Week of 9/26/2016 - 10/2/2016 (Monday - Wednesday)
Monday Night Raw
Date: September 26, 2016
Location: US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
We're past Clash of Champions and this is going to be an interesting show. The key here is Raw's competition as they're up against Monday Night Football and a Presidential debate that is likely going to break a lot of viewership records. Kevin Owens is still Raw World Champion and Roman Reigns picked up the US Title from Rusev last night it's time to start looking towards the Cell. Let's get to it.
One more note: I was in the arena for the show last night so this is my second time seeing this.
There's no intro as we're heading straight for the opening match. Translation: PLEASE DON'T CHANGE THE CHANNEL YET! I can completely accept this.
US Title: Roman Reigns vs. Rusev
Rematch from last night with Reigns defending. The fans want Lana as Rusev takes him down with a front facelock. That's going to keep the people from watching the debate. Reigns is cheered quite strongly as he kips out of a headscissors but gets double legged back to the mat.
Rusev gets one off a suplex and starts in on Reigns' back. The nine corner clotheslines get Reigns out of trouble but he can't lift Rusev up for the powerbomb because of the back injury. We take a break and come back with Rusev putting on a bearhug to keep up the simple psychology. A dropkick hits Reigns in the mouth and some gutwrench suplexes get two. Back to the waistlock as the match slows down again.
Reigns fights up with more clotheslines and a big boot but the Superman Punch is countered, sending them both falling out to the floor. We come back from another break with Reigns headbutting him off the top and hitting a middle rope clothesline. Geez man enough with the Lex Luger style offense.
Reigns still can't powerbomb him so Rusev gets in a spinwheel kick. More headbutts and another kick to the head give Rusev another two. Reigns' latest comeback is stopped with a superkick and the fans are really getting into this in a way you almost never hear for a Reigns match. The Accolade is broken up but Lana offers a distraction to break up the Superman Punch. The apron kick staggers Rusev (and gets a great reaction from the crowd) and they fight into the crowd for a double countout at 25:38.
Post match Rusev gets a chair and hits Reigns over the back. They get inside and Reigns gets in a spear to put Rusev down. Reigns sits in the chair and poses with the belt before hitting Rusev with the chair to even things up.
WWE2K17 ad with Ambrose's appearance getting a huge pop.
Here's Mick Foley for a chat about last night's Cesaro vs. Sheamus match. The thought of the series ending in a draw seemed to be a mathematical impossibility (not really) but that's what's happened. Foley brings out Sheamus and Cesaro with Sheamus almost immediately cutting him off to say this was about physical dominance.
Cesaro talks about doctors holding Sheamus back last night and an argument breaks out over who was more dominant. Foley cuts them off to say they're both right and they're both getting a championship opportunity.....which they're getting together as they're fighting for the Tag Team Titles. Cesaro: “SAY WHAT???” Foley tells them to get over it and just team together because that's his decision.
I had a very bad feeling that this was where they were going and while it's not the worst idea in the world (Raw is dying for tag teams at the moment), it feels like the TNA way of getting here: a bunch of matches that did nothing but fill time until we get to the end result. Sheamus and Cesaro had some good matches (even one very good one) but they drove the feud into the ground to the point where I didn't care how good the matches were since I had absolutely no desire to watch them.
And now, none of that matters because they're basically saying the whole thing was a tie and we're just going to do something different. It comes off as lazy booking and a way to fill in time, which is one of the worst things you can do in wrestling. I'm sure they'll be a decent team but they better not cut New Day's title reign off this close to the record.
Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. Anderson and Gallows
New Day is defending in a rematch from last night after Xavier Woods used Francesca II. The match starts fast with Kofi having to dodge a diving Anderson. It's off to Big E. for the Unicorn Stampede with Woods blowing the trombone in time with the stomps. Gallows, apparently not a music fan, pulls Big E. out to the floor and superkicks him in the face.
