It was the Season Premiere of RAW. Considering last week’s Season Finale, the WWE had to really step up their game this week. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon started off the show. They talked about NXT and the two Night of Champions main events. Stephanie McMahon talked about the Divas Revolution and the Divas title match tonight. Triple H announced that STING would be competing on RAW tonight. I’m surprised that they didn’t announce that in advance because that’s a pretty big deal. That whole announcement was going great… until it was announced that Sting would be facing Big Show. Great.
The New Day vs Prime Time Players for the WWE Tag Team Championship kicked off the show. Before the match started, the New Day danced with the Authority. Stephanie was busting out some great moves but then things got even better, when Triple H jumped into the ring and started dancing! I loved it!
The match started off well. Xaiver Woods was awesome on the outside with his trombone. The highlight was Xaiver playing the Pink Panther theme! The New Day retained in a standard little TV tag match. It was still good for what it was but I do wonder what’ll happen to the Prime Time Players now that they’re seemingly out of the tag title scene.
Seth Rollins talked to the Authority backstage. Seth was worried about Sheamus and John Cena, so the Authority made Sheamus vs John Cena for RAW. Stephanie was trying to get Triple H to dance again and I REALLY wish he’d actually done it!
Renee Young interviewed Charlotte and Ric Flair backstage. Ric Flair sold the Divas Revolution better than anyone in WWE has done before! He cut an awesome promo and was just Ric in true Flair mode! I wish he could come out every week to cut promos on behalf on Charlotte! Nothing against Charlotte’s promo skills but… it’s Ric Flair!
Paige took on Sasha Banks… again. I think Sasha and Paige are both GREAT wrestlers. However, how many times can we see this these two wrestle in one month? They wrestled during the Beat The Clock, they wrestled last week and they wrestled on last week’s SmackDown! One of those matches lasted less than two minutes and one of them ended in a no contest! When you have Sasha being the only one out of Team B.A.D. competing every week, it just diminishes this “Divas Revolution” so badly. You can’t have Paige and Becky Lynch vs Sasha and Naomi? I think with Sasha being the only one that wrestles, it just makes Naomi and Tamina seem meaningless.
Paige delivered a naughty German Suplex to Sasha, who landed hard. Paige tried a rolling senton onto the outside but Sasha moved out of the way, so Paige landed on the floor. Sasha won by making Paige tap out and this was followed by Team B.A.D. beating up Paige and Charlotte. The announcers teased that Paige could have a claim for a Divas title shot during the match. That’s all great but if you want to promote Paige as a contender for the Divas title, HAVE HER WIN SOME MATCHES! In all of these matches with Sasha Banks, Paige has not won any of them. If anything, shouldn’t SASHA get a title shot over Paige? This logic just infuriates me because Sasha is the only one in the division that’s really over, and she’s nowhere near the Divas title scene. She’s not in the title picture despite BEATING Nikki Bella on RAW 4 weeks ago! She didn’t even get a shot! It was a short but sweet match between Paige and Sasha. A few hard-hitting spots and it was fine.
They played a very heart-warming video for Connor’s Cure just before MizTV. MizTV’s guests were the Wyatt Family. Wyatt says that he wanted Miz to suffer, as well as Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. He wanted people to pay for their sins and wanted everyone to fall down. Roman and Dean interrupted. Dean beat up The Miz and then there was a big stare down. Roman cut a promo and said that Bray was gonna pay for attacking Jimmy Uso on SmackDown! Roman said that they found a third partner and they were going to whoop their asses at Night of Champions. Nobody was revealed, so I’m guess we’re going to have to wait until Night of Champions to find out.
John Cena vs Sheamus was next. We got a small “John Cena Sucks” chant as Cena made his way down to the ring. JBL called Sheamus a “certifiable badass”. It was a pretty slow paced match. It was very hard to get into it for me. Cena did the clobbering blows on the ropes that Sheamus usually does. They didn’t look NEARLY as effective as Sheamus’. Some times, you just can’t top the original. There was one spot which I really liked. Sheamus looked like he was going for the Brogue kick but Cena countered it. He got him into a powerbomb position and then was able to transition it into an electric chair. I liked the concept of that but it was very hard for Cena to switch it into the electric chair. It looked a bit like he was struggling and it didn’t look like Sheamus was in a position to help him out all. I wouldn’t have bothered if they had just had Cena powerbomb Sheamus off the counter, because at least it would have looked more effective and wouldn’t have slowed the pace of the match down. It was an alright match which Cena won with the Attitude Adjustment. If Cena had lost, I’d guess he’d look bad heading into Night Of Champions. Of course, a US title contender shouldn’t be beating the holder of the Money In The Bank. Then again, it’s Cena so what are you going to do?
