Before I begin this week, just a note to say I’m going to do less play by play in this review from this point forward. Since it’s a Tuesday morning viewing for me it’s not as necessary as when I write live. I’ll write the same amount of analysis as I always do, but less of the play by play of matches and for the promos too. Last week’s Raw Deal was around 6,500 words. I’m going to trim about 1,000 words off from that.

Live from Lafayette, Louisiana this is the Raw Deal for episode #1112. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

The show began with the great Paul Heyman in the ring for a promo. Heyman said he was there to preview Night of Champions on Sunday as he mentioned that John Cena will come out first to the cheers of the kids and then his client, the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, will come out and give them reasons to boo.

John Cena entered to cut off Heyman. He’s wearing black shorts instead of his usual beige shorts. Cue the “he’s entered the dark side” heel jokes now. It really means nothing, but of course people will speculate.

Cena wondered where Lesnar was as he did a Heyman impression saying “Brrrrrrock Lesnarrrrr.” He reminded Heyman he was there for a fight, either against Lesnar or Heyman. That led to Heyman doing a hyped up promo for Lesnar saying he was coming, but he wasn’t there. Heyman laughed at him. He told us that Lesnar flies on a private plane because he doesn’t like anybody, but that he’s on the way. Heyman applauded Cena for calling out Lesnar even though he knew probably Lesnar’s plane was delayed.

Cena mentioned that in about 80 minutes give or take, if Lesnar isn’t there at “halftime” and he said “when this show is halfway done” then Cena is going to beat up Heyman. He specifically said “I’m going to kick your ass” to Heyman.

Heyman tried to leave, but Cena cut him off in the aisle. Cena said the people want a fight and he’s going to make sure they get one. Cena pulled Heyman away by giving him a headlock as they went to the back.

Analysis: It was just an average opening promo segment to set up things for later. They didn’t really say or do anything we haven’t seen for the past few weeks. It’s smart not to put Lesnar in the first segment. Keep the fans waiting for the WWE Champ.

The announcers Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield welcomed us to the show. It’s Rollins vs. Reigns later.

Chris Jericho made his entrance.

(Commercial)

On the WWE app, they showed a clip of Cena dragging Heyman into his dressing room. He tossed Heyman into the room telling him he has until halftime. The Great Khali was nearby, so he told Khali to watch the door to keep Heyman in the room.

Analysis: At least they found a use for Khali during the show. How’s that for hard hitting analysis?

Chris Jericho vs. Kane

The spilled coffee feud lives. Jericho hit a cross body block off the top rope onto Kane outside the ring. Kane got the momentum back with an uppercut. Back in the ring, Jericho was able to get back control briefly until Kane slammed him to the mat and tossed him over the top rope to the floor. There’s the vintage floor to commercial break.

(Commercial)

Jericho tried to make his comeback with a dropkick in the ring, but Kane nailed him with a shoulder block. Kane hit an uppercut, clothesline and sidewalk slam for two. The crowd doesn’t seem too interested in this match. Jericho nailed a dropkick while Kane jumped off the top rope. It’s a spot Kane has done for 17 years. It’s about time somebody counters it. Kane removed one of the turnbuckle pads while the ref looked at Jericho, who was bleeding from the chin. It looked like it happened when he was sent face first on the turnbuckle, but missed the top one so he hit the middle turnbuckle. Kane slammed Jericho down. He went for a slingshot, but Jericho landed on his feet and came back with a DDT to counter the Chokeslam. Jericho did a “come on baby” to fire up the crowd, but they didn’t get much louder. Kane hit a boot to the face. Jericho hit the bulldog and Lionsault except that Kane caught him. Lawler: “There’s no stopping this Kane!” Does Kane even win anymore? Jericho tripped up Kane, which led to Kane hitting face first on the exposed turnbuckle and Jericho rolled him up for the win after 14 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Chris Jericho

Analysis: **1/2 It was a good effort by two older wrestlers, but it was nothing we haven’t seen before from them many times over the years. The finish was crafty although I would have liked it more if Kane hit the turnbuckle, then Jericho hit a Codebreaker and pinned him that way. Jericho getting the win makes sense because he’s in a PPV match on Sunday while Kane is not.

Heyman was shown in Cena’s locker room. He was trying to talk to Lesnar on his phone. Heyman isn’t allowed out of the room, but the camera guy is allowed in the room to film him apparently. Hello logic. He couldn’t get a hold of Lesnar on the phone, so he was frustrated and that ended the scene.

