RAW Rundown 4-20-15

Live from Albany, NY

Show starts with a video package from last week where the stipulations (RKO is banned, match is in a cage) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship were announced.

Orton comes to the ring as the cage lowers from the ceiling. He calls Rollins a “dumb bastard” for choosing to ban the RKO as that is not his greatest weapon. Orton says his greatest weapon is the ability to inflict pain on those who deserve it and the RKO would be too easy so he chose a cage so he could hurt Rollins as much as possible. He then promised to break the jaw of Rollins so we would not have to hear him talk anymore and that got a decent reaction from the crowd. After talking about how he would destroy Rollins for a minute or two, Rollins himself comes out flanked by J & J Security. Rollins said that he is beginning to see that Orton has an anger problem as Orton jokes that he is just realizing that now then says that he has a “Seth Rollins” problem. Rollins says that he is on his way to becoming the best ever and that Orton will not be walking out at Extreme Rules as the Champion. Orton then tells us that tonight he will go backstage and “RKO every son of a bitch that he sees” and then promises to RKO Rollins before the night ends. Not a bad segment to hype up the title match at Extreme Rules. Rollins, as you will see as the show continues, really comes off as entitled and delusional here, which is a good thing as the heel champ. I thought Orton was fine in his role too.

Dean Ambrose fought Luke Harper to a No-Contest (2:09) *


Before the match, Harper cut a promo on Ambrose that if he was not afraid of him already, he better be now. Not very good mic work from Harper, who had an odd delivery. They packed in a lot of action in the short time that they had. Match ended when they brawled into the crowd. Their brawl continued up the ramp and ended when Harper threw Ambrose off of the stage and took off, as Ambrose popped up and waited for him. Decent segment to continue their feud.

The PrimeTime Players sneak up and scare Rollins and J&J Security before leaving. Rollins then sees a production guy laugh at him and threatens him before running into HHH, who asked why he was nervous. Rollins assures him that he is not scared of Orton or the RKO. HHH tells Rollins that he is busy dealing with “Tough Enough” and has not gotten a chance to read the emails and listen to the voice mails but promises to deal with Kane tonight. Rollins asks for more security as HHH tells him that it is just one guy (Orton) then leaves as Rollins falsely acts confident with his security guys. Not bad at all as they continue the storyline that Rollins is afraid of the RKO.

New Day d. Lucha Dragons Via Countout (9:30) **1/2. 


Big E & Kofi represented the New Day tonight. The winner here gets to face the Tag Champs at Extreme Rules. This match also went through a commercial break. Solid match. At one point, Booker tried to compare the Lucha Dragons to Power & Glory. The New Day got a long heat sequence on Sin Cara after he was distracted by Xavier Woods. There was also a loud “New Day Sucks” chant. Kalisto impressed once again and was pushed on commentary as being someone who can make up for his size deficiency. Big E. did some impressive heel work here too. The Lucha Dragons hit stereo moonsaults to the floor but ended up getting counted out as Xavier Woods, hiding under the apron, grabbed Kalisto’s leg as Kofi just rolled into the ring to beat the ten count. After the match, Orton hit Woods and Kofi with an RKO then Big E teased a confrontation but backed up the ramp instead. Orton got a lot of cheers from the crowd here too.

We get a few video packages for the top matches at Extreme Rules

Fandango d. Curtis Axel with a Top Rope Leg Drop (1:15) 1/4*


Axel dancing to Fandango’s theme song before the match was pretty funny. Match was far too short to amount to anything. Fandango’s new babyface push continues to both of these guys are stuck in dead end gimmicks. Fandango being built up as a midcarder to feed to new guys they want to push is a fine idea but beyond that, I dont see the redeeming value in a new push for him. Trying to recreate the magic they had briefly in 2013 is a tough task. Axel is an entertaining comedy jobber of sorts, kinda like the 21st century version of Iron Mike Sharpe.

