raw

WWE returned to the Barclays Center for the third night in a row for the third year in a row for Monday Night Raw this week. SummerSlam was last night and I can’t be the only one who feels like they have a sports entertainment hangover at this point. But we press on because there’s no off-season in WWE. Many rumors were out there concerning what they’d see transpire on the Raw after SummerSlam however nobody was really sure what would happen. But it was time to find out.

Opening Segment

Raw immediately went into JoJo announcing Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar inside a packed Barclays Center. No intro, no video package, just straight to the action. It kinda miffed me because I was about to make a cup of coffee.

“Suplex City” chants broke out before Paul could start to speak but once he got going the crowd knew every word of what he said. He said they weren’t on time-delay because they were live in the Barclays Center and Brock Lesnar was still the reigning, defending undisputed Universal Champion.

He said he told us he was right. Which he kind of was. He talked up how they brought out a stretcher to carry Brock out of the equation. As Brock Lesnar bounced around the ring and wrenched his neck he looked over at Paul Heyman agreeing with everything his advocate said.

Heyman said Brock denied medical attention and came back into the match to retain his title. It was one of those amazing Paul Heyman promos delivered in a way only he could. When he said Brock Lesnar pinned Roman Reigns it got a huge pop and “yes” chants. Neat.

There isn’t anybody in WWE or UFC history who can conquer like Brock Lesnar. When Heyman said UFC it got a noticeable weird pop from the crowd.

Insert Braaaaaaaaaaaun Strowman here. The Barclays Center was happy to see him.

When the two beasts stood face to face once again the crowd chanted “Strowman.” Braun went for a chokeslam but Brock blocked it. But Lesnar couldn’t block the big boot or the running powerslam that followed. Braun waited until Brock was back to his feet and destroyed The Beast Incarnate with another powerslam.

Braun looked down at the Universal Title, picked it up and held it in victory. When Braun’s music hit it was apparent he was on his way to give Brock Lesnar the fight of his life for the Universal Title at No Mercy.

Booker T said: “it’s gonna be good!” That it will be, Booker.

Big Cass vs Enzo (Brooklyn Street Fight)

Okay, someone in creative has got to have said: “let’s just kill Enzo Amore — he won’t stop talking about popping bottles with A-Listers.” There was a street fight because we needed more proof Big Cass could beat up Enzo.

Enzo got a nice pop but it was nothing compared to what he used to get in the same building. “I do not like Enzo, chances in a street fight,” Corey Graves said. “I don’t really like Enzo’s chances in any fight.”

Enzo got a nice “how you doin’?” chant going and then started talking about how Big Cass is a New Yorker, went to private school, and went to NYU. Then Enzo said he graduated from the school of hard knocks. So a street fight would ensue after Enzo went on for a little longer about how long he and Big Cass knew each other. They used to have each other’s backs and Cass has eaten with his family.

Enzo said this is where it ends and he’ll show Cass how it ends. Then he walked off and came back with a shopping cart full of hardcore goodies like trash can lids, a crutch, and other such hardware.

Cass started walking up the ramp and Enzo started throwing his flimsy toys at him. So Cass just steamrolled over him. Cass grabbed the shopping cart and smashed it against Enzo bouncing him down the ramp.

Cass tossed Enzo against the barricade and threw him in the ring. Then Cass grabbed a steel chair out of the shopping cart because that would hurt the most. He instead tossed the chair to Enzo and said: “come on.” Enzo grabbed the chair but before he could do anything with it Big Cass knocked his head off with a Big Boot.

Then Big Cass tossed Enzo onto the floor from the ring. Yup, big bump and it looked like it hurt a lot.

Cass grabbed the chair and tossed it down where he liked it. He backed Enzo against the turnbuckle and beat on him a little bit. Enzo tried to grab the chair but Big Cass wouldn’t let him get to it. Cass hit a splash in the corner and “Casshole” chants broke out.

Enzo hit a right hand but Cass just picked him up and draped him across the turnbuckle and clubbed on his kidneys. Cass went for a Big Boot while Enzo was on the apron but he pulled the top rope down and Big Cass crashed and burned to the outside.

Enzo crawled to the chair and looked possessed then Cass jumped back in and stomped on Enzo’s hand crushing it against the chair. Cass stomped on the chair not allowing Amore to pick it up.

Big Cass went for an Empire Elobow but his knee buckled and he fell to the mat. Big Cass crawled to the outside and a ringside physician ran up to him. Cass cursed a lot and they called off the match. They said Enzo won and he celebrated like he did all the work himself.

They showed a replay of Big Cass falling to the floor hurting his knee. It seemed very real (and it was) because he was very upset and cursed a lot. They had to bleep it out. He seemed legit frustrated at himself.

A short time later, WWE would send out an official statement saying: “Big Cass suffered an injury to his left knee during the Brooklyn Street Fight against Enzo Amore on Raw, WWE.com can confirm. The injury occurred after Amore dodged a big boot by pulling down the top rope, sending Cass to the floor in the process. It’s hard to tell what the extent of the injury is, but we’re going to send him to get an MRI tomorrow and figure that out,” said WWE ringside physician Dr. Chris Robinson.”

But Enzo stood tall in the ring and celebrated the hollow victory nonetheless.

Backstage Segment

Emma and Dana Brooke were backstage and Emma was talking about how she’s sick of hearing about Sasha Banks and how bitter she is. She kept talking about how she started the Women’s Revolution and talking trash about Nia Jax. Suddenly Nia Jax was standing behind her. She didn’t make Nia very happy.

Nia Jax vs Emma

Okay, so we just saw Big Cass destroy Enzo. Let’s watch Emma have a go with Nia Jax.

Emma slapped Nia across the face and tried to pound on her but Nia just bulldozed over her and delivered a few elbow drops. Jax tossed Emma across the ring and tossed her down on the mat. Emma moved out of the way from a charge and hit a dropkick but Nia didn’t fall.

Nia caught Emma and hit a Samoan Drop. Okay, so what was that.

Elias Plays Barclays Center Again

It’s the second night of shows at Barclays Center and he got a huge pop when he asked if they wanted to walk with Elias. He said he was going to write a song about Brooklyn while inspired by looking directly at the solar eclipse but most people are too ashamed to say they live in Brooklyn. So he’ll sing about R-Truth.

He started to speak the lyrics to R-Truth’s theme song and then stopped and said: “just kidding time for some real music.” That was excellent. People started to clap and he stopped and said “this isn’t the time to clap, this song is about R-Truth” yet again — holy crap, that’s awesome.

R-Truth interrupted the song and they started their actual wrestling match. R-Truth ran some moves on Elias until he took a boot the gut and a hammering shot to the spine. Elias hit the Drift Away and that’s all she wrote. 1-2-3.

Elias is officially getting a nice push and he’s getting over. Why not?

Kurt Angle Had A Surprise

Sooooooo many “You Suck!” chants at Kurt Angle.

Kurt said he promised a surprise tonight. “For the first time in over a year on The Monday Night Raw please join me in welcoming John Cena.”

Soooooo many “John Cena Sucks!” chants!

Okay, so is it wrong for me to point out the fact that when John Cena turned his back to the camera The Girlfriend said, “he’s balding… like bad.”

“Maybe it’s for a movie role” I replied.

Meanwhile in Brooklyn John asked the crowd if they were expecting him. The crowd was hot and all chanting in different directions of John Cena sucks and John Cena is John Cena.

“Why am I here?” Cena asked. He said he saw Kurt Angle at SummerSlam and he asked Big Match John if he’s like to come to Raw. The crowd booed and Cena asked them why they were booing Monday Night Raw.

He said he said he would do it so he could stand in the ring with a “certain WWE Superstar.”

Then Roman Reigns came out leaving us all to wonder how soon Transformers is going to need John for that Bumblebee movie. Roman got in the ring to give more proof this match was going to happen.

“You f-cked up” chants filled the arena and John said Roman was exactly who he’s been looking for.

