Pro Wrestling

8 Burning Questions After Monday Night Raw – 08.31.15 Source:

This week’s edition of Monday Night Raw wasn’t as jam-packed full of debuts, special guests, and surprise returns as last week, and frankly, it would be hard-pressed to keep up that sort of pace on a weekly basis. However, in the process of setting up the card for the upcoming Night of Champions Pay Per View, it seems like more than anything else, Raw left viewers with a lot of pressing questions. And not the usual “Do you really think that Sting can beat Seth Rollins” sort of questions. Strange questions. Deep questions. Even somewhat disturbing questions. But since WWE probably won’t take the time to answer them, we’ll have to do it ourselves.

8. Does Sting Really Respect Triple H That Much?

Seriously, though, Sting’s speech last night about how much he respected Triple H was just a little over-the-top, don’t you think? There’s an old joke in wrestling that isn’t really a joke, about the old days when Dusty Rhodes was booking shows while he was still an active wrestler, and every wrestler he was feuding with made sure to mention how much they respected Dusty as a part of all their promos. Well, Triple H must have learned from the master, because that opening promo by Sting on Monday felt like less like an explanation for why he was back to take on Seth Rollins, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and more of a list of the thousands of ways that Triple H is incredibly awesome and is simultaneously the past, present, and future of professional wrestling. And let’s not forget, despite their handshake at WrestleMania, Triple H was literally being a huge jerk about Sting mere minutes later during his in-ring promo with The Rock and Ronda Rousey. Not to mention that Sting’s stated goal when he returned was to stop the tyrannical reign of The Authority before it took down WWE like similar figures did to WCW, and even though nothing about The Authority has changed, he now seems fine with their presence, and they even gave him a free title shot! Source:

7. Will This Dolph-Rusev Feud Ever End?

Apparently not, and it’s killing everyone involved. So on Raw, it’s another match between Rusev and Dolph, with another inconclusive finish that at least wasn’t a double count-out, but might as well have been. But that’s not the real story, because now we have to add controversy! Did Dolph invite Summer Rae into his locker room for a shower, or did she come in uninvited? Given that Dolph’s character history involves him sleeping with a lot of different women, the answer seems obvious. And maybe that’s for the best, after all, Dolph Ziggler probably should be a heel. He’s good looking and talented and fully aware of it, he brags about his hot girlfriend, and he’s currently wearing the entire world’s supply of denim. He fits perfectly into the mold of every evil preppy guy from teen comedies in the 80s. At some point, you keep expecting an underdog group of misfits to challenge him to some sort of contest in order to save the local community center. Maybe that will be Rusev, who will have a breakthrough and realize that Lana was the best thing to ever happen to him. All that matters is that Raw showed a backstage interview where Lana was asked to give her reaction to footage of a second backstage interview which had just happened literally seconds before. Also, how thrilling must it be for Lana and Summer Rae that they get to have catfights and get caught in wacky sex-capades with their on-screen boyfriends while the rest of the women in WWE are redefining women’s wrestling? Source:L

6. Does It Really Matter If Braun Strowman Can Wrestle?

Okay, we’ve been spoiled with NXT and all those independent stars coming in, to the point that we’ve started to expect that everyone should be able to wrestle like Kevin Owens and cut promos like Bray Wyatt. But that’s not going to be the case, because wrestling, and WWE in particular, is always going to have a soft spot for the really, really big guy, whether he can wrestle or not. If you don’t believe that, it’s only because you’ve somehow forced yourself to forget that The Great Khali existed, and is a former World Heavyweight Champion. So here we have Braun Strowman, former powerlifter turned Wyatt Family member. Can he wrestle? If Monday night is any indication, not particularly. He’s pretty good at being gigantic and throwing other wrestlers around like rag dolls, though, and we’re not talking about cruiserweights here. Braun Strowman tossed Roman Reigns like he weighed less than a small child, and that’s the kind of impressive strength that will make highlight reels. Being the best technical wrestler in the world is great, but there’s something to be said for being a gigantic scary guy who can’t be knocked down as well. Source:

5. Is Xavier Woods Becoming A Prop Comic?

It is starting to seem like somebody backstage has a bet that they can hand Xavier Woods any random object to take out to ringside right before a match, and he can make it entertaining. Maybe it’s just a wager that the members of The New Day have with each other. After last week’s virtuoso performance on a random trombone, this week, Xavier pulled out a comically large brush and spent the entire match straightening his hair. It takes a special sort of performer to make hair care the act of a devilish heel, and The New Day is proving on a weekly basis that they are the most extraordinary performers on the WWE roster. At some point, though, they should be worried about Carrot Top coming after them for stealing his act and making it watchable. Source:

4. Did “Beat The Clock” Weaken The Divas?

After weeks of dodging the issue, WWE finally decided that it was time for Nikki Bella to defend the Divas Championship and get this so-called Revolution truly underway. They chose to do this by bringing back the “Beat the Clock” challenge for the members of PCB, who were the winning team at SummerSlam and therefore, apparently, the ones most deserving of a title shot. Unfortunately, there were a couple problems with this setup. The original concept for Beat The Clock included the rule that both participants in the match were eligible for whatever prize was up for grabs, adding some uncertainty to the finishes. This was later changed so that the participants faced off against lesser opponents and simply had to worry about their time to victory. However, the Divas division is currently being treated as if it is only the three teams that were formed at the start of the Divas Revolution, so PCB were matched up with challengers who, up until now, had been treated as credible opponents. Then, rather than have someone set an easily beat time while having a decent eight-to-ten minute match, followed by the remaining two Divas having somewhat shorter but still acceptably-paced matches, the first match set the initial time to beat at just over 3 minutes. The second, and eventually winning, time was a truly ridiculous minute and a half. What this meant was that the final match, which should have been an anticipated bout between Paige and Sasha Banks, ended up barely getting underway before it abruptly ended due to time running out. It was not compelling TV in any sense of the word, and was a definite step back for the Divas division. Source:

3. Can Anyone Stop Stephanie McMahon?

It should be prefaced that Stephanie’s increased presence on Raw was undoubtedly due to Triple H being forced into dealing with the incident at the WWE Performance Center earlier in the day, which likely left him unavailable for television. However, it has been an ongoing problem for as long as Stephanie has been an on-screen character, especially since she was old enough to assume a position of power in the WWE hierarchy, that she continues to talk down to every single employee, male and female, even to the point of physically assaulting them in some cases, while rarely, if ever, suffering the consequences of her terrible actions. For a shining example, look at her treatment of Seth Rollins on Raw. At one point during the main event, she basically threatened him to never, ever say even remotely unflattering things about her husband, and Seth was forced to immediately back down. And all he said was that, while he might not be today, one day, he hoped to be even better than his friend and mentor, Triple H! It’s really the lack of Stephanie ever getting her just desserts in these situations that rubs people the wrong way. Vince and Triple H, as authority figures, when it came down to the climactic showdowns, always got at least some portion of what was coming to them. Vince got destroyed every time he tried to face Steve Austin one-on-one, and Triple H lost decisively to Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 30 after months of calling him a “B+ player”. Stephanie, meanwhile, usually struts away without so much as a smudge on her lipstick. Source:

2. Will Seth Rollins Lose Both Titles At Night of Champions?

Well, the easy money is on John Cena regaining the United States title as the creative team continues to attempt to write their way out of the hole they got into before SummerSlam, and in the process re-establish the critically acclaimed United States Open Challenge. One would presume that Jon Stewart, dedicated as he was to the preservation of Ric Flair’s legacy, probably has no strong feelings about whomever holds the record for most United States title reigns. Meanwhile, in Seth’s second match of the night, the only way that Sting is winning the WWE World Heavyweight title at this point in his career is if Sheamus immediately cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase. Sting as champion making sporadic appearances during the year is not the same as Brock doing it last year, and when it was Brock, it wasn’t really a good plan by WWE. Even WWE clearly knows that it isn’t believable for Sting to win the title, that is why Seth will be wrestling two matches in the same night, so that he will at least be a little worn down for Sting. Source:

1. Did SummerSlam Actually Solve Anything?

Well, as mentioned previously, Dolph Ziggler and Rusev are still fighting each other, but to be fair their match had an inconclusive finish. However, the Wyatts are still feuding with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose despite losing their SummerSlam match decisively, Kevin Owens and Cesaro had another match even though Owens won the first one cleanly (and he won last night as well), and in case you were worried because you didn’t see them on Raw last night, it turns out Randy Orton and Sheamus wrestled each other during the post-show dark match. Oh, and let’s just toss in the fact that the same three guys are still fighting for the Intercontinental title, after Ryback successfully defended against them both at SummerSlam. Plus, John Cena gets his rematch for the United States title, because every single title defense must have a rematch clause in the contract. If the Dudley Boyz and Sting hadn’t returned, we’d be looking at Night of Champions and asking ourselves “didn’t we just see this entire card last month?” Given WWE’s efforts to try and make SummerSlam into an epic event, they sure didn’t succeed at making it one where any feuds actually got settled in the process. Source:

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.