Anderson adds a running kick to the face for two and the champs are in quick trouble. Gallows gets in a chokeslam and we take a break. Anderson's powerbomb gets two and we hear about Demolition's title reign being in reach. A kick to the head finally allows the hot tag to Big E. for the suplexes. Big E. misses a charge into the post though and a running boot to the face gets two.
That's enough of being on defense for Big E. so he spears Anderson through the ropes, setting up the Midnight Hour for two with Gallows making the save. Kofi is sent shoulder first into the steps and the Magic Killer gets a very close two on Big E. They had me on that near fall. A VERY bloody Kofi comes back in and hits Trouble in Paradise to pin Anderson and retain the titles at 11:03.
We look at Kevin Owens injuring Seth Rollins' ribs in their match at Clash of Champions. Stephanie McMahon sent a second referee down for the count, seconds after Rollins would have had the title won. After the show ended, HHH arrived and asked Stephanie how it went (“Great.”).
Sheamus and Cesaro (back in his suit) are bickering when Foley comes in. Mick starts yelling about how much potential these two have together because they could shake up the tag division. He'll even give them a chance tonight in a tag match. Foley showed a lot of fire here, as is his custom. Remember that.
Bayley vs. Anna Fields
Fields chokes her on the ropes to start and we hit an early chinlock. Bayley comes back with her elbows and clotheslines, setting up a quick Bayley to Belly for the pin at 2:04.
Post match Bayley says she's not done with Sasha and Charlotte after that triple threat because she wants to hug that Women's Title.
And now, the bad part of the show. Foley goes in to see Stephanie and asks about the referee issue in last night's main event and telling HHH it was great. Stephanie ERUPTS on Foley, talking about how it should have been his responsibility to get a new referee out there. Instead, he was probably with Sheamus and Cesaro because he thinks with his heart instead of his head. She hired him because of his mind as a businessman (Huh?) and wants him to be more like her. Instead of showing the fire he had earlier, Foley just stands there and takes this because she's Stephanie.
This is every problem with Stephanie rolled into one promo. Not only is it part of a story that is taking WAY too long to go anywhere (I'd be shocked if we get any real resolution before the Royal Rumble) but this is Mick Foley, a three time WWE World Champion and a WWE Hall of Famer. He's one of the best talkers with some of the best fire of all time but he's standing here cowering in front of Stephanie because that's what happens to people around her.
Brock Lesnar, Charlotte, Sting, Roman Reigns and now Mick Foley all have nothing to say back to her because she's Stephanie and the most intimidating presence of all time. Oh except for when she's fun Stephanie who dances with kids and is just a regular soccer mom. This has been going on for years now (keep in mind that Stephanie debuted SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO and first became an authority figure in 2000) and if we're lucky she gets one bit of comeuppance a year. Other than that it's all Stephanie browbeating everyone else and if you don't like it, deal with it because she's Stephanie.
Rich Swann/Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak/Lince Dorado
Swann and Alexander get an inset promo talking about how they're here to have fun but they're not underestimating their opponents. This didn't air in the arena and it would have helped quite a bit. Gulak and Dorado get their Cruiserweight Classic videos and again they're better than nothing. We get the big handshake to start for a compliment to the purple ropes, which take forever to set up and take down.
Dorado and Swann trade headscissors to start and nip into a stalemate. Everything breaks down and Dorado moonsaults onto all three as we take an early break. Back with Drew holding Swann in a chinlock before it's back to Dorado for some chops. The hot tag bring in Alexander for some forearms and a running kick to Gulak's head. A Lumbar Check sends Dorado to the floor and Swann sunset flips Gulak for the pin at 8:25.
Cesaro/Sheamus vs. Nick Cutler/Willis Williams
Cesaro takes Cutler over with a one armed delayed vertical suplex but Sheamus drops to the floor instead of tagging in. For some reason he gets on the apron with his back to the ring so Cesaro can tag him in with a slap. The ten forearms make it even worse for Cutler and it's off to Williams, who is taken down with a hard clothesline. The jobbers actually start working on Cesaro's arm for a few seconds before Sheamus Brogue Kicks both guys. Cesaro pins the unconscious Williams at 3:33.
