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The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 09/26/16

Posted By: John Canton on Sep 27, 2016

This week’s Raw faced some major competition because the first US Presidential Debate from 9-11pmET, which is the last two hours of Raw. The audience for the debate was expected to be enormous while Raw would be hurt by it significantly. Let’s see what WWE had for us this week.

Here’s my WWE Clash of Champions review from Sunday night in case you missed it.

Live from Cincinnati, Ohio this is the Raw Deal for episode #1218. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

Rusev was already in the ring with Lana at ringside. The new US Champion Roman Reigns made his entrance because they are having a rematch to start Raw.

Analysis: It’s a rare match to start Raw because the debate starts at the top of the next hour, so WWE probably figured it would be better to do something “big” early in the show.

United States Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Rusev (w/Lana)

Slow pace early on as Rusev grounded Reigns with a bearhug. Rusev with a belly to belly suplex and a vertical suplex gets two. Reigns came back with uppercut punches, then the corner clotheslines with the crowd chanting along and a rollup gets two. Reigns couldn’t get a Powerbomb because his back was hurting, so Rusev nailed a fallaway slam to send Reigns out of the ring as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

Reigns fought out of another bearhug, but Rusev came back with a dropkick. The camera shots of Lana at ringside are a highlight of the match so far. Two Gutwrench suplexes by Rusev get two counts. Rusev grounded Reigns with a waist lock rest hold. Reigns with a clothesline out of the corner to start the comeback. The predictable Reigns clothesline fest took place next as he hit four clotheslines and then a boot to the face. Rusev caught Reigns when he went for a Superman Punch, carried him to the ropes and both guys went over the top to the floor. Good spot as the match went to its second commercial break.

(Commercial)

Rusev was back in control as the show returned from the break. There was an “Eat Your Chicken” sign in the crowd. Agree. This match is so slow paced that I can notice a lot of signs. Reigns with a clothesline off the middle ropes. Samoan Drop by Reigns gets two. Uppercut by Reigns, but Rusev came back with a spin kick for a two count. Rusev with a couple of headbutts. Then he went up top, took way too long and Reigns punched him to the floor. Back in the ring, roundhouse kick by Rusev gets two. Rusev nailed a superkick to knock Reigns down after they both ran the ropes for momentum. Reigns avoided an Accolade attempt and hit a Superman Punch for two. The fans bought that as a believable nearfall even though he almost never wins with that move. Lana was on the apron to distract Reigns, so no Spear. Reigns punched Rusev out of the ring, then a Drive By dropkick and Reigns knocked him over the barricade. The ref was counting in the ring, so the match ended in a countout after 25 minutes as they went brawling into the crowd.

Match Result: Double countout

Analysis: **1/2 A long match that made me groan by the end because they booked these guys to go 25 minutes just to have a countout finish. So lame. Once again, the booking on Raw has hurt this show and it’s only the first match. Does WWE really think that fans are clamoring for more Rusev vs. Reigns matches? Believe me WWE, the fans are not wanting more of this. I assume the finish was done that way to set up a Hell in a Cell match between on October 30. Get ready for five more weeks of this feud that has gone on for too long already. Both guys tried hard and put in a lot of effort.

After the bell rang, they continued to brawl in the crowd. Rusev tossed him into the barricade. Some fans chanted “this is awesome” because they are easy to please. Reigns tossed him into the barricade. Rusev grabbed a chair from under the ring and hit Reigns with it to knock him down on the floor. Back in the ring, Reigns was in pain. Like a dummy, Rusev charged in with the chair and Reigns predictably hit a Spear to knock him down. The fans were cheering Reigns a lot. Reigns just sat in a chair and held up the US Title. When Rusev tried to crawl out, Reigns hit him with a chair shot to the back. That ended this long match and segment.

Analysis: The feud has been good in terms of getting cheers for Reigns. I just don’t feel like seeing more of their matches after they’ve had several long matches up to this point. The biggest problem with WWE’s booking, especially on Raw, is they repeat matches too much.

