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WWE Raw Results, Recap, & Reactions (Sept. 19, 2016): You’re on the list


WWE Raw returned tonight (Sept. 19, 2016) from Memphis, Tennessee and served to be the go-home show to Clash of Champions pay-per-view (PPV) this Sunday.

For your play by play results check out our live blog here.

The Main Event Scene

We always knew that the General Manager and Commissioner were going to be focal points of the stories. It’s the WWE. McMahons are always central in some capacity. In general, that sucks. It’s long overdue for them to play up authority roles more like in NXT so they can focus more on the talent.

That all being said, at least the part of that story that involves Mick Foley has been enjoyable. Foley is clearly out of his element running Raw. He’s lashing out at talent on Twitter who question him (a point that was mentioned briefly on commentary tonight). He’s losing control of the talent when he’s running the show alone like he did last week. He’s got a long line of people just ready to run him down for the job he’s doing. Hell, even Stephanie McMahon is wondering what he’s thinking half the time. He’s hanging on by a thread and if something happens that shakes him any more, the man is going to snap. (Something like Stephanie McMahon inevitably stabbing him in the back.) The moment he eventually breaks could be quite entertaining.

Unfortunately, the rest of the main event angles suffered from lack of weight behind any of the matches the GM made. Foley made two matches involving the two big feuds going into Clash of Champions this Sunday: Rusev vs. Rollins and Roman vs. Kevin Owens in a steel cage.

Foley made Rusev fight Rollins as a punishment for both men interfering last week. What a weak ass punishment. This match had zero stakes and absolutely no bearing on either man, which was a big let down after setting up for Foley to actually punish Seth. You can’t even make the argument that these two could wear each other down, putting them both at a disadvantage prior to their matches on Sunday because their opponents had a more brutal match in a steel cage later on. While one could maybe argue that this meaningless match is just another example of how poorly Mick is doing on the job, it’s a let down nonetheless.

Rusev and Rollins have not had any major matches together, if any. It’s disappointing they couldn’t give us an added reason to care, especially because Rollins and Rusev had a fun match together. It ended in count out and the men brawled up the ramp to the announce desk, but even that didn’t feel heavy because prior to this match, the men had no real heat with each other to earn that type of announce table spot.

You could argue that the cage match main event made a titch of sense. This is WWE after all and a win against the champ always puts you in the running for a title down the line, so this could be considered making it right by Roman. However since it wasn’t explicitly mentioned, this too felt like a fun match with no stakes heading into the PPV. Of course, the champion loses because that’s what new champions do in the WWE. And while the way Owens lost doesn’t hurt him too much, it does either man zero favors.

Now, Owens already has a one on one loss as champion within a month of winning the title. And Roman beating the hardcore fan favorite in Kevin Owens, a win where Roman kicked out of KO’s finish, is not going to help any to get those fans to cheer him. Maybe WWE just has given up on this already. It’s been years and I’m not entirely sure that WWE really knows how they want to treat Roman Reigns yet.

Triple Threat Match

The Women’s title match for Clash of Champions is now a triple threat after Dana Brooke mentioned to Mick Foley that both Bayley and Sasha’s shoulders were on the mat in last week’s number one contenders match, making it a double pin. While her argument was that Charlotte shouldn’t have to face either of them, Foley had other ideas. He figured the champ should fight both of them.

When the double pin wasn’t mentioned last week, we assumed it was a mistake. And maybe it was. But even if it was, they went ahead and added to the story, which was the correct way to address it.

Right after the announcement, Bayley and Sasha teamed against Charlotte and Dana Brooke. Much of the match, Charlotte and Brooke worked over Sasha’s taped up midsection and back, softening her up for the match Sunday. However, it was Bayley who ended up getting pinned after Brooke wisely held onto Charlotte’s leg to prevent Bayley hitting the Bayley-to-Belly on the champ. While Charlotte and Dana are continuing to fray as a unit, especially because it was Dana’s actions that lead to the triple threat match, she can still be used as an advantage and it’s something to watch for on Sunday.

Adding Bayley to the title match is the right move. It solves the problem of what to do with her this Sunday. They couldn’t leave her off the first Raw exclusive pay-per-view given the fact she just debuted. And a match between her and Dana Brooke, really the only other option, is one we’ve already seen and not one that is pay-per-view caliber.

