10/5 WWE Raw TV Report by James Caldwell

By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


WWE Raw TV Results
October 5, 2015 – Episode #1,167
Live in Boston, Mass.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

– The Card: Brock Lesnar’s Raw TV return, John Cena’s U.S. Title Open Challenge in his hometown, The Wyatts vs. Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns & Randy Orton in a six-man tag match, IC champion Kevin Owens vs. Lucha Dragons, Hell in a Cell build-up, more.

Live Raw on USA Network

Raw opened with a video recap of last week’s mid-card-level main event angle centered on Kane’s performance evaluation that continued his issues with WWE World Hvt. champion Seth Rollins. Corporate Kane was taken out by Rollins, but Big Red Kane emerged from an ambulance to take out Rollins and hold up the title belt.

Live in the arena, WWE kicked things off with full pyro and fireworks. Michael Cole introduced the show from Boston, then Byron Saxton announced Rollins & Big Show vs. The Dudleys tonight.

After a pause, Brock Lesnar’s music played to a huge reception. Lesnar bounced out on-stage flanked by Paul Heyman looking to do some damage tonight. Cole, JBL, and Saxton offered soundbytes as Lesnar walked down to the ring. Cole then recapped the MSG Network special on Saturday. They framed it as Show dominating early before going to Suplex City. Lesnar followed with an F5 to win.

Back live, the crowd greeted Lesnar with a loud “Suplex City” chant. Lesnar smiled and soaked it up as WWE went to various crowd shots. Heyman introduced himself, then his client, “Brrrrock Lessssnar.” Heyman said now that they have to kicked off the Brocktober Tour by thrashing Big Show, all focus goes to Hell in a Cell. Heyman said The Undertaker will never get revenge on Lesnar for breaking The Streak because Lesnar is the only one in the last 25 years since Taker’s debut at Survivor Series 1990 who cannot be conquered by Taker. The crowd booed some of Heyman’s tough talk aimed at fan favorite Taker.

Heyman said WrestleMania used to be Taker’s event, until he stepped in the ring with Brock Lesnar. This led to a video recap of WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans when Lesnar dropped Taker with three F5s to win and break The Streak.

Back live, Lesnar leaned against the ropes and soaked up his work. Heyman said Taker spent one week in the hospital, one year on the shelf, and spent countless sleepness nights conspiring his revenge. Then, at Summerslam when Taker had a chance, he looked into the eyes of The Beast and realized that he is not Dead Man enough to get revenge on Brock Lesnar. The crowd kind of booed. And this led to another video. This one was from Summerslam in August when Taker low-blowed Lesnar, who thought he won the match, and make Lesnar fade out.

Back live, Lesnar smirked as he watched the replay. Heyman sneered that Taker had to use a low blow to defeat Lesnar. He then plugged Lesnar on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s podcast in a few Mondays. Heyman said Lesnar will relay this same message on Austin’s podcast that Lesnar will face Taker for the very last time at Hell in a Cell. And the winner will ascend to the heavens as the winner of this war, while the loser will not walk out of the Cell.

“That’s not a prediction. That, Undertaker, is a spoiler,” Heyman said. Heyman said his eyes have seen the coming of his lord, the Beast, who will extinguish the life from The Undertaker once and for all.

[Q2] Suddenly, Big Show’s music played. Heyman, annoyed, tossed his mic down as Show slowly walked down to the ring with his knee in a wrap selling the effects of his match against Lesnar two nights ago. Lesnar sold amusement over Show’s interruption after he just beat him.

In the ring, Show waited out some light “Please Retire” chants. The chants picked up a little stream, but not enough to prevent Show from starting his rebuttal to Lesnar and Heyman. Show said Lesnar took him to Suplex City, but he was “this close” to wiping that grin off Lesnar’s face. Show said that because he is the bigger man, he will call it like it is that Lesnar is The Beast and The Man. Isn’t that Seth Rollins? Lesnar laughed and walked right on by Show, ignoring the handshake.

