October 9, 2014 by Joey Keogh
After last week’s mental, Dean Ambrose-filled extravaganza, anything would seem tame in comparison. However, this week, the emphasis still seems to be on the progression of story-lines, as opposed to actual matches and although, once again, there are eight bouts tonight, two of them are bullshit Divas matches and one involves a dude in an alligator costume, so wash.
We open with a quick replay of Ambrose’s merch-throwing shenanigans last week, along with the sliming, of course, which is scored like we’ve been transported to a particularly dodgy biker bar down south – at one point, the screen oozes green slime, making it all seem a bit Goosebumps. Rollins is Scuba Steve again, and he’s all “Kill the music!” as he enters, to rousing boos. “You think that’s funny!?” he asks rhetorically. The crowd cheers. Well you shouldn’t! The real highlight of last week was Rollins’ curbstomp to Ambrose. And then his other curbstomp to Cena. So yeah, now you know. “That’s what happens when you disrespect me” he says not at all convincingly, eliciting more boos. His little grad speech is interrupted by the cruiser weight division themselves, who beckon him to leave the ring. The crowd chant for Noble, who looks totally chuffed with the attention. “Everyone wants a piece of Seth Rollins” Cole quips “His opponent can’t wait to get his hands on him!” Tumblr, is that you?
Suddenly, but not at all unexpectedly, John Cena arrives to stick his massive foot in it and attacks Rollins, who flees into the crowd as per usual. He takes solace in the support of an unknown man next to him, before realising it’s Ambrose and shrieking like a girl. Ambrose and Cena then double team Rollins as Noble and Mercury try unsuccessfully to intervene. The Authority show up, resplendent in matching spandex, and Steph is like “There will be no chaos on THIS show” – what show does she think she’s on? Deal Or No Deal? – as Trips notes that clearly Cena and Ambrose aren’t working together because of something that happened on Smackdown last week or some shit.
He goes on to explain that, if there’s one thing The Authority stands for, it’s opportunity. The crowd are asked if they want to see Ambrose v Cena v Rollins and, naturally they go nuts, so he asks again, to get a bigger reaction like he’s doing an encore except we’ve only just started. Well it’s gonna happen. Tonight! Woah woah woah, not just yet Cena, there’s no need to remove your clothes. Basically, Cena and Ambrose are going to have to team up for a handicap match against Orton, Rollins and Kane. “Be careful what you wish for, boys” he tells them ominously before being played out as he and Steph exit. Elsewhere, Big Show apologised for being an American on Smackdown. That’ll probably come up later, though, so no need to panic just yet.
6-Man Tag Team Match: Goldust, Stardust & Cesaro -v- The Usos & Dolph Ziggler
If you’re wondering why this wasn’t divided into two matches, to give talented wrestlers like Ziggler, Cesaro, and the two art kids, a proper shot at showcasing what they can do, you’re going to be super pissed when you find out why this was all smushed into one, messy bout – hint: it involves a breakaway wine bottle. As Goldust and Stardust enter, JBL remarks that the word bizarre “is kind when it comes to these two” – what are the bets he was the bully in school and Cole was the nerd he beat up? The Usos pop up in the confessional box to laugh at their own impressions of the weirdos – they’re funnier on Total Divas – before everyone loses their shit over Ziggler, and nobody really reacts to Cesaro yet again. The match kicks off with all the participants going crazy on each other at once, as Cole remarks that it’s been a “wild” night so far. Yeah, those first ten minutes were CRAZY. They’re still trying to make “Uso crazy” happen for some reason and Cole desperately wants JBL to stop looking at his notes. Considering all he’s written thus far is Mrs. Vince Mc Mahon over and over, he’s probably safe. A crazy uppercut from Cesaro barely registers, and the moments when he’s tackling Ziggler on the outside are actually more exciting than anything going on in the ring, which is kind of depressing. Cesaro goes for a cool twirling backbreaker, but Ziggler counters and puts him in a sleeper hold, before delivering the Fame Asser. An elbow by Cesaro puts him in control again, before Stardust tags in and gets himself superkicked by a just-tagged Uso. The same dude (probably) Splashes to pin and win.
