Tonight on Raw, Sting is set to be there and move along his rivalry with WWE World Heavyweight and United States Champion, Seth Rollins. What will “The Icon” have to say as to why he attacked “The Architect” last week?
The Dudley Boyz made a superb return last week and have another win already under their belt, despite the protests of Tag-Team Champions The New Day. Will a title match for Night Of Champions be made official? As well, Teams P.C.B, B.A.D., and The Bellas are still going at it; how will their war affect the Divas Championship at the Network/Pay-Per-View for September?
Lastly, can Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns can a measure of revenge tonight over The Wyatt Family; or does the destructing trio have more in store?
All this and much more, so read on!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for August 31st, 2015 – “Challenge(s) Set’”
Introduction Segment: Video Promo and Welcoming
Recap of Sting’s Raw return and attack on WWE World Heavyweight and United States Champion Seth Rollins is shown. The regular Raw video plays and the pyro explodes in the arena of Tampa, Florida. Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and John “Bradshaw” Layfield greet us and run down a few matches for tonight – the Intercontinental Championship will be on the line as Ryback defends against The Big Show; Paige, Becky, and Charlotte will take part in a Beat-The-Clock-Challenge in a #1 Contender’s Match to the Divas Championship; Braun Stowman goes against Dean Ambrose; and The Dudleyz face The New Day!
Segment #2: Arena Promo
The lights go dark and Sting’s video shows on the screens. The man himself walks out and moves into the ring. He is happy to be back and gives props to Triple H and their bout at WrestleMania. Sting berates Seth Rollins for “running roughshod” on his championship, which means so much to so many. He says Rollins has the audacity to compare himself to former WWE Champions Bruno Sammartino and The Ultimate Warrior. “The Icon” tells us the only thing missing in his career was a WWE Championship, so that is why he has challenged Rollins for the match at Night Of Champions, and he declares he will beat him. “I’m going to prove at Night Of Champions that Seth Rollins is not half the man that Triple H is!” Sting exits the squared circle and poses on the ramp for the fans.
Segment #3: Office Promo
The WWE World Heavyweight and United States Champion was watching on in The Authority’s office. He is upset at Sting’s comments and interruption of his ceremony last week. Stephanie tells Seth that right now, Sting is better than Rollins, but that can change as long as Rollins beats Sting at Night Of Champions.
Dolph Ziggler’s music plays in the arena and he and Lana makes their entrance; he is going to face Rusev, next.
Match #1: Single – Dolph Ziggler (with Lana) VS. Rusev (with Summer Rae)
Dolph waistlocks Rusev to begin, but is tossed around the ring a couple times. Ziggler hits back with a dropkick that sends Rusev to the outside; he gets back in the ring and kicks away at Dolph. He attempts a backdrop, but Ziggler flips out and jumps on his back with a sleeper. Rusev breaks it then pushes Dolph from the apron to the barricade.
Rusev tries a mat-splash but Dolph rolls out of the way. Ziggler punches for a comeback but Rusev clotheslines him down and wears him with a bearhug. He misses another splash, this time in the corner, and Dolph jumps on him with the leaping-DDT! Rusev counters a neckbreaker with a backdrop and, impressively, somersault-splashes him on the canvas. He hits a spin-kick too, but is later superkicked for a near-fall by Ziggler!
They end up on the outside, where Dolph chucks Rusev into the steel steps, and both re-enter just prior to ten. Rusev kicks him hard, stomps on his back, then goes for The Accolade but Dolph slips out, counters a kick, and brings him down with the Zig-Zag! Before the referee can count to three, Summer Rae interferes on Rusev’s behalf, causing the DQ.
Winner via Disqualification: Dolph Ziggler (with Lana)
Post-match, Lana enters the fray and engages in a cat fight. She and Dolph get the better and walk to the back.
Up next is the Divas Beat-The-Clock Challenge!
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
Rene Young interviews Dolph Ziggler and Lana; Lana walks off quickly and Dolph makes comments about his match with Rusev, saying he would like Summer to keep away from them. He goes to his locker room, and as Young continues to talk about Raw, we see Summer Rae sneaking into Ziggler’s locker room.
Segment #5: Arena Promo
Team Bella are in the ring, and Divas Champion Nikki Bella addresses us. She wants to share her “moments” of being the Divas Champion for the last nine months, so she puts a countdown clock on the Titantron, which will end on September 14th, when she becomes the longest-reigning Divas Champion.
