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Raw Recap (08/31/2015)

"The Icon" has returned to the WWE Universe and has once again proven to a thorn in the side of The Authority. The former WCW Champion now sets his sights on the WWE World Heavyweight Championship - a prize which the wrestling legend has never attained. The impact of Sting was felt last week in Brooklyn but did the that force continue tonight in Tampa?

Here's how the latest edition of Monday Night Raw went down:

Recap

The sounds of the crow open the show as Sting is out first to address his upcoming match with Seth Rollins at Night of Champions. The Stinger references his WrestleMania match against Triple H and states that he will always have respect for The Game. Sting goes on to discuss Seth Rollins and his current WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign: “Seth is a legend in his own mind.” Sting claims that he will win the championship; calling Rollins a “little boy” and not “the man.”

Backstage: Seth Rollins complains to Stephanie McMahon about Sting’s comments. Stephanie tells Rollins that a victory over Sting will “cement his legacy.” Rollins demands to know the whereabouts of his statue to which Stephanie informs the double champion: “go ask Sting.”

Dolph Ziggler w/Lana vs. Rusev w/Summer Rae

This SummerSlam rematch would once again place much of the focus on Lana (camera shots, chants from the crowd, commentary) but would also prove to be a valid psychical contest which ended with Summer Rae attacking Dolph Ziggler.

Match Winner: Dolph Ziggler via DQ

Match Rating: 6/10

Backstage: Renee Young interviews Dolph Ziggler about his victory; after which Summer Rae is shown making her way into Ziggler’s locker room.

NOTE: #1 Contender’s Beat the Clock Challenge between the members of P.C.B. would take place throughout the night.

In the Ring: Nikki Bella introduces the “BellaTron” which is counting down the seconds until she is officially the longest reigning Divas Champion in WWE history.

Becky Lynch vs. Alicia Fox

Quick action with plenty of pinfall attempts from Becky Lynch who would eventually force Alicia Fox to tap out and set the time to beat.

Match Winner: Becky Lynch @3:21

Match Rating: 2/10

Backstage: Ryback is being interviewed when Summer Rae is shown running down the hall while Dolph Ziggler looks flustered; wearing only a towel.

Ryback (c) vs. Big Show (Intercontinental Championship)

Slow-paced match (usual Big Show pace) with some hard spots throughout. Ryback hits the Shell Shock to retain the championship.

Match Winner: Ryback

Match Rating: 3/10

Charlotte vs. Brie Bella

Another match consisting of quick action as Charlotte attempted to beat the time set by Becky Lynch which she would accomplish by pinning Brie Bella.

Match Winner: Charlotte @1:40

Match Rating: 2/10

Backstage: Renee Young interviews The Dudley Boyz about their return. The Dudley’s make their intentions clear: they want the WWE Tag Team Championship.

Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro

Fantastic contest between two great wrestlers who would showcase a series of wrestling maneuvers in a back-and-forth match which eventually saw Kevin Owens shit the Pop-Up Powerbomb for the victory.

Match Winner: Kevin Owens

Match Rating: 8.5/10

Backstage: Dolph Ziggler explains to Lana that nothing happened between himself and Summer Rae. However, Lana walks away upset with The Show Off.

In the Ring: Bray Wyatt thanks Sister Abigail for giving him her “greatest gift” in the “black sheep,” Braun Strowman. Wyatt hands Strowman the microphone: “this isn’t the beginning; it’s the end … the apocalypse.”

Dean Ambrose vs. Braun Strowman

This wasn’t much of a match. Braun Strowman beat up on Dean Ambrose for a while until Roman Reigns would get involved.

Match Winner: Braun Strowman via DQ

Match Rating: 2/10

Post-Match: Braun Strowman would take out both Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns with a small assist from Luke Harper. Bray Wyatt hits Sister Abigail on Reigns to conclude the session.

Backstage: Renee Young interviews Seth Rollins about his statue search. Rollins states that later in the night he will call out Sting and demand his statue be returned.

Paige vs. Sasha Banks

Once again the action was quick as Paige tried her best at beating the time set by Charlotte but was unable to pin or submit Sasha Banks.

Match Winner: N/A

Match Rating: 2/10

Backstage: Renee Young interviews Lana; showing her footage of Summer Rae discussing her time in Dolph Ziggler’s locker room in which Summer makes some raunchy accusations about Ziggler. Lana walks away looking distraught.

The Dudley Boyz vs. The New Day

The boys from DudleyVille are back (in which state is that located?) and were quick to toss themselves into the Tag Team Championship picture defeating the current title holders in a hard-fought match.

Match Winners: The Dudley Boyz

Match Rating: 6/10

Post-Match: The Dudley Boys attempt to put Big E through a table but Xavier Woods saves his teammate.

Seth Rollins is out to close the show and call out Sting. The champ takes a shot at WCW in discussing his problem with Sting. Rollins wants Sting to take back what he said at the start of the show as well as reveal the location of his statue. This brings out Stephanie McMahon who informs Rollins that he allowing Sting to get inside his head … and here comes John Cena who takes a few verbal shots at Rollins before asking Stephanie for a rematch at Night of Champions for the United States Championship. Stephanie reluctantly grants Cena’s request and Rollins is irate.

Sting appears at the top of the ramp and stands alongside John Cena as the show concludes.

Going Forward

Placing the Divas in a “Beat the Clock Challenge” is not a smart move. These challenges usually lead to quick and non-competitive matches – evident tonight in all three bouts.

John Cena’s girl will surpass CM Punk’s girl as the longest reigning Divas Champion of all time. Mission accomplished … now give the damn belt to Charlotte.

The Wyatt Family being back together with its newest member has cast a familiar fascination upon the WWE Universe. Hopefully, this time around, the trio are booked properly.

There is nobody on the current roster more interactive and intense in the ring than Kevin Owens. However, you can already feel the WWE machine relieving the muscle behind his push.

Should The Dudley Boyz win the WWE Tag Team Championship? Yeah. Why not? There is nothing better going on within the division.

If somehow WWE decides to put Sting over on Seth Rollins and give him the WWE World Heavyweight Championship; chances are the reign will not last long.

Should this in fact be the direction the title is heading, it is quite possible that Sheamus will cash-in the Money in the Bank briefcase on Sting – possibly the same night.

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