Date: September 5, 2014
Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
I really hope this show is better than Raw as I can't imagine things getting much worse. This week's episode of Raw was one of the least interesting and flat out horrible shows that I can remember in a very long time. To make things even worse, tonight we have Paige vs. Brie Bella as the story that swallowed the WWE is moving to Fridays. Let's get to it.
Here's Cena to get things going. He immediately gets a cheap pop by talking about wearing red at the University of Nebraska. In less than three weeks, we're done with lawsuits and what's best for business because he's going to fight Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He isn't going to come out here and just do the Queen's wave because it's what the company thinks he should do.
At Night of Champions, he's going to fight because that's what he does. The day he comes down here not wanting to be champion again is the day he walks out the door. The fans actually start a loud CENA chant (complete with shots of the crowd to show it's legitimate) for the first time in longer than I can remember. He knows this is going to be a fight but he's going to take Lesnar on and fight. Then he'll tell the Authority to line them up so he can knock them down and you can still get the WWE Network for $9.99.
Cena is on a roll here but Kane and Rollins come down to interrupt. They accuse Cena of having a mid career crisis but John isn't going to take advise from a demon brother of a dead guy who is now the spokesman for Men's Warehouse. Kane threatens to put Cena in a match but this brings out Roman Reigns. Roman says he's going to finish his business with Randy Orton on Monday and would love to start tonight, but Orton isn't here. Therefore he can focus on Kane and Rollins, so let's get started right now.
Cena is ready to go but Kane and Rollins say not so fast. Rollins says the Authority is one step ahead of them and we've got Wyatts. This brings out Jericho, Big Show and Mark Henry. We're still not done yet though as HHH comes out, says “let me tell you something playa” (seriously) and makes a ten man tag. “Now how about that playa?” And, complete with a leg in the air and a one armed raising the roof, “HOLLA!” AND TEDDY LONG'S MUSIC PLAYS!!! This was a very solid opening segment with Cena nailing the promo and HHH cracking me up.
Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler
Non-title and Sheamus is on commentary. Cesaro takes him down and grabs a quick chinlock, only to get caught by a neckbeaker. Ziggler's jumping elbow gets two but he walks into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to put Dolph down. A European uppercut drops Ziggler again but Cesaro goes outside to jaw with Sheamus before covering. He cranks on a cravate for a bit before a gorilla press gutbuster gets two more.
We take a break and come back with Ziggler nailing a jawbreaker to escape another cravate. Ziggler loads up the splash in the corner but dives into another uppercut for another two. Dolph spins around Cesaro's shoulders and grabs a sleeper. That goes nowhere so Ziggler counters Swiss Death with the jumping DDT for a near fall of his own. Cesaro gets back up and tries the Neutralizer but gets rolled up for the pin at 6:51 shown of 10:21.
Rating: C-. The match was the decent action you would expect from these two, but the booking continues to make my head hurt. You either job a champion or you job a guy that is getting a title shot in a few weeks. Why WWE felt the need to book this is beyond me, but the fact that they see nothing wrong with pushing the Bellas this much and jobbing Cesaro clean before he gets a title shot should tell you everything you need to know.
Cesaro pounds on Ziggler post match but Sheamus makes the save. They yell at each other until Sheamus throws the belt at Cesaro and lays him out with a Brogue Kick.
Stardust talks about needing what they have and about one of the Usos being hurt. He keeps turning around and changes his tone every time. Apparently they have a title shot at Night of Champions.
Jimmy Uso vs. Heath Slater
Jey is on a crutch. Jimmy misses a quick superkick attempt and gets caught in a neckbreaker for two. Slater stomps away and hooks a chinlock before sending Jimmy into the corner. Uso fights out and nails a Whisper in the Wind for two. He has to kick Titus down though and walks into a side kick for two. Cole: “The Gator is down!” JBL: “Call Skinner!” Back up and the superkick knocks Slater out of the air and the Superfly Splash is good for the pin at 2:59.
We look back at the Divas segment from Raw.
Stephanie announces Nikki vs. AJ vs. Paige for the title at Night of Champions.
Nikki thanks Stephanie for her announcement and says she's finally learning what it means to have a real sister. She talks about being treated horribly by her sister all her life.
Here are Lana and Rusev to respond to Mark Henry. Lana says we're in America's heartland but that's an oxymoron because America has no heart. If it had one though, it would be made in China. America used to be great but is soon to be nothing, just like Mark Henry. This brings out Mark who says he challenged Rusev, but that isn't the question. The question is whether Rusev is going to accept the challenge or hide behind the woman that looks like an escort. Lana accepts the challenge on Rusev's behalf and Henry promises to give him a red white and blue whipping.
Jerry Springer will be having an intervention with the Bellas on Raw. Oh dear.
