A RAW filled with great mid-card action all night long ended with a Match of the Year candidate and the temporary writing-off of a popular superstar.
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins had a rematch of their Summerslam match on RAW, only with a Falls Count Anywhere stipulation attached (which fans voted for). These two put on a great show, going through the crowd and up and down the stage, and used all sorts of weapons, including chairs, tables and kendo sticks.
With his CZW background, clearly Ambrose is comfortable with these types of matches, but it can't be understated how well Rollins did, and how well the two gelled.
Matches like these often turn into spot after spot, and while there were spots in this, it didn't turn into a “spotfest.” The match is certainly a contender for the best match on RAW in 2014.
Of course, the match had interference as Kane came out at the end. While Ambrose tried to fight back, eventually the numbers game became too much, and the two got the upper hand.
Kane pulled out cinder blocks, and placed Ambrose's head on them, while Rollins delivered an absolutely brutal-looking curb stomp to win. The show ended with Ambrose being stretchered out, while Rollins and Kane laughed.
The reason for this brutal ending? It's not for an injury, or even to help further the feud, though I think it will do that. It's because Ambrose was chosen to star in WWE Studios' new movie, Lockdown.
He will need some time off to film, and so the WWE decided to write him off for a bit here.
While it might be frustrating to be without Ambrose for a little while, as he's been a shining light recently in the WWE, this is a good way of adding a wrinkle into his feud with Rollins while working around his filming schedule.
He'll be back in a month or two, likely in time for the Hell in a Cell pay per view, so these two can brutalize each other again in the Cell.
The Rest of RAW:
- Brock Lesnar came out to accept the new WWE World Heavyweight Title with the new logo on it.
Paul Heyman cut one of the better promos he's cut lately, and that's saying something. Heyman truly is single-handedly revitalizing the manager position.
He was able to build up Cena in the promo, and in doing so, made it seem like Lesnar's win was even more impressive.
- The show opened with a segment between Stephanie McMahon and both Bella twins. Nikki ran down Brie, saying that Brie had been selfish and manipulative their entire lives, and this was her revenge.
Brie came out, and said that she could forgive Nikki, and begged her to come back with her. Nikki responded with a slap, sending Brie to the back in tears.
- Cesaro beat Jack Swagger -- a good sign -- though the match was more revolving on Swagger being distraught over losing to Rusev.
After the match, Bo Dallas came out to rub it in for Swagger, saying he lost the match, let down every American, and even lost his manager (to Rusev's attack after the match). But it's ok, because he just needs to Bolieve.
- Rob Van Dam, Roman Reigns and Sheamus beat Randy Orton and RybAxel. The match was notable mostly for the crowd in Las Vegas chanting constantly for the hometown Ryback.
It's always enjoyable to see wrestlers in their hometowns, particularly if they aren't always getting the biggest reaction elsewhere. Ryback seemed to truly get a kick out of it.
- I've ranted before about the tendancy of the WWE to have champions lose non-title matches too often, which devalues both the belt and hurts the champion.
The WWE continued that practice on Monday, having three champions lose without losing the belts.
It's so obvious to see how this practice has hurt the mid-card titles, and I don't understand why the WWE insists on doing it.
- Dolph Ziggler defended his newly-won Intercontinental Title against The Miz. The Miz ended up winning by countout, allowing Ziggler to keep his title, while continuing the feud.
- Paige lost a non-title match to Natalya when AJ appeared and distracted Paige. The whole “who can be more crazy” storyline that the WWE is trying here certainly has some roots in the Trish Stratus/Mickie James storyline from 2005. If you're trying to emulate one divas feud, that's certainly a good one to pick.
- The Usos lost to the Rhodes brothers in a non-title match. While again, I don't like the champs losing, at least it seems that they are doing something with the Rhodes brothers before they became completely stale.
- Mark Henry and Big Show beat Harper and Rowan in a really good tag team match. It was odd to see Big Show playing the face in peril at times, but when you're paired with someone like Mark Henry, you can do that.
This was an odd decision as while Henry and Big Show won, Henry came out later to start a singles feud with Rusev. That's a match I'm pretty excited for, as Rusev and Henry should be able to do some good things together, and Mark Henry is completely natural as someone to defend America.
- On another note: For readers of this blog, I'd like to do a mailbag soon. If you have any questions you'd like to ask, whether it's about a current storyline in wrestling, something from the past, or something about me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any other questions or comments? Leave them below or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster