The PG Era Rant: Raw’s SEASON PREMIERE, 9.8.14 (Or: At least it wasn’t ordinary)

The PG Era Rant for Raw, September 8,
2014.
The pre-show hosts are Byron, Booker,
and Riley.
Highlights of tonight’s show, labeled
as a Season Premiere:
  • Chris Jericho faces Bray Wyatt
    inside a steel cage, and this is the opener!
  • Jerry Springer talks to the
    Bellas.
  • A SummerSlam rematch: Randy Orton
    faces Roman Reigns!
Live from Baltimore, MD.
Your hosts are Michael, John, and
Jerry.

THE CAGE IS LOWERING! RUN FOR YOUR
LIVES!
We get a Season Premiere preview,
featuring Jerry Springer, Reigns/Orton, Paul Heyman’s warning, and
the cage match.
Opening WITH A MATCH, Steel Cage:
Chris Jericho v. Bray Wyatt.

It must be a special occasion when we go straight to wrestling.
Harper and Rowan will be at ringside. HASHTAG! Crowd is split.
Jericho fires out of the corner with punches and chops, but Wyatt
wins the opening salvo. Jericho pops up with a dropkick. He stomps
away and gets a guillotine catapult. Wyatt shoves off and races to
the door, but Jericho catches him. Wyatt with an uppercut to
control, but Jericho leapfrogs a charge and gets an enzuigiri for
one. Yes, it’s “pin/submit/escape” rules. Wyatt chokes Jericho
on the middle rope before hitting an avalanche in the opposite
corner. Crowd starts singing as Wyatt tosses Jericho, who uses the
momentum to climb but gets caught. Jericho kicks Wyatt away and gets
to the top, but Wyatt knocks him back down. Jericho fights him off
and stands on the top, jumping off with a single axhandle. Wyatt
leverages Jericho into the cage on a charge, following with an
avalanche into the cage as we go to break. “You see?”
Okay,
reality check: you can do the escape rules and say the winner beat up
the loser so badly he couldn’t be stopped. You can do pin or
submission and focus on keeping interference out. Doing both is just
weird.
#SteelCage, part two.
Wyatt nails the flying forearm for two as we come back, then begins
to climb out. Jericho pulls him back in, getting the Electric Chair.
Jericho up first, but a slugfest breaks out. Jericho wins, getting
a running forearm smash and one-hand bulldog. Lionsault, but no
cover. Walls of Jericho, but Bray blocks only to eat cage. Jericho
with the double jump dropkick to a sandwiched Wyatt. Jericho ready
to leave, but Wyatt meets him on the top rope. Wyatt with headbutts
to a trapped Jericho, and he hits a superplex. SPIDER WALK OF DOOM
to the door, but Jericho stops him and, while he has both legs, tries
the Walls of Jericho. Wyatt kicks Jericho off and lands the uranage
for two. Wyatt slugs Jericho and taunts the crowd before catapulting
Jericho into the corner… but Jericho uses the momentum to climb
again. Wyatt stops him, but Jericho slithers out and has Wyatt
trapped. Both men are on the ropes as Jericho pounds away with ten
punches and a Frankensteiner. Jericho climbs back up and gets over
the top, but Harper and Rowan surround the landing area. So Jericho
just dives off the top and lands on Wyatt (Jericho with a great “eh,
why not” look to the fans before diving). Jericho may have landed
awkwardly on his right knee. He pulls off the kneepad and hobbles to
the door as the crowd declares that last bit Awesome. Wyatt thinks
Jericho is too slow and charges, but Jericho low bridges Wyatt into
the cage. He’s halfway out the door when Wyatt grabs his foot.
Jericho goes for the eyes and tries again, but Bray gets the knee.
Both men are halfway out the door as Wyatt headbutts Jericho. Wyatt
with a mount and elbows, then a headbutt before working on the knee
and rolling out for the win at 16:59. Nice hot finish. ***1/4

