WWE RAW – Review, Highlights and Analysis 22.09.2014

Dean Ambrose/ John Cena/The Authority Segment

Dean Ambrose came out, all fired-up, to let everyone know he was not dead.  I can’t help it but admire Ambrose’s insanity – willingly watching himself get Curb Stomped into a pile of cinder blocks and saying that he appreciates the creativity of it. Then he said he wanted Rollins and he wasn’t going to leave the ring until he had him.

John Cena  came out instead, complaining about Rollins, costing him the title, and claiming priority over Ambrose in his pursuit of Mr. Money in the Bank. That didn’t sit well with the Lunatic Fringe, who not only didn’t feel sympathy for Cena but was just about to kick him out of the ring. Only Ambrose can be face and tell Cena that he doesn’t like being in the same ring with him. The line “Don’t give me a reason not to like you”, said to Cena, the way Ambrose did, was worth a huge pop but fell flat on a dead crowd.

Cena and Ambrose were just about to start a fight over who was going to face Rollins when The  Authority in full set , interrupted them. Triple H told them to stop fighting over things they had no control over and set up Kane vs. Ambrose and Cena vs. Orton.

The two superstars in the ring weren’t satisfied so they went after Rollins. The Authority were supposed to protect him but somehow lost him and Dean and Seth fought to the back, followed by Cena.

We saw the chase backstage and a hilarious scene, in which Seth Rollins tosses away some random dude, who was loading the trunk of his car and stole the vehicle. Ambrose, as crazy as he is, jumped in the open booth of the combi but fell out when Rollins drove off. That’s what I call devotion!

The segment was fun and proved that the Rollins/Ambrose feud hasn’t lost any heat. Cena didn’t manage to do much but stand and watch those two steal the show. It’s a shame the crowd didn’t respond as well as they should have. The segment deserved a better reaction.

Dolph Ziggler vs The Miz w./Damien Mizdow

This was more of a replay than a rematch. The action in the ring didn’t really bring anything new to the table. The few moments that were supposed to cause suspense were copy-pasted from last night – Miz locking the Figure 4 and Dolph getting to the ropes; Miz, hitting the Skull Crushing Finale after a Mizdow interference and Dolph kicking out; the Famouser and a kickout from Miz…And like that, like a tape recording from Night of Champions, we got to the ending of the match where Ziggler got distracted by Mizdow, Miz rolled him up, grabbing his tights but this time around the A-lister got some of his own medicine, got rolled up and held by his tights until Ziggler got the 3 count and the win. JBL’s right – how come when you’re face, cheating is cool?

Why? What is the point of this, honestly? Why would you even give Miz the title if you’re going to take it away the night after? How are we expected to take the Miz seriously if even with help at ringside he can’t hold the title for full 24 hours? Or maybe we are not supposed to take him seriously…but then why keeping him the number one contender for the Intercontinental Championship? After this, I seriously doubt that anyone in the WWE Creative respects the IC title. Make an effort, people, seriously! Such a disappointment!

Bo Dallas vs. Jack Swagger

This match wasn’t too original either. We’ve seen it all before. Bo mounted some offence, Swagger intercepted him. Bo was being tricksy but Swagger overpowered him. And in the end, the Inspirational One tapped out to the Patriot lock again.

What’s with the lazy booking? I can see that the WWE Creative focused on giving us more Ambrose but as awesome as he is, we’d still like it of other superstars got some development in their feuds. There must be a way to keep more than one storyline going, right?

Also, I can’t help myself; I have to point out again that the audience was terrible. I know it wasn’t a great match but the fans could always improve drastically the energy by chanting things to fire up the superstars. I’ve never heard lazier WE THE PEOPLE/ WE BOLIEVE chants.

OK, OK, there was one positive thing to remember from this match – Bo’s “I’m being bullied, please, help” facial expression when Zeb Colter asked him “Why do you look so rejected?” Priceless. Doesn’t this look make you want to give Bo a cookie?

Summer Rae w./Layla vs. Natalya w./Rosa Mendez

Here goes another Total Divas ad. Season 3 and Nattie and Summer are still at it for the exact same reasons and apparently we’re still supposed to care about it. I guess, that’s how soap operas work.

