Rating the matches and segments from this weeks Raw. CONTAINS SPOILERS
Monday Night Raw is always intriguing after a Pay Per View, the first chance for new champions to gloat and former champions to vent their frustrations. Following Sundays Night Of Champions event there was likely to be a lot of fallout and this weeks Raw looked set to deliver.
The night started with Dean Ambrose coming out to the ring to challenge The Authority to let him face Seth Rollins. To make sure this happened he grabbed a chair from ringside and staged a sit in, what happened next however was unexpected. John Cena came down the ramp and the two argued about who would be first to lay the smack down on Rollins. The confrontation almost came to blows but was interrupted by The Authority, complete with Randy Orton, Kane and a sheepish looking Seth Rollins. Cena then rushed towards followed by Ambrose and they promptly took out Orton and Kane before chasing Rollins around the arena. The segment came to an end as Rollins was chased backstage, he escaped by stealing a car. Cena and Ambrose gave each other a knowing look, could this be the start of a new alliance? If so this could be a brilliant push for both superstars.
It was then announced by HHH that Kane would face Ambrose later tonight and Orton would face Cena. Both men got annoyed and told HHH to sort out Rollins, as they were sick of “Putting out fires that Rollins had started”
Segment Rating 8/10
Intercontinental Championship Re-Match
The Miz w/ Damian Mizdow vs Dolph Ziggler
In a repeat of the previous nights match that, as far as we were concerned, was a total farce, new champion The Miz was to put his title on the line against former champ Dolph Ziggler. This match was a huge step up from their match at Night of Champions and was a real highlight of the whole show. Ziggler was clearly fired up as he pulled off some stunning sequences with an intensity rarely seen from any superstar. Miz was also in fine form, playing his new heel character to perfection, with eye rakes, knees to the back of the head and a devastating neck breaker through the ropes and onto the arena floor. The match ended with Miz rolling up Ziggler, only for the move to be reversed, Ziggler regaining his title after only one day. This was a quality match and we hope WWE continue to give us highlights like this for years to come.
Match Rating 9/10
Bo Dallas vs Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter
The feud between Bo Dallas and Jack Swagger has been building for a while now and is starting to take shape nicely. Dallas, it would appear, is becoming the heel in the feud with Swagger reassuming his former baby face role. It is interesting to see Dallas taking on the heel role and he seems to be relishing it, his character after all was always a little bit crazy so it was inevitable that the Inspirational one would eventually snap. This was a decent match with Dallas fighting dirty, removing his kneepad to administer a series of knees to Swaggers back and head. Dallas was largely in control throughout, pulling off an early Running Bodog causing a near pin fall but it was Swagger who would come out on top administering the Patriot Lock, causing Dallas to tap out. The feud was then ramped up as Swaggers manager Zeb Colter mocked Dallas saying “I Bo-lieve you just lost to Jack Swagger”. This certainly won’t be the last we see of this feud.
Match rating 7/10
Summer Rae w/ Layla vs Natalya w/ Rosa Mendez
Yet another attempt to bring the Total Divas storyline across to the ring, which yet again didn’t work. It’s a real shame they have decided to use Natalya in this way as she has so much talent that is being wasted on this Soap Opera. The match started embarrassingly, highlighting several issues with the way that female wrestlers have been employed by WWE recently. Some very tame hair pulling and poorly executed moves from Summer Rae, who eventually got Natalya in a submission hold before Natalya powered out, Slamming Summer Rae hard onto the mat. Natalya then did what she does best, upstaging Summer Rae with some fantastic high energy moves and perfect technicality you would expect from a member of the Hart foundation. Natalya eventually won this by applying a classic Sharpshooter.
Match Rating 6/10
Dean Ambrose vs Kane
As was announced earlier in the show/ he time had come for Ambrose to face Kane in a one on one match. The match was great fun, a pumped up Ambrose exploding on Kane administering Punch after Punch and a great series of Old Skool moves which has always been his calling card. Kane fought back after Ambrose tried to get something from under the ring, kicking him full force in the face. Ambrose managed to turn things around and was about to pin Kane following a perfectly executed Dirty Deeds but it wasn’t to be, as Seth Rollins appeared and broke up the match. Ambrose stayed strong though and fought Ambrose out of the ring before Kane hit the Choke Slam on him. Kane and Rollins left the arena with Ambrose begging them back into the ring. A few moments later we saw Ambrose attack them again backstage as they spoke with HHH, Security pinned Ambrose down before Stephanie told them to lock him in a cupboard. HHH then told Rollins to start “Putting out his own fires”.
