In typical Raw fashion, we kick off with the WWE US & World Champion, Seth Rollins. He goes over the usual stuff that he discusses and the crowd chants "boring" for a bit. Seth did a good job with this, telling them that as the champ, he can talk for as long as he wants. Sting appears on the Titantron with Seth's statue and dares him to come get it. Then Sheamus comes out to basically say that he MIGHT cash in at Night of Champions since Seth is working twice. That's it. After a commercial, Seth complains to Stephanie and Triple H appears. He says that Sheamus will face Randy Orton tonight (eww) and Seth will wrestle twice. This should have been covered in the first segment because our opening match had to go to a quick commercial due to this. That match was Paige vs. Sasha Banks. They had a good match a few weeks back but last week's 1:40 stuff sucked. This was better, but not as good as the their first match. Things went well until we got a shitty finish where Naomi distracted the referee and Sasha got a rollup for the win. At least Sasha won and Paige looked devastated at the loss. I think it'll lead to Paige turning on her team since she's struggled so much since joining them.
So one of my favorite things about actually watching Smackdown last week was seeing the Ascension join Stardust as the Cosmic Wasteland. What happens on Raw? The Ascension appear with no Stardust and get sent to job in under three minutes to Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Couldn't some other jobbers have done this? Was this dropped? Why can't creative just be consistent for once? I get that Reigns and Ambrose had to win but they should have had different opponents. Where was Fandango or Adam Rose or something? The Wyatts cut a post match promo about their upcoming Night of Champions match but this wasn't very good.
We get a horrible TMZ like video package for the Summer/Dolph/Rusev/Lana angle. Then, Seth Rollins' first match of the night is Champion vs. Champion against The Ryback, with zero build. These matches are good ideas on paper but are kind of lose/lose. Either one guy eats a clean pin or one guy wins in rather cheap fashion and either way, nobody gains anything. They had a decent little match and Seth worked well with Ryback and of course, we get a distraction finish from Sting, allowing Ryback to roll him up. So far, a pretty bad show. Then things got amazing as New Day ran into Seth backstage with their trombone. Edge and Christian showed up and Seth left. E&C busted out their kazoos against the trombone and Big E ate one of the kazoos. Then the Dudley Boyz showed up, saying that it's New Day vs. PTP next week for the belts and the winners face the Dudleys at Night of Champions. It was surreal to see E&C and the Dudleys on TV next to the New Day, there were kazoos and a trombone, it was silly and generally all around enjoyable. New Day continues to be the highlight of Raw each and every week.
The awful TMZ like video airs again for some godforsaken reason and Summer Rae comes to the ring. She calls out Rusev to apologize to him. She blamed Ziggler, but also seemed to get way into the idea of a naked Dolph. Rusev accepted her apology and called her submissive. Ziggler showed up and Rusev called him a bad boyfriend for not being at Lana's side, now that she's injured. Dolph superkicks him and Rusev scurries with Summer. Overall, this was pretty dull, but Rusev continues to be the only relatively enjoyable thing about this entire program.
Up next, it's match number 121 in the never ending series between Orton & Sheamus. As usual, they have a match that is technically fine, but it's just there. There isn't much effort and it isn't very good. Orton wins with an RKO. Why couldn't Cesaro, who needs the win a million times more than Orton, have beaten Sheamus on Smackdown? Did Orton need this? Then, because Orton was talking with Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns backstage, the Wyatt Family show up to take him out to avoid him being Ambrose and Reigns' partner at Night of Champions. So they beat up Orton but Ambrose and Reigns don't care enough to show up and try to help him. They pulled their best "John Cena" and didn't help their friend.
The Dudley Boyz appeared next for a tag team match against Los Matadores. They worked a short match, which is good since Matadores are a team going nowhere. For some reason, a Matador randomly attacks El Torito, so the Dudleys come in and put him through a table. I'm pretty sure Torito will still be Los Matadores this Friday since creative can't keep something going. Speaking of things not continuing, remember that Cesaro push we seemed to be headed towards? Well, it doesn't seem like we are. The crowd popped for him as he faced the Miz. Now, Miz plays a great cowardly heel and isn't in the midst of a push, so this should be a win for Cesaro. Easy booking right? Wrong. Big Show shows up to ruin things, we get a fucking double countout, so Cesaro can't even roll inside and win by countout while Show chases Miz. Then, to top things off, Big Show knocks out Cesaro. Why? What the fuck was this?
Team Bella shows up to cut a promo about the party that will take place after Nikki breaks the record. It will be a "Bellabration." Sheesh. This brings out Team PCB and Charlotte says that her title match has been moved up to next week, where she can stop Nikki from breaking the record. They brawl and she makes Nikki tap to the figure eight. This was short, to the point and built to the match next week. I do think that they should have the clock on the tron during the match and have it tick down, adding some tension to it. That could be really good.
The main event was New Day and Rollins facing John Cena and the Prime Time Players. This was a fun match. Xavier Woods may top my Fave Five this week, purely for his trombone antics at ringside. He made this a million times better than it actually was. I thought Seth would take the loss, but instead, they had Cena pin Kofi after an AA. That was a better idea and still sold Seth being upset at two losses. Sting then showed up on the tron and destroyed Seth's statue in a trash compactor. So, after last week's dreadful Raw we get another bad episode. The only good thing was the New Day. Everything else was either average, bad or flat out completely dumb. Creative's lack of direction or ability to keep something going really hurts this show on a weekly basis. At least there are two matches for next week's "Season Premiere" that should be fun, but this was a lifeless episode. 3/10