Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 10/10/16: Reality “Seths” In
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.
Reality “Seths” In
– Raw came from the Bay Area this week and after Sasha Banks regained the WWE Raw Women’s Championship from Charlotte in Los Angeles last week, they were smart to follow up with Banks coming out first. She actually had a moment to establish an “inspirational” character as she spoke about how she watched WWE at a young age and looked up to Eddie Guerrero, Trish Stratus and Lita as role models. Now she stood as a lady who could main event the show and fly around the ring. That’s a hybrid if there ever was one. Anyways, the big news here was Banks’ proposal to give Charlotte her Hell In A Cell rematch in the infamous structure. Huge pop. We were interested to hear Charlotte’s response before she was interrupted by Rusev/Lana. Rusev looked a bit different with facial hair and not in a good way either. He showed more misogynistic tendencies as he snatched the mic from Charlotte and claimed nobody cared about the ladies. Charlotte snatched it back and accepted the HIAC challenge before Rusev grabbed it back and called her a “Black swan.” Banks grabbed it before Lana called them “lost women who needed to know their place.” In an odd twist, we saw Charlotte/Banks team up to clear the heels from the ring. WWE United States Champion Roman Reigns came out to boos as he approached the ring. Rusev went back in and again backed away from the Champ. We liked the female alliance despite their stance as enemies for the greater good. We’d guess a mixed tag of sorts, though it looked like it should be Banks/Charlotte against Rusev/Lana based off that.
– The Cesaro-Kofi Kingston match was a way to push WWE Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day’s next challenge at HIAC in the form of Cesaro/Sheamus. ND cut a pre-match promo as they put over the Bay Area for having good duos, as they name-dropped “The Splash Brothers” of The Golden State. Commentator Michael Cole mentioned it was Day 414 of ND’s reign, as they were on a steady approach of Demolition’s all-time record of 478 days. They also got over that Sheamus/Cesaro bickered all the time and weren’t a team like they were. The one-on-one match was a way to showcase more of the disagreement between Cesaro/Sheamus while also letting the ND antics take hold of everything. We actually found it a fun twist that Sheamus was on Facebook Live during the match, as it got over that he was disinterested in his partner’s match. Some cool ring action that winded down to a finish were Cesaro was set to deliver the Cesaro Swing but was distracted when Sheamus got into it at ringside with Xavier Woods, as he was then laid out by Big E. Kingston used it to quickly pin Cesaro and give the Champs some momentum. Decent enough to get us through the week.
– Bayley was here for her homecoming and was well-received by the crowd. Her opponent was Cami Fields, a jobber in some odd black and purple attire. Was she related to Anna Fields, who Bayley beat last time? Your general squash match to make the positive lady look good, as she ran through her usual spots, yet Fields also was able to look good too. Underdog stuff, as it soon led to the Bayley-To-Belly to win. Hopefully, Bayley stays on this slow, steady build. The post-match heel attack by Dana Brooke was actually well-done, as she ambushed her as she celebrated onstage. In the saddest sight you’d ever see, the wacky inflatable tube men then deflated and fell on Bayley. Obviously, this was Brooke’s receipt for what Bayley did last week.
– We normally don’t acknowledge blatant product placement segments, but the “Payday” plug between Chris Jericho and R-Truth almost wrote itself. We’ll leave it at that.
– We learned that Sin Cara would join the Cruiserweight division as he now teamed up with another luchador in Line Dorado. This was a “Cruiserweight” tag as Cara/Dorado took on the rough heel duo of Tony Nese/Drew Gulak. We liked this arrangement since Nese/Gulak could work that style, yet still be technical in the ring too. The crowd was responsive here to all the big spots. The action didn’t overstay its welcome, as Cara took out Nese on the outside with a suicide dive, which left Gulak prey for Dorado’s shooting star press finisher.
– Raw General Manager Mick Foley was in a custom-designed red flannel suit. Good god. Anyways, he was approached by Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon backstage as she suggested going out there with him, as he’d address HIAC and the big Banks-Charlotte proposal.
– The HIAC Address in-ring segment was off with a bang, as Steph played nice with everybody and wanted to “blow No Mercy away.” We wish Foley would’ve put over the dangers of the HIAC structure since the man himself was once tossed off the top of it, but he chalked it up as a reward for Banks-Charlotte because they deserved the accolade. A bit mixed about that, but we can’t deny the attraction of that bout to the show, as we also realized it would come from Banks’ hometown in Boston. Foley also added that Seth Rollins would get his WWE Universal Championship rematch against Champion Kevin Owens in the same structure. That made three HIACs in the namesake event. Is that overkill? Not so sure. Anyways, we were joined by the Owens/Jericho “best friend” duo. Owens claimed Foley’s idea was incredibly stupid and laid in a big insult as he called him washed-up because of what HIAC did to his career. Jericho was smart to note that Foley granted requests left and right as he added Foley to the esteemed “List Of Jericho” for a big pop. Steph stepped over this and demanded respect from Jericho, as she mentioned that Rollins wanted to take out his revenge on him and booked them in the main event. She somehow twisted it in a way that’d reward Jericho if he won, as he’d be added to the HIAC Owens-Rollins match. We also liked the way it teased some more dissension between Owens/Jericho, as Jericho made it known he wouldn’t mind a shot at Owens’ Title. Owens’ facial expression here was priceless.
– Rollins’ backstage promo reacted to what we saw as he knew Steph’s tricks all too well to try and stack the deck against him to lessen his chance to win at HIAC if Jericho gets in on it. He did a nice job to put the Owens/Jericho duo in question, but this wasn’t as good as we thought it could be. Rollins is still in that phase to “prove himself” as a new babyface.
– We furthered our hope for Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson, as they savagely attacked Enzo Amore/Big Cass. They were set to be opponents for the reunited Curtis Axel/Bo Dallas duo (as we saw a pre-show segment where Axel proposed it) and that provided more heat for Gallows/Anderson. We guess this sets up this long-awaited feud since Gallows/Anderson were done with ND now.
– Axel/Dallas demanded competition and received it when Sami Zayn/Neville came out. We actually liked this since they had done it once before, although commentary behaved like it was a first-time thing and only mentioned their NXT connections. On paper and in real life, they made a good team and we hoped at the least they could make a run with them. Raw needs tag teams badly. Commentary also confused us as Commentator Michael Cole first mentioned that Zan/Neville volunteered to be their opponents when Foley “scrambled backstage” to find opponents and then Commentator Byron Saxton complimented Foley for the idea. Why would he get credit for someone volunteering? Logic, guys. Anyways, the match was kept short and sweet as Neville/Zayn mainly worked over Axel to the point where he was laid out with the Helluva Kick/Red Arrow combination. They protected Dallas as he wasn’t covered for the pin, but we’re not sure what this means headed forward. Seeing Dallas/Axel together certainly shows us how far Heath Slater has come.
– The backstage segment with Lana and Charlotte was good hype for the mixed tag, as they established that tension, except they diverted it to between Lana and Charlotte, as they each warned each other to stay out of the other’s business.
– Week two of “The Titus Brand” and we still don’t know what it is, except that O’Neil’s a heel and apparently loses all the time now. Maybe now, it’s just a glorified excuse for whenever he loses. We were shown a backstage promo earlier on from how O’Neil’s match against R-Truth took place and we didn’t understand a thing O’Neil said. The Shining Stars were also there. As far as the match itself, it was kept short as Goldust stomped on the ring steps for cheers and that distracted the big man, as Truth covered him spontaneously to win. Guess this is the running joke now.
– The Cruiserweight Division has luckily been spearheaded by the program between Champion TJ Perkins and Brian Kendrick. The backstage segment with the two saw them again establish a past connection, as TJP tried to convince Kendrick to be the guy he once was and not to be a “bad guy” because he was scared. There was brief physicality at the end, as Perkins beat Kendrick to the punch when he tried to sucker-punch him.
– Last week, Braun Strowman demanded more competition from Foley or there’d be consequences. This week, we saw him in a 2-On-1 Handicap match as he took on “The Splash Brothers,” which was a play on the Bay Area. They actually cut a surprisingly decent promo as they came off as glorified indy darlings. As you’d imagine, this was squash city as Strowman made quick work of the duo. He also hit a double dropkick that only Cole seemed to be the most excited about. He “slam dunked” them to put them both away. His post-match promo again warned Foley to give him “real competition” by next week or “it’d be on him.” We’re curious to see who he gets next week.
– The backstage segment with Banks/Reigns saw them hit it off pretty easily. There were boos from the live crowd, but basically they told each other they had their rival taken care of.
– The Charlotte/Rusev-Reigns/Banks mixed tag match was good while it lasted. Some passable action as the crowd was into the whole time. Nothing special though, despite the finish where Banks made Charlotte tap out to the Bank Statement while Reigns hit a spear on Rusev.
– The backstage promo from Owens/Jericho was more comedy gold, with the interesting sentiment that there was no “tension” between them. They played it off as a mutual understanding that if one of them was Champion, they were both Champions. Owens also addressed why he didn’t save Jericho last week and that was because one member needed to “take a bullet for the team for the greater good.” Jericho also added Tom Phillips to the list. Had Owens brainwashed Jericho into this belief?
