Monday Night Raw – August 18, 2014: Freaking OW Man!
Date: August 18, 2014
Location: Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler
Last night, evil won. Brock Lesnar is the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion and squashed John Cena in the process. That’s the only word to descirbe it. Lesnar massacred Cena with John getting in as much offense as the Brooklyn Brawler would have. The questions now are where in the world do we go from here and who could possibly stop Brock Lesnar? Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of the entire show last night.
Here’s Stephanie to Daniel Bryan’s music coming down the aisle, because there’s nothing else to open the show right? There are new microphone cubes with the new logo. She talks about how important last night was before promising a new title belt for Brock Lesnar tonight. The Authority wishes Cena a speedy recovery, but there are other people who have injuries to heal from. There’s also Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose, but the biggest loser of them all is Brie Bella.
However, she can’t take all of the credit because she has to thank HHH. Stephanie thanks him for what he did last night but also has to thank Brie’s sister Nikki. This brings out Nikki who hugs Stephanie, basically erasing all of the beatings that Stephanie has caused. Nikki talks about the Bellas coming to the WWE and saying it was them against the world. However, it’s always been about Brie, even back to when they were kids.
She’s sick of hearing Brie tell her she’s never going to have a husband (storyline from Total Divas), even though she didn’t have to marry Daniel Bryan. Nikki feels free now that she’s standing on her own two feet, but here’s Brie with a rebuttal. Brie talks about sisterly love and how Nikki has destroyed their family. Nikki says Brie destroyed it and slaps her, sending Brie crying to the back.
Back from a break and we look at the slap again.
Wyatt Family vs. Big Show/Mark Henry
Henry hammers on Rowan to start but runs into an elbow. It’s quickly off to Harper who gets yelled at and headbutted into the corner. More headbutts stagger Harper and it’s off to Big Show for the loud chop. Some shots the ribs have Harper in even more trouble and his shots have almost no effect. Big Show cleans house and sends Harper outside as we take a break.
Back with Luke snapping Big Show’s throat across the top rope to take over. Rowan tries to help but gets caught trying a low bridge. The distraction works though as Harper kicks Big Show out to the floor. Off to Rowan who kicks Big Show in the face on the floor as the evil monsters take over. Back in and Harper wins a minor slugout before Rowan throws Big Show into a superkick for two.
Harper actually Gator Rolls Big Show before putting on a chinlock. Rowan comes back in and clotheslines Big Show before slamming him with ease. I mean he turned Show upside down and had time to move his arm around Big Show’s head. Big Show pops up (to be fair it was just a slam) and catches Rowan with a DDT. The hot tag brings in Mark Henry and everything breaks down. Luke breaks up the World’s Strongest Slam with a big boot to Rowan’s back but Big Show comes in and KO Punches both guys. A World’s Strongest Slam to Rowan is enough for the pin at 11:46.
Rating: C+. Good match here with both teams working hard and showing off some very good power stuff. That slam from Rowan made my eyes go big though as he doesn’t get to show off that much. I’m not wild on the Wyatts doing another job like this but it’s something you have to expect from time to time.
Ric Flair congratulates Ziggler for winning the Intercontinental Title. Miz comes in and says he’s going to take the title back tonight.
We recap the lumberjack match before going to Rollins in the back. Rollins talks about how he knew he could beat Ambrose and that’s exactly what he did. He says he’s the future WWE World Heavyweight Champion as well as the future of the entire WWE. Ambrose comes up behind him with a bucket of ice water. Ambrose: “IT’S FOR CHARITY!” My goodness it’s a modern reference in WWE. A brawl breaks out and is quickly broken up.
After a break Rollins rants to the Authority and is given a rematch against Ambrose tonight. The WWE Universe will get to pick the stipulations.
Paige vs. Natalya
Non-title and Natalya is now in shorts. Paige talks about how much she respects and loves AJ, even dedicating the match to her. Feeling out process to start and they quickly trade backslides. Paige escapes hers though and kicks Natalya in the back of the head to take over. She crawls on top of Natalya for the pop of the night before headbutting her without seeming to make much contact. Cue AJ skipping down to the ring, allowing Natalya to get a rollup win at 1:46.
AJ says that despite everything, she still respects and loves Paige. She offers to come in and shake Paige’s hand, sending Paige running to the floor.
The options for Ambrose vs. Rollins are:
No Holds Barred
Falls Count Anywhere
HHH and Stephanie, now in a very low cut black dress after being in a t-shirt and jeans earlier, are out to unveil the new title. It’s the same design that Rock introduced a few years back but with the new logo and a bit shinier. The side plates are Brock’s skull tattoo. He brings out Brock Lesnar for the presentation and shakes his hand before posing for a photo op. A loud LESNAR chant starts up as HHH raises Brock’s arm.
Heyman slowly does his intro and says Cena isn’t here this evening. That basically gets a standing ovation. Heyman says Cena can’t be here because he can’t physically appear, thanks to Brock Lesnar. Brock is sitting on a stool with the biggest grin on his face, knowing no one can touch him.