Match #2: Beat-The-Clock Single – Alicia Fox (with Team Bella partners Divas Champion Nikki Bella and Brie Bella) VS. Becky Lynch (with Team P.C.B. partners Paige and Charlotte)
Becky goes behind and rolls up Alicia for a quick count. They trade different pin combos, then Becky clutches Alicia’s left arm in a couple of holds. Fox fires back with a dropkick and wears down Becky with a rear chinlock. Lynch snapmares her over to break it then hits a couple clotheslines. She springboard kicks and suplexes Alicia out of the counter for another two-count.
Fox O’Connor rolls Lynch, but Becky kicks her off and turns it into her Disarmer Hold, forcing Alicia to tap-out at 3:21.
Winner via Submission: Becky Lynch (with Team P.C.B. partners Paige and Charlotte)
Segment #6: Locker Room Promo
Rich Brennan inquires Intercontinental Champion Ryback about his match with The Big Show tonight. Ryback lists everything that he has gone through in the last few months and insists he will beat Show.
We hear a scream and the camera pans to Summer Rae running away; Dolph appears only in a towel out of his locker room.
Both The Big Show and Ryback make their entrances and will wrestle next for the IC Title!
Match #3: Single for the Intercontinental Championship – The Big Show (Challenger) VS. Ryback (Champion)
(Note: The Miz is on commentary.) Show kicks and punches Ryback right away, but “The Big Guy” fights back with fists of his own. He runs off the ropes but is met with a huge shoulder block by Show, who then chops Ryback in the corner. Ryback reverses and gives Show shoulders and clotheslines in the corner, but runs into another hard hit.
Big whips Ryback into the opposite corner and clotheslines him, mouths off to Miz, then slams Ryback down with his arm. Show gets angry at the crowd for chanting “please retire,” which allows Ryback to try and slam him. Show falls on Ryback and takes control again. He double-arm DDT’s Ryback, then works him over with a grounding Cobra Clutch. Ryback punches out of it and flies at him with a shoulder tackle! He gets out of a chokeslam and spinebusters Show for two! Big counters a Meathook Clothesline attempt with a chokeslam but also only gets two! He then ascends the turnbuckle, but Ryback tosses him off to the canvas! He gears up for another Meathook Clothesline but Show meets him halfway with a spear! Show winds up for the Knockout Punch but The Miz distracts him from the apron and Ryback finishes this hard-fought contests with The Shellshock!
Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Ryback
Up next, Charlotte will take on Brie Bella in another Beat-The-Clock Challenge!
Match #4: Beat-The-Clock Single – Brie Bella (with Team Bella members Divas Champion Nikki Bell and Alicia Fox) VS. Charlotte (with P.C.B. partners Paige and Becky Lynch)
Charlotte has three minutes and twenty-one seconds to win this. Brie stalls and tries to a escape a few times, but Charlotte finally catches her and tries the Figure-8 Submission. She gives Brie a neckbreaker and her other finisher, The Natural Selection (floatover-snapmare-facebuster) and gets the 1-2-3, with 1:41 to go!
Winner via Pinfall: Charlotte (with P.C.B. partners Paige and Becky Lynch)
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Rene Young talks to The Dudley Boyz! Bubba Ray says they are “planning on putting everybody through a table!” He touts their success as “the most decorate tag-team,” and want to become ten-time Tag-Team Champions. He warns The New Day that they too will be put through the table.
Kevin Owens and Cesaro are walking backstage, and will wrestle next!
Match #5: Single – Cesaro VS. Kevin Owens
Owens talks trash in Cesaro’s face to begin, which Cesaro responds with an uppercut. They go back-and-forth until Cesaro gives him a big boot, stalling suplex, and double-stomp, all for two! He clotheslines Owens hard, but Owens takes a break on the outside. Cesaro chases and uppercuts him against the barrier, then soars off the top turnbuckle with a crossbody back in the ring.
Kevin gains control after yanking Cesaro’s leg on the apron and giving him the Cannonball in the corner. He plants Cesaro with a Torture Rack-Neckbreaker but only gets two, much to his dismay as he complains to the referee going into break.
Both are battling on the top turnbuckle; Cesaro gets the better with a high-dropkick and a top-turnbuckle gutwrench suplex! He goes uppercutting in the corner, then catches a kick and drives him into the mat with a Reverse Death Valley Driver! Owens kicks out, then fends off both a Neutralizer and Sharpshooter attempt. Kevin goes for another Cannonball, but Cesaro moves. He slaps Kevin silly, then stops a Tornado-DDT attempt with a front-slam and crossface! Owens reaches the ropes and whips Cesaro, who flips over the ropes and stands on the apron. He kicks Owens in the head then tries a suplex from the apron. Owens blocks it and runs at him, sending Cesaro rocketing into the announce table, ribs-first. The referee checks on him and he seems okay to go.
In the ring, Cesaro tries a swing or sharpshooter, but Owens gets out of it, kicks him, and propels him to the canvas with his Pop-Up Powerbomb to take this one!
Winner via Pinfall: Kevin Owens
Up next, Dean Ambrose battles Braun Strowman!
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
Dolph Ziggler is trying to explain what happened with Summer Rae in his locker Room to Lana. She does not seem happy and walks off, despite Dolph saying that nothing happened and he covered up quickly.
Segment #9: Arena Promo
The Wyatt Family walk out and speak prior to Braun’s bout. Bray thanks “Sister Abigail” for giving him Mr. Strowman and talks about the end of the world. He gives the mike to Strowman, who verbalizes “This isn’t the beginning; it’s the end; the apocalypse.”
Match #6: Single – Braun Strowman (with Wyatt Family members Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper) VS. Dean Ambrose (with Roman Reigns)
Strowman dominates by hurling Ambrose around then punching and kicking him hard in the gut/chest areas. He throws Dean into the corner of the barrier, then pushes his face down on it. He hits Reigns too, who comes back and slugs it out with Braun, causing a DQ.
Winner via Disqualification: Braun Strowman
Post-match, Braun continues to decimate Ambrose and Reigns around the ring; Roman tries a few more punch in the ring, but is quickly clasped in the reverse Cobra Clutch. Dean tries to break it up with a chair-shot, but it had no effect; Reigns tries another fist but Harper comes in and superkicks him. Strowman welds Ambrose unconscious with the reverse Cobra Clutch, then gives Reigns a powerbomb-side-facebuster. He holds up Roman, allowing Bray to spin him around with Sister Abigail. “Follow the buzzards,” Bray yells out.
Segment #10: Backstage Promo
Rene is with the WWE World Heavyweight and United States Champion, Seth Rollins. He puts himself over and wants to have a face-to-face with Sting later tonight!
Up next, Paige meets Sasha Banks in the final Beat-The-Clock Challenge!
Match #7: Beat-The-Clock Challenge Single – Paige (with P.C.B. partners Charlotte and Becky Lynch) VS. Sasha Banks (with Team B.A.D. partners Naomi and Tamina Snuka)
Paige sweeps up Sasha right away but is tripped up into the turnbuckle. Sasha kicks Paige in the corner, then both trade pin combinations. Paige manages to drive her into the mat with the RamPaige DDT, but Tamina and Naomi yank Sasha out of the ring before the cover. As Sasha gets back in, Paige tries for the Paige Tap-Out, the clock runs out.
Winner: No Contest
Post-match, Charlotte is declared the #1 Contender. Paige shakes her hand and hugs, then Charlotte stares down Team Bella who came onto the stage.
Segment #11: Backstage Promo
Rene asks Lana’s reaction on Summer’s explanation of what took place in Dolph’s locker room. A video is shown of an earlier interview between Rae and Young, where Summer insinuated that Dolph invited her to talk and work things out, then he took off his clothes in front of her, which Summer says she enjoyed. We go back to Rene and Lana, where Lana silently moves on.
Segment #12: Arena Promo
Tag-Team Champions The New Day walk to the ring, complete with a new long-hairdo on Xavier Woods. They assert that The Dudleys are a “menace to society” because they like destroying tables. Kofi Kingston tries to get everyone to join them in a “save the tables” movement, and all three list examples of tables in people’s lives that have special moments, such as being with Granny/”Bubbi,” the poker table, or learning your times tables (multiplication). New Day pull out “the last table,” which is covered in bubble wrap! They begin a “save…the tables” chant!
