Monday Night RAW, 8/24/2015: Sting returns to challenge Rollins

We are 24 hours removed from SummerSlam and it was a decent show with some very strange booking at the end of the main events. Obviously, it foreshadows what we might see at WrestleMania — but first thing’s first: let’s see what happens in the first lead-up to Night of Champions…

We start with a segment with Triple H and Seth Rollins. They’re at WWE Headquarters. Rollins brags about beating Cena, declaring “THE CHAMP…IS…HERE!” and shows off both belts. Triple H says that he’s proud of Rollins. He beat one of the greatest superstars ever. He says that Rollins is no longer “the future”. He’s “the man”. He says a promise is a promise. Rollins will have a statue next to Bruno Sammartino, The Ultimate Warrior and Andre the Giant. Rollins says that he’s excited and thanks Triple H, hugging him in a fairly moving segment.

We get the show titles…

…and we are LIVE(!!!) from Brooklyn, New York for Monday Night RAW!!!

Cole, JBL and Saxton are your hosts.

TONIGHT: Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose take on the Wyatts in a re-match from last night.

ALSO: Jon Stewart is here to explain why he did what he did.

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman start us off, coming to the ring. Brock’s face looks a bit ripped up from last night’s fight with The Undertaker. The crowd does their usual SUPLEX CITY chant. Heyman is the “pissed-off advocate” for Brock Lesnar. Heyman wants to know what the hell happened last night. How did we go from making The Undertaker tap out to getting a victory over Brock Lesnar? Brock took The Undertaker to Suplex City. Last night, Brock locked The Undertaker in the Kimura. We get video of ‘Taker tapping out. Heyman says he knows how hard it is to stop believing in a fairy tale, but the reality is always harsh and The Undertaker tapped. He calls The Undertaker a wuss who basically told Lesnar he was a better fighter by tapping out. Heyman says he doesn’t blame the timekeeper who jumped the gun. The timekeeper knew ‘Taker tapped. Heyman says that The Undertaker collapsed on the way to the backstage area. The crowd’s getting impatient but Heyman doesn’t care. He says he has “enough material to last all three hours of Monday Night RAW”. He says that The Undertaker was desperate and nailed Lesnar with ANOTHER Low Blow. He put Lesnar in Hell’s Gate and instead of tapping, Lesnar gave the ultimate symbol of disrespect with the middle finger, telling ‘Taker to “GFY”. (DANIELLE: HEY! You and I always say “GFS”! I’m suing!) He says that The Undertaker thinks he’s the ancient “gunslinger” who can shoot it out with anyone in the back. He gets that. So, Brock wants to face The Undertaker one more time — and he wants it TONIGHT. He tells The Undertaker to get out to the ring for the re-match…

But, oh dear, out comes Bo Dallas to get murdered. Even by outrageous booking standards, this is unbelievable. Cole: “He’s not ‘The Dead Man’, he’s a con-man.” JBL: “He’s about to be a dead man…” Blah, blah, blah, BO-LIEVE! Lesnar clotheslines his head off and hits four straight German Suplexes before leaving the ring. Heyman stops him and says, “One more.” Brock goes back and hits #5 as the crowd basically advocates Brock killing Bo and yells for another one. Brock leaves again — but Heyman stops him and says, “One for me!” Lesnar goes back to the ring and puts Bo up for the F5. Heyman tells Bo to BO-LIEVE. F5 and Brock leaves for good.

TL;DR? Just watch this:

TONIGHT: Team PCB is on MizTV.

NEXT: The New Day is here in action against The Lucha Dragons.

Titus and Darren Young are at ringside for commentary. The New Day come to the ring with Xavier Woods playing “New York, New York” on a trombone.

MATCH #1: Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) vs. WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) (w/ Xavier Woods) (non-title)
Kofi and Cara go at it first. Snapmare by Kofi but Cara gets up and plants Kofi into the mat. Tag to Kalisto who Cara slings into Kofi. There’s a tussel near the ropes and Kalisto sends Kofi outside. E attacks and he ends up outside as well. Kalisto flies at them but E and Kofi catch him. Cara splashes everyone. After a break Sin Cara flips out of trouble and makes a hot tag to Kalisto who flips all over the place, beating up Kofi and hitting a Sunset Flip for two. E and Cara get into it and fall out of the ring. Kofi hits a Reverse Suplex on Kalisto and it’s the 11th Hour for the win at 6:15 as Woods plays “Taps” on the trombone.
WINNERS: The New Day
RATING: 1/2 a *. Boring as hell and far too quick.