Video on TJ Perkins.
TJ talks about wanting to be here for eighteen years but here's Brian Kendrick to interrupt. Kendrick says it's his title to win because Perkins owes him for his career. A brawl is teased and they'll fight at some point in the future.
Here are Charlotte and Dana Brooke for a chat. Charlotte says last night was another chance for everyone to be disappointed because that's what she does time after time. She's not the huggable Bayley or the internet darling Sasha Banks. Cue Sasha to say that's her title because Charlotte didn't beat her last night. Sasha is owed a one on one match and she wants it right now. Charlotte tells the YESing fans to be quiet so she can tell Sasha that she'll get her rematch....next week. Sasha cleans house and the villains leave.
Rollins is on his way to the ring to interrupt the upcoming Highlight Reel but Foley cuts him off because Seth isn't medically cleared. All Rollins can hear are Stephanie's words coming out of Mick's mouth.
TJ Perkins vs. Tony Nese
Non-title with both guys being TNA castoffs because they're dumb that way. The much stronger Nese throws Perkins around to start and he cartwheels out of TJ's ankle scissors to show off. An early kneebar attempt doesn't work for TJ as Nese sends him outside for a superkick and a big dive to take us to a break. Back with Perkins grabbing a Black Widow but getting planted with a reverse gutwrench suplex.
The fans chant for Harambe (the gorilla who was shot at the Cincinnati Zoo, which was a recurring trend all night long) and CM Punk as TJ fights back with uppercuts and a jumping neckbreaker out of the corner. A gutbuster looks to set up a tornado DDT but Perkins is draped over the top rope instead. TJ is right back up with the fireman's carry into an enziguri (Fans: “RANDY SAVAGE!”) and the kneebar makes Nese tap at 8:50.
Hispanic Heritage Month video on Pedro Morales.
Sasha vs. Charlotte and Perkins vs. Kendrick for the respective titles next week.
Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson are going to be in Los Angeles next week to take care of Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens.
It's time for the Highlight Reel. Jericho tells us to be quiet about a dozen times because this is the most anticipated Highlight Reel in WWE history. Before Owens comes out here though, Jericho has a bone to pick with Masterson and Kutchner, who have the nerve to claim that they're better friends. Jericho: “THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE!” That's so unthinkable that they're both about to make the List of Jericho.
It's almost time for Owens to come out but Jericho yells at the cameraman for shooting him from the wrong side, which means HE MADE THE LIST! Rollins is on there too because he got hurt again last night. Owens comes out and praises the Jeritron 5000 but says he's not about to wear a suit for a place like Cincinnati, Ohio. What kind of town can this be when it created Dean Ambrose? Jericho: “HE STILL OWES ME $17,000!”
Owens moves on to Rollins and says the rib injury is karma after all the people Seth injured over the last year and a half. Cue Rollins but security and Foley pull him back. Instead here are Enzo Amore and Big Cass to interrupt and ask Jericho how they're doing. Jericho says they're just fine but Enzo and Cass ARE ON THE LIST.
After Owens corrects Jericho's spelling, Cass accuses Jericho of being Santa Claus. Jericho: “Maybe I am Santa Claus! Maybe I'll come down there and sit on your lap!” Cass points out that people sit on Santa's lap but Jericho said he was going to punch Cass in the face. A fan poll makes Jericho even angrier but as it turns out, Foley just made a match between these four.
Enzo Amore/Big Cass vs. Chris Jericho/Kevin Owens
Jericho and Enzo start us off but first we need to pause for the scarf removal. An armdrag has Jericho so frustrated that he crawls over for a hug from Owens. Kevin comes in and gets dropped by Cass so it's time to launch another human being over the top rope as a projectile. Sidewalk slams have the Canadians in trouble but Jericho sidesteps a charge to send Cass outside as we take a break.
