The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 08/25/14

Live from Anaheim, California this is the Raw Deal for episode #1109. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

The opening of Raw started with Jerry Lawler telling us what we knew last week after Raw and that’s the news about Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena at WWE Night of Champions in a rematch from SummerSlam.

Michael Cole was in the ring to host a Hall of Fame Forum. Hulk Hogan entered first to a really good ovation and the legendary Ric Flair was next. The third man is Shawn Michaels as JBL pointed out Anaheim is where Shawn Michaels won the WWE Title for the first time at WrestleMania 12.

Hall of Fame Forum with Hogan, Flair & Michaels

The three legends sat down at a Raw table as Cole hosted the segment. Cole mentioned that Cena gets a rematch against Lesnar in four weeks at Night of Champions. Michaels said Cena’s chances aren’t good because it ain’t happening. Michaels said in every man’s career somebody has to decide when they’re at a crossroads and know when to say when. Hogan said that Cena’s time is not up; he can still go. Flair said he thinks the world of Cena and put him over as a 15 time World Heavyweight Champion. He called him the franchise, like it or not. He doesn’t believe in Cena against Lesnar at NOC.

Hogan said hustle, loyalty & respect is really how Cena is and Hogan picked Cena. Michaels said they all liked Cena, but it doesn’t change that he’s going to lose. Michaels said nobody takes a beating like Cena did and comes back. Hogan pointed out that Cena got the win at Extreme Rules 2012, so they’re tied 1-1 right now. Hogan said Cena’s a different animal. As they kept going on, Cena’s music hit and he made his way down to the ring.

Cena faced the legends as Cole left the ring. He spoke about how everybody has an opinion of him. Fans chanted “Cena sucks” at him, so he paused. He talked about how he has the utmost respect for all three of them. Cena mentioned respect for HBK, how he’s been stylin’ & profilin’ with Flair and if there wasn’t Hogan there would be no Cena.

Cena said he’s not going to dance around SummerSlam and the 16 German Suplexes. He flat out said it was an ass whipping. “That was a 100% beatdown.” Cena added that Shawn was right when he said that a fight like that changes a man and that’s why he wants to fight Lesnar again. Cena said he’s going to bring the fight to Lesnar at Night of Champions. He asked them to look him in the eye. Cena mentioned that it was the biggest rematch of his life, but he’s not going to Night of Champions to beat Brock Lesnar – he’s going to Night of Champions to beat Brock Lesnar’s ass. The crowd cheered. Cena left confidently as the legends looked on.

Analysis: It would have been nice to hear from the legends more than we did because I liked where it was going. Michaels and Flair believed in Lesnar while Hogan, the ultimate babyface, supported Cena. It’s understandable that Cena wanted to speak, but they could have waited to do it. Cena showed the right kind of intensity in the promo and the fans appreciated him for it. This wasn’t the right time or place for a goofy promo, so it was nice to hear him talk like that. Good opening promo form everybody involved.

Later in the show it’s Cena vs. Bray Wyatt. The Usos defend the gold against Goldust & Stardust later. Rusev against Jack Swagger up next.

(Commercial)

Rusev was in the ring with the ravishing Russian Lana and the Russian flag with him. Jack Swagger entered with an American flag, but no sign of his manager Zeb Colter, who was kicked by Rusev. They replayed Colter getting kicked at SummerSlam.

Jack Swagger vs. Rusev (w/Lana)

The fans were chanting “USA” early on as Swagger gave Rusev an elbow that sent him outside the ring. Swagger applied the Patriot Lock in the ring, but Rusev was able to get to the ropes to break the hold. Swagger took him down, so Rusev went to the floor again. Swagger brought him back in with a clothesline in the corner as JBL continued to rip on Swagger for losing at SummerSlam. Rusev dropped Swagger rib first onto the top rope and then gave him a shoulderblock that sent him outside the ring. It’s floor to commercial break time three minutes into the match.

(Commercial)

Rusev was still in control after the break. Swagger hit a belly to belly suplex, then a clothesline and a big boot. Swagger Bomb blocked by Rusev’s foot, but Swagger caught him and applied the Patriot Lock. Rusev bit his hand to prevent himself from tapping out. Rusev came back and put Swagger down. Rusev was going for the Accolade, but Swagger applied the Ankle Lock again. Swagger got a jackknife cover for two. Great nearfall. Rusev with a kick to the gut to slow it down again. Rusev beat him down with punches and kicks to the ribs. Rusev stomped on the ribs as the refs checked on Swagger, who was selling his injured ribs. Lana was laughing at ringside because she’s awesome. Rusev continued to stomp on Swagger’s ribs and the referee rang the bell saying the match was stopped because Swagger couldn’t continue. The match went 13 minutes. The fans booed that decision.

Winner via referee stoppage: Rusev

Post match, the doctor went into ring to check on Swagger. Rusev celebrated with Lana in the ring as the Russian flag was lowered above the ring. JBL said it made him sick.

Analysis: **1/2 Good match with a unique ending you don’t see very often. That’s WWE trying to book Rusev like a monster that can win a match via referee stoppage even though nobody usually wins like that. It puts him over huge. Swagger showed a lot of heart in trying to fight back, but he couldn’t get the job done. The ref stoppage upset the fans a bit. That’s the point, though. It’s a heel winning a match, so they want to make the fans angry by doing a decision like that. That’s probably the end of Rusev/Swagger matches and you have to wonder about Swagger’s future as a babyface. It might not last that long. It feels like Rusev is going to move on to a bigger opponent whether it’s Mark Henry, Big Show or somebody like that.

There’s a Bella Twins family reconciliation later and RVD vs. Cesaro are in a #1 contender’s match for a shot at the US Title.

(Commercial)

Jack Swagger was in the trainer’s room. Bo Dallas showed up to rub the loss in his face and told him he just has to bolieve. Swagger wanted to go after him, but he was too hurt.

The US Champion Sheamus was at the announce table to scout for the next match. Cesaro was already in the ring without a televised entrance.

Cesaro vs. Rob Van Dam

Cesaro was aggressive early on as he told Sheamus to watch him while he stomps on the back of RVD while he was on the apron. Slingshot into the bottom rope by Cesaro for two. Cesaro missed a corner charge as RVD hit a moonsault and Sheamus made fun of JBL sitting in makeup for two hours. Jumping side kick by RVD. He went up top, but Cesaro rolled out to the floor. Cesaro stunned RVD on the top rope and hit the Neutralizer for the win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Cesaro

Analysis: *1/2 Short match that was a decisive win by Cesaro. It’s good to see that. That’s better than letting RVD look competitive. Having a heel win clean like that works for me. If it’s a cheap win then he doesn’t look as strong. Sheamus wasn’t great on commentary.

Post match, Cesaro grabbed the US Title that was on the announce table. He threw it back at the face of Sheamus and then walked away.

Analysis: They’ve wrestled so many times before, but it’s usually good. I don’t mind the feud at all. At least Cesaro isn’t losing every match like he was before.

The announce team of Cole, Lawler & JBL plugged WWE Network. They said they’re adding the first 100 hours of WCW Monday Nitro to WWE Network next week and also the Monday Night Wars feature. The MNW feature that already aired is awesome. Check it out if you haven’t yet. I love WWE Network.

Paige was shown skipping down to the ring.

(Commercial)

There was a replay of Natalya’s win over Paige last week on Raw. She also beat her on Smackdown. How is it not a title match when somebody loses twice?

Natalya vs. Paige

Quick rollup by Natalya. Paige came back with a hard forearm shot to the face. Paige did her sexy crawl, which isn’t really a heel move, but the fans like it. They exchanged abdominal stretch holds. Natalya hit a forearm shot and then a release German Suplex. Sharpshooter by Natalya right in the middle of the ring. Paige grabbed the ring apron instead of the ropes, so that caused a break. Paige went for a submission, but Natalya countered out of it and then Paige kicked her away. Paige hit the Paige Turner and she covered for the win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Paige

Analysis: *1/2 That’s a damn good three minute match. It would be nice if they got another seven minutes on top of it. They’re two of the better in ring performers among the women in WWE right now. Great use of holds, counters and a finisher that was decisive. The crowd was getting into it too. That’s why they should have a longer match. Hopefully this can be a feud later in the year.

