Week of 9/19/2016 - 9/25/2016 (Monday - Wednesday)
Monday Night Raw
Date: September 19, 2016
Location: FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
It's the go home show for Clash of Champions as we now go two weeks between single brand pay per views. The big stories coming into tonight seem to be Mick Foley punishing Seth Rollins for interfering in last week's main event and the return of Rusev, who came back last week to go after Roman Reigns. Let's get to it.
Last Week on Raw, Kevin Owens beat Reigns to retain the title despite interference by Rollins and thanks to help from Rusev.
Here's Reigns to get things going but Stephanie McMahon cuts him off, only to have Mick Foley cut her off. Stephanie: “FOLEY! FOLEY! FOLEY!” Thank you Stephanie, though we didn't need your input. Foley apologizes for letting things get out of hands last week and makes Rusev vs. Rollins for tonight. On the other hand, Reigns will be getting a US Title shot against Rusev on Sunday. Stephanie: “And I personally guarantee it will happen.” Reigns: “Thanks Stephanie. That means so much coming from you.” I might have applauded that line.
Foley goes into a discussion of Raw vs. Smackdown and says he's out of a job if they lose the ratings war. That means Kevin Owens vs. Reigns again tonight. This brings out Owens to say he should be getting ready for the title match on Sunday. Stephanie says tonight is non-title but Foley makes it a cage match.
After a break, Stephanie and Foley are in the back when Rusev comes up to plug Lana's movie (Interrogation, with Edge) and Holy Foley. Rusev leaves and Foley gets a call from Chris Jericho.
Rusev vs. Seth Rollins
Non-title. Rusev starts in with his variety of kicks but gets dropkicked out to the floor for his efforts. Rollins is sent back first into the post and a hard whip sends him back first into the buckle for good measure. Some right hands stagger Rusev as Rollins looks so at home as a face. Unfortunately he's not quite at home on the top as Rusev slams him down with one arm to take us to a break.
Back with Seth fighting out of a waistlock and hitting a quick enziguri for a breather. There's the Sling Blade to keep Rusev in trouble and Rollins muscles him over for a Falcon Arrow. Rusev comes right back with a superkick to the shoulder (even Cole acknowledges how off it was) for two of his own. Seth gets in the springboard knee and a suicide dive. They fight up the aisle and that's a double countout at 11:52.
Post match they fight over to the announcers' table where Seth escapes a powerbomb and dives off the table to take Rusev out.
Dana Brooke yells at Foley about last week's double pin. The solution: ANOTHER FREAKING TRIPLE THREAT MATCH. Can you imagine if there were this many last man standing matches or cage matches? Almost every story has to wind up as a triple threat at some point and it's getting really, really tiresome.
Videos on Cedric Alexander and Brian Kendrick, both of whom are debuting as cruiserweights tonight.
Owens and Jericho have a list of grievances for Foley.
Braun Strowman vs. Sin Cara
Rematch from two weeks ago. Cara fires away right hands and kicks to start until Strowman just runs him over like a monster. We hit an early neck crank for a bit before Cara tries to speed things up, only to have his moonsault caught in a powerslam for the pin at 1:54. What in the world was the point of the countout a few weeks ago?
Bayley and Sasha Banks are ready to team together tonight but they'll fight on Sunday.
Charlotte/Dana Brooke vs. Bayley/Sasha Banks
Sasha rolls Dana up to start before it's off to Bayley, who sends Charlotte into the buckle and us to a break. Back with Bayley in trouble as the heels take turns cranking on her arms. Bayley gets in a back elbow and middle rope armdrag, allowing the tag to Sasha for a double suplex. Charlotte is smart enough to go after the huge tape around Sasha's ribs. It's back to Dana to send Sasha face first into the mat a few times. A headscissors puts Charlotte down and the real hot tag brings in Bayley. Dana saves the Bayley to Belly though and it's a big boot from Charlotte for the pin on Bayley at 11:09.
Seth goes into Stephanie's office. After a break, Rollins asks Stephanie why she threw him away for Owens. Stephanie says she had nothing to do with HHH (and since she's apparently not asked her husband about this once) but it was Seth who allowed the title to go to her brother's show. Maybe HHH was tired of Seth ruining HHH's reputation (which has a street value of about $14). Seth is going to prove that the Authority put their money on the wrong horse. Stephanie gets all serious (of course) and orders him to not threaten her.
