We are 24 hours removed from Night of Champions and we have three new champions in John Cena, Charlotte and Kevin Owens. Seth Rollins successfully defended the big title against a now-injured Sting and WWE’s creative staff now looks ready to put us through Rollins/Kane for the next three months until the Royal Rumble. Tonight should be the fallout from NOC and, hopefully, we get some good championship rematches. Let’s see what WWE’s got for us tonight.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Laredo, Texas for Monday Night RAW!!!
Cole, JBL and Saxton are the guys on the mics.
The Wyatts start us off, coming to the ring to presumably gloat about last night’s win. Wyatt says he warned Reigns about what would happened. Reigns didn’t listen. Last night, Bray grabbed the golden idol by the throat and brought him to his knees. He shouts until Reigns’ music hits.
He comes down the stairs with no back-up and stands toe-to-toe with the Wyatts. Bray laughs heartily. Reigns says that this isn’t about Roman Reigns — it’s about Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt, one-on-one. He tells Bray to “send the bigguns back to the swamp” and they can see which one of the two of them will make it out of Laredo alive. Bray grandstands and yells. Roman Reigns asks if Bray’s scared to go one-on-one. Reigns says that’s fine. They don’t need to have a ref or a match. They just need to have a fight. Wyatt nods and tells his troops to go.
Reigns clocks Harper, then hits a Samoan Drop on Wyatt, then clotheslines him in the corner, finishing with a short-arm clothesline. Wyatt comes back with punches of his own and then tries to charge Reigns who comes back with a Superman Punch. Harper enters and gets his ass beat. Strowman comes in and hits an awkward chokeslam.
Dean Ambrose’s music hits and he comes running down. He ducks Strowman who meets him in the aisle, dives into the ring and takes out Harper, then tries to dive at Strowman outside. Strowman won’t go down. Dean punches at him. Strowman tosses him into the ring. Ambrose dives at him again — but Strowman STILL won’t go down. Then Strowman just clubs Ambrose in the back. From here, it’s a gigantic 3-on-1 brawl outside the ring. When all looks lost for Reigns and Ambrose…
…Orton’s music hits.
Randy Orton comes running down to the ring. He powerslams Bray, then dumps Harper from the ring. He side-suplexes Harper into the announce table, then starts going after Strowman who just headbutts him. Orton goes back into the ring where Strowman just paces around him. When he gets up, Strowman goes for a chokeslam. Ambrose, however, goes top rope for a huge sitting dropkick which just knocks Strowman back a few steps. Orton dropkicks Strowman. Same result. Reigns hits a Superman Punch which just knocks Strowman over the top rope and leaves him dazed.
The faces stand tall — and that is how you start out a Monday Night RAW, folks.
Cole runs us through a recap of Rollins’ gauntlet last night at Night of Champions.
Rollins is backstage, outside the Authority’s door. He enters — but finds Korporate Kane instead. Huh?! Rollins wants to know what happened with Triple H and Steph. Kane doesn’t know. Rollins says that Kane is acting evasive and then asks why Kane attacked him last night. Kane says he has no idea what Rollins is talking about. He’s been at home all this time, recuperating from his broken angle at the hands of Brock Lesnar. Kane’s all bright and smiley as he tells Rollins that his re-match against John Cena is tonight. Rollins is dazed but doesn’t object. He says he’s gonna go find Triple H and Steph. Kane tells him that’s fine and wishes him luck, yelling “You’re the man, Seth! Go get ’em!” In the background is the holding place for Kane’s mask. It’s empty. Wow. This is really unbelievable. Just when you thought the Kane angle couldn’t get worse.
MATCH #1: Stardust & The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) vs. Neville & Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara)
Cole plugs this as “the re-match from last night’s pre-show match” like we just couldn’t wait. Cara and Konnor slug it out until Cara slips on the turnbuckle and injures his knee on the fall, a metaphor for the quick and sudden plummet the show is on. The Cosmic Wasteland tags in and out, choking Cara and stomping at him. Stardust gets into the ring and stomps Cara, then cartwheels over to Neville, showing him his plam-star. Cara FINALLY gets into the ring and kicks at Stardust, then takes out The Ascension. He flips across the ring and kicks Star, then goes for the Red Arrow but The Ascension distracts him and Neville spills outside. After a break, Neville’s in trouble as Stardust and Viktor toss Konnor into Neville in the corner. Neville tries a Sunset Flip but Viktor tags in before it happens and stomps at Neville after Neville manages to roll Konnor up. Two count. Stardust gets in and hits an axehandle off the rope. Star hits an Inverted Abdominal Stretch but Neville breaks it and the two crash into the corner. Nevill tries for a tag and eventually hits it. Kalisto hits a Cross Body, then hits an Enzuguri on Star. Spinning Splash off the ropes to Konnor. Cara dives at him outside. Star gets back in the ring. Neville takes him out. Viktor tries a clothesline but eats a Salida Del Sol as the heroes get the win at 10:47.