Back with Enzo pounding on Jericho in the corner and getting two off a high crossbody. Owens offers a quick distraction though and it's time for the villains to take over. Thankfully that means Owens doing Enzo's dance across the apron because he knows how to mock a crowd. Jericho and Owens take turns beating on Enzo with Owens handling the trash talking (“THAT'S THE LEAD SINGER OF FOZZY!”).
Enzo blocks a superplex but dives into a dropkick, setting up Owens' backsplash for two. Owens to the referee: “I'm the Universal Champion!” Referee: “It was two!” Owens: “But he shouldn't even be out of NXT yet!” Enzo finally gets in a right hand to make the tag off to Cass for the house cleaning. For some reason Jericho decides to slap Cass, earning himself a boot to the face. The two of them head outside and it's Enzo hitting his middle rope DDT for two on Owens. The powerbomb puts Amore away at 16:37.
The show wraps up just after the match ends. Post show, Owens and Jericho kept beating on Enzo until Sami Zayn came out for the save. Posing ensued to close out the night.
Rusev vs. Roman Reigns went to a double countout
New Day b. Anderson and Gallows – Trouble in Paradise to Anderson
Bayley b. Anna Fields – Bayley to Belly
Rich Swann/Cedric Alexander b. Drew Gulak/Lince Dorado – Sunset flip to Gulak
Cesaro/Sheamus b. Nick Cutler/Willis Williams – Brogue Kick to Williams
TJ Perkins b. Tony Nese – Kneebar
Chris Jericho/Kevin Owens b. Enzo Amore/Big Cass – Powerbomb to Amore
Date: September 27, 2016
Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Mauro Ranallo, David Otunga
It's a big night for Smackdown as we have a rare World Title match on free TV with AJ Styles defending against Dean Ambrose. We're less than two weeks away from No Mercy and it should be interesting to see where things go as we get ready for the triple threat and whatever else is announced before the show. Let's get to it.
Here's Randy Orton to open the show. He's heard about Bray Wyatt talking about fear but thinks it's because Bray is scared himself. Bray comes on screen to talk about Hansel and Gretel. Bray has left his own trail of breadcrumbs that will lead Randy through the prison of his own mind. He holds up an hourglass and sings He's Got The Whole World In His Hands. Orton leaves to go after Bray.
Dean Ambrose says he's ready to fight AJ Styles tonight.
Usos/Ascension vs. American Alpha/Heath Slater/Rhyno
Alpha works on Jimmy's arm to start before a double monkey flip sends this Usos flying. Jey tries to go after Gable but gets pulled down into an armbar over the ropes. Jimmy offers a distraction and Jey chop blocks Gable again to take us to a break. Back with Gable still in trouble and Konor getting two. Gable tries to break free for the tag but everything breaks down and everyone not named Slater is knocked off the apron.
The hot tag brings in Heath for a big reaction, followed by some knees and a leg lariat to the bad guys. A neckbreaker gets two on Jey with Konor diving in for the save. Jordan Cactus Clotheslines Viktor to the floor but the Usos make a blind tag, allowing Jimmy to kick Heath in the face. The jumping kick to the back of the knee sets up a Tequila Sunrise to make Heath tap at 10:00.
John Cena will be at ringside to scout the main event.
Miz has a Lebron James poster covered with one of his own.
Orton goes to what looks like the boiler room and sees an arrow left by Bray. For some reason he turns it around and goes the other way. When the camera pans back, the arrow has been turned around again and Erick Rowan is standing there in his mask.
Back from a break with Bray saying Orton might find out the meaning of the abyss tonight. The hourglass is almost out of sand.
Carmella/Natalya vs. Nikki Bella/Naomi
Naomi and Carmella get things going with the latter danging instead of fighting. That earns her a quick spank and now it's Naomi's turn to moon walk. It's off to Nikki, who scares Carmella to the floor for a breather. Back with Naomi in trouble on the floor and Natalya putting on a chinlock. Carmella gets in a Bronco Buster, followed by Natalya's basement dropkick (which missed) for two. It was enough of a miss that the tag brings in Nikki a few seconds later and it's time for the showdown with Carmella (which seems to happen every week). Natalya offers a distraction though and Carmella gets the rollup pin on Nikki at 10:05.
