Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 8/31/15: More Stink Than Sting

WWE RawBy Nicholas Jason Lopez


“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.






(Aired 8/31/15)

More Stink Than Sting

– The opening video chronicled WWE World Heavyweight Champion/United States Champion Seth Rollins being unofficially crowned as “the man,” and how Sting ruined his unveiling of the bronze statue designed in his honor last week. They really milked up the drama in that, huh?

– The previously advertised Sting in-ring promo to open the show was a unique opportunity to hear his side of the rivalry and why he targeted Rollins. He did make some sense in it, saying Rollins didn’t compare to Triple H or the legends he said he was on the same level as. It was straight-forward – ultimately nothing must-see, but it progressed the story.

– The Rollins-Stephanie McMahon backstage segment served as an immediate reaction, with Steph trying to convince Rollins that beating Sting would look excellent, while Rollins took strong offense with his usual delusional overconfidence. Steph flat-out telling Rollins he wasn’t on Triple H’s level was somewhat a different side of the emasculating Steph we’ve all come to know. Perhaps this was little seed-planting of the Rollins-Triple H feud. This segment may loom large in a few months.

– The Dolph Ziggler-Rusev match was a SummerSlam rematch on Raw for… some reason. Commentary pushed the social media aspect of the feud and made it sound like the official payoff of all payoffs. The match was technically sound and not bad per se, but nothing was memorable here either. Another DQ finish thanks to Summer stopping the pin? Really? Obviously they’re dragging this out to Night Of Champions.

– The Ziggler/Lana backstage promo saw them in celebration mode, though Ziggler sold the frustration of winning in that fashion. Hard to not notice Summer going into the same locker room. Wonder how that will end… Sigh.

– Still questioning why only Team PCB were considered for this “Beat The Clock” challenge, without even a storyline explanation or anything of that sort why they got it early on. As for Team Bellas’ in-ring promo, um, not much to gaga over. The Bella-Tron? How original. The Becky Lynch-Alicia Fox match began with a meh Lynch boxed promo that didn’t really establish who she was despite being a “B when she has to.” At least the storyline explanation came during the match of why Team BAD wasn’t involved; it being a “perk” of a SummerSlam victory. They should’ve promoted that aspect of the SS match to make it more interesting at the time. The match itself was quite terrible, but thankfully ended in a 3:21 mark. This all still feels one-dimensional and pales in comparison to how these ladies were pushed in NXT as individuals. The crowd was beyond dead with this one. Can you blame them?

– The WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback backstage promo hyped his upcoming match with Big Show, and it put over his resilience with many matches and challengers. How did Big Show earn this Title shot exactly? Oh, there’s Summer running and Ziggler with no clothes. Is everybody this oblivious?!?!? Make this stop.

– The IC Title match between Ryback and Show with The Miz on commentary just showed us that this three-man program just won’t die. Ryback needs some new challengers or his reign will quickly grow stale. At least Miz showed he was angry about not getting the Title match. The match was pretty decent, getting better as it went along, the crowd also enjoying it as well. Miz played into the finish, distracting Show enough to let Ryback hit the Shellshocked. Decent way to keep it going, though it’s a road already traveled.

– Funny that the 3:21 glitches on the Beat The Clock graphic. Even that doesn’t agree with this storyline.

– The second Beat The Clock challenge match between Charlotte and Brie Bella began with a Charlotte promo that showed off her confidence. She has been the best talker of this Divas Revolution thankfully. The problem with the match times being so short is that the quality severely suffered. Charlotte won with 1:40 left. We’d sincerely hope Charlotte would get the Title shot, because if Paige got it, that’d be something we’d already seen and would be a spit in the face to the NXT women.

– The Dudley Boyz’s backstage promo touched on the subject of them not competing on Raw for a decade. Bubba Ray was on fire here in this segment with subtle references to their catchphrases. The push for “10 times as Champs” is a good story for them to follow headed into Night Of Champions. They just want to put people through tables too. Nothing wrong with that.

– The idea of another Cesaro-Kevin Owens SummerSlam rematch wasn’t a bad one per se, but we’d hope this wasn’t to undo Owens’ victory and make it more even-Steven. Thankfully, it wasn’t. The match was actually better than their SummerSlam encounter and was able to be “digested” better, though the crowd wasn’t all too enthusiastic here besides some chants for Owens. Good match by the end, which gave Cesaro an out with the “rib injury” on the announce table, all leading into the Pop-Up Powerbomb. With Owens beating Cesaro twice now, they probably are making Cesaro purposely lose all these big matches.

– The Ziggler/Lana backstage segment saw Ziggler try to explain to Lana what happened, with her getting mad about him being seen naked. Ugh. Seriously?

– The Dean Ambrose-Braun Strowman match started with a Wyatt promo that hyped Strowman’s debut match, talking him up to be a savior of sorts. Strowman’s line was brief but effective. The match was mostly just Strowman throwing Ambrose around, with him looking strong and beastly. Reigns felt compelled to interfere to help his brother, which worked in this context with the newly reborn feud. Strowman no-selling the chair shot was the first part to set up Harper superkicking Ambrose. Strowman followed that up by laying out Reigns and Ambrose again. Naturally, this will lead to a third man joining the faces, right? It’s been made clear the two of them can’t take on the new Wyatt Family. Three straight shows now, to be exact.

– Rollins’ backstage promo touched on his helpless ability to find his statue, which he didn’t find funny. He hyped calling out Sting later and more seeds were planted with him putting his accomplishments above those of his mentor, Triple H.

– The final Beat The Clock challenge match between Paige and Sasha Banks had the story of Paige needing to beat her in 1:40 or less, which takes the fun out of it. Paige’s boxed promo at least had the right intentions, though might’ve missed the mark in logic. The match was surprisingly the most interesting bout of this whole angle, which involved Banks getting yanked out of the ring by Naomi/Tamina to spare her quick defeat. The staredown between Team Bella and Charlotte was solid. At least we’re finally getting somewhere with this damn thing.

– Lana’s backstage promo saw her react to Summer’s lying story about getting “mesmerized” by Ziggler in the shower, by crying and walking away. Oh god.

– The tag team match between The Dudley Boyz and Kofi Kingston/Big E started with a New Day promo that defended all tables worldwide. Xavier Woods’ Michelle Obama-esque hairstyle was a little hard to ignore. The promo might not have been as gut-busting as previous ones but we got a storyline of them protecting “the last table,” covered in bubble wrap. Funny. This was a tough crowd though, but even they were chanting “save the table” at least. The Prime Time Players on commentary kept their act fresh and reminded us of their impending rematch clause. The match itself was pretty entertaining given it was to officially give the Dudleys a reason to fight for the Tag titles. The post-match stuff with Big E getting saved by his mates pushed the “save the table” hype. It probably happens at Night Of Champions.

– The final segment with Rollins calling out Sting was actually just a way to book the John Cena-Rollins United States Championship rematch at Night Of Champions, with Cena using the Authority’s logic against them, booking them into a corner. The back-and-forth between Steph and Rollins was entertaining here, as she stuck up for her husband and tried to motivate Rollins to stay focused on the goal at hand. It was actually a good way to lead into Cena’s portion of the segment, which did what it had to do. Also liked the end-show stare down with Sting, Cena and Rollins.






Quick Results

  • Dolph Ziggler (w/Lana) def. Rusev (w/Summer Rae) via DQ
  • Beat The Clock Challenge – Match One – Becky Lynch (w/Paige, Charlotte) def. Alicia Fox (w/The Bella Twins) via submission in 3:21
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship – Ryback (Champion) def. The Big Show via pinfall to retain
  • Beat The Clock Challenge – Match Two – Charlotte (w/Paige, Becky Lynch) def. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella, Alicia Fox) via pinfall in 1:40
  • Kevin Owens def. Cesaro via pinfall
  • Braun Strowman (w/Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper) def. Dean Ambrose (w/Roman Reigns) via DQ
  • Beat The Clock Challenge – Match Three – Paige (w/Charlotte, Becky Lynch) failed to beat Sasha Banks (w/Naomi, Tamina) in 1:40
  • The Dudley Boyz def. Big E/Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) via pinfall

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on September 1, 2015, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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