WWE RAW – Review, Highlights, Analysis from 29/09/2014

The Authority/Paul Heyman/Seth Rollins/ Dean Ambrose/ John Cena Segment

The crowd in Chicago welcomed the Authority on RAW with deafening CM PUNK chants. Stephanie seems to be the one in charge of shutting up crowds because once again she was the one who addressed the rebellious chants. This time around Stpeh didn’t beat around the bush when it came to the Second City Savior. Without ever mentioning his name, she managed to give the WWE’s opining on him – He’s a quitter, who prefers to give up when it gets tough, rather than stay and fight.

After that, the Authority swiftly moved on to the stolen MITB briefcase topic. Triple H made it clear that no matter who has the case, Seth has the contract. However, Hunter explained that the briefcase is a symbol of this business and stealing it means disrespecting the business, hence creating an issue with the Authority.

And then Paul Heyman’s voice echoed in the Allstate Arena. The fans went insane when they heard him. The reaction was overwhelming.  Heyman addressed the issues of Seth’s cash-in attempt at Night of Champions. The way he said “your boy”, when describing Rollins, was just screaming for trouble brewing. Heyman wanted to know whether the one who Lesnar has an issue with is Seth or the Authority, however, he was interrupted by Stephanie. She was just about to threaten him when Seth’s music hit.

Rollins got a strong reaction from the audience too. The YOU SOLD OUT chants were loud and clear. Mr. Money in the Bank came out to make it clear that he acted on his own will at Night of Champions. He wasn’t told to cash in, he decided to. Rollins also declared that he “wanted to become champion by beating the best” and the best happens to be Brock Lesner. And then Rollins apologized to Heyman . He did it in such a way, though, that it felt like Seth had been in his right the whole time; was misunderstood, even let down by Heyman; and was now apologizing just because he was the better man. What Rollins said didn’t come off as an excuse. It somehow sounded believable.

I actually loved Seth’s promo. It’s good that he distances his decisions from the Authority. This sort of behavior validates him as a thinking, walking threat.  He’s not just another Authority stooge; he is his own man, Rollins just choses to ride with the Authority so he can gain what he wants. A perfect description of what “I didn’t sell out. I bought in” actually means.

The Lesnar side of the story was wrapped up by Paul Heyman telling Seth that if he tries to cash in again, he’ll have to deal with the Beast himself. Triple H got in Heyman’s face just to intimidate him and establish dominance, so Heyman retreated with his tail between his legs.

Then Rollins moved on to thanking the Authority for taking his side on the Ambrose issue. Then he gave the Lunatic Fringe the same ultimatum as on Smackdown – return the briefcase or the cinder blocks will look like child’s play in comparison to what will come next.

The growling sound of Ambrose’s voice, calling Seth’s name filled up the arena and Dean’s face popped up on the screen. The Lunatic Fringe started off his speech in a very graphic manner, describing how seeing Seth makes him want to sew his eyeballs shut. Then he told Rollins and the Authority that if they wanted the briefcase, all they had to do was “come and get it”.

They seemed to be going to do just that when Cena intercepted them and attacked Rollins. Seth managed to run away, circle through the audience, reunite with the Authority and start mocking Cena. Rollins’ audacity just makes me feel good inside.

Every time I see Cena randomly entering this feud, it makes me cringe. He feels so out of place in the whole story that it worries me what his presence in it might cause.

The Authority Backstage Segment

Seth wanted to go after Ambrose but Triple H and Stephanie stopped him. The Boss ordered two measly looking stooges to go after Ambrose. They raised my hopes for e second by asking for sledgehammers but Triple H wasn’t really excited about the idea. The segment finished with Rollins saying “I don’t need them” and I couldn’t agree with him more. Do you want a piping hot rivalry or cheap laughs segments?  Nothing terribly exciting will ever come out of two random lame dudes that you’ll never see again, strolling around, looking for a superstar. All I can say is “WE WANT ROLLINS”.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro vs. The Miz

A triple threat match is a good way to deal with the IC championship situation, which has lately turned in a hot potato game.

Miz and Cesaro were separately going after Ziggler but didn’t really form a temporary partnership, which you’d expect with two heels and one face in the ring. The champion was going strong against both challengers at the same time. Ziggler pulled off a couple of double moves. Miz pulled off a couple of stunt double distractions and Cesaro was just pulling punches. It was a fast-paced match with a lot of roll up attempts, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT.

Ziggler not only wasn’t apologetic about having cheated to gain the title, but he was also using some dirty tricks in this match too. At some point, he pulled Cesaro in a way that Cesaro had an unfortunate collision with Miz’s groin area. After that Dolph locked the Figure 4 on the A-lister, who was saved by the Swiss Superman, flying in with two legs on Ziggler’s chest.

