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WWE Raw recap & reactions (Sept. 25, 2017): Not in the same league


WWE Raw returned last night (Sept. 25) from Ontario, California with their fallout from the No Mercy pay-per-view (PPV). You can find all the results at the live blog here.

Reunion Imminent

The Miztourage? Seriously? They’re going to reunite the Shield to face the Miztourage?

Rumblings were floating around the Twittah Machine last night about a possible Shield reunion to happen as soon as a month from now. WWE used that to tease a MizTV segment with Roman Reigns that opened this episode of Raw.

Roman started by saying he respected John Cena. The idea of the Shield didn’t come up until Miz started talking about how he’s so much better than Jason Jordan. Roman reminded the A Lister that he’s been in the ring with both Jordan and Miz and Jordan is leagues above Hollywood’s own. In fact if there wasn’t a Miztourage, there’s a good chance JJ would be champ right now.

This turned into Miz claiming that Roman entered WWE riding the coattails of two other superstars and if the Miztourage existed at that time, no one would have heard of the Shield. Roman had the right response.

He laughed.

That’s totally appropriate. The Miztourage aren’t anywhere near the league of the Shield. And they’re totally not worth a Shield reunion. Plus Roman made it known that he was on a different path than Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. He’s focused on the Universal title. That makes sense too!

None-the-less, it looks like we’re headed towards the Shield vs. the Miztourage. They made it clear this is where we’re going after Roman defeated Miz one on one. The Miz and his Tourage triple teamed the Big Dog.

But he’s The Guy and he fought back against all three men. The trio needed to take chairs to Roman to get him down. Reigns took two Skull Crushing Finales, one on a chair. To make things more obvious, all three members of the Miztourage did the Shield fist bump in the middle of the ring.

So yes, it totally looks like the Shield is going to reunite to fight one of the lamest factions. Don’t get me wrong. I love the Miz. But Dallas and Axel are Grade A Losers. Hell, they couldn’t triple team Reigns successfully the first time. They needed multiple tries. The Shield fighting the MIztourage is akin to bringing a bazooka to a knife fight. It’s overkill and then some.

And it’s a disappointing way to reunite such a revered faction. (Then again, they did reunite DX against the Spirit Squad so there’s precedent.)

It’s entirely possible that I’m upset they’re not doing it the way I want, which would be to build a major dominant trio and then reveal the Shield as the one team to stand up to them. Roman doesn’t need Dean and Seth to defeat Miz’s stable. He could probably do it alone in a 3 on 1 match.

I suppose they can straight up squash the Miztourage (with the Miz bailing early when he sees the writing on the wall) at TLC and another trio emerges to challenge the epic stable. Perhaps the New Day want to make a claim as the most dominant trio and with a duel branded Survivor Series not far away, that could happen. And that’s a match I could get excited for.

In end, the idea of a Shield reunion is cool because it’s a Shield reunion, but putting them together to face the Miztourage is really lame.

Path of Destruction

Braun Strowman was definitely unhappy about how last night’s title match against Brock Lesnar ended. So he made it his mission to destroy a few dudes.

The first of those dudes was Curt Hawkins, who started things off by daring someone to come make history and end his losing streak (a great gimmick by the way.) Braun Strowman answered. And Hawkins did the smartest thing in his life:

He hightailed it and ran.

Unfortunately, Strowman speedily chased him down in the crowd and slammed him through a table. Then, to put on the finishing touches, he powerslammed Hawkins through the LED screen on the stage. These are the type of theatrics that make Strowman so enjoyable.

But he wasn’t done. He wanted real competition. And he got Dean Ambrose. Perhaps, Dean’s a lunatic after all.

Ambrose had to employ a different style against the Monster Among Men than Brock Lesnar did the night before. He couldn’t go toe to toe, so he tried to be crafty. A thumb to the eye. Using Braun’s momentum against him.

A tornado DDT on the floor (once again using Braun’s own momentum to drop him on his head) was the only thing that gave Ambrose a chance, but he never really had one. It ended with a running powerslam.

It’d be surprising if Braun is done with his path of destruction. Great! Braun on an angry path of destruction is always entertaining.

Everyone Hates ‘Zo

Enzo Amore is an insufferable ass. And it makes for great television.

He started by hampering Kurt Angle, first for a big party to celebrate his new title. When Kurt Angle tried to offer him some advice as a former champ, Enzo passed and left the room.

