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Raw Review 10/9/2014: Rock Return Reminds Us Raw Can Be Fun

It was a night where The Rock makes a surprise return “from out of blue hell,” in front of a hot Brooklyn crowd and it still is not great. Can this be possible, it can if you BOlieve in how bad the WWE has been of late. I wanted to leave with Dean Ambrose and go to Coney Island with him, it likely would have been more fun.

Matches

This show had them, not that they meant all that much. The low light of our in-ring entertainment saw El Toritio taking on Hornswaggle dressed up as a gator. The less we say about it the better it is for all. If you saw it live, you do not need to relive it. If you didn’t see it, you can consider yourself one of the lucky ones.

Bo Dallas has a new steak of beating Mark Henry that is at “3 and Bo” with a count-out win. Seems Henry is heading to a heel turn, which is good news for all. Miz fought Sheamus and the story of this match was Damien Mizdow was more “over” than both participants as the Brooklyn crowd showered him with cheers.

In the pointless 6-man tag team match of the night, we saw a bunch of great workers put on a great match. The Usos teamed with Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler to face Cesaro and the Tag Team Champions Stardust and Goldust. Is it to much to ask for a 6-man tag team match with people somewhat connected to each other? I have no emotional investment in matches like this.

Cue the Bella feud in which I am expected to be emotionally invested and am not in the slightest. The WWE brain trust has decided to have Brie endure the one-sided matches that her sister faced while she had in storyline quit the company. Tonight’s match saw Brie with one arm tied behind her back pull off a victory of Summer Rae. She hit a knee that might have knocked her out legitimately. This Bella feud painfully marches forward with no end in sight. Other diva’s action saw A.J Lee team with Emma only to second guess that choice and walk out on the match leaving Paige and Alicia Fox to get the win.  Keep it short and keep the C.M Punk chants to a minimum seemed the booking strategy here.

Tyson Kidd got to wrestle on Raw. I will ignore the fact it is completely based on selling an angle with his wife Natalya on Total Divas. He faced Jack Swagger who seemed to have gotten a black eye perhaps on the house shows this weekend. Kidd and Swagger had a nice match in the short time they were given. Kidd even went back in time busting out some old Randy Savage tactics using Natalya as a shield at one point. He would end up tapping out but it was just nice seeing Tyson get a chance to show his stuff on the main roster. He has been having outstanding matches on NXT for months and great to see him able to have the chance to do it on the main stage.

The main event was originally scheduled as a handicap match with Cena and Ambrose talking on Kane, Orton and Rollins. I feel like I have been watching different versions of this match for months now. As always, it ended in a no-contest as we have come to expect from Raw main events of late. Will get into how it all went down in talking about the segments, as Dean Ambrose while booked for this match would not be there when it got underway.

Segments:

We had some memorable and forgettable segments on this show. Some were good, some were bad and some were just flat out ugly.

Let’s start with the ugly and work our way up to the good. Ugly would be watching Kathie Lee and Hoda host of the Today Show come out with Adam Rose and waste the time of everyone watching this show. Their appearance was alleged to be in support of the WWE’s breast cancer fund raising efforts for Susan G Komen. What it ended up being were two old women that had no business on a wrestling show. Adam Rose was tied to this anchor of a segment and it went down almost from the start. The Brooklyn audience wanted no part of these two and it was painfully obvious. The segment dragged and finally ended with Adam Rose convincing these women to fall back into rosebuds as he does during his entrance. Not even “Bunnymania” was saving this train wreck.

From something people did not want to see to something they did which was Roman Reigns updating us on how he was doing. This segment was painfully short and Reigns was billed as being via satellite although he was actually in New York on the weekend and likely at the show. It was a basic and brief update on Reigns condition and he is optimistic that he can return sooner than people think.

The Rock as we mentioned off the top made a surprise appearance. He came out to confront Rusev and Lana and stand up for America. He would with all the typical Rock stuff we have come to expect from him. Clearly not scripted and going out of the “PG” boundaries at times. This crowd was bored after 2 hours of a lot of bad stuff. They wanted something to cheer about and the Rock provided them that.  After stating, Lana was a Russian street walker and referencing Rusev as Chewbacca the Rock laid some classic Rock punches and cleared the ring of Rusev. It was the most entertaining 10-15 minutes of the three-hour show.

The main story of the night would lead to our first two matches for Hell in the Cell being announced. Seth Rollins came out to open the show. The Stooges 2.0 would come out trying to convince Rollins to leave. Noble and Mercury seem to have a gig now and I am all for it. Cena and Ambrose would both have chances to get their hands on Rollins but he would escape. Triple H and Stephanie would announce a two on three handicap match as the main event for the show.

Cena and Ambrose not exactly thrilled by this. Ambrose in fact called Cena out to the ring later in the show and the two exchanged words. Ambrose just when things seemed to be about to come to blows declared he was hungry and decided to leave to go to Coney Island for a hot dog. To drive home this point we actually saw Ambrose leave the building and hop on a subway. This left Cena to go it alone in the main event in a match with three men.

Ambrose would return during the match with a hot dog cart attacking Kane and Orton and than Rollins. He started the brawl with spraying ketchup and mustard in the faces of Orton and Kane leading to the eventual DQ finish. After all of that, Cena and Ambrose cleared the ring and Triple H and Stephanie reappear.

They announced Ambrose and Cena would face each other at Hell in the Cell with the winner facing Seth Rollins in a Hell in the Cell match later that night on pay-per-view. Ambrose as soon as they were finished would DDT an unsuspecting Cena leaving him knocked out as is Jake Roberts himself had hit the move. Leaving Ambrose talking smack or to himself over the laid out John Cena to close the show.

Other:

Joan Lunden came out just prior to the main event and gave a heartfelt speech, promoting the efforts of WWE with Susan G Komen and introduced some breast cancer survivors at ringside. This was done incredibly well and made the use of Kathie Lee and Hoda seem so unnecessary and unneeded on this show.

I have to say the article Ryan Womeldorf wrote here on Between The Ropes about the WWE creating apathy of late was painful evident in this Raw. Even The Rock and some solid work from Dean Ambrose could not save this show fully.

Overall: 3 Raised Eyebrows out of 10

Rock reminded us just why Raw is not fun like it use to be. So did Edge and Christian who had a special on 15 years on Smackdown as they had a couple of cameos to promote that in which they took digs at Michael Cole that we all would agree with these days.

About James Borbath

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James has covered the NBA and Toronto Raptors for 6 years for various publications as well as his own website. A native of Hamilton, Ontario where he attended the first ever Royal Rumble, James is a life long wrestling fan and has decided to trade to slams of a different kind in pro wrestling. He hopes his transition will be more successful than Dennis Rodman or Karl Malone. Among his talents is a better than average Randy Savage impression. Follow him on Twitter @condoonthemoon

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