The PG Era Rant for Raw, October 13, 2014.
Your Pre-Show promises the following:
- Big Show battles Rusev.
- NeNe Leakes is in the house.
- Miz and Sheamus have a rematch.
Live from Atlanta, GA.
Your hosts are the usual suspects.
We review the main event situation for Hell in a Cell.
And leading off is Dean Ambrose. He wants nothing more than to be inside that Cell with Rollins. He'll make Seth Rollins with the two had never met. But first, John Cena's in his way, and that's making him MAD. Ambrose, as promised, fired the opening salvo on Raw, but Cena responded on SmackDown. But Ambrose knows the score – this is about protecting Rollins. But so what? Ambrose will climb the pole, then use the pole on Cena. Then in the Cell, he will destroy Rollins – and there's nothing ANYONE can do to stop him.
John Cena is batting second with a rebuttal. He tells Ambrose to relax because the match isn't happening for another two weeks and who knows if Ambrose will get there at his speed. Does Ambrose want to knock Cena out again? Cena has some advice for Ambrose: this is the biggest night of Ambrose's career – you might want to shut up and prepare.
“Thanks for the veteran advice, big brother,” he said sarcastically. Ambrose has been ready for years on end. And Ambrose knows Cena doesn't care, too. Cena tells Ambrose that that temper is holding Ambrose back. This is why Cena is a 15-time champio and Ambrose is out of his league. Ambrose simply drops the mic and flexes his knuckles...
...and HHH is up third. He adds to the “not for another two weeks” bandwagon. All on the WWE Network! But tonight, Stephanie (batting cleanup) wants a tag team match. (HHH wonders if they can get along.) Stephanie and HHH place a bet: HHH thinks they'll ignore the match. Standard bet. It's a triple threat tag match: Cena/Ambrose v. Usos v. Dusts.
In the fifth spot are the Dusts, as this match is RIGHT DAMN NOW. By which, as always, we mean after the break.
Time to make jokes about what the “standard bet” is. The odds it isn't PG are off the board.
Non-title (we hope): John Cena and Dean Ambrose v. Goldust and Stardust v. The Usos. It'll be Ambrose and Jimmy to start. HASHTAG! Ambrose with a hiptoss and headlock takedown for one. He tags in Cena, who works the arm. Cena with the one-handed bulldog for one. Ambrose tags in, and a double elbowsmash leads to the Power Drive Elbow for one. Blind charge eats boot, and Jey enters only to run into a straitjacket chinlock. Cena in, and the main eventers wishbone Jey. Jey slides to a stop and uppercuts Cena, but Cena catches a crossbody into the AA. Jey escapes and superkicks Cena for two. Jimmy in, and the double-team forearm gets two. Jimmy with a top wristlock on Cena as the crowd chants for/against Cena. Cena gets out and lands a dropkick, but runs into a Samoan Drop for two. Jey tags in, and he gets a judo throw and armbar. Crowd would like Stardust to enter. Jey switches to a dropkick, but a Stinger Splash misses. Dean and Jimmy in, and Ambrose enters Hot Tag mode with a crossbody. Rope-tangle clothesline follows and Stardust throws Jimmy into the timekeeper area as we go to break.
Honestly, a Cena/Ambrose v. Usos match without the Dusts would probably be epic. I wonder if the Dusts can hold up their end of the bargain.
#TripleThreat, part two. Stardust and Jimmy exchange holds, with Stardust getting the better of it. Goldust in, and they double-stomp Jimmy in the Tree of Woe for two, Jey saves. Double-teaming as Jey is escorted out, but Jimmy tries to fight back against Goldust. Slugfest is won by Jimmy, but Goldust cuts of the tag and brings in Stardust. Stardust with a snapmare and butterfly lock. Goldust in, and they double-team Jimmy. Jimmy gets tossed into the Dust corner, so he clotheslines Stardust and knocks Goldust to the floor. But Goldust pulls Jey away from the tag, so Ambrose runs over Goldust on the outside. Jimmy figures, eh, hot tag Cena's as good as anything, and Cena runs over Stardust. Five Knuckle Shuffle sets up the AA, but Stardust lands on his feet and Goldust powerslams Cena. Jey superkicks Goldust, and the Usos fly onto the Dusts. Cena goes up top, and he wipes everyone out (except the perplexed Ambrose). So Ambrose says the heck with it and dives onto everyone. Including Cena. He tosses Goldust and Cena in, and it's the AA to Stardust that gets the pin at 14:36. **3/4
But before they can celebrate, the Authority are back. Steph won the bet. (Standard bet: $1.) But HHH hates losing, so how about some more motivation for those two? Why wait for Hell in a Cell? That contract on a pole match will be TONIGHT! Because only one of them will face Rollins in the Cell, and it's whomever gets the contract. And they WILL tear each other apart to get there. Hell starts now! Cena and Ambrose have an uneasy standoff.