Post match, AJ Lee showed up to distract Paige. Natalya got back to her feet and hit a spinning clothesline. The crowd chanted “CM Punk” as AJ went into the ring. AJ called Paige her “little English muffin.” AJ said she knew Paige was being sincere when saying she was her friend, but not as sincere as AJ and AJ gave Paige a hug in the center of the ring. AJ kissed Paige’s hand. AJ skipped around her and then she left. There was a replay of the hand kiss.

Analysis: It’s probably going to lead to another match between them at Night of Champions. I don’t really have a problem with it, but it would be better if Natalya was involved to make it a triple threat. That could still happen although most likely it will just be Paige taking on AJ again.

Up next is the eulogy of Dean Ambrose by Seth Rollins.

(Commercial)

The Eulogy of Dean Ambrose

Kane was in the ring for the eulogy of Dean Ambrose as well as a podium with a microphone. There was a picture of Ambrose in the ring. Kane welcomed Seth Rollins to the ring. They were both wearing black suits. If you don’t know, Ambrose is off filming a WWE movie called Lockdown. He should be back towards the end of September.

Rollins said he was the leader of the most dominant group in WWE history, The Shield. There’s a reason he picked Ambrose to be in the group and that’s because pain and fear were never a factor. He kept talking in the past tense about Ambrose as he mentioned that he was a courageous fighter. Rollins said that he had to prove that The Authority always wins. He set up a replay package of what happened to Ambrose last week when Rollins stomped his head through some cinderblocks and it was all thanks to Kane.

Rollins bragged about how Ambrose was outmatched physically and mentally. He mentioned that Ambrose was going to have headaches for the rest of his life. Rollins wondered what if Ambrose knew his place, what if he recognized Seth’s superiority and what if Ambrose walked away when he had the opportunity. The crowd kept chanting “what” while Rollins talked over them. He mentioned that Ambrose was done. “I’m the one who created The Shield and I’m the one who has destroyed it.” As soon as he said that, the music of Roman Reigns started up and Reigns went to the ring by entering through the crowd.

When Reigns got to ringside, Kane brawled with him. Reigns threw Kane into the steel steps at ringside. He faced off with Rollins. They brawled all around the ring. Reigns threw Rollins the podium and then hit Rollins in the head in the head with it. Clothesline by Reigns. He was setting up for the Superman Punch, but Kane yanked Rollins outside the ring.

Analysis: Rollins did a good job with that promo. That’s definitely his weakness as a performer, or at least it was, but he more than held his own in what was a major promo for him. It’s great for his character to say that he created The Shield and he killed it as a way to introduce Reigns into this storyline. Of course, we can question where Reigns was last week to save Ambrose, but it’s not too big of a deal. This could lead to Rollins vs. Reigns at Night of Champions although they still need to have Randy Orton in a match. Maybe they will make it a triple threat to stack the deck against Reigns although I’d prefer it if it was just Reigns vs. Rollins because that could be great. Another possibility is doing a tag match with Ambrose returning at Night of Champions.

There was a replay of Cena interrupting the old guys earlier in the ring. Cena vs. Wyatt later.

Goldust and Stardust were backstage talking about how their destiny was calling out to them. Stardust said tonight they become tag team champions as they mentioned that we’ll never forget the names of Goldust & Stardust. Tag titles up next.

(Commercial)

Both teams get televised entrances. They get the major intros when they’re in the ring.

Tag Team Titles: The Usos vs. Goldust & Stardust

The Usos are wrestling in their shirts again. Stardust sent Jimmy out of the ring as Goldust hit a dive to take out Jey on the floor and then Stardust hit a dive outside the ring to take out Jimmy. They went back into the ring for a Stardust nearfall before. Time for a commercial without anybody on the floor. That’s just crazy.

