By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Dean Ambrose and John Cena Attacked Seth Rollins
I really liked how Rollins sold his frustration from last week by sounding off on Ambrose and Cena only to be attacked by them both. The crowd was red hot for Ambrose going after Rollins which is amazing considering this feud has lasted over four months. The inclusion of Cena in all of this has watered it down significantly and I wish they'd find something else for him to do. And of course, it isn't an opening segment without The Authority! The announcement of the Handicap match was predictable and fell flat because we've seen so many of them in the last year.
Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler and The Usos def. Cesaro and WWE Tag Team Champions Gold and Stardust
I enjoy a good ol' six-man tag team match as much as the next guy, but we've seen so many of them in recent weeks that they've grown tiresome for this viewer. There was nothing out of the ordinary for the first half of the match, but they picked up the pace down the stretch and delivered a fun final few minutes. It was a nice win for Ziggler and The Usos, but I'm curious as to what's next for Cesaro. Hopefully they find another way to set him up as the No. 1 contender to the Intercontinental Championship.
Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb Danced with Adam Rose
You had to know something like this would happen when the 'Today' hosts were announced to appear on Raw. It was a silly segment that I can't bury too much since it was to promote a good cause. It was a waste of time, sure, but we've seen worse in the past. However, I must admit that it definitely doesn't make me long for the days of celebrity guest hosts on Raw.
Bo Dallas def. Mark Henry by Count-out
It was the same basic match we saw from this two last week with a different finish. The ending outcome could be seen coming from the get-go given the way their last two matches ended. As I said last week, these wins would mean so much more for Dallas if his undefeated streak was still intact. There wasn't any teasing of a Henry heel turn, but I sense it's on the horizon.
John Cena Confronted Dean Ambrose
The fact these two are in three segments on the same show goes to show how bad the roster depth (or lack thereof) is at the moment. I won't complain about getting more Ambrose, but this was essentially the same segment we got from him and Cena last week on SmackDown. They're slowly building tension between the two and it was interesting to see him walk out on Cena after Cena supposedly left him in their last tag match, but this could've been accomplished in the opener.
Brie Bella (with One Arm Tied Behind Her Back) def. Summer Rae
As much as I despise these kind of gimmick matches, the commentators made sense of it by saying it was because it was the same match The Authority put Nikki Bella through many months ago. It was good of a match you'd expect with one wrestler being handicapped, but it was fine for what it was and thankfully it didn't overstay its welcome. Summer looked weak for losing to a one-armed Bella, but it isn't like she's in the Divas title picture at the moment, so it's not worth ranting about.
Jack Swagger def. Tyson Kidd
It's great to see Kidd getting more and more airtime on WWE TV, and not just in Divas segments. He and Swagger worked a nice match, but it's going to take some time before audiences get used to Kidd as a heel, especially if they don't watch Total Divas or NXT. I'm also glad to see Natalya being utilized well in all of this and I look forward to where it goes from here.
Michael Cole Interviewed Roman Reigns
I didn't think Reigns would be in the arena for the interview, but I hoped for more of an update on his condition. He kept his lines short and sweet which was for the better since he's not the strongest talker, but I was slightly disappointed by it. Why hype this so heavily if it's going to last all of a minute? Why not have Seth Rollins interrupt and make an angle out of it?
Mini-Gator def. El Torito
Good lord, keep this garbage on Superstars. Seriously. This was downright terrible and I don't see what purpose it was supposed to serve. The saving grace of this segment was that the Brooklyn crowd let them know how horrendous this was. The only way WWE is going to know that this is atrocious is if the fans let them know about it via fan reaction. Simply put: Thank you, Brooklyn!
The Rock Interrupted Rusev
Well, this beat the hell out of Big Show coming out! Seriously, this was stellar. It's been well over a year and a half since we last saw Rock on Raw and this felt like a major happening. Rock was hilarious with his one-liners and it gave Rusev a big rub. The best part about it was the fact that it was kept a secret. Yes, he was rumored to be New York earlier today, but I never thought for a second he'd actually be on the show. And he didn't promote anything, either! I'm a sucker for surprises so I loved every second of this and understand why it happened here (due to halftime) and not at the end even though it was all downhill from here.
Paige and Alicia Fox def. Divas Champion AJ Lee and Emma
It was nice to see Emma get some television time for once and I like(d) the idea of her being the new "best friend" of AJ given her history with Paige. It was a decent match while it lasted, but I hated the finish as it made AJ out to look like a heel. What incentive do fans have to cheer for her now? I'm glad the heels are getting heat, but AJ walking out on Emma wasn't the same as Ambrose walking out on Cena because AJ wasn't justified in doing it.
The Miz def. United States Champion Sheamus (Non-title)
Miz and Sheamus had a good, well-wrestled match that was given an ample amount of time, but most of it was overshadowed by the crowd chanting for Damien Mizdow at ringside. Not that I'm complaining, though. It was hilarious and although Sandow was Mr. Money in the Bank only one year ago, he is making the most of what he's been given. Miz's clean win over Sheamus was a nice surprise and I expect a championship rematch to take place at Hell in a Cell.
Joan Lunden Discussed Breast Cancer Awareness Month
WWE is a class act when it comes to Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October and their partnership with the Susan G. Komen fund. Lunden was great here and I was glad the crowd showed her the respect she deserved. I'd take this over a terrible, non-funny dancing in-ring segment any day of the week. That's just me, though.
John Cena def. Seth Rollins, Randy Orton and Kane in a 3-on-1 Handicap match by Disqualification
Handicap matches are beyond old, so I wasn't all that angry that this main event lasted only a few minutes. I was angry, however, that it once again ended in a disqualification. It's unoriginal and I can't believe they can't come up with any other ways to book the finish to a match. Ambrose's antics with the hot dog stand were entertaining and the announcement of Ambrose and Cena squaring off at Hell in a Cell with the winner facing Rollins that same night was expected. It goes to show how bad the roster depth is right now when they have to rely on three guys to sell a pay-per-view.
This show was definitely a mixed bag of the good, the bad and the ugly, but the Brooklyn crowd made it a fun atmosphere. To me, it was the most entertaining episode since the summer, though I realize that isn't saying much. The Rock's return was one of the biggest highlights in months, but that was the only real takeaway from this Raw. They've done a piss-poor job of building the card for Hell in a Cell, but at least most of what happened on this show is seemingly building toward the event.
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