The PG Era Rant: Raw, 7.7.14

When last we left our heroes, they were
back. Chris Jericho made his summer return, but in doing so he got
on the wrong side of an enigmatic leader. AJ Lee returned, and it
was like she never left, for better or worse. And patriotism itself
returned in the form of Swagger and Colter embracing their hatred of
evil foreigners. But not everything’s changed: Dean Ambrose is still
at Seth Rollins’s throat, and four men returned to the main event
scene from Money in the Bank. And now in the mother of all flashback
cities, what will happen next?
The PG Era Rant for Raw, July 7, 2014.
Live from Montreal, PQ. Motto: “How
can we move on if you won’t let it go?”
Your hosts are Le Trio.
Your Raw pre-show (which is still from
HQ) reveals your Raw preview. John Cena faces Seth Rollins in a
non-cash, non-title match; Chris Jericho faces the Miz; Dean Ambrose
faces Randy Orton again; Antonio Cesaro gets a rematch with Kofi
Kingston; Bret Hart is in the house; Nikki Bella faces Alicia Fox,
and both Divas will have one arm tied behind their backs.
Meanwhile, your current
Intercontinental Title field (thanks to the dot-com) is: Rob Van Dam,
Damien Sandow, Alberto Del Rio, Ryback, Curtis Axel, Big E Langston,
Dolph Ziggler, Antonio Cesaro, Bo Dallas, Kofi Kingston, The Great
Khali.
Showtime! But first, a recap of the
main event and setup from last week.

And our opening speaker is Roman
Reigns! There goes my over/under on mentioning 1997. He gets a
hashtag, though. In fact, HHH and Stephanie aren’t even in the
building tonight, which is probably a smart move. Reigns says that
when he comes to the ring, he has a point. HHH says that Reigns
being in the Fatal Fourway is Best For Business. He’s maybe counting
on Reigns to neutralize Cena, at which point Kane will neutralize
Reigns. And if that happens, Orton wins the title. But it won’t
happen. Reigns is Assessing and Attacking, and he has the
Assessment: he’s a wanted man with a hair trigger. “When Roman
Reigns is in the house, you damn right Cena sucks!” Whoa. He
doesn’t care who’s here, because the Authority is irrelevant. Orton
is just a pawn, but Reigns is the next king. Believe that!
And your rebuttal: THEDEMONKANE. He
remains at the entranceway, no microphone, for a huge staredown.
Reigns asks if he’s in charge since the Authority isn’t around.
Kane’s gone from Devil’s Favorite Demon to HHH’s Lapdog… wait, I
mean Randy Orton’s Bitch. Crowd is loving this. Kane stalks to the
ring, and Reigns meets him in the aisle and here we go!
Reigns takes advantage with headbutts,
but Kane gets an uppercut and sends Reigns into the barricade. Into
the ring, but Reigns recovers to send Kane flying. Kane gets
clotheslined into the crowd, and Reigns is hot on his tail. Kane is
sent into a production area, but he returns in kind and gets the
edge. Back to ringside, and Kane sends Reigns into the post. Crowd
chants Randy’s Bitch for fun as 50,000 referees come down to break it
up. But Kane says nuts to that and chokeslams one of them. This
allows Reigns to uppercut Kane out of the ring. Now suits come down
(like IRS and Finlay) and that finally gets them separated. So
Reigns tosses Jamie Noble aside, spears Finlay, and Superpunches Kane
to stand tall. Play HIS music as everyone separates.
Tonight: Bret Hart is here! Chris
Jericho faces The Miz! John Cena faces Seth Rollins! No cash-in or
title… yet!
Ah, nothing like two guys throwing
suits aside to beat the tar out of each other. Always good stuff.
Of note: JBL said something to take from this is to be careful what
you call Kane. I dunno… Roman seems to have gotten away with it.
They’re
here. And why did they get rid of the accordion solo? That was
actually pretty cool character-building.
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan v. The
Usos.
Harper starts with an Uso
in a slugfest, which Harper wins. Jey (the one in the ring) gets
knocked down, but ducks clotheslines and gets a bodypress. Superkick
to the gut sends Harper out, and then he and Jimmy clothesline Rowan
out of the ring. Jimmy removes his shirt as Harper returns, bull
rushing him into the corner and clubbing away. Jimmy ducks and gets
an uppercut, but Harper flattens him with one of his own. Harper
gets a knee choke as Rowan enters, tying Jimmy up in the ropes and
stretching him. Crowd is divided as Rowan slams Jimmy. Neck crank
follows, and then Rowan throws Jimmy down only to miss a legdrop.
Hot tag Jey, and he gets a high kick and throws himself into Rowan
before a dropkick finally floors him for two. Oh, wait, it’s
Montreal. TWO. Rowan sends Jey into the buckle and runs him over
for TWO. Harper in, and he gets a double palm push thing and
fish-hooks Jey. Rowan in, and Harper with a pumphandle fallaway slam
into a big splash from Rowan. It gets TWO. Jey rolls to the outside
as we go to break.
Nope – not gonna end the running
gag. It’s just one week. Love it.
Wyatts/Usos, part two.
Rowan gets TWO as we return. From there it’s the DOUBLE NOOGIE OF
DOOM to Jey. Rowan switches back to the crank. Jey fights to his
feet, but Rowan pummels away and Harper tags in for the T&A
double-team… but Jey avoids Rowan and ducks a Harper big boot as
both fly out of the ring. Harper misses an elbowdrop and Jimmy’s in
with a crossbody off the top. Superkick to Harper, and a kneeling
uppercut. Samoan Drop follows, then the Rikishi hip check, but
Harper’s up too soon. Jimmy recovers with a corkscrew moonsault for
TWO, Rowan saves. So Jimmy dumps Rowan and dives onto him. Harper
lands a superkick of his own for TWO. Harper stares into the
distance as This Is Awesome, then dives at Jey… only to get punched
out. Jimmy with a superkick for TWO. Rowan and Jey trip Jimmy, with
Harper finishing the job, and a powerbomb gets TWO before Jey saves.
Jey low bridges out Harper, then the duo superkick him back down and
get stereo dives… well, Rowan trips Jey, so Jimmy dropkicks Rowan.
Harper with the discus clothesline for the pin when Jimmy turns
around at 11:48. Or was it Jey? Cole questions which one was legal.
***
WWE
Network Free Trial! No credit card required! Watch! (Even though
all of you are already subscribing.)
Later
tonight: Ambrose against Orton!
Backstage,
Orton is telling Kane that he totally had Kane’s back if Roman Reigns
had crossed any more lines. Just like Kane has Orton’s back. Kane
agrees: the Authority will keep the title. Seth Rollins likes to
hear it, and he says it’s important everyone is on the same page. So
no matter who wins the Fatal Four Way, Seth probably
won’t cash in on them. Orton isn’t too fond of Rollins. Kane isn’t
too fond of Orton, though, so it all evens out.
So
whenever HHH isn’t around, the people who report to him are at each
other’s throats, but they all play nice for him. Just noting. Heck,
I’m not even sure that’s a bad thing.
Behind
the Back match: Nikki Bella v. Alicia Fox.

Basically, both Divas will have one hand tied behind their backs.
Alicia gets the jobber entrance. Alicia gives the ref a hard time,
then refuses the arm-tying and attacks Nikki. Crowd hates this. Fox
kicks Nikki out of the ring and follows, throwing her into the
barricade. Fox taunts the crowd and throws Nikki in before taunting
Nikki, who slaps her. That ticks Fox off, and she kicks away before
leaving to taunt the crowd. Fox grabs some drinks from under the
ring and has herself a beer bash at Nikki’s expense. She stomps her
way down the steps and out of the ring. No match.
Our
main event tonight: John Cena against Seth Rollins! Could someone
cash in?
Okay,
so we complain about the Divas having no personality. They give
Alicia Fox a personality, she sells the heck out of it, and the crowd
chants boring at it because they’ve been trained to believe Divas who
aren’t SHIMMER-type girls are boring. Thanks, guys.