Orton finds a message saying there's one way out. He opens a closet to find a cardboard cutout of himself with the eyes missing. Another message on another door asks Predator or Prey reveals.....Rowan a few feet away but Orton doesn't open the door wide enough to see him. Good thing there was a camera waiting there right then.
Here are Miz and Maryse for his homecoming celebration. Maryse introduces a video package on Miz's career, including Real World clips, his time as a Tag Team and US Champion, his World Title win (still the only possible call) and capped off by the promo on Bryan from Talking Smack. Miz talks about the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA Title and wonders why his celebration isn't as big. Mr. and Mrs. Miz are in the front row, as are Dolph Ziggler's parents.
Cue Ziggler because of course it's still Ziggler to go after Miz. Ziggler doesn't like Miz talking about his parents and goes to leave almost immediately but Miz laughs at Ziggler for failing again. Dolph brings up Miz cheating, which Miz interprets as yet another excuse. Miz says Ziggler has nothing left to offer for another shot and leaves but Ziggler calls for Mike to come back. All Ziggler has left is his career so he'll put that on the line. Miz agrees and the match is made for No Mercy.
Bray says when one door closes, another opens but he's watching Randy wander around like a mouse in a maze.
Becky Lynch comes out for a match but Alexa Bliss attacks her from behind and takes off her belt.
Curt Hawkins says gravity has to obey his laws. He's making a big announcement next week.
Bray wants to know where Orton is. As in any horror movie, he's right behind Bray and beats the heck out of him. Wyatt runs off so Orton puts on the sheep mask for a little singing. I think the video breaks up as the voice starts distorting and it turns into Bray. It's not clear if that was intentional.
AJ Styles recaps his rise to the championship and says he'll still have the title after tonight.
Smackdown World Title: Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles
Ambrose is defending and Cena is on commentary. Dean chops awayi n the corner as JBL asks if Cena really is a part timer or still a full time performer. Cena says nothing as Ambrose takes AJ onto the announcers' table for some right hands to the head. Back from a break with Ambrose hitting a running clothesline to put both guys down. A backbreaker gets two on the champ and we hit a cloverleaf.
Styles gets to the ropes so Dean gets in a suicide dive because every match needs a suicide dive. Back with AJ cranking on a Calf Crusher until Dean grabs his head to slam it onto the mat for the break. They slug it out until Dean gets two off a double chickenwing facebuster for two of his own.
AJ's torture rack powerbomb gets two more and a Pele puts Dean down again. He misses the springboard 450 though as Dean rolls away (it would have missed by a mile anyway) and they head outside where AJ hits Cena in the face. The distraction makes the referee miss a rollup, meaning Dean goes outside to hit Cena as well. The distraction lets AJ grab a rollup with tights for the pin to retain at 21:17.
Cena AA's both guys to end the show.
Usos/Ascension b. Heath Slater/Rhyno/American Alpha – Tequila Sunrise to Slater
Carmella/Natalya b. Nikki Bella/Naomi – Rollup to Bella
AJ Styles b. Dean Ambrose – Rollup with a handful of tights
Date: September 28, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves
This is an interesting time for NXT as we're still moving closer to Toronto but it's still too early to really know a lot of the card. We do however have a new #1 contender to the Women's Title in Liv Morgan, who Asuka agreed to face without seeming that worried about it. We've also got some cruiserweights around so maybe they'll make an appearance tonight. Let's get to it.
General Manager William Regal announces the second annual Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament, comprised of sixteen teams with the finals coming in Toronto. First round matches begin next week.
Opening sequence. Total time taken on Then, Now and Forever plus Regal's announcement: seventy two seconds.
Tye Dillinger vs. Angelo Dawkins
Dillinger does his cartwheel to start and says that's a ten. He mocks Dawkins' mixing bowl thing (Has that EVER been explained?) and avoids a spinning splash in the corner. A flying forearm and Russian legsweep set up the Tyebreaker for the pin on Dawkins at 2:25.
