The PG Era Rant for Raw, October 6, 2014.
I didn't get back in time to watch the Pre-Show, so we're flying blind. However, the live look-in says we'll hear from Roman Reigns, and that Seth Rollins wants to start Raw.
Live from Brooklyn, NY.
Your hosts are Cole, Lawler, and JBL.
A look back at Ambrose pirating (not stealing) the Money in the Bank briefcase and everything else.
And as promised, here's Rollins, and he's MAD. “You think that's funny, huh?” “YES!” But Rollins show he got even at the end of the night. Seth says he's patient, but embarrassing him crossed the line. But before he can go on too much of a rant, Noble and Mercury get his attention and tell him something. They want him out of the ring. Rollins isn't worried – he knows he's a marked man and loves it. Everyone wants to take out Rollins – especially Ambrose and...
...John Cena, who skips the music and just runs Rollins off. But Rollins takes time to taunt, and Ambrose walks up right behind him. The two trap Rollins, and Cena yanks Rollins only for Ambrose to dive on both men. The Stooges allow Rollins to run away before anything serious happens to him. Crowd is undisputably on Ambrose's side.
And now, the Authority come out. Enough with the chaos, Stephanie says. Egos are overriding brains, and after SmackDown, it's clear the two of them aren't working together. But they both want Rollins. And hey, the Authority's all about opportunity, and Rollins wants it, and the crowd CLEARLY wants it (as the Authority inexplicably plays to the crowd)...
...it's happening tonight! But Rollins will have Kane and Orton as tag partners. “Careful what you wish for, boys.”
We get a look back at Flag-gate. Big Show is de-activated tonight.
Important note: Michael Cole noted that Cena overreacted and ruined the tag match on SmackDown.
Goldust & Stardust & Cesaro v. Dolph Ziggler & Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso. An inset promo shows the Usos imitating the Dusts. “Bros before weirdos.” Goldust rushes in and starts the melee, which ends with Stardust alone in the ring. One of the Usos gets tossed into the stairs and appears to have dislocated his shoulder (Jey). Jey is, for some reason legal, but Stardust misses a charge. He recovers with a kneelift and slam as the crowd demands Ziggler. Choking in the ropes, and Goldust is in. He wins a slugfest, but Jey with a crossbody only for Cesaro to tag himself in. Uppercut to Jey, and he boxes in the corner. Jey escapes to bring Jimmy in, and it's a leaping clothesline and some chops. Cesaro reverses and chops harder. Hammer Throw gets Cesaro seated, and the Rikishi Hip Check follows. Cesaro recovers quickly to corner Jimmy, and all six men go at it. Cesaro sends Dolph into the steps and the heels stand tall as we go to break.
So far, this match is kind of disjointed. But the hot tag to Ziggler's going to blow the roof off the place. Plenty of time to recover, too.
Gold/Star/Cesaro v. Dolph/Jimmy/Jey, part two. Stardust works over Jimmy with an abdominal stretch. Jimmy hiptosses out, but Stardust gets a high kick from his back and brings in Cesaro. Cesaro does Dolph's heart attack elbow for two. Cesaro with a hesitation dropkick for two. Cobra clutch by Cesaro as the crowd wants Dolph to get in. Cesaro gets cradled out of nowhere for two. Goldust in, and he gets a front elbow for two. He stands on Jimmy's head before stomping it, but that wakes Jimmy up and he gets a Dragon Whip. Hot tag Dolph, and Cesaro eats Stinger Splash and Rude Awakening. Tilt-a-whirl sleeper by Dolph gets Cesaro in trouble (with overselling by Cole), but Cesaro sends Dolph into the corner. Uppercut misses, Rocker Dropper gets two. The Usos dive onto the Dusts, but Cesaro uppercuts Dolph for two. Cesaro disposes of Jey, and Dolph with a cradle for two. Stardust tags himself in and gets Cross Rhodes for two. Another Uso hits the stairs off-camera. Dolph cuts off Stardust, and the Usos help Dolph eat a triple superkick. Superuso Splash ends it at 12:14. Hot finishing sequence. **1/2
Cena was on the Today Show earlier today; they will return the favor tonight.
