Monday Night Raw – September 11, 2017: Punt Formation

Monday Night Raw
Date: September 11, 2017
Location: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
Commentators: Booker T., Corey Graves, Michael Cole

As is the case so often anymore around WWE (and thank goodness for that), we have some big matches announced coming in. This time around that would be Braun Strowman vs. John Cena, which had better end in some kind of a screwy finish. I mean, WWE wouldn’t possibly be stupid enough to do something else right? Let get to it.

As you might expect, we open with a moment of silence for the sixteenth anniversary of September 11. We also have a text crawl on the screen, talking about the importance of freedom.

Opening sequence.

Roman Reigns vs. Jason Jordan

Reigns won’t shake hands to start and John Cena is shown watching in the back. Feeling out process to start until Jordan charges into a right hand. The corner clotheslines are countered with the belly to belly and Jordan has a breather. One heck of a running clothesline lets Reigns hit the corner clotheslines but the Superman Punch is countered into the Crossface.

Back from a break with a headbutt dropping Jordan again, followed by a suplex to do the same. We hit the chinlock for a bit before another suplex (granted a different variety) sends Reigns flying. That great dropkick puts Reigns down again and it’s still another suplex for two more.

The running shoulder in the corner sets up some rolling northern lights suplexes for another near fall. We hit the Crossface but Reigns finally makes the rope (after nearly tapping on his face). Back up and Jordan’s shoulder goes into the post, setting up the Superman Punch. The spear is enough to put Jordan away at 15:18.

Rating: B. Jordan is getting better and the more time he spends away from Kurt Angle, the better this push seems to be going. He just doesn’t need the Angle connection and I’m glad that they’re doing something like this instead of having them be paired on screen. Reigns looked good here too and is starting to look a bit more comfortable in recent weeks.

Reigns shakes his hand post match. Post break here’s Cena to call out Reigns for almost losing. He’d like an explanation, but recommends that Reigns keep it at about one sentence in the form of a catchphrase. Roman says he was out here having a great match, which Cena can’t do. Reigns has had more great matches in the last two years than Cena has had in his career. Reigns: “What do you think about that?” Cena: “You can’t pin this one on me guys. Reigns is burying himself.”

Cena talks about how Reigns has never been put in check before but Cena is going to show him what real failure is. The way things are going, No Mercy is going to be a cake walk. Cena goes to leave but Reigns calls him back in and says he finds it interesting that Cena wanted to fight him. The reason Cena is back is because Reigns is selling the tickets that Cena hasn’t been able to sell in five years. It must be because he can’t break into Hollywood. Reigns: “If you need help, I know a guy.” Cena says No Mercy is going to be like a drug test: Reigns isn’t passing.

Sasha Banks vs. Emma

Alexa Bliss is on commentary as Emma gets an early two off a sunset flip. Sasha gets the same off a backslide but gets blasted with a hard clothesline. Cue Nia Jax to join commentary as we take a break. Back with Emma getting taken down by a headscissors but hiptossing Banks into the corner. The five person commentary booth (geez) laughs off the idea of Emma winning the title because of all the hashtags. Banks has had enough of this and grabs the Bank Statement for the tap at 7:21.

Rating: D. You know, if you actually have Emma win something, even via a fluke, some people might buy her as something more than the person in the match to take the fall. Then again, that might suggest that there are more than three people worth pushing in the entire division and that’s just unacceptable for whatever reason.

Video on Strowman vs. Big Show from last week.

Here are Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman for a chat. Heyman knows that we’re coming up on a pay per view called No Mercy where Braun Strowman is going to have to do everything he can to take the title away from Brock. That’s interesting though because Braun is reminding Heyman of what Lesnar did in 2002, when he beat people like the Rock, Hulk Hogan, Rob Van Dam and the Undertaker. So is Strowman going to be ready to cross the line from sports entertainment into Suplex City?

Heyman doesn’t think so, but here’s Braun to interrupt. The fight is on and Brock grabs a German suplex (I believe the first time he’s ever done that to Strowman) but Braun no sells it, drawing a stunned look from Lesnar. That’s a great spot, though ignore the fact that Cena did something similar in 2014. Strowman lays him out with a chokeslam and the running powerslam as Heyman is terrified.

The announcers talk about the recent hurricanes and how you can help. Nothing wrong with that.

