September 4, 2014 by Joey Keogh
Earlier in the week, motormouth Vince Russo called this episode of Raw the worst in the history of the world, ever. After last week’s show, it didn’t seem like it could possibly get any worse and, to be fair, it didn’t. Raw was dull, it lagged significantly in the middle and the narrative didn’t really go anywhere but the matches were lengthy, there were some decent promos and, really, when it all kicks off with Chris Jericho asking Trips to confirm the price of the Network one more time, it can’t be all bad now can it?
We open on Jericho, in the ring, ready for his close-up as JBL rather strangely goes off on one about how he “always sucks up for a reaction” and “they love him, we get it” before admitting “I’m bored already” – Jericho has yet to utter a single word, but okay. The man himself admits he loves cheap pops, going on to explain that Orton has had everything handed to him on a silver platter and should come out here and face him. Unfortunately, it’s actually Lemmy’s voice who fills the arena as The Authority, completed by Corporate Kane and Seth Rollins, stroll out looking their usual smug selves.
Rollins and Orton are not wearing ties, presumably because they’re the rebellious, young ones, but the former loves Trips’ dad jokes so much that he can be seen laughing along happily in the background as the boss speaks. There’s a lot of meaningless small talk to begin with, before the obligatory Network jokes. Orton’s beard and hair connect, which is weird, and Des Moines loves Rollins, because he’s from Iowa. Eventually, John Cena turns up to tell Trips he’s going to sue him and he’ll be COO and then he’ll FIRE him! Clearly, Cena understands employment law very well. He also repeats his line about beating Lesnar’s ass because who didn’t love that last week, apart from everyone with a functioning brain?
Trips explains to Cena that he always does what’s best for business for the WWWE – the extra W is for WWVD. Rollins then hints that Plan B may be him cashing in, but Orton wants the winner from the rematch and some dude is all “You SUCK, Randy!” Jericho points out that, since Wrestlemania, Orton has won “like, never” which is a fair point. One dude really doesn’t like Reigns, but he’s literally the only one because the crowd go nuts as he enters. He’s getting progressively better every week on the mic, and he wants the belt bad. Trips doesn’t quite believe in Cena yet, and he’s all “I’ve done the same promo ten times. I’m out of words. Should I just do the whole thing again?”
Trips announces the Main Event later will be a 6-man tag starring all these lads, but before they can exit respectfully, Rollins attempts to tackle Reigns from behind, gets decked as a result and loses his precious briefcase. Reigns dangles it in front of him for a bit while Rollins is all “That’s not yours! Give it back!” like that one loser kid in the playground who cries because you’ve stolen a stick he claims to somehow own. Eventually, Reigns gives it back. Elsewhere, some shit went down on Smackdown involving Miz wearing his jacket backwards, and his “stunt double” getting Brogue kicked by Sheamo. Now you know why you didn’t watch it.
Tag Team Match: Sheamus & Dolph Ziggler -v- Cesaro & The Miz (i.e. Damien Sandow)
Lots of tag matches tonight, and hooray this is the first and it features Cesaro and Ziggler! The fight kicks off with a massive uppercut from Cesaro, to Ziggler, which he follows up with several elbows, over and over, much like Ziggler himself is wont to do. A dropkick by Ziggler helps him regain his composure slightly, while ringside Miz is being pampered in a special chair while Sandow directs the make-up artist to focus on his cheekbones. Eventually, Miz is tagged in and delivers lots of kicks to Ziggler. He recovers for a hip toss, as Sheamo tackles Miz from behind and chucks him back into the ring as he tries to escape. He lays into him with the 10 Beats of Boredom and Sandow can’t watch, it’s so horrifying. Sheamo follows up with a rolling senton, before Cesaro superkicks him and grabs him in a headlock. The crowd chant “We want Ziggler” as Miz gets his make-up touched up again. A Battering Ram by Sheamo from the top rope to Cesaro leads to a hot tag to Miz and Ziggler simultaneously. Ziggler goes for the Fame Asser almost immediately, but Miz counters with a DDT. Miz goes for the pin, and Sandow yells “Action” as he takes over from Cesaro just in time for the skull-crushing finale, taking the win. King calls it a “mizdirection” which may just be the cleverest joke he’s ever made.
