September 18, 2014 by Joey Keogh
It’s the go-home show before Night Of Champions, so naturally Raw is a little scattered and, at times, all over the place this week but, considering the past couple of episodes haven’t been great it’s sort of a return to form. We open with a dude in a sheep mask bowing as the legendary Paul Heyman enters the Cajun Dome to cut a rousing promo that is all the more impressive considering the majority of news sources reckon his client Brock Lesnar is set to lose on Sunday. He kicks off by doing a little impression of Lesnar’s opponent, John Cena, and the kids who idolise him. He’s booed out of it, of course, but he cheerily tells the assembled crowd that there’ll be more to boo come Sunday.
However, when Cena’s music drops, even Heyman visibly gulps a little. He’s all “where’s Lesnar? I can’t see him, yo!” before doing his own impersonation, of Heyman talking about his client Brock Lesnar. You can tell we’re down south because Cena’s all country tonight, y’all. He gets very riled up when Lesnar’s music hits and Heyman dissolves into cruel chuckles when it’s revealed to be a total fake-out because Lesnar’s flight was delayed and he won’t be here until later.
He flies first class, you see, because he hates people and that is probably why he’s recently moved yet again, from Saskatchewan to a more remote part of the world – should he not just pitch up a tent on an ice cap somewhere and call it a day? Anyway, when he does show up, he won’t be main event-ing because Cena’s only giving Heyman till half-time – real sport reference again? – at which point he’s going to beat his ass, if Lesnar hasn’t appeared.
Is this really considered face behaviour? Cena was pretty rough and ready last week, but this is really pushing it. He drags Heyman offstage panto-style before a recap of last week’s Main Event is played, which conveniently leaves out that horrifying moment when Rollins almost died. Tonight, though, he’ll be facing up against Roman Reigns, in anticipation of their match-up on Sunday.
Chris Jericho -v- Corporate Kane
But first, Jericho is facing up against CORPORATE Kane – not Uncle Kane, or Country Kane, but CORPORATE – and one guy has his arms crossed in defiance as Jericho enters because his jacket is just too camp for his liking. Apparently, Cena has locked Heyman in his dressing room backstage and has enlisted The Great Khali to guard it, which leads to a comical little moment during which Cena tries everything to communicate before Khali shoos him away as if to say “bitch, please, I got this”. Anyway, Jericho is warming up for his match against Randy Orton at NOC, and who better to put him through his paces than Kane, in a pair of ill-fitting, ill-advised slacks? He’s sporting what looks like a C-section scar, though, too which adds a certain air of weirdness to the whole thing. Throughout this bout, King can’t decide whether Kane is being beaten or is the one doing the beating, but for once it’s not because he’s too busy checking out some underage chick’s butt, as both Kane and Jericho take turns laying into each other, with Kane running into a horrible elbow to start with before being sent flying over the ropes, giving Jericho the opportunity for a spectacular Splash. A man in the front row who looks even less corporate than Kane tries to remain incognito as he chats on the phone throughout – he has deals to make, time is money damn it! – meaning he misses a super cool ensigury by Jericho, which marks his third or fourth usage of the move since his return, and leads to a near fall. Jericho is dominating midway through, but his knee is still bugging him and, although he lays into Kane in the corner, leaving him fairly bloodied, he gets backdropped from the second rope for his trouble. He goes for the Walls, but Kane flips him before exposing the turnbuckle like the evil genius he is. Kane chokeslams Jericho, but he turns it into a DDT before utilising a cool lionsault, much like he did last week, before Kane goes for another chokeslam, which Jericho ducks leading his opponent to go flying into the exposed turnbuckle. Jericho then simply rolls him up to win.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Elsewhere, Heyman is pleading with Khali to let him out. His phone gets broken as a result. This is kind of dark, but then again, WWE love their little horror segments (and they make super cool horror movies, too). In case you missed last week’s Smackdown – and, let’s face it, you did – Rusev and Mark Henry had an arm-wrestling competition while everyone chanted “USA! USA!” Later on, Henry will “rally” America, with the help of some Olympians including this one dude who’s clearly never done a bit to-camera before. Backstage, Renee is flirting with Reigns again as we are treated to another replay of the moment his ex-teammate Rollins betrayed he and Ambrose – and it never gets old, ever – before he tells her that he stands alone – like The Scorpion King! – and that he’s going to beat Rollins until his knuckles are bloody. Renee looks highly aroused by this visual, and rightly so.