Winners: The Usos & Dolph Ziggler
Earlier this week, Cena was interviewed on The Today Show, in a makeshift boxing ring because their researchers weren’t arsed checking which sport he’s actually involved in. Cena used his real voice, which is most welcome when he’s making inanimate objects talk, and Yoda was most impressed. Wait, no, Hoda. Hoda is not Yoda so nobody really cares that she and co-host Kathie Lee are here tonight, or that they’re being introduced and accompanied to the ring by Adam Rose and his party posse – just to be clear, Vince thinks this dude is funnier than Fandango. Let that sink in for a sec. Rose is beginning to look a lot like Ming The Merciless thanks to some questionable facial hair, and he gets to hang out the whole time these two winos are in the ring. His music is played loudly while they talk, in an effort to drown out Brooklyn’s boos, but it doesn’t work. Their Botox and Spanx may be working overtime, but we seriously don’t care about these two. Thankfully, that creepy Wyatt/Harper promo from last week follows. It’s a jarring, yet most welcome, change in tone.
Bo Dallas -v- Mark Henry
There’s a major pop for Henry as he enters, second, and the cheers only grow louder as he lays into Bo. King mentions that he’d gladly hit Bo with his car and nobody argues with him. Henry, who can’t hear him but let’s pretend for a second that he can, takes the opportunity to tear the announce table apart in support. But, Bo swerves his Slam attempt and hops back into the ring, leaving a confused Henry outside to get counted out.
Winner: Bo Dallas
Ambrose is here again! A single mention of Cena gets boos, especially as Ambrose is explaining how hard he’s trying to like him. Apparently, all ex-Shield members have the ability to get footage played at will, he’s like “Play it!” and then he calls out Cena – “Please John, indulge me with your presence” – who, when he does show his face, is entering to Hogan colours on his Titantron. Coincidence? The crowd sing the ever-popular refrain “John Cena sucks” in time with his music. His hat clashes horribly with his shirt, but hey, this is Cena, he’s just glad to have clothes that kind of fit. He’s all “thanks for the intro”, like Bette Midler in Hocus Pocus only chewing the scenery even more, before going on about some more rubbish that nobody is following. Ambrose is all “I don’t give a CRAP”. What they have in common, though, is that neither of them give a CRAP about what other people think of them. This will aid them in their match later, except that Ambrose isn’t going to be there because he’s off to Coney Island (cheers) to eat hot dogs and ride the rides. He wishes Cena luck as a ridiculous hipster takes his opportunity to showcase how ridiculous he looks, before being upstaged by a couple of dudes in Wyatt cosplay, seated directly behind the announcers, who extinguish their lamp at the exact right moment. We watch Ambrose get on the train, with nobody really noticing or caring. Cena is wandering backstage when he runs into Trips who mocks him with “The champ is HERE!” before being like “Kids, eh?” about Ambrose. A 3-on-1 handicap is mean but oh well, he can handle it right? Cena’s like “I know what y’all bitches trying to do, y’all tryin’ to psychologise me” and walks off, leaving Trips to grin triumphantly in his wake.
Total Divas Match: Brie Bella -v- Summer Rae
Continuing with the string of matches Nikki had to unfairly take part in, in her absence, Brie’s arm is tied behind her back for this bout. Her sister watches silently, boobs covered for once. Summer laughs like a maniac throughout as her buddy Layla hangs ringside, presumably unaware that her ass crack is out. Summer dominates for a bit, with Nikki clapping each move she makes, before Brie somehow wins and does a “Yes” chant. Apparently, she’s more over at house shows, but nobody really believes that do they? Anyone doing a “Yes” chant could be considered over.
Winner: Brie Bella
Backstage, Corporate Kane is staring confusedly at a fruit basket. It transpires that it’s a gift from The Miz and his ever-present, attention-stealing stunt double Damien Mizdow, who show up on cue to speak and move in tandem. Kane doesn’t accept their apology – “But! We sent you A-list fruit!” Miz argues – and, as punishment for their insolence, there’ll be a match for Miz later opposite Sheamo. The two flounce off, before Mizdow returns to grab the basket and go “Hmph!” in annoyance. Who knew that Damien Sandow could make The Miz bearable?
