The PG Era Rant for Raw, August 25, 2014.
Your Raw Preview:
- Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Shawn Michaels host a Hall of Fame Forum.
- John Cena and Bray Wyatt meet in a WrestleMania rematch.
- Seth Rollins will deliver a eulogy to Dean Ambrose.
- Brie and Nikki Bella attempt to hash out their family differences.
- The Usos face the Brotherhood for the Tag Team Championships.
Live from Anaheim, CA.
Your hosts are loud, old, and overwhelmed.
Michael Cole is in the ring to bring in the panelists for the Hall of Fame Forum – Hogan, Flair, and Michaels. HASHTAG! The topic is John Cena against Brock Lesnar, both SummerSlam's match and Night of Champions' Rematch. Shawn is asked about Cena's chances. He says it ain't happening. He elaborates: there's a time when someone reaches the crossroads, and that's where Cena is. Maybe Cena should walk away. Hogan says everyone knows it's their time, and Cena isn't done yet – he can still go. Flair is asked what he thinks – he hinted he agreed with Shawn. He clarifies that, hey, Cena's a great wrestler, a 15-time champ, the Franchise... but seriously, against Brock? No.
Cole asks Hogan to pick a winner. Hogan says he's good friends with Cena and that Hustle/Loyalty/Respect is really his thing. Hogan will root for Cena. Flair: “Whoa, I like him too!” Shawn makes it clear that this isn't about popularity. Hogan, though, remembers Extreme Rules 2012: Cena won that. Michaels jumps in and emphasizes the beating Cena took. Hogan returns with “yeah, but he won”. This is the rubber match, and Hogan believes in Cena. Michaels says no one believes it – not even Hogan.
Before this argument gets too heated, John Cena himself arrives. Michaels and Hogan stand out of respect, but Flair doesn't. He says everyone has an opinion on Cena – what's next? What's he thinking? Everyone has something to say about him, but now he has to say something. Cena tries to milk a chant, but the crowd wants to hear him. Cena has respect for all three Hall of Famers – he's friends with Shawn, partied with Flair, and been influenced by Hogan.
BUT... he's sick of other people talking for him. He's going to say what's happening right now. Yeah, he got suplexed into a pulp at SummerSlam, and no way to get around – he got 100% mugged. But as Shawn said, a fight like that changes a man. He had no hesitation – he wanted to fight Brock Lesnar again. Yeah, Shawn doesn't get it; why go at it again? Are you crazy?
No, because it won't happen again. He'll bring the fight this time. He knows about the Hall of Famers' doubts. This match, though, is his biggest rematch. He's not there to beat Brock Lesnar; he's there to beat his ass. And with that, he leaves. That's the last word.
Tonight: Cena faces Bray Wyatt! The Tag Team Titles are on the line! But next, Rusev against Jack Swagger, one last time!
After last week's recap and the replies to it, I'll paraphrase Chris Rock: I don't agree with Brock Lesnar as WWE Champion right now. But I am saying I understand.
Rusev v. Jack Swagger. WE THE SQUASH VICTIMS! Please, WWE, prove me pessimistic. Zeb Colter is still recovering. It's a slugfest to start, but Rusev works the ribs as JBL keeps the hate on. Swagger with a back elbow, sending Rusev out of the ring. Back in, Swagger keeps up the attack in the corner. Swagger with a double-leg and he tries the Ankle Lock, but Rusev scrambles to the ropes and bails. WE THE PEOPLE! Back in, Swagger with an amateur takedown and he holds the ride. Rusev bails again, but this time Swagger follows and sends Rusev into the table. Rusev eats apron, and back in, it's an avalanche clothesline. Cole yells at JBL as Swagger works over Rusev in the corner. Rusev catches Swagger and hangs him up on the ropes, driving him out of the ring ribs-first as we go to break.
I cannot emphasize this enough: let this end with Swagger beating the tar out of JBL. Or, rather, ANYONE beating the tar out of JBL. He's too busy getting himself over to get the Superstars over, and that's when an announcer stops being effective. It's what Ventura did right, what Cole did wrong when he was a heel, and what Heenan did right.