Goldust vs. Bray Wyatt

Bray comes up on screen to say that Goldust hides behind his paint but now he needs to run. Goldust slugs away to start and sends Bray outside for a freaking flip dive off the apron (YOU’RE TOO OLD FOR THAT DUSTIN!). Back in and Bray runs him over, setting up Sister Abigail for the pin at 2:08.

Post match Bray wipes the paint off of Goldust’s face, shouting that he’s just a man. Finn Balor comes in for the save.

Sheamus and Cesaro are ready to face Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins because as soon as adversity hits them, they’re going to break up again. They are the bar, and that is still a stupid catchphrase.

Sheamus/Cesaro vs. Anderson and Gallows

Rollins and Ambrose are on commentary. Actually hang on as the champs start brawling with both teams. No match.

Post break Rollins and Ambrose say they want both of those teams tonight. Angle says find partners and the DELETE chants are already starting.

Asuka is coming soon.

Nia Jax doesn’t seem pleased when Bliss comes up to say she doesn’t like it either. She wants Jax to be best friends again so they can have a classic together. Jax says she’ll think about it but that match is already made for next week. Bliss looks stunned.

Elias vs. Kalisto

Yes again. Elias sings about how Anaheim sucks and makes fun of the Mighty Ducks. Kalisto speeds things up to start but gets his shoulder wrenched, followed by a clothesline for two. We hit the armbar for a bit until Kalisto fights up for a tornado DDT. Kalisto misses a double knee shot off the top though and gets powerbombed in half. Drift Away is enough to give Elias the pin at 4:29.

Rating: D. NOW NEVER LET THEM FIGHT AGAIN! These two have fought probably five times in the last month or so (including a match on Main Event) and none of them have been anything interesting. Elias is in a weird place as it feels like they want to push him but they won’t actually do much with him. They’re keep him warm though and that’s better than leaving him off TV.

John Cena vs. Braun Strowman

Graves says Cena is trying to take Strowman out like Reigns could never do. So Cena is out to put him on the shelf for several months now as Reigns already pinned Strowman and put him out for weeks. Cena gets thrown out to the floor to start and then whipped hard into the corner for good measure. Strowman hits a dropkick of all things and the announcers are stunned.

Cena’s right hands have no effect but he gets the feet up in the corner. A fall away slam sends Cena flying and we take a break. Back with Strowman being sent outside but running Cena over again. They head back inside with Cena getting him up for the AA but falling forward from the weight.

The Shuffle is broken up just as easily with a spinebuster giving Strowman two. Cena manages an AA, only to have Braun roll out to the floor. A run around the ring is cut off with Strowman picking up the steps and bouncing them off Cena’s head. That’s not a DQ for no apparent reason so Strowman throws the steps inside for a powerslam, which is enough for the DQ at 13:58.

Rating: C. This was a squash with a screwy ending as Cena makes someone else look like a killer. You know, because he hasn’t done it yet this month. Strowman looks like a monster and it was a heck of a performance. I’m actually believing he could win the title at No Mercy, only to lose it to Reigns before he beats Lesnar to retain at Wrestlemania.

Rollins and Ambrose are looking for partners and run into Dean Malenko and Jamie Noble. Dean says they’re not dressed for it but the Hardys are. We have an eight man tag.

It’s time for MizTV and Miz and Maryse have a major announcement: Maryse is pregnant! Miz is so happy and the fans actually seem to be happy for him. He rips on the fans of course and has a speech but here’s Enzo Amore to interrupt. Miz goes on another heck of a rant, talking about how Enzo and Big Cass were supposed to be the big deal around here and even wrestled with John Cena on a pay per view.

Now Enzo is getting kicked off a tour bus and has to cheat to win. Miz was treated like Enzo to start and then reinvented himself to turn into a star who has been here for over ten years. Now Enzo thinks he can beat Neville? The cruiserweights are some of the most athletically gifted stars in the world and do things off the top rope that brings the WWE Universe to their feet. When Enzo goes to the top, he falls on his face. They work every day to get better while all Enzo cares about is hanging out with third rate rappers.

Enzo says Miz is just a copy of Chris Jericho and Ric Flair while he’s an original. He’s going to No Mercy to become Cruiserweight Champion and then he’ll come back to Raw and beat the paper Intercontinental Champion. That’s enough for Miz, who is willing to fight right now. He even dedicates the match to his unborn child but Enzo calls him S-A-W-F-T anyway. Enzo was picked apart here but his retort was good.

Miz vs. Enzo Amore

Non-title. Enzo runs out to the floor to start and says Miz’s wrestling abilities are heading straight to DVD. Miz chases him outside and rams Enzo’s head into the mat over and over again. Miz: “Hey Enzo. How you doin?” Back in and Miz brags a bit more, earning himself a crotching on the top. Miz hammers away again so Enzo asks if Miz is really the father. That’s enough for Miz, who beats on Enzo until the Miztourage joins in for the DQ at 3:07.

Rating: D. So uh, was there a point to this? Enzo gets ripped in half, runs his mouth some more, and then gets the fire beaten out of him in the match and post match. Miz continues to look like a star and as usual I’d love to see him move up the ranks after he finally drops the title.

Enzo gets destroyed even more post match.

Post break, Neville laughs at Enzo, who can barely move.

Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose/Hardy Boyz vs. Cesaro/Sheamus/Anderson and Gallows

It’s a brawl to start (well duh) until the Hardys work on Cesaro’s arm. That goes nowhere as it’s off to Sheamus, who gets sent outside along with Cesaro. Back with Gallows kicking Ambrose out to the floor as the heat segment begins. A double clothesline from Cesaro and Sheamus gets two and it’s off to a chinlock from Cesaro. Dean gets him down with a backslide, only to get caught with the assisted White Noise for two.

Matt comes in for the save and gets sent into the barricade for his efforts. Dean’s swinging neckbreaker doesn’t get him anywhere as he has to fight out of the Magic Killer. The rebound lariat drops Gallows but Sheamus cuts him off again. A backdrop is finally enough for the hot tag to Seth as things speed up. Everything breaks down and it’s a double Twist of Fate to Anderson and Gallows. Sheamus and Cesaro walk away though, leaving Anderson to take the windup knee and Dirty Deeds for the pin at 13:02.

Rating: C-. In other words, Monday Night Football just kicked off (doubleheader on opening weekend) so there’s no point in really trying to do anything interesting. Cesaro and Sheamus walking out is the right idea and it lets the champs look good. The problem continues to be that we’ve seen these teams for a long time now and none of them are very interesting. The matches are fine but the build to get there feels like nothing special whatsoever.

Overall Rating: C+. Good show here, completely worthless main event aside. As usual, this was a great example of why Raw only needs to be two hours as the show could have been outstanding with less time to fill but that’s what you have to expect around here. It was more than watchable though and I’m interested in where No Mercy is going to go. Hopefully things pick up a bit next week with only one Monday Night Football game to deal with, though I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Results

Roman Reigns b. Jason Jordan – Spear

Sasha Banks b. Emma – Bank Statement

Bray Wyatt b. Goldust – Sister Abigail

Elias b. Kalisto – Drift Away

John Cena b. Braun Strowman via DQ when Strowman used the steps

Enzo Amore b. Miz via DQ when the Miztourage interfered

Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose/Hardy Boyz b. Cesaro/Sheamus/Anderson and Gallows – Dirty Deeds to Anderson

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the Complete 2002 Monday Night Raw Reviews in either E-Book or Paperback. Check out the information here:

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5 comments

  1. Jay H (the real one) says:

    I love that WWE is throwing in some reality in these promos again lately. Good Show overall with Braun looking like a killer some more and i agree I can see him winning the Universal Title at No Mercy. Congrats to Miz & Maryse too.

    broken james gracie Reply:

    Live look at Jay H. after he finished watching RAW last night

    https://giphy.com/gifs/south-park-randy-spooky-ghost-1482hCQhu36bq8

  2. AB Morales says:

    “The reason Cena is back is because Reigns is selling the tickets that Cena hasn’t been able to sell in five years. ”

    Roman said that, and EVERYONE turned to where the camera was at and laughed at the enormous hole of empty seats there as Roman was BS’ing everyone live.

  3. Dennis Scanlon says:

    Were we supposed to feel sorry for Enzo because it looked like he got exactly what he deserved

  4. #MrScissorsKick says:

    Seth Rollins/Hardy Boyz vs. Cesaro/Sheamus/Anderson and Gallows

    I think Ambrose was in that match somewhere too.