McGinn’s Raw Recap – 9/8/14

RAW_1111_Photo_212-1015644834
It was a memorable “season premiere” for Randy Orton and The Authority. (Courtesy WWE)

Monday Night Raw
September 8, 2014
Baltimore, MD

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

Live from the home of crab cakes, football and one less scumbag then when we began the day, it’s time for this week’s Monday Night Raw. Humongous show for you this week featuring two main events (Yay!), more hype for a usually forgotten pay-per-view (ehh…) and Jerry Springer to help make an unwatchable storyline down right horrendous ($%@#), but more on that later. There is much to discuss and I’m already getting sleepy. Based off last week’s performance, I wish I too got signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad so that I could skip Raw this week, but alas, they didn’t need someone who could make tackles or not throw to the wrong team, so I guess I’m out of luck. Courage my friends, this ride is about to get bumpy. So grab yourself a pumpkin iced coffee from your favorite donut emporium and let’s head down to ringside!

Season premiere? Since when are we counting seasons WWE? We do get treated to a sick preview of tonight’s show which means we already know when to fast-forward so in a way, this shows improvement. I’d say what happened on this preview package but you’re about to read a recap that likely will eclipse 3,000 words so chances are I’ll cover everything shown at some point. Does this mean last week’s show was the season finale? If so, they ended last year in the dumper. Let’s move on as it appears the cage has been lowered so we begin with our first of two main events of the evening.

CHRIS JERICHO VS. BRAY WYATT (STEEL CAGE MATCH)

Jericho is on a roll lately with his podcast between his two shows with Batista and then landing the boss, Triple H, for a pair of broadcasts, not to mention his recent album’s success. It’s only fitting that this is the last hurrah for this most recent comeback. Traditionally feuds end in cages and no one needs a big win like Bray Wyatt after Cena’s attempted murder of him on recent Raws. Cole has said “season premiere” at least 11 times since this show started so perhaps we found a new buzz word to knock $9.99 off it’s perch. In the early stages, Jericho utilized the Owen method of attempting to escape the cage. Bray, however, elected for the more conventional “throw your opponent as hard as you can into the steel” approach. Prior to the break, Jericho was thrown and splashed into the chain-linked fence that looked absolutely nasty.

Y2J got in his usual spots though sold his beating from earlier quite well. Loved his lionsault and his drop kick off the top buckle. Fans were very much hyped and geeked for this, staying loud and chanting for most of the match. Bray even tried to spider walk out the cage door in an interesting spot. Out of desperation, Jericho landed a hurricanrana off the top and climbed to the top of the cage. Sensing that he couldn’t just plunge onto Rowan and Harper and win the match that way, Y2J decided to take a suicide dive off the top and clubbing Bray with a forearm. Don’t ever say Jericho didn’t try his damnedest to put over the kid after that leap! Fans went ballistic! Jericho hurt his knee on the play and tried desperately to escape the structure. Jericho reached the steps and the two grappled with each other halfway out of the ring. Wyatt went after the knee and then clumsily rolled over Y2J and to the floor for the win. WINNER: BRAY WYATT

After the match, Wyatt slammed the door on Jericho’s injured leg and proceeded to beat him senseless back in the cage. We’re then instructed to follow some buzzards. In the end, a fitting conclusion to this rivalry and no one will think the worst of Y2J since he helped put Bray over strong.

In the back, the Authority celebrate the success of the cage match we just watched. Triple H wants tonight’s premiere to be memorable while Orton decides to be that jackass friend who busts all his buddies balls while making himself look good. He wants to do something to Roman Reigns that will make Seth Rollins’ attack on Dean Ambrose from last month look like another day in Sunday School. I wonder what kind of church Randy went to as a kid. Probably one where getting your face mashed into cinder blocks was as common as communion.

