Monday Night Highlight: The Rock Epically Returns To Raw But Ambrose Is Still The Hot Dog
Finally The Rock comes back to the Monday Night Highlight! What a surprising return that was, WWE did a good job of keeping that under wraps. Before the show everyone was tweeting about the appearance of Edge & Christian but no one expecting the showing of “The Great One”! Raw took a much needed shift into second gear this week following weeks of transition on the back of SummerSlam and Night of Champions with new storylines and match ups finally being engineered.
Seth Rollins started the show by saying he made the “Real Highlight” (TM) of the week by curb stomping his arch nemesis Dean Ambrose. “The Architecht” then shouted at the new stooges Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury but said he doesn’t mind them coming out to appease him as he shouted “All eyes on me”, which was the first of two 90s Hip Hop references of the night. John Cena ran down the ramp and chased Rollins up the stairs through the crowd but as he gloated he didn’t realise that the following was happening.
Ambrose then proceeded to open a can of whoop ass on Rollins before Triple H’s King of Kings music killed the vibe. “The Game” made a handicap match between Cena & Ambrose against Kane, Rollins and Randy Orton, which is nothing new in the days of The Authority. Cena once again found his way into a storyline that previously had nothing to do with him but hey he has to do something as he’s squashed the most of the midcard already from Miz to Bray Wyatt.
The first match of the night saw Dolph Ziggler partner with The Usos to take on Cesaro and The Dust Brothers in a six-man tag match. Very fast paced match with all six men having their moments to shine in front of the smart Brooklyn crowd. The match ended with synchronised triple superkick from the face team on Stardust before the Uso splash for the win. Jerry Lawler even actually said the term “Stardust Squashed” to sum up the treatment of Cody Rhodes in that match!
The strong start was however short lived as Kathie Lee and Hoda from The Today Show came out with The Exotic Express to have some random wine at a table in the middle of the ring. We don’t know who these midcard celebrities are in the UK but the crowd didn’t seem to care about them either as the duo received a chorus of boos from the infamous New York audience. The production team felt it was a good idea to have Adam Rose’s theme playing in the background to drown out the jeers but this just made the segment all the more awkward as the two middle class ladies drank their wine. The bad segment would have lost WWE ratings in that hour as I fell asleep for the first time during Raw.
The show got back to business again with John Cena and Dean Ambrose conducting a one on one promo to discuss their beef with Seth Rollins. The “John Cena Suuucks” chant made a return from WreslteMania week as the leader of the Cenation made his entrance to confront “The Lunatic Fringe”. Ambrose said he will kick Cena’s ass if he gets in the way and Cena said the same in return. After a moment of pause, Ambrose said that he’s hungry and is going to take the train to Coney Island to have a hot dog. The former Shield member then walked out and literally got on the Subway with his Metrocard, which left Cena to figh 3 on 1 against The Authority.
The Miz defeated Sheamus with the roll up in a match that was overshadowed by Damien “Mizdow” being awesome on the outside. The crowd even chanted the former “Intellectual Saviour of the Masses” name amid his dedicated role of being Miz’ stunt double. Sandow is relishing his role and it’s good to see he’s enjoying himself while he finds his feet back into the upper card once again.
The roof of the Barclays Centre nearly came off as The Rock’s music hit! “The People’s Champion” didn’t waste time cutting into one of famous trash talking lines by telling Lana to “Know your role and shut your mouth”. This is also the first time that I’ve heard the chant “Holy Shit” when someone has made a return – good crowd and good moment! Rocky went on to tell a tale of how he hopped all over the five boroughs of New York while taking another shot at Lana by saying he went to her favourite area the “Meatpacking District”. It looked like The Rock was finally going easy on the Russian as he said she looks smoking but much to her dismay he asked why does she walk like she has a bottle of Smirnoff up her “Putin”. – Best line of the night!
The Rock then called the Rusev an Asshole to which the crowd brought back memories of the Attitude Era by chanting it to the brute. Rusev then challenged The Rock to a fight, to which the former WWE Champion agreed to by quoting Brooklyn’s Jay Z, “Allow me to reintroduce myself.” The Rock proceeded to lay the Smackdown on Rusev’s ass with his patented triple punch over the ropes as the Russians retreated up the ramp. This has been reported to be a one off segment as Rocky happened to be in New York to discuss business with Time Warner but what a welcome treat this was.
The main event of the night saw Cena Struggle in his handicap match Kane, Orton and Rollins and the match ended in disqualification as all three members beatdown on Cena out of turn. Ambrose however appeared on the stage with a hot dog cart that JBL failed to understand how it traveled from Coney Island on the Subway. Ambrose had a bottle of ketchup and a bottle of mustard holstered in his pockets and drew wielded them like pistols to shoot them on Kane and Orton. The two were then ran over by the cart before Ambrose ran into the ring to get some of Rollins, which incidentally saved Cena. Before the two could make any amends, Triple H came to the ring to make a match between the two at Hell in a Cell with the winner facing the antagonist Rollins in the cell itself in the main event. Ambrose wasted no time and planted Cena with an underhook DDT that Cactus Jack would be proud of to close the show.
Leading up to Hell in a Cell, there needs to be an out of arena segment with Ambrose attacking Rollins in the park or something like Steve Austin and Booker T’s brawl in 2001. Ambrose bears many resemblances to Stone Cold himself but has his own unique identity and is a breath of fresh air for a leading face to be so rugged these days. The crowd helped this show become entertaining with their loud reactions and spur of the moment chants. WWE should invest more time into areas such as New York, Chicago, Canada and UK as the crowds usually always sell highly and they offer outstanding atmospheres that fail to occur in other areas. Here’s hoping that Ambrose defeats Cena to face Rollins otherwise there will be an online riot!
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