Later he asked the GM for a no-contact clause for his Raw closing celebration and Angle was so frustrated with him, he gave it to him to make him go away.

Enzo continued to be the worst as he cut a promo during his celebration. He piled on the obnoxious and took credit for bringing viewership to 205 Live. While that may actually be true, it also feeds into the idea that he thinks way too highly of himself.

The entire cruiserweight division came out on the stage in solidarity and Zo took that opportunity to run them all down one by one, like the asshole that he is.

Finally, Neville came out and cut a promo on the champ, talking about how Amore was dumped on the doorstep of the Cruiserweight division. The former King said he would have left him out in the cold but others felt Enzo deserved a shot. And how did he repay them? By making the competitors look bad, making the show look bad, and more importantly, making Neville look bad.

Neville made his way to the ring as Enzo cowardly hid behind the piece of paper that Kurt gave him. Neville had a choice to make. If he attacked the champ, he wouldn’t get a chance to win his precious title back. He looked back at the rest of the division and he made his decision. He unloaded on Amore.

It was catharsis for him, the division, and all the fans who think Enzo doesn’t deserve to be champ. Because he doesn’t. That’s the story they’ve been telling since he arrived on 205 Live.

This will keep Neville out of the title picture for awhile, and a good way to do so. And it confirms that Enzo really is the heel here.

It was a great segment, probably my favorite on this episode.

Alexa rules... and so does Mickie

Alexa Bliss came out to the ring and promo’d like only she can. She ran down the crowd for talking about Asuka and possible issues between Bayley and Sasha, but ignoring her for cleaning out the women’s division two nights ago. (Sorry, Goddess!)

Out came Mickie James, who reminded the champ that she wasn’t part of that match last week. Bliss responded with some prime patronizing of the veteran James. But Mickie wasn’t playing. She wanted Alexa to say what she said about Mickie on Raw Talk last night to her face unlike a coward. And when Bliss told her that Mickie is an old lady, James kicked her in the face.

Sometimes all it takes to make a feud is to give the competitors microphones and have them go out and sell it. That’s what they did here. Bliss cut a hell of a promo and Mickie held her own, giving it right back. It took me from waiting for Asuka to wanting to see this play out.

All the Rest:

Rollins & Ambrose: Seth Rollins defeated Sheamus and I have no idea why. This was a match with no purpose between two guys who have been feuding for months now.

There was a backstage segment prior between Seth and Dean (after Dean lost to Braun) where Rollins was a bit peeved that Dean isn’t thinking and taking matches with Strowman. Because of that, Seth wouldn’t have back up in his match against Sheamus. But that never came into play because while Cesaro was ringside (what a friggin’ boss), he didn’t get involved. And in that same backstage segment, Rollins said he’d fight Strowman next week too for reasons unknown.

So they are hinting that maybe Dean and Seth aren’t on the same page, but maybe they are and if they’re going to do a Shield Reunion, this could all be buying time.

A Man Wins: Finn Bálor defeated Goldust in what you could consider a Man vs. Man match... maybe. I guess Goldust was wearing face paint so maybe not. I don’t know.

After the match, the lights went out and Finn was serenading by a recording of a child singing “He’s Got the Whole World in his Hands.” I think that’s Bray’s way of showing someone he respects them after a feud ends: Creepy children singing. It has to be that because this feud couldn’t be going even longer.

Tension? Nah: Bayley and Sasha defeated Emma and Nia Jax in a tag match. There was a backstage segment between Bayley and the Boss prior where Banks was peeved that Bayley cost her the title at points last night. But that didn’t affect their match at all. And if they’re going to do a WWE/MMA Horsewomen feud any time soon, neither Bayley nor Sasha are turning heel.

Rematch: Elias defeated Apollo Crews in a Kickoff rematch from last night. The Drifter took a cheap shot at Titus O’Neil which distracted Crews allowing Elias to get the win. After the match, Elias attacked Titus but the leader of Worldwide (sorry, World-Wiiiide) fought back to the crowd’s delight. Is this leading to Titus/Elias?

Tag Stuff: Matt Hardy and Jason Jordan defeated Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. A thrown together tag team beat Dallas and Axel, but we need the Shield to put this trio down.

This was an average show. Some good and some not-so-good. It felt like it dragged much of the show as well.

Grade: C+

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