Post-match, The Dudley Boyz show up for no reason whatsoever, causing the Brooklyn Smark crowd to shit their pants.Woods goes outside and they hand him his lunch. They dump Kofi, E misses a corner splash. Bubba beats him up and hits a Bionic Elbow, Dusty-style. Woods flies back into the ring and Bubba slams him. They hit Wassup! on Woods and it’s GET THE TABLES time. The Boyz hit a 3-D and everyone in the arena is nuts. The Dudleyz go outside and taunt PTP and the segment ends.

Cole recaps when Jon Stewart cost John Cena the title. JBL forgets he’s a heel announcer and insults Stewart for “being out there”.

TONIGHT: Jon Stewart answers why he attacked Cena.

Cole gives us a look at John Cena granting his 500th Wish for Make-a-Wish. His guest is at RAW tonight.

Triple H and Steph look at Rollins’ new statue which looks like it’s made of chocolate. Rollins interrupts and they cover the statue box. Rollins says he doesn’t wanna spoil the surprise. He’s just here to thank Triple H and Steph. He sucks up to them, telling them that it’s better that they’re in charge. They tell him to get out of here so they can make him immortal.

MATCH #2: Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper)
Dean starts with Harper and takes him down, then knocks Bray down and dives at him. Harper dives at Dean. Rerbound Clothesline outside to Harper. Reigns hits a Sitting Dropkick to Bray. When we come back, Bray has clotheslined Ambrose. Harper gets in for some stomping and a slingshot into the ropes. Bray comes back in brawls with Dean who comes back with shots of his own until Bray DDT’s him. Bray hits a Gutbuster and it’s a tag to Harper who hits a 360 Senton and Gator Roll. Ambrose breaks the side headlock and slams Harper to the mat. He goes second buckle and hits a Tornado DDT. Hot tag to Reigns who hits a Samoan Drop to Bray as well as two Arm Hook Suplexes. Side Suplex and he sets up for the Superman Punch. He misses and ends up in Sister Abigail. He escapes, clubs Harper, but Bray grabs him for a Spinebuster. Dean makes the save on the pin, then gets into it with Harper. He dumps both men out and dives at them. Back in the ring, Harper Superkicks Dean and Reigns. He and Bray pick up Roman and goe for the Shield Powerbomb but Reigns kicks out. He ends up in Sister Abigail which, I swear, hasn’t worked in a major match since WrestleMania, and SURPRISE! Reigns kicks out and hits the Superman Punch. Dean goes top rope to take out Harper outside. Reigns goes for the Spear — Wyatt Cut. When the lights come back on…what the…? A dude with a black tank, brown pants and huge beard steps into the ring wearing a black sheep mask. Nobody knows who he is. When he takes his mask off, it’s Braun Stowman of NXT but the announcers pretend like NXT doesn’t exist. Reigns tries a Superman Punch but the dude catches Reigns and tosses him across the ring and we get the DQ at 10:37.
WINNERS: Ambrose/Reigns, presumably by DQ
RATING: **. Just kinda there. The action was lacking until the final few minutes.

Post-match, Reigns and Ambrose try to fight this guy but the dude no-sells everything like Zeus used to and chokes both Ambrose and Reigns out. Wyatt and his “Family” celebrate and Wyatt does his Raven thing.

After a break, we get a nice shot of the Barclay Center.

MOMENTS AGO: Evil Santa Claus beat up Reigns and Ambrose.

