night of champions

WWE “Night of Champions” Live Coverage for 9/20/2015 – Seth Rollins Defends Both the US and WWE World Heavyweight Championships, Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte, New Day vs. The Dudley Boyz, Ryback vs. Kevin Owens and More

It’s time for WWE’s latest live event, called Night of Champions from Houston, TX.  Every title is scheduled to be defended tonight.  Will there be titles changing hands?  Will Seth Rollins escape the challenge of Sting and John Cena coming for both of his championships?  New Day faces the challenge of the Dudley Boyz – will they keep the Dudleys from destroying a table?  Will Nikki Bella turn Charlotte back a second time in a week?

The full card shakes down as follows:

The Cosmic Wasteland (The Ascension and Stardust) vs. Neville and the Lucha Dragons

Main Card:

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev (w/Summer Rae)

Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Braun Stroman vs. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and a man to be named

Ryback (c) vs. Kevin Owens; WWE Intercontinental Championship

Nikki Bella (c) vs. Charlotte; WWE Divas Championship – If Nikki loses in any fashion (pinfall, submission, count-out, or disqualification) she loses the title.

The New Day (c, Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) vs. The Dudley Boys; WWE Tag Team Championship

Seth Rollins (c) vs. John Cena; WWE United States Championship

Seth Rollins (c) vs. Sting; WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Pre-Show Notes:

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Ring Rap Audio: 09/19/15 – A quick review of Ring of Honor’s All-Star Extravaganza, plus preview and predictions of WWE’s Night of Champions!

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It’s a pay-per-view weekend!

Drew, Bill, and Dru are teaming up again to take a look WWE’s Night of Champions in-depth.  Match by match, who are the winners, how is the build, what sort of surprises will we see?  Tune in and let us know if you agree with our picks.

Also, Ring of Honor held their All-Star Extravaganza last night, headlined by ROH World Champion Jay Lethal taking on Kyle O’Reilly.  Did the show deliver?  What’s next for ROH?

All this plus lots more!

Be sure to tune in to our shorter, more frequent news podcast, Around the Ring with Ring Rap! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

Follow us on Twitter: @RingRapAudio and @RingRap.  Bill is on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan.  Drew is on Twitter @PsionStorm, and Dru is @Dru_Mighty.

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Around the Ring w/Ring Rap 09/15/2015: A look at WWE Raw heading into Night of Champions, analysis of the Divas Championship Match, how it hurts the title and division, plus more!

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Drew Koscelek takes the chair for this Tuesday edition of ATR, and talks about:

  • WWE Raw’s Season Premiere
  • How Sting’s Raw debut was mishandled
  • How the Divas Championship match undercuts the division
  • …plus more!

We welcome your feedback!  Let us know what you like and what you’d like to hear!

Be sure to check out our weekly show, Ring Rap Audio! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

Follow all of us on Twitter as well: @RingRapAudio and @RingRap.  Bill is on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan.  Drew is on Twitter too @PsionStorm.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Google+!

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night of champions

The Anticipated Night of Champions Card as of 9/14/2015

As of tonight’s broadcast of Monday Night Raw, it appears that the final card is now set for the Night of Champions pay per view.  The event takes place on Sunday, September 20 live from Houston, TX.  The pre-show will start at 7PM EST and the main card will start at 8PM EST.  These are the known and advertised matches:

The Cosmic Wasteland (The Ascension and Stardust) vs. Neville and the Lucha Dragons

Main Card:

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev (w/Summer Rae)

Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Braun Stroman vs. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and a man to be named

Ryback (c) vs. Kevin Owens; WWE Intercontinental Championship

Nikki Bella (c) vs. Charlotte; WWE Divas Championship – If Nikki loses in any fashion (pinfall, submission, count-out, or disqualification) she loses the title.

The New Day (c, Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) vs. The Dudley Boys; WWE Tag Team Championship

Seth Rollins (c) vs. John Cena; WWE United States Championship

Seth Rollins (c) vs. Sting; WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Of course, Ring Rap Audio will preview this card on Saturday’s show.  Got questions for us?  Be sure to hit us up on Twitter @RingRap or @RingRapAudio and we’ll discuss them on the air.


WWE Monday Night Raw Coverage for 9/14/2015 – The “Season Premiere” Edition, Nikki Bella Defends the Divas Championship Against Charlotte, Prime Time Players vs. New Day for the Tag Team Championship, Miz TV, and More

Tonight and live from the FedEx Forum in Memphis, it’s the “season premiere” edition of Monday Night Raw.  Going head to head against the juggernaut that is Monday Night Football for the first time, Raw features two championship matches.  First, Nikki Bella defends her Divas Championship against Charlotte.  Will Charlotte end Nikki’s record setting run early, or will Nikki break AJ’s title reign record and go on to Night of Champions?  Also, the Prime Time Players take their rematch shot against New Day.  Will New Day hang on to the titles, and who will get the Dudleys at Night of Champions?

Show Open, Live from the FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN

Standard programming intro welcomes us, then we get a recap of the story between Seth Rollins and Sting.  Rollins accused Sting of stealing his statue and touching the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.   They replay the angle last week where Sting crushed Rollins’ statue in a garbage truck.

“King of Kings” hits and here comes Triple H and Stephanie.  They allegedly have a major announcement for us.  Cole and the commentators check in as the  “power couple” makes their way to the ring.  Stephanie welcomes us to Raw.  Stephanie talks about the past year, running down the list of new talent that has made their impact on Raw.

Hunter says these new stars have risen and will take the WWE into the future.  They will be led by “one man, the man.”  Hunter hypes up Seth Rollins as being the US and WWE World Heavyweight Champion.  “This Sunday, live and only on WWE Network, Seth Rollins has an opportunity to cement his legacy forever.”  Hunter hypes up the title matches against John Cena and Sting.

Stephanie talks about the Divas Revolution, saying that we will see history tonight.  She talks about Nikki’s 295-day title reign and says that Charlotte has rocked the division and “done it with flair.”  She says that either Nikki will break the Divas title reign record or Charlotte will become the Divas champion.

Hunter says “but wait there’s more.”  He hypes Sting’s accolades and says that “for the first time in history” Sting will compete on Raw.  “Tonight, history is made as Sting steps into this ring to go one on one with the world’s largest athlete, the Big Show.”  Hunter says he has just one question for all of us – “Are you ready?  No, Memphis, I said ARE YOU READY?”

Stephanie says the fans better be ready because they’re making history.  “It’s a new season, and it’s a new day.”  Big E bellows out at us to not be sour and feel the power.  Here comes New Day to defend their tag team championship in the first match.  Stephanie dances with Big E and Hunter ponders it at first, then starts dancing too.  That match is next.

This was good hype for those seeing it, but I guarantee given last week’s show there are a TON of people watching the NFL Monday Night Football double header.  This should have been sold better last week as well.  I am betting that the Sting/Big Show match is more an angle than it will be a match, which  is fine.  You don’t want to expose Sting and make him look bad going into the pay per view.  Also, VERY happy to see them get in and get out – the long promos just suck the life out of the show.  Not to mention they heard people chanting “boring” last week.

Match #1 – New Day (Big E, Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston, c) vs. The Prime Time Players; WWE Tag Team Championship

New Day is still getting down after the break.  The Players get a good reaction as they come out.  In the early action, the Players get the advantage.  Titus hits a leg drop.  Big E comes back with a belly to belly suplex and Kofi tags in.  He does a mini-seal bark.  They show the Dudleys watching on a monitor backstage.

Darren Young gets the tag and he’s on fire.  He hits a nice throw then plays to the fans.  Kofi tries the SOS but Young escapes and tries for the GutCheck.  Kofi escapes and tags to Big E.  Xavier gets on the apron and plays trombone, which lets Kofi trip Young against the ropes.  Big E throws Young to the post and Xavier yells “what happened to you?”  New Day takes over going into the break.

Back live, Darren Young is fighting back against Kofi but gets dumped outside.  Xavier Woods plays a bad rendition of the Pink Panther as he and Big E stalk Young.   Big E and Kofi double team Young at ringside, then Big E goes back to work again, driving Young to the barrier.

The action moves back to the ring.  Young tries to get a tag but Kofi stops him.  Dueling chants for New Day start, and Young hits a weak counter.  Hot tag to Titus and Big E and the action picks up.

Titus tosses Kofi to ringside and hits a big boot on Big E.  Kofi tries a springboard move only to get caught and hit with a series of backbreakers.  Titus plays to the fans and barks then double splashes Kofi and Big E.  He hits a slam for a near fall.

Big E tries the Big Ending, but Titus escapes. Spinebuster from Titus.  Kofi tries for Trouble in Paradise, but misses.  Xavier distracts Titus again, and he rips the trombone apart.  Big E clubs Titus from behind, then he and Kofi team up for the finish.  Afterward, the Dudleys come out and jaw at New Day from the ramp.

The PTP were in a tough spot here.  How do you get them over as a face team when you put them with a team that is more entertaining than they are?  The match was fine though, and a good open to the show.

Cole and Saxton hype up the Divas Championship match, and the Wyatt family appearing on Miz TV.  They run a clip of Sting and Dusty Rhodes defeating the Road Warriors for the NWA Tag Team Championship in the 1980s and hype his match against Big Show for later.

Some good hype for Sting here.  They are making him seem like a big deal and the match feel important.

Backstage, Seth Rollins talks to Hunter and Stephanie.  He talked about their dancing earlier, and Sting’s destroying his trophy last week.  He praises them for booking Sting vs. Big Show, assuming that Show will destroy Sting and solve “one problem” for him.

He asks about Cena and Sheamus.  Hunter tells Rollins he solved his own problem.  He books Cena vs. Sheamus for later.  JBL gushes about Hunter and Stephanie being able to book matches, sing and dance and do anything.  Cole moves it on to talking about the Divas Championship, thankfully.

JBL has gotten really annoying.

Backstage, Renee Young interviews Charlotte and Ric Flair.  Charlotte talks about how great it is to have her father at ringside for her title match tonight.  Flair says that he lives vicariously through his daughter.

Ric calls the Divas Revolution phenomenal and says that they’ve been putting on world class matches.  He says Nikki and Charlotte will put on a world class match and watch them work all night long.  Renee turns back to Charlotte and asks if there’s pressure to end Nikki’s record reign tonight.  She says that her focus is on the title and that the Bella Army will crumble to Natural Selection.  Wooo!

This was fine, but I really need more from Charlotte than her wooing like her father.  The Figure 8 is a nice nod to Ric’s Figure Four, so they need to do more with her character from there.  That’s been an issue across the board with the ladies.  I do think the match will be decent though.

Match #2 – Paige (w/Becky Lynch) vs. Sasha Banks (w/Tamina and Naomi):

The two brawl to start, then Sasha  settles into control of the offense.  She works on Paige’s right arm as the announcers talk about Cena vs. Sheamus and Rollins’ concern over the two of them.  Banks hits her double knee in the buckle for two.  Sasha settles back in to working on the arm.

Sasha charges but Paige side-steps her.  Paige rolls Sasha up, but Sasha rolls through for two.  Paige comes back with a German that lands Sasha hard on her head.  Sasha rolls to ringside.  Paige tries a rolling senton off the apron, but Tamina pulls Sasha out of harm’s way.  Back in the ring, Sasha locks on the Bank Statement for the win.  Afterward, Team BAD teams up on Becky Lynch and Paige to take over the ring.

Not terrible, but not great either.  Better than the normal I would say.  That German suplex was NASTY.  I do like the feud that they’re building between Paige and Sasha Banks, which is beyond the factions and six-woman tags.

They recap the Wyatts taking out Orton on Raw, and Jimmy Uso on Smackdown.  The announcers hype up that we will see the Wyatts on Miz TV, up next.

Horrible planning.  Starting hour 2 with Miz TV, a long talking segment?  That’s not keeping the audience…

Back live, they hype up Connor’s Cure with a video package featuring Connor Michalek.  They mix in Daniel Bryan’s speech at the Hall of Fame among other things.  With the announcers, they note that the sale of a bracelet on will help raise money for Connor’s Cure.

This is a great gesture on behalf of WWE to use their popularity for good.  And, let’s be honest, this stuff brings me to tears.

Miz TV

Miz is in the ring and says he has rubbed elbows with A-listers

The Wyatts come to the ring.  Miz says he appreciates the lighting effect and welcomes them to the show.  Wyatt tells him to not sit down as he is not safe.  “But please, continue your interview.”  Miz assures them he is not Reigns and Ambrose’s partner for “Hell in a Cell” (OOPS!).  He asks Wyatt who Braun Stroman is.

Wyatt tells him that Stroman is here, and he can ask him himself.  Miz asks Stroman who he is, but Wyatt cuts him off and says that Miz always wants the scoop.  Miz asks Wyatt what he wants.  Wyatt says that he wants Miz to suffer.  He wants Reigns and Ambrose to suffer.  He says he has already shown Randy Orton and Jimmy Uso about suffering.  “At Night of Champions, they all fall.”

Roman Reigns’ music hits.  He and Ambrose make their way through the crowd, just the two of them.  The announcers debate where the third man is, putting over Stroman for destroying the two of them over the past couple weeks.  Miz introduces them, but Ambrose grabs Miz and tosses him out of the ring.

Off mic, Reigns says something, then he gets the mic and tells Wyatt he makes Reigns sick.  “You think you’re the king of the world?”  Reigns recalls the Wyatts beating down Orton and Uso.  “You’re gonna pay for that one,” Reigns says.

He tells Wyatt that he has to surround himself with monsters because he can’t get the job done himself.  Reigns recounts their one on one match that ended with Harper interfering, and the tag match that the Wyatts lost at SummerSlam.  “How’d that end, not to well.”  Reigns tells Wyatt that he wants it 3 on 2.

Reigns tells the Wyatts that they found a third man, so it won’t be three on two.  He says it will be three on three “and we’re going to whip ya’ll’s ass.”  Reigns tells the Wyatts that they are bringing the big fight, and will make it a war.  “Believe that.”  Wyatt laughs, the sounder hits, and they vanish.

For what it was, the Miz announcement was really overhyped.  The segment came off well though, with Miz being intimidated by the Wyatts, and Reigns establishing himself on the mic to set up the third man.  There are a lot of options – but Samoa Joe stands out to me for some reason.  It would be a fun payoff on Sunday, but I would rather see some hype for his appearance.

The announcers feed it to footage of Sting defeating Ric Flair for his first World Championship at the 1990 Great American Bash.  They hype Sting vs. Big Show and Cena vs. Sheamus

Match #3 – Sheamus vs. John Cena

Cena leans in to the camera and says “no matter the colors the message is the same.”  Sheamus comes to the ring and confronts a fan who touches him.  Sheamus gets the early advantage while the announcers bicker about the Authority’s role in making this match.

Out of the break Sheamus gets a two count then hits a shoulder block off the top.  He locks in a sleeper but settles in to a chinlock.  Cena starts to fire back with his trademark offense.  He hits the Five Knuckle and loads the AA, but Sheamus escapes and hits an uppercut.

Cena shoots a look of confidence then stalks.  Cena looks for the AA again but Sheamus slides through with a roll-up for two.  He follows with the an attempt into the Cloverleaf, but it’s not really.  Cena breaks it in the ropes.  Cena tries to shake it off on the apron but Sheamus grabs him for Ten Beats of the Battern.  “You will respect the hawk!” Sheamus yells.

Sheamus loads a rolling senton but Cena counters into the STF.  Sheamus drags himself to the ropes to break it.  “Ce-na sucks!” chants start in New Day Style.  Cena lands his own version of the Ten Beats to Sheamus.  Cena loads the AA but Sheamus holds on to the ropes then lands a running high knee.

Sheamus calls for the Brogue as Cena sells.  Cena catches a clothesline instead and both men sell.  A strike exchange ensues mid ring.  Cena loads an AA again, but Sheamus escapes again and hits a suplex for a good near fall.  “What the hell?!”  Sheamus yells.

Sheamus goes top rope looking for the Battering Ram.  Cena sidesteps and looks for the STF, but instead turns it into an electric chair.  He plants Sheamus face first then locks on the STF.  Sheamus powers out and hits a rolling senton, but Cena comes back with the AA for the victory.  Cena plays to the fans.

This was a solid match that the fans seemed to be into.  Very minimal story to build off of here other than two men who are intertwined somehow with the Authority and Seth Rollins going into Sunday.  It’s not always something that’s needed to have a storyline between two talents, but it certainly helps keep interest going.

The announcers hype Night of Champions, saying that it’s the one time a year that every title is defended.  JBL reminds fans that it is available on pay per view, but you can get it on WWE Network for $9.95 rather than the normal pay per view price.  They shill the Network a bit.

They show Nikki Bella warming  up backstage getting ready for her title match.  They hype that she will be the longest reigning Divas Champion at midnight if she wins her match later.

Out of break, they recap the match from Smackdown between Ryback and Seth Rollins, where Kevin Owens cost him the match.

In-Ring Segment:

Ryback is in the ring for a promo.  He says he is proud to stand in the ring as the Intercontinental Champion.  He says it’s fitting that they’re in Memphis, because Kevin Owens thinks he has the Big Guy “all shook up.”  He tries to do his best Elvis but it’s really bad.  Ryback points out that a real champion doesn’t attack from behind.

Kevin Owens’ music hits.  He says he doesn’t mean to interrupt…”oh wait, that’s not true.”  Owens talks about how Ryback said “The Secret” played a big part in Ryback’s life as he returned from injury and tough times in his life.  Owens says that it made him curious and he picked up a copy.

Ryback asks Owens if he can read it, and Owens says he could probably do so better than Ryback.  Owens says that after reading it, he feels sorry for Ryback and all of the other “delusional idiots who believe this garbage.”  Ryback says that the only garbage he sees is Owens.

Owens gets in the ring and says the book is a crutch for weak people.  He says he doesn’t blame Ryback for reading it, but does blame him for being weak.  He says Ryback might be the strongest guy in the locker room but he is also the weakest.

Owens calls it a travesty that someone like Ryback is champion, then throws the book at him.  Ryback laughs and says Owens doesn’t know who he is or what he’s about.  Ryback says he kicks the day in the ass, then goes to bed, says thank you, and wakes up again to say Feed Me More.

Ryback says there are ways to the top of the mountain, and he respects that Owens took the long road – calling his story inspirational.  Ryback admits to getting an elevator ride to the top but he fell on his face once he got  there.  He says he brushed himself off and climbed back to the top of the mountain.

Owens says that when he gets the chance, he will take the title from Ryback and show the world that the Big Guy is nothing more than a little boy.  Ryback says that he went to the Authority.  He says that at Night of Champions every title must be defended, so it will be “Fight Owens Fight” Kevin Owens against “The Big Guy, the Master of Feed Me More, Ryback.” Owens exits, and Ryback plays to the fans with the belt.

This wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t greatness.  It did make me interested in the match on Sunday though.  The book tossing bit ended up being improvised along the way too.

They show a recap of Sting defeating Hollywood Hogan for the WCW World Championship.  They point out Big Show (then known as Giant) holding him up.  They hype Sting vs. Big Show for later.

