Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 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: September 30, 2019
Location: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Dio Maddin, Jerry Lawler
It’s time to start the biggest week in a very long time with the season premiere of Monday Night Raw. This show is completely stacked with the Universal Title on the line, Brock Lesnar making an appearance, the Tag Team Titles on the line and probably a lot more. We’re going to be in for a big night so let’s get to it.
The music over the Then Now Forever music is different.
Opening sequence. I don’t remember the last time I saw one of these for Raw.
Pyro is back as well.
We open with a shot of the announcers and the new set, which looks like it curves up from the stage to the screen. It’s uh….big.
Here’s Rey Mysterio for a chat. He dedicates tonight’s title match to his son Dominick, in the front row. Before that can go anywhere though, here are Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman to interrupt. Heyman takes the mic but Rey takes it right back, earning himself a pair of F5’s. Brock isn’t done as he pulls Dominick over the barricade and drives him into the post.
Dominick gets a German suplex and Rey takes another F5 as Heyman looks terrified. Brock throws them both again, plus Fit Finlay (what a fight that would have been back in the day) and one more beating to Rey and Dominick each. Heyman is begging Brock to stop and even Brock looks like he knows he made a mistake.
During the break, Dominick was taken to the hospital as Rey cried a lot.
Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss
Hang on though as here’s Becky Lynch to join commentary. Bliss gets knocked to the floor to start and it’s already time for the trash talk from the ring. Becky gets on the table and yells back as we go split screen for a Gears of War ad. Back in a hurry with Becky still standing and taping her fists. An ambulance siren goes off in the arena, which I would assume would be Dominick’s ambulance leaving. Bliss slaps away but a DDT is broken up, leaving Banks to beg off. She calls for Bayley (not here) and the distraction lets her kick Bliss in the leg and grab a rollup for the pin at 4:25.
Rating: D+. Nothing to see here other than a nice hope of having the stories bleed between segments for a change. The ambulance leaving gives me some hope, as there is no logical reason to have everything come to a halt because another match starts up. The ending was a little odd as it seemed to focus more on the Tag Team Title stuff than the Raw Women’s Title on Sunday.
Post match Becky comes in for the fight but Banks bails into the crowd, where a fan has the most bugged out eyes.
The Rock is confirmed for Smackdown.
We look back at last week’s Firefly Fun House and Bray Wyatt attacking Braun Strowman, plus scaring Seth Rollins.
Rollins is disgusted by what Brock did, but he’s also not sure what to expect from the Fiend on Sunday. He isn’t going away quietly though and he’ll survive and prevail. As for tonight, Rey may not be able to get his title shot but there is one waiting on him when he gets back. The fans were promised a title match tonight though and that’s what they’re getting. Someone needs to stand up.
Tag Team Titles: Heavy Machinery vs. Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode
Roode and Ziggler are defending. Tucker runs Ziggler over to start and even busts out a dropkick for two. It’s off to Otis, with Tucker lifting Ziggler up for a suplex and handing him off to Otis in the air. The champs are in trouble as we take a break. Back with Ziggler neckbreakering Tucker for two and putting on the chinlock.
The comeback doesn’t last long as Roode grabs the spinebuster and hands it back to Ziggler. Tucker catapults Ziggler into the post though and the hot tag brings in Otis for some jiggling. The Caterpillar looks to set up the Compactor but Ziggler makes the save with the Zig Zag. Otis gets sent into the post and it’s the Glorious DDT to Tucker to retain the titles at 11:10.
Rating: C-. Roode and Ziggler are the most run of the mill heel champions and I have a bad feeling that they are going to be champions for a long time. The tag division is deep enough to give them some good challengers but this is what we’re stuck with due to reasons of Ziggler.
It’s time for MizTV with Miz offering condolences to Rey and his family. He can’t imagine what it would be like to have something like that happen to his child. As for tonight, he has two legends for his guests. That would be Hulk Hogan (with Jimmy Hart) and Ric Flair, with Ric not seemingly happy with Hogan. Ric complains about hearing Real American for thirty years. Hogan: “WOO!” Miz: “We’ve been hearing those even longer!”
