Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 9/26/16: A Feel-Weird Story
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.
A Feel-Weird Story
– The night after Raw’s first brand-exclusive Pay-Per-View Clash Of Champions and you’d think they’d start the show with a cool, still-shot frenzied video package of how great it was? Of course not. Guess even they didn’t want to revisit that. Anyways, things went straight to business with the WWE United States Championship match between Champion Roman Reigns and Rusev. Rematch, because why not? Commentator Michael Cole said so. He also mentioned another belt would be on the line before the show was up. In fact, Rusev already waited in the ring while Reigns’ entrance was televised. Luckily for Reigns, he had a mixed reaction but more cheers than jeers. Kudos for both men as far as their mat-based approach for the ring work, but this severely lacked the energy even their mediocre COC match had. This was slow and boring for almost most of it, though they had their competitive moments to hold our interests. The near-falls weren’t too shabby and we get why they’d brawl into the crowd, but why on Earth end this in a double countout after 25 long minutes? That only makes their plan to extend this to Hell In A Cell on Oct. 30 all the more obvious. The post-match angle with the chair helped enhance the “brawl” vibe, but it would’ve been better had Rusev gotten the better of Reigns and not the other way around.
– While we’re on the subject of important matches without finishes, the in-ring segment with Raw General Manager Mick Foley, Sheamus and Cesaro addressed the end of their Best-Of-Seven Series as the two tore the house down. They went the predictable route as Foley praised them both for their work and suggested a scenario where both guys would get a “Championship Opportunity” and that was as a tag team. This was expectedly much to their despise. Seems like they’ll be given the Team Hell No treatment with bitter enemies forced to team up. It’ll be funny if they bring in Dr. Shelby. Foley gave them the chance to take the opportunity, dependent on who won the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship match that followed this. Cesaro/Sheamus seemed to turn it down as WWE Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day came out and danced about, as they crossed paths with Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson on the ramp.
– The WWE Raw Tag Team Championship match between Champions Big E/Kofi Kingston and Gallows/Anderson happened because of the fluky way that ND retained the night before when Xavier Woods used the trombone outside. We did like how they took two of COC’s lame match finishes and put them together. Gallows/Anderson continued to physically dominate the scene, as they dished out vicious kicks galore. Kingston took a wicked sell of a clothesline by Gallows on the floor as he fell on his head. Was a good match with some more highlights like the way Big E collided into the steel post. The way it wound down, this actually felt like the first time Gallows/Anderson had a legit chance to become the new Champs, especially with Cesaro/Sheamus in the wings most likely. A few excellent teases for the heels, but eventually, it was Kingston who recovered and pinned Anderson, crimson mask and all. A cool image that was quickly erased with a cloth as ND’s reign would only continue. Plus, Gallows/Anderson looked great again, we think can finally begin to take them seriously. We also wondered where Sheamus/Cesaro fell in the equation.
– We discovered via footage from WWE.com from the previous night as Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon was approached for an interview after the COC main event and congratulated WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens on his win, as she didn’t address the way he retained. More suspiciously, she met Triple H who picked her up and she mentioned that “it went great.” Well, that’s not obvious.
– The backstage segment with Foley, Cesaro and Sheamus followed up on their in-ring segment as the both begged Foley to change his mind and give them separate opportunities. Foley’s speech on how him and other legends were impressed with them both and he couldn’t risk losing either one of them in an eighth match. This set up a match for later as Foley begged them to give a tag team run a try. Sheamus looked so apprehensive, but at least there was some storyline direction with Cesaro/Sheamus now.
– The Bayley-Anna Fields match was a step in the right direction for Bayley’s underdog character, as she begins to “build up” for whatever challenge might come upon her. The Raw Women’s Division roster is a bit depleted besides for her, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, Alicia Fox and WWE Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte. On the plus side too, Fields actually didn’t look so bad in the ring. Kind of reminded us of Sara Del Rey a bit, as she was mostly no-nonsense and even mimicked SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan’s “I have until five” catchphrase. Basic underdog-styled squash win as Bayley battled back to hit the Bayley-To-Belly. Her post-match promo gave some good perspective, as she praised Banks/Charlotte but stressed they hadn’t seen the last of her. Now is the time to build her up separately.
