The Monday Night Highlight – Report and Opinion From Raw!
Welcome to the pilot edition of The Monday Night Highlight, where we round up the action from Raw and give our expert opinions on the action!
The opening segment with the ultimate legends in the form of Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair is a spectacle on paper but in reality it was three men haplessly debating about how strong John Cena is. The leader of the Cenation came out himself to state that he sides with HBK’s opinion that the defeat will enable him to come back stronger. The crowd was mostly pro Cena and it probably got them happy but altogether it was a mundane segment to preview Cena’s match against Bray Wyatt later in the night.
The show continued with Rusev taking on Jack Swagger in their rematch from SummerSlam. We previously tweeted that Swagger without Zeb Coulter is like peanut butter without jelly – there is something missing no matter how solid it is. Hopefully Zeb is back soon in some capacity, Swagger got half the reaction he did without him before Rusev dominated for the ref to ring the bell to stop the destruction. Bo Dallas confronted Swagger backstage following the match and told him to “Bolieve”. It’s nice to see Dallas continuing to feature in a storyline as it was reported that Vince McMahon had dropped the ball on him.
Could Cesaro Be Back On The Rise?
We head back to the ring where Sheamus is on commentary for the number one contender’s match between Rob Van Dam and Cesaro for the US Championship. Sheamus called Cesaro the King of “Swingers”, not sure if that’s an inside joke between them! This is a rematch from the SummerSlam pre-show but here Cesaro won with the Neutraliser. Cesaro went on to grab Sheamus’ US title, maybe as part of their swingers deal. The Swiss man threw the title back to Sheamus before heading back up the ramp.
Hopefully Cesaro will beat Sheamus but then again whoever has been US Champion for the last three years doesn’t actually defend it or have a storyline (with the exception of Ambrose who had The Shield’s angle).
Paige headed to the ring to take on Natayla in their rematch from Smackdown where AJ Lee interrupted midway. The Brit was victorious this time by landing the Paige Turner for the win. AJ’s music however hit after the match as the former Divas Champion lured Paige back into the ring for Natayla to hit a thunderous clothesline. AJ then got on the mic to call Paige an “English Muffin” before mind screwing her and giving her a tight hug then offering a handshake. Paige was reluctant so AJ grabbed her hand and kissed it. This is like the PG version of Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James. I’m not complaining – these two are awesome.
RIP Dean Ambrose
The show calmed down for the “Eulogy” of Dean Ambrose, which was hosted by Seth Rollins and Corporate Kane. Rollins said that now that now that he laid Ambrose out with the curb stomp on the bricks that his life has now become a story of “What if?”. Rollins concluded that the fans will never see Ambrose again because he’s the one that created The Shield and he will be the one who destroys it. The statement cued Roman Reign’s music for the powerhouse to make his way through the crowd to brawl with his former partner. Reigns got the better off Rollins but Kane dragged his comrade out of the ring before Reigns could hit the spear.
The Usos remained Tag Team Champions by getting counted out in their title match against Stardust and Goldust. The dusts demanded a rematch but the Usos refused…This caused the Dust Brothers to turn heel on their ass and attack the team before exploting an Uso’s injured leg. Interesting move by turning them heel, they hardly had a chance to get over as faces with the lack of TV team. If the turn means they get more ring time or even the titles then I’m all for it!
There was a taped promo by Brock Lesnar where he gloated about demolishing Cena at SummerSlam. Brock face was full of glee as he bragged about his win and said that the same will happen at Night of Champions. Brock gets mocked for his mic work in the ring but when he does these taped segments, he’s the most scariest mofo in the world.
Dolph Ziggler geared up to face The Miz but the “A-Lister” said that he hired a stunt double in the form of “Damien Mizdow” to take his place. Ziggler made quick work of Sandow and won with the Zig Zag within a few minutes. Miz looked on distraught as the “Show Off” celebrated while their rivalry continues. I used to not mind Sandow’s weekly parody gimmicks but it’s gotten stale and is going nowhere now. Hopefully WWE take him out of purgatory.
Jerry Jerry Jerry
Brie and Nikki had their family feud segment that turned Jerry Lawler into Jerry Springer as he attempted to divide the two sisters during a cat fight that broke out. Nikki slapped “The King” before proceeding to lay the Smackdown on her sister. WWE still haven’t followed up Stephanie’s announcement that Daniel Bryan is a cheater. They need to either revisit that angle or have it revealed as false. Don’t WWE realise that kids thing this is real and are still believing that their hero is a cheater?
Reigns took on Rollins & Kane in a handicap in response to their brawl earlier. Reigns was set to win the match with the spear but Rollins intruded and hit the powerhouse with the briefcase. Rollins lined up for another curb stomp on the cinder blocks but Reigns fought back and hurled a block for the Authority man to narrowly duck. As Rollins ran away Reigns laid Kane out with the Superman punch. Many fans will argue at the fact that Reigns is further pushed to be the better man over Ambrose, for our opinions on the whole Shield angle see our article: Will Ambrose Get The CM Punk Treatment?
Los Matadores defeated Slater Gator following another dispute between the unlikely tag team during a match that not even the commentators paid any attention to. Another dud match followed with Bo Dallas defeating Kofi Kingston with the “Bodog” in two minutes. Kofi would have really benefited from the that new “Nation” stable that was brewing. It’s a shame it was dropped as the fans were excited for it and Big E, Xavier Woods & Kingston have all remained in limbo ever since.
The Wyatts Take A Shovel For The Team
The show culminated in a six-man tag team match between Cena, Mark Henry & Big Show and The Wyatt Family following the Family’s intrusion of the singles match between Cena & Bray. Cena won the match for his team by locking the STFU to Luke Harper. Cena then buried the whole Wyatt Family with a series of FU’s to close Raw.
Raw was solid this week with a few storyline advancements but there is a noticeable lack of a summer blockbuster. This time last year we had the Bryan vs Authority outbreak, the year before the heel CM Punk aligning with Paul Heyman and the year before had the Summer of Punk. This year we just have Nikki turning on Brie as the breakout feud towards the end of the Summer.
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