Winners: Sheamus & Ziggler
Next up, we’re treated to a replay of the Bella family feud, before Nikki takes centre-stage in the first edition of a terrifying segment entitled “Growing Up Bella” which gets more disturbing with each installment. The score is ominous, the childhood photos scroll past as though one of them is currently dead/in jail and the story, regarding Brie stealing Nikki’s date for Senior Prom and making out with him in a parking lot, is dull. Does Cena know about this?
Total Divas Tag Match: Summer Rae -v- Naomi -v- Cameron -v- Eva Marie -v- Rosa Mendes -v- Layla
It’s difficult to know who’s with who, but all the ladies we don’t care about are involved in this match (Summer Rae deserves better than this) and not one of them can wrestle or sell or do anything remotely interesting in the ring. It’s a mess of dropkicks and shit, non-moves until there’s a DQ for some reason. Rosa is the only one selling as she vacates, with the others blowing kisses and whatnot.
Tag Match: Erick Rowan & Luke Harper of The Wyatt Family -v- Mark Henry & Big Show
Apparently, this is 1,400 LB of humanity, whatever that means! The stupid singing kid is still part of the swamp brothers’ entrance, which is really annoying. Someone has a sign claiming he could be at home watching Nitro right now. Didn’t we see this match last week? Whatever, Rowan is up against Henry first and the latter stands on his chest for what feels like an eternity. Harper tags in just as things are getting heated, as Lana and Rusev turn up, with no entrance music, to stand around looking all foreign and imposing. Cole reckons Rusev and Henry are feuding – does he know something we don’t, for once? There’s lots of bouncing around as Show takes on Harper, before Rowan is knocked out by Show and Harper focuses on his injured knee on the outside. The crowd do the usual “sexual chocolate” chant, which is always hilarious, before Rowan grabs Show and powerbombs him, leading to a near fall. Show then DDTs Rowan in retaliation, before Henry clotheslines Harper. There’s a great Splash in the corner by Henry, before the World’s Strongest Slam. Rowan and Show are then sparring on the outside. Henry goes for the slam again but Rusev kicks him in the face.
Another creepy installment in the weird “Growing Up Bella” segment follows, but this one is a great deal darker as Nikki details how Brie crashed her car and then used her licence to stay out of trouble. So, was her licence suspended then or what? Why were the police not alerted to this? A Lesnar/Cena promo is next, during which there is not nearly enough Heyman but thankfully the gods of WWE are smiling on us tonight because the man himself strolls into the arena, live and in person and getting boos for even mentioning John Cena‘s name. He has a new line now, too, “My client Brock Lesnar emasculated John Cena” It’s great, but he should know that last week’s raisin parade was actually the Hall Of Fame Forum, not the Hall Of Fame Panel. It matters.
Jack Swagger -v- Curtis Axel
These two kind of look alike, and they have a similar in-ring style, so this match-up is weird. In other news, Colter is ALIVE and he gets a major pop as he enters the arena, which is nice because his grandkids are probably watching at home. Swagger pauses for a quick “We The People” after each move, like Fandango except less fun. Bo Dallas is watching the match from the top of the ramp, along with some plebs who are not good looking enough to be on TV. JBL reckons Cole should jump off a bridge, and King threatens to “turn this car around” if the two of them don’t try to get along. Swagger goes for the Patriot Lock and Axel taps, ending the match right when it was starting to get halfway decent. Boo. No, actually, Bo. He’s here to discuss how Swagger has let normal Americans down, like Richie the gambler who looks like Edward Snowden and should be more careful with his money if he wants to eat ever again. He can’t even act sad, that’s how bad he is. Angelo, on the other hand, is clearly not Italian so being deported probably is quite scary to him because he’s not from that country they’re sending him to, while some lady in a wig’s son loves Putin a whole lot and that is somehow everyone else’s problem. Bo forces the three of them up, showing he can be quite intimidating when he wants to be, before making them do a “All you have to do is bo-lieve” chant in the style of Swagger’s own “We the people” It’s pretty disturbing, though not as much as the “Growing Up Bella” thing. “JBL sit down!” King admonishes him, hilariously, as this whole thing is going down.
