Welcome to my first full recap of Monday Night RAW! This is an experiment of sorts, and I’ll explain why at the end. For now, enjoy!
We open with a Bray Wyatt promo. He addresses Roman Reigns and what happened last night at Night of Champions, before Roman comes out to interrupt. Bray is seen laughing as Roman makes his way down to the ring. Notably absent is Dean Ambrose as Roman approaches the ring, microphone in hand. “Roman Reigns” chant from the crowd as Roman says “it’s not about Roman Reigns, it’s about Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt” and wants to face Bray tonight. Bray refuses, claiming Roman doesn’t deserve a chance, but Roman claims Bray is too afraid to face him. “We don’t even have to have a match, let’s make it a fight!” Luke and Braun begin to leave the ring, and Roman attacks Luke before he and Bray start fighting in the ring. Roman gets a flurry of offense in, but Bray stops him from the corner. Bray comes back after Roman, but is met with a Superman Punch.
Roman continues the attack until Luke and Braun come into the ring, laying into Roman until Dean runs out from the back to fend them off. He makes work of Luke, but is brought down by Braun. Roman and Dean find themselves unable to beat down Braun, who is joined by Luke in beating up the former Shield. An official comes down to defuse the situation, but is unable to do anything. Randy Orton, on the other hand, runs down to help Ambrose and Reigns out. He takes down Bray before being dragged out of the ring by Harper. He is cut off by Strowman, who goes to work on Orton until Dean stops him with a dropkick off the top rope. This followed by a hit by Orton and a Superman Punch by Reigns is enough to get Strowman out of the ring (but not enough to get him off his feet). The Wyatt Family regroups as Roman’s music plays.
The commentary team addresses Night of Champions, and Seth Rollins having then nightmare of having to defend both titles, first against John Cena and then against Sting. The recap footage shows Rollins losing the US title, retaining the World Heavyweight Championship, and Sheamus attempting to cash in before Kane returns, chokeslamming him and Rollins.
Backstage, Rollins look to talk to HHH and Steph but meets up with Kane, who lets him know he’s back as Director of Operations. Rollins mentions what happens last night, but Kane has no idea what he is talking about. He lets Rollins know he gets his rematch against Cena for the US title tonight!
Back from commercial, Stardust and his “Astral Alliance” (The Ascension) are in the ring as Neville and Lucha Dragons make their entrance for a rematch from Night of Champions!
Neville/Lucha Dragons vs Astral Alliance (Stardust/The Ascension)
Sin Cara and Konnor start things off with an exchange before Sin Cara launches off the rope but slipping. Konnor takes advantage of this, beating Cara down in his corner before tagging in Stardust. Stardust taunts Neville before going for an Alabama Slam. Cara gets out and tags Neville in, who gets into a whirlwind of hitting the entire opposing team. He gets to the top rope, but Viktor distracts him long enough for Stardust to knock him off as we go to commercial.
Coming back from commercial, the Astral Alliance is still in control as they continue beating down Neville, keeping him away from the Lucha Dragons. Konnor tags in Viktor, who continues the beatdown before tagging in Stardust. Stardust taunts Neville before going for a Vertebreaker-style submission hold. Neville slips out, but is stopped by Viktor before he can reach for a tag. Neille gets the tag to Kalisto, who flies around hitting everyone on the opposing team himself. He clears the ring as Viktor tries to get him from behind, but Kalisto hits Solida del Sol for the victory!
Winners: Neville & Lucha Dragons
Cole brings up the US Title rematch tonight as we go to commercial.
We come back from commercial to find Seth Rollins walking backstage, finally finding Steph and HHH. He tells them about Kane being back and invoking the US Title rematch. HHH tells Rollins to focus on the match tonight, and “we’ll deal with Kane.”
Commentary bring up last night, and the controversial ending of the Intercontinental Championship match between Ryback and Kevin Owens. Ryback makes his entrance and gets into the ring as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, Kevin Owens makes his way out to sit at ringside as Ryback gets ready to face Bo Dallas. Bo Dallas has a mic and congratulates Owens on winning the title before berating Ryback.