Show turned to address Lesnar, saying it must be nice to be that arrogant. Show told Lesnar he hopes he loses to Taker at Hell in a Cell. Again. Lesnar’s smile turned into a serious look. He returned to the ring, then charged Show, ducked a punch, and suplexed Show across the ring with a belly-to-belly suplex. Lesnar then scooped up Show, hoisted him in the air, and delivered an F5 in the middle of the ring. A taste of what happened on Saturday for people who missed the special. Lesnar’s music played and he left the ring.

Backstage: Seth Rollins was shown standing by with Stephanie McMahon. Seth said there’s no way he can have his tag match tonight when Big Show was supposed to be his tag partner against the Dudleys. He asked Steph to call off the match, but she said there’s no way that’s happening. She taunted Seth that since he’s “The Man,” he should figure it out. Seth seethed and stomped away.

In-ring: The Shield’s music played to bring out Roman Reigns through the crowd. Cole said a six-man tag match is next. A 22-minute opening segment.

[Commercial Break at 8:22]

Back live, Dean Ambrose and Randy Orton were in the ring standing by with Roman Reigns. Cole did some brand-promotion on the pink theme in the arena for breast cancer awareness. The Wyatt theme interrupted, which brought out Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Braun Strowman to fight the babyface trio. Meanwhile, Cole plugged Reigns vs. Wyatt in a Hell in a Cell match in three weeks. Cole claimed it will be the end of the rivalry.

1 — ROMAN REIGNS & DEAN AMBROSE & RANDY ORTON vs. THE WYATTS (BRAY WYATT & LUKE HARPER & BRAUN STROWMAN) — six-man tag match

Reigns wanted to start with Wyatt, but Harper stood in his path as the initial opponent. Reigns eventually just ran out of the ring to pick a fight with Wyatt on the outside. Strowman cut off Reigns, though. The face trio tried to get Strowman off his feet, eventually landing a combination of dropkicks and bull rushes to send Strowman through the ropes. But, Strowman landed on his feet on the floor. The faces stood tall in the ring wanting more of the fight heading to break.

[Q3] [Commercial Break at 8:30]

Back from break, they focused on Strowman’s size and strength tossing around the babyfaces. Ambrose was victimized the most, so he was isolated in the heel corner. In-and-out tags working over Ambrose as Cole went back to last year’s Hell in a Cell when Wyatt cost Ambrose the WWE World Title against Seth Rollins. The Wyatts remained in control heading to another break.

[Commercial Break at 8:37]

Back from break, Wyatt lined up Ambrose for a big clothesline. More punishment to Ambrose, then Strowman suddenly whiffed on a corner attack. Tags to Harper and then Orton. Orton fired off signature offense, including a second-rope DDT firing up the crowd. Orton stalked Harper for the RKO, but Bray distracted the ref, allowing Strowman to yank Orton out of the ring and smash him into the announce table.

But, Orton was able to tag in Reigns, who unloaded on the heels. Chaos everywhere in and out of the ring. Lilian Garcia nearly got wiped out at ringside. Reigns and Harper finally made it back into the ring, where Reigns delivered a powerbomb. Reigns wanted a big spear, but Bray smacked Reigns in the head from the side. Harper big-booted Reigns, but Orton broke up a pin. Orton then dropped Harper with the RKO, setting up Reigns for the big spear on Harper for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Team Reigns at 15:53. Wild sequence in the final few minutes, capturing the tone of the feud. A crowd-pleasing opening match.

Post-match, Reigns took the mic and addressed Wyatt. He warned Bray that he is done at Hell in a Cell after he ends him. “Believe that,” Reigns closed.

[Q4] Still to come: John Cena’s U.S. Title Open Challenge in Cena’s hometown.

NXT Video: Sasha Banks vs. Bayley headlines the next NXT: Takeover special this Wednesday on WWE Network.

[Commercial Break at 8:46]

Back live, Neville was in the ring preparing for in-ring action. Bad News Barrett was ringside on commentary pretending to play nice with Neville. Sheamus was then introduced as Neville’s opponent. Apparently this is WWE “getting all of the European guys (minus Cesaro) in one segment.” Sheamus, holding his MITB briefcase, talked on the way to the ring about thinking this is an Irish city. He knocked the Celtics mascot before addressing a “leprechaun” in the ring. Sheamus looked down at Neville, then yelled at the crowd to respect a real Irishman. Sheamus said no matter how hard Neville fights, he will always be a loser. What does that feel like? Because he is a true winner. Neville had enough and punched Sheamus in the mouth to start the fight.

2 — NEVILLE vs. SHEAMUS

The bell sounded and Neville lit up Sheamus with right hands. Barrett suddenly walked down to ringside pretending to have a supportive word with Neville. But, the distraction allowed Sheamus to Brogue Kick Neville in the mouth. Sheamus pinned Neville for the win. Barrett pretended to be sad about this result for Neville.

WINNER: Sheamus at 0:32.

Backstage: Corporate Kane was shown walking down the hallway. He’s in the top-of-the-hour segment.

[Commercial Break at 8:56]

In-ring: Split Personality Kane was in the ring wearing a walking boot to sell the ankle injury from Seth Rollins last week. So, Corporate Kane stopped when he was loaded in the ambulance, and Big Red Machine picked up no-selling the ankle injury. Or something like that. Kane declared himself Seth’s tag partner against The Dudleys tonight since Big Show is injured.

[Q5 — second hour] Suddenly, Seth Rollins emerged on-stage to interrupt Kane. Seth went for the local heat saying Kane is a lot like Patriots QB Tom Brady – deflated balls who swindled his way out of trouble. So, he is not going to be his partner tonight. Kane responded with dry lines from his office mug and poster. He added that he wants to make Seth Rollins proud of the man he sees in the mirror, and that requires going through heel to face his demons. At least that’s what his poster says.

Seth asked if it qualifies as him facing his demons by taking Kane to hell right now. Kane seethed, but tried to remain under control. Suddenly, Stephanie McMahon’s music played. Principal Steph marched down to the ring telling her students to stop bickering. She yelled at Seth for his anonymous complaint, yelling at Kane, and insulting Tom Brady. She excitedly said the Patriots will once again be Super Bowl Champions, popping the crowd. There was no follow-up jab to get her heel heat back. Speaking of split personalities, here is Stephanie’s character pandering to the crowd. Is this actually going to lead to something with Steph’s character, or just part of the inconsistency from week to week?

Stephanie then booked the WWE Title match for Hell in a Cell – Kane challenging Seth. She then told Kane that if he can tape up his ankle, he will team with Seth tonight against The Dudleys. Steph’s music played, then she cut off the music and added one more thing. If Demon Kane does not beat Seth for the WWE Title at Hell in a Cell, then Corporate Kane is out of a job. Seth and Kane glared at each other to close the segment.

[ REAX: Watered-down, inconsistent heel authority figures, split personality corporate schmuck, and whiny WWE champion. This has been a big contributor to turning off audiences this year. ]

[Commercial Break at 9:06]

Backstage: Seth Rollins was standing next to Triple H trying to voice his concerns over what just happened. Hunter just stared at him, then spoke. Hunter tried to give Seth some advice about taking it to Kane before he takes it to him. Seth wagged his finger, excited over that advice.

In-ring: Natalya was standing by for singles Divas action. Paige was introduced as her opponent. It feels like they’re back to the pre-“Divas Revolution” look & feel of the Divas division.

3 — NATALYA vs. PAIGE

The announcers continued the narrative about who is responsible for the so-called “Divas Revolution” as Paige ran in and out of the ring trying to avoid Natalya.

[Q6] They exchanged nearfalls, then Paige cockily took control. She took the time to yell at someone in the crowd, which allowed Natalya to capture her for the Sharpshooter. But, Paige made the ropes. Natalya went for it a second time and this time Paige submitted in the middle of the ring. Post-match, Natalya stood triumphantly over a defiant Paige, who threw a fit after losing to the Cat Lady.

WINNER: Natalya via submission at 6:02. Yes, WWE booked Natalya to win a TV match.

Announcers: Cole and Co. transitioned to Intercontinental Title discussion. They showed Kevin Owens getting himself counted out against Ryback to retain the IC Title on Thursday’s Smackdown. But, Ryback got in the last word with Shell-Shock.

Video: Ryback, standing in front of a red back drop, shouted about actions speaking louder than words. Action footage followed. Action video set to loud music played. Back to Ryback in front of the back drop. He told Kevin Owens that he is his prey. Ryback told Owens that It’s Time. It’s Vader Time. No, actually, just Feeding Time.

In-ring: IC champion Kevin Owens was introduced to the ring. Owens mocked some fans on the way to the ring as Cole talked about Owens having an exchange with the Lucha Dragons on the Network pre-show, setting up the next match.

[Commercial Break at 9:22]

4 — IC champion KEVIN OWENS vs. SIN CARA (w/Kalisto) — non-title match

Owens talked and roughed up Sin Cara early on. He then taunted Kalisto down at ringside. Sin Cara took advantage by landing consecutive springboard moonsaults. Sin Cara went back to the well once too often, as Owens caught him with a standing kick. Owens told him it was a good try, then hit the Pop-up Powerbomb for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Owens at 2:35. Fine squash match for Owens to re-establish his finisher.

Post-match, Owens kicked Kalisto in the head as Kalisto checked on his tag partner. Owens wanted the powerbomb on the ring apron, but Ryback’s music played. Ryback chased Owens out of the ring, then Owens walked away from a fight. Owens walked through the crowd as Ryback called for him from the ring.

Backstage: Stephanie McMahon was in the hallway working on her phone. Apparently she had some important business to take care of outside of the office. New Day walked in trying to get her mind off work, but she snapped at Big E. that she is busy. Xavier Woods prepared to work the trombone, but Steph said she doesn’t want to hear one single note. Principal Steph reprimanded her students and said that as a result of what happened in MSG on Saturday, New Day will be defending the Tag Titles against The Dudleys again at Hell in a Cell. Steph left, then New Day talked amongst themselves that they thought Steph liked them. All that clapping and dancing. Now this? Raw faded to break.

[Q7] [Commercial Break at 9:31]

Back on Raw, the stage was randomly filled with WWE roster members. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were center-stage applauding as Cole introduced a breast cancer awareness segment. John Cena was standing by in the ring with Roman Reigns and breast cancer survivors.

Cena told the crowd they’ll have plenty of time to tell him how they feel about him later in the show. But, right now it’s about recognizing survivors. Cena said it gives him great honor to celebrate real fighting champions. The crowd applauded, then Roman Reigns took the mic. Reigns, who simply does not have vocal command as Cena, said his mantra is usually one versus all, but in this fight, it’s all versus one. He encouraged the audience to join forces to make a huge difference.

Viewers who follow C.M. Punk’s Twitter probably feel a bit icky watching WWE give a big endorsement to their corporate brand partner.

[Commercial Break at 9:41]

Back from break, Corporate Kane limped into the ring. Lilian Garcia introduced the featured tag match as Kane prepared to fight in slacks. Seth Rollins was introduced next as Kane’s tag partner. The Dudleys were out next as their opponents.

[Q8]

5 — WWE World Hvt. champion SETH ROLLINS & KANE vs. THE DUDLEYS (BUBBA DUDLEY & DEVON)

After the bell sounded, Seth yelled at Kane to do a good job and not blow this match. Kane walked around the ring, so Seth decided to tag himself into the match. Seth went face-to-face with Bubba, who shoved down Seth after Seth talked too much trash. Bubba shouted at Seth to fight. Kane eventually tagged himself in, but sold being too injured, drawing Seth’s ire.

