WWE Raw results, September 22, 2014: Dolph Ziggler steals the show and Dean Ambrose spoils The Authority's 'surprise'
Dean Ambrose and John Cena called out Seth Rollins
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — He’s baaaaaack. One month after escaping WWE medical officials and going on the lam, Dean Ambrose has returned from his walkabout and is ready for some payback. In fact, the self-dubbed “ugly stepchild” of WWE staged a literal sit-in until The Authority presented Seth Rollins for further punishment. What he got was John Cena, who similarly wanted a piece of Mr. Money in the Bank. Ambrose wasn’t exactly OK with splitting his prize down the middle and seemed more than ready to throw down with the Cenation leader as well. The Authority’s attempt to restore order led Cena and Ambrose to take matters into their own hands and chase Rollins through the bowels of the arena, until he commandeered a civilian’s car and sped away from his pursuers.
Dolph Ziggler def. The Miz to become the new Intercontinental Champion
Like many a celebrity marriage, The Miz’s third dalliance with the Intercontinental Championship was short-lived, all thanks to the appearance of a chiseled blond guy. All of which is to say, 24 hours after about as dirty an Intercontinental Title loss as has ever occurred in WWE, Dolph Ziggler regained the prestigious prize from the duplicitous Miz after deploying his rematch clause on Raw.
Miz’s shadiness extended well into his title defense; The Awesome One bounced Dolph — whose stunt double “R-Ziggler” was not in the house — off the ropes with a neckbreaker that nearly brought the curtain down on The Showoff’s endeavors. Ziggler roared back to mount a second-act comeback on par with Mickey Rourke, taking out Miz and an interfering Damien Sandow before employing a bit of turnabout, reversing a Miz rollup into a tight-grabbing pin of his own to become a three-time Intercontinental Champion. Talk about a Hollywood ending.
Jack Swagger def. Bo Dallas
Bo Dallas says he likes to inspire people. Safe to say Jack Swagger was sufficiently inspired by “America’s Sweetheart” pinning him on SmackDown, because The Real American did the Stars and Bars proud by making the former NXT Champion submit for the second straight Raw. Bo delivered a smashing (literally) effort, pummeling the former World Heavyweight Champion to and fro and beating the wind out of him with a knee to the gut. Swagger seized his moment when Dallas went to the top rope, though, dropping Bo on his face and plying the Patriot Lock for a submission that even had Zeb Colter — to say nothing of we, the people — crowing in delight.
Natalya def. Summer Rae
Some grudges are just too personal to be settled in roadside brawls. Natalya and Summer mixed it up on a deserted country road on last night’s “Total Divas,” but The Queen of Harts got the last laugh over her leggy opponent (at least for the time being) in a one-on-one match on Raw. Summer actually played Natalya’s game for the duration of the match, wrapping up the former Divas Champion in a surprising array of submission holds. Happily, Natalya didn’t spend all her aggression in that backwoods scuffle, and she came back to blast Summer in the face with a running dropkick, sealing the contest by reversing a roll-up into the Sharpshooter.
Dean Ambrose def. Kane via Disqualification
Few Superstars are tailor-made to fight corporate culture quite like Dean Ambrose, with his jeans-and-tanktop getup and general, angry-beaver demeanor. The former U.S. Champion certainly lived up to his reputation as a rabble-rouser on Raw, letting loose in a down-and-dirty fight against Corporate Kane. Given that the Director of Operations was acting under The Authority’s orders, Ambrose was particularly rabid in his efforts against the former World Heavyweight Champion.
Kane gave as good as he got, attempting to wear down Ambrose’s arm and take away the option of Dirty Deeds. Although Kane didn’t do enough damage to prevent Ambrose from plying his signature maneuver, Seth Rollins saved the Director’s proverbial bacon by bum-rushing Ambrose as he went for the pinfall, starting a brawl Kane helped finish by dropping Ambrose with a Chokeslam … though that didn’t keep him down for long, nor dissuade him from daring Rollins to fight him one-on-one.
