McGinn’s Raw Recap – 9/15/14

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Will John Cena unleash the beast at Night of Champions this Sunday? (Courtesy WWE.com)

Monday Night Raw
September 15, 2014
Lafayette, LA

Your announcers tonight are Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry Lawler.

Jambalaya PTB Nation! Time for your weekly three-hour addiction we call Monday Night Raw. It’s time to “go home” as we prepare for the biggest Night of Champions in this history of our sport so you know they will pull out all the stops on this night. Maybe Maury Povich will get his arm broken or perhaps Phil Donahue will have a heart attack trying to fix those putrid Bellas. Either way, you better learn to love every single minute of it or else Vince will send the Mean Street Posse to your door! Beware of the Sweater Vest Army!

Anyway, we are coming tonight from the Cajundome. No introductory video (who has time for that crap?) as Paul Heyman begins in the ring. He is probably not scared of an ass kicking by John Cena since it has already been announced that his client, Brock Lesnar, is scheduled to appear. He starts with a spot on impersonation of Cena’s entrance theme followed be a preview of this Sunday’s main event. Paul E. doesn’t really get cooking before John’s actual theme hits the speakers and the former champ is here! Cena receives a tepid response and points out that The Beast isn’t present at ringside. Cena came for a fight and is about ready to throw down. Heyman lets out the fart in the elevator by telling the world that Brock’s plane has been delayed and blows some smoke up Cena’s ass before my hero grabs him by the scruff of the neck. John says he won’t wait until the end of Raw to kick Heyman’s ass. If Brock doesn’t show up by the halfway point of the program, it’s beatings for Mr. Dangerously.

Because Heyman is untrustworthy, Cena puts him in a headlock and drags the advocate back to the locker room area. Not an awful start, though hopefully they are building up to something cool in a few hours.

Next, highlights of Roman Reigns’ face getting introduced to steel from a week ago and it’s announced that Double R will face Seth Rollins tonight, just days before their PPV clash.

CHRIS JERICHO VS. CORPORATE KANE

On the app, John Cena locked Paul in his own dressing room and hires The Great Khali to guard the door. If this ends with Khali getting murdered by Brock, that will make my year! Meanwhile, wasn’t this a PPV match in 2000? Good for these guys for still being able to go for this long! I know they shouldn’t be in the main events anymore, but you have to respect the longevity. I hope I’m writing half as decent in 2028! (No, I’m not stalling to avoid writing about this match!) Y2J faces Orton at Night of Champions which might serve as a bathroom break for most while Kane will probably spoil the ending of an extremely hot match on Sunday. Pretty standard match with not much to write home about. Kane did land a unique snake eyes as Jericho landed on the second turnbuckle. Afterwards, Kane exposed the top turnbuckle only to see his slingshot attempt get thwarted. After a number of counters and a sloppy drop toe hold into the steel corner, Y2J rolled up the Director of Operations for a rather lackluster finish. WINNER: CHRIS JERICHO

In a word, blah! Though what did you expect? If Gin Blossoms taught us nothing over the years, it’s to always temper your expectations. Remember in the song Hey Jealousy when they sang, “If you don’t expect too much from me, you might not be let down.” You should hum that anytime Kane wrestles and it might make you feel better inside.

Backstage, Paul tries to call Brock from Cena’s dressing room but is having difficulties. Clearly Cena isn’t stationed in a Verizon hot spot or Heyman has T-Mobile. Maybe he should go back to the Zack Morris phone he used to carry in 1988.

Mark Henry is going to rally America tonight leading into his war with Rusev on Sunday while Renee Young is joined by the soon-to-be anointed A+ player Roman Reigns. He looks forward to punching Rollins’ stupid face in until his knuckles bleed. Lovely!