Rusev/Swagger, part two. Rusev has a bearhug as a WE THE PEOPLE chant rings out. Swagger fights out, but runs into a spin kick from Rusev. Rusev points to the Russian flag for heel heat, but he takes too long as Swagger gets a belly-to-belly. Comeback begins with a clothesline and running knee, then a big boot. He points to Old Glory for face heat, then it's a Vaderbomb... but Rusev tries to block it! But Swagger's ready, and he gets the Ankle Lock! Rusev is yanked to the center of the ring, with Rusev biting his hand to stop tapping. Rusev slides under the ropes for a break, then bails. Swagger follows to the outside as the crowd gets into it. Rusev sends Swagger into the apron, twice. Swagger rolls in, and Rusev follows, hobbling to Swagger as it's Crush time. But Swagger reverses to the Ankle Lock again! He turns it into a jack-knife cover, getting a close two. Crowd was ready for that. Rusev with a kick to the ribs to send Swagger down. He kicks the back of Swgger in the corner, pounding on Swagger as the ref checks if he can continue. Rusev taunts Swagger, who yells “WE THE PEOPLE” at him. That brings more punishment. He keeps kicking the back as the ref keeps checking in. Crowd tries to rally Swagger as the ref shows concern. He stomps on the ribs in the ropes as the ref keeps checking in, as Lana finds this hilarious. A kick to the ribs from a standing start follows, then more stomping until the ref calls the match off and awards it to Rusev at 12:34. So Swagger isn't Rocky, but Apollo. Got it. **1/4 Swagger keeps saying he's fine on the outside.
Later tonight, Jerry Lawler will attempt to get the Bella sisters back on the same page! Plus, RVD faces Cesaro, winner gets Sheamus for the US Title at some point in the future!
If he jobs, he jobs.
Backstage, the doctors are checking out Swagger's ribs when Bo Dallas pays a visit to rub it in. Jack let his country down again. He needs to Bo Lieve. Swagger really doesn't wanna hear it.
#1 Contenders Match for the United States Title: Cesaro (in the ring) v. Rob Van Dam. Sheamus is on commentary, and he says he has no preference for who he faces because they'll both be good opponents. HASHTAG! Cesaro with a right hand after some dancing around, then he strikes away. Uppercut and he waves to Sheamus. RVD flips over on a backdrop attempt and gets a superkick and Rolling Thunder for one. Cesaro blocks a kick and drives knees into RVD's gut. A straight right and he taunts Sheamus again before jumping on RVD's neck. He guillotines RVD on the bottom rope, getting two. Cravate-type headlock follows, then a kick to the head getting one. Back to the cravate. RVD gets up, avoiding a blind charge and getting the high kick and split-legged moonsault for two. Cesaro catches RVD on a leapfrog, but RVD escapes and gets a springboard kick. To the top, but Cesaro rolls away to the outside before the jump. Cesaro drapes RVD on the top rope, and back in, the Neutralizer ends it at 3:34. 3/4* If the match is going to be that short, it should be more decisive. Cesaro grabs the title at ringside and admires it before throwing it back at Sheamus. Cesaro wants to get Sheamus mad, but Sheamus would rather save it for the match.
Next week, it's Attitude Week on the WWE Network! 9.99! RAWs from the Attitude Era! The first ever Nitros! Monday Night Wars mini-series begins! 9.99! All PPVs! 9.99! Royal Rumble!
Coming up: John Cena faces Bray Wyatt! But up next, Paige!
I don't get it. If you're going to put Cesaro over RVD, whose only value is that a win over him still means something, and the match will only last 3 minutes, make it a big win. This was kind of underwhelming in the long run.
We look back at last week, when Natalya stole one from Paige with “help” from AJ Lee.