Lana
and Rusev are in the ring to insult Canada. If Canada would just
accept Putin (“the world’s true peacekeeper”)… okay, enough
talk.
Alexander
Rusev v. Rob Van Dam.

Well, this is a step up. Lawler calls RVD “a young man who isn’t
interested in keeping the peace”. A young man!? RVD with right
hands and kicks on Rusev, but Rusev reverses only to get hit with a
high kick and springboard kick. Rusev tosses RVD to the apron, but
RVD catapults in with a DDT for TWO. To the top, but Rusev catches
him and throws him off with one hand. Northern Lariat follows.
Rusev stomps away, then does knee smashes into the fallaway slam.
Chinlock as the crowd appears to be singing O Canada. (During this
chinlock, Zeb Colter does an inset promo about Rusev ignoring the
challenge and throwing down the gauntlet for Battleground. WE THE
PEOPLE.) RVD breaks, but runs into a back elbow. Rusev kicks away
at RVD, keeping him down. RVD’s punches are no-sold, and Rusev gets
a kneelift. Kicks in the corner by Rusev, then a front chancery.
RVD is up first, escaping and getting a kick only to fly into…
never mind, RVD reverses to a small package for TWO. RVD with a Yes
Kick attempt, but Rusev blocks. Blind charge by Rusev eats boot and
RVD goes up, landing the flying thrust kick. Rolling Thunder is
dodged, and Rusev with a leaping superkick. Rusev Crush ends it at
4:38. His act is over, but his wrestling isn’t. *1/4
Randy
Orton is WALKING! That’s NEXT!
Smart
move leaving Swagger and Colter at home. Their recent face turn
might fall flat in Canada.
Let’s
look back at Reigns and Kane having a brawl.
Randy
Orton v. Dean Ambrose.

This match gets a hashtag. Ambrose invites Orton to take the first
shot. Crowd is chanting for Ambrose right off the bat. They tie up
in the corner, but Ambrose prevents Orton from getting to the
shoulder, so Orton rolls out to get distance. Back in, another
lockup, and Ambrose gets a Fujiwara armbar into a hammerlock. Orton
elbows out, then yanks the shoulder and reverses the armhold.
Ambrose reverses that to a camel clutch and facewash. Orton retreats
to the corner, so Ambrose works the gut and scrapes the face with his
elbow. Ambrose floors Orton and stomps away, then drops a shin over
his throat. Orton leverages Ambrose into the turnbuckles, though.
Orton mounts the buckle and punches away on Ambrose, but Ambrose
catches Orton stalling and returns the ten-punch countalong. Orton’s
eyes are raked on the top rope, then Ambrose follows with a dropkick.
Ambrose with a strong gut kick, then he ties the legs up and hooks a
straitjacket chinlock. Orton snapmares out of it and lariats Ambrose
to the mat. Orton sends Ambrose into consecutive turnbuckles, adding
an uppercut and headbutts. Ambrose is slumped down, so Orton taunts
the crowd and mocks them with his pose. But Ambrose wakes up,
double-legs Orton, pounds away, and sends Orton over the top rope as
we go to break.
Neither
of these two are really workrate gods or anything, but they’re both
so good at working the crowd and getting them to react that I’m
looking forward to that aspect. Meltzer has said crowd reaction
makes a match better… he’s not wrong.
Orton/Ambrose,
part two.

Orton is working a hammerlock on Ambrose as we see the turning point
during the break was Orton sending Ambrose into the steps. Twice.
Ambrose hooks the nose to break, but stumbles into a dropkick for
TWO. Orton stomps the arm, throwing it to the mat and hooking a
Fujiwara armbar with wristlock. Orton switches to throwing a knee
onto the arm for one. He scrapes his forearm on Ambrose’s bad arm
during the armbar. Ambrose fights out again, but Orton stops it only
to put his head down and get DDT’d. Ambrose tries to get feeling in
his shoulder. Slugfest, won by Ambrose, and a series of running
forearms cues the comeback. Bodypress into fists of fire, and he
kicks at Orton in the corner. Orton catches Ambrose, but the
back-to-backbreaker is escaped and Ambrose has the figure-four on.
