TV Recap: WWE RAW Season Premiere (drink)

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Before I even get onto RAW tonight, we know yesterday Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers kicked Browns punter Spencer Lanning in the face. Sheamus sent a joking message on Twitter over Tony Brown’s use of his own version of the Brogue Kick. WWE.com jumped on it and teased how wrestling moves have appeared in the NFL before, and may start popping up more frequently. Sure, I’d like to see any one of the Giants hit a Sidewalk Slam or a T-Bone Suplex in the middle of a scramble. Seriously WWE, it’s not always about you.

Adding to the insanity, tonight is what WWE is calling the “Season Premiere” of RAW. Last I checked, you do not find DVD releases of various “seasons” of Monday  Night RAW at Best Buy or any listings on Amazon. Why they do this is beyond me. Does it draw ratings? Maybe? Does it accomplish something other than copy the modern-era formula of television? Doubtful.

Doubtful is when we kick off RAW listening to Jerry Lawler remark how he “hopes Jerry Springer has more luck with the Bellas” than he did. Michael Cole and JBL for whatever reason hype up tonight as the epic “season premiere” and I want them to shut the hell up. Hawk the Network or the App. This is the commentary we get instead of calling the opening match between Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt in a Steel Cage, which Cole informs us we can stop watching RAW and go check out WWE’s Instagram account for a special look at steel cages. Sigh. Solid match between them, not too much mat moves, more of an even distribution of brawling. Instead of commenting about the big hits, Cole and Company have to remind us how the match can end in pinfall, submission, or escape, while JBL has to remind us, on cue, escape means falling into the clutches of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. Nice chop-fest plus lots of use of the cage as a weapon. Great finish, with an unfortunate twist. Jericho, leaps off the top of the cage with a body splash, but appears to land wrong and injure his leg. The two roll around the mat towards the cage door, and just brawl away until Wyatt manages to roll over Y2J and fall to the floor first. Great race-to-the-finish.

It’s clear tonight is turning into a drinking game. Every time someone says “season premiere” I’m going to drink something. Use your imagination.

Backstage: Seth Rollins and Kane remark how the cage match was an awesome start for the season premiere (drink) of RAW. Triple H walks in, talking about making tonight an epic season premiere (drink). Randy Orton interrupts, claiming he is the only one capable of making the season premiere (drink) of RAW unforgettable.

Dolph Ziggler is in the ring, and talks about how celebrity computers have been hacked, and of course this is used for him to make fun of The Miz. He shows two photos, which show nothing, and the segment starts falling flat. I think even Ziggler knows it. Out comes Miz with Sandow the Stunt Double. Blah blah blah, whiny Miz, and Dolph unleashes the punchline, a photo of Sandow spraying canned tan on the Miz. Sandow’s face is pretty funny. He’s good with expressions. Dolph beats up Sandow and chases Miz off.

I don’t know how, but isn’t it sad when Michael Cole reveals how the premiere of the third season of Total Divas was the highest rated premiere on E! in three years? That is really sad. The show is poor. I think so. Check out Bill’s recap of it, and I thank him for not subjecting me to the disaster which unfolded.

AJ Lee and Paige are paired up against Natalya and Rosa Mendes. Paige refuses to tag AJ. She eventually tags in and wins the match. The most interesting thing about the match was the chants for CM Punk. Post-match, AJ seductively kisses the Divas Title, then Paige does the same. Weird.

Backstage: Randy Orton blindsides and attacks Chris Jericho in the trainer’s room. Orton says “What can I say? It’s the season premiere.”

That doesn’t deserve a drink. No. That is vomit.

Paul Heyman cuts another promo, on behalf of Brock Lesnar. Delivering a warning to John Cena, who comes to the ring to hear it in-person. Heyman cuts a great promo, about Cena always being the good guy, always living by his T-shirt motto, and tells Cena to embrace the hate in order to beat Brock Lesnar. In turn, Cena counters with an excellent promo of his own, reasoning why he is passionate about being who he is. Cena then tells Heyman next week will be a fight, and if Brock is still on vacation, it will be Heyman who fights Cena.

Best line from Heyman: “I have a present for you and it isn’t even Chanukah!”

