(Deputy Editor’s Note: Hey, there! No sooner do I decide that reviewing Raw every week isn’t for me than I get a shout from young Jordan, offering his services. Who am I to turn down such an offer? Ladies and gentlemen… Jordan Daniels!)
The show starts off with Triple H and Seth Rollins in WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. Seth looks phenomenal with both the United States and WWE World Heavyweight Championships. Triple H calls Rollins “the man”, which he rightfully deserves. He’s been on every Raw since 2012, in fact. Rollins seems ecstatic about receiving his own statue alongside Andrè the Giant, Bruno Sammartino, and the Ultimate Warrior. Triple H tells Rollins that later this night his statue will be revealed and Rollins thanks him. Pretty good segment and Rollins looked cocky as ever, which completely fits his heel persona.
After that, the show immediately cuts to the intro and pyro, as Michael Cole generically welcomes the fans to Monday Night Raw and states the arena and the attendance, like always. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper versus Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose is announced. Awesome! Hopefully the Wyatts don’t get squashed by Reigns’s spear again. Another segment with Jon Stewart explaining why he did what he did to John Cena at SummerSlam is announced. Meh. I don’t even think Stewart should have hosted SummerSlam anyways. He just did it for publicity, as you can see since all the news sites and tabloid websites have an article about it.
Brock Lesnar’s music hits and he gets a HUGE pop from the fans. Rightfully so, since he went to hell and back with The Undertaker last night at SummerSlam. Lesnar and Heyman look absolutely irate, Lesnar wearing the wounds of a warrior from last night as the “Suplex City” chants start. Byron Saxton says that The Undertaker went to “Suplex City” last night. Heyman claims that Lesnar was screwed over and he plugs Lesnar as the “Beast of the Barclays”. Pretty cool nickname. They should have put that on a t-shirt. Heyman declares that he thinks it’s atrocious how the history books state that The Undertaker, after all these years, finally got his vengeance on Brock Lesnar.
They show a graphic of the The Undertaker tapping out to the Kimura Lock. Charles Robinson, you done goofed, my friend. Heyman says that the video does not lie. It’s true. Heyman calls the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus fraudulent. Hope parents covered their children’s ears. Heyman gave his own definition of what “tapping out” refers to. Man, Heyman is phenomenal on the microphone. They show the time keeper and he looks like he’s about to drop a load in his underpants. The fans boo and Heyman says, “yeah, you boo compassion. I have enough material to last all three hours!” The fans chant yes, which made me laugh quite a bit. Heyman makes the fans think that The Undertaker is cheap by way of using a low blow. I never really understood why The Undertaker keeps resorting to low blows in his matches. He’s obviously not the heel, as he still gets huge pops from crowds. Lesnar claims that he wants to fight ‘Taker one more time. And that is TONIGHT. Let it happen, WWE! Let it happen! That would be must-watch television, no doubt. Lesnar looks pissed off and waits for The Undertaker…
Bo Dallas’s music hits. Oh no, Bo, I think you missed it. This is Monday Night Raw, not Superstars. Do you really know what you’re getting yourself into? I don’t like where this is going… Dallas does a victory lap around the ring before grabbing a microphone and beginning to speak. Dallas botches and says The Undertake instead of The Undertaker. Oh, Bo. Dallas tells Lesnar to “Bolieve” and Lesnar takes his head off with a huge clothesline. After that, you pretty much can infer what happened. German suplex after German suplex after German suplex. Heyman wants Lesnar to do another German suplex to satisfy him. He grabs Dallas and does a fifth German suplex. Heyman convinces Lesnar to hit Dallas with an F5. The fans pop and Dallas bounces off the canvas like silly putty. Great segment with Heyman’s words of wisdom and Lesnar’s carnage. Poor Bo Dallas, however. I wouldn’t be surprised if a hashtag praying for Bo Dallas started trending.
MizTV with PCB (Paige, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch) is announced. Pretty great since my crush Charlotte gets to appear on my television screen. The New Day will appear in action next, and they show that infamous picture of all three of them dancing after claiming their second tag team championships last night at SummerSlam.
The Lucha Dragons make their entrance, as Sin Cara and Kalisto look to retrieve a victory against the new champions. The former champs, Darren Young and Titus O’Neil, are on commentary. Kofi Kingston and Big E finish off the Lucha Dragons with a Big Ending/facebuster combination as Xavier Woods obnoxiously plays the trombone as they pin. Short match. It was alright. Nothing too important out of this.