Jack Swagger -v- Tyson Kidd
Fresh from his, er, appearance on last week’s show, NXT favourite Nattie’s Husband has been bumped up to the main show to lose spectacularly to Swagger. There’s a decent “We The People” chant as he enters with Colter, who looks kind of down. TJ jumps out of the ring after about two seconds of fighting, to cry on his wife’s shoulder – her hair isn’t the best tonight, it’s probably distracting him – before a lot of kicking and a neckbreaker lead to a near fall. TJ goes for the Sharpshooter, but Swagger counters, trying for the Patriot Lock. TJ wriggles out and Splashes from the top, but Swagger manages to get him in the Patriot Lock on his second try and he taps about a second later, before removing his stinky shoe and rubbing his foot in agony, much to Nattie’s dismay.
Winner: Jack Swagger
Immediately following Raw, Edge and Christian will be presenting a show all about how blonde and Canadian they are. They’re all “we’ll take it from here, Cole – how do you even have a job?” before going on to explain all about how cheap $9.99 is – they’re so great together, they should really present Bake Off. Roman Reigns is up next, via satellite, and using his normal voice while wearing a hoodie. He makes a little speech about his recovery and there are lots of pauses for applause, rendering the revelations earlier this week about the broadcast not being live totally moot. Anyway, Reigns is like “Believe in my recovery” and we do.
El Torito -v- Mini Gator
There’s a super creepy poster for the recently-deceased Eric The Actor in the second or third row that’s incredibly distracting throughout the show, but it’s worst during this match. JBL reckons a dragon is a prehistoric creature still alive today. He’s in a weird mood tonight. The gator is crawling around the ring for a bit before Torito puts a cloak over his head to stop him in his tracks. The ref is confused, even though this is obviously cause for a DQ. There’s a rousing “This is stupid” chant throughout, and King pretends not to hear what it is – “This is what?” he asks. The gator manages to gator roll Slater by mistake. Torito wins somehow.
Winner: El Torito
Cole is so pissed at that last match, he’s taken his glasses off in protest. Show has been assigned sensitivity training, and it’s being conducted backstage with a random stage hand. But anyway it’s time for Rusev and Lana to come out and say things now. “By supporting Big Show” she explains, “You are committing a hate crime” Fair play to WWE for turning what happened last week into promotional material. Rusev calls out Show in his broken English before denouncing him as a coward, “like all of you” Suddenly, none other than The Rock‘s music drops and the man himself strides out to ear-splitting applause, in a Brooklyn jacket. He details how he got to the arena – he swam to Staten Island (boos) -, makes fun of how Rusev is dressed and calls Lana a hooker. After calling out various NYC hotspots, to varying degrees of booing and cheering, and referring to “Chewbacca’s hairy beanbag”, Rocky is all “I love the USA” But he doesn’t even go here! He beats the shit out of Rusev, then leaps out as Lana totters past the cameras. He’s all “If ya smeeeeeeeeell” and then they leave quietly.
Divas Tag Team Match: Alicia Fox & Paige -v- AJ Lee & Emma
AJ tweeted earlier in the week that she would be teaming up with someone against her ex-BFF Paige, before realising she had no friends. She’s really not into Emma‘s dance, especially when it continues in the ring. AJ sends Alicia flying into Paige to kick things off, before throwing the latter into the announce table. “Show some respect!” JBL yells. “I didn’t say anything!” Cole counters. Emma does a weird handstand thing and then kicks someone in the face, before utilising the Emma-mite Sandwich, which is totally a thing now. She follows it up with the Dilemma. AJ gets bored, takes her belt, and leaves. Paige dropkicks Emma before winning it for her team with the Rampaige.
Winners: Paige & Alicia Fox
The Wyatt/Harper promo follows again, only this time it’s edited slightly to focus on Rowan. “Only the strong survive” he says. So he’s going to be set free next? Exciting! The words “It’s Coming” are then shown on a big, pregnant belly. It’s a cool, slightly horror effect that works pretty well here.
