WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Sept. 29, 2014) from Chicago, Illinois featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (PPV) next month in Dallas. That includes, well, the company still struggling to find a direction for that very show.
Click here to get full results with the live blog. Let's get to reacting to all the night's events.
This may have been one really long dick joke
Stay with me here.
Dean Ambrose steals Seth Rollins' Money in the Bank briefcase on SmackDown last week and The Authority promises they'll do whatever they can to get it back this week. Ultimately, that included recruiting Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury -- who may or may not be to Triple H what Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco were to Vince McMahon, though they played the corporate suck up, bumbling boobs part to perfection -- to run Ambrose down.
Except they didn't run him down, they just sort of wondered aimlessly until Ambrose himself made his way out to the ring after his music played, making his whereabouts quite obvious. Dean's response to seeing these two?
"Uh-oh! They sent the cruiserweight division out to get me."
Instead of putting up a fight, however, J&J Security go get Rollins, who Dean invites into the ring with the promise that he can have his briefcase back and hey, no harm, no foul.
Rollins, the big dummy he is, accepts this offer, gets in the ring, opens the briefcase, and is sprayed with green gunk.
Tee hee, ha ha.
Not long after this, there was a skit backstage with The Authority setting up the main event of the evening. Suddenly, a strange vibrating could be heard and Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Randy Orton, and Kane were all befuddled. The camera pans to the briefcase, showing Rollins grabbing it while claiming "it's an electric razor"!
This for a man who has a full beard.
The insinuation, quite obviously, is that Rollins' had a vibrator in the briefcase. That's a stupid enough joke as it is but if we consider what happened earlier in the night, is it really that much of a stretch to think that they also insinuated that Ambrose rigged the theoretical vibrator to spew that green load all over Rollins when he opened the briefcase?
That would make this entire ordeal one really long dick joke and while I would normally reject that notion outright, this is WWE and, well, track record.
All that said, Ambrose was wildly entertaining throughout the entire evening and Rollins was effective in his role, even if the material was, well, what it was.
Segment grade: B-
But not least:
- Count me among the many who badly wanted something more for the entire Wyatt Family but did anyone expect this? Not only are we getting a throwback to the early vignettes that introduced us to Bray, but we're getting real backstory for Luke Harper, who is quite possibly the most underrated talent currently on the WWE roster. What does this mean for Erick Rowan? That much isn't clear but right now, who cares?
- They finally got around to addressing that small matter of the WWE world heavyweight champion and the fact that he was nearly beaten at the last PPV before an interruption from the most hated man in WWE. The follow up? WWE is now claiming John Cena was going to win and Rollins blew it for him while Rollins simply apologized to Paul Heyman and doted on Brock Lesnar. Heyman cautioned Rollins not to make the same mistake twice, Triple H weirdly thanked Heyman for the conversation, and that was it. That was literally all of it. There is zero direction for the WWE title right now. For as nice as it may have felt as a fan to have Lesnar retain the title, it feels equally disappointing that there is no direction for it.
- The triple threat Intercontinental title match was entertaining, with Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, and The Miz delivering a strong showing in a difficult spot. That said, this was disappointing follow up to the angle they ran with Cesaro on SmackDown last week. If this were another step toward transitioning The Miz out and Cesaro in to the title picture that would be one thing but Sheamus & Ziggler vs. Miz & Mizdow has already been announced for SmackDown this week. So, really, this looks a lot like the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing and that's disappointing considering how well the Ziggler-Cesaro pairing worked.
- Tyson Kidd worked Raw, so I guess the rumors of NXT talents appearing on the show were true after all! Kidding, of course. This was all about pushing Total Divas. The story? Kidd, who Michael Cole kept calling "TJ" (he's shooting!), couldn't have given a shit less about anything going on in the ring and it was upsetting his wife, Natalya, who was out to support her travel buddy, Rosa Mendes. The entire segment was Rosa having one of the worst matches you'll ever see with Layla while Natalya yelled at Kidd as he sat around wearing headphones watching his phone. Needless to say, this was monumentally dumb and no one cared.
- Bo Dallas pinned Mark Henry after the best Bo-Dog he's hit all year, continuing "The World's Strongest Man's" slow turn back to the dark side. This worked well for what it was, Henry continuing his slow descent into emotional madness through increasingly embarrassing competitive failure. His later killing of Dallas backstage was a throwback to the 2011 wig-splitting Henry who took SmackDown by storm and I, for one, am eager to welcome the big monster back.
- It's clear they have no direction for Stardust & Goldust but one thing has been made obvious after all this time: Stardust is out of his mind and Goldust is the glue holding the two together, channeling their talent into a tag title run. Let's hope that's an angle they both recognize and plan on implementing to greater effect later on.
- The more they ask Nikki Bella to talk, the more she seems to regress, so she really is like her twin sister Brie in that regard. But this idea that WWE would book Nikki to recruit Eva Marie and Cameron to work a handicap match is so far removed from any reality that could exist within kayfabe-land that no one's mind can handle it. The match was, predictably enough, hot garbage.
- So, Hornswoggle dressed up like a gator and executed a gator roll on El Torito after Slater Gator defeated Los Matadores before Adam Rose and a giant Bunny put a stop to it. This is our life, WWE fans. This is our entertainment.
- When we vote on the "Promo of the Year" in December, I will be terribly disappointed in all of you if Rusev doesn't run away with it for the masterful display he gave us here. "I WILL FIST YOUR THROAT, I WILL BITE YOUR EAR, I WILL KICK YOUR GROIN." Big Show, upon hearing this, responds with the best "the fuck" face you'll see. Rusev is the best pro wrestler no one wants to recognize as the best pro wrestler. You're all terrible for not recognizing as much.
- AJ Lee vs. Paige is the feud that will never end. This time, Paige has a new best friend, the crazy Alicia Fox, because remember, folks, all the women in WWE have to be crazy in some form or fashion. At least the CM Punk chants weren't entirely unbearable.
- Can Hulk Hogan just stop, please?
- John Cena feels a whole lot like a third wheel now, doesn't it? Has this ever happened before? The main event program in WWE right now is Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins and while they're trying to handle their business Cena is popping in at the worst times and dragging it all down. At least Ambrose is getting booked to be the hot tag, right?
This show wasn't bad. It wasn't anything special, but it wasn't bad.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you like it, if you liked it at all?