Ryback was in the ring to cut a promo. Ryback did a REALLY BAD Elivs Presley impression! What I found annoying was JBL blatantly talking during Ryback’s promo! Kevin Owens interrupted him and mentioned Ryback talking about a book called “Secret”. Ryback asked “Can you read it?” which I found to be funny! Kevin and Ryback had a good little exchange on the mic. Ryback actually cut a good promo about how Kevin had to take the long road to the WWE and how Ryback got an “elevator” to the top. Ryback told the story about how he fell flat on his face and he had to pick himself up. Ryback announced that it would be Ryback vs Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental title. I thought this was a great segment actually and good build for Night of Champions.
We were supposed to have Stardust vs Neville. It descended into a brawl between Neville, the Lucha Dragons, Stardust and The Ascension. Again, Neville and Stardust only get a minute of time on WWE’s flagship show…
Next up was Charlotte vs Nikki Bella for the Divas Championship.
Nikki worked on Charlotte’s arm to start off the match. Nikki tried to lock on the armbar and Charlotte countered it into a slam. The Bella Twins tried to pull off Twin Magic but it backfired as Charlotte pinned Brie with the roll-up. Ric Flair ran down excitedly losing his marbles. Stephanie McMahon came out to clear things up. She declared that since Brie got involved, Charlotte was the winner VIA DQ. Therefore, still the champion was Nikki Bella. Stephanie declared that Nikki vs Charlotte was still going to happen for Night of Champions. If Nikki lost by ANY MEANS necessary, she would lose the title. I thought the ending to this match WAS RIDICULOUS.
At Money In The Bank, Nikki Bella defended the Divas title against Paige. When Paige pinned Brie Bella in similar fashion to this match, the referee reversed his decision and the match was restarted. Nikki took advantage to retain the title. The Twin Magic screw-up spot happened here, but the consequences were changed! If Steph were to follow precedent and made things fair for Charlotte, she would have restarted the match. To be fair, the Money In The Bank should have ended in a DQ win for Paige anyway. However, you should stick to the precedent you set before rather than just changing it on the fly. I thought this was pretty insulting to the viewers because WWE wrote this, assuming that the fans would have forgotten what happened at the Money In The Bank PPV 3 MONTHS AGO!
I thought when Stephanie came out, she was going to strip Nikki off the championship. If she had done that, then at least there would have been serious consequences for the Bellas BLATANTLY breaking the rules in the SAME way they had before! Instead, it was just declared a DQ and Steph just re-announced the Night of Champions match!
Despite the finish, I thought it was a good match. It was legitimately on its way to being a really good match until the finish. I just hope that there’s a clean finish for Night of Champions.
Rusev took on Cesaro. It was a very short match which was interrupted by Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler tried to give Summer Rae a gift which led to Cesaro rolling up Rusev for the pin. Thankfully, this storyline only got about 3 minutes of television this week! It was announced that Stardust and the Ascension would take on Neville and the Lucha Dragons on the pre-show of Night of Champions.
Next was Sting vs Big Show. It’s good to see Sting getting to wrestle on RAW. Stephanie and Triple H were at ringside. I found it funny that Sting and Big Show got a championship match introduction for just a regular singles match! Sting looked good for the few minutes him and Big Show actually wrestled until Seth Rollins came out to cause the disqualification. John Cena made the save as the good guys stood tall. Triple H then immediately announced Sting and John Cena vs Big Show and Seth Rollins for the main event instead.
Sting made Seth Rollins tap out in the tag team match and he looked very good in this match. The tag match itself was pretty boring. However, Sting looked good in the finish. I can only assume that Sting winning here could be WWE’s way of keeping Sting strong if he loses at Night Of Champions. However, you never know. Sting could be winning at Night Of Champions and this was done just so Sting can win his first match on RAW. However, I think Seth Rollins has been hurt by not getting ANY momentum in at all against Sting during this program. However, that could be a sign suggesting that Seth is going to retain. Seth hardly got any big victories in the build up to his match with Brock Lesnar (he got one week where the Authority dominated Lesnar, but that’s it). Whenever WWE does that, it always seems like the heel is going to win at the PPV. We’ll just have to wait and see.
A good RAW and I think WWE did an OK job in promoting Night Of Champions itself. The PPV will be a very interesting one and I’m expecting a few title changes.