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The PG Era Rant: Raw, 7.21.14

Look here, I came for an
argument!”
An argument? I’m sorry, this is
Abuse! Argument is two doors that way.”
  • The Internet in a nutshell,
    myself included
The PG
Era Rant for Raw, July 21 / 2014.
Live
from Miami, Flo Rida.
Your
hosts are Cole, JBL, Lawler (main show), Riley, Booker, and Byron
(pre-show).
Raw
Preview from the Pre-Show:
  • HHH
    names the main event of SummerSlam.
  • Chris
    Jericho’s Highlight Reel with Bray Wyatt.
  • Nikki
    Bella faces Cameron, Rosa, Alicia, and Eva Marie.
  • Some
    guy sings. (Worth it just to hear Booker T sing along. Almost.)

And to
open the show, Triple H. The big story, according to the announcers,
is that John Cena is still champion but his SummerSlam main event
will be named tonight. Our first segment gets a hashtag. HHH starts
by saying backstage no one wants to look at him because they’re
nervous. They think HHH will lose it over last night’s events, such
as John Cena still being champ and not an Authority member. Okay,
fine, HHH is mad as heck and not gonna take it anymore, but he has
ways to fix it. And he’s so mad he’s going to… complain on the
Internet! And in that tweet, he’ll threaten rioting! And then he
and his friend Mark will stop watching!
Or he
could just fire everyone. Including the fans. That’ll make
everything better, right?
Or he
could relax because he always wins. Even if it takes four more
weeks, he’ll win. And at SummerSlam, he will guaran-damn-tee that
John Cena will no longer be champion. But who’s gonna replace him?
And
this brings out Randy Orton, who doesn’t even wait to get to the
ring. He points out that, hey, he’s owed a one-on-one rematch ever
since WrestleMania because that’s how it works. And he guarantees if
he’s in that match, he’ll win. HHH is impressed in the confidence
Orton has, and while Orton is the morning line favorite, he hasn’t
made up his mind. He will wait until the end of the night. HHH
wants someone to impress HHH and show HHH that they want the title
shot more than anything else in their life. More than breathing…
Orton
says that if Kane had done his part, none of this would matter and
Orton would ALREADY be champion, so you can’t be considering Kane,
right?
This
cues Kane. He simply says he hopes he’s in the running, because he
knows he can win. He can bring the gold back to the Authority… IF
he’s done being Orton’s bodyguard. Kane is tired of babysitting, he
says. This leads to an off-mic argument…
…and
the arrival of Roman Reigns. Reigns says any conversation about the
next contender requires his name as part of it. Last time he
checked, no one wants to see Cena face Kane OR Orton again. The
people want to see Cena against Roman Reigns instead. Crowd agrees.
Believe it. And Reigns instantly Superpunches Kane as HHH and Orton
bail.
HHH
says he believes in Reigns having a match right now. It’ll be
against Kane AND Orton in a handicap match. And that starts NOW!
Where by “now”, we mean “after the break”.
That first bit that HHH did served
no purpose other than to amuse Vince. If he had just started on “I
always win, even if it takes time”, the promo is much better.
Roman Reigns v. Kane and Randy
Orton.
Wow, we didn’t miss any
of it! Orton starts with a long lockup as we get a new hashtag.
Orton with some kicks and a headbutt, but he puts his head down and
Reigns headbutts back. Ten punches in the corner is stopped at nine,
but the tenth lands when Orton charges. Orton stops Reigns with a
hairpull slam and brings Kane in. No handoff. Kane with a knee to
the gut and some clubs, but he walks into a Samoan Drop for two.
Orton tags himself in, but Reigns fights both men off and slugs away
on Orton. Orton catches Reigns with a knee to the gut and stomps
away. Kane in, and he gets his running seated dropkick for one.
Kane with an uppercut, then an axhandle to the back. Headbutts in
the corner and a snapmare, and Kane goes to the VULCAN NERVE PINCH OF
DOOM. Reigns fights to his feet, but Kane knees Reigns and tries a
suplex. Reigns reverses to one of his own, getting two. Reigns with
some right hands to Kane, and a headbutt. Kane reverses a corner
whip and gets an avalanche, but the second one eats boot and Reigns
comes off the second rope with a clothesline for two. Reigns with an
uppercut, but Kane leverages Reigns out of the ring. Kane follows
outside, but Reigns reverses Kane into the steps. Orton checks on
Kane as we go to break.
I do like that Reigns doesn’t try to
do resting as part of his offense, but it only works if you have the
varied offense to keep it interesting. It’s why Orton has restholds,
for better or worse. So far, though, he’s not awful. Not amazing,
either, which is a problem with a main eventer.
Handicap Match, part two.
Orton with the now-requisite chinlock as the crowd gets loud while
Reigns breaks. Orton with a back elbow to a charging Reigns, then
the Garvin Stomp, getting two. Kane in, and some double-teaming
follows. Kane catches Reigns with a back elbow for two. Orton tags
in, stomping the leg, then circling Reigns who pulls himself up.
Orton with a dropkick for two. He blatantly yanks the hair to go to
the chinlock. Reigns up and punching free, then a headbutt to wake
himself up. He catches Orton in a Samoan Drop, but Kane comes in.
Reigns with the clotheslines for the comeback, then an uppercut and
another clothesline. Kane slumps into position, and Reigns nails the
Drive-By Dropkick. Superpunch called for, but Reigns disposes of
Orton and conventionally uppercuts Kane. A third Samoan Drop try is
escaped, and Kane with a big boot. He demands a tag from Orton, who
more or less tells him to go prove yourself. Kane decides to choke
Orton and gets Superpunched instead. Spear is called for and landed
for the pin at 12:21. That’s not a good sign for Reigns in main
event matches as far as workrate, but the crowd was hot for it. *1/4
But the music ends early as Reigns tells Orton to bring it. Orton
goes to the apron… then walks off instead. Reigns and Orton stare
down after replays.
Later
tonight, Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt meet on the Highlight Reel!
Plus, Nikki Bella faces four women at once!
The
four women are seen talking backstage when Stephanie walks up to
them. She says it’ll be a great night, not just because of the main
event announcement thing, but also because Nikki Bella will be killed
and Brie taught a lesson. They are ready to show the boss.
The
biggest problem with WWE here is that the midcard is spinning its
wheels. See how Nikki has undergone this for weeks on end without
character or story advancement. To get away with that, the story has
to be interesting and/or the wrestlers have to be capable of mixing
it up. This is neither. It’s hard to be optimistic sometimes.
Handicap
Match II, Electric Boogaloo: Rosa Mendes, Cameron, Eva Marie and
Alicia Fox v. Nikki Bella.

Whoa, Brie bought a ringside ticket! Surprise! And of course, as
soon as we see this, it means Stephanie has to come out and buzzkill
it. “Oh, look, it’s the quitter!” She even calls Brie “Nikki”
just to rub it in. And Stephanie is so surprised to see Brie, who
went from a Total Diva to a face in the crowd. And why? Because she
abandoned Nikki for Daniel Bryan, Mr. B+ and all that. Crowd chants
YES. Yes, Daniel Bryan was stripped of the gold and is injured.
Wow, did Brie ever show her! But now, she gets to watch Nikki get
demolished by four other women. So remember this, Brie: It’s on you.
Brie is not impressed. She calls Stephanie a bitch (off-mic but
on-camera), which gets Stephanie’s attention. Stephanie asks Brie to
be ejected, but she has a ticket. So Stephanie tells her to sit
down… and Brie yanks the mic away and says it’s because she slapped
Stephanie so she took it out on Nikki. She calls Stephanie a bitch
again, this time on the mic, and Stephanie attacks Brie before having
security haul her off. Stephanie calls Brie a quitter and a loser
again, then says it’s a lesson so ring the bell. And the mugging is
on, as no one tags in and out at all. Finally, Alicia Fox calls of
the dogs, and she and Cameron allow a scissors kick for the pin at 32
seconds. All angle. They roll Nikki out of the ring – and the
camera goes out. Stephanie apologizes for what Brie did, then says
sooner or later she (Nikki) will quit too. Crowd hates Stephanie
hard after that. Replays focus on Stephanie’s little hit-and-run as
the announcers argue and we focus on Nikki trying to cry.
Anyway,
later tonight, HHH makes The Decision II! Also, Flo Rida will be
here tonight!
