So, because the TV station that airs Smackdown! in Canada chose to air baseball instead, I missed last week’s report for Smackdown!, but am now back for Raw!
Hell In A Cell is this Sunday with a packed card, but tonight is Raw, and it too features a big line-up in “Big D.” Hall Of Famers Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels are scheduled to appear, along with opponents/rivals The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar. What will Michaels and Flair have to do tonight; and who will get the one-up between “The Deadman” and “The Beast Incarnate” prior to their Hell In A Cell match on the pay-per-view/Network show?
Also, Director of Operations/”Demon” Kane has been taunting WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins for a long while; they too will square off for the title at Hell In A Cell, so which is going to get the “last laugh” beforehand?
All this and much more, so read on!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for October 19th, 2015 – “Filling In Action For ‘The Missing In Action’”
Introduction Segment: Welcoming and Arena Promo
Michael Cole acknowledges us and then some VERY familiar glass shatters. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is back and walks out, traditionally posing on the turnbuckle to kick off Raw! He pumps up the fans by recapping the start of his career, which began in this town of Dallas, and also asks them to give him a “hell yeah” if they are set for both Raw tonight and WrestleMania 32; of course, the crowd roars.
“Stone Cold” then brings out a man whom he has huge respect for, The Undertaker! “The Deadman” makes his usual entrance, then is left a lone in the ring. “Brock Lesnar, we have one last battle to fight. And listen when I say this son; the ‘depths of hell’ will look like ‘the gates to Heaven’ compared to where I’m going to take you this Sunday, at Hell In A Cell.”
The man who “The Phenom” will take on Sunday interrupts. Brock Lesnar is on stage, along with his manager Paul Heyman, who proclaims that Lesnar will defeat ‘Taker at Hell In A Cell and avenge his SummerSlam loss.
The Undertaker retorts, taking off his hat and trench coat, “when you take everything from a man, then that man is fighting with nothing to lose.” ‘Taker motions for Brock to join him, and “The Beast” approaches. He hops the apron, much to Heyman’s chagrin, but decides to back off and stare down Undertaker.
United States Champion John Cena and The Dudley Boyz will face Tag-Team Champions The New Day, after the break!
Match #1: Six-Man Tag-Team – United States Champion John Cena and The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) VS. Tag-Team Champions The New Day (Big E., Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods
Prior to the bout, The New Day cut a promo putting down their opponents and calling themselves “unicorns.” They, however, are dominated for the early part of the contest up until the break.
The New Day comeback with triple-mudhole stomps and control until Big misses a splash. Cena makes the hot-tag to D-Von while Woods switches. Amid a breakdown, Woods rolls-up D-Von and hooks his pants for the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: The New Day
Post-match, a brawl ensues and Cena drives Xavier down with the Attitude Adjustment. The Dudleys finish off by triple-powerbombing him through a table from the second turnbuckle!
Michael Cole reveals that Randy Orton may be injured courtesy of The Wyatt Family, as he never showed during the tour of Mexico, and he is not here tonight.
Segment #2: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is with Dean Ambrose and wants to know his thoughts on Randy Orton being “missing in action.” Ambrose states that it is a fact that The Wyatts probably caused Orton to be away, but “The Lunatic Fringe” is not going to take it. He’s going to go after Luke Harper and Braun Strowman tonight, on his own!
Match #2: Tag-Team – Team Bella (Alicia Fox and Nikki Bella) (with Brie Bella) VS. Team B.A.D. (Sasha Banks and Naomi) (with Tamina)
Fox and Banks begin, with Sasha getting the upper after a dropkick. She rams Alicia into the corner then tags in Naomi, who leaps over her and splashes Fox in the corner as Banks held on.
Naomi and Alicia continue to wrestle with Fox giving Naomi a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker but only receiving a two-count. Alicia tags in Nikki and they double-suplex Naomi for another near-fall! Nikki takes over and stretches Alicia’s face, but both engage in back-and-forth kicks, which Nikki gets the better of with a dropkick. Fox is back in and surfboard-stretches Naomi, but Naomi counters with double-boots and a springboard-kick out of the corner.
