xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

The Rock Returns on Monday Night Raw

After 18 months, The Rock made his return to Raw on Monday night, surprising the Brooklyn crowd and confronting Rusev.

Rusev and Lana came out Monday night to give a standard promo from them, running down the Big Show for ripping the Russian flag last week. That actually had become a big deal in reality, as the WWE felt they needed to apologize for that segment. After running down Americans and the crowd, Rusev took the mic and called out Big Show. Big Show didn't come out, and he called him a coward, and started posing to the crowd. It seemed like the segment would in, but then The Rock's music played to one of the biggest crowd reactions I've seen on RAW in quite some time.

Advertisement

The Rock pulled out his old playbook, talking about where he went around New York City, calling Lana a few names, and even telling Rusev that it doesn't matter what he thought. He did, however, put Rusev over somewhat, saying how dangerous he was in the ring. He then attacked Rusev, knocking him out of the ring with a big punch. As Rusev and Lana retreated, The Rock posed in the ring while his music played.

There are a few things to be noted about this. First, it was extremely surprising that this was kept a secret. Normally returns like this are spoiled long before it actually happens. However, this was a legitimately surprising return for The Rock. It shows that the WWE is still capable of surprising people, even when there are reporters everywhere trying to get those spoilers. And that surprise led to an even bigger reaction from the crowd.

Advertisement
Advertisement

It was also timed perfectly. His music played about a minute before halftime for Monday Night Football, and by the time the game did go to commercial, The Rock was making his way down to the ring. I heard from a lot of people on Twitter than they flipped over to RAW, and stayed watching due to The Rock's appearance.

Now, we're not sure if this segment is going to lead to more from The Rock, or if it was just a one-time thing. It feels like a one-time thing, just done to give a Brooklyn crowd some excitement during a bit of a lull in the wrestling schedule. However, it's not implausible that this will lead to a match between Rusev and The Rock down the line.

No matter what happens in the future though, seeing The Rock after he's been gone for so long was an incredibly welcome sight. Hopefully he's around more in coming months.

The Rest of RAW: 

Advertisement

** John Cena and Dean Ambrose continued their dance around each other and Seth Rollins. After both attacked Rollins early in the show, The Authority made a 3 vs. 2 handicap match with Cena and Ambrose against Rollins, Randy Orton and Kane. Ambrose decided that he didn't want to team with Cena, and so left the building, and videos were shown of him on the Subway, and at Coney Island. During the match in the main event, which became a 3 vs. 1, the Authority were DQ'd when all three attacked Cena simultaneously. This brought out Ambrose, who brought a hot dog cart down with him. He then attacked all three members of the Authority, using hot dog tongs and condiments.

** After Ambrose cleared out The Authority, Triple H came out and announced the main event for Hell In A Cell. At the beginning of the pay-per-view, Cena and Ambrose will face each other. The winner will get Rollins in the Cell in the main event. I have to say, I think this is a mistake by the WWE. If Ambrose wins, then why was Cena involved with the feud at all? And if Cena wins, then the Ambrose/Rollins feud is robbed of a Hell in a Cell match, when it would have made perfect sense. Also, it's now clear that Brock Lesnar isn't going to be at Hell in a Cell now, which makes the DQ finish in the Lesnar/Cena match more confusing. The one thing it does though is give Ambrose a chance to truly shine if they do plan on giving him the mega-push. Beating Cena and Rollins in the same night could propel him to the top tier of WWE superstars.

One other small note, after Triple H made the match, Ambrose hit Cena with what seems like a new finisher, a double-arm DDT. I think this is a much better finisher for him, as Dirty Deeds just didn't look good against most of his opponents. It also was a bit unwieldy to set up. A good finisher can help matches tremendously, and I think this new finisher will help Dean Ambrose.

** More vignettes were played for the Wyatt Family, one similar to last week with Luke Harper, and a new one for Erick Rowan. It does seem like they might be breaking up the Wyatt Fmaily. This really seems like a mistake if they really are taking Wyatt away from Harper and Rowan. They could have pushed them as singles wrestlers, while still having Wyatt involved. While Harper seems like he can talk more than he's had an opportunity to do, he still could benefit from Wyatt's involvement. And Rowan doesn't seem ready for a singles push yet. Also, on a simpler note, if Wyatt's gimmick is a cult leader, what happens to the gimmick if the cult is gone? We will have to wait and see what's in store for these three.

** Roman Reigns had a segment, via satellite, on Raw. He didn't say much, just that he wanted to be on Raw and fighting instead of at home. He said he's counting down the days until he comes back. It was an odd segment, only lasting about a minute. I understand that this was just done to keep him fresh in people's minds, but they could have done more with it if they were going to do a segment with him.

** Dolph Ziggler and the Usos beat Gold and Stardust and Cesaro. It looks like the tag titles will continue to be contested between these teams, while Cesaro is moving to the Intercontinental title hunt.

** The Miz beat Sheamus in a non-title match after Sheamus was distracted by Damien Sandow. When Sheamus went after Sandow, Miz caught him in a rollup. When the two celebrated on the outside, Sheamus chased them away with a chair.

** Bo Dallas beat Mark Henry for the second straight week, this time via count out when Mark Henry tried to slam him through the announce table. Dallas slipped out and got back into the ring before the ref got to 10.

** Paige and Alicia Fox beat AJ and Emma when AJ walked out on Emma. Emma had been dancing, which seemed to annoy AJ, before AJ walked out. Paige then picked up the win.

** Brie Bella beat Summer Rae with one hand behind her back, in a match made by Nikki.

** Jack Swagger beat Tyson Kidd. The match featured a storyline that has been playing out in NXT, which is some tension between Kidd and his wife, Natalya, where Kidd blames her for many of his losses.

** El Torito beat Hornswaggle, wearing a Gator outfit.

** The WWE had two segments in conjunction with their Susan G. Komen affiliation this month. The first was a rather nonsensical segment with Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb from the Today Show. Adam Rose and the Rosebuds were also involved, but it was a segment that most of the live crowd booed basically the entire time, as it was rather pointless. The other was a much better segment with Joan Lunden who talked about the fight, and her personal fight, against breast cancer. She talked about the survivors at ringside. This one, which seemed to be straight from her heart, actually got the attention of the live crowd. So, to summarize WWE, more heartfelt stuff, less nonsensical comedy when it comes to the Susan G. Komen segments.

Advertisement

Questions? Thoughts about RAW? Leave them below or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement