Rating the matches and segments from this weeks Raw. CONTAINS SPOILERS.
Following the 15th Anniversary edition of Smackdown this past Friday night, Raw had to put on a real show and it didn't disappoint.
The night started off with Dean Ambrose talking about the upcoming match between John Cena at Hell In The Cell. Cena came out and the two argued until The Authority arrived. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon then made a bet that Cena and Ambrose would not be able to last the night without fighting. To prove their point they arrange a triple threat tag team match to start immediately.
John Cena & Dean Ambrose Vs The Usos Vs Gold & Stardust
Ambrose and Cena work really well as tag team and explode on The Usos with a great series of fast paced moves and counters. Stardust then got involved, dragging Jimmy Uso out of the ring a throwing him over the side barriers. The match then descended into chaos with Goldust destroying Jay Uso before a great back and forth between all three tag teams. The match finished with Ambrose hitting Dirty Deeds on Stardust while Cena hit the AA on Goldust for the pin.
Match Rating 7/10
The Authority came out again after the match to announce that the match between Cena and Ambrose, scheduled for Hell In The Cell, would now be moved to tonight and would be a No Holds Barred Contract on a Pole match.
AJ Lee & Layla Vs Paige & Alicia Fox
Yet again AJ Lee and Paige face each other in a teag team match. This week AJ was paired with Layla. This was another dreadful match, there were a couple of good moves from alicia on AJ but then the match became a farce yet again. Paige refused to tag in so AJ chased her around the ring, then Layla refused to tag AJ and walked up the ramp. Paige & Alicia then stalked AJ who somehow still managed to win after one move, a Shining Wizard on Alicia Fox. AJ Then attacked Layla on the ramp. WWE really seem to be lost for a storyline with AJ & Paige, it shouldn't be hard, they can both wrestle so let them get on with it.
Match Rating 4/10
Next we saw Randy Orton negotiating a match with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, he suggested that the loser of the Cena & Ambrose match would face him in a Hell In The Cell match. The Authority agreed.
Dolph Ziggler Vs Randy Orton
When you have two great wrestlers in the ring it can go either way and this went the right way. Ziggler and Orton work really well together and it would be great if they could start a decent feud. Ziggler largely dominated the start of the match, flying around the ring and hitting high energy moves left right and center. Seth Rollins then the appears, standing half way down the entrance ramp, distracting both Ziggler and Orton. The match was eventually won by Orton who hit an amazing RKO, reversing Ziggler's Famouser. Seth Rollins then entered the ring and hit Ziggler with a Kerb Stomp.
Match Rating 8/10
Seth Rollins Vs Jack Swagger
Another interesting match up which worked really well. Swagger was in charge of the match early on, tossing Rollins around the ring like a rag doll. There were some great exchanges in what would make a nice regular feud for the company. About half way through the match Randy Orton re-appeared to offer the same distraction that Rollins had given him earlier. Orton looked particularly pleased as Rollins was dominated by Swagger who hit the Patriot Lock only for Rollins to to counter and win with a rollup. Orton then got in the ring, squaring up with Rollins yet again before hiting the RKO on Swagger. Could this be the beginning of the end for Orton or Rollins within the authority? It's going to be fun finding out.
Match Rating 7/10
Rusev Vs Big Show
WWE are keeping the race war between Russia and the USA alive despite our hopes that The Rock may have succesfully shifted the feud from race to personality last week. Big Show was destructive from the beginning, showing a fury and power we have not seen from him since his feud with Mark Henry all those years ago. This was a charged up Big Show as he threw Rusev around the ring, delivering slap after slap to Rusev's chest and throat. After a while Rusev managed to counter with a huge dropkick, hitting Big Show in the face, that's over 7 feet up. Rusev then started to build steam, kicking Big Show to the floor and choking the power out of him. Mark Henry appeared and stood at ringside, cheering Big Show on. Rusev eventually applied The Accolade before Mark henry got in the ring and broke it up causing a disqualification. Mark Henry and Big Show then cornered Rusev and Lana by the announce table, Rusev attacked Mark Henry before Big Show used the Knockout Punch, leaving Rusev out cold on the floor.
Match Rating 8/10
Sheamus Vs The Miz w/ Damien Mizdow
The popularity of Damien Sandow (Mizdow) is becoming hard to ignore, and whywould you? We have always known what a brilliant wrestler he is and hopefully we could see him make a break on his own once more. For the time being we must be content with seeing him as Mizdow and tonight the crowd were chanting for Sandow once again. The match itself was decent with Miz largely on to throughout. The match ended in a countout as Miz and Mizdow hid under the ring, Sheamus reached under the ring but pulled out the wrong Miz, meanwhile the real miz entered the ring on the other side as the ref counted 10.
Match Rating 7/10
Nikki Bella, Cameron & Summer Rae Vs Brie Bella, Natalya & Naomi
Whatever happened to the feud between Cameron and Naomi, it just sort of vanished with no real outcome. Both of these Divas showed some real talent and could have gone on to be Champions in their own rights. Alas they have been knocked down the bill to take part in these, shall we say poor, Total Divas matches. Something that has become abundantly clear recently is that Summer Rae is unconvincing as a wrestler. Her punches fall a long way short, as do her kicks, her moves are only ever half pulled off. Despite Summer Rae this was actually an ok match. The rest of the Diva's in the match are very talented and they put on a good show. There was a decent brawl outside the ring before Brie Bella pinned Nikki Bella for the win.
Match Rating 6/10
John Cena Vs Dean Ambrose (No Holds Barred, Contract on a Pole Match)
Before the match got underway The Authority, complete with Orton, Rollins and Kane, all came down to ringside to "watch". For those who don't know, the idea of a Contract on a Pole match is simple, a contract is hung from a pole above one Turnbuckle, first person to grab it wins.
Ambrose and Cena put on a great show, proving why they are top superstars. Cena started well, delivering a number of Suplexes before Ambrose took the fight to the entrance ramp, where he returned the favour. Back in the ring and Cena locked in the STF but of course, despite Ambrose tapping, the match went on after he bit cena to break the hold. Eventually the match got too close to The Authority after Cena threw Ambrose into Orton, Kane & Rollins. A brawl broke out in the ring with Ambrose and Cena seeing them off effectively, leaving Kane in the ring. Cena got him up for the AA but didn't see Ambrose climb the turnbuckle and grab the contract to win the match, mocking Cena as he did by using Cena's U can't see me gesture.
So the matches are set for Hell In The Cell, it will be Ambrose Vs Rollins and Cena Vs Orton.