We have a look back at Big Show vs. Rusev to set up tonight.
So, last week, AJ got sick of Emma and walked out on her. She'll try with someone else tonight.
I could definitely get used to long matches opening every show.
AJ Lee and Layla v. Alicia Fox and Paige. Layla, really? Inset promo shows nobody likes anyone. AJ skips with Alicia to start, knocking her over and demanding Paige. Fox recovers with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Now Paige tags in, and she skips. AJ pops up behind Paige and chases her around the ring. Fox tags in, and Alicia pulls AJ away and throws her into the corner. Big boot misses as Fox gets hung up, but Layla abandons the match on AJ. Duh. AJ recovers with a Shining Wizard for the pin at 1:46. AJ is furious and takes out Layla post-match. Layla eats every barricade AJ can find.
Note to the graphics people: there is no double-headed eagle on the Russian flag. Hasn't been there for centuries.
Backstage, Stephanie adjusts the pink pin on HHH when Randy Orton shows up. He has a match with Dolph Ziggler, but first, he wants to clarify that even though Seth Rollins is the future, it's a long way away. Orton still gets a spotlight. He knows Rollins will lose, but Orton won't. So Orton wants a Hell in a Cell match with whomever Seth Rollins isn't facing “in the main event at Hell in a Cell”. HHH agrees.
Erick Rowan is on his own.
So much for there being any unknowns entering Hell in a Cell. Sounds like they're hedging their bets. Now, watch Cena/Orton main event over Ambrose/Rollins because Vince is tone deaf.
Dolph Ziggler v. Randy Orton. Cesaro is at ringside to watch, claiming he should have a rematch because of cheating by Ziggler in their title match on SmackDown back in the day. Long lockup goes nowhere. Dolph takes over on Round Two with punches in the corner, so Orton bails. He catches Dolph outside, but Dolph sends Orton into the steps. Back in, Dolph with elbows in the corner and he boxes Orton down. Stinger Splash connects, but the giant elbow... is a fakeout, leading to a headlock. Orton suplexes out of it, and the Garvin Stomp gets one. Orton plays the crowd, but Dolph recovers and sends Orton into all the turnbuckles. Dropkick gets one. Orton suckers Dolph into the middle buckle, then hangs him up on the top rope. He picks Dolph up, but gets hung up on the ropes. Dolph gets one off of it. Dolph stalks Orton, tossing him into the barricade, and back in, he gets two. Dolph tries a whip, but gets sent shoulder-first into the post by Orton. He plays the crowd some more, then goes for the Draping DDT. Dolph sends Orton to the apron and dropkicks him off. Orton thinks about leaving, but sees Seth Rollins watching him and thinks better of it as we go to break.
Rollins/Orton for Mania is going to be a fun match.
Ziggler/Orton, part two. Orton's now in control with a headlock as Seth Rollins is at ringside. (During the Break, Orton took over by suplexing Dolph onto the announcers' table.) Dolph punches out, but a dropkick is turned into a slingshot into the top buckle. It gets two. Dolph grabs Orton's leg, so Orton puts him on the top rope as the crowd gets on Rollins. An uppercut on Dolph and Orton climbs, but Dolph headbutts Orton down. Orton goes back up and it's a slugfest, so Dolph knocks Orton down again but can't follow up. Orton stops Dolph from setting up on the top rope and climbs one more time, and third time's the charm for a superplex. Orton crawls over for two. Orton stares at a thrashing Dolph before slugging away. He kicks at Dolph, but Dolph recovers with right hooks. Orton kicks Dolph back down, but he runs into Dolph's comeback sequence. Stinger Splash and Rude Awakening fires up the crowd. And the giant elbow gets two. Superkick is caught, and Orton powerslams Dolph for two. Orton stands over Dolph before setting up the Draping DDT, which connects this time. Orton mouths off (to some cheers, surprisingly), and he calls for the RKO. Dolph cradles Orton for two. Sky High DDT misses, Rocker Dropper misses, but superkick doesn't – for two. Crowd deems the match Awesome. Both men slowly get up, but Dolph misses the Zig Zag. Rocker Dropper try is caught into a CATAPULT RKO. Yeah, that's a pin at 18:20. The finish alone is worth a bonus. ***1/2
Post-match, though, Rollins enters the ring. Orton starts barking at Rollins, who all but ignores him and Curbstomps Dolph for grins. Rollins is next anyway.