Bo Dallas -v- Jack Swagger
Cole reckons these two have previous, but all I seem to recall is that weird bit with the gambling addict and the lady in the wig whose kid loved Putin. There’s a decent Belly To Belly by Swagger early on, while the “We The People” chant is a bit too emphatic tonight in Louisiana, for obvious reasons. Bo gets Swagger in a pretty tight headlock and the two hold hands for much too long. Did you know Zeb Colter fought on both sides of the Civil War, because he just loves to fight? Surely King is referring to Sheamo, who was an integral part of the Easter Rising? To his credit, Bo isn’t a bad little fighter, and he manages to utilise a painful-looking neckbreaker that almost wrecks a man twice his size. Unfortunately, he follows it up by aiming from the top rope, missing and landing on his knees, leaving him in agony. Swagger strands him on the top rope and uses the Patriot Lock to keep him in place, before Bo turns it around to try for the running Bo dog, pinning Swagger who kicks and grabs him in the Patriot Lock to win. Afterwards, Cole tells us he bo-lieves in subscribing to the Network for just $9.99!
Winner: Jack Swagger
Divas Tag Team Match: Nikki Bella & Paige -v- Brie Bella & AJ Lee
Hooray, TWO of these chicks can actually wrestle, which means we might get a full minute of fun amidst the screaming and hair-pulling. Poor Brie has taken a shot at having some cleavage tonight, but her sister outdoes her just by existing – even if the camera, curiously, pulls out as she’s bouncing up and down on the spot. Paige claps AJ as she enters the ring before being tagged in immediately by Nikki after her sister takes aim at her. Cole refers to her as “Kikki” which is HILARIOUS, obviously, because Divas only really do dropkicks and no other moves. Brie is screeching her little head off tonight, but thankfully Paige is totally kicking her butt and even uses her hand to blow AJ a kiss. On the outside, Nikki pulls AJ down off the apron from behind – those boobs are evil – as Paige utilises the Ram-Paige to win. Nikki then provides the most shocking moment of her career – even better than “I wish you’d died in the WOMB!” – by putting her sister in a torture rack before backdropping her (apparently it’s called the Rack Attack, but that’s humiliating for her). The shocking part is, it looks quite brutal – and, more importantly, it’s loud unlike most Divas moves which sound like feathers falling onto scrambled eggs. Paige skips around the ring in victory, but has to shoo AJ away after she mimics her on the outside. Bold AJ.
Winners: Paige & Nikki Bella
Bray Wyatt -v- Big Show
Bray actually cuts a pretty decent promo prior to this match, which is almost as cool as his recent GMA interview but not quite. He hasn’t been doing them as often lately, which sucks. There’s also a “Don’t Try This At Home” promo, and it’s been a while, so that’s kind of nice. There are no man cuddles for the swamp brothers this time around, as instead Bray just headbutts Harper in the chest before he enters the ring. Aw, that’s how they show affection. Or maybe he’s just a jerk? This may seem like an unfairly balanced match-up, but to his credit, Bray manages to use Show’s size and strength against him. When Show aims for a boot to the jaw, for example, Bray grabs his massive leg and slams it into the mat. However, he ends up getting disqualified when Harper intercepts Show’s pin, leading to the two of them ganging up on him and getting simultaneously chokeslammed as a result. Afterwards, Bray rocks back and forth in his chair and gloats because, to him, this is still a win.
6-Man Tag Team Match: The Usos -v- Sheamus -v- Cesaro -v- Goldust -v- Stardust
Cesaro has his own towel now, just like Cena! Except his isn’t a dishcloth and he doesn’t use it to spell out his catchphrase for the kids in the front row. Sheamo looks a little less juiced tonight, so good for him. He faces up against Stardust to start, leading to a cool back and forth before an Uso is tagged in, followed by Cesaro who mocks his NOC opponent with a rendition of the Ten Beats. He lays waste to everyone before Stardust tags in again, and Cesaro teases the Swing but doesn’t do it because he’s a mean ol’ heel now. Apparently the same Uso has been tagged in the whole time, but then again Cole will call a Suplex a dropkick so who knows what we can trust? There’s a hot tag to Sheamo, who delivers a brutal running knee to Stardust, followed by a rolling senton. He then grabs Cesaro and pays him back for his earlier act of insolence by making him suffer the wrath of the Ten Beats, before using Stardust to knock him clean off the apron. Sheamo utilises a Battering Ram from the top rope to tackle Stardust on the outside, before Brogue kicking him into oblivion. There’s another hot tag, this time to Cesaro, who immediately uses the Neutraliser, leading to a near fall. The other Uso is finally tagged in, and a Splash to Cesaro wins it for them.
Winners: The Usos & Sheamus
Backstage, Renee is with Randy Orton, whom she doesn’t fancy quite as much as Reigns. Still refusing to wear pants, and showing off his indoor voice once again, Orton is adamant that nothing has been handed to him and anyone who claims otherwise is a dirty liar. But enough of that, it’s finally halftime – in real sporting terms – and that means Heyman is about to meet his fate, if he doesn’t present THE BEAST INCARNATE – that phrase sucks more every time it’s used – to take his place.
