vs. Stardust.
It’s New Day time! The crowd gave them a great reaction with JBL saying the Spice Girls could learn something from their dancing. Kofi Kingston complained that all the members of the New Day were left out of the WWE Title tournament. Big E said it’s outrageous. They have a good point. When they said they were treated like outcasts they said they were so fresh and so clean, which is in reference to a great song by Outkast. When they got in the ring, they mentioned laying out the likes of Dolph Ziggler, Dudley Boyz and John Cena. There was piped in crowd cheers for the faces they just mentioned, especially Cena. They said this match is for their fallen captain Seth Rollins. They encouraged people to get their unicorn horns ready to support Rollins. Kingston got in a jab at Harry Potter saying he sucks. I agree. It ended with “New Day Rocks” chanting.
Analysis: These guys are the best. All the little things they do crack me up and I don’t even mention all of it, but trust me I’m smiling when I write about The New Day. They are so much fun to watch. I’m sure the piped in crowd noise will get people talking, but WWE has always piped in crowd noise on taped shows. That’s how they roll.
The New Day’s Kofi Kingston, Big E & Xavier Woods vs. The Usos & Neville
This could be an outstanding match if it gets a lot of time. Jimmy hit a kick to Kofi’s head, that led to Kofi going to the floor and there’s the commercial break less than a minute into the match.
During the commercial, The New Day took control as they isolated Jey from his teammates. Woods started playing the trombone. A Samoan Drop by Jey on Big E and it’s hot tag city for Neville against Kingston. Neville hit a running dropkick on Woods followed by a missile dropkick. Standing moonsault by Neville on Kingston for two broken up by the New Day guys. Usos with superkicks for E & Kofi followed by dives over the top rope to take them out. Neville dropkick sent Woods outside the ring. Neville up top and he hit a corkscrew plancha to take out all five guys on the floor. Kingston distracted Neville on the top rope. The four guys outside the ring took eachother out. Woods to his feet, Neville kicked him in the head and Neville went up top again. Big E tripped up Neville while Kingston tossed the trombone into the ring to distract the ref. Woods covered Neville with his feet on the ropes to get the win after nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The New Day
Analysis: **1/4 It didn’t get as much as time as I hoped, but was still pretty good for the time given. I think The New Day is going to build up some great chemistry with The Usos over the next few months and could have some outstanding matches together. I’m a little surprised that Neville took the pin since he’s in the tournament. However, I think he’s winning his match in the first round over Barrett, so that’s typical WWE booking where you have a guy lose on one show and win on the next one. Good heel tactics by New Day as usual.
Another video showed The Wyatt Family destroying The Undertaker at Hell in a Cell and then Kane the next night on Raw.
Bray Wyatt made his entrance as they showed a video of them using Undertaker and Kane pyrotechnic powers last week.
The Wyatt Family “Eulogy” For Undertaker & Kane
The crowd was singing “he’s got the whole world in his hands” for Wyatt. The ring was darkened with Wyatt alone in the ring and a spotlight. He said tonight we celebrate The Undertaker and Kane. He said for over two decades they possessed the power to control the light as well as the darkness and they have reigned supreme. He wants us to bow our heads to pay respect to the legends that are Kane and The Undertaker. Wyatt called people fools. He said there wasn’t a passing of the torch – he took it. Wyatt said that it all belongs to him now. Wyatt spoke about how there is no more time for salvation. He said that this will all be over soon – the apocalypse is here. Wyatt got down on his knees in the ring, said “follow” and then a video package aired about The Undertaker and Kane.
The video package showed clips of The Undertaker and Kane destroying people on their own as well as together. I marked out for Kurt Angle on the video, but not so much Kronik. I think I saw Pete Rose! Then there was a shot of them looking back together. The pyrotechnics went off with lightning shooting in the arena, which caused some fire to light up by the stage.
There’s the familiar gong of The Undertaker. Huge pop from the crowd as The Undertaker’s music started to play. Undertaker walked out with his “brother” Demon Kane. The crowd was going crazy for this as the Brothers of Destruction slowly went down to the ring to confront Wyatt. This ovation is pretty awesome because the crowd respects these two legends. Wyatt was all alone as he stared at them.
When the lights came on, The Undertaker was very tanned. The crowd cheered wildly as the Brothers of Destruction stared at Wyatt. They chanted “holy shit” as well, but there’s the Wyatt Family logo as the lights went out. The backup arrived with Harper, Strowman and Rowan on the apron. Crowd chanted “this is awesome” for it.
