Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 10/3/16: It’s Boss Time
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.
It’s Boss Time
– With Raw from the Staples Center this week, we started with the same ensemble that last week’s did – WWE United States Champion Roman Reigns, Rusev and Lana. They let Reigns come out to a lukewarm yet still mixed reaction. He spoke about family until he was interrupted by Lana, as we figured out she was here to challenge him for Rusev to the rematch. Reigns tried to be edgy as he said “Bulgarian balls” and more cowardice jokes. Lana told him to go to hell. Eventually, we assumed Rusev was so offended that he came out to do battle. We got some light physicality that seemed to end with Rusev on top, until he was upstaged with a Superman Punch on the ramp. We ended with the “blockbuster” announcement that Reigns accepted the rematch, but that he’d “take them to hell with him,” because it’d be inside… Hell In A Cell. Yup, the next Pay-Per-View now has a marquee match. Didn’t see that coming. At least they didn’t go 20+ minutes this time for no reason. We suppose the feud’s personal enough to warrant HIAC, but dammit, give Rusev some momentum. It has been too one-sided.
– The WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins-Brian Kendrick match had some thought put into it. First, it was hyped from last week and even got its own video package to help sell the storyline. Basically, Perkins is your “homeless to successful” story against Kendrick, the crude veteran who felt the Cruiserweight Division was resurrected solely for him. Given what these two can do in the ring and the easy face-heel alignment, there were many reasons why this was good. It was just the matter of getting both guys over to the casual viewers. We liked that the bout began with a Kendrick handshake offer this time, as it tied back to his previous refusal to do so. Perkins flew around the ropes effortlessly for a nice reaction. The way he goes about, you’d think WWE has positioned him to be the Rey Mysterio of the new generation. Kendrick showed us something unique when he began to work over the Champ’s hand in the mechanism that goes in between the ring post and turnbuckle and applied pressure with his knee. Kendrick got a near-fall with the Sliced Bread Number Two (why is that just like any other move now?) and applied the Captain’s Hook, though Perkins countered with a pin for a near-fall. Kendrick showed some of that heel finesse, as he raked Perkins’ eyes and put the Captain’s Hook on again to make him tap out. We can see why they did that, since it automatically puts Kendrick right back in Title contention. We’ll guess that Perkins gets his win back at HIAC and keeps the belt? Anyways, it was also good for the Champ to show some vulnerability.
– The Sit-Down “Exclusive” Interview segment with Commentator Michael Cole and Seth Rollins was another decent step towards marking Rollins in babyface territory, but didn’t progress things the way we thought they would. Rollins does excel in this kind of environment, so it did make us want to see it when it was first hyped. While he did a nice job to get WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens over as somebody who did half the work and got all the credit and mentioned how he previously alienated everybody in his fanbase, we weren’t crazy about his claims that Owens was “handed the belt” by Triple H. If you remember, Rollins was happy to accept Triple H’s help until he was betrayed. None of what he said here made it sound anything unlike what he mentioned before. He should’ve said something along the lines of, “I was once like how Owens is. I would’ve taken all the credit with half the work, but after what Triple H did to me in that moment, it opened my eyes.” Bam, simple as that. They need to correct that loophole as soon as possible for him to get over more as a babyface. We liked that he showed some fire towards the end as he promised to “cancel the Kevin Owens Show.” He’ll succeed even more as an anti-hero hell-raiser.
– The Braun Strowman-Chase Silver match was yet another Strowman squash with the same format, as Silver was interviewed by Commentator Byron Saxton before the match. Silver spoke of “a dream” he had where he beat the beast, but it was exactly that. We’ve seen it all before. We finally got some progression after the bell when Strowman demanded better competition from Raw General Manager Mick Foley by next week “or there’d be no next week.” Think he’ll jump ship and reunite with the Wyatts? We’re eager to see who he gets next week.
– The backstage segment with Sasha Banks and Bayley was nice hype for the big main event WWE Raw Women’s Championship match where Banks had her shot against Champion Charlotte. This segment further established Banks and Bayley as allies, as Bayley expressed her excitement for the women to finally be in the main event. Banks also said it was exciting, but this was about more than that for her since it was her chance to take back what she fought so hard for. Also liked how she addressed the pro-Charlotte Forbes article and how if she always listened to the critics, she would’t even be there. Good line to end it when Banks said she wasn’t born into the business, but to be a Champion.