Flair goes on a rant about how Hogan may be the biggest legend but no one can hold a candle to him in this ring. They’re ready to fight with Flair slapping his shoulders and Hogan doing the point…so Flair backs down. Hogan talks about how they’re not spring chickens anymore, but they want to have one more page on their resumes. Miz knows how they can do that, with Flair wanting just one payday like Hogan’s in his career. They have an idea though, which will take place at Crown Jewel: Team Hogan vs. Team Flair in a ten man tag match with the legends as the coaches.
Hogan brings out his captain in the form of Seth Rollins, but Flair has his own captain in Randy Orton. Randy wants Seth’s undivided attention so can he please crawl out of Hogan’s a** for a second. Randy to Flair: “Can I get a WOO?” They’ll be picking their teams together over the next few weeks but for now, let’s have a captain’s match. Flair was all over the place here and seemed a bit out of it, or at least rambling with some off the cuff comments.
Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton
I think this is non-title….and here’s King Corbin to interrupt. The bell never rings as Corbin and Orton double team Seth, including a scepter shot. Rusev of all people saves and I smell a tag match. Actually we don’t as Rusev clears the ring and we seem to have a second member for each team.
We see Dominick leaving in the ambulance earlier and Rey goes with him. There WILL be a Universal Title match tonight.
Rusev is asked about Lana but won’t talk about his problems at home. As for tonight, he helped Rollins so Rollins can help him. He wants the title shot tonight.
AOP talks about bringing for the violence and pain.
Viking Raiders vs. OC
It’s a brawl to start with Ivar getting taken into the OC corner for the beating from Gallows. A kick to the face and an elbow get two and a rake to Ivar’s face makes it even worse. Ivar fights up and shoves Gallows away for the tag to Erik so house can be cleaned. Back with a belly to back neckbreaker dropping Erick and the chinlock going on.
That’s broken up in short order and it’s back to Ivar for the big comeback. The German suplex/springboard clothesline gets two on Anderson with Gallows making a fast save. Everything breaks down as Lawler talks about Gallows being ugly. Ivar’s suicide dive takes out Anderson and it’s a powerbomb into a frog splash from Ivar for the pin at 10:28.
Rating: C. Perfectly nice hard hitting match here as the Raiders continue their roll. There is no reason to keep them away from the titles much longer and I think WWE is starting to get the idea. They have now beaten the OC twice in a row so the title scene almost has to be coming up soon enough.
Charly Caruso updates us about Rey and Dominick, who won’t be back tonight. A lot of people are calling what Brock did criminal, but here’s Cesaro to say he’s just upset that he didn’t get to beat up Dominick. Ricochet comes in to call him out for his actions and a match is made.
Cesaro vs. Ricochet
Ricochet starts fast but his headscissors is countered without much effort. A crossbody is as well but Ricochet slips out of a powerslam and monkey flips Cesaro over the top. The big flip dive connects but Cesaro uppercuts him down back inside. The Neuralizer is blocked and Cesaro goes shoulder first into the post. A springboard flip hurricanrana is enough to give Ricochet the pin at 2:24.
It’s time for the Firefly Fun House. All of Bray’s friends are scared of something with Ramblin Rabbit actually being scared to death. Bray comes in and throws Rabbit away as everyone else talks about being scared of what happens when Seth fights the Fiend in the Cell. Even Bray is a little scared because the Cell is like a world without chocolate. Seth is going to be trapped in there with HIM, but don’t worry because HE will always protect the Fun House. He will come back no matter what, but Rollins might not be so fortunate. Bray is going to try and find Him so he can be nice to Rollins. Maniacal laughter ensues.
US Title: AJ Styles vs. Cedric Alexander
AJ is defending and goes right after him to start. A knee to the face puts AJ on the floor but he breaks up a suicide dive with a forearm to the face. Cedric avoids a charge to send AJ shoulder first into the post but a TKO over the top rope puts Alexander on the floor again. That means the slingshot forearm and we take a break. Back with Cedric getting two off of the springboard Downward Spiral.
