McGinn’s Raw Recap – 9/22/14

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Seth Rollins is a wanted man. The question is, who gets him first? Cena or Ambrose (Courtesy WWE.com)

Monday Night Raw
September 22, 2014
Memphis, TN

Live from Jerry Lawler Country, it’s time for the three-hour odyssey we call Raw. While some might argue that Homer could tell a more brisk tale than WWE creative these days, here we sit, a day after a tremendously polarizing PPV, wondering how in the world they will write themselves out of this corner. Cena, Lesnar, Rollins, Ambrose? How will this mystery unfold? I for one am never too optimistic this time of year. I always feel like everyone on the planet is more interested in fantasy football than actually being creative so storylines become unimaginative and booking becomes lazy. Should I start sounding a tad more negative in the coming weeks, trust me it’s intentional. If that’s what gets me more likes on Facebook, so be it! It’s just that expectations are low from your humble correspondent and we will ultimately see if I’m pleasantly surprised heading into Hell in a Cell. It doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun last night and sadly, I now I have the waistline to prove it (Someone get me DDP Yoga!). Okay, enough gum flapping, let’s head down to ringside!

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

We open with still images of last night’s main event. Clearly this caused quite a stir on the interwebs as Brock looked weak since they played it up like he was mere moments away from being beat. Rollins looks like a tool because he couldn’t get the job done cashing in the Money in the Bank contract. Finally Cena looks foolish because everyone on the internet hates him and he can do no right in their eyes. Whether it’s not selling the beating from last month or preventing the younger star in Rollins to be elevated last night or just that his gimmick is played out and should have been more “beast-like” at the PPV, the former champ just can’t win. All I’ll preach now is patience. Surely that convoluted finish will lead somewhere. I mean just last year we had the screwy fast count Daniel Bryan win and look where he ended up!

Back to the arena where Dean Ambrose returned after suffering through his one way trip into the cinder blocks last month. I’m sure his comeback last night wasn’t plan but unexpected hernia surgery from your next huge megastar doesn’t happen everyday. He proclaims that he is not dead and far from it. That psychopath even admires the Authority’s creativity in his brutal assault last month and even decides to replay it on the tron. He says he is sick of the Authority protecting the golden child, Seth Rollins, and says he won’t leave the ring until he gets his hands on his former partner. I loved the line when he said he “never gets sick of punching [Seth Rollins] in the face!”

Dean grabs a chair and sits in the ring and to everyone’s surprise, here comes John Cena! Ladies and gentleman, the two hottest faces in the company. I have chills! Before the former champ can speak, Ambrose states his unhappiness with Cena busting up his sit in. Cena tells him that they have a similar agenda since Rollins screwed him out of beating Lesnar last night. Tonight, Cena says he is going to cash in his “Ass Kicking in the Bank” contract on Rollins and no one is going to stop him. Ambrose warns Cena not to get in his way and both men decide to disrobe and settle this like men. Spoiling what would be a trainwreck of battle is the Authority. Triple H says that no one is going to mess with Rollins tonight, but before he can say another word, Cena interrupts and states he will get him himself. Both men storm up the ramp way and start firing fists at anyone in their way. Eventually, Ambrose chases Rollins into the crowd. Now that’s how you elevate a young talent!

In the back, it’s 2-on-1 as Rollins books it into some poor schmuck’s SUV. I guess when you’re Mr. Money in the Bank, car jacking is perfectly legal. Ambrose, that maniac, jumped into the back of the car and looked to take a nasty spill onto the pavement as Rollins sped away, but that guy survived cinder blocks to the face so I think he’ll be fine.

Back from commercial, Orton is bitching with Kane while Triple H decides to make some matches. It’ll be Kane/Ambrose followed by Orton/Cena. Best line of the segment comes from Randy who tells Triple H to relay to Rollins to “stop starting fires” that he and Kane need to put out.

IC CHAMPIONIONSHIP MATCH: THE MIZ (W/ DAMIAN MIZDOW) VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER 

In typical night after Raw fashion, Dolph elects to exercise his rematch clause just one day after losing the gold at Night of Champions. Funny bit here as the stunt double, Damien Mizdow, carries his own version of the Intercontinental Championship that he probably picked up at a Toys R Us or perhaps a closing K-Mart. Have I mentioned I absolutely adore this angle? If Miz forms a larger “entourage” in the coming weeks, I really need to submit my resume to Titan Towers (either that, or sue them!). Miz works the neck and delivers a nasty neck breaker on the ropes which sent Ziggy to the mat. Dolph had his comeback spot that was halted abruptly by a Miz Figure Four. After reaching the ropes, Ziggler scored with clotheslines to both Miz and Mizdow, but got caught with a Skull Crushing Finale. The challenger somehow kicked out and we saw a flurry of false finishes. Dolph connected with a famouser and then super kicked Mizdow off the apron. Miz then tried to duplicate his success from last night by rolling Dolph up and grabbing the tights, but momentum flipped the champ in the wrong direction and the opportunistic Ziggler grabbed a healthy hand full of his own. Three seconds later, we have a new IC Champion!! WINNER: DOLPH ZIGGLER

Stunning moment! I usually hate the 24 hour rematch because it seems telegraphed that the champion will retain. But at the very least the people who were crying in their Lucky Charms this morning that Dolph is getting screwed by the higher ups can at least go to sleep tonight with a Cheetos coated smile this evening! This feud will no doubt continue.

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

The rubber match of this “not quite ready for PPV” rivalry. Still amazed at how over the “We the People” chant is. I mean even when Jack was a heel with absolutely zero heat, that sucker was as loud as any chant in the arena. I’m getting side tracked naturally. It’s hard to concentrate when the apple of my eye, Bo Dallas, is on the screen. Swagger gets Bo on his shoulders and then dropped him into a Patriot Lock for a quick submission victory. WINNER: JACK SWAGGER

Post match, Zeb grabs the mic and proclaims to Bo that he “Bo-lieves that he just tapped out to Jack Swagger.” So sad. I still Bo-lieve in you Bo!

NATALYA (W/ ROSA MENDES) VS. SUMMER RAE (W/ LAYLA)

Repeat after me, I DON’T CARE ABOUT TOTAL DIVAS. I repeat, I DON’T CARE ABOUT TOTAL DIVAS! I guess this match was because of an altercation on that aforementioned reality show I don’t care about. At the very least, Summer solidified her heel turn by cutting a promo on the Universe. I guess they are trying to recreate Laycool. Will they be LayRae or SumLa? Well unlike Laycool, this time the bad girls lose as Summer easily taps to the sharpshooter. Welp, so much for that. Ugh, what a waste! WINNER: NATALYA

DEAN AMBROSE VS. CORPORATE KANE

If I were Dean, I’d check to make sure no one left a stray pile of cinder blocks at ringside. You just never can be too careful in these situations. Ambrose really needs to be put over strong here in his return, no? As expected, Dean goes a little nutty and tries to incorporate some weaponry before Kane whipped him into some steel steps. The corporate one worked over Dean’s arm and shoulder to slow down the tempo. Dean fired back with some strikes and clotheslines followed by a missile dropkick off the top turnbuckle. He couldn’t connect with a tornado DDT but did counter the chokeslam into his Dirty Deeds finisher. Just before the three count, Rollins interfered to ruin everything. Ambrose fought him off, but that turd in the punch bowl known as the Director of Operations nailed our hero with a chokeslam. Rollins was going to pick at Dean’s carcass, but the “Lunatic Fringe” grabbed a chair to even the odds. Seth turned tail and walked up the aisle. Geez, why can’t Kane just die? Does he really need protection at this point? Oh well, at least Ambrose didn’t hit the bricks… literally! WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE BY DQ

After an ad for Modern Family, Seth and Kane get bumped by the COO. Triple H is about to lecture Rollins on starting fires before Ambrose attacks the Authority backstage. Security grabs Dean and locks him behind an ominous green door on the orders of Stephanie McMahon. Her rationale for the move was quite amusing as Hunter protested that Ambrose should be removed from the building. Stephanie asked him if there has ever been a guy ejected from the arena who didn’t eventually find his way back in? At least now they have control over Ambrose for the rest of the program. I love it! This is brilliant! Perfection personified and you know I have trouble praising Stephanie so let’s go with it!

We get a replay of the Roman Reigns breaking news announcement from the weekend. Very unfortunate. They are dropping like flies over there. Between Barrett, Bryan and now Reigns, think of how much stronger the roster would be if those guys were all healthy. I guess someone HAS to be elevated now (HINT, HINT WWE!).

SHEAMUS & THE USOS VS. CESARO, GOLD & STARDUST

For those of you who were down on Night of Champions, I challenge you to rewatch the two matches involving these six guys. As expected, from me anyway, both bouts delivered and were definitely the best matches on the card. Sure they seemed a bit redundant since we have seen them numerous times before, but all these guys can go and shouldn’t be judged unfairly just because you hate John Cena. Back to the action. Sheamus and Cesaro continue to pound the crap out of one another as if their match never ended on Sunday. Surprisingly this match felt like the guys were just going through the motions heading into yet another commercial break. Perhaps they left it all in the ring in Nashville a day ago.

The Celtic Warrior received the hot tag and really went to work on Stardust. He went a clubbering on Dusty’s baby boy until he got thrown off the apron by the always awesome Cesaro. The former King of Swing started slapping around his NOC opponent like a bully on the school yard. You just get the feeling that these guys even beat on each other in their spare time. I’m sure that’s what Corino and I would be like if we weren’t separated by several states and Skype connection. It looked as though Stardust butchered a top rope disaster kick which allowed Sheamus to tag in one of the twins. The former tag champs cleaned house and dominated the rest of the match. Jimmy nearly suffered the same fate as his brother last night as he ate a pair of knees while going for the big splash. Goldust wrenched in the Final Cut though the pin was broken up by Sheamus. Brogue kicks sent bodies flying everywhere leading to Jey crushing Goldie with a superfly splash to pick up the win. A little revenge for The Usos in a very entertaining six-man. WINNERS: SHEAMUS & THE USOS

In the back, Orton is met by his baby brother Rollins who wants to clear the air. He wants to show his appreciation to Randy for fighting Cena for him tonight. He informs the Viper that he and Kane will be at ringside for the main event and Seth may even have a little surprise to share with his Authority brother.

It’s incredible how far we have come in the video game realm. It’s so lifelike that you almost can’t even tell what’s real and what’s the actual game. Of course you are also reading the words of a guy who owns a Super Nintendo AND a Genesis that both still work to this very day. I likely won’t get WWE 2K15 until probably the year 2047. Speaking of old, did they really use a Kid Rock song from 1999 in that promo? Was Uncle Kracker not available?

Mark Henry comes out to address America which was systematically dismantled last night once again at the hands of the Bulgarian Russian Rusev. America as we know it died last night folks. JBL wants Mark to announce that he’s leaving the country. Henry begins with an apology and says that he’s heartbroken. The idiot fans start a “what” chant that hasn’t been funny since 2002. JBL wants Henry to beg for forgiveness before Lana and Rusev show up. He calls the big guy pathetic and tells us to shut up a bunch of times. She says that everyone wants to see a rematch between the two behemoths tonight. Henry says to bring it on and that leads to an impromptu return bout.

MARK HENRY VS. RUSEV (W/ LANA)

Is it okay for Rusev to lose on TV yet? Probably not as they are playing up a back injury for Henry after yesterday’s world war. I smell a stoppage! Rusev toys with the world’s strongest man who appeared to take the edge of the steps to his lower back while I was stuffing my face with chicken wings. JBL continues to ride Henry for failing America throughout the match. Rusev, apparently gassed already, gets him in this modified headlock for what seemed like 20 minutes before Henry regained control. He labored to execute a power slam on Rusev and then returned the favor by slamming his opponent’s back into the steel steps. Henry is moving painfully slow and looks to be on death’s door. I may not be far off from that statement as he passes out in the clutches of the accolade and there goes another American hero. WINNER: RUSEV

It’s clear Henry was in no condition to fight as he laid unconscious as the Russian flag unfurled over the ring. As an American, there is no more depressing event that can happen on this program than seeing the World’s Strongest Man laying at the feet of the evil Russian monster. Unless that show also involves Bo Dallas losing. Looks like I’m 0-for-2 tonight!

HEATH SLATER & TITUS O’NEIL VS. ADAM ROSE & THE BUNNY

Ummm… What? Really? I guess you need to fill three hours any way you can. So Peter Cottontail is now part of the show? Titus is not amused. Naturally the Bunny is hipping and hopping in the corner while Rose takes the beating of a lifetime. This just screams “Indy Show” but I won’t complain. I once saw a clip of guy in whole dragon costume wrestling and it was quite traumatizing when his head fell off. But I digress. BunnyMania grips Raw. Needless to say, the Bunny has more moves than Hulk Hogan in his prime, Rose catches Slater with the Party Fowl and this one is history. SlaterGator just got thumped by Thumper! WINNERS: ADAM ROSE & THE BUNNY

Am I insane for thinking about watching Chrisley Knows Best or have I watched way too much Raw? Either way, I blame Brad Woodling for this! #ClassNotAss

Dean is still being guarded by five or six security guards. Why don’t they just hire Great Khali?

Nikki Bella enters the ring, as if I wasn’t already in one of the deepest levels of hell. Nikki blames Brie for losing last night in the Divas title match. She goes on to say that Brie never supported her and blah blah blah. Nikki calls her embarrassing to the name Bella, but let’s be honest, the Bella name hasn’t been setting the world on fire for a long time now. Basically (because I know you already fast-forwarded this), Nikki wants the name Bella exclusively, then insults Brie’s husband, gets smacked in the face by Brie and now has to face the Divas Champion, AJ Lee. Good for Brie for finally growing a pair (and no I’m not talking about breast enhancements!).

DIVAS CHAMPION AJ LEE VS. NIKKI BELLA

For the benefit of Scott Criscuolo, I’ll mention that Paige joined us at the announce table. That crazy Brit blames AJ for ruining their friendship by winning the Divas Title at Night of Champions. Nikki will likely star on Twitter tonight by doing this odd butt-to-butt against the ropes maneuver that raised a few eyebrows. Then she threw AJ into Paige who showed surprising self-control on the outside. She then announced that she quit skipping for what it’s worth. After that blockbuster announcement, Lee locked in the Black Widow to pick up the W. WINNER: AJ LEE

Huge news on the Smackdown front. On October 10th, the blue brand will be celebrating it’s 15th birthday! Now don’t you feel old?

JOHN CENA VS. RANDY ORTON (W/ SETH ROLLINS & KANE)

Hmmmmm. The camera pans from the announcers to reveal that a black box has been delivered to the ringside area. I knew it! I told you that you can’t be too careful. Business must be booming in the shady cinder block delivery business. Man, I need a career change! We get the usual dueling chants for Cena as Orton is instantly forgotten with all the outside distractions. Orton controls early methodically striking Cena and not neccessarily in any particular hurry. Cena has a short-lived comeback though missed wildly with one of his shoulder blocks. Orton then slams him onto the announce table that in typical Orton fashion, doesn’t break! Aside from that, not much to speak of in this one. You would think that these guys could pull a few new tricks out of their collective hats, but I think these guys are still spent from the PPV. I do enjoy seeing an opponent execute a well placed kick to break up the “You Can’t See Me” five-knuckle shuffle spot. Orton converted that into one of those vintage powerslams.

After a rope hung DDT from the top, Orton looked like he didn’t even need that surprise block box but then couldn’t hit the RKO and found himself in an STF instead. Kane and Rollins hit the ring and it turned into a 3-on-1 mugging. An enziguri by Rollins followed by a chokeslam to Hell. They were about to give the leader of the Cenation the cinder block treatment, but when they opened the box, Dean Ambrose popped out! How did he pull that off? He brutalized the Authority with a little help from Cena. He hit Dirty Deeds on Orton while Cena dropped Kane with an AA. Rollins headed for the hills as the Universe went bananas. WINNER: JOHN CENA BY DQ

So we end the night just as we began. Rollins is a wanted man on two fronts. The way Orton was used as just a pawn for Triple H, it’s quite clear who the company is now getting behind as it’s top heel behind Brock. Those looking for the young talent to be pushed up the ladder should be satisfied. It was a tad surprising we didn’t see anything involving Paul Heyman so at least for now, they are likely scrapping the “Cena needs to become a beast” angle. Also conspicuous by their absence was the Wyatts. First they are left off the PPV and now no Raw? That can’t be good!

All in all, not a horrible show by any means. It moved fast, the talking segments were kept short and there was no shortage of match quality with the six-man, and the IC Title change standing out. The main event was dull but the ending certainly made up for it. Though you probably need to suspend reality and believe that Ambrose could escape five security guards and weighs the same as a pile of cinder blocks. I told you they should’ve hired Khali! In any event, there have been many worse Raws of late than this one, but considering it came on the heels of a so-so PPV, tonight’s effort could be described as “pretty good” and a surprising thumbs up from me.

So in closing, I leave you with this. In the immortal words of Kid Rock,

Bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy diggy said the boogy said up jump the boogy.

Join the conversation by following me on “The Twitter” @DmcG4881. Still not enough? Hear me on The Steve Corino Show and be sure to send 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.