– The backstage segment with Steph and Foley was the moment we waited for – Steph’s unabashed emasculation of the Raw GM when he grilled her for how the previous night’s main event ended, as he didn’t see it because he tended to Cesaro backstage and brought up how suspicious it made her look. Her answer was downright toasty, as she mentioned Triple H wasn’t able to watch the show because he was in the air and picked her up. The real stuff came when she reprimanded him for not thinking like a businessman, because medical trainers were hired to look after talent. The thing about it was that she wasn’t wrong either, but again, we waited for this. This also hyped the later segment in the show as she instructed Foley not to let Seth Rollins (not medically cleared to compete because of a legit rib injury) assault Owens/Chris Jericho when they’d appear on the “Highlight Reel.”
– The Cedric Alexander/Rich Swann-Lince Dorado/Drew Gulak match was a “Cruiserweight-Exclusive” so of course that meant purple mood light and ropes. The good thing was that Officials must’ve liked Swann/Alexander last week since they put them together this week, as they even got a pre-taped promo where we saw their personality differences. Alexander was more reserved and cautious for his opponents, while Swann wanted to dance. On the other side, this was both Gulak’s and Dorado’s Raw debuts as they got their own hype videos. Gulak was a rough-and-tough Philly submission threat, while Dorado was the “Golden Lynx” and hybrid luchador. A Gulak/Dorado team was an odd pairing, but we forgot about all that once the bell rang. True, this was a glorified spot-fest with more focus on the actions than the competitors, but the crowd was highly responsive and some of those kicks even had us cringe. Dorado had a nice moment where he hit a moonsault off the top rope and to the floor, a la Charlotte at WrestleMania. There was a nice pop for Alexander’s hot tag and he hit the Lumbar Check on Dorado that nearly landed him on his head. That set up Swann to pin Gulak with the Rich Kick, a quite stiff one mixed with a bridge pin.
– The Cesaro/Sheamus-Nick Cutler/Willis Williams match was the expected intro of the hesitant Cesaro/Sheamus team. They each tried to upstage one another right from their entrances. Pretty funny to watch. Sheamus left the apron briefly and then slapped Cesaro hard for a tag. The finish also included two Sheamus Brogue Kicks for each opponent, as Cesaro claimed to have them done before he hit it. Yup, they won, but it was clear this was chapter one of a long story to go. It has got our interest though.
– WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins finally got his spotlight on TV, as we saw a hype video air for him that showed his transition from a homeless hopeful to a flashy Champion, dabs galore. This led to a backstage segment with Perkins and Brian Kendrick, with a great promo exchange. Perkins put over that he was living his dream, to which a crazed Kendrick warned him to enjoy it while it lasted, because his dream was also the belt. Consequently, this set up a rematch for next week for the Title in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.
– The in-ring segment with Charlotte, Dana Brooke and Banks progressed the Banks-Charlotte feud in a way that also led to another big match for next week’s show. Charlotte has been on fire as the heel Champion and she put over herself as the “Queen Of The WWE” that wasn’t a hugger or internet darling. Banks’ portion mentioned that Charlotte didn’t pin her and she was still owed her one-on-one rematch. Charlotte got big heat when she accepted and moved it to the next week. Also got a kick out of how Charlotte called her “Sasha Wanks.” Banks showed some nice aggression as she responded back to Charlotte. Eventually, it broke down to bedlam as Banks slapped Charlotte and the Bank Statement on Brooke and cleared the heels from the ring. Crazy how stacked next week already sounds. Thankfully, they also seemed to quietly stop gaining sympathy for Brooke as Charlotte didn’t yell at her this week.