Ryback vs Bo Dallas
Bell rings and Ryback charges at Bo, going to work on him early on. Bo starts to fight back, but Ryback cuts him off with more heavy hits. The match begins to be a little back and forth, but Ryback hits a slam for a two count. Bo hangs up Ryback on the top rope, and begins to come back before getting a near fall. He gets Ryback into a sleeper hold, sinking it in deep. Ryback finally gets out, and hits the Meat Hook on Bo before finishing him off with the Shell Shock for the win!
Kevin Owens slides in immediately after, attacking Ryback before Ryback hits him hard with a clothesline. He goes for the Shell Shock, but Owens gets out and slips out of the ring with his title, making his way back up the ramp.
Cole announces that Charlotte’s title celebration is up next as we go to commercial.
We come back to commercial to see footage from last night as Charlotte wins the Divas title from Nikki Bella. “WOO!” pops the crowd as Ric Flair makes his way to the ring, looking elated after his daughter’s achievement last night. He gets into the ring, still beaming like the proud father he is as he gets a microphone. He gets into “times in a man’s life when he is proud” as a “Thank you Ric” chant comes from the crowd. He says his proudest moment wasn’t his first World title, or his match with Shawn Michaels, but when his daughter won the Divas title.
Charlotte comes out to the ring, accompanied by Paige and Becky Lynch. Ric hands Charlotte the mic, and joins her in a “WOO!” before Charlotte starts to speak. She talks about sitting where the fans were, watching her father and hoping he’d be half as proud of her someday that she was of him. She then thanks her PCB teammates for being there for her. Paige gets the mic, and starts to talk up Charlotte before reminding her and everyone that SHE was the one who made this all possible. She then claims that Nikki will get her rematch, and everything will be back the way it was. She rips on everyone in the Divas division before finally walking off.
Nikki and her team come out, making fun of Charlotte and claiming she doesn’t have what it takes to be champion. Nikki talks about Charlotte going to lose to Brie as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, we get ready for Charlotte facing off against Brie Bella.
Divas Champion Charlotte vs Brie Bella (non-title)
Charlotte gets an early hit on Brie, but Brie manages to come back with offense of her own. Brie gets on a roll for a near count, but Charlotte comes back for a moment until Brie goes after the injured knee. Brie has Charlotte in a single leg crab until Charlotte finally breaks out. She gets Brie with a backslide for a nearfall, and hits her with repeated chops to the chest. She then hits her with a spear, and locks in the Figure Eight as Brie taps out!
Charlotte and Becky celebrate in the ring as Byron brings up the US Title rematch later tonight as we go to commercial.
Coming back from commercial, Sheamus makes his way to the ring for his match as we’re reminded of his attempt to cash in Money in the Bank last night before Kane returned. Mark Henry comes out, as we get ready for these two to face off!
Sheamus vs Mark Henry
Sheamus gets the early going but Mark fights back hard, prompting Sheamus to take a breather outside the ring. He comes back in, only to get body slammed by Mark. Sheamus goes right back outside, showing his frustration before Henry grabs him by the ‘hawk. Sheamus starts beating Henry’s chest, but Henry picks Sheamus up by the beard to bring him in the ring! Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick, and picks up the win!
After the match, Sheamus claims he is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion…”It’s just a matter of time.”
Commentary hypes up a six man tag featuring Dolph Ziggler and the Dudley Boyz against Rusev and New Day, before we go to commercial.
We come back from commercial to find Corporate Kane backstage as HHH and Steph meet up with him. Kane asks if he messed up making the US Title match, but HHH is more concerned about Kane returning last night the way he did. Kane is not sure what he’s talking about, but Steph asks him not to try to play mind games with them. Kane insists he doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Steph asks Kane to return his mask, but Kane offers to help them find the lost mask before walking off.
At this point we cut to Paige finding Natalya backstage, where Paige continues to make fun of her for not being a part of the Divas Revolution. Natalya scolds her for ruining Charlotte’s moment before talking about her match against Naomi tonight and leaving.
We cut to ringside, where New Day make their way to the ring as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, the New Day cut a promo about the piece of table removed from Xavier Woods’ buttocks, and Big E calling for a wall around Dudleyville. They try to start a “Save The Tables” chant before Rusev makes his way out. Dudleyz and Dolph proceed with their entrances as Cole brings up Dudleys being a part of the Madison Square Garden event a week from Saturday.
Six Man Tag
Dolph Ziggler & The Dudley Boyz vs Rusev & New Day
Dolph and Kofi start things off with an exchange of holds and reversals, going back and forth until Kofi gets monkey flipped right on his face. Dolph makes a tag to D’Von, who continues to put the hurt on Kofi with a leg drop and punches to the head. Kofi starts to fight back, and gets a neckbreaker off the ropes for his troubles. Big E and Rusev try to intervene but are cut off as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, Dolph is hitting Big E until Rusev is tagged in, hitting Dolph even harder. He tags in Kofi, who gets some offense in before tagging Rusev right back in. He gets some more hurt in on Dolph as Xavier plays Rusev’s theme on trombone from ringside. Rusev tags Kofi back in and continues the attack, prompting D’Von to try to come in after Bubba Ray gets knocked down. Kofi gets a nearfall before tagging in Big E, who then tags Rusev as the three of them triple team Dolph. Rusev taunts Ziggler to tag in someone before kicking Ziggler in the ribs, yelling “LANA IS MINE” to him in the corner. Ziggler manages to catch Rusev offguard, and Rusev’s attempt to keep him away from the corner is met with a DDT. Ziggler finally gets the tag in on Bubba Ray, who immediately gets in on Kofi! Shenanigans ensue, with the Dudley Boyz inviting Dolph to do the Whazzup Headbutt! Everyone on the outside now except Rusev and Ziggler, who almost runs into Xavier Woods. Ziggler gives Woods a superkick, but is met with a boot to the face by Rusev for the win!
Winners: Rusev & The New Day
After the match we’re reminded of what happened earlier tonight as Kane sets up the US Title rematch for later tonight, before heading to commercial.
We come back from commercial as Naomi and Natalya make their entrances before facing off.
Naomi vs Natalya
Slight back and forth with Natalya getting a bit of a lead before Naomi fights back. Naomi gets more offense in as the crowd chants “Let’s go Natty!” Natalya fights back again, with Tamina and Sasha Banks trying to get involved before Namoi hits the Rear View for the win!
Backstage we find HHH and Steph talking as Seth walks in, wanting to know if they dealt with Kane. Steph talks about Kane appearing to be ready to come back to work, but Seth is having none of it. HHH promises they will worry about Kane, but Rollins needs to worry about his match tonight. Seth walks off and we are reminded of the match tonight before going to commercial.
Back from commercial, Big Show makes his way to the ring as commentary brings up Big Show facing Brock Lesnar at the Madison Square Garden event next weekend. Cesaro makes his entrance next, as we are taken back to two weeks ago when Cesaro faced Miz before Big Show got invalid and punched Cesaro out.
Big Show vs Cesaro
Cesaro smartly avoids Big Show and gets some offense in before being stopped with a hard punch. Big Show takes it away from there, taunting the crowd as he beats up on Cesaro, who gets a little fight back in before Big Show stops him again. Show is clearly frustrated with the crowd as he continues the beatdown on Cesaro. He gets a nearfall, and goes into a submission hold to break Cesaro down more. Cesaro manages to get out of the way and fights back, hitting a series of European uppercuts to the giant followed by a running European uppercut! Show grabs the Swiss Superman, but Cesaro gets in a dropkick that brings Show to the outside. He hits Show with an European Uppercut and looks to fly off the announce table, but Show grabs him midair and sends him into the steel post. Cesaro tries to suplex Show into the ring but his back is still hurt from the post shot. Eventually he gets it in, but the pain is still lingering in him. Show gets up, and hits Cesaro with the Knockout Punch for the win!
Winner: Big Show
After the match, Big Show berates the crowd and calls out Brock Lesnar, claiming he’s sent him a message before their match at Madison Square Garden. He reminds everyone that he beat Brock in 2002 for the WWE title. The crowd chants “Suplex City,” but Big Show is having none of it.
