Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor Day Raw Report 9-1-14

Raw opens with the Highlight Reel, which, as announced last week, was supposed to feature Randy Orton. Instead, the Authority comes out looking like a Men's Warehouse fashion show. Triple H does his usual WWE Network plugs and everyone trades childish insults. HHH threatens to change the WWE Title match for Night of Champions, so everyone stakes their claim. Orton, Kane, Chris Jericho and Seth Rollins all say their piece and Seth gets the loudest pop as we're in his hometown. Cena arrives and complains that he's going to take HHH to court, which HHH makes a joke about. Orton makes the good point about still being owed a WrestleMania rematch. Anyway, Roman Reigns comes out and this is basic stuff. The WWE continues to channel Teddy Long because playa, we gonna have ourselves a six man tag team match.

The opening match was an improvement over the opening segment. The United States and Intercontinental Champions, Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler, teamed up to face their top contenders, The Miz and Cesaro. Miz now has an entourage that includes Damien Mizdow and a makeup chick. I like where his character is going. This was a fun match because all four guys can work and Miz even tags in his stunt double at one point! That allowed Miz to hit the Skull Crushing Finale and get the pin. I enjoyed this. However, things go downhill as we get a "Growing Up Bella" segment where Nikki Bella claims that Brie Bella stole her prom date. I have a feeling these are going to get worse.

We get a bit of a Total Divas bout now as Layla, Naomi and Summer Rae joined forces to face Cameron, the awful Rosa Mendes and Eva Marie. I will never be able to fathom why you have to have one minute messes on a three hour show. Stop showing me nonsense recaps all night and have time for the actual matches. Whatever. The faces win, and Summer Rae is I guess a face officially now. Rosa's eight year losing streak continues. She's like the Barry Horowitz of the divas division. 

It's time for one of them rematches that we love so much, Big Show and Mark Henry against Erick Rowan and Luke Harper. I smell another loss for the Wyatt Family. This actually got about ten minutes, but it felt like thirty. The crowd got bored and started to chant "Sexual Chocolate" at Mark, which led to Rusev coming out and causing a disqualification. This was the worst encounter between these two teams as they haven't been bad over the past few weeks. "Growing Up Bella" continues with Nikki speaking about Brie being selfish. Nikki tells a story and, if it's true, doesn't make Brie seem sympathetic, it makes her sound selfish. Not the way the face should be painted. 

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena hype video package time as it looks like we might not see Brock until Night of Champions and I'd be perfectly fine with that. No need for him to make useless Raw appearances and it makes seeing the Champion a special treat. Jack Swagger faced Curtis Axel next, who is without the "Big Guy" Ryback as he is healing up from a variety of injuries. Bo Dallas shows up mid match on stage and Swagger wins via submission. Bo brings out random Americans that Swagger failed, including a farmer who lost everything by betting on Jack, a tailor who lost his citizenship test and a woman who has kids that want to be like Vladimir Putin after Swagger lost. Not bad stuff.

The WWE invited Michael Sam to Raw next week and I guess it's for publicity, since no other seventh round pick that got cut would ever be invited to Raw. Adam Rose beat Titus O'Neil is a useless match as the bunny beat up Heath Slater. No point to this whatsoever. More "Growing Up Bella" as Nikki talks about what a good sister she is. The best thing about this are the memes that have gone up online where Nikki says Brie did ridiculous things. One was Nikki saying "Brie told Vince that Bret screwed Bret." Funny.

Rusev kills Zack Ryder next and Mark Henry comes out for revenge, but again gets beaten down. Meh. Stephanie McMahon comes out for the next segment, and trades admiration with Nikki Bella, who is thankful to get to tell her story. The crowd gives it some "boring" chants and Stephanie wants Nikki to be the face of the Divas division so she gives her a title match. Brie comes out to whine again until AJ joins us to make this interesting. She tells Stephanie that she's the number one contender because she has yet to get her rematch. Paige shows up and it's like the opening segment all over again. Her and AJ seem to poke some fun at Nikki Bella and then Brie shoves Nikki into Paige. Things end there and it seems like they're merging these feuds. On one hand, I want just Paige and AJ, but on the other hand, it might make the Bellas tolerable.

Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt in a Steel Cage is announced for next week, which should be a good match, but with a predictable outcome. Goldust defeated Jimmy Uso next and the Dust Brothers continued their heel tactics by assaulting the champions. I feel that this has to lead to a Tag Team Title match at Night of Champions and the Dust Brothers should win. Big Show tells Mark Henry in the back that they could be the Tag Team Champions but he needs to deal with Rusev on his own and for his country. Show sounds like he wants no part of Rusev right?

The six man tag main event got over twenty minutes, which is pretty cool. This is where Roman Reigns is at his best, when he can be shielded, pun intended, by his partners. The fans were treated to a good main event with a lot of action and Roman Reigns got the win with a Spear on Kane. The right man to eat the pinfall. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are at ringside to observe, and after the match, John Cena hits Seth Rollins with the Attitude Adjustment on the announce table because he's supposed to be a more serious Cena heading into Night of Champions, but I see no change.

Tonight's Raw seemed like they mailed it in. Nothing special happened but it wasn't an awful episode. 5/10. For next week, in addition to the Steel Cage match, Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton is announced and Paige will face Brie Bella on Smackdown. Until next time, follow me on Twitter @the_kevstaaa.