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The PG Era Rant: Raw, 08.11.14

The
PG Era Rant for Raw, August 11, 2014.
Live
from Portland, Oregon.
The
pre-show announcements:
  • Happy
    Birthday, Hulk Hogan! Hulkamania turns 61.
  • Stephanie
    McMahon has a confession to make.
  • John
    Cena AND Brock Lesnar are in the building.
  • Roman
    Reigns will face a mystery opponent hand-picked by the Authority.

Red
and yellow presents are on the stage! Hogan’s birthday is today!
But
first, Here Comes The One. This opening segment gets a hashtag.
Ladies and gentlemen, his name is Paul Heyman. In six days, the
Conqueror will win the WWE Title. Paul Heyman tells us he’s here to
sell us on big events. The beating of John Cena is not the point,
though. It’s about SummerSlam… and we will directly address John
Cena fans. Bad things happen to good people. And those who don’t
learn from history will repeat it… like with the Undertaker.
(Shocked Lesnar Guy gets a pop.) If you were an Undertaker fan and
had been told he would lose, you would watch. If you were a Rock fan
and knew he would lose and be gone for months at SummerSlam 2002, you
would watch. If you were a Hulkamaniac and knew that Brock would
squeeze him into a year-long absence, you’d watch that, right?
So:
If you’re a John Cena fan, watch SummerSlam because you won’t see him
for much longer. Exhibit B: Extreme Rules 2012. Brock Lesnar left
Cena a bloody mess. (And yeah, he lost, but so? Brock was a better
fighter.) Brock may not make excuses, but he did have diverticulitis
and was at 50%. He was STILL beating the crap out of John Cena.
Imagine what he’ll do at 100%.
Heyman
addresses Lesnar: John Cena will not have fun at your expense. And
Heyman starts doing some rhymes to sell the show. And in six days,
“at the West Coast’s biggest arena”, (Portland fans don’t like
that), Brock Lesnar will conquer. (Fans prefer that.) And this is
Brock’s House, Brock’s Ring, and Brock and Heyman are on the way out
the door. So don’t mess up the house with the birthday party.
They’ll be back.
The
announcers shill the WWE Network.
Tonight:
John Cena will offer a rebuttal!
Happy
birthday wishes from Flo Rida and Weird Al Yankovic.
Roman
Reigns is NEXT!
Hard
sell. That’s all it is, but no one does it better than Paul Heyman.
Roman
Reigns v. ???.

Kane’s music hits… but Kane’s back as Corporate Kane, Director of
Operations. Since beating Kane is like beating two men, here’s two
men: Rybaxel. Axel will start. Crowd says he’s not Perfect. Reigns
shoves Axel away by the face. Reigns to the headlock, then a tackle.
Axel talks trash, calling Reigns a coward, and pays for it with an
uppercut. Ryback wants in, and he taunts Reigns. Reigns controls
him, but no one moves on a tackle. Reigns fakes another try and
clotheslines Ryback instead in a neat spot. Ryback regains control
in the corner, but Reigns slugs out and gets another clothesline.
Axel distracts, and Ryback takes over with a headbutt. Suplex
attempt is reversed (I think you could hear it called), and Reigns
rattles Ryback into the corner. Axel is sent flying, and Reigns gets
ten punches… stopped at 8 with a powerbomb by Ryback as we go to
break.
I’m
trying to say less this time. Seriously.
Handicap
match, part two.

Reigns fights to his feet, then takes out both men and elbows Ryback
out of the ring (almost – a boot finishes the job). Axel meets him
outside and gets clobbered, but Ryback takes over with a toss to the
post. Axel does it too. Ryback and Axel both do it this time, and
this leads to a DQ at 9:08. Really? 3/4*
Axel with a running dropkick and Ryback with an avalanche. But
Reigns levels both men with clotheslines. Samoan Drop to Axel.
Ryback is sent packing, and Axel is casually kicked down. Drive-By
Dropkick to Axel follows. Ryback eats post because we’re even.
Superpunch to Ryback, then to Axel. Spear to Ryback, then to Axel.
Renee
Young is in the ring to interview Reigns about SummerSlam. Reigns
makes it clear: he didn’t steal from Randy Orton, but on Sunday,
he’ll TAKE from him. If the Viper’s back, the fangs will be knocked
down its own throat, leaving a worthless little worm. Believe that.
Backstage,
Corporate Kane is walking and meets Randy Orton. He finds it funny
that Reigns isn’t afraid. If Rybaxel and Kane couldn’t get it done,
Orton will. Kane reminds Orton that Reigns will be a big challenge,
and he has to be ready. So tonight, Orton will get a warm-up match
with Sheamus. It’s Best for Business, you know.
Later
tonight: Stephanie confesses! Plus, Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho had
an interview with Michael Cole – you’ll see it tonight! But up
next, Rob Van Dam faces Seth Rollins!
Um…
why was that a DQ? If you’re going to end with Roman Reigns
annihilating both guys, why even bother with a DQ?
Last
week, we had a bait and switch. And it didn’t work.
Rob
Van Dam v. Seth Rollins.

Rollins works over RVD in the corner, but RVD reverses with a
spinkick. Standing moonsault gets two. Ten punches is stopped at
three as Rollins kicks RVD down and stomps away. Running elbow by
Rollins gets two. He hooks the nose before going to the chinlock. A
clubbing forearm stops RVD, but he comes back with the leg cradle for
two. RVD stops a blind charge and gets a flying kick, so Rollins
bails. RVD with a baseball slide to the barricade, then he hands
Rollins up on it only to miss the legdrop as we go to break.
Good
to see RVD is back to full health able to compete.
RVD/Rollins,
part two.

Rollins allows RVD up but eats a high kick in the corner. Stinger
Splash misses RVD, and the comeback begins, building to a somersault
splash for two. Superkick connects, and the split-leg moonsault gets
two. Rollins catches RVD with a back kick, then blocks a rolling
monkey flip. Curbstomp ends it at 7:57. *1/2
Hard to rate when half the match was in commercials. As Rollins
leaves, he stares at Hogan’s presents disdainfully, almost certain
Dean Ambrose is in one of them. He checks the large present –
nothing. Whew. He should’ve kept checking, because Ambrose bursts
out of the gift anyway and attacks! Rollins escapes through the
crowd, so Ambrose demands a mic. “Run, Seth! Run while you still
can!” He can’t run in a lumberjack match, so in six days, he’s
stuck. He’ll get more than his $9.99 worth.
Stephanie
McMahon is WALKING! The confession is next!
Enjoy
some Slam City – new episodes coming soon!
Dean
Ambrose has new music. And it sounds like Divas’ music, too. Why?
And
here’s Stephanie. Last week, she beat up both Bellas with HHH’s
indirect help. Stephanie wants to do what’s best for the WWE
Universe, Superstars and Divas included. (Hashtag alert!) But she’s
afraid there’s some bad news. Well, not said like that. Daniel
Bryan has been rehabbing from surgery he received months ago. So
tonight, we meet Daniel Bryan’s therapist Megan Miller… who is in
the building tonight. Stephanie invites her into the ring.
So
the confession isn’t Stephanie’s… it’s Megan’s. Megan doesn’t want
to say it, but Stephanie calls her the victim. So Megan – after
saying Daniel and Brie are good people – has to admit (WHAT?) after
a lot of beating around the bush (WHAT?) that Daniel… wait for
it… wait for it… her boyfriend left her and she needs to stop
being his therapist and it all seemed so innocent (the crowd is
turning HARD on this segment)… c’mon, just spit it out… has been
sleeping with his therapist. Stephanie hugs Megan as the crowd is
loudly NO-ing this segment.
And
here’s Brie. And she’s calling Megan a liar. Steph says the wife is
the last one to know. Stephanie rubs it in. Stephanie even says
Megan claimed Daniel said Brie was a dead fish. Go on, Megan, say
everything. Stephanie gets Brie to slap Megan before she turns to
Stephanie… and the WAR is on.Brie is… is she going for the Yes
Lock? YES! Stephanie is gagging, but security pulls Brie off before
a tapout.
And
Stephanie says it’s happening tonight! Crowd gives a huge YES chant
for that.
Later
tonight, John Cena offers a rebuttal to Brock Lesnar! Plus, Michael
Cole shows us his face-to-face with Chris Jericho AND Bray Wyatt!
Happy
Birthday, Hogan wishes from Drew Brees, AJ Hawk, and Aaron Rodgers,
NFL players.
Look,
if you’re going to copy a TNA angle, why copy the Claire Lynch one,
especially since we all know how this will end later tonight?
We
recap the last segment.
Jack
Swagger v. Cesaro.

