Monday Night Raw – September 12, 2016: Third Hour Blues
Date: September 12, 2016
Location: Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Corey Graves
Raw’s woes begin again this week as there’s a double header of Monday Night Football tonight. The company is countering with Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens and if Reigns wins, he’s added to the Raw World Title match at Clash of Champions. In theory this should involve some Rusev interference but that might be a bit too much common sense. Let’s get to it.
We open with Last Week on Raw with Seth Rollins turning face and getting a title shot at the pay per view.
Mick Foley is in the ring to talk about the main event and to introduce Charlotte with Dana Brooke. Charlotte brow beats Dana for the loss to Bayley and is trying to get the records change to say that Dana lost last week. Dana tries to apologize but Mick cuts them off to talk about Clash of Champions. This brings out Sasha to say she’s taking the title at the pay per view.
Before that can go anywhere, here’s Bayley to interrupt as well. She would love to see Sasha get a title shot tonight but Bayley beat the champ last week so maybe she should get a title shot instead. Charlotte laughs this off and says Sasha doesn’t get to pick when the title is defended.
Mick does though and suggests that we need a #1 contender. Dana suggests another best of seven series but Charlotte threatens to slap the taste out of her mouth. That goes nowhere though as Mick makes Sasha vs. Bayley for the #1 contendership tonight. Dana slaps Charlotte before anyone can realize how stupid it is to waste Sasha vs. Bayley here, earning her a spot in the #1 contenders match as well.
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke
The winner gets the title shot at Clash of Champions and Charlotte is on commentary. Bayley is quickly sent outside and Sasha is sent outside to follow, allowing Bayley to roll Dana up for two. Dana gets beaten down and pulled to the floor, leaving us with a showdown as we take a break. Back with Dana cranking on Bayley’s arms as you can really see that they’re protecting Sasha by letting the other two do the bulk of the work.
Sasha comes back in and loads up the double knees, only to put Bayley underneath her. Bayley moves and Dana takes the full thing, leaving Bayley to go up top for the high crossbody. The Tower of Doom plants Dana and it’s off to the Bank Statement. Bayley makes the save and hits the Bayley to Belly on Dana, only to have Sasha roll Bayley up for the pin at 12:14. Ignore Sasha’s shoulders being down on the rollup and Bayley’s feet being on top of her.
Rating: C+. Sasha hiding and bad ending aside, this was about what you would want out of these three in a triple threat. Well aside from Bayley getting pinned of course. You know maybe I have more problems with this match than I was thinking. I’m not sure why you don’t have Dana take the fall here but at least it wasn’t Sasha vs. Bayley one on one.
Post break Dana apologizes to Charlotte but the champ just tells her to get the bags. Was that slap already erased from existence?
The Shining Stars offer R-Truth a time share in Puerto Rico. Truth: “YAHTZEE!” Goldust comes in before the payment goes through though and here are Enzo and Cass to say last week’s loss wasn’t fair. Spanish is spoken and I think the challenge is accepted.
Kevin Owens calls HHH his mentor and says Roman Reigns doesn’t belong in the same ring as the champ. Tonight he’ll make sure Seth Rollins is all alone at Clash of Champions. Chris Jericho comes in to say he’ll be having Sami Zayn on the Highlight Reel tonight, even though he’s a stupid idiot.
Bo Dallas vs. Brandon Scott
Bo says he can only believe in himself. Brandon is sent into the corner and taken down by three straight gutbusters. A Roll of the Dice ends Scott at 1:13. Why are they making Bo better than he’s been since he debuted after that big ordeal a few weeks back?
It’s time for the Highlight Reel with promises of some hard hitting journalism. Jericho was excited about the idea of interviewing Kevin Owens, who is so handsome that Tom Cruise and/or Brad Pitt could play him in their life story movie. Instead he gets Sami Zayn, who is the lowest of the low. Jericho laughs at Sami for not even having Owens’ new phone number but Sami is amazed that Jericho brought him out here to talk about Owens. Zayn loves the idea that Jericho buys into what Owens says and he only cares about that Universal Title.