(Commercial)

There was a clip from Smackdown when Rusev left Mark Henry laying after their arm wrestling challenge. Later in the show “Mark Henry rallies America” and they showed a clip of Charles Austen, an Olympic gold medalist in high jump. He told Mark to take care of Rusev.

Roman Reigns was interviewed by the lovely Renee Young. A clip of Rollins’ heel turn from June was showed. Reigns said he stood alone. He said his plan is he’s going to ball up his fist and hit him in the mouth as many times as he can until his knuckles bleed.

Analysis: There wasn’t much to that although Reigns saying he’s going to punch him is true since he does throw a lot of punches in his matches.

There was a plug for Steve Austin’s awesome podcast with guest Kevin Nash on Tuesday. It’s an excellent podcast. I’ve listened to every episode, even when it’s not about wrestling. Jack Swagger made his entrance with Zeb Colter.

(Commercial)

Bo Dallas’ full entrance wasn’t shown. It was just the end of it with him in the ring.

Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter vs. Bo Dallas

Dallas was able to control the action early on as he hit a nice dropkick. There were some fans chanting “We The People” while others chanted “We Bolieve” although it’s not like it was the whole building doing it. Dallas remained in control with a chinlock as he tried to wear down Swagger. Dallas hit a neckbreaker for two. Dallas took a long time on the middle rope, so Swagger moved and made the comeback. Huge boot to the face by Swagger followed by a boot to the face. Dallas snapped his neck on the top rope and got a rollup for two. Swagger fought out of the Running Bodog, then Dallas tried a rollup, but Swagger grabbed the ankle and applied the Patriot Lock. Dallas tapped out after 7 minutes.

Winner by submission: Jack Swagger

Analysis: ** It was Dallas in control for about five minutes until Swagger made the comeback. Dallas had a lot of potential and momentum when he first showed up as this character, but now he’s just another midcard heel that loses. He’s one of the youngest guys on the roster since he’s only 24 years old, so there’s plenty of time to re-establish him. Still, it’s a shame that his momentum has been stopped in the last month or so. It does help Swagger to get a big win after losing the feud with Rusev.

The announcers plugged WWE Network. They mentioned Night of Champions on Sunday while Lawler was excited about the WWE Slam City series. Also on Tuesday the Monday Night War documentary continues with the Bret Hart story including the Survivor Series 1997 Screwjob.

It’s AJ Lee & Brie Bella against Paige & Nikki Bella after the break as we head to the top of hour two. A replay of the Jerry Springer segment aired as I hit fast forward.

(Commercial)

It’s time for the divas tag match at the start of hour two. Does Brie Bella’s new theme song say “Brie Mode” at the start of it? That’s awful.

AJ Lee & Brie Bella vs. Paige & Nikki Bella

So it’s the wives of CM Punk & Daniel Bryan against John Cena’s girlfriend and we don’t know if Paige is dating anybody of interest. Finally Punk & Bryan are reunited again…sort of. Paige’s skipping like AJ is getting tiresome. Paige was controlling Brie in the match while AJ looked frustrated and Nikki didn’t seem interested in tagging in against her sister. Brie broke free of a chinlock and went to bring in AJ, but Nikki knocked AJ off the apron. Paige hit her Rampaige DDT for the win after three minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Paige and Nikki Bella

Post match, Nikki picked up her sister Brie and gave her the Rack Attack backbreaker while Paige celebrated with the Divas Title.

Analysis: * That was some unique booking for the match since there was no hot tag for AJ and Nikki had no interest in tagging in. The crowd wasn’t that interested in the match. Paige’s story with AJ has become stale. Perhaps it will end on Sunday. I’m probably picking Paige because I think Brie will show up to prevent Nikki from winning.

A rivalry with Bray Wyatt and Big Show was teased on Smackdown, so clips were shown from that.

Wyatt did a short backstage promo about toppling a giant and that it’s up to him to fix everything to set up his match with Big Show. Big Show made his entrance before the break.

Paul Heyman was shown rocking back and forth in the locker room looking nervous.

(Commercial)

Back in the locker room, Heyman mentioned to Khali that he had no cell phone reception in Cena’s room. He asked Khali if he could stand outside the room to make a quick phone call. Khali grabbed him by the neck. Khali dropped the phone on the ground and stepped on it. Khali put Heyman back into the room. Khali picked up the broken phone and said: “Hello.”

Analysis: It was mildly funny. Heyman makes anything interesting, even Khali.

