John Cena returned after a one-week absence to hype his rematch with Brock Lesnar, and it was like he never left.
After losing in brutal fashion to Lesnar at Summerslam, many wondered how that would affect Cena's character. It was one of the more brutal losses in wrestling and, especially if he was going for a rematch, it seemed something would have to change for Cena to be able to compete with Lesnar once again.
However, based on Monday night, it seems nothing will change in Cena's quest to recapture the WWE World Heavyweight Title.
The night kicked off with a legends panel, including Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels, giving their opinions on whether Cena could beat Lesnar. Flair and Michaels didn't think Cena could win, while Hogan still supported Cena.
One thing HBK said was interesting: He said nobody takes a beating like Cena did and comes out the same man.
It seemed to indicate that we could see a change in Cena's character.
However, Cena came out and gave one of his standard intense promos. The only thing that even mildly changed was a statement that he didn't just want to beat Lesnar, he wanted to “beat Lesnar's [behind].”
In the main event, Cena faced Bray Wyatt, which ended up evolving into a six-man tag where Harper and Rowan partnered with Wyatt, and Big Show and Mark Henry partnered with Cena.
The match ended with Harper tapping out to Cena. After the match, Cena gave an AA to each of the Wyatt members, then celebrated with the audience.
I do not consider myself a Cena hater. I think he is a lot better in the ring than many give him credit for, and I am not clamoring for a heel turn every time he wrestles.
However, if there was time to give a slight tweak, even for the duration of this feud, to his character, this was it. If you were going to feed the Wyatts to him, shouldn't he have done it in a more aggressive manner?
If he gave them a thorough beatdown, enough where Big Show and Mark Henry, who after the match were jumping up and down cheering on the outside, actually started to look a little uncomfortable, wouldn't that have added to the feud and made the thorough squash make sense?
Instead, it just seemed like more of the same, which takes away from Cena's loss at Summerslam.
The Rest of RAW:
- Rusev and Jack Swagger had another match, and like the past encounters, Rusev won. However, this time, it was because Swagger was beat enough that the ref felt the need to stop the match prematurely.
After the match, Bo Dallas came to the doctor's room and told Swagger to Bolieve. If they're going to end up turning this into a situation like DDP and Christian, with “Bolieve” replacing “That's a good thing,” I'd have no issues with it.
However, later Monday night, after Bo beat Kofi Kingston, Swagger attacked him, so it seems like they're going with a more standard feud.
- Paige got a measure of revenge by beating Natalya after losing to her on both RAW and Smackdown. After the match, AJ came down to the ring, gave Paige a hug, and then kissed her hand.
- Seth Rollins and Kane came out to deliver a “eulogy” for Dean Ambrose. Seth Rollins blamed what happened on the fans and on Dean Ambrose. He talked about putting a final end to The Shield, which brought out Roman Reigns, who took out both Kane and Rollins. Later in the night, the three faced off in a handicap match, which Reigns won by DQ.
- The Dusts received a tag title shot against The Usos. During the match, Jey “injured” his ankle and couldn't get back in the ring and was counted out.
Dusts won, but of course, the Usos retained the titles.
Goldust accused The Usos of getting counted out intentionally, and then they attacked The Usos, seemingly turning heel.
This was a really surprising move by the WWE, well-done. Outside of the Wyatts, who had just had a run against The Usos, the only heel tag team on the main roster is Rybaxel, who have no credibility right now.
Turning the Dusts gives the WWE another heel tag team to feud with The Usos and gives them more flexibility as to where they want to go with the belts.
- The Bellas had a segment that was billed as a chance for reconciliation, but of course turned into a venue for Nikki to run down Brie some more.
Nikki listed the reasons why she hates Brie so much right now. The thing is, because Brie was just crying as opposed to coming back at Nikki, there was very little reason to believe Nikki was wrong, or feel bad for Brie.
The crowd was pretty dead for this entire segment, only slightly coming alive when Nikki brought up Daniel Bryan's name. It ended with Nikki beating down Brie, and Brie not even trying to fight back.
- A Brock Lesnar video ran. While many people were concerned about what a Brock Lesnar reign would be like if he couldn't be there every week, the WWE has so many venues to feature him without actually being there, that this could actually end up being a somewhat-refreshing title reign.
- Cesaro beat Rob Van Dam in a match to become the No. 1 contender to Sheamus' Intercontinental title.
- Dolph Ziggler beat Damien Sandow, who was sent out as The Miz's “stunt double” for the match.
- Los Matadores beat Heath Slater and Titus O'Neal