In the ring now, Intercontinental Champion, Dolph Ziggler. Ziggy battles The Miz at Night of Champions but right now he wants to talk about naked celebrities. He says no one deserves to be disrespected like that… except for maybe The Miz. He says he has in his possession a few compromising pictures of his PPV opponent. Those pics include Miz shaving his chest and giving himself a facial. Miz interrupts and is outraged by Ziggler’s horse play. He pulls the John Cena by threatening to sue Dolph and says that Ziggler will never work in this town again. Never missing an opportunity for a huge laugh, Dolph unveils his final embarrassing photo from the cloud and shows Damien Sandow giving Miz a spray tan in the locker room. Miz got pissed and sent in his stunt double, Sandow, to attack the IC champ, but that action was thwarted quickly. I love everything about this story from the stunt double stuff to the topical celebrity gimmicks by Miz. This is a terrific example of how you can make the midcard interesting and entertaining so we aren’t trying to tear out our eyeballs halfway through a three-hour show. The Bellas crap? Not so much!

NATALYA & ROSA MENDES VS. AJ LEE & PAIGE

I would never kick Rosa out of bed for hogging all the covers but this match is about her opponents. Paige is just mean, slapping that pretty face and then proceeding to headbutt Rosa repeatedly. AJ tagged herself in and got my girl to submit to the black widow for the easy squash. WINNERS: AJ & PAIGE

Paige was ticked at her partner who grabbed the belt and gave it a smooch. Paige took it back and also locked lips with the pink and silver strap. It’s official, that belt has made it farther in the last :30 seconds than I have in the last month! Ugh, I’m about to kick my TV so let’s move on!

In the trainer’s room, Jericho tells the doc that he landed right on his knee during the cage match. When the trainer went for ice, Orton viciously assaulted Y2J from behind and blamed it on the “season premiere.”

Paul Heyman (awesome DVD by the way if you haven’t grabbed it yet) has a mic in his hand and is about to spew his usual greatness when out from the curtain comes John Cena. Heyman begins by telling John that he was authorized by his client, Brock Lesnar, to give Cena the inside information on how to beat the Beast at Night of Champions. Cena goes on to say that all he needs to do is “Never Give Up” and proceeds to give Heyman his rally towel. After that, Heyman goes on a brilliant tirade about Cena ditching the wristbands, the t-shirts, and the stupid slogans and basically embrace the dark side. He even goes so far as to say that John should just tell all his critics, including the fat unemployed guy in the sixth row, to shut up. This is incredible! It’s probably far-fetched to believe that the WWE’s cash cow will instantly turn heel this month and join up with Heyman but the walrus has me convinced. If Paul E. were in my ear, I’d flatten Corino with a steel chair Seth Rollins’ style in a heartbeat! I would go completely rogue and even become super critical of the product while nit picking every little booking decision under the sun. “How dare Roman Reigns use a sleeperhold!”

On second thought, would it be worth it? I mean I’d probably be asked to be on those Place to Be Network PPV recap podcasts and elicit some serious hate mail. Hmmm, perhaps I don’t have the stomach for a heel turn.

It seems John has the same feelings as he tells Heyman to shut up and tells the world that he won’t change for anybody. He likes being John Cena as well as a hero to the little kids in the stands. He also claims that he doesn’t mind the “Cena Sucks” chants so much. He concludes by telling Heyman that Brock has one week to show up on Raw and stand face-to-face with him in the ring. If Lesnar fails to show, John will fight Heyman. Pretty crafty move by the writers since next week’s show will be the “go home” episode leaving little doubt that the WWE Champ will be in the building. Great stuff as always from this dynamic duo!

SETH ROLLINS VS. SHEAMUS

King compared Rollins to Triple H saying that he is also like a cerebral assassin in the ring. I guess Scott Criscuolo will be buying a new t-shirt this week. Sheamus, the forgotten champion, looks in control until Cesaro and his hideous theme song starts playing. Talk about three guys that need something to do badly. Rollins has definitely been in a holding pattern ever since Ambrose went to make movies. With the help of a distraction from Cesaro, Mr. Money in the Bank levels Sheamus with a curb stomp for the cheapo depot triumph. WINNER: SETH ROLLINS

Post-match, Cesaro begins to disrobe and looks to make mince meat out of the Celtic Warrior. He scores with the neutralizer and hoists up the US title to help prove his point. Sheamus looks like a huge tool while Cesaro established himself as a threat once again.

