The October 12 edition of Monday Night Raw broadcasted live from the Allstate Arena in Chicago. The venue is considered one of the best places for wrestling for fans and performers alike. As the road to Hell in a Cell continues, here are the five best moments of this week’s edition of Raw.
5) The New Day vs. Dean Ambrose/Randy Orton
We started off the night with Dean Ambrose. Randy Orton would soon come out to talk about their tag match against Luke Harper and Braun Strowman. Their alliance is temporary, obviously, but Orton is a master of head games and he’s clearly unnerved by the Wyatt Family. That says a lot because The Apex Predator is being careful not to get too involved in the war Ambrose and Reigns have been fighting.
The match was a really solid opener. It was well-paced and physical for the type of wrestling it is. Ambrose is on a real roll right now, and if we don’t see Ambrose vs. Owens at Survivor Series; I’ll be shocked and disappointed.
Orton is a good third piece for this because he’s talented and he’s experience. He can be trusted to take down the Wyatts. I think he’ll pay for it after when Wyatt sets his family to cut the head off the snake. Orton vs. Wyatt is going to be really interesting.
4) Kane vs. Seth Rollins – Lumberjack Match
The Lumberjack match is really underrated in wrestling. It adds a lot of layers because every guy is there for a different reason. The New Day was at ringside after dominating Cena, Ziggler and the Dudley Boyz at the same time. A lot of guys were just there to get some free shots at the WWE Champion.
Kane’s transition from monster to corporate stooge is very fitting. He plays both roles surprisingly well. Kane even gets the win over the WWE Champion. Rollins losing to his opponents isn’t a new thing booking wise, but Kane getting wins is.
What are the odds of Kane walking out of Hell in a Cell as the WWE Champion? Really, think about it. Kane helped Rollins get the title, now he’s going to take it away. That’s a good story and Rollins’ career is going to hinge on how he does when he isn’t champion.
Is now the time for Kane to become WWE Champion?
3) Alicia Foxx and Brie Bella vs. Charlotte and Becky Lynch
It was a night of the heels for the women’s division. Nikki Bella had previously beaten Naomi earlier in the night to give her momentum going into Hell in a Cell. The heel dominance continued when Brie Bella and Alicia Foxx took on Charlotte and Becky Lynch. Team Bella would go on to defeat Lynch and Charlotte when Nikki interfered with a big elbow and Brie landed a dropkick from the second rope for the win.
Charlotte losing isn’t really a big deal. However, losing to a dropkick from Brie Bella is just lazy storytelling in the ring. Everyone is just doing what they’re told, but that is unacceptable because it makes Charlotte look weak.
Charlotte just took down the longest reigning Divas Champion ever, but she loses to a dropkick on Raw? There is losing to put over the heels and then there is making the Divas Champion look weaker than the jobber Bella.
2) Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns
This is my favorite feud going into Hell in a Cell. Their momentum has dramatically picked up since main eventing Raw two weeks ago and stealing the show. Now, WWE is booking them to not get physical until Hell in a Cell. That’s the right call given their tension is built into destroying one another. That’s why Reigns vs. Wyatt on the microphone was perfect for Raw. Let Reigns get through Strowman and Harper to get to Wyatt, but he was good on the mic, despite the Chicago crowd.
Reigns gets a count-out victory, but that kind of booking isn’t good for anyone. It limits Strowman’s value and puts Reigns into a no-win scenario. Reigns only gets to say that he could hold off Strowman. That protects Reigns, but doesn’t give him the necessary win to build towards\ Hell in a Cell. Wyatt doesn’t need to wrestle and get wins, but Roman does. Next week should see Harper vs. Reigns with the latter getting a win. That’ll work for everyone.
1) U.S. Championship Open Challenge: John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler
John Cena’s United States Championship Open Challenge strikes again. Last week, this match was a go until The New Day delayed it until this week. Fortunately but not surprisingly, the match was the best of the night. There were numerous near-falls and this finally got Dolph Ziggler out of the black hole he was in with Rusev. Cena gets the win as he should in this situation.
The question is Cena is still without a feud going into Hell in a Cell. It seems unlikely that he’ll hold onto the title post-Hell in a Cell. That makes me question what Cena is doing in two weeks. Last week, he’s putting over The New Day’s beat down. This week, he steals the show with Ziggler, but still has to build to Hell in a Cell. Next week is the go-home show and should be the answer to that question. Stay tuned.