KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT 9/11: Lesnar & Heyman respond to Strowman, another Reigns-Cena promo, Bray-Balor, more

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
SEPTEMBER 11, 2017
ANAHEIM, CALIF. AT HONDA CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Michael Cole, Booker T, Corey Graves

[HOUR ONE]

-They opened with a view of the fans cheering. It’s still a little odd not hearing pyro, but even more odd not hearing music at the very start. In this case, it was totally appropriate as the ring announcer asked for a moment of silence in observation of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

-The Raw opening aired.

-Cole opened the show as the camera panned the crowd. “It’s a beast of a night,” said Cole. Graves talked about Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman being present. Cole announced the (ridiculous giveaway without weeks or months of hype) of a rare first-ever match-up between John Cena and Braun Strowman. Hey, why not cash in your 401K to buy pizza tonight, too?

-Reigns walked out to the ring, full of attitude. Cole hyped Cena vs. Reigns at No Mercy. Booker T said he is highly anticipating that match-up, as is the WWE Universe. Reigns entered the ring to what sounded like a muted reaction of mostly boos. Cole said Reigns would face Jason Jordan. Booker said he’s been savoring this “like a big steak” since he first heard about it earlier in the day. Jordan came out to new upbeat music with lyrics. They showed highlights of Cena vs. Jordan last week. Graves said he’s not one for moral victories, but he felt Jordan had one last week given how close he came to beating Cena last week. They showed Cena finishing Jordan last week.

(1) ROMAN REIGNS vs. JASON JORDAN

The bell rang. They showed Cena watching on a monitor backstage. Reigns acted all cocky and dismissive when celebrating that he avoided Jordan’s takedowns attempt. He then caught Jordan with a couple of rights. If this isn’t a heel Reigns, I can’t imagine how he’d wrestle and act any differently if he were being a heel. Reigns dropped Jordan with an uppercut and then hard clotheslines in the corner. Jordan lifted him out of the corner and gave him an overhead belly-to-belly. Nice sequence. Cole reset the show as Monday Night Football on ESPN went to halftime. WWE can’t ever say they’re not monitoring the NFL as competition. Jordan countered a Superman Punch attempt into a crossface. Reigns crawled to the bottom rope quickly and regrouped at ringside. Graves said, “We’ve got ourselves a hell of a match.” [c]

Reigns was in control after the break. Reigns landed a headbutt. Graves said Jordan looks at Reigns like Reigns looks at Cena, as someone he is looking to leapfrog. Cole said the question now is “who’s WWE is it now,” Cena’s or Reigns’s. Booker gave a shoutout to Ric Flair, whom Cole noted is tied with Cena at 16 title reigns. Reigns grinded away at Jordan with methodical offense and then settled into a chinlock. A “Let’s Go Roman / Roman Reigns!” battle chant broke out. Reigns landed a Samoan drop and then settled into another chinlock. Jordan came back with another overhead toss out of the corner. Booker said these last two weeks have given Jordan a ton of experience; he compared it to the time he wrestled Ricky Steamboat early in his career. Booker is suddenly adding good analysis to the show and appropriate personal experiences. Jordan fired back with a hard clothesline off the ropes, although Booker talked over Cole’s call of the count, which is a no-no. Both were slow to get up.

Jordan hit a standing dropkick, then showed some fire and set up a belly-to-belly. Reigns punched him to stop Jordan, then went for a clothesline. Jordan ducked and Saito suplexed Reigns quickly for a two count. They replayed Jordan’s leaping high dropkick. Jordan dropped his straps and showed fire, then landed  Northern Lights Suplex into a bridge. He picked up Reigns and gave him another Northern Lights into a bridge for a near fall. “Put a rocket on this kid!” said Booker. Jordan rolled into a crossface. Reigns reached for the bottom rope. Cole asked excitedly if Reigns was going to tap. Reigns managed to reach the rope to force the break. “What an incredible match!” said Cole. That’s a little much, but it’s good enough that it’s not a credibility killer for Cole to hype it as such in the heat of the moment.

