WWE Raw Debate Night, Wrestle like no one is watching – A recap for 09/26/16

Tonight’s Raw comes to us from Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Great Debate

On a night where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, where most political commentators compared it to an episode of Monday Night Raw, why not watch the real thing.  You already knew how the debate was going to go.  There was no mystery to it.

The Fight for the US (Championship)

Rusev exercised his rematch clause for the United States Championship that he lost at Clash of Champions.  The episode started with Rusev already in the ring with a quick Roman entrance.  They knew they wanted to pack so much into the first hour before people switched over to the debate.

The match was physical.  What I like about Roman, post suspension, is that the Superman Punch has been downgraded to a mid-match signature move.  It never puts anyone done for a three-count anymore.  That’s where it belongs and has always belonged.

The match was also long.  It seems like it might have been one of the longer matches this year.  We’ll have to see when we get the final timings.

After multiple spears, punches, kicks, and attempted Accolades, the match finally spilled into the crowd and was a double-count out, allowing Roman to retain.  The ending of this match seems to lend itself to a Hell in a Cell rematch at the end of next month.  Whether they keep it going that long is another story.

They make their way back to the ring and Rusev gets in a couple of good chair shots before Roman spears Ru-Ru.

And then it almost happens.  Roman, it seems, almost snaps and lays into Rusev with the chair.  But he thinks better of it and just hangs out until Rusev wakes up.  It was kind of strange.

But Mid-card Roman is the best Roman.

Rusev, however, will have the US Championship for the next seven years in my heart.

A Bloody New Day for America

I know what you’re thinking.  It’s day 400 of the New Day’s title reign.  It’s finally time for them to drop the belts, right?  No, no, no.  Wrong.  WWE is retiring the belts with them.  It’s a terrible day to be any other tag team in the devision.  At this point, it would be better for every other team to go to Smackdown and New Day just faces enhancement talent every week.

I will say that Gallows and Anderson have really improved in their ring work with the New Day.  These are solid matches now, even if you know the end result.  When they first came in, they seemed like they had a lot of ring rust and weren’t working very effectively.  I would have thought maybe it was adapting to the WWE style, but Gallows has been here before.  And I can’t imagine that working in New Japan is a world of difference.

Kofi…had a bad night.  He got busted open on a spot on the steps and was bleeding profusely.  I’m really surprised that the match wasn’t stopped.  Blood was streaming down Kofi’s face and was all over both Gallows and Anderson.  There was no celebration at the end of the match, as Xavier quickly rushed in with a towel before the medical staff poured in.

I hope Kofi recovers quickly.

Kofi Kingston Bloody

An Unlikely Alliance

So remember when I laid out that scenario in my prediction post where Cesaro and Sheamus would have a non-finish for match 7 and Foley would put them together in a tag team?  Yeah, so that happened.  Cesaro and Sheamus are the #1 Contenders for the tag team titles.

They quickly dispatched an enhancement talent team.  A team that was pretty terrible, even for an enhancement team.  That’s not what we were supposed to be watching though.  If they put Sheamus and Cesaro in a Cell with New Day, there’s no way New Day should win.  They probably will, but they shouldn’t.

Building a Cruiserweight Army

Tonight we had two Cruiserweight matches.  First, we had the tag team of Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander Vs. Lince Dorado and Drew Gulak.

I can’t decide if this match was just OK or if the garbage crowd swayed me into thinking that.  I do think some of their timing was off.  Cedric Alexander seems super nervous on the big stage.  He killed it in the tournament.  The Lumbar Check tonight looked sloppy and his “classic promo” seemed a little stilted.  I think he could stand to work a few dark matches.  I don’t even think that he should work NXT.  He needs to work these big rooms to be more comfortable.  After that said Lumbar Check, Rich Swann went for a Superkick on Gulak and got the pin.

Dorado and Gulak were solid throughout.

The 2nd cruiserweight match we got was TJ Perkins (in his Monday Night Raw debut) Vs. Tony Nese.  This was a great match but the crowd was chanting CM Punk and Harambe.  Why?  Are you really that bored?  Do you not realize that there’s some exceptional talent in the ring in front of you.  You have TJ, who seems to have shaken his nerves, and Tony Nese, who is freak of nature.  These guys are giving that crowd way more than they deserve.

American Fireworks: The Highlight Reel

Rollins supposedly cracked a rib at Clash taking a 2nd rope Gutbuster from Owens.  He’s not medically cleared.  It’s Foley’s job to keep him from the ring during the Highlight Reel with special guest Kevin Owens.

It goes exactly as you expect.  Seth tries to interfere in the segment but is blocked by a half dozen WWE officials.  That was the end of that for this week.  I’m assuming Seth will be back in ring by HIAC and on TV the whole time until then.

What we did get was a main event match of Ezno Enzo and Cass Vs. Jeri-KO.  There were some great moments in this.  Most notably when Jericho gave Kevin his scarf.

They did some interesting things in this match.  Owens wanted to fight “The Big Guy” so Enzo tagged in Cass.  Later in the match, it was Cass trying to give the hot tag to Enzo, instead of the other way around.  They made it interesting.  A solid way to end Raw, one that apparently no one was watching.

Everything Else

  • No Bo Dallas, Braun Strowman or Nia Jax this week.  But we get a squash match from Bayley against Anna Fields (Side Note: Anna Fields’ finishing move is called “Field of Screams“.  That’s baddass.)  Bayley cut a promo afterwards basically saying that she was leaving the title picture for a bit.
  • WHERE IS NEVILLE?!  Is he hurt?
  • Charlotte and Sasha talked and had a brief scuffle.  It seems like we do this every week.  There will be a Women’s Championship rematch next week at Staples.
  • Speaking of rematches, we are getting a TJ Perkins Vs. THE Brian Kendrick next week as well.  Kendrick is already fully ready to go on promos.
  • Cincinnati’s crowd was hot garbage.  Why are you chanting a CM Punk chant when there’s a great match in front of you.  Hopefully TJ Perkins fans come out and support him in his home town.
  • Stephanie eviscerated Foley for not being around during the main event.  She’s done being nice.  Maybe we see what this is all about by HIAC?