Rating the matches and segments from this weeks Raw. CONTAINS SPOILERS
This was the last Raw before this Sunday's Night of Champions Pay Per View, giving the company one last chance to set the scene - and here’s how it went down.
This weeks Raw started with Paul Heyman talking about John Cena’s threat from the previous week that if Heyman didn’t bring current champ Brock Lesnar to this week's Raw he would have to face Cena himself. Right on cue Cena came out and they had another slanging match, Heyman taunting Cena once again to ‘unleash the beast within’. Instead Cena once again demanded he produce Lesnar by half time, and to make sure Heyman didn’t run away he got him in a headlock and shut him in his locker room with Great Khali as guard.
Segment Rating 6/10
Chris Jericho vs Kane
This was a decent match with both wrestlers showing their ring prowess to good effect. Kane, in his ‘Corporate Kane’ guise was largely dominant and up to his old tricks as he exposed the turnbuckle to hit Y2J’s head against. These plans didn’t come to fruition however as the match turned following some excellent aerobatics from Y2J, both wrestlers getting their faces cut open in the process. The match ended when Kane was launched into the aforementioned turnbuckle allowing Y2J to win with a rollup. An interesting side-note on this match is that there wasn’t the usual interference from the Authority, which was a welcome relief after so many interrupted matches.
Match Rating 6/10
Jack Swagger vs Bo Dallas
Very much a mis-match on paper, this proved to be a pretty good match with Bo Dallas finally being given an opportunity to show some of the skill that he showed back in NXT. The control was surprisingly even with the power of Swagger working well with the speed and agility of Dallas. The crowd seemed to enjoy it too with the majority behind Dallas throughout. Eventually Dallas was undone by his own showboating, as Swagger capitalised and won the match with the Patriot Lock.
Match Rating 7/10
AJ Lee & Brie Bella vs Paige & Nikki Bella
Following last week's awful Jerry Springer segment this would be the first time the Bella Twins would face off against each other as well as yet another chance for Paige & AJ Lee to face off before their match at Night of Champions. The match started with Nikki and Brie facing each other. Nikki however tagged Paige immediately, which led to a decent section as Paige showed off her skills and aggression, both inside and outside the ring, overpowering Brie with ease. Eventually, Nikki took out AJ Lee on the outside as Paige hit Rampaige to pin Brie Bella. Afterwards Nikki came back in the ring slamming Brie before leaving. AJ Lee mocked Paige before leaving. Let’s hope that Night of Champions is the last of this feud and Paige can hold on to her well-deserved Diva’s title.
Match Rating 7/10
Next was a short segment of Bray Wyatt, speaking on the Jumbotron about David and Goliath in his usual maniacal way
The Big Show vs Bray Wyatt w/ Luke Harper & Eric Rowan
It has been a while since we saw Big Show on Raw and this was another solid match. The sheer size and power of Big Show kept Wyatt quiet for large sections of the match, much to Wyatt’s amusement. Wyatt tuned the tables around half way through, applying a classic chokehold on Big Show. An age-old method for keeping bigger wrestlers down. Big Show was eventually rewarded the win however after Harper & Rowan attacked the Big Show as he was about to pin Wyatt. Not one to be beaten up though, Big Show then Choke Slammed both of them simultaneously as Wyatt looked on from his chair laughing. This may be the start if a new feud for them both, which will be something to keep a close eye on in future.
Match Rating 7/10
The Usos & Sheamus vs Cesaro, Goldust & Stardust
A nice little warm-up for Night of Champions as tag team champs The Usos faced their opponents, Gold & Stardust and Sheamus faced his opponent Cesaro. The match started well with Goldust and Sheamus having a great battle, both of them clearly showing why they are so loved by the WWE Universe. With 6 men in the match there were many highlights including Cesaro mocking Sheamus by using his own moves against Jimmy Uso, Stardust in some amazing acrobatic wrestling and near the end, a great fast paced section with Stardust and Sheamus. Sheamus was like a human wrecking machine and it was real joy to watch. The match ended with Jay Uso pinning Cesaro for the win.
Match Rating 9/10
Then we hit the halfway point of the show.