Winner: Jack Swagger
Adam Rose -v- Titus O’Neill
Rose is still alive, and he’s grown a hideous beard! Heath Slater is also here, as he and Titus are best buddies now. Rose starts by tumbling around the ring before a backbreaker by Titus stops him in his bedazzled tracks. Meanwhile, his bunny is causing trouble ringside. Slater pushes him and he attacks, allowing Rose enough time to take advantage and win. He and the bunny then chuck Slater into the steps. Is he still supposed to be a face or..?
Winner: Adam Rose
Another “Growing Up Bella” installment follows, this time revealing that Nikki took Brie’s SATs for her, which is kind of a big deal. Or, at least, it would be if the two of them had real person jobs. Also, judging by their grad photos, they both used to be really into Jennifer Lopez.
Rusev -v- Zack Ryder
The “This Sux” sign in the front row is weirdly apt during this match, especially since poor Ryder has to hang around in the corner, just out of shot, as Lana cuts a promo about the US being shit and wanting to suck Putin’s dick and whatever else. Rusev wins easily with the Accolade but, before we can all resume napping in our souvenir chairs, Mark Henry turns up and Rusev flees the ring like a giant baby, which is fitting since he looks like he’s wearing a nappy. “Whatchu scared of?” Henry asks “Why you runnin’?” Rusev doesn’t respond, because his weekly language class in the local church has yet to cover “Southern drawl”. Henry reveals he’s scared too – scared of what he might do if he gets his hands on him! This is all very pro-USA, so if you’re into that, fine, but it’s dull as fuck to those of us who don’t wrap ourselves in Old Glory every night to snuggle up with our shotguns. Henry has opened up an international wing in the House Of Pain so it must be doing great business. Good for him.
Backstage, Steph and Trips are discussing what a good person she is because she’s giving back to the community in spite of being super-rich. And also she allowed her husband to go on TV wearing a pink tie, which is supportive to the gays. She really likes the creepy Nikki stories, and wants to assist her in any way she can. Trips looks on proudly as his wife strolls off to the ring, in her power blazer – her best look, obviously – to tell everyone that she is “one of the most powerful female leaders in the world” and wants to commend Nikki’s boobs. However, when they enter, they’re suffocated beneath a sheet of tin foil. How sad. Nikki wants to get shit off her chest tonight (ha!) and, in her defence, Steph ensures they talk over all the “Boring” chants that plague their weird promo. Steph actually turns it around on the crowd by acknowledging how bad they must feel living in her shadow, as she does, before revealing to Nikki that she is her choice for Divas champ.
She’s going to be given a title shot soon, but before Nikki’s tits can celebrate, Brie shows up and her music is cut off mid-entrance because it belongs only to her sister now. They exchange some grammatically incorrect sentences before AJ – who has a real fucking feud that doesn’t involve cocktail dresses – shows up to liven up the proceedings, closely followed by Paige. “I don’t play well with others” she tells Steph, who nods sagely as she admits “That’s true” The boss lady is literally looking down on her, as she towers over her so badly, before pushing her and her frenemy into the background to argue while Nikki yells at her sister to quit. Brie eventually tackles her and then storms off as the crowd chant “Go”. Paige, who has had to scramble to get her belt before selling that she’s been knocked over in the fray, loses it to AJ who has to be told to give it back by Steph. Eventually, she does, but with the fakest smile ever.
Next week’s Raw is being pushed like fuck tonight – the last five minutes of the show are dedicated to it – so we’re told that Bray Wyatt is going up against Jericho in a steel cage for no apparent reason and that we are supposed to be excited. Oh, and here Bray is now, with a ten-second promo that robs him of all genius.