Reigns avoided a shoulder charge by Jordan. He fell through the ropes to the floor. Graves wondered if Reigns underestimated Jordan. Booker said Jordan is the real deal. Reigns gave Jordan a Drive By. Back in the ring Reigns landed a Superman punch and then a spear for the win. They showed Cena nodding backstage. Graves said Jordan built his stock the last two weeks. Cole wondered if Reigns was impressed with Jordan, since he didn’t seem impressed before the match started.

WINNER: Reigns in 15:00.

-Afterward, Reigns approached Jordan and offered a handshake. Jordan shook his hand. Reigns congratulated him for a good effort. They showed Cena backstage again. Charlie Caruso approached Cena backstage and asked if he had any thoughts on Reigns’s victory. Cena said he did and he’d say it in the ring. [c]

-Back live, Reigns leaned in the corner of the ring as Cena’s music played. Cena walked out to his music as fans sang “John Cena sucks!” to the beat of his song. Cena held up a “Never Give Up” towel. Cena entered the ring with a wireless mic as Reigns continued patiently awaiting his arrival. Cena began: “Now, Roman, this is not a night stick for your tactical pants, this is a microphone.” He said he’s really excited by what he’s going to say tonight. He said he came out really excited last week when a rookie Jason Jordan almost beat him, but this week the same rookie almost beat “The Guy.” Cena gave Reigns a tip to keep it to one sentence, something like, “It’s my yard, believe that.” Reigns said he was having a great match, “something you know nothing about.” Boos. He said he’s had more great matches in two years than Cena’s had in his whole career. “Whatcha gonna say about that, John?” he asked.

Cena said he loves it because he makes it easy for him. He said he just has to let him talk. Cena said, “You guys can’t pin this on me; Roman’s buried himself.” He said that’s not to say he’s not good, because he has skill and ability, but he has his head so far up his own ass, he’s a one-man human centipede. He said he actually thinks he’s responsible for everything because nobody has ever cut him down to size. He said that’s why he’s there. He said a few weeks ago he said he can spin anything. He said he challenges himself every day to try everything. He said Reigns feels he has already made it, but like any facet of life, when you think you’ve made it, it’s the beginning of the end. He said he is going to learn what real failure is all about. He got in Reigns’s face and said week after week he comes out there to give him a shot, taking his ass to school, and he fails and fails “and that is not what Thee Guy does. Thee Guy steps up. Thee Guy stays sharp. Thee Guy does his homework, which is what you should’ve done before your dragged your sorry ass out here.” He said if he’s really Thee Guy, he’ll dust himself off and show him something at No Mercy. He said looking at him, he doesn’t have it in him, No Mercy is going to be a cakewalk.

Cena began to leave the ring. Reigns asked him to “bring your bitch ass back here.” He said usually another Superstar calls Cena out, but he came to Monday Night Raw and called him out. He said maybe it’s because he’s selling tickets that he hasn’t sold in five years. Cena laughed. Reigns said ticket sales are great, revenue is sky high, WWE can make it without him. “That’s why you don’t like me,” he said. He said Cena needs WWE more than WWE needs him. He said if he needs help breaking into Hollywood, “I know a guy.” (A Rock reference, obviously, although the crowd didn’t necessarily react like they got it.) He said Cena can’t back up what he says.

Cena said sometimes when people push you over the line, you’ve got to fight fire with fire. He said he’s going to put it in terms he can understand. “At No Mercy, consider me a drug test, you ain’t getting past me.” Cena dropped the mic and left as his music played.

(Keller’s Analysis: There was nothing about that which seemed like an unscripted shoot, but it did seem edgy enough to play into the storyline tension between them that fits the narrative structure of WWE’s world really well. The story they’re telling is that these two alpha males have their egos on the line and are trying to push each other’s buttons. There was just enough aiming at the match being how they’ll settle this to keep this from being some counterproductive meta-disaster.)