Wyatt
slams the door on Jericho’s knee for good measure. “Is this your
hero?” Jericho eats stairs as Wyatt keeps punishing Jericho. Back
in the cage, with Harper forcing the door shut, and it’s the INVERTED
LOOK OF DOOM before Sister Abigail’s Kiss. Follow The Buzzards.
Kane
and Seth Rollins are talking about the cage match backstage when HHH
shows up. He congratulates Kane for the good start but says they
need to take it up a notch by doing something that no one will
forget. Randy Orton is there, and he says he’s in the main event and
can make this REALLY memorable. He promises to do to Reigns things
that will make Ambrose’s attack by Rollins look pedestrian. HHH
approves.
This
is going to help rebuild Bray Wyatt, with any luck. The problem is
that he needs to get more wins off of this. The fans are still with
him, so he’s survived the test of fire and come out stronger. Feel
free to push him now.
Dolph
Ziggler is wearing a suit in the ring as his match with Miz at Night
of Champions is hyped. Dolph says it’s been controversial in
Hollywood, thanks to the leak of sensitive photos. (Dolph’s against
it, by the way.) No one deserves that level of disrespect… well,
almost
no one. Miz? Yeah, disrespect that. Now, he didn’t hack and
doesn’t condone anyone who does, but he has photos of the Miz he
wants to share. Miz getting a facial with wearing briefs and a
shower cap. Miz doing manscaping, shaving his chest. And the last
one…
…will
not be seen, as Miz and his stunt double are out. He screams about
an invasion of privacy, saying the photos were for medical purposes.
(Somehow.) Miz will sue Dolph, Dolph’s “people”, and everyone
else in humanity if those photos get published. Crowd is so into
this they WHAT it. Miz pulls off the glasses – he looks scared –
and threatens Dolph’s career. Dolph says, well, if that’s the case,
I’ll get his money’s worth: Miz getting his buttocks spray-tanned by
Sandow. Dolph finds this funny. Sandow is shocked. Miz is furious.
Sandow races in for vengeance and is dropkicked as Miz bails.
Sandow eats Zig Zag for good measure, then catches Miz sneaking in
and begs him to come in. Miz backs off. See the photos again!
Vince
McMahon status: amused. Who cares about the fact that you’re
cheering on criminal acts? Vince is laughing.
Natalya and Rosa Mendes v. AJ Lee
and Paige.

Speaking of Team #2, when did “hot mess” become the in thing?
Paige insists on starting against Natalya, but gets the worst of it
before getting headscissors. Chain wrestling continues, ending with
Natalya sending Paige into the corner and getting a double suplex.
Rose gets one. Paige slaps Rosa and headbutts her before getting the
creepy mount and machine gun headbutts. Paige mocks asking for the
tag before slapping Rosa again. This goes on a while, with Paige
getting a slam but missing the legdrop (“OW!”). Natalya now asks
for a tag, but Rosa wants to win on her own and runs into a back
kick. Knees to the gut on the apron, but AJ tags herself in (by the
hair) and hooks the Black Widow for the tapout at 2:35. Meh. 1/2*
Paige is unhappy about the tag-in and yells at AJ, but AJ just takes
the belt and kisses it. Paige is disgusted and acts like it needs
disinfectant before kissing it herself. Paige demands AJ stay in the
ring, but she skips off instead.
Backstage,
the trainer is checking on Jericho’s knee when Randy Orton enters,
still upset about Jericho’s Highlight Reel comments last week. He
ambushes Jericho and hurts the knee even more. “Sorry, Chris.
What can I say? It’s the Season Premiere.”
I’d
like to get behind the AJ/Paige stuff, but it’s so kooky and
incoherent I can’t find a side to get behind, nor is either one
endearing themselves to me.
Moments
Ago. JBL reminds us HHH gave Orton free reign to do everything.
Ladies
and gentlemen, his name is Paul Heyman. He may be in Cena’s
backyard, but thanks to Brock, he fears nothing. Brock has
authorized Heyman to give out some confidential information – a
warning to John Cena. Heyman says he’ll deliver it as though Cena
were right in front of him…
…and
speak of the devil. Cena reassures Heyman that he’s just here to
give the visual of Heyman speaking TO Cena. “I’m right here.
Talk.” Heyman makes clear this is why Cena WAS the greatest
champion. He’ll be confronted by the truth and isn’t afraid – that
makes him special. But Brock anticipated Cena showing up, and he’s
authorized to drop the warning and just give insider info. That
info: how to beat Brock Lesnar.
Cena
says he already knows. There’s no strategy, it’s just three words.
Brock Lesnar shut down the Undertaker, but he couldn’t keep Cena
quiet for more than a week. Cena’s strategy is Never Give Up,
holding up the towel with that message and handing it to Heyman
(“though I doubt Brock Lesnar can read it”).
Heyman
laughs, seeing Cena being Cena. He tosses the towel aside and says
being John Cena is his biggest problem. John Cena lives to be the
character for the kid who shows up to cheer for John Cena. But Brock
Lesnar doesn’t hear it. He only hears the referee (to keep from
being DQ’d), Heyman (who strategizes), and the victim (who cries for
mercy). But Heyman’s here for a gift to Cena, and that is how to
beat Brock: Give in.
Give
in to temptation.
After
all this time, no matter what Cena does, the crowd still says he
sucks. Heyman says it a dozen times and says it gets to Cena. You
may have to respect Heyman saying it, but what about the fat ugly
fans who think they’re better than you? Don’t you just want to let
the anger flow through you and snap back at the fans? When that
happens, everything falls into place. Heyman even offers to show him
how.
Heyman
is going full Emperor Palpatine on Cena Skywalker, even imitating a
battle rap on the fans (adding cheap heat). Heyman even gets on his
knees and BEGS Cena to do it. It’s not about selling his soul to the
devil or to Heyman, either – he just wants Cena to lose the
billboard act, and when he gives in to the hatred, he just might be
the one who beats The One – or maybe he’ll just be another One.
Heyman
says Brock’s okay with saying this because Heyman believes in Cena –
but Brock doesn’t. Brock says Cena doesn’t have it… and Cena
almost walks to the apron. He straddles the ropes, debating what to
do next. But he returns to the ring as the dueling chants begin. A
long pause. Heyman is begging Cena to act. Then…
Cena
tells HEYMAN to shut up, scaring the bejabbers out of him.
Cena
sees through Heyman and Brock. They both want Cena dead – but
Heyman wants to end Cena’s legacy by having him disrespect the
believers. “I don’t think so.” Heyman may find it easy, but for
what? To attack the fans so they can laugh at how evil Cena was…
then treat him poorly anyway? No. Heyman lives in a small cycle,
