Warning. The following video is not easy to watch. Last night, Sting took a number of harsh bumps, and sadly it appears his age caught up with him towards the end of the match.
I really feel bad for Steve Borden. The guy is brought into WWE with a lot of hype and fanfare, only to wind up hideously injured. I really hope it is not as bad as we all think it is. We saw new champions crowned last night, and a number of head scratching returns. Kicking off RAW is the Wyatt Family, gloating about their win last night. Roman Reigns comes out to challenge for a fight, and is quickly overwhelmed until Dean Ambrose arrives, but he too is taken down.
Suddenly, a wild Randy Orton appears and the three of them manage to send Braun Strowman from the ring, but the big guy remains upright.
The Shield / Wyatt Family feud is far from over, and it seems Randy Orton may be the final piece to this one.
Backstage: Seth Rollins gets spooked when he sees Corporate Kane in the office. However it seems he has no knowledge of “Demon Kane” and his involvement last night. Apparently Rollins did not get the email notice, he has a match with John Cena tonight.
In the ring, our first match features the exact same opener to WWE Night of Champions, Neville and the Lucha Dragons against Stardust and the Ascension. I must be seeing double, because within moments, Sin Cara botches a rope spot, and JBL repeats his line of “Hey Coach, get Sportscenter recording!” as Neville attempts a top rope move. This time, the faces earn the win when Kalisto goes high-octane in the ring, hitting the Salina Del Sol for the pinfall win.
I love seeing Neville and Kalisto. Sin Cara has got to go. The damn gimmick is cursed.
Backstage: Seth Rollins goes back to whining to Triple H and Stephanie about Kane booking him in a championship match with John Cena. The Game chills him out, consider it an opportunity to take back the U.S. Championship. However it seems as though Trips and Steph did not know of Kane’s arrival.
In he ring, Ryback has to hear some verbal jabs from Bo Dallas about his title loss to the man sitting on commentary, Kevin Owens. I love Owens on commentary, constantly shutting down Michael Cole and Byron Saxton, reminding them to call the match instead of talking about past history. Match itself was decent, but Kevin Owens on commentary is sheer brilliance. He plays both heel and straightman. Ryback turns Bo Dallas inside out with a Meathook followed by the Shellshock. Post match, KO runs in to inflict some damage, attempting the Pop-Up Powerbomb but eats a Meathook as well.
Okay, Ryback is not the most versatile in the ring, but the guy can perform. This feud seems to continue and I hope their next meeting will show improvement. Dallas is so good at becoming fodder.
As expected, last night Charlotte was the first of the new wave of NXT Women to win the Divas Championship. Nice seeing Charlotte and her dad, Ric Flair celebrate, but it seems every time she has some sort of major win, she bawls with daddy. We get it, Ric Flair is proud of his little girl, and Charlotte is a big freaking deal. Tonight, Ric Flair leads the in-ring celebration, including Paige and Becky Lynch. During the speech, a “Thank you Ric!” chant breaks out.
Charlotte comes out, and admits she and Ric happen to do a lot of crying in the ring. I imagine there is a lot of truth to this, even though it happens often. Charlotte thanks Ric Flair, thanks Becky and begins to thank Paige, until she snaps and tears into Charlotte, calling her nothing special and a “placeholder” for the Divas Championship as the Divas Division is nothing but complete trash, even going as far as to run down every single Diva, including a jab at Natalya, wondering “do you even work here?”
Team Bella arrives to mock everyone, Nikki laying down some truth about being the champ turns you into a target. Good promo, which sets up Charlotte versus Brie Bella.
I have to say, Paige and her pipe bomb was awesome. She pretty much said what we all thought of the Divas prior to the arrival of the NXT ladies, however she maintains even with Charlotte as champ, the Bellas will come back on top, because that is where they always are, in more ways than one. Ouch. During the match, Saxton asks why Paige blew up publicly rather than privately. Uhh… this is WWE, and that was the dumbest thing to say on live television. In any case, the commentary team talks about how the Divas have pent up emotional whatevers during their matches. Okay, so no sexism going on here.