Kane continued to mind-screw with Seth by pretending to be injured and unable to help his partner. Kane, wrestling in a tie, dress shirt, slacks, and dress shoes, clotheslined Devon from behind, stunning Seth. Kane then tagged in Seth as they began working over Devon. Raw cut to break with Kane now pretending to be on the same page with Seth.

[Commercial Break at 9:52]

The crowd remained subdued still trying to figure out why they were supposed to care about the Kane-Seth issue at the center of the match. Kane was still working on Devon, then he suddenly came up lame trying to run the ropes. Kane bailed to the corner, bringing in Seth. The ringside medic checked on Kane, saying he’s going to have to take Kane backstage to check on him. Suddenly, though, Seth busted out handcuffs and cuffed Kane to the corner. Apparently he did not secure the cuffs, though, as Devon smashed Kane, who simply fell down to the ground.

After Kane fell to the ground, he was helped up the stage by the ringside medic. Kane stopped on the stage and looked back into the ring to sneer at Rollins. Rollins screamed from the ring that he’ll get Kane, then the Dudleys took control of the match. Bubba tried to get the crowd fired up before landing a series of blows. Bubba and Devon set up the “What’s Up?” headbutt, then called for tables. Bubba and Devon went looking for a table and retrieved it from under the ring. Suddenly, Seth dropkicked the table into the Dudleys. The bell sounded. No decision was announced and the crowd groaned.

WINNER: ? at 13:25. Presumably, Seth was DQ’ed for dropkicking the table introduced by the Dudleys into the Dudleys. The Dudleys have been caught in some weird situations since returning to WWE, like being secondary to entertaining heels New Day and now weirdo Kane and Seth.

[Q9 — third hour] Post-match, Seth grabbed his WWE Title belt to leave, but pyro shot off and Big Red Kane emerged from backstage and walked down to ringside. Kane teed off on Rollins, then measured him for a chokeslam, but the Dudleys snuck up behind Kane. Kane, who attacked the Dudleys on Smackdown, walked into a 3D. The Dudleys left the ring. Meanwhile, Kane rolled around the ring, then Seth got up and left.

But, Seth decided that he was not done. He picked up a table and set it up the ring, then stood over a seemingly lifeless Kane. But, Kane was playing opossum and reached up to grab Seth around the throat. Seth avoided a chokeslam, then climbed to the top turnbuckle, only to jump into a chokeslam grip. Kane then spun Seth around to chokeslam him through the table. Kane stood over Seth and shot off his pyro. Kane chuckled as he stood over Seth.

Still to come: John Cena’s U.S. Title Open Challenge.

[Commercial Break at 10:05]

Announcers: Cole and Co. randomly visited an event that happened earlier in the day. Two hours into the show and they’re introducing something that happened before the show?

WWE cut to footage of a limo pulling up in Boston. Out came the Bellas and Alicia Fox. Nikki Bella was wearing a Yankees cap. Another vehicle then pulled up in their pathway. Out walked Team B.A.D. Sasha Banks tossed Nikki’s Yankees cap, then the heel teams separated themselves.

In-ring: Team B.A.D. was introduced to the ring apparently as the default babyface trio for this heel vs. heel match. WWE highlighted Sasha returning home as she entered the ring with Naomi and Tamina. Once in the ring, Sasha took the mic and said it feels good to be back home. Sasha said she puts the “Boss” in “Boston.” Nikki Bella’s music interrupted.

Nikki, Brie, and Alicia Fox heelishly walked out on-stage to run down Sasha and the Boston Red Sox. Nikki said there is no chance she, nor the Red Sox are going to win a championship in October. Nikki, who is from the West Coast, said the Yankees are going all the way. “Yankees Suck” chant from the crowd. Nikki talked about going all the way at Hell in a Cell when she regains the Divas Title, which drew a sexual innuendo retort. Sasha swung things back to the Divas Title, saying Charlotte and/or Nikki are just keeping the title warm for her. The supporting cast then argued about who the least relevant underlying is. This set off a fight.