Natalya v. Paige. This is non-title, because how many times do you have to beat the champ before getting a title shot anyway? We get replays of SummerSlam. Natalya with a quick cradle for one, but Paige begs off only to land a forearm shiver. Paige skips around before headbutting Natalya repeatedly. To the abdominal stretch (no toe hook), which goes on a while. Natalya reverses it (and she hooks the toe), but Paige escapes and gets a snapmare. Paige with a kick, but she runs into a Natalya forearm blow and German suplex. Sharpshooter try, but Paige grabs the apron to break. Paige trips Natalya and tries for the PTO, but Natalya reverses to try the Sharpshooter, but Paige fights out of that, too. Paige Turner connects for the pin at 2:54. 1/2* And now AJ Lee appears, smiling as always and skipping to the ring, where Paige retreats... into a discus clothesline from Natalya. Now AJ enters the ring as the crowd is so enthused by this they chant for CM Punk. She helps Paige up and has a mic, telling “[her] little English muffin” that she's sincere to Paige... then hugs her. Paige's “what in god's name is this crap” look says it all. Crowd ignores all this and chants for CM Punk. AJ then takes Paige's hand and kisses it. Crowd approves. Paige doesn't.
Still to come, John Cena faces Bray Wyatt! But up next, Seth Rollins eulogizes Dean Ambrose!
Okay, so AJ Lee is performing quasi-lesbian antics towards Paige and the crowd indicates they'd rather have CM Punk show up. It's their right to do so, admittedly; the question is, is it fair to AJ, the top face Diva, to be nothing more than a vessel for someone else to be chanted for in a way that cannot be paid off?
Corporate Kane is out now. He is the first speaker at this eulogy. It's not about mourning, he says; it's a celebration of the future of WWE. That would be Seth Rollins... and here he comes. Seth fakes tears as the crowd tries a You Sold Out chant.
Rollins reminds us he led the Shield, and that he hand-picked Dean Ambrose to be in the Shield. Ambrose had no pain threshold and no sense of fear. But last week, Rollins had to prove the Authority always wins, and Dean was the victim. So let's see what happened last week in a match the fans chose. Seth gets emotional watching the footage... no, just kidding, he's laughing. He asks fans to imagine the moment of impact on Ambrose. What was going through Dean's mind at the time? Did he know he was in over his head in every facet of the game? It's no secret that those cinderblocks were there on purpose. But it's also no secret that Ambrose's eternal migraine wasn't an accident. Ambrose's career can be summed up in two words: “What if”.
Why didn't Ambrose know his place? Why didn't he recognize Rollins' superiority? Why didn't he walk away? We'll never know, and that's a real tragedy, because it's clear we'll never see Dean Ambrose again. Rollins created the Shield, and he destroyed it.
Oh yeah? Roman Reigns may have something to say about that. He jumps over the railing and catches a charging Kane, sending him into the steps. No one is standing between Reigns and Rollins, and the fight destroys the eulogy set. Reigns tosses Rollins into the podium, then rams the podium into Rollins' face. Rollins avoids one clothesline, but not another, but Kane drags Rollins away before the Spear can hit. Rollins and Kane retreat from the ring.
Here's a look at the Hall of Fame forum from earlier.
John Cena will face Bray Wyatt tonight!
Goldust is excited about regaining their titles. Destiny calls out, and Stardust can hear it. The stars are aligned in a way that may never happen again. It's their night to become champions! It'll be a cataclysmic eruption of a galaxy. And you'll never forget the names. That's next!
Kind of unfair to Roman Reigns to put him in there. The crowd understandably wanted Dean Ambrose to appear since he's had a history of appearing out of nowhere, and this was set up for another such appearance. It doesn't say Reigns is failing; it just says he was a square peg in this segment.
WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos (champions) v. Goldust and Stardust (challengers). Needless to say, HASHTAG! Usos' reign is at 25 weeks. Star and Jimmy start, and Star gets a quick cradle for two. Jimmy returns in kind. Jey in with a leaping forearm, and Jimmy returns to drop an axhandle on the arm. Star corners Jimmy and punches away, working the arm with elbows and getting one. Jimmy with a forearm, but Star slides under a backrop, bows, and tosses Jimmy. Gold and Star with twin sentons off the apron to the Usos, and back in, Star gets two. He tags Gold in as we go to break.
Kind of a quiet start to this match. Fans aren't into it right now – hopefully it picks up. I trust these teams.