Lots of good long matches tonight? Thank you wrestling gods!
Seth Rollins v. Jack Swagger. Rollis gets sent into the corner but escapes and we have a stalemate. Round Two sees Swagger control, but Rollins escapes the high belly-to-belly and we have another detente. They exchange wristlocks, with Rollins getting the better of it, but Swagger powers out and Rollins bails. He avoids a chop block but gets run over on the way back in. Swagger throws Rollins over the top rope, but Rollins with an elbow back in. He goes up but gets caught by Swagger. Rollins drops Swagger's arm on the ropes and gets an armbreaker. He stomps the arm as the crowd gets behind Swagger. Rollins works the arm around the ropes, then sends the hammerlock into the turnbuckle. He pulls the hair, and when Swagger tries to yank Rollins away, Rollins grabs the arm to a hammerlock. Good sequence there. Swagger with a one-armed belly-to-belly and huge biel. Vaderbomb is aborted as Rollins bails, but Swagger runs him over on the outside. WE THE PEOPLE! Swagger sends Rollins into the steps, but Orton is now watching the match, which distracts Swagger. Rollins knocks Swagger off the apron and gets a tope suicida. Authority members make eye contact as we go to break.
So many long wrestling matches. I love it.
Rollins/Swagger, part two. Swagger punches his way out of the corner, but Rollins vaults a charge and gets an enzuigiri for two. Running splash to Swagger and Rollins poses. Back to the arm, with some knees to the ribs for good measure. Swagger tries to fight back, but Rollins with a snapmare and soccer kick. Rollins and Orton jabber before the crowd gets on Rollins. He takes it out on Swagger, stomping away before going to a wristlock. Crowd wants Orton to do something. Rollins tries to vault Swagger in the corner, but gets caught with a wheelbarrow suplex (!!) for two. Swagger begins the comeback, sending Rollins into the HBK corner bump and a BAAAAAAAACK body drop. WE THE PEOPLE! Vaderbomb connects for two. Red White and Blue Thunder is tried, but Rollins escapes. Blind charge from Swagger eats boot, but Rollins is caught with the high Greco-Roman suplex for two. Swagger with a chop block and he goes for the Patriot Lock. Rollins rolls through and, after a cradle fakeout, gets a low superkick. Rollins is favoring his leg and can't get up right away. Curbstomp is caught into the Patriot Lock. Rollins easily makes the ropes. Swagger tosses Rollins into the post, but Rollins stops a second wheelbarrow suplex try with a prawn cradle and the tights for the win at 15:11. ***
Orton RKOs Swagger and glares right at Rollins, as the two of them have a staredown in the center of the ring. We can't hear what they're saying, but they have an uneasy detente as Rollins walks away.
Who booked this week, and can they keep Vince locked away so that more weeks are like this?
Renee Young is with Dean Ambrose. She asks what to expect from Ambrose tonight, but Ambrose twists the question: you WON'T expect a nice guy. Everyone – including HHH – knows it. So Ambrose is in for the long haul. He's ready to put John Cena in his place two weeks early, then he'll send Rollins to Hell. We're on the Highway to Hell! (Yes, he sang.)
Tom Phillips is with Big Show. He asks if Show can be the first to beat Rusev. Show reminds Todd that after their DQ finish on SmackDown, he knocked Rusev out. Rusev can be beaten, and it will happen tonight with a KO. Yeah, Mark Henry came close, but – no offense to Mark – a giant can carry the hopes of America much better. He can show Rusev what he learned in sensitivity training. That match is NEXT!
For those wondering, 138 kilos = 304 pounds. You're welcome.
But before our match, Lana speaks Russian. Then she talks about Columbus Day. Columbus was stubborn, clueless, lost, an egomaniac, and racist. But hey, that's how most non-natives are. (Cheap heat goes here.) The crowd begins a loud Tomahawk Chop to support the Braves, which rattles Lana. But Rusev says Show's actions have consequences. A HUGE USA chant breaks out. Rusev promises to rip out Big Show's spine – if he has one. Show will fail just like Mark Henry failed. It's time to Crush.