One-legged Miz climbed on the top rope and launched himself onto The Swiss Superman, who intercepted him with a massive uppercut. Cesaro then turned his attention to Mizdow, Ziggler used the distraction and took out Cesaro with a superkick. The Show Off retained by pinning the Miz.

The match was good but there wasn’t much story progression here. All that we learned is that Dolph doesn’t mind doing whatever it takes to win. Also, Cesaro’s definitely not done with the IC title. That was his pin that Ziggler stole. To be honest, I think the IC championship is a better fit for the Swiss Superman than the US title.

The Authority/The Two Stooges/Miz & Mizdow Segment

We were taken backstage for a video footage of the miserable of attempts of Triple H’s two stooges to find Dean Ambrose. I think, we were supposed to laugh when the henchmen were faced with having to ask for information from the Exotic Express, Big E and Khali. I just want to facepalm every time the WWE decides to make their main storylines funny.

The henchmen went back to report to the Boss that Ambrose’s whereabouts still remained unknown. A mustard-stained mouth led to Stephanie deducting that their two lackeys were snacking rather than looking for the MITB briefcase. So the unfortunate stooges were told to get Ambrose or get fired. This is ridiculous. The Lunatic Fringe was under no threat whatsoever and everyone knew it. This only makes the Authority look weak, without adding anything new to Ambrose’s character or the feud with Rollins, for that matter.

The Miz and Damien Mizdow got involved, demanding action from Triple H. It was an actually funny scene for a change because the stunt double gimmick was taken another step further. Now Mizdow was actually talking instead of the Miz, pretending to be him. Then again, it must have hurt when Triple H told them “Make me laugh. That’s what you’re here for.” That, and the line about Miz’s “straight to DVD” career. Ouch.

Layla w./Summer Rae vs. Rosa Mendes w./Natalya and Tyson Kidd

On the 29 September the WWE presented to its fans the breaking news of Natalya and Tyson Kidd’s martial issues, which stem from TJ  not paying enough attention to his wife on her birthday, which by the way was in May. I’ll never get over the wormhole that the Total Divas storylines fall through. Are we supposed to not notice that they are 4 months off with the timing?

Tyson Kidd came out to the ring to listen to music on his phone through his Beats headphones and sit on the steps with his back to the ring. Natalya was mad at him because he couldn’t care less about the match. But I don’t see why she blames him, having in mind that no one really cared about the match, including the camera men.

I laughed when Summer attacked Natalya and Tyson Kidd didn’t even notice. That was a visual representation of how the WWE fans feel about Total Divas.

The vocal crowd in Chicago found only one thing worth chanting and that was “NATTIE’S HUSBAND”.

Oh, and by the way, if you by any chance haven’t forgotten that there was a match after all, Layla won.

Dean Ambrose MITB Segment

Dean Ambrose came out to a loud pop, carrying a big black sports bag and the MITB briefcase. It’s funny how he always manages to look as if he just casually came from a completely unrelated place.

Before getting in the ring, Ambrose equipped himself with a table and got us all excited. However, it turns out he needed it to sell some stolen items. The Lunatic Fringe was trying to put out for auction some WWE merchandise that he helped himself to when he got interrupted by the two miserable henchmen.

The Lunatic Fringe welcomed the stooges with “They sent the cruiser division to get me” and the crowd responded with AMBROSE cants.  Then Ambrose politely asked the two henchmen to “Stop being so intimidating”, which totally cracked me up. Those two wouldn’t even there to get in the ring with Ambrose when he gave them the opportunity to, so Dean decided to start throwing t-shirts into the audience, since he stole them all” anyway.  JBL, comparing Ambrose to Robin Hood added to the entertainment value of the segment.

Then Seth Rollins came out, followed by security. Ambrose dissed them by asking: “Are you, guys, real security? I could’ve sworn you were Rose Buds last week.” Then the Lunatic Fringe said he wanted no trouble, apologized and retreated in the audience, leaving the MITB briefcase in the ring. Rollins opened the briefcase to check its contents and a geyser of green paint splashed in his face.

Although the segment had some comedy value, I think the storyline with the stolen briefcase had the potential to be something much bigger. Amborse could have paid dearly for touching that briefcase or at least could have gotten himself in a bad fight because of that. Instead, the Authority comes off weak and Rollins was the laughing stock of the night.

The Authority Backstage Segment

Randy Orton was having a great time laughing at Rollins’ misfortune. Rollins himself was furious. Kane reported that Ambrose was last seen going to Cena’s locker room. Triple H set up the main event to be Orton & Kane vs. Ambrose & Cena. Both Orton and Kane weren’t happy that they had to deal with Seth’s issues again. The segment finished with an unexplained loud vibrating noise, coming off the MITB briefcase, which Rollins ascribed to an “electric shaver”.

