Brian is out for the night so I’ll be filling in.
Monday Night Raw
Date: September 5, 2016
Location: Sprint Center Arena, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
We’re in the Kevin Owens Era but the questions remain focused on HHH, who helped Owens win the title last week while also costing Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns at the same time. This almost has to set up a big match in the very near future though it’s really not clear gets to fight whom. Let’s get to it.
The opening video looks at the last five minutes of Raw and focuses on the big online reaction.
Earlier today Stephanie McMahon demanded a big celebration for Owens. Mick Foley came up and looked really upset. Last week, HHH made him look like a fool and Stephanie won’t talk to him about it. Stephanie gets all serious when Foley accuses her of knowing what HHH was going to do. Stephanie: “Who do you think you’re talking to?” Oh here we go.
Foley actually cuts her off and tells a story about meeting Stephanie just after he flew off the Cell in 1998 and thought she was an innocent girl. Stephanie almost sounds vulnerable as she asks how she can maintain a shred of dignity after what happened last week. Mick believes her but gives a thinly veiled threat if this is all a lie.
Mick and Stephanie are in the ring and welcome Owens (in a SUIT) as the balloons fall and pyro goes off. Owens agrees that he does deserve this before ripping into the fans for making it all about themselves with the YOU DESERVE IT chants. He’s known that since the day he set foot in this ring and doesn’t need the fans to tell him that all over again. Last week he beat three superstars to win this title and yeah he got a little nudge from HHH.
Owens had already done 98% of the work though so tonight it’s officially the Kevin Owens Show. This brings out a ticked off Rollins to say this isn’t about Owens. Instead he goes off on Stephanie for letting him down last week. Owens says this isn’t about Seth but Rollins keeps going on his rampage and says everyone is in Stephanie’s pocket. Kevin has been HHH’s chosen one since the day he debuted in NXT but Seth is here to burn the whole thing to the ground.
Owens thinks Rollins has only been making plans for failures so Seth punches him in the face. Stephanie suspends Seth indefinitely but Foley immediately overturns it, drawing him one of the loudest pops he’s gotten in years. Instead of suspending him, Foley gives Seth (Foley to Seth: “I’ve never really liked you.”) the title match at Clash of the Champions.
This was good stuff for the most part, assuming you can ignore HHH helping Rollins last week not being brought up. Rollins seemingly turning face (or at least starting it off) is a really good thing and WAY overdue but it certainly seems to be a slower burn than a full on version. Either way, Clash just got a lot better looking on paper.
After a break, Stephanie and Foley are yelling at each other (Stephanie’s third appearance in twenty three minutes) when Owens comes up. Foley gives him a match against Sami Zayn, which draws in Jericho. Chris gets in a hilarious line by calling Owens the longest reigning Universal Champion in history. That earns him a match against Rollins later.
Charlotte vs. Bayley
Non-title and Charlotte has given Dana a clipboard to take notes. Bayley starts in on the arm and throws some Japanese armdrags, only to have Charlotte send her face first into the buckle. That just fires Bayley up and she sends Charlotte into the buckles a few times instead. Charlotte heads outside and Bayley tries a dropkick under the ropes (think Sami’s diving DDT) but leaves it way short, leaving her to just kick Charlotte in the chest instead. Bayley is favoring her knee as we go to a break.
Back with Charlotte holding the figure four neck lock and actually getting two off a rollup. Charlotte slams the bad leg into the corner and then wraps it around the leg. That sets up a half crab and DDT on the knee but Bayley grabs a rollup to break the momentum. Some limping ax handles to the chest have Charlotte in trouble but Dana pulls Charlotte out of the way of an elbow. Somehow that’s not a DQ so Bayley kicks Charlotte into Dana and hits the Bayley to Belly for the pin at 12:40.
Rating: C+. The important thing here is the time. This match worked because it had some time to set up the leg injury and the ending made sense (save for ANOTHER lack of a disqualification) due to the extra focus it received. You can’t do anything important in a four minute match and it helped so much to actually let this thing go somewhere for a change. Good stuff and the PPV rematch is obvious.
