Monday Night Raw – August 29, 2016: It’s His Show And We’re Just Watching It

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 29, 2016
Location: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

It’s a big night this week as we’re guaranteed a new Raw World Champion in a fatal fourway with Kevin Owens, Big Cass, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins facing off for the title. It’s hart to say what we’re going to get at Clash of the Champions in about a month so hopefully we can start setting some stuff up tonight. Let’s get to it.

In Memory of Mr. Fuji.

We recap Balor’s shoulder injury and the setup for tonight’s title match.

All four World Title participants for the title are in the ring with Corey Graves moderating. Rollins cuts him off and says they’re all here because of him so he’ll cede his time to someone else. Owens talks about how he’s a prize fighter and tonight he’s fighting for a prize. That leaves Reigns, who Owens just allows to be booed.

Cass is tall….and that’s about it. Cass: “Did Jericho write that for you?” Cass says he’s the biggest dog in this fight, causing Owens to point to Reigns. Seth is glad that this is an elimination match so he can beat up all of them in one night. A brawl breaks out with Reigns and Cass having a staredown before the ring is cleared. I’m glad they kept this short since no one said anything important and it was just hype for the main event.

Neville vs. Chris Jericho

Before the match, Jericho says Owens will win tonight but promises everyone the Gift of Jericho. This is their first match since Neville broke his ankle back in the spring. A catapult puts Jericho on the floor early but he hides behind the ref to get in a cheap shot and send us to a break. Back with Jericho putting on a chinlock but diving into a kick to the ribs.

Neville moonsaults out to the floor and avoids a charge into the corner, setting up a small package for two. A superkick drops Jericho and I’m very surprised at how hot the crowd is despite such a big main event. The Red Arrow misses and the Liontamer make Neville tap at 10:50.

Rating: C+. I continue to be very glad that Neville can do more things than just the Red Arrow as those one spot guys can get lost in the shuffle quickly. Neville being a main eventer was a long shot at best but he’s fine in the midcard where he could pull off an upset and most people wouldn’t be that shocked.

Earlier today Bayley met the New Day and dancing ensues until Dana Brooke comes up, setting up a six person tag along with Gallows and Anderson. The key here: it didn’t feel scripted. Instead it seems like the producer said “Bayley runs into the New Day and you’ve got two minutes. Go.” That works so much better than scripting out the jokes and gives you entertaining things like this.

Nia Jax vs. Haion

Jax runs her over and finishes with an AA into a powerslam at 1:15.

Anderson and Gallows now run a retirement home and suggest that New Day will be joining Team 3D. Nurse Dana Brooke comes in and puts on a rubber glove.

Video on Seth Rollins.

Sami Zayn vs. Jinder Mahal

Sami has a bad ankle coming in and he tweaks it early on, allowing Mahal to smack him in the back of the head for two. A chinlock doesn’t go very far and Sami comes back with the Helluva Kick for the pin at 3:06.

Rating: C. I’m still waiting for an explanation of why they brought Mahal back. He’s fine enough for a warm body but of all people, Jinder Mahal? Anyway I’m assuming this is the start of something for Sami as the announcers kept talking about how he wanted the title. If Owens wins it tonight, there’s no logical reason to not do Sami vs. Owens at Clash of the Champions.

Earlier tonight Sasha Banks was on the pre-show, saying that Charlotte was trying to injure her and end her career. Sasha will be back for revenge and the title.

New Day/Bayley vs. Dana Brooke/Anderson and Gallows

Charlotte is on commentary and doesn’t think much of Bayley putting on a unicorn horn and eating BootyO’s. The women start with Bayley getting some quick two counts before working on the arm. It’s quickly off to Big E. for a belly to belly (gimmick infringer) on Anderson as the champs take over. That lasts all of a few seconds before the villains beat him down in the corner. The hot (or at least moderately warm) tag brings in Kofi for the Unicorn Stampede, including a running dropkick from Bayley. Some dancing sends us to a break.

Back with the camera on the commentators as the match is going on behind them. I smell Kevin Dunn’s fingers all over this. We actually look at the match to see Kofi in trouble and getting elbowed in the face. Kofi gets in a double stomp and makes the tag to Big E. for the house cleaning. Everything breaks down and Kofi does an insane dive over the top, nearly breaking his arm in the process. Back in and Dana gets two off a rollup, only to have the Bayley to Belly wrap it up at 12:28.

Rating: C+. The crowd was digging the heck out of this and I can’t blame them a bit. This was the perfect match for Bayley as New Day is over by definition and she fits in perfectly with them. Bayley gets another win to help set up her title match at Clash of the Champions and Anderson and Gallows save face. Good stuff all around and a fun match.