shark-infested world, where everyone can get ahead through
backstabbing. Heyman may be smart, but he doesn’t get Cena. In
Cena’s world, it’s about being John Cena, repeat over and over as the
crowd pops. And why? Because that’s legitimately who he is, and he
doesn’t even want to change.
People
don’t see the forest for the trees: he loves being the guy who
motivates the kid to get his homework done to see him. And he
doesn’t mind when people say they don’t like him, but they respect
him. And he even loves being the guy who is the Wish for sick
children. He’s proud of being the guy who is fortunate enough to
meet heroes on the front lines. It’s because of what he does that he
meets his heroes – and hears that he’s the inspiration for the
wounded warriors. And he’s handed the Purple Heart by this man who
believes in Cena. THAT is why he is John Cena.
And
now, Heyman shows up and asks him to throw it away. Just to win a
match? Here, I’ll ask you, Heyman: what do you win if you lose
everything? Time’s up for talking, though: it’s time to fight. This
is the part Heyman is supposed to love! Cena’s angry! Isn’t that
what Heyman wants? (Heyman is begging for mercy.) But the headlines
say Cena would beat up a defenseless man… and Cena don’t want that.
He says he’ll be there next week, and he demands Lesnar’s presence.
There will be a fight next week if he’s there. But if he doesn’t and
would rather not do Mondays and sends Heyman to do his business –
the fight will be part of his business. Mic drop, we out.
Honestly?
We’ve heard this from Cena year after year, but it doesn’t take away
how electric this was. This honestly makes me WANT to see the show
next week. Bravo, WWE.
Sheamus vs. Seth Rollins.
Sheamus knocks the briefcase away pre-match. Sheamus goes to town
in the corner to start, causing Rollins to bail. Rollins stalls on
the outside, but comes back in with cheapshots only to get front
suplexed. Sheamus with a kick to the head, then a suplex for not
even one. Sheamus with an elbow and shots to the gut, but a kick to
the knee by Rollins turns the tide. Rollins kicks a double-over
Sheamus but gets caught in the Finlay Roll and sent packing. And
here’s Cesaro’s music, followed by Cesaro himself to watch the match
as we go to break.
Well,
at least it wasn’t the finish. But still, why play people’s music?
It kind of ruins suspension of disbelief.
Sheamus/Rollins, part two.
Rollins has taken over with the obligatory chinlock as Cesaro has
migrated to ringside, claiming he’s just scouting. Blind charge eats
boots, and Sheamus pulls himself up for the Battering Ram. Rollins
sidesteps Sheamus and sends him into the post, following with a
Stinger Splash for two. Back to the chinlock. He switches to a
sleeper, but Sheamus crushes him on the mat. Sheamus goes to the
Irish Hammers for the comeback, adding the kneelift. Running knee in
the corner sets up the Irish Curse for two. White Noise is set up,
but Sheamus sees Cesaro holding the belt and sets Rollins down to
argue. Rollins gets a cradle for two, but gets Oklahoma Slammed.
Now Cesaro has the belt while on the stairs, so Sheamus goes to yank
it back, resulting in a tug-of-war that sends Cesaro flying. Rollins
takes advantage with an enzuigiri, and the Curbstomp ends it at 9:53.
Way too much outside antics. *3/4
Okay,
so now Cesaro enters the ring (after removing his jacket), entering
so deliberately that Sheamus should have time to recover. He stands
over Cena, mocks his taunt, and delivers the Neutralizer.
And
since I have nothing to add to this segment: dear WWE, stop trying to
make Cena seem flawless. Let him embrace his flaws. He’s more fun
that way. Signed, the Attitude Era fans who cheered every time
Austin beat up a woman.
Mark
Henry will face Rusev in an undercard bout at Night of Champions.
Here’s a recap.
Lana
has the mic. She talks about how the Star-Spangled Banner was
written in Baltimore. (Shut up!) She now sings – and not badly,
despite faking a Russian accent – a rewrite of the anthem. (That
line. Don’t cross it, Vince.) And now, she gives the REAL national
anthem – the Russian one. (Cut to the announcers, all of whom are
disgusted.) And that’s it.
NXT
Takeover on the Network! And up next – a preview on Raw, as the
participants will have a tag match!
Well…
did not see THAT coming.
Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn v.
Tyler Breeze and Tyson Kidd.

