The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 08/24/15

raw deal aug 24

Live from Brooklyn, New York this is the Raw Deal for episode #1161. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner above. Happy birthday to WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, who turns 70 today.

Here are some relevant links to various things I've written in the last few days: Full review of WWE SummerSlam, then ten questions related to SummerSlam and here's the full review of NXT Takeover Brooklyn from Saturday. Best match from the two shows was Bayley vs. Sasha Banks from NXT. It's a legit match of the year contender. Also there's a TJRWrestling Writer Search going on, so click on the link for more info and I'll mention it later as well.

There was a scene from WWE headquarters with Triple H and WWE/United States Champion Seth Rollins. Hunter said they're going to unveil Seth's statue along with the other legends that are at WWE HQ, which is what they said before SummerSlam. Rollins thanked him and hugged him.

Later on Raw it's Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper in a SummerSlam rematch. Also, Jon Stewart is on Raw.

Brock Lesnar And Paul Heyman Need To Vent

Brock Lesnar entered to a thunderous ovation along with his advocate Paul Heyman. The crowd was very vocal and cheering them. Lesnar had a very serious look on his face. Lesnar also had a scar on his forehead and other bruises on his face. Fans chanted "suplex city" as Heyman held the microphone.

Heyman introduced himself as the "pissed off advocate of the pissed off beast of the Barclays Brock Lesnar" as Lesnar stared straight ahead again. Heyman wondered what happened at SummerSlam. Heyman said that Lesnar took Undertaker to Suplex City and locked Undertaker in a Kimura. They showed the footage of Undertaker tapping out, but referee Charles Robinson was on the other side, so he couldn't see it.

Heyman said that there's no Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny is a fable while comparing it to The Undertaker's status. Way to kill Santa for the kids, uncle Paul. He said Undertaker tapping out is like a kid on the schoolyard screaming "please leave me alone" when he's getting beat up. Heyman claimed that Lesnar didn't blame the referee or the timekeeper, who freaked out. When they showed the timekeeper, the crowd booed, so Heyman said that only in Brooklyn do you boo compassion. Yeah crowd, the timekeeper is the one that knew Lesnar won. Heyman ranted about how he has enough material to last all three hours of Monday night Raw. Fans chanted "yes" for that.

The discussion transitioned to Heyman talking about how The Undertaker hit Lesnar with a low blow without the referee seeing it. Then he mentioned Lesnar doing the ultimate disrespect in reference to Lesnar sticking up his middle finger. Heyman said Undertaker's a gunslinger than can shoot it out with anybody, but he can't shoot with Lesnar. Heyman claimed that he wasn't there to issue a challenge for WrestleMania, the Royal Rumble, Survivor Series, MSG or anywhere else, Lesnar challenges Undertaker to do this Brooklyn-style right here right now. The crowd was on fire for this.

Who marched out to the ring? Bo Dallas. He actually mocked Lesnar by mentioning that he passed out to The Undertaker. He went right in his face to tell Lesnar to Bolieve.

Lesnar crushed Dallas with a clothesline. Then Lesnar hit three release German suplexes in a row. The crowd was chanting "one more time" so Lesnar did a fourth German suplex. Lesnar walked up the ramp as his music played. Heyman walked up to him to suggest #5, so Lesnar went back in the ring and hit a fifth release German Suplex. Lesnar left again, but Heyman wanted Brock to give a F5 for him. The crowd was on fire for all of this. Heyman said that he wants Bo to know that Brock Lesnar bolieves. Then Lesnar hit the F5 to end the segment.

Analysis: Since The Undertaker's not there (WWE won't tell you that), they needed somebody to get their ass kicked to make the fans happy, so they brought out comedy heel jobber Bo Dallas. I'd like to see Dallas used better, but WWE doesn't seem to have an interest in doing that. Heyman's promo was great. Lesnar's seriousness was what the story demanded and it came off well although offered no resolution to the problem with the SummerSlam finish. The whole thing went about 20 minutes, so a bit longer than the usual 15 minute promo, but it's understandable in this case. It's not known when Lesnar will be back after this. He's scheduled for a MSG house show in October. Other than that, it's not really known at this time.

There will be a Miz TV segment later with Team PCB. The New Day are up next.