Cesaro gets no entrance. Lots of reversals to start, as both men
know each other well. Swagger has taped ribs. Swagger maintains a
ride on Round 2, catching Cesaro with a high belly-to-belly suplex
for two. Blind charge misses, and Cesaro gets shots to the ribs and
a gutwrench suplex. Cesaro works the ribs on Swagger, following with
an uppercut. Facewash follows, then an abdominal stretch (not
hooking the toe – Gorilla would not approve). Cesaro with a rib
breaker for one, and he goes to the arm. Swagger gets Cesaro in the
corner, but misses a blind charge and Cesaro with a second-rope
axhandle. A second one is caught into a belly-to-belly. Avalanche
and short clothesline by Swagger, but Cesaro goes back to the ribs,
hanging Swagger on the top rope. Running big boot sends Swagger into
the barricade as we go to break.
Two
mechanics being given a long match. Doesn’t take much to make me
happy.
Swagger/Cesaro,
part two.

We’re back in the abdominal stretch, but Swagger powers out and
slugs back, only to get caught in the stretch again. Cesaro lowers
the strap and punches the ribs, then bites at the rib tape. Swagger
reverses to a Dino Bravo sideslam. Swagger begins the comeback with
clotheslines and a big boot. WE THE PEOPLE! Vader Bomb connects,
but Swagger hurts himself and it only gets two. Cesaro with a small
package for two. Swagger goes to work in the corner, but Cesaro with
a throat thrust and shot to the head for two. Second-rope half
senton gets two. Cesaro sends Swagger to the corner and goes for the
ApronPlex, but instead Swagger throws Cesaro to the apron and
clotheslines him back in. Catapult knee to the ribs by Cesaro and a
seated running uppercut gets two. Cesaro slaps Swagger around, then
mushroom stomps the ribs… but Swagger grabs the ankle! Cesaro
flees to the ropes. Boot to get separation, and Cesaro goes up, but
Swagger with a Pop-Up Superplex into an Ankle Lock! He pulls Cesaro
away from the ropes, and Cesaro taps at 11:58. This was more or less
Cesaro’s Pay-Per-View match on Raw. ***1/4

And
now, Zeb talks, saying that Sunday will Deport-landia. This is a
message for the “nasty stinking Kremlin gremlin”: everyone from
LA to Chernobly will see Old Glory waving in the ring. Swagger will
own Rusev on Sunday. WE THE PEOPLE!
Hey,
who dropped the Russian flag behind the ring? Swagger’s ready as
Rusev emerges for a flag-waving contest. Swagger plants the flag in
the ring for emphasis.
Later
tonight: Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon have a non-match! Plus,
Randy Orton faces Sheamus! Also, Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt were
co-interviewed by Michael Cole!
Cesaro
officially got Jannetty’d tonight, but he went out swinging in a very
good match.
RECAP:
Last week, Chris Jericho beat Luke Harper by DQ, meaning Bray Wyatt
will have to face Chris Jericho alone.
That
match will be on Sunday, but first, here’s an interview that Michael
Cole did with both men at the same time. But Bray tells Michael Cole
to leave so they can just face each other. Bray asks Jericho about
his childhood dreams… because Bray remembers them. He knows
Jericho wanted to live up to his father. So can Jericho still see
the disappointment in Dad’s eyes? It left a hole in Jericho that had
to be filled by being a Saviour. But Jericho can’t save himself.
See? Bray knows a lot about Jericho, but not the reverse.
So
here’s what you need to know about Bray: when he dreams, he hears
screaming. He has nightmares every night. But he’s not a Savior,
nor did he claim to be. All he lives for is to help the helpless.
You can’t just whisper words; you must shout them. That’s the key.
The only way to help someone is to hurt them. And Bray has hurt
people. He’s not sorry, either. He has an urge.
There
are no consequences; he has no conscience; he doesn’t believe in
Heaven or Hell; he hates everything in the world. He knows he’s a
monster. The human race is cowardly – and Jericho exemplifies it.
The Pale Horse is coming for Jericho on Sunday. Bray’s smile will be
the last thing Jericho sees.
Jericho
smirks. He admits to not being a Saviour. But, after 15 years, he’s
a Survivor. And the reason he survives is that there are many sides
to Jericho. You don’t know who will show up on Sunday, but he’ll
follow the buzzards and shove them down Bray’s throat. He’ll be the
first man to leave Bray speechless. Bray just laughs as we snap to
black.
AJ
Lee is next!
Hm.
I was expecting it to turn physical. There was nothing here that
couldn’t – and shouldn’t – have been done live.
AJ
Lee v. Eva Marie.

