The PG Era Rant: Raw, 9.22.14

The PG Era Rant for RAW, September 22,
2014.
Tonight’s preview notes:
  • Dean Ambrose is back!
  • Dolph Ziggler calls in his rematch
    clause against the Miz.
  • The Usos and Sheamus will face
    Goldust, Stardust, and Cesaro.
We get a review of Lesnar/Cena: the
Title Rematch and how it fell apart at Seth Rollins’s hands.
Live from Memphis, TN.
Your hosts are Cole, King, and
Bradshaw.

And we open with Dean Ambrose. “I’m
not dead!” Not just that, but he’s back. He recounts the last few
weeks in his life, replaying the pain he went through 2-on-1. (We
now review the incident.) Ambrose admits it seems cool now that
there’s time to reflect. He’s even flattered that the Authority went
that far to dispose of him. But they failed. And he holds grudges
against the Authority, and tonight, he IS the Authority. He won’t
leave until he gets Seth Rollins. And to prove it, he grabs a chair
and begins the sit-in.
Instead of Rollins, though, we get John
Cena. Ambrose is non-plussed. He ditches the chair and tells Cena
he’s not happy to see him. He politely suggests that Cena leave.
Cena, though, says he’s on Ambrose’s side: they both hate Seth
Rollins. Cena is clearly furious that Rollins cost him the WWE
Title. So he’s cashing in an Ass Kicking in the Bank Contract on
Rollins, and no one will stop him. Dean is actually amused by this.
He re-iterates that Cena should get out of the way. Cena gets ready
for a fight, as does Ambrose…
…and that’s the Authority’s cue. HHH
reminds everyone he’s in charge, and that no one’s fighting Rollins.
Tonight’s main event, instead… but Cena and Ambrose won’t wait and
the 3-on-2 war is on! Rollins escapes through the crowd, with
Ambrose in hot pursuit, as the war goes there. Ambrose chases
Rollins to the back, with Cena right behind him. The rest of the
Authority retreats as Ambrose catches Rolins within the catacombs and
Cena catches up. Rollins uses some well-placed suitcases to protect
himself, then carjacks a vehicle and takes off.
If Cena can borrow some of Ambrose’s
edge – and be honest, Ambrose has more than enough to spare –
he’ll be better off for it.
Moments
ago.
HHH
makes tonight’s matches: Kane vs. Ambrose (“Finish him.”) and
Orton vs. Cena. Kane asks why it’s their issue, and Stephanie says
she thought the two of them might want some retribution. Orton says
to tell Rollins to “stop starting fires that we have to put out.”
Intercontinental Title rematch:
The Miz (champion) vs. Dolph Ziggler (challenger).

Sandow’s here, Truth isn’t. HASHTAG! Dolph with a quick back
cradle for one. He goes behind, then gets an inverted atomic drop
and Heart Attack elbow for two. Miz to the headlock, and he knocks
down Dolph, getting a knee smash. Miz hooks the nose and switches to
a chinlock. Dolph fights out and slaps Miz hard on the chest, but
Miz clips Dolph and goes or the figure-four. Dolph sends Miz into
the post to break. Stinger Splash by Dolph, but Miz escapes the Rude
Awakening. He suckers Dolph into the ropes and drops a neckbreaker
to the outside as we go to break.
You
can kind of see the seeds being sewn for Orton/Rollins down the line,
with Orton’s face turn based on never getting that rematch. The key
is he can’t become a white-bread babyface – he needs to retain the
crazy.
Intercontinental Title, part two.
Miz just got a two-count as we return. Miz with the
through-the-ropes corner clothesline and he goes up, but Dolph
intercepts with a dropkick. Dolph begins the comeback seqeunce, with
the Stinger Splash and Rude Awakening leading to a missed Famouser,
but Dolph gets the Sky High DDT for two. Miz goes for the Skull
Crushing Finale and Figure Four, both of which are blocked. Dolph up
top but he gets caught, and here’s the Figure Four. He gets two
during the hold. Dolph makes the ropes. Miz misses a dropkick, and
Dolph knocks over Miz and Sandow. Back in, Miz catches Dolph and
lands the Skull-Crushing Finale for two. Crowd is into it. Miz
misses the running kick and gets cradled for two. Famouser gets two.