WINNERS: Nevill & Lucha Dragons
RATING: **. Neat match but never really took off until Kalisto got involved at the end.
Backstage, Rollins bumps into Triple H and Steph. He says he wants to know why Kane’s been reinstated. Triple H and Steph are just shocked by this. Rollins says Kane’s booked him in a re-match for the United States title. Steph and Triple H tell Rollins he should get ready for his rematch and focus on regaining that title. Rollins: “The United States Championship?!“. Steph says it’s a “good opportunity as nothing continues to make any sense. They’ll worry about Kane. Rollins leaves.
JBL: “Nobody knew that Kane was gonna show up tonight?” You know it’s bad when even the announcers aren’t buying this shit.
Cole takes us through the Intercontinental Championship match at Night of Champions when Owens beat Ryback by raking his fucking eyes. Jesus, Hogan should be an 11,000-time champion by now.
Ryback and Bo Dallas are set to wrestle until Kevin Owens shows up with the Intercontinental Championship. He taunts Ryback with it, then sits at ringside to do commentary. Bo Dallas congratulates Owens on his victory, then turns to Ryback and says that Ryback will never be as good as Kevin Owens — BO-LIEVE DAT, et, him.
MATCH #2: Ryback vs. Bo Dallas
Ryback beats Dallas in the corner, then throws him clear across the ring. He clubs on him, then slams him. Belly to belly. Dallas tries for a comeback but Ryback just knocks him down. Suplex gets two. Dallas makes a second comeback, hitting knees to Ryback’s face, then kicking his head. Dallas puts Ryback in a side headlock but Ryback breaks it and hits a Spinebuster. Meat Hook, Shell Shock, done at 3:37.
WINNER: Ryback via Shell Shock
RATING: DUD. Pseudo-squash.
Post-match, Owens dives into the ring and attacks Ryback. Ryback comes back and clotheslines Owens’ head off. He goes for the Shell Shock but Owens kicks out and scrams.
NEXT: Charlotte will address the Divas.
We get clips of Charlotte’s title win at NOC.
Ric Flair comes to the ring first. #DivasRevoluton! Flair says he’s a happy father — and he’s had fun in Laredo, Texas. Wooo! There are times in a man’s life when things happen that are so special. The crowd thanks Flair as if he’s never, ever given a speech. They won’t shut up, so Flair thanks them back so they do shut up. He says that he’s never been prouder than today. Nothing eclipses what happened last night. His little girl won the Divas Championship. She worked hard and paid the price. He introduces Charlotte.
Charlotte comes out with Becky and Paige. Ric holds the ropes open for her. Both Ric and Charlotte WOO into the mic. Charlotte says she and her Dad tend to cry when they’re in the ring together. She says that she remembered watching her Dad wrestle and she always wanted to be like her Dad because he was the best. She loves her Dad very much. They kiss and hug. Charlotte thanks her team. She says it’s been a dream. She has two best friends in Becky and Paige. She says that Becky has reminded her to have fun and not be serious all the time. She turns to Paige and says that she and Paige started at NXT together and Paige was the first NXT Womens Champ. Paige takes the mic and says that Charlotte’s too nice and it’s time to think of who made this all possible — PAIGE. Paige tells Becky to shut up, then says that Charlotte is being patronizing by pretending to be thankful to her and Becky. Paige says that Charlotte’s acting like she’s gotten into the Hall of Fame. Paige says she’s a TWO-TIME champ. In fact, she won it on her first day in WWE. Paige says that Nikki’s gonna win the title back with the help of her “hippy sister” and Alicia because there is no Divas Revolution. Charlotte’s just a place-holder for Nikki. Paige tells Becky to back off. She says Becky is NEVER going to be a champ because she isn’t even relevant.
Oh, and that’s not all. She insults Team B.A.D. for being all flash and no substance, then says that Nattie doesn’t even work in WWE. Summer and Lana, meanwhile, are busy fighting over who they’re gonna fuck next. She says the Bellas are bullshit and only on top and “everyone knows the real reason why”, hinting that they’re sleeping with two of the most popular stars in WWE. She says the real reason why Charlotte’s champion IS because of Ric Flair. Paige drops the mic and leaves as Becky holds Charlotte back.