The Lucha Dragons entered for a match while the Prime Time Players were sitting on commentary with Michael Cole, John Layfield and Bryon Saxton.

The New Day are the new Tag Team Champions and were in the white gear like they were at SummerSlam. Fans were chanting "New Day rocks" for them. Big E presented Xavier Woods, who walked out with a trombone to the tune of "New York New York" by Frank Sinatra. They replaced "York" with "Day" of course. The singing wasn't that great, but they are so entertaining as obnoxious heels.

The New Day - Big E & Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Lucha Dragons

This is non-title. The Dragons were really aggressive in the first two minutes and it went to break. There was a dive to the floor to take New Day out to set up the floor to commercial break spot.


The New Day had Sin Cara isolated in the corner as Woods was blowing on the trombone. Tag to Kalisto, who nailed a cross body and then a corkscrew cross body followed by an athletic sunset flip into a powerbomb for two after Big E broke it up. Reverse suplex by Kingston. Big E picked up Kalisto and Kingston jumped off the middle ropes, for the combined Big Ending for the win. It went about six minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The New Day

Analysis: *1/2 It was a short match that felt rushed. Two minutes of action, then a three minute break, then less than two minutes later it was over. It was just a simple win to put over The New Day, which is absolutely fine with me.

Post match, The New Day did one of their big celebrations with Woods going in the ring with the trombone.

Fireworks went off and The Dudley Boys are there! Wow! What an awesome surprise. Huge ovation! Bubba Ray and Devon were in full Dudley Boys gear. Bubba even had the classic glasses. They tossed Woods out of the ring. Devon did a back drop to Kingston over the top to the floor. Bubba nailed some elbows on Big E and then tossed him into the ring post. They did the Whassup Drop on Woods where Devon nailed the headbutt off the top onto the groin of Woods. "Get The Tables!" Crowd was absolutely on fire for this. Woods turned around and they nailed the Dudley Death Drop (3D) through the table.

After the attack, the Dudleys got in the face of PTP to say that they are back. The Dudleys posed on the turnbuckles to a thunderous ovation.

Analysis: That was f'n great. I dunno how else to express my thoughts except to say that because I was genuinely surprised by it and had no idea it was coming. I love being surprised like that. The Dudleys have been gone from WWE for ten years and clearly they aren't forgotten. When Bubba returned at the Royal Rumble the fans loved it, but that was it. I'm so glad they are back now. They can definitely work on a full time basis for the next year or so and teach a lot to the younger teams. They're still very good at their jobs and I love seeing them in WWE again. I guess I should have written Dudley Boyz up there because that's WWE spelling, but I'll leave it for now.

Another plug for Jon Stewart later.


There was a video package about John Cena's work with Make A Wish and delivering 500 wishes, which is the most ever. There was a kid at ringside looking happy, which is what this is all about. Make the kids happy. Great job by Cena.

Triple H and Stephanie looked at the statue of Rollins with the two titles on his shoulders. Rollins walked in to say this place is so much better in charge with them in charge. She said it's going to be set up in the ring, so Rollins left.

Analysis: They already showed it, but Rollins didn't see it. The guess at this point is that Cena will destroy it later. (That guess was wrong!)

Roman Reigns made his entrance for the tag match as they went to break.


The others made their entrances for the tag match.

Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns vs. Luke Harper & Bray Wyatt

Ambrose was aggressive early on, but Harper took him out with a dive outside the ring. Ambrose came back with a clothesline on Harper and Reigns nailed a dropkick on Wyatt. Another commercial.

Analysis: That was a bit rushed, but I guess the first segment ran long, so that's why it was such a quick break.


Wyatt was in the ring with Ambrose with Wyatt nailing him with a clothesline. Wyatt nailed a DDT for a two count, which is pretty much the same thing as Ambrose's finisher that is a double underhook DDT. Harper was working on Ambrose a bit, but Dean broke free and brought in Reigns with the hot tag. Wyatt was in on the other side, so Reigns nailed him with some power moves. Back suplex into a slam by Reigns. Huge uppercut by Reigns on Harper, but then Wyatt nailed Reigns with a one armed slam for two. Ambrose did the save by taking out Wyatt with a dive outside the ring. Reigns hit a Goldberg-like Jackhammer suplex into a slam for two. Harper cleaned house with superkicks. Reigns did a comeback after he avoided a Harper kick. Reigns with a Superman Punch on Wyatt. Ambrose took out Harper with a flying elbow outside the ring. Reigns was ready to finish off Wyatt when the lights went out and there was a big man standing on the apron with a mask on his face. Wyatt was smiling. It's Braun Strowman. He attacked Reigns, which led to the disqualification.

