Welcome to Monday Night BRAUN! Or as least a review of Monday Night BRAUN. Or, some kind of recap? It’s a place where I tell those who may happen upon it, the tale of what occurred on this current episode of the show Monday Night Raw, I guess. So let me regale you with the tale.
We do start with a video package of the carnage BRAUN caused last week. The horror! Tonight Kalisto has challenged him to a Dumpster match and well, we all just hope he survives the night.
Chris Jericho is out next to have what he says will be the last Highlight Reel on Raw since he’s going to win the US Title at Payback Sunday and that is right everyone, there is a…Super Show(?) on Sunday. I still call them PPVs, but that’s not right. His guest is himself but before long he’s interrupted by Miz who says Highlight Reel is cancelled for MIZ TV and some crew guys change the ring to be that set instead. They’re not done yet though because Dean Ambrose comes out, to a pretty good pop, and says nobody in Kansas City wants to see MIZ TV so it’s time for the Ambrose Asylum, minus Mitch. It’s a fun little back and forth where Dean gives Jericho a new jacket for ruining his $15,000 jacket before. This one is just a blazer with some Christmas lights, but it’s the thought that counts. Miz gets a Dirty Deeds as his present.
Sheamus vs Matt Hardy
This is par for the course when two tag teams are getting ready to square off and we got the other two last week. It’s not a bad match, though there is a weird bulldog in the middle. Matt wins thanks to some distraction by Jeff Hardy and afterwards its Cesaro who is raving mad, and he tries to get Sheamus to back him up. Sheamus wants to be friends though and they all shake hands, though I have to assume there is some tension looming. I expect some full heel Cesaro & Sheamus soon.
Winner: Matt Hardy
Backstage Kurt Angle is on the phone talking about the Kalisto/BRAUN Dumpster match and says he has to check if Kalisto still wants to do it. His phone call is rudely ended by an interrupting Miz & Maryse who want revenge for Jericho and Dean earlier. Angle tells Miz to find a partner because now he’s got a tag match later against the aforementioned men.
Neville & TJ Perkins vs Austin Aries and Jack Gallagher
Thankfully this match gets a little bit of time though there’s a quick commercial in the beginning after Gallagher and Aries show some great team work. The crowd loves Gallagher and Aries plays a crowd so well. His moves are fluid and even a chop looks devastating from him to Perkins. If you can give a good chop, you’ve got it going on. Aries wins with a discus five arm to Perkins and Neville is very angry and ready for his match on Sunday.
Winner: Austin Aries & Jack Gallagher
DUMPSTER MATCH: BRAUN vs Kalisto
BRAUN talks about how trash Roman Reigns is before the match starts. Kalisto gets a pep talk from Kurt Angle backstage. He won’t be treated like garbage and he’s going to fight BRAUN because of what he did to him last week. He has to be a man! Good luck to you Kalisto, you are a braver man than I. Being both a man, and brave, not hard, but still. He has new gear, new music, new attitude! This is mostly BRAUN beating up Kalisto with Kalisto putting up a great effort and narrowly avoiding getting thrown into the dumpster. In a twist more shocking than Jinder Mahal winning a world title shot on Smackdown, KALISTO WINS! KALISTO WINS! KALISTO WINS THE DUMPSTER MATCH! BRAUN kind of just steps into it and loses. All this means is that BRAUN is madder than ever and just beats on poor Kalisto before putting him in the dumpster, wheeling him up the ramp, putting on a safety locking device, then rolling it off about a 2 foot drop. My god. It might have been an anticlimactic finish with the dumpster drop, but from Kalisto winning to angry BRAUN, I just loved it. This does not make BRAUN look weak. He stepped into the dumpster, it was an accident, now Kalisto may be broken in half. By God.
Kalisto is put on a stretcher after the break and there are no BRAUN’s in sight to knock him off anything. Almost a shame.
Roman Reigns promo here so nobody forgets who he is. Everyone cheering him and his standing tall over Undertaker after Mania ends the package. It doesn’t actually show him beating him though, which is probably purposeful.
Bray Wyatt promo now where he tells Randy he hasn’t forgotten what he did and then some more mumbo jumbo with fire and photoshop oh my. Bray is clearly not winning Sunday so I cannot care about this whatsoever.
Dana Brooke vs Alicia Fox
The most exciting part of this match is when Emma comes out, really. I like Alicia Fox and I do think Dana Brooke has a lot of upside, but I think too many things have worked against her so far. I wish Emma hadn’t gotten injured so they could have stuck with that partnership, or I wish she had been the one to turn on Charlotte and stay heel. I think if she keeps working there’s nothing but promise there, but right now it is pretty sloppy. She wins it though, and Emma gives her an awkward hug after that Dana does not appreciate.
Winner: Dana Brooke
Backstage Chuck Caruso has Samoa Joe and Gallows & Anderson who say Seth Rollins isn’t the only architect drawing up plans. They say they’ve been friends with Joe a long time. Joe says he will destroy Seth Rollins if he makes it to Payback next Sunday, for the crimes he committed against HHH and Stephanie McMahon at Wrestlemania.
Anderson & Gallows & Samoa Joe vs Enzo & Cass & Seth Rollins
In a wonderful moment, Anderson, Gallows and Joe attack Enzo & Cass as they start speaking and drag Cass into the audience so they can destroy Enzo. Oh happy Day! Rollins is out to make the save and we head to commercial with Enzo seemingly not making it for the rest of this. When we get back from commercial Kurt Angle is already telling us about a replacement…Yay!
Anderson & Gallows & Samoa Joe vs Cass & Seth Rollins & Finn Balor
Finn’s concussion issues must be done because he is doing a lot of work in this match against his former good brothers. This whole match is pretty great, and the team work between Finn and Seth is lovely to see. Finn takes care of Joe on the outside leaving Seth inside with Gallows to finish the match with a pedigree, but he decides against it and busts out his new finisher which is a quick pull in and a knee to the face. I’ve got to see him do it in a more high risk match or out of nowhere to see how it fits in, but it’s good. And better for him than the pedigree.
I also think it’s very telling they let Cass be in there with Rollins and Balor. Good luck Enzo.
Winners: Cass & Seth Rollins & Finn Balor
Alexa Bliss is out to cut a promo about all the talk people do about wanting to be champions, and also about how they’re living their childhood dreams like Bayley. She is such a great little spit fire. She acknowledges the WHAT chant as the stupidity it is and makes sure the crowd doesn’t get to her. Bayley is out to respond, talking about how in her hometown she will use every ounce of her energy to beat Alexa. Alexa then murders her on the mic talking about how she’ll get to take her title, beat her and humiliate her in front of her dad! Sasha Banks is out to interrupt because she’s STILL not heel, but she is better on the mic than Bayley so it helps a little. She’s really just there to tell Alexa they have a match up next!
Sasha Banks vs Alexa Bliss
It’s a short match, nothing much to write home about. Sasha attacks Alexa before the match starts when Alexa says she’s going to make Kurt Angle cancel it, but it happens. Kind of. Before too long Alexa takes a walk and says she doesn’t have time for this because she’s the #1 contender. Bayley tries to force her back into the ring, but Alexa runs away only to return once Bayley’s back is turned and throw her down on the ramp. She gets away from Sasha, but she’s already been counted out.
Winner: Sasha Banks by Countout
Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose talk backstage where Dean asks Chris to take him off the list. Chris says he can’t because Dean still owes him $15,000 dollars and still powerbombed him onto 69 tacks in an Ambrose Asylum match. Dean says he probably wouldn’t do it again and Chris does say it is a cool Parisian jacket so Dean can unmake the list! Dean gets overly excited though and after he leaves the room Chris puts his name back down. Damn.
There’s a sitdown with Chuck and Curtis Axel and Heath Slater to talk about The Marine 5 and Miz and Maryse interrupt. They want Axel or Slater to be Miz’s partner tonight, but they deny him much like Cesaro and Sheamus did earlier. Rhyno is there as well and Maryse knocks his poor crackers away. Before they can completely explode though someone delivers a note, and it looks like someone is going to be Miz’s tag team partner tonight. Who? WHO? WHO?? We don’t know.
Curt Hawkins is out to challenge whoever wants to fight him in the back. Apollo Crews answers. I don’t hate this for Hawkins, but the guy is really funny and good in the ring, so I’d like more for him. I hope he’s happy to just get this time on TV.
Apollo Crews vs Curt Hawkins
Hawkins gets some early shots in on Apollo, but Crews has a pretty good show case here. I actually think the crowd tonight has been pretty helpful, and they respond well for him. At least they respond at all. He wins, and TITUS Brand comes out to raise his hand and tell him he can have everything. Apollo seems to kind of buy in as you can hear him ask about money and such to Titus, and it looks like Titus might finally have a friend!
Winner: Apollo Crews
There’s a video package for BRAUN AND Roman now so it’s different than the other packages we’ve seen tonight.
Backstage Kurt Angle talks to Austin Aries before he finds Miz who assures him he has a partner and he’s going to feel stupid when he sees him. Angle wishes him luck and Miz says he won’t need it. The Drifter drifts by during this and Angle assumes he’s the partner, but Miz doesn’t even know him!
Dean Ambrose & Chris Jericho vs The Miz (w/Maryse) & …?
Miz tries to introduce his partner but the guy hasn’t shown up! Miz tries to cancel the match and go to the back, but Kurt Angle tells him either his partner shows up or he wrestles alone. Miz is upset, but Jericho wastes no time. This is mostly just two good guys (Dean Ambrose & Chris Jericho) beating on the bad guy (The Miz). It only ends when Dean decides to dirty deeds Miz up on the announce table, and Miz’s partner who “has a flair for the dramatic” shows up. It’s Bray Wyatt. He slams Dean into the video screens at the top of the ramp, then beats up Jericho and has Miz drag him back to the ring. Before anyone can win though, Bray sister Abigails The Miz and slinks above him. Maybe he forgot who’s side he was on. Bray helping here gave him something to do, but I don’t know that it made sense or I can defend it. They do have to make him look like a threat, but they keep doing that and then killing it.
Winner: No Contest.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I might be crazy but I didn’t think it was a bad show. I again think the backstage segments made it the most fun, but that isn’t really good. I wish the match quality was better and then we would find a happy medium. I do think everything flowed well, and I liked Kalisto winning. I also kind of liked the Apollo Crews/Titus thing but that might just be wanting more for Crews to do. I would catch this Raw on DVR and probably not skip too much. The matches aren’t great, but they’re mostly short too.
WATCH THIS MATCH: Finn Balor & Seth Rollins & Cass vs The Club & Samoa Joe. It’s nothing fantastic, but it’s pretty good and I like watching almost all of these guys work. If you want another, I’d say check out the Cruisers match because that is probably just as good, but I’m picking based on liking Rollins best I guess.
SKIP THIS MATCH: Dana Brooke vs Alicia Fox. It’s not very good, and the other women’s match isn’t either but Dana Brooke just looked bad in this so it didn’t help. I want her to do well, but this wasn’t a good one.
You can always find me if you want to talk WRESTLING over on my twitter hm_pufnstuf. Until next week and we know what happens at Payback – go watch some wrestling.