JACK SWAGGER (W/ ZEB COLTER) VS. BO DALLAS

I can’t even speak about Bo Dallas without weeping. I saw his face, and I’m a boliever! I am not worthy of being in his presence and neither is Jack Swagger. I agree with JBL when he says that Bo is “like Winston Churchill come to life.” How could you not? I figured this would be a good kickoff show match, though I could see where it’s likely to get lost in the shuffle of the stacked Night of Champions card. On the surface, Swagger should be able to kill the inspirational one. For starters, he’s bigger and more experienced, plus he has Zeb for support. That being said, Bo really lays a beating on the former Sooner for much of this before Jack’s comeback. Bo attempted a rollup, but Jack smartly used his amateur skills to counter the hold into the Patriot Lock sadly forcing my boy to tap. Nice to give Jack something to hang his hat on though I shudder to think what this loss means for Bo. WINNER: JACK SWAGGER (sniffle)

Some people never forgot Vietnam. For me, it’s this Bella vs. Bella feud. I will always remember where I was when this steaming pile of puppy crap started and will forever have a hard time remembering what life was like before it. In any event, hopefully this week, we only get one segment of this horse hockey so it doesn’t drag down the rest of the show. Highlights galore of Jerry Springer legitimately getting injured during last week’s abysmal intervention segment that leads us into a convoluted divas tag match I begin to write about riiiiiight now.

BRIE BELLA & AJ LEE VS. NIKKI BELLA & DIVAS CHAMPION PAIGE

Brie and Nikki tease hooking up to start but you knew it wasn’t going to be that easy. It’s sad that the Bellas are even involved at all in this title picture because I think Paige vs. AJ is entertaining enough on its own. Ugh, such a waste. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Total Divas ruins everything! Quick one tonight (Thank God!) as Nikki pulls AJ off the apron as Brie went for a tag. Paige hits the “RamPaige” and that’ll do pig, that’ll do! WINNERS: NIKKI & PAIGE

Afterwards, Nikki hits her backbreaker on her sister while Paige skips around Brie’s carcass. AJ, meanwhile, skips around the ring which irks Paige to no end. On a side note, you know you’ve made it in the internet wrestling world when a Nikki Bella fan site starts following you on Twitter. I can now make that claim! Clearly whoever runs the Twitter handle of @TeamFearlessNB doesn’t actually read my work.

Next up, highlights from Smackdown featuring Bray Wyatt and the Big Show. Bray then starts talking nonsense about toppling giants and how he is going to fix the Big Show. He also says his usual “everything you know is wrong” mumbo jumbo followed by instructing us to follow some buzzards…though I must admit, I sort of wasn’t listening.

Khali is still standing guard as Paul attempts to speak to his captor. Heyman tries to reason with the monster to let him leave the locker room in order to get better cell reception. Khali grabs the phone out of Paul’s hands and drops it on the ground. Why does Paul still have a flip phone? It shatters on impact and for good measure, Khali crushes it with his big toe. HeymanHustle is going nowhere fast and Khali is certainly earning his millions tonight.

THE BIG SHOW VS. BRAY WYATT

Bray continues to be super over down South despite his icy push of late. Like any good match involving giant men, Bray works over Show’s leg before settling into a resthold. Wyatt’s selling never is discussed much but as this match heated up, he bounced around the ring like he was in a pinball machine. Once Show picked up the upper hand, Harper jumped in and broke up a pinning attempt. Show cleaned house against the stooges though Bray escaped into the safety of his own rocking chair. He laughs at the giant from a distance and it appears this feud will continue. WINNER: BIG SHOW (BY DQ)

THE USOS & SHEAMUS VS. CESARO, GOLDUST & STARDUST

Has anyone else forgotten that Sheamus is on the roster? Usually he’s in the center of some meaty storylines but he has been all but invisible since returning from injury. My not very bold prediction is that he and Cesaro pull the Savage/Steamboat and have the match of the night this Sunday. To be honest, they both really need a show stopping performance if you ask me. And if they don’t steal the show, chances are the tag title match will. If the Usos are allowed to go all out and not keep selling the injury angle, that bout will be an absolute gem!