The Bellas appear to make this even worse. Nikki gets snarky and insults Paige, calling her a “trashy woman”, then says that Charlotte can’t handle the pressure of being champion. She says that, tonight, Charlotte’s gonna lose to Brie Bella. She says that Charlotte’s gonna lose the Divas Title in their re-match. Wow. Let me get this straight: Paige is suddenly a heel because Charlotte’s the champion like they all wanted her to be, but she hates the Bellas? Ok, fine. PLEASE let this lead to a Divas faction split because that’s what the Divas Division needs at this point.
MATCH #3: WWE Divas Champion Charlotte (w/ Becky Lynch) vs. Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox) (non-title)
Brie snapmares Charlotte to the mat and then shoulderblocks her. Charlotte comes back with a roll-up, then bashes Brie’s face with her knee. Brie comes back, kicking Charlotte to the mat, then hits a Missile Dropkick. Two count. The fight spills out of the ring and Charlotte eats the steel steps. Brie gets back in the ring as Charlotte’s magical knee is injured again. Brie kicks her in the corner, then weakly works on her injured knee. Brie uses the leg to fling Charlotte across the ring. Charlotte rolls up Brie for two and it’s MORE KNEE PERIL JUST LIKE LAST NIGHT. Brie plainly kicks at Charlotte’s knee, then poses. Brie dropkicks her in the ribs, then wraps the knee against the bottom rope. Drunk Mode sees Brie kicking Charlotte in the knee. Because it’s injured, see. Two count. Charlotte comes back with forearms. She tries a slam but Brie kicks out and then nails her in the back of the knee. Half Crab time. Charlotte escapes and gets a backslide for two. Charlotte hits Flair Chops. Brie kicks her, misses a clothesline and ends up getting speared. Figure Eight wins it even though the knee is “injured”. Count it at 6:26.
WINNER: Charlotte via Figure Eight
RATING: DUD. This was the same match as last night, done in half the time, against one of the worst in-ring Divas in Brie Bella who half-assed this entire match working on Charlotte’s “trick knee”. Charlotte takes a full-on beating for about 6 minutes before she finally mounts an offense and wins with a move that requires an “injured” part of her body to work. How is this making Charlotte look good? Can we stop leaning on the Bella Twins already? Their time is done.
STILL TO COME: Cena vs. Rollins for the United States Title.
MATCH #4: Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
The crowd gets on Sheamus for his look. The two shove one another. Sheamus tries to punch Henry but Henry blocks and clotheslines him. Sheamus gets out of the ring, yells, then re-enters. He hits punches and uppercuts. Henry slams him, then clotheslines him out of the ring. Sheamus throws a tantrum and stands outside. Henry tries to pull him back into the ring but Sheamus punches him. He goes for Ten Beats but Henry blocks on #4 and tosses Sheamus back into the ring. Henry goes for a Powerslam but Sheamus kicks out and hits a Brogue, then does it again and we’re done at 2:23.
WINNER: Sheamus via Brogue Kick
RATING: n/a – squash
Sheamus goes back to the top of the ramp and tells the fans that they can chant all they want — he’s gonna be WWE Heavyweight Champ. It’s just a matter of time.
STILL TO COME: Dolph Ziggler & The Dudley Boyz vs. Rusev & The New Day
Kane is backstage, drinking coffee. Triple H and Steph show up and tell Kane they’re surprised to see him. They ask how he is. Kane says he feels great and it’s good to be back at work. Triple H says that they’re confused. Kane asks if it’s about the rematch tonight. Triple H and Steph say that isn’t it. They just want to know why he did what he did at Night of Champions. Kane feigns ignorance. They tell Kane that they’re fine with the attack and the revenge thing against Rollins but they don’t want to be treated like idiots. Kane still feigns ignorance. Steph says they should all get on the same page. She tells Kane to “give it back” and holds out her hand. Kane slaps her hand, giving her “five”. Steph smiles and says that she wants Kane’s mask back. Kane notices his mask is missing and tells Steph that she lost it, not him. He gets in her face — then backs off, all smiles, saying he’ll help look for it. He leaves, telling them to have a good night.
Paige and her WonderBra are backstage. And look at that! Nattie shows up. What a coincidence. Paige is surprised to see her. Nattie says that Paige was right about a lot of things. Nattie says that Paige was still unprofessional. Tonight was Charlotte’s night and Paige destroyed it. If the shoe were on the other foot, Paige would be furious. Nattie says that she is still a star here and she has a match against Naomi. She tells Paige that PAIGE is the only person holding her back.