Cesaro says no one likes Sheamus so he’ll spin him around and around and around.

Video on Big Cass.

Cesaro vs. Sheamus

Match #2 in a best of seven series with Sheamus up 1-0. Before the match, Sheamus says he’ll prove that he’s just the better man. Cesaro takes him down to the mat to start and gets two off a double stomp. Sheamus’ arm is banged up and the announcers want the match stopped to check it. Thankfully it’s a dropkick to send Sheamus outside and we take a break.

Back with the Irish Curse getting two but Cesaro comes right back by hitting the springboard corkscrew uppercut. The high cross body connects (check your Bingo card) and Cesaro sends it outside. That goes well for Sheamus who backdrops him back first into the post, setting up the Cloverleaf for the submission at 11:15.

Rating: C+. Points for putting a story into the series with Cesaro’s back injury though I’m still having issues getting interested in even more of these matches. WWE has a real problem of just having the same match over and over and then wondering why it stops being interesting in the process. Make it best of three or just do a 2/3 falls match or something but having it go twice that long doesn’t seem like the best move.

Tribute video to Mr. Fuji and it’s as good as you would expect from WWE.

Video on Kevin Owens.

Braun Strowman vs. Americo

Standard masked luchador. It’s the squash you would expect with Strowman throwing him around and tossing him into the air for a faceplant and the pin at 58 seconds.

Strowman unmasks him post match.

Here’s Stephanie McMahon to address Shane McMahon getting F5’d at Summerslam, but first she has to say we’re about to crown the “first” Universal Champion. Paul Heyman cuts her off but Stephanie is right there to cut his balls off by demanding an apology. Heyman talks about how Lesnar provides value to Raw and is here to pay Lesnar’s $500 fine. He pulls out a pile of $1 bills but Stephanie throws them onto the floor. Stephanie wants to know what value Heyman offers to Raw and warns him of a coming storm.

Heyman goes into a rant about the board of directors and how Stephanie can control everyone but Lesnar. For some reason this turns into a discussion on female empowerment with Stephanie saying Heyman is staring at the women’s revolution. Heyman apologizes to her and she accepts before dropping the mic and leaving. With Stephanie gone, Heyman chuckles and smirks.

Video on Balor’s injury and surgery.

Video on Roman Reigns.

Titus O’Neil vs. Darren Young

The aggressive Young knocks Titus to the floor where he asks for a timeout. Back in and a hard whip sends Darren over the corner where he lands on a camera to break it into pieces. Some neck cranks don’t go anywhere so Young crucifixes him for the pin at 4:04.

Rating: D-. Can ANYONE explain why this feud is still going or why I’m supposed to care about them fighting over and over again? Neither guy is interesting and it seems like a character that exists for the sake of the Presidential elections and nothing more. Total filler here and it’s getting more and more annoying every match.

Backlund and Young celebrate so Titus beats them both up.

Mick Foley apologizes for not being out there for Stephanie but she didn’t need him. He suggests that everyone is barred from ringside tonight and again Stephanie says it’s the first Universal Title match. Rollins comes in and Stephanie wishes him luck.

Raw World Title: Big Cass vs. Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins

The title is vacant coming in and this is under elimination rules. Mick and Stephanie are at ringside as they should be. Cass says he’s shocking the world tonight. The bell rings after a break (THANK YOU!) and Owens immediately heads outside. The Cass vs. Reigns showdown is delayed again as the villains go after the big men and it’s time to pair off.

Seth and Kevin are knocked outside and we get the big showdown with Cass blocking the Superman Punch. A running big boot knocks Reigns outside with Cass falling out as well. Rollins dives onto Cass but Owens drops him onto the barricade, only to have Reigns dive onto Owens and Cass as we take a break. Back with Owens in control and getting two off the backsplash to Cass.

Reigns fights back with his string of clotheslines until Cass kicks his head off. They’ve done a really good job of making Cass look like he belongs here in the first ten minutes. A big boot puts Owens on the floor and the Empire Elbow hits Rollins. The East River Crossing is broken up by a Superman Punch and the low superkick gets two. Owens adds the Frog Splash to get rid of Cass at 13:46. I’m sure Saxton saying he thinks Cass can pull it off a minute earlier didn’t give that away for anyone. Also, I believe that’s the first time Cass has been pinned on the main roster.

Back from a second break with Reigns powerbombing Owens and Rollins for a Tower of Doom. Rollins’ falcon arrow gets two on Roman but the Superman Punch knocks Rollins out of the air for two more. Cole describes this as incredible action for the second time in about a minute.