Miz is in the ring for MizTV. He brings out Team PCB. Miz talks them up. Charlotte “woos”. Miz congratulates Becky for beating Brie. Becky says that doesn’t matter because it doesn’t matter…that…Divas pin other Divas? Huh?! Charlotte talks about Ric Flair and calls The Four Horseman “the greatest faction in WWE history” despite the fact that they were WCW. Miz says he perfected the Figure Four. Charlotte sarcastically says that Miz lived up to her father’s legacy. Miz fights back with his entertainment prowess and presence on social media. Charlotte looks defeated by Miz’s dominant male showcasing and I’m already tired of this. Miz hits on the girls. Paige says they aren’t into him. Charlotte will take on any woman or man. Becky’s LSD kicks in and she suddenly starts fantasizing outloud about matches with ghosts and dinosaurs and cyborgs until Paige tells her to shut the fuck up. Paige says that now is the era of the female athlete. They won’t back down or surrender and they’re dominant as any male competitor.

That brings the Bellas to the ring. Nikki says that Team PCB saying they’re “dominant” is like saying “Donald Trumps favorite holiday is Cinco de Mayo”. Brie gets on the mic and the crowd doesn’t care and chants for Sasha. Fox talks and Becky calls her the “NeNe Leakes of the WWE”. Nikki says that nobody cares about wins and losses. That’s unfortunate. Nikki says that she will be the longest-reigning Divas champ in WWE history in just a few weeks and that’s all that matters. Miz tells them all to shut up which makes the neckbeards fap with glee. Miz tells them to shut up, too. He says it’s all about HIM, not them. They wrestle like a “bunch of girls”. The women get in his face and Miz begs off. The Bellas attack and the crowd is about as blah as a TNA crowd. The Bellas celebrate as we go to break. What a shitty segment.

Oh, remember that segment we just had? It’s a match now.

MATCH #3: Team PCB (Paige, Charlotte & Becky Lynch) vs. Team Bella (Alicia Fox, Brie Bella & WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella)
Brie tags in Nikki who taunts Charlotte and slaps her in the face. Charlotte attacks her and brings her back into the PCB corner where Paige tags in and knees her in the face. Lynch tags in and it’s a wristlock and armbar. Nikki fights back by reversing it, then snaps Becky to the mat. Becky FINALLY fights out and rolls Nikki up twice. Backslide by Becky for two and ANOTHER wristlock. Finally, it’s a tag to Charlotte and an ARMBAR. Nikki tries to break but Charlotte knees her in the gut and tags Paige who powerslams her for two. MORE ARMBARS!!! Finally Nikki breaks and hits a Spinebuster. Paige pushes Nikki into the PCB corner and it’s a three-on-one team-up. Charlotte and Becky double-team Nikki, Rocker-styler, even doing their flip-up. The rest of the Bellas attack but they all get dumped. Charlotte hits a Suicide Dive and we go to break.

When we come back, Nikki’s got Charlotte in a Half Crab. Charlotte breaks and Nikki lunges at her. Charlotte pulls the top rope down and Nikki flies out of the ring. She acts like she’s been hurt and when Charlotte goes to pull her back in, Nikki pulls her out of the ring and runs her into a pole. Nikki just kinda stands around and tosses Charlotte around outside, then rolls her back in the ring as the crowd starts chanting CM PUNK for no reason. Fox gets back in and stars working on Charlotte’s knew. They do the wave as Paige comes in, hitting short-arm clotheslines and a kneelift. Fox comes back and botches a big boot and Paige sells it like Shawn Michaels. The crowd pats themselves on the back, yelling WE ARE AWESOME, then JBL and BORING. Paige hits clotheslines and goes for the PTO but Brie makes the save. Brie hits the Bella Buster and kicks Charlotte to the mat outside. With the ref’s back turned, Nikki hits a forearm. Fox hits a Scissor Kick and, mercifully, we’re done at 14:06.
WINNERS: Team Bella
RATING: 1/2 a *. The Divas Division needs to change. A good start would be giving us a reason to care about any of what we’re seeing. An even better one would be to take the title of Nikki and have the Bellas fired from WWE. The best would be to cut half these women.

TONIGHT: Ryback, Ziggler, Cesaro and Orton vs. Sheamus, Owens, Rusev and Big Show.

King Barrett is in the ring. Stardust arrives to team with him for a match…then he kicks King Barrett’s ass, clotheslining him and hitting Cross Rhodes. He poses on the top rope until Neville shows up. Neville kicks at him and puts him to the mat, going for the Red Arrow. The match isn’t happening. I had to sit through nearly an hour of Divas bullshit to watch Neville and Stardust no-contest in two minutes? Ugh. This show…

Cole recaps the Jon Stewart steel chair thing.