Winners by disqualification: Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose

Analysis: ** A basic match like at SummerSlam, but this one had a different finish with Strowman's debut. I like that it happened before the loss instead of after the match was over.

The ref rang the bell for the DQ. Strowman destroyed both Reigns and Ambrose. He did this chokehold on Reigns. Then he slammed down with a slam off his shoulders and face first into the mat. Strowman applied the choke hold on Ambrose as well to take him down. Wyatt posed on his knees in front of Harper and Strowman to end the segment.

Analysis: That was impressive. Strowman is a huge guy listed at 6'8" 375 pounds and he looks very intimidating. He's been training in NXT since 2013. I like the addition of Strowman because Wyatt has struggled a bit of late, so this should give the group some momentum again. I'm not sure if Erick Rowan will be back later this or not, but if he is then it can work as a four man stable. That was an impressive debut by Strowman. It's another thing on this show that came out of nowhere because I had no idea it was happening.

Note: It was Stowman, but they changed it to Strowman officially after this appearance. Below is a pic of him in the Party Posse. He's come a long way.

braun strowman party posse


The replayed the debut of Strowman although they didn't say his name.

MizTV With Team PCB

The Miz hyped up his guests winning at SummerSlam and he brought them out. It's Paige, Charlotte and Becky Lynch.

The ladies walked out and sat in chairs in the ring. Charlotte talked about how her dad was part of the greatest faction in WWE history, the Four Horsemen. The Miz said that her dad taught him the Figure Four and he perfected. Charlotte ripped on him wondering if he lived up to his legacy. Miz bragged about his titles and said he's a future Hall of Famer. The girls did their pinky swear handshake while Miz tried to rile them up. Paige said they are about more than just looks. They said they'd take on any woman or man. Becky rambled on about dinosaurs, cyborgs and more. Paige said that this is the era of the female athlete. She said they will not back down or surrender.

The Bella Twins interrupted as Nikki, Brie and Alicia Fox walked down to the ring. Nikki had a line saying that they think they're dominant, but that's like saying Donald Trump's favorite holiday is Cinco de Mayo. Brie was talking and this great crowd was chanting "we want Sasha." Great crowd. Lynch wondered how Brie dominated after their loss last night. Brie talked about their dominance of the last few years. Fox bragged about being there about nine years. Lynch said she's the Nene Leakes of WWE whoever that is. (I looked it up and I still don't care.) Lynch made fun of how Fox used to throw soda on people. Nikki said in three weeks and one day she'll become the longest reigning Divas Champion in WWE history. Nikki said the only victory that really matters is this one and she held up the Divas Title.

The Miz broke up the bickering saying "when my hand goes up your mouths go shut" and the crowd cheered, so Miz said that goes for everybody. Miz talked about how he was the most must see superstar in WWE history. He said they wrestle like a bunch of girls and that upset them. The Bellas attacked PCB from behind. Fans were chanting for Banks again. The PCB girls rolled out to the floor, so they're in a divas tag after the break.

Analysis: It was nice to see the girls get promo time, but then the Bellas showed up and it just gets bad when they talk. It's like nails scratching against a blackboard kind of bad. The Trump line was brutal. Fox bragging about her longevity is pretty weird considering she has rarely been the featured diva in the last nine years. I think she's a good talent, but fans don't view her as a star or anything like that. Anyway, I just wanted the whole thing to end so I'm glad they went to break. Also, hopefully WWE listened to the Banks chant. She's going to be the biggest star among the women they have.


Team Bella (Nikki, Brie & Alicia Fox) vs. Team PCB (Paige, Charlotte & Becky Lynch)

The match started during the break. There were some nearfall attempts by Becky and Nikki when they were in there. Charlotte and Lynch worked over Nikki, which is weird for a match format since the faces were working over a heel. After knocking Nikki, Brie and Fox out of the ring, Charlotte launched herself over the ropes with a dive to take them out. They went to break about four minutes into the match.