Connor’s Cure video for children’s cancer awareness month.
Charlotte yells at Dana, who promises to make up for it. That earns her one heck of a slap in the face.
Bo Dallas vs. Kyle Roberts
Bo is all serious here despite holding up a BELIEVE IN BO sign (please don’t let this be ANOTHER political themed character) He takes Roberts down and hammers away before snapping off some knees to the face. A Roll of the Dice (as Cole described it) puts Roberts away in 38 seconds.
Owens and Jericho fire each other up.
Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins
Rollins starts fast with a dropkick and sends Jericho outside for a suicide dive. Oh yeah he’s wrestling like a face. Back in and Jericho slaps him a few times as the fans aren’t sure who to cheer for. Jericho sends him face first into the buckle and we take a break. Back with Rollins hammering away and getting two off the Sling Blade. A Blockbuster gets the same and Rollins might as well have a big sign saying YEP I’M A FACE NOW around his neck.
Rollins dropkicks him out of the air but gets caught in the Walls. That goes as far as you would expect and Rollins’ low superkick gets two. Rollins gets caught on top but still shoves Jericho off, only to miss the frog splash. The Lionsault gets a close two as this is really picking up. The Codebreaker is broken up and a Pedigree puts Jericho away at 13:47.
Rating: B. Anyone who has watched Rollins for years now has known he would be an awesome face and that’s certainly what you got here. Rollins looked great out there and he’s just so easy to cheer with this offense. I don’t think he gets the title back at Clash but it’s going to be fun watching him in this new role.
Cesaro vs. Sheamus
Match #3 in the series with Cesaro down 2-0 and coming in with a bad shoulder/back. Cesaro grabs some rollups for early near falls but a backdrop has him in trouble. Sheamus sends the back into the apron and drives in some knees. The Cloverleaf is blocked but Sheamus grabs four straight Irish Curses for a near fall. With that not working, Sheamus lifts him up for the Celtic Cross but drops it down into a backbreaker. The Brogue Kick makes it 3-0 to Sheamus at 4:06.
Rating: C. Well that happened and I really don’t care. Thank goodness the fourth match is at a house show on Wednesday so I don’t have to put up with seeing them again that many times. The back injury is fine but my goodness I’ve seen enough of these matches for my lifetime. It really feels like a way to give the writers a month off and that gets old in a hurry.
Shining Stars vs. Enzo Amore/Big Cass
Before the match, Enzo thinks he’s in labor so Cass, who has watched a lot of ER, performs Lamaze with HOW YOU DOING replacing the “hoo hoo” part. Enzo and Cass take over to start and it’s off to a quick break. Back with Enzo in trouble but avoiding a Primo charge and making the hot tag off to Cass. The Bada Boom Shaka Lacka is broken up and Epico rolls Enzo up with a handful of trunks at 7:05. Too much was in the break to rate but I’d again like to point out that NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE SHINING STARS.
Sami Zayn says his career has been stuck in place since he beat Owens, who is now the Universal Champion. Owens comes in and laughs at the idea that Sami is chasing him now. The race will never be over and Sami says he’ll win the title on his own, without HHH handing it to him on a silver platter.
Nia Jax vs. Ann Esposito
Apparently Ann is friends Alicia Fox. Nia throws her around to start but gets caught in a sleeper to actually put her in trouble. That earns Ann a ram into the corner and a throw to the mat, followed by three straight Umaga attacks in the corner. A fireman’s carry into a powerslam (with a pause before the powerslam) ends Ann at 1:38.
It’s time for Anderson and Gallows to not be funny. Now they’re retirement specialists who have already gotten rid of the Dudley Boyz, so now let’s welcome the OLD DAY. Cue some New Day impersonators (one on a motorized scooter, one on a walker and one on a cane) to a slow motion version of their theme. The crowd is just silent for this as the Old Day says everything changed for them at Clash of Champions. We get every old person joke you can imagine, including Big E.’s hips going out as he does the swivel.
