Date: October 7, 2016
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves
This is the kind of show you don’t often get in WWE: a quick and simple wrestling show where the in ring action is really all that matters. You’ll also get some highlights from this week’s Monday Night Raw while seeing some names that don’t often make it onto the major TV show. Let’s get to it.
Darren Young vs. Jinder Mahal
Dang it I can’t get away from Mahal. Darren works on the wrist to start and almost falls over while trying a swinging neckbreaker. Mahal pulls him out of the corner though and drops some knees from the middle rope for his first two. We hit the chinlock for a bit before another knee drop gets another two. Mahal has those long legs so it makes sense to use the knees that often. Back up and Young grabs a belly to back suplex onto the apron, followed by the Gut Check for the pin on Mahal at 4:21.
Rating: D. The wrestling was fine but these two combine for the personality of a chair. I’ll be very glad when the election is over and we can drop this making Darren Young great again nonsense. At least putting him on Superstars is better than making me watch him face Titus O’Neil every week on Raw.
We go back to Raw for the Roman Reigns/Rusev/Lana segment.
Here’s Roman Reigns to open the show and MY GOODNESS they’re booing him out of the building. WWE is asking for this one as Reigns just isn’t the kind of person who can go out there and talk full time. He goes into the guy line but here’s Lana to interrupt. Fans: “THANK YOU LANA!” With the accent slipping, Lana rips into Reigns for everything he’s done in recent weeks but Reigns just tells her to bring her husband out here if he wants that rematch.
Rusev comes out and the brawl is on again with the Bulgarian getting the better of it and knocking Reigns into the crowd. Rusev takes the belt and starts to walk up the ramp but Reigns sneaks up from behind him with a Superman Punch. Reigns grabs the mic and says they can have the rematch but it’s going to be inside the Cell.
Back to Raw and here’s most of New Day vs. Chris Jericho/Kevin Owens.
Chris Jericho/Kevin Owens vs. New Day
Non-title. Masterson and Kutcher are on commentary as Owens runs Woods over to start. Owens makes sure to jump over Xavier in the kind of funny bit that most people just don’t think to do. Woods gets taken into the corner for the double teaming as Kutcher talks about their new show. It’s off to Big E. to face Owens for some hip swiveling.
Graves says Saxton would be the Fez (character on That 70s Show, on which Masterson and Kutcher starred) of the commentary table, which sounds like a good insult, assuming you find dating Mila Kunis’ character to be a bad thing. Big E. gets beaten down even more as the announcers discuss middle names and scarves.
Back from a break with Owens and Big E. colliding off a double clothesline. Woods comes in and gets chinlocked before it’s back to Jericho for a running clothesline in the corner. A superplex is broken up and Woods gets two off a high crossbody. Owens breaks up a hot tag attempt and gets two off a DDT.
Cue Seth Rollins to the stage for a distraction though and Woods gets in an enziguri. The hot tag brings in Big E. to clean house (and swivel the hips of course) but Owens superkicks him down. Big E. and Owens go to the floor and Jericho gets the Liontamer on Woods, only to have Rollins offer a distraction. A quick Midnight Hour puts Jericho away at 16:25.
Rating: C-. This was much longer than it needed to be and served little more purpose than to have Kutcher and Masterson there to plug their new show. It’s a really bad sign that this is what the World Champion is being used for: a second hour tag match with little to gain other than helping set up a Netflix show. Well done WWE. It’s good to see what you think of what should be your flagship star. Masterson and Kutcher were both fine and seemed to be having a lot of fun, which is much better than you’re going to get out of most guest stars.
Rollins gives Jericho a Pedigree to really get under Owens’ skin.
Neville vs. Curtis Axel
Axel slams him to start and it’s already time to pose. A rollup gets one for Neville but Axel drives in some knees to the robes to take over again. We get the front flips across the corner and a dropkick sends Axel outside. That means a running flip dive but it’s way too early for the Red Arrow as Neville is kicked out to the floor. Back from a break with Axel hitting a great looking dropkick and grabbing an armbar chinlock. The Axehole (that neckbreaker faceplant that Axel used to use as a finisher before it stopped finishing anyone) gets two and it’s an enziguri into the Red Arrow for the pin on Axel at 7:18.
Rating: D+. Not the most exciting match in the world but I liked it better than the opener. Granted that’s probably due to having Neville in there instead of someone like Young as there’s so much more charisma in the second match. Axel continues to be someone that could go somewhere if they gave him the right story but there’s been too many losses and too much time gone over the years to make it work without something major.
Long recap of Charlotte vs. Sasha, going all the way back to the BFF’s days in NXT. They’ve both been fighting to prove themselves as the best in the world and have traded the title over the last few months.
Hispanic Heritage Month video on Cesar Chavez.
Raw Women’s Title: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte
Charlotte is defending and we get Big Match Intros. Sasha kicks her outside and hits a suicide dive, setting up a break less than thirty seconds in. Back with Charlotte in control and working on the back with a backbreaker (makes sense) and a hard shove into the corner. Sasha blocks the big boot and gets two off the double knees.
The champ is sent outside but is still able to drop Sasha’s back onto the apron. Sasha tries to go up top but gets knocked onto the ropes for a nasty crash. Charlotte’s superplex is shoved off and double knees from the top get two. It’s too early for the Bank Statement though so Charlotte sends her outside, setting up a CORKSCREW MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR! I mean it made almost no contact but it looked awesome. Natural Selection gets two back inside and Charlotte is frustrated. A headscissors sets up the Bank Statement and Charlotte taps in a hurry to give Sasha the title at 14:17.
Rating: B. Good match but they felt out of sync at the end. That missed moonsault didn’t help things and the ending felt like it was out of nowhere. Sasha winning makes the most sense and, dare I say, sets up a rematch inside the Cell? They’ll have a rematch one way or another and it needs a little something more than just a regular match.
A long celebration ends the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This show’s rating depends on whether or not you’re factoring in the bonus footage. With the bonus and far more important stuff being thrown in, I could easily see why people would prefer this over the full three hour version. Oddly you could skip the original wrestling and just watch the stuff from Raw to get your fill of Monday’s show in far less time. It’s a perfectly entertaining and quick show, which makes it very different from Raw.
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