“You’ve been looking for me?” Roman asked, “the only time you’re looking for me is when you’re running your mouth on Twitter.” Then he asked him if he was gonna run his mouth to The Big Dog’s face in his yard.

“Undertaker” chants filled the Barclays Center which is weird because didn’t he retire? “It seems like the Raw audience holds a bit of a grudge sometimes,” Cena said. Then he said he didn’t come here to talk and took off his shirt to throw it to the crowd.

The crowd was getting hot thinking this match was actually going to happen right in front of them and then “AWWWESOOOOME”… The Miz and The Miztourage came down to the ring.

They were all wearing snazzy suits but Bo Dallas had the best one looking like golden antique curtains.

Miz mispronounced Barclays Center and John called him out on it. Miz called out how he interrupted a moment and mispronounced the arena’s name again and again because he’s just that great. He took a slip up and he ran with it.

Miz said he was sick of seeing John and Roman get moments week after week. The Miz brought up how he sat on the bench at SummerSlam as IC Champion. He asked the crowd if Raw needed John Cena and they erupted in “no” chants.

John said he was a man of the people so he showed himself out but Miz pulled him back. He said this is Roman’s yard but it’s his show. The Miz came down on the crowd because they don’t know whether to boo or cheer Roman Reigns. He said that doesn’t affect Roman or John, it hurts him… the only champion in this ring.

It was a great promo where Miz concluded saying he earned his moment for twelve damn years and he got a sick pop and “you deserve it” chants. John said Miz did deserve it and he booked himself and Roman Reigns vs Miz and either of the Miztourage. Roman didn’t look like he appreciates that impromptu booking.

Miz said that’s not a moment for him, it’s a moment for John because he’s in a three-piece suit.

Insert Samoa Joe here and more “Joe” chants than you can handle.

Joe grabbed the mic and he had a strong opinion on the situation himself. He said if anybody’s gonna be Miz’s partner it’s going to be him. Then Joe stood right up to his old buddy John Cena and even more “Joe” chants broke out.

Joe said he’s sick and tired of Roman and that whole “this is my yard” schtich. He said he owned Roman one-on-one. “You’re his b-tch” chants broke out.Then he turned to Cena.

Then he turned to Cena. “As for you John Cena” — then Joe just started assaulting Cena. Roman fought the Miztourage off and John got Joe up for the AA but Samoa Joe slipped out and locked on a Coquina clutch. Roman hit Joe with a Superman Punch and Samoa Joe rolled out of the ring.

“You both suck” chants broke out while John and Roman stood alone in the ring.

Drew Gulak, Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese, Noam Dar vs Gran Metalik, Mustafa Ali, Rich Swan, Cedric Alexander

The cruiserweight division was wide open after Neville reclaimed the Cruiserweight Title at SummerSlam. These guys needed to impress and show what they could do and with eight of them, that meant they had even less time to do their thing.

The babyface team tagged in and out and they all scrapped around with some nice action. Noam Dar refused to face Rich Swann but Tony Nese gladly took the tag from Daivari after being shown up. Tony used his strength to turn things around for the heel team.

Drew Gulak got the tag and kept punishing Rich Swann. The former Cruiserweight Champion was able to break free with a kick and tried to make it to his corner as the crowd started doing “the wave.”

Cedric Alexander got the tag and took it to Nese but Gulak broke up the hold. Gran Metalik hoisted Gulak over the top rope and hit a nice dive onto Gulak and Daivari on the flood.

Cedric Alexander hit the Lumbar Check on Tony Nese to score the pinfall. The babyfaces celebrated in the end.

Neville Interview

The King Of The Cruiserweights was backstage and wondered what people were expecting when he won the title back at SummerSlam. He talked trash about Akira Tozawa and called Titus O’Neil a parasite. Suddenly he was surprised to find Titus and Tozawa standing right in front of him. Titus said he had one word for him: “rematch. Tomorrow night on 205 Live.”

