Monday Night Raw Review (9/5/2016)

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Breaking down yet another episode of the WWE’s flagship show, Monday Night Raw. This week, the show was live from Kansas City, Missouri and we enjoyed a title celebration, a championship match booked for “Clash of the Champions“, and another chapter in the rivalry of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Here’s Ryan Smith‘s Monday Night Raw review.

Monday Night Raw Review (9/5/2016)

Kevin Owens’ Championship Celebration

As expected, Monday Night Raw kicked off with a twenty minute promo. The show opened to Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon standing in the middle of the ring as balloons cascaded into the crowd. Universal Champion Kevin Owens came out in a suit and enjoyed an impressive display of pyrotechnics.

The fans were chanting “you deserve this” at Owens when he came out, but he had them booing in under a minute. He claimed the crowd was only cheering for him to make themselves feel better and that the show was all about him.

Seth Rollins came out and immediately tore into Stephanie McMahon. Rollins was furious that after all he’d done for her, she would turn around and betray him like this. Stephanie claimed she had no idea, and Owens kept interrupting to taunt Rollins. He kept reminding Rollins that the show was “all about him” and that all Rollins had done since returning was lose big matches.

This was too much for Rollins and he attacked Owens. Infuriated, McMahon attempted to suspend Rollins, but Foley went over her head, instead booking him for a championship match at the Clash of Champions pay per view.

Segment/Match Quality- 6/10 Woo’s

Backstage with Stephanie McMahon, Mick Foley, Kevin Owens, and Chris Jericho

Following a promo segment with a promo segment is bad writing, but when you put the right people on the microphone, they can make it work. Mick Foley and Stephanie were bickering about how Mick went over Stephanie’s head to make the match when Kevin came over and got after Mick Foley.

Things escalated when Chris Jericho appeared and backed up his best friend. Foley and McMahon bickered with Owens and Jericho, with the best moment coming when Jericho called Owens the “longest reigning Universal Champion in history”.

Segment/Match Quality- 7/10 Woo’s

Charlotte vs. Bayley

Half an hour into the show, we were given our first match a NXT throwback between Charlotte and Bayley. Charlotte came to the ring accompanied by her sidekick, Dana Brooke, who was carrying a pad to take notes.

The match was fine. There were a few spots where they whiffed on moves and it hurt the quality of the match. Early in the match, Bayley suffered a “leg injury” and Charlotte made a point to exploit it throughout the match.

Charlotte is one of the more underrated wrestlers on the roster. Since debuting last summer, she’s improved dramatically, especially as a heel. Whether she’s taunting the fans, yelling at Dana Brooke, or even smiling, she just makes the crowd angry.

At the end of the match, Dana Brooke interfered, and Charlotte attempted to take advantage by pulling her into a schoolboy, but Bayley kicked out. When Bayley kicked out, she sent Charlotte flying into Dana. Distracted, Bayley was able to hit her finisher, Belly to Bayley for the win.

Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Woo’s

Backstage with Charlotte and Dana Brooke

Charlotte and Dana Brooke continued arguing backstage, with Charlotte blaming Dana for her loss. Brooke apologized profusely but Charlotte wasn’t feeling it and she slapped her.

Could this mean that the duo is ready to split up? Only time will tell. Dana Brooke isn’t quite ready to be on her own, but with Raw’s women’s division being so thin, the WWE don’t have much of a choice.

Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Woo’s

Bo Dallas vs. Kyle Roberts

Surprisingly, Bo Dallas debuted a new gimmick this week. He came to the ring carrying a flag that said “Bo-Lieve In Bo”, and was without his trademark grin. In the ring already was a jobber named Kyle Roberts. Dallas walked up to Roberts, spewed off some poetry, and the match began.

Demonstrating a newfound mean streak, Dallas absolutely destroyed Roberts, winning the match in less than a minute. Dallas grabbed his flag, and did his victory lap, still refusing to smile.

Segment/Match Quality- 4/10 Woo’s

Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho

Seth Rollins came out fired up. In a character change, Rollins looked focused and furious as he took on Chris Jericho. Rollins started out hot and dominated for most of the match. While Rollins was still demonstrating a heel persona, slapping Jericho around, he didn’t take advantage of cheap outs.

At one point during the match, Rollins even broke the count so he could keep beating up Jericho. The two reversed each other’s finishers and Rollins eventually sealed the deal with an emphatic pedigree. These two haven’t wrestled on television very often, so the two had plenty of fresh material to work with.

Segment/Match Quality- 8/10 Woo’s

Sheamus (2-0) vs. Cesaro (0-2): Round Three

Unfortunately, Sheamus won a very quick, albeit physical and entertaining match. It’s unfortunate, because now Sheamus is up three to nothing in their best of seven series. A four to nothing run to win by Cesaro seems obvious, and takes a lot of the excitement away from the upcoming matches.

Segment/Match Quality- 4/10 Woo’s

Enzo and Big Cass vs. The Shining Stars

The Shining Stars were in the ring when we came back from commercial, and they were cutting yet another “come to Puerto Rico” promo. They discussed how Labor Day may be the end of the Summer in America, but the season never ends in Puerto Rico.

Enzo and Cass came out and cut a hilariously ridiculous promo. Enzo claimed that listening to those two was so hard, he felt like he was going into labor. He then proceeded to give birth to an imaginary baby in the ring, which he named after the Shining Stars because it was sawft.