That doesn’t fly with Jericho so he takes credit for Sami and Owens wanting to be where they are today. Sami goes into a rant about how it was people like Eddie Guerrero who paved the way for him and now Jericho, a former World Champion, is just Kevin’s lackey. Jericho offers to show Sami a text from Kevin but breaks his phone over Sami’s head, likely setting up a match at the Clash.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro
Match #5 in the Best of 7 Series with Cesaro down 3-1. Sheamus hits him in the bad back to start and sends Cesaro into the corner a few times. A quick running uppercut looks to set up the Sharpshooter but Sheamus bails to the floor. More uppercuts give Cesaro two and we take a break. Back with Cesaro having to fight out of an over the shoulder backbreaker and hitting the high crossbody for two.
It’s too early for the Cloverleaf so Cesaro comes back with the springboard corkscrew uppercut for another near fall. White Noise is countered into the Sharpshooter but Cesaro’s back won’t let him get the hold on full. The Swing doesn’t work either and Sheamus gets two off the Irish Curse. The High Cross is broken up and Cesaro grabs a rollup with his foot on the ropes for the pin at 9:57.
Rating: C-. I’m not even going to bother complaining about how long this feud has been going. The cheating really doesn’t do anything for Cesaro other than keeping this thing going even longer but of course no one is going to say anything about it because that would make too much sense. The matches aren’t even bad as much as they’re just there at this point and that’s a lot bigger of a problem.
Seth Rollins comes in to see Mick Foley and accuses him of just being there to do whatever Stephanie wants him to do. Mick is really not happy with that and yells about it, only to have Rollins suggest that Mick is lost in all this.
Alicia Fox vs. Nia Jax
This is over Nia hurting Alicia’s friend last week. Nia says she doesn’t do crazy. Fox is sent into the corner for the required shoulders to the ribs and they head outside. Nia drives her back first into the post and then tosses her into the barricade a few times. A spear sends Alicia through the barricade and the match is stopped at about 2:00.
Here’s New Day to say that last week Gallows and Anderson tried to be entertaining. Woods: “DO NOT TOUCH OUR THING!” They load up the Old Day footage but say there’s no way we’re showing that again. That skit was so bad that it made everyone lose five minutes and thirty seven seconds of their lives. That time could have been spent watching Baltimore Ravens highlights (Big E: “Are we pandering now?”) or poured a big old bowl of BootyO’s. Anderson and Gallows come out to say they’ll win the titles and that’s about it. If WWE is telling you that one of their segments bombed, you can really tell it was bad.
Anderson and Gallows vs. New Day
Non-title with Kofi and Woods for the champs. This is joined in progress with Woods working on Anderson’s arm before it’s off to Kofi for a top rope stomp. Thankfully that lets us ignore the stupid line with the commentators comparing Anderson and Gallows to Demolition. Gallows comes I and throws Kofi to the floor before just kicking him in the face.
We hit the chinlock from Anderson as the announcers say the Smackdown Tag Team Champions aren’t in the same league as these teams. True but I wish they wouldn’t try to set up a brand vs. brand story yet. Kofi finally kicks away and makes the tag to Woods for some house cleaning, including the Honor Roll for two on Karl. The slugout actually goes to Xavier and the bottom rope tornado DDT sets up a top rope elbow. Gallows remembers he’s in the match and makes the save, setting up the Magic Killer to end Woods at 9:29.
Rating: C. This was 100% course correction for Anderson and Gallows as they turn into exactly what they should have been the whole time instead of whatever unfunny comedy they’ve been doing over the last few weeks. Nothing to see here for the most part but they’re going with a simple story instead of something that was embarrassing everyone involved.
Roman Reigns is ready to fight and wants to be at Clash of Champions.
Jinder Mahal vs. Jack Swagger
Mahal is now The Man That Comes In Peace and talks about spending time in monasteries to get rid of his hatred. They slug it out to start with Mahal actually getting the better of it until they head outside with Swagger fighting back. Back in and a running knee to the face gets two on Jack. Swagger runs the ropes a few times before just stopping and elbowing Mahal in the face. The Vader Bomb misses and a running neckbreaker ends Swagger at 3:20.
Rating: D-. I’m trying to figure out if this was a bigger waste of time than last week’s Anderson and Gallows segment. The definition of “we hired him because he’s a warm body” just beat the least intimidating former World Champion this side of Vince Russo and WWE actually thinks we’re going to be interested in seeing where this goes. The cruiserweights can’t get here fast enough.
Connor’s Cure video.
Tom Phillips asks Swagger about his soon to expire contract but Jack walks away.
