Rusev returns to WWE! Kane returns to WWE! And the King of the Ring 2019 has been crowned – wait, have the graphics been upside down this entire time?!
And which WWE star has Vince McMahon reportedly buried backstage?!
Click the timestamps in the video description below to go straight to any of those stories and learn more!
I’m Oli Davis – give us a subscribe, press the thumbs up button, and answer our question of the day in the comments: Should the Fiend win the Universal title at Hell in a Cell? Because I’ll be replying to people FROM OUTTA NOWHERE… saying what the hell is going on with these upside down graph-
And click the ‘i’ above my head to give your rating of the show – where you can choose from: RawSome, Cor, AVRAWGE, Poor and RawFul – as I review the 16th September episode of Monday Night Raw!
‘The Beast/Monster/Bank Account Slayer’ Seth Rollins opened the show with your standard cringey babyface stuff, which would’ve been far more effective if he stormed out understandably annoyed that The Fiend attacked him in CoC’s epic climax. CoC, of course being, the acronym for Clash of Champions.
Thankfully Bray Wyatt appeared onscreen in the Firefly Fun House, where Seth accused Bray of being a sick man, and Rambling Rabbit begged Rollins to run away. This is a very significant development in the Fiend’s character, as this marks the first time ever that someone outside the Fun House has interacted directly with it, with Finn Balor just previously staring gormlessly at the TitanTron.
Bray then teased The Fiend might be seeing Seth again tonight, which was followed up with mini-skits throughout the episode of Wyatt hanging up pictures of his friend/victims with their eyes crossed out. SERIOUSLY STOP HAVING THE IMAGES UPSIDE DOWN IT’S MAKING ME SCARED!
Not content with undermining the tag division for the last four weeks, Braun Strowman continued to both figuratively and literally run it over here, interrupting a tag team championship summit where he laid out both the Raw and SmackDown tag team champions..
And also not content with AJ Styles all-but-burying Cedric Alexander at CoC, he teamed with the Viking DON’T MENTION THE WAR EXPERIENCE Raiders here in a six-man tag, where AJ pinned him with a Phenomenal Forearm. And then hit an Avalanche Styles Clash afterwards. Because the way to get babyfaces super over is to keep beating them again and again and again until nobody cares about them anymore. Daniel Bryan got over in spite of this booking, not because of it.
The Raw and SmackDown tag divisions, Cedric Alexander – what else have WWE lost interest in?
Oh yeah, the King of the Ring tournament which was bumped from CoC on Sunday night, to the end of the first hour of Monday Night Raw. It wasn’t even the second hour main event. Hashtag three week push.
In spite of the lacklustre match placement, this was the best in-ring match of the show, partly because of Chad Gable having a natural empathetic connection with the crowd, but more because of what a terrific midcard heel Baron Corbin has settled into.
The match structure was so effective, I was literally yelling at Corbin to tap when Chad had the grapevine ankle lock, a move with so much context considering Baron retired Kurt Angle earlier this year.
But, really, Corbin getting the crown is much more fitting of his character, and he hit the End of Days for the win. He’ll have a coronation segment on SmackDown tonight, where the Shane McMahon and Corbin vortexes could potentially merge. A clataclimsic event on par with the Thanos Snap… where half of viewers turn off like that.
Maria Kanellis’ baby gender reveal party got more build than NXT launching on the USA Network next, with the Street Profits picking up that whole Kanellis storyline that’s been ignored for the last month. Maria not only revealed that they were having a baby boy, but also that Ricochet is the father – which led to a reluctant Ricochet beating Mike in a minute. I hope that new contract was worth, Mike, definitely made the right decision by re-signing!
Then as if that, and Corey calling Mike a “beta cuck” wasn’t enough soap opera nonsense, Maria revealed that the actual real father… was Rusev, marking the Bulgarian Brute’s first appearance since April to no reaction because the crowd were confused about why he was with Maria, whether he was really the father, and what’s going on with Lana.
While I’m happy to see Rusev back, especially with the moustache!, this was significantly damaging – instantly slotting him in as a lower midcarder. No, not even a moustache break will cheer me up.
Continuing Rey Mysterio’s redemption arc, he won a very solid TV match with Cesaro next.
Then AOP also made their WWE return, kind of. Ahead of October’s Draft, they got a video package where they wore suits and spoke in their native languages with subtitles.
Bayley got to progress her heel character even further next, where she smashed Alexa Bliss’ leg against the steel steps, making hers and Sasha Banks’ tag match a 2-on-1 handicap against Nikki Cross. Nikki had a rousing comeback, but the numbers game won out in the end.
And then, in the most WWE women’s division piece of booking possible, it was Charlotte who ended up standing tall. And when I say ‘tall’, I mean ‘very tall’, where she towered over everyone else by wearing walking stilts masquerading as high heels.
