Tonight’s Raw was pushed as the “season premiere” of Monday Night Raw, which is always a weird thing for them to do considering that they have no real “off-season.” It makes you wonder if they were intentionally phoning it in before or what. The reality here is that Monday Night Football returned to the airwaves tonight and that they had to do a lot to keep fans from flipping over. Part of that plan was dusting off the corpse of Jerry Springer for an awful segment with the Bella Twins, the rest seemed to be about promoting wrestling matches.
Novel idea, right?
Last week I went on a lengthy tirade about how John Cena’s character makes zero sense and why so many people dislike him. This week he gave us a reason to like him, which felt weird, but we are totally okay with. Funny how that works, right? This week’s Raw felt like they were trying again and while it still had its problems, we are much more kind to shows that try.
Bray Wyatt with a Logical Win Over Jericho
What? Are you serious? Bray Wyatt picked up a logical win over Chris Jericho in a steel cage match to open up Raw? My god. Finally. I am still not too sure about these two working together, something just seems off between them. Not everyone has that chemistry in the ring together, which is okay. This match was pretty good, one of the better cage matches we’ve seen in a while, for sure. Hell, Jericho even did a cross body off of the top, which was crazy.
Jericho tweaked his knee on the landing and Wyatt swarmed while he tried to escape, then himself just rolled out of the ring to win before attacking the knee some more. They need to do some serious rebuilding for Wyatt to be taken seriously but this was a very good first step. I do hope this feud is over, though.
Randy Orton did assault him backstage, so I guess they are gonna build to that now?
Rollins and Sheamus Go, Cesaro Gets the Last Laugh
You know, if you were booking pro wrestling it would be a good idea for the rising to the top heel in Seth Rollins to get the win here, but you understand that it doesn’t have to be clean. What better way to do that than to have Cesaro, Sheamus’s opponent at Night of Champions, come out and distract him, setting up a Rollins win? Good, solid professional wrestling here. Nothing to complain about!
John Cena Brings the Heat
John Cena has been really, really bad over the past few months. Just has no place in WWE and it feels like he’s just shoehorned into top programs and it never quite makes sense. Paul Heyman finally got what he wanted, which was to get underneath Cena’s skin. Thank god for that, because Cena cut an emotional, logical and amazing promo in response. He didn’t have to compromise his values (well, that much, he still threatened Heyman) and did the best work that he’s done on the mic in years. This is the John Cena that we want to see.
Sadly WWE only uploaded the crappy part of the promo, but track down the rest for sure. It was really good. Brock returns next week and we’ve been promised a collision between the two. We know now that Lesnar has a new contract with expanded dates, which can only make this title run better.
NXT “Takes Over” Raw
NXT Takeover II is this Thursday and is shaping up to be an amazing show. The show will be headlined by a fatal four way for the NXT Championship between Champion Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn, Tyler Breeze and Tyson Kidd. All four men were in a pretty good tag match on Raw.
Oh yeah, we got confirmation that KENTA is debuting on Thursday. Yes. Yes. YES.
Goldust and Stardust Continue to Be Awesome
Joe Rogan might get all sorts of weird about the concept of Goldust on his podcast, but we all know that this is Dustin’s best work that he’s done in his career thus far and that it’s awesome to behold. Cody is completely living this David Bowie/Ace Frehley hybrid weirdo and it’s super entertaining.
This Ziggler/Miz feud has been really solid, classic professional wrestling goofiness. They got topical about the Hollywood nude photos leaked by having Ziggler leak “embarrassing” photos of the Miz taken backstage by his stunt double, Damian Mizdow.
The Intercontinental title hasn’t had this decent of a feud in what feels like forever. Weird, right?
Orton vs. Reigns II Was Better, Rollins Only Helped
This was all kinds of fun. I really wasn’t feeling their Summerslam match, although it was good for what it was, but this had some of that history to build off of. Roman gets his spots in, Randy works most of the match, everyone is happy. It would make sense if they were moving Orton away from Reigns for a bit to have Reigns feud with Rollins because Rollins/Reigns has the most potential for being fun and making the most sense.
After the Authority interfered they lowered the cage where Reigns hit his spots on Orton only to then be interrupted by a crazy Seth Rollins dive and Kane coming in to play clean up. This put over Reigns as a superface and Rollins as a guy willing to do anything to be taken seriously. Good stuff.