Countdown begins it’s second season on the WWE Network this week. I hope they redo the factions show. The Brood #2? Are you serious bro? Maybe Los Boricuas will make the cut this time! The Corre? Xavier Woods’ short-lived Nation redux? Think of the possibilities!

Lana informs us that the Star Spangled Banner was written in Baltimore. Then she began to sing her own version of our National Anthem that led me to slam may fingers into my bathroom doorway. She cues the Russian National Anthem that brought back tremendous memories of The Bolsheviks.  Thankfully this was short and I think my hand will be well enough for me to continue typing this.

ADRIAN NEVILLE & SAMI ZAYN VS. TYLER BREEZE & TYSON KIDD

Whoa! WWE, you finally have my attention. One nit to pick before we get rolling. How is this unadvertised through the first hour of the show but I had to hear about Jerry Springer a dozen times? If they really wanted to get folks jazzed for NXT, this would have been in that opening preview and in a spot where people weren’t already getting sleepy. Anyways, this is set up because this Thursday on NXT Takeover, these four guys will be competing in a Fatal 4-Way match for the NXT Championship. If you haven’t checked out an NXT special event on the Network, you are truly missing out and likely an idiot (no offense!).

As I suspected, the crowd seemed kind of lethargic for this one though we did get an O-Le chant for Zayn and some pops for Neville’s innovative offense. Fans woke up when the NXT champ delivered his Red Arrow finisher in what proved to be a short, little showcase for the two faces. I think it’s a matter of time before both of those guys get the call up. This Thursday’s show will be must see television and you certainly can do much worse for $9.99 a month! WINNERS: ADRIAN NEVILLE & SAMI ZAYN

And now the part of the show where I start to question God. Here comes Stephanie McMahon. In case you missed it, Jerry Springer is on the show to help mend the relationship of the Bellas. Why Stephanie is trying to bring the sisters back together after ripping them apart for the last few weeks, I’ll never know. I guess this is what we get for Michael Sam turning down WWE’s open invitation. Is Springer even relevant anymore?

Not to be dramatic, but I wish I was dead. There is no redeeming qualities to this segment whatsoever. Both sisters come out and shake hands but this turns ugly fast Nikki hits all her talking points from bragging about Total Divas to her upcoming Divas Title match at Night of Champions. We also get some clips from that reality show I refuse to watch where Nikki’s point about Brie’s selfish ways comes to the forefront. Just to add a touch more stank on this segment, Jerry finds a guy who is supposedly the estranged father of the Bella Twins who pleads with Jerry to fix this broken bridge. Then the girls’ mother has her say in all this which seemed nothing but sincere if you ask me. JJ, the brother of the Bellas then comes to the ring and he sides with Brie which causes a massive girl fight. They both maul Jerry and poor JJ takes a slap in the face for his troubles. Steph then gets involved allowing Nikki to get the upperhand on Brie for the 55th time in this feud. Jerry looks shaken up and is taken out on the stretcher as Stephanie looks mortified. This just proves that no one, not even Jerry Springer, is safe from pain and suffering of this horrific storyline. Thanks for nothing Total Divas!

GOLD & STARDUST VS. LOS MATADORES

A bit of a rematch from SmackDown as the Matadors look to avenge El Torito, who is still missing after being attacked by the Dusts. Just a tune up for Dusty’s baby boys as they prepare for their title shot with the Usos in two weeks. Stardust hits the dark matter and this one is OV-AH! WINNERS: GOLD & STARDUST 

I do enjoy the attitude change though these guys are getting dangerously close to being killer clowns who just so happen to wrestle. There is nothing funny about a killer clown, friends. Also not joking around are the tag team champs who sneak up on those painted freaks and club their challengers with crutches. That should be a fun opener to the pay-per-view and not a stretch to say a possible show stealer.