Bo Dallas vs. Gary Graham
Bo does more serious poetry about how only he can believe in himself. It's another quick beatdown with knees and right hands as the fans chant for the jobber. The Roll of the Dice ends Graham at 1:18.
Video on the Cruiserweight Classic final.
Cesaro vs. Sheamus
Match six in the best of seven series with Cesaro down 3-2 and let's get this over with. They slug it out to start and Cesaro flips out of an early backdrop attempt. Sheamus sends him outside and we take a break. Back with Cesaro hitting the uppercut train to knock Sheamus over the barricade and next to some Memphis Grizzlies' feet.
Cesaro can't do the apron superplex though and gets caught in White Noise onto the apron. The Brogue Kick misses but Cesaro walks into the Irish Curse for two. Sheamus grabs the Cloverleaf but gets small packaged for two. A rollup with feet on the ropes gets the same on Cesaro before he ducks the Brogue Kick and Neutralizes Sheamus for the pin at 9:40.
Foley makes the seventh match for Clash of Champions when Jericho comes in. Jericho accuses him of never being a fan but Foley brings up recommending him to Paul Heyman for ECW. Chris has his List of Jericho (list of grievances), which now includes a bad fashion sense. As you might expect, Foley brings up the scarf look. Jericho: “This is very big in Luxemburg.” Foley: “Well it looks ridiculous, right here, in Memphis, Tennessee.” Jericho: “Number six: Uses cheap babyface pops.”
It's time for Jericho's list of grievances. First up: Foley is trying to drive a wedge between Jericho and Owens. A fan yells at him so Jericho adds “brace face in row twelve”. We get to the Sami Zayn phone attack last week but here are Enzo and Cass to interrupt. Cass lists off some great friendships, including Bevis and Butthead and Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson.
Cue the Shining Stars to offer some time shares. This brings out the New Day with Kofi saying they have a very good reason to be out here. Big E.: “We have nothing better to do.” Woods promises to keep the titles on Sunday so here are Anderson and Gallows to interrupt. Jericho says everyone in the ring is on his stupid idiot list but here's Sami because we need a tenth guy for the huge tag match.
Shining Stars/Chris Jericho/Anderson and Gallows vs. Enzo and Cass/Sami Zayn/New Day
We start after a break with Kofi spinning into a crossbody for two on Jericho. It's off to Sami vs. Epico before Big E. comes in for his spanking abdominal stretch. Anderson comes in and catches Kofi with a spinebuster as the bad guys take over. That lasts all of thirty seconds before the hot tag brings in Big Cass to clean house. The Empire Elbow gets two on Primo as everything breaks down. Sami runs the corner for his tornado DDT and there's a Helluva Kick to Primo. The Bada Boom Shaka Lacka is enough for the pin on Primo at 5:24.
We recap the opening segment.
Videos on Gran Metalik and Rich Swann.
Video on Eddie Guerrero in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Here's Foley to introduce the cruiserweights. After screwing up a few of his lines, Foley talks about the Cruiserweight Classic and introduces Rich Swann, Gran Metalik, Cedric Alexander and Brian Kendrick. Foley makes the first match: a fatal fourway for the shot at TJ Perkins' Cruiserweight Title on Sunday.
Rich Swann vs. Gran Metalik vs. Cedric Alexander vs. Brian Kendrick
One fall to a finish. It's a brawl to start since there are no tags, eventually leaving us with Kendrick and Alexander. Brian bails to the floor but gets kicked in the face so Alexander sunset flips Metalik for two. A springboard clothesline gets two more on Metalik but Swann comes back in to kick Cedric in the back.
Swann and Alexander trade strikes and miss kicks until Cedric flips out of a headscissors. A big flip dive takes Kendrick down and it's only Metalik in the ring. You know what that means as Metalik dives onto everyone, finally drawing a reaction from the crowd. Kendrick breaks up Metalik's springboard and throws Swann and Alexander into various objects. A few kicks to Swann's leg take us to a break.