A spinning elbow to the head looks to set up the Lumbar Check but AJ reverses into the reverse DDT for two more. Cedric nails the Michinoku Driver for another near fall but the Neuralizer is countered into a German suplex. A faceplant gives AJ his own two so Cedric is right back with another Lumbar Check attempt. This time it’s countered into the Styles Clash to retain the title at 9:45.
Rating: C-. They were botchier than usual here with some of the stuff not looking that crisp. I’m not sure what is next for either of them now, but Alexander would seem more likely to be in trouble. You can throw anyone at AJ because of the title, but what exactly is there for Cedric to do at the moment?
The Street Profits hype up their Tag Team Title shot on this week’s NXT, where they are coming for their belts. They talk about the Cell a bit with Ford freaking out over a mention of the Fiend’s name. See, if you mention his name three times, he appears. An old janitor told Ford about it, though Dawkins is more confused about Ford talking to a janitor.
Pay per view rundown….with no new matches announced. We’re less than six days away. A fourth match isn’t that much to ask for.
Natalya vs. Lacey Evans
Round three. Natalya slams her down to start and hits the basement dropkick but Lacey kicks the leg out. A head first swing into the steps has Natalya rocked and a swinging neckbreaker plants her again. The moonsault is broken up though as Natalya pulls her down by the leg and slaps away. The Sharpshooter doesn’t work for Natalya as Lacey kicks away and pokes her in the eye, setting up a rollup with tights for the pin at 4:00.
Rating: D+. And they’re done now. There wasn’t a need for a second of these matches and there is no need for a fourth. Lacey didn’t even win with the Sharpshooter to make things personal so I’m not sure what the point was in extending the feud. It’s good for Lacey to get a win, but it’s not like this was anything good in the first place.
Post match Lacey lays her out with the Woman’s Right.
John Cena is raising money for a veteran’s charity and until Veteran’s Day, he will match all donations up to $1 million.
We look at Lesnar destroying Rey and Dominick earlier.
Heyman says what Lesnar did was reckless and he apologizes to the Mysterio family. It’s really Vince McMahon’s fault though because he scheduled Brock for this show. There are a lot of wannabe tough guys in every sport and no one can do a thing about what Brock did tonight or what he’ll do on Friday. If you want to see history, watch on Friday when Lesnar becomes the new WWE Champion.
Maria Kanellis says Rusev isn’t the father of her baby because she has enough going on. She leaves and Sasha Banks comes in to say she can’t wait to make Becky suffer. Banks is one of two women to be in the Cell and no Man is winning her match.
A white limo arrives.
Raw World Title: Rusev vs. Seth Rollins
Rusev is challenging and gets a jobber entrance as Orton and Corbin are watching from the stage. Rollins tries to start fast but has to bail from the Accolade. The fall away slam starts working on the back as we take a break (with the Fiend appearing to say Let Me In). Back with Rollins fighting out of the bearhug and sending Rusev to the floor for the suicide dives. Rusev rolls through a high crossbody but Rollins rolls through his roll through for two.
Rusev kicks him in the head and gets two off a swinging release Rock Bottom. Rollins is back up with the Falcon Arrow for two but the Stomp misses. The springboard knee hits part of a superkick…..and here’s Bobby Lashley. He waves someone out though and here is…..Lana, as Rusev is crushed. Kissing ensues with Lana almost crawling on top of Lashley as Rusev just glares. There go the lights and the Fiend Mandible Claws Rollins in a no contest at 11:30.
Rating: D+. This was just a backdrop for the double angles and I’d rather they do that here than wasting what could have been a big match with Mysterio. Rusev not losing is a great sign and he has a feud set up instantly. I’m curious about the story behind the whole thing so at least they have something going on already.
Laughter ends the show.
Overall Rating: C+. It was a VERY story heavy show this week, which is what it should have been. That’s a good sign as, again, the wrestling isn’t the point of a show like this. They did enough stuff to make me want to see where a lot of it is going, though Sunday is sacrificed for another night. I’m sure they’ll announce some matches during the week, but it’s not like this Sunday feels like anything important in the slightest. Tonight was good overall though and I want to see where things are going.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!