Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap – 5/4/2015

Fresh off Bad News Barrett becoming King of the Ring which means…something, it’s time for another edition of RAW.
Last
week saw a pretty decent show and a good tag match. Smackdown is also
starting to be consistently good as well. Hopefully, this means WWE is
starting to find their rhythm again. Rollins is good chicken shit heel
which is gonna equal a good payoff when the belt is finally taken off of
him.

Thankfully,
Creative finally came to the logical conclusion that Roman Reigns was
still doughy and needed some more baking — and that’s paid off. He’s no
longer getting booed out of the building and the fans seem to finally
be getting behind him…though, whether that good will carries into an
inevitable championship push remains to be seen.
We’re a couple weeks from Payback with a pretty good main event set up for that card.
I think split-screening this is gonna be the idea for me tonight. Madison Bumgarner has a no-no going into the 4th inning…
Let’s see where this goes…
We are LIVE(!!!) from Montreal, Quebec, Canada for Monday Night RAW!!!
JBL, Cole and Booker are the guys talking.
Randy
Orton starts us off and gets a nice ovation and dim SUSPENSE LIGHTING.
Cole gives us our first Kane reference at about 34 seconds in because,
as everyone knows, HE is the REASON we have such a spectacular main
event at Payback! Orton says that the name of the next PPV is fitting
because he’ll have “payback against Seth Rollins”. At Payback, he’ll be
champion. There isn’t anything Reigns or Rollins can do about it.
That
brings out Reigns. He says that if anyone gets “payback”, it will be
HIM. Orton begs to differ by basically saying “nuh-uh”, then reminds
Reigns of how many championships he’s won and how many Triple Threat
Matches he’s been in. He says that Reigns has “catching up” to do.
Reigns says the last time HE checked, he beat Orton. He won’t mind
breaking Orton in half one more time. The crowd doesn’t care and chants
for an RKO.
The
New Day appears. Orton dances to the theme. Xavier Woods says that
they’re the only “champions” out there right now. Woods says that Reigns
and Orton are negative and nobody cares. Woods says this is a NEW DAY!
Crowd: SUCKS!!! They joke around and preach positivity and tell Orton
and Reigns to clap with them. But, there’s one more thing: Kane has
authorized a match between the New Day and Orton/Reigns. NOW!!!
Good opening here. New Day stole the show from the usual drab, “No, you” back-and-forth between the three top guys.
MATCH
#1: WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston
& Big E) vs. Roman Reigns & Randy Orton in a 3-on-2 Handicap
Match (non-title)
Woods
ends up in the ring with Reigns. Woods puts Reigns in a headlock but
Reigns breaks and runs him over with a shoulderblock. Woods goes for a
Leapfrog and ends up in a Samoan Drop. Orton tags in and stomps Woods in
the stomach, then hits a suplex for two. Woods crawls for his corner
but Orton yanks him back, stomping at him. Reigns tags in and stomps
Woods in the head. Both wrestlers stomp at Woods’ stomach, splitting his
legs while they do it, almost in homage to the Sharpshooter. Orton tags
back in and the stomping continues. Woods finally fights back and tags E
who hits a nice belly to belly suplex on a distraction by Kofi. Kofi
tags in and starts working over Orton. Two count. Woods gets back in the
ring and applies a headlock. Orton breaks but Woods hits a dropkick for
two. After the break, we learn that Big E took over by shoulderblocking
Reigns to death. Kofi has Reigns in the ring and he dropkicks Reigns,
getting two. Tag to E. Punch to the chest. E hits a suplex and a belly
to belly and it’s a two count. Tag to Woods who comes in with a flying
legdrop. Two count. Reigns fights back but Woods hits a Swinging
Neckbreaker. Two count. Tag to Kofi and he punches Reigns in the chest.
It’s more Reigns peril with Kofi putting on an armbar. Reigns breaks so
Kofi tosses Reigns to the mat and we start all over again with Woods
coming in with a headlock. Crowd loves this so much, they chant, “WE
WANT RANDY”. Reigns picks Woods up and just tosses him clear across the
ring. Hot tags on both sides and Orton is all over Kofi, who comes back
with a kick and flies at Orton. Orton hits a Powerslam in Stride and
it’s a spot-fest with everyone hitting their stuff. The ring clears and
