Monday Night Raw – September 21, 2015: Running On Empty Again

Monday Night Raw
Date: September 21, 2015
Location: Laredo Energy Arena, Laredo, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton

It’s the night after Night of Champions and it seems that we’re heading for Kane vs. Rollins for the World Title at Hell in a Cell. On the same show we’ll be seeing Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar for the last time in a match that was a potential Wrestlemania headliner. As for tonight, there’s also a chance we’ll see the return of the US Open Challenge as John Cena regained the US Title last night. Let’s get to it.

We open with the Wyatts instead of the traditional recap. Bray tried to warn Roman Reigns with words but he just didn’t speak loudly enough. Then he tried to warn Roman with actions but he just didn’t hit hard enough. Then last night he choked the golden idol by the throat and showed that he was right about everyone falling down.

Cue Reigns to say he wants to finish this with Bray, one on one, right now. This doesn’t even need to be a match because they can just have a fight. Harper and Strowman head to the floor and Bray is ready to fight. Reigns takes over with right hands and the corner clotheslines, followed by the Superman Punch.

This brings Strowman and Harper back in but Ambrose charges out, runs by Strowman in a smart move, and fights Harper. A pair of suicide dives have almost no effect on Braun but Reigns gets back up. Unfortunately so does Bray and the Wyatts’ numbers game takes over. This brings out Randy Orton to even things up and the combined forces of a bunch of right hands, a missile dropkick and the Superman Punch finally knock Strowman to the floor, though never off his feet. How nice was it to open with a fight and a return instead of a lot of talking that will only be repeated 95 times later in the night?

We recap Rollins’ two title defenses from last night, as well as Sheamus not being able to cash in due to masked Kane’s return.

Rollins comes in to the Authority’s office and finds a very perky Corporate Kane. The monster says he’s back and asks if Seth got the e-mail. The Authority isn’t here yet but Kane has arranged for Seth to have his rematch for the US Title tonight. This was the most entertaining Kane has been since HELL NO.

Lucha Dragons/Neville vs. Ascension/Stardust

Rematch from last night’s pre-show. Sin Cara and Konor starts with Cara slipping off the top on a springboard attempt. It was just a slip and not a horrible botch but it looked bad. After some stomps from the villains it’s time for a chinlock from Konor. Stardust comes in for a cartwheel, allowing the tag off to Neville. Viktor tries to break up a Red Arrow attempt like he did last night but Neville jumps over him, only to get Disaster kicked out to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Neville in the wrong corner with Konor being launched at him for two. Off to the chinlockery for a bit before Stardust puts Neville into an inverted Gory Stretch of all things. Neville finally kicks Konor in the head and makes the tag off to Kalisto. Everything breaks down with Cara running back in for a suicide dive on Konor. Stardust gets dropkicked to the floor and the Salida Del Sol pins Viktor at 10:32.

Rating: C-. The botches really hurt things here and dragged down what could have been a fun six man tag. Sometimes things can get dicey when you try to move too fast. This could have been a lot worse but the Cara botch set the stage for the match. I’m not sure where the feud goes from here, but maybe they both add a fourth for some Survivor Series action.

The limping Rollins comes up to the Authority to ask what they’re thinking about reinstating Kane. They have no idea what he’s talking about, but apparently Kane was allowed to make Cena vs. Rollins again tonight.

Stills of Kevin Owens winning the Intercontinental Title last night.

Ryback vs. Bo Dallas

Owens comes out to do commentary. Bo congratulates Kevin on his win and is thrown across the ring by Ryback. Dallas gets shoved down and a suplex gets two. Cole asks about Owens raking Ryback’s eyes to win the title last night. Owens tells Cole not to believe everything he reads on the internet. Dallas comes back with a kick to the face and a chinlock but Ryback shrugs him off. The Meat Hook and Shell Shock put Dallas away at 3:40.

Rating: D. Just a plot device here and another good use of a jobber. I’m fine with Dallas losing because his character is the kind of person who can pop right back up with a single obnoxious promo. Owens vs. Ryback is a feud that has potential if they go somewhere, which hopefully seems to be a possibility.

Owens goes after Ryback post match but has to run away from a Shell Shock attempt.

Here’s Ric Flair to talk about how proud of a father he is. The fans start chanting THANK YOU RIC but Flair quickly thanks the fans to get this back on Charlotte. The proudest moment of his life wasn’t all his World Titles but rather last night when his daughter won her first Divas Championship. This brings out Team PCB to celebrate. Charlotte has to fight back tears because she’s a Flair.