I have a feeling this segment will set the universe's opinion of wrestling fans back 15 years.
So here come Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, your special guests tonight – as part of the Exotic Express. And wearing Ric Flair robes. As Rose is dressed like Hugh Hefner. And OF COURSE there's wine in the ring. As soon as Rose leaves and the girls get the mic, the boos begin. Kathie turns it around with a cheap pop or two. It's a toast to Raw as they've begun drinking already. Crowd resumes booing. Hoda and Kathie say they need to behave on the Today Show... but not tonight, as Hoda goes full Brie Mode. Kathie breaking the bottle of wine over Hoda's rear end – and Hoda returning the favor – um, happened. Thankfully, Rose still gets some cheers for his routine. The ladies do Rose's stage dive and we're out.
Luke Harper is on his own. Be scared.
Well, small favors. They only booed it.
Bo Dallas v. Mark Henry. Pre-match video shows Henry is in a bad mood. Henry goes a-clubbering to Dallas and chokes him on the middle rope. Straight right hand and Henry crushes him in the corner. More clubs to the back. Dallas wisely bails on an Irish Whip, but Henry follows and sends him into the table, then the post. Henry whips Dallas upside down into the barricade and clears the table. He goes for the World's Strongest Slam, but Dallas escapes and races back into the ring to beat the count at 1:54. Who's supposed to get over from this match?
I know I am Real American and have been since I started this review, but seriously, whom did Jack Swagger get on the wrong side of?
SmackDown XV this Friday!
Back to the top.
And Dean Ambrose is back out. The crowd looks livelier than it sounds. Ambrose is upset that John Cena is getting in his way. They're teaming tonight, like they SHOULD have teamed on Friday, but Cena abandoned Ambrose to chase Rollins. Ambrose has just about had it with Cena, and he wants Cena out so they can hash it out. “Please, John, indulge me with your presence!”
Crowd sings “JOHN CENA SUCKS” in tune with Cena's music as Cena calmly walks to the ring. Cena brings up Ambrose's dive onto everyone from earlier, but he says everyone understands everyone's actions, so there's nothing to talk about. Ambrose says, yeah, I care more about Rollins than you – we don't care about each other – but neither one cares about anyone's opinion. So can they coexist? Not that Ambrose cares – he'll drop Cena and fight the Authority alone. Cena reminds Ambrose about how poorly that went last time.
Cena then changes tone – he says Ambrose has guts. He says and does whatever he wants, but there are consequences. Cena has no problem dropping Ambrose either. Both men want to avoid not liking the other. Ambrose changes the subject: he's hungry. He feels like going to Coney and skipping out on the match. So he drops the mic and walks out.
A bit of a big deal here: the announcers are sympathizing with Dean Ambrose walking out. They do think John Cena has this coming.
We see Dean Ambrose leaving Raw on the Q Train.
HHH mocks John Cena backstage. “Kids nowadays, huh?” HHH tries to blame Ambrose to Cena, acting like Ambrose is an ingrate. It's now 3-on-1, apparently. Cena, though, knows he's trying to cut off the match in order to protect Rollins and wants the match. HHH offers to have Rollins start the match so that Cena can get a little of Rollins.
Brie Bella v. Summer Rae. Brie has one arm tied behind her back. Summer tackles Brie and mocks her, then adds a boot choke. Summer slams Brie's head into the corner and snapmares her for two. To the chinlock. Summer kicks Brie down and chokes her on the bottom rope. Crowd is so enthused they chant for Derek Jeter. Brie leverages Summer into Layla and gets a running knee to the head for the pin at 1:55. Brie leads the YES chant.
Meanwhile, someone's giving Kane a fruit basket. Oh, it's Miz. With Sandow imitating him. This is an apology for last week. Kane says they don't want apologies because they know Miz is a phony. Kane brings up Miz's actions on SmackDown, then books him against Sheamus. Sandow rescinds the gift basket.
It's a shame the fans don't care about the Bellas, because the story isn't actually bad. Of course, it needs Stephanie, which it won't get.
