September 29, 2015 by Joey Keogh
Almost every single episode of RAW opens with a replay of the previous week’s show, which begs the question; does anyone actually dip in and out of this shit? Considering it’s like Home And Away, meaning one could feasibly stop watching for weeks and then resume doing so without having missed much, if anything at all, it stands to reason that these replays are for those casual fans who may not be watching every single instalment religiously. If you are one of those people, I applaud you. And please, feel free to skip this week’s episode because, trust me, you won’t be missing much.
We open with John Cena, who the Buffalo, NY crowd are booing the hell out of until he names their town. Cena loves the heat, he even holds the mic up to catch it all (which makes total sense, of course). This man must be making a bajilion Dollars a show, because coming out night after night to boos and taunts has to get a bit tiring. His open challenge makes its triumphant return, with The New Day taking him up on it almost immediately. They’ve come up with a new slogan for him: Hustle. Loyalty. Booty. I think we can all agree it’s better than his current slogan. And indeed any other slogan in the history of the company.
It’s hard not to love pro-wrestling when these three are around. They’re just so unbelievably good together, on the mic, in the ring and everywhere else, but tonight it’s Xavier Woods‘ time to shine as Cena notes “there’s a time to entertain and a time to be serious”. And you’re one to lecture others on that time, John fucking Cena!? The two have a rousing match to kick off tonight’s shenanigans, with Woods getting to hit his one move for once in his life, while Cena maintains the pace throughout. It all ends in a DQ once his buddies get involved, leading The Dudley Boyz to show up and declare this shit a 6-man tag y’all.
For future reference, this is the moment when RAW makes its intentions known. And they are not good. Cena is goofy all of a sudden because of course he is. This match is sucky and dull, even with everyone else trying to their hardest to nail cool spots and put on a good show for us. The New Day triple team Cena, with Woods yelling about how he should be the US champ, and E later hits a gnarly Big Splash on him. Otherwise, it’s par for the course – when did 6-man tags get so bloody popular anyway? And for the love of god why!? The New Day win by cheating because they are bold but we love them anyway.
Backstage, The Authority are speaking with a representative from the HR department about an anonymous complaint that was made against Kane, who naturally shows up on cue to make it super awkward for everyone. Apparently, Trips and Steph are unable to just be like “you’re not really director of operations anymore, weirdo” so instead they are humouring him by pretending it’s totally normal he just showed up and started working again without any advance warning whatsoever. Rollins turns up unannounced also, like a toddler who’s been caught red-handed, to loudly protest his innocence. He’s all “Well it certainly wasn’t ME, Kane! What an insult to your good name!”
Elsewhere, Ambrose is giving Reigns a pep talk for his main event match later on, opposite Bray Wyatt. That’s right, Roman Reigns is headlining RAW. Suck it. Ambrose starts talking shit about Orton and, upon hearing his name, the great pantsless one shows up to go all Alex Riley on his ass and be like “say it to my faaaaace”. Whatever happened to Alex Riley? Is he dead? Reigns has to mediate, but he’s clearly loving the feeling of having two guys fight over him (read more about this on fanfic.net; just search “locker room tussle” and you’ll find it).
A Mark Henry/Big Show match follows and I’m going to show you more respect than WWE did by not covering it here. Please refer to previous entries on the subject. There are about 500 of them, after all. The only thing you really need to know is that the writers are trying their hardest to put the Show/Lesnar match over and it isn’t working because nobody cares. Next up, Miz TV is all about shilling Total Divas because bitches be crazy. As offensive as it is to see The Miz running riot like the sexist little shit he is, it’s worth it to have Becky Lynch toss his mic out before the chicks take over the show.