Paul goes on a rant about how important Brock’s accomplishments last night were. Rock was on top for three years. Steve Austin (POP) was on top for three years. John Cena has been on top for TEN YEARS and was tough enough to stick around longer than thirty seconds last night. Heyman saw a look on Cena’s face last night and that was when he got it.
Cena’s speeches get on Heyman’s nerves but he kept coming back for more and more because he never gives up. Cena earned Heyman’s respect to the point where he would love to make John a Paul Heyman Guy. If the history of WWE was written right before Brock pinned him last night, Heyman would be the hardest fighting champion in WWE history.
However, Brock doesn’t agree with these views. In Lesnar’s universe, street cred doesn’t matter. In Brock’s universe, he who dies with the most street cred still dies. The Undertaker’s career and Streak died at Lesnar’s hands and the concept of hustle, loyalty and respect and the Cenation died at Lesnar’s hands.
The same thing is happening to anyone who comes to take the WWE Title from Brock Lesnar. Heyman sums up the match last night: Suplex, repeat, suplex, repeat, suplex, repeat, suplex, repeat, suplex, repeat. Lesnar lives by the motto of Eat, Sleep, Conquer Repeat, but now it’s Eat, Sleep, Conquer John Cena. Another awesome promo here from Lesnar and they were right to not have anyone come out here.
Here’s Nikki slapping Brie again.
Intercontinental Title: The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
Dolph is defending after beating Miz for the title last night. This actually gets big match intros. A hiptoss puts Miz down for two and Dolph puts on a headlock. Miz goes after the knee and stomps away in the corner. He wraps the leg around the post and Ziggler is in trouble as we take a break.
Back with Ziggler getting two off a sunset flip and hitting the running DDT for the same. Miz comes right back with a shot to the knee and puts on the Figure Four. Dolph dives to the ropes and rolls outside for a breather. Miz reaches out for Dolph but gets rammed into the apron. Dolph gets kicked away though and that’s a countout at 7:20.
Rating: D+. Last night I said that Dolph was going to start losing a lot more because he was the Intercontinental Champion, and apparently I was absolutely right. It wasn’t a pin, but man alive does this feud really need to continue? The match wasn’t the worst in the world but these two have fought enough already.
Post match Dolph lays him out with the Zig Zag.
Jack Swagger is disappointed in his loss last night and failed his country last night. However, We The People is about coming together when times get tough. He’s going to do what any Real American should do and get back up.
Jack Swagger vs. Cesaro
Swagger is here alone. Cesaro starts with a gutwrench suplex on the bad ribs and it’s quickly off to the abdominal stretch. He switches off to an armbar and Swagger comes back with a big boot and the Vader Bomb. Cesaro drapes the bad ribs over the ropes but his running big boot is caught in the Patriot Lock while Swagger is still on the apron. Back in and Cesaro pokes the eye, setting up the Neutralizer for the pin at 4:40.
Rating: D+. Well at least Cesaro won. I’m not sure where they’re going with this character with Swagger, but it’s nice to see him getting a push instead of just stagnating like he was. Cesaro getting the pin is another good thing to see, even if it’s in a pretty meaningless match. At least it was short.
Post match Cesaro laughs at Swagger until Bo Dallas comes out. He talks about the 318 million Americans that Jack let down. Swagger has lost everything, but he just has to Bo-Lieve to get it all back.
Chris Jericho says he’s never seen anyone like Bray Wyatt. The Spider Walk is one of the most disturbing things he’s ever seen. There’s nothing behind Bray’s eyes though and when he told Jericho that he was already dead, Jericho knew it was a lie. He has three things Bray will never have: a fire burning inside him, a fighting spirit and the best fans in WWE history.
Randy Orton/Ryback/Curtis Axel vs. Rob Van Dam/Roman Reigns/Sheamus
Sheamus runs over Axel to start but Axel nails him in the ribs before bringing in Orton. Off to Van Dam who kicks Randy down and hits a quick Rolling Thunder to send Orton to the floor and us to a break. Back with Sheamus hitting the ten forearms to Axel’s chest before doing the same to Ryback. Orton low bridges Sheamus to the floor and the heels take over again. Sheamus is sent over the timekeeper’s table as the fans chant FEED MORE ME and RYBACK RULES for the hometown guy.
Randy makes a big deal out of tagging Ryback in and the Big Guy is ready for the task for once. Ryback drives shoulders into the ribs in the corner before putting Sheamus in a front facelock. There’s a delayed vertical suplex for two and it’s back to Orton. Sheamus backdrops out of the Elevated DDT and it’s hot tag to Reigns so house can be cleaned. The apron kick nails Axel and it’s Superman Punches for the tag team.
Orton breaks up the spear with a backbreaker but Reigns tags in Van Dam who cross bodies Axel for two. The split legged moonsault gets the same and everything brekas down. A Brogue Kick drops Ryback but an RKO puts Sheamus down. Reigns is sent into the post but RVD kicks Axel down and the Five Star gets the pin at 11:10.
