Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 9/12/16: Getting Crazy

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.






(Aired 9/12/16)

Getting Crazy 

– The opening video covered Raw’s side of the WWE spectrum, with Clash Of Champions a mere two weeks away. It was time to shape the foundation for the WWE Universal Championship match for the show and as it stood headed in, it was WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens against Seth Rollins. The main event of this show would have implications, as Owens would square off against Roman Reigns, who was also screwed over by Triple H the night Owens won. The gist was that if Reigns could beat Owens, then the COC match would become a triple-threat.

– The opening in-ring segment with Raw General Manager Mick Foley, WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Dana Brooke and Bayley was a good way to spotlight the Women’s Division around the Sasha-Charlotte feud, yet also entangle the newly debuted Bayley and Brooke (whom Charlotte had been on-and-off with as a protege) into the fiasco. Charlotte continues to turn in inspired mic work, while her mistreatment of Brooke also went on, as she demanded an apology from her. Banks was all “Boss” mode without being too pompous, as she directed her hate towards Charlotte, highlighted when she threw her jacket right at Charlotte’s face. Ouch. We also liked that Bayley wasn’t too confident in the way she asked to be included in the Title picture from how she defeated Charlotte last week. This set things up for Foley to have Bayley and Banks square off for the right to face Charlotte at COC for the WWE Women’s Championship. One last bonus came when Brooke finally had enough of Charlotte and slapped her across the face, which apparently was enough for Foley to add her into the match as well. We can see why she was actually added in, to be the “fall girl” and not give us a Bayley-Banks one-on-one rematch so soon.

– The Triple-Threat match between Banks, Bayley and Brooke to decide who’d fight Charlotte at COC with Charlotte on commentary didn’t flourish out of the gate, but kept on a mid-tempo speed and brought everybody into it by the time they brought it home. Main highlights here were Brooke actually showing some fight (Michael Cole helped highlight this on commentary), while Bayley and Banks each broke up each other’s pinfall attempts before it was Banks who got the pin on Bayley by way of a bridge. In result, the Banks-Charlotte bout stays intact, Bayley stepped back a bit to help her character go back to an “underdog” of sorts and Brooke also looked good in the process.

– We were a bit let down to see Brooke revert right back to Charlotte’s lackey in the backstage segment that involved them afterwards, as Charlotte commanded her to get her bags when she tried to apologize.

– Apparently on top of being enthusiastic about their home country of Puerto Rico, The Shining Stars were now timeshare salesmen for “The Shining Star Resort” as we saw them hold actual brochures and sell an undisclosed “one time only” price to R-Truth backstage before Goldust pulled him away. SS then encountered Enzo Amore/Big Cass, whom they upset in action last week. Another chance for Enzo to exclaim, “A cup’a haters…” and we seemed to have a bout set up for later between him and Epico. Fun.

– The backstage segment with Owens and Chris Jericho in separate interviews kept up the hype for the Reigns-Owens main event, as Owens trolled the interviewer for getting him to try to say “controversial” things to which he did and “took back” and promised that Reigns wouldn’t win. We then saw Owens’ “best friend” Jericho angry at Foley that Owens was taken off as his guest for the “Highlight Reel” and announced that Owens’ former best friend Sami Zayn would be his replacement. Jericho’s comedic timing as a heel is immaculate. It’s hard not to crack up whenever he gets on the mic. He has almost reinvented himself with his 2016 persona and new catchphrases.

– The Bo Dallas-Brandon Scott match was another Dallas squash. We’re not too sure about this new role for Dallas, who is part mock-inspirational and part aggressive. Cole called it a “renewed aggression,” but can a guy be taken seriously when he carries around a huge campaign sign at ringside? Also found it interesting that Scott sported wristbands that bore the letter “X” on them. Was that an indirect shot at CM Punk? Oh, so subtle.

– The “Highlight Reel” in-ring segment with Jericho and Zayn was as good as we hoped. Strong mic work on the foundation of a feud between Owens’ former best friend and current best friend. Jericho laid on the comedy as he literally put his ear to the canvas when he described Zayn as the “lowest of the low” and bragged about having Owens’ new phone number. Zayn made valid points when he claimed Owens only cared about himself and Championships and was a stupid idiot if he really thought they had a friendship. He added a strong insult where he called Jericho a deep influence on his career and now became “Owens’ bitch.” Jericho got the upper hand as he smugly bashed his phone into Zayn’s face and hit him with the Codebreaker. We assumed this was a way to set up a COC match between the two and that was only confirmed when it was announced later in the show.

– The Fifth Match of the Best-Of-Seven Series between Sheamus and Cesaro where Sheamus held a 3-1 Series lead headed in was a predictable way for Cesaro to stay alive in the series amidst another competitive contest between the two. They painted the “must-win” scenario for Cesaro, while we were shown a pre-match promo from Sheamus as he boldly claimed that they key to domination was consistency and he only needed one more win. Sheamus worked over Cesaro’s injured back and shoulders and tried to deliberately pull his tights for a pin to no avail. It was Cesaro who won when he used the ropes for leverage on a pinfall. Granted, Sheamus did use the tights before that, but we were a bit confused in the way that commentary actually commended Cesaro for “doing what he has to do.” We guess it’s okay for babyfaces to cheat nowadays with no consequences. Maybe that’s the message they want to send.

– The backstage segment with Foley and Rollins made sense from the perspective that Rollins hadn’t fully become a “good guy” yet and still had conflicts with Reigns that stemmed from his past upon his current quarrel with Owens. Also liked how he continued to push Foley’s buttons until Foley reached his breaking point and demanded he not question his integrity. Rollins had some harsh words for Foley at the end there, but perhaps he was trying to make him “see the light” about Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon, while Foley stayed in support of his co-authority figure.

