The WWE must have finally recognized that it needed to inject some new energy into Raw.
I thought it should be in the form of calling up one or two guys from NXT, but the WWE had bigger, more electrifying plans in mind.
The result was another average show overall that delivered some memorable and fun moments along the way.
Before we delve any deeper, here the full match results from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.:
- Dolph Ziggler & The Usos def. Goldust, Stardust & Cesaro
- Bo Dallas def. Mark Henry via count out
- Brie Bella def. Summer Rae
- Jack Swagger def. Tyson Kidd
- El Torito def. Mini-Gator (Hornswoggle)
- Paige & Alicia Fox def. Emma & AJ Lee
- The Miz def. Sheamus
- John Cena def. Seth Rollins, Randy Orton & Kane via disqualification
With that out of the way, let's jump into the my highlights and observations from Monday's show:
Dean Ambrose gets more ridiculous by the week
And it is so awesome. With Roman Reigns on the shelf for the time being, Dean Ambrose has stepped into the role as the No. 2 babyface quite nicely the last couple of weeks.
Not only has he stepped into the spot admirably, but he's become the highlight and focal point of Raw as well.
Last week, it was the exhausting search to find him. This week, it was Ambrose randomly ditching John Cena, whom he was scheduled to team with in the main event, in favor of catching a New York subway to Coney Island to get some of its famous hot dogs.
Let's pause right there for a second. Firstly, Cena and Ambrose had a pretty good promo together before any of this went down. But out of the clear, blue sky Ambrose decided that he was suddenly hungry and just left.
The WWE even showed him hopping on to a subway and leaving. In a perfect world, we would have had running videos throughout the night of Ambrose adventures on Coney Island, but I guess beggars can't be choosers with the WWE.
Cena, knowing that Ambrose is sitting comfortably on the Q train, still wanted to take part in the match he was supposed to team with Ambrose in, which was a 3-on-2 handicap match against Kane, Randy Orton and public enemy No. 1, Seth Rollins.
After the match inexplicably ended in disqualification, Orton, Kane and Rollins beat on Cena.
That was until Ambrose resurfaced with a hot dog cart from seemingly Coney Island. That wasn't the most ridiculous part. He then flipped his jacket open to reveal two holsters carrying a bottle of mustard and a bottle of ketchup.
You can only guess what happened next. Yup, he squirted Orton and Kane right in the face with the condiments. He then proceeded to run them over with the cart, attack Rollins and dump sauerkraut on him.
Then, he grabbed the tongs and clamped them down on Rollins' unmentionables. This was about as "Attitude Era" as we're going to get in 2014 and I thought it was hilarious.
I'll say this much, it was much better than the run-of-the-mill angles the WWE typically closes the show with each and every week.
More importantly, I love what it's doing for Ambrose. He's becoming the focal point of the show because his character opens so many creative doors for WWE.
Although I feel that he could be a little more menacing with his character, it definitely allows the WWE creative team to color outside of the rigid lines a little bit. The end result was him stealing a hot dog cart.
With all of that said, I'm not a huge fan of Cena and Ambrose facing each other at Hell in a Cell.
Oh my god! It's The Rock!
To the surprise of everyone, The Rock showed up unannounced on Raw to confront Rusev.
Sporting a varsity jacket dedicated to Brooklyn's Mike Tyson, The Rock marched down to the ring to a rousing ovation from the fans.
He then took part in an entertaining verbal exchange with Lana and Rusev before laying the smackdown on Rusev.
It's always cool to see The Rock, but it was even cooler to see him give a big shot in the arm to Raw, which has desperately needed it during the past month.
Also, the fact that he worked with Rusev tells you a lot about the level of trust and support the WWE has for Bulgarian Brute.
I don't care if you're getting slapped in the face, being in the ring with The Rock is still a pretty big deal, especially if his appearance hits the mainstream media.
What is the WWE's general direction?
Despite both of those cool things from the show, I still left wondering as to what is the WWE trying to accomplish heading into Hell in a Cell.