HHH comes out to hype the new season of “Tough Enough” and talks about how who wouldnt want to be a WWE Superstar until Kane’s music hits. HHH jokes about how he is too seasoned for “Tough Enough” as Kane comes out and gives his two weeks notice to HHH due to Seth Rollins, someone he not only does not respect but also does not see as a worthy investment. HHH tries to talk Kane down then Rollins and J&J Security interrupt. Rollins comes down and calls Kane a loser as they go back and forth until Kane had enough of Rollins’ crap and screamed at him about how he is a “spoiled punk” and has never earned anything as he handed Seth the Money in the Bank briefcase and they could have easily done the same for Dean Ambrose too, even saying they could make El Torito champ. HHH finally calms them down as he tells Rollins that Kane always does what is right for business and is the most loyal to the Authority, so much so that he will be the “Guardian of the Gate” at the cage match at Extreme Rules. Rollins gets mad as he feels Kane is getting rewarded so HHH tells him he should get on the same page with Kane but Rollins shakes his hand then tosses the mic before walking away as the camera shows HHH and Kane in the ring looking somewhat shocked. They do add some intrigue with Kane being the “Guardian of the Gate” but not enough IMO as he still seems to belong to the Authority (Did he officially give his two weeks?) and it also ensures a screw job finish with a third stipulation added to the match. This storyline is still too jumbled overall, despite some nice individual performances. Kane was great here and Rollins continues to bring the goods on the mic.

Back from break, the Authority are backstage as HHH tells Rollins and Kane, who are still arguing, to calm down then tells Kane that he is now corporate and not “Hellfire and Brimstone.” Kane said that he still is that and will prove it tonight. Rollins tells HHH Kane needs to stop it as HHH reminds Rollins that Kane helped make him champ and it takes more than being the champion to become the man, as he has to prove it every night, and will face the opponent he was supposed to go up against last week, Dolph Ziggler, tonight. Rollins says he will show the world after the match that he not the future, but that he is the man.

Naomi d. Brie Bella with the Rear View (9:09) 3/4*. 


Before the match, Naomi is shown in an insert promo telling us that she is done waiting and acting like others expect her to as she questions how many Bella’s does she have to beat to get a title shot. Nikki was on commentary here, stating she will welcome all challengers. The announcers said that Paige is out “indefinitely” after getting attacked by Naomi last week. Crowd was dead as they had two heels going against each other. Naomi was ultra aggressive here but this went on for far too long and Nikki chanting for her sister was absolutely grating.

Heath Slater and Erick Rowan are at catering. Heath tells Rowan that he will be the next U.S. Champion, then gets up as Rowan walks away but gasps as Orton hits him with an RKO. Orton then reaches down and picks up a tortilla chip then eats it as he says it “makes three,” referencing the amount of RKO’s that he hit tonight.

Roman Reigns comes out to the ring saying here is not here to talk, but to fight. He demands that the Big Show comes out but instead gets Bo Dallas, who does his schtick, even calling Reigns a bust like “Outback Jack in Kevlar”  and the “Tim Tebow of WWE,” which popped the crowd. After calling Reigns a failure, Dallas then said Reigns has to Bo-Lieve and he can be the next champion but Reigns hit him with the Superman Punch in a spot that you could see coming a mile away. He then speared Dallas before grabbing the mic and calling Show gutless for not showing up and promises to be the last man standing at Extreme Rules before mocking Dallas. The spots between Reigns and Dallas were mistimed and the end with Reigns mocking the Bo-Lieve stuff came off lame.

Sheamus d. Zack Ryder via DQ (3:52) N/A


Sheamus hit Ryder with the Brogue Kick before the match in another poorly telegraphed spot then alternated between bashing the “ordinary” guys like Ryder, Bryan, and Ziggler and beating the crap out of Ryder. He then tells the fans that he is giving them the opportunity to see real men like himself and that they all look stupid. Sheamus beats on Ryder then rolls him back inside where Ziggler runs in from behind and hits the Zig Zag to put an end to this as they build up to the “Kiss My Arse Match” at Extreme Rules. Another segment that went on for too long but at least it served the purpose of Sheamus looking like a complete dick in his new gimmick.

John Cena d. Kane with the A.A. (6:26) **1/4


Before the match, Cena cut a promo about how he handed Rusev his first loss at WrestleMania and that he cringes whenever he says “The Champ is Here.” He puts over the chain stipulation is his match against Rusev at Extreme Rules in a promo that went on for a bit too long. Kane answered the stipulations and had a match that was way better than you would think. The crowd was hyped for this too, doing the usual dueling Cena chants, but maintained the interest from bell-to-bell. The Authority were shown watching backstage throughout the match as well. Kane took advantage early and had a few nearfalls and ended when Cena slipped out of a tombstone and hit the A.A. After it ended, Rollins and J&J Security were shown laughing near the monitor.

Back from break, Kane walked by HHH, stopped, then stormed off.

Renee Young is with The Miz and asks him about the match against Mizdow for the rights to the Miz Gimmick. Miz says this match is a joke and holds a Blu Ray Copy of the “Marine 4” while bragging about doing all of his own stunts then Renee cuts away to Byron Saxton, who is with Cena. Rusev attacked Cena from behind with a chain about ten seconds into the interview then put it across the face of Cena until several officials broke it up. Effective segment to put over the chain stipulation.

The Miz d. Mizdow w/ Summer Rae with the Skull Crushing Finale (2:50)


Not much of a match. The finish came when Summer raked Mizdow across the eyes, allowing the Miz to hit his finisher. Summer and Miz should make a heatseeking duo as Summer is very underrated as a heel valet but poor Mizdow. It sucks to be him right now. I know there is no future with this gimmick anyway but they could have milked his popularity for a few more weeks. And the blowoff to this feud was disappointing to say the least. After the match, Orton came out and hit Miz with an RKO.

Bray Wyatt cuts a promo about what men strive for: money, power, respect or a combination of all three. He then said the person he is talking about can lift all of the weights in the world but not enough to remove the weight of his personal failures. I’m guessing he is talking about Mark Henry. That potential feud does nothing to excite me, personally.

They added Harper vs. Ambrose in a “Chicago Street Fight” at Extreme Rules then said that Bryan’s match against Wade Barrett was pending his health. Not looking good for Bryan here.

Ryback d. Adam Rose with the Shellshock (1:30) 1/2*


Typical squash. After the match, Ryback clotheslined the guys dressed as a hot dog and a banana before hitting them both with a Shellshock. Rosa Mendes then ran in to check on Rose after Ryback to tell us a joke as the crowd chanted “Feed me More.” Decent enough segment to put over Ryback.

Renee asks Kane about his rough night then mentions tweets from J&J Security about giving him “denture cream and depends” as Kane storms off and asks Rollins to say it to his face as Rollins says he is sorry and that the Orton thing has him on edge. He then tells Kane that he appreciates him as HHH stares him down, giving off the impression that he ordered Rollins exactly what to say. They walk off as we see Orton randomly popping out, staring them down from behind. The story here appears that HHH is doing everything he can to assure Rollins keeps his title, even forcing Rollins to apologize to Kane.

Seth Rollins d. Dolph Ziggler with a DDT (11:33) **1/2. 


Well, looks like the curb stomp is no more. Rollins new finisher looked quite awkward here. Disappointing match that was wrestled at a slow pace. It did pick up the last few minutes though. Most of it was a long heat segment on Ziggler. The crowd was not really into Ziggler here and they usually are for the most part. Sheamus ran in and distracted Ziggler and that allowed Rollins to hit the Buckle Bomb then a version of a DDT that looked rather odd for the win. After the match, Rollins said he proved that he is the man and that at Extreme Rules he will prove the same but HHH’s music hits as he comes out to the ring and grabs the mic, announcing Rollins as the man who will defeat Orton this Sunday at Extreme Rules. Rollins then asks to finish his thought as he says he is the man and will prove at Extreme Rules that he is the man when he pins Orton in the ring, rendering Kane useless and obsolete as the gatekeeper. Kane’s music then hits again as he is met with HHH and J&J Security on the ramp but breaks free and heads down as the cage lowers down on Rollins, who turns around and sees Orton. He tries to flee by climbing but Orton yanks him down and hits an RKO as the announcers play up that Orton can be the next Champion.

Final Thoughts: A mixed bag tonight. Nothing was downright terrible or anything but a lot of the segments went on longer than necessary and it just felt like a two hour show stretched out over three hours. The show long storyline with Kane as the gatekeeper did not do enough do make it seem like Orton had a chance at Extreme Rules. I thought Kane, Rollins, and HHH did well in their roles though for what its worth but the storyline for this match has been far too convoluted overall. They did a fine job building the chain match and Harper/Ambrose has been a solid midcard feud but they have two heel vs. heel title matches at Extreme Rules and seemingly no babyfaces besides Paige in the Diva’s division. And Daniel Bryan being absent tonight is not a good sign at all. Extreme Rules should be a decent show though as they have been building up the key matches for weeks.

And for those wondering, I will not be doing a RAW Rundown next week as I will be unavailable and away from home.