Dolph’s knee is shot, though. Dolph misses the Zig Zag and pauses
to kick Sandow off the apron, but Miz cradles Dolph with the tights
for two… only Dolph reverses with tights of his own for the pin and
the title at 12:55. Crowd pops hard. ***1/4
Stills
of Ambrose’s return and the crazy brawl that followed.
While
it was a good rematch and the crowd loved the title change and all,
why change the title at Night of Champions in the first place?
Personally, I’m glad I got to see a good long match with a hot crowd,
but if you’re mad at the booking, I can see it.
Bo Dallas v. Jack Swagger.
This is the rubber match. Swagger is aggressive out of the gate,
but Dallas with a back kick and he works him over in the corner. A
short lariat follows, then some kneedrops for two. Swagger fights
out of the corner, but runs into a knee to the gut for a pair of
one-counts. To the chinlock. Swagger fights out and gets the
comeback into a corner whip and big boot. WE THE PEOPLE! Vaderbomb
connects. High Greco-Roman suplex is escaped, and Dallas with the
swinging neckbreaker for two. Dallas with a series of shots in the
corner, but Swagger reverses it to a front electric chair and Patriot
Lock for the tapout at 3:15. *1/4
Zeb Colter rubs it in.
Open
question: do you team Swagger and Henry as Zeb Colter Guys to
continue the story? Bonus question: which one gets sick of it and
beats up JBL first?
Summer Rae v. Natalya.
This is the Total Divas cross-promotion portion of our show. Layla
and Rosa are at ringside. Summer calls herself the most attractive
person in the room and says Natalya is jealous. Wasn’t Summer Rae a
face when we last saw her? Natalya jumps at the sound of the bell
and has to be pulled away. Summer with a spinkick and she pounds
away. She uses a body-scissors, but Natalya powers into a cradle for
two. Natalya spins around and goes to a mount, but Summer has a
guillotine on. Natalya reverses to a slam. Running stomp and
dropkick begins the comeback, and she goes nuts in the corner. Layla
distracts, and Summer gets two. Rosa pulls Layla away, and Natalya
gets the Sharpshooter for the tapout at 2:15. This concludes the
cross-promotion portion of our show. 1/2*
There’s
really no need to use Total Divas to set up matches. The whole
concept of Total Divas is that they are different from their
characters. This is approximately the opposite of what the purpose
of the show is. And I have now given more thought to this show than
anyone outside of Matt and Danielle, but they’re reviewing it. I
don’t have that excuse.
Previously
on Superstars. I mean Raw. Calling Botchamania…
Dean Ambrose v. Kane.
Cole ties it together, saying Kane helped Seth Rollins try to end
Ambrose’s career. HASHTAG! Ambrose catches a boot and fires away,
but Kane gets an uppercut. Ambrose trips Kane and takes the mount
before going up top and getting a flying uppercut for one. Kane
works Ambrose over in the corner, but Ambrose reverses and dropkicks
Kane into the ropes. He runs into the goozle but elbows out and low
bridges Kane. The tope suicida follows, then chairs are brought out
only for Kane to boot Ambrose down. Ambrose eats steps, and back in,
Kane gets one. Kane works the arm of Ambrose, who fights out and
stops a blind charge. Ambrose leaps right into an uppercut for two.
Back to the arm, with a hairpull slam getting two. More armbarring.
Ambrose fights out and gets a DDT. He fights back with one arm,
getting the rope tangle clothesline. He goes up top, and a missile
dropkick gets two. Tornado DDT try is blocked, and Kane misses the
chokeslam. Ambrose gets Dirty Deeds only for Seth Rollins to return
for the DQ at 5:26. *1/2
Rollins
gets a chair, but Ambrose tackles it away and sends Rollins packing.
He goes for a dive and runs into Kane’s fist, and now the chokeslam
connects. Kane goes to leave, but Rollins decides he’s not done. He
goes to return, but Ambrose grabs the chair and holds him at bay.
Ambrose is still standing at the end.
And
rather than talk about the match, I’ll just say again, Kevin Dunn
delenda est.
Rollins
and Kane are talking backstage. HHH relays the message to Rollins
from Orton – and here comes Ambrose to attack anything that moves.
Security drags him away again. HHH ejects Ambrose, and Stephanie has
him locked in a janitor’s closet (“Have we ever thrown someone out
that didn’t come back?” Genre savviness strikes!).
