August 25, 2015
One day after SummerSlam, wrestling fans once again packed the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the third sellout crowd in a row for WWE. There was plenty of juice in the crowd for the third night in a row of WWE action, and the show really sent fans home with reasons to keep watching as the company tried to take advantage of all the media attention it's gotten from the SummerSlam fallout. I think WWE did a good job.
We saw some debuts and re-debuts on Monday night, making this Raw one of the better overall shows of the year. We also saw somewhat of a depressing moment when the Brooklyn crowd decided to try to get themselves over when the Divas were in action, something Paige didn’t take too kindly to on social media after the match.
Even though there were only four matches on Raw, the storylines took over in this post-SummerSlam show, and that’s OK. I don’t mind a show that’s main objective is to further stories, and this is the first Raw that’s seen limited in-ring action in a long time. The Eight-Man Tag Match was pretty long, though, and considering what else we saw on the program, I don’t mind the lack of matches.
Here are the main stories coming out of Raw:
The show opened with Triple H giving the victor of the Title vs. Title match at SummerSlam a tour of WWE Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.
While The Authority was scheduled to unveil a statue honoring the new United States Champion and current WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins, I didn’t think that we would see it during the main event segment on Monday night.
We got a sneak peek of the statue backstage earlier in the show, so there had to be some nefarious shenanigans going into the main event segment. The stalling was perfect for building up the anticipation of a big moment, and it certainly wasn’t the crowd eager to see the Rollins statue live and in person. They knew something was up. We at home knew something was up. And there was.
Instead of getting Rollins’ statue, we got Sting. And after Sting nailed Rollins with a Stinger Splash and a clothesline over the top rope, he held up the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I can get behind this. The storyline makes sense so far, since Sting is supposed to be a vigilante and still probably harbors resentment toward Triple H for defeating him at WrestleMania in March.
On the WWE Network after Raw went off the air, Triple H confirmed that the main event at Night of Champions would be a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Rollins and Sting.
As an aside, before this segment began, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon led a “Happy Birthday” sing-along for the CEO of WWE, Vince McMahon. While I think it’s funny in the grand scheme of things, Triple H and Stephanie are supposed to be playing heels. Doing this effectively puts a pause on their character live on the air so they can get in some kicks for daddy. Why couldn’t they have done this off the air? It’s ridiculous and further shows just how “fake” their product can look when they don’t protect it.
And they even put a video up on YouTube! Again, I don’t mind them doing it, I just mind them doing it live on air before they’re set to heel it up for the main event segment. It just looks really bad.
We’re not sure what’s next for Brock Lesnar, as The Undertaker didn’t make an appearance on Raw Monday night. By way of Paul Heyman, Lesnar challenged Taker to a match right then and there, but was interrupted by Bo Dallas.
Of course, Dallas was destroyed by Lesnar. Lesnar teased leaving twice before Heyman convinced him to go back to the ring and hit Dallas with another suplex, and then his F5 finisher. It was glorious.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lesnar and Taker headline Hell in a Cell in October, and with the way the storyline is looking, it might be the best option available. That would mean Sting vs. Rollins headlining Night of Champions and Lesnar vs. Taker headlining Hell in a Cell. That’s not a bad way to head into Survivor Series in November.
We did find out why Jon Stewart turned on John Cena at SummerSlam, and at least it makes some sort of sense. Stewart, being the huge wrestling fan he is, is all about tradition and he didn’t want to see Cena tie the record of his idol, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
Flair made an appearance and actually admonished Stewart for getting involved in the Rollins-Cena SummerSlam match, simply because Flair was rooting for Cena. Flair said he knew his record would be broken, and he’d rather it be broken by someone he respects.
Cena came out and Stewart hilariously tried selling Cena on the appeal of winning back his United States Championship from Rollins over the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Good times. Stewart could definitely be a professional wrestling character. Cena left Stewart with an Attitude Adjustment, and that’ll be sure to get some mainstream media attention again.
