Reviewing the Review – Monday Night Raw: August 31, 2015

So…..yeah I’ve missed these for a few weeks. I know I missed the week before this but it’s a stretch to do one of these for this show and going back another week would be even worse. Anyway, it’s eight days after Summerslam and Sting is back to go after Seth Rollins, despite having losing his only match in the company. Let’s get to it.

We opened with Sting and that still doesn’t feel right in WWE. Sting was out there to talk about Rollins, but this somehow turned into a love fest for HHH. His speech was about how losing to HHH (who hit him in the head with a sledgehammer) earned his respect and Rollins will never be half the man that HHH is. Sting is going to prove that Rollins hasn’t earned the respect that he’s claiming, which is Sting’s entire character in a nutshell.

In other words, this feud is now going to be about HHH, because it sets up the feud with HHH vs. Rollins, which has been coming for months now it seems. I like the idea, but it would be a bit nicer if these were shades of gray instead of just making it clear that this is where the feud is going. I’m still not sure if Sting wins the title or not, though they seem to be making it a bit too clear that Sheamus is cashing in. I know WWE likes to beat things over our heads because they think we’re idiots, but this is almost too obvious. Therefore, I’m thinking Rollins retains over Sting, which almost guarantees that Sting gets the belt.

Rollins wanted his statue so Stephanie made sure to praise HHH a bit (made sense here for a change) before telling him to go ask Sting. This would be another segment that really didn’t change anything but why bother with something like that?

Rusev and Ziggler had a long match that ended in a DQ because this is destined to end in a mixed tag. Well at least it was. Now the interesting part here was where this went for the rest of the night, as Summer would be seen sneaking into Ziggler locker room before then running off screaming as Ziggler came out mostly naked.

This got us into a soap opera which has been going ever since and I hate to admit the fact that I’m kind of loving it. Above all else: they’ve given me a reason to care. There’s a story here that is so over the top and ridiculous that it’s hard not to get sucked in, even though I know it’s bad. It helps that Rusev is left playing the role of muscle while everyone else does the drama, which is a much better fit for him. Well done all around Well that and Lana’s new outfit. That’s kind of a big plus too.

The best thing about this story though is I’m not sure if Ziggler cheated on Lana or not. Granted it’s about as low stake as you can get, but there’s always something good about not knowing where a story is going. It could be either ending here, though hopefully it ends with Ziggler going full on heel again because Dolph being noble and loyal to Lana doesn’t fit him in the slightest.

One of the other big stories of the night was Team PCB having a Beat the Clock Challenge for the right to face Nikki Bella for the title at Night of Champions. Charlotte wound up winning in something not really surprising, but I lost almost all interest in the Divas division (yeah it’s not a revolution, no matter how many times they’ve hammered it into our head that it’s a revolution) after the last month wasting our time. The matches were nothing special because of how short the time was, but at least we’re FINALLY getting to the title hunt, even if it means we have to listen to Nikki talk about being some empowered woman or whatever.

Ryback beat Big Show in a short match thanks to Miz, which seems to be the blowoff for this feud. I can’t say I’m complaining as I really didn’t need to see these three fight any longer. Big Show still seems to want to go after Miz, but at least they can’t be fighting over a title anytime soon. The match was short and a way for Ryback to show off his power, which he’s done about a dozen times on Big Show, which is why the company thinks it’s so impressive.

Kevin Owens beat Cesaro in a really good Summerslam rematch where Owens knocked him ribs first into the announcers’ table to injure Cesaro’s ribs. This was a good win for Owens and wraps up their feud, unfortunately with Cesaro getting swept but fortunately with no rubber match that WWE loves to put on. Owens seems primed for a shot at the Intercontinental Title and that’s a great spot for him right now, whether he wins the title or not.

Braun Strowman squashed Dean Ambrose, which is the best thing that he could have done for his first official match. The guy is a monster and he can tear a path of destruction for a few months until someone finally knocks him off. Just don’t make it obvious that he’s going to eventually be knocked off and everything will be fine.

The Dudleyz beat New Day in a non-title match because they have to have a champion lose once every few weeks, just to keep them interesting you see. Also because they don’t have any other teams to beat down besides the ones with the titles. More on that next week.

The big segment to end the show had Rollins demanding his statue back but being told by the Authority that he has to defend both titles at Night of Champions. Stephanie talked a lot but I usually get lost when she talks because all I can hear are buzzwords and charities that I’ll never hear of again because Stephanie has moved on to something else for her cause of the month. She’s kind of a charity whore.

Overall, Raw was a really solid show this week with almost everything serving a purpose or at least being good. Night of Champions is looking like an awesome show instead of the filler show that it so often is. We’re still waiting on that statue to be destroyed but I’m sure it’s going down soon enough. Good week this time though as they’re actually hot right now.

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