It’s the post-Night of Champions edition of RAW full of fallout from that event and with one of the most ridiculous endings to a RAW I’ve seen in years. It’s time for the RAW 9/21/15 recap!
If you missed it, my review of Night of Champions is here.
RAW 9/21/15 Recap
We get a cold open with the Wyatt Family heading to the ring. Almost immediately Roman Reigns interrupted and wanted a one on one fight with Bray. Bray gets the family to back off and he and Reigns brawled for a bit. Eventually, Harper and Strowman enter the ring, which brought out Ambrose. They continued the brawl and that eventually brought out Randy Orton. With the battle more even the Wyatts eventually fled the ring and Reigns, Ambrose, and Orton stood tall in the ring. I expected this to set up an inevitable six-man main event, but then I remembered this wasn’t SmackDown.
I was kind of hoping we’d get something involving the tension Reigns and Ambrose had with Jericho at Night of Champions, but nope. We’re back to the same spot we were a few weeks ago with Orton now back in this feud.
In what was a theme throughout the night’s backstage segments, Seth Rollins is looking for Triple H and Stephanie to voice his concerns over the “Demon Kane” when he runs into “Corporate” Kane backstage. Kane acts like he had nothing to do with last night’s events and sets up a Seth Rollins vs. John Cena U.S. Title rematch as the main event.
Match #1: Neville & the Lucha Dragons vs. Stardust & the Ascension
Up next was a rematch of the Night of Champions pre-show match. The pre-show match was much better than this one. It didn’t help that almost immediately, Sin Cara fell from the top rope and then sold (?) an injury for the rest of the match. Neville and the Lucha Dragons went over here to even this feud up.
Verdict: Thumbs in the Middle – Not a terrible match, but I felt the one during the pre-show was a bit more solid of a match. The botched spot by Sin Cara was egregious though.
Rollins was shown backstage with Stephanie and Triple H. Triple H told Rollins that they’d worry about Kane and he needed to be concerned about his match with Cena.
Match #2: Ryback vs. Bo Dallas
New Intercontinental champ Kevin Owens was out on commentary and was his usual sarcastic self. Ryback was clearly distracted by Owens the entire match which led to Dallas getting a small amount of offense in. Ryback eventually won as this was purely a glorified squash for Ryback to get a win back after losing. Right after Ryback gets the pin, Owens rushed the ring and attacked Ryback. Ryback got the advantage and Owens bailed.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – I’d have preferred a Owens & Ryback rematch here to bury this feud and get the rematch clause match out of the way. My biggest fear is the rematch won’t happen until Hell in a Cell and I had higher hopes for Owens to have moved onto bigger and better things by then.
The Diva’s Championship match from Night of Champions highlights were brought to us by “Just For Men” beard dye. Let that one sink in for a bit.
Ric Flair came out to a big pop in order to introduce his daughter, Charlotte, for her “Diva’s Championship celebration”. Ric cuts a brief promo that showed the guy is honestly proud of his daughter’s accomplishments in the ring. That brought out Team Printed Circuit Board. Charlotte thanked her dad, thanked Becky Lynch and then tried to thank Paige. Paige grabbed the mic away and went on a jealous tirade about how she created the Diva Revolution and threw shade on practically every other woman in the company, including Natalya (foreshadowing!) and Charlotte eventually had to be held back from Paige by Becky. Paige left, which brought out Team Bella and Nikki made a match (?) between Brie Bella and Charlotte.
Match #3: Brie Bella vs. Charlotte
This was a pretty standard Brie Bella vs. someone who can actually wrestle type of match. The big story that the commentary team talked about was Paige essentially turning on everyone. Brie worked the leg again but Charlotte, again, got the tap out win with the figure eight submission hold. Charlotte must have the strongest legs ever to have someone work the leg for five to ten minutes and then still use the finish like that. I kid, but really, you know?
Verdict: Thumbs in the Middle – The Paige stuff was awful because it recycled the lazy trope of “jealous woman is jealous” which is practically a staple of the Diva division at this point. But, it’s a means to an end in a way because the factions needed to be broken up for this to mean anything. I’m giddy at the possibilities of this ending up with a Four Horsewoman faction of Charlotte, Becky, Sasha Banks, and Bayley somewhere down the line against the rest of the division. If this was the first step in a journey to get there then I’m all for it. The match here was okay, I’m still bothered that both Bellas wore down Charlotte’s legs on consecutive nights and she still made them both tap using a leg-based submission hold. Kind of sloppy. At least Team Printed Circuit Board is no more. Now I guess it’s Team CB – Team Citizen’s Band.