Orton hits the Elevated DDT. He calls for the RKO but Woods gets in to
interfere. Orton hits the RKO on him — then goes for Kofi. Reigns gets
in and tries for a Spear on Kofi — but hits Orton. E pulls Reigns out
of the ring and Kofi gets the pin on Orton (something I don’t think I
have typed ever) at 13:14.
WINNERS: The New Day.
RATING:
***. Not a bad start to things and a good idea to arbitrarily book The
New Day against WWE’s top guys. New Day worked well here and it was nice
to see them get a win without the usual “cheating heel” spot for a
change. Still, while New Day is hitting on all cylinders, Reigns and
Orton seemed to be mailing it in here.
And,
fuck, it’s HEEL KANE. He knows that Orton and Reigns hate one another
so, hold on a second, playa: it’s Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns in the
main event tonight. Cole reminds us that OMG: THEY’RE IN THE TRIPLE
THREAT SO THAT’S HUGE! Orton and Reigns leave the ring and stare at each other.
Backstage,
New Day celebrates and they tell Kane (who’s walking by) that they’re
so happy and tell him that they told him they would “win”. Kane rolls
his eyes and walks past them, running into Seth Rollins. Rollins shoots
his mouth off at Kane, telling him that he’s a spoiled kid. Triple H and
Steph will return and punish Kane. But, now, it’s FACEKANE. Kane says
he wasn’t much for being a kid. He didn’t leave milk and cookies for
Santa. He waited in the chimney with a blowtorch to “burn his
chestnuts”. He’s making a match: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins. Also,
J&J are banned from ringside. Seth is beside himself and, pretty
much stating the obvious, says that there’s “no point” to having that
match since he already beat Ambrose. Kane tells him to complain some
more and he’ll make life real hard for Seth. Seth storms off.
Renee
Young brings Ryback to the ring. He goes off, telling everyone he
doesn’t know why Bray’s going after him while, somehow, killing a
“GOLDBERG” chant. Then he lists about 110 injuries and obstacles he’s
been through. He just keeps coming out and yelling “FEED ME MORE”. He
says that talking time is done. It’s now “feeding time”.
That
brings out Bray in his Backstage Boiler Room Set of Doom. Bray says
that Ryback puts on a good front but that he’s a scared little boy. He
says that Ryback will lose everything he loves. In time, Ryback will
fade away, too.
This
feud isn’t doing it for me. I kinda like Bray. I really don’t care for
Ryback. I mean, they had potential with a Bray/Bo link…but we’re not
seeing that.
MATCH #2: Cesaro & Tyson Kidd (w/ Natalya) vs. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor)
Konnor
and Viktor ambush Kidd in the corner. Quick clothesline. Two count.
Viktor stomps at Kidd and tags in Konnor. Stomps. Two count. Tag to
Viktor. Stomps. Two count. Headlock by Viktor as Natalya frowns,
breaking every ounce of Botox forcing her to do otherwise. Konnor tags
in and hits a suplex. Two count. Tag to Viktor and he hits a dropkick
for two. Konnor tags in and misses an elbow drop, but tags in Vitkor.
Kidd tags Cesaro and he levels both of the Ascension with HUGE boots and
a seires of uppercuts to Viktor. Cesaro whips Viktor from post to post
with Uppercut after Uppercut, totaling around 8 to 10, then hits a Gut
Wrench. Konnor tries to save the day but Cesaro dumps him. Kidd takes
out Konnor outside. Cesaro hits a Swing on Viktor. Kidd hits the
dropkick to the head and we’re done at 4:07.
WINNERS: Cesaro & Kidd
RATING: *1/2. Worth it for Cesaro having more worth than everyone else here. Speaking of: does The Ascension have anything left?
Seth
Rollins is backstage. Renee Young comes out of nowhere like a
Wallmaster in The Legend of Zelda to get his “thoughts” on the match
coming up. Rollins calls Kane a moron. 
ON
SMACKDOWN: Rollins won his match against Ambrose because of Kane, which
Kane is gonna fix by barring everyone but himself from ringside.
Ambrose
and Rollins hit the ring…but Kane’s music interrupts things. Kane
says that he’s taking Rollins’ sentiments to heart…so, if Ambrose wins
the match tonight, Ambrose will be added to the main event at Payback.
Crowd LOVES this.
Rollins
goes on a temper tantrum. Ambrose interrupts and says he likes this
idea. He asks if anyone here has an issue. Rollins grabs his mic and
yells some more, telling Canada that they don’t matter. Kane says that
Rollins’s thoughts don’t matter. RING THE BELL, PAL.