NEXT: Jon Stewart explains why he did what he did last night.

EARLIER TONIGHT: The Dudleyz returned and beat up The New Day.

ON SMACKDOWN: The Dudleyz return. Because this return didn’t count, we guess!

Lillian Garcia brings out Jon Stewart. Part of the crowd has “STEWART SECTION” signs and they start chanting “THANK YOU, STEWART”. He says the crowd is welcome but he knows he upset some people — but others were happy with him. He says that there are some who are still wondering why. He didn’t do it for Rollins or The Authority, he could not let John Cena tie the great Ric Flair for 16 Championships because, in his mind, THE CHAMP…IS…FLAIR.

Flair’s music hits and here he comes! Stewart is proud and both men start strutting. Flair yells “WOO!” He hugs Stewart and tells him that he appreciates what Jon did last night — but he was pulling for Cena. He says that, sooner or later, the record will be broken and he prefers that it be at the hands of somebody he respects. The crowd boos and he tells them they don’t have to like it — just learn to LOVE it. Flair says that Jon messed up everything. Jon says he was trying to help. This brings out Cena.

Crowd is molten-hot in their “John Cena sucks” sing-along. He paces and tells Stewart they need to talk. Stewart feigns ignorance. Cena says that a lot of people will agree with what Stewart did. Cena says that, because of him, Rollins is a multi-title holder. He gave wrestlers a chance to fight for their careers. He lists all his past opponents. Stewart mocks Cena’s U CAN’T SEE ME thing. Cena says that he’s got a punchline. Stewart can stand on a line and Cena can punch him. Crowd hates that. Stewart says he couldn’t let it happen, no matter what. Stewart says that he can still win it back. Cena understands and says that he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. He grabs Stewart and hits an AA. Crowd isn’t fond of this as Cena leaves. Flair stands there, looking sheepish and tries not to laugh. WWE personnel and refs escort him backstage.

Ugh…shit segment all the way around. Mean-spirited and ugly. This is the consequence of shit-booking Cena. Let’s never do this again.

NEXT: The 8-Man Tag.

MOMENTS AGO: John Cena acts like an asshole.

Renee Young stops John Cena and asks him what the hell happened. Cena suddenly develops a Southern drawl like he’s from Kentucky and says he simply had a talk with Stewart. Now, he’ll have a talk with Rollins.

Cole talks up Sheamus and says that he has a chance to “cash in tonight”, killing any hopes we have for a match later.

MATCH #4: Dolph Ziggler (w/ Lana), Cesaro, WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback & Randy Orton vs. Rusev (w/ Summer Rae), Kevin Owens, Big Show & Sheamus in an Eight-Man Tag Team Match
How are we only getting four matches in three hours? SummerSlam was NOT that important that we needed huge segments devoted to last night. Ryback and Rusev start. Ryback hits a press and slams Rusev’s head to the mat. Tag to Cesaro who punches Ryback in the side, Rusev puts Cesaro in the whip but Cesaro hits a Powerslam in Stride. Tag to Dolph who hits a dropkick. He misses a Superkick and Rusev slides out of the ring. Rusev refuses to enter so Ryback runs him over outside. This prompts an eight-man standoff outside. After break, Ziggler punches at Big Show who just tosses Ziggler into the corner, then slaps his chest as he comes off the top rope. Show slaps Ziggler in the chest again, then slams Show down. The crowd yells “BIG SHOW SUCKS” which distracts Show. Ziggler takes over but Show just shoulderblocks him. Owens gets back in and punches at Ziggler, drops him on the top rope, then hits a Reverse Senton. He mocks Ziggler’s ass-shake and puts him in the heel corner. Sheamus tags in and just suplexes him. Sheamus wraps Ziggler’s knee around his neck and stands up. Ziggler sits up and punches at Sheamus’s head. He runs at Sheamus who catches him and hits the Irish Curse Backbreaker.

