JC’s Top Rope Report: The RAW Truth Review For 8.25.14

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New Announce Team? Probably Better Than The Current Three

RAW started with the Hall of Fame Panel of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels. HBK said Cena’s chances of winning aren’t good to beat Lesnar again because it ain’t happening. HBK said he thinks Cena is at a crossroads in his career and it may be his time. Hogan said Cena can still go. Ric Flair said that he knows all three of them think the world of John Cena and that he is the Franchise. But he’s not feeling Cena over Lesnar at Night of Champions. Hogan said he is rooting for Cena. Michaels said no one takes a beating like Cena and comes back like that. They all started arguing before John Cena came out.

Cena said everyone is weighing in on him after SummerSlam. Cena said everyone at that table has influenced him. Cena said he can’t dance around what happened at SummerSlam: It was an ass whooping. But he said even after that he wants to fight Brock Lesnar again. He looked at HBK and said that he was going to bring the fight to Brock Lesnar at Night of Champions. He said he is going to NOC to beat Brock Lesnar’s ass.

We Needed This Ref In Apollo vs Drago

Jack Swagger vs Rusev. Swagger landed an elbow sending Rusev to the outside. Back in the ring Swagger applied a quick Patriot Lock but Rusev got to the ropes. Rusev regrouped but Swagger took him down again in the ring. Rusev went back to the outside but Swagger followed him and slammed Rusev into the apron. Back in the ring Swagger hit a splash in the corner and continued to dominate. Rusev eventually dropped Swagger on the ropes then hit a splash onto his back into commercial.

Back from break Rusev hit a spinning heel kick on Swagger. Rusev took his time so Swagger recovered and hit a belly-to-belly. He started a comeback and went for a Swagger Bomb but Rusev got his leg up. Swagger grabbed it and applied the Patriot Lock. Rusev eventually made his way to the ropes. Rusev rolled to the outside and slammed Swagger into the apron. Rusev went for the Accolade again but Swagger went back to the Patriot Lock. Rusev got to the ropes again. Rusev then started working over the ribs of Swagger again. Rusev landed multiple kicks and punches to the ribs. Rusev continued to do it until the ref stopped the match because Swagger couldn’t defend himself anymore.

WINNER via Ref Stoppage: Rusev

Backstage Bo Dallas told Swagger that if he wants to recover, all he has to do is BO-lieve.

Cesaro’s Music Went From Bad To Worse

Cesaro vs Rob Van Dam. Winner is the #1 Contender for the United States Championship. Cesaro landed an uppercut but turned his attention to Sheamus at the announce table. This allowed RVD to hit a heel kick and Rolling Thunder for two. Cesaro regained control with an uppercut then hit a back stomp on the apron. Cesaro tossed RVD into the corner but RVD hit an elbow then split-leg moonsault. RVD hit a springboard thrust kick and went to the top but Cesaro rolled out of the ring. RVD went to grab him but Cesaro dropped him on the ropes. Cesaro then hit the Neutralizer for the win.

WINNER: Cesaro

After the match Cesaro grabbed the Title then threw it back into the face of Sheamus.

What Were You Expecting? Perverts

Natalya vs Paige. Nattie went for a quick rollup but only got two. Paige then landed a stiff looking right hand and went to an abdominal stretch. Nattie eventually reversed it but Paige escaped. Nattie landed a right hand then a German suplex and applied a sharpshooter but Paige got to the ropes. Both women tried applying their own submissions, but Paige eventually applied the Paige Turner for the win.

WINNER: Paige

AJ came out and skipped around the ring. Paige went back into the ring and Natalya hit the Hart Punch. AJ called Paige her little English Muffin and said that she knew Paige was sincere when she said she was her friend and that she loved her. But AJ said she wasn’t as sincere as she was. AJ hugged Paige then kissed her hand and skipped around her.

And Roman Reigns Finally Remembers He Was Once In The Shield

Kane came out for the Dean Ambrose Eulogy. He said today is not about mourning, it is about the future. And that future is Seth Rollins. Seth said he was the leader of the most dominant group in WWE history, The Shield. He said he hand-picked Dean Ambrose because he was a courageous fighter. But last week he had to prove that the Authority always wins. They replayed what happened last week as Seth laughed. Seth said he wondered what was going through Dean’s mind at the moment of impact. He wonders if Dean knew that he had been out classed. He said those cinderblocks weren’t out there by accident. He said Dean Ambrose’s career can now be said in two simple words: What If? What If Dean Ambrose realized Rollins Superiority and had just walked away and known his place. Rollins said it is likely that you will never see Dean Ambrose again. Rollins said he is the one that created The Shield and the one that destroyed it.

Roman Reigns came out. Kane met him at the barricade but Reigns tossed Kane into the steps. Reigns got into the ring and went after Rollins. Reigns hit him with the podium but Kane pulled Rollins out before he could do anymore damage.

HEEEEEEEELS

It’s the Usos vs Goldust and Stardust for the Tag Titles. The Usos took control early on Stardust. Stardust regained the upper hand and worked on the arm of Jimmy. Stardust slid under Jimmy and did a bow, then tossed Jimmy to the outside. Both Dust brothers took out the Usos on the outside into commercial.

Back from break one Uso hit an enziguri kick and the Usos started a comeback. One Usos hit a Samoan Drop then a dive to the outside, but Jey sold an injury to his knee. Jey couldn’t make it back into the ring and the Usos were counted out.

WINNERS via Countout: Stardust and Goldust

After the match Goldust demanded a rematch but instead both Dust brothers attacked The Usos. It ended with them slamming the injured knee of Jey into the ringpost.