Nikki runs in and tries to knock Banks off the apron, but Sasha ducks. Naomi counters Nikki with a jawbreaker and gets the tag to “The Boss.” She is all over Bella and Fox, then Brie hops the apron. Nikki fires back with a forearm smash, and reverses a crossbody dive by Naomi, who was quickly tagged in. Nikki plants Naomi to the canvas with a spinebuster, but her Rack Attack is first countered. Naomi tries a move but is shoved into the turnbuckle and is dropped with the Rack Attack for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: Team Bella
Recap from last week’s Raw involving “Demon” Kane and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins is shown, as is a graphic from WWE.com that says Corporate Kane is suspended for tonight’s Raw. COO Triple H and is buddy Shawn Michaels are shown chatting backstage.
Segment #3: Video Promo
A montage of women and WWE Superstars involved with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to help fight Breast Cancer is aired, featuring the song “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten.
Segment #4: Arena Promo
He’s back! “HBK” makes a grand entrance/return to cheers from his home-state fans. Shawn Michaels talks about Hell In A Cell, citing that he was in the first one to start off the epic matches, with none-other than The Undertaker. He puts over both upcoming bouts with Lesnar/Taker, and Roman Reigns taking on Bray Wyatt inside the structure. He thinks that both of those will “steal the show.”
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins interjects and is not pleased that Shawn did not talk about him. He says that Michaels was to bring out Rollins, not yak about himself and the Hell In A Cell matches. Shawn reminds Seth that he likes to change things up, but Rollins informs him the instruction came from his “best friend” Triple H, and then says everyone is naming the WWE World Heavyweight Champion as “Shawn Michaels – Version Two.”
“Mr. WrestleMania” replies, telling Seth that he should not be satisfied being “number two,” because Shawn aspired to be that in his career. He tells Rollins that he should be concerned about Kane, but The Champion angrily responds that that is not the case, as he will soundly defeat him. Rollins hurries to get out of there, and wants the backstage crew to play his music. Shawn notifies him that the “number two” doesn’t always get what he wants; instead he is scheduled to take on Ryback next! Shawn asks for his music, which happens and Shawn prances to the back.
Match #3: Single – WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins VS. Ryback (Non-Title)
Ryback picks up Seth immediately then slams him to the mat a couple times. The Champion counters with a mini-jawbraker and chops away after wiggling out of a suplex. Ryback hits back with a clothesline, and whips him hard into the opposite turnbuckle. Ryback holds Seth high in a stalling-standing suplex, and rams his head off the ring apron.
Rollins gets out of a military press and shoves Ryback into the ring apron and steps. He follows with a dive through the ropes, pushing Ryback ribs-first into the commentator’s table! Seth works over Ryback with a body-scissors back in the ring, but it is reversed as Ryback places Rollins atop the turnbuckle. Seth punches off and leaps over, but is back-dropped as he ran off the ropes!
Ryback spins Seth around with a tilt-a-whirl slam, but can’t get the Shellshock. He does drive him with a spinebuster and gears up for the Meathook Clothesline. Rollins rolls to the apron and uses the ropes against Ryback, then finishes him with The Pedigree!
Winner via Pinfall: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins
Dean Ambrose is now booked to take on Luke Harper and Braun Strowman in a two-on-one match later tonight!
Recaps of Raw from earlier tonight with The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, and Smackdown with Rusev, Summer Rae, and Dolph Ziggler are shown. Ziggler, Neville, and Cesaro make their entrances for a match, next!
Match #4: Six-Man Tag-Team – Dolph Ziggler, Neville, and Cesaro VS. King Barrett, Rusev, and Sheamus
Neville and Rusev start out, with Neville giving Rusev kicks. “The Bulgarian Brute” comes back with a splash in the corner, but Neville hops over him and somersaults. He runs off the ropes with a headscissors, then tags in Cesaro, who powerfully slams Rusev!
Cesaro clamps on an armlock, then switches to Neville. They both hit Rusev with running arms in the corner, but Rusev manages to tag in Sheamus. “Mr. Money In The Bank” is aggressive on Neville right away, and even gets in the race of the referee. He clubs Neville with an axe-handle smash, then brings in Barrett, who snap-suplexes Neville. Sheamus, Rusev, and King take over for a while.
