Monday Night Raw – September 28, 2015: The Really Old Try

Monday Night Raw
Date: September 28, 2015
Location: First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York
Commentators: Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole

Tonight is a packed show, headlined by the return of the US Open Challenge for John Cena’s United States Title. It’s always fun to see who is going to be accepting the challenge and probably having the best match of the night with Cena. In addition to that we’ll have Becky Lynch and Paige on MizTV and fallout from Kane pulling Seth Rollins through the mat last week. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Seth Rollins’ issues over the last week. His loss to Ambrose on Smackdown isn’t mentioned because that show doesn’t exist in the mainstream WWE universe. It’s almost like that loss to Ambrose really didn’t need to happen, at least not by pinfall.

Opening sequence.

Here’s John Cena for the US Title open challenge. The fans aren’t all that thrilled to see him though. Cena: “Have no fear because THE CHAMP IS HERE!” The challenge is on now. Instead of just one challenger though, all three members of New Day are here. They sing a little song about winning the US Title before Kofi says they might as well be called Team Scrooge McDuck because they’re about to be swimming in gold. The concert isn’t over yet because they sing NEW US CHAMPS to the tune of Cena’s theme song. Cena wants one of them right now and it’s time to be serious.

US Title: John Cena vs. Xavier Woods

Cena gets right in Woods’ face in the corner during the big match intros. The bell rings and Cena takes his head off with a clothesline two seconds in, sending Woods to the floor. Woods: “I WASN’T READY!” Big E. gets knocked off the apron and Kofi grabs Cena’s foot to break up an early Shuffle attempt. That earns both Kofi and Big E. an ejection and we take a break after 80 seconds and two moves.

Back with Cena hitting the Shuffle but Woods slips out of the AA and getting two off an enziguri. A middle rope DDT gets two on the champ but the flipping clothesline is countered with a sitout powerbomb to give Cena two. Woods comes right back with a reverse suplex and Lost in the Woods (Eat Defeat) for two each. Xavier misses a missile dropkick and Cena slaps on the STF, drawing Kofi and Big E. in for the DQ at 9:22.

Rating: C+. It’s not a classic or anything close to one really, but this was all it needed to be. Woods was in way over his head here but came out looking fine. There was almost no chance of a new champion here but the there didn’t need to be. This was about the segment that set up the match and a fun performance, which is all this needs to be about a lot of the time. Good stuff here.

Post match here are the Dudleyz a few seconds later for the save. It looks like a six man after the break.

John Cena/Dudley Boyz vs. New Day

That’s exactly what we have and it’s joined in progress with Kofi getting pounded down in the corner by D-Von and then Bubba. Cena requests and receives a tag and it’s time for Kofi to get some rotating stomps of his own. The Shuffle sends Kofi over for the tag to Big E. and it’s power vs. power. Big E. shoulders Cena into the corner and it’s time for some dancing, followed by the real rotating stomps.

Kofi slaps on a chinlock as Woods plays the trombone and shouts that he should be US Champion. For some reason this results in Cole bringing up that he’s undefeated at Wrestlemania and Byron saying that’s like him being Tupac. E.’s splash gets two but Cena rolls over and tags in D-Von as everything breaks down. D-Von launches E. into the ropes but knocks Cena off the apron in a big crash. What’s Up hits Kofi but Bubba is sent out for not being legal, allowing Kofi to hit Trouble in Paradise for the pin at 6:45.

Rating: C-. This started good and hit a brick wall in the middle. Cena getting knocked off the apron was a turning point and it makes sense to have New Day beat the Dudleyz when it’s 3-2. I’m not sure what happens in the tag match on Saturday in MSG and I rather like that feeling.

The Authority and an unknown woman are in the back when Kane comes in. The woman is from human resources due to a complaint against Kane for creating an unsafe working environment. Rollins comes in and hints very strongly that he made the complaint. Kane promises to take this seriously before glaring at Rollins. A sip of coffee brings him back to reality and he’s off for his evaluation. This continues to intrigue me a bit but these performance evaluations are almost never any good.

Ambrose suggests that Reigns fighting Bray one on one might not be the best idea. Dean will stay in the back unless Strowman and Harper get involved. Reigns says that Orton will have his back too and Dean gets a bit annoyed. Orton comes in and Dean says he doesn’t want any outsiders trying to come in and save the day. Roman calms things down.