I’d
be looking forward more to this – since Brie Bella is now the top
babyface Diva among the average fan – if I felt any confidence that
Stephanie would allow herself to lose in the ring.
Moments
Ago, Brie and Stephanie kinda sorta fought. They bleep out bitch on
the replay.
The
Inspirational Bo Dallas v. Damien Sandow as LeBron James.

“You were expecting Michael Jordan?” Sandow says that he speaks
from experience, telling Dallas to leave so no one has to see his
grin. If Bo is smart, he’ll do what LeBron did and leave. Is Bo a
face or a heel? Sandow attacks as the bell rings, but Dallas catches
him with a kick and clothesline. Backdrop to Sandow and he
clotheslines him to the floor. Bo is caught celebrating, but he
blocks a punch and fires away before running into a back elbow.
Sandow clubs away, stomping Dallas in the gut and getting a suplex
for one. The Heat get a chant. Small package by Dallas gets two,
but Sandow with a clothesline. Austin elbow gets two, and we hit the
chinlock. Dallas fights out, but runs into a knee to the gut.
Sandow imitates a jumper, then does a slam and Cubito Aequet
(“Cleveland, I’m coming home!”… that misses. Bo-Dog soon after
for the win at 2:33. Crowd cheers the victory lap, too. 1/2*
Fozzy’s
new album drops tomorrow! And because of that, he will interview
Bray Wyatt next on the Highlight Reel!
So,
is Bo Dallas a face or a heel? It’s like the people up top are
vacillating, which will only hurt his heat. I mean, either he’s the
guy you put up with even though he’s a dork, or he’s the guy you hate
because he’s a dork. Which is it, WWE?
The
carpet’s on the ring, so it must be time for the Highlight Reel!
Wait, maybe not. See, during the commercial break… wait, this
just in: they’re here. Anyway, during the commercial break (and on
the WWE App), the Wyatt Family beat the tar out of Chris Jericho
backstage during an interview of his own. Bray’s in the ring.
“Hello, everyone! And welcome to the Highlight Reel!”
Unfortunately, Chris Jericho won’t be here. He’s indisposed… but
where is he? Bray shows us where he is by replaying what happened
during the break. This apparently happened in Jericho’s private
locker room, ending in Sister Abigail’s Kiss into a metal locker
door. “Sooner or later, they all fall down.” Wyatt walked off
humming.
Back
live now as the crowd is booing. So where IS Jericho? Where’s the
savior? Nowhere. But guess who’s here for the fans instead? Bray.
He’s been there every day since he arrived. But he knows the next
thought: “You lost last night, Bray. Jericho’s better.” But
Bray doesn’t care about such things. A loss in a battle is nothing
to Bray because he will win the war. And war is what Bray does best.
He created war, remember? And not too long ago, the Wyatts entered
for the first time, and they have dismantled giants, destroyed
monsters, and brought alleged heroes to their knees. So who does
Chris Jericho think he’s dealing with? Bray Wyatt is the Eater of
Worlds and is the monster everyone thinks he is. You can’t measure
Bray the way you measure others. It’s not by wealth, because society
is just a plaything. It’s not by time, because time means nothing to
a man who lives 100 years a day.
Ever
since last night, he’s been thinking of something he heard from
Sister Abigail. Be careful chasing vengeance, because you have to
dig two graves. But… Bray is forever, so he doesn’t get a grave.
Hit the pose, follow the buzzards, blink out.
Backstage,
Jericho’s ear is bleeding. R-Truth and Zack Ryder are checking in on
him with the trainer.
Tonight,
HHH names the main event! But Flo Rida is in the house, saying hello
to his homies Kofi, Big E, Dolph, Emma, Naomi… that’ll be later
too!
Miz
is here, and he’s got a non-title match next!
Bray
Wyatt on the mic has a weird charisma that saves him from losing
heat. But at some point, he has to win a feud decisively.
Ironically, he’s failed at stopping both Daniel Bryan and John Cena,
despite claiming to focus on wars. He needs a big win… perhaps
bigger than Jericho can deliver.
But
first, let’s recap with stills the ending of the IC title battle
royal.
Non-title:
Hollywood Miz v. Hollywood Dolph Ziggler.

One’s California, the other’s Florida. Miz is clearly telling the
referee no face shots. Thankfully, Miz’s face isn’t on the Tron.