(Commercial)

The Dust boys were still in control after the break. There was a double cross body spot between Jimmy and Goldust, so they were both down. Jey tagged in as well as Stardust and Jey hit a running dropkick. The running butt splash by Jey on Stardust followed up by a Samoan Drop on Goldust. Jey hit a plancha over the top rope to take out Stardust. Jey was favoring his left knee. Stardust made it back into the ring, but Jey wasn’t able to get back in because of his knee injury. The Usos lost via countout in 8 minutes.

Winners by countout: Goldust & Stardust (Usos retain tag team titles)

Post match, Goldust got in the ring with the microphone. He complained about them getting counted out on purpose. He accused him of getting counted out on purpose. Goldust & Stardust attacked. They sent Jimmy out of the ring. Then they teamed up to attack Jey. They slammed Jey’s injured left knee into the ring post. The Dust brothers posed in the ring to end the segment.

Analysis: ** Heel turn alert! Well done. It wasn’t an expected turn because Goldust & Stardust have been booked like babyface for a while, but it made a lot of sense. They wanted their tag title shot, they didn’t lose the match and they attacked because they felt like they were robbed. It made a lot of sense from a storyline perspective.

We’ll hear from Brock Lesnar next.

(Commercial)

Backstage, Seth Rollins and Kane complained about Roman Reigns in The Authority’s office. Kane put Reigns in a match against Rollins & Kane later on Raw. They said just like Dean Ambrose their business with Roman Reigns ends tonight.

Analysis: It’s a good thing they never have anything booked for the show so they can just add matches randomly!

Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman Video

There was a sitdown interview with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman with highlights mixed in. He spoke about how he hit Cena with the F5 right off the bat and gave him the chance to stay down, but instead Cena’s “no give up bullshit takes over” and it didn’t do Cena any favors. Heyman said Lesnar took pity on Cena and decided to end the fight. Heyman added that Lesnar is humiliated that Cena would even invoke a rematch clause. Heyman told Cena that this was a bad mistake. He’s a huge fan of his, but it’s a bad mistake. Lesnar wondered if Cena’s dad filled John’s ear full of garbage. Then he told Cena he’s going to run into a guy that is going to knock his down and he’s going to keep knocking him down after he stands up. Lesnar: “You’re not going to get up, John Cena. It’s over my friend. I don’t feel bad for you because for the last 12 years that’s what they’ve been living on. And then Brock Lesnar shows up. John Cena, mark my words, Night of Champions is going to be your last night in this universe. Game over. Almost brings a tear to my eye.” The video ended after more highlights of Lesnar hitting the F5.

Analysis: Wow. That was an incredible video once again. Every time they do these videos they are absolutely perfect. Lesnar does such a good job of having no emotion on his face when he talks. It makes him look scary. The only thing I didn’t like was Lesnar saying “game over” at the end because that’s a Triple H line. He doesn’t need to be using Triple H lines. Lesnar comes across like the perfect bully. Very entertaining like usual.

The IC Champ Dolph Ziggler faces The Miz again. Can’t we get some fresh matches? Apparently not. It’s after the break.

(Commercial)

This week on WWE Main Event it’s Seth Rollins taking on Rob Van Dam.

The Miz did a promo about how Mickey Mouse asked him to take a picture with him at Disneyland. He also spoke about how he had his own stunt double. Miz isn’t in his ring gear. Miz welcomed his stunt double: Damien Mizdow. Of course it’s Damien Sandow in Miz gear. I guess that’s fresh.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow w/The Miz

The Miz joined the announce team for this match. Ziggler hit a dropkick for two. Sandow hit a forearm smash to the face, but Ziggler moved out of the way of a knee drop. Ziggler hit two clotheslines. Sandow hit a dropkick to the knee. Figure Four Leglock by Sandow as the announcers put him over as a great stunt double. Ziggler fought out of it pretty easily and hit the Zig Zag for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler

Analysis: *1/2 It was a decent three minute match. Nobody believes in anything that Sandow does so the crowd was dead even for the Figure Four Leglock spot. Ziggler getting the clean win was the right call.