It’s a little disappointing to have the women’s story-line devolve into the usual bullshit about women supposedly hating other women (“Women never get along!” JBL quips obnoxiously, as though the men never argue), but at least it gives Lynch, Charlotte and Paige some time on the mic to build this shit up. The Bellas soon turn up to cause more drama, with Brie making a big show of knocking over some empty chairs in the ring, and it soon develops into another 6-man tag that goes absolutely nowhere but is long enough to make its mark. Paige leaves midway through, Nattie yells at her and then gets yanked down off the ring for her trouble. Nikki wins as a result, after pinning Charlotte in the midst of all the fracas.
Audioslave’s “Cochise” scores a promo for 2K16. Topical! But it’s at least more engaging than the promo that follows, detailing the Show/Lesnar feud up until now. The key moment is still that damn ring collapse. It’s great, even after all this time. Backstage, Kane shows up with a giant present for Rollins (free press for Joel Edgerton!). It transpires that his severed head is inside, with Kane noting “it’s amazing what one man can do with a shovel and a flashlight”. The HR lady is touched by his gift, possibly because it’s finally given her the pay-off that the ending to Se7en never could.
The Prime Time Players job to Harper and Strowman next because nothing is more important than putting this walking man cleavage over. Stardust and Neville follow, with Cole at pains to remind us that their feud is still going strong. Neville has a new, punk rock haircut. But we barely get a look at it because Wade Barrett, who claims to still be a King in spite of no longer having any kind of royal paraphernalia, interrupts to be all like “Oi! Look over here! We’re trying to waste time! None of this means anything anyway so cut to the next thing! Slowly!”
Kane‘s evaluation goes exactly as one might expect, with Rollins showing up to present damning evidence that turns out to just be a regular ol’ promo. He then returns the favour. Does the HR lady not watch RAW or what? Rollins kills it as per usual, nailing the frantic paranoia by rambling on about how the Pope assured him he was going to Heaven. After being told he needs help, not Kane, he nails him with a Pedigree and cackles as he’s stretchered off. Of course, no sooner has the ambulance driven five feet than the windows turn an eerie red.
Out of the truck hops the demon and, after clicking his sore leg back into place, he advances to the ring and lines Rollins up for the tombstone piledriver. The champ narrowly escapes, leaving Kane to lift up his title and consider it quietly. It’s great when WWE does horror movie stuff like this, because it’s always awesome, even when it’s stupid and nonsensical. Also I’d rather see Kane take the belt than Reigns, which is really quite sad. Elsewhere, Wyatt is hanging out in the smoking area getting his buzz on before the match. He mentions dragons, so he’s clearly had a few already.
Bo Dallas has a match tonight, but first he has to call out some bros in the front row. They then cheer Orton on as he pummels the shit out of him. Dallas once again manages to come off quite well during this, which begs the question; why isn’t he being given more stuff to do on RAW? It’s not like they’re short of time, as this very match demonstrates. Anyway, Orton wins as a direct result of the bros’ support. Good for him. He could use a win. And also some pants. Kevin Owens takes on Rusev next, with Ryback on commentary. It ends in a DQ when he gets involved after about twenty seconds of fighting and then Ziggler comes down too and Owens is like “I’m too good for this, I’m off”.
The one reason to watch RAW is saved until almost last; Paul Heyman is here to shill the fuck out of Lesnar once more. Unfortunately, his speech is interrupted by Show (who calls him “boobie”) and his time is cut sadly short. But he’s still worth watching because he’s the best in the business and this is a garbage episode filled with garbage (trash truck!). He’s also best for business, but that’s another story. More of him on RAW, damn it! Finally, we’ve reached our Main Event and for some godforsaken reason Reigns has a mic and is playing around with metaphors again. This match is dull as hell, but I’ve mixed feelings about it because seeing Wyatt headline is pretty great.
Unfortunately, Reigns dominates, showing off how lousy he is at stage combat when the fighting spills outside the ring following the inevitable DQ. It all leads back to the Spear through the announce table and RAW ends on a literal bum note, with both men lying on their backs, gasping for air. To think, we started off so strong with The New Day reminding us of everything we love about this shit. The show can be summed up in the gif above. Imagine Wyatt is everything that’s good about the show and you’ll get the picture.