Orton tries to untangle the legs, but no go. He tries to grab at
Ambrose, but Ambrose twists the fingers. So Orton finally makes the
ropes. Ambrose holds on til four, then gets frustrated. He waits
for Orton to get in position, goes to the top, and lands short… so
Orton turns around and gets a dropkick for TWO. Whoops. Orton blew
his cue. Announcers try to cover for it. Orton poses for the crowd,
which Lawler finds stupid, then goes back to Ambrose with uppercuts
only for Ambrose to get his untangle clothesline. Dirty Deeds is
escaped, but Ambrose low bridges Orton and follows out. Orton sent
into the barricade, and Ambrose throws chairs into the ring. Like,
five of them. Wrestlers back in, and Ambrose grabs a chair so Orton
bails. Ambrose gives chase, but Orton catches him and sends him into
the post. Orton sends Ambrose into the timekeeper’s area, then
brings him back with the Draping DDT. Orton wants the countout as
the ref has cleared the ring of chairs. Ambrose returns at 9, much
to Orton’s surprise. Orton takes over with a big stomp and tries a
second Draping DDT, but Ambrose cradles for TWO. Backslide gets TWO.
Ambrose tries another untangle clothesline, but Orton with the RKO
out of nowhere to win at 17:40. The crowd was so invested in this
match they didn’t even bother to say how awesome it was. ***1/2,
and it could’ve been higher without the botch.
Bret
Hart is here!
But
first, Renee Young interviews John Cena. She asks about his match
tonight with Seth Rollins. Cena says his titles make him the biggest
target in the WWE. He has the briefcase, the Fatal Four-Way, and who
knows what else. But that’s what being champion is about. Forget
about Best For Business; the title is about Handling Business.
That’s what Cena does… and Roman Reigns shows up. He wishes Cena
good luck, but Cena doesn’t need luck. Roman says Cena will need a
ton of luck at Battleground, though.
Don’t
panic if you’re an Ambrose fan; Orton knew the mistake was on him.
He’s not going to go Kofi on Ambrose. Meanwhile, another strong
start to Raw.
Fandango
is at ringside, and he will be in the Battle Royal. Much like the
two in this next match.
Alberto
Del Rio v. Dolph Ziggler.

As you recall, last week Summer Rae has a thing for Dolph Ziggler,
which Fandango is surprised about. No matter what he says. Lockup,
and ADR with a tackle. Ziggler avoids a cross-whip and gets the Rude
Awakening and Heartbreaker Elbow (JBL notes that Lawler’s heart
attack was in Montreal). ADR tangles Ziggler in the ring skirt and
gets the step-up enzuigiri. Back in, it gets TWO. We find out that
the winner gets a US Title shot tomorrow as ADR punches Ziggler down
for one and gets a chinlock. Ziggler fights out, but ADR sidesteps a
dropkick. Ziggler comes back with a bodypress, but ADR slides out of
the ten-punch countalong and shoves Ziggler onto the post. He
follows Ziggler up with an inside-out superplex for TWO. Del Rio
misses the low superkick, and on the second try Ziggler gets the high
jump DDT for TWO. Fandango is muttering on commentary about nothing
in particular. Zig Zag is missed, tilt-a-whirl is missed, and
Ziggler gets the dropkick for TWO. ADR gets the armstabber out of
nowhere, but Ziggler ducks the enzuigiri and gets the Famouser for
TWO. And now Fandango starts dancing, complete with music.
Ziggler’s like “Huh?” and that gives ADR the chance for the low
superkick for the pin at 4:35. Del Rio has absolutely zero heat.
3/4*
Fandango keeps dancing on the announce table as the crowd sings
along and JBL is ready to kill someone.
Stardust
is ready. He mutters about astrology, then says the roads the family
travels will require something more. Goldust approves of bizarre,
but says they’re the most bizarre of all. And where they’re going,
they don’t need roads! Stardust says time is a cosmic clock. And we
will never forget the names of Goldust and Stardust.
Still
to come: Chris Jericho faces The Miz! But next: BRET!