Match #4 – Stardust (w/The Ascension) vs. Neville (w/Lucha Dragons)

Stardust comes out with the Ascension in tow.  Neville comes to the ramp and waits for the Dragons to join him.  They charge the ring and the brawl is on.  The Dragons and Neville get the better of the heels, chasing them to the floor.  Neville sets up a dive, but The Ascension pull him away before the dive can happen.  The faces stare down the Cosmic Wasteland as they escape up the ramp

They air a hype package for Nikki Bella, where she lays claim to becoming the longest reigning Divas Champion in history.  In the video, Nikki says that she gave fans the revolution and carried the division on her back.  That match is next.

Match #5 – Nikki Bella (c, w/ Brie and Alicia Fox) vs. Charlotte (w/Paige and Becky Lynch); WWE Divas Championship

As Charlotte comes out they show a picture of her with her father, Ric, holding the NWA Championship.  Trish Stratus has sent tweets to both women about this match.  Lilian Garcia gives us the in-ring introductions.

Early tie up backs the women into the ropes.  Woo! from the crowd.  Charlotte locks a go-behind and works Nikki to the mat to get a one count.  Charlotte lands a knee drop then uses a leg scissor style suplex a couple times.  Charlotte hits a shoulder block in the corner but Nikki starts to focus on the left arm.

Nikki locks Charlotte’s arm in the ropes and works it over.  The attack continues on the left arm as Nikki drops Charlotte on her arm on the apron.  Nikki poses as we go into break.

Coming out of break, Nikki continues to focus on the arm.  The announcers recap what happened before the break as Nikki locks on an arm bar.  Charlotte powers Nikki up and drops her to break the hold.  Both women sell in the ring.  Charlotte starts to fire up with chops and shots.  She hits a big boot for two.

Nikki goes back to the arm again, but Charlotte comes back with a back breaker.  Nikki cuts off a spear with a drop kick to the shoulder.  She follows with a face plant on her knee for two.  Cole hypes that Nikki has had her critics but she has proven them wrong.

Nikki tries for the Alabama Slam but Charlotte counters with a roll-up.  Charlotte hits the spear, and chaos breaks loose.  In the scrum, the Bellas try playing Twin Magic.  Charlotte rolls Brie up and the official doesn’t realize it.  Pinfall…1…2…3….Charlotte has won?!

PCB celebrates in the ring, and Ric Flair runs out to celebrate as well.  Cue the Authority.  Stephanie McMahon comes to the stage.  She says she hates to interrupt, but she has to “preserve the integrity of the Divas Division.”   She tells Charlotte that when Brie laid hands on Charlotte, Nikki should have been disqualified.

Stephanie continues.  She says that Charlotte won by disqualification but the title will remain with Nikki.  Nikki starts celebrating, but Stephanie tells her to not get too carried away.  She tells Nikki Charlotte will get a rematch at Night of Champions, and if Nikki loses by pinfall, submission, disqualification or count out, she will lose the title.

The Bellas celebrate and taunt Charlotte, who looks despondent in the ring.

This was good, but I saw this finish a mile away.  Charlotte did a good job selling the emotions of winning to the disappointment of losing the title because of the finish.  that adds to the title’s value.  This finish sucked pretty hard and as Drew said “this is why we can’t have nice things.”  I guess it’s how you get to the rematch on Sunday.  Now, let’s see if we get some legit heel gloating out of Nikki.

Match #6 – Rusev (w/Summer Rae) vs. Cesaro:

They discuss the love triangle drama as Rusev comes to the ring.  Early on they talk about the strength of the two men.  Cesaro and Rusev trade some early arm bars, then Rusev settles in to a reverse headlock.  Cesaro runs the ropes and hits a leg scissor that sends Rusev to the mat.

Later, Dolph Ziggler makes his way to the ring.  He offers a gift to Summer Rae, which she refuses.  Dolph puts it ont he announce table and walks away.  Off the distraction, Cesaro rolls up Rusev for the win.  Afterward, Ziggler hits Rusev with a superkick.  Summer grabs the package and helps Rusev to the back.  The announcers hype their Night of Champions match.

Point blank, that was shit.  Cesaro has been on a streak of losing big matches, which they could tell a great story off of.  In this case, he loses because Dolph Ziggler brought Summer Rae a gift.  Seriously?

They run a video package highlighting WWE’s work with St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.  They show a young lady who was recently declared cancer free in the audience.

Bacsktage, they show Seth Rollins talking to Big Show.  Rollins is smiling as we go to break.

After the break, the announcers recap what happened with Summer Rae and Rusev.  Rusev is pissed backstage and storms to his locker room.  Summer opens the gift and smiles.  Rusev then demands she join him and she hides the gift quickly.

The announcers recap the tag team championship match from the open of the show, and hype the Dudleys vs. New Day for Sunday.  They move on to run down the rest of the Night of Champions card.

Ring Rap will preview the Night of Champions card on Saturday’s show so be sure to watch for that release. The full Ring Rap crew will be by for that.

Bacsktage, Triple H and Stephanie talk about the Divas Championship, with Hunter saying he can’t wait for the match on Sunday.  Big Show enters, and Stephanie says all anyone has talked about tonight is Sting,  but after the match they will be talking about Big Show.  Hunter calls him the problem solver, and Sting is the problem.

They again recap the moment where Sting destroyed Seth Rollins’ statue last week to end Raw.  They hype Sting vs. Big Show for next.

Back live, they show Hunter and Stephanie at ringside.  The announcers hype it as “a momentous match” for them to be at ringside.  Big Show makes his entrance, then there’s a long pregnant pause.  Sting’s music hits to a good reaction.  He does his yell from the stage, which gets returned by the fans.

Match #7 – Sting vs.  Big Show:

Cole hypes the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Seth Rollins as Sting makes his way to the ring.  Sting plays to the fans, then Lilian Garcia gives us the in-ring introductions.

Sting jumps on Show early, landing shots.  Show tries to splash Sting in the corner but he gets out of the way and starts firing away.  Sting lands ten corner punches off the buckle as JBL mentions that Sting got a start in Memphis.  Show goozles Sting but Sting coutners to a DDT.

Sting stays on the offense, attacking Show with kicks.  He hits Show with the Stinger Splash, and here comes Seth Rollins.  This match is over as Rollins attacks Sting.  He and Show try to work over Sting until John Cena runs out for the save.  Cena dumps Rollins to ringside, then he and Sting team up on Show.  Show ducks out of the ring, and Rollins tries to jump Sting from behind.  He turns around, and Rollins rolls back out.

Hunter says we’ve had enough controversy for one night.  He books this into a tag team match, starting right now.  Well…after the commercial break.

Match #8 – Big Show and Seth Rollins vs. John Cena and Sting

Back live, we’re into the match.  Cena lands hands but Show lands a shoulder block.  Cena sells for Show, taking a slam as Show jaws at Sting.   Cena tries to pick Show up, but can’t get it done.  Show lands a big headbutt as Cena continues to sell.  Rollins tags in and lands the boots to Cena.

Rollins agitates Sting, only to run into Cena backdropping Rollins all the way to the floor.  Show got the tag though and he continues to control Cena with slow and plodding offense.  Cena tries to load the AA on Show, but can’t get him up.  Rollins hits a driveby kick on Cena.

Top of the hour, so Cole gives us a reset of the show.  Cena gets some separation, but can’t get the tag.  He continues to sell for Show as Show taunts Sting.  Show hits a Vader Bomb off the second rope for two.  Show argues that it was three but it’s not.

Rollins tags in and he taunts Cena and Sting.  Cena turns him inside out with a clothesline but Rollins gets the tag to Show first.  Show sets up another splash, but Cena rolls out of the way.    Hot tags and here we go.

Sting fires off on Rollins, hitting a pair of Stinger Splashes and a running bulldog. Show interjects, and Cena loads the AA on Show.  He connects, and Show rolls out of the ring.  Rollins tries to set Cena up for the Pedigree, but Sting grabs Rollins and hits the Scorpion Death Drop.  Sting follows up with the Scorpion Death Lock to get the submission victory.

Cole hypes that if Sting and Cena hit their moves, title changes could happen.  Saxton says this isn’t what the Authority expected to happen.  Stephanie and Hunter tend to Rollins, who is limp against the announce table.  Sting and Cena play to the fans.  Sting and Cena jaw at Rollins as the show ends.

I expected a bigger reaction for Sting, especially with his Memphis roots.  Then again, maybe that’s something that a lot of folks don’t really know about his career at this point – especially casual fans.  With Sting going up against the hated Rollins on Sunday, I would have expected more of a reaction.  This could be two-fold…a foregone conclusion in most people’s minds that Rollins will win, or perhaps just some of the traditional three hour burnout.

I was actually glad to NOT see Rollins do a lot of talking tonight.  I think he’s doing a fine job, it just danced over the line of being repetitive and overexposed.  You don’t want to do that to a strong talent, or the crowd will turn on them or create “go away” heat.

The overall Sting hype fell a bit short with me.  They made it seem like Sting has never been on Raw, but we’ve seen him interact during Wrestlemania season in angles on Raw, and we saw him work Wrestlemania against Triple H.  It’s a fair point to say that the “moment many didn’t think would happen” is true because it is.  But to truly do this right, they should have sold it LAST WEEK, when they really didn’t do much to hype anything for tonight beyond title matches.  So my feeling is mixed on this.

Overall, this show was “above average.”  The finish of the Divas Championship left a sour taste in my mouth, even though I get why they were doing it.  New Day is still entertaining as hell.  But the overall hype going to Night of Champions felt lacking in the end.  A good Raw broadcast, but not a good go-home show I guess is where I leave it.

Drew and I at a minimum will be by on Saturday to preview Night of Champions on Ring Rap Audio, and in the meantime Drew will hit you with more Raw thoughts on Around the Ring tomorrow.  I’ll be back with ROH on Wednesday and my own Around the Ring on Thursday.  Thanks for following along tonight.