Neville and Sheamus going at it, but Neville flips over a suplex and ducks under to get the hot-tag to Cesaro. He repeatedly uppercuts Sheamus in the corners, then nails a dropkick. He climbs the turnbuckle and lands a crossbody, but only gets a two-count!
Cesaro measures Sheamus and attempts the Swing, but Sheamus squirms to the bottom rope, then tilt-a-whirl powerslams Cesaro. Both are down, but manage to make tags. Dolph and Barrett are in, with “The Show Off” dominating King until Rusev breaks it up. Dolph tosses Rusev to the floor, but is almost rolled-up after missing a Fameasser. He hits a second try, but still only gets two! He hits the superkick, but Sheamus breaks it up!
Cesar0 puts Sheamus to the outside with a big boot, then Rusev does the same onto Cesaro, then Neville dropkicks Rusev and springboard-swantons onto to both Cesaro and Rusev! In the ring, Dolph almost gets this with another roll-up, but then is Brogue-Kicked by Sheamus, allowing Barrett to cover and take this!
Winners via Pinfall: Sheamus, Barrett, and Rusev
Up next, Ric Flair will be out, who is shown conversing with Shawn Michaels in the hallway!
Segment #5: Arena Promo
Ric Flair is in the ring and introduced by Lillian Garcia as a “two-time WWE Hall Of Famer.” Flair has a smile on his face and cheap-pops Dallas and himself. He recounts the famous feuds of himself, The Freebirds, and The Von Erichs.
Ric moves on to Wrestlemania, then to announces that “The Lunatic Fringe” is once again “not alone,” as he will be able to face Harper and Strowman with the help of Roman Reigns. That man now joins Flair in the ring, and he is all smiles until Bray Wyatt’s video interjects.
The Wyatt Family are standing in the aisle, being Bray, Braun, and a returning Erik Rowan! Reigns invites Bray into the ring and places two chairs in the ring, then sits on one; he awaits Bray to join him. “The Eater Of Worlds” obliges and faces off with Roman.
Reigns calls Wyatt a “bully,” saying that he likes “power by fear,” but insinuates that Bray is actually afraid and will call on Rowan and Strowman to attack Reigns. First though, he reminds Bray that “they can’t get in so that means you ain’t getting out” at Hell In A Cell. He tells Bray that “you should be very afraid of me; very, very ‘fraid of me.” He pokes Bray a few times, then they both make a move. Reigns clobbers all three Wyatt members with a chair, then Dean Ambrose runs into help ward off the trio!
Segment #6: Office Promo
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, Stephanie McMahon, and Triple H are looking over Roman/Ambrose/Wyatts when Shawn walks in. Steph and HHH tell him they were talking about that whole situation and says that Dean and Roman should really have a partner instead of it being a Two-On-Three. “HBK” suggests Rollins, but Trips starts to put that down as he already wrestled. The WWE World Heavyweight Champion defends himself and wants to be in the match, saying he can handle the workload.
Match #5: Single – Brie Bella (with Team Bella partners Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox)VS. Divas Champion Charlotte (with Becky Lynch) (Non-Title)
They lockup and Charlotte slams Brie face-first to the canvas immediately. She grapples her with a Figure-4 necklock and flips her over a few times, then puts her to the mat with a big boot. Charlotte chucks Brie to Alicia and Nikki, then taunts all of Team Bella.
Inside the ring, she punches Brie against the turnbuckle, but Brie drops her against the top turnbuckle and stomps away against the bottom rope. She runs at Charlotte with her Brie-mode knee, but only gets two. Brie continues to punish Charlotte until Charlotte catches a kick and clotheslines her.
She chops on Brie’s chest and splashes her in the corner. Charlotte spears Brie, then locks on the Figure-8, forcing Brie to give-in!
Winner via Submission: Divas Champion Charlotte (with Becky Lynch)
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Paige is interviewed by Rene on her recent actions with Team P.C.B. and Natalya. She wonders if Paige was the one to assault Natalya last week on Smackdown! Paige is not straight-up and claims that it could’ve been any Diva, past or present, that took out Nattie. She then berates Rene for the interview and walks off.