The New Day comes out to the ring. Woods limps around from his beating at NOC. He holds up a gigantic shard from the broken table inside an evidence bag. He says that the WWE medical team pulled that piece of wood from his ass. Kofi says the Dudleys have got to be stopped. E says that a wall must be built around Dudleyville, one that will protect their laws, values and furniture. Kofi says that the WWE Universe can speak because they have a voice. Save…the tables! Save…the tables! Save…the tables!
MATCH #5: WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) (w/ Xavier Woods) & Rusev (w/ Summer Rae) vs. The Dudley Boyz (D-Von & Bubba Ray) & Dolph Ziggler
Crowd is hot as Kofi and Ziggler start off together. The two flip around and counter one another. Ziggler hits a shoulderblock, then a slingshot after about 80 more counters. Tag to D-Von who slams Kofi and hits a legdrop. Kofi fights back but misses a corner slingshot D-Von hits a falling neckbreaker. E gets in the ring but the Dudleys double-team him. It’s a melee outside. After break, Ziggler and E go at it with Ziggler hitting a neckbreaker. Woods distracts Ziggler with a trombone and E nails Ziggler with a huge clothesline. Rusev tags in and beats on Ziggler in the corner. New Day mudhole stomp as Woods blows on his horn and won’t shut the fuck up. Rusev hits a Flying Headbutt and gets two. Ziggler fights back but Rusev nails him with an elbow.. Ziggler tries to crawl to his corner but Rusev stops him and puts him in the heel corner. E tags in and locks in the Abdominal Stretch. Ziggler breaks and hits a Fame-Asser but nobody cares because Woods plays the fucking trombone and Summer literally jerks off the trombone. Kofi stops another hot tag attempt, then dropkicks Ziggler. Kofi tags E and E tags Rusev. Triple Team attempt squashes Ziggler like a grape. Rusev tells Ziggler to make a tag. Ziggler tries but Rusev kicks him in the ribs like he’s trying to score against Madrid’s defense. Rusev misses a corner splash and Dolph nails him with a DDT after a LONG wait. Finally, Dolph tags Bubba who destroys Kofi. Bubba takes out E, then hits a Sidewalk Slam. Kofi misses a top rope Cross Body. Bubba slams him to the mat and gets two. E comes in but eats Bubba’s boot. Rusev tags in but Bubba knocks him down and tags in D-Von. Double Suplex. Tag to Ziggler who hits WASSUP . The New Day pulls the Dudleys outside the ring. Ziggler runs to the ropes. Woods hops up on the mat, so Ziggler superkicks him. Rusev superkicks Dolph and gets the pin at around 15:17
WINNERS: Rusev/New Day
RATING: **. The match worked when Woods wasn’t the center of attention, otherwise, this went on far too long and didn’t involve the Dudleys much.
Cole has us review the Kane/Rollins confrontation from earlier tonight.
MATCH #6: Naomi (w/ Sasha Banks & Tamina) vs. Natalya
For some reason, Nattie is still rocking the dominatrix look. Naomi slaps Nattie so Natties locks her up. Then they dropkick one another. Nattie snapmares Naomi but Naomi crawls under the ropes. Naomi kicks Nattie on the ensuing scrap and gets two. Naomi picks Nattie up by her hair and drops her, then puts her in a clutch. Nattie breaks but Naomi runs her head into the buckle, then kinda sits there, bouncing and waving to Team BAD. Nattie recovers but Naomi takes her down with a flying clothesline, a body slam and a legdrop. Naomi chokes her on the ropes, then kicks her in the ribs. Nattie makes a comeback with a Side Suplex and Sitting Dropkick, then hits a Discus Clothesline. She goes for a Sharpshooter but Sasha Banks gets up on the mat. Naomi nails her with the Here’s My Ass move I no longer give a shit about and this match ends at 4:00.
WINNER: Naomi via Rear View
RATING: DUD. Nobody cares. Seriously. Tell me you cared about what you saw and be honest with me. Nattie’s sudden resurrection can’t be a one-off unless they’re teaming her with Paige now and even that seems ill-advised. How could Creative fuck up this badly with the “Divas Revolution”? This was fish in a barrel and they still managed to mishandle it.
Rollins meets with Steph and Triple H who tell Rollins that they believe that Kane got everything out of his system last night at Night of Champions. Steph believes that Kane is back to do his actual job. Rollins disagrees and says that Kane’s gonna run over him. Triple H has had it and tells Rollins to shut up. They will handle Kane. He tells Rollins to worry about Cena.