Match #8: Tag-Team – Tag-Team Champions The New Day (Big E. and Kofi Kingston) (with Tag-Team Champion and New Day partner Xavier Woods) VS. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba and D-Von)
(Note: The Primetime Players – Titus O’Neil and Darren Young – are on commentary.) D-Von and Big E. begin, with wristlocks and a headlock. D-Von gives Big E. a spinning elbow and a neckbreaker for two. Big punches D-Von then tags in Kofi, who is flipped. Bubba is tagged and locks up with Kofi. At first, he is kicked, but clotheslines Kofi so hard he turns him inside out! Both Dudleys toss out Big E. and Kofi to the floor for a break.
D-Von and Big E. are wrestling, then Kofi comes in. Woods pulls the ropes and D-Von tumbles to the outside. Bubba complains and Kofi leaps from the apron with a double-stomp on D-Von! New Day control, switching in and out. D-Von continues to get punished by Big E. with an abdominal stretch. D-Von tries to fight back but is elbowed down. Kofi is tagged in and stretches D-Von, but a move from the top turnbuckle is countered with a clothesline by D-Von! Bubba gets the hot-tag from his brother and cleans house on Kofi.
He flips Woods over into the ring too, and D-Von flips him back to the outside. Bubba hits Big E. with fists and a Bionic Elbow, then a scoop-slam. D-Von climbs the turnbuckle, but can’t dive off as Kofi breaks the “What’s Up” attempt. Bubba kicks Kofi, and he and D-Von give the 3-D (flapjack cutter) to Kofi for the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von)
Postmatch, The Dudleyz want to put The New Day through the bubble-wrapped table, but the trio escape, and The Primetime Players look on.
Up next, the in-ring faceoff between Sting and WWE World Heavyweight and United States Champion Seth Rollins.
It is announced that The Miz will host Dolph Ziggler and Lana on MizTV this week on Smackdown!
Segment #12: Arena Promo
Seth Rollins is out first. He proclaims that he didn’t ever have an issue and actually appreciated Sting, until the last Raw. He says that he doesn’t “hide in the shadows” and is a “real man.” He is asking Sting to retract his comments earlier when he said that Triple H was more of a man, and also wants Sting to bring back his statue.
Instead of Sting, Rollins gets Stephanie McMahon. She orders Seth to stop yakking about her husband, but Rollins reiterates that “The Game’s” time is over and his is now. Stephanie tells Rollins that Sting is distracting him, and boosts his ego by telling him that “he is the man.” Rollins agrees and demands that Sting show up with the knowledge of his statue.
Again, instead of Sting, Rollins gets John Cena. The former “Dr. Of Thug-A-Nomics” tries to convince Rollins that The Authority is not looking out for him at all. He backs up this statement by telling Rollins that he has to put up the United States Title at Night Of Champions, as all titles will be defended, and he has rematch clause. He asks Steph to confirm this, and she begrudgingly confirms. Cena walks off as Seth and Steph argue. Sting now walks out and joins John on the ramp to staredown the Rollins to close the show.
End Of Raw.
This was a really good Raw match-amount and quality wise, and pretty-okay storyline-wise. Onto the scrutiny:
Excellence: promos by Sting, Rollins, Ryback, Bubba, The Wyatt Family, and The New Day (best of the night, entertainment-wise!) Both Sting and Bubba showed they still have the “fire” in them, and their oratories seemed very heartfelt. The New Day’s was just really funny and they are super entertaining.
I liked the idea of Beat-The-Clock Challenge to add a new form to the Divas feud. I do wish the matches were a little longer, and that Paige went for the cover instead of her submission, but otherwise, I’m still liking the revolution.
Great matches between Dolph/Rusev, Alicia/Becky, Show/Ryback, Owens/Cesaro, and Dudleys/New Day.
Bogus: Lana/Dolph/Summer storyline – I think it’s too soon for the soap-drama of betrayal and mistrust; Dolph just returned and the fans are just really getting behind Lana as a face, so if they break them up this quickly, it won’t be good.
While I loved Cesaro/Owens’ match, unfortunately it was “just there.” There was no build-up to a “SummerSlam Rematch” and Owens won that one, so why would he want a second – it doesn’t fit his character.
Where was Sheamus, Neville, and Randy Orton? I can understand Neville and even Orton missing Raw, but when they’re pushing Sheamus as “Mr. Money In The Bank,” he should be on Raw and Smackdown every week, unless injured or missed a flight (benefit of the doubt, perhaps that did happen.)
Overall, a pretty good Raw as the build towards Night Of Champions continues! Until Smackdown!, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Fans!