Match #4: Mark Henry vs. Sheamus
A match that served to remind us that Sheamus still exists and has the Money in the Bank briefcase. The match lasted a couple of a minutes and was essentially a Sheamus squash victory.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – A rather pointless match to lead to a promo for Sheamus to remind everyone he has the briefcase.
Meanwhile backstage, Triple H and Stephanie caught up with Kane and Kane does his best Norman Bates from Bates Motel and claims he has no recollection of anything happening last night at Night of Champions. Kane claims he has no idea where his mask went and oh boy, here we go.
Also backstage, Paige caught up with Natalya who read her the riot act for her “unprofessional” behavior, but Nattie also understood how frustrated Paige was.
Match #5 – The New Day & Rusev vs. The Dudley Boyz & Dolph Ziggler
Probably my favorite match of the night, which I didn’t expect. Clearly WWE can wrap the hot garbage that is the Ziggler / Rusev feud in the shiny coating of the New Day and make me happy. New Day was out first. Xavier Woods was holding a baggie with a piece of the table he was put through at Night of Champions that he claimed the WWE doctors had to pull out of his “buttocks”. I hope they gave him a Z-Pak too so it doesn’t get infected. Big E channeled Donald Trump and said he wanted to build a wall around Dudleyville. Their promo was totally on point yet again.
I’m not a huge fan of six man matches, but this one delivered as well as those types of matches can. The real show was the weird interplay between Summer Rae and the New Day on the outside of the ring. When the match started she looked pretty uncomfortable standing around Xavier Woods who was yelling and randomly playing his trombone. By about the mid-way point of the match, Xavier started playing the Rusev theme on the trombone (!) to encourage Rusev. Later Summer Rae was pulling on the slide of the trombone “helping” Xavier play it. Totally incredible stuff. The finish was Dolph getting distracted by Xavier jumping up on the apron and blaring the trombone in his face. Dolph super-kicked Xavier causing him to fall and drop the trombone (which Summer Rae caught!) and then turning to eat a Rusev kick for the loss.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – New Day continue to be one of the best things on the show right now. I loved the Rusev / New Day combo and it make the mess that is the Rusev / Ziggler feud more palatable, at least for tonight. Also, we learned that Dudley Boyz get a rematch for the New Day’s tag titles at the house show at Madison Square Garden in October that will be shown on the WWE Network.
Match #6 – Naomi vs. Natalya
Short match that did nothing but establish that Natalya still exists. They showed Paige watching the match backstage at one point. Natalya gets overwhelmed by the distractions of Team B.A.D. and gets pinned by Naomi.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Unless this is leading to Paige forming an alliance of disgruntled workers with Natalya this served no point. The division needs LESS factions, not MORE factions. How many upper mid card factions in the men’s division exist (tag team division excluded)? The Wyatts, the not quite the Shield, and… yeah.
Backstage we get a frustrated Seth Rollins and an even more frustrated Triple H. I’m assuming this is sowing the seeds of the eventual blow-up somewhere down the line when the Authority turns on Seth.
Match #7 – Big Show vs. Cesaro
I honestly don’t get the current fascination with implying Cesaro is hurt. First is was his ribs on and off and on again for weeks. Now he attempted to sell a back injury in this match with the Big Show. Sarcastic kudos for WWE jobbing Cesaro out to Big Show two shows in a row. This was essentially a repeat of their match on SmackDown with another clean victory by Big Show over one of the most over guys with the fans. This time framed as needing to put Big Show over as a “monster” for his match against Brock Lesnar at the televised house show in a few weeks from MSG. Also, we get an extended post-match promo from Big Show that was a thing the fast-forward button was made for.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Nope. Not buying Big Show as a threat to Lesnar and cooling off Cesaro’s heat two matches in a row to do this was a terrible thing to do to the guy.
John Cena was shown backstage strapping on his Cena hat.
The Wyatts appeared on the TitanTron to cut another promo about how they will crush Orton.
Match #8: John Cena (U.S. Champion) vs. Seth Rollins (WWE Champion) in a rematch for the U.S. Title
Kudos to Seth and John for putting on yet another solid match. Not quite as good as some of their other matches, but, if not for the pure entertainment value of the six man match, this was easily the match of the night. Cena went over clean after hitting a desperation AA to retain the U.S. Title.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – These two put on great matches and getting another fifteen minutes of them here was great. It also got the inevitable rematch out of the way early so Cena can move on to defending the U.S. Title against someone other than Rollins. And frees Seth up for… ugh. Yeah.
After the match… here I’ll just post the video. I can’t add anything positive here so… see you for NXT on Wednesday!