Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 9/5/16: An Enraged Architect
Posted by Nicholas Jason Lopez
By 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.
An Enraged Architect
– Headed in, we were eager to see the follow-up to arguably the year’s biggest move last week – Triple H turning on Seth Rollins to cost him the WWE Universal Championship and practically hand it to Kevin Owens at the same time. The opening video brought us back to how it all started with the “time” theme which was cool. We also liked the screenshots of various fan tweets that sold the moment as a true shocker. In many ways, it was.
– The backstage segment with Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and Raw General Manager Mick Foley kept the tension right up as they played up the question of what exactly Stephanie knew about Triple H’s plan from last week. It was a focus of the integrity of Foley as he called out Steph on things she did in the past and how he needed to believe her as his authority partner. They brought some slight reality when he recalled a moment years back when she showed concern for him as an innocent girl with a shy smile. Steph shot down the accusations and lowered her “front” to reveal she was self-conscious on how her husband’s actions affected her business plans. It was a little more chit-chat than honestly needed, but a good set-up for the opening segment. We already learned that Steph was on a mission to “over-deliver” a celebration for Owens complete with balloons and streamers.
– The in-ring segment with Foley, Steph, Owens and Rollins was great in that it set up a few things for the show and in the long-term. Owens was great in all his suit-clad jerk glory. Loved the way he used the “You deserve it” chants in a way to turn the crowd against him while he remained confident. Rollins’ portion made sense from the perspective of somebody that was wronged and put Steph in a guilt trip. Owens laid in some shade about how Rollins lacked passion and despite the “architect” moniker, was only known for his failures lately. This resulted in Rollins’ physical assault on the Champ multiple times, which enraged Steph to the point where she indefinitely suspended Rollins. Foley provided the turning point as he claimed Rollins was wronged and deserved a rematch before he officially booked it to take place at Clash Of Champions on Sep. 25. As we expected, Owens complained to Foley about everything. Looked like the face turn on Rollins was in full effect.
– The backstage segment with Steph, Foley, Owens and Chris Jericho further established Foley’s “matchmaking tear,” as he first was reprimanded by Steph for embarrassing her in the ring before Owens came up to them and complained that Rollins was rewarded with a Title match for disrespecting the Champion, to which Foley booked Owens to take on his longtime rival Sami Zayn later on. This brought in Jericho to defend his best friend and he ended up booked in a match with Rollins later too. It was then established that Steph supported Foley’s decision by the end and simply said “Have a nice day” to Jericho.
– The Bayley-WWE Champion Charlotte match was designed as a way for antagonistic Charlotte to rub it in her protege’s face of how to handle business, to the point that she wanted Brooke to observe and take notes on a clipboard at ringside. Not sure if they’re building to a turn by Brooke, but they’ve tried hard to make us feel sorry for Brooke every now and then. As fas as the match, something seemed a little off about it. Maybe there were some mistimed spots, but it took a while to get going. Luckily, the crowd was high on Bayley’s resilience and that fueled the match’s second half when she had a comeback. As we saw, it was Brooke’s botched interference that cost the Champ the match via the Bayley-To-Belly and Bayley had pinned the Champ in the ring.
– The Cruiserweight Division had more hype, as we saw Jack Gallagher, Gran Metalik and Akira Tozawa each highlighted in a video package. They were advertised to come in two weeks. We actually thought SmackDown Live could use these guys more, but they’ll help a ton with the marathon feeling these three-hour shows can sometimes bring.
– The backstage segment with Charlotte and Brooke was a predictable turnout, as the Champ took out her aggression of being humiliated on her protege with a harsh slap, after Brooke promised that she’d make it better. Also interesting that Charlotte referred to Bayley as the “Sesame Street kid.”
– In the midst of squash matches came a new one – Bo Dallas. He annihilated Kyle Roberts in a bout that seemed to portray him a bit more physically aggressive whilst still in his motivational speaker gimmick. There also might be some ounce of politics in there, as he carried a campaign sign and dropped it at ringside during the bout. Everything about this was fairly plain, even Dallas’ inverted neckbreaker finisher. We’ll have to see more from Dallas before we can truly gather a thought on it.
– The backstage segment with Jericho and Owens saw the best friends hype up the Rollins-Jericho match, as Jericho promised to make Rollins pay for what he did earlier in the night. Glad that they kept up this alliance, even as Owens has the big time gold.
– The Jericho-Rollins match was probably the best thing on the show, as far as in-ring competition. This was very much the back-and-forth bout we anticipated it to be and a little more. Definitely a good start to the face Rollins, as he kept up his aggressive demeanor and mixed it with a more babyface style in the ring. The two had plenty of time to sort things out and after a few nice teases, it was Rollins who fought out of the Walls Of Jericho and kicked out of the Lionsault before he hit the Pedigree to get the win.
– The Third Match of the Best-Of-Seven Series between Sheamus and Cesaro also continued, as Sheamus looked to build on his 2-0 lead. Cesaro also had the story of a bad back and a two-match deficit to work with. The match wasn’t as physical as the past ones, but pre-match promos from both men established a means to take the series in their respective favors. We also liked the idea that they were taking the series overseas and on house shows, as the fourth match was scheduled to take place in London two days later on. Cesaro kept a strong base, but Sheamus worked over his back extensively and hit many high-impact maneuvers before he laid in a Brogue Kick that out him down for the count and a 3-0 deficit. Things can turn on a dime, but we sort of wish they didn’t make it so melodramatic at the same time.
– The Enzo Amore/Big Cass-Shining Stars match seemed to be a squash match on paper for Enzo/Cass, as they did their pre-match promo bit related to “Labor Day” and featured Enzo giving a mock birth in the ring. SS remain with little credibility, which meant their surprise win actually got our interest for a split second. With the WWE World Tag Team Champions The New Day seemingly busy, this at least keeps these two teams with something to do.