The New Day are thankfully your WWE Tag Team Champions again. They decided to serenade the Brooklyn crowd on Monday night before their match against the Lucha Dragons.
A huge return happened Monday night in Brooklyn – and it was aimed at sparking the tag team division – which has been toiling for the last few years in mediocrity, and that’s a compliment. After The New Day defeated the Lucha Dragons and decided to celebrate like they had just re-won their Tag Titles, a highly decorated tag team made its long anticipated return to WWE for the first time in 11 years.
This was a legitimate shocker, but I couldn’t be more excited for what this means to the tag team division in WWE. The Dudleys are legitimately one of the greatest tag teams in wrestling history, and now that they’re back for the time being, I can just see the quality of matches increase due to their involvement.
We finally have a new member for the Wyatt Family since Erick Rowan is still healing from a torn bicep. During the SummerSlam rematch tag team encounter on Raw, Braun Strowman, oh he of NXT, debuted and took down both Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose.
Strowman is huge, and looks to already be a great fit with the Wyatt Family. It looks like the Reigns/Ambrose/Wyatts feud isn’t over by any means, but I’m interested to see where this goes. Especially if it means Reigns and Ambrose get a third partner to help them stave off the Wyatts. Kane in a mask, anyone?
The Big Show may be taking some time off… again. He cost his team the match by accidentally nailing Sheamus with his Knockout Punch, letting Orton hit the RKO for the win in the Eight-Man Tag main event. Not only did Kevin Owens and Rusev admonish Show for it, they attacked him. The faces then attacked Show after the match and Ziggler hit him with a superkick and Ryback and Cesaro picked him up for a super RKO with Orton finishing the job. Very awkward for faces to do that, especially after heels turned on Show.
Unfortunately, the Brooklyn crowd was not into the Divas revolution at all on Monday night. Despite the fact the crowd was clamoring for Sasha Banks, WWE’s creative team didn’t give her to it. It was about halfway through the six-woman tag match where the crowd started doing the wave, and WWE cameras actually started following it. It was an embarrassing moment for the women trying to revolutionize the division, and even more embarrassing that the hard camera tried capturing it before it eventually died down.
I can understand when the fans aren’t getting what they want, they’ll act out. But these so-called “smart” fans from Brooklyn are smart enough to know doing that doesn’t help the very women they want to get a push in the Divas division. Do you think Vince McMahon will look at that and now push Charlotte and Becky Lynch? No, he’s going to look at it and think they’re the reasons the crowd was disinterested. That’s how his mind works. It’s documented on multiple levels that’s how McMahon sees things. So, if the crowd thought they were helping the Divas’ case, they’re sadly mistaken.
Unfortunately, this Bellas promo after the show might not be scripted.
Paige took to social media to show her displeasure with the crowd, then deleted the Tweet. It originally said, “You helped us create change and then did your best to disrespect. Niceeeee jobbbbbbbb!” I don’t know if she just posted something due to her frustration and then cooled off and deleted it on her own, or if she was told to delete it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she was told to delete it.
• Non-Title: The New Day (c) d. the Lucha Dragons after Big E pinned Sin Cara via a DDT Big Ending. The Dudley Boys appeared and took out The New Day and then confronted the Prime Time Players, who were doing commentary during the match.
• Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose d. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper by disqualification after a Braun Stowman debuted as the newest member of the Wyatt Family and took out Reigns and Ambrose.
• Six-Woman Tag Match: Team Bella (Nikki, Brie and Alicia Fox) d. Team PCB (Paige, Charlotte and Becky Lynch) by pinfall after Nikki hit Paige behind the ref’s back and Fox nailed the scissor kick for the pin.
• Eight-Man Tag Match: Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, Ryback and Randy Orton d. Rusev, Kevin Owens, Big Show and Sheamus after Show accidentally hits Sheamus with a Knockout Punch, then Orton hits the RKO on Sheamus for the pin.
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