#TagTitles, part two. Star has a chinlock on Jimmy, who elbows out and gets a Dragon Whip. Star lariats Jimmy, and Gold gets two. Gold with an armbar. JBL says this is the first time in a long time we've had two sets of brothers going for the tag titles. Both Gold and Jimmy go for crossbodies, leading to a double KO. Star and Jey both in, and Jey goes nuts with the hot tag segment. Running dropkick by Jey to Star, then the Rikishi hip check. Gold enters and gets hit with a Samoan Drop. Jey with a running plancha to Star... but his knee gives out on the landing. Star knocks him down and rolls in before the count at 7:33. *1/4 BUT WAIT! Gold doesn't want it like that and accuses Jey of getting counted out on purpose. So let's do it again! The Usos cite the injury... and the Brotherhood attacks! Star throws Jimmy out of the ring, and the duo work over Jey's knee with Star tossing it into the post.
Later tonight, Jerry Lawler will try to get the sisters to make up (and maybe kiss)! But up next, Brock Lesnar has things to say!
Heel Goldust was one of the most influential characters of the mid-1990s. If they let him do what he does best, this will make their rematch red hot. But what of Stardust? Can Cody keep up? It's clear this will lead to Cody being the star of the two – or it should – so you need to make him the emphasis. You have my intrigue.
Backstage, Seth Rollins is demanding SOMETHING be done about Roman Reigns sticking his nose in Authority business. What they did to Dean, they can do to Roman. Kane says, yes, that's it. We'll do the match again – but this time, it's a handicap match: Roman Reigns against Rollins/Kane. It ends tonight.
Time for a sit-down with Brock Lesnar, who says he has conquered and that his win was the biggest deal since he came back. He gave Cena a chance to stay down, but Cena's never-give-up (bleep) steps in... which did Cena no favors. The only reason Cena survived (per Heyman) is that Brock decided to end it early.
As for the rematch, Brock is humiliated by the very concept of a rematch. How dare you, John! Do you realize how unrepentant Brock is? Heyman may respect Cena and be a fan, but this is a mistake. Brock claims that John Sr. lied to Cena. Little Johnny, some day you will run into someone who will keep knocking you down, and one time he won't let you up. Brock says it's over, and he's not sorry. For the last 12 years, Cena has kept getting up, but now The Pain is here. At Night of Champions, it will “be Cena's last night in this Universe. Game over.”
Dolph Ziggler rematches with the Miz – non-title – and that is next!
The best part about this rematch is I have no idea what they do with it. Cena more or less either has to die or steal a win. There is the possibility of Cena getting himself DQ'd in an attempt to hurt Lesnar, but that's not what Cena does. It's what I'd do in his place, but that's why I'm a fan and not a TV character.
Your Main Event main event is Rob Van Dam against Seth Rollins.
Dolph Ziggler v. The Miz. JBL says the Intercontinental Title debuted 25 years ago today, but unless he means the white-strap version, I doubt it began when Warrior beat Rude to get his second title reign. Miz, though, is not in wrestling gear. He says he spent all day at Disneyland because he's a movie star. He also is allowed to have his own stunt double... and that stunt double will be doing the match tonight. Welcome Damien Mizdow.
Dolph Ziggler v. Damien Sandow as the Miz. This is non-title. Cole corrects JBL, saying the title's 35 years old, not 25. Cole tries to correct JBL, who shouts him down and welcomes Miz to ringside. Sandow removes the sunglasses and walks into a dropkick for two. Sandow works the ribs of Dolph, then gets headbutts. Suplex gets one. Miz claims he's waiting for the right time and not risking his mug for a non-title. Dolph with a jawbreaker, but he runs into a forearm. Kneedrop misses, and Dolph with clotheslines and a Stinger Splash. Sandow clips Dolph and goes for the figure-four. Dolph reverses, and Sandow makes the ropes. Zig Zag quickly ends it at 2:20. Miz: “He's fired.” He gives Dolph sarcastic applause. No one cares. 1/4*
Jerry Lawler will host a family reconciliation next!
And since I have nothing to say about this, I'll add: does the fact that Jeff Hardy is being given a Beyond the Ring on the WWE Network on Wednesday mean he wants to come back after his TNA contract expires? And would you, the Doomers, want him back? The most important question, though: if you were WWE, would you take him back?
But first, a look back at SummerSlam and Nikki's heel turn.
Jerry Lawler says the Nikki heel turn was “one of the most shocking moments at SummerSlam”. He says he thinks it was a bad decision and was willing to claim heat of the moment, but the next night Nikki made it clear she did it on purpose. Especially when she slapped Brie. Well, no one likes a family divided, so let's have some family mediation. Nikki won rights to the music in the split. HASHTAG! Nikki moves her chair as far away from Brie's as possible. Lawler wants to work things out and... okay, both sisters get the music.
But Brie allows Nikki to have it as they squabble. But that's not why we're here; we're here because Brie TRUSTED Nikki, dammit! Brie may love her friends and love Daniel, but they've literally been together since before birth. Brie knows Nikki has hurt feelings and knows why. Brie had no idea what would happen. But hey, if Nikki feels betrayed, Brie will apologize. Forget the company, the show, everything... this is real. THEY USED THEIR FULL NAMES SO IT MUST BE REAL! She's sorry!
Nikki calls the whole thing a load of crap. Of course, she's selfish and materialistic as opposed to Brie being innocent. But that's not the story – well, the fans may buy it, but not her. She knows the real Brie. Brie always wanted the spotlight and always wanted to be loved more. Brie tries to say it wasn't about her, but Nikki ain't buying it. Nikki tells Brie to stop being an angel and stop holding her back. Nikki is done with everything – Brie, the family, the guys in the audience's twin fantasy, but ESPECIALLY Brie's idyllic lifestyle. She's even over Bryan – and THAT gets Brie's attention. Bottom line, Nikki is sick of being second fiddle. Mrs. Daniel Bryan is everyone's favorite... but get this: Brie steals all Nikki's boyfriends, got Nikki in trouble for what Brie did, and abandoned Nikki. Nikki was in every handicap match, forced to demeaning stuff, while Brie sat at home and watched. Brie wanted to trend on Twitter! Nikki won't give Brie a break, and calls Brie a sad excuse. Brie is near tears. Nikki encourages Brie to cry. “Hey everyone, look at the real Brie Mode!”
Lawler tries to get Nikki to stop, so Nikki tells Lawler to get out. Lawler does so as Brie is having a meltdown. Nikki has no sister – she wishes Brie died in the womb. And then she dumps over Brie's chair and begins beating her up. Lawler returns to break it up, since Brie isn't defending herself. So Nikki slaps Lawler (Off-camera) and keeps assaulting Brie, who keeps not fighting back. Brie is dead to Nikki as referees try to drag Nikki away. The announcers point out Brie was too upset to fight back as Nikki walks off.
And because it wasn't awkward enough live, here's some replays! Cole is mystified. JBL wonders how Brie never saw it coming. The crowd is so overwhelmed by this story they chant for Lawler.
Let's switch back to the Hall of Fame Forum. Cena is ready to beat Brock down! And he'll show it against Bray Wyatt tonight! But up next: Roman Reigns faces Rollins and Kane 1-on-2!
That... just... felt... awkward. It wasn't even good heel heat. It was just... I wanted the segment to end. It's not fun. It's not good TV. How do you pay this off when it's clear one side won't attack the other? Sure, you work it up to the point that they will, but right now – that'll feel like too little too late. Especially when the crowd doesn't care about Brie after the loss to Stephanie. In all honesty, when Nikki said she wanted Brie to have never been born, that should've been the tipping point. Oh well.
Roman Reigns v. Corporate Kane and Seth Rollins. Cole recaps the eulogy from earlier. Kane will start. Reigns punches away and clotheslines him out, then throws Rollins into the ring. Rollins runs into a headbutt, then kicks away in the corner, but Kane recovers and takes over. Kane sends Reigns into the turnbuckle, then tags in Rollins. He stomps away, then gets two Stinger Splashes. Kane back in, but he whips Rollins into the HSB. Reigns takes over on Kane, pounding away in the corner and getting clotheslines and uppercuts. He drapes Kane over the bottom rope, then stops Rollins by sending him into the barricade and apron, followed by an apron suplex. Drive-By dropkick on Kane (who almost forgot it was coming and had to get back in position). Superpunch is interrupted by a goozle, but Reigns with the Spear. Rollins with the briefcase for the DQ at 2:37, and he keeps up the attack. Rollins dumps Reigns and stands tall. He encourages Kane to finish Reigns before sending Roman into the barricade on the outside. Rollins and Kane double-team Reigns on the outside before Kane sees the table from last week – which once again has cinderblocks underneath. They set Roman up as Rollins gets on the table for the Cinderstomp, but this time, Reigns fights out and intercepts Rollins. He disposes of Kane and Superpunches Rollins. Kane's back, but he's sent into the post. Reigns tosses Kane into the timekeeper's area, then picks up a cinderblock and stalks Rollins. Rollins sees it and goes pale, begging off. Thankfully, Reigns's toss of the block hits the post and not Rollins, who bails out and races away. So Reigns gives Kane the Superpunch for good measure. Match doesn't matter, since it was all here for the post-match attack. Oh, hey, look, Rollins forgot his brief... never mind, here's a replay. When we come back, Rollins has the briefcase. CALLING BOTCHAMANIA!