Jack Swagger v. Tyson Kidd. Kidd gets no entrance, but Swagger gets no American flag. This is your Total Divas cross-promotion. Swagger charges the corner to start, then vaults a charge only to get run down. WE THE PEOPLE! Kidd bails on a whip before hiding behind Natalya and getting a kick to the head. Stomp on the apron and in the corner, then he catapults Swagger into the bottom buckle. Rude Awakening gets one. To the chinlock. Kidd with a back kick, but Swagger gets the comeback with a huge hiptoss. WE THE PEOPLE! Vaderbomb connects, but Kidd reverses the high angle spinebuster into a Sharpshooter, which Swagger reverses to a Patriot Lock try. Kidd kicks Swagger from the apron and goes up, but Swagger throws him off and gets the Patriot Lock for the submission at 3:11. Kidd pulls his shoe off and glares at Natalya. 3/4*
Edge and Christian are the WWE main offices to play up the post-show history of SmackDown show.
The irony here is that Tyson Kidd may be more popular as a deadbeat jerk husband than he'd ever be as a Hart Dungeon member or legacy of Bret.
Roman Reigns follows in the family tradition and is live via satellite. (Sorry, too easy.) He says rehab is going well, and he's counting down the days until he's able to get back, and it'll be “sooner rather than later”. Not really an interview so much as a videotaped statement.
Back to Night of Champions to show why Cena dislikes Rollins.
Either Dean Ambrose shows up later tonight – like he wouldn't – or this main event is going to be trashed. Bonus points if they're faking hating each other, but we know they aren't.
Ultimate Warrior's final words are used to sell the WWE Network. More on this later.
El Torito v. Mini Gator. Another Hornswoggle match? Slater and Gator are arguing during intros. And during a pep talk for Swoggle. Gator crawls to Torito, who jumps away. Torito goes for the headgear, then grabs a cape from one of the Matadores and covers Swoggle's head with it. Crowd: “THIS IS STUPID.” Slater walks in and checks on Swoggle, who Gator Rolls Slater for no reason. He realizes his error, so O'Neil's on the apron and gets gored. Crowd wants Derek Jeter. Torito avoids a charge and does a moonsault to end it at 2:18, which is 2:18 longer than it should've gotten. -** Cole can't even call it awesome with a straight face. But at least Vince found it hilarious, and that's what's important, right?
Another recap of Flag-Gate.
So because I want to talk about ANYTHING ELSE ON EARTH but the minis, let's look at the WWE Network ad. I love it, personally – the words of Warrior about how the fans make people legends, with shots of said legends, was well done. I can understand if others don't share my enthusiasm or feel that, given Warrior's untimely death, the words should be off-limits. But it's not like Warrior was on his deathbed when he said it, so I approve.
Your Main Event main event is Bo Dallas getting a shot at the Intercontinental Title match against Dolph Ziggler. Not bad.
Here are Rusev and Lana. It's apparently Vladimir Putin's birthday. Lana accidentally admits Rusev is from Bulgaria. The Rusev/Show match there was supposed to be is off because of you know this. Lana: “He should be in prison!” She even calls it a hate crime. Crowd isn't moved by Lana and chants USA. Rusev tells the “bigots” something in Bulgarian about Big Show, then says Big Show is afraid of him. He even calls Big Show out. Of course, Big Show can't come out, so Rusev calls him a coward.
BUT WAIT! Will Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson suffice? Crowd considers this a HSM. And that it's Awesome. And Rock hasn't said anything yet! Rock says Rusev needs to 1) know his role and 2) shut his mouth. He mocks Rusev's tight shorts as he goes over his day. He says Lana's favorite place is the Meat Packing District, claims to have swum from Manhattan to Staten Island on his way to visiting all five boroughs. And he plays off the Derek Jeter chants from earlier. This is all a set-up for FINALLY.
Lana: “Who do you think you are?” How dare he interrupt the great Rusev! Shu Tup, she says. Rock: “And YOU need to stop dressing like a Soviet street walker.” Rusev takes offense now and calls Rock an “American piece of garbage”, telling him to leave now or get Crushed. Rock mocks Rusev's bad breath for no reason before saying Lana is beautiful. Smokin', even. But she clearly has a Smirnoff bottle up her Putin. Back to Chewbacca (Rusev), and it doesn't matter what he thinks. Sure, Rusev's undefeated because he's big, strong, and dangerous. But here's the deal: it's not about Rusev supporting Russia. It's because you're a-holes.