Miz bails when the bell rings and removes his sunglasses. Miz comes
in and bails out right away. Back in… and back out. He yells at
the crowd, and now Dolph’s had enough and chases before running back
in and landing a Thesz Press. Miz is back out, so Dolph baseball
slides him into the barricade. Giant Chop by Dolph and he tries to
throw Miz into the steps, but Miz blocks. Back in, Miz catches Dolph
and stomps away. Miz picks Dolph up, but Dolph cradles him, reversed
by Miz, into a Dolph hiptoss and ten elbow countalong. Except Miz
rolls away from #10. He catches Dolph with an elbow and big boot,
and we hit the chinlock. Dolph reverses to a headlock, then tackles
down Miz. Hiptoss is blocked, dropkick is caught, and Miz catapults
Dolph to the apron. Dolph tries to throw Miz out, but Miz too lands
on the apron. Miz with a kick to Dolph’s shin, then he flapjacks
Dolph into the post and to the floor as we go to break.
You
know, as fun as this match is, you should save it for SummerSlam and
not give it away at all on Raw. If Miz wins, Dolph has nowhere to go
and no claim. If Dolph wins, you go to SummerSlam and everyone knows
Dolph returns the job. What’s the fun in that?
Miz/Dolph,
part two.
Miz works
Dolph over, as Ziggler is slumped in the ropes, but he fights back
with shots to the gut. Dolph traps both arms, but Miz with a
kneelift and he stomps away, including using the ropes for a stomp.
Miz with a suplex for two. He hooks Dolph’s nose before getting the
chinlock again. Dolph fights out and gets a running cradle for two.
Miz with a lariat to stop the momentum, and he stomps some more.
Running through-the-ropes clothesline airballs and we get a double
KO. Both men up, and Dolph with the comeback, ending on a Stinger
Splash into the Rude Awakening… but then he slows down almost as
suddenly as he sped up. I don’t get that. Famouser misses, and Miz
cradles for two. Million Dollar Combo is reversed to a backslide for
two. Miz with the Side Effect for two. Miz checks the face, but
runs into a kick. Dolph tries a running DDT, but Miz blocks enough
that Dolph has to try again. He tries a sunset flip, Miz escapes,
figure-four is stopped, and Dolph with the Sky High DDT for two.
Dolph up first with a front chancery, but Miz with a kick and low DDT
for two. I think we’ll see that on Everyone Talks Too Much in the
future, even though I didn’t blatantly hear it. Miz works the leg of
Dolph – the left leg – then picks up the right leg for the
figure-four, but Dolph cradles for two. Dolph cuts Miz off and tries
a superkick, but Miz blocks and gets the figure-four. Dolph crawls
to the bottom rope, getitng a huge cheer. Okay, who chanted Super
Dragon? Dolph with the Famouser for two. Crowd declares this
Awesome, and I’m not sure I’d go that far. Dolph shoved off the Zig
Zag, and Miz with a big boot. Dolph escapes the SCF, Miz ducks a
superkick, and Dolph with the Zig Zag for the pin and a BIG pop at
13:59. Not quite awesome, but certainly good. **3/4
Miz is still champ, and he insists on Justin Roberts saying so.
Buzzkill. Miz even gets the glasses back on as he leaves, as if he’s
begging us to meme him.
Backstage,
HHH is giving the bad news to Seth Rollins – hey, he’s Mr. Money in
the Bank, why waste that now? Seth gets it, but he’s frustrated by
Ambrose and Ambrose won’t stop until they stop him. They have to
shut Ambrose down for good… and enter Cesaro. Cesaro pleads his
case to HHH, saying he’s a walking Money in the Bank contract. He’ll
get the job done (work, shoot). He’s made a business decision: he’s
left Paul Heyman. And he wants to join the Authority. But Rollins
makes it clear: the position is filled. HHH has an idea: maybe
Cesaro can do him a favor and take out Ambrose? Cesaro agrees.
Seth: “What’s his deal?” HHH: “Let’s see what he can do.”
AJ
is SKIPPING! Paige is WALKING! They have a tag match NEXT!
So
we have fifteen minutes of two characters – an arrogant cowardly
heel and a determined, never-say-die face – putting on a decent to
good match, and the crowd eats it all up with a spoon. No hash tags.