Charlotte wins via Figure Eight. Because, according to JBL, she can CONTROL HER EMOTIONS.
Sheamus defeats Mark Henry. Poor guy.
Backstage, Triple H and Stephanie confront a very over-the-top sap-happy Kane. They remark about his return is unexpected and question his motives for last night, except he has no knowledge of last night. Steph asks to “give it back” and Kane slaps her a High Five. How no one broke character and burst into laughter is beyond me. Too funny. Steph openly refers to the mask and Kane replies he gave it to her, and if she lost it, they might have a problem… “So let’s go find it” says the crazy man in his happiest squeal.
Kane is on fire… in the funny sense.
Up next is Dolph Ziggler and The Dudley Boyz up against The New Day and Rusev. I was satisfied with the outcome of the Dudleys winning the match, but not the championships. Prolongs the feud. WWE must be raiding the Heartbreak Kid’s old 90’s wardrobe closet. Dolph Ziggler is looking more and more like Shawn Michaels each week. Despite a great showing, Ziggler is pinned by a trombone. Nah, Xavier Woods honks one in Ziggler’s face and yes I am aware of how horrific that sounds, however it was enough for Rusev to clock Ziggler and earn the pinfall victory. Great match, and give us more New Day!
Nattie comes back, only to lose to Naomi. So there is that for you.
Big Show hits the ring, and we figure the crowd is quiet because this is the filler before the main event. Except the crowd comes to life in a huge way as Cesaro’s theme plays and the arena erupts. Love it. Cesaro puts on a great match, despite Show being slow as hell. It’s not his fault. I like Big Show, but matches with guys like Cesaro seem difficult for the big man. Great moment, Cesaro SUPLEXING Big Show over the top rope from the apron into the ring. However, all was for naught, as it has been plugged all night that Big Show will face Brock Lesnar at the live broadcast from Madison Square Garden on October 3rd, so Big Show needs to be put over as a somewhat legitimate threat, so he KOs Cesaro and gets the win. Post match, Show cuts a promo about how he beat him for the WWE Championship back in 2002.
I get they want to put Brock on TV against someone who appears to be a legit threat, I mean, putting him against Kofi Kingston over in Tokyo a couple months ago was genius… sure. Sorry, but Big Show is much like Mark Henry, win some, lose most, no one cares.
The Wyatts deliver another trademark creep-fest worthy promo, mainly directed towards Randy Orton. Interesting.
In our main event, John Cena defends his recently reclaimed United States Championship against the former U.S. Champ, and current WWE Champion, Seth Rollins. Cena and Rollins put on a great evenly paced match. Nice spot with constant finishing move counters, ending with Rollins lobbing Cena with the Turnbuckle Powerbomb into a Michinoku Driver. One would have thought since Sting got injured, WWE would have banned the T.P. or banned turnbuckles altogether. In any case, Seth hits a beautiful Frog Splash off the top, which is no-sold by Super-Cena who hulks up, rolls back, stands up, flips Rollins onto his shoulders, hitting a fast Attitude Adjustment for the pinfall win.
To make matters worse, Corporate Kane shows up on the Titan Tron with a goofy grin on his face, reminding Seth to be the best WWE Champion he can be, because anyone could challenge at any time, anybody, blah blah blah, when suddenly a masked Kane bursts from under the ring, and drags Rollins through the ring, spewing smoke as the pyro goes off. So… they are hanging out with the ladders and tables? We know what is under the ring folks, this is not the attitude era anymore.
Classy moment, as Cena goes to the back, he gives a sick kid his wristbands and autographs a sign. Wow. Total respect from this writer.
In any case, NO Chris Jericho tonight. Guess he is back to Robot Wars or Dancing with the Stars or Celebrity Duets, or Dancing with the Robots or Sharknado 4. Kane seems to be next as fodder for Rollins, unless WWE plans on giving the Red Monster one last title reign.