Monday Night Raw – September 8, 2014: Two Bellas, A Bunny And A Springer Walk Into A Season Premiere
Monday Night Raw
Date: September 8, 2014
Location: Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler
It’s the season premiere (code for a gimmick name to try and fight off Monday Night Football) and the show is actually kind of stacked. We have Jericho vs. Wyatt inside a cage and Orton vs. Reigns II, but there’s something else with an even bigger hype: Jerry Springer’s intervention with the Bellas, because WWE thinks it’s 1998. Let’s get to it.
The cage is lowered to open the show.
We get a Season Premiere video with the focus on Jerry Springer and then the two big matches.
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
In a cage and you win by pinfall, submission or escape. Bray says the town’s name again. Jericho hammers him down to start and catapults Bray throat before getting two off an enziguri. They slug it out in the corner but Bray pulls Jericho off the top to prevent an escape. A top rope shot to the head puts Bray down but Bray pops up and send shim into the cage. Bray splashes him against the cage and we take a break.
Back with Bray running Jericho over for two. He tries to climb but gets taken down in an electric chair drop. They slug it out with Jericho getting the better of it and taking Wyatt down with a bulldog. The Lionsault looks to set up the Walls but Bray kicks him off. Jericho sends him into the cage and dropkicks Wyatt’s head into the steel. Bray stops another escape attempt and they slug it out on the top rope until Wyatt superplexes him down.
Both guys are on the mat but Bray Spiders up and crawls for the door, only to get caught by the legs. Bray kicks him away again and hits a release Rock Bottom for two. He tries a catapult into the cage but Jericho catches himself on the ropes and tries to climb. Bray catches him again and hammers away on the top rope before nailing a top rope hurricanrana.
Jericho goes to the top of the cage but the Wyatts get in his way. Instead he goes back up and dives onto Bray but comes up holding his knee. Chris takes his knee brace and pad down but can barely get over to the door. Bray tries a charge but Jericho low bridges him into the steel. He’s still able to stop Jericho with shots to (the wrong) knee. They’re on top of each other half out of the cage and elbowing each other in the head. Bray finally starts hitting the correct knee and crawls over Jericho to escape at 17:00.
Rating: B. I was digging this one and it was almost all Bray’s work winning it. The Wyatts stopping the win was fine and Jericho caused the knee injury himself. The ending worked quite well and made sense so the whole thing was on. I’m assuming the knee injury writes Jericho off TV and onto his concert tour.
Bray slams the cage door onto Jericho’s knee to further the damage. He crushes it against the steps and takes him back inside for Sister Abigail.
Rollins and Kane are very excited about what they just saw when HHH and Orton come in. HHH wants to do something special tonight so Orton offers to do something to Orton that makes what happened to Ambrose look like a day at Sunday School. HHH gives him permission to do something.
Here’s Dolph Ziggler with something to say. Cole confirms Miz vs. Ziggler for Night of Champions. Ziggler talks about how big of a week it was in Hollywood last week with the release of all the personal photos. This gives us one of WWE’s favorite comic tropes: wacky wrestling photos!.
We get stuff like Miz wearing a facial mask and shaving his chest (JBL: “So who was taking the pictures?”) but Miz and Sandow interrupt. Miz rants about the invasion of privacy, with Sandow mimicking his hand gestures almost perfectly. They threaten to go after Ziggler so Dolph say she might as well show the last photo: Sandow tanning a less than clothed Miz. Sandow comes in and gets dropkicked and Zig Zagged while Miz walks away.
Paige/AJ Lee vs. Natalya/Rosa Mendes
Natalya takes Paige down to the mat to start and the Total Divas hit a double suplex on the Canadian. The idea here is that Natalya is mentoring Rosa, which I’m sure you know about after watching Total Divas last night. Pay no attention to the fact that the story would have started just after Wrestlemania but we’re just hearing about it now. Paige comes back on Rosa because she’s Rosa but misses a legdrop. Rosa won’t tag so Paige drives knees into her ribs. AJ grabs Paige’s hair for a tag and puts on the Black Widow to make Rosa tap at 2:36.
Post match the winners take turns kissing the Divas Title until AJ skips off.
We look back at the cage match and its aftermath.
Jericho is getting his knee looked at when Orton attacks him. “It’s the season premiere!”
Here’s Heyman for his weekly speech. He talks about walking through the valley of the Cenation, but he fears no thuganomics because he’s the advocate for Brock Lesnar. Heyman goes into his usual about Cena so here’s John to respond. The pose he makes on the stage with his hands on his hips really does make him look like a superhero.
Cena says that if Heyman wants to say something to his face, he’s right here. Heyman wants to give Cena some inside information: how to beat Brock Lesnar at Night of Champions. Cena says he knows how to do that already and it’s because of three simple words. Lesnar beat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania and we haven’t heard from him in six months. Then Lesnar beat Cena at Summerslam but Cena was ready to fight again. His three words are never give up and he hands Heyman a towel saying just that.
Heyman laughs and asks the fans if Cena just can’t help doing himself. He throws the towel down and says that’s Cena’s biggest problem: he lives to be John Cena. John is the kid that waits to come to the live events and chant LET’S GO CENA. But when Lesnar steps into the ring, he doesn’t hear anyone but the referee, Heyman, and his latest victim.
Paul has a gift for Cena tonight and tells him how to survive Lesnar: give in. Listen to those fans that chant CENA SUCKS and there’s no reason to fight anymore. Doesn’t Cena want to give in to that hatred when a fat unemployed man tells Cena that he sucks? Just one time doesn’t he want to tell them to shut up. Heyman offers to help Cena tell them to shut up and wants him to bust a rap on the fans.
Heyman demonstrates with some yo yo yoing and gets down on his knees to beg Cena to do it one time. He doesn’t need to sell his soul to the devil. All Cena has to do is forget this hustle loyalty and respect idea and then he can be the one that beat the 1 in 21-1. Or he can just be one of many victims that fell at Lesnar’s hands. Heyman gets in Cena’s face and says he believes in him, but Lesnar says Cena just doesn’t have it in him.
Cena actually goes to the ropes like Heyman wanted him to but comes back in. The dueling chants begin but Cena tells Heyman to shut up. Cena talks about how he’s not going to drop down to Heyman’s level to pop the fans in the second row and give them a reason to have a good laugh and then run back to the internet to tell Cena how much he sucks. Heyman lives in a world of “eat sleep conquer repeat” and he’d stab Lesnar in the back to get a chance to get himself forward.
Cena admits that Heyman is intelligence but he has no idea what it’s like to live a life with meaning. John’s world is “Eat, sleep, be John Cena, repeat” because that’s what he was born to be. He doesn’t want to change even if he could and loves to be the guy that makes that kid right there do his homework early so he can come here and cheer.
Cena does like being the guy the fathers come up to and say they don’t like him but thanks for doing right by his kid. He likes being the guy that a Make-A-Wish kid wants to spend the day with. He likes being the guy that gets to meet Purple Heart recipients on some Friday night who tell him that Cena inspires him and hands Cena the Purple Heart.
Now Heyman wants Cena to throw all that away to win one match. Paul backs off but Cena says this is what Heyman must love. This is the chance to get all that rage and hatred out of John Cena. John isn’t going to beat up Heyman here because it’s not worth it, but he’ll give Heyman one week to produce Lesnar for a fight. But if Lesnar wants another week off and let Heyman do his business for him then Cena is going to fight Heyman himself. Awesome exchange between two masters here.
Sheamus vs. Seth Rollins
Non-title. Sheamus elbows Rollins out to the floor where Rollins picks up the briefcase and lays it in the corner. Back in and a knee lift and suplex get two for Sheamus. The rolling fireman’s carry sets up a clothesline to put Rollins on the floor but here’s Cesaro for a distraction as we take a break.
Back with Rollins holding a chinlock before Sheamus fights up with elbows to the ribs. He tries the top rope shoulder but only hits mat, allowing Rollins to put the hold back on. This time Sheamus fights to his feet and drops Rollins onto his back for another escape. A tilt-a-whirl powerslam gets two for Sheamus but Cesaro picks up the US Title for another distraction. Seth grabs a rollup for two and walks into another powerslam. Now Cesaro gets up on the apron, allowing Rollins to drive him into the buckle. The Curb Stomp gets the pin on Sheamus at 10:00.
Rating: C-. The Curb Stomp didn’t look good at the end but at least the win wasn’t clean. Sheamus vs. Cesaro is actually getting a build this time instead of just throwing it out there for a match. The problem is we’ve seen it so many times that it’s harder to care again. At least they’re getting a big stage for it.
Post match Cesaro does Sheamus’ pose and Neutralizes him.
We recap Henry and Rusev from last week.
Here are Lana and Rusev to make fun of the national anthem before having the Russian version played.
Video on NXT Takeover II.
Sami Zayn/Adrian Neville vs. Tyson Kidd/Tyler Breeze
Well this is a surprise. Sami snaps off some armdrags on Breeze to start before spinning him into an armbar. It’s off to Kidd for a chinlock before Breeze comes in with a series of forearms. A neckbreaker gets two on Sami and it’s back to Tyson for another chinlock. Sami jawbreaks his way to freedom and spins over for a hot tag to Neville.
The fans don’t seem to care that much but Neville’s rapid fire kicks wake them up a bit. A standing shooting star gets two and Kidd is sent to the floor for a big dive from Sami. Neville flips forward twice in a row and kicks Breeze in the head, setting up the Red Arrow for the pin on Breeze at 4:23.
Rating: C. Just a showcase match here to get people to watch on Thursday. No one really knew who these people were but the fans waking up for the offense from Neville is a good sign. I got to see Sami at a live event a few years back and he did the exact same thing. That’s the sign of talent and it was on display here.
Here’s Stephanie to talk about her history in this arena. She even fought her father in this building about ten years ago, but they’ve since made up. Now it’s time to bring the Bellas back together and there’s one man that could do just that. The fans chant for Jerry and here’s Springer himself. Springer recaps the Bella drama and brings out both girls for the big talk.
Brie blames Nikki for all the problems and uses the “died in the womb line” again, drawing the same dead silence it got the first time. Nikki talks about how tired she is of being a second class sister and brags about her show having such good ratings. Brie talks about how this started at Summerslam but Springer shows us a montage of them having very stupid arguments over petty things on Total Divas.
Nikki blames Brie for their dad leaving and we get quick videos from the parents saying they never knew Nikki was this unhappy. Brie tries to bring this back to wrestling stuff but drags it down again by saying she has their brother JJ in their corner. JJ is here of course (billed as JJ Garcia after Jerry called him JJ Bella) and has to come out to the Total Divas song. JJ tells Nikki to stop acting like a victim and the brawl is on. Nikki accidentally slaps JJ so Brie spears her down. The Bellas, Springer and Stephanie get in a big pileup as this just keeps going. Referees break it up and Springer is taken out on a stretcher.
Goldust/Stardust vs. Los Matadores
Stardust takes Primo into the corner to start but the masked man knocks him outside. The Dusts tease taking a walk and get caught with a big double dive. Back inside and Goldust throws Diego into the corner before tagging in Stardust for Dark Matter and the pin at 2:10.
The Usos jump the Dusts on the stage, sending the golden ones running.
We get a tribute to Joan Rivers.
Adam Rose vs. Titus O’Neil
The guys slug it out in the ring as the camera stays on the bunny. Titus throws Rose down but goes after the Bunny who wants to fight. Slater misses a dive and gets superkicked by the Bunny, allowing Rose to hit the Party Foul for the pin at 1:20.
The Bunny hits a Superfly Splash for good measure. Cole and JBL are STUNNED.
Roman Reigns has the antidote for the Viper and holds up his fist.
Video on Lesnar’s dominance of Cena.
Lesnar will be on Raw next week.
Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns
This actually gets big match intros. Reigns punches him to the floor to start but Randy sends him face first into the steps for two. A quick suplex gets the same for Roman and he runs Orton over with a clothesline. Orton bails back to the floor and we take a break. Back with Orton holding Reigns in a chinlock before taking it outside again. Reigns fights back and rams him back first into the apron and barricade.
They head to the apron with Randy sending him into the buckle and nailing a superplex for two. Back with Reigns fighting out of a chinlock and nailing a Samoan drop for two. He hits the ropes but charges into a powerslam to give Orton a near fall of his own. The Elevated DDT is countered into the Apron Boot and the jumping clothesline gets two. Orton comes back with the backbreaker for the same but charges into a boot.
Reigns dives into another powerslam for another two and the second attempt at the Elevated DDT connects. The RKO is countered though and Roman nails a Superman Punch out of nowhere. Reigns can’t cover though so Orton calls out Kane and Rollins who bring security with them for the DQ at 20:24.
Rating: B. Nice long main event here and I kind of like the non-finish for a change. Reigns has already beaten Orton clean so there’s no need to see him do it again. The opposite is true for Orton as he has no need to lose twice in a row to Reigns. Also this helps to set up Rollins vs. Reigns at Night of Champions, though I’m not sure what Orton does at the show.
The guards are actually tech guys who lower the cage and lock it into place. Reigns fights back though and cleans house, leaving him alone with Orton and a chair. Rollins pulls a Jericho and dives off the top of the cage to take out Reigns but he might have hit the chair as well. Kane gets back in and sends Roman into the cage a few times before planting him with a chokeslam. Orton gets the chair and destroys Reigns while shouting that it isn’t Roman’s day. Rollins puts Reigns’ head on the chair and says that he made Roman. A Curb Stomp onto the chair ends the show.
Overall Rating: C+. The show wasn’t great but this was a HUGE improvement over last week’s mess. First and foremost, they kept the Bellas to ONE segment instead of the five or so from last week. The Springer stuff was a waste of time but at least it was short. The main event felt big and the NXT guys were a nice treat. You couple that with a good cage match and the show was much easier to sit through. It wasn’t a great show or anything and cutting out an hour would have helped, but it’s good enough.
Bray Wyatt b. Chris Jericho – Wyatt escaped the cage
Paige/AJ Lee b. Natalya/Rosa Mendes – Black Widow to Mendes
Seth Rollins b. Sheamus – Curb Stomp
Sami Zayn/Adrian Neville b. Tyler Breeze/Tyson Kidd – Red Arrow to Breeze
Goldust/Stardust b. Los Matadores – Dark Matter to Diego
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Adam Rose b. Titus O’Neil – Party Foul
Roman Reigns b. Randy Orton via DQ when Kane and Seth Rollins interfered