WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from September 7

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterSeptember 8, 2015

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from September 7

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Sting traveled to Baltimore only to stay backstage during WWE Raw. That move headlined a night of odd choices.

    The Stinger never confronted Seth Rollins. He only goaded him from near a garbage truck and came off like a watered-down version of his Insane Icon days.

    Rollins lost twice in one night. The women's division again got shortchanged in the ring. And Summer Rae spent more time on the microphone than Bray Wyatt.

    That's the kind of Raw it was, one that leaves fans with plenty to discuss, but not necessarily in a good way.

    The Night of Champions is a bit more full than it was before the night began. Randy Orton, Sheamus and The New Day are among those who helped deliver the show's best in-ring outings. 

    Breaking down all those matches and how well WWE did in its storytelling, the following is a look at Monday's Raw, complete with highlights and letter grades.

Seth Rollins Talks Night of Champions

1 of 10

    In his usual hyperbolic style, Seth Rollins talked up his accomplishments as WWE champion. 

    He bragged about knocking off John Cena. He seethed as he spoke about Sting stealing his statue and about their upcoming title bout. Rollins promised to own both of his opponents at Night of Champions.

    Sting appeared on the Jumbotron next to Rollins' statue, urging the champ to come get him.

    Sheamus emerged next to bark at Rollins and remind him that he could cash in his Money in the Bank contract at any point. 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Reality check, Baltimore. I am special."—Rollins.

    "I know this city is not familiar with greatness."—Rollins.

    Fans chant "We want Sting!"

    Fans chant "Boring!" at Rollins.

    Grade

    C-

    Analysis

    As usual, Rollins delivered a solid performance as the braggart, delusional heel. The issue is that this was essentially the same thing fans have seen again and again throughout his reign. These promos are too long and not unique enough.

    It's no surprise that the crowd grew restless.

    Even with as good as Rollins is getting on the mic, there is too much explaining of the past in these speeches. There is too much dwindling energy.

    Having Sting come off so silly is a bad idea. His character creates a number of possibilities for supernatural/superhero elements. Instead, WWE opted to have Sting use a feather duster on a statue.

    Sheamus' involvement saved this. His presence actually advanced the story. He reminded us of the threat he poses and made predicting who will be champ by the end of Night of Champions more difficult. 

Paige vs. Sasha Banks

2 of 10

    Paige and Sasha Banks locked horns in a rematch of their clash from last week.

    The former Divas champ began aggressively, knocking Banks backward with big strikes. Banks, though, seized control and slowed the match's pace.

    The Boss wore Paige down with submission holds but soon found the British bruiser fighting back with a fury. The babyface's efforts didn't matter, though. Naomi distracted Paige and Banks rolled up her opponent for the win.

    Result

    Banks wins via pinfall. 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Banks yanks Paige off the top turnbuckle onto the mat.

    Paige hits a nasty German suplex.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    WWE missed a big opportunity here. After the underwhelming one minute-plus match they had last week, the company should have just let these women go at it for a long stretch. This could have been the kick in the pants the Divas Revolution story needed.

    Instead, it only teased at being a really good match.

    The in-ring narrative arc seemed to be heading slowly toward a big climax. That never came. This ended much too early with not nearly enough new animosity built up.

The Ascension vs. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns

3 of 10

    Dean Ambrose's fast-paced offense had Konnor reeling. Despite The Ascension double-teaming him, Roman Reigns had little trouble overpowering them.

    The babyfaces stayed in control the entire time as they whipped The Ascension. A spear from Reigns knocked Konnor out of the ring. Ambrose's Dirty Deeds did Victor in.

    The Wyatt Family appeared on the big screen with a warning for Reigns and Ambrose.

    Result

    Reigns and Ambrose win via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Ambrose and Reigns both enter through the stands a la The Shield.

    Ambrose and Reigns hit The Road Warriors' Doomsday Device move.

    "It's okay to be afraid. I don't blame you."—Strowman.

    "The apocalypse waits for you at Night of Champions."—Wyatt.

    Grade

    B

    Analysis

    While not a five-star match by any stretch, this succeeded because it served a clear purpose. This was a showcase of the brothers-in-arms, allowing them to be dominant in order to make up for all the beatings The Wyatt Family has handed them lately.

    Going with the traditional superstar-jobber dynamic was smart. Let Reigns and Ambrose get on a roll again before their big battle.

    A short, effective promo topped this off, adding an emphatic punctuation mark to the ring work.

Ryback vs. Seth Rollins

4 of 10

    Outwrestling Ryback didn't work, so Seth Rollins chose to retreat often. The Big Guy eventually caught the world champ and grounded him for much of the early going.

    Rollins had to drive Ryback into the ring post and the ring steps to shift momentum his way. He managed to then stay in control of the powerhouse, striking at him like a cobra.

    The grueling match saw both men grow tired and just barely escape the other wrestler's signature moves.

    Sting popped up on the Jumbotron. He distracted Rollins enough to allow Ryback to get a roll-up for the win. The Stinger put one of his masks on the statue of Rollins.

    Result

    Ryback wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Ryback floors Rollins with a thunderous chop.

    Ryback holds Rollins up in position for a vertical suplex for a good 30 seconds.

    "Maybe that's why Sting paints his face. Maybe he's been a kleptomaniac his whole life."—Rollins.

    Ryback misses a flying splash from the top rope.

    Rollins hits three straight suicide dives.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    A disappointing end mars the fact that this is the best Ryback has looked in a long while. Couple that with his better-than-expected outing against Big Show, and The Big Guy has clearly been on a roll as of late.

    That's not what fans will be talking about, though. 

    WWE went the lazy route here and booked the overused, cheap distraction finish. Of course, the WWE champ is on the wrong end of it, adding to the times he has lost while holding the world title.

    And again WWE chose to have a more goofy version of Sting show up on camera. He's channeling John Cena with these segments rather than going in the direction that Undertaker would have. 

Summer Rae Apologizes

5 of 10

    Summer Rae asked Rusev to come to the ring to hear her apology. She told him that she felt terrible that she saw Dolph Ziggler naked in the locker room, but not before she showed off her photo gallery in Iron Man Magazine.

    Rusev accepted, blaming Ziggler for brainwashing her with "American lies." 

    Ziggler rushed out to defend himself and call Rusev a liar. The Showoff had a message for Rusev in the form of a superkick and a few right hands.

    He chased the heel out of the ring.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Summer calls Rusev "Ru Ru."

    "Lana is not here because she has a broken heart."—Rusev.

    Grade

    D+

    Analysis

    Bad acting and cliches once again drag this storyline down. Summer is painfully unnatural. Rather than a wrestling angle, this feels like a high school drama team's practice.  

    Throwing in the cheap plug for Iron Man Magazine certainly didn't help make this more entertaining. 

    Rusev's exuberance, despite the ridiculousness of the scenario, was the highlight here. He's clearly doing everything he can to make this work. He simply needs better material and a better rivalry.

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus

6 of 10

    Michael Cole billed this as the rubber match between Randy Orton and Sheamus.

    Neither man held much of an advantage early in this slow-paced bout. They traded forearms and crashed into each other.

    The crowd's insults distracted Sheamus enough to allow Orton to pounce. The Celtic Warrior, though, fought him off outside, evening things up once more. They continued to deliver counterpunches of the haymaker variety.

    Sheamus locked Orton in a variation of the Texas Cloverleaf; Orton hit Sheamus with a superplex. None of it was enough. 

    It took Orton slipping out of a pinfall attempt and nailing his foe with an RKO to end the bout.

    The Wyatt Family soon surrounded The Viper. Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Braun Strowman bludgeoned him, leaving him limp on the mat.

    Result

    Orton wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    A small contingent of fans chant "We want Sandow!" 

    "Who looks stupid now?"—Sheamus.

    Sheamus counters Orton's rope-hung DDT into the Beats of Bodhran.

    Grade

    A

    Analysis

    A slow but intense matchup provided Raw with a boost. Orton worked the crowd into a frenzy when he was on the attack. Sheamus riled up fans by reacting to their chants of "You look stupid!"

    These men had the biggest canvas to work on all night and not surprisingly crafted the best piece of in-ring art on the show. This felt like a pay-per-view match and the climax to a feud that never really picked up significant speed.

    As a bonus, WWE left us guessing at the end of the action. Is Orton going to side with Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, or was this just a means to show off how dangerous the Wyatt clan is? Either way, this ambush created interest in what lies ahead.

The Dudley Boyz vs. Los Matadores

7 of 10

    Los Matadores for just a second looked as if they had a shot. Fernando and Diego teamed up to have Bubba Ray Dudley reeling on the ropes.

    Soon afterward, El Torito stood on the apron, which angered Diego. The bullfighter slapped the bull. The Dudley Boyz pounced and hit the Dudley Death Drop to wrap things up fast.

    Los Matadores wanted to then hurt their mascot, but Diego took a trip through a table instead courtesy of The Dudley Boyz.

    Result

    Dudley Boys win via pinfall. 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I'd like to see that little bull go through a table."—John "Bradshaw" Layfield.

    The Dudley Boyz send Diego through a table.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    A lack of ring time made this less of an exhibition of talents than Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns beating down The Ascension was before it. The Dudley Boyz had some memorable fun after the bell, but there wasn't anything noteworthy from them during the bout itself. 

    As for Los Matadores, a heel turn from a group that hasn't really been clear heels or faces in a long time has less impact than it would otherwise. It's hard to care about this shift in character with how unimportant the bullfighters have been.

    At least something is happening with them after having been so stagnant for so long.

The Miz vs. Cesaro

8 of 10

    Cesaro overwhelmed The Miz and had fun doing it. He barreled over the actor/wrestler with his usual array of creative, high-impact moves.

    The Miz, though, zeroed in on Cesaro's previously injured ribs. Kicks, knee strikes and crashes into the guardrail left The King of Swing grimacing.

    Big Show stormed out to interrupt the action. He chased The Miz out of the ring area before clocking Cesaro with a big right hand.

    Result

    Match ends in a double count-out.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Cesaro catches The Miz in midair and turns it into a backbreaker.

    Cesaro hits a running uppercut while wearing John "Bradshaw" Layfield's hat.

    "You don't want to make a giant angry, especially this giant."—JBL.

    Grade

    D-

    Analysis

    What appeared to be heading toward a really good match and a means to catapult Cesaro forward became a giant-sized disappointment. This was the opposite of creating momentum for either competitor.

    The rivalry between The Miz and Big Show (and Ryback) has no life. That explains the lack of reaction to the big man's rampage here. Why is the audience to supposed to care about Big Show's journey?

    And it's baffling that WWE is choosing to highlight him rather than build on the obvious growing support for Cesaro.

The Bellas Boast in Baltimore

9 of 10

    Nikki Bella gloated about approaching the record for being the longest-reigning Divas champ. She promised a wild party once she surpassed AJ Lee.

    PCB cut the celebration short. Charlotte announced that The Authority granted her a title shot on next week's Raw. That would give her a crack at preventing Nikki from breaking the record.

    A brawl broke out that ended with Charlotte clamping on the Figure Eight.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I invite all of you to our 'Bellabration.'"—Nikki.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    Nikki is no mic maestro, but she did well to hit the key notes here. She was cocky and grating like any good heel, just not at an elite level.

    The story unfolding around her is better than what she is used to working with. She has a clear goal ahead of her, and now she has a foil trying to prevent her from achieving it. That's Storytelling 101.

    Thankfully, WWE went with tried-and-true wrestling booking here.

    It worked. Next week's Raw is bolstered by this segment, and so is the angle overall.

The Prime Time Players and John Cena vs. Seth Rollins and New Day

10 of 10

    Credit: WWE.com

    Backstage, The New Day ran into The Dudley Boyz and found out that they will put the titles on the line next week against The Prime Time Players. The winners will then face The Dudley Boyz. 

    The tag champs also had a run-in with Edge and Christian. That didn't deter them from being as loud and self-important as usual. 

    Once the bout began, Xavier Woods played trombone and Big E danced in the ring.

    The New Day took to John Cena, taking turns grinding him into the mat. Rollins entered when Cena was already worn down and made this worse with a barrage of kicks. Titus O'Neil and Darren Young were forced to watch it all from the ring apron.

    Things turned chaotic once Cena tagged out. 

    O'Neil went on a rampage. Young battled The New Day outside. Cena plucked Kingston from the air and nailed an Attitude Adjustment for the win.

    Sting again popped up on the big screen and dumped Rollins' statue into a garbage truck. Rollins threw a tantrum as he saw his statue get destroyed.

    Result

    Cena and The Prime Time Players win.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Christian plays "New Day sucks!" on the kazoo.

    Big E catches Cena in midair and slams him to the ground.

    Young suplexes Rollins on the ring apron.

    Young pulls Woods off the ring apron and nails him with Gut Check.

    Cena does the "Millions of Dollars" dance with The Prime Time Players.

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis

    Much of the action served as a reminder that the champs are dangerous as well as annoying. Getting them a win would have only furthered that.

    WWE instead wanted to show fans how bad things are for Rollins right now, which isn't much different from the rest of his reign. 

    The New Day thrived in a high-profile spot. Rollins' reaction to Sting ruining his statue was strong. It's mostly the questionable booking choices that held this back from being something special.

    Further worsening Rollins' record and making Sting more mischievous than mystical are far from WWE's best options.