I was out of my skin with that segment. You build Rollins as a credible threat, an opportunist who would go after anyone to get what he wants and an hour later you put him in the center of a dildo joke. Really?! I just have no words to describe how moronic that is.

Bo Dallas vs. Mark Henry

Mark Henry came to the ring, whining about his loss to Rusev again. A whimpering segment of that sort could gain some sympathy the first couple of times, after that it just gets old and annoying very fast. This is why, Bo’s interruption was very much welcome. The Inspirational one made sure to rub in Mark Henry’s face every possible way he had been humiliated by Rusev. Bo’s extremely punchable face and his extremely annoying smile are gold.

The match itself was short. Mark Henry manhandled Bo, who was crying out in his tiny, high-pitched voice. In the end, Mark Henry set up the Inspirational One for his signature splash off the ropes but Bo, rolled out of the way and picked up the win with the Running BODog.

Bo received some WE BOILIEVE CHANTS. He’s so annoying that you actually want to see more of him.

Bo Dallas/Mark Henry Backstage Segment

Renee Young stopped a glowing Bo Dallas to congratulate him on the win against Henry and to ask him how he turned the match around when all hope seemed to be lost. This set up for a perfect “You just have to BOLIEVE” response from Bo.

Suddenly, Mark Henry approached menacingly Bo from behind and attacked him brutally. The beat down given by the World’s Strongest Man was so bad it left me asking “IS BO ALIVE?!”.

Poor Bo Dallas. Why does it feel like he’s the victim and Mark Henry’s the heel?

Gold and Stardust Promo

Stardust was happily celebrating their win and was asking the stars to tell him his destiny. Goldust appeared as the serious threatening part of the team, who keeps Stardust on track. Goldust told his brother that only the cosmic key can dictate their destiny now, which got Stardust violently excited.

I’m impressed by how well this bizarre team works. Gold and Stardust are both so bizarre but also both so different. Their characters have come to life fully.

Brie Bella vs. Cameron & Eva Marie

Brie came out to her terrible, TERRIBLE music. Honestly, this is just a long, painful, auto tuned monstrosity including two words only – “Brie Mode” .

Nikki came out and complained how Brie had put her in a situation where she had to face handicap matches all the time. Then she introduced Brie’s opponents – Cameron and Eva Marie.

The match that followed was so forgettable that the Chicago crowd awarded it with some MICHAEL COLE chants. Brie used the miscommunication between Cameron and Eva to win the match.

Although Brie got some YES chants, we all know they weren’t for her and riding on Daniel Bryan’s popularity is not going to make her more relevant. The Bella Twins storyline seems to be getting nowhere.

Los Matadores vs. Slater Gator w./Adam Rose and The Bunny on commentary

This match made me ask myself what the hell I’m watching. A bull, a bunny and Hornswaggle, dressed as an alligator. Do I need to say more?

Heath Slater won after Titus used Hornswaggle as a distraction. After the match Slater Gator attacked Los Matadores and El Torito, which led to Adam Rose and The Bunny saving the day.The best move we saw was Hornswaggle doing the Gator Roll on El Torito.

This was bad. So bad. Do you remember that article I wrote a while ago about the WWE Tag Team division? Yeah, I think Slater Gator’s possible bright future is now realistically far off into the fiction sphere.

Rusev/ Lana/ Big Show Segment

Lana tried to present Big Show as a sour loser, who knocked out Rusev because he wasn’t happy he lost. Big Show interrupted her claiming that this is only propaganda and the real story was that he fought for his emotionally distressed friends Mark Henry.

And then something new happened. Rusev actually spoke in English, which got him some WHAT?! chants. He has a very strong Bulgarian accent but that’s no surprise really. There’s something I find ridiculous about the Rusev character.  When the Super-Athlete switched to Bulgarian (yes, Bulgarian, not Russian), he started saying “This is why I’m the Bulgarian…”, I guess meaning to finish with the Bulgarian Brute. He has the Bulgarian flag tattooed on his arm. Still, all the heat he gets is from being Russian. I think the WWE seems its audience as way too ignorant.  I refuse to believe that most people don’t have a clue that there actually is a difference between the two countries.

Anyway, Big Show came down the ramp to pick a fight. Rusev saved Lana and retreated. Big Show decided to wind them up by tearing down the Russia flag. The image of Big Show TIPTOEING towards the flag will be imprinted in my brain for a long time.

Rusev exploded and tried to get back into the ring but Big Show didn’t allow him two. Rusev tried a second time but failed once more. I like how he quickly dropped the “on my terms” act and charged against the Big Show.

