Rating the matches and segments from Monday nights Raw. CONTAINS SPOILERS
Monday 8th September 2014 saw the premier of this seasons Raw and they promised big things, but did they deliver?
In a feud that has been building over the last few months this match could have gone either way. Both men are lethal inside a steel cage and once again this was proven with a very even contest with both Wyatt and Y2J being thrown around the ring and both almost escaping over the top of the cage. Y2J came closest to escaping but was “forced” to go back by Harper & Rowan who were outside the cage. Y2J’s high flying reputation was again cemented into WWE history with a Cross Body Splash from the top of the cage resulting in him injuring his knee. Wyatt took full advantage and the match ended with a brawl in the door of the cage, Wyatt rolling out to win before taking Jericho back in the ring to deliver a Sister Abigail
Match Rating 8/10
Dolph Ziggler was next out with a spoken segment, mocking The Miz and releasing some “hacked” selfies of him before Miz came out to the ring with his new “body double” the criminally under used Damian Sandow. Ending with Sandow attacking Ziggler before receiving a Zig Zag while miz retreated.
Segment Rating 6/10
Natalya & Rosa vs AJ Lee & Paige
The “Frenemies” storyline between Paige and AJ Lee really has run its course and needs to end quickly. This match yet again putting them together as a tag team was another pointless pairing but the match itself did have some stand out moments. The wrestling between Paige and Natalya was top drawer and only went to show how talented and exciting the two wrestlers are. Unfortunately their face off didn’t last long as Natalya tagged in Rosa who was dominated by Paige. Then AJ Tagged herself in and yet again did no wrestling at all, finishing the match by applying the Black Widow on Rosa and forcing the submission.
Match Rating 6/10
Next up was Paul Heyman who yet again proved why he really is the WWE’s number one when it comes to the mic. He started by issuing a warning to John Cena who immediately came out and forced Heyman to say his piece to his face, which he did with all the humour and ferocity you would expect from the advocate. Heyman urged Cena to find his inner anger and to tell “Cena Sucks” fans to shut up. Cena then retorted with some quality mic work of his own in a rousing speech, which worked masterfully well. The segment ended with Cena telling Heyman that if Brock Lesnar wasn’t at Raw next week he would be fighting Heyman himself. We later found out that Lesnar would indeed be at Raw next week.
Segment Rating 9/10
Sheamus vs Seth Rollins
It’s always exciting when two of the company’s best go head to head and this was no exception. A close and high energy match which Sheamus largely dominated until Cesaro came down to the ring, distracting Sheamus enough for Rollins to get the upper hand. Sheamus eventually turned it around but was then interrupted again when Cesaro took the United States Championship Belt from ringside. The two tussled briefly and then Rollins took advantage, winning the match with a Kerb Stomp. Cesaro then delivered the Neutralizer to Sheamus, standing over him with the belt.
The stage is very much set for their match at Night of Champions on the 21st September.
Match Rating 7/10
Rusev & Lana were out next in yet another “attack” on American culture, this time mocking the national anthem. They then played the Russian anthem and left. It is a crying shame that Rusev is being constantly wasted in this way. He is a real asset to the WWE and deserves a lot more than what he is getting. It was feeling like he would finally start getting some real matches after Summerslam where he was extremely impressive against Jack Swagger. Let’s hope he can finally get away from this story arc and become the force he is meant to be.
Segment Rating 2/10
Adrian Neville & Sami Zane vs Tyler Breeze and Tyson Kidd
This was a real treat and a great opportunity for these NXT Superstars to step up and make a mark on the big stage. A lot was expected from then and they certainly delivered. Sami Zane and Tyler Breeze had a fantastic segment with real speed and agility that was highly impressive. Adrian Neville certainly proved why he is the NXT Champion with his brand of high impact wrestling, performing some stunning manoeuvres and eventually winning the match with his Red Arrow finisher which got the whole crowd up on their feet. A truly spectacular match that should have proved enough to the WWE’s top brass that their time has surely come to step up.
Match Rating 9/10
Next up was the much talked about segment with Jerry Springer and The Bella Twins. The idea was for Jerry to talk to the Bellas and get them to reconcile their differences. Funnily enough it didn’t work, and neither did the segment that went on for far too long and ended in a farcical brawl during which Jerry Springer was “injured” and had to be stretchered off. This really is a storyline that has become old very quickly and just needs to end sooner rather than later.
Segment Rating 3/10
Gold & Stardust vs Los Matadores
Goldust and Stardust have become one of the most exciting tag teams in the newly revamped division and it is only a matter of time before they finally reach their goal of becoming champions. This was a fairly standard match to be honest with Gold & Stardust overpowering Los Matadores for large sections of this very short match. The match ended with Stardust delivering Dark Matter for the win.
Match Rating 6/10
Titus O’Neil vs Adam Rose
Two wrestlers who WWE seem to having a bit of trouble getting over at the moment in what can only really be described as a filler match. Both of these guys have some real talent but they need decent feuds to really set them up. Adam Rose is arguably more popular at the moment and won the match after his Bunny caused a distraction allowing him to hit the Party Valve. Then to add insult to injury the bunny took out Heath Slater who was at ringside and then Body Splashed O’Neil from the top rope. What was noticeable however was the crowd gave more reaction to the Bunny than they did to either Rose or O’Neil leading to the question, Just who is it inside the Bunny costume?
Match Rating 5/10
Randy Orton vs Roman Reigns
This was the headline match for this week with Orton claiming he was going to do the same to Reigns as Seth Rollins had previously done to Dean Ambrose. For those who don’t know Rollins brutalised Ambrose on Raw and he hasn’t been seen again since on WWE as he has been “written out” while he films a movie for WWE Studios.
This match, which was rematch of their previous encounter on Summerslam, held a lot of promise and genuinely stole the show. The match was a constant back and forth of control as the superstars showed the universe what they were made of. You could tell that they really wanted to put on a show tonight and that became evident when the blood began to flow from Orton’s mouth about half way through. Shortly after Reigns countered an RKO with the Superman Punch and it looked to be over the match Orton was disqualified due to interference from Seth Rollins & Kane, who also brought the stage technicians in with them to lower the cage for the second time of the night. Planning to shut Reigns into the cage with Orton, Rollins and Kane soon backfired as Reigns threw Kane and Rollins out of the ring leaving just himself and Orton who he proceeded to beat up and then deliver a spear. Then it all changed when Rollins leapt from the top of the cage hitting reigns with a Body Splash. Kane then entered to deliver a Chokeslam after which Orton repeatedly beat Reigns with a steel chair until a Kerb Stomp onto the chair from Seth Rollins ended his brutal beating.
Once again The Authority have shown their power to those who will stand up to them in a highly entertaining and brutal match.
Match rating 9/10