Owens comes back in with a superkick to Rollins, setting up back to back Cannonballs for another big reaction. The crowd has somehow stayed hot all night and that’s a really good sign. The Superman Punch gets two on Owens and you can hear the crowd’s sigh of relief on the kickout. Owens’ Pop Up Powerbomb is countered with another Superman Punch and Reigns hits a quick sitout powerbomb for two on Seth.

A spear drops Rollins on the floor but here’s HHH of all people to Pedigree Reigns on the floor. HHH throws Rollins back inside for the pin on Reigns at 23:48 (POP!), meaning Rollins needs HHH’s help yet again. HHH throws Owens inside, Pedigrees Rollins and gives a shocked Owens the title at 25:05.

Rating: B+. This is a hard one to grade as they nailed the near falls and the drama to near perfection but I really don’t care for HHH being back AGAIN and presumably setting up HHH vs. Rollins and/or Reigns. That’s the standard problem with HHH: even if someone new is getting a big title win, it’s still about HHH for a long time. However, let’s get to the good part: KEVIN OWENS IS WORLD CHAMPION! Yeah that hasn’t quite sunk in yet but it’s actually happened and that is most certainly a good thing.

HHH leaves and Owens celebrates to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. Make no mistake about it: the main event is the ONLY thing on this show that mattered in the slightest. The only other thing of note was the really awkward Stephanie vs. Heyman promo and I’m still not sure what happened there. They did a really good job with the title match though (HHH involvement aside) and that’s all that matters on this show. A lot of this stuff is going to depend on the fallout but I’m very happy with Owens winning as he’s definitely the most logical option. Good show with a red hot crowd throughout helping it along.

Results

Chris Jericho b. Neville – Liontamer

Nia Jax b. Haion – Fireman’s carry into a powerslam

Sami Zayn b. Jinder Mahal – Helluva Kick

New Day/Bayley b. Dana Brooke/Anderson and Gallows – Bayley to Belly to Brooke

Sheamus b. Cesaro – Cloverleaf

Braun Strowman b. Americano – Faceplant

Darren Young b. Titus O’Neil – Crucifix

Kevin Owens b. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Big Cass – Pedigree to Rollins

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27 comments

  1. John says:

    I thought the Steph/Heyman promo was really well done honestly, assuming they were going what I thought they were going for.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Would you mind explaining what they were going for? I was lost.

    larisano Reply:

    McMahon family drama ofc.

    Now with HHH also back, connect the dots.

    John Reply:

    Come on, it wasn’t bad.

    Liam Fenech Reply:

    I think the HHH involvement was to cerment Rolins as a face what people seem to want the problem is while Owens is now Raws world champion he’s now in the same position Rolins was 2 years ago as despite being the Kayfabe gay he’s still probably gona be HHHs lapdog it’s ok if this was going to be a 1 time only apperance for him but to me it’s going to be a rehash of 2 years ago with Owens taking Rolins place where he has to bow to HHHs wims because that’s what a heel champion does. Don’t be surpised if he starts using the pedagree next week on RAW.

    Liam Fenech Reply:

    To my earler point i’m worried this is going to be like the Arthotey holding the title and Kevin Owens being thr surrigete champion.

  2. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    KOMANNNNNNIIIIIIIAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

  3. lWo says:

    Why the need for authority? Isn’t this what Cesaro criticized in his promo when he first got drafted?

    Liam Fenech Reply:

    It was and this best of 7 series with Sheamus with no aparaint prize at stake illastates his point.

  4. james gracie says:

    Oh man how bad has RAW and WWE been since this brand split.

    As far as tonight’s show? All I have to say is: LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    #VinceIsSoftAndOutOfTouch #FireStephanie #DivorceTripleH #LOLBrandSplit #LOLUniversalChampionship #LOLTheyHaveLike10DifferentChampionshipsNow #ThatWillMakeWinningATitleMoreMeaningfulLOL #SaveUsAJStyles

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    That was a pretty good twist. Very happy for Kevin Owens winning and I’m sure Jim Cornette isn’t happy though.

    And oh good is James Gracie back? Yay that just makes my week.

  5. M.R. says:

    I don’t know whether to be excited that Kevin Owens is world champ or complain that he had to win it off Triple H’s pedigree. Still, pretty damn crazy. Strange time of the year for Triple H to return though.

    Also, Bayley is an absolute star. She’s about to be the face of the women’s division for a LONG time.

  6. Ted says:

    Congrats for Owens deserves it for sure. Hopefully no one will bring fat hate to this thread.

    Wim Reply:

    You just did.

    Ted Reply:

    Well that isn’t what I meant but I’m not going to turn this into an argument. I’m happy for Owens hope he holds onto the title for a while and has some quality feuds.