A
look back at the reporting on Roman Reigns’ surgery.
I’m
not even mad that Stephanie looks like the smartest person in the
room again, because it’s refreshing to see someone realize that
wrestling has tropes that are always followed.
Sheamus & Jimmy Uso & Jey
Uso v. Goldust & Stardust & Cesaro.

HASHTAG! Goldust and Jey start. Goldust dumps Jey, but he returns
and chops away. Jimmy in, and he gets the flying forearm in the
corner and a backdrop. The Dusts take a breather, and Stardust
enters. Jimmy rushes him into the corner, but Stardust reverses only
to get run over. A series of reversals leads Stardust to bail out,
and the Dusts stall some more. Cesaro has had enough and tags
himself in, demanding Sheamus. He gets his wish and fires off
forearms, but runs into a lariat and gets pummeled. The beatings
continue, with Cesaro getting the upper hand on an uppercut, and
Goldust enters and keeps up the fists. Sheamus reverses to a running
knee and clothesline, and in comes Jey. Leaping headbutt gets two.
Stardust brings himself in, working over Jey’s back and stomping him
down. He chokes Jey in the ropes, but gets caught with chops and
bringing in Jimmy. Double-team by the Usos gets two. Jimmy goes to
the armbar, but Goldust tags in and takes over. Stardust tags
himself in and trips Jimmy, as the Dusts get a double-team Stun Gun
for two as we go to break.
This
crowd is oddly disinterested in this match so far. It’s like Goldust
and Stardust are not working as heels.
Sheamus/Usos v. Cesaro/Dusts,
part two.

Stardust has Jimmy tied up, but runs into a boot on a blind charge.
Hot tag Sheamus, and he unloads on Stardust, ending with a Finlay
Roll. Goldust goes flying, and Stardust eats the Ten of Clubs.
Cesaro tags himself in and Stardust low-bridges the two together, but
Sheamus gets hung up on the ropes and Cesaro yanks him to the floor.
Back in, Cesaro walks the middle rope and drops a double axhandle for
one. He hooks something resembling an Anaconda Vice with an armbar
twist, and when Sheamus fights out, Cesaro lands an uppercut.
Goldust in, and he works the back. To the chinlock. He breaks it
and drops an elbow, and Stardust keeps up the beating in the ropes.
Cesaro adds a boot for no reason, and Stardust gets two off of it.
Sheamus fights out of a front chancery, then charges a Disaster Kick
with an Irish Hammer and everyone’s down. Hot tag Jey, and Cesaro’s
sent flying as Jey runs over Goldust. The Usos return the Stun Gun
to Goldust, and Jimmy does a double moonsault, Cesaro saving. Hip
check to Goldust, superkick to Cesaro, and a double dive onto
Stardust and Cesaro. Jimmy (I think) goes up top and splashes
Goldust’s knees, and the Final Cut follows, Sheamus saves. Brogue
Kick to Stardust, but Cesaro sends him and Sheamus packing.
Superkick by Jimmy to Goldust, and Jey with the splash for real to
win at 15:38. **3/4
Backstage,
Randy Orton is joined by Seth Rollins, who wants to mend fences. He
appreciates what Orton’s doing, really. And to prove it, he has a
surprise for Orton at ringside – plus, Kane and Rollins will be at
ringside. Orton likes the sound of that.
If
only I had a PS4, I might get WWE 2K15. Otherwise, I’ll wait and see
if it’s worth getting on PS3.
Mark
Henry is out. We see how he lost to Rusev in stills. Henry
apologizes for his performance at Night of Champions. He isn’t even
mad at the What chants. He’s just sorry this all happened. And on
cue, here’s Rusev. Lana says Henry has no need to apologize, since
everyone knows (SHUT UP) that America is sorry. (Lana mocks the USA
chant.) Russia, meanwhile, is a proud nation. (SHUT UP ALREADY!)
Lana even offers one more chance – a rematch, tonight.
Henry
says he’ll do it if the people want it. Bring it on! And the
rematch is on!
After
commercials, obviously.
On
Main Event, The Miz will interview Dean Ambrose.
Mark Henry v. Rusev.