Post match here's Bobby Roode to say that was......impressive. Roode came here to propose a tag team to enter the Dusty Classic. Dillinger shakes on it and Perfectly Glorious is formed. Graves: “HALLELUJAH!”
Connor's Cure video.
Hideo Itami is ready to face an athlete like Lince Dorado, who has the heart Austin Aries is lacking. Maybe Aries needs to be put to sleep, again.
Ealy Brothers vs. Revival
Non-title and the Ealy Brothers are identical twins named Gabriel and Uriel. Actually never mind as here's Samoa Joe to beat up the brothers. Revival slowly backs away and applauds Joe as they leave.
Joe puts this on Regal and gets in a few more shots on the twins for fun.
Dan Matha arrives next week.
Mandy Rose vs. Ember Moon
Rose actually hits a heck of a forearm to start but gets kicked in the ribs for her efforts. A springboard crossbody gets two and Mandy is already in big trouble. Something like an abdominal stretch slows Moon down and a clothesline gets two. A tilt-a-whirl into a facebuster (Dalton Castle's Bang A Rang) gives Mandy another near fall but Ember sends her into the buckle, setting up the Eclipse for the pin on Mandy at 3:09.
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa want to win the Dusty Classic and then get the Tag Team Titles from the Revival.
Authors of Pain vs. Jesus Yurnet/Jonathan Cruz
Yurnet is slightly better known as Mr. 450. The Authors go right after them to start and Cruz is gorilla pressed out to the floor. The Russian legsweep/clothesline wraps Cruz up at 1:10.
Post match Paul Ellering says the next chapter will bring pain and that is all we need to know.
Regal can't get hold of Shinsuke Nakamura so he can't give us an update. He can however tell us about some Dusty Classic teams, or at least he could if Blake and Murphy didn't come in and start bickering some more. Regal tells them to go argue elsewhere.
Women's Title: Asuka vs. Liv Morgan
Asuka is defending and we get dueling LET'S GO LIV/ASUKA'S GONNA KILL YOU chants. They lock up to start and Liv's dropkick has no effect as Asuka takes her down and puts on something like the Rings of Saturn for the tap out at 55 seconds. This is EXACTLY what it should have been and is probably a record of some sort.
Asuka says no one is ready for her.
Next week: Cedric Alexander/Andrade Cien Almas vs. Revival in a first round Dusty Classic match.
Lince Dorado vs. Hideo Itami
They shake hands to start. Dorado misses an early charge into the corner but backflips away from one of Hideo's kicks. A jumping knee to the back of Hideo's neck doesn't do much good as an even harder kick to the chest drops Dorado. Lince comes right back with a dropkick to send Itami outside, setting up an Asai moonsault to drive Itami onto the ramp.
Back from a break with Itami getting kicked again, only to get in the tornado DDT neck snap across the top. Dorado's Tajiri handspring is almost countered into the GTS but Dorado reversed into a crucifix for two. Lince misses a shooting star press and that means it's time for the running kicks. The GTS puts Dorado away at 10:22.
Ignoring that though, it's not a big deal for the cruiserweight to be fighting the heavyweight. Over on Raw, so far at least, it's been cruiserweights vs. cruiserweights and that's almost all it can be. Once that stops, why should a cruiserweight go after their own title if they can fight for the heavyweight title? Now that we've seen people like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Seth Rollins and Finn Balor win the top titles in the company, it's pretty ridiculous to have them fight over a weight class title. The match was good though as Itami has gotten a lot better since coming back.
Post match here's Austin Aries to jump Itami but has to run away when Itami gets back up. Hideo tells him to get back in here to end the show.
Tye Dillinger b. Angelo Dawkins – Tyebreaker
Ember Moon b. Mandy Rose – Eclipse
Authors of Pain b. Jesus Yurnet/Jonathan Cruz – Russian legsweep/clothesline combo to Cruz
Asuka b. Liv Morgan – Double armbar
Hideo Itami b. Lince Dorado – GTS
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