Bray Wyatt said “Cajundome we’re here” as he entered the arena.

Bray Wyatt w/Luke Harper & Erick Rowan vs. Big Show

Show was in control early on, but Wyatt fought back by attacking the leg of Show and then hitting a clothesline. Wyatt hit a DDT for a nearfall and he did a good job of keeping the giant down by working on his knees. Show fought of a chinlock with a back suplex as he started his comeback. Show with corner clotheslines, but Wyatt came back with a running body attack for two. Show grabbed Wyatt, then tossed him into Rowan who was on the apron. Show hit a slam, but Harper went into the ring to break up the pin and that led to the DQ finish after five minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Big Show

Post match, Harper & Rowan attacked. Show had them set for a double Chokeslam and he hit it while Wyatt sat in his rocking chair in the aisle. He was smiling because he was able to get away. Show looked on from the ring.

Analysis: *1/2 It didn’t get interesting until Show made his comeback. Neither man has a match at Night of Champions, so perhaps this is a rivalry that’s starting here and could lead to a match at Hell in a Cell. There were rumors of Wyatt feuding with Ziggler although that could change.

There was another reminder of Rollins vs. Reigns still to come.

(Commercial)

Sheamus & The Usos vs. Cesaro, Goldust & Stardust

The knee injury of Jey Uso is apparently healed up. Sheamus was in control, but then Jey tagged in and the heels tried to isolate him in their corner. Cesaro did the forearm shots to the chest of Jey the way Sheamus does. Jimmy was on fire when he tagged in and he hit a Samoan Drop on Goldust. Stardust hit a kick to the head on Jimmy to take control. He dumped Jimmy outside the ring for the vintage floor to commercial break.

(Commercial)

Cesaro teased a Cesaro Swing, but instead jumped in the air and landed with both feet on the chest of Jimmy. The heels kept on making quick tags to work over Jimmy in the corner. It looked like Jimmy was going to make a tag after a back body drop, but Goldust cut him off. Kick to the head by Jimmy created space and Sheamus received the hot tag.

Sheamus was on fire as he unloaded on Stardust with all of his signature moves including the rolling senton. He hit the forearm shots on Cesaro, but Cesaro got a surprise rollup. Clothesline by Sheamus on Stardust sent him over the top. Sheamus hit a dive off the top rope that took out Stardust and Cesaro. Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Stardust, but Cesaro made the blind tag. Neutralizer by Cesaro on Sheamus was broken up by one of the Usos at two. Tag in by Jimmy and he hit a superkick on Cesaro. Jey tagged in, hit a Superfly Splash off the top and he covered Cesaro for the win after 14 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Sheamus & The Usos

Analysis: *** It was a good tag team match that the fans weren’t into the whole way, but they got excited about it towards the end. The babyfaces getting the win gives them momentum heading into Sunday. I think Stardust and Goldust will win the tag titles while Sheamus will retain against Cesaro although it wouldn’t be a surprise if there was a US Title change.

There was another replay of Seth Rollins taking out Dean Ambrose last month using cinderblocks. That’s been shown nearly every week since it happened. Another reminder of Rollins vs. Reigns for later.

(Commercial)

This Sunday at Night of Champions on the Kickoff Show will see Christian hosting The Peep Show with Chris Jericho as his guest. It will be nice to see two of my favorites together again.

There were weightlifting clips shown of Mark Henry as they mentioned he qualified for the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. Lana trashed him on Twitter. I love how Rusev’s Twitter account is @RusevBUL for Bulgaria where he’s from even though he’s a Russian in WWE.

Randy Orton was interviewed by the lovely Renee Young. A clip was shown of Orton attacking Jericho last week. He said he attacked Jericho because he insulted Orton weeks ago when he said Orton had everything handed to him. Orton said he would give Jericho the beating of his life.

Analysis: Orton will win on Sunday. That’s why they’re doing the match. It builds him back up after losing to Reigns at SummerSlam. Jericho’s leaving WWE after Night of Champions. At least they tried to come up with a reason for the match with that promo from Orton.

The Great Khali was shown outside of Cena’s locker room keeping Heyman in the room.

(Commercial)

Cena showed up to his dressing room. He grabbed Heyman in a headlock and brought him down to the ring. It’s not halftime in the show, but it was halftime of the NFL game that I was watching live. Give WWE credit for timing it well.

John Cena wants a fight with Brock Lesnar

Cena did a promo about how he wanted the great Heyman to make a beast appear or Cena is going to use his fist make Heyman’s teeth disappear. He told Heyman that everybody is waiting, so it’s time for him to produce his beast.

Heyman said that this is the John Cena he’s been trying to pull out for weeks. Heyman knows that Cena will never turn his back on the Cenation, but he told Cena that he could bring the beast out of Cena. Heyman knew that Cena wouldn’t hit him because it would make him a bully and that Heyman is just a 49 year old father of two. Heyman said that’s why Cena can’t beat Lesnar because he’s unable to become a beast like Lesnar. Heyman gave Cena an opportunity to hit him. He kept on egging on him, but he knew that Cena can’t even hit Heyman even though everybody knows that Heyman deserves. Heyman told him he was going to fail on Sunday and never be the WWE Heavyweight Champion again.

Cena said that Heyman deserved a beating. Heyman encouraged him to hit him and become his vision of Cena as a “Paul Heyman Guy.” Some fans chanted “yes” for that while Cena said no. Cena said sorry because he planned this thing to bring out Lesnar, but he just figured out there was no beast. Cena said it was just Heyman, a “scumbag has-been” and Heyman said if he was his mother he’d be proud if his son was born with a pair of testicles. That testicles line inspired this week’s Raw Deal banner. Cena shoved Heyman outside the ring.

Brock Lesnar’s music started up and the WWE World Heavyweight Champion entered with the championship around his waist. He slowly walked around the ring while helping Heyman to his feet. They continued walking around the ring while Cena urged him to come into the ring. If he wanted Lesnar why not just go outside the ring? Lesnar looked like he was going to walk away, but he decided to enter the ring.

When Lesnar got into the ring, Cena attacked. Lesnar did a go behind and hit a German Suplex on Cena. That led to Cena rolling to the floor as Lesnar looked proud of himself in the ring. Cena attacked Lesnar in the ring. He threw Lesnar into the apron as well as the barricade. They brawled on the floor outside the ring with Cena controlling most of it. Cena was pounding him with fists while Lesnar was covering up. Security came down to ringside to break it up. They all grabbed Cena while Lesnar retreated up the aisle. He was grabbing his nose, but it wasn’t bleeding. JBL pushed the idea that it was a different Cena.

Analysis: That was a good way to build up the WWE Title match on Sunday because Cena showed a lot of fire. The feud really needed a brawl because it was the first time they were on the show together since SummerSlam, so it was a good preview of what’s to come. The only problem with how Cena was booked was that he came off like a bully although they covered it well with Heyman saying he knew Cena really couldn’t be a bully. It set the tone for what’s going to happen at Night of Champions when Cena will likely be more competitive in this match unlike SummerSlam when he was destroyed. It was Lesnar’s first time on Raw in the last four weeks and he was on for about five minutes. I’m likely picking Lesnar to retain on Sunday although I have a few days to change my mind.

(Commercial)

There was a mention of Stephanie McMahon in “Shape” magazine with her talking about her fitness DVD in December.

Prior to the Naomi/Cameron match, a clip of Total Divas was shown. It was some discussion with Cameron talking about going to NXT and Naomi being mad that they were breaking up. When did she go to NXT? I’m glad she didn’t because I love NXT.

Naomi vs. Cameron

Naomi started on fire, but Cameron threw her out of the ring. Cameron hit a suplex and then with Naomi on her stomach, Cameron did a leg split on her back. She yelled: “Count it ref!” The ref was trying to tell her that Naomi was on her chest, not her back. You could hear him say “count what?” and then she rolled over Naomi for a cover using the same leg split. Cameron slammed her head down to the mat while the crowd lost interest. Cameron threw Naomi sloppily into the corner. I think Cameron throws the worst kicks ever and her dropkick looked awful too. Naomi got a rollup, which she turned into some head/arm scissors combo for the submission win after five minutes.

Winner by submission: Naomi

Analysis: 1/2* She tried to pin her back! I repeat: she tried to pin her back! Kamala would be proud. I feel sorry for the ref. Can somebody explain to me why this got five minutes while the other divas match got two minutes less? Weird booking considering the match that involves women in PPV matches got less time. Naomi’s the better of the two, but didn’t really get a chance to do much since she was selling most of the match.

No replays on that match and they quickly moved on. Good call. They plugged the Rollins/Reigns match as well as Mark Henry rallying America.

(Commercial)

The Miz and Damien Sandow (or Damien Mizdow) were ready for a tag. They’re against Dolph Ziggler and R-Truth as R-Ziggler while the announcers joked that it was hard to tell the difference between them. Oh WWE comedy.