We got a pre-match promo from Summer, which was a surprise for a math of this sort. She’s not bad at the mic at all, comparing to most divas. Maybe, the WWE Creative should consider putting her in a storyline out of the Total Divas Universe, you know, a meaningful one.  But what am I saying? They are struggling to handle the men’s division and I’m asking for women’s division improvements…Silly me.

Anyways, Summer carried most of the offence in the match. She put her long legs to a good use with some kicks and submissions. In the end, Layla tried to distract, Natalya but Summer still got put in the Sharp Shooter and tapped out.  On the outside, Rosa Mendez made herself useful for the first time and took care of Layla.

Bad girls lose, hooray…I guess?

Dean Ambrose vs. Kane

This is the Lunatic Fringe’s first match after his month-long absence and it has to be in front of this incredibly quiet crowd…Terrible.

Ambrose started that match eagerly with some brawling. Then he climbed on the ropes for a flying elbow and then knocked Kane out of the ring, following by launching himself through the second rope onto the Big Red Monster. After that Dean started taking chairs out from underneath the ring when Kane drove him through the steps to turn the match. All of that, to a dead silent crowd.

Moving on, Kane applied a submission hold on Ambrose for quite a while and by the end, the fans in the FedEx Forum managed to get an unenthusiastic LET’S GO AMBROSE chant going. The Lunatic Fringe broke free, performed a missile dropkick from the top rope and planted Kane with the Dirty Deeds. But before Ambrose could get the 3 count, Seth Rollins showed up and attacked him, causing a DQ.

Rollins kept beating Ambrose to  the sound of loud BOOS and YOU SOLD OUT chants (yes, the audience finally woke up) and then left the ring to get a chair but when he came back, The Lunatic Fringe turned the tables around. However, Seth managed to get away and ran for it. Dean was about to follow but got choke slammed by Kane. Rollins contemplated going back to finish Ambrose but his former buddy was already waiting for him in the ring, chair in hand, so Mr. Money in the Bank reconsidered and wisely backed off.

The Ambrose/Rollins business didn’t feel as if it had been resolved for the day and I can imagine most people were happy about it.

Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose/ The Authority Segment

The cameras cut to Rollins discussing the Lunatic Fringe issue with Kane and Triple H, when they got blasted by a crazed Ambrose

Triple H order security to get rid of Ambrose and kick him out but Stephanie showed up and made them lock Dean in a closet. She made a valid point saying: “Have we ever thrown out someone, who hasn’t come back?”

It was a cool segment, focusing on Ambrose’s unpredictability. But there was something else that made a bigger impression on me. Triple H told Seth Rollins to stop “setting these fires” because people were “getting tired around here”.  Are the Authority going to abandon Rollins if he doesn’t stop getting in trouble?

Sheamus and the Usos vs. Stardust & Goldust and Cesaro

It was a solid match to establish the continuation of two mid-card feuds at the same time.

Cesaro and Sheamus were at it, giving us a proper fist fight to watch. You can easily picture those two brawling in a pub somewhere. Cesaro’s ability to tell a story in between the ropes impresses me. The Swiss Superman refused to fight the Usos when he first came in. He wanted Sheamus and he got him.

The Usos and the Cosmic Brothers also have vicious feud going. The Usos are attacking Goldust and Stardust like that’s their last chance to fight. Stardust is growing weirder and weirder but also more aggressive and more impressive.

The match had a chaotic high-flying ending, resulting in Jay Uso getting the pin over Goldust.

It’s safe to say, this was a satisfying match. Both feuds still have life in them and will provide more entertainment for the WWE fans.

Mark Henry vs. Rusev

Mark Henry came to apologize. The audience wasn’t understanding at all, chanting WHAT to everything he said.  Lana and Rusev interrupted him and lured him into another Night of Champions copy-paste match.

Actually, this time around, Mark Henry didn’t manage to get almost any offence going. The former Olympian got properly squashed by the Big Russian.