No overselling by the announcers. No fancy entrances. Just two
guys having a good match that the crowd loves. We need more of this.
Your
Slam of the Week is the AJ/Paige match last night, focusing on how
close Paige got. On further review, this match wasn’t as good as I
thought live.
Paige
and AJ Lee v. Emma and Natalya.

Faces get no entrance. AJ and Emma start with a CM Punk chant.
Emma marches to psych herself up – nice touch – before a lockup.
AJ with a hammerlock, but Emma gets a back elbow (“yes!”) and a
trip. She dances into an Oklahoma Roll for one. AJ with a prawn
cradle for two. AJ with a big flying attack – I missed it, sorry –
then skips around before slamming Emma into the corner and tagging in
Paige. Paige with a headbutt, but a charge misses and Emma gets the
Tarantula. She somersaults to tag in Natalya, who dropkicks Paige
and goes for a jack-knife cover, getting two. Backslide battle goes
nowhere, and Paige shoves Natalya into Emma. Natalya with a German
suplex THROW, and a Sharpshooter try, but Paige crawls over to AJ to
tag. Natalya doesn’t know it, so AJ nails the Shining Wizard and
Black Widow to win at 2:27. Darn, I was hoping for more time. 1/2*
Paige hugs AJ afterward and applauds as AJ just skips off in her own
world. Paige then hugs AJ in the ring and raises her hand… then
YANKS HER DOWN BY THE HAIR! She heabutts AJ into next week and
tosses her out of the ring. She follows by tossing AJ into the rail
and screaming. “You’re gonna love this” she says before throwing
AJ into the post. “I told you this was my house!” Crowd is
divided. Paige tosses AJ into Lawler’s lap (and shockingly, Jerry
gets out of the way) before crawling over after her. “My house,
AJ!” And there’s your double-turn attempt. Paige skips off to a
mixed reaction. Her “Did I do that?” look to the camera seals it
as we go to replay.
Later
tonight, HHH makes the SummerSlam main event! Plus, Flo Rida!
WHY
WASN’T THAT ON THE SHOW LAST NIGHT!? If this was their plan, why
save it for Raw? WHY? Dammit, WWE, I want to love what I do every
week – stop making me upset!
Fandango
v. Zack Ryder.

Wait, someone has to win this match? Ryder comes out with Summer
Rae and Layla. Fandango with a back waistlock, but Ryder fights out
only to get dropkicked. Fandango with a clothesline for one, then he
hits the chinlock. Ryder tries to fight out, but Fandango with a
knee to the gut. He puts his head down, and Ryder with the facejam
as the surreal moment of Cole defending Ryder from JBL happens.
Fandango dodges a missile dropkick and gets a headlock and punches.
Blind charge misses, Rough Ryder ends it at 1:47. Fandango did get
his foot on the ropes, but Layla shoved it off. Ryder gets eleventy
billion kisses as a reward.
We
recap Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon yelling at each other.
Renee
Young is with Flo Rida. Rida says maybe HHH will be so impressed
that he’ll give RIDA the title match. And here’s Heath Slater. “You
remember me?” “No.” Slater recounts why this is happening and
shoves Rida, who fires back so hard he knocks Slater out of camera
view. Flo is next!
Two
jobbers in a nothing match that won’t get either over, recapping the
McMahons, JBL yelling so that Cole and Lawler can’t do their job, and
a wrestler being forced to put a celebrity over as physically
intimidating. This last five minutes is like everything Vince does
wrong in one segment.
Your
Main Event main event is Sheamus against Rusev, non-title.
Stephanie
McMahon introduces Flo Rida. It’s time for “Good Feeling”.
AGAIN. See you in 5 minutes, everyone!
…wait
a second, post-performance, Stephanie is being talked to by cops!
This gets a HUGE Yes chant as they’re clearly arresting her! No need
to say what happened, we all know! Crowd even sings Goodbye to
Stephanie. They have the Miranda card and everything. We clearly
hear: “Yes, I understand my rights.” They talk down Steph’s
bodyguard. We hear from the camera that Brie Bella is pressing
charges. Stephanie admits to slapping Brie, and that puts her under
arrest for battery. They even handcuff her! Crowd is going nuts
over this! And Brie is right there to rub it in, in case we couldn’t
put two and two together. Crowd is insanely loud right now.