Alberto
Del Rio just does not care anymore. Meanwhile, the Rhodeses can make
anything awesome.
Fandango
is dancing his way backstage… and Layla wants to know what was
going on. Fandango sweet-talks him, then says he was embarrassed and
got even. Layla feels hopeless if Fandango had anything for summer.
Fandango reassures her, and they cuddle. But Fandango is looking at
Summer looking at them. Summer flirts before walking away. Layla saw
nothing.
Jerry
Lawler thanks everyone in Montreal for saving his life. He says what
happened that night put a damper on the night for Pat Patterson and
Bret Hart, so tonight they’re making it up to Bret. And here he is!
So you know this gets a hashtag. (For the record, Bret has NOT aged
well at all.) Bret: “Merci!” Bret says no matter what happened
in the past, he’s glad to be back in Montreal. (9:42. Wow.) He
means that if he could have just One More Match, he’d want it there.
Bret has goosebumps. He has a rush he got when he was champion. He
used to dream he was the… wait, who hit his music early?
Oh,
right, Damien Sandow as the Hitman. He calls himself the real Best
There Is/Was/Will Be. Sandow is reminded of a regret “he” had in
his career. No, not tapping out to his own submission hold against
Shawn Michaels. No, not pretending the whole thing was a screwjob
that everyone bought the story of. The regret is that he was once
proud of being Canadian. Actually, he regrets something else: that
he never got to face Damien Sandow. Crowd is all over Sandow for
this. So, talking has never been Bret’s strong suit… and Bret
floors him with a right hand. So there.
Sheamus
is out next, and he gives Bret a hug for the seal of approval.
Sandow and Sheamus are next.
Well,
this is the first time anyone in WWE has ever floated the idea the
Montreal Screwjob was a work. And the fact that it was a heel means
they want you to think it isn’t. It’s been 17 years… does anyone
care?
Non-title:
Sheamus v. Damien Sandow, joined in progress.

Sandow is outside the ring and drags Sheamus to the outside,
pounding away. He throws Sheamus into the barricade as we add
Sheamus to the list in the battle royal, apparently. Sandow to the
chinlock, but Sheamus fights out only to run into a kneesmash.
Russian Legsweep and elbowdrop from the second rope follow, and he
imitates Bret before trying the Sharpshooter. Sheamus does a sort of
Mandible Claw to break, then grabs the legs and shoves Sandow down.
Sheamus catches him on the apron and does the Ten of Clubs. Well,
Sixteen. He calls for the Brogue Kick, and it connects for the pin
at 2:38 shown. JBL: “Not in Montreal! Not again! Bret screwed
Bret!” Really? 1/4*
Renee
Young is with the Miz. Miz interrupts Renee Young with something
very important: fan mail. The fan gushes over Miz, calling Chris
Jericho a “rat-faced tattooed rock star”. The fan asks for Miz
to put Jericho in his place. Signed, Russo. Really. Miz calls his
face his livelihood. What could’ve happened to the Marine franchise
if it got disfigured? Also, think about what the fans would lose.
So, don’t you worry, Johnny – Chris Jericho is getting his
close-up.
That
match is NEXT!
Yeah,
they’re basically using Miz to get even with Batista.
Free
Preview Week! We got a sneak peek of the Monday Night War
retrospective! Main Event on Tuesday! Legends House Marathon on
Wednesday! Thursday it’s Total Divas and NXT! Friday Night gives us
Beyond the Ring on Stone Cold! And a SNME marathon on Saturday! It
winds up with a WrestleMania 30 replay on Sunday!
This
leads us to tomorrow’s Main Event main event: a US Title match
between Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio. In addition: Chris Jericho
interviews Bret Hart on the Highlight Reel.
We
look back at last week when Jericho attacked Miz, then the Wyatts
attacked Jericho.
Chris
Jericho v. Miztista.