– The backstage segment with Rollins and Foley was a follow-up to what we saw earlier with Steph/Foley, as the GM tried to stop Rollins from heading out to the ring. Rollins has settled into an anti-hero role, as he wore a dark black hoodie and an angry demeanor. He also saw right through Foley’s attempts to stop him, as he said he saw Foley’s lips move, but only heard Steph’s words. Nice. It’s like we want to see Rollins get his revenge but then we also like Foley too. Oh, the conflicts.
– The Perkins-Nese match was good, as it was a “warm-up” for Perkins to build him up for the rematch against Kendrick next week while we also saw Nese impress in his Raw debut. Nese’s biggest asset is his versatility, as he flew around and hit some big power moves. Unfortunately, through all that, the crowd didn’t seem to be into it, as they chanted for CM Punk and Randy Savage. We think the latter was chanted because of Nese’s resemblance to the late Savage. Anyways, we knew Nese wouldn’t win this, as it wouldn’t make sense to have Perkins lose.
– The “Highlight Reel” segment with Jericho, Owens, Enzo Amore and Big Cass was a bit low-key, but since Raw had competed in the ratings against the first Presidential Debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton which scored 84 million viewers, it wasn’t the worst thing to throw out there. Also addressed was a response by actors Danny Masterson/Ashton Kutcher when Jericho insulted them last week. They’d also be on next week’s show in LA. Now we got celebrity guests. Nice. Anyways, Jericho was priceless as he added more people to “The List Of Jericho” like the cameraman. Owens came out casually dressed as he smartly used it to diss the Cincinnati crowd that they weren’t “worth” his suit. He also brought up Rollins’ injury and blamed it on karma, as he had injured Finn Balor, John Cena and Sting during his reign. Liked how Owens took credit for the Rollins injury, before Rollins came out down the ramp, but was restrained by numerous officials and Foley. In the end, Rollins didn’t get his hands on Owens/Jericho, as they taunted him from the ring. To save it, this brought out Enzo/Cass, who did their schtick with custom leopard-print microphones. Fancy. The most memorable part of that was the exchange between Jericho/Cass, as Jericho denied that he said he’d sit on Cass’ lap like Santa. As you’d expect, this set up an easy tag main event.
– The Enzo/Cass-Jeri-KO main event entertained while it lasted. Owens/Jericho did a tremendous job as they heeled it up big time. Enzo sold like a crazed man as he sought the hot tag from Cass. It came and went, as Enzo was tagged back in and simply overpowered by Owens. We had expected a Rollins run-in or distraction to help Enzo/Cass beat the Champ and his best friend, but they opted for the clean heel pin route. Not a bad thing, since it kept Owens strong and also spread out the Rollins-Owens feud. Another big plus was that next week’s show already had a celebrity guest advertised and two big Title matches.
- WWE United States Championship – Roman Reigns (Champion) and Rusev (w/Lana) to a double countout; Reigns retains
- WWE Raw Tag Team Championship – Big E/Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) (Champions) def. Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows via pinfall to retain
- Bayley def. Anna Fields via pinfall
- Rich Swann/Cedric Alexander def. Drew Gulak/Lince Dorado via pinfall
- Cesaro/Sheamus def. Nick Cutler/Willis Williams via pinfall
- TJ Perkins def. Tony Nese via submission
- Kevin Owens/Chris Jericho def. Enzo Amore/Big Cass via pinfall
Posted on November 23, 2016, in WWE and tagged Anna Fields, Bayley, Big Cass, Big E, Brian Kendrick, Byron Saxton, Cedric Alexander, Cesaro, Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Clash Of Champions, Corey Graves, Dana Brooke, Drew Gulak, Enzo Amore, Hell In A Cell, Jeri-KO, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Kofi Kingston, Lana, Lince Dorado, Luke Gallows, Michael Cole, Mick Foley, Nick Cutler, Raw, Rich Swann, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Sasha Banks, Seth Rollins, Sheamus, Stephanie McMahon, TJ Perkins, Tom Phillips, Tony Nese, Triple H, Willis Williams, Xavier Woods. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.