Cole starts to talk about what's next but gets interrupted by JBL being angry at Reigns. After he and Lawler argue, Cole is back to promoting the Network. (9.99!)
But now, Bray Wyatt has something to say with his Family. Bray knows Cena is a shell of a fake man, and now, thanks to Brock Lesnar, he's cracked. Cena's a wounded animal in the woods, and Bray won't let Cena suffer and spread his disease. Bray is a merciful man, and he will provide the killing blow to Cena that he needs. But don't worry – it's nicer on the other side. Run.
JBL has been in fine form the last two weeks. Someone needs to slap him. Now.
Your feature match on SmackDown is another round in the Show/Henry v. Rowan/Harper rivalry.
Los Matadores v. SlaterGator (in the ring). Heath and Titus argue over which superhero they are. Each one claiming the other is the civilian. Heath and Primo start. Primo runs over Heath repeatedly, then gets a springboard crossbody. Epico in, and they get a suplex and tope atomico combo for two. Slater fights back, getting a shoulderblock (OLE) before Epico gets a rana (OLE) and armdrag into an armbar (OLE). Primo in with a dropkick. Primo chops away, but Titus distracts him and Heat with a leg lariat for two. Titus tags in on Primo, getting two backbreakers. Heath refuses a tag until he imitates Titus's Gator taunt, so Titus forces him in. Heath stops a hot tag and pounds away. Primo elbows out of a chinlock and gets a sunset flip for two. Running clothesline by Slater, and Titus tags himself in. Stinger Splash by Titus, but Primo fights back only to be caught and rammed into the top corner. Huge chop to Primo, and Slater is tagged in. They try a double team, but Primo gets a crucifix for the pin at 4:00. THE STREAK IS OVER! * Heels argue about whose fault it is.
Hall of Fame Forum Hall of Fame Forum Hall of Fame Forum...
Tonight, John Cena against Bray Wyatt!
So are you turning Heath Slater face? Eh, I've seen worse ideas.
Kofi Kingston (in the ring) v. Bo Dallas. JBL calls Bo bigger than Disneyland. With a straight face. Kofi is not impressed. Bo offers a handshake, but Kofi slaps it away and gets a dropkick. Kofi kicks away, getting a crossbody for one. Stinger Splash by Kofi, but Dallas recovers with a knee to the gut. Punches to the gut follow, but Kofi with a springboard dropkick. Kofi with the ten-punch countalong and uppercut. Blind charge by Dallas misses, but he hangs Kofi on the top rope on a springboard try and gets the Bo-Dog for the pin at 1:40. Bo gets his victory lap in to remind us why he's awesome. Bo then says Kofi is nothing like Jack Swagger because he only let himself down, whereas Swagger let America down. But they can both Bo Lieve! Swagger's heard enough of this and gets the high belly-to-belly on Dallas before walking off with his music. Now that's how you do a run-in.
Up next, our main event! Cena vs. Wyatt!
Hm. I like both guys, so seeing them in a good long match to get them both over would be nice. I don't even know who you have win. Dallas is the bigger future, but he doesn't need wins and losses to get heat. Tough call there.
Next week: The Highight Reel with guest Randy Orton!