The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton were shown on camera. A video aired promoting the WWE2k17 video game.

New Day vs. The Club for the Tag Titles is up later.

Raw GM Mick Foley was walking backstage and he’s up next.

(Commercial)

Mick Foley was in the ring to talk about how the Sheamus vs. Cesaro Best of Seven Series ended in a draw at Clash of Champions. He asked for both guys to come to the ring with Sheamus walking out first and then Cesaro.

Sheamus wondered how this is even a discussion because Foley said that it was supposed to be about the man who was more physically dominant gets a championship opportunity. He said if that wasn’t him then he has no idea what series he was watching. Cesaro said last night he was ready to fight while Sheamus was getting scurried away. They kept on arguing with Cesaro saying he proved he’s tougher than Sheamus.

Foley said that Sheamus is right and so is Cesaro. Foley said they both proved they brought out the best in eachother, but he can’t say one of them is the winner and one of them is the loser. Foley claimed he would grant both of them championship opportunities. He told them that they’ll be contending together for the Tag Team Championships. Both guys argued about it. Foley said if they decide to do it then they will face the winner of the following match. Here comes The New Day.

Analysis: Who could have predicted that result when they started this best of seven series? It’s bizarre. I’m not sure if this Cesaro/Sheamus forced team is going to work well, but it could be good.

The New Day made their entrance as it was noted that it’s day 400 of their Tag Team Title reign. Gallows & Anderson entered and stared at Cesaro & Sheamus on the ramp. There’s a rematch because Xavier Woods used the trombone at Clash of Champions to help New Day win.

(Commercial)

Raw Tag Team Championship: Big E & Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson

Kingston took out Gallows with a dropkick on the floor and then a kick took down Anderson. The Unicorn Stampede spot by New Day took place until Gallows broke it up with a boot to the face of Big E. Gallows with a huge clothesline on Kingston on the floor. Anderson with a kick to the head of Kingston. Back in the ring, the heels worked over Kingston in their corner. Chokeslam by Gallows gets two. It’s so weird seeing a Chokeslam as a regular move in a tag match for a nearfall instead of being a finishing move.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Anderson with a running Liger Bomb on Kingston for a two count. Kingston moved out of the way of an Anderson attack and hot tag to Big E. Big E nailed three belly to belly suplexes on Anderson, which was exactly as it went at Clash of Champions as well. Big E knocked Gallows off the apron and Kingston took out Gallows with a clothesline on the floor. Anderson with a running kick to the head gets two. Anderson was on the apron, so Big E nailed his running Spear through the ropes that sent both of them to the floor. That’s a move he does once in a while, which is better than doing it all the time because it is a painful landing. Kingston tagged in and they hit the double team Midnight Hour move for a two count as Gallows made the save. Kingston kicked Gallows out of the ring. Big E tagged as Gallows sent Kingston in the steps at ringside. Anderson jumped off the top and hit a neckbreaker on Big E. Gallows tagged in and they hit the Magic Killer double team move, but Kingston was there for the save. Kingston tagged in with a DDT on Anderson. He sent Gallows out of the ring. Kingston was bleeding in the head due to hitting the steps earlier. Kingston hit the Trouble in Paradise kick for the win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Big E & Kofi Kingston

Post match, Woods had a towel for Kingston stop some of the blood. The ringside doctor went into the ring too. It just looks like a nasty cut.

Analysis: *** A good tag match that got more time than their Clash of Champions match. It was competitive from start to finish with a very fast paced last few minutes. I wonder if that was the planned finish or if they were going to go longer, but made the decision to end it sooner due to Kingston’s nasty cut. It’s not a big deal because it was a pretty good finish anyway. I just feel like they had something more to do there. As for the loss, it hurts Gallows & Anderson because they have lost so many title matches at this point. New Day is probably going to beat the 478 day title reign of Demolition or perhaps lose the titles to Cesaro and Sheamus.