-They showed Sasha Banks backstage. [c]

(2) EMMA vs. SASHA BANKS

Emma was already in the ring when they came back for Sasha’s ring entrance. Alexa Bliss joined the announcers on commentary. She said having to defend her title in a Fatal Four-way is completely unfair and she has Sasha to blame for it. Emma stomped away at Sasha in the corner at the start. A minute in, Nia Jax’s music played and she walked onto the stage. She paused and looked over at Alexa and then confronted Alexa. They cut to a break. [c]

Jax sat next to Bliss. Cole asked what brought her out there. She innocently said, “Just to watch the competition.” Cole asked Bliss about Nia being in the match. Bliss said she was expecting a one-on-one match. She said she doesn’t even have to lose and that’s not fair to her. Emma charged Sasha in the corner and splashed her for a two count. Sasha came back seconds later with a sudden Bank Statement for the tapout. Cole said if that happens at No Mercy, Sasha would become champion according to Fatal Four-way rules.

WINNER: Sasha via tapout.

(Keller’s Analysis: The rules are the rules, and credit WWE for owning them, but boy are they ridiculous when a title is on the line. The use of Bliss and then Jax on commentary was a good way to build up the storyline going into the match. Bliss is always really believable in her role, and Jax was good here, although there’s still no real sense of whether Jax is supposed to be more sympathetic than Bliss going in.)

-A video package aired on last week’s Braun Strowman vs. Big Show main event in a cage.

-A Smackdown commercial hyped Vince McMahon’s appearance tomorrow night live in response to the Kevin Owens-Shane McMahon situation. [c]

[HOUR TWO]

-Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman made their way to the ring. Heyman said his job this evening is to sell everyone on something that has already been solved. He said at No Mercy, his client will defend the Universal Title against the most worthy contender in ages, Braun Strowman. “In ages,” I think, is a new qualifier on that statement. Heyman said odds are against Lesnar. He conceded Braun is bigger and more powerful, but wondered if he is “badder than the baddest dude on the planet.” He said he can’t just win the title, he has to rip it away from The Beast, The Conquerer. “You have to take what belongs to Brock Lesnar at No Mercy.” He said Braun reminds him of Brock in 2002 when “The Next Big Thing” asserted his declarative mantra of “Eat, Sleep, Conquer, Repeat” by beating, victimizing, and conquering, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Hulk Hogan, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, “Mr. ECW” Rob Van Dam, and the Undertaker himself. He said Strowman is going to come out there and try to beat, victimize, and conquer John Cena.

Heyman said, “As Corey Graves would ask, ‘Are you going to Monster Handle John Cena? Are you that bad?'” He asked Strowman if he’s ready to cross the border from the “safety of Sports Entertainment to the hostile ground known as Suplex City.” He said not to ruin the box appeal of Sept. 24’s No Mercy, but when they used to lock his client in the Brocktagon, they’d ask, “Fighter, are you ready?” Heyman asked Lesnar if he’s ready. Lesnar nodded. Heyman challenged Strowman to come on out now. After a few seconds, Strowman marched out. He charged at Lesnar. Lesnar went for a suplex. Strowman blocked it. Lesnar took a few strikes in the corner, but escaped a running powerslam and then gave Strowman a German suplex. Strowman popped up. Lesnar celebrated, but turned and was shocked that Strowman was already on his feet. “Holy sh–!” chanted the fans. Strowman chokeslammed Lesnar, then gave him a running powerslam. Booker and Graves said he was “monster handling” Lesnar. Lesnar didn’t get up. Strowman bent down and picked up the red Universal Title belt. He admired it, held it up, and stood over Lesnar’s body. He put his foot on Lesnar’s chest. Graves said he was embarrassing the Beast Incarnate. Strowman put the belt on Lesnar’s chest and patronizingly patted the belt on Lesnar’s chest.

The announcers commented on replays of the Strowman-Lesnar scuffle. They showed Lesnar trying to regain his senses in the ring as Heyman checked on him. Cole said he hopes Cena was paying attention.

-Graves plugged a Miz TV segment with Enzo Amore. Cole plugged Bray Wyatt was up next. [c]

-The announcers discussed the two hurricanes that hit the United States in recent weeks. Cole asked Booker how Houston is doing. Booker said neighbors are helping neighbors to get everyone back on their feet. He said it’ll be a long time and a lot of work. Graves plugged RedCross.org for people who want to donate.