She’s fought a long way to get here and gained two best friends on the way. Becky makes her laugh every day and Paige is the woman whose footsteps she followed in. Paige takes the mic and says that this is all because of her. Yeah Charlotte won the title last night but Paige won it on her first night. The first time Charlotte defends the title, the Bellas will win it back and everything goes back to normal.

There is no Divas Revolution because Becky is irrelevant, Charlotte is just a placeholder and Team Bad is all flash and no substance. Then you have Summer Rae and Lana who are trying to figure out who to climb on top of next. There’s Nattie, who doesn’t seem like she works here anymore.

Everyone knows why the Bellas are where they are (implying relationships with Cena and Bryan but not actually saying it because Nikki and Cena aren’t a thing outside of Total Divas). Paige says that Charlotte is where she is because of her old man and walks off. Cue the Bellas with Nikki saying that Charlotte is going to lose because she can’t handle the pressure of being Divas Champion. The Bellas really should have been saved for later because the turn didn’t get the chance to sink in but it still worked very well.

Brie Bella vs. Charlotte

Non-title. Brie starts fast with a middle rope dropkick and knocks the champ to the floor. The bad knee from last night gets sent into the steps and Charlotte is in early trouble. There’s a dragon screw leg whip followed by a leg lock as Becky plays cheerleader. A dropkick to the ribs gets two and a chop block puts Charlotte back down again. Off to a half crab for a bit until Charlotte comes up with an enziguri. The neckbreaker and spear set up the Figure Eight to make Brie tap at 6:24.

Rating: D+. Can someone explain the logic of having Charlotte on defense for about 90% of her title win and first match as champion? I mean, she’s considered awesome for her abilities on offense and athleticism so you have her on the mat holding her knee most of the time? Brie is the less talented Bella, which really should tell you most of what you need to know about this match.

Sheamus vs. Mark Henry

Henry runs him over to start and it’s time for a breather on the floor. A clothesline does the same but Sheamus comes back with the ten forearms. Mark breaks it up at about six or seven but the Brogue Kick puts Mark away at 2:26.

Sheamus says it’s a matter of time until he’s World Champion.

The Authority comes in to see Kane. Instead of asking why they waited an hour to come talk to him, they ask why they didn’t hear from him since he got hurt. Kane brushes it off and says he wanted to make a big impact tonight by making Cena vs. Rollins for the US Title. Stephanie wants Kane to give it back and holds her hand out. Kane high fives her but Stephanie wants the mask. The mask is gone from its case and Kane accuses Stephanie of losing it. Kane is happy to help her look for it though and smiles a lot.

Natalya comes up to see Paige and says Paige isn’t the only one who has been frustrated. The only person standing in Paige’s way has been Paige herself.

New Day/Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler/Dudley Boyz

Before the match, Woods holds up a piece of table in a bag which was apparently removed from his……shall we say nether region. Kofi asks how many tables must be destroyed. Big E. suggests building a wall around Dudleyville to keep those Dudleys away from our people, our values, and our tables. Kofi and Ziggler get things going with Kingston grabbing a top wristlock. Kofi’s leapfrogs set up a monkey flip but Dolph lands on his feet.

Off to D-Von for a legdrop and right hands, followed by the belly to back neckbreaker on Big E. Rusev scampers to the floor and we take a break. We come back with Ziggler dropkicking Big E. but having to scare Woods off the apron, allowing E. to score with a clothesline. Rusev stomps away and it’s time for the rotating stomps, complete with trombone accompaniment.

Rusev comes in so Xavier plays Rusev’s theme music as we hit the chinlock on Ziggler. A back elbow to the jaw drops Ziggler (Woods: “BULGARIAN TRICEP MEAT! WHY DOES ZIGGLER HAVE ZIPPERS AND NO POCKETS???”) and Big E. comes in for an abdominal stretch. Kofi breaks up the hot tag attempt and dropkicks Kofi down for two. It’s back to Rusev for choking as he shouts that Lana is his.

The running DDT finally allows a diving tag to Bubba and everything breaks down. A big boot puts E. down and it’s off to Ray vs. Rusev. Well for all of five seconds as D-Von comes in for a double suplex, followed by Dolph playing D-Von in What’s Up. Ziggler superkicks the trombone out of Woods’ hands (thankfully Summer makes the catch) but turns into a superkick from Rusev for the pin at 14:12.