No entrances. Breeze and Zayn start. They trade armlocks, with
Zayn pushing off of Breeze and getting some armdrags and an armbar.
HASHTAG! Kidd tags himself in, and he and Breeze double-team. Kidd
sends Zayn into the corner and pounds away, choking him against the
bottom rope. Kick to the back off of a snapmare gets one. Crowd
gives the OLE chant as the announcers plug the NXT Takeover II card.
Breeze in with forearms and a Rude Awakening for two. Kidd in, and
Zayn gets kicked in the chest for two. To the chinlock, but Zayn
breaks with a jawbreaker. Breeze cuts off the hot tag… for about
five seconds before Neville gets in. He kicks Breeze faster than you
thought humanly possible, and a standing moonsault gets two, Kidd
saves. Kidd is leveraged out by Zayn, who follows with a somersault
pescado. Back in, Neville avoids a charge and cartwheels away. He
kicks Breeze down, and the Red Arrow ends it at 4:24. They did what
they could in five minutes, and the announcers put them over like
gangbusters. *3/4
Zayn reminds Neville he’s coming for the belt.
Well,
given what I saw, I’d say Breeze needs more seasoning. Neville is
ready, Kidd is obviously ready, and I couldn’t really tell with Zayn
because he was the Ricky Morton. But I do hope to see them on
Thursday night.
Stephanie
McMahon is out for reasons that will make sense eventually. HASHTAG!
Did you hear it was the Season Premiere tonight? She calls back to
No Mercy 2003 and being beaten up by her father, but they’ve
reconciled because family is important. So let’s bring the sisters
back together, and there’s only one man who could do that… Jerry
Springer. Who is WELL KNOWN for his ability to reconcile. He
arrives with his personal security guard for no reason. The
announcers are ready for all hell to break loose.
Springer’s
happy to be on Raw, he’s an expert, etc. Brie is out first with new
BRIE MODE music as we look back at last week. Springer notes the
abuse from Nikki before snapping. And the next day she apologizes?
Why apologize? Brie doesn’t forgive Nikki, but she shouldn’t stoop
low. Springer asks if she thinks she’s better than Nikki, and Brie
says, hey, SHE said I should die in the womb, right? And now here’s
Nikki brought out.
Nikki
actually offers a handshake, accepted. Whew. Nikki even says she
accepted Brie’s apology… but she doesn’t forgive her for everything
in the past. But she’s ready to move on because she’s intelligent
and classy. She’s got a lot going her way, such as HER show Total
Divas and HER title shot. So she’s happy, which is why she won’t let
Brie bring her down. Seriously, how can you not feel sorry for Brie?
Jerry
would be mad, and Brie tries to bring up SummerSlam, but that leads
to footage of Total Divas of the two girls arguing whie Brie goes
into Bridezilla mode. (There we go! Actual footage to justify
Nikki!) Nikki even piles on, saying she’s been through quite a bit.
She says Brie’s the reason their father left. (DAMN!) Why stick
around an attention-seeking, holier-than-thou witch. But wait!
Jerry has found their dad (who sent in a tape asking Jerry to fix it)
and mom (who doesn’t understand why they’re fighting and wants them
to reconcile – she even apologizes to Nicole for neglecting her,
but not before calling Brie the “responsible one and the mature
one”).
Jerry
says it sounds like she’s asking Brie to swallow her pride – but
Brie says Nikki crossed a ton of lines. But hey, that’s okay,
because they have JJ in Brie’s corner – JJ being the younger
brother. And here’s “JJ Bella” to prove it. (JBL: “JJ gets
entrance music?”) JJ is asked who’s wrong, and… tells Brie to
stop acting like the victim… no, wait, he says it to Nikki. But
she says she IS the victim…
…and
here’s the shouting match and catfight with poor Jerry caught in the
middle. JJ tries to pull Brie away, so Nikki slaps JJ and Brie
spears Nikki. And now Stephanie acts surpsrised this is happening
and tries to stop it only to get caught in the trouble. She pulls
Brie off, so Nikki tackles Brie and here we go again. (Where’s
Springer’s security anyway?) Referees try to break it up as
Stephanie gets knocked down again. Nikki escapes as Stephanie blames
Brie and the crowd chants for Springer, who appears to have gotten
the worst of it. Announcers finally figure out that maybe Jerry
Springer isn’t the right guy for reconciliations. Springer goes out
on a stretcher as Stephanie apologizes. Really.
I
was certain the Extreme Rules cage match would win 2014’s Gooker
Award, but I think this seals it. This segment proves this feud is
just… they’re shooting for So Bad It’s Good and missing. And
that’s a disaster when that happens.
We
look back at the Goldust/Uso match from last week.
Goldust and Stardust v. Los
Matadores.