– The Alicia Fox-Nia Jax match served as more of an angle than a match, but we liked the continuity factor in that it stemmed from an altercation the two had backstage last week after Jax defeated Fox’s friend, though we try to forget the overtly dramatic Fox there. Jax had a pre-match promo where she felt Fox stood no chance against her. Surprisingly enough, she went out there and entertainingly destroyed her. The way she savagely swung Fox around from barricade to barricade was brutal and culminated in a spot where she speared Fox through the timekeeper’s barricade. The crowd responded positively to that with actual “Holy shit!” chants. Who would’ve thought? Anyways, interested to see where it leads, maybe a Fox-Jax COC match with some form of a stipulation.

– We’re still trying our best to forget the ill-fated “Old Day” segment, but maybe it’s better sometimes to let a dead horse rest in peace than beat it over and over. We didn’t think it was necessary for WWE World Tag Team Champions The New Day to refer to the segment repeatedly and even mention the length of time that it lasted. They promised it wouldn’t happen again as long as they were the Champs, yet it happened during their reign. Oh, twisted logic there. Anyways, Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson came out in their usual jackets (not the doctor ones) and went straight back to their old routine – calling out ND on their pandering and promised to beat them up at COC and take their Titles. This was apparently a way to also set up a SummerSlam rematch. More on that below.

– The Anderson/Gallows-Kofi Kingston/Xavier Woods match started out slow, but recovered enough by the finish to drive the point home that Gallows/Anderson were back to doing what they should’ve been this whole time. Domination. Woods pulled off some nice aerial high-impact moves, namely the high-flying elbow across the ring, but even he was no match for the Magic Killer. Now, just imagine how good this feud could’ve been if they hadn’t previously resorted to testicles, jars, doctors coats, old people, farts and ring posts.

– Because we needed a Reigns backstage promo, he reminded us that his head was only invested in getting to COC and winning the Universal Title. His vow to kick Owens’ ass was met with the same boos that came when he was first shown on the screen.

– Speaking of confusing pushes, it made us a double take with the idea of the Jinder Mahal-Jack Swagger feud. You see, Mahal comes from a foreign country with a darker skin tone, believes in peace after he let all the hate go and is treated like a heel. This was only because Swagger’s patriotic entrance followed his promo. Go America? It’s not even like you could argue that Mahal was preachy, because he wasn’t. We almost thought it was a lead-up for a Swagger squash, but it went the other way around to our surprise. We’ll have to hold off our thoughts on “The Man That Comes In Peace” until he faces a different opponent.

– Swagger’s backstage segment gave us the news that his contract would soon expire and he appeared offended by the fact that it was brought up, but we’ll have to see where that goes too.

– The Epico-Enzo match featured pre-match antics from Team SAWFT before The Shining Stars came out and handed their brochures out to the fans upon their entrance. A short bout that served the purpose of the heels getting one over on Enzo/Cass for the second straight week, as Primo held down Enzo’s foot from outside so he couldn’t kick out of the pin. We’ll guess that this leads to a COC match with possible Tag Title implications.

– The backstage segment with Rollins, Owens and Foley was another nice promo clash between Owens and Rollins. Rollins drove the point that Triple H was a coward and he rooted for Owens to beat Reigns so he could get him alone at COC and “tear Triple H’s golden boy to pieces.” Owens got the last word with a rant about how Rollins always had help throughout his career while his associates did the work and was a failure since his return, which enraged him again. Foley came onto the scene to remind Owens he had a match and warned Rollins not to get involved in the main event.

– The Reigns-Owens main event to determine the status of the WWE Universal Championship at COC had the benefit of plenty of time, but the first portion of the bout nearly bored us out with its reliance on rest holds and the like. The two worked great together upon similar styles, but we felt nothing was newsworthy until Rollins came out and attacked Owens on the ramp to originally cause a DQ that’d keep Reigns out of the COC match. Expectedly, Foley came out and screamed at Rollins that they’d need to “have a talk” and we’d have to wait for next week to see a follow-up on that. He then restarted the match to which then became better on the drama side of things. Owens hit key moves like an elevated fisherman buster and a frog splash for good near-falls, while Reigns threw out everything from his arsenal like the Superman Punch and Owens kicked out of it all. Things truly felt like a stalemate and we dreaded the moment where Reigns would win this until WWE United States Champion Rusev came out and distracted Reigns on the ramp, which led to the Pop-Up Powerbomb that won Owens the match to a big pop. That made sense given that this would continue the Rusev-Reigns feud and keep Rollins-Owens as originally planned. The post-match angle where Rusev injured Reigns further with the head kick and the Accolade was a good way to end the show. We were a bit baffled that Foley was refusing to accept Rollins interfering, yet Rusev coming down was perfectly okay.






Quick Results

  • Winner Gets WWE Women’s Championship Title Shot At Clash Of Champions – Triple-Threat – Sasha Banks def. Bayley and Dana Brooke via pinfall 
  • Bo Dallas def. Brandon Scott via pinfall 
  • Best-Of-Seven Series – Sheamus Leads 3-1 – Match 5 – Cesaro def. Sheamus via pinfall; Sheamus Leads Series 3-2
  • Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson def. Kofi Kingston/Xavier Woods (w/Big E) via pinfall 
  • Jinder Mahal def. Jack Swagger via pinfall 
  • Epico (w/Primo) def. Enzo Amore (w/Big Cass) via pinfall 
  • If Roman Reigns Wins, He Gets Added To The WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match At Clash Of Champions – Kevin Owens def. Roman Reigns 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 October 30, 2016, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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