– The big news came from Paul Heyman’s in-ring promo response to Bill Goldberg’s “never say never” comments made in an ESPN interview with Jonathan Coachman where he addressed a possible rematch with Brock Lesnar if he were to return to WWE. Perhaps it was because it had been a while since we last saw Heyman, but he played to the crowd at every chance and knocked it out of the park. Kind of a surprise, given that Goldberg-Lesnar I from WrestleMania XX was more infamous than famous, but it had been 12 years and both men were in different places this time around. Heyman drove home that Goldberg’s 1-0 record over the Beast remained the only blemish on Lesnar’s record and formally challenged him on behold of Lesnar. The “In Suplex City, You’re Next” line got a rise out of the crowd. We had Survivor Series on the horizon for a matchup like this, as Goldberg was hyped to appear on next week’s show in Denver.
– We’re still not sure what “The Makeover From Emma To Emmalina” means, but another hype video aired with dance music and still shots of her in her glam days. Please keep her act the same. It was on such a roll.
– The Perkins-Ariya Daivari match with Kendrick on commentary was good hype for Perkins’ Title defense to come against Kendrick at HIAC. Kendrick had a chance to get over his agenda, as he defended that he was only about to get up out of his seat when Perkins attacked him. In true heel fashion, he asked “Well, what about me?” as he talked about the Cruiserweight belt out of his reach because he felt it was what he needed to keep relevant. Daivari was shown in a pre-taped promo as he spoke in Persian and his mannerisms were similar to his brother’s. He was able to put in a decent showing despite his limitations since this was to make Perkins look good, but we hope he sticks around some more. The Cruiserweight Division needs more heels. The crowd likes Perkins, but they were oddly quiet for most of the match. Perhaps it was third-hour fatigue. Nice in-ring story as Perkins targeted Daivari’s knee and that ended up working into his kneebar submission after Daivari missed a frog splash. As Perkins won, we saw Kendrick applaud him from the table. Nice stuff.
– The backstage segment with Jericho and Steph again saw Steph try to butter Jericho up, as we learned she rooted for him to win. It was clear she wanted him in there and she mentioned that it was for the good of the brand, when it really was to lessen Rollins’ chances to win as she wanted him/Owens to take him out. Funny that Steph did this behind Owens’ back, as she walked away once he approached Jericho and asked what it was about. The way Jericho touched Owens’ belt as he said, “Friendship” was a nice tease.
– The Jericho-Rollins match where if Jericho won, he’d be added to the Rollins-Owens HIAC match had its necessary high drama. Owens came out about five minutes in to serve as a distraction for Rollins, whom had his previously injured ribs targeted by Jericho. The two tightened up their chemistry and smartly worked in their signature moves at the right times. Good near-falls as we saw Rollins get to the ropes on the Walls Of Jericho and also kicked out when Owens sucker-punched him behind the Referee’s back. Scary spot when Rollins hit his springboard knee and landed on Jericho afterward. Best near-fall came with Jericho’s Lionsault after Rollins missed a frog splash. On another attempt at the WOJ, Rollins scoped Jericho up in a pin to win it. The post-match angle afterwards where Owens attacked Rollins and it had ended up with Jericho in another Pedigree as Owens watched from afar was a clever play on what happened last week. The Owens-Jericho dynamic remains the top reason to watch Raw above all else, so we’ll see how that develops next week since it’s twice now that Jericho was left high and dry by Owens.
- Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods, Big E) def. Cesaro (w/Sheamus) via pinfall
- Bayley def. Cami Fields via pinfall
- Lince Dorado/Sin Cara def. Tony Nese/Drew Gulak via pinfall
- Sami Zayn/Neville def. Curtis Axel/Bo Dallas via pinfall
- R-Truth (w/Goldust) def. Titus O’Neil via pinfall
- 2-On-1 Handicap Match – Braun Strowman def. The Splash Brothers via pinfall
- Mixed Tag – Sasha Banks/Roman Reigns def. Charlotte/Rusev (w/Lana) via pinfall
- TJ Perkins def. Ariya Daivari via submission
- If Chris Jericho Wins, He Gets Added To Seth Rollins-Kevin Owens Hell In A Cell Match For The WWE Universal Championship – Seth Rollins def. Chris Jericho via pinfall
Posted on December 4, 2016, in WWE and tagged Ariya Daivari, Bayley, Big E, Bo Dallas, Braun Strowman, Brian Kendrick, Byron Saxton, Cami Fields, Cesaro, Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Corey Graves, Curtis Axel, Drew Gulak, Emmalina, Goldust, Hell In A Cell, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Kofi Kingston, Lana, Lince Dorado, Luke Gallows, Michael Cole, Mick Foley, Neville, Paul Heyman, R-Truth, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Sami Zayn, Sasha Banks, Seth Rollins, Sheamus, Sin Cara, Stephanie McMahon, The Splash Brothers, Titus O'Neil, TJ Perkins, Tony Nese, Xavier Woods. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.