The Usos do an inset promo to hype the Night of Champions match and
promise payback. Cole accidentally calls Stardust “Cody Rhodes”.
Stardust and Primo start, with Primo sending Stardust into the
corner and and getting a clothesline. Epico in, and a Russian
legsweep and senton combo gets one. Goldust tags himself in, and he
gets right hands. Epico cuts off a charge and gets a rana, as does
Primo on Stardust allowing the heels to bail. The Matadores with
stereo tope suicidas, and back in, Stardust trips Primo and Goldust
gets a Northern Lariat on Epico. Godust tosses Epico into the
corner, and the Dark Matter gets the pin at 2:11. 1/4*
The Usos attack from behind as Goldust and Stardust celebrate on the
ramp. Jey even uses his crutch to attack.
Legends
tweet their respect to Joan Rivers, followed by a tribute to her
narrated by Jerry Lawler.
I
hate to say it, because I enjoyed Wyatt/Jericho and all, but one
segment can drag a show down hard. Orton and Reigns need to save
this show. I’m not even sure how good it is right now.
We
now recap Heath Slater getting beaten up by a rabbit.
Titus O’Neil v. Adam Rose.
Question: is it a requirement if you’re a part of Rose’s entourage
that you get dressed in the dark? Titus charges and beats down Rose
in the corner, then tosses him across the ring with one hand. The
bunny encourages Rose at ringside as Rose fights back with a kick and
slam attempt, but Titus catches and throws him. He barks, then tells
the bunny to stand back. Bunny tells him to bring it, but ducks in
time to avoid Slater. Bunny with a superkick on Slater – you read
that right – and the Party Foul ends it at 1:21. Cole calls it the
Rabbit’s Foot. Then, at Rose’s insistence, the bunny does a Superfly
splash to Titus. I’d be mad, but I’m too busy laughing.
Cole:
“I want the first exclusive interview with the rabbit.”
JBL:
“You talk bunny?”
Renee
Young talks to Roman Reigns, asking about Orton’s threats. Reigns
doesn’t care, but he knows Orton’s a viper. Reigns, though, has an
antidote – the superfist. Believe that.
Okay,
they HAVE to be building to unmasking the rabbit as somebody. I have
no idea who, but they could do worse than Ryder.
We
look back at Cena’s threat to Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. This
leads to a video package for Brock Lesnar from last week. THIS JUST
IN: Brock Lesnar will be here next week. The war will happen.
It’s
the little things that keep me slogging through three hours of a
two-hour show. The thought of seeing Lesnar and Cena throw down hard
next week gets me excited.
On
SmackDown, Mark Henry and Rusev will do an arm wrestling match.
Meanwhile, Jerry Springer… will recover.
Randy Orton v. Roman Reigns.
HASHTAG! Boxing intros! Orton charges at the bell into a slugfest,
which Reigns wins. Orton gets clotheslined out and stalls on the
outside, so Reigns follows. Orton sends Reigns into the steps, and
back in, it gets two. Suplex try is reversed by Reigns, getting one.
Orton suckers Reigns into the corner, but a Hammer Throw sees Reigns
just bounce out with a lariat. Orton bails again as we go to break.
I
hope they’re not setting Orton/Jericho for Night of Champions up. It
doesn’t help either one, even if it will be a decent match.
Orton/Reigns, part two.
Orton has been throwing Reigns into the steps left and right, and
he’s slamming Reigns’s head into the steps as we return. Back in, it
gets two. We go to the chinlock as Seth Rollins and Corporate Kane
watch. Reigns fights to his feet, getting a headbutt, but Orton
ducks a clothesline and sends Reigns to the outside. Reigns pulls
Orton out, but Orton sends Reigns into the apron and gets a lariat
before riling up the crowd. Back in, it gets two. Orton sends
Reigns into the corner and nails straight rights, but Roman sends
Orton into the corner. Blind charge misses, but Reigns just
clotheslines Orton on the rebound and Orton stalls again. Reigns
follows, sending Orton into the apron and barricade back-first.
Orton catches Reigns coming back in and they slug it out, but Orton
hangs Reigns on the ropes and sends him into the buckle. He climbs
up, picking Reigns up, and gets a full superplex for two as we go
back to break.
It’s
the little things Orton does right. He’s good at knowing when to
work the crowd, when to pace himself, and when to cheat. He’s not
exciting all the time, and certainly not as a heel, but I can
appreciate what he does.
Orton/Reigns, part three.
Orton has the chinlock sunk in as Reigns fights to his feet. Reigns
punches out, but puts his head down and it’s a hairpull slam for two.
Orton pounds on Reigns’ head and puts the chinlock back on. Orton
taunts the crowd while holding on. Reigns lifts Orton’s arm off his
head to break, and a slugfest breaks out. Reigns with a back suplex
uranage for the Double KO. Reigns into the comeback with
clotheslines and a Samoan Drop for two. Reigns with a corner
clothesline, but he runs into Orton’s powerslam for two. Reigns
rolls to the apron, but that allows Orton to set up the Draping DDT.
Reigns escapes and uppercuts Orton, who falls on the ropes for the
Drive-By Dropkick. Leaping clothesline by Reigns gets two. Reigns
boxes Orton down in the corner, but Orton leaps over a charging
Reigns and gets a cradle for two. Back-to-back backbreaker gets two.
Orton goes into That Place as he sees Reigns slumped over in the
corner, but a blind charge eats boot and Reigns comes off the second
rope… into a powerslam for two. Orton laughs at Reigns before
kicking him to the apron and setting up the Draping DDT, connecting.
No cover as he works the crowd (he has a cut on his chin from
something), and it’s time to coil. RKO is escaped into the
Superpunch. Reigns is too far away and crawls… himself… over…
but Orton is asking for help from Rollins, Kane, and security. This
leads to a huge beating at 20:11 as ring crew is doing something
under the ring. It’s a 3-on-1 beating inside the ring as Orton calls
for the cage to be lowered. ***1/2
Reigns
tries to fight off three guys, successfully sending Kane and Rollins
out as the cage lowers on both men. Rollins throws a steel chair in
but can’t follow him. The cage is fully lowered as it’s Reigns,
Orton, a chair, and nothing else. Uh-oh. Orton gets the first shot
in, but Reigns sends Orton into the cage over and over. He wants the
Spear, and no one can save Orton. Spear connects, and Reigns sees
the chair. Kane finally uses the door, but Reigns smacks him away
with the chair only for Rollins to dive off the cage onto Reigns.
Kane finally enters and floors Reigns, then loosens his shirt and
throws Reigns into the cage. Chokeslam follows, and Orton’s back up
with the chair. He asks for permission to do this himself from Kane
and Rollins, then drives the chair over and over into Reigns. “Guess
what? Tonight just isn’t your day!” Orton continues pounding the
everloving heck out of Reigns, then lifts him up with the chair to
the neck in a great visual. More chairshots. Orton holds Reigns
down on the mat, and Rollins taunts Reigns, saying he will destroy
him. And indeed, the Curbstomp connects on the chair. The Authority
stands tall as Rollins’ music plays.
MORK
CALLING ORSON – COME IN ORSON:
This
show was all over the place. Wyatt and Jericho? Good. Cena and
Heyman? Great. The Bella stuff? Pathetic. Rollins and Sheamus?
Disappointing. The main event? Very nice. The post-match beating?
NWA-level goodness. Now I really want to see Ambrose and Reigns both
return and unload hell on them.
Overall,
it had a feeling of an important show, so there’s that. And next
week looks to have an electrifying segment when Cena and Lesnar
finally have their pull-apart.
But
at the same time, the boring second hour and the disaster of a Bella
segment weigh it down. I really don’t know what to rate this show.
It depends on whether you look for the good or the bad, I guess. If
you want to praise Raw, there’s things to praise. If you want to
hate Raw, there’s things to hate. So this is a show for everyone, I
guess.
STATS:
MATCH
TIME: 57:54 over seven matches
BEST
MATCH: Orton/Reigns
WORST
MATCH: Rose/Titus
NIGHT
MVP: Seth Rollins
FINAL
SCORE: I have no idea. I can’t rate this. A number won’t do it
justice. And any number can be justified.
Matt
Perri will be here tomorrow for Main Event. Tommy Hall goes through
the rest of the week. Scott Keith does 1995. Logan Scisco does
1998. Darren X will offer a topic for every day, while the Stranger
in the Alps will moderate the open thread. And I’ll be back in seven
days to do this again.
Nanu,
nanu.