WWE remembers Joan Rivers, 1933-2014. She will always be one of my favorite Hollywood Squares in addition to being one of the most improbable Celebrity Apprentice winners ever!

TITUS O’NEIL (W/ HEATH SLATER) VS. ADAM ROSE

In all my years of watching wrestling, I never thought I would type the following sentence. The bunny superkicked Heath Slater. Yup, this is what I lose sleep over each and every Monday. Mark it down Rose & Bunny vs. Slater Gator will be a pay-per-view match in 2014. Lock it up! Rose wins with a Party Foul. WINNER: ADAM ROSE

P.S. The bunny executed a brilliant top rope splash onto Titus after the match. Let the speculation begin! #WhoIsTheBunny

Renee Young chats it up with Roman Reigns. Double R calls Orton a viper but his fist is the antidote for his poison or something like that. Sorry, I’m still in shock over the whole bunny superkick thing.

Couple quick updates before our main event. Brock Lesnar will return next week and that shouldn’t surprise anyone reading this because you all are the best and brightest. Secondly, they report the Jericho is doing fine which scares me into thinking he still may linger round but we’ll see. Finally, Jerry Springer suffered a twisted ankle and some bruised ribs during his intervention with the Bellas. I guess anything can happen in World Wrestling Entertainment!

RANDY ORTON VS. ROMAN REIGNS (SUMMERSLAM REMATCH)

I was probably in the minority but I didn’t hate this match at SummerSlam. It got lost in the shuffle no doubt, though I think those who called it horrible are just a tad short-sighted. With that said, I’d rather not see it again at Night of Champions boys, get it all out of your system now! Reigns ate some steel steps and the usual Orton offense. Given all the hoopla about Randy making this a memorable night, wouldn’t it not make sense for this to be No Holds Barred or Hardcore rules? Still Orton scored with a superplex that was rather impressive but the match lost some flow when it went to a second commercial break. Selfishly, I was hoping for a faster pace match since you never want a three hour show to end with a match full of restholds.

Sensing this, the combatants picked up the pace as Reigns began his comeback. Orton countering with that quick powerslam is a thing of beauty as King would go on to say during the match. I also appreciated the spot when Roman turned that DDT on the ropes into that apron kick on the outside. We see a plethora of near-falls not to mention a fair share of counters until Orton finally connects with that DDT. Randy flunks an RKO attempt that later was turned into a Superman punch. Finally Orton called for Rollins and Kane to come down to beat down our hero. Several members of the ring crew also join the melee and we discover that the master plan was for Orton and The Authority to lower the cage on Reigns. The plan seemingly back fired when Roman fought off Rollins and Kane before the cage settled into position. Reigns speared Orton but Rollins jumped from the top of the cell and onto his former business partner.

From there, it was an absolute mugging on Reigns. Orton bludgeoned him with numerous G-rated chair shots, Kane got in a few licks of his own while Rollins delievered a devastating curb stomp on top of a steel chair. It seems that the feud will come off of Orton and onto Rollins after tonight, but one never knows with The Authority. Reigns best find some friends quick because he his hopelessly outnumbered much like Ambrose was before him. This match definitely needed a stip, but if Orton was hoping for something memorable, he definitely delivered with that closing segment.

In my humble opinion, this was a significant step up from the previous two weeks. While silly, the Bellas stuff was at least short plus we got two entertaining main events with a pair of awesome cage spots. We got a glimpse into the future with that NXT match and plenty of build up for a pay-per-view that quietly is looking like a pretty loaded card. Perhaps there is still hope for the flagship show as it enters another year.

And hey, just think about it. If this season begins with Miz spray tanning and the bunny superkicking Heath Slater, I think we all can agree that we are in for one hell of a ride!

Ugh too optimistic… so much for my heel turn!

Join the conversation (and judging by the numbers, you aren’t!) 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.