C’mon, everyone, let’s get that nickname over! Please? Can’t be
worse than Blog Otter. This match gets its own hashtag. Lawler
jokes that WWE is trying to sign LeBron James. Lockup, and Miz with
a headlock and tackle and he kicks away. Miz punches away, but
Jericho reverses with chops and fakes a big right to get Miztista to
flinch. Jericho sends Miz packing with a clothesline, then adds the
triangle dropkick. Jericho’s ear is already bleeding. Jericho heads
outside after Miztista and threatens to send him into the post (JBL:
“Not the face!”), then gives him a kneelift instead. Back in,
Jericho with the facejam, but Miz tosses him out during a Lionsault
attempt. Miz checks his face (no damage) before heading outside and
sending Jericho into the apron. Back in, he punches away on
Jericho’s face before getting a running kick for TWO. Miz with a
fish-hook into a chinlock. Jericho fights out and chops away before
getting a running forearm and tackle. Miz tries to toss Jericho, who
lands on the apron, goes up, and lands a double axhandle to
Miztista’s face. Walls of Jericho try, but Miz counters and gets a
big boot for TWO. Miz sets up the coast-to-coast clothesline, but
Jericho avoids it and gets the enzuigiri for TWO. Jericho chops away
on Miz, who avoids an corner charge and gets a low DDT for TWO.
Miztista complains about his face, but misses a big boot and Jericho
cradles for TWO. Jericho misses a dropkick, and Miz with the
figure-four. Jericho makes the ropes. Miz works on the leg, but the
referee orders separation. It allows Jericho to hit Miztista right
in the face before hooking the Walls of Jericho for the tapout at
5:52. **
For the record, any time they make a deal out of Miz’s face, he’s
clearly movie star Miztista.
Anyway,
back to live action, because the Wyatts are on the stage. “We’re
waiting, Chris. We’re all waiting for you to come save us!” Bray
Wyatt is wondering: how can they save the Universe when he can’t save
himself? Will it be Jericho’s words protecting him from Bray? Last
week, in that ring, actions spoke louder. Actions speak eternities.
So go on, Chris, say what you want. But Bray Wyatt holds every word
against him. And he will never (eeeeeeeeever) let him forget. Look
at the people, the former Jerichoholics, who are singing to Bray’s
tune! Bray inspires them…
…WOULD
YOU PLEASE SHUT THE HELL UP!? Jericho tells Wyatt, quiet. There’s
nothing left to say, because Jericho agrees. Actions mean more than
words. So Jericho’s actions are: since it’s one on one, Jericho’s
going to beat Bray down hard! He’s headed to the top of the ramp…
and just like that, Harper and Rowan are behind Bray. Jericho sees
this and stops short. Bray invites Jericho as the crowd sings and
chants Y2J at the same time. Jericho’s no fool, though: he stays
put.
I
don’t understand – why does everyone who faces Bray Wyatt do so
without backup? Canonically, that’s what gave Cena the edge in the
final battle: he figured out he needed backup, and he went and got
it. It’s what Kane, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and everyone else didn’t
do.
The
Funkadactyls v. Paige and AJ Lee.

Paige introduces AJ Lee as “our Divas’ Champion, the great AJ
Lee!” I, uh, what? Lawler is just as confused as I am. Paige and
Naomi start, and Naomi gets armdrags and a running knee for TWO.
Cameron refuses a tag, so Paige rolls Naomi for one. Naomi to the
waistlock, but Paige reverses a cartwheel to a big kick for one.
Paige with a headbutt, and she stomps away on Naomi before tagging in
AJ to skip around. Spinning kick to Naomi and tilt-a-whirl
headscissors leads to a leg lariat for TWO. Front chancery by AJ,
into a guillotine, as Cameron is doing her nails mid-match to ignore
Naomi’s tag effort. Paige in, and she kicks Naomi but runs into a
kneelift and double clothesline spot. NOW Cameron tags herself in,
working the headlock only to get hit with the Paige Turner for the
pin at 2:25. 1/2*
The Funkadactyls argue after the match, with Cameron poking Naomi in
the face. They go chest to chest, then shove each other, and they
start a catfight… but Naomi UNLOADS on Cameron, clearly dominating
the fight. A referee tries to separate them, but to no avail as
they’re at it again, catfighting out of the ring. The referee tries
to separate them again, so Cameron disrepsects Naomi and walks away.
Tonight:
our main event! John Cena! Seth Rollins!
So
Paige is the top face of the Divas. AJ shows up and Paige becomes
her fangirl who has NO HARD FEELINGS over losing the belt to her. I
called it last week, folks.
Meanwhile,
last week, Kofi Kingston upset Antonio Cesaro when no one on TV could
see it.
Ladies
and gentlemen, his name is Paul Heyman. Brock Lesnar is a conqueror
and all. But Heyman also… wait, Antonio Cesaro says that Montreal
doesn’t speak English, or French for that matter. Quebecois isn’t a
real language. The French and the Canadians can’t stand them. He
then insults them in French.
Antonio
Cesaro v. Kofi Kingston.

Kingston’s ribs are taped up. Kofi charges in with a dropkick to
bail Cesaro, then another to send him to the table. Kofi slams
Cesaro around on the outside, and back in, he springboards but Cesaro
catches and trips him. Cesaro sends Kofi to the outside and delivers
an axhandle to the back. Gutwrench suplex onto the apron as the
crowd chants “Let’s Go Kofi” in French. Blind charge by Cesaro
eats boot, and he tries a corkscrew. Cesaro catches him, and they do
the finish from last week, but this time Cesaro stops it and press
slams Kofi into a gutbuster instead for TWO. Big stomp gets TWO.
Running upercut try… but Kofi reverses to a cradle for the pin at
1:50! Cesaro is still a bad sport, and he once again attacks, this
time putting Kofi into the post. But Big E Langston stops it from
going any further. Play Langston’s music!
Backstage,
John Cena runs into Seth Rollins, who asks for a civil conversation.
Yeah, Cena doesn’t trust Rollins, but hey, the past is the past.
Tonight’s about who’s better, not the briefcase. So when Rollins
pins the greatest WWE Champ ever, THEN he’ll cash in. Or, heck, what
if Cena gets hurt? Maybe he’ll cash in then. Either way, the days
are numbered. If not by Rollins, maybe by Kane or Orton.
Cena
approves the civilized conversation, so he civilly says that Rollins
is full of crap. Cena says Seth is good and he gets what the
Authority sees. So thank them, from all those times he scrapped with
the Shield. And not just because of his outfit. He’s a kid who’s
signed a big deal with a briefcase that seals it. But the only
guarantee Seth has is tonight’s match. So the fight of his life is
on. They agree to meet in the ring.
Hm.
You think they’re going to use this to turn Cesaro face? I would.
Take the fact that Heyman is more interested in Brock Lesnar, plus
how he’s led Cesaro nowhere, and bring it to a huge face turn the
fans wanted.
Meanwhile,
your SmackDown main event is Roman Reigns against Alexander Rusev!
This has to end in a no-contest.
El
Torito v. Bo Dallas.

We look back at how Dallas attacked El Torito. Primo is with El
Torito. Bo says he never ducks a challenge. Torito circles Dallas,
who offers to challenge at his level (on his knees). Torito slaps
Dallas around with his tail, then his hand, then gets a koppo kick to
the groin. Torito celebrates, but Bo gives chase (“BAD BULL!”)
only to get slapped again. Bo shoves down Primo and slugs Torito
between the horns. Bo-Dog ends it at 1:24. This is an attempt to
stop any face heat Dallas has. Bo runs over Torito during his
victory lap. I love this guy.
John
Cena! Seth Rollins! Our main event is NEXT!
Bo
Dallas is getting over, which is good. He’s hitting all the right
notes. We were all ready to write him off as a whitebread babyface
in NXT… but he has saved his career so hard. He is my pick to win
the battle royal.
Please
watch the WWE Network’s free trial! Coming up tonight: the Monday
Night Wars pilot!
Main
event, non-title (for now), no cash in yet: John Cena v. Seth
Rollins.

Give this match a hashtag. Cena and Rollins exchange words to start
as the crowd is fired up. Rollins opens with a headlock, and after a
criss-cross, Cena gets a hiptoss. Facejam airballs, and Rollins
takes over with a kneelift and spinning sleeper slam for TWO.