Match Rating 8/10
The Usos & Sheamus vs Cesaro, Goldust & Stardust
Once again these teams came together for a six-man tag team match and once again it worked really well. Gold & Stardust were on a high following their title win against The Usos at Night of Champions and the two teams put on a great show giving the audience a real spectacle of high energy wrestling. Sheamus, also celebrating his win over Cesaro the previous night was also on form, ploughing his way through all of the opposition. There were some classic moments in this match, too many to list in fact but all six men were brilliant and gave it their all. The match ended with Flying Usos jumping out of the ring in unison to take out Goldust and Cesaro then Stardust hit Jay Uso with Final Cut, almost pinning him but Sheamus broke it up. Jimmy then hit a high Splash from the top rope on Goldust and sealed the victory.
Match rating 8/10
Mark Henry vs Rusev w/ Lana
Mark Henry was next to make his way to the ring for a spoken segment where he apologised to America for losing to Rusev the night before. The crowd are clearly getting as sick of this Russia vs America storyline as we are, as he was greeted by shouts of “What?” and “Boring”. Then, as predictably as ever, Rusev and Lana came out. Lana made a few comments about Mark Henry being weak and that he shouldn’t apologise, as Rusev was clearly just better. She then offered him a chance at “redemption” as she offered a re-match. Henry accepted and the two went at it again. Rusev playing on Mark Henry’s “injured back” from the previous night and eventually applying choke hold after choke hold to tire his opponent. Mark Henry managed to power out and take the fight outside where he repaid Rusevs push against the steps that injured his back. Henry then got Rusev back into the ring and attempted a Splash from the second rope. Rusev counted sending Henry crashing to the floor, he then managed to apply The Accolade and the match was awarded to Rusev as Henry “passed out”. It would appear that WWE are still going to push this Russia vs America story despite the universe clearly getting bored of it.
Match Rating 6/10
Following her defeat at Night of Champions, Nikki Bella was next to make her way to the ring. The crowd let the powers that be know their feelings as they shouted the same “What? And “Boring” chants that had greeted Mark Henry. Nikki blamed her loss on her sister Brie’s comments before the match. She then proceeded to call Brie to the ring. Brie arrived in a new outfit and with a new persona, which looks like it could work well. There was then some terrible soap opera arguing between the two before Nikki insulted Daniel Bryan and Brie attacked, applying her husbands famed Yes Lock on her sister. Nikki managed to roll out of the ring just as AJ Lee came to the ring for her match against Nikki.
Segment Rating 3/10
AJ Lee vs Nikki Bella (Paige at ringside commentating)
Since she came back in July, it would be safe to say new Diva's Champion AJ Lee hadn’t really done any wrestling - just very short matches where she made one or two hits then applied the Black Widow, which led many to ask why she was even in the title race. Rather surprisingly though AJ was impressive and exciting at Night of Champions, pulling off some great moves and showing some real flair, reminding us of the AJ Lee of old. Tonight she did it again, pulling off some great moves on Nikki and totally dominating her despite the size difference. Paige’s commentary was good as she argued with JBL and claimed that her and AJ were “no longer friends” pointing to a proper rivalry which, if AJ keeps up this level of wrestling, will be exciting to watch. AJ eventually won the match with Black Widow forcing Nikki to tap.
We are excited to see the development of this newly enhanced rivalry between AJ Lee and Paige as the latter clearly seems to be making a heel turn, which she should excel at with her level of aggression and technical prowess.
Match Rating 7/10
Randy Orton w/ Kane & Seth Rollins vs John Cena
Earlier in the show Seth Rollins had told Randy Orton that he and Kane would be at ringside for his match. He also said that there would be a “surprise” for him. Before the match started a black box, identical to the one full of concrete blocks that had put Ambrose out of action just one month previous, was brought to ringside.
This was a real headliner match, full of the high-powered moves that we have come to know and love from these to A-list stars. Both Orton and Cena were pulling off their most famous moves one after the other and the crowd were clearly enjoying it. At one point Orton managed to slam Cena onto the announce table before throwing him back into the ring. Cena came back with a series of Shoulder Tackles before Orton countered with a classic Powerslam. Finally after a fast paced sequence between the two Cena managed to get Orton into the STF. Orton was about to tap out when Kane and Rollins broke the hold signalling a disqualification for Orton. The three then beat down on Cena before dragging him out of the ring for the inevitable Kerb Stomp through the pile of concrete blocks. There was a twist however, as Kane took the lid off of the box Ambrose leapt out beating Rollins and Kane while Cena took out Orton. They then teamed up to chase The Authority out of the ring much to the excitement of the crowd.
It certainly looks like a Cena & Ambrose alliance is on the cards and we can’t wait to see what that will bring, especially with Hell in The Cell just around the corner.
Match rating 9/10