HASHTAG! Rusev works the ribs to start, kicking the back in the
corner. Henry bowls Rusev out of the corner, but he can’t stand up
straight and Rusev continues the assault. Running charge in the
corner, and Rusev gets a head-and-armlock. This goes on a while.
Rusev kicks the back and goes back to the lock. Crowd begins a USA
chant, and Henry fights out, but Rusev hits a dropkick (!!) and goes
back to the lock. This hold is on for well over a minute at this
point, but Henry steps on Rusev’s bare feet to begin the comeback.
Avalanche in the corner, then an scoop slam. Henry goes outside and
catches Rusev, sending him into the steps in a reversal of last
night. He throws Rusev into the barricade, but his ribs give out.
Back in (eventually), Henry does the Junkyard Headbutt and teases a
Vaderbomb. Rusev is up and yanks Henry to the mat. Rusev is fired
up, demanding Henry get up, but he can’t. So Rusev says the heck
with it, and the Accolade is on. The KO is academic at 7:27.
WHATEVER. DUD
A
look back at the opening segment, then at Ambrose getting locked up.
Seriously,
Rusev was exposed throughout this rise as being not there yet. Henry
isn’t over without the USA crap. I’m over it. Let’s hope this was
the blowoff.
Heath Slater and Titus O’Neil v.
Adam Rose and The Bunny.

Yes, you read that right. JBL is indignant. Rose and Titus start.
Titus runs Rose over and gets an over-the-shoulder backbreaker.
Slater in, and a superkick gets two. To the chinlock, and Slater
adds a hairpull slam. Some mounted punches and he taunts the Bunny
again before returning to the chinlock. Rose fights out, but Titus
cuts off the hot tag and throws him aside, then slaps the Bunny
around. Rose chop blocks Titus, and in words I never thought I’d
type, it’s hot tag Bunny. Missile dropkick to Slater, and he
low-bridges Titus. Spin kick to Slater, and Rose back in so the
Bunny can do a senton to Titus. Party Foul to Slater ends it at
3:05. Maximum Memphis has been obtained. 1/2*
You
know how we say that sometimes, the announcers drag a match down?
Hearing Cole oversell the Bunny’s offense as JBL acted like he was
surrounded by idiots made the match more entertaining for me.
Dean
Ambrose: still locked up. We think.
Nikki
Bella is here. While other people make excuses, she has a legitimate
beef: Brie’s words. She wanted Brie’s support before her big match,
and instead heard Brie’s words and got so upset she lost. (Without
getting pinned. That might mean more.) But Nikki’s going to take
care of it herself, calling out Brie.
Brie
says Nikki is just blaming someone else for her failures. But it’s
not about that: it’s about how Brie never backed Nikki up. It’s
never about them, it’s about Brie, always always always. Brie then
says Nikki called Brie out, remember? Well, Brie’s sick of it.
Nikki makes a bi production over what Brie will do before calling her
an embarrassment. And that’s why Brie was out here tonight –
because she deserves to be Nikki’s Trashy Sister or Quitter. But
what Nikki wants is to be the ONLY person named Bella. She is THE
Nikki Bella.
Brie
refuses, but wait – why not call herself Brie Bryan? It is buyer’s
remorse? And with that Brie attacks Nikki and tries the Yes Lock,
but Nikki bails. Brie is ready for the fight, but instead here’s
AJ… because she’s facing Nikki, next!
You
know, if they did call her Brie Bryan, I bet they could salvage this
thing which has derailed Brie hard. And whether you think she
deserves it or not is irrelevant – she was over, now she’s not.
She can be again.
AJ Lee v. Nikki Bella.
Fun fact: I nearly typed “Nikki Bela” during the Dracula ad.
Make of that what you will. Paige is on commentary because why not.
AJ with an armdrag and armbar into a chickenwing, but Nikki elbows
out. AJ with a headscissors and avalanche (??), into two swinging
neckbreakers for two. Hammer throw by AJ, but Nikki comes out with a
clothesline. It gets two. Nikki does… something… involving the
ropes and her rear end and… anyway, outside the ring, Nikki tosses
AJ into Paige. Back in, it gets two. To the swinging chinlock by
Nikki, but AJ fights out but runs into a big boot. It gets two.