Speaking of stealing, Cesaro steals the Celtic Warrior’s “clubbering” punches on the outside to build some heat. He then further messes with the Universe by faking a swing attempt in favor of stomping on an Uso’s chest. Jimmy made the hot tag to Sheamus, who finally shows some fire. He hits all his usual spots but then pulls out a flying battering ram off the top turnbuckle and onto the floor. He does miss the blind tag by Stardust though and eats a Cesaro neutralizer for his troubles. Just when things looked bleak for our heroes, the Usos splashed down on the King of Swing for the three count. The good guys take home the winner’s purse tonight, though will the same be said this Sunday? WINNERS: USOS & SHEAMUS

Christian returns…to the kickoff show. That’s right folks! Captain Charisma will host Y2J Chris Jericho in a very special edition of The Peep Show prior to Night of Champions. Can they just give this guy a color commentary job already?

Renee now speaks with The Apex Predator about his attack of Chris Jericho last week. He says that Y2J has to work twice as hard to achieve half of what Randy Orton has accomplished. He took umbrage with Jericho stating that Randy has had everything handed to him. Orton retorts that at Night of Champions, the only thing Jericho will be handed will be the beating of a lifetime.

Cena relieves Khali and drags Heyman out to the arena. Paul E. begs and pleads with the leader of the Cenation who proceeds to make a few magic references about making beasts appear and teeth disappear. Heyman calls Hustle, Loyalty and Respect a sham. He says that he is the one to bring the hatred out of John Cena. He is the trigger but because John wants to be a role model, he will never truly allow the beast inside him to come out. Heyman wants Cena to just let it go and even goes so far as to beg John to hit him at this point. Because he won’t hit Paul out of anger, he will never be able to beat a beast the likes of Brock Lesnar. Cena calls Heyman the scum of this planet and a waste of oxygen. Heyman is all but pleading now with Cena to become a Paul Heyman guy, though naturally, Cena refuses. John calls Heyman a has been who doesn’t deserve the dirt off his hands. Heyman cracks a testicles joke involving Cena’s mother that finally triggered John to shove his adversary down to the mat. Lesnar’s music hits to a deafening pop and the champ is finally here!

Brock strolls around the ring, helps up his advocate and we get a few solid minutes of standing and staring. Fans play into it hook, line and sinker and it seemed like Lesnar was just going to walk away. In a bit of a shock though, Lesnar entered the ring and Cena engaged his foe. Much like SummerSlam, however, Brock scored with a German suplex and dispatched Cena to the floor. Everything old was new again as Johnny was left for dead, but Cena stormed back into the ring and took Lesnar to the woodshed. Security rushed the ring and the last image before our main event on Sunday will be John Cena standing tall. If Cena wins this weekend, it’ll be because WWE blinked. They couldn’t handle not seeing their champion on TV every week and it truly will be back to the status quo. That being said, I have no clue where they go with this on Sunday and I’m beyond curious, and in a way, excited about what I’ll be writing about these two behemoths at this time next Monday.

CAMERON VS. NAOMI

Oh for the love of Rozzero! Now I get highlights of Total Divas on this show? I never thought I’d say this, but you’d never get this sort of garbage on SuperStars! We get a completely staged argument between these two former friends stemming from Cameron’s decision to go to NXT to, I don’t know, maybe improve her freaking wrestling skills!?! How could you Cameron? What the hell? You were the weak link in a valet duo for a tag team that no longer exists and you want to go down to Florida to better yourself? What a bitch! You’re supposed to play second fiddle to Naomi and watch her shine while you only get known for acting crazy and coming up with catch phrases. Girl bye! Whoa, I don’t know what came over me! Anyway, Naomi wins. WINNER: NAOMI

THE MIZ & DAMIEN MIZDOW VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER & R-ZIGGLER

In case you missed it, Dolph hired his own stunt double in R-Truth and it was nothing short of brilliant. I am absolutely marking out to this whole angle. The announcers played up the fact that they couldn’t tell them apart even given their differences in complexion. It was fantastic! So here we get the rematch. Truth actually does Dolph’s mannerisms quite well and much like Sandow, it’s awesome (with all due respect to the Miz) to see him embracing this role. I might have said this before, but I want Miz to increase the number of his entourage and form a Hollywood faction. I can’t get enough of it and no I’m not drunk! Some heel miscommunication leads to Ziggler hitting the Zig-Zag on his NoC opponent for the victory. With Dolph dominating this feud, it only seems natural that Miz (with the help of his supporting cast) will hoist the gold on Sunday and you heard it here first! WINNER: THE ZIGGLERS

Seth Rollins cuts a promo that is either sheer genius or it’ll end up on Wrestlecrap someday. He acts like a monkey and says he made Roman Reigns. It was quite bizarre and I nearly lost my train of thought but whatever, the kid can work! He is Teflon right now so if he wants to imitate a neanderthal in a promo, who are you do doubt him?

