Spoilers follow for the October 20th episode of Raw.
We’re up to the last Raw before the Hell in a Cell PPV, which means that we should almost finalize the card. Or, at least give us reason to care about Cena/Orton #27.
Triple H, Randy Orton, Kane, and Seth Rollins are out to kick off Raw. The cell is above the ring, because we’re promoting the PPV. Triple H begins by hyping our main event, which is a handicap match. Orton, Kane, and Rollins vs. John Cena and Dean Ambrose. Triple H then moves onto hyping the PPV. Seth Rollins eventually gets the mic, and he says has a new nickname. “Undisputed future of the WWE.” He gets booed. Orton eventually jumps in and says his match against Cena is the true main event at Hell in a Cell. Triple H stops them and says it’s a double main event. Then we’re told that the winner of Orton/Cena will get a title shot.
Sheamus and The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) vs. Goldust, Stardust, and The Miz (with Damien Sandow)
Before the match, The Miz puts Damien Sandow in the match instead of him. So, I guess that actually makes the match different from the one we got on Smackdown. Well, that’s … something. The Miz instead decides to join the commentary team.
I’ve been hoping for a while that Sandow would start thinking he’s a better Miz than Miz, and that would lead to him getting a title shot and a face turn. There’s a chance this could happen here. Miz’s team didn’t win when they did this match on Smackdown, but if they win here — especially if Sandow gets the pin — Sandow could claim that he’s the reason there was a different result. Continue this for a few weeks and you’ve got a storyline.
The match works about how you’d expect. Sandow stays most of the match not getting in. Once he does get in, Sheamus dominates him for a while. Eventually, the other team members all hit moves and do distractions. Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick on Stardust, and then Sandow rolls him up for the win. We very well might be building toward Sandow/Miz.
Match Rating: **1/2
After the commercial, Triple H and Randy Orton are seen talking backstage. Orton will make Triple H proud, he says. He also says he needs to find Seth Rollins and “thank” him.
Then another Wyatt Family vignette airs. It’s for both Harper and Rowan this time. I think it’s a combination of both solo vignettes. Maybe there’s some new footage, too. It’s so hard to keep track.
Then AJ Lee comes out, because WWE decided to go from creepy to adorable in a split second. That’s not jarring at all.
AJ Lee vs. Alicia Fox (with Paige)
Alicia Fox dominates the majority of the match. AJ mounts a comeback, and eventually Paige and Alicia do a fakeout that distracts AJ and allows Alicia to get the win. This was a longer match than you’d expect, which was nice, although the finish was a little weird.
Match Rating: **
Randy Orton thanks Seth Rollins backstage after the match. He wonders why Seth Rollins looked out for him. If Orton doesn’t win at Hell in a Cell, we very well might be doing this feud next.
Following the break, Randy Orton comes down to the ring. He’s still in a suit. We’re an hour into the show. This is a new record, probably. Orton talks about the long history between himself and John Cena. Eventually, Cena comes out. Cena calls him old and stupid. They jab back and forth for a while, and deliver a pretty intense promo.
Then Paul Heyman decides to come out. His laidback nature works so well against the intensity that the two Superstars delivered. Heyman talks down Cena and Orton. Cena picks up Heyman for an AA, but eventually puts him down. Orton RKOs Cena (out of nowhere). Heyman laughs and Orton walks around the ring. Then Orton RKOs Heyman to end the segment.
Big E vs. Rusev (with Lana)
Wow. Big E. In a match. On Raw. This is new. Not a good thing, mind you, since Big E sucks, but, hey, he’s another body for Rusev to beat down (again).
We did this on PPV. Big E has almost been out of action since then. Rusev has only gotten better. Tell me why we’re supposed to think Big E has any chance of winning. Big E does get some offense in, keeping this from being a squash match, but the outcome is never in doubt. Rusev wins by making Big E tap to The Accolade. Big E doesn’t tap right away, which makes the move seem deadlier. Take note, jobbers.