The Miz -v- Sheamus
Apparently, Sheamo attacked Miz with a chair on Smackdown or something, so now they’re feuding. He dominates this match easily, although Mizdow takes the bumps and echoes the moves outside the ring regardless, which makes it slightly more exciting. “Not the face!” he shouts as the crowd chant for him. The Miz goes for the skull-crushing finale but Sheamo counters. Cole notes that the stunt double isn’t usually the main focus, as a “Sandow’s better” chant erupts, throwing Miz off his game. There are some vicious uppercuts by Sheamo, before he faceplants Miz, who manages to recover enough to chuck him into the barricade, much to Mizdow’s delight. Sheamo Brogue kicks him but Miz rolls his opponent up to win. Sheamo then chases him, and his superior stunt double, out of the arena with a chair. Edge and Christian are back onscreen next, referring to Cole as a “bag of yogurt” which has to be the best insult ever uttered on Raw. Their show reeks of awesomeness so you’d better watch it!
Winner: The Miz
Main Event: Randy Orton, Corporate Kane & Seth Rollins -v- John Cena
Even though he’s definitely at a loss here, Cena is booed as he enters. In contrast, Orton and Corporate Kane get nothing, while Henry Rollins is uncharacteristically happy to be here. Cena points at randomers for a bit, before having a tiff with the ref. Rollins is having trouble getting his top off, but manages eventually. The match begins with Kane versus Cena, before Rollins takes over, stranding him in the corner and taunting him “Come on, John” as he lays into him. He nudges him with his boot and laughs maniacally, too – it’s truly something to behold. Eventually it all devolves into everyone jumping on Cena, leading to a DQ, which of course does nothing to stop anyone. Kane chokeslams Cena, before Orton does the “You can’t see me” thing in mockery of him. Then suddenly Ambrose turns up, with a hot dog cart in tow. He eats one. Orton is offended. Kane continues laying into Cena, unmoved, as Cole wonders how Ambrose managed to get that thing on the subway. Ambrose has holsters with mustard and ketchup and, as Orton and Kane finally decide to advance on him outside the ring, he squirts the shit out of the two of them. He then chucks the stand into them, legs it to the ring and lets loose on Rollins. Cena chucks him out before performing the AA on Orton. Ambrose Splashes Rollins on the outside before throwing buns at him. He then grabs the tongs and uses them on Rollins’ balls – what was that about the PG era, again? – as Cena performs the AA on Kane. Rollins crawls away. Cena and Ambrose are all “well done”, silently, to each other. Just when it seems it’s all over, The Authority show up to announce that, at Hell In A Cell, Ambrose and Cena will be fighting each other for the opportunity to take on Rollins in the cell. Ambrose DDTs Cena in anger, and everyone cheers even though, deep down, we know it’s all over.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad week for Raw. It was weird, and Ambrose made more of an impact than even The Rock – who returned, mainly, to wreck Rusev‘s push – but, all things considered, this week was more fun than not. Whoever thought giving Kathie Lee and Hoda five fucking minutes to do their thing in the ring should be shot – especially considering the whole segment involved the intolerable Adam Rose – because, aside from the fact it made zero sense, it robbed us of what could’ve been two great matches and left us with one, terribly messy bout that went nowhere.
The announcement that the Hell In A Cell Main Event will probably be Cena v Rollins sucked the fun out of the next couple of weeks, but we must remain hopeful. Ambrose v Rollins could still happen and, if not, then Ambrose is definitely going to intervene in the Main Event match so we can look forward to that. Kind of. Hopefully Ziggler and Cesaro will get a chance to fight, too, but with The Miz‘s stunt double doing such good work, even he wouldn’t be the worst opponent for him. The Wyatt breakup should happen sooner rather than later, so that may create some interesting tension too.
It’s strange that the road to Hell In A Cell isn’t as clearly signposted as it would usually be, or that there’s only really one, significant match-up to look forward to. To date, only two matches – technically, one – have been announced, and with only a couple more episodes of Raw to go, that doesn’t seem like a whole lot. Even the rumours have died down, now that Lesnar and Jericho have both been counted out. However, Ambrose is the star of the show at the moment so the main focus may be just on setting him up, with everything else falling into place accordingly. Either way, there are two more weeks of madness to come so all is yet to be revealed.
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