Speaking of Eva, I watched NXT and holy cow did she get harsh
treatment from the NXT fans. Eva works the arm, but AJ reverses to a
headlock takedown. And here’s Paige’s music, followed by Paige
skipping to the ring. AJ with a kneelit and running axhandle, but
she’s distracted by Paige and Eva cradles AJ for the win at 1:04.
Okay then. Paige takes the mic and says she’s sorry for pushing AJ
off the stage and all… then recites a silly poem to prove it. And
to say she’ll win on Sunday.
AJ’s
reaction is to see Eva Marie, who was healthy enough to celebrate her
win but was suddenly hurting enough to be ambushed. She shoves Eva
into the apron before unloading on her and tossing her into the
barricade.
Speaking
of poetry, here’s Heyman rapping at John Cena.
The
Champ is here for his rebuttal, next!
There
is so much wrong with that Divas segment. AJ losing, Paige’s silly
poem, Eva Marie screwing up the selling, AJ walking away the better
of the two despite losing or vice versa… oi.
Your
main event of Main Event is an open challenge by the Usos.
John
Cena is here! He says that in six days, he is to be conquered by
Brock Lesnar (imitating Paul Heyman)… if you believe Heyman, of
course. Sunday will have pain, and yes, Brock will beat Cena hard.
But he will not win. Cena WILL NOT lay down for Brock Lesnar! (His
words.) Take that any way you want, but Brock doesn’t deserve to be
champion. He’s not unbeatable… he will lose the gold, but not
Sunday, and not to Brock Lesnar.
Cena
doesn’t like the arrogant bully. He is a difficult, uncaring,
selfish son of a… and everyone knows it. But the locker room isn’t
a social club. Even so, Brock should not be rewarded with the gold.
Cena’s
been out a lot; he’s heard everything. The positives and the
negatives. He’s been told he can’t wrestle. He’s heard Let’s Go
Cena. He’s heard Cena Sucks. (And he hears each one after he says
it, too.) And yet, every week, he’s happy to be here. And every
week, people ask: when is John Cena turning? When does he say enough
of this? When does he stop being about merchandise? When does he
unleash hell?
How
about Sunday? To fight the beast, he will BE the Beast. He’s not
proud of what he’ll become, but it’s necessary to keep the gold away
from Brock Lesnar. And here’s why Brock doesn’t deserve the gold:
Heyman said the ring is Brock’s House. No. This is the Fans’ House.
Their House.
But
hey, let’s play along: if this is Brock’s House, there’s a stranger
in his living room. So try to evict him. Hez in ur house, talkin 2
ur fanz – so come kick him out, Brock!
No
Brock. Of course. He’s too busy with dinner. Or maybe he has
another shot of diverticulitis or punk-bitch-itis or something.
C’mon, Brock… rip him limb from limb! Start with his hand! He has
too many fingers, have the middle one!
Still
no Brock. So here’s Cena’s response. He doesn’t repeat history, he
MAKES it. He conquers the Conqueror. He’ll be the One who beats the
One. The Champ Is Here!!!!! (Had to include that many exclamation
points.)
After
Raw, the WWE Network will look at Cena and Lesnar. But tonight: Randy
Orton faces Sheamus! Plus, we have Stephanie McMahon against Brie
Bella – here’s the segment setting that up, and here’s Brie Bella
walking! Next!
Anyone
else get a shooty vibe from that Cena promo? I can’t imagine he’s
the only one who is mad at what Lesnar’s gotten… I wonder what CM
Punk thought.
Hulk
Hogan gets birthday wishes from Larry King and Florida/Georgia Line.
Alleged
match: Brie Bella v. Stephanie McMahon.