Match Rating: **
Lana and Rusev cut an anti-Big Show promo after the match. They try to have the Russian flag come down after the match, but it doesn’t. Big Show appears on the Titantron, makes a face, and then the American flag comes down instead. Ha. Ha. Rusev then tries to rip it down. An American soldier jumps in from the crowd to make the save, only for Rusev to kick his face. Rusev and Lana are then escorted to the back.
Big Show is in the ring after the commercial. He’s in tears, because he’s so patriotic and stuff. He talks about lines that shouldn’t be crossed. Big Show eventually calls out Rusev. Because how dare Rusev defend himself from an assailant. Rusev doesn’t come out. Big Show says he’ll come to Rusev if he won’t come down, so he heads backstage. He kicks open the door to Rusev’s dressing room, but the room is empty. Duh. We’re saving this for the PPV.
Dean Ambrose is then shown watching See No Evil 2 backstage, because it’s out tomorrow and you should buy it. John Cena asks him what he’s doing. They then talk about how they’re teaming up, and how they need to take it seriously, and all that good stuff. They talk strategy. And superheroes.
Brie Bella vs. Summer Rae
The Divas work a slow and uninteresting match. Summer Rae is the Randy Orton of the Divas division when it comes to submissions. Eventually, Brie picks up the win with a facebuster. And then immediately stops selling the injury she had right before it. Just like her husband does.
Match Rating: *1/2
Dean Ambrose is out during our Monday Night Football halftime segment — the one WWE really, really want us to watch — which just cements him as the WWE’s hottest star right now. Ambrose drags out a Seth Rollins dummy and places it, sitting down, on a steel chair. He proceeds to rip apart and beat up the dummy.
Eventually, Seth Rollins comes out to the stage, and talks down to Ambrose. He has Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble behind him. Rollins and Ambrose go back and forth for a bit, with Rollins eventually making his way to the ring. But then Mick Foley comes down. Yes, Mick Foley! Wow. What a surprise! Foley does some good talking, gets a “Thank you, Foley” chant, and then Ambrose and Rollins continue going back and forth. Eventually, Foley bids them adieu, Rollins and Ambrose go their separate ways — not peacefully — and the segment ends. Well, that was a nice surprise, WWE.
Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler
Surprise! Cesaro and Ziggler work a really solid match together. I know, you’re shocked. It’s not like we’ve seen them work really well together before, or anything. I hope these two get a PPV match soon, because this is the type of contest that deserves no commercials and slightly higher stakes.
I don’t know why Cesaro got to win with an uppercut, but whatever. He does.
Match Rating: ***1/2
Cesaro hits the Neutralizer after the match. Because he’s a heel.
Rollins, Orton and Kane are shown arguing backstage. Triple H shows up and declares Kane team captain for the match tonight. Kane yells at Rollins and Orton. Their match is next. But first, a Hell in a Cell highlight package and a Wyatt Family vignette.
Handicap Street Fight: John Cena and Dean Ambrose vs. Kane, Randy Orton, and Seth Rollins
So, the match starts out as a mess, despite all the competitors, for some reason, still obeying the “tag in and out” rule — without disqualifications. Whatever. Soon enough, weapons get involved. You didn’t think these men would do anything other than a couple of big bumps on the Raw before a PPV, right?
Well, surprisingly, after we come back from a commercial break, Rollins and Ambrose are wrestling a real match. Why? I have no idea. A table was going to get involved right before we took a break. The match once again becomes a weapon-fest. A table does indeed get involved. So does a chair and the steel steps. And the announcer’s table (kind of).
Oh, yeah, and the cell gets brought down, too. Kane brought it down when Ambrose was outside, but Ambrose crawls under the cell just before it gets lowered completely. A kendo stick gets involved. Orton says a choice four-letter word, which got muted out of the broadcast. Finishers are hit, Orton pins Dean Ambrose, and Orton wins. Then Seth Rollins Curb Stomps Orton. The end.
Match Rating: ***
The Good: Ziggler/Cesaro. Main event.
The Bad: Brie/Summer.
Match of the Night: Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro.