Oct. 05, 2016
WWE Raw Review: Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks For Raw Women's Title Headlines The Show
The top story: Sasha Banks regained the Raw Women's Title from Charlotte in the main event.
Also newsworthy: Roman Reigns will defend the U.S. Title against Rusev in a Hell in a Cell Match at the Hell in a Cell event. ... Raw Tag Team Champions New Day defeated Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho in a non-title match thanks to interference from Seth Rollins. As Owens headed back up the ramp after the match, Rollins hit the Pedigree on Jericho. ... Brian Kendrick defeated WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins by submission in a non-title match.
Here's a segment-by-segment look at the show:
Segment One: Roman Reigns - Lana Promo (Rusev) // Rivalry Package: TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick
The gist: Reigns said his bloodline has been represented in WWE for a long time but they've never had a U.S. champion until now. He said he represents his family on a nightly basis. Lana came out. She said Rusev doesn't know she came out to talk to him. Reigns didn't buy that. Lana said Rusev wants another shot at the U.S. Title. Reigns said it sounds like Rusev is hiding behind her skirt. Lana said Rusev will crush and humiliate Reigns. Reigns said Rusev needs to say it to his face. Lana told Reigns to go to hell. Rusev came out, and he and Reigns began fighting in the aisle. Rusev got the better of the exchange, but as he stood on the stage with Lana, Reigns nailed him with a Superman Punch out of nowhere. Reigns said that Lana told him to go to hell, so Rusev will get his match inside Hell in a Cell.
Analysis: The verbal exchange between Reigns and Lana and the physicality between Reigns and Rusev that followed made for a hot start to the show. And speaking of hot, could Lana have possibly looked any hotter? By the way, it didn't seem at all contrived that Lana kept repeating that Reigns can go to hell when the next pay-per-view just happens to be titled Hell in a Cell. Nope, not a bit.
Segments Two and Three: WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick > Non-Title Match
Result: Kendrick over via submission
Analysis: A decent match despite the fact that Kendrick going over to set up another title match between the two was predictable.
Segment Four: Seth Rollins Sit-Down Interview w/Michael Cole
The gist: Rollins said that Kevin Owens was literally handed the WWE Universal Title by Triple H. He said he deserves a rematch. Rollins said he's alienated people, including the locker room and most of the fans, but when he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to win the title, no one handed it to him. He said Owens is a cog in the machine, and he gets it because he used to be a cog in the machine, too. He said he sees things totally different now, and he will tear the machine apart, starting with Owens. He said if he gets a rematch with Owens he will cancel The Kevin Owens Show and prove that he is still the man.
Analysis: Rollins moved closer to being a true babyface, but this could've been better. He still came off somewhat hypocritical, but at least he wasn't acting like a jilted lover and doing his evil cackle.
Segment Five: Chase Silver Promo // Chase Silver vs. Braun Strowman // Backstage Vignette w/Sasha Banks and Bayley
The gist: Silver said he moved from Idaho to Los Angeles because dreams can come true there. He said he dreamed last night that he beat up Strowman.
Result: Strowman over via pinfall
Aftermath: Strowman told Raw GM Mick Foley to get him some real competition next week or there may not be a next week. ... Bayley congratulated Banks on being in the main event tonight. Banks said she's taking back her title. Bayley said she wishes it was her, but Banks deserves the opportunity and the spotlight. Banks said Charlotte may have been born for the business, but she was born to be a champion.
Analysis: I thought Strowman had already moved on from squashing locals. Note to Darren Young: If Foley's number comes up on Caller ID between now and next Monday, don't answer it. ... The interaction between Banks and Bayley planted a seed for them to reignite their rivalry in the future.
Segment Six: Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho - New Day Promo // Backstage Vignette w/Cesaro and Sheamus
The gist: Owens said Seth Rollins doesn't deserve a rematch with him. Owens said that since Rollins is blaming the referee for his loss at Clash of Champions, there should be a special referee if there is a rematch. Owens suggested Jericho for the spot. Jericho had a different idea. Jericho said he and Owens are the best tag team in WWE, so they should challenge New Day for the Raw Tag Team Title. Owens pointed out that Cesaro and Sheamus already have a tag title shot. Jericho said that if he and Owens beat New Day in a non-title match, then they could go on to beat them again for the title. He said "we would be the WWE Universal and tag team champions at the same time." Owens said that sounds like a lot of work. Jericho said it's not like he's asking for a shot at Owens' title. Owens suddenly changed his mind and liked the tag team idea. New Day came out to the stage and said they have the best friendship in WWE, not Owens and Jericho. Jericho put all three members of New Day on the list. Owens said New Day jumped the shark about seven months ago. Xavier Woods asked when was the last time Owens jumped over anything. New Day accepted the challenge. ... Cesaro and Sheamus pulled up to the arena and bickered with each other.
Analysis: I loved how Jericho passive aggressively got Owens to agree to the tag team match by hinting that he could be going for Owens' title. The back-and-forth between New Day and Owens and Jericho was entertaining. Working on the mic with charismatic performers such as Jericho and Owens must have been heaven for New Day after their "pin drop" segments with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. ... I hope Cesaro and Sheamus arguing over petty things doesn't go on and on for weeks. Bickering tag partners is not particularly creative.
Segment Seven: Titus O'Neil Inset Promo // Sami Zayn vs. Titus O'Neil // Backstage Vignette w/Cesaro, Sheamus and Mick Foley
The gist: O'Neil said this is the official launch of the Titus brand.
Result: Zayn over via pinfall
The gist: Cesaro and Sheamus were still arguing over nothing in the locker room. Foley came in and gave them a pep talk.