Ring Rap Audio: 09/12/15 – What can WWE do to shake up Raw? What’s going on in NXT? Is TNA taking a turn for the better? Plus more!

iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS | MP3

Bill Wentz is at a charity event this weekend, and that leaves Drew Koscelek and Dru Atanacio to take the reigns.  First up?  Addressing the “boring” chants directed at Seth Rollins on WWE Raw this week.  Was he boring, or is it a sign of a bigger problem?

Plus, NXT has been moving and shaking lately, between main roster call-ups and the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.  How is Developmental doing?

Also, Drew has been providing updates on TNA Wrestling as of late, and this week’s episode was an improvement, but not without faults.  What’s going wrong right now?

All this plus lots more!

Be sure to tune in to our shorter, more frequent news podcast, Around the Ring with Ring Rap! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

Follow us on Twitter: @RingRapAudio and @RingRap.  Bill is on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan.  Drew is on Twitter @PsionStorm, and Dru is @Dru_Mighty.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Google+!


Music Credits
“Summon the Rawk” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

“Pulse” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


WWE Monday Night Raw Live Coverage for 9/7/2015 – Seth Rollins in a Jam, Charlotte Gets Her Shot Early?, Wyatts Continue to Dominate Reigns and Ambrose, and More

Raw rolls in to Baltimore, MD tonight on this Labor Day edition.  The show ended last week with Seth Rollins being put in a jam.  He has to defend both his titles now at Night of Champions in two separate matches.  Will Sting appear and cause him a headache?  Will John Cena somehow get the better of Rollins?  Also, it’s being teased that the #1 Contender to the Divas Championship – Charlotte – might get her shot on tonight’s show.  Will they go through with it, or will it end up in a convoluted mess?

The Wyatts and Reigns and Ambrose will surely continue their story, as will the love triangle mess of Rusev, Dolph Ziggler, Lana and Summer Rae.  The Dudleys will also be looking to testify, and break tables.  Night of Champions is two weeks away, as well.

Show Open, Live from Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD

Standard programming intro videos hit, then Michael Cole welcomes us to the Labor Day edition of Raw.  Immediately, Seth Rollins’ music hits and he comes out to a chorus of boos.  Cole resets that Stephanie McMahon put Rollins in a spot last week, then they hype Rollins vs. Sting and Rollins vs. Cena.

Rollins calls for a reality check and says that he is special.  He says he’s not just ordinary special. Short bus special?  He clarifies that he is once in a lifetime special.  He says that before him no one had the guts to cash in Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania.  “Before me, every single one of you believed Brock Lesnar was invincible.”  He says that people wanted to see someone knock Cena off the top of the WWE Mountain.  Mixed reaction.  He says that’s what he did at SummerSlam, being the first man to carry both the WWE Heavyweight and US Championships at the same time.

He calls it greatness and says Baltimore isn’t familiar with greatness.  Well, they are when the Steelers come to town.  Anyhow.  Rollins talks about the statue that was made for him, saying it inspired so much jealousy that a face painted freak….”  Baltimore wants Sting, and Rollins waits them out.  “You and I both.”  Rollins accuses Sting of stealing his statue two weeks ago.  He also “put his little filthy hands on this.”

“Sting, be careful what you wish for.”  He tells Sting he has an opportunity to validate his career, but Rollins has the chance to crush his legacy.  Rollins says he will do that, and make sure Sting never gets his hands on the title ever again.  He continues, saying that last week it became apparent that at Night of Champions that every title will have to be defended.  A “boring” chant gets some traction and Rollins says that he could go on all night.

He accuses Cena for politicking his way into a rematch for the US Championship.  He admits to being upset at first and says he searched for a solution.  “Guys, I’m Seth Rollins.  In case you didn’t hear me, I’m Seth Freaking Rollins.”  He says Night of Champions will be his night because he will defend his titles against “two future first ballot Hall of Famers.”  He says he will turn them into opportunities.  He says he will own Sting, John Cena, his legacy, his generation, “and if it’s the last thing I do, I’m going to get my statue back.”

He says the statue wasn’t stolen just from him, but from the fans.  He says the fans deserve to see it on the stage, next to the commentators, and in the Authority’s office.  He says they deserve to see it everywhere.

The crow flies by and Sting appears on the Tron.  The camera pans back and Sting has the statue with him.  Sting says that Rollins is the man, a man without a statue.  Sting tells Rollins that he’s here, and the statue is here.  Rollins can come and get it.  Sting tells Rollins he is taking good care of it, and dusts it off with a duster.  “Come and get it.”  Screen goes dark.

Sheamus’ music hits and he comes to the stage.  Sheamus tells Seth he looks agitated, and Baltimore tells him he looks stupid.  Sheamus asks if it’s about his two matches and Rollins says he’s not worried about either match, or Sheamus.  Rollins says he has a statue to go rescue.  Sheamus asks if he realizes how stupid he sounds, and Seth retorts that he looks stupid.  Babyface move.  Rollins tells Sheamus to get to the point.

Sheamus holds the briefcase up and says that’s his point.  He could make his point tonight, on Smackdown, or at Night of Champions.  “Seth, if you miraculously win both your matches, you could have a third – against me.”  Cole hypes that Rollins is in an unenviable position.

Cole moves over to talk about the love triangle situation and hypes that we’ll hear from Summer Rae in a “Summer Time Sadness” segment where she will apologize to Rusev.  I’m sad hearing about that.  Then they show Team PCB backstage, and Paige gets Sasha Banks, next.

I like Rollins a lot.  But those boring chants are not surprising.  He is a good promo, but he gets overexposed in long talking segments.  He can fill the time, and he played the chants off well, but it ends up turning into too much of a good thing.  I blame a lot of that on the three hour format though.

Backstage, Stephanie is checking her phone.  So much for no Authority tonight.  Rollins barges in and talks about Sting and Sheamus trying to get in his head.  He asks if Triple H is in the building.  Stephanie talks briefly about the situation, then Rollins asks again if Hunter is in the building.

Hunter is behind him – oh fucking great, definitely a strong Authority presence tonight.  Hunter tells Rollins to not worry because he’s the man.  He tells Rollins that Sheamus will have his hands full with Randy Orton, which drew an audible live crowd groan.  He tells Rollins that Sting is trying to get under his skin, but he needs to focus on his title matches.

Hunter goes on and books two matches for Rollins.  He says this is to prepare him for the two matches at Night of Champions.  He says Rollins will face Ryback in a champion vs. champion match, then Rollins will team with New Day to face Prime Time Players and John Cena.

Stephanie smiles, and says she was going to tell Rollins to go after Sting, but Hunter’s plan is better.  Rollins didn’t look thrilled about it, but they pumped him up and told him he’s the man.

Match #1 – Paige (w/Charlotte and Becky Lynch) vs. Sasha Banks (w/Naomi and Tamina)

Early going, Paige gets some offense in but Sasha takes over going into the break.  Back live, Paige hits a Thesz Press and unloads some shots but Sasha takes back over.  Tamina gets a cheap shot in on Paige while Sasha has the official distracted.  Sasha yanks Paige off the ropes as she tries for a move a bit later.

Paige throws a kick then sidesteps a charge.  She follows with a knee and covers for two.   Paige tries a slam, but Sasha counters and tries a running cross body.  Paige counters and tries to set up the RamPaige, but Sasha slips away and rolls to ringside.  Paige takes out Tamina.

Back in the ring, Paige hits a wheelbarrow into a German suplex for two.  Paige steps through and tries to set up the PTO, but Naomi and Tamina get in the ring.  Banks uses a small package to get the victory.  The heels gloat on the ramp while Paige, Charlotte, and Becky talk in the ring.

The action was fine here, but Baltimore didn’t seem to into it.  A huge part of it is the convoluted booking.  Hopefully the budding frustration from Paige leads to the factions starting to split off.  They just aren’t working.

Cole hypes that Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose are in action, next.

Match #2 – Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. The Ascension.

The Ascension get the jobber entrance.  As Reigns and Ambrose come to the ring under one entrance – Roman Reigns’ music and through the crowd – the commentators recap the challenge issued by the Wyatts on Smackdown.

Ambrose starts off with some offense then tags in Reigns.  The Legion of Cosmic Wasteland work over Reigns in the corner.  Reigns hits a Samoan drop but ends up at ringside.  Ambrose hits a suicide dive and Reigns hits his driveby kick.  Reigns follows with a back suplex and a series of corner clotheslines.  Baltimore can count to ten!

Superman punch from Reigns, then a tag.  Time for the Doomsday Device.  Reigns spears Konnor, Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds on Viktor, and they win.  The announcers hype that the two of them need a partner.  Here comes Wyatt to cut in.

Stroman tells them it’s okay to be afraid, as he is their destruction.  Wyatt tells him to take this as a warning, and to anyone who is foolish to join them.  The apocalypse is coming.  Harper tells them to run.

I like it that Reigns and Ambrose went over strong here.  The past couple weeks, the pair has been dominated pretty badly by Stroman and the Wyatts, so you need to get their fans excited so giving Reigns and Ambrose a strong win here is good.  Stroman still needs to work on his facial expressions.

Backstage, Ryback cuts a promo talking about the match against Seth Rollins, up next.  He emphasizes he is a fighting champion, but calls Rollins a weasel.

Enter Kevin Owens.  He says he wants to wish Ryback luck.  Ryback thanks him but calls him full of crap.  Owens says whatever, and tells Ryback that he hopes he hasn’t bitten off more than he can chew.

I like the idea of a Ryback/Owens feud for the IC Championship.  I think Ryback is doing a fine job so far as the IC Champion – while not lighting the world on fire – but Owens would be a better pick and could be a better champion.  Not to mention needing key wins.

They move on to talk about the angle between Rusev, Dolph Ziggler, Lana, and Summer Rae.  They dedicate a fully produced video package for this.  Yes, they invested several minutes into this.