Lana calls off the diatribe and sicks Rusev, the wolf, on Rock. The medal is slowly removed and the staredown begins. So as Lana quotes Putin, Rock quotes Jay-Z to do his 50-word nickname. And the fight's on as Rock beats down Rusev, sending him flying from the ring. IF YA SMELL and he's out.
Recap of Ambrose walking out.
People in my friends' list on Skype are arguing over what the point was of Rock. On one hand, he shows up, insults the big heel, beats him down, doesn't get touched, and makes him look like a chump. On the other, he put him in a must-see segment, made a big deal out of him, and put him over as a threat verbally in passing. Me? Well, the crowd loved it, and that's kind of the point. I doubt Rusev is going to get de-pushed from this, so I'll let it slide.
Paige and Alicia Fox v. AJ Lee and Emma. The idea is that AJ's out of friends, so she just picked someone. AJ and Alicia will start. AJ with a spinkick and she throws Alicia into Paige. Paige goes into the table, then runs off. Emma wants in, so AJ obliges as Emma faces Alicia. Alicia runs her over with a knee and tosses her, but Emma's on the apron and gets a Pele kick. Cradle gets two. Corner charge goes nowhere, and Alicia runs Emma into the corner. Alicia's blind charge also misses, and Emma with the Tarantula. Corner splash hits this time on Alicia, and AJ gets sick of Emma's dancing and walks off. This leaves Emma with Paige, and a superkick follows. Package DDT ends it at 2:48. AJ refuses to have anything to do with Paige or Alicia and walks away. I don't get it. 3/4*
Erick Rowan is a man-child, insulted by humanity. But Bray Wyatt fixed him, and now he's set free for revenge.
Okay, serious question: what was I supposed to get out of that tag match? AJ's the babyface, right? So why is she abandoning her partner and not caring about anyone on earth? And Paige is supposed to be the heel, but she sticks up for Alicia. And the heel team didn't cheat, either. I'm totally confused. At least the crowd didn't chant CM Punk as loudly as usual this time.
Happy birthday, Bruno Sammartino!
The Miz v. Sheamus. Sheamus rushes Miz into the corner, but Miz escapes. Miz avoids an elbow to the face and slaps Sheamus, but Sheamus catches him. Miz goes to the eye and kicks away in the corner, but Sheamus with a back elbow. Miz returns the favor to gain control and uses the knees, but he runs into a slam. Miz rolls to the apron, getting Sheamus hung up as the crowd chants for Sandow. Miz off the top into a chop. Miz uses the boot, but the SCF misses. Brogue Kick is escaped as Miz bails and we go to break.
Sheamus is just not motivated by these matches. It's showing.
Miz/Sheamus, part two. Miz with the chinlock as we return, but Sheamus steps on the foot to break. Miz recovers with a backbreaker and through-the-ropes clothesline. Forearm smashes follow. Crowd keeps chanting for Sandow as Miz gets a boot choke for two. Of note: they're chanting for SANDOW, not MIZDOW. More rope choking, and Sandow adds a cheap shot to a huge pop. Miz with the Austin Straddle for two. Abdominal stretch, including shots to the ribs, follow. Crowd: “SANDOW'S BETTER.” Sheamus backs Miz into the corner to break, but Miz with a kick to the back that just annoys Sheamus. Comeback begins with Irish Hammers and a kneelift. Running knee in the corner and an Oklahoma Slam. Brogue Kick time, but Sandow pulls Miz out. Sheamus throws Sandow into the barricade (crowd hates that), so Miz jumps Sheamus from behind. Brogue Kick is meant for Miz but hits Sandow, and Miz with a cradle for the pin at 10:09. Disjointed mess. *1/4 Sheamus chases everyone off with a chair.
If this leads to a Sandow face turn, I'll enjoy it, but it really seems like Vince is tone-deaf. Miz is in DVD movies, so let's push him! But not too seriously, lest anyone think Hollywood is better than us!