Backstage Segment

Kurt Angle was backstage and suddenly he was hugging his baby boy Jason Jordan hello. JJ said he’s not looking for any preferential treatment, but he wanted a match tonight. Angle said Miz is already booked and JJ said he wanted Finn Balor.

Kurt Angle asked him if he’s ready for that kind of competition. JJ said he was so Papa Kurt booked the match.

2/3 Of The Shield Celebration

Dean and Seth were introduced together but came out separately to their own music. Then the new Raw Tag Team Champions made their way to the ring as one unit.

Seth and Dean soaked up the love for a bit and Rollins said it felt good standing side-by-side next to Ambrose holding up the Raw Tag Team Championships.

Insert “yes” chants here.

Seth said they run the show and they’re the Raw Tag Team Champions bay-bay! Dean said he slept with his title under his pillow last night. Rollins said he didn’t know this could ever happen but “these people believed and here we are and it’s time to party and all of Brooklyn and the Barclays is invited.”

Dean said Cesaro and Sheamus aren’t invited. He said he knows they’ll come after their rematch sooner or later but they’ll take on anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Then The Hardy Boyz came down.

Insert a ton of “DELETE” chants here.

“Yeeees” Matt said in his broken voice.

Jeff wished them congratulations. Matt said brothers fight and when they get back together it is a beautiful thing. So he challenged them to a match.

Seth asked if he was serious because they grew up idolizing those guys. “Obsolete” and “Brother Nero” chants broke out. Matt said there’s a reason why they chant because they have revolutionized the tag team division for a quarter of a century and they want to do it in Brooklyn.

“Let’s do the damn thing,” Seth said.

Then a ref ran down and the match got underway.

Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs The Hardy Boyz

Dean and Matt started this one out and they traded arm holds until Jeff got the tag and they double teamed Ambrose a little bit. Jeff took a knee to the gut and tagged Rollins. Seth hit a dropkick to Hardy as Cesaro and Sheamus were shown backstage watching on a monitor.

Matt got the tag and took advantage over Rollins a little bit after a double suplex. He held Seth down with a headlock until Seth fought his way out of it. Matt got driven into the second turnbuckle and Dean got the tag.

Dean and Seth hit Matt with a couple tandem moves but Matt got the tag to Jeff and he scrapped around a little bit. The four men soon found themselves in a stalemate so they just hammered on each other.

Seth and Dean were tossed outside and The Hardys hit them with some high-risk offense. Once they got back in the ring, Jeff held Seth back from making the tag. He hit a kick and broke free but Matt got a tag at the same time as Dean. Ambrose took advantage and hit an elbow in the corner but Matt blocked the running bulldog. Matt got lifted to the outside but ran back in to avoid Dean’s dive. He lifted Seth over the rope and tagged Jeff in for some Poetry In Motion to the outside.

Once they returned to the ring, Jeff climbed up for a Whisper In The Wind but Seth shoved Dean out of way leaving Jeff to crash and burn. Seth got the tag and they kept up the assault on Jeff.

Dean got the tag and continued to keep Jeff down with a chain of submission holds. Ambrose hit a short clothesline and tagged Rollins back in. They tossed Jeff into the corner and hit him with a couple tandem splashes. They continued to cut the ring in half and not let Hardy get to his brother.

Jeff finally climbed up and hit a Whisper In The Wind on Seth and Dean. Then Jeff ran around his opponents and tagged in Matt. “DELETE” chants broke out and Matt cleaned up on Dean and Seth. He hit Rollins with a running bulldog and got a two count. Matt climbed up to the second rope and hit an elbow to the back of the neck.

Rollins reversed a Side Effect and Seth got the tag. Dean and Seth hit an elevated Sling Blade for a two count because Jeff broke up the pin. “This is awesome” chants broke out as the two teams continued to fight on.

Matt got sent to the outside and Jeff soon followed. Then 2/3 of the Shield hit double suicide dives to the floor. Seth was taken out by Matt with a move on the apron and hit a Side Effect on Dean for a two count. Matt climbed to the top rope but Dean crotched him on the top rope. Ambrose climbed up and hooked Matt’s arms but Hardy fought out. Matt still ended up on the mat where Seth came in and kicked him in the face.

Jeff climbed up for the Swanton Bomb but Dean got his knees up. Ambrose went for Dirty Deeds but was shoved into Rollins. Then Rollins got the tag and Dean hit the Dirty Deeds after Jeff ate a knee from Seth. The Architect pinned Jeff for the three count.

Backstage Segment

Miz, Miztourage and Samoa Joe were backstage. Miz was talking up how impressive Joe was for stepping up and joining him. He said he knew John inside and out since Joe had Roman.

Joe told Miz to shut up as he continued to talk. Samoa Joe told Miztourage to remain a constant presence on the outside and Miz needs to do whatever he does in the ring. Any questions?

They were cool with that plan as they should be.

The Boss Does Brooklyn

It’s Boss Time!

Sasha Banks was introduced to the ring after breaking her Brooklyn Curse in the Barclays Center at SummerSlam.

Banks took the mic to address the Brooklyn crowd. “I may be from Boston but for the past three years I have left my heart right here in Brooklyn,” she said. That was a weird way to start because she got a boo when she mentioned Boston.

Then Banks brought up her past battles in Brooklyn and took a moment to wish Ric Flair the best and said “the world needs The Nature Boy” then she let out a big “woooo.” That was nice.

She said the world didn’t need Alexa Bliss, however. She said she’s going to be a champion the right way and that’s why she’s  a four-time — Alexa Bliss’s music cut her off.

Alexa asked Sasha if she’s going to defend her title the right way. Then she said Sasha has never successfully defended the Raw Women’s Title. Then Banks brought up the fact how every time she’s wrestled Alexa she’s either ran away or tapped out.

Then Sasha asked Alexa to cash in her “automatic rematch clause.” Bliss said that’s a nice thought but “none of these Brooklyn fanboys” deserve to see her.

But next week she will break Sasha’s heart because she will get her rematch. Bliss said next week people are going to call Banks “The Legit Loser”… those were some words they wrote for her there.

Jason Jordan vs Finn Balor

Finn came out looking like Fonzie after his battle with Bray Wyatt. Perhaps Bray was going to interrupt this match and claim JJ as a member of The Wyatt Family? That would be fun and Kurt Angle would be super jelly.

Jason took it to Finn right off the bat and wrestled around Balor. He really showed him up too. Jason Jordan is a very gifted pro wrestler. He’s a great athlete all around, to be honest. He’s just Kurt Angle’s son now and… meh.

JJ maintained an advantage of this match and showed real intensity until he caught a drop kick to the face from Finn. Jason looked impressed and shook it off. Jordan offered a handshake in the middle of the match to show integrity but Finn just kicked him down several times and applied a headlock.

Jason transitioned out and ended up bouncing off the ropes to eventually catch Finn midair and slam him down for a two count. Finn tossed JJ outside and Finn went for his kick off the apron but Jordan showed the intelligence to roll back in the ring.

Balor took control once again but JJ would change that soon. He slammed Finn down to the mat a couple times and used his amateur wrestling ability well. He really is a chip off the old block.

Jordan hit a perfect overhead butterfly suplex and locked Balor in another submission hold after a two count. Balor started to hype up out of the hold but JJ blocked him. Finn rolled through a pin attempt and dropkick him in the face. The crowd started popping in different parts of the match as Finn took control.

Balor hit a dropkick through the ropes and hit the kick from the apron. He rolled Balor back in the ring and JJ turned it around. Jaron pulled his straps down and ran his shoulder into Balor in the corner. Balor kicked out of a two count and hit an overhead kick to JJ sending them both to the ground.

Balor got up first and went to pick Jordan up but he picked Balor up and drove him from corner to corner. He ate a boot from Finn and a Sling Blade. Balor hit the corner dropkick he does so very, very well and climbed up for a Coup De Dras.