Coming out of break, we get hype for the Stone Cold Podcast, up next after Raw and featuring Edge and Christian.

Match #3 – Ryback  (Intercontinental Champion) vs. Seth Rollins (US and WWE World Heavyweight Champion); Champion vs. Champion (non-title)

Rollins ducks out right off the go and says he wants none of this match.    Ryback paces, then gets a shot in on Rollins.  He rolls out for a powder again.  Ryback settles in to the offense in the early going.  Rollins starts to get some shots in along the way.

Ryback hits a Thesz press and lands some shots.  Off the ropes, Ryback lands a big chop.  Big whip across the ring into the corner  by Ryback.  He lands some shots and chops in the corner, then a delayed vertical suplex for two.

Rollins starts to land some shots on Ryback and taunts him.  Ryback comes back with a gorilla press, and Rollins rolls to ringside.  Ryback gives chase, but Rollins ducks in the ring and kicks Ryback.  Rollins tries a dive but Ryback catches him.  Ryback sets up to drive him into the post, but Rollins slips away and drives Ryback into the post.  Rollins throws him into the stairs going to break.

Rollins is on Ryback’s back out of break.  Ryback tries a charge but takes the ring post instead.  Rollins follows with a neckbreaker for two.  Rollins settles in with a headlock as the announcers talk about Sting telling Rollins if he wants the statue to come and get it.  Ryback lands a haymaker right but Rollins comes back with a springboard knee for two.

Rollins charges the corner and taunts some more.  Another charge, but Ryback comes back with a back body drop.  The fans start to rally behind Ryback a bit.  Ryback fires back with a shoulder tackle, but Rollins tries to set the Pedigree.  Ryback counters and tries for a powerbomb, but Rollins counters.  Moments later, Ryback gets the powerbomb for two.

Ryback goes top rope and Rollins meets him to try a superplex.  Ryback fights him off and tries the splash but misses, giving Ryback a two count.  Rollins uses a sliding kick to send Ryback to ringside.  Ryback gets on the apron and Seth knees him back to the floor.  Rollins hits a suicide dive and the count starts a third time.

Every time Ryback gets to the ring, Rollins knocks him down.  Fourth time’s a charm, and Ryback hits Rollins with a spinebuster in the ring.  Ryback sets up the Meathook and delivers.  Ryback tries to load Shellshocked but Rollins slips away.  Rollins hits an enzugiri.

Sting appears and tells Rollins he’s here and he’s waiting.  Off the distraction, Ryback hooks a small package and gets the win.  Ryback rolls out and retrieves his belt from the fan he gave it to in the beginning.  JBL says Rollins was robbed.

Sting appears on the Tron again.  He pulls out a mask, then puts it on the statue.  Rollins flips out, yelling that Sting is defacing his property.  Rollins throws a fit in the ring as Cole hypes the main event.  JBL hypes Orton vs. Sheamus for later.

Right now, the Sting mind games haven’t felt all that compelling.  It’s almost like we’re seeing too much from him, if that makes any sense?  Going into Wrestlemania, we needed a promo from Sting, but this time it feels like it should be a “less is more” approach.  Silent and brooding Sting might have worked better here.

Monday Night Football starts next Monday, and right now WWE isn’t giving us any sort of strong hook for next Monday to keep viewers interested.  It’s not good when the live crowd is chanting “boring” through segments.  I’m scratching my head right now.

Backstage, Seth Rollins is yelling and looking for Sting and his statue.  Enter New Day, telling him to not be sour and feel the power.  New Day Rocks.  Rollins asks why he said why and tells them he has a lot on his  plate.  Enter Edge and Christian.

Edge asks Rollins if he remembers the last time they crossed paths, saying that Rollins had his goon squad beat him and Christian down then tried to paralyze him.  Rollins insists that he did what he had to to get the Authority back in power and assumed Edge would understand as the “ultimate opportunist.”

Edge says he does, but invites Rollins to try again right now.  Rollins gets frustrated and yells he has a lot on his plate and leaves.  Woods says he has been waiting for this and plays a few notes on the trombone.  He says “battle.”  Christian says you can’t have a battle without a kazoo.  He and Edge do “New Day Sucks.”

Big E grabs the kazoo, chews on it, then slams it to the ground.  The Dudleys show up.  Bubba says that New Day will defend the titles against Prime Time Players next week, then The Dudleys get the winner.  New Day says they have plans and are leaving.  Edge and Christian and the Dudleys do a “get the tables” song.

That’s not the hot match I was hoping to see next week, but it is a hook.  I am also good with the Dudleys getting a straight up match rather than a triple threat – at least it seems that way.

Summer Rae makes her way to the ring, and we’ll see her “Summer Sadness” segment next.

In-Ring Segment:

They air the same promo package from earlier about the love triangle.  Summer cuts a promo, saying that it has been the most horrific week of her life.  She says that Rusev is the victim in this situation, and she needs to apologize to Rusev.  She asks him to come to the ring, and he obliges.

Summer puts Rusev over, and brags about how she has done so much for him.  “I’ve tried to get my body in condition to your liking.”  She hypes her photo shoot in Iron Man Magazine and shows some of it on the screen.  She writes some fan fiction about Dolph being in the shower, and cries.  She says she betrayed him.

Rusev agrees that she did, “You betrayed me, but I accept your apology.”  He calls her “my sweet submissive Summer” and says that it’s Dolph Ziggler’s fault as to what happened.  Rusev says that Lana isn’t there because she broke her wrist, but he claims it is because Dolph broke her heart.  He says he would never make Lana feel like Ziggler has.

Ziggler makes his entrance, and says that Lana said last night that Rusev never makes her feel like Ziggler does.  Some “ooh!” for that.  Rusev barks at Ziggler about tending to Lana and Ziggler says he has checked in on her a couple of times last night.  He says Lana told him to give Rusev a message.  “She told me to give that overgrown circus ape with a bikini wax a message.”  Dolph tosses his mic at Rusev and superkicks him.  Dolph lands some shots but Rusev rolls out.  He and Summer retreat as Ziggler stares them down from the ring.

The fans were chanting “boring” all over this while Summer was talking and deservedly so.  It’s bad, and it’s a bad use of Ziggler and Rusev.  Will WWE listen, or just plod on along, laughing with the audience of one who thinks this is awesome.

Backstage, Randy Orton is talking to Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose.  Orton gets Sheamus, next.

Match #4 – Randy Orton vs. Sheamus:

The early offense is slow and plodding.  Sheamus rolls out once to stall, then gets back in the ring.  Another offensive exchange ends up sending Sheamus back to ringside agiain.

Sheamus grabs a mic and yells “what is the matter with you people?  I do not…”  Orton turns him around and hits a back suplex onto the barrier. Back inside, Orton lands an uppercut and ten punches off the buckle.  Sheamus counters with an atomic drop but eats a drop kick from Orton.

Outside the ring, Sheamus is frustrated.  Orton tries a clothesline, but Sheamus duck and hits an Irish Curse backbreaker going to break.

Back live, Sheamus controls the offense.  He yells “You will respect the hawk!”   No, it still looks stupid.  Orton starts to fire up some offense of his own.  He gets Sheamus in the ropes and tries to hit the elevated DDT but Sheamus counters to the Ten Beats of the Battern.

Sheamus goes top rope and hits the Battering Ram for a two count.  Sheamus hits a knee but Orton lands a powerslam for two.   Sheamus locks on the Cloverleaf.  Sheamus taunts and demands he tap, but Orton breaks it in the bottom rope.

Late,  Orton hits the elevated DDT.  He goes for the RKO but Sheamus hits White Noise instead.  Sheamus insists it should have been three.  Orton tried an RKO, but Sheamus rolled him up for two.  Orton came right back with the RKO for the win.

We get the Wyatt cut in.  The lights go out, and they show up at ringside to surround Orton.  Harper kicks him and the family beats him down.  Harper feeds Orton in to Stroman, who uses that choke hold to take Orton out.    He follows with an awkward looking torture rack slam.  Wyatt kneels next to Orton and poses to some heat.  “Follow the buzzards!”

The fans were pretty quiet for this.  If Orton got on offense, they popped for him and his spots, but aside from taunting Sheamus with “you look stupid” they didn’t have much to say.  This feud has no life left – it’s beyond overexposed…even more than Miley Cyrus’ boobs.

The post match angle was good though.  Made a lot of sense if they want to pair Orton with Reigns and Ambrose for Night of Champions.

Back live, the announcers recap what just went down prior to the break.  Time to go to Dudleyville!

Match #5 – The Dudleys vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torit0)

Early on, the Matadores get in some offense.  Matadore clubs his own teammate and knocks him from the apron.  The other Matadore gets upset and El Torito yells from ringside.  Matadore turns around into 3D and it’s over.

After the match, Matadore is upset, and roughs up El Torito.  The Dudleys return, rough up one  of the Matadores at ringside, then hit the Bubba Bomb through a table in the ring.  Oh my brother, testify!  The Dudleys celebrate at ringside.

Typical squash to get the Dudleys some shine.  I’m fine with it.  Are they teasing the breaking up of the Matadores, or are we going to just get a full dose of El Torito getting revenge?

Back live, they tell us Rusev vs. Ziggler will happen again at Night of Champions.  They move into recapping the pre-show angle between Miz and Cesaro that sets up this next match.

Match #6 – The Miz vs. Cesaro:

Cesaro roughs Miz up early.  He catches Miz and hits a tilt-o-whirl back breaker.  Upper cut train gets the wheels rolling briefly, but Miz ducks out to get a break.  Cesaro grabs JBL’s hat and hits another one against the barrier  then plays to the fans.

Back in the ring, Miz lands a kick and works the midsection.  He runs Cesaro into the barrier a couple times out by the ramp.  Here comes Big Show, and Miz runs like a scared school girl.   He and Show run around the ring a bit, and the match ends in a double count out.