Post match, Miz applauded Ziggler on the win and left without any kind of confrontation.

The Bella Twins reconciliation attempt is next.

(Commercial)

Jerry Lawler was in the ring hosted this Bella Twin reconciliation.

Nikki entered first. She sat in a chair. Brie entered second. They both had the same entrance music. Nikki complained that Brie had the same song.

Brie said they have been close since before they were born because their mom said they were holding hands when they were in the womb. Brie said she loves a lot of people, but with her sister she’s got a special bond. Brie told her to forget about WWE & Total Divas – she just wants to have her family back together. Nikki said that it was all a lie. She said that Brie wanted to be loved more and that Brie didn’t care about Nikki. Brie said it was never about her. Nikki said it was always about you. Nikki complained about Brie acting like such an angel because it’s all an act. Nikki talked about how they weren’t holding hands in the ultrasound, maybe Brie was holding Nikki back. Then Nikki said she was sick of the guys at home having a twin fantasy and then she called them fat. Nikki said she was done playing second fiddle to Brie. Nikki mentioned that Brie stole Nikki’s boyfriends when they were young. Brie was all sad saying that Nikki was lying. She kept on pushing it and Brie was in tears. Nikki taunted her some more saying Brie cared more about trending on Twitter than she cared about Brie. What a brutal line. Lawler told her to stop. Nikki told him to leave, calling him “old man.” He sure is old.

Nikki said as far as she’s concerned she has no sister. Nikki said she wished she died in the womb. Nikki attacked Brie. Lawler tried to pull Brie off. Nikki slapped Lawler although the camera didn’t catch it because it was on Brie. Other refs had to pull Nikki off. She was yelling that Brie was dead to her and that she had no sister. Nikki walked off on her own while Brie ended up crying.

Analysis: That was a one sided promo as Brie continues to be one of the worst booked babyface characters in WWE right now. Nikki did a decent job as a condescending heel that has gone to extremes to point out how much she doesn’t like her sister. It was over the top a bit. Not great, but not bad either. At some point Brie has to fight back. That’s going to come obviously, but it would have been nice if she actually tried to attack Nikki after all the things she said. Fans don’t cheer losers. That’s what Brie looks like all the time.

There was another replay of Cena’s promo from earlier. He’s in a match later, but the Handicap match is next.

(Commercial)

Roman Reigns entered first followed by Kane and then Seth Rollins. Kane’s new corporate ring gear is wrestling shirtless and in black pants. He wore a tank top when he was Corporate Kane earlier in the year.

Roman Reigns vs. Kane & Seth Rollins

Reigns with a clothesline to Kane to send him out of the ring early. Kane stopped Reigns and Rollins tagged in with two forearm shots in the corner. Reigns with a back body drop to Rollins that sent him to the floor. Then Reigns unleashed on Kane with some punches. Reigns drove Rollins into the barricade and then the side of the ring. Reigns hit a running kick on Kane as he was by the ropes. Reigns with the Spear. Rollins broke up the pin with a shot to the back with the briefcase. The match went about four minutes.

Winner by DQ: Roman Reigns

Analysis: *1/2 It was just a short match to put over the angle of the heels making things unfair against Reigns. Nice job by Reigns making the comeback.

Rollins attacked Reigns with the briefcase and dumped him out of the ring. Rollins threw Reigns into the barricade as Kane stomped away on Reigns as well. They had the cinderblocks at ringside again. Kane held Reigns, but Reigns fought out of it with punches to both guys. Superman Punch by Reigns to Rollins. Reigns sent Kane into the steel post. Reigns picked up a brick and threw it at Rollins, but he moved. The brick hit the steel post. Rollins left up the ramp. Reigns hit a Superman Punch on Kane to end the segment. Rollins trash talked Reigns at ringside.