Stephanie: “You did not have to do this out here! I am not going
to jail! You’re gonna pay for this! I’ll have both your badges!”
Backstage,
HHH is livid. Stephanie screams about self-defense (as if that
applies) before getting scared and crying. We know she’s scared
because she says, “Hunter, I’m scared.” HHH also threatens their
badges. He tries to tell Stephanie to relax and says Jerry
(McDevitt) is on the phone. The cruiser takes off to a huge ovation.
So…
if the match tomorrow is a title match, put it on Rusev and build to
Swagger trying to reclaim the US Title from the evil Russian. Hell,
do it anyway. Please. You’ve backed into a hot babyface and a hot
heel despite your best efforts to derail both… bring a title into
it and make the belt mean something again.
Oh,
and I’m shocked they didn’t stretch this over two weeks. Seriously.
I would’ve UNDERSTOOD.
We
understandably get a replay of Stephanie getting arrested.
HHH
and Joey Mercury are panicking in the office. Mercury reminds HHH of
the Decision, but HHH says family comes first. Stephanie’s in jail,
and family ALWAYS comes first. Then HHH stops and remembers… hey,
Steph needs to be processed, the lawyers are headed there, there’s
lots of time. It can take a while. HHH can wait. He tells Joey to
get the car running so HHH can leave RIGHT after the Decision.
Announcers
are speechless until JBL agrees with HHH.
Rybaxel
v. Big E and Kofi Kingston.

E and Ryback start. Ryback allows a break before slugging away.
Ryback misses clotheslines, and E with a tackle and Greco-Roman
suplex, leading to the Ultimate Splash try that Axel cuts off. E
slugs Axel off the apron before walking into a spinebuster. Axel in,
and they double team E in the corner. Ryback back in after some
stomping, and he gets a suplex for one. Ryback gets between E and
Kofi, and neither side can get a tag they want so Ryback does some
clubberin. Ryback with an overhead suplex and he asks for the
Meathook, but E delivers it instead. Hot tag Kofi, and he gets chops
and a dropkick. Axel’s off the apron, and the SOS to Ryback gets two
before the save. E with a Cactus clothesline to Axel, and Kofi goes
up with a bodypress, but Ryback rolls through for the pin at 3:20.
WHATEVER. 1/2*
Kofi
is mad at himself… but Xavier Woods appears with a white suit. He
says you can’t move ahead by shaking hands and dancing around, doing
what they’re told. It’s their time, he says. It’s time to find
focus and order. Together, it’s their time to find purpose. They
won’t ask any longer; they will take. Kofi and Big E agree.
HHH
is on the phone with someone, trying to explain what happened. He’ll
make a decision later.
It
appears this is based on an article in the Atlantic. Vince must be
amusing himself with tonight’s booking.
We
recap the Wyatt Family taking out Chris Jericho.
Rusev
v. The Great Khali
.
We see stills of last night’s show, with Lawler saying “Swagger
had no choice but to tap out.” But Swagger didn’t tap out. He was
passed out. Rusev favors the ankle during his pre-match ritual.
Lana’s pre-match Russian spiel is cut off by Khali’s music. Crowd
instantly starts snarking on the match with a JBL chant. Rusev tries
a go-behind but gets nowhere. A kick is countered by a Khali chop
and Giant Chop in the corner. Rusev fires back on Khali, backing him
into the corner and working the gut. He runs into a big boot, but
no-sells and keeps fighting. A second boot staggers Rusev (the first
apparently missed, and the announcers cover the botch), and Khali
with Giant Chops in the corner. A shoulder tackle goes nowhere for
either man, and Khali with the brain chop. Rusev goes to the apron
and gets caught, but lands an overhead kick. Jumping superkick sets
up Rusev Crush for the tapout at 2:28. Honestly, seeing as how Rusev
is main eventing tomorrow, Swagger isn’t here, and Cesaro faces
Ambrose tonight, why did this match happen? Especially given how bad
it was? -*
Rusev
faces Sheamus tomorrow… but Sheamus is on Royal Pains on the USA
Network! See for yourself.
