WWE: Monday Night RAW was LIVE from the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH on 9/26/16!
RAW immediately starts out with the music of the new US Champion, Roman Reigns, and he and Rusev are scheduled for an immediate rematch after Roman’s title win last night. Very strange turn of events to begin the show, but nevertheless, here we go!
Roman Reigns and Rusev went to a double count out. Such a shame. I actually was enjoying this match a great deal more then their interaction at Clash last night. The crowd was very hot for it, and was a combination of a watchable affair and a decent crowd, which I respect. There was even a “This Is Awesome” chant AFTER the double countout, which I found laughable. I do appreciate a good crowd though. Reigns had a beautiful drive-by that he executed earlier in the contest and after the ending, Reigns went for a superman punch and ate a steel chair to the ribs. Rusev went to work on the new champ, which leads me to believe that their business isn’t finished yet, but that remains to be seen. Reigns stood tall in the end as he speared Rusev back in the ring and left him laughing. He smirked, grabbed his belt, and took a seat in the very steel chair he was pelted with earlier. Rusev tried to rise and Reigns popped the crowd by nailing Rusev with the chair and that was that.
We’re back with our quintessential talking segment that normally leads RAW and we have the GM, Mick Foley, addressing the controversy that saw the end of the best of seven series. Both men wanted to keep things going, but the officials ended things prematurely due a medical stoppage. Sheamus and Cesaro are called to the ring, and both men oblige the request from Foley. Both men argue who the winner was, and Cesaro says he wanted to continue while Sheamus did the walk of shame. Sheamus says he was the more physically dominant of the two. Cesaro says all the people know he’s the tougher man and both these premiere athletes are fired up. Foley says they will both be granted a championship opportunity, but it will be the same opportunity! I called this last night! I love it! Long story short, Foley says that Sheamus and Cesaro will team up to face the winner of the New Day/Gallows and Anderson tag team match that is set to take place next. The European connection will take to the tag ropes against the winner. I actually like that call and think no matter who walks out with the straps tonight, that should make for some great competition. The tag title match is next!
The New Day retain the tag titles over Gallows and Anderson via pinfall after a Trouble in Paradise by Kingston on Anderson. The finish was rushed. Wow. Kofi took a header into the steel steps earlier in the match and had a gash on his head that rivaled that of Orton following the elbows from Brock. He was bleeding like Austin at ‘Mania, and kudos to a very special athlete and my favorite member of the New Day for finishing the contest. What resilience. Now where this leaves G and A? Who knows? I think they should have won the straps coming off that hot New Japan TV, but they keep pushing the references to Demolition’s old title reign. It looks like that’s where we’re headed, but they certainly had a great contest again tonight.
We are back with the unlikely duo that Foley formed, Cesaro and Sheamus, arguing in the back about not wanting to tag up. Mick says they might be able to change the tag division together. I really think that this has the potential to lead to some tremendous ring work between these two and the New Day if it’s booked smart. Sheamus is not a guy that Xavier is gonna interfere on, and Cesaro is crafty in the ring. I like this a lot.
Bayley defeats Anna Fields with the Bayley-To-Belly Suplex. Not a traditional squash match in the Braun Strowman sense, because the young lady got in a strong bit of offense to start the match, but she was quickly disposed of by Bayley after that. This was just a way to establish Bayley as a credible threat for the women’s title moving forward after taking the loss lost night. Nothing more, nothing less.
Mick Foley gets chastised in a backstage segment where he confronts Stephanie McMahon about her post title match interaction with her husband, “The Game” Triple H last night at Clash of Champions. I believe that clip only aired on WWE.com if you missed it, but she scolds Foley and tells her to stay on task. He says he was out of line and apologizes.
Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander defeat Lince Dorado and Drew Gulak by pinfall via a rollup on Gulak by Swann. This is the stuff that I could watch every week. The RAW audience had the pleasure of enjoying Swann and Alexander last week and then again on NXT in the case of Alexander. Gulak is a very competent submission wrestler and it’s great to see him on RAW! Dorado is a brilliant special attraction and that made my night to see him out there. Alexander was a house of fire after a top rope clothesline and a brainbuster, but Swann tagged himself in for a beautiful kick and the rollup. It was certainly a coming of age party for these two men and Dorado and Gulak looked very good in defeat. The crowd definitely enjoyed this one.
Cesaro and Sheamus defeated Willis Williams and Nick Cutler via pinfall. This was done to show the RAW fans that despite their initial reservations, these recent opponents could work together. It was similar to the Smackdown program that saw Rhyno and Heath Slater win the straps, but Cesaro and Sheamus, if this is done right, are really gonna get over in the same way the others did. Cesaro was facing a double team situation, and Sheamus booted both jobbers allowing Cesaro to get the pinfall.
TJ Perkins is backstage cutting a promo where THE Brian Kendrick shows up and tells him to keep the Cruiserweight Title safe because he’s coming for it next week. Kendrick says the title was brought back for him.
Sasha Banks interrupts an in-ring segment between the women’s champion, Charlotte, and her protege Dana Brooke. Charlotte actually referred to her as “Sasha Wanks”. ‘Cause you know, that’s PG and all. I actually chuckled for that one. Sasha makes her intentions known as it relates to the women’s title and she removes both heels from the equation to the delight of the crowd. TJ Perkins’s RAW debut is up next!
TJ Perkins defeats Tony Nese via submission with the TJP kneebar. This was a treat. First of all, as one of the biggest Nakamura fans in the world, TJP’s entrance is challenging Shinsuke’s. I was a huge Mega Man fan growing up, and that is just awesome. Very cool to see Nese on Raw, and he showed up his range of abilities and his combination of strength and agility. He was up to the task, but not able to walk away the victor as TJP slapped on the kneebar for the submission victory for the Cincinnati crowd. I must commend them, they made RAW fun tonight. In a night filled with debates, football games and what, for all intents and purposes, has been a throwaway show, they really have supported the performers tonight. Two cruiserweight matches on RAW like the glory days of Nitro? Dare I dream of a world where this is commonplace?
Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho defeated Enzo Amore and Big Cass via pinfall after a popup powerbomb by Owens on Enzo. This started off as a highlight reel segment where Owens stated emphatically that he should have been the number one pick in the draft over Seth Rollins. We are still waiting to hear about the extent of his injuries by the way, and that’s why he wasn’t on the program tonight. Enzo and Cass come out and this leads to some tremendous banter as one would expect. The match is the main event and it really serves as a springboard for a hot tag team and two VERY over heels. Jericho has never been better, KO is looking like a million bucks as the Universal Champion, and Enzo and Cass worked very well, leading to the usual hot tag from Cass which popped the crowd. Cass and Jericho spilled to the outside after a big boot, and then Enzo hits the G-DT for a two count. Owens makes the comeback and he nails a vicious clothesline and then the popup as the heels stand tall to end RAW!