Backstage Kane said himself and Seth Rollins would fight Roman Reigns tonight.

A Brock Lesnar video package aired.

Dolph Ziggler was out for a match but Miz came out first. Miz said that he had a stunt double for this match, and out came Damien Mizdow. Ziggler hit a quick dropkick and got a two. Mizdow recovered and landed some shots in the corner. Mizdow hit a dropkick to the knee of Ziggler and applied a Figure Four. Ziggler reversed it but Mizdow grabbed the ropes. Ziggler ducked a clothesline and hit the ZigZag for the win.

Where’s The Principal From Billy Madison When You Need Him?

Bella possible reconciliation. Brie said she was sorry. Nikki said it was the biggest load of crap that she has ever heard. Nikki said that she knows the real Brie and that she has always wanted the spotlight. Nikki said Brie has always been holding her back. She said she is done with everything that Brie is involved in which includes saving the world and her husband. Nikki said Brie always stole her boyfriends and blamed her when they got in trouble. Nikki said Brie abandoned her when she quit. Nikki said Brie is a terrible sister and even a worse human being. Nikki ripped on Brie for crying and told Jerry Lawler to get out. Nikki said she wished she had no sister and wish she died in the womb. Nikki attacked Brie to end the segment.

Seriously. How Does Someone Not See The Cinderblocks Being Put There?

Kane and Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns. Reigns disposed of Kane early and went after Rollins but Kane recovered. Rollins came in and landed some kicks then a couple of running elbows into the  corner. Kane tossed Rollins into the corner but Reigns tossed Rollins over the ropes then hit a clothesline on Kane. Reigns then knocked Rollins into the barricade and hit a backdrop on the apron. Reigns hit his apron dropkick on Kane. He went for the Superman Punch but Kane blocked it. Kane went for a chokeslam but Reigns escaped and hit a Spear. Rollins broke up the count with the MITB briefcase.

WINNER via DQ: Roman Reigns

Kane and Rollins attacked Reigns after the match and threw him into the barricade. They revealed more cinderblocks but Reigns escaped and started fighting back. Reigns tossed Kane into the ringpost. Reigns went to throw a cinderblock at Rollins but he ducked. Reigns then hit a Superman Punch on Kane.

Los Matadores defeated Heath Slater and Titus O’Neil.

Bo Dallas defeated Kofi Kingston despite botching the Bo-Dog. After the match Jack Swagger took out Bo Dallas.

Somewhere Teddy Long Is Smiling

John Cena vs Bray Wyatt. Cena went to land some early shots then hit a hard clothesline. Cena told Bray to stay down but he got up and Cena hit a German suplex. Cena then hit another one. Cena hit another suplex and followed it with a knee to the face. Cena hit another German suplex. Cena went for another one but Bray escaped and hit a splash in the corner. Cena came back with a double leg takedown and the Wyatts interfered and attacked. Big Show and Mark Henry came in for the save into break.

Back from break the match became a six man tag. Big Show landed a chest slap on Rowan. Henry came in but Rowan hit a clothesline. The Wyatts all took turns beating down Henry. Rowan hit a bodyslam on Mark Henry. Harper hit a splash in the corner but ate a boot going for a second one. Big Show got the tag but Harper hit a dropkick and Rowan hit a boot to the face. Now the Wyatts took their turns working over Big Show. Show eventually hit a chokeslam on Bray and made the tag to Cena. Cena cleared the ring and made Harper tap to the STF. He hit the AA on Rowan. Show and Henry took Bray back to the ring and Cena hit the AA on him, then one on Luke Harper.

WINNERS: John Cena, Big Show, Mark Henry

WHAT I LIKED

Rusev vs Jack Swagger: I’ve used the phrase before and I’ll use it again: this was perfectly acceptable wrestling. Good match between these two. I think Rusev will end up getting higher on the card then most think. He’s improving every week in the ring and the heat hasn’t gone away yet.

Dean Ambrose Eulogy: I thought this was a nice little promo from Seth Rollins. Rollins has improved his mic work since leaving The Shield and has really grown into his role as a heel. If you saw The Shield documentary on the Network you know that there is a lot of realism to Rollins talking about being the best. And it was nice to see Roman Reigns finally remember he was once in The Shield.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

Hall of Fame Panel: That just seemed like a giant waste of time. Nothing was accomplished at all during the segment. They flew those three in just for that? It was a half ass attempt to cover for the fact that Brock Lesnar wasn’t there and it did a bad job of doing it.

The Bellas Reconciliation: Once again, I don’t care how many “edgy” comments Nikki tried to make during that segment. It just does nothing at all for me. Nothing about a Bella feud interests anyone. The acting is still bad and they’ve done nothing to hook anyone into the story that wasn’t invested from the start, for whatever reason that was.

Goldust/Stardust Heel Turn: Normally I’m always in the camp of “lets here the explanation before we hate something.” But I didn’t get this turn. There was just nothing leading up to it and I fear that we won’t even get a good explanation for it. It just came out of nowhere. There wasn’t even a tease alluding to it at all. Just random.

Main Event: Look, I totally get that they are going to “build Cena back up” over the next few weeks. I understand it. It’s part of the story. But that main event was just all kinds of bad. Making it a tag did nothing. And in the end Cena really took out the whole Wyatt Family by himself, and that group was already starting to lose steam as it was.

This whole show seemed like a lot of filler. It almost felt like a glorified house show, so you kind of felt bad for the fans in attendance. Nothing of importance really happened on the show and it might have been the worst RAW of the year. I’m giving it a 2, and even that might be generous.

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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