-Booker said as big of an impact Bray has made in WWE since his debut, he has never seen anything like Goldust. After Goldust’s entrance, Bray appeared on the big screen and addressed Goldust. He said he used to think he was different, but now he thinks he’s just afraid – afraid to take off his paint and show the man that lives underneath it, a man so deeply ridden with the scars of his darkest fears and insecurities, he wishes the paint would dry for good. “You’re just like Finn Balor,” he said. He said his paint is his power to protect him from the truth. He said he’s just a mortal man underneath it all. He said now all he can do is “run!”

(3) BRAY WYATT vs. GOLDUST

Goldust took it to Bray early. Bray rolled to ringside. Goldust went right after him with a running clothesline. Bray attempted a senton a minute later in the ring, but Goldust moved. Booker said that was a veteran move and said if he offered any advice to Goldust, it’d be to not give Bray any breathing room. Goldust flipped onto Bray at ringside. Goldust went for a jackknife pin for a two count. Bray managed to come back with Sister Abigail for a sudden win.

WINNER: Bray in 3:00

-Bray bent down afterward and began wiping off Goldust’s faceprint. That got a surprising amount of boos from the crowd. Bray said, “He’s just like Finn Balor! He’s just a man, you idiots!” Balor’s music played and Balor ran out to the ring. Wyatt bailed out. Bray stared down Balor as Balor stood in the ring. Cole said it’ll be those two one-on-one at No Mercy.

(Keller’s Analysis: Better than usual Bray Wyatt promo that wasn’t just platitudes and nonsense. Good use of Goldust and the face paint he shares in common with Balor. I wish Goldust was more protected and getting more of a push, but this made sense and felt like something more than just being a TV jobber even though he lost quickly.)

-Charlie Caruso interviewed Sheamus and Cesaro backstage regarding facing Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins at No Mercy. They predicted Dean & Seth are ultimately selfish and self-serving which will lead to their victory over them at No Mercy. [c]

-Seth and Dean joined the announcers on commentary for a scheduled tag match of Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows vs. Sheamus & Cesaro. As Sheamus and Cesaro walked onto the stage, words were exchanged.  A brawl broke out. Gallows and Anderson joined Sheamus and Cesaro in beating down Dean and Seth. Then they went after each other. Seth and Dean got up and joined in the brawl. Producers and refs pulled them apart. Cole exclaimed, “This is what Monday Night Raw is all about!” Graves said the scheduled match apparently won’t take place. [c]

-They aired a clip of the three-team brawl.

-Backstage Seth and Dean told Kurt Angle they want a match against both teams tonight. Angle said if the find two partners, they can have an eight-man tag match. The crowd began chanting “Delete!” Dean said they’d go to Disney World. Angle said, “You have find real people.” Line of the night. Seth said, “We will, we will, don’t worry about it.” Angle said to himself that Batman would make a great tag team partner.

-They went to the announcers. Cole asked Graves how Angle got “the deal” done. Graves said if you’re talking about the most sought after free agent “sports entertainer,” she is exclusively on Raw. Not Ronda Rousey, but rather Asuka. They aired an eerie video package on her and the screen said: “Asuka: Coming Soon.”

-They cut to Nia Jax who shook her head and muttered something. Bliss approached her and said another woman is coming to Raw to try to steal the spotlight. She said it should be the Nia & Alexa show and No Mercy should feature them one on one, just like she always wanted. Nia shook her head, like she wasn’t believing it. Bliss said everything has become a hot mess. Bliss said Angle doesn’t appreciate they’re best friends. Jax said they’re not best friends. Bliss apologized for slapping her last week. She said she should’ve told Angle to give her a title opportunity. She asked if they can drop all of this and go back to being best friends. Jax said maybe, but she might not want to be her friend after she hears what she did. Jax said that one on one match she so badly wanted with her happens next week. Bliss looked suddenly very nervous.