MATCH #7: Big Show vs. Cesaro
Cesaro clubs at Show and tries to fly at him from the second rope but Show slaps his chest, then whips him into the corner. Then he just runs him over with a shoulderblock. Chest slap by Show and then he just throws Cesaro across the ring. He chokes Cesaro, then hits a Reverse DDT. Show goes for an elbow drop but misses. Cesaro gets to his feet and begins to hit uppercuts. He hits a big dropkick and Show goes outside the ring. Cesaro chases and hits a huge running uppercut.Cesaro gets on the announce table but Show catches him and rams his back into the post. Back in the ring, Cesaro uppercuts Show, then tries to suplex Show into the ring. After working on this for about 8 minutes and 24 uppercuts, Cesaro practically destroys his back doing it. Show stands up and just KO’s Cesaro and we’re done around six minutes.
WINNER: Big Show via KO Punch
RATING: DUD. Whatever. I’m over Big Show. Cesaro should be on the rise and, instead, he’s being buried because Vince has a hard-on for Big Show.
Post-match, oh great: Big Show has a mic and needs to yack about how awesome he is. He says this match was “a message for Brock Lesnar”. He says he’s the greatest giant the business has ever seen. Everyone’s forgotten that. He says he will be the one to pin Lesnar. He says that Lesnar knows Show can’t stand him. The crowd chants for “SUPLEX CITY”. Show encourages them all the chant because there’s “no way his big ass is going to Suplex City”. He rants and rants and rants about the Hell Tour. He says that Lesnar’s just another reason Show will prove he’s the greatest as if he’s been wrestling as much as Cena.
ON SMACKDOWN: Ziggler & Ryback vs. Rusev & Owens
We recap the big Wyatts vs. 2/3’s Shield battle that goes on and on and on — and, HEY, let’s have a Wyatt spot on top of that. Harper says he hears Bray Wyatt’s voice in his head. Bray saved him. Orton hasn’t learned from his mistakes. Braun Strowman says the last snake he caught was skinned. He even drank the snake’s blood. Bray says that everyone falls.
MATCH #8: John Cena (champion) vs. Seth Rollins (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
Seth attacks Cena during the latter part of the Lillian Garcia’s intro. Rollins gets two quick two-counts. He goes for a neckbreaker and hits it for two. Rollins continues to punch at Cena and then drops a knee for two. Rollins goes for a Pedigree but Cena counters into an STF which Rollins kicks out of. Rollins hits an Enzuguri and gets two. Rollins hits a quick corner splash. Two count. Rollins runs at Cena but Cena wakes up and hits a clothesline. Cena goes for an AA but Rollins kicks out and counters with a DDT. Two count. Cena rolls outside. When we come back from break, Rollins kicks at Cena, then puts him in a headlock. Cena breaks it but Rollins hits a makeshift Bulldog and gets two. Rollins hits a side headlock and punches but Cena hits Moves #1 – #3. He goes for the 5KS and hits it. Rollins rolls out of the ring and starts to retreat, so Cena grabs him and tosses him back into the ring. The two ends up in the corner. Rollins tries a Superplex but Cena headbutts him and hits a Cross Body for two. Rollins reverses the pin for two, then hits a quick Superkick for two. Both men get to their feet. After a counter, Rollins locks in the STF but Cena powers out and lifts Rollins up, dumping him outside the ropes. Rollins, however, hits a Springboard Knee to Cena’s face and gets two. Rollins gets up, picks Cena up and tries a Pedigree but Cena counters with a slingshot. Rollins lands on his feet and Cena sees that. He grabs Rollins and knocks him off the buckle and NEARLY gets a fall. Cena hits some jabs, then goes for the AA but Rollins kicks out and tries the Pedigree. Another counter. The two counter each other over and over until Cena ends up getting Buckle Bombed. Rollins hits the Mininoku Driver and nearly gets a fall. Rollins drags Cena close to the buckle and goes top rope. He flies at Cena and misses. Rollins lands on his feet. He rushes at Cena who hits an STF. Rollins breaks immediately. Both men get up. Rollins hits an Enzuguri and goes top rope again. He hits a Frog Splash and covers — but Cena gets up and hits the AA to retain the title at 15:34.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: John Cena via AA
RATING: ***1/4. Great match — though Cena beating Rollins clean needs to stop immediately. Cena should be World Champ by now at this rate.
Cena celebrates after the match and runs back up the ramp. Rollins stays in the ring — when Kane appears on the Jumbotron. Kane tells him that a lot of competitors lining up to take his title…even guys from his worst nightmares. Rollins begs off until Kane’s pyro goes off. Kane pops up from the ring mat and drags Rollins to hell as we go off the air. This is so uber-ridiculous.
OVERALL: Mostly a DUD of a show besides the main event. The Divas Division and the Kane/Rollins angle seriously needs some work.