I was finally able to watch Raw live instead of the following morning for the first time in maybe a year last night. Granted, I was working through the first hour, but still, I watched. Raw opened as if it was a catalog for Men's Warehouse again because the Authority walked to ring, all in suits. This sausage fest severely lacked Stephanie McMahon and her assets. Triple H makes the interesting announcement that the winner of the upcoming Randy Orton/John Cena match will earn a future title shot at Brock Lesnar. Two things about that. One, Randy better win because a first time ever Orton/Brock match sounds a lot better to me than Brock/Cena again and two, why is it that a match that was a consolation prize, ends up with a bigger meaning than Ambrose/Rollins? Best part of the segment was Kane not saying a word, but stealing the promo by having his pyro go off and his theme playing.
After the monotony that is the weekly opening segment, we move to a six man tag. WEEKLY REMATCH ALERT! Oh, but the WWE is all like "We're not going to give you the same thing you saw on Smackdown!" because instead of Miz and the Dust Brothers taking on The Usos and Sheamus, Damien Mizdow stands in. The crowd pops hard for this. We get a basic six man tag, which is so repetitive, but Mizdow enters and again gets another pop. He ends up winning the match with a rollup and Miz marks out like a little kid at ringside. While the match was nothing special, Miz's recaction and a Mizdow win made this segment worth it.
Randy Orton is backstage with Triple H and thanks him for the opportunity to get a WWE Title shot. Triple H says that it was Seth Rollins' idea, which only angers Orton. We cut to a video package for Erick Rowan because the WWE seems to have ZERO clue what to do with the Wyatt Family. Cutting from beast to beauty, AJ Lee comes out for a match with Alicia Fox. Another solid, but unspectacular match. Paige attacks Fox for some reason, which distracts AJ and allows Fox to roll her up. Strange ending. Shouldn't this move Fox into the AJ/Paige match at Hell in a Cell? And Mizdow should also get into Miz/Sheamus? Champions just lose all the time if you couple this with Dolph Ziggler losing on Raw and Smackdown.
Randy Orton gets in Seth Rollins' face and Seth basically says that if Randy wins the title, he'll cash in on him. This leads to Randy coming to the ring after the commercial. That's right, FOUR Randy Orton appearances in one hour. Oh, and he still has the main event to come. He cuts a promo on his match with John Cena, bringing out the 15 time Champion. Stop me if you've heard this before. Orton was serious about the feud, but Cena played his cornball comedy card as always. The saving grace is the arrival of Paul Heyman, who puts over both men and Brock Lesnar. Cena is tired of his poopy and lifts him up for the AA. He stops for some reason and puts him down, allowing Randy to RKO him. Heyman is relieved and goes to exit but Orton hits him with one too. The RKO vine frenzy makes it to Raw. Also, Heyman sells the RKO better than most.
Oh look everyone, it's another rematch. Rusev beats Big E in a rematch of Payback, I believe another Pay-Per-View and Main Event last week. This was nothing although Rusev continues to impress me with his ability to sell like a champ. After the match, Rusev does the opposite of Cena and seriously builds the match, promising to eat Big Show's heart. Damn. The Russian flag fails to come down and Big Show shows up on screen laughing. Instead, Lex Luger's 1993 theme hits and the American flag comes down! Rusev goes to pull it down but a fake soldier tries to enter and save it only to get kicked by Rusev. After the break, Big Show comes out and starts to cry, because it's what he does best. He talks about how wrong Rusev was, even though he pulled down the Russian flag last week. Also, they conveniently act like the soldier was in the right for trying to run in. This built towards the Hell in a Cell match well at least but the constant US/Russia nonsense is tiring. Can't Big Show just want revenge for Rusev beating his friend?
Divas action begins again as Brie Bella went one on one with Summer Rae. If you watch Total Divas, you know that Summer is the unjust pariah of the show and Brie is a total bitch, but somehow is considered the face. This was short, Brie won, Nikki was frustrated backstage and Brie stole her husband's "Yes!" chants. Meh. Dean Ambrose comes out lugging a huge bag with him and he pulls out a Seth Rollins mannequin. This is strange. Ambrose makes it work though by making "dummy" puns and steals the entire show by hitting a piledriver on the mannequin. It was fantastic. Seth Rollins and the Cruiserweight division show up to interrupt and plug Hell in a Cell. Surprisingly, Mick Foley's theme hits! The crowd wakes up for this and it's pretty great to see him back. He saved the dummy segment and kept things serious, except for a cheap pop. Ambrose proclaims that "nobody in this company gets him", which is so true considering the comedy segments that he's been given recently.
After losing to Rusev on Smackdown, Randy Orton on Raw and then Seth Rollins on the most recent Smackdown, Dolph Ziggler stepped into the ring with Cesaro. Once again, the Intercontinental Champion loses a match on TV. You know, with Brock Lesnar not around, the mid-card titles should REALLY be important. If Brock can't be here, people should clamor for the next best thing and it should be built as so. However, on this show alone, both mid-card champions lost and so did the Divas Champion. The mid-card titles are props and that's terrible.
We get told that on the Hell in a Cell Kickoff Show, The Miz will be a guest on Mizdow TV. This is, besides Ambrose/Rollins, the thing I'm looking forward to the most on the show. Our main event is a 3 on 2 handicap Street Fight pitting Cena and Ambrose against Orton, Kane and Rollins. Look, it's the same five guys who have gone in and out of the main event. Even though this was a street fight, everybody followed normal tag rules, which was pretty dumb. A bunch of finishers were hit and Orton pins Ambrose. Seriously? While Ambrose didn't look bad, you couldn't have him finally pin Kane? Protecting Kane is an absurdly stupid move. I understand trying to keep Orton strong heading into HIAC but then Seth Rollins Curb Stomps him to close the show, meaning he stands tall. So Ambrose seriously couldn't get the pin?
Overall, this episode of Raw wasn't better than last week's, but it wasn't bad. Seeing Mick Foley was interesting and the matches were relatively good. However, the constant rematches and shoddy booking of the mid-card champions kills me. Extra half point for Mizdow earning a win. 6.5/10.