– The backstage segment with Zayn and Owens was fine hype for their encounter that played on the real-life woes for Zayn’s character as he contrasted his directionless self with the Champion Owens when he beat him at Battleground and should’ve been on to bigger things. Their rivalry was highlighted again, as we seen Owens compare it to a race where the belts were the finish line. Zayn had the last line about Triple H giving Owens the belt upon a silver platter.
– The Nia Jax-Ann Esposito match took the Jax squash on a more “friendlier” level as we found out that Esposito was a friend of Alicia Fox. Once Jax took control early, Esposito battled back with numerous forearm strikes and a sleeper, but her offense stopped there and it was all Jax after, as she won with a sideway powerslam.
– Now for the most painful thing on the show – the in-ring segment with Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, The Old Day and ND together. We just don’t know why WWE doesn’t push Gallows/Anderson as the physical specimens they should be and only have them in comedic situations where they’re practically doomed to fail. To sum it up, Gallows/Anderson called ND old and had three guys come out and portray them as elderly folk, complete with slowed-down theme music and miniature trombones. The music bit was at least worth a chuckle, but we couldn’t wait for it to end. We had our hopes up when ND first emerged, but it became tiresome when the Champs began to interact with the “old guys” with questions if they were their true selves in the future. At the end of it all, Gallows/Anderson remained untouched and the “Old Day” was cleared out of the ring by the Champs. That accomplished absolutely nothing.
– The Darren Young-Jinder Mahal match advanced the feud between Young/Titus O’Neil in a way that didn’t really advance it at all. O’Neil complained on commentary that Young “was never great to begin with” and tried to distract Young to cost him the match, but it was to no avail, as Young hit the Gut Check to win it. The post-match development saw Young attack O’Neil from behind as O’Neil fell backwards to the floor several times. It almost looked like he threw himself on the floor for dramatic effect. It was apparent that O’Neil lost one of his shoes, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to care about it. Just get this match over and done with please.
– The backstage segment with Jax and Fox had our interest at the start due to how Fox stood up to Jax for hurting her friend while Jax remained remorseless before Fox went over-the-top with her words and gestures. That totally killed anything it could’ve been. The show was certainly in the dark zone at this point.
– The Braun Strowman-Sin Cara match was the latest installment of the Strowman squash. Well, sort of. We liked the connection of the match happening due to Strowman unmasking the luchador last week and how it offended Sin Cara, who wanted to defend the Mexican heritage. It was nice to see some logic.It was still a Strowman squash, but not to the level of bouts past, as Sin Cara put up a fight but ultimately lost by countout when Strowman dragged him out of the ring and dropped him to the floor. The assault continued after the bell as he laid out Sin Cara with a clothesline from behind.
– The in-ring segment with Sasha Banks and Brooke was emotionally investable, as Banks had hyped “bad news” all episode long and it sounded like a retirement speech when she first spoke, but we loved the efforts to make her more relatable and likable. The fact that she mentioned saving up money when she was younger to buy tickets to WWE shows sold her as a passionate person for the business. Her talk of the women’s revolution was also good and transitioned into how Charlotte injured her back at SummerSlam. It ultimately led to the altercation with Brooke, who tried to redeem herself at Bank’s expense. As we saw, that didn’t quite work out and it led to the “swerve” that the “bad news” was for Charlotte because Banks revealed that she’d be back at Clash Of Champions. We wonder where that leaves Bayley though.
– The Zayn-Owens main event was pretty good like we expected, though not on par with past efforts. Many high-impact moves and suicide dives from Zayn, before his ankle injury from a couple weeks back began to return midway through the match. It eventually gave Zayn an out to lose, as Owens hit a powerbomb to get the win. While we never expected Zayn to go over, it didn’t feel like he lost anything here since he hadn’t gained much beforehand. The post-match angle with Roman Reigns, Jericho and Foley built things up for next week, as we saw Reigns come out to confront Owens (to many boos) and that drew out Jericho to have Owens’ back. As for the Reigns-Owens match Foley booked for next week, we like the idea since it gives Reigns a chance to come back from also being screwed by Triple H to potentially get in on the Rollins-Owens Clash of Champions Title match and also an opportunity for WWE United States Champion Rusev to intervene and really get under Reigns’ skin by costing him the WWE Universal Championship.
- Bayley def. Charlotte (w/Dana Brooke) via pinfall
- Bo Dallas def. Kyle Roberts via pinfall
- Seth Rollins def. Chris Jericho via pinfall
- Best-Of-Seven Series – Match 3 – Sheamus Leads 2-0 – Sheamus def. Cesaro via pinfall to take a 3-0 Series lead
- The Shining Stars def. Enzo Amore/Big Cass via pinfall
- Nia Jax def. Ann Esposito via pinfall
- Darren Young (w/Bob Backlund) def. Jinder Mahal via pinfall
- Braun Strowman def. Sin Cara via countout
- Kevin Owens def. Sami Zayn via pinfall
About Nicholas Jason LopezJust a 28-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, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.
Posted on October 18, 2016, in WWE and tagged Akira Tozawa, Alicia Fox, Ann Esposito, Bayley, Big Cass, Bo Dallas, Braun Strowman, Cesaro, Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Clash Of Champions, Cruiserweights, Dana Brooke, Darren Young, Enzo Amore, Gran Metalik, Jack Gallagher, Jinder Mahal, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Kyle Roberts, Luke Gallows, Mick Foley, Nia Jax, Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, Sasha Banks, Seth Rollins, Sheamus, Sin Cara, Stephanie McMahon, The New Day, The Old Day, The Shining Stars, Titus O'Neil. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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