Enzo Amore vs. Epico
Enzo offers to plant some flowers in Epico’s, ahem, soil, after he knocks Epico out. We hear more about the Puerto Rico resort, which Graves has been able to visit. Sure the hotel is under construction and his room only had three walls but the beaches were nice. Epico rolls some suplexes and gets two off a delayed vertical. Enzo comes back and goes to the top, only to spend too much time dancing. Cass kicks Primo in the face but gets taken down by a suicide dive. That allows Enzo to come off the top with a dive but a suplex over the apron sets up the Bobby Heenan finish with Primo holding the foot so Epico can get the pin at 3:20.
Rating: D. This show always suffers from a really bad stretch in the third hour and this is no exception. We’ve had back to back bad matches featuring stories of people who don’t belong on this show being pushed for the simple reason of the show is three hours long and they don’t have enough talent to fill everything in. A lot of these people need to be repackaged or replaced because this stuff isn’t going to save them against football.
Rollins cuts Owens off in the back and says he hopes this stays a one on one match because he’d love nothing more than to beat up HHH’s little golden boy. Owens thinks that’s funny because Seth probably wants someone to do the work so he can steal the pin. Seth has always had a bunch of people doing his work for him, including HHH. All Seth has done is fail since he came back (Always remember: winning the title doesn’t matter. DEFENDING THE TITLE MATTERS!) while Owens won the title in his first chance.
Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens
Non-title. Owens takes it outside to start so Reigns hits him in the face a few times. A slingshot kick to the jaw makes things worse for the champ but he takes Reigns down and slaps on a chinlock. Reigns fights up and gets booed some more, only to have Owens bail outside to avoid the Superman Punch. The Punch off the apron is blocked with a superkick and Owens sends him into the post as we go to a break.
Back with Owens holding another chinlock as this show somehow loses even more energy. Reigns finally fights out of it and they head outside again, only to have Rollins come out to attack Owens for the DQ at 13:14. Foley sends out the referees to get rid of Rollins but THE MATCH MUST CONTINUE! Back in and they slug it out with Reigns taking over off a Samoan drop. A bite under the arm (that’s a new one) breaks up a superplex and the spinning superplex gets two for the champ.
The Cannonball misses as this match just keeps going. Roman gets two off the Superman Punch but stops to send Owens into the post. The champ comes back with a pair of Cannonballs but Reigns jumps over the Pop Up Powerbomb. Cue Rusev for a distraction though (it’s about time) and the Pop Up Powerbomb ends Reigns at 23:21 (including the time between the DQ and the restart).
Rating: B. The ending was the exactly right call and it made me feel a lot better after not enjoying the match nearly as much as I should have. This was a good back and forth brawl but they were out there too long at the end of an already long show. Rusev vs. Reigns and Owens vs. Rollins are the right calls though and that makes a lot of things better.
Rusev beats Roman up to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. The main event did this show a lot of favors as it rolled over and died at the start of the third hour. I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to have Jinder Mahal and the Shining Stars in back to back segments but the show lost everything it had built up in the previous two hours. This wasn’t the worst show in the world but it’s the Raw Special: it would have been a good two hour show but the extra hour ruined whatever it could have been.
Sasha Banks b. Bayley and Dana Brooke – Rollup to Bayley
Bo Dallas b. Brandon Scott – Roll of the Dice
Cesaro b. Sheamus – Rollup with foot on the ropes
Nia Jax vs. Alicia Fox went to a no content when Jax speared Fox through the barricade
Anderson and Gallows b. New Day – Magic Killer to Woods
Jinder Mahal b. Jack Swagger – Running neckbreaker
Epico b. Enzo Amore – Pin with Primo holding Amore’s foot
Kevin Owens b. Roman Reigns – Pop Up Powerbomb
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B-But I thought you said A.J. Styles could save us! Why would he abandon us like this?
Oh man how bad was that probably? So glad I don’t watch this shit anymore. All of you that bitch about the product but still watch are the real reason WWE never improves. But hey its your brain cells. This company is trash and it will always be trash. And wrestling fans are the worst for buying into this garbage!
Still not sure how Rusev’s the heel in this feud.
Still no explanation why HHH did what he did two weeks ago.
Kinda nitpicking there on the length of KO/Roman are we not. Also it doesn’t bother me they are putting Jindar Mahal or the Shining Stars out there. Yeah they probably aren’t the most exciting characters in WWE but its better than them sitting in the back doing nothing most weeks. That being said the Crusierweights next week should help things as well.
Isn’t that what reviewers are supposed to do nitpick and explain their views?