Match #6: Single – Mark Henry VS. Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens (Non-Title)
They taunt each other first, then Owens takes control with clubbing punches and kicks. He hits a senton-splash after Mark missed a splash of his own. Henry makes a comeback for a bit until Owens superkicks him in the head, and drops him impressively with the Pop-Up Powerbomb and 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens
Post-match, Kevin continues to yell at Henry until Ryback hauls himself out. He pulls his straps down, but Owens escapes to the outside. As he walks around the ring, Mark met Kevin and places him back in the ring, where Ryback powerbombs him!
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
Rene asks Rollins about a “one-night-only reunion with The Shield,” but Seth shoots down that again. He is just there to show everyone, “to Shawn Michaels, to Triple H, that I am what I say I am when I call myself ‘the man.’ And if Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose want to rehash the past, well, I’ll just destroy them again. Thank you!”
Segment #9: Video Promo
The highlight reel of Brock Lesnar and Undertaker’s rivalry is shown.
It is announced that John Cena will have a United States Championship Open Challenge this Sunday at Hell In A Cell, and that the Six-Man between Sheamus/Barrett/Rusev and Cesaro/Ziggler/Neville will take place on the kickoff show.
Match #7: Six-Man Tag-Team – Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins VS. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erik Rowan, and Braun Strowman)
The Wyatts face-off with Ambrose and Reigns, but Rollins does not join right away. He then gets in Rowan’s face, but backs Reigns and Ambrose away and orders them to the apron while he begins because he’s “the champion of the world.”
Seth turns around into Rowan, who nods happily. Rollins immediately tags in Roman, and the two big-men wrestle. Rowan shoulder-blocks Roman, but Reigns hits back with a slap and tags in Dean, who hits a running front-dropkick. Erik gains the upper with a headbutt, then switches with Bray. Dean hits back again with a jumping clothesline, and punches away on Bray before tagging in Seth.
Rollins actually wrestles Bray, but gets out of the ring after a backbreaker. Roman and Dean try to comfort Rollins, but he doesn’t want it.
Both Rowan and Reigns are laying on the mat, but are able to get tags. Dean and Strowman fight it out, with Braun stopping Ambrose’s momentum with a big body-check. Bray is tagged, then is Rowan, and The Wyatt Family dominates.
Bray eventually tries Sister Abigail, but Dean fists out of it and moves from a corner splash. Dean looks for a tag, but Braun pulls Roman off the apron and throws him into the barrier. “The Lunatic Fringe” is looking for a tag, and Seth appears to as well, jumping on the apron. Just as Dean reaches out, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion hops off the apron and limps away, appearing to hurt his knee.
In the ring, Ambrose does g the tag to Reigns who cleans house on Erik. He signals and hits the Superman Punch, but Braun stops the subsequent pin. He then hurls Ambrose to the outside, and locks on his submission to cause Roman to fade. Ambrose breaks it up with numerous kendo stick shots, which also cause him and Roman to be DQ’ed.
Winners via Disqualification: The Wyatt Family
Post-match, the trio continue to beat-down Dean until Roman soars over the top rope with a splash! He spears Wyatt and Rowan, then he and Ambrose stand tall against The Wyatts to close the show!
End Of Raw.
This was a pretty-good Raw, especially for a “go-home” show where they usually just run through the motions, however there were a few anomalies which have perplexed me. Onto the analytical:
Excellence: matches of Teams Bella/B.A.D., Rollins/Ryback, Brie/Charlotte, and the two Six-Mans. Promos from “Stone Cold,” Undertaker, Rollins/Michaels, and Reigns/Wyatt.
Bogus: While Owens was superb in doing the “little things” again in his match and I understand why they booked him against Henry for power reasons, I also thought it was kind of a waste since we all knew Mark would lose anyway, and I would’ve preferred a final promo face-off between Owens and Ryback instead.
I would’ve liked to see a bit more out of Flair other than the quick reflection on his tine in Dallas and the quick intro for Reigns/Ambrose. I know Ric’s basically a “special attraction,” but the man can still cut a promo, so let him go for it once-in-a-while, like he could’ve tonight!
Not digging Paige’s constant flip-flop again; stay on one side!
What the heck happened to both Randy Orton and Luke Harper? I hope all is OK with the two and it was just storyline reasons why they were moved from their respective matches, tonight and at Hell In A Cell.
Until Smackdown, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Fans!