Balor hit the Coup De Gras and defeated Kurt Angle’s baby boy, Jason Jordan. But boy, did JJ look good in this match. Also it would appear Bray Wyatt and Finn Balor have gone their separate ways for now.

Miz and Samoa Joe vs John Cena and Roman Reigns

The Miztourage came out in full force. Maryse looked great next to her IC Champion husband and The Miz is just a brilliant character. This is all working out very well for him and hopefully, WWE will see the value in this team and keep them together a long time.

Corey Graves said Anna Farris and Chris Pratt broke up because when compared to Hollywood It Couples they couldn’t come close to Miz and Maryse and who’s to say he’s wrong?

Samoa Joe is a very intense man.

During Cena’s entrance, Corey Graves mentioned how he’s never called a Cena match before and the honor is all his. Michael Cole brought up Ric Flar again and wished him the best as he recovers in an Atlanta hotel.

People were booing the silence before Roman Reigns’ entrance. He walked up the ring looking very cautious but still sure of himself. He’s owning it, whatever he has in any city Roman Reigns always owns it.

It was 10:57 PM EST and this match was just getting underway. Miz and John toyed around a little bit until John started to work. He hit a running bulldog and Miz tagged in Joe.

The place erupted at the idea of seeing Cena vs Joe. John played with the crowd as a beach ball in the crowd was taking up all of their attention. A security guard grabbed the beach ball and John jumped up on the turnbuckle and pleaded with the security guard to give the fans back their toy.

Joe jumped John and the crowd chanted “assh-ole” and “we want beach ball” as Miz got the tag and started to work on Cena.

Miz taunted Roman on the apron and continued his light work on Big Match John while not forgetting to taunt the crowd. These guys have had a long couple of days.

Cena clotheslined Miz inside out as the crowd started “the wave” once again. They didn’t seem into the match much at all but John Cena seemed to enjoy it. He jumped up to play with the crowd as Miz kicked him and hit a DDT for a two count.

It’s 11:00pm and Samoa Joe gets the tag. The crowd started to boo once again while a bunch of people was looking the other direction from the ring. There was something else going on in the crowd apparently.

Miz got the tag and climbed up to the top rope he hit John with a double ax handle off the top and covered for a two count. “WE WANT BEACH BALL” chants came back as Miz argued with the fans for being inattentive.

Cena ducked a clothesline from Miz in the corner and he racked himself. Roman finally got the tag and so did Samoa Joe. Reigns took Joe down with a clothesline and hammered away at him in the corner.

People didn’t seem to care. They must have been as tired as I was at that point. Roman cocked his fist and looked up at Samoa Joe. He went with a Superman Punch but Joe countered into a uranage for a two count.

Miz got the tag and Roman was thrown out of the ring. The Miztourage jumped Roman and Miz rolled him back in the ring for a two count. Miz did the “you can’t see me taunt” toward John Cena for some heat and started the It Kicks on Roman. But after cocking his fist, The Big Dog ducked the last kick and picked him up for a slam.

Joe got the tag and stopped Roman from getting to Cena. He beat Roman down a little and stretched his neck with a submission hold. Joe kept beating Roman around the ring until he tagged Miz in to do his thing.

Miz stalked around the ring and continued to apply pressure on Reigns. Then he tossed Roman outside but Reigns countered the Miztourage’s advances with various moved. He lowered the bridge on Miz and send him toppling to the floor.

Cena got the tag and started running his signature sequence on Miz. But Joe jumped in and confronted him before he could hit the 5 Knuckle Shuffle. Joe locked on the Coquina Clutch and Roman jumped in to hit another Superman Punch but Joe moved and Roman hit Cena.

Roman took Joe out with a punch on the outside and soon Miz was alone in the ring with John who was still out from Roman’s misfire. Miz prepped himself for a Skull Crushing Finale but John Cena popped up and hit an AA for the win.

Roman and John had their hands raised in the end but Cena was holding his jaw from Reigns’ Superman Punch. “My bad” you could see Roman mouth to Cena before Big Match John did his famous pose to close out the show.