-They showed Elias Samson backstage. Cole said he debuts a new song live next. [c]

-Elias sat mid-ring and introduced himself. He asked who wants to walk with him. He said walking with him could be the best decision they make in his life, so he’ll need them to silence their cell phones and hold their applause and tune into an experience they’ll never forget. He said he wrote this song for all of them. The crowd clapped as he began strumming. He said he walked the streets of Anaheim looking for something in which to believe, but he found out the best thing is to pack your bags and leave. The crowd seemed blindsided by this turn against their fine city. He said their only claim to fame is the Mighty Ducks, but it’s clear to him Anaheim sucks. He was interrupted by Kalisto’s music.

(4) ELIAS SAMSON vs. KALISTO

Cole said the towel Cena had earlier and a one-of-a-kind mask Kalisto is wearing are up for auction where 100 percent of the net proceeds go to benefit pediatric cancer research. He encouraged fans to go to WWEauction.com. Kalisto took it to Elias early including at ringside, but Elias made a comeback a minute in and stomped away at him and then yelled at the crowd. Cole hyped Strowman vs. Cena, so Monday Night Football must’ve been at a commercial. Kalisto made a comeback with a magistral cradle for a two count and then a tornado DDT. He climbed to the top rope, but Elias caught him and gave him a nasty looking powerbomb mid-ring. He gathered his senses and then stomped away at Kalisto again. He finished him with Drift Away for the win.

WINNER: Elias in 3:00. [c]

-They showed clips of the Lesnar-Braun angle earlier, then hyped the Cena-Braun match up next. [c]

[HOUR THREE]

(5) JOHN CENA vs. BRAUN STROWMAN

Booker T said Cena isn’t smiling and he looks like he’s all business and taking this situation seriously. Cole called it a WrestleMania-calliber match. Cole said Big Show needs surgery now based on what Braun did to him last week. Cole said Show said in a WWE.com interview earlier that Strowman is a super-hybrid of Cena, Lesnar, and Show himself. Cena approached Strowman cautiously like he was wrestling a bear or something. Cole said Braun towers over Cena, and Cena isn’t a small man. They showed Reigns watching on a monitor backstage. Strowman overpowered Cena early. Cena threw a dropkick. Braun brushed it off and dropkicked Cena. Booker said when Braun wins a title, which he inevitably will some day, it’ll be a long time before it’s taken off of him. Cole said it could be in two weeks. Braun stood over Cena and yelled at the fans to see what he’s doing to their hero. Booker said when Brock debuted, he had never seen anything like him, and Braun is similar. Cena popped up and showed some fire with rapid strikes. He went for an Attitude Adjustment, but Braun bashed him across the back of his neck and Cena dropped him. Booker said, “This is a man. No, no, this is a monster.” After Braun hit a fallaway slam, Cole said there’s no other way to say it other than Braun is dominating Cena. [c]

Back from the break. Braun continued to batter Cena. They showed that during the break, Braun threw Cena into the ringside steps. During the replay, Cena ducked a charging Braun and Braun flipped to the floor. Cena went after him, but Braun battered him with forearms. Cena threw Braun hard into the bottom rope of the ring from ringside. He entered the ring to break the ref’s count. Graves said Braun was making Cena look like a boy. Cena went for an AA, but he couldn’t lift Braun. Braun charged in the corner, but Cena moved. Braun went into the ringpost. Cena then back suplexed Braun. Cena raised his arm and did the You Can’t See Me, but Booker said he’s never seen that look in Cena’s eyes before. Braun popped up and gave a pop-up spinebuster for a believable near fall. They showed Reigns again. Graves said Reigns must be enjoying every minute of this. Cena avoided a charging Braun again, then hit an AA with success this time. Braun rolled to the floor to stop a sudden pin attempt. He crawled around ringside.