Back with Alexander breaking up Swann's cover on Metalik but Kendrick grabs a tornado DDT for two of his own on Metalik. Swann's jumping 450 looks to finish Alexander but Kendrick grabs his Captain's Hook (bully choke) on Cedric, only to have Metalik make the save. A Lumbar Check drops Metalik and the Captain's Hook makes Alexander tap and sends Kendrick to the title shot at 15:04.
Nia Jax vs. Alicia Fox on the pre-show.
Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns
Non-title and inside a cage. Reigns slugs away to start but wants nothing of going through the door. The champ gets beaten down in the corner and a running clothesline makes it even worse. A ram into the cage wall sets up a superkick for two on Roman and we take a break. Back with Owens getting crotched on the top and getting crushed up against the cage a few times.
Reigns' clotheslines have Owens in trouble but he has to Superman punch his way out of a Pop Up Powerbomb. The second attempt at the powerbomb gets two for Owens and they go to the top rope for some rams into the cage. Both guys are down and Reigns sprints up the cage to get outside before Owens can go through the door for the win at 13:17.
Post match, Rusev comes out and locks the door so he can put Reigns in the Accolade. You know, because THERE'S NO WAY REIGNS COULD EVER GET OVER A CAGE WALL. Rollins comes out and does the big dive off the top (reminiscent of Rey Mysterio in the early days of the first Brand Split), not even bothering to look at the door because THERE ISN'T A ROOF ON THE CAGE. Everyone is down to end the show.
Rusev vs. Seth Rollins went to a double countout
Braun Strowman b. Sin Cara – Powerslam
Charlotte/Dana Brooke b. Bayley/Sasha Banks – Big boot to Bayley
Cesaro b. Sheamus – Neutralizer
New Day/Enzo and Big Cass/Sami Zayn b. Shining Stars/Chris Jericho/Anderson and Gallows – Bada Boom Shaka Lacka to Primo
Brian Kendrick b. Gran Metalik, Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander – Captain's Hook to Alexander
Roman Reigns b. Kevin Owens – Reign escaped the cage
Date: September 20, 2016
Location: Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, David Otunga. Mauro Ranallo
It's a big night here on Smackdown as we have Miz defending the Intercontinental Title against Dolph Ziggler in a rematch from Backlash as well as a major showdown between Dean Ambrose and John Cena after Ambrose laid Cena out to end last week's show. We're only a few weeks away from No Mercy so things should start to pick up steam. Let's get to it.
We open with a preview of Ambrose vs. Cena later tonight.
Daniel Bryan is in the ring for a contract signing for the Women's Title match at No Mercy. Becky Lynch comes out first and agrees to keep this civil. Alexa Bliss comes out and suggests Becky use moisturizer. Becky says she's here for a fight instead of a pageant. They go back and forth about how Becky doesn't belong here but she worked as hard as she could at jobs she hated to get to this point. She wasn't born to be a champion but Alexa knows she was.
At No Mercy, Alexa is going to prove Becky is a one hit wonder. Bliss hits her with the contract and turns the table over. Alexa goes to leave but Becky chases her to the back. Really simple segment here but I liked it. Bliss has a very natural feel on the mic and that's going to do her a lot of favors. Becky is playing her character perfectly too and while the match might not be great, the build is working and these two have chemistry talking.
Miz comes up to Bryan in the back to complain about his title defense tonight. That's fine with Bryan, who says we'll cancel the match and cancel Miz's contract as well. Miz backs down and leaves.
Usos vs. American Alpha
The winners get the title shot at No Mercy and Chad Gable's knee is mostly fine coming in. It's a brawl to start with Gable taking Jimmy down. Rhyno and Heath Slater are watching in the back and naturally Rhyno is enjoying some cheese and crackers. Alpha cleans house early on with their dropkicks but Gable is sent to the floor and comes up holding his knee.
Back from a break with the twins working over Gable's knee. Chad elbows his way out of the corner and the hot tag brings in Jordan for the suplexes and shoulders to the ribs in the corner. Jey breaks up the superplex though and the Superfly splash gets two with Chad making the save. They got me on that one. Another toss to the floor makes Gable's knee even worse and Jordan refuses to tag in his hurt friend. Chad tries to come in anyway and gets chop blocked, setting up a double superkick. Jey's Superfly splash puts Jason away at 11:34.
Slater and Rhyno ware watching in the back and Heath has an idea: “When I say Rhy, you say no.” Rhyno: “No.” The Usos come in and say they'll win at No Mercy. They even threaten to knock Rhyno's crackers out of his hand. That makes things serious but Jey threatens to send Slater's kids back to the mudhole. Rhyno CRUSHES HIS CRACKERS and it's a staredown.
Baron Corbin vs. Apollo Crews
Jack Swagger is on commentary. Crews hits him in the face to start and gets two off a fall away slam. A jumping enziguri knocks Corbin around even worse but he sends Crews ribs first into the post. Corbin drives the ribs into the post again and the End of Days wraps Crews up at 2:48. I'd love to hear the explanation for why Crews isn't getting ready for a big showdown against Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT Title instead of being a jobber on Smackdown.
Corbin and Swagger have a staredown.
Curt Hawkins Face the Facts vignette.
Naomi and Nikki Bella are ready to keep the momentum going with the power of the glow. Natalya's glow went out a long time ago and Carmella has had it out for Nikki for a long time now because she wants to make a name for herself. See, they're friends now because the script says they should be.
Ziggler says anything could happen here tonight and doesn't think much of Miz. There are a lot of things he shouldn't be but tonight he's going to become Intercontinental Champion.
Intercontinental Title: The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
Miz is defending and we even get Big Match Intros. Ziggler takes it to the mat to start and Miz is in WAY over his head with the technical stuff. A clothesline on the floor takes Miz down again but he dropkicks Ziggler off the apron to take over. Back in and Miz does the YES Kicks but continues the tradition of missing the big one. Ziggler goes shoulder first into the post and gets kicked in the face for two.
A Stinger Splash has Miz in trouble but he misses another charge into the post. That means it's time for a running dropkick in the corner, again ala Bryan. The champ goes up top for the ax handle but dives into a dropkick. Ziggler's running DDT gets two and a Cactus Clothesline takes us to a break.
Back with Miz countering a superplex into a slingshot sitout powerbomb. Ziggler's sleeper sends Miz over to the ropes and the superkick gets two. Maryse loads up the hairspray but gets caught this time, meaning an ejection. Rollups are exchanged for two each and the Zig Zag gives Ziggler a VERY close two. Miz tries to leave with the title so Ziggler sends him into the steps, only to get sprayed in the face. A Skull Crushing Finale retains Miz's title at 16:01.
Erick Rowan vs. Randy Orton
Rowan doesn't even get an entrance so he starts fast with a reverse powerslam and a dropkick of all things. A trip to the floor makes things even worse for Randy but he gets in the Elevated DDT and the RKO for the quick pin at 2:23.
Post match the lights go out and Rowan disappears with the sheep mask taking his place. Bray pops up on screen and says that unlike Orton, he can never die.
Nikki Bella/Naomi vs. Carmella/Natalya
Natalya forearms Naomi at the bell and has Nikki in the Sharpshooter less than thirty seconds after the bell. For some reason Carmella pulls Nikki to the floor for a beatdown and that's a DQ at 36 seconds.
Naomi kicks Natalya in the head post match.
AJ Styles says he doesn't have a rivalry with Dean Ambrose or John Cena because he's better than both of them. Tonight he's going to enjoy watching them fight because the champ will always be here.
John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose
As usual, the fans are split on Cena. Feeling out process to start with Cena working on a headlock and then into a top wristlock. Ambrose turns it up by sending Cena into the post and we take a break. Back with Dean chopping and punching away until Cena pulls him down into the STF. Dean makes the ropes and gets in another shot to the head, only to have Cena roll through a high crossbody into the AA for two. Dirty Deeds gets the same and I probably should have penciled that in as soon as the AA hit. Back up and a second AA is countered into a sunset flip to give Dean the completely clean pin at 10:14.
Post match AJ hits the Phenomenal Forearm on Cena but here's Bryan to interrupt. As Shane McMahon promised, Dean is getting a one on one title rematch and that's going to happen next Tuesday on Smackdown. Dean hits Dirty Deeds on AJ to end the show.
