Rating the matches and segments from this weeks Raw. CONTAINS SPOILERS.
With the Hell In A Cell pay per view coming up this Sunday this episode of Raw was sure to build up the hype and feuds for the event, what we got went far beyond mere hype.
The Authority, minus Stephanie McMahon, kicked things off tonight and were keen to push Hell In A Cell and it's availability on the WWE Network. They had two other announcements to make, firstly that John Cena and Dean Ambrose would be teaming up against Kane, Randy Orton and Seth Rollins later that night in a 2 on 3 handicap Street Fight, The Second announcement was that the winner of the Orton Vs Cena Hell In A Cell match would become number one contender for the title and would face WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar in the near future. To highlight the coming PPV, the Hell In A Cell was to above the ring for the duration of the show.
Segment Rating 6/10
Sheamus & The Usos Vs Goldust, Stardust & The Miz w/ Damien Mizdow
Yet another in the seemingly endless run of six man tag team matches on Raw but this one was a little different. Before the match started Miz decided that Mizdow would be allowed to stand in for him, much to the joy of the crowd. The match went fairly predictably with Goldust showing his power, Stardust showing his Skill, the full on strength of Sheamus and Flying Usos but it was the addition of Mizdow that really gave this match some edge. He pulled off some great moves whilst comically impersonating Miz. It was Mizdow who would eventually make the difference, taking advantage of an outside distraction to roll up Sheamus for the win.
Match Rating 6/10
AJ Lee Vs Alicia Fox
After a slew of terrible tag matches involving AJ Lee and Paige it was refreshing to see a one on one match. This turned out to be a good match, Alicia Fox is surprisingly talented when she's allowed the chance to be, working well with AJ. There were some great moves including a savage Back Breaker from Alicia. The match changed pace after Alicia was thrown from the ring, only to be attacked by Paige who had come to the ring with her. After throwing her against the barriers Paige then rolled Alicia back into the ring, AJ lent over the ropes to shout at Paige, only to be rolled up by Alicia who got the pin.
Match Rating 7/10
Randy Orton was next to take to the stage, talking about his decade long feud with Cena that, he claimed, would be finished at Hell In A Cell. John Cena then came to the ring to tell Orton that it would be finishing very differently. This was all typical fare but was then interrupted by Paul Heyman. Heyman told the two superstars that whilst they both started back in 2002 and have feuded ever since, his client Brock Lesnar started the same year and was clearly the better fighter. This goes on for a while untill Cena snaps, getting Heyman in position for an AA, before thinking better of it. Randy Orton takes advantage of the situation hitting Cena with the RKO before turning his attentions to Heyman, who recieves the same fate.
Segment Rating 8/10
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Rusev Vs Big E
This was a genuinely brilliant match and we couldn't help but with that the two Powerhouses were involved in a new feud, away from this ridiculous Nationalist storyline. They both put on a great show, slamming each other with the strength and prowess that both of them posess in bundles. The match was eventually won by Rusev who managed to apply the Accolade, forcing Big E to tap out. Lana then entered the ring to address Rusev's opponent for Hell In A Cell, The Big Show. The usual celebration was short lived however as the Russian Flag failed to appear. The Big Show appeared on the Titantron laughing, he then pushed a button and the Stars and Stripes descended. For once this was actually done in a comical way and you can tell WWE wants to turn the nationalist story away from it's destructive and angry path. Or so we thought.
Match Rating 9/10
Unfortunately this segment didn't end here. In what can only be described as a ridiculous move on WWE's part, someone dressed in a US Soldiers uniform ran onto the stage, Security tried to stop him unsuccessfully so Rusev took him down with a high kick and then left. Shortly after Big Show arrived and helped the "Soldier" out of the ring before getting into the ring and getting angry. He went on to call Rusev to the ring but he didn't come out. Big Show also stated that "there are certain lines you just don't cross" refering to Rusev kicking the "Soldier". Sorry but the only one's who crossed the line here were the script writers at WWE.
Segment Rating 2/10
Brie Bella Vs Summer Rae
This was an OK match as Brie Bella schooled Summer Rae, hitting her with technicality and speed. Summer Rae was marginally better than in previous weeks but was still hugely unconvincing. Quite why WWE continue to use her when there are so many talented women in the Diva's Division and especially on NXT is a mystery. Brie saved this match with some great moves and high energy wrestling before finishing off Summer Rae.
Match Rating 6/10
Dean Ambrose was next to the ring, bringing with him a giant dufflebag. When he got to the ring he produce a "lifesize" Seth Rollins doll which he sat down in a chair and carried out a comedy routine that Steve Martin would have been proud of. Calling Rollins a dummy and the Authority's Puppet among other names. He then attacked the doll, ripping its arm off and hitting it with a hammer, tongs and a saw. Seth Rollins then came out to argue with Ambrose but was quickly interrupted by a true WWE Legend. Mick Foley, king of Hell In A Cell, made his way down the ramp. He proceeded to tell Ambrose and Rollins that he had predicted their rise since he first saw them in The Shield and knew they would end up fighting each other. He also said that he thought Rollins was the best in 'most' situations. Rollins started gloating but Foley cut him short repeating 'most' situations. Foley went on to say that Hell In a Cell favours someone of Ambrose's state of mind and that he was sure Ambrose would win on the night.
Segment Rating 9/10
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Cesaro Vs Dolph Ziggler
As always both Cesaro and Ziggler came out and gave it their all. This was a highly physical match, showing a fantastic technical display which was reminiscent of great technical wrestlers like The British Bulldog or Owen Hart. High praise indeed but it was fully justified, if they can put on this type of display at Hell In a Cell we are in for one Hell (Pun Intended) of a match. Despite this being a highly aggressive match it was plain to see the respect that the two superstars have for each others talents. Cesaro was the eventual winner after delivering a massive European Uppercut. After the bell had rung Cesaro added insult to injury by delivering a perfectly executed Neutralizer.
Match Rating 9/10
John Cena & Dean Ambrose Vs Kane, Randy Orton and Seth Rollins (Street Fight)
Yet another matchup pitting Cena & Ambrose against the Authority and we honestly feel that this could have been the best yet. It was great to see Ambrose and Rollins finally get some proper match time and it has just wetted our appetite for Hell In a Cell. The match had some shades of a traditional Hardcore Match, something that has been sorely lacking since the Attitude Era. Ambrose utilised Chairs, Tables and steps to fine effect, taking out most of the Authority with pace and brutality. Cena was on good form too hitting some savage moves, this was the new Cena that we have been seeing recently and we have to say that it is refreshing to see this darker, angry persona. The Authority start to turn the match around, Kane putting Cena through a table before Orton beckons for the Hell In A Cell structure to be lowered. The crowd erupted as the cell came down and the match hit next level. Ambrose absolutely took it up a gear, demolishing Orton with a kendo stick while Cena brawled against the cage with Kane and Rollins. Orton eventually managed to hit a blistering RKO on Ambrose to win the match. What happened next was a huge moment. Seth Rollins entered the ring and quickly hit a savage Kerb Stomp on Randy Orton. Could this have set up a new storyline where Orton wins the title from Lesnar only for Rollins to cash in his Money In The Bank Contract on him? Only Time will tell but this was a brilliant move for WWE, creating what has the potential to be a massive feud.
Match Rating 10/10
Hell In A Cell is this Sunday 26th October (Midnight Monday) and is available on Sky Sports Box Office for £14.95