John Cena, good on his word collected Paul Heyman from his locker room and dragged him to the ring. Heyman proceeded to talk his way out of a beating by playing on Cena’s position as a Role Model to the Cenation and urging him to hit him and finally become a ‘Paul Heyman Guy’. Cena refuses and the crowd, who were largely on his side until this point, booed. Cena turned around to leave and then Heyman insulted Cena, saying his mother must be disappointed to have a son with no *Ahem* “manhood”. Cena flipped and pushed Heyman out of the ring sending him to the floor, the crowd roared and then a very pumped-up looking Brock Lesnar walked to the ring, leading Heyman away. Cena kept up the taunting of Lesnar who eventually gets into the ring only to be attacked by Cena. Lesnar escapes the pounding and manages to get a German Suplex in on Cena. Thinking Cena was out, he went to leave only for Cena to launch an even more brutal attack until, disappointingly, Security broke the fight up. Lesnar, blood coming from his nose, walked away with Heyman laughing with JBL claiming that Cena had broken Lesnars nose. This has really set the scene for Sundays WWE World Heavyweight Championship match and we can’t wait.
Segment Rating 9/10
Cameron vs Naomi
Yet another attempt to get the Total Diva’s storylines across into the ring this match-up between the former Funkadactyls was embarrassing. There was lots of hair pulling and a couple of poorly executed moves. Naomi, who has arguably proved in the past to have more wrestling ability, eventually won the match with a submission. Even this was bad as Cameron tapped out before the submission was even in place. The crowd chanted ‘Boring’ and we agree. This just highlighted what has been wrong with the Diva’s division for so long. At least NXT has some genuine female wrestlers coming through.
Match Rating 3/10
The Miz & Damian “Mizdow” vs Dolph Ziggler & R-“Ziggler”
Oh how the mighty have fallen! Once upon a time R-Truth was in line for the WWE Championship, now he’s playing Dolph Zigglers body double. Either way this was a match up with four very talented wrestlers and it didn’t disappoint. Dolph Ziggler was on fire and proved once again why the crowd are on his side, he really could be WWE World Heavyweight Champ one day if he’s allowed. There were some brilliant sections between Damian Sandow and Dolph and, as always, Miz and Dolph worked well together, their technical ability complimenting each other perfectly. The match ended with Miz accidentally taking out his own partner, allowing Dolph to hit the Zig Zag and pin Miz. We are really looking forward to their match on Sunday, it has the potential to be a real winner.
Match Rating 7/10
Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins
Another chance to see Reigns and Rollins face off and this time it worked. Reigns started things off with tremendous energy, knocking Rollins out of the ring and throwing him over the announcer's table. Rollins managed to regain some control and there was a very even feel to the match throughout. Eventually Reigns managed to hit the Superman Punch but he missed the spear with Rollins countering. Rollins' regained control, but it didn’t last long though as Reigns soon countered with the Spear allowing him to pin Rollins. Notably there was no interference from The Authority, the second time tonight, which we hope is a sign of things to come at Night of Champions as the constant disqualifications were beginning to get predictable and old.
Match Rating 8/10
Headline Segment – Mark Henry Rallies America
This week saw no headline match, instead a segment where Mark Henry tried to rally the American people against Rusev and Russia. Let’s just get this out there shall we? No-One Cares! Or at least no one outside America cares. Once upon a time the America vs Russia angle made sense, the Cold War was in full effect so it was understandable, but now? You have to feel slightly sorry for Rusev; an incredible wrestler who it would seem is doomed to play the Russian bad guy for the foreseeable future (even though he isn’t Russian). Unexpectedly this segment really bombed. Mark Henry failed to get the crowd over and was met with the usual “WHAT?” shouts from the crowd. In Fact Rusev actually got a cheer when he came out. The segment finished with Rusev kicking Henry to the floor and attempting to crush him with the Accolade. Henry powered out of this and slammed Rusev to the mat before throwing him out of the ring. If only they would get rid of the Russia vs America angle this would be an interesting feud and they could have a decent match at Night of Champions but we will have to see.
Segment Rating 3/10