ROMAN REIGNS VS. SETH ROLLINS

This seems counterproductive to me since these two will face each other at the PPV, though I suppose it’s a change from the standard “let’s just throw them in a tag match” method of “go home show” booking. If anyone can bring a terrific match out of the still green Reigns, it would be one of your best workers and sellers on the roster. This was a fun little brawl early on as Reigns squashed his former partner. Rollins took a nasty bump over the announce table heading into break. The Architect would seize momentum during the commercial, though this was a see-saw battle throughout. Reigns connected with his Superman Punch but missed the spear, which led to a Rollins kick to the chin. I’m still baffled how much stuff these guys are getting in on one another. Surely they should save some for the special event, no? It’s like when your team scores 14 runs in a game and then you wonder if they’ll get shut out the next day. I guess I can’t complain about a quality TV match since so often reviews like this tend to swing negative. Anyway, Rollins attempted a curb stomp that Reigns dodged masterfully and throttled his old buddy with a spear for the 1, 2, 3. WHOA guys! A clean win? I’m now a little nervous for Sunday. It’s going to take some doing to top that! Why use that on Raw when you could have easily waited six days? I may never know the answer to that. If nothing else, this easily wins my match of the night. Take a bow you two! WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS

Michael Cole introduces Mark Henry to the ring to rally America against the hated Russians. The World’s Strongest Man says he will shut Lana and Rusev up come Sunday. As the fans wave their flags, Henry states that he CAN’T let down his American fans. Lana comes out and starts disparaging the United States and even takes shots Obama’s sagging approval ratings. She says Henry is spewing propaganda. She brings up the fact that he failed to qualify for the 1992 Olympic team and in that same year, the Soviets dominated. King and JBL are getting enraged at the table as Lana keeps piling it on this nation. In the meantime, Henry is keeping his cool. He recites the Pledge of Allegiance until Rusev interrupts about halfway through. The Bulgarian Russian lands a kick and nearly traps Henry into the Accolade. But for the good of our country, Henry refuses to surrender and drops Rusev with a powerbomb. U.S.A. U.S.A. U.S.A.

For the most part, an enjoyable show with less dead weight and divas nonsense that we had grown accustomed to in the last two months. If I were to nitpick, it would be the format of the show. Why is Lesnar/Cena/Heyman in the middle of the show? Why did the USA rally reside in the main event spot? Did Reigns/Rollins save enough for Sunday? Is Bo Dallas still my hero? Obviously the answer to that last question is a resounding yes! Still though, there have been worse ways to spend three hours and believe me, I have written about them!

Whether it’s a ploy to sell more subscriptions and renewals of the network or not, regardless of that, Night of Champions has all the makings of an extremely entertaining show. Fresh matchups, the possibility of several title changes and even the hint of a Cena “attitude adjustment” is enough to get me motivated to check it out. Don’t just do it for yourself, do it for your country! Because after all, Putin wins if you don’t renew the network. It’s true, it’s damn true! At least that’s what I think Vince wants you to believe. Trust me on this one!

Besides, it could be worse, you could be watching Total Divas!

Join the conversation by following me on “The Twitter” @DmcG4881. Still not enough? Hear me weekly on The Steve Corino Show every Friday and be sure to ask us questions @SteveCorinoShow.

Author: Dan McGinn

Dan McGinn is a former Minor League Baseball announcer, a five-star General in the #sweatervestarmy and an all around babyface who you should be happy to take home to dinner. He also happens to write about wrestling.