All of a sudden, fireworks appear on the stage. Is that Neville? OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. THE DUDLEY BOYZ! I thought I’d never see this again! The New Day know they’re screwed. Bubba Ray goes after Big E while D-Von goes after Xavier. Bubba Ray hits his signature jabs and elbow. Bubba Ray holds the legs up! “D-VON! WAZZZZAAAAAPPP!!!” After the Wazzap connects, Bubba Ray uses his signature catchphrase, “D-VON! GET THE TABLES!!!!!” The fans start chanting tables as everyone is riled up, myself included. Night, night, Xavier. The 3D – the Dudley Death Drop – through the table connects as Woods lays there like a fish out of water. Amazing segment. It gave me chills down my spine. Very nostalgic to see a team I watched when I was younger continue to do what they do best. Bubba Ray teases tension between the Prime Time Players and themselves, possibly setting up a match. Hey, I wouldn’t mind seeing that.
MizTV with PCB is up next. The Bella Twins and Alicia Fox interrupt and Nikki tells PCB off. “The only victory that matters is this one,” she says as she raises her Divas Championship. I’m not one to complain, but can we honestly see her defend the championship more? I mean, yeah, she’s forced to defend it at Night of Champions, but it would be good to see it defended on Raw or SmackDown once a while. Miz tries to break up the tension and the fans pop for him, but it almost instantly turns into boos. Miz claims that Paige, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch wrestle like girls, which pisses all three of them off. The Bellas and Alicia Fox attack PCB as Miz high-tails it out of the ring. I felt this segment was kind of bland. It could have been better and I feel like nothing was really accomplished from it. They should start building up the Divas Championship match at Night of Champions.
Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns are keen to have a clean slate against The Wyatt Family tonight, and they look to do just that. During the match, there is a spot when Harper and Wyatt mock Ambrose and Reigns’s double powerbomb and Wyatt actually yells like Reigns. Gives me a nice belly laugh and gave me another reason why Bray Wyatt is my favourite. Wyatt teases Sister Abigail but Reigns counters with a Superman Punch. Ambrose goes up top and hits an elbow onto Harper. Reigns looks to spear Wyatt but suddenly the lights go out and all you hear is, “DUN DUN DUN DAH!!”
When the lights go back on, the camera shifts to a very large man with a sheep mask like Erick Rowan’s, except black. The man is too big to be Leo Kruger. Mike Knox, maybe? When he takes off his mask, you can tell that it is not Mike Knox. It’s someone new, that I have never seen before. His eyes shift to Reigns, and Reigns knows he’s screwed. Reigns tries to hit a Superman Punch but this monster just man-handles him and pushes him into the corner. He tosses him like a child! Holy cow, the strength! After clobbering Reigns, this monster just runs Dean Ambrose over like a Tonka truck. He locks Reigns in a choke similar to former TNA wrestler Samuel Shaw’s. It looked absolutely impactful. He puts Reigns on his shoulder, and drills him down for a huge impactful slam unlike anything I’ve seen. Ambrose gets choked out now. Shoot, he makes Harper look short.
Wyatt says “Follow… The Buzzards” with his arms stretched out. The graphic appears on screen and the segment ends. Wow. The match itself was great– better than the SummerSlam match-up, in my opinion. It had more intensity to it and you can tell all four men were proud of it. As for this monster, I have no idea who the hell he is. I got startled when he showed up on my screen. Definitely excited about the new Wyatt Family member and I hope he’s impactful.
Stardust attacks his partner King Barrett afterwards and lays him out with “The Queen’s Crossbow”, a new name for the Cross Rhodes. I guess it happened by way of jealousy. Neville’s music hits and Neville & Stardust brawl. Neville looks to hit the Red Arrow but Stardust escapes. This segment was alright. The only reason why Barrett was attacked is to write him off to film a movie. So it does make sense, however if you didn’t know about that, you’d be confused.
PCB and the Bella Twins have an all-out war now as Charlotte and Becky are hyped. Charlotte launches herself over the top rope. The crowd takes a major crap on this match, which is pretty disrespectful to the divas. I mean, yeah, they do have a right to chant whatever they want, but to do so obnoxiously is kind of upsetting. Alicia Fox hits a Scissors Kick on Paige for the victory. If the crowd was into this match, it would have been so much better than it appeared to be. Now I know why SmackDown used dubbed pops and boos.