The show overall just seems sort of directionless. They have a couple of more weeks to turn things around, but as of right now, the shows just seems kind of all over the place.
Nothing of consequence happens on the show on the show outside of the main angle and maybe on or two other matches.
Inconsequential happenings occur regularly on WWE programming, but it's happening a lot more than usual. It's just another reason why Raw has been rather lackluster lately.
Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford have buns of steel?
The Today Show pair was featured guess on Raw this week to join the WWE in the fight against breast cancer. While that sounded all well and good in theory, what we got instead was nothing of the sort.
Firstly, the WWE did Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford no favors by putting them alongside Adam Rose and The Bunny.
I don't know if the WWE knows this or not, but the fans don't like either one of them that much. I'd be willing to bet The Bunny is more over than Rose at this juncture, which is pretty sad.
Secondly, there was no plan at all. At least it seemed that way. I really don't even know what happened.
I figured we'd get something inspirational from Kotb, who is a breast cancer survivor. Thankfully, we got that from Joan Lunden later in the show.
What we got instead was Kotb and Gifford being booed before they even picked up the microphones. Then, they danced around the ring and smashed wine bottles over their butts.
No, that's what really happened. I couldn't possibly make something like that up. I'm not nearly that creative.
I'm sure Kotb and Gifford had a lot of fun and they can share their story about their experience on the Today Show, but what could have been something cool and inspirational turned out to be silly and another desperate attempt to grab mainstream attention.
In theory, getting mainstream headlines is good, but not when it's this silly and desperate.
Bo Dallas beats Mark Henry (again)
For the third time in a row, Bo Dallas found a way to defeat the massive Mark Henry. This week, it was by count out.
Henry wasted little time getting the upper hand in the encounter, as he was all over Dallas and really didn't seem to care about winning or losing. He was more focused on pummeling Dallas.
He had Dallas outside of the ring and was gearing up to slam him through the announcer's table, but Dallas escaped Henry's grasp and jumped back into the ring just before the referee's count of 10.
Henry, on the other hand, was not so lucky and lost again, increasing his frustration level.
I'm guessing this is leading to Henry snapping and going full-blown heel once again, which I am a fan of.
Brie Bella wins another stipulation match
Apparently, Nikki Bella has full autonomy over Brie Bella's matches every week now because she's been putting her in matches where she walks in with a distinct disadvantage.
Last week, it was a handicap match. This week, Nikki Bella forced her sister to go against Summer Rae with one hand tied behind her back.
Just like last week, however, Brie Bella somehow overcame the odds and found a way defeat Rae, much to the chagrin of Nikki Bella, who merely stood on top of the stage looking very, very good.
At some point these two have to get in the ring together. Let's all join together as one in hopes that it's not inside of a Hell in a Cell.
AJ Lee doesn't want any friends
While Paige quickly found a new best friend in Alicia Fox, AJ Lee isn't necessarily as open to the idea of having any friends.
I must give her credit, though. She tried with Emma Monday during a tag team match, but it didn't quite go to Lee's liking.
Emma, who appeared on Raw for the first time in months, was up to her usual antics of dancing and marching around, but Lee was not a fan of any of it.
She eventually became fed up and left Emma hanging. She went to the top of the stage and watched Paige and Fox defeat Emma pretty handily.
While walking out on your partner is a heel thing to do, it works for Lee because her character is rooted in being a heel anyway. That's part of her appeal. She's very good at being bad and the fans like it.
Hornswoggle, El Torito renew their heated rivalry
Hornswoggle and El Torito was back in the ring against each other again, as Hornswoggle donned the alligator outfit again for Slater-Gator.
In case you forgot, Hornswoggle and El Torito had a heated rivalry during the spring that culminated in a "WEE-LC" match at Extreme Rules. You go back and watch it on the WWE Network for only $9.99.
Erick Rowan promo
A week after an extensive promo aired for Luke Harper, we got another one, but this time for Erick Rowan.
For whatever reason, the WWE is seemingly breaking up The Wyatt Family. While I don't agree with the decision, I am intrigued to see where Harper goes if he is indeed left on his own.