Analysis: So much for the Titus brand.
Segment Eight: Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson Backstage Promo // Golden Truth vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson // Backstage Vignette w/Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson
The gist: Gallows and Anderson said New Day has made the tag team division a clown show, and they're putting an end to all the fun and games.
Result: Gallows and Anderson over via pinfall (Gallows pinned R-Truth)
Aftermath: Gallows and Anderson hit the Magic Killer on Goldust.
The gist: Jericho and Owens came across Kutcher and Masterson in the hallway. The wrestlers and the actors exchanged insults. It ended with Kutcher and Masterson saying that they'll be ringside for Owens and Jericho's match against New Day.
Analysis: So Gallows and Anderson's new gimmick is going to be that they hate fun. That seems better-suited for them than ball jokes and "Old Day" skits. ... Jericho was laugh-out-loud funny in the backstage, although I wish Kutcher and Masterson would've been a little more afraid of getting in the faces of two main-event-level heels. I cringed (and I bet Vince McMahon did, too) when Kutcher, who towered over Jericho, called him "little man."
Segment Nine: Enzo Amore and Big Cass Promo
The gist: There were three breast cancer survivors in the ring with Amore and Cass, who put over WWE's work with the Susan G. Komen organization.
Segments Ten and Eleven: Raw Tag Team Champions Big E and Xavier Woods of New Day (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho > Non-Title Match (Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson on Commentary) (Seth Rollins) // Charlotte (w/Dana Brooke) Backstage Interview
During the match: Rollins came out to watch from the stage.
Result: New Day over via pinfall (Big E pinned Jericho off the distraction from Rollins)
Aftermath: As Owens headed up the ramp, Rollins hit the Pedigree on Jericho.
The gist: Charlotte said Sasha Banks knows the only reason she's in the main event is because of her. Charlotte said she is at her best in big matches and she will expose Banks for the massive overachiever that she is.
Analysis: The match wasn't as entertaining as I thought it would be. It didn't help that Kutcher and Masterson were annoying on commentary. Owens leaving Jericho to get a Pedigree from Rollins plants the seed for a split between the best friends. After saying earlier that he had no allies in the locker room, Rollins high-fived New Day after the match like they were all old friends. Rollins' babyface turn is one of the strangest I've ever seen.
Segment Twelve: Backstage Vignette w/Seth Rollins and Stephanie McMahon // Tony Nese Inset Promo // Rich Swann vs. Tony Nese
The gist: Stephanie asked why Rollins got physically involved in the tag match when he's not medically cleared to be there. Rollins said she doesn't tell him what to do anymore. She said Rollins is alone for the first time in his career. She said without The Shield or The Authority, he won't last long. She told Rollins he was replaceable. Rollins said if Stephanie doesn't give him a rematch with Kevin Owens for the WWE Universal Title, he will make her life a living hell. He said he would burn Raw to the ground and take Owens and Jericho with him. After Rollins walked away, Stephanie looked like she had an idea. ... Nese said the fans love Swann and his dance moves, but he is the greatest combination of strength, speed and combat skills in the cruiserweight division. He said Swann will get to dance with a premier athlete tonight.
Result: Nese over via pinfall
Analysis: When Stephanie said Rollins was alone for the first time, he had the perfect opportunity to say that he liked having The Shield and The Authority with him, but the difference between him and Owens is that he didn't need to have them with him. The look on Stephanie's face, combined with Owens abandoning Jericho after the tag match, likely means we're getting a Triple Threat Match at Hell in a Cell between Rollins, Owens and Jericho. In another coincidence, Rollins said he was going to make life a "living hell" for Stephanie, and Hell in a Cell is coming up. It's a good thing he didn't say he was going to show no mercy or that he would get payback. ... The cruiserweight match was OK. These guys are going to need some time to connect with the audience.
Segment Thirteen: Emma Vignette // Cesaro and Sheamus vs. Locals
The gist: A bunch of sexy photos of Emma were shown. The tagline was: "The Makover of Emma to Emmalina. Premiering soon."
Result: Cesaro and Sheamus over via pinfall
Analysis: I think it's great that the talented Emma is getting a reboot and presumably a push. ... Watching two grown men (and tough guys, at that) such as Cesaro and Sheamus behaving like children just isn't that entertaining. It's silly.
Segment Fourteen: Rivalry Package: Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks // Backstage Vignette w/Charlotte, Dana Brooke and Bayley
The gist: The package chronicled the women's rivalry going back to their NXT days. ... Charlotte told Bayley that one day she'll grow up to be a big girl and be a main-eventer just like her. After Charlotte walked away, Brooke stayed behind to taunt Bayley. Brooke grabbed Bayley and shoved her up against the wall, but Bayley tossed Brooke into some crates. Brooke sold that her knee was hurt.
Analysis: The rivalry package really made the main event feel like a showdown of the top two women in the company. ... The backstage segment was well done. Bayley and Brooke especially did a nice job of making their confrontation feel real.
Segments Fifteen and Sixteen: Sasha Banks vs. WWE Women's Champion Charlotte > Title Match
Result: Banks over via submission
Analysis: There were a couple of rough spots that prevented this from being a great match, but it still was very good and had a big-fight feel. No disrespect to Banks, but Charlotte showed once again why she is the best all-around performer in the women's division. Her corkscrew moonsault to the floor was amazing, as were her facial expressions during the match and her reaction after losing the match. Both Charlotte and Banks have elevated the title big time.
Final thoughts: Not every segment was must-see, but this was a good show overall with a memorable main event. Charlotte and Sasha Banks made the most of their opportunity to headline the show.