The show started off with Sting’s music hitting. Sting’s entrance is pretty cool, to be honest. Sting looked pumped up and determined to address Seth Rollins and the WWE World Heavyweight championship situation. Michael Cole stated that the one title that has eluded Sting throughout his illustrious career is the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Sting got a pretty large pop and he started talking about his match with Triple H at WrestleMania 31.
He gave HHH credit and respect. That kind of defeated the storyline from WrestleMania 31, but whatever floats your boat, Sting. He then called Seth Rollins a sellout yet he proclaimed that as good as Rollins is, he would never be as good as HHH. Kind of a bold statement. Not sure I agree, because Rollins has accomplished a lot in the four years he’s been in WWE. Sting claimed that Seth Rollins managed to hang on using cheap ways, such as The Authority and Jon Stewart interfering in his matches. He went for the cheap pop for the legends and stated that Rollins shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as wrestling legends such as Andrè the Giant, Bruno Sammartino, and the Ultimate Warrior. He called Seth a legend in his own mind, and said that the WWE World Heavyweight title has eluded him all his career. However, he said, that will change at Night of Champions. Sting said on his best day, Seth Rollins won’t be half the man he claims to be. He called Rollins a little boy and told him to buckle in because he’s in for a hell of a ride.
Honestly, I thought this was a very disappointing promo. Sting yelled throughout most of it, so it was hard to even understand what he was trying to say. When you cut a promo, you need perfect tone so you know when to emphasize things and when to get serious. Sting remained with a monotone yelling voice throughout the promo. It made no sense whatsoever when he was discussing how he had respect for HHH. I thought the whole purpose of the storyline in late 2014/early 2015 was for Sting to rid WWE of HHH and now he has respect for him? Makes no sense. I thought this was a let-down opening segment. It would have been better if Rollins and Sting went back and forth on the microphone.
They showed Rollins aggravated in Stephanie McMahon’s office. He said that Sting is spitting in The Authority’s face. Stephanie said a victory over Sting would cement Rollins’s legacy. I agree one hundred percent. Rollins said that he was better than anyone in WWE. Stephanie reminds him that Sting said he wasn’t half the man that HHH is, and she agrees with what Sting said, even though it pains her to do so. Legends are built over time, Stephanie said. True, true. Rollins proclaimed that they build statues for legends, and asked Stephanie where his statue was. Stephanie said to ask Sting…
Dolph Ziggler came out for his match with Rusev and I’m liking Ziggler’s new tights that he debuted a while back. They look great.
Ziggler and Rusev have incredible chemistry in the ring, and this match was no different. They both brought their best. Rusev hit a spin kick with authority and Dolph sold it well. Ziggler ended up hitting a Zig Zag and was about to win, but Summer Rae pulled Ziggler off (Crikey! – Deputy Editor).
Lana proceeded to tackle Summer Rae and the two valets went at it. Way to terribly end what was a great match. This Lana and Summer Rae feud is very, very atrocious and horrendous to watch. They keep attacking each other week in and week out. It’s getting to the point where it’s so predictable, it’s hard to like both Ziggler and Rusev because of their managers acting like the Housewives of New York. I really hope this angle is dropped soon. It’s… upsetting.
Becky Lynch squared off with Alicia Fox in the first of three Divas “Beat the Clock” challenge matches. The winner faces Nikki Bella for the WWE Divas championship at Night of Champions. Pretty cool that they are willing to try something new for a change. Looking forward to seeing who wins.
Becky and Alicia went for quick covers, hoping to set a short time, but to no avail. The clock hit one minute without a winner and Alicia hit a big boot that looked impressive. The two minute mark hit without a pinfall yet but Becky dropped Alicia with a fallaway slam. At around three minutes, Becky locked in the Dis Arm Her and Alicia tapped out. Three minutes and twenty one seconds is the time to beat. Great match, for the short time that they were given. Alicia Fox is highly underrated, in my opinion. She has great movement in the ring. Becky Lynch is on the rise as well. We’ll see if my girl Charlotte can beat that time.
While Renee Young was talking about the upcoming matches and segments, Summer Rae went into Dolph Ziggler’s locker room, stealthily. Who knows what she’s up to but it shouldn’t be good.
Later, while Renee Young interviewed Ryback prior to his WWE Intercontinental championship defense against The Big Show, Summer Rae ran out of Ziggler’s locker room, seeming to be crying. Ziggler opened the door and he’s nude besides a towel. Didn’t we see something like this in 2004 with Trish Stratus, Christian, and Chris Jericho? I don’t like where the Rusev/Ziggler feud is heading…
Ryback was up next defending his WWE Intercontinental title against The Big Show. It’s cool that Ryback is defending on Raw, but against The Big Show? Meh..
The Miz was on commentary, thank the Lord. He made this match interesting. We’ve seen Ryback versus The Big Show countless amounts of times and none of them have impressed me. Ryback’s WWE Intercontinental championship reign has been completely forgettable. I hope he drops it… soon. The Big Show looked to go to the top rope, but Ryback tossed him off the top. Ryback looked to set up the Meathook Clothesline but The Big Show countered with a spear. The Big Show looked to hit the knockout punch on Ryback, but The Miz distracted Big Show, and that allowed Ryback to give The Big Show the Shell Shock and retain the title. Funny thing is that Lilian calls Ryback “The Ryback”, like Daniel Bryan does. I don’t know if it was a botch or if it was intentional, but it gave me a nice laugh.
There was nothing really impressive in this match. Just the same old, same old. Wouldn’t be surprised if people went to use the restroom or got snacks during this match.
My girl (you’ll see me referencing to Charlotte as my girl since I have a huge crush on her) Charlotte was up next for her Beat The Clock challenge match against Brie Bella. The time to beat is three minutes and twenty one seconds. Charlotte tried to go after Brie early but Brie used the ropes to get a rope break. Brie rolled out of the ring and seemed intimidated by Charlotte. Charlotte ran after Brie but Brie kneed her. Charlotte headed back in the ring and hit a double leg takedown, and went for her patented Figure Eight leglock, but Brie attached herself to the ropes. Brie kicks Charlotte in the knee and ran after her, but Charlotte countered it with a spinning inverted neckbreaker. Brie ended up in a sitting position and Charlotte ran at her. BOOM! Natural Selection! Charlotte covered Brie for the win and officially beat Becky’s time with plenty of time to spare. Nikki raised the title as Charlotte stared at her.
This was a great match considering how short it was. One minute and forty seconds. Hope Charlotte keeps that time. Knowing WWE, they’ll give it to Paige since she has more experience.
Kevin Owens and Cesaro are scheduled to square off again, a SummerSlam rematch. Can’t wait.
As Owens was perched on the top rope, Cesaro hit a huge dropkick that was very impressive, as well as a gutwrench suplex off the top rope, which left Owens dazed. Cesaro looked to suplex Owens out of the ring, but Owens countered with a rope-aided stunner, and then drove Cesaro into the announce table. Cesaro hit a double leg and looked to connect with a Sharpshooter but Owens hit a Pop-Up Powerbomb for the one, two, three. A fantastic match with two of the incredible talents of today. Owens and Cesaro are proving their worth in WWE and doing so in an incredible fashion.
Braun Strowman, the Wyatt Family’s proverbial “Black Sheep”, made his in-ring debut next against the “Lunatic Fringe” himself, Dean Ambrose.
Strowman instantly clobbered Dean Ambrose with huge tosses, while Wyatt and Harper looked on in amusement. They took the action to the outside, and Strowman applied pressure to Ambrose’s neck region, and you hear Ambrose exasperating in pain. Strowman tossed Ambrose into Roman Reigns and shoved Reigns aside. Reigns got pissed off and attacked Strowman for the DQ. Strowman tossed Reigns into the barricade and flipped Ambrose over the announce table. Ambrose jumped on Strowman’s back and looked to take him down but Strowman snapmared him off. Strowman tossed Reigns with ease into the ropes. Incredible. Reigns and Strowman went at it and Strowman locked Reigns in with his choke. Ambrose hit Strowman in the back with a chair but that did absolutely nothing. Ahh, classic monster build-up. Harper finally came in and superkicked Reigns in the jaw, while Strowman locked Ambrose in the choke. Damn. What an impactful in-ring debut.
To make things worse, Bray Wyatt dropped Reigns with a Sister Abigail, thanking her for Strowman.
I’m really liking Braun Strowman. I think he’s capable of much more than Erick Rowan was. He’s more agile than Rowan and is more unique, in my opinion. I’m surprised I haven’t gotten bored with this storyline yet. I’m actually very much looking forward to where this story goes.
Paige was up against Sasha Banks for the third and final Beat the Clock challenge match. Paige had to beat a minute and forty seconds, set by Charlotte. Paige instantly tackled Sasha and covered her, to no avail. Sasha got a pretty large pop in the midst of this. They went back and forth with covers and Paige hit a running knee, but Sasha kicked out. Paige hit the Rampaige with seventeen seconds left, but Sasha got pulled out of the ring by Naomi and Tamina. Paige dragged Sasha back into the ring and tried to take her down for what looked like a sharpshooter but she wasn’t able to beat the clock.
Therefore, Charlotte is the #1 contender! I’m actually surprised they went this route. I was expecting Paige to win it, since she was the last diva in the challenge. I’m extremely happy for Charlotte and hopefully she is able to uncrown Nikki Bella.
The Dudley Boyz were in action for the first time on Raw since 2004. They faced the WWE World Tag-Team champions, The New Day. Xavier Woods debuted a new hairstyle that doesn’t look good at all, in my opinion (you’re wrong – Deputy Editor). Big E drove D-Von into the barricade and Kofi Kingston tagged in for what seemed like a crossbody. However, D-Von grounded Kingston with a huge clothesline. Bubba Ray got the crowd rowdy and got the hot tag. He hit a couple of clotheslines and a back body drop, and then ran and avalanched himself into Kingston, before levelling him with a sidewalk slam. The Dudleyz were looking for the “Wazzap”, but Kingston nailed Bubba Ray from behind. He pushed Bubba Ray into the ropes and D-Von tagged himself in. Kingston ran back at D-Von but received a 3D from Bubba Ray and D-Von for the one, two, three.
I really hope this puts The Dudley Boyz in line for the WWE World Tag-Team championship. I’d love to see them have a tenth reign. This was a great match and the crowd was definitely into it. The tag-team division is actually thriving in this day and age.
After the match, The Dudley Boyz looked to put Big E through a table, but Xavier Woods dragged him out. The New Day are on a “Save the Tables” revolution. Man, The New Day are hilarious.
Seth Rollins was out next to discuss Sting’s promo and but he was interrupted by Stephanie McMahon. John Cena ended up crashing the party and stated that Stephanie would make Rollins’s life miserable. Cena says that Rollins is incredible in the ring, but he’s a conceited maniac who is the biggest idiot he has met his entire life. Cena said the only reason why Rollins was the “Chosen One” was because he was the only one who was willing to stab his Shield brethren in the back. This leads a “you sold out” chant, which Rollins responded to by saying, “SHUT UP!” Cena said that The Authority makes and breaks superstars. He name-dropped Randy Orton, Batista, and Kane as talent that The Authority built up and ultimately destroyed. He called Rollins “the newest flavour of the month”, and said he knew who The Authority was, and The Authority knows who he is.
The Authority said that every championship will be on the line at Night of Champions, and Cena proclaimed he wanted his rematch clause for the WWE United States championship. He asked Stephanie for his match, and she said yes to a fairly large pop. Sting’s music hit as Cena was on the entrance ramp and they both stared down Rollins as he raised his two championships to end the show.
Overall, I thought it was a fairly good show. I liked the Divas “Beat the Clock” challenge matches, Kevin Owens versus Cesaro, The Dudleyz versus New Day, and Braun Strowman’s in-ring debut. I didn’t like Dolph Ziggler’s towel incident, The Big Show versus Ryback, and Sting’s promo.
I’d give Raw a 7/10 this week. Last week’s Raw was way better, but the build up for Night of Champions has only just begun, so I’m assuming next week’s episode will be better.