Undertaker and Kane knocked down Wyatt. Undertaker and Kane each hit a Chokeslam on Harper and Rowan. Strowman hit a double clothesline to knock the brothers down. They weren’t down for long as the the brothers sent Strowman over the top to the floor. Double boot to Wyatt to knock him down. Then they went outside the ring to toss Strowman over the announce table into the chairs at ringside. They stared at Wyatt alone in the ring. Undertaker and Kane went into the ring and gave Wyatt a double Chokeslam. The Undertaker’s music played.
Undertaker and Kane stared down at the fallen Wyatt. Another huge reaction from the crowd. Replays showed the destruction. Undertaker and Kane walked away together while Wyatt was still down in the ring selling the double Chokeslam attack. Undertaker and Kane looked back from the top of the ramp. Then they raised their hands in the air. That’s how Raw ended.
Analysis: That was a really cool ending. Sometimes promo segments to end the show are boring. This one was a lot of fun. It’s not like we get to see Undertaker and Kane working together like that very often, so seeing it on Raw was an awesome sight. The story called for a moment like that with Undertaker and Kane getting their revenge from what happened two weeks ago. The fans in Manchester absolutely loved it as did I. They didn’t sell a thing. They just went down to the ring, kicked some ass and left standing tall. That’s how you build up a match.
It looks like they will do a 4 on 2 match at Survivor Series with elimination rule with the entire Wyatt Family against Undertaker and Kane. I don’t see WWE adding a team to Undertaker/Kane. I guess they could put the Dudleys there if they need to find two more, but it may not happen.
I don’t know where the Wyatt Family took The Undertaker when they abducted him and took over his wizard powers two weeks ago, but they were kind enough to put him in a place with a tanning salon along with an unlimited supply of spray tan. He’s never been more orange, brother. With all due respect to Undertaker, he looked better with the shaved head he had a couple of years ago. The hair just looks a bit ridiculous at this point.
That Undertaker/Kane moment was amazing, but it’s a shame Paul Bearer is no longer with us because he could have said “OH YES” to a thunderous ovation as Wyatt was talking. The gong works well anyway.
Three Stars of the Show
I’m so used to writing Seth Rollins in this section. I will miss doing that.
7 out of 10
Last week: 7
Last 5 Weeks: 7, 8, 6.5, 4.5, 4
2015 Average: 5.85
2015 High: 9 (May 4)
2015 Low: 3.5 (September 28)
I’m giving it a 7 out of 10.
– It’s another solid 7 out of 10 from me. That’s four straight weeks where I’ve given Raw a score of 6.5 or higher. I just think WWE is doing a better job of making the matches mean more with less useless promos. There were some boring parts, but not that bad. If people are saying I’m too nice, that’s okay.
– I liked the ending a lot. As I said, it wasn’t about taking bumps or having a major exchange between the two sides. It was all about showing Undertaker and Kane being as strong as ever even though Wyatt talked all that trash about taking their powers. Actions speak louder than words, as usual.
– Match of the night was Cesaro vs. Sheamus. It’s always a good idea to give that match about 15 minutes because they will always deliver. I liked Wayne Rooney’s involvement too because it’s getting a lot of attention with sports fans in England.
– Triple H’s promo to start Raw was interesting. Reigns refused aligning with him, but so did The Rock with Vince McMahon prior to Survivor Series 1998 and he ended up turning heel. Maybe Reigns will too? I don’t think so, but it’s possible.
– There were several finishes on this show with rollups or people capitalizing on mistakes. Not that many finishing moves used for wins, which is okay because it teaches fans that matches can end at any time with a number of different moves. I just thought some of the finishes were odd.
– The crowd was good for the most part, but not as raucous as most England crowds are. I don’t know if it was their fault or if it happened just because there were some short matches.
That’s all for this week.
PLUG TIME: We launched the brand new, weekly TJRWrestling Podcast three weeks ago. My good friend Rey is co-hosting with me. Go check out and bookmark our Podbean page where we will upload new episodes every Wednesday morning. For iTunes you can click here or do a search for “TJRWrestling” (all one word) or “John Canton” and it should come up. Subscribing to it would be even easier for you. Last week’s show featured author Kevin Sullivan to talk about his new Undertaker book as we all shared some fun Undertaker memories. New episode will go up on Wednesday. All of our new episodes as well as previous episodes go up on our Podbean page so make sure you check that out on a regular basis.
Thanks for reading. Go St. Louis Rams. Go Toronto Raptors.
John Canton –firstname.lastname@example.org