We see Cena getting ready for his match as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, Ryback and Dolph Ziggler against Kevin Owens and Rusev is announced for Smackdown before we’re taken back to earlier tonight, with what happened between the Wyatts and Ambrose, Reigns, and Orton. Luke Harper and Braun Strowman appear, talking about Randy’s possible impending doom. “They all fall down, Randy Orton…and soon, so will you.”
John Cena makes his entrance as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, Seth Rollins makes his entrance before Lillian Garcia does ring introductions for both men.
Main Event: United States Championship
John Cena vs Seth Rollins
Rollins gets in a sneak attack but is backed off by the ref, who checks on Cena before calling for the match to start. Seth goes for the early offensive, hitting a neckbreaker for a nearfall. Seth continues, hoping to put Cena away quickly but Cena starts to fight back, only for Rollins to get him back for another nearfall. Cena starts to fight back again, going for an AA but Seth stops him with a DDT before we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, Rollins is still in control as he locks in a sleeper hold. Cena lifts Rollins up, sending him into the corner to break the hold. Seth surprises him yet again, still getting just a nearfall. Cena starts a comeback, but Rollins tries to leave the ring. Cena brings him back in and hits a cross body for a nearfall. Rollins rolls him up for another nearfall of his own. Rollins locks Cena up in an STF, but Cena powers out of it to set Rollins up for an AA. Rollins slips out, and leaps off the top rope to kick Cena down. The match begins to go back and forth, until Cena gets Rollins into the STF! Rollins inches his way to the ropes and gets it, breaking the hold. Rollins hits a frog splash and covers Cena, but Cena powers out, lifting him into an AA for the win!
Winner (and STILL United States Champion): John Cena
Cena celebrates on the ramp, signing a fan’s sign before heading up the ramp. Kane appears on the TitanTron to talk about Rollin’s future as champion…before popping up from under the ring! He gets a hold of Rollins, dragging him back underneath the ring as his pyro goes off. Smoke comes up from the hole in the ring as RAW goes off the air.
Overall, I really enjoyed this episode of RAW. Sure, there were a lot of rematches, but sometimes that’s just how you have to start the next chapter of feuds. I really enjoyed seeing Kane return last night, and I’m digging this “split personality” type angle they’re running. You can tell it’s all just mind games as Kane looks to take on Rollins (presumably at the MSG special), and that’s what I like about it.
Xavier Woods continues to amaze me with his trombone antics at ringside. The New Day in general is a great act right now, and I’m glad to see their work with the Dudley Boyz is not just a one off for Night of Champions.
I’m really glad that Owens is the IC Champion now, and I’m hoping for some fresh matchups in the near future. Hopefully they’ll do something with Cesaro, because it was a bit disappointing to see him just be used for Big Show’s fodder tonight. Good promo from Big Show, though. Big Show is a curious case: on the one hand, I want to see him be a dominant giant one more time; on the other hand, I can’t stop thinking Big Show is simply no longer relevant.
By the way, I’m so happy Naomi brought back the light up shoes tonight. I’m sold. I hope things really get going in the Divas division now with Natty appearing more often and Paige breaking away from the former PCB. #GiveSinglesFeudsAChance
I’m also looking forward to Brock Lesnar’s “Go to Hell Tour” and I like the way they’re promoting it. I’m especially stoked for the Stone Cold podcast. Curious to see how his match at HIAC against Undertkaer will go, especially if it’s truly because of a change in plans for WM32.
Again, a fun show overall. Feel free to join the conversation in the comments section using your email, WordPress.com account, or Facebook/Twitter account! I wanna know what you thought of the show, and how I did with this recap! Later this week I get a trial run writing for another wrestling site; I won’t go into detail here, but I will drop a link on this site should things go well and it gets posted haha.
For now, be sure to follow me on Twitter @Power2TheSmarks and go to our Pick Ems League on Tumblr as we head into the next set of shows for points with CHIKARA’s stops in North Carolina and Virginia! Until next time, 10 Percenters, remember to stay strong and stay smart!