Stardust
is staring into a ball and quoting Willy Wonka. Goldust tells him to
get it together. He says stars shine bright in Miami, and they can
be even brighter through how bizarre they are. Stardust says they
need the Cosmic Key. Goldust hears it… but they have it. It needs
them. And soon, they names will be Goldust and Stardust. Crowd
liked that.
Dean
Ambrose is here for his match and gets a great reaction. That’s
next.
As
before, I must say: I don’t know what the heck they’re doing with
Cody and Dustin, but it’s so entertaining and the brothers are having
so much fun I’m not sure it matters.
Hey,
did you hear Stephanie got arrested? Here’s what you missed. We cut
to Renee Young, who tells us there will be an arraignment tonight for
battery and maybe resisting arrest.
Dean
Ambrose v. Cesaro.

No entrance for Cesaro. Ambrose slugs away to start as the crowd is
100% behind him. He tries a suplex, but Cesaro fights out and drops
elbows. Ambrose follows with a kneelift and sends Cesaro packing
with a clothesline before diving off with a Thesz Press off the
apron. Ambrose sends Cesaro into the railing, but back in, Cesaro
kicks Ambrose and sends him into the post shoulder-first. The
Authority watches as Cesaro works the arm before suplexing Ambrose
off the apron from the floor. Back in, a straight kick sets up an
armbar. He turns it to a short-arm scissors, and Ambrose gets up and
punches out. Cesaro powers him back down and keeps it on, wrenching
it. Ambrose tries to get up a second time, this time punching out,
but Cesaro with a big right causes Ambrose to slump in the corner.
Ambrose fires out and fires away, sending Cesaro out of the ring and
diving after him… straight into an Uppercut as we go to break.
Well,
it looks like they’re getting time anyway. Fair enough.
Ambrose/Cesaro,
part two.

Cesaro is still working the arm when we come back. Ambrose goes for
his out-of-the-ropes clothesline when he’s shoved out, but Cesaro
with a German suplex and bridge for two. Ambrose is up top, but
Cesaro boots him hard and follows, getting a superplex try. Ambrose
blocks it, and he headbutts Cesaro off the top before following with
a dropkick. Both men’s arms are hurting as they pull themselves up
to the crowd’s encouragement. Ambrose with a crossbody and punches,
then he charges into the corner and works over Cesaro. Whip is
reversed, blind charges eats elbow, and Ambrose with a tornado DDT
for two. Ambrose goes for a suplex, but Cesaro reverses to the
CROSSFACE CHICKENWING! Ambrose runs Cesaro into the corner and
cradles him for two. Ambrose low bridges Cesaro before diving out
with a tope suicida. Back in, Cesaro with a big boot, but this time
Ambrose gets his fire-out clothesline for two. Cesaro hangs
Ambrose’s shoulder on the ropes before delivering a running lariat
for two. Cesaro is ready and charges straight into double boots. It
launches Ambrose to the top rope, but Cesaro hangs him up in the Tree
of Woe and stomps away. The referee pulls Cesaro out and orders it
put back to the center of the ring, and when he gets it, Ambrose
reverses Cesaro into the post repeatedly. He then leaves the ring,
gets a chair, and just clocks Cesaro with it for the DQ at 12:31.
Good match, lousy finish. **1/2
Ambrose throws another chair in as Cesaro retreats.
Backstage,
Renee Young asks to speak to HHH, but he’s on his way for the big
announcement. Shouldn’t he be with his wife? HHH just stares at
Young for asking that question. The Decision is next!
Honestly,
I’m pretty happy to see them trust Cesaro and Ambrose as the
wrestling main event. Wasn’t a bad match – and the DQ means they
can meet again. I’d want to see it.
Your
SmackDown main event is Roman Reigns against Alberto Del Rio.
The
Decision.

Thankfully, no one’s on the ramp. Hashtag, by the way. HHH
introduces us to John Cena’s opponent…
…Randy
Orton? The crowd has ZERO reaction to this. Not even THEY buy it.
And here comes Roman Reigns to attack Orton before either can get to
the ring! Reigns sends Orton into the crowd and follows, brawling
with him into the night.
HHH
is out of ideas in the ring, but the crowd knows Lesnar is next and
wants him. And they cheer when Paul Heyman emerges. He starts by
saying he respects HHH and hates to point out that Plan A isn’t
working thanks to Roman Reigns. Also, Plan B doesn’t work because of
Dean Ambrose. So, he says they need to agree with him about Plan C.