As Show leaves, he hits Cesaro with the WMD Punch and heads up the ramp.

Cole shows the BellaTron, with Nikki only seven days and some odd hours and minutes left to become the longest reigning Divas champion.  She’ll be out next.

In-Ring Segment:

The Bellas and Alicia Fox come to the ring.  Alicia and Brie give Nikki a big build up introduction.  Nikki asks if we can feel it.  No, I can’t feel your fake boobs.  She says the “Bella Army” is counting down the days and minutes to her becoming the longest reigning Divas Champion.

Nikki says that she will re-write the history books and invites everyone to a “Bellabration.”  She tells everyone to get their Bella gear and party with them, and bottles will be popping.  Charlotte’s music hits, and Team PCB makes their way to the ring.

Charlotte takes the mic.  She says they love a party, but they weren’t invited.  Charlotte says that she went to the Authority and they granted her petition.  She will get her match next Monday, beat “that clock,” and take the Divas Championship.

The brawl is on.  PCB sends the Bellas from the ring.  Becky hits Alicia with what looked like a t-bone suplex, then Paige feeds Nikki back in.  Charlotte hits a spear and locks on the Figure 8.  The announcers hype up that if she does that next week, Nikki will lose the title.

I like that there is now some surrounding intrigue to the match.  I thought they would end up coasting into Nikki beating the run because they would just have Nikki defend at Night of Champions.  Now, there’s intrigue – will Charlotte cut it off, or will Nikki make it?  This match means a hell of a lot more if Nikki is a true heel though.

Match #7 – John Cena and the Prime Time Players vs. New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E w/Xavier Woods) and Seth Rollins

Faces first, then the heels.  Barking and jawing ensues in the ring between all the team members.   The announcers hype up the matches that will happen at Night of Champions during the entrances.  Xavier plays us a tune on the trombone as things get started.

Rollins teases working with Cena, then tags in Big E.   Early power exchanges back and forth between Cena and Big E.  They try shoulder blocks on each other.  Cena hits one, then tries a second but Big E catches him and plants him.  Rollins tags in, puts the boots to Cena a bit, then tags Kofi in.  Big E helps him with a whip move that puts the boots to Cena again.  Two count.  Xavier Woods plays us a tune going to break.

New Day and Rollins controlled the action through the break.  Cena takes a cross body from Kofi for two as we come back live.  Woods is still talking.  Kingston hits the SOS for two.  Tag out to Big E, who goes for a splash but Cena backdrops him to the floor instead.  Baltimore has woken up now.

Rollins gets the tag and hits a knee for two.  Darren Young breaks the fall up.  Cena continues to sell as the heels beat down Cena in the corner.   Big E scoops Cena up for a side slam, but dances with him first.  Cena continues to sell for the heels.

Cena gets the hot tag to Titus.  He starts his flurry with a big boot.  Rollins gets involved and takes a side slam on the apron from Young.   Seal barking and a big splash from Titus.  Woods taunts but gets gut checked by Young.  Titus ends up taking a belly to belly.

Hot tags.  Cena tries the AA, but Rollins lands on his feet.  Cena teases the Pedigree, but Cena trips him and locks in the STF.  Rollins struggles toward the corner and gets the tag to Kofi.  Kofi hits a cross body but Cena rolls it through and hits the AA.  Cena and the PTP win. The announcers recap it for us after showing a despondent Rollins who lost both his matches tonight.

The PTP and Cena do the “millions of dollars” dance and play to fans.  Rollins is still upset, and he crawls into the ring.  JBL says this isn’t what Rollins had in mind, but it might be what the Authority had in mind.  The crow flies by again.

“Rough night, huh Seth?  And you never came to get this?”  He says there’s something else he has to show Rollins and demands the lights brought up.  There’s a trash truck.  “Man, it stinks.”   Sting asks for them to start their motors, and dumps the statue into it.  Rollins is furious, and Sting jumps on the garbage truck as it rolls away.

Rollins throws a fit in the  ring.  JBL says “that painted up freak stole  his statue and destroyed it.”  Baltimore tells Rollins goodbye as Rollins grabs his belts and poses on the announce table.  Cole gives us a shill for the Stone Cold Podcast, which is happening next.  We get a shot of them getting ready as Raw ends.

New Day made this fun, but that’s also a danger.  Exchanging words with the “Podcast about Nothing” boys (@PANPodcast), it’s that dangerous territory of being so good at being bad that the gimmick gets them over as faces.  This match was what it was – nothing really all that memorable ultimately, but it sent the fans home happy.

This was a long night.  WWE mentioned in the hype for next week that it’s “the season premiere” seeing as they’re going up against Monday Night Football, but there was no good solid hype or hook to really tune in.  The tag team championship should be fine, and the women’s match has some intrigue, but let’s be honest – that’s not enough.  The NFL (my disdain for it aside) is a juggernaut, and will OWN WWE through the fall.

And what’s really crazy?  They know it’s coming!  Since I’ve been writing on, I can’t recall a year where WWE has done a great job of setting a hook for the first show going up against Monday Night Football.  Just seems like they plan to roll over and die on Monday Nights and trust the Network and other programming to carry enough interest.

Drew will be by with Around the Ring tomorrow to break down this show and talk about other things in wrestling.  I’ll be back with Ring of Honor on Wednesday, and my own Around the Ring segment on Thursday.  Send me questions for ATR – @Bill_SoonerFan – and I’ll do my best to address them on the air.  Thanks for reading along tonight.


Around the Ring w/Ring Rap 09/01/2015: Zahra Schreiber Released, Shooting at WWE Performance Center, Bram Arrested, Quick Thoughts on WWE Raw, plus more!

iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn RSS | MP3

It’s a WWE-Heavy episode of ATR with Drew Koscelek.  Topics include:

  • Seth Rollins’ girlfriend Zahra Schreiber released from WWE for Nazi symbolism
  • A mentally ill man was shot at the WWE Performance Center
  • TNA’s Bram arrested for false imprisonment and battery charges
  • Quick thoughts on WWE Raw
  • …plus more!

We welcome your feedback!  Let us know what you like and what you’d like to hear!

Be sure to check out our weekly show, Ring Rap Audio! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

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WWE Monday Night Raw Live Report for 8/31/2015 – Sting Appears to Address Seth Rollins, Follow-up on The Dudleys Returning, Divas “Beat the Clock” Challenge, More

Raw rolls in to Tampa, FL and chases away Tropical Storm Erika this week.  Last week we saw two surprise returns.  The Dudleys are back in WWE, and it appears they have their sights set on the new tag team champions, The New Day.  Will they make their presence felt tonight?  Also, Sting shocked a lot of people and interrupted Seth Rollins’ statue ceremony.  Looks like Sting will take his shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at Night of Champions.  What does Sting have to say?  A Divas “Beat the Clock” challenge is being advertised, where the winner will get a shot at Nikki Bella’s Divas Championship at Night of Champions as well.  Who will emerge victorious?

Show Open, Live from the Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL

We get a recap of last week’s show closing, where Sting was under the “statue” cover and attacked Seth Rollins.  Sting held up the title afterward, and he will get his shot at Night of Champions.  They run the Raw open and pyro goes off.  Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton check in and run down the previously announced matches to give them some hype.  They put some focus on the Divas “Beat the Clock” challenge, the Dudleys taking on New Day, and Ryback defending the Intercontinental Championship against Big Show.

Sting’s music hits and he heads out to the ring.  He stops on the stage and howls for the fans, who popped big for him, and makes the walk down the ramp.  Sting says that Triple H took him to his limit at Wrestlemania, and he knows he pushed Triple H to his.  Sting says that no matter what, he will have respect for Hunter.

Odd line there.  Babyface Sting, feuding with heel Rollins who is a part of heel Authority run by heel Triple H, praising heel Hunter?  I guess they could be trying to set up tension between Rollins and Hunter…

Sting continues, saying Rollins is no Triple H.  He complains about how Rollins has held on to the title, calling it an injustice for Rollins to think he should be mentioned in the same breath as legends like Bruno Sammartino, Andre the Giant and Ultimate Warrior.  Sting talks about having won titles all over the world, but the WWE World Heavyweight Championship has always eluded him.  He says that will change at Night of Champions, when the last chapter of his career is written and he beats Rollins for the title.

Sting says that Triple H was man enough to shake hands after he beat Sting at Mania.  He says he will prove that Rollins on his best day is not half the man Hunter is.  Sting says he will prove that Rollins is not a man, but a little boy living in his world, and he is now in for one heck of a ride.

The delivery was fine, but it felt like a real “kiss Hunter’s ass” segment.  It did nothing to really push the NOC match between the two.  I will say I think there is some story there, but this didn’t fit the overall narrative – especially with all the crap that went down at Wrestlemania with DX and the NWO and what not.

Backstage, Seth Rollins vents to Stephanie McMahon about Sting’s promo.  Rollins boasts about his bigger wins as champion and scoffs at Sting saying he doesn’t belong with legends.  Rollins says that he is better than anyone when he is in the ring.

Stephanie points out that Sting says that Rollins isn’t half the man Hunter is.  Stephanie agrees with Sting on this, but adds that she hopes Rollins gets to that point.  “With all due respect, they build statues for legends,” Rollins says.  He asks where his is, and she tells him to go ask Sting.

Why do I feel right now like they’re moving to the next feud for Rollins, rather than focusing on the match with Sting?  There’s money in that match, and WWE is missing out to jump ahead to what seems like Rollins vs. Hunter in the somewhat near future.  Let’s see if we find a purpose for this one.

Dolph Ziggler makes his way to the ring with Lana for the first match.