Rating: B-. Oh man Woods gets better every week. This is what I’ve been talking about with comedy in wrestling: you can tell that these guys have been told to go out there and do whatever they think is funny and they’re running with it. It’s a different style than what WWE decides is funny and it makes for something much more entertaining. The day that trombone (seriously, they got a trombone over. I can’t get past that.) gets broken, which better not be for at least another four months, is going to be glorious.

We recap Kane’s odd antics throughout the night.

Natalya vs. Naomi

Both girls flip up to their feet to start until Naomi kicks Natalya in the face for two. We hit an early chinlock as Paige is shown watching in the back. Back up and Natalya makes her comeback, including a discus lariat (Me: “JBL is going to say shades of her daddy.” JBL: “SHADES OF HER DADDY!”) but a Sasha distraction lets the Rear View end Natalya at 3:46.

Rating: D. I’m so glad we got Natalya back for this mess. There’s a chance this leads to her teaming with Paige under their common issue of being held back. It’s worked for less talented people before so why not these two also. The match was nothing special but it’s cool to see at least one team sticking around.

Rollins asks the Authority about the plan for tonight. HHH gets all serious and tells Seth to worry about Cena because they’ll take care of Kane. This has been another moment where HHH’s emotions change on a dime and it’s considered totally normal.

Cesaro vs. Big Show

Rematch from Smackdown which isn’t important enough to mention. Cesaro gets chopped out of the air to start and runs him over with a shoulder. Show launches him across the ring as this is a total squash so far. The Final Cut sets up a chinlock until Show misses an elbow. Cesaro starts his comeback and breaks up the chokeslam. Show is knocked to the floor for a European uppercut, only to catch Cesaro’s cross body off the announcers’ table and drive Cesaro into the post. Back inside and Cesaro suplexes Show from the apron back inside, only to have Show KO Cesaro for the pin at 6:30.

Rating: D. I know WWE says they’re making movies. This must be where they show the trailers over and over again (because this is the same ending as the Smackdown match) and then expect us to see a movie where we know the ending because it’s a sequel to the wreck of last year’s Royal Rumble and EVERY MATCH THESE SHOW AND LESNAR HAVE HAD IN LIKE TEN YEARS. Of course there was no one in the back that you could have take this loss instead of Cesaro too. No one. Not Swagger or anyone, who is even more like Lesnar than Cesaro. Typical WWE.

Post match Show says he’s going to knock Lesnar out and pin him like he did in 2002. For some reason this takes like three minutes.

We recap the Wyatt Family/Orton/Ambrose/Reigns segment from earlier.

Harper says he hears Bray’s voice in his head. Bray taught him to learn from his mistakes but Orton never learned that lesson. Strowman talks about skinning a snake and drinking its blood. Bray says Randy will fall like everyone else. It’s amazing how much better this team is when Bray isn’t losing every other week.

US Title: John Cena vs. Seth Rollins

Cena is defending. Rollins jumps the champ during the intros and gets an early two. Some right hands have Cena in trouble. Like, way more trouble than a sneak attack and some right hands should have him in. The Pedigree is countered and an enziguri gets two. Cena comes back with that big clothesline that he uses when he needs to make a comeback but the announcers are too busy talking about the Kane story to notice. Seth escapes the AA and scores with a DDT for two.

Back with Seth putting on a chinlock, followed by a shot to Cena’s face. Cena comes back with the usual but Rollins bails to the floor after the Shuffle. John throws him back in but a superplex is broken up, allowing Rollins to get two off a low superkick. We hit the STF on Cena but he muscles his way up for the counter.

The Pedigree is countered with a catapult into the corner and Cena pulls him off the middle rope with an electric chair. They counter finisher attempts until the Buckle Bomb sets up a Falcon’s Arrow for two on Cena. Cena grabs a quick STF but Rollins grabs a rope even faster. A Five Star Frog Splash gets two on Cena but he rolls through into the AA for the pin to retain at 15:38.

Rating: B. I would have had a lot more fun with this match if I hadn’t seen it a day ago. Also if there was any sort of a chance that Cena was going to lose. Thirdly, was it really necessary to have the World Champion lose a second match clean in two days? I know it’s Cena, but stop having that happen. Now let’s get to the obvious Demon Kane moment.

Post match Corporate Kane pops up on screen and says everyone is coming for the title. People Rollins wouldn’t even imagine. Like the people from his worst nightmares. Cue the demon Kane through a hole in the ring to drag Seth under. Yes they’re REALLY doing this again.

