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Ring Posts: Sting Returns to RAW to Challenge Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins enters the ring at the WWE SummerSlam 2015 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on August 23 in New York City. Sting ambushed Rollins during RAW on Aug. 24.

RAW featured the return of tag team legends and a new Wyatt Family member, yet the biggest moment was saved for the end of the night, as Sting made his first appearance since WrestleMania.

As Seth Rollins was promised, if he won on Sunday night, a statue would be commissioned in his honor. So the final segment of the night was to be the unveiling of the statue. After a long-winded speech extolling his virtues, Triple H and Stephanie were ready to reveal it. The box was lifted, but it was no statue in the box. Instead, Sting stood there. Sting cleaned house, clotheslined Rollins over the top rope, and posed with the title. While Stephanie yelled "Never!" in her shrill way, just minutes later the match would be made official: Sting would face Rollins for the WWE title at Night of Champions.

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Fall usually creates a bit of a lull in the WWE schedule. It's post-SummerSlam, so they limp their way to Survivior Series before the build to the Royal Rumble starts. So this is a great way to create excitement in September for the company (and also probably won't hurt as far as Network subscriptions go).

I've heard the criticism that we know Sting won't win and that he's too old to have a good match with Rollins. Most September feuds tend to be filler anyways. Why not have filler that is truly something we've never seen before? No, Sting probably poses no real threat to Rollins' reign (though I will point out the interesting possibility of John Cena beating Sting for his 16th title as an homage to the Flair/Sting feud). There are very few matches they could have made that would've been interesting and pose a threat to Rollins, though. So as someone who enjoys nostalgia sprinkled into my wrestling, I'm completely on board with this feud.

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The RAW after SummerSlam was one of the best RAWs of the year (and quite possibly the best RAW in several years). The end was simply the cherry on top.

The Rest of RAW:

--If it wasn't for Sting, the biggest moment of the night, by far, would have been the return of the Dudley Boys to WWE television. We saw Bubba (or Bully) Ray at the Royal Rumble, but we hadn't seen the team together on WWE television in over a decade. After the New Day had one of their most entertaining segments yet, complete with Xavier Woods playing trombone while they beat the Lucha Dragons, pyro went off, and the Dudley Boys came out to a raucous ovation. They went through their normal trademark moves, dispatching each member of the New Day, before finally putting Woods through a table with the 3D. This seems like a legit final run for the Dudleys, which should certainly elevate the division. The fact that this was kept under wraps is legitimately surprising, as this is the first return in quite some time that wasn't spoiled by the dirtsheets. We had heard months back that possibly they were going to be brought in to feud with Harper and Rowan after the pair started using the 3D, but there was no indication that they would be coming on RAW Monday night. So kudos to WWE.

--Speaking of Harper, he and Bray had a new member join the group on Monday night. In the middle of a rematch with Reigns and Ambrose, the lights went off, and when they came back on, a massive man with a black sheep mask stood in the middle of the ring. He unmasked to reveal Braun Strowman, a former powerlifter who had been training at the performance center for about two years. While he had never wrestled on NXT, some may recognize him as the gladiator rosebud during Adam Rose's entrances. He physically dominated both Reigns and Ambrose, and seems to be Rowan's replacement. We don't know much about him other than his size. Most people haven't seen him wrestle, and he may just end up being pure muscle. It is unique though seeing someone debut who hadn't been seen on NXT before. It's rare to find a wrestler that very few people know anything about, so if for no other reason, that adds some excitement to it.

--Jon Stewart got a chance to explain his actions from SummerSlam. Coming out, he sheepishly pled his case that he didn't attack Cena to help Rollins. Instead, he explained that growing up, the champ was Ric Flair. Flair was the symbol of greatness. He couldn't sit back and allow Cena to tie Flair's record. Which is actually fairly logical considering the way that Stewart has been portrayed on WWE television. He's been portrayed as almost the ultimate nostalgic fan. When he confronted Rollins, he talked about how Rollins didn't stack up to the past greats. He worshiped Undertaker, and hated Brock Lesnar for beating Undertaker's streak. So if a huge fan of the past was given an opportunity to make sure that Cena couldn't tie Flair, then they would probably take that opportunity. Flair himself came out to explain that Stewart was wrong, and that Flair would rather have Cena tie his record than have Rollins be champion.

Then Cena came out. Cena ranted at Stewart about what he did. He then ended by saying while he understands what Stewart did, he hopes that Stewart would understand what he was about to do. He then AA'd Stewart. Look, I get it, it provides a great visual. However, as they do with Cena so often, he really blurs the line between hero and playground bully. Seeing him attack a defenseless, retired 52-year-old out of sheer pettiness isn't a great look. It will be a throwaway act, probably never mentioned again, but it makes you wonder if they do think about how they portray Cena, or if they just assume he's untouchable. You have him beat up enough defenseless people, and that hero image starts sliding away.

--The Bellas picked up a win over Team PCB. This was notable largely for the crowd completely turning on the match. This included doing The Wave (a personal hatred of mine) and chanting "We Are Awesome." Newsflash Brooklyn crowd: you're not. I understand that the divas, Becky and Charlotte included, aren't connecting the same way they did on NXT. And that's largely the fault of the writing staff. But to go over-the-top in your obnoxiousness is not cool, and Paige and some others commented on it on Twitter. I know the argument. Crowd paid their money, so they can do whatever they want. There's a difference between showing dissatisfaction with the product and being obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious. Brooklyn crossed that line Monday night.

--Paul Heyman came out with Lesnar and delivered an angry, scathing promo on the Undertaker. It was very similar to the one cut after WrestleMania when Lesnar was screwed by Rollins. He demanded Undertaker show his face right then and there to have a match. Instead, Bo Dallas came out, and was promptly dismantled by Lesnar. He was tossed around like a rag doll, and was truly demolished, leading to an F5 in the ring. It will be interesting to see exactly when they book the rubber match for, as it could happen any time between Hell in a Cell and WrestleMania, and it wouldn't surprise me.

--The final match of the night was an 8-man tag, similar to the one they had on the RAW after WrestleMania. The faces won after the heels couldn't get their act together. Big Show got angry at Sheamus and knocked him out, allowing him to get pinned. Then Kevin Owens and Rusev (which, by the way, wouldn't be a horrendous tag team) attacked Show after the match to show their displeasure. They left him lying, and the faces also hit their finishers on Show.

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--It looks like Neville and Stardust will continue their feud, as they had a quick brawl after Stardust attacked Barrett, who was supposed to team with him.

Thoughts? Questions? Leave them in the comment section, email me or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster. You can also find my podcast, Jobbing Out, at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/jobbing-out/id998790026?mt=2


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