Paige vs. Brie Bella
Non-title, AJ is on commentary and Nikki is at ringside. Brie has her own music now and it's the generic pop rock song you would expect it to be. Brie takes her to the mat to start and we're quickly in the catfight. Paige gets taken down out of a lockup but pulls Brie out to the floor. Back in and Paige crawls onto Brie as AJ makes some comments about missing her baby. Brie comes back with clotheslines and a running knee to the chest. The fans chant YES but AJ and Nikki are in a fight on the floor. Brie hits a missile dropkick as AJ beats up Nikki, sending Brie outside for a save. She heads back in for the Rampaige and the pin at 4:27.
Rating: D+. The catfighting makes me think the Bella showdown is going to be an even bigger disaster than I thought. Brie can be passable in the ring but Nikki has never proven herself capable of having more than a bad match. This was nothing special and was more about the drama than the wrestling, which is better in a way but still bad.
Harper says Wyatt is a serpent and the rat can't run fast enough. Bray tells Jericho that he has to pay for his sins on Monday. Rowan adds in a RUN.
Bo Dallas vs. Zack Ryder
Ryder dropkicks him at the bell and nails a faceplant, only to have Bo pop up for the Bodog and the pin at 43 seconds.
Post match Bo says everyone must be living in Nebraska because of some horrible choices in their lives. If Jack Swagger can turn their lives around, so can everyone else. He's about to start his own WE THE PEOPLE when Swagger hits the ring and beats him up.
We see the Rollins/Ambrose/Reigns stuff again.
Roman Reigns/John Cena/Chris Jericho/Big Show/Mark Henry vs. Wyatt Family/Kane/Seth Rollins
We get a LOUD Y2J chant as Big Show starts with Rollins. The giant hits his loud chop in the corner and brings in Henry for a splash. Big Show loads up a gorilla press but Rollins escapes and tags in Wyatt. Bray is quickly thrown around so it's off to Rowan for the big man showdown. Show busts out a sunset flip for two followed by a hard shoulder block. He rips open Erick's coveralls for a chop before it's back to Henry for another splash.
Jericho comes in to a big pop and nails Erick with a dropkick to the side of Rowan's head. We take a break and come back with Kane dropkicking Big Show's knee out. Off to Wyatt for some stomping before Harper slaps on a chinlock. Big Show fights up but gets dropkicked down for two, with the kickout sending Harper out to the floor. Seth comes in to work on the leg before quickly tagging in Wyatt. A DDT gets two and it's already back to Harper for a headlock.
Big Show suplexes him down and finally makes the tag off to Reigns to clean house. A Samoan drop to puts Harper down but they head to the floor where the numbers game results in Reigns being sent into the barricade. We take another break and come back with Rowan holding Reigns in the skull crusher. Reigns is sent to the floor and Rollins whips him into the barricade while talking trash. Back in for another chinlock but Reigns powers up, only to get kicked in the head.
Harper comes in again as Cena is pacing around on the floor playing cheerleader. Reigns suplexes Luke down but charges into a big boot for two. It's back to Kane who walks into a running clothesline and the hot tag brings in Jericho. A top rope shot to the head puts Kane down and the Lionsault connects, only to have Kane pop up and grab him for a chokeslam. Jericho counters with an enziguri but can't get the Walls.
Bray comes in for a save and it's quickly back to Harper as we take an almost unheard of third break. Back with Rollins working over Jericho with some right hands. Jericho backdrops Rollins to the floor but Seth dives back in to pull Jericho away from the tag. Bray headbutts him a few times and puts on another chinlock.
The running cross body gets two but Bray is down as well. Wyatt spiders up but Jericho elbows out of a Rock Bottom. A dropkick puts Bray down and we FINALLY get the tag to Cena. Everything breaks down and the parade of secondary finishers begins. With everyone else down, Cena puts Rollins in the STF but the Wyatts all come in for the DQ at 17:49 shown of 28:19.
Rating: C+. The match was decent but it felt long more than anything else. They're doing a good job of making Cena look explosive but I still think they're keeping the title on Lesnar at the PPV. It doesn't make sense to have Brock dominate that much at Summerslam and then have Cena win just because he's fighting harder. The match was good enough and was a decent enough use of half an hour.
The good guys all hit their finishers with Cena planting Rollins with an AA to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. The show was nothing great but man alive does that one less hour make a difference. It doesn't drag things down and makes the show much easier to sit through. That and a lack of recaps really helps things along. The main event was decent enough but it took away a lot of matches that could have filled out the card. At least the ten man match was a fourth of the show so everything else wasn't left hanging. It says a lot when a totally average show is miles ahead of Raw. Granted HHH's Teddy Long stuff was hilarious.
Dolph Ziggler b. Cesaro – Rollup
Jimmy Uso b. Heath Slater – Superfly Splash
Paige b. Brie Bella – Rampaige
Bo Dallas b. Zack Ryder – Bodog
John Cena/Big Show/Roman Reigns/Mark Henry/Chris Jericho b. Seth Rollins/Kane/Wyatt Family via DQ when the Wyatt Family attacked Cena at the same time
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