Enzo gave the imaginary baby to a fan and the match started. It was a decent match, but after sabotaging the Badaboom Shakalaka finishing maneuver, Primo and Epico were able to steal the win.

The promo was the best part of the segment, as the match was short. If these two are going to keep feuding, the Shining Stars had to get a win somewhere.

Segment/Match Quality- 3/10 Woo’s

Backstage with Tom Phillips, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn

The WWE really should’ve separated these two in the draft. As great as they are together, we’ve just seen it too much. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels feuded once or twice a year over the course of their feud, but they also needed their distance.

The promo did what it was supposed to do, hyping up the main event and laying the ground work for a future title feud.

Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Woo’s

Nia Jax vs. Ann Esposito

Nia Jax won the match and still looked dominant, but she also sold far too often. She struggled at points with jobber, Ann Esposito, and she simply shouldn’t have. Esposito isn’t even a member of the WWE roster, and had no business getting that kind of offense in.

Segment/Match Quality- 2/10 Woo’s

Gallows and Anderson Promo

Gallows and Anderson were standing in the ring, and this went downhill so quickly. They’re sticking with the “retirement” gimmick, and took it to a new low this week. They brought out “The Old Day”, which is supposedly the New Day from the future.

The segment leaned on bathroom jokes so bad that even the kids were silent, and it dragged on for far too long. The New Day tried to save the segment, but it was far too late. A terrible waste of talented performers.

Segment/Match Quality- 1/10 Woo’s

Darren Young w/Bob Backlund vs. Jinder Mahal

Titus O’Neil was on commentary for this match, and it did nothing to help the match. Chants of “We Want Slater” rang throughout the entire match. The match was fine, as both wrestlers are good in the ring, but the focus was on Titus trying to build the feud the whole time.

Titus came down to the ring and almost cost Darren Young the match, but he was able to reverse a schoolboy and hit his finisher on Jinder Mahal. Isn’t it funny how people can suddenly use their big move after interference?

O’Neil and Young brawled after the match, and it’s unclear who the good guy is supposed to be in this feud.

Segment/Match Quality- 3/10 Woo’s

Backstage with Alicia Fox and Nia Jax

As it turns out, Alicia Fox and Esposito aren’t actually friends, it was just a way to build a potential Fox vs. Jax feud. Fox left the training room after checking up on Esposito, and she ran into Jax. The encounter was short, quick, and to the point. We’ll probably see these two lock up before too long.

Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Woo’s

Braun Strowman vs. Sin Cara

For the first time since the roster split, Braun Strowman wrestled a WWE Superstar. Sin Cara was offended by Strowman removing the luchador mask from last week’s jobber. Strowman is still very green, and while it’s one thing to not sell, it’s another to sell poorly. Strowman won by countout, and attacked Sin Cara after the match. It looks like these two might not be done with each other yet.

Segment/Match Quality- 4/10 Woo’s

Sasha Banks Promo

After some troubling tweets, Sasha Banks finally made her way to the stage around 10:40, and did so with tears in her eyes. She talked about how much she loved wrestling and how the women’s wrestling revolution had been a long time coming. Just as she was about to give some bad news about what a doctor had told her, Dana Brooke came out.

Brooke delivered an awkward promo as she made her way to the ring, and as she attempted to attack Sasha, the Boss reversed it into a Bank Statement and announced she would have her title rematch with Charlotte at Clash of Champions.

Segment/Match Quality- 8/10 Woo’s

Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

These two could fight on every wrestling show for the rest of their careers and the WWE Universe would get a solid match every time. The only problem with these two is that we’ve just seen it so many times that it’s hard to mix things up. It was a great match, but as far as their all-time bouts go, it doesn’t even rank.

The match was great, but they made such a big deal out of ending the rivalry at BattleGround that seeing them wrestle again so soon was disappointing. The match was fantastic, but… then Roman Reigns came out and sunk the whole segment.

Reigns stalked Owens like Owens was the one that had screwed him last week. It didn’t make sense for Reigns to be angry with Owens when Triple H and Seth Rollins cost him the match. Now he gets a match with Kevin Owens next week to earn a spot in the Rollins versus Owens match at Clash of Champions.

Segment/Match Quality- 7/10 Woo’s

Best Segment/Match of the Night- Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho

Obviously with workers like Seth Rollins and Chris Jericho, this match was going to be good. Everything from Rollins’ mannerisms to the emphasis he put on the pedigree was golden. Unlike Owens vs. Zayn, we haven’t seen this match a million times, so it felt fresh and was the best segment of the night. If the WWE didn’t make such a big deal out of “ending” the feud between Owens and Zayn mere weeks ago, they would’ve run away with this spot.

Worst Segment/Match of the Night- Gallows and Anderson Promo

The segment was just cringe-worthy. Having wrestlers like Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows make bathroom jokes is just sad. The Old Day weren’t funny for a minute, and there was something vaguely offensive about the entire segment. Having the New Day beat up the Old Day was just sad.

Show Quality- 7/10 Woo’s

The show wasn’t terrible, but it certainly wasn’t as good as it has been in recent weeks. This felt like a transitional episode. There weren’t a ton of revelations, but storylines needed to get moving. Not every episode of Raw can end with Triple H pedigreeing Seth Rollins, so this episode gets a solid C rating.

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