Pro Wrestling

10 Reasons You Should Have Watched Monday Night Raw – 08.24.15

http://pl.wwe.com/broadcasts/raw Source: pl.WWE.com

Listen, it’s okay.  We’re all wrestling fans here, you can admit it.  Raw is a three hour long show on a Monday night.  You’ve probably got work in the morning.  Plus, you just watched Takeover and SummerSlam this weekend.  That’s a lot of wrestling in a short period of time.  Maybe you switched over to the ball game during a commercial break and forget to switch back.  Maybe you fell asleep on the couch.  Maybe you got distracted playing Heroes of the Storm and suddenly the show was over. We understand, and we’re here to help, because if you missed Raw this week, well, you missed a lot, and you need to know all the important things that happened.

10. Brock Bo-lieves

So, officially, despite there being a mountain of video evidence of Undertaker tapping out that was so clear that the timekeeper saw it from outside the ring, Brock Lesnar lost at SummerSlam.  And he’s understandably a little upset about that.  And when Brock gets upset, Paul Heyman talks a lot more than usual, probably because if Paul is talking, it means Brock isn’t hurting people.  After all, when Brock lost the WWE World Heavyweight title at WrestleMania, he attacked several people and put Michael Cole in the hospital the next day.  It would take a truly delusional person to attempt to talk any sense into Brock Lesnar last night.  Fortunately, Bo Dallas is pretty delusional, and apparently, also suicidal.  And while Bo might not have been the Dead Man that Brock was looking for, he ended up doing a pretty darned good imitation of one.  Maybe Paul Heyman telling the broken body of Bo Dallas that Brock truly does “Bo-lieve” after delivering five German suplexes and an F5 to the Inspirational One was all Bo needed to make his sacrifice worthwhile.  But I doubt it.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-08-24/paul-heyman-and-brock-lesnar-call-out-the-undertaker-photos Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-08-24/paul-heyman-and-brock-lesnar-call-out-the-undertaker-photos Source: WWE.com

9. Xavier Woods Plays Trombone

At this point, it’s become clear that The New Day is actively trying to find new, more over-the-top ways to make an entrance.  What started with a simple clap has moved on to childlike skipping, ridiculous strutting, and covers of popular songs.  All of that was in full force on Raw, but to truly make their entrance for the first time as the new WWE Tag Team Champions, simply singing wasn’t enough.  No, instead Xavier Woods had to drag out an honest-to-goodness trombone, which he then proceeded to actually use to play the riff from Sinatra’s classic “New York, New York”, while the rest of The New Day sang along (using modified lyrics, of course).  Obviously, this was incredible to watch.  Seriously, did anyone know that Xavier Woods could play the trombone?  Because that’s not an instrument that you just pick up and play.  Brass instruments require practice and skill, which is why you don’t see them included in the new version of Rock Band.  Well, Xavier is a PhD candidate who is much smarter than a lot of people, so it makes sense that he used some of his spare time to master an instrument. Maybe next week he’ll juggle.  Who even knows any more.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-08-24/the-dudley-boyz-return-to-wwe-photos Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-08-24/the-dudley-boyz-return-to-wwe-photos Source: WWE.com

8. The Dudley Boyz Return

As anyone who was around for the 90’s understands, you have to replace the “s” with a “z” to make it extreme.   It has been ten long years since the Dudley Boyz have entered a WWE ring as a team (Bubba did make a special appearance at this year’s Rumble, which many people forgot because they were too busy booing Roman Reigns), but they were very obviously missed if the live crowd was any indication.  All credit to the current tag division, they have some good teams, but this is the most decorated tag team of all time.  They’ve held titles everywhere they’ve been, and they’re probably right up there in the pantheon of the greatest tag teams of all time.  Plus, while they’re not as young as they used to be, they’re still in good enough shape to pull of decent matches.  I hear Bubba Ray is quite proud of his calves.  Instantly, we’ve gone from “who does The New Day face that isn’t the same guys again” to an immediate, gigantic challenge for the new tag champs.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-08-24/the-dudley-boyz-return-to-wwe-photos Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-08-24/the-dudley-boyz-return-to-wwe-photos Source: WWE.com

7. John Cena Grants 500th Wish

As much as fans like to chant “Cena Sucks”, he really doesn’t.  He’s a terrific wrestler, he was passable in that Trainwreck movie, and he is one hell of a human being.  Last night, as they often do, WWE took time to promote John Cena’s charity work, specifically his contributions to the Children’s Make-a-Wish Foundation.  Over SummerSlam weekend, John Cena granted his 500th wish, which is a milestone no matter how you slice it.  More importantly, it is far and away the most wishes granted by any one person in the history of Make-a-Wish.  And it’s not a small victory, Cena is legitimately hundreds of wishes ahead of everyone else.  Yes, WWE uses it as promotional material to help themselves, but Cena has constantly gone so far above and beyond when it comes to charity work that it is obvious how much it means to him to be able to touch the lives of so many people, and that deserves recognition.

http://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2015/08/21/john-cena-wwe-summerslam-make-wish-foundation Source: SI.com

http://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2015/08/21/john-cena-wwe-summerslam-make-wish-foundation Source: SI.com