Analysis: There wasn't much happening at the start of this match.


Nikki had Charlotte in a leglock, which is more of the normal match with the heels in control. Charlotte sent Nikki outside the ring. Nikki yanked her out of the ring to prevent a hot tag. Nikki slammed the left leg of Charlotte against the ring post. When Fox was in there, the crowd was getting bored, so they started doing the wave. Hot tag to Paige, who unloaded on Fox with clotheslines and a dropkick. Fans were chanting "we are awesome" because they don't care about this match as Fox hit a clothesline. Of course the announcers put it over that they are into the match. If they were into the match, they wouldn't chant other stuff. Back to the match, Paige locked Fox into the PTO submission when Brie showed up to break it up. Brie took down Lynch with a facebuster, then she took out Charlotte with a kick. The ref was distracted, so Nikki nailed a forearm for the cheap shot and then Fox hit an axe kick to win the match after 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Team Bella

Analysis: ** It's nice to see the girls getting over ten minutes again, but this match didn't really work that well and the crowd crapped all over it. The announcers tried to cover for it although that's hard to do when it was as loud as those fans were. Anyway, the Bellas team winning is just typical WWE booking where somebody wins a match one night and then the others get the win back the next night. Nobody really gets momentum or gets over when you book like that, but for whatever reason WWE loves doing it that way. We still have no idea if or when Nikki will defend the Divas Title again. I thought they might do something like having the PCB girls face off in a triple threat to determine the number one contender (as a reward for winning at SSlam), but that didn't happen.

Eight man tag later is Sheamus, Owens, Rusev & Show vs. Ryback, Ziggler, Cesaro and Orton.


There was a plug for WWE Night of Champions on September 20 and WWE Mattel toys.

King Barrett and Stardust were in the ring for a tag match. Stardust attacked Barrett from behind and then hit the Queen's Crossbow. That sent Barrett out of the ring.

Neville ran out to the ring, took down Stardust and then set up for the Red Arrow finishing move off the top. Stardust escaped before he could receive any further damage.

Analysis: That was a rushed segment that went like three minutes. I'm not sure if it's going to lead to Barrett turning face or if it's just a case of Stardust being a jerk heel because they lost at SummerSlam. I think Barrett's better off as a heel even though he's not booked that well.

They showed all the news media reporting on Jon Stewart costing John Cena the WWE Title. Stewart was shown walking to the ring.


Jon Stewart Explains His Actions

Jon Stewart entered for a promo at the end of hour two and into the start of hour three. The fans were chanting "Thank You Stewart" for him.

Stewart said that apparently last night he did upset some people, but of course some people were happy. Fans chanted "yes" for that because they don't like John Cena. He said to the people who wanted to know who the little mean old man was, it was not in any to help Seth Rollins. It was not to help The Authority because it's best for business. He said it's because, in his heart, he could not let John Cena tie Ric Flair with 16 World Titles. Stewart said "The Champ is Flair." That led to Flair's music starting up.

Woo! Here's the legendary Ric Flair in a suit and a huge ovation from the crowd. Stewart was very excited to see him. Flair gave Stewart a big hug. The crowd gave Flair a great reaction like he always deserves.

Flair said he appreciates what Stewart was thinking, but to be honest Flair was pulling for Cena to win. He said sooner or later the record will be broken and he prefers it's from somebody he respects. Flair busted out his "learn to love it" line and said that God is in the house, referring to himself. Stewart said he was protecting Flair, so Flair said that he loved being called the greatest of all time. Flair told him he has messed up everything. Here comes John Cena.

There's some loud "John Cena sucks" singing by the Brooklyn crowd as Cena had a serious look on his face. Cena said they needed to handle some business. Stewart wondered what he wanted to talk about. Fans were chanting "Ce-na Sucks" to the New Day chants. Cena mentioned that a lot of people agreed with what Stewart did. Cena said that because of what Stewart did, Rollins is the WWE and the US Champion. "Yes" chants from the crowd. Cena did his promo about giving superstars a US Title shot with Cena mentioning Cesaro, Stardust, Ambrose, Neville, Owens and Sami Zayn. Good pop for those names especially Zayn. I miss that guy.

Stewart did the Cena hand gesture while wondering if Cena can't see him. Cena said this isn't a comedy show. Stewart said it was a beautiful match with Rollins and he respected Cena for being a fighting US Champion. Stewart said that as good as Cena is, he just couldn't see Cena tie Flair's record. Stewart suggested that Cena can back the US Title. Cena said he's gonna do what he has to do. Cena picked up Stewart, put him on his shoulders and Cena dropped him with the Attitude Adjustment. Cena shook Fair's hand and left.

Analysis: It was about a 15 minute talking segment. I thought it was pretty good with Stewart explaining his actions well and saying he was just a Flair fan that didn't want Cena to get the record. That makes sense. Cena did well by maintaining a serious attitude during the promo and pointing out how awful it is that Rollins held two titles. Cena hitting the AA on Stewart was also justified, so I don't mind it at all. Overall, an interesting segment that explains what happened at SummerSlam in a reasonable way. Plus, it's always nice to see Flair out there.

Stewart was down for a bit, but then helped out of the arena by referees.

They showed the bronze statue that WWE unveiled for Andre the Giant in 2013. A Rollins statute will be unveiled later.

Eight man tag up next.


PLUG TIME: I made a post on Monday about the brand spanking new TJRWrestling Writer Search that has begun. Click on the link to read the post for info on how you can join our team at The deadline is Tuesday September 1 at 12pmET, so there's plenty of time if you're interested. I'll read all the submissions in the next week and then come up with some decisions soon after. Here's that link one more time. Thanks for your interest.

WWE Tough Enough finale is on Tuesday at 8pmET. It's been a mess of a season, but I think WWE will be happy if Josh wins. They probably want Amanda to win for the girls although Sara seems to be more popular. One male and one female will win $250,000 each, so they will have heat in NXT because they are making a lot more than the people there. Welcome to the wrestling business! I'm only sort of joking.

John Cena was interviewed by Renee Young backstage. Cena said he did what he thought was right. Cena said later on in the show he's going to have another talk with Seth Rollins.

Analysis: Statue destruction coming up later. (EDIT: Or not!)

Intros for the big eight man tag: Dolph Ziggler with Lana in her new jean jacket/skirt outfit, Cesaro, Ryback and Randy Orton for the faces. For the heels it was Rusev with Summer Rae, Kevin Owens, Big Show and then Sheamus.

Cesaro, Ryback, Dolph Ziggler & Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens, Big Show, Rusev & Sheamus

These guys were all in matches at SummerSlam, so the tag match makes sense. Smackdown main event had an eight man tag with four of these guys in that match. Cesaro was with Rusev to start and then Ziggler got in there against Rusev. When Rusev was on the floor, Ryback ran around the ring and gave him a shoulder block.

Analysis: This is only the fourth match of night and may be last because main event is Rollins statue thing. All tag matches.


Big Show was in the ring with Ziggler and the crowd was upsetting him. They did a "Big Show sucks" chant to the tune of "New Day sucks" so after Show nailed Ziggler with a shoulder tackle, he yelled at the fans. Owens tagged in and was cheered as he hit a couple of moves on Ziggler before bringing in Sheamus, who hit a suplex. Ziggler tried to fight back, but Sheamus cut him off with an Irish Curse backbreaker. Another commercial.


The heels were still working over Ziggler. Rusev left him on the bottom rope, so Summer slapped Ziggler in the face. Summer tackled Lana outside the ring to get a big pop reaction from the crowd. That stunned Rusev a bit, so Ziggler nailed a Fameasser to take him down. Hot tag to Cesaro, who nailed some uppercuts on Owens - the legal man on the other side Cesaro Swing attempt prevented by Rusev, so then Cesaro did the Swing to Rusev. Owens got a boot to the face and then Ryback tagged in. Owens exchanged punches with Owens, who tripped him up in the corner and then Ryback nailed a huge spinebuster. Meat Hook Clothesline by Ryback. He couldn't connect with Shellshock because Owens shoved him off. Double clothesline spot, so both guys were down.

Orton received the hot tag and he's against Sheamus. Orton with the powerslam on Sheamus followed by the DDT off the middle ropes. The crowd was cheering for Orton a lot. Dropkick for Big Show on the apron. Then Sheamus tried a move, Orton slipped out and Show nailed Sheamus with a KO Punch. Orton finished off Sheamus with a RKO for the victory after 19 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Cesaro, Ryback, Dolph Ziggler & Randy Orton

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a lengthy tag match that was very good with the predictable ending since faces almost always win this kind of match. They know how to build up to the big spots in these matches because they do them so often. Ziggler was worked over the most, then Ryback and Cesaro had a few brief moments before Orton came in for the finish. They really didn't hit that many finishing moves either. It was really all about the RKO connecting for Orton after Big Show accidentally knocked out Sheamus. One of the spots in the match that I liked was seeing Ryback go at it with Owens. While I'm not a Ryback fan by any means, I think that could be a solid feud and I'd like to see Owens win the IC Title. Maybe that's where they could be going with it. Anyway, it was the longest match of the night and the best one too.

Post match, Rusev was yelling at Show about it and so was Owens. Show shoved down Owens. Rusev nailed Show with a kick. Owens nailed a cannonball on Show in the corner. Rusev and Owens left.

With Show alone in the ring, the four faces went into the ring. Ziggler nailed a superkick, Ryback and Cesaro pressed Show up and then Orton nailed him with a RKO. That was pretty impressive.

Analysis: It's a bad night for Big Show. He cost his team the win, then he got beat up by two of his teammates as well as four good guys. It could be something where they tease a retirement or sadly maybe it will make him sympathetic to turn him face. I like him a lot more as a heel.

The announcers went over the Lesnar/Undertaker situation from SummerSlam.

They transitioned to showing the Bruno Sammartino bronze statue in 2014. That's what Seth Rollins gets during Raw.


They did a bit where Byron Saxton ordered a pizza for Cole, Layfield and himself. They love the money from sponsors.

There was a replay of the big man debuting with the Wyatt Family earlier. Hopefully he has a better career than Mason Ryan with the New Nexus.

Bray Wyatt was backstage in a dark, smoky room with Luke Harper. He said that he warned Reigns because he infects everybody around him. Wyatt said that Ambrose is now a pawn for Wyatt to play with because Reigns selfishly brought them into their game. Wyatt told Rowan tat tonight he witnessed the greatest gift. Wyatt introduced Braun Strowman with the black sheep mask and he said he is Abigail's black sheep. Strowman took off the mask, looked into the camera and that ended the segment.

Analysis: I'm glad they said the name on TV so the announcers can stop pretending like they don't know who he is. Since Strowman wasn't on NXT before, he's pretty much an unknown although like I said earlier he's been training in WWE for the past two years.

In the backstage area, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon complained about John Cena attacking a celebrity like Jon Stewart. They had him escorted from the building so he couldn't interfere in the Rollins statue ceremony.

Analysis: I guess my comments earlier about Cena wrecking the statue was off. That honor will go to somebody else.

They showed a clip of The Ultimate Warrior statue that was unveiled at WrestleMania earlier this year.

The ring was being set up for the statue ceremony for Rollins and it's time for a break.


Seth Rollins Statue Ceremony

There was a covered statue in the ring. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon entered the ring for the ceremony. Stephanie said it was Vince McMahon's 70th birthday and said he wasn't going to come out there. She urged the crowd to sing Happy Birthday, so everybody including the announcers sang Happy Birthday to Vince. Triple H: "He is so pissed off in the back right now it's not even funny." Way to not follow the script! If somebody else did that they'd be losing matches for months. Just ask Triple H in 1996. Anyway, moving on.

Triple H did this really long promo talking about how loyal Rollins is and how great he is. It was about two minutes of talking about Rollins' greatness as well as his loyalty. Hunter said he's no longer the future, he's the man...Seth Rollins.

Rollins walked out with the WWE Title on his shoulder and the US Title around his waist. Rollins hugged both Hunter and Stephanie. Rollins talked about how it was big night for everybody in the WWE Universe. He said he joins the Mount Rushmore of WWE. He talked about Hall of Fames and then insulted the Brooklyn crowd by mentioning the Brooklyn Nets don't really have legends. The crowd booed a bit, but it didn't get much heat.