The highlight of the match would have been Rusev’s impressive dropkick. For a man his size,he’s quite agile. Also, at some point Rusev was shouting: “Scream for you hero!” in Bulgarian. It would have been a nice touch from a storytelling point of view, if more than 1% (or less) of the WWE fans could understand what he was saying.

In the end, Henry was put in the Accolade and, much like Swagger before him, refused to tap out, causing him to pass out. I think it’s safe to say this feud is over. Let’s see who will be next to face the undefeated Rusev.

Slater-Gator vs. Adam Rose & The Bunny

Yes, that’s right. The Bunny officially had his first match. And apparently he’s a highflyer as well. Adam Rose mainly worked in the ring but once the Bunny was in, he bounced of the ropes and gave away massive kicks. Obviously, the match ended with the Party Foul to Slater and a win for Rose and the Bunny.

I’m just going to ignore the ridiculousness of this match and how ridiculous t makes the WWE fans look by association. Let’s just focus on another question – Who is the unfortunate bastard who got put in the Bunny suit? Fandango? Zack Ryder? Justin Gabriel? What do you, guys, think?

The Bella Twins Segment

Nikki came out and claimed that she lost her championship match at Night of Champions because she was distressed by the lack of support Brie had given her. Brie joined her in the ring to find out that Nikki wants exclusively the name Bella. Obviously Brie refused to drop her name. Nikki took a jab at Daniel Bryan and got slapped in the face. That was followed by a lame, unsuccessful attempt for the YES lock by Brie.  I get the feeling that we are going to have a match for the Bella name somewhere along the line.

I’m not sure if Brie is really worse than Nikki on the mic or she just sounds worse because the Bellas are unable to play faces. Also, Nikki’s story of Brie always getting more attention is kinda true, when you think about it. Brie was heavily riding on DB’s popularity at one point, so I’m inclined to side with Nikki on this one.

Nikki Bella vs. AJ w./Paige on Commentry

Nikki has actually improved in the ring. She looks much more confident and aggressive. She was dominating for the most of the match. At one point, Nikki took it outside the ring and threw AJ at Paige. Also, did we really see Nikki applying the cross armbreaker? However, what on earth was that butt pressing move on the ropes?! Well, can’t expect her to change fully in a day, right? In the end, AJ locked the Black Widow, coming off the ropes and made Nikki tap.

Paige on commentary made it clear that she wants her title back and that she thinks AJ’s crazy but did nothing more. So the Paige vs. AJ feud is going unchanged.

John Cena vs. Randy Orton w./ Seth Rollins & Kane

If someone can work a match with Cena it’s Orton. These two men have wrestled each other so many times that they have counters to each other’s every move.  This actually makes good matched with quick twists in them.

The commentators spent the match pointing out Seth and Kane’s presence and most importantly, the big box, covered in a black cloth, that was standing near the announce table. Supposedly, it had been brought there to be used by Kane and Rollins.

In the ring, Orton was trying to do his signature DDT from the ropes, getting countered every time but when he finally managed to do it, it was from the top rope. Then Randy went for the RKO but got put in the STF. Unsurprisingly, Cena got attacked by Rollins and Kane and won by DQ.

Then Cena got ganged up on, beat and dragged to the announce table under the directions of Seth Rollins. However, when Kane removed the cover from what was supposed to be cinder blocks, he found Dean Ambrose waiting there. As cool of a shot that made, can anyone explain to me the logistics of that? I can see a few options of how Ambrose could have escaped the closet Steph put him in, but how did he get out there, near the announce table without anyone seeing him? No, really, how did the audience miss that? If anyone, who was there live last night knows, please, enlighten me, I’m curious.

So, the Lunatic Fringe took everyone out and got his hands on Rollins. But then Kane and Randy came back to help, Cena got involved too and Rollins managed to get away in the chaos and back away through the audience.

The night ended with Ambrose’s music playing, which is deserved, having in mind that his presence was the backbone of RAW. He was literally everywhere but we can only be happy about that. The guy is good and he brings action to the table.

I’ve had quite a few questions this time so if you have the answers, share them in the comment section or on FB or twitter! See you next time!

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