September 15, 2015
The season premiere of Monday Night Raw was held at the FedEx Forum in Memphis and WWE pulled out all the stops in an attempt to rival ESPN’s Monday Night Football, including having Sting wrestle his first match ever for WWE on cable television. Two championship matches, a weird Ryback promo and another John Cena win over Sheamus probably wasn’t enough to grab as many viewers at the company would have liked.
I’ll admit – having Sting wrestle on Raw is something that would get a lot more eyeballs to switch to the USA Network, and Big Show may actually have been the perfect opponent for this. We haven’t seen Brock Lesnar wrestle on Raw since 2002, I believe, so seeing him wrestle on WWE’s flagship show would be the second-most surprising thing to happen if WWE were willing to go through with it.
But I doubt they would do that.
Night of Champions is this Sunday, and it’s shaping up to be a pretty good-looking card. Of course, it’ll have to translate to the television and live audiences to really set a good tone for the remainder of the calendar year. I’ll have my Night of Champions preview a little later this week.
WWE also sported a yellow middle rope and will do so for the rest of the month, supporting Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Next month, they’ll sport a pink middle rope for the third year in a row [I’m assuming].
Here are some of the main stories coming out of Raw:
Sting wrestling on Monday Night Raw is something I never thought I would see. Sting wrestling two matches on Monday Night Raw is also something I never thought I would see. But it happened, as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion interfered in the Sting-Big Show match, and Cena then came down for the save. Triple H made a tag team main event pitting Sting and Cena against Rollins and Show.
Sting made Rollins tap out to the Scorpion Death Lock, so I doubt we see him win the gold on Sunday night. I wouldn’t mind Rollins losing the United States title and then retaining the WWE World Heavyweight title, but I still like seeing him as a double champion. I don’t think he retains both titles at Night of Champions, but I wouldn’t be mad if he did.
As for Sting wrestling on Raw, it’s still kind of surreal to see. But awesome, too.
The Tag Team Championship match was OK, nothing special, but the real entertainment was when The New Day made Triple H and Stephanie McMahon dance with them inside the ring before the match.
On Sunday night, the champions will defend their gold against the Dudley Boyz. Don’t look for the Dudleys to recapture their coveted Tag Team titles just yet – and I’ll explain why in my Night of Champions preview later this week.
Ryback and Kevin Owens are on a collision course which should set up for a good Intercontinental Championship match at Night of Champions. For some reason, Ryback began his promo on Monday night with an Elvis impersonation. It’s almost as if Owens is now the face in this feud, because WWE has completely dropped the ball with any momentum Ryback had. His injury since winning the Intercontinental Title doesn’t help his cause, but it’s amazing how different he’s portrayed now. He’s nothing short of a joke.
Win, Owens, win.
I understand why the creative team went in the direction it did regarding the Divas Championship match between the champion, Nikki Bella, and Charlotte. I understand why the company is putting off having Charlotte [hopefully] winning the Divas Championship on a grander stage at Night of Champions, but I absolutely find it ridiculous it hyped this match all week for the season premiere of Monday Night Raw and gave us that crappy ending. A tribute to Dusty Rhodes it was not.
We’ve seen Brie step in for Nikki before in the ring and lose, so that was nothing new. Charlotte looking like a complete fool, in front of her dad, was a ridiculously stupid visual and really shouldn’t have happened. Yeah, the two will face off in a No Disqualification rematch on Sunday night, but now I’m not that interested in the same match as I was Monday night.
I made history! Your Longest Reigning Divas Champion! Words can't even describe what I feel right now! Tears of joy! pic.twitter.com/2sKswO5Nyi— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) September 15, 2015
Charlotte needs to win this match. If she doesn’t become the new Divas Champion Sunday night, I may officially be out of the Divas Revolution on the main roster, and stick strictly to NXT women’s matches.
On the [not so] bright side, we’re getting a “Bellabration” on SmackDown on Thursday, as Nikki will celebrate her record-breaking reign. Good times.
The Wyatt Family were guests on MizTV Monday night, but the entire segment felt like what we’ve seen in previous weeks regarding the feud between the Wyatts and Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. After taking out Randy Orton and Jimmy Uso, the Wyatts assumed Reigns and Ambrose wouldn’t be able to find another partner for their six-man tag team match at Night of Champions, but Reigns had a little swerve for Wyatt, and told him that he and Ambrose did have a partner lined up for Sunday night. I would love for that partner to be Samoa Joe.
• WWE Tag Team Championship: The New Day (c) d. Prime Time Players by pinfall via the DDT Big Ending. The Dudley Boyz appeared on the ramp after the match.
• Sasha Banks d. Paige by submission via the Bank Statement.
• John Cena d. Sheamus by pinfall via the Attitude Adjustment.
• Neville and the Lucha Dragons vs. Cosmic Wasteland [Stardust and The Ascension] ended in a No Contest. The match never started.
• Divas Championship: Charlotte d. Nikki Bella (c) by disqualification after Brie Bella interfered and Charlotte pinned her.
• Cesaro d. Rusev by pinfall via a headscissor small package. Rusev was distracted by Dolph Ziggler trying to give Summer Rae a gift at ringside. Ziggler then hit Rusev with a superkick after the match.
• Sting d. Big Show by disqualification after Seth Rollins interfered. Cena then came down to save Sting, and Triple H booked a tag team match.
• Sting and John Cena d. Seth Rollins and Big Show by submission after Rollins tapped to Sting’s Scorpion Death Lock.
Follow Nick on Twitter: @nickpiccone