Rusev v. Big Show. HASHTAG! Rusev runs into a big boot, and Show goes clubbering. Rusev eats turnbuckle and the CHOP OF DOOM from Show follows. Rusev gets dumped and Show follows. Rusev eats table and gets CHOPPED on the table. Rusev eats the barricade as well, and back in, it's a headbutt to Rusev. Another CHOP OF DOOM follows as Rusev falls out of the ring. Show follows – screw countouts – and sends Rusev into the barricade again. Crowd is soundly behind Big Show as they re-enter the ring. Another headbutt follows, then an elbowdrop. Crowd brings up the Tomahawk Chop again, and Show returns it into the TOMAHAWK CHOP OF DOOM. Show steps on Rusev on the ropes, but he charges into a dropkick (!!) from Rusev. And it hits the head, too! Rusev is up first and stomps away. He drops his weight on Show's back, but Show gets up and tries a slugfest. Rusev gets separation, then clotheslines Show out of the ring as we go to break.
Whoa. Big Show's got his working boots on tonight.
Rusev/Show, part two. Rusev has a standing crossface on Show, choking him down. Show breaks out but gets a knee to the gut and Stinger Splash to the back. Back to the head-and-arm lock. Show is close to passing out, but refuses the arm test. Show punches out and gets a headbutt to go back into control. He goes to the second rope (!?), but the big elbow misses. (According to the announcers, he did this during the break, too.) Rusev with a front chancery to choke out Big Show, screaming “BIG SHOW IS MINE” but Show powers out of the hold and turns it into a bodyslam. Show's ready for the KO Punch, but Rusev ducks and gets the leaping superkick. Camel clutch is somehow hooked, but here's Mark Henry to cheer Show on. Rusev breaks to knock down Henry, then puts the clutch back on. Henry says the heck with this and bowls over Rusev for the DQ at 14:07. **1/4
Big Show doesn't appreciate the interference, but they talk it over. Then they decide to reconcile over beating up Rusev, surrounding him. JBL: “The hell with sensitivity, knock him out!” Rusev goes after Henry as a brawl breaks out, but he walks into the KO Punch. Henry helps Show to the back.
Renee Young finds Sheamus and asks about tonight's rematch. He says the only thing worse than one Miz is two Mizzes. Mizzi? Meez? Anyway, they're a bad rash, but the Brogue Kick is the cure.
That match was seriously 10 times better than I thought it would be.
Thankfully, it seems Todd Chrisley's sum total of “appearing” on this show is a sneak peek of the new season and ringside seats. Oh, and an interview during introductions for the next match.
Sheamus v. The Miz. Miz bails early and the chase is on, which allows Miz to take advantage when they return. Sheamus with a back elbow, but Miz escapes and tries to run out. Sheamus catches him with a high hiptoss and back kick. Headlock to Miz (as Sandow goes full-on method actor), so Sheamus throws Miz into Sandow to get it to stop. Back in, Miz ducks a shot to the head and begs off (as does Sandow), but Miz kicks the shin and pounds away. Through-the-ropes clothesline follows, then more left hands. Kick to the head gets one. A second head kick gets another one count. Miz hooks a chinlock as the crowd wants Sandow (not Mizdow, Sandow). Sandow has it hooked harder than Miz. Sheamus breaks the hold and lands Irish Hammers for the comeback. Big running kneelift but the running knee misses and Miz with the low DDT for two. Miz slaps Sheamus around, which is profoundly stupid, and Sheamus recovers by tossing Miz over the top by the foot. Both men grab their knees in pain and beg off of Sheamus, then they crawl under the ring. Sheamus tries to pull someone out, but gets Sandow and Brogue Kicks him. Miz crawls across the ring and beats the count back in at 5:17. Well, they can't all be winners. 3/4*
The Total Divas visit NeNe Leakes, then gets in a sass-off with Cameron.
Holy cow, NeNe is huge. A tank. Not fat, just... tall and big.
October 13 update: still aware of breast cancer.
Nikki Bella, Summer Rae, & Cameron v. Natalya, Naomi, & Brie Bella. Rosa Mendes is at ringside. No sign of Eva Marie, though. This is the Total Divas cross-promotion of the show. NeNe and Rosa Mendes embrace. HASHTAG! Natalya and Cameron start, with Cameron slapping Natalya and getting it back. Cameron sends Natalya into the corner, and a suplex follows. Nikki in, and she bowls over Natalya for two. Nikki mocks Daniel Bryan in Brie's face, getting cradled for two. She cuts off Natalya from the tag with a front facelock. Nikki throws Natalya into the corner, and Summer in with a hairpull slam. Legdrop misses, and hot tag Brie. She swings at Nikki, so Summer cradles Brie for two. Dropkick hits (close enough), and the running knee gets two, Cameron saves. Naomi gets chucked by Cameron, but Natalya catfights Cameron out. Meanwhile, Summer with a jawbreaker and Nikki tags herself in. She slugs down Brie, but Brie escapes the Torture Rack and gets the facejam to win at 3:36. It was short and nobody embarrassed themselves. I'll allow it. 1/2* YES chants for everyone!