Analysis: There was no reason for them to take Reigns out. It was a nice tease, but watching it you knew that Reigns was going to make the comeback. That made Reigns look strong, which isn’t really new. That’s how he’s booked most of the time. No sign of Randy Orton this week.

The announcers showed that the brick broke and a piece of it nearly hit Lawler. He put it on the table. It made a noise at least. JBL talked about Reigns putting people in danger. Then they plugged WWE Network.

There was a backstage promo by Bray Wyatt, who was joined by Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. He talked about how Cena was like a wounded animal stumbling through the woods. Wyatt said he’s a man of mercy and he’s going to put him down. He told Cena that he shouldn’t worry because it’s so much nicer on the other side. Wyatt ended it by saying “run.”

Analysis: Just a short promo to put over Wyatt’s match with Cena later on Raw.

(Commercial)

This Friday on Smackdown it’s Big Show & Mark Henry taking on Luke Harper & Erick Rowan. They had a match on Raw last week.

Los Matadores w/El Torito vs. Heath Slater & Titus O’Neil

The Slater/O’Neil team is known as Slater Gator since O’Neil went to Florida University where he played football for the Gators. Slater hit a jumping sidekick on Diego. O’Neil and Slater argued about their tags. Rollup for two by Diego, but then Slater came back with a clothesline. O’Neil tagged himself in and hit a corner splash. O’Neil punched Diego in the ribs as Slater did a poor version of O’Neil’s barking yell. Diego (that’s Primo) hooked the arms of Slater for the crucifix pin and the win. No hot tag in this match. The match went four minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Los Matadores

Analysis: * It was just a filler match. I’d rather see four more minutes of Natalya against Paige earlier in the show.

There was another replay of the Hall of Fame forum from earlier with Michaels and Flair putting over Lesnar while Hogan believed in Cena.

(Commercial)

Bo Dallas vs. Kofi Kingston

Dallas gets the televised entrance while Kingston started in the ring. Kingston hit a springboard attack using double knees to the face. Boots to the face by Kingston, but when he went for a top rope attack it was countered by Dallas as he shoved him. Dallas capitalized with the Running Bodog although they nearly botched the move. He was able to get through it okay. It was a two minute match.

Winner by pinfall: Bo Dallas

Analysis: * It was a short match and a clean win to put over Dallas. It’s really a shame that WWE has abandoned the Kingston stable with Big E & Xavier Woods although they did team together at live events on the weekend.

Post match, Dallas said Kingston is not like Swagger because he just let himself down while Swagger let down his whole country. Bo said they just need to Bolieve. Swagger showed up in the ring to attack Dallas by picking him up and slamming him down in a belly to belly slam.

Analysis: It was good to see Swagger get his hands on Dallas after all of Bo’s trash talking. Perhaps this angle will keep Swagger a face. I still have my doubts about him as a face long term.

It’s Cena vs. Wyatt in the main event up next.

(Commercial)

Next week on Raw Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel will have Randy Orton as the guest. Neither one of them was on this show.

As John Cena made his entrance, Lawler said it was Cena’s first match since SummerSlam. Apparently the house show matches this weekend don’t count even though they advertise live events during the show. Wyatt didn’t get the full entrance. No idea why. Instead of playing the song they just showed his graphic, the lights went out quickly and then went back on with Wyatt in the ring.

John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt w/Erick Rowan & Luke Harper

Cena hit a stiff clothesline early on. German Suplex by Cena. He hit another suplex although this time it was more of a belly to back suplex instead of a traditional German Suplex. Cena with a vertical suplex. Cena aggressively punched Wyatt in the corner and then Cena hit a running knee. Another release German Suplex by Cena on Wyatt. Huge clothesline by Cena. Wyatt elbowed out and then hit a running splash in the corner. Cena took down Wyatt again. Rowan & Harper attacked Cena for the DQ finish after 5 minutes.

Winner by DQ: John Cena

Big Show and Mark Henry went into the ring to save Cena from the 3 on 1 attack. They brawled with the Wyatt Family as the show went to break.