Match #1 – Dolph Ziggler (w/Lana) vs. Rusev (w/Summer Rae):

They show a shot of Dolph and Lana at Disney Land.  She has her hair down – not something we’re used to seeing.  Lana has leather on this week over what looks like a denim top and skirt.  Early on in this one, Rusev dumps Ziggler to ringside as we go to a commercial.

Back live, Rusev locks in a bear hug.  Ziggler fights out and hits a superkick, then the fight spills to ringside.  Rusev gets run into the ring steps when Dolph sidesteps a charge.  The official starts the count, and both men beat it.

Rusev isn’t happy with this development.  He kicks Ziggler, makes a face, then stomps on his back.  Rusev sets up the Accolade but Ziggler gets up. He tries a superkick but Rusev catches it.  Ziggler hits Zig Zag and has the cover, but Summer runs in for the DQ.  Lana attacks Summer after the match, but the men separate the ladies.  Dolph and Lana kiss on the stage afterward.

Well, we’re off to a bit of a sluggish start.  And full disclosure here, my cable carrier is in the middle of service upgrades and apparently one of them is going on at the moment where I have internet, but no television, so I’m leaning on an assist in the most crazy of ways.  More on that on another day.  Anyhow, this feud continues and I can’t say I care.  Both men deserve more than this.  And when will Dolph get some new entrance music?

The announcers hype Ryback vs.  Big Show for the IC title, and the Beat the Clock Challenge.

(I’m told this) A graphic touts how many followers the Divas have on Instagram.  And I can’t imagine how many of those 17 million are horny creepy perverts.  Anyhow.

Backstage, Renee Young talks to Dolph Ziggler.  He says he wants Summer to stay out of his matches, then goes into his dressing room.  Renee puts some hype on the upcoming matches.  In the background, Summer is entering Dolph’s locker room.

OOOOOOOOOOO!  More love triangle drama?

The Bellas and Alicia Fox are in the ring.  Nikki cuts a promo, boasting about being the “fearless face” of the division.  She introduces the countdown clock for her to become the longest reigning Divas Champion.  The countdown clock shows 14 days, three hours, and some odd seconds.  Cole points out that AJ holds the record title reign of 295 days.

Didn’t they do this same thing with CM Punk at one point?

Match #2 – Becky Lynch (w/Paige and Charlotte) vs. Alicia Fox (w/Nikki and Brie Bella); Beat the Clock Challenge match:

Becky cuts a picture-in-picture promo saying that the “B” in PCB can be a real B.  Cole explains the rules of the Beat the Clock Challenge to us.  He openly says “when Becky wins” then corrected himself to say “If Becky wins…”.  Lynch makes quick work of Fox, getting her to tap out to the Disarmer in 3:21.

Byron Saxton hypes that New Day will face the Dudleys in a non-title match later.

Backstage, Rich Brennan interviews Ryback.  He talks about how he has overcome a lot of obstacles, including a staph infection.  He mocks Big Show and Miz, saying he will prove that he is bigger and better than Big Show.  He pauses when he hears giggling behind him.  Summer is running off.   Ziggler walks out of his dressing room, wrapped in a towel, and looking flustered.

Match #3 – Ryback (c) vs. Big Show; WWE Intercontinental Championship

We get the entrances, then Lilian takes care of the ring introductions for us.  Miz sits in on commentary for this one. Big Show gets some “please retire” chants.  He gets a mic and tells the fans to find someone that can retire him.

Ryback tries a running splash, but Show goozles him.  Ryback puts him down with a spinebuster for two.  Show comes back with a chokeslam for two.  Show goes top rope, but Ryback meets him there and throws him off like they used to do with Ric Flair.

Ryback pulls the straps of his singlet down and plays to the fans.  Show hits him with a spear for a near fall.  Show sets up for the WMD punch, but Miz gets on the apron and distracts him.  Ryback gets Show up for the Shellshock and hits it to win and retain.

This was fine for a big man match.  Show bumping from the ropes is a little bit scary.

They hype Dean Ambrose taking on Braun Stroman later, and Charlotte taking on Brie Bella in the next Beat the Clock challenge match, next.

Match #4 – Charlotte (w/Paige and Becky Lynch) vs. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox)

Nikki tries to run away from Charlotte to waste away the clock.  Charlotte ends up putting her away in 1:40 with Natural Selection to take the lead in the challenge.

After, JBL says that Brie spent so much time stalling that she forgot to fight.  Charlotte stares at Nikki as Cole says that her time was 1:40, which Paige will have to beat.  Becky looks a bit frustrated but still raises Charlotte’s arm.  The Bellas sell frustration and concern.

Nothing memorable here.  Then again, when you’re only given 1:40…

The announcers talk about the Dudley’s making their return last week.  Backstage, Renee Young interviews the Dudleys.  Bubba says they haven’t competed on Raw in ten years.  Bubba says they are there to put everyone through a table, but the most important reason is to win the WWE World Tag Team Championship.  He talks about how New Day is at the head of the table, but they are going to put them through a table.

Bully talks about being a nine-time WWE Tag Team Champion and the most decorated in history.  He says the magic number is ten, and prompts the fans to help with the “Get the Tables!” line.  D-Von says “oh my brother, testify!” to end the promo.

Split screen, we see Kevin Owens and Cesaro heading to the ring.  We get them in the ring, next.

Match #5 – Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens:

As Cesaro makes his way to the ring, Cole hypes that this is Raw #1162.  They talk about this being a SummerSlam rematch and that Cesaro wants to teach Owens a lesson.  Owens is smiling as he heads to the ring.  They hype that Owens had the “biggest debut match in history” when he defeated John Cena.

Owens mouths off at Cesaro, and he gets uppercuts in return.  Cesaro fires away on Owens in the corner with chops, but Owens returns some strikes of his own.  The two men continue to trade offense in the early going.

Owens continues the onslaught with strikes, then locks on a headlock.   JBL puts over Owens for defeating John Cena in his first match in WWE.  Owens throws Cesaro shoulder-first to the ring post.  Owens covers for a near fall as we go into the commercial.

Back live the two men fight on top.  Owens shoves him off, but Cesaro lands uppercuts then tries for a superplex again.  Owens shoves Cesaro off but he hits a drop kick.  Cesaro comes back with a gutwrench suplex off the top for a two count.  The announcers replay it.

Owens starts the “Uppercut Train,” bouncing between corners.  Owens tries to stop him with a boot but Cesaro counters with what resembles an Angle Slam for two.   Cesaro looks for the Neutralizer but Owens backdrops out.  Cesaro hangs on and looks for the Sharpshooter but Owens counters and hits a superkick for two.

Owens yells at Cole to “watch this you litle jerk.”  Owens tries the cannonball again but Cesaro moves.  Strikes from Owens, and he yells “stay down!”  Cesaro fires back, then Owens tries a tornado DDT.  Cesaro counters in a great spot and locks on the Crossface.  Owens crawls to the ropes and gets a leg on the rope to break it.

Cesaro ends up on the apron, and Owens eats a boot on a charge.  Cesaro tries to suplex Owens to the outside but gets hung out to dry over the ropes.  Owens charges again and Cesaro bumps to the announce table and takes a shot to the ribs.  The official checks on him.

Cesaro gets in the ring and tries for the sharpshooter again but his ribs won’t let him.  After a kick to the ribs, Owens finishes him off with the pop-up powerbomb.  We get highlights.   Owens plays to the fans.

I liked a lot of things about this.  The guys got plenty of time, which let them tell a good story and including the story that Cesaro lost because of a rib injury.  I also like the lack of “even steven” booking here – it’s a good way to set up a longer arc for Cesaro.  I really would like to see Owens get some promo time as he’s such a good promo.

JBL hypes up that we will see Braun Stroman take on Dean Ambrose, next.

We get more love triangle drama backstage, as Dolph talks to Lana.  He says that Summer only saw him naked for two seconds before he grabbed a towel and chased her off.  “So, she saw you naked coming out of the shower?  How do you think that makes me feel?” Lana asks.  Dolph assures her nothing happened, but Lana walks off.

Wyatt cut in.  Here comes the Wyatt Family for our next match.  As the Wyatts prepare to cut a promo they recap the introduction of Braun Stroman.  Wyatt thanks Sister Abigail for giving her greatest gift, the black sheep Braun Stroman.  He tells Stroman that this is his moment to show the universe why he exists.

Wyatt says that for years men have tried to predict the end of the world.  He says that tonight the seventh trumpet sounds and “we walk among you undisguised.”  He tells Stroman to show them the face of their destruction.  Stroman unmasks, then says this isn’t the beginning.  “It’s the end.  The apocalypse.”

I think Wyatt is a great promo…truly.  But the problem is it seems in the end they’re never backed up.  No one really believes what Wyatt is saying here.

Match #6 – Braun Stroman (w/Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper) vs. Dean Ambrose (w/Roman Reigns)

Ambrose comes to the ring with the Wyatts watching as he makes the walk.  Here comes Roman Reigns for the assist though, down through the crowd.

In the early going, Stroman dominates Ambrose.  He tosses him around like a rag doll in the early going.  Ambrose tries to get a flurry in but Stroman grabs him by the face.  He hits a big boot on a kneeling Ambrose that sends him to ringside.  Stroman goes out after him and squeezes his face against the barrier.  Reigns talks smack and Stroman slaps him away.

Reigns attacks Stroman from behind and that throws the match out.  Stroman overpowers Reigns then throws Ambrose across the announce position.  Reigns fights back, but gets tossed in the ring.  Stroman locks on that submission hold, but Ambrose grabs a chair.

Ambrose breaks the hold with the chair but it really doesn’t phase Stroman.  The assault continues, and Stroman locks on his hold on Ambrose.  He hits a backbreaker off his shoulder then sets up Reigns for Sister Abigail for Wyatt.  He looks up and thanks Sister Abigail then hits it.

Stroman looked a little lost in a couple places, especially when Reigns was setting up for his punch.  If they’d have built up the more groomed and talented Luke Harper, would they have needed to bring this guy in now in this prominent spot?  Probably not.  I do think they’re doing a good job of building him up though.

The announcers move on to talk about Rollins winning at SummerSlam and the statue would be unveiled, but Sting interrupted that situation.  They recap Sting’s show opening promo, then go backstage for an interview.  Renee Young asks if Seth has found his statue yet. Rollins asks if she’s making light of the situation.

He goes on to say that the statue represents all the hard work that everyone in the company has put in to make WWE what it is.  He says that he is the champ, and it’s his show now.

Rollins says he will call out Sting later and demand that Sting return the statue.  Renee says she has to ask about what Sting said earlier, referencing how Sting said Rollins is half the man Hunter is.  Rollins laughs and says that “back in his day” Hunter was the king of kings and the cerebral assassin, but now, Rollins is the man as he holds both titles.

They hype Paige vs. Sasha Banks in the final Beat the Clock challenge.

Match #7 – Paige (w/Charlotte and Becky Lynch) vs. Sasha Banks (w/Tamina and Naomi)

Picture in picture promo from Paige.  She says the Divas have been misrepresented too long, and it’s not about high heels and high school drama.  She says this is her first step toward taking back the Divas Championship and taking back her house.  The time to beat is 1:40.

Quick takedown to open for Paige.  Sasha takes over with some shots and a quick cover of her own.  Paige and Sasha go through some roll-up covers.  Paige hits a couple of running knees for a two count.   Sasha lands some strikes then tries a move but Paige catches her.  Paige turns it into the Rampaige.

Team BAD pulls Sasha from the ring with 9 seconds.  Paige pulls her back in and tries for the PTO but time runs out.  Charlotte is the new #1 contender.  Afterward, Nikki Bella comes out and holds the title belt up as PCB exchange an awkward celebration in the ring.

There wasn’t much reaction to any of this.  They really flopped with this challenge tonight.  Some might get upset about Sasha looking vulnerable here so quickly, but what else could they do here?  And no one will remember tomorrow.

Backstage, Renee Young interviews Lana.  She says that she interviewed Summer during the break and wanted her reaction.  Summer says that Dolph summoned her in and wanted to bury the hatchet between the four.  She tells a story of Dolph stripping down and such.  “I will never forget that image of Dolph.”  Back with Lana, she sniffles and exits.

The New Day comes out.  Xavier Woods calls the Dudley Boys a menace to society, the tag team championship, and furniture across the world.  Kofi says the fans’ support could save a table’s life.  They talk about spending time at various tables, including the periodic tables and times tables.  Kofi says they wouldn’t have memories if the Dudleys broke their tables.

They pull a table out from under the ring that’s wrapped in bubble wrap.  Xavier says it’s the last table here, and the New Day will do everything they can to protect it from the table poachers, the Dudleys.  He asks the fans to clap along with a “save the tables” chant.

New Day is fun, and the gimmick is working more and more these days, but they got too cute there.  It kind of fell flat and didn’t draw much of a reaction.

Match #8  – The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston, w/Xavier Woods) vs. The Dudleys

The Prime Time Players sit in on commentary.  Titus reminds us that they get a rematch after losing at SummerSlam.  Early on, the Dudleys take control, clearing New Day from the ring.  They look at Woods who is protecting the “last table left in here” at ringside.

Back live, the Players are upset that Cole hasn’t mentioned their rematch yet.  Woods pulls the top rope down and D-Von falls to ringside.  Bubba rants, and Woods brushes his hair while Kofi splashes D-Von.  Big E runs him into the  barrier.  D-Von continues to sell for the New Day as they make frequent tags, and Woods runs on at the mouth.

D-Von starts to fight back as Darren Young asks Byron Saxton to help them against the New Day.  Big E hits an elbow and New Day takes back over on offense.  Xavier tries to lead a chant but the fans finish it with “sucks.”  Kofi tries a move off the ropes but gets a clothesline from D-Von.

Hot tag to Bubba.  He comes in with clotheslines and splashes.  He drags in Xavier by the hair, then D-Von hip tosses him to ringside.  Some strikes from Bubba to Big E and they set up Whassup, but Kofi sticks his nose in it.  D-Von tags in and they hit Kofi with the 3D to get the win.

Bubba goes out to get the table.  They drag it in and set it up and Big E looks like their victim, but Xavier drags him out.  He yells “save the tables, no one is going through a table tonight.”  New Day sells as the Dudleys celebrate.

This was a fun match even though the overall show has seemed a bit flat so far.  Not sure if the Players needed to be out on commentary, but they did a decent job of helping put over the return of the Dudleys.  I think there’s some money in making people wait for the table spots on live specials and live events, rather than over-exposing that spot on television.

Cole hypes that Seth Rollins will call out Sting to get his statue back, next.

In-Ring Segment:

Seth Rollins’ music plays and he makes his way to the ring.  They hype the Night of Champions match between Sting and Seth Rollins for Houston in a couple weeks.

Rollins starts by saying he had no issue with Sting up until last week.  He admits that he even revered Sting.  He accuses Sting of hijacking his moment last week.  He proposes that it’s why WCW went out of business.  Some boos in response to that.

Rollins says he doesn’t hide in the shadows like Sting.  He says he is in the center of the ring, and he’s going to call Sting out right now.  Rollins says he has two things he wants from Sting.  “I want Sting to take it back that Triple H is better than me.”  He proposes that he is just as good as Triple H, and some day he may be even better.

“Second and most importantly, Sting has something that belongs to me.”  Rollins says the statue is representative of the greatest champion in WWE history.  “So Sting, if you’ve got the guts, I dare you to bring yourself to my ring and tell me where you put my statue.”

Rather than Sting’s music, we get Stephanie McMahon.  Rollins isn’t amused and Stephanie looks like all business here.  Steph says she’s the one that told him to call out Sting, “but I strongly advise you to stop talking about my husband, Triple H.”

Rollins talks about Evolution, saying that people compared him to Ric Flair, “one of the greatest of all time.”  He says Hunter would have flipped his lid if anyone dared compare him to Flair, because back then Hunter was the man.  He admits Hunter was the man back then.  He goes on to say that that time has passed, and he is now the man.

Stephanie builds Rollins up, saying that Sting has gotten in his head and is playing mind games with him.  She gets Rollins fired up and tells him to not be distracted.  Rollins tells Stephanie she’s right and demands that Sting come out and tell him where the statue is.  Rather than Sting, we get John Cena.

He charges the ring and gets a mic.  “Aw, Seth, I’m probably the last person you want to see tonight.”  Rollins tells Cena he has no business being out there right now.  Cena says he needs to give credit where due and praises Rollins for his in ring work, but calls him a fool.  He says that Triple H and Stephanie picked him from the Shield because they knew he would be the guy that would stab his friends in the back.  A brief “you sold out” chant gets started and Rollins yells for them to shut up.  Cena cites Batista and Kane as guys that the Authority has used then turned on.

Cena says that if the Authority really had his back, they wouldn’t let him do what he’s going to do next.  Cena points out the fact that Rollins has both title belts.  Cena also points out that at Night of Champions, every title is to be defended.  He says that he has a rematch coming for the United States Championship, and he plans to cash that in at Night of Champions.

Cena acknowledges the Rollins vs. Sting match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and says that Rollins will also defend the US Championship now against Cena.  Cena tells Stephanie that it would require a one word answer.  “Do I have a match against Captain Morgan at Night of Champions for the United States Championship?”  Stephanie says yes, Cena drops his mic and leaves the ring.  Rollins pitches a fit in the ring as Stephanie tries to calm him down.

Cena makes his way up the ramp, holding his arms up.  Once at the stage he turns back to the ring and looks at Rollins, who is upset.  Sting’s music hits and he walks out to the stage and stands next to Cena.  Cole hypes it up that Rollins will have two matches in one night – one to defend the US Championship against John Cena and the other to face Sting for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.   Rollins holds the belts and yells at the two men as they pose to end the show.

I like this scenario, though I wasn’t totally crazy about how they got there.  It was awkward to me to put Stephanie in the position to approve the match between Cena and Rollins, given that it’s Night of Champions (where every title is to be defended) and they have the rematch clause to work with.  That said, I think there’s a bigger arc being set up here between Rollins and Hunter and these are just intermediate steps to getting there.  These matches aren’t likely to be as important.

This show seemed good on paper, but it just didn’t seem to have the same energy.  Sting didn’t have good material to start the show with though I thought his promo was just fine, and from there it never really picked up steam.  The Beat the Clock challenge left a lot to be desired in my mind, and there wasn’t anything that got the show really hot.  Nothing was horribly offensive, just didn’t feel important I guess.

Next week’s show is the last show before the return of Monday Night Football (for our overseas readers, American Football played on Monday nights).  It’s the WWE’s chance to hook viewers in to the build to Night of Champions and beyond with no competition from the NFL so it will be interesting to see what they try to do here.

Drew will be by with Around the Ring tomorrow, talking about Raw and surely some of the other newsworthy events of the day.  I’ll be back later in the week with Around the Ring on Thursday and other news and notes along the way.  Thanks for watching along tonight.


Around the Ring w/Ring Rap 08/25/2015: Extensive thoughts on all things WWE – NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, SummerSlam, and Raw, plus more!

iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn RSS | MP3

It’s a WWE-Heavy episode of ATR with Drew Koscelek.  Topics include:

  • NXT Takeover: Brooklyn
  • WWE SummerSlam
  • WWE Raw
  • …plus more!

We welcome your feedback!  Let us know what you like and what you’d like to hear!

Be sure to check out our weekly show, Ring Rap Audio! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

Follow all of us on Twitter as well: @RingRapAudio and @RingRap.  Bill is on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan.  Drew is on Twitter too @PsionStorm.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Google+!

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