8/25 Shore's WWE Raw live coverage: Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Shawn Michaels discuss John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena, fallout from Seth Rollins attack on Dean Ambrose

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8/25 Shore's WWE Raw live coverage: Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Shawn Michaels discuss John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena, fallout from Seth Rollins attack on Dean Ambrose
2014-08-25 19:00:39

By Chris Shore

Dot Net Members will be listening to my audio review of WWE Raw later tonight. Sign up for Dot Net Membership today via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.

WWE Raw on USA Network
Aired live from Anaheim, California at Honda Center.

[Q1] The show opened cold with Jerry "The King" Lawler putting over the John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar at Night of Champions. Michael Cole stood in the ring and introduced the three participants in the Hall of Fame Forum: Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Shawn Michaels. JBL checked in on commentary during the entrances.

Shore's Slant: Dot Net staffer Will Pruett is at Raw and said nothing is tarped off (other than the entrance area) and the arena is packed.

The three men sat at an announcer's table that was setup in the ring. Cole recapped the beating Cena took at SummerSlam and asked HBK what Cena's chances were. HBK said his chances were "not good" because he couldn't beat Lesnar. HBK said maybe it was time for Cena to start considering retirement.

Hogan pushed back against the idea and said Cena could still go. Flair said he respected Cena, like all three of them did. He said he personally liked Cena, but he didn't want to see Cena face Lesnar again. Hogan put over the Cena win at Extreme Rules. HBK cut him off and said Cena had been brutalized in both matches. Hogan agreed, but said Cena still won the first match and would win again. Flair said there was no way Hogan believed that. HBK said no one believed that. Hogan started putting Cena over again and Cena's music cut him off.

Cena came to the ring and said everyone has an opinion on what happened to him at SummerSlam and what he should do. Cena put over all three men and said with all due respect, he was tired of listening to what people thought he should do and was there to tell people what he was going to do. Cena said HBK was right that a fight like he had with Lesnar changes a man. He said he wasn't going to Night of Champions to beat Lesnar, he was going to the show to beat Lesnar's ass…

Jack Swagger and Rusev were shown walking backstage carrying their respective flags…

Shore's Slant: The "forum" itself was pretty lame. It's like they decided to take the opening panel and put it on the main show and put big names on it. That's just putting lipstick on a pig. Cena was good here in that he didn't crack jokes, but I didn't buy his delivery personally. It just didn't ring true to me. Still, not a bad attempt to build that match with a different narrative than the SummerSlam one.

[Q2][C] 1. Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Jack Swagger. Swagger attacked quickly and hooked the Patriot Lock in less than a minute. Rusev instantly ran to the floor to escape. Rusev slammed Swagger into the ropes and Swagger fell to the floor selling his perpetually hurt ribs…[C] Rusev continued to work the ribs but Swagger came back and dropped Rusev with a kick. He went for a Swagger bomb and hooked the Patriot lock when Rusev put his foot up.

Rusev again made the ropes and went to the floor. Swagger followed and Rusev shoved him into the apron. Back in the ring, Rusev went for the Accolade but Swagger picked the leg again. Rusev kicked away to break the hold. He laid in a ton of kicks in the corner on the ribs as the crowd chanted "We the people."

[Q3] Rusev continued to stomp on Swagger as the ref pulled him off again and again. Suddenly the ref called for the bell and said Swagger could not defend himself…

Rusev defeated Jack Swagger by referee stoppage at 12:35.

Lawler hyped hosting the Bella family reconciliation for later…Cesaro vs. RVD was hyped as a number one contender's match for the US Championship…[C]

Shore's Slant: Another good match from these two men, but another let down of a finish. You could see the ref stoppage coming from a mile away once Rusev settled in. They let it go on too long, which hurt the match in the end. I get the desire to protect Swagger, and therefore America, in this way, but it was a poor choice. They should have just let this end after their last match.