Cena actually drags Heyman to the ring and then holds him there by his tie which, again, is pretty rough, as he tells the assembled crowd his name, in a very Heyman-esque way of course, and the man himself tries to run away but is immediately dragged back. Much like The Joker trying to convince Batman to break his one rule, Heyman’s intention is to turn Cena into the very bully he’s trying to defeat.
If he doesn’t become him, he can’t beat him. Cena flexes his knuckles thoughtfully as Heyman begs to be hit. The crowd want it so badly, but just when we seem on the very cusp of getting it, like every other goddamn time, Cena simply grabs the mic, calls Heyman the “scum of the earth” and tells him a big ol’ “No” as the crowd resolutely chant “Yes”. Heyman wants him to be his guy, but he gets that he has no balls and hopes his mother is proud.
Cena knocks the mic out of his hand, telling him “don’t talk about mah momma” as finally, the reason for all this discussion appears and Cena looks kind of aroused as he advances, circles the ring, retreats and hands his belt to Heyman. Lesnar teases for a while before finally entering the ring to perform yet another German Suplex on Cena. Unfortunately, Cena is the one being sold tonight and he chucks him effortlessly into the turnbuckle, then the barricade, before pounding on him until a load of security guys turn up to drag him off. John Cena is back, ladies and gentlemen, and he is pissed.
Total Divas Match: Cameron -v- Naomi
Apparently some shit went down on the show last week that was important for some reason, and as a result Cameron is dressed as a sexy girl scout while Naomi tries not to show off the massive stain on her lime green tights that is probably just make-up but actually looks like period blood. There’s lots of screaming, an attempt at a Suplex that looks like absolute shit and then Cameron thinks she’s pinned her opponent but really she hasn’t and the ref is confused and eventually she taps out of a submission hold of some sort.
Tag Team Match: Dolph Ziggler & R-Truth -v- The Miz & Damien Sandow
Ziggler isn’t just sporting some new merch tonight, he has a stunt double of his own, too and the commentators are actually funny for once by pretending they can’t tell the difference between them. R pins Sandow at one point and JBL matter-of-factly says “That’s Dolph” while Cole reckons one “wears” a beard as opposed to growing it. This match is kind of a mess but at least it’s building up to Ziggler v Miz on Sunday, which should be good just because Ziggler is involved. He’s dying to get a piece of The Miz tonight, hanging off the ropes and yelling “I dare you” until he is finally tagged in and delivers the Fame Asser, to stunning effect. Sandow then holds Ziggler steady so Miz can whack him, but he ducks just in time, leading Sandow to get knocked out in his place and giving Ziggler the opportunity to perform the Zig Zag to win.
Winners: Dolph Ziggler & R-Truth
Backstage, Work Experience Tom is having a lot of trouble reading the teleprompter, but that’s okay, Rollins is here to wax lyrical about Reigns being dumb and to do an impression of him as a Neanderthal and then laugh at his own joke. Reigns is part rhino because he’s big and slow and has a horn on his face. Get it? Rollins made the BBC – or The Shield, whatever – so really Reigns should thank him and be humbled by his appearance in the match that’s happening right now.
Main Event: Seth Rollins -v- Roman Reigns
Technically, this isn’t the Main Event, but it’s been billed that way all night and last minute changes don’t fool us, WWE! There’s no way that stupid rally was meant to be last – not when this slice of genius was on the card. Lots of opportunistic kids grope Reigns as he enters, while Rollins’ Titantron still boasts the worst font in the history of the company. Ambrose is still sorely missed but damn it these two work well together. Rollins brags about brains over brawn ringside, before being absolutely pummelled by Reigns. There’s a cool kick off the apron from Reigns, followed by a Superman Punch. He goes for the Spear, but Rollins leapfrogs over and superkicks him instead. He then carries Reigns like a baby and chucks him into the turnbuckle. Rollins goes for a curbstomp, but Reigns manages to utilise a Spear to win. We are then informed, by Cole, that according to rumour this match was dedicated to Dean Ambrose. Juicy. I’m sure TMZ will be on it ASAP.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Following that fun, Raw ends in not-so-spectacular fashion with Henry rallying America to do…something. Everyone is waving little flags, Cole is in the ring, and literally nobody outside of the USA cares about this shit so LET IT GO.
Considering this was a rather good installment of Raw, the rally was kind of a letdown, but it’s all building towards Night Of Champions so that’s good. Overall, the matches and promos were pretty great tonight, with the exception of the Total Divas bout, but nobody cares about that anyway.
Excitement is strangely high for this PPV, considering it’s not a huge one on most fans’ calendars, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that Lesnar is going to lose to Cena, which will undo a lot of the goodwill after his major beat-down last time.
Hopefully, the rest of the card can make up for it, but there’s only so much of Cena winning we can take. And, if he is set up to be victorious yet again, then the other participants are really going to have to work extra hard to alleviate the rest of the show. Otherwise, Night Of Champions will be just another PPV.
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