A triple threat is a perfect spot not just to continue to tell the story of Charlotte and Sasha, but to start to tell the story between Bayley and Sasha, a feud that will likely be present for years to come. And those three in a triple threat match are bound to put on a fun match.

Now, three of the four horsewomen are fighting for the Raw Women’s championship while the fourth has the SmackDown Women’s championship. That’s pretty damn cool.

Meet the Cruiserweights

During the third hour, Mick Foley introduced the new Cruiserweight division by introducing four men in the division, Rich Swann, Brian Kendrick, Gran Metalik, and Cedric Alexander. All four men got their own introduction before Mick let them know they’d be fighting in a Fatal 4-Way for a shot at TJ Perkins’ cruiserweight championship.

The introduction was one segment. The match received two. These men were tasked with the responsibility of selling the crowd and all of those at home on the division. And while the crowd was a bit quiet at first, these men were able to hook them in with various high spots, impressive moves, and one angry, nasty Brian Kendrick.

I see why people want the cruiserweights on SmackDown, but this is absolutely the way to use them. Raw is a long three hours. Long. This is exactly the brand of action to break up the monotony. The third hour is often the dead zone for Raw and they filled it with 30 minutes of cruiserweights instead of mindless filler before the main event that kills the crowd. They probably won’t get three segments like this weekly (they had to merge 3 storylines into one multi-man match to make the time) but it gives them flexibility.

The one gripe I have is the fact that the winner of the CWC and cruiserweight champion wasn’t represented at all. He didn’t come out in the beginning when Foley introduced the potential challengers. He didn’t come out at the end to stand in the ring with Kendrick. While the crowd knows Kendrick, it would have been wise to introduce the man he’s facing to help build interest. Most of the way they handled the cruiserweights was good, leaving out the current champion of the division and face of the division was questionable.

Get it all in

Nearing the third hour, there was a segment that started with Chris Jericho reading off a list of grievances against GM Mick Foley. (He’s just another who’s been running down the GM.) It turned into a segment to service three different feuds going into Clash of Champions, as Enzo and Cass, the Shining Stars, New Day, the Club, and Sami Zayn all got involved. If you’ve ever watched wrestling, you can guess what happened next: Multi-person tag!

While segments that try to get a ton of feuds represented are often lazy, this one was brief and had one huge thing going for it: Chris frickin’ Jericho. Chris Jericho has been fantastic as the pretentious best friend of Kevin Owens and now he’s got a list. A list! The combination of Chris Jericho and lists is a match made in heaven. Whether it be his expressions as everyone interrupted or his decision to make a second list... (the stupid idiot list!), he was superb. While the rest of the teams didn’t get much time for anything because they had to let 5 other crews get their stuff in, it’s nice to hear how hot the crowd is for the face tag teams of Enzo & Cass and the New Day. It makes these types of segments more tolerable when the crowd is feeling it.

The match was only one segment, so they got to the big spots quicker and it didn’t drag like other multi-man tags have.

All the rest

Foregone conclusion: The moment that Cesaro went down 0-3, the suspense of the next three matches was gone. This isn’t real sport where an 0-3 deficit actually means you’re probably going to lose. This is pro-wrestling where an 0-3 deficit probably means you’re going to win.

And while these guys put on good matches together, aside from the slowly worsening back of Cesaro, there was nothing to distinguish any of these matches from the other. There was no match that did something different, such as end really quickly or end in a DQ/count out, to separate itself from the others. As soon as 0-3 happened, it was just three matches, albeit good ones, that all blended together to get us here.

Athletic Beef: Braun Strowman didn’t just defeat Sin Cara, continuing their issues from weeks back, but Michael Cole marveled at his athleticism.

Rhymin’ Bo: Bo is continuing to squash, but it’s not seeming to click. His entrance, where he’s still working the smiling character a bit, and his in ring work and promo, which is very aggressive and serious, don’t mesh at all. It’s a disconnect and perhaps that is why.

The main event matches, including Rollins extremely lame "punishment" were fun matches but with no reason for us to care. The cruiserweights had a good showing, despite the weird call to leave TJ Perkins off the show, and Jericho continues to be gold. All and all, this show felt average while the main event angles were lackluster storywise. And that’s not a good feeling for a go home show.

Here’s how a bunch of you all graded it.

Sound off below, Cagesiders.

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