6. The Black Sheep Appears

Last night was certainly a night for surprises, and another one came about during the SummerSlam rematch between The Wyatt Family and the team of Reigns and Ambrose.  Just as the former Shield members seemed about to close the book on their feud with Bray Wyatt, the lights went out, and when they came back on, it was clear that there was a new, massive addition to The Wyatt Family.  The man who Bray Wyatt would later introduce as Braun Strowman, Sister Abigail’s Black Sheep, immediately made an impact, effortlessly dismantling both Reigns and Ambrose and putting them out with a modified bear hug submission.  What made this debut even more surprising is that while Strowman, a former Strongman competitor, has been in WWE’s developmental program, he had not yet appeared in any meaningful role on NXT television (unless you count his role as part of Adam Rose’s entourage), and had not established any sort of character until now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ1XGAsM4q8&noredirect=1 Source: YouTube.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ1XGAsM4q8&noredirect=1 Source: YouTube.com

5. Miz TV

If there was one major complaint about the Divas Revolution, it would be that the new Divas haven’t really had a chance to establish their own, individual characters since their debut.  Last night, the team of Paige, Charlotte, and Becky were given that chance, with an interview segment on Miz TV.  In the space of that segment, we learned more about Charlotte’s position as heir to the Flair legacy (and also were reminded that Flair mentored Miz for a while, which many people probably forgot), why these three different personalities would team up despite ostensibly all seeking to win the same Divas title, and that Becky Lynch, presumably due to being Irish, is willing to fight anyone, including but not limited to ghosts, dinosaurs, and cyborg androids.  Also, Miz nearly got beaten up by three women, which everyone probably would have been okay with.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-08-24/miz-tv-with-paigecharlottebecky-photos Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-08-24/miz-tv-with-paigecharlottebecky-photos Source: WWE.com

4. Stardust Goes Crazier

As is true of many comic book super-villains, when his plot to destroy Stephen Amell was foiled at SummerSlam, Stardust clearly decided that he needed a new plan.  And also that the failure was entirely the fault of his incompetent underling.  Thus, instead of a tag team match, Stardust attacked Cosmic King Barrett, who was then saved from further abuse by his other opponent from the previous night, Neville.  Will this lead to a face turn for King Barrett, who has been a bad guy for his entire WWE career?  Will Stardust find another minion to do his dirty work?  And more importantly, could his feud with The Arrow continue, leading to another match?  More importantly, it’s television time and an actual storyline for characters who aren’t currently in any sort of title contention, and that’s something that WWE could use a lot more of.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-08-24/stardust-assaults-king-barrett-photos Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-08-24/stardust-assaults-king-barrett-photos Source: WWE.com

3. Ric Flair

After his betrayal of John Cena at SummerSlam, the entire world waited to hear Jon Stewart’s explanation for his actions, and he did not disappoint.  As a lifelong wrestling fan, Stewart simply couldn’t stand the idea of Ric Flair’s record of sixteen World titles (officially according to WWE, though there are arguments for Flair being credited with more than twenty) being matched by anyone, even John Cena.  To the shock of many, this brought out the Nature Boy himself, to talk some sense into the former Daily Show host.  After all, records are made to be broken.  Except for Cal Ripken’s, nobody’s ever touching that one.  But just like The Undertaker’s Streak, Flair fully expected his mark to be matched someday, and by interfering with history, Stewart had made a huge mess of things.  And then John Cena gave Stewart an angry speech and an Attitude Adjustment, because he was mad, so it’s justified.  Role model to millions, that guy.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-08-24/john-cena-confronts-jon-stewart-photos Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-08-24/john-cena-confronts-jon-stewart-photos Source: WWE.com

2. Happy Birthday, Mr. McMahon

It must be crushing to the man who decided to stop marking each WrestleMania with a number this year because it makes it sound old to have lots of people reminding him that he turned 70 yesterday, but such is the case for moderately insane billionaire Vincent Kennedy McMahon.  In an allegedly unscripted moment during the final segment, Vince’s daughter and son-in-law led the crowd in a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday”, which I’m sure will lead to a big fat royalty check being cut for somebody.  But in addition, they said some true things about WWE’s CEO.  In many ways, he is the father of WWE, and by extension all of its fans, and it’s very likely that without Vince McMahon, the world of professional wrestling would be vastly different.  And while not every decision he’s made has been the right one, we live in a world where WWE sells out football stadiums, where its top stars rub elbows with Hollywood elite as something resembling equals, and where we have an online archive of almost the entire recorded history of wrestling at our fingertips for the low, low price of $9.99 a month. Maybe we should have at least sent him a card.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldnC86XUpL8 Source: YouTube.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldnC86XUpL8 Source: YouTube.com

1. Sting

It’s impossible to talk about the final segment of Raw without first noting that, despite the fact that it was never going to need to be revealed or used, due to the events that were set to occur, WWE went ahead and made an actual statue of Seth Rollins that they showed off in an early backstage segment. Hopefully, it was just made of chocolate. At any rate, with John Cena at least temporarily vanquished and under arrest for assaulting Jon Stewart, Seth Rollins had no challengers in his way, so it was fairly obvious that his next opponent was going to be under that all-concealing black curtain in the middle of the ring.  And while there were rumours of his presence at Raw, it’s likely that very few people thought that the newest obstacle for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion was going to be Sting, who was last seen losing a nostalgia match to Triple H at WrestleMania.  Apparently Sting is taking another crack at bringing down The Authority, which almost makes sense, since it was Rollins actions that undid all of Sting’s work at Survivor Series nearly a year ago and brought them back into power.  Will this attempt be more successful?  Only time will tell.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-08-24/sting-ambushes-triple-h-and-seth-rollins-photos Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-08-24/sting-ambushes-triple-h-and-seth-rollins-photos Source: WWE.com

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