[Q10]

6 — TEAM BELLAS (NIKKI BELLA & BRIE BELLA & ALICIA FOX) vs. TEAM B.A.D. (SASHA BANKS & NAOMI & TAMINA) — six-Divas tag match

Team B.A.D. got the upperhand and stood tall in the ring while the default heel trio recovered down at ringside.

[Commercial Break at 10:18]

Back from break, the Bellas and A. Fox were in control working on Naomi. They punked Sasha on the ring apron, then Naomi nearly rolled up Nikki for a quick pin. But, the match continued with the Bellas in control. They remained in control for several minutes as Sasha tried to lead a rally clap. Naomi avoided a corner attack, then tagged in Sasha. Chaos broke out with everyone in the ring. Once the dust settled, Sasha took down Alicia and slapped on the Bank Statement. Alicia tapped, giving Sasha the big hometown win.

WINNERS: Team B.A.D. via submission at 11:45.

Backstage: Divas champion Charlotte and Becky Lynch were standing by watching the match. Renee Young then walked in asking Charlotte about what she’s focusing on right now. Charlotte said Paige’s issues are her issues and she can’t worry about her faux teammate. She said she’s focused on defending the Divas Title against Nikki Bella at Hell in a Cell. “Woooo!” she shouted.

Still to come: John Cena’s U.S. Title Open Challenge.

[Commercial Break at 10:28]

[Q11] Earlier Tonight: Brock Lesnar was confronted by Big Show, who had another bad night. In three weeks, Lesnar faces The Undertaker at Hell in a Cell.

Soap Opera Segment

In-ring: Summer Rae was standing by in the ring to introduce her man, Rusev. “Sweetness,” Summer said. “I wanted to dedicate an entire segment on Raw.” She was cut off by the crowd chanting USA. Rusev shouted for the lady to be allowed to speak. Summer said she wanted to spend an entire segment on Raw to recognize the one wrestler who has done more than anyone else on the roster. “Ru-Ru, this tribute is for you,” she said.

After the propaganda video aired, they cut back to Summer glowing over her man. Rusev was blown away by the video package. Rusev said he doesn’t know how to say this, but when this first started, he did not like Summer at all. But, as time moved on, he decided he cannot be with anyone else besides her. Summer said she was hoping he would say that. Because there’s something she has to ask him.

Summer milked her next statement, then decided to drop down on one knee. Summer held out a box and revealed a ring. Rusev was a little nervous pacing the ring. Summer asked for Rusev’s hand, then asked Ru-Ru if he would marry her. Rusev pulled away, saying whoa, whoa, whoa. Rusev went back to pacing the ring while thinking about his words.

Rusev said he doesn’t know what to say. Summer tried to pitch them going straight to the top and winning WrestleMania, unlike being with little Lana. She told Rusev just to say yes and he’ll get everything he ever wanted. Rusev yelled at the crowd to shut up because she asked him, not them. Rusev kept pacing, then said, “I say, I say…” Pause. “I say yes!” he said. They smooched.

“I say yes,” he continued as he closed the box. “But not yet.” Rusev said they must prove to each other that they are worthy. He said that he must have WWE gold around his waist, then she will have gold around her finger. Summer sold embarrassment as Rusev threw down the mic and left the ring. Rusev held open the ropes and Summer reluctantly left the ring with Rusev as his music played. Rusev confidently walked to the back as Summer tried to collect herself.

Up Next: John Cena’s U.S. Title Open Challenge in the main event segment.

[Commercial Break at 10:43] […Q12]

[Q12] Smackdown plug: Roman Reigns & Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt & Braun Strowman. Dean Ambrose and Luke Harper are the odd men out of the equation.

In-ring: John Cena’s music played back in the arena. The U.S. champion bounced out on-stage in his hometown welcoming the crowd reception – cheers and boos. In the ring, Cena told Beantown it’s time to let your voices be heard. He held up the U.S. Title belt and said he is the man to beat. He said the John Cena U.S. Open Challenge starts now. “You want some, come get some!” he shouted.