Big Show vs. Mark Henry

I’ll be shocked if this breaks two minutes. Show spears him down and plants Henry with some slow slams and a kick to the face. The KO punch ends this at 2:36. I get what they’re doing with Big Show and I appreciated them using Henry instead of someone with value, but can they really think that the exact same formula for building someone up is going to work again?

It’s time for MizTV and Miz starts us off with a recap of Paige’s heel turn promo last week against the rest of the division. Miz’s guests are Becky Lynch and Charlotte, the former of whom calls Miz a chauvinist jackass. Miz: “First One Direction breaks up and now PCB?” Charlotte tells Paige to get out here for a talk or a fight but here are the Bellas instead. Nikki says this is high school drama and she knows she’s getting the title back.

Charlotte invites her in to tap out one more time but Nikki brags about breaking the record. Nikki talks about Paige saying she started the Divas Revolution (Stephanie being dropped is the right call all the way around) but Charlotte goes off about how the Divas Revolution is about the fans and the action in the ring. Alicia brings up the 3-2 advantage but Becky is ready to fight anyway.

Cue Paige to say she put the NXT women on the map by being their first champion. Nikki asks about the drama again but Paige asks who needs ambition when the Bellas have boyfriends like theirs. I believe that’s the first reference to Cena and Nikki’s relationship on Raw, or at least one of the first. A big brawl clears the ring.

Team PCB vs. Team Bella

So PCB is working together against a common enemy a week after breaking up. Brie comes in but gets double teamed by Charlotte and Becky but the Bellas drag Becky into the corner. Nikki gets in some stomps and Brie gets two off a suplex. A double clothesline puts Becky and Nikki down as the announcers plug Total Divas.

Charlotte comes in to no reaction and everything breaks down. Nikki kicks Charlotte off the Figure Eight and right into Paige, sending her walking to the back. Natalya comes out to replace Paige, who pulls her off the apron for a crash. Nikki uses the distraction to hit the Rack Attack for the pin on Charlotte at 6:26.

Rating: D. So to recap, here’s Charlotte’s reign: wins the title after hitting two moves in a long match, gets beaten up by Brie until she hits one move, then gets pinned in a six person tag. They’re really not trying to hide the fact that they want it back on Nikki and that’s not a good thing after all those months of her as champion.

WWE2K16 video.

Video on the history of Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar.

Rollins is badmouthing Kane to the human resources woman when Kane comes in. Seth changes his tune and Kane gives him a present: the head of his statue. Kane dug it up from the landfill after searching all night and Seth is shaken as you might expect him to be. Kane thinks it’s funny and the woman is equally freaked out.

Wyatt Family vs. Prime Time Players

Harper runs over Young to start and I don’t see this going well. Darren gets knocked to the floor and Braun takes the mask off. The beating continues and Darren keeps getting destroyed inside. Young finally gets in a shot and makes the tag off to Titus for some house cleaning. A powerslam and big boot drop Harper but Strownman offers a distraction so Harper can get in the superkick. Braun grabs Darren and Titus’ save attempt completely fails. The discus lariat from Harper sets up the choke from Braun to knock Titus cold at 4:18.

Rating: D+. Total and complete squash here which is all it needed to be. Strowman is one heck of a monster and this is the kind of stuff that reenforces that perception. The Players are looking less and less important every week, but then again this is the company where you’re a jobber one week and pushed strong the next so they might be in line for a title shot.

Neville vs. Stardust

Neville flips across the ring to start but is quickly caught in the Tree of Woe. Stardust charges into a boot though and Stardust slides to the floor. He springboards into a dropkick from Neville and it’s time for the Red Arrow but cue King Barrett for the DQ at 2:33.

Barrett stares at Stardust but gives him a Bullhammer. Barrett says all hail the return of the king.

Here are Kane and the woman for his evaluation. She’s already come to a conclusion after about an hour and twenty five minutes, but here’s Rollins to interrupt. He shows us a quick recap of Kane’s demonic side (or at least the last few years of it) and says he’s going to Heaven instead. The Pope told him so and Rollins believes him because of how good he’s been feeling lately. Kane shows us a video of Rollins tormenting Kane and calling for him to lose his authority.