– The in-ring segment with Owens, Chris Jericho and WWE Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day was entertaining as hell. We started out with a suit-clad Owens and Jericho, as he addressed Rollins’ earlier comments. He ridiculed Rollins for not healing up his rib injury and took credit for it. He also brought up Rollins’ claims that the Referee delay screwed him over and he suggested that Jericho Referee their rematch. Jericho instead had his own agenda and brought up the idea that they challenge ND for the Tag Titles to get more gold and control the brand. Owens’ excuses of why that wasn’t good was funny since it meant more work for him. Once Jericho teased an idea of a challenge for his own belt, the fans popped big. Owens immediately thought the Tag belts was good. Funny. We then had a hot exchange between Woods and Owens and it was all about “friendship.” We even had more List Of Jericho shenanigans when Jericho added Woods twice to it, as he acted like a gun was being held to his head. Woods got one over on Owens with a fat joke. Eventually, Woods accepted the request for a Non-Title match.
– Sheamus/Cesaro continue to be Team Hell No minus the “Goat Face” jokes and funny catchphrases. They bickered in the parking lot about why they were late. Cesaro tossed Sheamus’ luggage from out of the trunk and Sheamus threatened to go to Foley. More of what we expected, but we knew in the long run, it’ll make a good storyline.
– We were initially scared of what “The Titus Brand” could possibly stand for when we seen the Sami Zayn-Titus O’Neil match. O’Neil bragged about his brand “taking over everything from clothing to music.” He didn’t go into detail about what it was, but we had fears that Zayn would be squashed for this stupid storyline. Fortunately, it went the other way around as O’Neil’s mission to “#MakeItAWin” turned sour with the turn of a Helluva Kick. Guess Zayn is back in the “go” area of a push. Dear god, don’t let O’Neil get the win back next week. Hopefully, the Titus Brand goes over more than Mex-America did.
– The backstage segment with Cesaro, Sheamus and Foley sort of echoed last week as Foley desperately pleaded with the unhappy team to give it a chance and prove him right that they were a force. He also brought up getting yelled at by Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and the Strowman ultimatum to explain how much was on his plate.
– It is like Creative grew a brain of what to do with Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson from Clash Of Champions forward. Sure, having the two heels who previously donned doctor jackets, jars and testicular jokes now claim “the fun and games were over” was contradictory, but we applaud the idea to finally push them this way. Should’ve been like that from the start. The match between them and The Golden Truth was mostly a squash, as they put down R-Truth with the Magic Killer after Goldust was kicked off the apron by Gallows. The post-match angle furthered the heat when they hit Goldust with the Magic Killer when he tried to check on his partner. Of course, with ND as Champs, it remains to be seen how far they can go, but this was good to see. Gallows/Anderson could be over so much more.
– The backstage segment with Owens, Jericho, Danny Masterson and Ashton Kutcher followed up what we saw last week when the celebrity comedians were hyped to appear to dispute Jericho’s claim to be best friends with Owens. We saw the “That 70’s Show” duo grab Jericho’s list and read off things that Jericho denied. Owens showed some disinterest and simply told Kutcher/Masterson that the show would’ve been better with him/Jericho. Jericho’s over-the-topness made us laugh when Kutcher/Masterson busted out the “Quiet” routine on him. We also learned that Kutcher/Masterson would be on commentary for the tag match.
– Of course, you’d think it’s a waste when Enzo Amore/Big Cass are in the PR segment of the show, but we’ll let it slide since this was all about the pink ribbon and beating breast cancer. They got the pops and even Enzo had some fun when the “unveiling” of the replica Women’s belts didn’t go as planned. That’s enough of that now.
– The Jeri-KO-Woods/Big E match with Kutcher/Masterson on commentary was entertaining as far as the ring work, as Owens referenced Woods’ earlier jab and taunted him in the ring with it for big laughs. Kutcher/Masterson were a bit much on commentary as they mainly used the time to plug “The Ranch” and occasionally insulted Jericho. We did like how Rollins came down to get involved when Jericho had the Lion Tamer applied, in the same style that Jericho got involved with his COC match. Before that, he stood on the ramp to distract Owens. With Rollins’ presence, we knew ND were going over. It all played out nicely, as Jericho was pinned with the Midnight Hour. Also liked how Owens jetted out of there and let his “best friend” suffer the Pedigree from Rollins in the ring. It furthered the Rollins-Owens feud and also gave something for Jericho to latch on to, perhaps in a last-ditch effort to have him and Owens feud for the Title too.
– The backstage segment with Dana Brooke and Charlotte also furthered the main event hype as Charlotte mocked the idea that she had butterflies and criticized Banks for being on a “social media pedestal” by fans and claimed she herself was the only reason Banks got to be in the main event. Charlotte’s on fire.