Jimmy Uso -v- Goldust
It’s bizarre seeing an Uso on his own, so it’s fitting that Stardust and Jey accompany their respective partners to the ring for this bout. Oh hey, fuck you, person with “Uso Crazy” sign. You should be gassed. The Dust brothers start off with an apology for last week’s antics, but are rudely interrupted by a swift Uso uppercut that causes everything to erupt into chaos. Stardust later cheats by hooking his brother’s legs onto the ropes while he’s pinned, and he subsequently wins but attacks Jey after the match as some dude yells “Don’t do it”. He’s very distressed, it’s actually kind of sad.
Backstage, Henry and Show are discussing how they’re both huge and strong and awesome. Show is actually sporting a lovely WWE hoodie, while Henry is still in his sweaty ring gear. There’s something about food and America and basically Henry wants Rusev for himself, with no help. The two bump fists, and it actually seems as though there might be a match coming up next but no, it’s just the Main Event starring John Cena! Again! Remember Ambrose v Rollins a few weeks back? Remember how awesome that was? Hold tight to that thought.
6-Man Tag: John Cena, Chris Jericho & Roman Reigns -v- Seth Rollins, Kane & Randy Orton
Steph and Trips watch ringside throughout, looking wise and rich and comfy. Jericho’s trunks kind of match Cena’s new merch, which is distracting. Also, Orton and Reigns are having their much-anticipated (snort) Summerslam rematch next week so woo-hoo. A spinebuster by Rollins is rewarded with dignified clapping from Steph, like a proud parent watching her child barely participating in a football match. Trips is also proud. Cena is dying for the tag throughout, but he’s kept out for much of the match, making a welcome change from the norm (although he’s clearly still going to win it for them). Jericho catches Rollins in the Walls, he crawls towards the ropes but Orton intervenes to keep him in. Reigns is tagged and delivers a stunning Superman punch, which Kane follows up with a chokeslam. The crowd are nuts for Cena as a codebreaker is administered, after which Kane grabs Jericho in a headlock. Cena is overacting like crazy from ringside. Jericho utilises a Splash from the top to tackle Orton, before a hot tag to Cena leads to an AA on Kane. Trips and Steph are disgusted. Reigns is tagged in and lines up to Spear Kane for the win. Cena then yells at his bosses a bit, and Rollins tries to sneak up on him, so he chucks him into the announce table and then resumes speaking. He also grabs a sign from the crowd which reads “Tag Me In” – on the back of the “This Sux” one from earlier – and holds it up in the ring for a bit while people cheer like losers.
Winners: John Cena, Roman Reigns & Chris Jericho
Although cranky pants Vince Russo would have us believe this was the worst Raw EVER (he does love his Caps Lock key, ol’ Vince), on the whole, it wasn’t too bad. It was dull, the “Growing Up Bella” segment was really weird, and the matches didn’t contribute anything particularly significant to the storylines, but there were some good spots, a bit of Heyman madness and a Main Event that, although not life-changing, served its purpose.
Ambrose is sorely missed, and poor Bray can’t seem to catch a break, but Ziggler featured, along with Cesaro, and Jericho is always a welcome addition. Sheamo’s involvement was kept to a minimum as was, crucially, Cena’s, while Rollins and Reigns were given some mic and ring time to show what they can do. The most perplexing additions to tonight’s show were jobbers such as Rose and Ryder, while the Divas match doesn’t even deserved to be called as such and the Wyatt tag was just a repeat of last week.
According to certain sources, next week’s episode is being pushed so hard because it’s seen as the premiere for a new season. If this is true, then it’s either going to kick off hugely or barely make a ripple. Either way, something’s got to give because right now we’re just coasting.
Follow Gorilla Press on Twitter: @Gpressonline
Follow Joey on Twitter: @JoeyLDG
Check out more of Wrasslor Monkey’s awesome gifs: @WrasslorMonkey