Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 11, 2014
Location: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler

Tonight is both the go home show for Summerslam as well as a special birthday celebration for the one and only Hulk Hogan. We’re scheduled to see some special guests and I’m assuming a bunch of retrospectives on Hogan’s career, which could make for some interesting moments. Other than that, Cena and Lesnar are both back so we should get some solid build for Sunday. Let’s get to it.

We open with a bunch of red and yellow presents on the stage for later.

Here are Heyman and Lesnar to get things going. Lesnar’s shirt now has REPEAT covered by a John Cena sticker. Heyman says Lesnar will be the next World Heavyweight Champion and says he’s going to give us a taste of his selling abilities. If he has to come out here and explain the beating that Cena is going to suffer on Sunday, then you’re missing the point. Lesnar is here to address Cena fans, because bad things happen to good people when they step into the ring with Brock.

We see stills from Wrestlemania of Lesnar breaking the Streak and the audience’s shock. Heyman brings up Brock getting rid of Rock for six months back in 2002 and sending Hogan out of the WWE as a rookie. That leaves Brock with John Cena. If you’re a fan of Cena, don’t miss Summerslam because it’s going to be the end of John Cena.

We get stills from Extreme Rules 2012 and Heyman blames the loss on Lesnar’s real life illness. That was Brock at 50% and Cena still got the beating of his life. This coming beating will be that of a Shakespearean tragedy. Heyman actually rhymes about Cena (“We can’t rap like you. I’m just Brock’s advocating Jew.”) and the loss on Sunday. Heyman is going to take the big man out to dinner now and they’ll be back home tonight.

Flo Rida and Werid Al Yankovic say Happy Birthday Hulk.

Here’s Reigns for his match but Kane interrupts. Kane is back to being corporate with the suit and says he’s Director of Wrestling Operations again. He says Reigns won his match against Kane (speaking in third person for some reason) last week and it was almost like beating two men. Therefore, let’s see him face two men tonight.

Ryback/Curtis Axel vs. Roman Reigns

Axel starts for the team and gets caught in a headlock before being shoved down to the mat. Reigns shoves him into the corner and it’s off to Ryback. It’s almost sad to see how far Ryback has fallen in the last two years. They slug it out a bit with Reigns getting the better of it, only to have Axel offer a distraction, allowing Ryback to powerbomb Roman down. We take a break and come back with Reigns fighting out of a Ryback chinlock before they head outside. Reigns gets posted a few times and that’s a DQ at 9:09.

Rating: D+. SERIOUSLY? You can’t have Ryback and Axel take a pin? Everyone else pins them but the next top star has to beat them by DQ? The match was boring on top of that as you were waiting on the big Reigns comeback but instead he wins by DQ. This one boggles my mind.

Post match Reigns beats both guys up because he’s Roman Reigns and they’re Ryback/Curtis Axel. Reigns says he’s never stolen anything from Orton but he’s taking everything on Sunday. When you knock a viper’s fangs down its shirt, it’s just a worthless little worm. Believe that.

Orton gets on Kane for losing last week and promises to get the job done on Sunday. Kane makes Orton vs. Sheamus tonight. Something odd here: Kane is supposed to be 6’10, meaning Orton has suddenly hit 6’8.

Rob Van Dam vs. Seth Rollins

The match that was supposed to happen last week. They fight into the corner to start with Seth in control, only to be countered on a whip. A clothesline puts Seth down and Rob nails a standing moonsault for two. They slug it out some more with Seth avoiding a charge in the corner before taking him down to the mat in a headlock. Back up and the rolling leg scissors gets two for Rob and the springboard kick to the face gets the same. Rollins rolls to the floor, only to get nailed by a baseball slide. The spinning kick to the apron misses though and we take a break.

Back with Rollins holding a headlock before sending Van Dam into the corner. Rob fights back with a BIG kick to send Rollins staggering. A quick slam sets up Rolling Thunder for another near fall, followed by a superkick for two. Seth jumps over Rob and kicks him in the ribs. The monkey flip is countered into the Curb Stomp for a fast pin on Van Dam at approximately 7:58.

Rating: C. The match was fast and not all that great. Van Dam is there to do one thing and it’s getting a bit boring to watch him do the same stuff over and over again. This was a shorter version of his usual stuff though and that makes for a more entertaining match than the fifteen minute versions.

Post match Rollins looks through Hogan’s presents and thinks Ambrose is in one of them. He realizes he’s being crazy and leaves but Dean pops out of the big box and beats Seth into the crowd. Dean says that the show costs $9.99 on Sunday and he’s going to get his money’s worth.

Here’s Stephanie who talks about how important her match with Brie is on Sunday. We see a picture of Daniel with his physical therapist, who happens to be in the crowd tonight. Stephanie has her come into the ring and the therapist (Megan) is crying. She says that she’s a victim in this and that she’s doing her best to get Bryan back into the ring because that’s what Daniel loves to do.

Megan cries even more and eventually says that she and Bryan have been having an affair. This brings out Brie to yell as Stephanie says that Megan was shouting YES after every physical therapy session. Brie slaps Megan and takes Stephanie down. She’s so mad that she puts on a horrible YES Lock and Stephanie makes a match between the two of them tonight.

Drew Brees, AJ Hawk and Aaron Rodgers (NFL superstars) wish Hogan a Happy Birthday.

Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger

Swagger has taped up ribs. Cesaro takes him down with a quickly shoulder block but gets caught in the Rick Steiner powerslam/belly to belly for two. The bald guy comes back with a gutwrench suplex and an abdominal stretch. A middle rope ax handle has Swagger in trouble but he blocks another into a belly to belly. The fans are really not interested in what they’re seeing here.

Cesaro comes back by dropping Swagger’s ribs over the top rope and knocking him into the barricade as we take a break. Back with another abdominal stretch on Swagger, only for him to escape and nail a bad looking big boot. A Vader Bomb gets two but Cesaro kicks him in the face for two of his own. Cesaro gets two more off a middle rope backsplash before loading up the apron superplex.

Swagger picks him up and pulls him to the apron but Cesaro gets back inside. He loads up Swiss Death but drops Swagger down onto his knee instead. A low uppercut gets two but a double stomp is countered into a Patriot Lock attempt. Cesaro quickly makes the ropes and kicks Swagger in the ribs, only to get pulled off the top into the Patriot Lock for the tap out at 12:00.

Rating: C. This was….long. Cesaro has fallen through the floor over the summer and it’s really sad to see. I can live with Swagger getting the face push that he’s needed for years, but it’s sad to see it coming at the expense of someone with so much potential. The match was entertaining but didn’t need to last this long.

Post match Zeb says they’re calling this Sunday’s show Deportslam when they get rid of Rusev and Lana. They load up WE THE PEOPLE but the Ruassian flag comes down and we get the Russians.

Earlier today, Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho sat down for an interview with Michael Cole. Bray immediately sends Cole out of the room and asks Jericho if he remembers his dreams as a child. Wyatt remembers the scared little boy who wanted to live up to his daddy. Can Jericho still see the disappointment in his dad’s eyes? Now Jericho can’t even save himself.

Bray knows a lot about Jericho but Jericho knows nothing about him. Everytime Bray tries to sleep, he hears the screams in his recurring nightmares. Never once did he claim to be a savior though, because he isn’t. The only thing he lives for is to help people that can’t help themselves. You can’t just whisper words anymore because you have to scream it until their ears bleed.

The only way to help someone is to hurt them. Bray has been around a long time and has hurt a lot of people. He isn’t sorry for it either because he has no conscience and doesn’t believe in Heaven or Hell. Bray hates everything this world has created because he’s a monster and the eater of worlds. The human race is lost and the pale horse is coming for Jericho at Summerslam. Bray’s smile will be the last thing he’ll ever see.

Jericho says he isn’t a savior, but after being here for fifteen years, he’s become a survivor. There are a lot of different faces of Chris Jericho, but he’s going to shove the buzzards right down Bray’s throat and leave him speechless. Jericho leaves and Bray laughs to end this rather creepy segment. Bray’s voice sounded higher here.

AJ Lee vs. Eva Marie

Non-title. AJ easily takes her down to the mat but here’s Paige to skip around the ring. As is always the case, the distraction lets Eva get a rollup pin at 1:07.

Post match Paige reads a poem about throwing AJ off the stage but wanting to punch her face. She’ll skip out of Summerslam with the title. What’s with all the rhyming tonight? AJ goes after Eva, who is down on the floor despite only being in a headlock for about twenty seconds.

Opening segment recap.

Here’s Cena for his response to Lesnar. He says his name is John Cena and he’s going to get mauled in six days, assuming you believe Paul Heyman. Lesnar is going to do a lot of things on Sunday but he will not win. He’s going to have to make Cena lose and John isn’t laying down for Brock Lesnar. Cena isn’t laying down because Lesnar doesn’t deserve this title. One day Cena is going to lose, but it won’t be on Sunday and we all know why.

Cena doesn’t like Brock because he’s an arrogant bully that cares about no one but himself. There has never been a more selfish man to ever set foot in the WWE locker room. This is a business, but Brock being arrogant doesn’t make him deserve this title. Cena talks about how he’s heard the fans cheer and he’s heard the fans boo. He’s been told he can’t wrestle and he’s heard dueling fan chants but he keeps coming out here with a smile on his face.

That brings up the question of when is it enough. When does he stop caring about the t-shirts, the hats and the wristbands and go nuts? This Sunday he’s facing a beast and that’s what he’ll become to keep this title out of the hands of Brock Lesnar. Paul Heyman told the fans earlier tonight that this is his house and the fans belong to him. That’s not what the title stands for and any idiot knows that this house belongs to the fans.

However, Cena will play along tonight. If this is Brock’s house, then there’s a stranger in his living room, so come try and kick him out. There’s no Lesnar so Cena makes fun of the disease Brock had a few years back. He says he has too many fingers so he’s giving Brock the middle one. After more waiting, Cena gives up and says he’ll conquer the conqueror. This Sunday the champ is here. Good promo from Cena here, but he has no chance.

Larry King wishes he was as tanned as Hulk and the country music band Florida Georgia Line wishes him Happy Birthday.

Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella

Brie almost trips on the way to the ring but seems remarkably calm an hour after being told her husband is cheating on her. Stephanie comes out in her regular outfit from earlier and says we’re waiting for Summerslam. She shows us the slap to Megan and that’s grounds for pressing charges. Brie is arrested and Stephanie laughs a lot.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Heath Slater

Miz is standing on the announcers’ table and runs his mouth until JBL unplugs his microphone. That goes nowhere as Ziggler dropkicks Slater down. The big elbow drop gets two but Slater grabs a small package and nails a side kick for two. Miz brings up Cole being a former Miz fan and Cole has nothing to say. Ziggler nails some clotheslines but misses a charge, only to hit the Zig Zag. Miz comes in for a distraction but Ziggler catches him at ringside and sends him into the barricade. Somehow this isn’t a DQ and Slater wins by countout at 4:21.

Rating: D. This was more of an angle than a match and my goodness what is up with Slater getting this push? The match was barely there and another challenger loses going into his title shot at the big show. You know, because he just has to. Thankfully he’s the only one tonight but it’s such a common trend in WWE.

Another Zig Zag puts Slater down post match. To be fair Slater went after Dolph first.

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the pale one and of course this is non-title. Sheamus sends him into the corner to start but Orton pounds him down to take over. Back up and Orton charges into a boot, followed by a not very hard slam. A middle rope knee drop gets two for Sheamus but Orton fights out of the ten forearms to the chest and we take a break.

Back with Orton holding a chinlock after backdropping Sheamus over the barricade during the break. Sheamus fights back and takes it to the floor, only to get dropped back first onto the announcers’ table. Back in and Sheamus nails a side slam to start his comeback. Orton fights back again and takes it outside but gets caught in the ten forearms on the way back in. The rolling fireman’s carry gets two but Orton counters the Irish Curse into the backbreaker for two.

There’s the Elevated DDT but Orton walks around instead of covering. Sheamus wisely rolls to the floor to avoid the RKO and comes back in with the slingshot shoulder. There’s the powerslam for two on Randy but Sheamus misses a charge and hits the buckle. Orton charges into boots and Sheamus goes up for the shoulder, only to dive into the RKO for the pin at 13:10.

Rating: B-. I always thought these two could have a good match and that’s what you saw here. I like the ending more than I thought I would have as it was something that Sheamus could have been trying instead of just giving him a stupid reason to go up. I don’t like a champion losing, but at least it’s to a bigger star. Good match.

Clip of a Cena vs. Lesnar special airing on the Network after Raw.

The roster is on the stage for Hogan’s birthday celebration. Your emcees for this event: Jimmy Hart and Gene Okerlund. And really, could it be anyone else? Gene brings out Hulk for a video on his career set to a song called Forever Young. There’s some cool old school stuff in there, including his original heel run with Blassie.

Back in the arena and the fans are going nuts for Hulk. Hogan says he’s speechless for the first time in his career but musters up a few words. Everyone has been giving Hogan presents today, and even Vince gave him a card with $9.99 in it. The fans are now chanting $9.99 whenever it’s said. Hulk talks about Hulkamania being a two way street and hopes that he’s been able to touch the fans’ lives almost as much as he’s touched their lives. Hogan loves the Hulkamaniacs and the WWE Universe…and here’s Flair.

Nothing happens but here’s Paul Orndorff, complete with his HORRIBLE 1995 theme songs, which is basically women shouting HE’S WONDERFUL in high pitched, opera style voices. We get the required appearance from the hometown boy Roddy Piper. No one is saying anything between these appearances, making it very much like Flair’s retirement ceremony from a few years back. Hall and Nash come out as well with Hall taking a survey (no one seems to remember that), saying that the fans want Hogan in Black and White. Hogan rips off the red and yellow to reveal an NWO shirt. Nash leads Happy Birthday….and here’s Lesnar.

Heyman asks Hogan what he’s going to do and calls him grandpa. Cena runs out and is ready to fight but Brock and Heyman bail. No contact or anything and we’re told that the Hogan birthday celebration will continue after the show on the Network…..for just $9.99! Ok they didn’t say that but it’s implied. Cena and Lesnar shout at each other to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This was another show that would have been much better if they cut it down by an hour. That being said, I do want to see Summerslam more than I did earlier today. The Hogan stuff was decent enough, but it really would have been nice to see something earlier than 10:58. I was entertained, though it took awhile to wake me up at some points.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.

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