Images were shown from Clash of Champions with a discussion about Rollins suffering a rib injury.

A “WWE.com exclusive” video aired of Stephanie McMahon leaving Clash of Champions and getting into a limo with her husband Triple H. Saxton said it looked fishy while Graves said it was nothing.

There were images of Rollins shown getting x-rays earlier in the day. He has sore ribs and isn’t cleared to compete on Raw.

Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel is later with Kevin Owens as the guest.

(Commercial)

Sheamus and Cesaro were in the locker room arguing as GM Mick Foley showed up. Foley said he watched the Sheamus/Cesaro match with Michael Hayes and Arn Anderson and they had tears in their eyes because they believed in these guys. Foley said that they showed seven matches is enough and felt like an eighth match would be bad because it may lead to him losing one of them for good. Foley said they are two of the greatest and toughest superstars he’s ever seen. Foley spoke about how if they put them together they could create magic together. Foley said they’ll put them out there tonight to show the WWE Universe what he’s known all along…that they are amazing. Foley left while Sheamus and Cesaro just stared at eachother. Cole mentioned Foley knows a lot about odd tag teams like the Rock N Sock Connection.

Analysis: Good pep talk by coach Foley. I know he’s the GM, but he sounded like a coach there. It’s an interesting idea even though I think it’s still a mistake to not have a winner from the Best of Seven series. I guess we’ll see how this team works out.

Bayley vs. Anna Fields

Fields was aggressive early on. Bayley came back by ramming Fields’ head into the turnbuckle about ten times. Back elbow by Bayley and then an elbow to the spine. Corner elbow splash by Bayley and the Bayley to Belly gives her the win after two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bayley

Analysis: 1/2* It was an easy win for Bayley after she took the pinfall loss during the Women’s Title match at Clash of Champions. Typical night after PPV booking to put over somebody that lost the previous night.

Post match, Bayley was interviewed in the ring by Tom Phillips. Bayley said that Charlotte and Sasha proved why they are the top two women in the industry. She spoke about how she’ll be back for more and she’s just getting started. Bayley said she won’t stop until she’s hugging that Women’s Championship.

Analysis: If WWE focuses on Charlotte vs. Banks again for the Women’s Title, perhaps Bayley can feud with a returning Emma or Paige. Nia Jax is another option, but I’m not sure if WWE wants to go that route.

Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon was backstage in her “office” as GM Mick Foley showed up to talk to her. Foley said that he believed in Stephanie, but then in the main event there was Stephanie to find a referee to count the pinfall for Owens even after Jericho was there to interfere. Foley said he was busy checking on Cesaro. He complained about Triple H showing up to pick her up. Stephanie said Hunter was in the air, so he didn’t see the show and asked her what she thought of the show. Stephanie yelled at him saying it is Mick’s job to protect the integrity of the main event. She asked him repeatedly whose job it is and then reminded him that’s his job. She said that he didn’t hire him for his medical expertise to check on Cesaro and Sheamus. Stephanie hired Mick for his brains and to be a businessman. Foley said he was out of line and she said damn right he’s out of line. She told him to prove he’s worthy of the GM job. Stephanie said that Seth Rollins isn’t cleared to compete, so he has to protect him because Rollins is going to try to go after Owens. She yelled at him some more. Foley left looking dejected.

Analysis: That’s the angry heel promo we’ve seen from Stephanie many times over the last four years. She yells at people, then nobody gets their heat back because they are unable to yell back at her or get any sort of revenge. She’s a good talker, but as a character she fails to put anybody over and that hurts the show more than it helps.

Up next is Alexander & Swann vs. Dorado & Gulak in the Cruiserweight division.

(Commercial)

There was a pre-match promo from Alexander & Swann, who debuted on Raw last week. Swann has one of my favorite songs in WWE. A video aired of Drew Gulak saying he liked hearing guys scream in pain. He’s a submission wrestler. Lince Dorado is a masked wrestler that speaks perfect English because he’s from Puerto Rico. There were handshakes before the match.

Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann vs. Drew Gulak & Lince Dorado

Good to see the purple ropes in the ring for this match (if you're wondering, they use tape). Swann and Dorado did a double dropkick as well as a kip up to show they are evenly matched. Alexander saved Dorado from a submission attempt. Dorado gave Swann a back body drop onto two guys on the floor. Dorado went up top and hit a perfect moonsault onto three guys on the floor.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Swann was getting worked over by Gulak and Dorado. Swann avoided a corner attack from Dorado. Alexander got the hot tag against Gulak as Alexander hit a kick to the head and then a running kick to the head. Springboard cross body by Alexander gets two on Gulak as Dorado made the save. Alexander with the Lumbar Check on Dorado. Gulak nailed a Saito Suplex on Alexander right on the back of the head and neck. Swann tagged in. Swann with a spinning kick to the face and then a rollup with a bridge for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann

Analysis: **1/2 A pretty good match by four guys with diverse styles. They didn’t get to show off their aerial skills as much as you might think although I’m talking about the three guys not including Gulak. It was a bit disappointing that Gulak didn’t even get to show off some of submission moves even though the announcers were trying to put over the submission holds he does that are so unique. I would have liked to see the match take place without a commercial because it wasn’t that long of a match anyway.

Later on Raw is the Highlight Reel with Kevin Owens as the guest. Sheamus and Cesaro were shown walking for a tag match.

(Commercial)

Cesaro and Sheamus argued on their way to the ring.

Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Nick Cutler & Willis Williams

Cesaro with a delayed vertical suplex on Cutler. Body slam by Cesaro lead to him doing a hard tag to Sheamus. Sheamus nailed Cutler with ten forearms to the chest. Williams tagged in and was met with a Sheamus clothesline. Cesaro uppercut as the crowd chanted “let’s go jobbers.” The jobbers got in some brief offense, but then Cesaro nailed a big uppercut on Cutler. Cesaro was going for a Neutralizer, but Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on both guys. Cesaro covered Cutler for the win after three minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Cesaro & Sheamus

Analysis: * That was a squash tag team match. I guess we’re supposed to be impressed that Cesaro & Sheamus beat two guys we don’t know. Cesaro & Sheamus will face The New Day for a Tag Title shot soon.

A video aired about the Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins. His first match on Raw is coming up later.

Perkins was interviewed by Tom Phillips backstage with Perkins holding the Cruiserweight Title on his shoulder. He said he’s had a dream since 1998 and he’s about to compete on Raw for the first time. Brian Kendrick showed up. Kendrick wondered if it felt good having Perkins’ dream come true and depriving Kendrick what is his – the title. Kendrick says he owes Perkins for his career and Perkins said he owes him for the headbutt after their match. Kendrick said the next time they meet in that ring, that’s going to be when Perkins wakes up from this dream.

Analysis: Solid promos from both guys. Kendrick is good as a crafty veteran heel. Perkins is the champion that is easy to like. Clearly defined roles there.

Charlotte and Dana Brooke were shown walking backstage.

(Commercial)

Charlotte, who is still the Raw Women’s Champion, made her entrance along with her buddy Dana Brooke. They mentioned some Forbes article saying Charlotte is already the greatest female WWE superstar of all time. I think WWE needs to read better websites.

Charlotte said that Clash of Champions was once again her night. She successfully defended her title once again and proved why she’s the queen of WWE’s women’s division. Charlotte claimed she doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk. She said that night after night, match after match she disappoints people because she’s not the huggable Bayley or the internet darling Sasha Banks because she’s the moneymaker and the face of this division.

Analysis: That was a pretty good promo, but I’m a bit surprised they had her say “moneymaker” because that’s a Miz line. He’s on the other show, so maybe it matters less. I just didn’t think it fit for Charlotte.

Sasha Banks made the predictable interruption saying that is still her title. Banks said that Charlotte pinned Bayley at Clash of Champions, not her. Banks said she is still owed her one on one rematch and she wants it right now. Fans chanted “yes” and Charlotte told the “peasants” to be quiet. Charlotte says she’s just that much better. Charlotte said she would giver Sasha her title match and it looked like it would be right now, but Charlotte said “next week” to piss off the crowd. Charlotte said even though she’s embarrassed Banks and beaten her, Banks keeps getting back up. Charlotte said next week in Los Angeles…and Banks cut her off saying she’ll promise her that she will show Charlotte why she will be the face of this women’s division. Banks with a hard slap to Charlotte and then the Bank Statement on Brooke. Charlotte tried an attack, but Banks kicked Charlotte out of the ring and sent Brooke out of the ring.

Analysis: It was just an angle to set them up for a big title match next week on Raw in Los Angeles. They’ve had so many matches in the last few months, but they are usually good, so I don’t mind seeing it again.

Later tonight is Jericho hosting the Highlight Reel with Owens.

Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage.

(Commercial)

Rollins was still walking backstage as the show returned from the break. Foley walked up to him. Rollins said nothing will stop him from going after Owens on the Highlight Reel. Foley said that Rollins isn’t medically cleared. Rollins talked about seeing Stephanie get in the limo with Triple H and he’s not going to sit back there while Owens brags. Foley tried to talk, but Rollins said that he sees his lips moving, yet Foley sounds just like Stephanie. Rollins left.

Analysis: Rollins is the top face on Raw, yet he really hasn’t changed much about his character. He still complains about a lot of things except now he’s complaining about the bad guys instead of the good guys.

TJ Perkins made his entrance. It’s like a Mega Man video game entrance, which is very unique.

Next week on Raw it’s TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick for the Cruiserweight Title. Perkins is from Los Angeles, so that will be a great moment from him.

Tony Nese made his entrance. A video aired about him showing his athleticism and power that made him a standout in the Cruiserweight Classic.

TJ Perkins vs. Tony Nese

This is not for the Cruiserweight Title. The purple ropes are back again as they shook hands to start the match. Shoulder tackle by Nese. Perkins with a kneebar early, but Nese got to the ropes. Nese with a superkick outside the ring, then he ran the ropes and hit a flip dive over the top to take out Perkins on the floor with Nese standing on the floor. Time for a commercial.

(Commercial)

Nese with an inverted gutwrench suplex. Nese with some hard whips into the corner. Perkins came back with a hurricanrana. Fans were chanting “CM Punk” which is stupid because this is an exciting match. Perkins with a spinning back kick. Neckbreaker by Perkins. Double chickenwing into a double knee attack by Perkins gets two. Perkins with two suplexes to put Nese down. Nese slapped Perkins while he was on the top rope. Nese blocked a Tornado DDT, hung Perkins on the top rope and hit a running knee to the head for two. That was sweet. Perkins with a dropkick to the back, then the wrecking ball dropkick and fans were chanting “Randy Savage” for some reason. Perkins with a kick to the head and the kneebar submission led to Nese tapping out after nine minutes.

Winner by submission: TJ Perkins

Analysis: **3/4 A good match with both guys getting a lot of offense in. I hope Nese is signed to a WWE deal because he’s damn good. He really was the best mix of speed and power in the Cruiserweight Classic. Perkins continues to show a good all around game with a mix of high flying moves, strikes and a submission finisher that needs a name.  I feel bad for the performers dealing with CM Punk and Randy Savage chants. Fans should pay attention to the matches especially when they are good like this match was.

A video aired about WWE Hall of Famer Pedro Morales for Hispanic Heritage Month. He was the first wrestler to become a World Champion, Intercontinental Champion and Tag Team Champion in WWE history.

Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel is up next.

(Commercial)

It’s official for next week’s Raw in Los Angeles. Charlotte defends the Raw Women’s Title against Sasha Banks. That’s the second title match since Perkins vs. Kendrick for the Cruiserweight Title is also taking place.

Analysis: Two weeks in a row where WWE is having two title matches since they had two title match this week as well.  It seems like they are trying to put on what they perceive to be bigger matches due to competition from the NFL’s Monday Night Football.

Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel with Kevin Owens

Chris Jericho walked out with a vest, leather pants (with knee pads), the dreaded scarf and his clipboard with The List.

A video from Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson aired to tell us that they’re going to be on Raw in Los Angeles to confront Jericho about ripping them last week pertaining to being best friends. I didn’t watch "That 70’s Show" when it was on, but I know who they are.

Jericho said “quiet” repeatedly to piss off the crowd. Jericho told Ashton and Danny that nobody is better friends than Jericho and Owens. Jericho said if they show up to Raw they will be on The List of Jericho and when he does, they’re not going to like…“it.”

Jericho yelled at the camera guy because he told him to shoot him from the other side. He put the camera guy in the list. Jericho put Seth Rollins on the list because he got hurt again and Jericho said he’s never been hurt in 17 years while Rollins is on the injured list again. Jericho talked about his guest, his best friend, the longest running WWE Universal Champion in the history of the business (almost a month!), it’s Kevin Owens.

Owens walked out with the Universal Championship on his shoulder. There was a mix of cheers and boos. Owens is on ESPN Sportscenter Wednesday at 9pmET. Owens hugged Jericho when he got in the ring.

Owens admired the screen. Jericho said that it cost $6500 five years ago. Jericho said that Owens proved what real excellence is because Owens showed what a champion should be because he’s the epitome of a champion and his best friend.

Owens said that he’s not wearing a suit in Cincinnati because they gave birth to Dean Ambrose. Jericho complained that Ambrose owed him $17,000 haha. Owens proved that he should have been the number one pick for Raw in the draft and not only does he belong in the main event, but he is THE main event. Owens also said that he is the man. Owens talked about how he put Rollins on the injured list and claimed that what happened to him was karma. Owens mentioned some of the people that Rollins injured like John Cena, Sting and even Finn Balor while Owens said he took out the most dangerous man in WWE, so Owens is now the most dangerous man in WWE.

Seth Rollins entered the arena. Security guys ran out there to stop him. Others in suits like Adam Pearce and Fit Finlay were there. Mick Foley showed up. The crowd was cheering. Owens said that Rollins can’t wrestle because Owens broke him in half. Rollins ended up walking to the back.

Analysis: It’s not a major injury for Rollins. Rib injuries can take some time, though, so he may be kept out of the ring for a few weeks. Hopefully he’s ready for Hell in a Cell on October 30.

Enzo Amore & Big Cass made their entrance to join in on the fun. They have unique looking microphones now as they did their usual introduction routine on the ramp.

Jericho said they are doing just fine because they’re best friends, on top of the world and “we” are the WWE Universal Champion. Jericho put Enzo and Big Cass on the list. Cass wondered if he is Santa Class. Jericho said that maybe he is Santa Claus and maybe he’ll come down there to sit on his lap. Cass asked him what he said, so Jericho said “I didn’t say anything.” Cass repeated what Jericho said and Jericho claimed that he said he was going to punch Cass in the face. Cass asked the crowd what Jericho said and a “yes” chant broke up. Owens said he’ll punch him in the mouth. Cass said that they were informed by Foley that they have a match tonight as Enzo & Cass will face Jericho and Owens.

Analysis: It was a cheap comedy bit for some mild laughs as well as a way to set up a predictable tag match. This show went 2 hours and 45 minutes without an announced main event. Good planning huh?

(Commercial)

There was a reminder of the two title matches on Raw next week, which I mentioned earlier.

Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass

Jericho’s wrestling in leather pants, but as I noted earlier he’s got knee pads so he’s ready to go. Owens tagged in and wanted Cass, which was bad because Enzo and Cass double teamed Enzo with Cass sending Enzo into Jericho in the corner. The heels were on the floor, so Cass press slammed Enzo onto both heels outside the ring. Cass with a sidewalk slam. Cass went for a boot on Jericho, but he ducked and Cass went crashing over the top to the floor. Owens sent Cass into the ring post as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Enzo got a top rope cross body block in against Jericho. The heels distracted the ref to double team Enzo as Jericho hit a springboard dropkick on Enzo on the apron. Owens tossed Enzo into the barricade as the heels isolated him. Owens mocked the Enzo dance on the apron as Graves asked if we had another championship to give to Owens for that. That was funny. The heels worked over Enzo a bit with Jericho hitting a delayed suplex. Jericho continued on offense until Enzo blocked a superplex a bit, then Enzo jumped off the top and Jericho nailed a perfect dropkick to knock him down. That was great. Owens hit a senton splash on Enzo and then told the ref he’s the Universal Champion while Enzo shouldn’t even be out of NXT. That was good. Jericho stopped a comeback by Enzo with a clothesline. Enzo got his knees up to block a Lionsault by Jericho.

Cass got the hot tag against Owens with Cass hitting shoulder tackles, a fallaway slam and a corner splash. Jericho up top, but Cass stopped him with a boot to the face. Cass with a slam on Owens followed by an elbow drop. Cass slammed Jericho down. Owens avoided a corner attack as Cass hit the ring post and Owens nailed a superkick. Cass came back with a big boot. Cass tagged Enzo, they went for a double team move, but Jericho broke it up by slapping Cass in the face. Cass with a boot to Jericho as both of them went to the floor. Enzo nailed a DDT off the top rope for two. Owens crushed Enzo with a huge clothesline with Enzo doing an impressive flip bump. Owens nailed a stiff Powerbomb for the pinfall win after 17 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho

Analysis: *** It was fine as a basic tag match to put over the more established heel performers. It didn’t feel like a television main event. That’s because WWE knew the audience for this week wouldn’t be as strong due to the debate (even though it was over by this point), so they likely felt that putting on a tag match like this was fine in the main event spot. Owens getting the win was the right move since he won in a cheap way on Sunday. This gives him a cleaner win to try to re-establish him as a viable Universal Champion.

Owens and Jericho celebrated the win as the show went off the air that way.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Chris Jericho

2. Kevin Owens

3. New Day

 

The Scoreboard

4.5 out of 10

Last week: 6.5

2016 Average: 5.80

2016 Average since brand split starting July 25: 6.15 (Smackdown is 6.22) – I had an error in previous weeks. These numbers are correct.

Last 5 Weeks: 6.5, 6.5, 6, 8.5, 6

2016 High: 9 (April 11/July 25)

2016 Low: 4 (Feb. 29/Mar. 21/Aug. 15)

 

Final Thoughts

I give it a 4.5 out of 10.

A boring show this week. It’s not a surprise because as I mentioned a few times, the US Presidential Debate was going to draw a huge number and WWE knew that going into Raw. That’s why they had one of the weaker main events of the year this week.

The lack of Sami Zayn on the show sucked. He hasn’t really had much to do in terms of storylines in the past two months aside from a two week Jericho feud. How can they not do more with him? Another guy is Neville, who hasn’t been on Raw for four weeks. What a waste of great talent.

In terms of story development, the only thing that felt new and different was teaming up Cesaro with Sheamus. I hope it works out for both of them, but I also wish they just picked one of them to win the series.

The in-ring talent on Raw is really good. I just wish creative was better.

---

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That's all for now. See ya next time for the Smackdown review.

Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays. Go Los Angeles Rams.

John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com

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