Rating: C. Not bad here but I’m not sure why you would have Van Dam get the pin instead of Reigns. I get not having Reigns pin Orton again but he can’t get a win over someone like Curtis Axel? The match was fine and the ending was better than most of the rest of the match. It was fine and about the right length too.
We recap the ice bucket thing from earlier.
Orton is walking in the back when Ric Flair comes up. Randy threatens to beat him up and Flair stares at him.
Bray Wyatt says he was riding on a pale horse to come after Chris Jericho last night. He warned Jericho that this was coming and he certainly is a man of his word. Jericho claims that he looked in Bray’s eyes last night and saw nothing. Maybe Chris is right. Maybe Bray doesn’t have a soul and the only purpose he has on this earth is to collect. Jericho may never be able to comprehend what he is. Bray declares himself the new face of salvation. Follow the buzzards.
We see the slap for the fourth time.
Usos vs. Goldust/Stardust
Non-title. Goldust and Jey start things off with Jey grabbing a quick rollup for two. Jimmy comes in and dances a bit before starting on the arm. It’s off to Stardust who gets forearmed in the face in the corner as this is one sided so far. Jey cranks on a chinlock for a good while until Stardust escapes into a sunset flip for the pin out of nowhere at 5:52.
Rating: D+. This didn’t work all that well and I really don’t like a second champion losing in a single night. I’m also not sure where we’re going with the Usos as they haven’t appeared in awhile but now we have the Dusts and Big Show/Mark Henry ready for a title match. Oh wait: triple threat it is I guess.
Lana and Rusev come out to brag but Mark Henry interrupts. Henry talks about representing the United States twice in the Olympic Games, and this is the only time he’s ever had a problem with anyone representing their flag. Last night what he saw got under his skin so he’s going to do something about it. Henry offers to give Rusev a guided tour of the Hall of Pain. The brawl is on with Henry laying Rusev out and Mark celebrating with everyone at ringside.
Preview of a documentary of the Shield coming to Summerslam.
We look back at Brock and Heyman from earlier.
Falls count anywhere wins the poll with 41% of the vote.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
Falls count anywhere. Rollins wins an early slugout and they quickly fight into the crowd with Dean getting a two count. They go up by the stage and fight over various dangerous moves. Ambrose suplexes him down for two and takes it back to the ring. Dean throws in a bunch of chairs and slams both one of them and Rollins down at the same time. A middle rope elbow with the chair gets two but Rollins sends him face first into a chair in the corner for two.
Back with Rollins holding a Singapore cane around Dean’s face. He picks Ambrose up and knocks him into the ropes before ducking the Rebound Clothesline. An enziguri gets two on Dean and a tornado DDT gets the same on Seth. They slug it out from their knees and a catapult sends Rollins into the buckle. Dean hammers away with the Singapore Cane and uses it for a Russian legsweep for two. Ambrose throws in a pile of chairs and loads up a superplex, only to have Rollins counter into a running sitout powerbomb onto the chairs for TWO. Kane is at ringside and Rollins throws in a table.
Seth loads up a top rope Curb Stomp through the table but Dean pops up for a superplex to drive Rollins through instead. He has to go after Kane though and sends Rollins out to the floor. There’s the suicide dive to take both guys out and Kane is down. Back in and the Rebound Clothesline sets up Dirty Deeds but Kane interferes AGAIN.
Ambrose sends Kane into the steps and backdrops Seth into the crowd. Kane is sent over the announcers’ table, allowing Dean to get a running start to dive over the barricade at Rollins. Dean loads up the announcers’ table but Kane breaks up Dirty Deeds and chokeslams Dean onto the table instead. A Curb Stomp onto the table (still didn’t break) knocks Dean silly but Kane lists up another table to reveal a bunch of cinder blocks. Seth Curb Stomps Dean’s head THROUGH THE BLOCKS and Dean is done. The referee calls the match at 20:26.
Rating: A-. Now THAT was a brawl. It took awhile to get going but the stuff after the break was the war that it was supposed to be. This is the match that they should have had last night, though the injury angle keeps things going in a few months. That ending spot was insane though and will likely write Dean off TV long enough to make a movie that no one is going to see because WWE is about entertainment and not wrestling.
Overall Rating: B-. I liked the show but as usual, it needed to be an hour (and two slap replays) shorter. Brock not having a challenger yet is fine as Cena will return next week to probably set up their rematch. The rest of the show set up a few new things while also bringing up some rematches for Night of Champions. It’s a good show though and a nice followup to last night’s really good pay per view. The wrestling wasn’t great but the stories were, and that’s what people have been concerned about lately.
Mark Henry/Big Show b. Wyatt Family – World’s Strongest Slam to Rowan
Natalya b. Paige – Rollup
The Miz b. Dolph Ziggler via countout
Cesaro b. Jack Swagger – Neutralizer
Sheamus/Rob Van Dam/Roman Reigns b. Curtis Axel/Ryback/Roman Reigns – Five Star Frog Splash to Axel
Goldust/Stardust b. Usos – Sunset flip to Jey
Seth Rollins b. Dean Ambrose via referee’s stoppage
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