Cue the real New Day to ask which X-Man is their favorite. For some reason it’s Cyclops…..which isn’t all that funny. Kofi thinks there’s a paradox taking place here and if the New Day comes into contact with the Old Day, the WWE Universe will explode. Anderson and Gallows bail and dancing ensues, only to have Old Day’s sneak attack completely fail. The old guys are beaten down to finally wrap this up. This went on WAY too long and it just wasn’t very funny.
We look back at the opening sequence.
Darren Young vs. Jinder Mahal
Titus O’Neil is on commentary for reasons of pure torture. Darren gets an early two off a swinging neckbreaker but has to fight out of a chinlock. Titus goes out to ringside as Darren hits the Gut Check for the pin at 2:15.
Darren and Titus fight again after the match.
Alicia Fox checks on her injured friend when Nia Jax, who just happened to be there, shows up and laughs. Total Divas is mentioned and Fox yells a lot while throwing things. Nia just leaves as she goes nuts.
Braun Strowman vs. Sin Cara
Well it’s better than jobber after jobber. Cara is fighting due to Braun ripping off the luchador’s mask last week. A dropkick sends Braun into the corner but he explodes out with a shoulder. We hit the neck crank and nerve hold for a bit before Braun sends him outside. Cara is tossed into the steps but comes back with a dropkick, only to be whipped into the barricade for the countout at 2:11. Are we really going to have to watch this again next week? Really?
Strowman beats Cara up even worse post match.
Here’s Sasha Banks for an announcement. She talks about how every story has an ending before talking about the Divas Revolution. Back in July 2015, Stephanie McMahon (oh yeah) introduced the Divas Revolution and it was a new era without bra and panties matches (which there hadn’t been in YEARS) and no more butterfly title (not for about nine months actually).
This revolution was about every little girl and every person who has been told they’re not enough. She used to collect soda cans to try to save up enough money to come to a WWE event. Sasha starts crying as she talks about being injured at Summerslam and she has an update on her condition. Cue Dana Brooke to say she’s going to use Sasha’s broken body to finish what Charlotte started at Summerslam. Dana goes after Sasha but gets caught in a Bank Statement. The bad news was for Charlotte, who will be facing Sasha at Clash of Champions.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Non-title. They start slugging it out at the bell and it’s quickly outside with Sami going shoulder first into the barricade. Sami does his moonsault off the barricade (and kicks Owens square in the face) as we take a break. Back with Sami fighting out of a chinlock and sending Owens to the floor for back to back flip dives.
The Blue Thunder Bomb gets two but Owens rolls to the apron before the Helluva Kick. A Stunner over the ropes has Sami in trouble but the half and half suplex gets two on the champ. Sami climbs the ropes but lands on a bad ankle. Owens can’t hit the apron powerbomb so Sami grabs another half and half to drop Kevin on his head. Back in and the ankle gives out again, setting up the Pop Up Powerbomb for the pin on Sami at 13:05.
Rating: B-. This was their usual good match but you knew Owens wasn’t going to lose his first match as the champion. Sami will probably get his title match at some point in the future and that’s going to be one heck of a rollercoaster when they finally get there. Good stuff here though but this show is way past saving.
Post match here’s Roman Reigns to a LOUD chorus of booing. Chris Jericho comes out to have Owens’ back but Foley prevents the violence. Next week it’s Roman vs. Owens and if Reigns wins, it’s a triple threat at Clash of the Champions. They had that same booking idea recently on Smackdown and it’s still overdone here. Reigns spears Jericho to let off some steam and end the show.
Overall Rating: D. This show hit a wall in the middle and it just never recovered. That being said, it’s not like they had that much good going on in the first place. I liked the opening sequence and there was some good wrestling in the middle but pretty much everything from Cesaro vs. Sheamus until the main event was just death. Then again this is a holiday show and no one is going to watch it but it gets really tiring watching a badly bloated show with so little effort from the creative side of things.
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