The crowd cheers because they know what’s coming… and Here Comes
The One! Commentary says HHH has no choice but to trust the man who
crippled HHH. Heyman can be seen saying “Well?”
And
HHH smiles. He shakes Paul’s hand. Then he shakes Brock’s. There’s
your challenger. Paul Heyman introduces us and the Conqueror. The
crowd cheers it. Therefore, Brock Lesnar announces his intention to
conquer the WWE Champion, John Cena. Crowd is totally in favor of
this. Heyman says, yeah, there’s a bit of a divide in the WWE
Universe. Some are massive Cena fans, and some are Cena haters.
Some say “Let’s Go Cena”, and some (who are not mama’s boys) say
“Cena Sucks”. Hey, guess which there are more of? But Brock
Lesnar doesn’t care which side you’re on – you’ll watch Cena get
killed. Heyman doesn’t spew hype and hyperbole; he uses facts to
make his point. Along those lines, the last time Brock Lesnar wanted
to beat someone down, he beat the Streak – which we see in a recap
promo.
This
FINALLY turns the crowd on Lesnar.
Heyman
continues: for years, everyone wanted to end the Streak, but Brock
had more in store. At WrestleMania, he didn’t just beat the Streak,
he beat the Undertaker into a hospital so badly that even Vince was
worried about his well-being. So, John, that same beating awaits
you. And by the way, Brock isn’t the type to be a comic book villain
and say John Cena can escape the beating if he gives up. There is no
escape. So, at SummerSlam, Brock Lesnar will take Cena down, punch
his face in, and make him hurt. Brock is going to injure Cena,
mangle Cena, and then – ONLY then – he will F-5 Cena and take the
title and his dignity. It’ll be the same way Brock Lesnar stripped
the Undertaker’s dignity and exposed it as a myth. The same myth as
Cena being the greatest WWE Champion of all time.
Cena
has won 15 titles in 10 years. That sounds like something worth
conquering. Heyman mangles the Pledge of Allegiance to show his
loyalty for Brock Lesnar. “One CeNation, under John, now
divisible, with no more hustle, loyalty, or respect for all.” His
name is Paul Heyman and he’s the one behind the One. And at
SummerSlam, Brock Lesnar will beat Cena and be the Champion. And
that’s it.
THOUGHTS:
Paul
Heyman made me want to see Cena/Lesnar. The problem is, he makes me
want to see Cena win. I’m not allowed to say that here, right? But
it shows he’s a masterful heel manager, and he’s one of the best of
all time in the main event.
Midcard,
though…
Anyway,
this show was a rollercoaster of quality. One minute, I was enjoying
Miz against Ziggler, and the next Fandango and Zack Ryder in a
meaningless match. One minute, Stephanie McMahon is getting arrested
and the crowd goes wild, and the next, Rusev and Khali are stinking
up the joint. It can’t all be post-Mania Raws, but how good was
this?
(thinks)
Screw
it, it was fine. As a first step of four on the build to SummerSlam,
it was good. But the impetus is on WWE to make the next show just as
good. And the next. All the way to SummerSlam. I don’t think they
can do it, which is too bad, but for now, this was a good start.
It’s
not a home run, but it’s the leadoff single to start a rally.
STATS:
MATCH
TIME: 51:58 over nine matches
BEST
MATCH: Miz/Ziggler (what are the odds?)
WORST
MATCH: Rusev/Khali
NIGHT
MVP (kayfabe): Brock Lesnar
FINAL
RATING: 6.5. As I said, if this is the start of a ramping up leading
to a red-hot SummerSlam, great. It certainly had that feel. But
there was still a little dead time, and a few things that just didn’t
work. You can’t win them all, but you can put out a strong effort if
you want.
Matt
will be in tomorrow with Main Event. WWE Network Thursday has Scott
with NXT and Danielle with Total Divas. Tommy does Impact and
SmackDown because he’s a masochist. Brian Bayless has our e-fed’s
latest show up. Look for some retro, Scott’s mailbag, and a lot of
flamethrowing.
Like
now. Commence disagreement and personal hatred in 3… 2… 1…