Raw is Cruiserweight – Raw Recap (September 19, 2016)



Your Standard Raw Opening

Our “Go Home Raw” live from right here in Memphis, Tennessee (pause for cheap pop), kicks off with Roman Reigns.  He’d apparently told the Twitterverse that Raw was going to start and end on his terms because he’s pissed.  He’d have probably vocalized that, but for the first time in as long as I can remember, they had a microphone in his hand and did everything they could do not to let him actually speak short of killing the power to the building.  As soon as he started, Stephanie came out, followed almost immediately by Mick Foley.  As expected, this show was about fleshing out the card for Sunday’s Clash of Champions (which I still whole heartedly think they should have left as Night of Champions as Foley even said “all of the Raw titles are on the line”.  Would Clash of Champions not imply that it would be matches pitting champion vs champion?  So Rusev vs Kevin Owens in a title for title main event?  Anyway…), and Foley told Roman he’d get his shot at Rusev on Sunday for the US Championship, but that he’d also get another piece of Kevin Owens, right here in Memphis, Tennessee (crowd goes wild), in a steel cage match.

How many guys can we squeeze in to one segment?


It’s been a while since Chris Jericho presented the List of Jericho, but when Mick Foley disrespected his best friend Kevin Owens by forcing him to compete in a steel cage less than a week from his title defense, Y2J had had enough of the GM, so he began a list of grievances against Foley.

It was a comical bit, as only Chris Jericho could pull off, but he was cut off briefly thereafter by Enzo and Cass, who pretty much said the same thing they’ve said every time they’ve gone in for the smacktalk kill on The Gift himself.  They’d be quickly interrupted by the travel agents from the Caribbean, who barely got into their pointless crap about Puerto Rican Timeshares (let me cut myself off and say, WWE, for the love of God, quit trying to push this.  It sucks.), before they were interrupted by The New Day, who were then, as expected, interrupted by Gallows and Anderson.  So essentially everyone who you hadn’t already seen on the show that was in the locker room was standing in the ring.  Jericho took his leave and moved up the ramp, only to be attacked by Sami Zayn, and then all hell broke loose just enough to wet your whistle, but the usual commercial break.

If you’ve watched more than one episode of WWE programming ever in the history of the company, you know that this commercial break gives them time to move to the corners and begin a massive tag team match.  No surprises here, 10 man tag team action, pitting the faces (E&C, New Day, Zayn) against the heels (A&G, Travel Agents, Jericho).  Enzo and Cass would not take another loss to the Puerto Rican tourism board, and pick up the pinfall.

The Women’s Division


Well, Foley didn’t get his Triple Threat Universal Championship match for Clash of Champions, but he wouldn’t be deterred, and in a backstage segment with Charlotte and Dana Brooke would announce that at Clash of Champions, the women’s title would be a triple threat match, as it now includes Bayley.

Of course, Charlotte took this opportunity to slap down Dana, just before the two went to the ring to take on the pair of Sasha and Bayley in tag team action.  The good guys were winning for a while, and Bayley fresh off the hot tag cleaned house and was aiming for the Bayley to Belly on Charlotte but Dana grabbed Charlotte’s feet and held her down so Bayley couldn’t lift her, and the distraction gave Charlotte the opportunity to land a violent big boot on the Hugster and get the pinfall victory.

The Architect vs the Bulgarian Brute


In probably one of the weirdest plugs I’ve seen in a while, for something other than the WWE Network, an angry Rusev confronts Mick Foley, in yet another backstage segment, about both having to face Seth Rollins on Raw and Roman Reigns, the undeserving peasant, at Clash of Champions for his WWE United States Championship, but uses Lana’s movie Interrogation, on video today and starring Edge, as a reason he shouldn’t have either match, while she stands behind him holding up a copy of the DVD (we can’t even get her a Blu-Ray?).  I mean, I’m going to grab it at Redbox just to see what she sounds like when she isn’t faking the Russian accent.  She’s from damn Gainesville, Florida after all, not to be confused with Gainesville, Georgia, home of actual WWE Superstar AJ Styles.

The two would put on a great match, but would end in a double count out as they fought their way up the stage.  Rollins would do a crossbody on Rusev off the announcers table, to the usual “oh my god what was he thinking” from the commentary team, even though it’s not really any higher than the top rope.  These two will make an appearance later.