Main event: John Cena v. Bray Wyatt. Bray materializes in the ring with his Family at ringside. HASHTAG! Cena charges Wyatt and pounds away, but the ref gets in between and Bray takes over. Cena is back with a clothesline, and he waits for Bray to rise while yelling at Bray to stay down. Cena then catches Bray and gives him a German suplex as Bray seems shell-shocked. Cena again yells at Bray to stay down. Bray's up, and it's a backdrop suplex from Cena. Cole makes the big story here: Cena's sick of hearing people say he's done, and the Hall of Fame Forum was the last straw. Cena pulls Bray up and gives him a vertical suplex. He covers, getting one. Cena boxes away at Bray, stomping him down in the corner. Running knee to Bray as the ref orders a separation. Cena puls Bray up and delivers another German suplex. That's four suplexes. Cena is ready and charges, flooring Bray with a lariat and saluting at Harper and Rowan. He picks Bray up, but Bray fights out and gets an avalanche. Cena bulrushes Bray down, and the Family enters at 4:19. Big Show and Mark Henry race in to even the odds and THINGS ARE CRAZY! WE NEED A COMMERCIAL!
I'm prepping to say HOLLA and take a drink. It's only 10:53.
John Cena, Big Show, and Mark Henry v. Wyatt Family. Joined in progress. HOLLA! (takes drink) Show attacks Rowan with a slam and elbowdrop. Rowan eats turnbuckle and gets boxed down, then it's the CHOP OF DOOM. Crowd wants another, and Rowan gets it. Henry in, and it's a whip-into avalanche by Henry. He headbutts Rowan down, but a blind charge misses and Rowan knocks him down for two. Bray in, and he pounds away on Henry with axhandles and right hands. Harper in, and he walks over Henry before dropping an elbow and getting the chinlock. Crowd gets behind Henry (I think – is chanting “Sexual Chocolate” a positive?) as Henry powers his way up only to get a knee in the face. Rowan in with a slam on Henry, and Harper returns with a running elbow. A second one lands, but a third runs into a big kick. Hot tag Show, who runs over Harper repeatedly only to run into a dropkick. Rowan in now, and a big boot floors Show. Bray tags in, getting kicks to the head and a running half senton for two. Rowan in with a kneedrop as the crowd knows what's next and wants Cena. Rowan pounds away on Show until Harper refocuses him and they get the T&A superkick for two. Bray returns, getting a running kick and right hand. He piefaces Big Show, which is stupid because Show gets the chokeslam. Hot tag #2 to Cena, and everyone goes flying. German suplex to Harper (five) and Rowan (six), then a headlock takedown and he pounds Harper down. STF to Harper... and that's the tapout at 6:43 shown! Rowan gets an AA for good measure. *3/4 total. Show and Henry catch Bray running away and bring him back for an AA. Show wants Cena to be the man, so Cena picks Harper up... and he gets an AA as well. So, yeah, I think he's ready for a rematch.
MORK CALLING ORSON – COME IN ORSON:
If the beating Brock gave Cena was that bad that they needed to rebuild him, fine. The six-man tag was what they had to do from the start, though. If you ignore Cena/Bray – and good luck doing that – the story was good: the two giants were beaten down until they could get the buzzsaw in. But throw it in, and the Wyatts don't exactly look too strong, do they?
Elsewhere, Rusev did his part as Swagger moves on to Bo Dallas. He looks like a monster thanks to Swagger, getting people to hate him in a way Big E and R-Truth couldn't get Rusev hated. The AJ/Paige thing may or may not include Natalya, as they seem to be hedging on that one. Nikki's verbal and physical assault on Brie was just awkward, in that the line beyond which Brie should've fought back was crossed hard. (Also, Nikki isn't even half the actor Owen was.)
MATCH TIME: 48:14 over ten matches
BEST MATCH: Rusev/Swagger
WORST MATCH: Dolph/Sandow
NIGHT MVP: John Cena
FINAL SCORE: Meh, 4/10. This was a necessary show, nothing more.
Matt Perri will be back with Main Event. Tommy Hall takes the bullet by reviewing Impact and Smackdown, but we give him NXT to make it better. Scott Keith runs the mailbag. Logan Scisco will review SummerSlam 1998. Brian Bayless has the e-fed duties. Darren X handles daily discussion. I will be back next week.