Usos b. American Alpha – Superfly splash to Jordan
Baron Corbin b. Apollo Crews – End of Days
The Miz b. Dolph Ziggler – Skull Crushing Finale
Randy Orton b. Erick Rowan – RKO
Nikki Bella/Naomi b. Carmella/Natalya via DQ when Carmella attacked Nikki on the floor
Dean Ambrose b. John Cena – Sunset flip
Date: September 21, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips
Last week's show saw Samoa Joe completely snap and destroy NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, who was stretchered out of the arena as a result. That leaves no one to stop the rampaging monster, who is still scheduled to challenge Nakamura for the title down the line. Let's get to it.
We get a long recap of Joe attacking Nakamura last week.
Here's Samoa Joe with a piece of paper. Joe felt it was necessary for him to come out here and address last week's altercation. Due to his actions, the NXT Champion is in a bad way. Joe has a copy of the official medical report, which lists off Nakamura's multiple injuries, capped off by a grade two separated shoulder. Surgery is not required but he's going to be out for six to twelve weeks.
Joe isn't a patient man so he wants William Regal out here right now to make him the rightful champion. Regal comes out and says the report isn't correct though he isn't sure what Joe has it. He's been talking to Nakamura but Regal is going to deal with the problem Joe started. That's not cool with Joe, who gets in Regal's face and says Regal can solve this or the entire roster is going to look like Nakamura.
We look at Kota Ibushi vs. Cedric Alexander from the Cruiserweight Classic in their match of the year candidate that earned Alexander a job.
Alexander says it took him seven years on the independent circuit to get here but that's just the start. Not much to this one but the cruiserweights aren't often going to get over on their talking.
Liv Morgan wants Asuka and the Women's Title. Asuka comes in and says we can find out if Liv is ready. Morgan really shouldn't be talking that often.
Oney Lorcan vs. Austin Aries
Aries rides him to the mat and grabs a headlock without looking like he's put in much effort. Back up and Oney jumps over a charge and clotheslines Aries into a headlock of his own. Aries comes back with something like a belly to back suplex over the top and out to the floor for a crash.
We come back from a break with Aries dropping a middle rope elbow to the back for two. Oney fires off his hard strikes, including some chops in the corner as the announcers keep pushing his offense as ugly but effective. A charge misses though and Lorcan crashes out to the floor again. Oney comes right back with more running uppercuts, only to miss his middle rope sunset flip. Aries hits the discus forearm and wraps Oney up with the Last Chancery at 11:29.
Post match Aries says he'd call Hideo Itami out but everyone knows he wouldn't show up. Cue Itami but of course Aries runs because he wants it on his terms.
Video on a monster named Dan Matha who debuts in two weeks.
After their win at the Cruiserweight Classic last week, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa were jumped by the Revival. The champs got beaten up though and ran off.
Aliyah vs. Billie Kay
Aliyah starts fast by sending Billie into the corner for a running crossbody to the ribs. Billie's arm is wrapped around the ropes and a slingshot legdrop gets two. Back up and a torture rack with an arm trap of all things has Aliyah in trouble but she comes right back with a running seated Blockbuster for two. The big boot gets Billie out of trouble though and knocks Aliyah off at 3:17.
Mandy Rose thinks Ember Moon looks like a cross between the Hunger Games and Little Red Riding Hood.
Andrade Cien Almas vs. Cedric Alexander
Almas comes out in just a vest and with far less flair and energy than before. We hear about Stephanie McMahon bringing the cruiserweights to Raw as Almas grabs a headscissors to start. The fans are behind Cedric as a very fast pinfall reversal sequence gives us some near falls. They fight over a wristlock but both guys flip out to give us a standoff. Almas does his posing in the ropes and catches Cedric with a slingshot dropkick and a running corkscrew dive to take us to a break.
Back with Cedric fighting out of a chinlock and scoring with a Tajiri handspring into an enziguri. Alexander adds the big flip dive over the top but Almas comes back with elbows to the jaw (Fan: “HEY! STOP DOING THAT!”) and a powerbomb for two. Almas knocks him off the top for the moonsault into the standing moonsault and Cedric's kickout stnus him. The double running knees miss and a Lumbar Check is enough to pin Almas at 11:47.
They shake hands and hug to end the show.
Austin Aries b. Oney Lorcan – Last Chancery
Billie Kay b. Aliyah – Big boot
Cedric Alexander b. Andrade Cien Almas – Lumbar Check
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