Backstage, the trainer worked on Swagger and Bo Dallas walked up. Bo said Swagger had a tough fight, again, and let his country down, again. He said all Swagger had to do was Bo-lieve. He told him to think about it and left…

Sheamus joined the commentary team as Cesaro finished his entrance. RVD was out next…

2. Cesaro vs. Rob Van Dam to become the number one contender for the United States Championship. Both guys got in shots on each other. Cesaro grabbed RVD and hit the Neutralizer out of nowhere to win…

Cesaro became the number one contender for the United States Championship at 3:35.

Post-match, Cesaro rolled to the floor and took the US title. Sheamus asked for it back. Cesaro looked at it and threw it back at Sheamus. The refs kept them apart as Cesaro left smiling… The announce team hyped "Attitude Week" next week on the WWE Network and said they were adding the first 100 hours of Nitro…

[Q4] Paige was shown skipping backstage…[C]

Shore's Slant: No real surprises in that match. It's nice to see Cesaro getting paid attention too again though. And I really think Sheamus vs. Cesaro could be a show stealer.

Natalya finished her entrance. Paige skipped to the ring and around it again during her entrance. For the love of god…

3. Paige vs. Natalya. Natalya got a sharpshooter on, but Paige made the ropes. They reversed more submission attempts and Paige hit the Paige Turner for the win…

Paige defeated Natalya at 2:52.

AJ skipped to the ring and the distraction allowed Natty to hit a discus clothesline on Paige. AJ climbed in the ring with a mic and helped Paige up. AJ said Paige called them frenemies, and she knew Paige was sincere, but not as sincere as she was. She hugged Paige and kissed her hand before leaving. Paige sold discomfort… The Dean Ambrose analogy is next…[C]

Shore's Slant: Jeez I hate this storyline. At least Paige won this time. I guess more lesbian teases and silliness from these two going forward. Can't we just have a regular old feud for the title? Is that really too much to ask?

[Q5] Kane made his ring entrance. A podium was setup in the ring with a big picture of Ambrose on one side and a wreath on the other. Kane said they were there to remember Ambrose and celebrate the future of WWE with Mr. Money in the Bank, Seth Rollins.

Rollins came to the ring dressed in a black suit. He said he was the leader of the greatest force in wrestling history and he chose Ambrose because Ambrose had no fear. He said that led to a problem and he had to teach Ambrose the Authority always wins, regardless of how brave you are. He setup a video and blamed the crowd for what happened to Ambrose.

Rollins said it was no surprise the cinderblocks weren't out there by accident. He said the headache Ambrose had wasn't an accident either. He asked what if Ambrose hadn't been so hard headed and accepted his place. Rollins said it was only a "what if" because of what he did to Ambrose. Rollins said he started the Shield and he destroyed it.

Roman Reigns music hit and he came through the crowd to a good pop. Kane went to the floor and attacked Reigns, but Reigns drove him into the stairs. Reigns slid in the ring and he and Rollins brawled. They destroyed the set and Reigns hit Rollins with the podium. He setup for the spear, but Kane pulled Rollins from the ring…

A video recapped the Hall of Fame Forum and John Cena's comments to start the show… Backstage, we got another weird ass promo from Goldust and Stardust…

Shore's Slant: Rollins isn't the greatest talker. He did fine here, but they have cut this in half. He loses the crowd quickly when he goes long, and if they didn't do the Reigns entrance this would have gone over like a fart in church.

[Q6][C] 4. The Usos vs. Gold and Stardust for the WWE Tag Team Championships. Gold and Stardust dove on the Usos who were on the floor and settled into control…[C] Goldust and the Uso in the ring butted heads. That allowed for hot tags. Jey Usos dumped Stardust to the floor and dove on him. Jey sold his knee getting hurt and couldn't make the count back in the ring…

Gold and Stardust defeated The Usos by countout at 7:34.

Goldust grabbed the mic and said the Usos got themselves counted out on purpose to protect their titles. He demanded a rematch right now. The Usos refused so the Dust boys turned heel. They tossed Jimmy to the floor and worked over Jey's knee on the ring post…

[Q7] The announce team hyped the Bella family reconciliation and hearing from Brock Lesnar…[C]

Shore's Slant: Call me crazy, but I don’t think turning heel is going to help the Stardust character at all. I don't mind the team turning on the whole; I just wished they would just let Cody be Cody now. They tried. It didn't work. Time to move on.

Backstage, Rollins raged to Kane about Reigns. Rollins said something had to be done. Kane booked a handicap match between the two of them and Reigns. Kane said their business with Reigns ends tonight…

The announce team setup a video that showed clips of the Cena vs. Lesnar matches and had sit-down comments from Lesnar intermingled throughout… Dolph Ziggler made his ring entrance…[C]

Shore's Slant: More killer mic work from Lesnar here and, of course, great work by the production team. Just let those guys build this match and keep Cena from making any jokes and Lesnar from saying anything wrong. Heyman is free to speak whenever and wherever he wants, but everyone else has to go through the video production crew first. Straight money.

[Q8] RVD vs. Seth Rollins is the main event for WWE Main Event tomorrow night… Miz made his entrance to the ramp in street clothes. Miz said he went to Disneyland today and Mickey asked him for a picture. He said he had his own stuntman who would take his place in this match, Damien Miz-dow. Sandow came out dressed like Miz…

5. Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow. Miz joined commentary and said he let Sandow do this match because he was waiting for his rematch. Sandow hooked the figure four at one point, but Ziggler rolled it over and hit the Zig Zag after they broke for the win…

Dolph Ziggler defeated Damien Sandow at 2:20.

Post-match, Miz applauded for Ziggler and left the area… The Bellas are next…[C]

Shore's Slant: I remember when I thought Sandow had a great future. Oh well.

Lawler stood in the ring and setup a video that recapped the Bella twin split. He called out Nikki, who made her entrance and pulled her chair as far away as she could from the other chair in the ring. Brie was out next. Both women used the same music. Nikki called her out on it and Brie said Nikki could have it. Lawler said it wasn't about the music and Brie said it was about the person she loved most stabbing her in the back.

Brie said she loved her friends and husband but Nikki and her had been together for years. She said there were ultrasound pictures of them holding hands in the womb. Brie said she was sorry she hurt Nikki and said to forget WWE, Total Divas, and everything. She said they were sisters and that's what she wanted to be again.

[Q9] Nikki said it was all an act. She said they weren't holding hands in the womb, Brie was holding her back. Nikki said she was tired of the fans having fantasies about twins that they were too fat to make real. Random. Nikki said she was done with Brie's scraggly hair and goat faced husband. She said most of all she was done with Brie's good girl fake image.

Nikki said Brie would get in trouble and blame Nikki because Brie was the "good" twin while Nikki was the "bad" one. Brie cried and said she didn't understand. Nikki said when Brie quit she abandoned Nikki to get beat up while Brie watched from home. Lawler tried to calm Nikki down and she called him "old man" and told him to get out of the ring. She grabbed Nikki's hair and said she had no sister and wished Brie had died in the womb.

Nikki dropped the mic and Brie cried. Nikki dumped her over and attacked her. Lawler pulled Nikki off and Nikki slapped him, but the WWE cameras missed it. Nikki attacked Brie again until refs ran out and helped Lawler break it up. Nikki finally left while Brie sobbed in the ring. They showed a replay that included the Lawler slap… Cole setup a replay of the opening segment…[C]

Shore's Slant: Nikki was better here than last week, but it went on way too long and the ending lost all of its impact because of it. I just don't get the feeling that the sister betrayal is getting a reaction from the crowd. Nikki has always come across as the more vindictive of the two, so it just doesn't have that surprise weight to it.

6. Roman Reigns vs. Kane and Seth Rollins in a handicap match. Reigns fought off every double team attempt and hit a spear on Kane. He covered and Rollins hit Reigns with the briefcase to cause the DQ…

Roman Reigns defeated Kane and Seth Rollins by disqualification at 2:36.

[Q10] Post-match, Kane and Rollins put the boots to Reigns. Kane revealed more cinderblocks at ringside. Kane held Reigns, but Reigns fought back and took out both men. Reigns threw a cinderblock at Rollins who ducked and the block hit the ring post and exploded. Rollins ran away and Reigns hit a Superman punch on Kane…

The announce team argued over what just happened and then came together to hype the WWE Network… They Wyatt Family sounder went off and Wyatt said he told everyone Cena was an empty shell and now his shell was cracked. Wyatt said he couldn’t let Cena continue to spread his disease around the world. Wyatt said he was merciful and would put Cena down. Run…[C]

Shore's Slant: That seemed like a placeholder as opposed to an actual moment in a specific feud. I guess we need to see Smackdown this week and see if they follow up or move back to Reigns vs. Randy Orton.

Luke Harper and Erick Rowan vs. Big Show and Mark Henry was announced for Smackdown… Los Matadores finished their entrance while a cut-in video showed Slater and Titus talking about being superheroes…

[Q11] 7. Slater Gator vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito). Slater Gator argued through most of the match. Los Matadores won with a backslide on Slater…

Los Matadores defeated Slater Gator at 3:58.

More replays from the opening segment aired…[C]

Shore's Slant: I have no idea why this match happened. Does anyone care about either of these teams? If two enhancement teams have a match, and no one watches, do the make a sound? Mysteries of the universe.

8. Kofi Kingston vs. Bo Dallas. Kofi went to the top rope and Bo swept his legs. Dallas hit the Bo Dog for the win…

Bo Dallas defeated Kofi Kingston at 1:40.

Post-match, Bo took the mic and said Kofi wasn't like Jack Swagger. He said all Kofi did was let himself down and not his entire country. He said Kofi and Swagger just needed to Bo-lieve. Swagger ran out and slammed Bo in the ring…

Shore's Slant: Well, at least it's Bo vs. Swagger. There was some concern they were going to put Swagger with Bo and that would have been disastrous.

[Q12] Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel returns to Raw next week with guest Randy Orton… John Cena made his entrance. The Wyatt sounder went off twice with the lights going out in-between. Wyatt was in the ring with the family on the floor after the second…

9. John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt (w/The Wyatt Family). Cena hit a quick clothesline and told Bray to stay down. Cena hit a German suplex and Cole marked out about it being a message to Lesnar. Cena continued his Lesnar style assault on Wyatt with a knee to the face and more German suplexes. Wyatt had a brief hope spot, but Cena dropped him and threw punches. Harper and Rowan hit the ring to cause the DQ…

John Cena defeated Bray Wyatt by disqualification at 4:20.

Big Show and Mark Henry ran to the ring and everyone brawled…[C]

Shore's Slant: Well, looks like I get to unload with a profanity laced tirade in audio tonight. Why in the hell is Cena destroying Bray Wyatt? Of all the stupid shit I have seen, that might take the cake. I don’t get it at all. I also don’t understand why this will get changed to a six-man instead of just starting that way.

10. Big Show, Mark Henry, and John Cena vs. The Wyatt Family. The match was joined in progress. Big Show hit a jumping elbow drop on Rowan. Henry tagged in and lost control as Wyatt pounced on him and rained punches.

[Overrun] Rowan slammed Henry to a good reaction from the crowd. Show got a tag and the Wyatt worked him over. Show hit a chokeslam on Wyatt out of nowhere and tagged Cena. Cena hit three moves on Harper and locked in the STF. Harper tapped…

Big Show, Mark Henry, and John Cena defeated The Wyatt Family at 6:42.

Post-match, Cena hit an AA on Rowan. Henry and Show rolled Wyatt back in the ring and he took an AA. Show yelled for Cena to get Harper, so he hit an AA on him to close the show…

Shore's Slant: I would have rather had dismissive comedy from Cena than this. How terrible was this? Like John Cena needs to be built back up. I realize he showed a ton of ass at SummerSlam, but he rarely shows any so it's a wash. There's just so much wrong here it's hard to know where to begin. Wyatt and his crew look terrible. Cena is essentially no selling the beating from Lesnar. The whole thing is just a huge mistake.

Overall this was a weak Raw. This was WWE's final chance to pop a big rating before football season starts (next week is Labor Day) and I doubt they did it. The legends to open the show was a good idea, but they failed to deliver anything worth seeing and then it was a mediocre Raw after that, concluding with terrible booking decisions. Jason Powell will have tomorrow on the Raw Hit List and I will have more later tonight on the Members' Exclusive audio review. Thanks for watching along tonight…




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