Jon Stewart is ready to explain why he screwed John Cena over last night at SummerSlam. The fans chant “thank you Stewart”, which is erratic, in my book. A talk show host interfering in a high-stakes match? Kind of absurd but, hey, I’m happy. I prefer Rollins over Cena any day. Jon Stewart claims that the only reason he screwed Cena over is because he couldn’t let him tie Ric Flair’s sixteen world championships. The fans pop to that, and I’m confused to whether or not Stewart is a heel or a babyface. Let’s just say he’s a tweener. Ric Flair’s music hits and he gets a loud pop. Flair says he appreciates what Stewart said, yet he was pulling for John Cena to win. “Sooner or later,” he said, “the record will be broken. And I’d love for it to be by someone I respect.”
John Cena’s music hits and he looks irate about what happened. He makes Stewart realize what exactly he did. Stewart fires back by stating that as good as Cena is, he can’t see Cena beating Flair’s record. Stewart kisses up to the Brooklyn crowd and calls them “beautiful”. Cena grabs Stewart and puts him on his shoulders for at Attitude Adjustment. Deja vu, didn’t I see this in 2007 with Kevin Federline? Cena walks out of the ring as Flair is shown smiling. Stewart is helped to the back, yet he pretty much no sells the impact of the AA. This segment was alright. I like this edgier Cena, however. He does what he pleases now. I hope they run with this idea now that Cena may get a rematch for the U.S. Championship at Night of Champions.
Huge tag match is up now, with Randy Orton, Cesaro, Ryback, and Dolph Ziggler against Sheamus, The Big Show, Kevin Owens, and Rusev. Ziggler is sporting some new tights that look pretty sweet. If you quickly glance at him, however, he looks a bit like Seth Rollins, since Ziggler dyed his hair a light brownish colour. Cesaro and Owens slug it out and Cesaro takes Owens on the “Uppercut Train”, as Byron Saxton said. Rusev gets swung around like a play toy. Orton gets tagged in, as well as Sheamus. The Big Show accidentally knocks out Sheamus and Orton picks up the victory for his crew. A good match here with a ton of talent in one ring.
The Big Show looks upset about what happened as Owens and Rusev yell at him. He shoves Owens and Rusev down, but Rusev kicks him. Owens runs at The Big Show and nails him with a cannonball. It was great to see him beat down, since it’s karma for him hitting a gazillion knockout punches. Just when you think it’s over, Ziggler superkicks him, which turns into a press slam/RKO combination by Cesaro, Ryback, and Orton. The Big Show lays there lifeless to end the match and segment.
Bray Wyatt speaks now and introduces the world to Braun Strowman, the newest member of the Wyatt Family. Wyatt claims that Reigns infects everything and everyone around him. Wyatt states that Ambrose is just a pawn for him to play with, which I thought was true. Wyatt did overcome Ambrose during their feud in late 2014, after all. Wyatt claims that Strowman is Abigail’s “Black Sheep”, as you hear him cackling to end the segment. Good explanation as to who that monster was. I’m sure everyone, including me, went to search who exactly Braun Strowman was. Turns out he was in NXT and has yet to debut on television until now. Pretty cool that he got to do so with such confidence.
Seth Rollins is out with the Triple H and Stephanie McMahon for the reveal of Rollins’s statue. Rollins cuts a great heel promo that once again showed his arrogance and cockiness. The curtain unveils. Shoot! It’s Sting, himself! The fans pop loud as hell. Stephanie, Triple H, and Rollins all look confused. Rollins tries to go after Sting but Sting fires back with right hands and chest chops. He hits a Stinger Splash in the corner on Seth and clotheslines Seth out of the ring. Sting grabs Rollins’s WWE World Heavyweight Championship and raises it high above his head as his music hits. Pretty good segment. I actually thought Triple H was going to turn on Rollins, similar to what happened when Randy Orton won the World Championship and Evolution turned on him. It was surprising to see Sting, actually. Sting and Seth Rollins are now going to square off at Night of Champions for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Awesome. As for the segment itself, it was really cool. I had no idea Sting would show up, and it got a huge pop. I wonder where the actual statue of Rollins is, anyways?
This episode of Raw was great. Better than the others and it had a post-WrestleMania Raw feel to it, with The Dudley Boyz returning, Braun Strowman debuting, and Sting making an appearance. Out of ten, I’d give this Raw a 9. It had some great matches and segments, however the Stardust/King Barrett segment, the MizTV episode, and Team PCB VS The Bellas fell flat for me.