The report says that Kane is sound of mind and can keep doing his job. Rollins deserves the evaluation because he’s cruel, paranoid, and the most unprofessional person she has ever seen in WWE. Seth comes to the ring and gets in Kane’s face. Rollins drops the belt so Kane goes to pick it up, only to have Rollins give him a Pedigree. He adds in some chair shots for good measure and even Pillmanizes the ankle.

Rollins laughs and says Kane looks very human to him right now. Kane is loaded onto a stretcher and into an ambulance….but the windows start glowing red. The door opens and Kane comes out in the demon attire. He starts limping but stomps his foot and is suddenly walking just fine. Seth tries a chair shot to no avail and a chokeslam leaves him laying. The threat of a tombstone sends Seth tumbling up the steps and Kane holds up the title. So the evaluation thing was really just a waste of time wasn’t it?

Bray asks if we saw what they did earlier. The Family makes him so proud and they would love nothing more than to come out there tonight and tear Roman to pieces. However, Bray is going to grant Roman’s request to face off one on one. They are the alpha and the omega because it starts and ends with the two of them. Only a fool believes he can look into the dragon’s eyes and believe he won’t be burned. Run.

Bo Dallas comes out for a match but first he says the Buffalo Bills just have to Bo-Lieve to win the Super Bowl.

Bo Dallas vs. Randy Orton

Orton quickly takes it to the floor and drops Dallas across the barricade right in front of some of the Bills. Back in and the RKO ends Bo at 2:00.

We look at Kevin Owens walking out on a tag match on Monday.

Rusev vs. Kevin Owens

Non-title and Ryback is on commentary. This is fallout from Owens walking out on Rusev on Thursday. Owens is knocked to the floor but he throws Rusev into Ryback for the DQ at 46 seconds.

Dolph Ziggler runs out for the save.

We recap the Dancing for Pediatric Awareness challenges between members of the roster.

Here’s Paul Heyman to talk about the MSG match with Big Show. Heyman knows Big Show better than everyone else and he sees Show as a 6th grade math genius who gets a C+ because he’s bored. There’s no competition for Big Show right now, but there will be this Saturday. Brock Lesnar is going to destroy Big Show like never before and take him to Suplex City.

Cue Big Show to say he knows Brock is worried. Heyman didn’t finish talking about Brock’s tour because he knows it could end this Saturday night. Paul leaves and Show tells him to imagine a world without Brock. I appreciate them trying to build something but dude. It’s Lesnar vs. Big Show. Let it go.

Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt

Wyatt brings Harper and Strowman with him but a single insult is enough to make Bray send them back. Roman starts fast with a throw and the apron boot as we take an early break. Back with Bray holding a chinlock, followed by a big slam to set up another chinlock. Reigns fights up and hits the corner clotheslines but the Superman Punch is countered with a standing Rock Bottom attempt.

Some elbows break Roman free but Bray takes his head off with a clothesline for two. Bray loads up a superplex but Reigns slips through the legs and powerbombs him down. Reigns no sells a kick to the face (stop watching puro dude) and Superman Punches Bray to the floor, only to have the spear hit the steps. Bray picks up the steps but Roman knocks them away and keeps fighting to the double countout at 13:04.

Rating: C. This was fine but the ending was pretty obvious. I’m glad neither guy got a win as there was no way this ended here, though I’m not sure where this feud actually does end. You have to assume that Rollins is the right third man one day, but does a six man finally blow this off? Wyatt not losing is a big plus and almost a rare sight, which is a nice surprise.

They keep fighting into the crowd with neither being able to take over. Bray knocks Roman into the barricade and charges Roman through it and back to ringside. Wyatt poses on the announcers’ table but Reigns pops back up and spears him through the table to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This is a hard one to grade as the show had some good things as well as some bad things. I like that they’re keeping some stuff short. I remember days where they would have had Orton vs. Dallas go for seven or eight minutes but there’s really no need to do so. Keep the thing short like it should be and give the time to something else.

Unfortunately those somethings else were Kane and Big Show, who are being used as the big stories before we get to the Undertaker match inside the Cell. Now to be fair, these stories could have been FAR worse. It also helps that Big Show vs. Lesnar is this Saturday instead of in another month. The match isn’t something I want to see, but it’s on a free show and now in the main event of a pay per view so this could be a much bigger issue.