U.S. Champion Sheamus & The Usos def. WWE Tag Team Champions Gold & Stardust & Cesaro
Brains, brawn and the utterly bizarre collided in a surreal blend of a Six-Man Tag Team Match on Raw, and what emerged was … a little bit of payback for The Usos. Competing for the first time since losing their WWE Tag Team Titles to Gold & Stardust at Night of Champions, Jimmy & Jey made it a point to target the new titleholders in the six-way scrap, sending the cosmic twins scurrying for the early parts of the tilt.
Cesaro, on the other hand, had little interest in the fairly odd Gold & Stardust, to say nothing of The Usos altogether. He instead demanded Sheamus enter the fray so they could continue their scrap from the previous night. That led to two separate clashes between the brawlers, the second of which helped take the match into its endgame when Cesaro tenderized Sheamus up for a beating from Stardust. A clubbing forearm to the airborne oddball allowed Sheamus and Stardust to tag in Goldust and Jey Uso, which led to a massive brawl culminating in Jey taking flight and splashing Goldust for the pin.
Rusev def. Mark Henry
All the apologies in the world may not be enough for Mark Henry. The regretful World’s Strongest Man was goaded by Lana and Rusev into a second match with The Super Athlete and came up short once again against Mother Russia’s most prized competitor. Henry came much closer to victory than he ever did at Night of Champions, though, battling through a still injured back and even repaying Rusev by throwing the Russian into the steel steps in a reversal of the previous night’s incident.
Photos: Henry defends America on Raw
Despite being energized by the opportunity for redemption, a key maneuver by Rusev sealed the match when he hauled Henry off of the ropes, planting him face-first onto the mat. The Super Athlete plied the Accolade in short order, and to Henry’s credit, he refused to submit a second time, instead sliding into unconsciousness and forcing the referee to stop the match.
Adam Rose & The Bunny def. Slater and the Gator
The Exotic Express’ most famous passenger and its incorrigible ringleader have done it again. After weeks of terrorizing poor Heath Slater, The Bunny made his Raw debut by teaming with Rose against The One Man Band & Titus O’Neil and … well, he won. In fact, “Slater and the Gator” seemed to make it their mission to beat up on Rose and prevent the wascally wabbit from entering the fray, but were unsuccessful. When he did tag in, the rabbit did Donnie Darko proud by clocking Slater with a leaping superkick that softened the former WWE Tag Team Champion up for Rose’s match-ending Party Foul.
Divas Champion AJ Lee def. Nikki Bella
The ongoing family drama between The Bella Twins has spilled over into the Divas Championship picture once again. New champion AJ Lee interrupted a row between the “Total Divas” stars by skipping to the ring for her match against Nikki Bella – The Nikki Bella, as she demanded to be called. And although Nikki’s impressive showing at Night of Champions led to another display of ruthless aggression against the champion, AJ’s winning ways weren’t about to be slowed down. Even the presence of Paige at ringside didn’t provide any significant distraction. AJ weathered Nikki’s offense and locked in the Black Widow to earn a submission win, but Paige might not let her get away so easily next time.
John Cena def. Randy Orton via Disqualification
If there was ever a main event that was best for business, it’s certainly another installment of one of WWE’s most legendary rivalries. This latest, Authority-ordered clash between John Cena and Randy Orton did have a few wrinkles added, however. Seth Rollins and Kane were lurking at ringside and had set up a “surprise” for The Viper that looked suspiciously like a poorly disguised stack of what’s fast becoming The Authority’s trademark cinderblocks.
Bolstered by the presence of his compatriots, Orton controlled Cena for much of a bout that grew brutal pretty quickly; the announce table was decimated at one point and Orton all but tore the armbands off Cena’s wrist attempting to set up his hanging DDT. The Authority pounced the moment Cena seemed to have the match in hand with an STF and quickly brought the fan favorite to his knees. Yet when they prepared to unveil the cinderblocks — surprise — Dean Ambrose turned out to be lurking beneath the veil, having escaped his confinement somehow and ready to raise hell. And just as the night began, Seth Rollins made his escape by a single blond-dyed hair and faced enemies on all fronts with Cena and Ambrose both looking to get their hands on him. At this point, it’s merely a matter of who gets there first.