Analysis: *1/2 That was impressive by Cena. He was really aggressive with that clothesline at the start of the match. Those suplexes looked good too. Wyatt getting his ass beat like that was discouraging as it happened, but the obvious six man tag set up made sense. That’s why it was Wyatt in this match.

(Commercial)

The announcers said the match was made during the break by The Authority. Cue the Teddy Long tag match jokes. Screw that. I can use this!

John Cena, Big Show & Mark Henry vs. Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan

The match started during the break. Show hit Rowan with a body slam. After Henry tagged in, Rowan hit a clothesline on him. The heels did a bunch of quick tags as they isolated Henry in their corner. Fans were actually chanting “sexual chocolate” in support of Henry. Rowan gave a body slam to Henry as the announcers freaked out about it. Harper hit some elbow smashes in the corner, but Henry kicked him away and tagged in Big Show. Running splash by Show in the corner, but Harper came back with a dropkick. Rowan with a big boot to the face of Show. More quick tags by the heels as Harper hit a kick to the face of Show. Cena has yet to tag in. Show hit a Chokeslam on Wyatt and that allowed him to make the hot tag to Cena.

Cena was on fire when he tagged in and hit a German Suplex on Harper, who was the legal man for his team. Wyatt got knocked off the apron. Cena applied the STF on Harper to win for his team as Harper tapped out. The match went about 7 minutes.

Winners by submission: John Cena, Big Show & Mark Henry

Analysis: *3/4 It was an average six man tag. It’s so weird seeing guys like Henry and Show as the babyfaces in peril that have to sell. At least the Wyatt Family has believable offense against them because most teams wouldn’t be able to hold their own. Cena getting the win was predictable. It wasn’t a good night for Wyatt. It bothers me that he was booked in this kind of situation because he’s a heel that needs to look strong. At least he didn’t get pinned.

Post match, Cena gave the Attitude Adjustment to Rowan. Henry and Show tossed Wyatt into the ring. Cena gave the Attitude Adjustment to Wyatt. Then Cena gave the Attitude Adjustment to Harper. They replayed the finish of the match.

Cena celebrated his win as Raw came to a close with his music playing. He hugged some fans at ringside as the show ended.

Analysis: Cena showed no ill effects from the loss to Lesnar eight days earlier. It would have been nice if he was favoring his shoulder, neck or ribs. At least that way it would put over the idea that Lesnar did weaken him a bit. Instead, he’s back to being Super Cena beating everybody in his path.

Some fans are probably going to complain because of it, but at this point what do you expect? Like I was tweeting about earlier on Monday, WWE is going to book Cena really strong for the next four weeks and make him look like a credible threat going into the match with Lesnar. That’s their selling point. They will tell the story that Lesnar may have kicked his ass last time, but next time Cena’s going to be ready. It will be a more competitive rematch with Lesnar getting the win.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. That Brock Lesnar video package

2. Seth Rollins

3. Rusev

 

The Scoreboard

4.5 out of 10

Last week: 6

2014 Average: 6.15

2014 High: 9 (April 7 & June 30)

2014 Low: 3.5 (June 2)

Last 5 Weeks: 6, 6, 4, 7, 7.5

 

Final Thoughts

It was a below average Raw that I’m rating a 4.5 out of 10.

There were no matches that stood out. They all felt average or really short. It could have used something like Rollins/Ambrose last week, but instead there was nothing that memorable in the ring all night long.

The crowd wasn’t very loud. I don’t know if it was their fault or if it was just a boring show. I’ll blame the show.

Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Randy Orton weren’t on the show. No explanation was given. They didn’t even come up with a “vacation” reason either. They just didn’t mention them except that Orton is on Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel show next week.

The only match advertised for Night of Champions is Lesnar vs. Cena. Sheamus vs. Cesaro will likely take place there too, but it’s not official yet.

—–

Check out my feature column archive that’s exclusive to WhatCulture. I write there every day. Some recent posts include 10 things WWE you to forget about Rey Mysterio, remembering when John Cena put over other stars huge, a feature about when WWE stars went corporate and more.

That’s all for me. Have a great week.

John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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