*****

AN IMPORTANT ADDENDUM TO EXPLAIN MYSELF:

It’s clear something I wrote is leading to controversy.  Rather than do a new post, I’ll address it here.

 “And
since I have nothing to add to this segment: dear WWE, stop trying to
make Cena seem flawless. Let him embrace his flaws. He’s more fun
that way. Signed, the Attitude Era fans who cheered every time
Austin beat up a woman.”

I am not one of these fans.  Never was.

It’s clear a lot of people are upset that Cena is turning into Hogan and not into Austin.  I’ve seen this in several fora — not just here — and I’ve heard it talked about over Skype with my friends.  Here’s the problem: the Attitude Era doesn’t exactly age well, and Austin as a hero just doesn’t make sense.

I felt the same way then — preferring the never-say-die attitude of DDP and Foley to Austin or Rock.  Why should I cheer someone who treats others poorly?  Why should I enjoy when my heroes act like total jerks?  If you get a face who treats others poorly, refuses to acknowledge anyone’s efforts, and beats up everyone for fun… that’s a heel.  It really is.

Bear in mind also: both Stone Cold the character and Steve Austin the person would beat women up.  But he’s a hero?  Do you remember how awesome it was when Austin gave Stacy Keibler a Stunner because she refused to drink beer with him?  Yeah, when I phrase it that way, why did we cheer it?

And now I see John Cena explain his entire character motivation and make it clear why he doesn’t see the need to embrace a dark side… and all of you declare it boring and pathetic because he’s just a goody two-shoes.  You want people like Austin, who would assault you for looking at you funny, or Rock, who treated his best friend Mankind like an embarrassment.  That’s not cool.  That’s not even remotely cool.

I got behind Daniel Bryan because he wasn’t like that — because he was the never-say-die attitude, and because (the hiccup with the Wyatt Family aside) he just did the right thing and succeeded while doing it.  He was more Hogan than Austin.  And I preferred him greatly to CM Punk, who never showed anyone respect — friend or foe — and talked about how only he mattered to himself as a character.

That said, I should have kept this to myself and written something else, or delivered a less ambiguous statement.  My apologies.