This worked well to build Sasha vs Becky Lynch’s rematch, where The Man saved Nikki from a chair beatdown, but I’m worried about how weakly they’re booking Bayley. She was the weak leak against Cross. And then Charlotte easily wiped her out despite Bayley having a steel chair.
Sasha challenged Becky to a rematch at Hell in a Cell afterwards, which Becky accepted.
Lacey Evans didn’t take on Natalya for a change, beating Dana Brooke in a short match with the Sharpshooter – so really she still is taking on Nattie.
And in a masterful bit of narrative interweaving, the 24/7 championship segments throughout the night played into the main event. As Raw took place in Hard Knoxville, Tennessee, where Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs is legitimately an elected politician. Wrrrestling! He had a fun series of skits with R-Truth, where he briefly held the 24/7 title. They made up afterwards, though, and Truth brought him to Monday Night Raw.
Then the main event saw Seth vs Robert Roode, which, in another timeline, would have been a major pay-per-view headlining match. But Roode has been booked into oblivion since debuting on the main roster, so the crowd didn’t really care.
Seth had the match won after a Stomp, but Roode’s tag team champion partner Dolph Ziggler – yeah, I keep forgetting they’re a team too! – caused the DQ, and if there’s a post-match beatdown, you better believe The O.C. are getting involved as well!
This gave enough bodies for Jacobs to make his return as Kane, and clear house, which, in turn, gave a WWE legend for The Fiend to attack, to then scarily stare at a terrified Rollins. The show then went off the air with the Firefly Fun House credits distorting for a good minute – hopefully foreshadowing an entirely Fun House-themed episode soon!
The tag division, Cedric Alexander, Rusev’s return and King of the Ring placements were all deeply problematic issues with this show. But The Fiend’s character is so over, so exciting right now, that it balances it all out to make this week’s Raw… AvRAWge.
Now over to Laurie with the news!
Thanks Oli, it’s time for some news.
It is 2 days until the latest issue of the WrestleTalk Magazine hits shops in the UK! And this time WrestleTalk is Jericho as the inaugural AEW Champion graces the front cover. Look out for the fedora wearing rock and roll porcupine and the mag in shops near you from Thursday! You can also get all of our previous issues for just £15 plus postage and packaging using the link in the video description below!
On with the news and Fightful have done some digging and reportedly got hold of some interesting injury updates for the WWE roster.
Get ready folks because Tamina has been medically cleared to return! Whoo nelly can’t wait.
Jinder Mahal was originally thought to be out through the rest of the year, but has been given a new date of November 1st. I can smell a 24/7 title run.
Bobby Lashley has been given a new date of October 14th after initially being set to return sometime in November.
According to PWInsider Drew McIntyre recently had minor surgery and is expected to return any time from now.
While Tomasso Ciampa was reportedly cleared from September the 11th.
Which NXT’s Blackheart had something to say about on Twitter:
I have been told that I am cleared to return as of September 11th… by the internet.
So, I called and asked my surgeon to confirm. He laughed at me. And said (kind of in an Allen Iverson voice) “the internet, we talking about the internet”.
But that’s exactly what he would say.
Someone is ready to return and in fact did, with the kind of face fuzz that could getcha pregnant, was Rusev.
The moustache breaking Bulgarian… porn star? Came out to take part in the continued cucking of Mike Kanellis, bending poor Mike’s head back in an accolade to go look at your wife, it’s being suggested we shagged.
Now Rusev returning is important because there were reports back in June that his contract was expiring soon and as the Rusev Days got darker and colder it seemed like the Bulgarian may have been up for leaving.
But this appearance seems to suggest that he’s sticking around and potentially signed a new contract – maybe because WWE needs stars for the draft and for Smackdown’s big move to Fox.
Rusev’s return and inclusion in the who diddled Maria Kanellis storyline is a classic Heyman move.
Which is why it may not surprise you that Pro Wrestling Sheet are reporting that Vince McMahon, Kevin Dunn and Triple H weren’t Raw this week so Heyman ran the show himself.
I’m gonna cuck the lot of you.
Trips is in Orlando preparing for NXT’s USA premiere, but there was no word on why Dunne and McMahon weren’t at Raw. Thought the whole point of hiring Heyman and Bischoff was surely so Vince could take a step back.
But not too big a step back because apparently he’s still having a say in the booking of one star.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported recently that Cedric Alexander was a talent that Paul Heyman had the producing hots for so to speak.
And while he wanted to make Cedric a big star on Raw he was aiming to use a “slow push” strategy to work him into that position.
Which frankly all seemed to fall apart at Clash of Champions when the OC made Cedric look like a complete goof on the pre-show.
Then on the most recent Wrestling Observer Radio Dave Meltzer said “I was told last night that Vince McMahon wanted to bury him.”
Which is a theme that seems like it was continued last night on Raw: pinned clean by AJ in a six man tag, little bit of a comeback in the beatdown angle and then a Styles clash off the second rope.
Surely Heyman can’t be happy about that. Cuck Mike sure, but leave Cedric alone.
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