Rollins pounds away on Cena as we go to our final break.
For
those who hate that Michael Cole is calling John Cena the best WWE
Champion ever, by sheer number of reigns he has a point. Ric Flair’s
title reigns were almost all in the NWA/WCW. He only had 2 WWF title
reigns. Now, if you go by box office draw (Austin), time of reigns
(Sammartino), or quantum leap in relevance for the brand (Hogan), he
isn’t. But in kayfabe, Cole isn’t wrong.
Main
event, part two.

Back with Rollins working a wristlock, but Cena with the Backlund
counter (I think; was that it?) to drop Rollins. Stinger Splash
airballs, and Rollins with a standing Sliced Bread for TWO. Rollins
stomps away, then heads outside with forearms. Crowd chants for
Fruity Pebbles. Cena pops up with a side suplex, Dino Bravo style.
Cena catches a kick, but Rollins gets out of the AA and gets a DDT
for TWO. Rollins: “It ain’t about the contract!” Rollins kicks
Cena around, toying with him and slapping him. “C’mon, John! I’m
the greatest!” Crowd says Rollins sold out. Rollins’ kick is
caught, the enzuigiri is ducked, the STF is escaped, and Cena follows
with a powerbomb for TWO. Cena climbs the ropes by the briefcase,
but he takes too long and Rollins leaps up with an enzuigiri for TWO.
Rollins misses a diving whatever, and it’s comeback time. Five
Knuckle Shuffle hits, and the AA is prepped. Rollins flips out of
it, but runs into the STF. Rollins is by the ropes, so Cena pulls
him back and re-applies. And here’s Kane. The match is still going,
by the way. Cena gets ready for Kane, who marches into the ring…
and Orton jumps from behind at 9:48. Way too slow. *3/4
It’s
Kane and Orton both pounding away on Cena, stomping him down. But
before anyone can go any further, Roman Reigns stalks to the ring.
He Superpunches both men, but Rollins returns and smashes Reigns with
the briefcase. He stalks Cena before whacking him too, and
everyone’s ready for what’s next. Rollins sees this and looks around
for Ambrose, then screams for another referee! Charles Robinson is
on his way to the ring, and there’s the handoff! No, wait, Dean
Ambrose once again interrupts any attempt and beats down Rollins,
including a Cactus clothesline.
Meanwhile,
Orton stalks Cena. But Cena pops up – clearly waiting for him to
get too close – and gives him an AA. Kane goes for the chokeslam
on Cena, but Reigns spears the hell out of Kane instead. Reigns
raises Cena’s hand, and the two have an uneasy staredown. The crowd
wants a spear. Cena just raises Reigns’ hand instead. Another
staredown as we go off the air. The two raise each other’s hands
back and forth.
THOUGHTS:
Man,
they were doing so well, but as soon as Bret Hart showed up,
everything just kinda coasted to the finish. Cena/Rollins looked
like they were intentionally going in second gear. And as much as I
like that Kofi is being shown as a man who can win out of nowhere,
it’s not going anywhere, treated as a fluke, and left that way. It
doesn’t help Kofi; it just hurts Cesaro.
Still,
the tag opener and Orton/Ambrose were very nice, so the first hour
was worth getting. But man, they have to learn how to pace these
shows better.
STATS:
MATCH
TIME: 62:38 over ten matches
BEST
MATCH: Orton/Ambrose
WORST
MATCH: what we saw of Sheamus/Sandow
NIGHT
MVP: Roman Reigns.
FINAL
SCORE: 5. Thing is, this was a 7 for the first half. But the last
few matches were just so poorly paced, plus the Cena/Rollins main
event was just such a disappointment. Hard to keep momentum for
three hours, but don’t phone in segments like you did with
Dallas/Torito.
Matt
Perri will be in to do Main Event; Tommy Hall will look over Impact
and SmackDown; Scott Keith has NXT. Logan, Tommy, and Brian have
your retro, and I might actually live up to my promise to show up
this time. Zana has the indy sleaze we all “love”. I think
that’s everything. See you round!