Overall Rating: C+. This show started off with so much promise and then, as is way too often the case, it died about halfway through. Raw runs out of steam way too often these days and it really is just because of that third hour. The night after a pay per view is really rough because you’re looking at six hours of TV in just over a day. It’s too much and drains way too much out of the fans when they’re asked to watch it. The first hour carries this show, but they need to find a way to make this three hour work, because the fans are going to go away more and more with this much TV time to sit through.

Results

Neville/Lucha Dragons b. Ascension/Stardust – Salida Del Sol to Viktor

Ryback b. Bo Dallas – Shell Shock

Charlotte b. Brie Bella – Figure Eight

Sheamus b. Mark Henry – Brogue Kick

New Day/Rusev b. Dolph Ziggler/Dudley Boyz – Superkick to Ziggler

Naomi b. Natalya – Rear View

Big Show b. Cesaro – KO Punch

John Cena b. Seth Rollins – Attitude Adjustment

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete 1997 Monday Night Raw Reviews at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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12 comments

  1. Jay H (the real one) says:

    Kane was definitely the MVP this week screwing with Seth Rollins and The Authority all night long. The heel turn or the beginning of it for Paige was good,I can see Natalya maybe joining her now. You forgot to mention The Dudleyz getting a rematch with New Day at the MSG Network Show. The bit with Xavier Woods pulling the table piece was hilarious.

  2. Not Jay says:

    Oh man how bad was that?

    The Wyatts and Shield feud continuing? Snore. There is no story! Turn Roman heel already.

    Kane dancing around like a buffoon. That hurt to watch. He is a monster, wtf is this. And the dragging him part, wtf. He can do more damage in ring instead of on the floor.

    Rollins losing again, ugh. Horrible booking.

    Wake up sheep!

  3. james gracie says:

    Oh man how bad was that? So are they really stealing the Joseph Park/Abyss storyline from TNA to do this stupid Corporate Kane/Demon Kane crap? Can’t this company come up with their own ideas?

    Show opens with the Wyatts has me intrigued until Reigns came out. Ugh feud continues. I fast forwarded through this segment and I’m sure it was awful probably.

    If Flair and Charlotte are gonna do the crying angle, can they at least learn how to fake cry? That segment made me vomit. And way to turn Paige then have the stupid Bella’s rip Paige as well. So are heels and faces just ignored now? Another crap segment and match by this “great” Diva’s Revolution. #LOLDivasRevolution

    Of course the New Day steals the show despite being sabotaged by having them involved in the stupid Ziggler/Rusev storyline. I guess they’re getting too over on their own. WWE needs to squash this soon or else the New Day might become huge stars. CAN’T HAVE THAT!

    Big Show……LOL that’s all I have to say about that. Cesaro is almost at the point of no recovery. He’s getting “Zack Ryder’d” as we speak.

    And Cena vs Rollins is seriously becoming the new Cena vs Orton. I don’t want to see this match ever again for a very long time. And Kane dragging Rollins through the ring? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL man how bad is this company?

    Awful show tonight and could they make Seth Rollins look any weaker? Having the Authority talk down to him and then losing to Cena? Like what the fuck? Steph and Hunter, pick a side, heel or face AND STICK TO IT! Seriously they’re on the verge of making heel/face turns meaningless. #VinceIsSoftAndOutOfTouch #FireStephanie #SaveUsNewDay #LOLDivasRevolution #OhManHowBadWasThat

    Not Jay Reply:

    I’M THE REAL JAMES GRACIE.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    I AM SPARTACUS!

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    Oh good now we have two of them running around. Its really a shame as good as this site is we have a couple idiots trying to ruin it for everyone else with their usual crap.

  4. NightShiftLoser says:

    Look at that…Someone knows how to copy and paste! At least it’s a free unique click for him to do this every show, right?

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    It’s like parrots mimicking each other.

    NightShiftLoser Reply:

    I had meant from show to show, week to week, but yes, he/they seem to be multiplying.

  5. BSE says:

    I think you were a little harsh on this show. I’d bump that grade up to a B+ for the reason that it seemed to flow smoothly. Nothing seemed out of place or dragged, and that’s about as good as you’re gonna get with Raw these days.

  6. Aeon Mathix says:

    Why are Reigns and Wyatt even fighting anymore? Why am I still asking this question about Bray’s feuds?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It’s like Ambrose said: these groups fight each other because they hate each other and can’t stop fighting.