    Greg Reply:

    I’ll do it.

    Not sure his body will hold up for long especially with his style. Too much weight on his frame for him to be sustainable. He will eventually need to lose weight or slow his style way down. Casual fans might be turned off by his look.

    I don’t hate him for being fat. I actually like Owens. But to pretend being fat poses no problems whatsoever is wrong.

    ted Reply:

    To pretend his body will just break much faster than the average wrestler is incorrect. You don’t seem to know much about health. You realize that just by being a wrestler he is much healthier than the average person fat or not. His style would lend it’s self to good conditioning. Also stop acting like being fat poses numerous issues when most of them have been proving wrong. The guy has been on the independent scene for 15 years. His body seems comfortable at the size it is. He seems more than capable at the size he is. At this point losing weight could affect him poorly due to some of the shifts that would come with it.

    Stop pretending being fat poses more than nominal health risks. I am just so tired of people trying to say that being fat is the scourge of our age. It’s draconian.

    Greg Reply:

    His body will breakdown faster. It will not happen tomorrow. It will happen faster than the average person however. He is carrying a ton of weight around while doing a ton of athletic activities. He is only 31 or 32. So right now he should be fine. I’m worried about his 5 year outlook. He will not be able to keep this kind of performance up at his weight. Eventually it is going to hurt his body physically. His knees are under a lot of pressure due to his weight and (presumably) constant workouts. His performance will suffer. His joints are going to be hurt.

    He might feel fine now. It will catch up to him. His performance will be hurt by it.

    Being fat does pose a ton of health risks. This is pretty well documented. Blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, cancer, sleep apnea, arthritis, liver disease, kidney disease risks all increase with being overweight (and this is just some of the problems with being fat). You don’t need to be obese for these risks to be increased. Being fat is an extreme health issue and this isn’t an opinion.

  7. Dragon says:

    I don’t understand all the HHH hate…..this is an intriguing storyline and HHH vs Rollins had to happen…..sure HHH does get tiresome at times but he has proven to be an excellent heel and can still put on quality matches…..and even though he does dominate screen time, in the end he puts over the talent such as Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns, ect… (although not Sting). Just sit back and see what happens and try and be optimistic instead of pessimistic, you don’t even know where this is going yet. The company still needs the vets around for guidance and to establish the new era. If it was all new era stars, that would not be all that interesting. Good matches but not interesting tv.

  8. Liam Fenech says:

    The problem with HHH is he has a history of hogging the spotlight and putting himself over in storylines when it’s the wrong call to do so 2003 is a perfect example of this back then he made sure Raw was all about HHH keeping the world hevrywight championship for morths on end with the same repetitive matches and Ric Flair interfereing on his behalf every 10 sceconds also there was no midcard title for Raw in the early morths of HHHs reign as he decided Raw didn’t need one.

    Dragon Reply:

    That was 13 years ago. It is a different circumstance now. His matches are actually better today then they were in 2003 and in 2003 he only worried about himself…..today he has the whole company to worry about. And if you believe he would keep himself in the spotlight at the expense of the company then you are sorely mistaken. 2003 HHH and 2016 HHH are two very different beasts.

    Greg Reply:

    To be fair, in 03 it wasn’t really his fault. First Steiner was gonna be the big good guy but then they found out he sucks. So then Booker was gonna be it but then Goldberg was coming in so they switched to Nash so HHH wouldn’t kill Booker (HHH would have continuously beat Booker due to Goldberg). Then they switched the title one PPV too late. Goldberg didn’t like WWE.

    Bloodbuzz Bunk Reply:

    The problem with all that is that it really should have been Booker and it was time. Booker can lose it to Goldberg later. But there in lies the totally make believe problem of having two WCW originals face off for the World title in the WWE,

    Greg Reply:

    Would have been face vs face. They probably thought it would be better for Goldberg to beat a heel.

    Liam Fenech Reply:

    Heres’s my cocern I’m worried Kevin Owens may play second fiddle to HHH much like Rolins did 2 years ago I hope I’m wrong though.

  9. CrazySole says:

    That was a fantastic ending, such a great moment.

    To me, this looked more like a HHH and (quite possibly) a Kevin Owens face turn. The way Stephanie reacted, and how Rollins went over to Steph at the end complaining still seemed to me he’ll remain a heel. I hope this further pushes Reigns into a heel aswell.

    HHH remains one of my favourites, he’s still in great shape and can certainly still “go”. Raw needs some real star power to bring ratings back up and HHH can somewhat help with that.

  10. Liam Fenech says:

    HHH as a face in this sernario doesn’t work for me. How can a Face show favour to a pertulier wrestler and be considered a good guy for doing so?