Dolph Ziggler & R-Truth vs. The Miz & Damien Sandow

This is a rematch from Smackdown. Lawler wondered what Ziggler needed a stunt double for when he hasn’t been in movies. All of a sudden Lawler was a Miz fan, which Cole called him out on. This announce team hurts my head sometimes. Miz and Sandow were control of R-Truth as the announce team continued arguing about stunt doubles. When Sandow hit a running boot he yelled out “awesome” like Miz does. Sandow’s great as the stunt double. Lawler actually said “I can tell you why this is really Miz” while Miz was in the ring with Truth. Ziggler received the hot tag as he exploded with clotheslines, a corner splash and a neckbreaker for two. Ziggler hit the Fameasser for two as Sandow broke it up. Sandow threw Truth outside the ring. Ziggler avoided a Miz punch, which hit Sandow and Ziggler hit the Zig Zag on Miz for the win after six minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler & R-Truth

Analysis: *1/2 Another win for a babyface team on this show. Ziggler was on fire at the end and he outsmarted the heels to get the victory. Basic tag team wrestling. The commentary team was so bad during this match that it made me want to turn off the show. The only reason I didn’t is because I’m writing about it.

Backstage, Seth Rollins was interviewed by Tom Phillips. He said he’s not going to take anything about Roman Reigns, but he’s nothing without Rollins. He mentioned Reigns always talked about how tough he is and said he was a neanderthal. He mocked a neanderthal by putting his knuckles on the ground. He said Reigns was part gorilla, part Samoan, and part rhinoceros. The problem is a rhino isn’t very smart. Rollins called himself a future WWE Champion and said he is the future of WWE.

Analysis: Rollins has improved in the promo department in the last few months since becoming a singles wrestler. The neanderthal part including the imitation was a bit weird, but he made it work.

(Commercial)

This Friday on Smackdown it’s Big Show & The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family.

Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins

I figured this would be the main event of the show, but it is not. They’re also having a match at Night of Champions. Rollins outsmart Reigns early on although it didn’t last as Reigns used his power to dominate. Reigns hit a clothesline over the top that sent Rollins to the floor. Reigns tossed Rollins over the announce table and he went crashing into the barricade as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Rollins gained control with a neckbreaker. Reigns made a comeback, but when he went for his running dropkick outside the ring it didn’t connect because Rollins moved. That led to Rollins hitting a dive outside the ring to take control again. Reigns made another comeback and hit the running dropkick that has become his signature move. Superman Punch connects for Reigns. He went for the Spear, but Rollins moved out of the way and hit a superkick for two. They battled on the top rope. Rollins ended up hitting a Powerbomb into the turnbuckle for a two count. When Rollins went for a Curb Stomp, Reigns avoided it and hit a Spear for the clean win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns

Analysis: *** It was a very good effort by both guys. They had a competitive matchup with some exciting nearfalls throughout. It’s surprising that they would do this match on Raw when they have it advertised for Night of Champion. Not only that, but a clean finish too? I figured Kane would show up to cause the DQ finish or the cheap win for Rollins. Instead, Reigns won clean and Sunday will be the rematch.

Mark Henry rallies America up next.

(Commercial)

Replays were shown of the Cena/Lesnar segment with Heyman also involved. Lawler thought Lesnar’s nose was broken, but it’s not. That’s just WWE speak to try to put over the angle. There was another reminder of Lesnar defending the WWE Title against Cena on Sunday at Night of Champions. Also the Night of Champions Kickoff show with Christian hosting the Peep Show with Chris Jericho is one hour before the PPV at 7pmET.

Mark Henry Rallies America

Mark Henry was introduced for the main event segment with Michael Cole hosting this segment. Henry should have had a USA style outfit on, but instead it was black and silver. Henry said he had to withdraw from the Olympics in 1996 because of an injury. He said that still to this day it haunts him. Henry spoke so slowly that the crowd chanted “what” during his promo as he said that at Night of Champions he’s going to shut Rusev and Lana up. He said he can’t let us down. Cole mentioned a Lana tweeted that the US was made up of a bunch of hypocrites. Henry said she wouldn’t be able to say all those things if she wasn’t able to live in America.

