September 8, 2015 by Joey Keogh
This week’s RAW opens with Seth Rollins being greeted by mostly cheers as he enters the arena. It’s almost like the Baltimore crowd think he’s someone else at first, even though nobody can pull of that one random pop-punk streak the way Rollins can. “I know this city’s not familiar with greatness” he explains, but he’s super special and needs everyone to bow down to him immediately. Or else.
Naturally, in response, the fans chant for Sting. Rollins reckons he’s going to ruin his so-called legacy and ensure he doesn’t get his hands on the belt, stating emphatically that he “owns” all of us and that Night Of Champions is going to be his night. Before you can make a studio-engineered crow sound that sounds nothing like the real thing, Stinger wanders off the set of whatever ICP video he’s currently shooting to show off how short he is compared to Rollins’ massive statue, which he is currently holding hostage.
When he tells Rollins to “come and get it” it sounds a tad more sexualised than perhaps intended, but the message is clear and the champ is rattled (the feather duster is mightier than the baseball bat). Sheamus shows up next, leading all the fat neckbeards to chant “You look stupid” at him. He threatens a “tord” match at the PPV and Rollins looks perturbed. Backstage, Rollins implores Steph to help him find her husband because a woman couldn’t help him with such a big, serious man problem, duuuuh. Unfortunately Trips has been standing behind him the entire time and punishes him for his disrespect of the lady in charge by giving him two matches tonight, as a warm-up for Night Of Champions.
It’s ladies first, however, with Sasha Banks and Paige jerking the curtain in an entertaining opener, during which Banks mostly keeps control. Paige manages to fight back quite a bit but there’s lots of outside interference from the rest of Team BAD and, as a result, Banks steals the win. It’s kind of a hollow victory in an otherwise decent opener that leads in nicely to a bizarre squash match that pitches The Ascension against Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Guess who wins! The saddest thing about this is that Cole feels the need to keep reminding us who is Konnor and who is Viktor. Why were these guys even moved up in the first place? And why aren’t they in the running for the tag titles?
Following the match, there’s a Wyatt promo starring Brawn Strongman and his unfortunately massive forehead. At least he has a big, deep voice to compensate. Elsewhere, Ryback is all roided up and struggling to follow the Teleprompter opposite a ludicrously patient Renee. The best moment of his promo comes when Kevin Owens strolls into shot, eating an apple, and decimates the amateur with just a couple of lines of properly-rehearsed dialogue. The promo that follows, on the other hand, featuring Summer Rae, Ziggler and that whole angle nobody gives a shit about, looks as though it was swiped from Robarazzi.
Rollins has his first match of the night against The Big Guy, a champion versus champion bout that is exciting only because there’s so much heat for him – three, identically dressed Cena fans in the second row are a particular highlight. Does the Pound Shop Jaws really belong on the back of Ryback‘s singlet though? Does it really want to be there? It looks like it’s screaming in pain, like it’s constantly trying to escape. Anyway, Ryback is about to win with a spinebuster-meathook clothesline combo but Rollins counters the Shellshock, only for Stinger to interrupt, giving The Big Guy the perfect opportunity to roll him up to win. This all happens because he gave this kid his belt to hold.
Sting puts his mask on the statue, much to Rollins’ disgust. He yells nonsensically in the ring all the way backstage where he runs into The New Day, who try to cheer him up with a positivity dance party. Rollins isn’t really in the mood, but that’s okay, because Edge and Christian are also here to threaten him and to challenge The New Day to a battle using only musical instruments. Big E breaks their kazoo, leading The Dudley Boyz to sidle over and casually drop into the conversation that they’re defending their belts against The Prime Time Players next week, with the winner facing the Boyz at Night Of Champions. It’s like an advertisement for a better episode of RAW up in here, y’all.
Back in the ring, Summer Rae wants to apologise to Rusev for watching Ziggler shower or whatever. She calls him “Roo-roo” and he calls her “sweet, submissive Summer” and it’s all a bit borderline misogynistic until Rusev calls Ziggler a “disgusting hairless skinny American”. He soon shows up and there is much tussling. A message is delivered from Lana in the form of a superkick. Rumour has it that she and Summer were being set up to have a proper fight before she broke her wrist. Now we just have more of this to look forward to at the PPV. And speaking of matches we’re not looking forward to, Sheamo and Orton face off again next for the millionth time.
It goes exactly how you’d expect, with Orton utilising an RKO (OUTTA NOWHERE) to win. The funniest moment comes when Sheamo, mid-match, decides to scream at the fans about how not stupid he looks. Once it’s all over (not quickly enough), the Wyatts show up and beat the living hell out of Orton. So, if you were wondering who was going to join forces with Ambrose and Reigns to fight them in a few weeks, well, wonder no more. An embarrassingly short tag match follows, during which the matadors turn on Torito for some unknown reason. The Dudley Boyz win and they do the 3D because of course they do.
Cesaro dominates in his match against The Miz, but his fun is ruined by the intruding Big Show, who shows up and ruins all the hat-stealing madness by chasing Miz around the ring like he’s a cake on legs. Cesaro wins by DQ. I can’t help but want so much more for him. Nikki Bella arrives to heel it up – remarkably well, it has to be said – immediately afterwards by basking in the glory of her title run and inviting us all to the “Bellabration” next week. PCB show up and are like “how come we’re not invited?” Charlotte promises to wreck it for Nikki next week in their title match and it all descends into a mess of colourful hair extensions.
The Main Event, somewhat madly, is a 6-man tag starring The New Day, The Prime Time Players, Rollins and Cena. To his credit, Rollins limps it up en route to the ring, barely registering when some loser kid starts to wander down after him (Cena, on the other hand, protects his team-mates and alerts the ref like a good little boy). The funny thing about this match is that the heels have all the belts, and they aren’t shy about rubbing them in their competitors’ faces. E and Cena lock up to start, and from there it’s a blur of high-flying spots, genius trombone accompaniment from Xavier Woods and a whole lot of dancing.
It all comes down to Cena and Rollins in the end of course – although The Prime Time Players do make their mark, as it were – but it’s Kofi Kingston who eats an AA for the win as Rollins wisely slips out of harm’s way, as per usual. RAW then ends just as it began, with Stinger taunting him about his statue. Only this time, he crushes it in a garbage truck before hitching a ride and driving off, hopefully to the dump where he belongs. Let’s face it, this show can’t, and doesn’t want to, compete with the football so we got a mad beginning, a mental ending, and a saggy middle, which makes for a pretty rocking sandwich. That metaphor kind of got away from me there but RAW wasn’t terrible this week so we should just take what we can get.