After John Cena returned to Raw last week and displayed a fair bit of that fated 'ruthless aggression', all eyes were on the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion as Raw took place in Des Moines, Iowa. Would he send out a message to his Night of Champions opponent, Brock Lesnar?
Raw starts with Chris Jericho and his Highlight Reel. Y2J is joined by Triple H, Randy Orton, Kane and Seth Rollins, with the latter being cheered on all night by his hometown crowd. John Cena soon joins the party, of course, and he's then accompanied by Roman Reigns. Arguments go back and forth as each Superstar claims they are the rightful challenger to Brock Lesnar's title. Triple H then makes a six-man tag match between John Cena/Chris Jericho/Roman Reigns and Randy Orton/Seth Rollins/Kane
Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler vs The Miz and Cesaro is up next, including Damien Mizdow, which is quite frankly a superb persona. The Miz hits Dolph Ziggler with a Skull Crushing Finale and gets the pin for his team.
The battle of the super-heavyweights follows: Big Show and Mark Henry take on Erick Rowan and Luke Harper. Whoever wins here, the real victor is the WWE production team for building a ring strong enough to support these four. An interference from Rusev and a kick to Henry later, and the Wyatt family are disqualified. Big Show and Mark Henry win.
Michael Sam could be on next week's Raw, which might be something to look out for.
Paul Heyman trash talks John Cena, talks about how Brock Lesnar destroyed him at SummerSlam and how he will do so again at Night of Champions. It's Heyman by numbers, sure, but it's still head and shoulders above most things in wrestling. Heyman is always box office.
Jack Swagger beats Curtis Axel after a swift encounter and a Patriot Lock. Bo Dallas is at ringside and explains how disappointed he and his fellow Americans were by Rusev's SummerSlam victory. Bo then wants the crowd to stand say 'all you have to do is Bo-lieve'. It's gold.
Adam Rose beats Titus O'Neill. There was a bunny there. Not sure if I was dreaming this section.
A kick and The Accolade later and Zack Ryder is toast as Rusev stands victorious. Mark Henry comes out and trash talks Rusev. These two should have some powerful encounters but the fans don't seem too invested just yet.
Nikki Bella and Stephanie McMahon are in the ring. Steph says Nikki can have a match for the Divas Championship due to the years of Brie taking advantage of her. Brie then comes out, followed by AJ Lee, followed by Paige. AJ still has eyes on the title, displayed by her picking it up and skipping around the ring with it before Stephanie grabs it back off her.
Goldust beats Jimmy Uso after a Final Cut. Stardust joins Goldust in a beat down of Jey's injured leg. The heel turn is real.
The main event is up next and the Des Moines fans are firmly behind Seth Rollins. Multiple back and forths take place with the emphasis clearly on Cena not being tagged in. Predictably the hot tag comes in from Jericho and Cena clears the ring before hitting an Attitude Adjustment on Kane. Roman Reigns then spears Kane for the win. Cena stands victorious and fires out a warning shot to Brock Lesnar; he's ready for Night of Champions, alright!
Results in full:
Cesaro and The Miz defeat Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler
Cameron, Rosa Mendes and Eva Marie vs Summer Rae, Layla and Naomi ends in a double DQ
Big Show and Mark Henry defeat Erick Rowan and Luke Harper
Jack Swagger defeats Curtis Axel
Adam Rose defeats Titus O'Neill
Rusev defeats Zack Ryder
Goldust defeats Jimmy Uso
John Cena, Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns defeat Randy Orton, Seth Rollins and KaneReuse content