No match, as Megan Miller gets Brie arrested after that slap she
gave her. Stephanie gloats as they lead Brie away.
For
the record, I wrote this “match” recap about 5 minutes before it
happened. I think we all knew this was coming. But why? What does
it add? Anything?
We
see Brie getting arrested again.
The
Miz is going to join commentary.
Dolph
Ziggler v. Heath Slater.

So much for building on last week’s momentum. Dolph throws his
T-Shirt at Miz to start. Crowd gives Slater a chant. Slater elbows
out of a waistlock and drops Dolph, adding a back elbow. Someone
cuts out Miz’s mic as Slater gets two. JBL apologizes. Cole loves
it. Slater has a chinlock. Ziggler gets a dropkick and snapmare,
then the Heart Attack Elbow for two. Slater with a small package
(just like last week) for two. Ziggler gets a slam, but an elbow
misses and Slater lands a high kneedrop for two. Miz, by the way,
has been doing commentary standing on the table. Slater back to the
chinlock, then a leg lariat for two. Miz says he’s the only one to
bring Cleveland a championship, and all three commentators mention
Jim Brown. Back to the chinlock. Dolph with a jawbreaker and
clothesline. Stinger Splash misses, neckbreaker misses, Zig Zag, Miz
gets Dolph’s attention, and Dolph beats the heck out of Miz and gets
counted out at 4:18. HEATH SLATER WINS AGAIN! 3/4*
Dolph returns to the ring and says, hey, no hard feelings. Slater
tries an ambush, it fails, and Dolph counters to the Zig Zag. So
there.
Orton!
Sheamus! WALKING! Next!
Okay,
so here’s how you do this. The underdog wins, and he only gets
beaten down afterward because he had it coming. Now the win means
something, and the favorite still gets the better of it. Compare
this to Rybaxel’s DQ and Eva Marie’s upset.
On
SmackDown: Roman Reigns goes to MizTV.
Randy
Orton v. Sheamus.

This match gets a hashtag. Anyone else see the “Orton Fears Miss
Piggy” sign? A lockup goes nowhere. Orton kicks away, but Sheamus
fights out of the corner and gets a clothesline. Orton suckers
Sheamus into the turnbuckle and gets a clothesline of his own, then
another. He charges into a big boot, though, and Sheamus slams him.
Diving kneedrop gets two. Sheamus hooks the nose of Orton and adds
shots to the back. Orton rolls away from Sheamus and takes over, but
it lasts not at all. Clothesline gets two. Ten of Clubs time, but
Orton elbows out before it starts and bails as we go to break.
No
chemistry between these two. No heat, either, oddly enough.
Orton/Sheamus,
part two.

During the Break, Orton backdropped Sheamus into the timekeeper’s
area. Sheamus fights out of the chinlock and clotheslines Orton out
of the ring. Orton catches Sheamus with a boot and back suplexes him
on the announce table. Orton resets the table and poses, getting the
first reaction of the match. Back in, it gets two. Sheamus gets a
back suplex to offset a chinlock for a double KO. Irish Hammers cue
the comeback. Kneelift and running knee in the corner set up a
suplex by Sheamus for two. Finlay Roll is blocked and Orton bails.
Sheamus sends Orton into the barricade outside, but gets caught
coming in. Draping DDT is blocked, and it’s Ten of Clubs time.
Finlay Roll connects this time, for two. Irish Curse is blocked, and
Orton gets a boot to the head and back-to-back backbreaker. Sheamus
rolls to the apron, so it’s Draping DDT time. Orton milks the crowd
before getting the RKO set up, but Sheamus is on the apron and drapes
Orton’s neck before getting a battering ram and Oklahoma Slam for
two. Sheamus imitates Orton’s taunt, then winds up the Brogue Kick,
but it misses. RKO misses, Sheamus into the turnbuckle, blind charge
eats boot, and Sheamus goes up. He dives RIGHT INTO THE RKO for the
pin (even after a little “ain’t I great” pose by Orton) at 13:07.
This was more or less Sheamus’s PPV match on Raw. **3/4
Happy
birthday Hulk! We celebrate next!
Not
a bad main event match for the show. And now, let’s see what happens
next.
Everyone’s
on the stage. Mean Gene Okerlund and Jimmy Hart are the hosts for
the birthday party. The locker room leads a standing ovation.
(Hashtag? Hashtag.) We open with a tribute video to Hulk Hogan, set
to Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”. Hogan is choked up. But he has
the strength to do a Hogan Promo. Complete with $9.99 for the
Network. Because that’s all the money Vince could bother to give
Hogan for a birthday present. He thanks everyone – the roster, the
crew, Pat Patterson – for the honor. He thanks the fans for
touching his life and making it special. He loves us all.
And
here come the special guests! Ric Flair! Paul Orndorff (with goofy
theme music and handlebar mustache)! Roddy Piper! The Outsiders!
Scott
Hall gives us a Hey Yo, saying that Hulk looks sweet in red and
yellow, but the Survey Says: put on the Black and White and be Too
Sweet! Hulk had it on under the shirt he just ripped off. Nash then
sings (sort of) Happy Birthday to Hogan, leading the crowd.
And
here’s Brock. Question: why did the locker room just let him walk
through? He enters the ring, staring down each guest (Heyman mocking
the NWO hand sign in the back), but Hogan gets in Brock’s face.
Heyman eggs Hogan on. Brock says the party’s over. But John Cena
races from the back and is ready to clear Brock out!
Everyone’s
ready for this… Heyman tries to tell Brock to back off… and they
do. Brock just leaves. The two exchange words as we’re out of time,
and the rest of the birthday party is on the Network… as soon as
they update the software. Thanks, guys!
MORK
CALLING ORSON, COME IN ORSON:
It’s
a go-home show. Two good matches for the night, plus some heavy
interviews. I got nothing wrong with this, so instead of
deconstructing Raw since you don’t care what I think, let’s go to:
HOW
I’D BOOK IT.
  1. The
    Usos beat Heath Slater and Titus O’Neil.
  2. Jack
    Swagger waves the flag over Rusev.
  3. Roman
    Reigns knocks off Randy Orton.
  4. Dolph
    Ziggler defeats the Miz by walkout; The Miz retains the
    Intercontinental Title.
  5. Seth
    Rollins gets help from Lumberjack Kane to pin Dean Ambrose.
  6. Brie
    Bella defeats Stephanie McMahon.
  7. Bray
    Wyatt defeats Chris Jericho.
  8. AJ
    Lee cheats to beat Paige.
  9. Brock
    Lesnar beats John Cena to become WWE Champion.
For
the record, I hate that Lesnar is going to be champion, but it has to
happen. The question is, for how long? Hopefully not too long…
having him take the title away for months at a time would normally be
okay, but after the Bryan injury it opens a can of worms.
NIGHT
OF CHAMPIONS, MY WAY:
  • WWE
    Title: Brock Lesnar v. John Cena
  • Intercontinental
    Title: The Miz v. Dolph Ziggler (cage match)
  • United
    States Title: Sheamus v. Rusev v. Jack Swagger
  • Divas’
    Title: AJ Lee v. Brie Bella
  • Tag
    Team Titles: The Usos v. Big E and Kofi Kingston
  • Chris
    Jericho, Goldust, and Stardust v. The Wyatt Family (elimination
    match)
  • Randy
    Orton v. Kane v. Roman Reigns
STATS:
MATCH
TIME: 47:32 over just six matches
BEST
MATCH: Swagger/Cesaro
WORST
MATCH: AJ/Eva
NIGHT
MVP: John Cena
FINAL
RATING: Let’s call this a 6. Nothing wrong with the hype, and we got
good long matches, but ultimately forgettable and overshadowed by the
Hogan celebration. Brock and Cena are carrying SummerSlam, whether
we like it or not – and I hope I like it.
Matt
Perri will be here tomorrow with Main Event. Danielle has Total
Divas. Tommy Hall does the back end of the week in wrestling,
complete with Tyler Breeze challenging Adrian Neville. I’ll have
that retro rant – maybe. Meanwhile, Brian Bayless will have our
e-fed PPV.
Nanu,
nanu.