After a pause, Dolph Ziggler’s music played. No sign of Ziggler, though, as the announcers hyped the potential match-up. Cole wondered if Ziggler was making the champion wait. Instead, out came New Day dragging Ziggler out on-stage. “New … Day Sucks” chants from the crowd. Xavier Woods spoke that last week Cena talked about getting serious, so is this serious enough for him? Kofi Kingston and Big E. dropped Dolph on the stage and left him out cold. New Day walked down to the ring as refs checked on Ziggler in the background.

Kofi wondered who will answer this big challenge on this big night in this big ring in this big city on this big show on this big network. Xavier said if only they had a big challenger. “Big E!” Xavier and Kofi shouted. The crowd groaned. Lilian Garcia handled formal ring introductions for Cena vs. Big E., who was serenaded with the playing of the trombone to cover for the lack of crowd noise.

7 — U.S. champion JOHN CENA vs. WWE tag champion BIG E. (w/WWE tag champions Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) — United States Title match

Big E. landed early offense, then WWE cut to a final commercial less than a minute into the match.

[Commercial Break at 10:55]

Big E. was still in control back from break. Big E. missed a corner attack and posted himself, giving Cena an opening. But, Big E. caught a running Cena with a frontslam. Big E. followed with a running splash for a two count.

[Q13 — over-run] Big E. continued to steamroll Cena until Big E. made a mistake charging Cena, who dumped Big clear over the top rope to the floor. But, on the floor, Big E. reversed a whip into the ring steps, sending Cena crashing into the steps.

Back in the ring, Big E. slowly dropped his singlet straps and looked to end the match, but Cena avoided and dropped Big with a sit-out slam. Cena did the You Can’t See Me into the Five Knuckle Shuffle, then measured Big E. for the AA. But, Xavier and Kofi yanked down Big E. in clear sight of the referee. Referee Charles Robinson did not call for the bell. Instead, he booted Xavier and Kofi from ringside. Big E. scooped up the trombone in the chaos, but Robinson yanked it away. So, Cena scooped up Big E. for an AA to get the three count.

WINNER: Cena at 9:55 to retain the U.S. Title. Just not juice to the match; Big E. has been portrayed as just a spoke in a three-man act and does not stand out on his own. Plus, WWE set this up to be bigger (excuse the pun) than a mid-card heel comedy act New Day member challenging Cena in the main event.

Post-match: Xavier and Kofi attacked Cena. Suddenly, an injured Dolph Ziggler ran down to the ring. Ziggler, disoriented, accidentally superkicked Cena. New Day knocked down Ziggler, but the Dudleys charged the ring to knock around New Day. Kofi saved Xavier from a 3D, though. New Day then knocked down all of the faces and left the ring. Xavier played the trombone on the way out of the ring as the babyfaces came-to. New Day’s theme music eventually played, mixing noise with the trombone. Raw faded out on a low note (excuse the pun) with Xavier’s trombone filling the air seven minutes past the top of the hour.

If the goal was to make New Day seem like bigger, more legitimate threats as heel, they can’t have Xavier still doing the mid-card comedy deal with the trombone to close the show. The overall presentation was too jarring without a set-up for New Day suddenly becoming serious heels threatening the well-being of four babyfaces.

OVERALL: A more eventful show than last week (the Brock Lesnar Factor), but still a top-to-bottom Creative mess in terms of character alignment and what the audience is supposed to care about and invest in. The key figure is Kane, who has been slotted opposite the heel champion for the next WWE Title match, but the audience is just sitting back trying to figure out what WWE is going for instead of emotionally investing in Kane possibly being the person to finally take down the whiny, crazy, rude heel champion. This could be a decent side-story, but it’s the WWE Title story at the same time WWE is making the audience feel conflicted about Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker by making fan favorite Taker seem heelish at the same Brock via Paul Heyman continues to brag about beating The Streak. There’s just not a clear, central direction or clearly-defined core characters to guide the ship.

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