Monday Night Raw – September 15, 2014: The New Battle Plan
Date: September 15, 2014
Location: Cajundome, Lafayette, Louisiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler
It’s the go home show for Night of Champions and the World Champion is in the building. Last week a fired up John Cena called out Lesnar to appear here tonight, threatening Paul Heyman with violence if Brock didn’t show up. It should be interesting to see Cena get his hands on Lesnar to put a seed of doubt in Brock for Sunday. Let’s get to it.
We open with Heyman in the ring for his weekly address. He talks about Cena coming to the ring (complete with singing Cena’s music) and waving to the fans before Brock comes out to kill. Cena cuts Paul off before he can get much further and has the black shorts on so you know he’s serious. John asks where Brock is and Heyman starts panicking. If Brock isn’t here then Heyman is taking Lesnar’s beating.
Heyman gets some cheap pops from the crowd and talks a lot, seemingly stalling for time. He points to the entrance and Cena is ready but Heyman starts laughing. Brock flies on a private plane because he doesn’t like anyone and the plane is delayed. He’ll be here tonight but not until later. Heyman thinks Cena knew Brock was late though because he knows what’s coming when Lesnar arrives.
Paul applauds Cena for being a hero and tries to leave but John grabs him by the neck. Cena doesn’t buy what Heyman said and give Heyman until the show is half done to produce Lesnar. Heyman goes to leave but Cena cuts him off because he doesn’t trust Paul. He’s guaranteed these people a fight and grabs Heyman in a headlock to drag him to the back.
We look back at the Authority beating down Reigns to end last week’s show.
After a break we see Cena taking Heyman into his dressing room and having Great Khali guard the door.
Kane vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho quickly low bridges Kane to the floor and nails a big dive. Kane pops up and uppercuts Jericho down before sending him into the steps. Back in and Jericho gets two off an enziguri and slaps on a cravate. That’s fine with Kane who sends him out to the floor and we take a break. Back with Jericho hitting a middle rope missile dropkick but not being able to follow up. Kane knocks him right back down and puts on another chinlock. The sideslam gets two on Jericho but he dropkicks Kane out of midair on the clothesline attempt.
There’s a top rope ax handle to put the big man in trouble. Jericho hammers away in the corner and gets two off a high cross body. A turnbuckle pad was pulled off somewhere in there. The Walls are easily countered but Jericho bulldogs him down. Kane blocks the Lionsault with a chokeslam attempt but Jericho sends him face first into the exposed buckle for the pin at 13:20.
Rating: D+. Kane is just slow at this point and it’s getting to be a major problem. He isn’t terrible yet but that seems to be the way its trending. There’s only so much you can do when age catches up with you and unfortunately Kane’s in ring abilities aren’t going to be enough to make up for the change.
Heyman tries to call Lesnar.
We look back at Rusev attacking Henry on Smackdown. Some Olympians wish Henry luck in rallying America tonight.
Roman Reigns looks at Rollins turning on him a few months back and says this ends tonight.
Jack Swagger vs. Bo Dallas
Jack drives him into the corner to start but Bo fights back with right hands. Dallas takes him down and puts on a chinlock as the fans aren’t sure what they want to chant. Jack fights up and is put right back in the chinlock. Another attempt at a comeback with a belly to back suplex works but Bo gets two more off a neckbreaker. Dallas misses a middle rope knee drop and Jack makes his real comeback with shoulders in the corner. The Vader Bomb doesn’t get to launch as Dallas rolls to the apron and snaps Jack’s neck across the top rope. Jack rolls through a sunset flip and puts on the Patriot Lock for the submission at 6:00.
Rating: C-. This was an interesting match and I’m surprised Swagger won clean. Bo tapping out is a questionable choice but his gimmick should be fine as he just has to ignore what happened and keep coming back with the same stuff over and over again. It looks like his major push is over though.
The announcers hype up the Network’s schedule for the week.
We look back at the Springer segment from last week.
Nikki Bella/Paige vs. Brie Bella/AJ Lee
Brie’s new music starts off with the words Brie Mode. So she’s going to be drunk and dance a lot? Nikki starts with her sister but tags out before there’s any contact like a heel should. Paige drives knees into Brie’s ribs to take over and mocks AJ for not being able to make a tag. Brie gets in a quick rollup for two so Paige headbutts her down. A jawbreaker almost allows the hot tag but Nikki takes AJ down. The Rampaige pins Brie at 2:58.
Post match Nikki lays her sister out while the other girls have a skip off.
We look at Big Show stopping Bray Wyatt from making it to the ring on Smackdown.
Bray talks about David slaying Goliath but the giant still lives today in the form of misery and sorrow. Bray has been left with the burden of having to fix everything. He’ll fix the Big Show. Follow the Buzzards.
Heyman tries to leave because he can’t get cell reception. Khali takes the phone and breaks it before throwing Heyman back inside. He picks up the phone and tries to call someone to no avail. This was a waste of time.
Bray Wyatt vs. Big Show
Wyatt hammers away to start but Show shoves him into the corner. The chop is loaded up but Bray shoves him off, only to make Show chop him even harder. Bray hits some corner splashes and stops himself before charging into Show’s boot. A kind of jawbreaker to the ankle and a clothesline have Big Show in trouble. Bray DDTs him for two and we hit the chinlock to slow things down. Show suplexes him way out and nails some clotheslines but Bray hits his cross body for two. Rowan gets on the apron but Bray is whipped into his minion. Big Show nails the Final Cut on Bray but Harper runs in for the DQ at 4:49.
Rating: D+. That could have been far worse. Bray losing by DQ is far better than him losing via pinfall for the sake of the annual “build up Big Show for a match he has no chance of winning” title shot and there was a legitimate chance he could have kicked out anyway. In theory this could be a match on Sunday as I don’t think either guy has anything to do at the moment.
Show chokeslams Harper and Rowan post match, making Bray laugh.
Cesaro/Goldust/Stardust vs. Usos/Sheamus
That’s quite the odd heel partnership. Sheamus and Goldust get things going with the threat of a Brogue Kick sending Goldust out to the floor. Stardust goes to check on him and meows for…..luck I guess? Back in and Jey comes off the top to go after the arm but Goldust drives him into the corner for a tag to Stardust. Cesaro grabs Jey from the apron for ten forearms to the chest.
Jey shrugs it off and tags in Jimmy to clean house with a Samoan drop to Goldust. Off to Stardust with a shot to the head for two before throwing Jimmy to the floor. Back from a break with Cesaro dancing a jig and getting two off a double stomp to Jimmy. A gutwrench suplex puts Jimmy down and it’s off to Stardust for some shots in the corner. Back to Cesaro who poses a lot and puts on a front facelock.
Jimmy powers out and makes the hot tag to Sheamus who immediately cleans house. Cesaro gets caught in a series of forearms to the chest but Stardust makes the save with a rollup. Sheamus knocks both of them to the floor and hits the battering ram off the top. Back in and Sheamus Brogue Kicks Stardust but walks into the Neutralizer. Jimmy makes a last second save and superkicks Cesaro down, setting up the Superfly Splash from Jey for the pin at 13:10.
Rating: C. Nice six man here and there’s nothing wrong with putting two feuds together into a single match. I’m not wild on Cesaro taking a fall but they back themselves into a corner with the booking here. There wasn’t a good way to end the match with a pin but at least the action before the pin was good.
We look at Ambrose being put out of action last month.
Orton says he had to attack Jericho last week because Jericho said Orton has been handed everything in WWE. This Sunday, Jericho gets the beating of his life.
Cena thanks Khali and drags Heyman to the ring. He says produce the beast or be ready to lose your teeth. Heyman starts talking and says this is the beast that he’s been trying to drag out of Cena but he knows Cena won’t be ready on Sunday. Paul has been trying to get Cena to become the beast that can stop the beast of Brock but Cena just can’t do it because of his inner code. Heyman says Cena can’t be a bully because Cena can’t even punch him in the face when Heyman deserves it. That means Cena will never be champion again because he can’t beat Brock Lesnar.
John takes the mic from him and says if there was a human being that deserves to have his face rearranged, it’s Heyman. Paul says do it and become a Paul Heyman Guy but Cena still won’t do it. Cena is about to leave but Paul plays his ace and says Cena’s mother raised a son with some testicular fortitude. That’s enough for Cena as he shoves Heyman to the floor…..and here’s Brock.
Cena is all fired up and wants a piece but Lesnar calmly walks around the ring. He takes the belt off but just puts it over his shoulder. They start walking off but Brock hands the title to Heyman. Cena says let’s go and Brock walks to the ring and gets on the apron. He actually gets in and the fight is on. Brock puts Cena down with a release German suplex and kicks him to the floor with ease. John gets up and knocks Brock to the floor. Brock is sent into the apron and barricade before they fight on the ground. Lesnar covers up until security drags them apart. The champion leaves and might have a busted up nose.
Cameron vs. Naomi
This is based on something that happened on Total Divas last night, which still happened at least two months ago as Daniel Bryan’s neck surgery was announced on the same episode. Naomi gets tired of waiting on Cameron to look in her mirror and goes after her, only to be sent to the floor when trying her stupid hip shake headscissors. Cameron gets two (after trying to cover Naomi with her face down) off a snap suplex before cranking on Naomi’s arms. Back up and Naomi grabs a sunset flip before putting on a freaky looking leg choke for the submission at 4:32.
Rating: D. The bad is almost all on Naomi here as she can’t eve cover someone right. Do you have any idea how hard it is to not be able to cover someone the right way? Kamala used to do that with the gimmick of being a savage that didn’t know what he was doing. The problem is Cameron is supposed to be a competent wrestler and looks that dumb in the process.
Yeah it might be character, but when her development is on Total Divas and consists of dancing, looking at a camera and talking about “chingle chingle” (the scene where Bryan tries to have a conversation with her is hysterical), it’s hard to buy it as being put on. Naomi was trying here and has something with that choke though.
Dolph Ziggler/R-Ziggler vs. Miz/Damien Mizdow
They did this on Smackdown already as R-Truth is playing Dolph’s stunt double, down to the same gear and moveset. The joke though is no one can tell them apart (JBL: “Like the Beverly Brothers!” Old school fans will get why that’s funny) and the announcers play it seriously. Ziggler works on Sandow to start before it’s off to Truth for stereo elbows.
Truth gets taken down by Miz and it’s off to Mizdow as the announcers can’t tell them apart either. Truth finally escapes Miz and makes the diving tag to Ziggler. Miz gets two off a quick rollup but gets caught in the Fameasser for two. Everything breaks down and Miz hits his partner, allowing Dolph to hit the Zig Zag for the pin at 5:08. Oddly enough Lawler was cheering for Miz and Mizdow.
Rating: D. This is another reason why I regret watching Smackdown. Not only did they do this EXACT SAME JOKE over there, but the idea was fresher and better because it was the first time. It also helped that Sandow took the pin instead of Miz, meaning it didn’t affect the title match on Sunday. I’m hoping Miz wins the title as I’m liking this Hollywood star character.
Rollins won’t take anything away from Reigns but Roman is nothing without him. He calls Reigns a neanderthal and imitates Roman walking on his knuckles like a gorilla. Reigns is part gorilla, part Samoan and part rhinoceros. A rhinoceros is one of the most powerful animals in the world but they’re not that smart. Tonight Rollins is going to show Reigns why he led the Shield.
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
Don’t these two already have a match at Night of Champions? Seth speeds things up to start and snaps Roman’s throat across the top rope. A hard clothesline sends Rollins running to the floor but Roman catches him trying to come back in and sends him face first onto the concrete. Back in and another shot puts Rollins on the floor as Reigns is dominating. Rollins is thrown over the announcers’ table and we take a break. Back with Reigns missing the Apron Kick and getting caught by a suicide dive into the barricade.
Reigns quickly fights back and nails him in the face before hitting the Apron Kick. The Superman Punch looks to set up the spear but Seth leapfrogs him and nails a low superkick for two. Back up and Seth tries what looks like a Pedigree off the top but gets countered into a slow motion backdrop, only to have Rollins catch him in an impressive running buckle bomb across the ring for two more. Reigns gets back up, ducks a charge and hits the spear for the pin at 11:23.
Rating: B-. The match was good but why in the world do you have this match in full with a clean ending before they have the same match six days later? That’s some very odd booking and a sign that they don’t have enough people to fill in a three hour show every week. This is even worse when you consider how many people they have on the roster but how few they put any effort into.
We recap Cena vs. Lesnar as 11pm passes.
It’s time for Henry to rally America before his match on Sunday. He talks about having a second chance to represent the United States after he was injured at the Olympics. For all the fans waving the American flag, he can’t let you down. Henry says Lana couldn’t make all her statements without living in America, so here are Lana and Rusev to cut him off. Lana says American intelligence is dropping faster than President Obama’s approval ratings.
She brings up Henry competing in the 1992 Olympic Games but Russia actually won that year. We get a picture of that year’s winner and Lana goes on about how Henry fakes his injury in 1996 to avoid being defeated again. Henry tries the Pledge of Allegiance but Rusev comes in for the brawl. Rusev kicks him down but Henry powers out of the Accolade and chokebombs the Russian. Old Glory is waved to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. Very strange choices in the last twenty minutes aside, this was an interesting episode. It seemed like they were trying to book around Monday Night Football as Cena kept using the word halftime when talking about Heyman. I wasn’t looking at the clock, but I would bet that the segment took place during halftime of the football game. If that’s true, it’s one of the smartest things WWE has done in a long time.
WWE cannot contend with the NFL, so don’t try to. Don’t put some big moment at the beginning of the show, because fans are going to pick the football every time due to lesser interest, the ton of recaps and the bunch of other shows you can see the segment on again during the week. By putting it on when there’s no choice to be made, you ensure the far bigger audience is available. That’s actually thinking for a change instead of just ramming your head into a wall and being surprised when the wall doesn’t move.
The ending segment was a very odd choice, but I’d assume it’s the same mentality: why try to fight the NFL with a big segment when it’s going to be wasted? As I’m writing this, the game is a tie in the fourth quarter so it looks like WWE is playing it smart. The show was good overall and I’m liking some of the stuff I’m seeing anymore. I’m still leaning towards Lesnar on Sunday, but there’s actual doubt there now and that was the goal of this show. Good stuff tonight with a lot of the dumb being cut out and replaced with entertainment.
Chris Jericho b. Kane – Rollup
Jack Swagger b. Bo Dallas – Patriot Lock
Nikki Bella/Paige b. Brie Bella/AJ Lee – Rampaige to Brie
Big Show b. Bray Wyatt via DQ when Luke Harper interfered
Sheamus/Usos b. Stardust/Goldust/Cesaro – Superfly Splash to Cesaro
Naomi b. Cameron – Leg choke
Roman Reigns b. Seth Rollins – Spear
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