A “Let’s Go Cena! / Cena sucks!” battle chant broke out. Cole said fans are showing support for Cena. When Cena charged at Braun at ringside, Braun hit Cena with the ringside steps. Braun lifted the base of the ringside steps and slid it into the ring. Cole said it’s not a no holds barred match, but Braun doesn’t seem to care. Braun powerslammed Cena onto the ringside steps base. The ref DQ’d Braun instantly. “John Cena is broken,” said Graves. They showed Reigns smirking backstage at the outcome as Braun mocked Cena with a “You Can’t See Me” hand wave. Cole asked if  Braun becomes champion at No Mercy, “then what do we do?”

WINNER: Cena via DQ in 15:00.

-Caruso walked in and asked for Reigns’s reaction. Reigns said, “The Monster didn’t show him mercy, and neither will I.”

(Keller’s Analysis: This really put over Braun strong going into No Mercy. This is about as big of a push as anyone has received in WWE in a while in terms of being portrayed as an unstoppable mega-monster force. It was the right finish, for sure, for a number of reasons. It protected both wrestlers, but showed Braun’s force, and gave Cena perhaps an excuse for losing to Reigns in two weeks if they want to go that way.)


Send any questions or comments you have about tonight’s episode of WWE Raw to wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com and we might read your email on tonight’s post-Raw recording of PodcastOne’s “Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast.” I’ll be joined by Mike Chiari of “Ring Rust Radio” on tonight’s show, which will become available a few hours after Raw in the early a.m. hours on Tuesday. Search “Wade Keller” in iTunes or your podcast app or find us at PodcastOne.com on our Show Page HERE.


-The announcers plugged Miz TV. [c]

-An ad aired for the fianls of the Mae Young Classic tomorrow night immediately following Smackdown with Jim Ross’s voiceover.

-They showed Seth and Dean chatting backstage. Dean walked up to two backstage workers and asked if they were a tag team. Dean then got star-struck when he saw Dean Ambrose and Jamie Noble. He said they weren’t dressed for it. Seth said they’re running out of options. Then they saw the Hardys. Matt said it is positively wonderful to see them, in his Broken Matt voice. He laughed and clacked his teeth together in anticipation of teaming with them. Graves wondered what is wrong with Matt. Cole asked, “What isn’t wrong with him?” [c]

-Miz TV: Miz and Maryse came out, joined by Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas. Miz announced that he and Maryse were having a baby. As Miz began to read a prepared statement about fatherhood, Enzo interrupted. Enzo said he came out to celebrate Miz and Maryse becoming parents. He said that he and Big Cass were the next big thing” and they’d sell out merchandise and everybody loved them, but look at himself now. “You don’t know when to shut your mouth. You don’t listen. You think you know more than anybody else. That’s why you’re kicked out of WWE tour busses and kicked out of the WWE locker room.” A few “oohs” from the crowd. Miz said if he thinks he chose to bring his personality to the WWE Cruiserweight Divsion, that’s not why. He said there was simply nowhere else for him to go because nobody can stand him.

Miz said that’s coming from him, and nobody could stand him at first, but he learned and regrouped. Miz said he should be asking him for advice, but instead he interrupted the most sacred moment of his life. “I see so much frickin’ talent in you, but you make mistake after mistake after mistake,” he said. He said all he cares about is hanging out with third-rate rappers. He said Neville and others in the Cruiserweight Division do amazing aerial moves, but when he goes to the top rope, he falls flat on his face. He said Enzo is nothing more than a con artist with a couple of catch phrases.

Enzo looked a little taken aback. He asked, “So you want to get real? I remind you, I am the realist guy in the room. As you alluded to, Mikey, you and I have been in similar situations.” He said they have nothing in common, though, because Miz’s heat came from copying others. He said he copied Chris Jericho and Ric Flair. He said maybe he gets annoying, but he is original and Miz ain’t. “You’re a carbon copy of other people, alright pal?” He said he’s going to No Mercy to become the Cruiserweight Champion after beating Neville, and then he’ll come back to Raw and beat him. He called him nothing more than a paper champion.