Nikki with a very slow variation of Del Rio’s armbar, but AJ gets a
cradle out of it. Nikki with the Alabama Slam for two. Nikki works
AJ over in the corner, but a blind charge goes nowhere as AJ leaps to
the top rope. AJ crawls off into the Black Widow, and that gets the
win at 5:09. 3/4*
HHH
checks in on Security.
So
the only question is how Ambrose is going to escape. Place your
bets.
Your
SmackDown feature match is the Usos calling in their rematch clause
against the Brotherhood.
Hm.
That cinderblock table is at ringside.
Main event: Randy Orton v. John
Cena.

Rollins and Kane are at ringside. After some jockeying, Orton gets
the opening headlock. He knocks Cena down, taunts, and… gets
knocked over. Orton blasts Cena in the corner with boxing moves,
then rakes the eyes with his kneepad. Orton works over him in
another corner before taunting the crowd. This allows Cena to come
back and land the one-hand bulldog for one. Orton with a running
kick to slow Cena down. He kicks Cena out of the ring as we go to
break.
I
can appreciate the little things Orton does to be a heel, and let’s
be honest, stalling is a great way to get heat especially in Memphis.
But it works best when the opponent wants to pick up the pace, and
Cena isn’t doing that here.
Main event, part two.
Orton stalks over Cena and clotheslines him down for two. Cena
airballs a shoulderblock and falls outside. Cena eats stairs on the
outside, then suplexes him onto the announce table. Orton drags Cena
up by the bicep band, but Cena recovers to dump Orton. Back in, it’s
a double clothesline. Orton up first, but it’s a slugfest, and Cena
gets put in the back-to-back backbreaker for two. Orton with a
Hammer Throw, then the Garvin Stomp for two. Blind charge eats boot,
but Cena runs into a sleeper. He switches to the chinlock, but Cena
pulls Orton off of him only to get booted. Cena ducks a clothesline
and cues the comeback. Five Knuckle Shuffle is cut off by Orton into
a powerslam for two. Draping DDT is set up again, but Cena dumps
Orton to the apron only to get draped on the top rope. Orton walks
into an STF try, but escapes and gets a clothesline. Cena goes to
the apron, so Orton picks him up in the corner for a superplex. Cena
powers out of it, but Orton trips him up top. Draping DDT off the
top connects, getting two. Orton taunts the crowd again before going
to the RKO signal. It’s blocked, and Cena hooks the STF out of
nowhere to cue the NW… I mean, Authority beatdown at 15:10. ***
Cena
tries to fight off all three guys, but Rollins with the enzuigiri,
Kane with the chokeslam, and Cena’s out. It’s cinderblock time, and
the table is prepped, but we lift the cinderblock table and Dean
Ambrose is underneath (somehow)! Everyone gets beaten up by the
sneak attack, as Ambrose works over Kane but gets sent into the
table. He keeps the high ground and dives onto everyone, throwing
Rollins into the ring. He gets the rope tangle lariat to Rollins,
but Kane has the goozle. Cena saves, so Kane puts the goozle on him.
Cena escapes, Ambrose puts Dirty Deeds on Orton, Rollins runs for
his life, and Cena gets the AA on Kane. JBL: “How’d he get out of
that locked room?” Cena poses as Ambrose glares at Rollins and we
roll credits.
MORK
CALLING ORSON – COME IN ORSON:
Well,
it went all right. It was pretty slow from 10:20 to about 10:55, but
just about everything tonight advanced the story, so I can let it
slide. Even the Total Divas thing was kept short, so there’s that.
All in all, I’ve seen much worse. I’ve also seen better, but it
wasn’t horrible. It didn’t feel like a waste of three hours, I’ll
put it that way.
STATS:
MATCH
TIME: 70:20 over nine matches
BEST
MATCH: Dolph/Miz
WORST
MATCH: Rusev/Henry
NIGHT
MVP: Dolph Ziggler
FINAL
SCORE: 6.5. It dragged a bit in the third hour, but it always does.
Otherwise, everything moved us forward. That’s more than you can
normally say.
Matt
Perri will handle Main Event and put up with Total Divas. Tommy Hall
will suffer through Impact and SmackDown, but at least he does NXT.
Scott Keith will go retro on us through 1995. Logan Scisco has 1998.
Brian Bayless will run the e-fed. And all of you will complain
about wrestling.
Nanu,
nanu.