Rusev’s music started up as he made his way down to the ring along with Lana, who told Henry to shut up. She talked about how Americans avoid the facts, but she has visual aids to help us with facts. She told Henry that he was in the 1992 Olympic Games and that he failed when he was there. She pointed out that a Russian prevailed while a picture of Aleksandr Kurlovich was shown on the screen. The crowd barely booed this reference from 22 years ago. While she kept on doing her promo about how Henry reeked with inferiority, she brought up how Obama cowers in fear for Vladimir Putin. There is barely any crowd reaction.

Henry said he wanted to make a pledge to everybody in Lafayette, Louisiana and all the Americans coast to coast in the country. He started saying the Pledge of Allegiance, which led to Rusev going into the ring.

They brawled in the center of the ring with Rusev hitting Henry with shoulder tackles, but Henry tossed Rusev across the ring. Rusev hit a superkick to knock down Henry as Lana told him to crush. Rusev set up for the Accolade, but he didn’t lock it in because Henry did a great job of fighting it off. The crowd cheered when they realized could get out of it. Henry grabbed Rusev by the throat, picked him up and slammed him down with a sitout spinebuster. It was actually like the Sky High move that his former Nation of Domination buddy D-Lo Brown used to do. Henry tossed Rusev outside the ring. Henry grabbed the US flag, waved it in the ring and yelled out “that’s what I do” as the show ended at 15 minutes past the hour.

Analysis: It was really boring until the physical part. The crowd was dead for it before that. They did come alive for Henry when he fought out of the Accolade. I’m not American, but I understand why WWE is driving home the patriotic reasons for this feud. With that said, it doesn’t feel like a main event caliber feud. Putting it on last likely turned off some viewers because there is nothing about it that makes it feel like a major feud. It’s midcard. We know that WWE wants to build up Rusev as a heel on the rise, but at this point in Henry’s career he’s not close to a main event player.

My pick for Rusev/Henry will definitely be Rusev. Henry’s in that spot as a credible name for Rusev to beat on his way up the ladder. He’ll probably face off with somebody like Big Show after Henry and then down the road at some point it will be Cena. WWE has high hopes for Rusev, so that’s why they’re lining up these guys for him to feud with.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. John Cena

2. Paul Heyman

3. Seth Rollins

 

The Scoreboard

5 out of 10

Last week: 7

2014 Average: 6.06

2014 High: 9 (April 7 & June 30)

2014 Low: 3 (September 1)

Last 5 Weeks: 7, 3, 4.5, 6, 6

 

Final Thoughts

That’s a 4.5 out of 10 thanks to some decent matches plus a good segment with Cena and Lesnar.

In the last four weeks, three of the episodes of Raw have earned a grade of 4.5 or lower with last week’s show getting a 7 out of 10. That’s a bad sign that is reflective of a very stale WWE product right now. I may get a few emails saying I was too nice for giving it a 4.5, but there were three matches that I enjoyed enough to warrant that score.

It was very surprising that they would just give away Reigns vs. Rollins six days before a PPV match. Ambrose is probably coming back as a surprise that night or the next night, so maybe Kane will get involved at Night of Champions leading to the big save by Ambrose.

While it’s understandable that WWE thinks highly of the Henry/Rusev feud, it really didn’t deserve a main event spot. Perhaps the thinking was that Cena/Lesnar segment was better in the NFL halftime slot, but if you’re a fan of WWE then you have to wonder what’s important to them. The show is supposed to build to the final segment of the night. Instead they did it two hours into the show while referencing halftime of the NFL game.

It was a strong night for the babyfaces. They won most of the matches and looked strong plenty of times. That’s a good sign for some heel wins on Sunday.

I didn’t miss Triple H or Stephanie McMahon at all. I like that if they’re not in a story that they are off the show. We really don’t need to see them every week.

Most of the matches at Night of Champions were already built up well since there was five weeks between SummerSlam and NOC. That’s why the show felt flat in some parts.

—–

That’s all for this week. If you’re wondering, I managed to trim 1,000 words off from last week’s Raw Deal. I might cut down a bit in future weeks too.

Coming up either late Friday or early Saturday will be the Night of Champions preview. On Monday morning I’ll post the Night of Champions recap, then the Raw Deal on Tuesday morning and TJR Radio follows on Tuesday night. It’s a PPV week, so you know it’s going to be busy for me.

Check out my feature column archive that’s exclusive to WhatCulture. I write there every day. Some recent posts include some urban legends about John Cena, the great things WWE did at NXT Takeover II last week and more. I’m enjoying it a lot.

That’s all for me. Have a great week.

John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling.com on Facebook