Overall, this is your Raw special to the letter: a good enough show that would have been so much better minus an hour. It was clear that they were filling in time, but at least it wasn’t horribly dull filler this time. There’s definitely a better energy lately and you can see a lot more effort in the midcard stories, which has been one of Raw’s biggest problems in the last year or two. The effort changes everything though and has made these last few shows so much easier to sit through. If they can find a way to cut down on the show’s length, they’d have a FAR better show overnight but that’s not happening anytime soon.

Results

John Cena b. Xavier Woods via DQ when Kofi Kingston and Big E. interfered

New Day b. John Cena/Dudley Boyz – Trouble in Paradise to D-Von

Big Show b. Mark Henry – KO Punch

Team Bella b. Team PCB – Rack Attack to Charlotte

Wyatt Family b. Prime Time Players – Standing choke to O’Neil

Neville b. Stardust via DQ when King Barrett interfered

Randy Orton b. Bo Dallas – RKO

Rusev b. Kevin Owens via DQ when Ryback interfered

Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt went to a double countout

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7 comments

  1. Jay H (the real one) says:

    While there was some good stuff this week like the hot finish to Reigns/Bray,the US Title,and the 6-Man it was one of the weaker outings in recent weeks to me anyway. That being said they all can’t be winners but I am looking forward to the MSG Special on Saturday.

  2. Marky-Marc says:

    Bray mentioned Cena’s ‘plastic girlfriend’ during the buildup to wrestlemania last year.

    I enjoyed Raw tonight because they kept it simple.
    I guess we’re getting a 4-way for the IC title which could be really good.
    I really hope the Dudley’s don’t get the titles as the New Day deserves to hold them for a long time.
    Not sure who Cena feuds with next. Perhaps Barrett?
    I don’t see Rollins being the third man for Reigns and Ambrose because I don’t see him losing the title any time soon. The logical blowoff would be to put Reigns and Wyatt in the cell, but I’m not sure they’re gonna get that chance.

    Fun show and here’s to keeping the Authority to a single backstage segment.

  3. james gracie says:

    Oh man how bad was that? Not surprised that now that the New Day is the best thing on RAW, John Cena of course wants to mooch off their popularity. And where was the bulk of the Woods/Cena match? They came back from break and were already into the “kicking out of near falls then the camera pans into the zoomed in shocked face” portion of the match. What a joke. The 6 man was terrible too. What a waste of the New Day tonight.

    And would it kill them to have Mark Henry put over someone who actually needs to be put over? I guess not. Wouldn’t want to run the risk of making a new star or anything.

    Oh man the diva’s. What a trainwreck that was. It’s bad enough that we get Charlotte who’s only in this company due to nepotism but they’re still focusing on the Bella’s and this team bullshit. Remember when you all thought once Nikki broke the streak the Divas Revolution would pick up? LOL maybe it will pick up once Neville’s “rocket push” ends. #LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLDivasRevolution

    And here we are in 2015 and Big Show and Kane are the two main storylines. So basically nothing has changed in a fucking year. And spare me the whole “midcard is getting booked better” nonsense. The midcard is basically in neutral spinning it’s wheels. When the fuck is this Wyatts/Reigns/Ambrose feud gonna end? What’s the end game? Why should I care. There’s no fucking story!

    Awful show tonight. Speaking of awful. Notice how Stephanie has distanced herself from the Divas Revolution now that it’s officially a bomb? LOL nice work Steph. We almost didn’t notice. This company fucking blows. #VinceIsSoftAndOutOfTouch #FireStephanie #SaveUsNewDay….PleaseDontGetWastedAgainNextWeek #LOLDivasRevolution #OhManHowBadWasThat

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    A waste of The New Day? How is that considering they won. By the way I’m still waiting to hear you backtrack on how we wouldn’t see Brock Lesnar again until January.

  4. Crocker says:

    Cena lost! Holy crap.

  5. Derek Hamel says:

    Even tho I’m only 7 years old, this was the bestest sports entertainment show I’ve ever seen. And I learned something very important too. My mommy and daddy always told me that God is good and Satan is bad, but WWE showed me that’s a total lie. Kane is not only a demon from H-E-double hockey sticks, he’s the devil’s most favorite demon (according to Michael Cole, whom I trust implicitly).
    The fans go crazy for Kane, sort of, and he’s feuding with the company’s top bad guy. This means he’s a good guy; hence, Satan must be good too.
    Thanks for the lesson, WWE!

    Rocko Reply:

    My mommy and daddy always taught me to not believe in imaginary sky people.