– The backstage segment with Steph and Rollins was a good follow-up in their own little war of words and what we saw earlier. Steph tried to break him down as she let him know that he was truly alone for the first time in his career with no Shield or Authority to back him up. Rollins laid in some insults as he said she couldn’t tell him how things were run anymore and that Triple H made some bad decisions, the first marrying her and then turning on him. Ouch. He again threatened to burn Raw to the ground and take Owens/Jericho with him. Lots of people going to hell on this show if you follow Reigns/Rollins. Steph’s smirk to end it couldn’t have lasted any longer. Geez.
– The Rich Swann-Tony Nese match was another case of the Cruiserweight Division getting a spot in the third hour but to little reaction, even with the charismatic Swann out there. This was a good clash since we also got to see Nese cut a pre-taped promo where he put over being the “Premier Athlete.” Nese did move around in the ring quite nicely to some good pops. He also mocked Swann’s dancing to some heat. A good match that ended when Nese hit a pumphandle Michinoku driver, but again, a lack of true reaction. You’d think someone like Vince McMahon sees Nese as something more than a Cruiserweight. Maybe this win was indication of that. It doesn’t hurt to build up another heel so that TJP has more competition.
– We’re scared of what “The Transformation Of Emma To Emmalina” will look like. We’ll cross our fingers though. Why change something if it already works?
– The Cesaro/Sheamus-Raul White/Mark Carradine match was another squash for the new team in training as they tried to upstage each other from the curtains to the final bell. The twist here was that Cesaro leaped on Sheamus’ back for a fancy spot before he hit a Brogue Kick to end it. They posed again on opposite sides for desired reactions. This will obviously be a work in progress. We’ll see where the team is at by HIAC before we can truly judge the storyline.
– The backstage segment with Charlotte, Brooke and Bayley was great, since we got to see Bayley defend herself after the heel duo mocked her for being “too kiddy.” Brooke tried to pepper on some more insults but quickly ended up on the floor after she pushed Bayley against the wall. We’ll guess that Bayley feuds with Brooke as a “side mission”?
– The WWE Raw Women’s Championship main event between Banks and Champion Charlotte was treated every bit like the marquee it was intended to be. After the two tore the house down on an earlier Raw episode, we were excited to see what they could bring in the final slot. We even loved that they showed an in-depth video package that fully explained the rivalry back from NXT when they were the BFFs. This had a Pay-Per-View quality presentation and we loved every second of it. Early on, Banks hit a nice suicide dive where she landed as more of a cross body. Charlotte worked over Banks’ back afterwards and even dropped her head on the turnbuckle to mimic the SummerSlam botched spot. They went back and forth, before Banks hit the double knees from the top rope for a good near-fall. The match’s highlight by far was Charlotte’s corkscrew moonsault that made the crowd gasp. She hit Natural Selection for a great near-fall. The final minutes were golden with high drama, when Banks turned a huracanrana into the Bank Statement. Charlotte first countered it with a pin, similar to how their SummerSlam match ended, but Banks rolled back over with the submission and just like on Jul. 25, Charlotte tapped out again to make Banks the new Champion. How crazy is it that Banks has won the belt twice on Raw now? We also get that it was probably also done for the two to have another rematch at HIAC, maybe with a stipulation worked in. Either way, brilliant match. The two have that kind of chemistry you can’t replicate.
- Brian Kendrick def. TJ Perkins via submission
- Braun Strowman def. Chase Silver via pinfall
- Sami Zayn def. Titus O’Neil via pinfall
- Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson def. The Golden Truth via pinfall
- Big E/Xavier Woods (w/Kofi Kingston) def. Jeri-KO via pinfall
- Tony Nese def. Rich Swann via pinfall
- Cesaro/Sheamus def. Raul White/Mark Carradine via pinfall
- WWE Raw Women’s Championship – Sasha Banks def. Charlotte (Champion) via submission to regain Championship
Posted on November 27, 2016, in WWE and tagged Ashton Kutcher, Bayley, Big Cass, Braun Strowman, Brian Kendrick, Byron Saxton, Cesaro, Charlotte, Chase Silver, Chris Jericho, Clash Of Champions, Corey Graves, Dana Brooke, Danny Masterson, Emma, Emmalina, Enzo Amore, Hell In A Cell, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Lana, Luke Gallows, Mark Carradine, Michael Cole, Mick Foley, Raul White, Raw, Rich Swann, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Sami Zayn, Sasha Banks, Seth Rollins, Sheamus, Stephanie McMahon, The Golden Truth, The New Day, Titus O'Neil, TJ Perkins, Tony Nese. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.