Seth Rollins defeats Sheamus, thanks to interference by Cesaro. Glad to see Cesaro getting more attention again. He and Sheamus will put on a show at Night of Champions. Great match between Rollins and Sheamus, although Rollins nearly missed the Curb Stomp finish.

Rusev and Lana come out, just to make fun of America and stand for the Russian Federation National Anthem. Lawler sits on the floor and frowns while JBL throws his pen in disgust, yet gives us a bit a historical lesson as to the origins of the American National Anthem.

In hype for NXT Takeover this Thursday on the WWE Network, we have Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn up against Tyler Breeze and Tyson Kidd. Wow. What a match. I think for the first time on RAW, Michael Cole acknowledged Big E. Langston and Bo Dallas as former NXT Champions. Match was fast paced, and the crowd loved every minute of it. Zayn takes out Kidd with a rope-clearing senton to the floor, while Neville crushes Breeze with the Red Arrow splash for the win.

Best Line from Cole and JBL, as Neville heads to the top: “Hit record! Now!” and “Turn on the DVR!”

Very gutsy by WWE to allow this on RAW. The match easily outclassed all other matches, even the ones which haven’t happened yet. As far as I’m concerned, RAW is over. Don’t care about Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns anymore. Change the channel folks.

The show tanks as Stephanie McMahon comes out and introduces Jerry Springer, smiling ear to ear knowing he’s being paid a crapton of dough to participate in a horrifyingly waste of oxygen. The inevitable catfight between Brie and Nikki Bella broke out, and it appeared as though Springer took a bad fall and got hurt. Maybe a work, maybe not, but I would laugh so hard if it was a real injury.

 


The Dusts easily defeat Los Matadores. Post match they are attacked by the Usos. Hard to say who the faces and heels are, even though WWE has done their best to turn the Dusts heel, but has not worked. Looking forward to a good match at Night of Champions.

WWE shows a nice video tribute to the late Joan Rivers, showcasing her appearances at various WrestleManias and talk show segments with Hulk Hogan.

We resume with the garbage, as Adam Rose defeats Titus O’Neal. Heath Slater reverts back to bad comedy as he eats a superkick from The Bunny, who distracts O’Neal enough to allow Rose to hit the Party Foul for the win. Post match, the Bunny hits a Frog Splash on Titus. I thought maybe Shawn Michaels or Justin Gabriel was in the suit, but alas we’ll never know. I agree with JBL, “Someone needs to put that bunny down!”

Better that way.

After a number of recaps, we get to our main event, which is introduced by ring announcer Justin Roberts as though it was a title bout between Randy Orton and Roman Reigns. We had a slight break from the push of it being the season premiere of RAW until this match, where Cole and Co. heavily push it. Multiple drinks of water, orange juice, and seltzer were had. What, you thought I was boozing? Please, I leave that to JBL. Match itself was pretty standard, nothing amazing, nothing terrible, a good solid match. I expected more for being hyped as strongly as it was. Reigns hit his usual moves, a few strongman surprises. Nice top rope superplex mid-match. Lots of back and forth, Orton and Reigns countering the others’ signature moves. Lots of powerslams from Orton. Orton goes for the RKO, but Reigns blocks and clocks Orton with the Superman punch. Before Reigns can do anything, Kane and Rollins rush down with the ring crew as they call for the steel cage to be lowered. Ref already calls for the bell, ending the match. Reigns dumps Kane and Rollins before the cage locks. Orton is trapped with Reigns and eats a spear for it. Rollins leaps off the top of the cage as the crowd erupts into “Holy Sh**” chants. Kane enters through the door, and the Authority overpower Reigns, exclamation mark with Orton beating Reigns senseless with a chair, and Rollins cracking Reigns with a chair-assisted Curb Stomp.

RollinsimpaledForgot to mention, Rollins almost got himself killed when the cage was lowered. They ought to explain not to be near the spikes which slide into the poles.

Thank you Reddit for the Gif.

Interesting way to end RAW. Hope the live crowd got something a bit more uplifting after the cameras go off the air. This doesn’t really hurt or help anyone. It gives the perception Orton cannot beat Reigns on his own. Where they go from here will be interesting.

Next week John Cena and Brock face off.

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