After ANOTHER break, Show continues to beat on Ziggler and tries a Chokeslam. He takes too long and Ziggler counters with a DDT. Rusev comes in and stops Ziggler from making a hot tag. The heels stomp at him. Summer slaps Ziggler and celebrates. Lana comes running over and it’s a cat-fight. Ziggler hits a Fame-Asser on Rusev during the distraction and it’s a hot tag to Cesaro who hits uppercuts on Owens and corner uppercuts, hitting four straight. He goes for the Swing. Rusev tries to make the save. He gets the Swing instead and Cesaro gets ten revolutions. Tag to Ryback and he’s all over Owens. This becomes a brawl and Owens trips him into the corner. He goes for a Cannonball but Ryback counters with a Spinebuster. He hits the Meat Hook but Owens kicks out of the Shell Shock. Tag to Orton and he clotheslines Sheamus and hits the Powerslam. Vintage Orton and RKO attempt but Show gets involved, accidentally knocking out Sheamus with the KO. Orton hits a mean RKO and the faces win it at nearly 18 minutes.
WINNERS: Ryback/Cesaro/Orton/Ziggler
RATING: ***. This was fun but nowhere near as good as the match in San Jose.

Post-match, Owens and Rusev get in Show’s face about the finish. Show fends them off until Owens hits a Superkick. Rusev tosses Owens into Show and Owens hits a Cannonball. They leave. So, then the four faces get into the ring and surround Show like they’re the Nexus. Ziggler hits a Superkick, Ryback and Cesaro prop Show up, then Orton drops him with an RKO.

And, holy shit, we’re doing a long Brock/Taker recap. Ugh.

Then, we recap when Sammartino got a statue in 2014.

NEXT: Rollins will get a statue.


EARLIER TONIGHT: Dean and Reigns got beaten up by the new Wyatt Family member. ENOUGH WITH THE RECAPS!

Aaaaaand a late Wyatt segment. Holy fucking shit. Make this stop.

Then Cena bumps into The Authority. Steph’s pissed that he AA’ed Jon Stewart and has him forcibly removed from the building for the Rollins segment.

Triple H and Steph head to the ring. Steph says she’s gonna get in trouble for this tonight — it’s her Dad’s birthday and he won’t come out here to celebrate, so she asks the crowd to sing. This is painful as fuck to listen to, but why not? We haven’t had enough padding on this show. Finally, we get down to it. Triple H says that Seth embodies a typical champion. He deserves to be portrayed in bronze. He brings out Seth Rollins.

Rollins says he joins the “Mt. Rushmore of WWE”. He’s almost part of Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. He recaps what he did last night at SummerSlam and says he is now a “legend”. He gets “choked up” and Triple H helps him come to grips with things. He says he’s now “immortal”. Holy shit, just reveal the statue already. He says that he respects Cena because Cena worked to be The Man every single day. But to BE the man…you know where this is going…you gotta BEAT the man. And that’s what he did last night. He agrees with Triple H: he’s THE MAN. He says he’s now with legends like Sammartino, Warrior and Andre the Giant. It’s time. He asks Brooklyn if they’re ready.

The curtain comes off — AND IT’S STING!!! Triple H and Steph look stunned. Sting stares at Rollins as Triple H just calmly leaves. Sting beats the holy shit out of Rollins with punches and chops in the corner, then hits a Stinger Splash. He clotheslines Rollins out of the ring. Sting picks up the title and holds it in the air. Steph yells to Sting that he’s dead. Rollins is PISSED as we go off the air.

OVERALL: This show had small moments of fun. Other than that, each match was unmemorable slop, with a terrible Divas segment and horrible, horrible padding. Why are the post-PPV shows like this now?

Er, that’s it.

Matt Perri
Matt Perri
Matt Perri is one of those literary Ronin you’ve never heard of until he shows up and tells you he’s a literary Ronin. He’s a native Californian, a film buff, old school gamer geek, and a sports/entertainment fan. A lifelong Giants, 49ers and Sharks fan, he also covers the world of pro-wrestling, writing recaps for WWE Monday Night RAW and Total Divas at Scott’s Blog of Doom. You can follow the guy on Twitter via @PerriTheSmark as well as here at The Workprint and his own blog, Matt's Entertainment.

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