Jerry Lawler acknowledges some breast cancer survivors at ringside before introducing Joan Lunden. Who's Joan Lunden? She speaks as a breast cancer fighter. Ah, the search engine says she's a former host of Good Morning America. She introduces each of the survivors by name. And John Cena hugs Lunden at the end, because it's 10:52 and he wants to get his match started.
As the Gospels say, “When you give to charity, don't make a big deal out of it, or your reward will be on earth. When you give, just give without announcing it, not even telling the left hand what the right hand does. Then your reward will be eternal.”
Real Housewife Nene Leakes will be on the show next week. ARE THEY EVEN TRYING?
Main event (FINALLY!): John Cena v. The Authority. Cena, to his credit, conducts the crowd in singing about how much he sucks. Cena demands Rollins start, per HHH, so he does... then IMMEDIATELY tags in Kane. Of course. Cena pounds down Kane and knocks Rollins off the apron, but Kane recovers and stomps away. Uppercut follows, and Orton enters with a clothesline. He stomps Cena, but Cena tries to fight back only to run into a powerslam for two as Lawler gets mad at Ambrose for walking out because Cena. Kane in, and he gets an open kick to the gut and corner clothesline. Now Rollins finally enters as Cena is in deep trouble and dances, punching away on Cena. Running forearm in the corner floors Cena as the crowd has no patience for this. Rollins slaps Cena around, but that allows Cena to fire back. Charge by Cena eats elbow, and Rollins with the Blockbuster for two. Rollins picks Cena up by the jaw and talks trash, then kicks Cena to the ropes and chokes away. Orton adds a cheap shot, but Cena shoves Rollins away and begins the comeback on Rollins. Five-Knuckle Shuffle connects, and the AA is tried, but Rollins throws Cena into Kane as the 3-on-1 begins at 4:39. *1/4 Kane with a chokeslam, and Orton mocks Cena and the crowd before calling for the RKO...
...and Dean Ambrose is back, having brought the whole damn hot dog cart with him. He munches a Coney Island dog and watches, but Orton and Kane approach him. Crowd wants hot dogs. Ambrose attacks with the CONDIMENTS OF DOOM before bowling both men over with the cart and rushing Rollins, delivering a huge beating as the crowd wakes up. Orton and Kane attack, Cena saves. Rollins is sent out over the top, Orton eats AA, and Cena disposes of Kane so that Ambrose can dive onto Rollins. Ambrose throws everything at Rollins for no reason, then uses the hot dog tongs on a different wiener. Kane drags Ambrose back in, but Cena cuts him off with the AA. Rollins crawls away as Cena and Ambrose stand alone in the ring...
..and here's HHH. Hey, the heroes are back on the same page, but only one can fight Seth Rollins. They have to fight each other first at Hell in a Cell, and the winner gets Seth Rollins inside the Cell. So basically, one or the other is going to Hell, weakened for Rollins to pick apart. Cena gets ready to leave, but Ambrose delivers a Double Arm DDT to a HUGE reaction from the crowd.
I understand there was a lot of sports on, but that does not excuse people – LOOKING AT YOU, VINCE – from phoning in a Raw. That's what this was: phoned in. And in the worst way, too. It's not even the 4/10 water treading you usually see. This show made me question whether anyone would care if I stopped early and posted that I gave up.
Well, I soldiered on for you. But if you didn't stick around until the end, I don't blame you.
MATCH TIME: 39:08 over eight matches
BEST MATCH: The six-man tag
WORST MATCH: The minis match
NIGHT MVP: Dean Ambrose
FINAL SCORE: 2. One for Ambrose, one for the Rock. And that's IT. I'm on your side, WWE. I know you're better than this. Don't do this to me.
Matt Perri will have something to say about this on Main Event. Tommy Hall will review the rest of the shows this week. Logan Scisco takes you to 1998. Dock Muraco continues to say major Japanese matches are better than average Raw matches as though that's a revelation. Stranger in the Alps will run the daily discussion and hold the Writers' Title. Speaking of, Brian Bayless has the e-fed Raw up. Read that instead. I know I will.
Seriously, Vince, show some pride in your work, would you?