Everyone's bringing the workrate tonight! I love it! Did K. Allen Frye book this show?
Your SmackDown main event: Sheamus and the Usos against Miz and the Dusts.
But first, Renee Young is with John Cena. The home of WrestleMania 27 gets a PPV main event for free. Yes, a week ago, Dean Ambrose beat Cena and knocked him out. The crowd loved it because Ambrose has the guts to face down everyone – including Cena. Tonight is gonna be ugly, but it's about more than guts – it's about toughness and brains. If he has to prove the Authority right, he will. This isn't about $1 bets or hot dog carts – it's about the future meeting the present! And that's NEXT!
Bray Wyatt has set his men free, but he's not alone – Sister Abigail is watching him.
The video seemed to imply Bray had an explicit connection with the devil – I'm pretty sure he was speaking in tongues at the end. In both senses of the word – speaking in a foreign language AND multiple voices.
Main event, No Holds Barred, Contract on a Pole, Winner gets Rollins, Loser gets Orton: John Cena v. Dean Ambrose. That enough stips? The entire Authority is out one by one to watch. HASHTAG! Both men climb to start, but that goes nowhere and Ambrose pummels Cena. Ambrose with a bodypress and punches before sending Cena into the corner and stomping away. Ambrose tries to climb now, but Cena catches him with a back suplex. Cena gets a vertical suplex, then another. Ambrose wants another and gets it. Cena thinks of climbing, but decides to attack instead. Ambrose tosses Cena off the bulldog but instead of climbing, he pounds Cena in the aisle. They brawl on the stage, and Cena tries an AA, but Ambrose escapes and suplexes Cena. The Authority is laughing at how far away they're fighting. Ambrose gets to the ring first, but he's caught on the top rope and Electric Chaired by Cena. Cena now climbs, but Ambrose pulls him down. Ambrose escapes an AA and gets the rope-tangle clothesline. Double Arm DDT (the new Dirty Deeds) is escaped, and Cena reverses to the STF. Ambrose bites Cena's hands to break. Cena goes to the apron, so Ambrose knocks him off and dives onto Cena with a tope suicida. HHH finds this hilarious. Ambrose sends Cena into the steps, but Cena returns the favor. Cena tells the Authority to clear out, but this allows Ambrose to reverse Cena into the barricade. Orton asks Ambrose why he's not climbing, so Ambrose responds with a shot to the head. The argument allows Cena to knock over Ambrose. The Authority yells at Cena, so Cena throws Ambrose into everybody. Back in, Orton jumps Cena and stomps away, but Ambrose attacks Orton, and the Authority begins the 3-on-2 beating. Cena and Ambrose clears out everyone, with Cena getting an AA to Kane, but during the melee Ambrose climbs and grabs the contract (with a You Can't See Me at Cena) for the win at 6:26. *1/2
Orton is being called in by Cena as Rollins slowly walks to the ring. Ambrose taunts Rollins as Cena and Orton have a staredown.
This is what Nitro was like most of the time in 1997-98. You had long matches, some celebrities, good pacing, and an overbooked main event. The difference is the logic: everything made sense and built to something. The last half-hour couldn't keep up the workrate, but it still was entertaining. Even the Divas kept it short and sweet, hitting their spots and getting the point across. A longer main event would've been nice, but other than that, no complaints.
MATCH TIME: 79:19 (!!) over eight matches
BEST MATCH: Ziggler/Orton
WORST MATCH: AJ/Layla v Paige/Fox
NIGHT MVP: Dean Ambrose
FINAL SCORE: 8. This will probably be a controversial rating, but what I like are long matches that advance the stories, and we got it. Rollins and Orton's jealousy was advanced, we got two main events made, and the other matches pushed the story. I could watch shows like this every week.
Matt Perri will be by tomorrow with Main Event. Danielle will torture herself with Total Divas. Brian Bayless will do daily updates, while the Stranger will take over on weekends moderating the discussion. Dock Muraco will let you know what you're missing in Japan. Logan Scisco will do WWF 1998. Scott Keith himself will review 1995 and answer your questions. And if things go right, I'll post a Retro PPV look on Saturday.
It says wrestling on the marquee.