Miz asked the crowd if they think he’s a paper champion. He asked Enzo if he thinks he’s championship material. He said if that was the case, his best friend wouldn’t have abandoned him. Enzo said he has all he needs to fight him right now – he held up his fists. Miz said he has no idea what he’s getting into. He said he’ll show him how to walk, talk, and act like a champion. He put his hand on Maryse’s belly and said he’ll dedicate his win to his unborn child. Enzo said he’ll apologize to the baby when it’s born, but Bryan was right – there’s only one word to describe him – S-A-W-F-T. The crowd chanted along. Cole said he hopes Angle was watching because he wants to see this match happen.

(Keller’s Analysis: The first part of the segment made Enzo come across as a heel for interrupting Miz before Miz got obnoxious about being a new father soon. By the end, Miz came across as a heel again. I question how many viewers are actually tuned into the scuttlebutt about Enzo being ostracized behind the scenes, though. If you know it, you think everyone must, and WWE management is playing to that audience now. If it fits the narrative and leads to enhancement of the fictional characters, fine. But in this case, it was a mixed bag at times. For instance, why is Miz bragging about how he has matured and earnred the respect of the locker room if he’s a heel and Enzo is the face? I think WWE accomplished what they were going for, but I’m not sure that’s a goal they should have in the first place – trying to shoehorn reality into a fictional storyline if that reality makes the babyface look bad.) [

(6) ENZO vs. THE MIZ (w/Maryse, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel)

After some early Miz offense, Enzo regrouped at ringside and said on the mic that Miz’s career is going straight to DVD. Miz took over and held the mic as he beat up Enzo. Enzo knocked Miz off the top rope. Enzo said from mid-ring on the mic that he shouldn’t be stealing his catchphrases. He should be asking his baby, “Who’s your daddy?” Maryse gasped. Miz attacked Enzo. Graves said, “How dare him question the fidelity of Maryse.” Bo and Axel beat up Enzo at ringside. The ref called for the bell. The Miz stood over Enzo and then lifted his limp body and gave him a Skull Crushing Finale as the crowd chanted “Who’s your daddy?”

WINNER: Enzo via DQ in 4:00. [c]

-Cole hyped 205 Live would feature Rich Swann vs. TJP immediately following the finale of the Mae Young Classic on WWE Network tomorrow night.

-Backstage Enzo was rasping and gasping for breath. Neville walked up to him and laughed at him. Then he walked away laughing.

(7) SHEAMUS & CESARO & KARL ANDERSON & LUKE GALLOWS vs. MATT & JEFF HARDY & SETH ROLLINS & DEAN AMBROSE

A big brawl broke out at the start. Jeff and Cesaro started once order was restored. Booker said the Hardys are the most poplar tag team in the building. Cole quickly swept in and said that Dean & Seth may be giving them a run for their money. Matt knocked Sheamus and Cesaro to the floor, then Jeff dove over the top rope onto them. They cut to a break. [c]

Afterward, the heels beat up Dean for an extended period.

[OVERRUN]

Dean made a comeback and rallied against Anderson, then hot-tagged Jeff. Gallows tagged in and stopped Dean and knocked Jeff off the ring apron. Then they set up Dean for a Magic Killer, but they blocked it. Dean avoided a charging Sheamus with a driving shoulder, then reached to tag Seth. Cesaro stopped him. Dean knocked Cesaro to the floor and finally hot-tagged Seth. Seth gave Anderson a blockbuster and then climbed to the top rope. He ended up hitting a dive through the ropes on Gallows, then springboard clotheslined Anderson in the ring. He superkicked Anderson, but Gallows broke up the pin attempt. Matt gave Gallows a Twist of Fate. Sheamus and Cesaro were thinking of retreating, and the Hardys stared at them. Seth and Dean finished Anderson as the Hardys kept Sheamus and Cesaro away.

WINNERS: Seth & Dean & the Hardys in 14:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good formulaic match to end Raw with some action, but nothing too major to overshadow the bigger events from earlier in the show.)


(Wade Keller, the founder of PWTorch, has covered Raw since the very first episode. He has covered the pro wrestling industry full time since 1987 via the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter and eventually PWTorch.com and now the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast on PodcastOne four day a week. Search “Wade Keller” in iTunes (click here) or wherever you listen to podcasts to subscribe FREE.)

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