Regardless of the fact that Big Show came on top in Chicago, Rusev is still very much dangerous.

John Cena/Dean Ambrose Promo

Just seeing Cena on the screen caused the fans in the Allstate Arena explode into roaring BOOS. Cena as usual laughed it off and told the fans that he loved them. Then he tried to start an AMBROSE chant. The way Cena’s trying to absorb other superstars’ popularity is starting to seriously get on my nerves.

Dean Ambrose appeared in the background, taping his fists. He and Cena both claimed ownership of the right to fight Rollins. Ambrose listened carefully to what Cena had to say and responded with: “No one takes the food out of my plate, not even you.”

The feud between Ambrose and Cena is coming somewhere along the way. Believe that!

AJ vs. Alicia Fox w./Paige

Paige introduced her new best friend – Alicia Fox, while the crowd was chanting CM PUNK to AJ.

AJ was determined to give the fans something to cheer for. At one point in the match, she jumped off the top rope on both Paige and Foxy and then just skipped away. This only made the CM PUNK chants louder.

In the end, Paige pulled AJ’s leg and Alicia Fox picked up the win off the distraction.

After the match, the two divas ganged up on the champion. AJ tried to fight back but got kicked by Foxy and then got taken down by the RamPaige.

Alicia Fox took out some 7UP cans (yeah, 7UP, badass right?) and never actually used them. What were those for if she was enver going to do anything with them?

Wyatt Family Vignette for Luke Harper

The Wyatt Family are finally getting back to their roots. That’s hwo their whole story started – with mysterious, horror-movie-like messages. This time around the focus is on Luke Harper, though. The line “ I pieced myself together with pieces of you” was chilling. I am excited about what’s to come next.

Sheamus vs. Damien Mzidown w./Miz on commentary

Earlier, Triple H mentioned Miz’s “straight to DVD career”.  Miz took the opportunity to return Triple H the favor by calling him Mr. Chaperone. This was the highlight of the A-lister’s commentary.

In the ring Damien Mizdow was doing surprisingly well, until Sheamus got mad and just ran him over. The Irishman was going to punch Mizdow in the face but then he changedhis mind and did 10 beats of the Bodhran, taunting the Miz. The A-lister came to check on his stunt double outside the ring but Sheamus came outside too and threw Mizdow on Miz. Back in the ring, The Celtic Warrior brogue kicked Mizdow and picked up the win, while staring intently at the Miz.

So, I gather, Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus are switching opponents, right?

Hulk Hogan Segment

Hulk Hogan gave a segment devoted to the fight against breast cancer. He promoted the Susan G. Komen initiative that will last throughout October.

Randy Orton/ Kane/ Stephanie McMahon Segment

Randy and Kane were complaining to each other about the fact that they have to deal with Rollins’ business. Stephanie came and told them that the Authority is family and they stand up for each other. She also told Orton and Kane that the people think they’ve both gone soft.  Unfortunately, what she said is true.

Dean Ambrose & John Cena vs. Randy Orton & Kane

Randy Orton and Cena started the match to the usual LET’S GO CENA! CENA SUCKS! chants. Cena remained in the ring for most of the match, while Orton and Kane were tagging in and out.

When Dean Ambrose finally got in, he was on fire. He took out everybody. He jumped out of the ring on Kane and then he ran through the ring and launched himself over the ropes on the other side onto Orton. Then the Lunatic Fringe hit the Dirt Deeds on Orton and was waiting for the 3 count when Seth Rollins ran in, causing a DQ.

Rollins and Ambrose were at it. Kane took out Cena. Rollins got away and as he was retreating with Kane, Ambrose jumped through the ropes on them. Dean botched that one a bit but it didn’t matter because he got Seth in the ring and started punshing him. Cena joined and started fighting with Ambrose over who’s to beat up Rollins. Ambrose got a massive pop when he threw Cena out of his way, yelling STAY OUT!

As Dean was setting up to hit Rollins with the MITB briefcase, he got RKOed by Orton, and the chokeslammed by Kane. This followed by a curbstomp by Rollins. Then Cena decided to get involved and got the exact same treatment – RKO, chokeslam and a curb stomp. I think everyone wanted to see Cena get beaten so badly that the Chicago crowd closed off the show, chanting THANK YOU ROLLINS.

I really, really don’t like Cena’s involvement in this feud. It just didn’t make any sense but then it hit me. It was never meant to be Cena, it was meant to be Regins all along. When Roman got taken out and couldn’t compete, the WWE just took the easy way out and instead of rewriting months of script, they probably just asked Cena to play Reigns. Just picture how awesome all that’s happening now would have been if it was Reigns and not Cena, standing in the ring with Ambrose and Rollins. It would all make sense.Unfortunately, now we have to settle for Cena. What a shame!

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