Yes, because that’s how you build to a dramatic climax


We’ve had this discussion a number of times, so this came as no shock.  In match 6 of the best of 7, Cesaro would tie the tournament at 3-3 after falling 3-0 early.  A match is announced for Clash of Champions, but hey, if we’re going have these guys in a 7 match tournament, at least there’s something at stake in it.

And what you’ve been waiting for


Raw made us wait until the third hour, through countless Cruiserweights on Raw promos, to finally get to the Cruiserweights, which were honestly the only reason I turned Raw on last night (although I’m glad I did since I took on the Recap for the show).  What’s odd here is that in introducing the Cruiserweights for a fatal four way match for a title shot at Clash of Champions, the Raw crowd was introduced to Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander, Gran Metalik and reintroduced to THE Brian Kendrick, but there was no TJ Perkins or the Cruiserweight title belt anywhere, only in the promos.  I found it strange.

The match kicked off, and it was the highlight of the evening.  These guys did not, in any way, disappoint and I hope the Raw audience is as pumped as I am to have some top notch wrestling on the broadcast weekly.  Cedric Alexander reversed a headscissors takedown mid-headscissors takedown by landing on his feet.  Have you ever seen that before?  I sure as hell haven’t.  Rich Swann put on a clinic, you got all the fun action from Gran Metalik, but in the end, the ever opportunistic Brian Kendrick would lock in a submission move on Alexander and pick up the win and the title opportunity this Sunday.

Squash City

Braun Strowman had another match with Sin Cara.  Sin Cara didn’t not fair as well as he did in the last ass beating he took either.

Bo Dallas obliterated some poor bastard.  I don’t even know his name.

Nia Jax did not have a match, but it was announced that she will have another squash against Alicia Fox at Clash of Champions during the kickoff show.

The Steel Cage giveth and the Steel Cage taketh away


Roman would meet Kevin Owens in a rematch from last Monday night, and this time, the steel cage was intended to prevent outsiders from having anything to do with the match, so you know how well that was going to go.  Roman would pick up the win after escaping over the top of the cage, only to be met on the outside by Rusev.  He would fight Rusev off for a bit, but at the direction of Kevin Owens, Rusev would “Machka Something” and Roman would be thrown back into the Lion’s Den with Kevin Owens and the cage locked behind them by Rusev.  The two would proceed to beat the hell out of Roman Reigns until, of all people, Seth Rollins would run down to make the save, climbing the cage to take down Rusev and Kevin Owens with what was actually a risky crossbody from the top of the cage.  This Sunday should be both a hell of a lot of fun and a chaotic mess all at the same time and I’m strangely looking forward to it.

Current Card for Clash of Champions

  • Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens for the Universal Championship
  • Roman Reigns vs Rusev for the United States Championship
  • Bayley vs Sasha vs Charlotte in a Triple Threat Match for the Raw Women’s Championship
  • Gallows & Anderson vs New Day for the Raw Tag Team Championship
  • The Brian Kendrick vs TJ Perkins for the Cruiserweight Championship
  • Cesaro vs Sheamus in the 7th Match of the Best of 7 Series for a future championship opportunity
  • Sami Zayn vs Chris Jericho for the Honor of his best friend Kevin Owens
  • Kickoff Show: Nia Jax vs Alicia Fox

Should be a good show.  I mean, I don’t see anything on there aside from maybe the Kickoff Show Squash-Fest that doesn’t look like it could be a truly awesome match.

Final Thoughts on Raw for 9/19/2016

There was a lot here, and in a rare move for Raw, there were quite a few matches, and good ones.  We got a fleshed out card for Sunday night, and it looks like a damn good one, we got another good performance from Roman Reigns even in the face of a booing Memphis crowd, and we also got two questions that will need to be answered: 1) Why did Rusev just listen when Owens was barking orders? 2) Are we starting to see an alliance form between Rollins and Reigns?  There wasn’t necessarily indication of the latter but considering how hard the company has tried to make him a heel since his return to the roaring applause of the audience in spite of it, they might as well utilize Rollins to help Reigns save face, since they sure as shit aren’t going to turn him heel that I can see.  I thought this was a good Raw, probably the best since the brand split, and I am so, so, SO glad that the Cruiserweights are finally here.  They’re going to at least guarantee one great match per week.  B+/A-  I couldn’t decide, it’s somewhere in the middle.