Rollins called himself a legend because he now has two titles. He said that with the unveiling of this statue, he becomes immortal. He gave credit to Cena for working every single day to be the man and for the last ten years, Cena was the man. He said a famous Flair line: "To be the man, you've gotta beat the man." He said he's no longer the future of WWE, he's the man. He spoke about how this statue will live forever in recognition for his legacy. He mentioned the others: Bruno Sammartino, Ultimate Warrior and Andre the Giant. Now it's time for Rollins.

Rollins said he can't wait anymore. He did the Triple H "are you ready" bit for the unveiling. They lifted the curtain and Sting was standing there. It looked like some of the face paint on his forehead was coming off possibly because it was hot.

Sting attacked Rollins. He gave him a Stinger Splash in the corner followed by a clothesline that sent Rollins over the top to the floor. With Rollins, Triple H and Stephanie outside the ring, Sting held up the WWE Title. Good reaction for it, but not huge.

They said up next on WWE Network there's an interview with Triple H.

Sting held up the WWE Title one more time to end the show at around 11:13pmET.

Analysis: The promos were long and a bit boring, but Rollins did a good job in talking about his place in history. Sting's return was known online earlier in the day although WWE kept quiet about it and never advertised him for the show. The unveiling with Sting in place of the statue was well done. The crowd reacted well to it too.


The WWE Network Bonus

The announcers talked about Sting wanting the WWE Title and it's a title that he has never won obviously.

Triple H was interviewed as he went backstage by Renee Young with Stephanie and Rollins with him. He said Sting wants a match with Seth Rollins and now he's got it. Sting vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Title at Night of Champions. Rollins seemed okay with it and was yelling that he's going to finish it.

Analysis: Sting's 0-1 in his WWE career, yet he gets a WWE Title shot. That's a bit weird, but he's obviously got a long history, so they can justify it that way. They need an opponent for Rollins and at least with Sting they have somebody fresh for him to face. It's weird to say a 56 year old man is fresh, but in this case it's actually true. I think Rollins is the best possible opponent for Sting because Rollins can bump his ass off and make him look like a big deal. I don't mind it at all. I doubt Rollins is losing the gold to Sting.

I'm not sure what the US Title plan will be. Maybe Rollins loses it in a Raw match due to a Sting distraction or perhaps Rollins works twice at Night of Champions with a US Title match earlier in the show. For now, those things aren't known.


Three Stars of the Show

1. The Dudley Boys - Welcome back Bubba and Devon! It's been ten years. Glad they are back "home" so to speak.

2. Paul Heyman/Brock Lesnar

3. Sting

That's more than three people. Oh well. I can cheat sometimes.


The Scoreboard

7.5 out of 10

Last week: 5.5

Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 6.5, 7, 7, 8.5

2015 Average: 5.94

2015 High: 9 (May 4)

2015 Low: 4 (Feb 9/June 22)


Final Thoughts

I’m giving it a 7.5 out of 10. I originally had it at a 7, but after waking up, going through it again and I liked it so I bumped it up.

- It's so weird having a three hour show with only four matches. I don't think that's ever happened before. If it has, I don't really remember it. Also no singles matches is pretty weird too.

- There were some big moments in the show that really helped it with the Dudleys return, Sting coming back as a surprise at least in the storyline and the debut of Braun Strowman as well. Those moments are the one that made it a fun episode of Raw.

- I thought Jon Stewart did really well again. Cena had a right to be mad, so it made sense for him to attack Stewart.

- The divas are starting to lose that momentum. The crowd crapped all over that match. Either get rid of the groups of three or try to make the stories a bit more compelling.

- The Heyman/Lesnar promo open was well done. Some fans are probably mad that there was no Undertaker. It's not known when we'll see him again or Lesnar for that matter.

- Even though I'm pretty exhausted from three straight days of a lot of writing, I enjoyed Raw quite a bit and was entertained most of the night.


PLUG TIME: I made a post on Monday about the brand spanking new TJRWrestling Writer Search that has begun. Click on the link to read the post for info on how you can join our team at The deadline is Tuesday September 1 at 12pmET, so there's plenty of time if you're interested. I'll read all the submissions in the next week and then come up with some decisions soon after. Here's that link one more time. Thanks for your interest.

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Thanks for reading. Go Blue Jays.

John Canton –

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