MATCH #3: Dean Ambrose vs. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins (non-title)
Ambrose
tries to roll Rollins up but Rollins kicks out. After some chops,
Rollins bails from the ring. Ambrose follows and it’s a fight outside
with Ambrose hitting the Rebound Clothesline and tossing Rollins back
into the ring. Ambrose locks Rollins’s up and kicks him in the back of
the head. Ambrose hits a quick lariat and quick elbow drop for a one
count. Suplex by Ambrose. One count. All this while the commentary team
argue over this whole fucking stipulation. Rollins takes over, putting
Ambrose in the corner, punching at him. Ambrose comes back, tossing
Rollins into the corner and chopping him down like a tree when Rollins
comes back. Rollins regains control with a knee to the gut and slam. He
drops a knee to Ambrose’s head and gets a one count. Ambrose manages to regain control and tosses Rollins out of the ring as we go to break.
As
we come back, Rollins is in control with a chinlock on Ambrose. Ambrose
hits a headbutt and tries to clothesline Rollins but Rollins trips him
and he goes flying into the second turnbuckle. Rollins goes for a
Springboard move but Ambrose moves and hits a Tornado DDT. Ambrose his
some shots and slaps Rollins in the face, then hits lariats and a
Bulldog. Ambrose goes to the top rope but Rollins moves and rolls out of
the ring. Ambrose flings himself at Rollins and hits him. He tosses
Rollins back in and it’s a series of counters with Ambrose hitting an
Inverted Sidewalk Slam. Rollins counters and comes back with an attempt
at the Buckle Bomb. He can’t hit it and Ambrose hits an elbow off the
top rope for two.
Crowd
is loving this and starts an OLE OLE OLE chant which JBL somehow links
to Star Wars. Rollins drops Ambrose’s neck on the top rope and hits a
Springboard Kick to Ambrose’s head. Two count. Rollins taunts Ambrose
who slaps Rollins. Rollins superkicks Ambrose in the head. TWO COUNT.
Rollins argues with the ref and then picks Ambrose up for the Buckle
Bomb. Ambrose kicks out and it’s a fist-fight with Ambrose clotheslining
Rollins out of the ring. Ambrose misses a Rebound Clothesline and
Rollins hits a Buckle Bomb, dropping Ambrose on the crowd barrier.
Rollins gets back into the ring and the ref counts. He gets to nine —
and Ambrose breaks the count.
Rollins
flies at Ambrose with everything he’s got, stomping Ambrose in the
corner and hitting a splash. Ambrose comes back with one of his own.
Rollins hits an Enzuguri — but Ambrose hits the Rebound Clothesline.
J&J make their way down to the ring because fuck stipulations, they
no longer matter. But Ambrose dumps both of them! Rollins grabs Ambrose
but Ambrose elbows out and rolls Rollins up for the pin!
WINNER: Dean Ambrose at 16:31
RATING:
****. THIS is the push Ambrose needs. This is LONG overdue. What a
match by both guys. Why weren’t we doing THIS instead of having Ambrose
jobbing to holograms and TV sets?
EARLIER TONIGHT: The New Day beat Roman Reigns and Randy Orton.
MOMENTS AGO: Ambrose beat Rollins.
AT PAYBACK: It’s a Fatal 4-Way.
Rollins
shows up at Kane’s “office” and starts threatening to kick his ass.
Face Kane says that Rollins just keeps lashing out…so, he could just add more people
to Seth’s match at Payback. Kane says that this is all about overcoming
adversity. But worry not, Suddenly Heel Again Kane says, he has a plan…

Byron
Saxton is backstage with Lana. Lana says that she doesn’t know anything
about the crowd loving her lately. Fandango shows up and tells her to
“feel it”. Rusev shows up and yells in Russian. Lana leaves with him.
Rusev and Fandango are next. 

MATCH #4: Fandango vs. Rusev (w/ Lana)

Rusev
kicks Fandango and knees him in the stomach, sending him outside. While
out there, Fandango flirts with Lana…who, surprisingly, does the
“Fandango”. Rusev knocks Fandango down and screams at her, sending her
back to the locker room. Fandango attacks Rusev and sends him into the
ringpost. In the ring, Fandango hits quick dropkicks and punches
Fandango in the corner before Rusev pushes him off. Superkick, Stomp,
Accolade. Done at 2:12.
WINNER: Rusev via Accolade
RATING:
n/a – squash match. Even still, I liked this match. Imagine WWE
Creative actually advancing plotlines by humanizing Lana…so strange.
I’m not used to this.
We get an ad for ESPN’s E:60 WWE Special.
Cole takes us through audition videos for Tough Enough.
MATCH #5: R-Truth vs. Stardust
Stardust
has a bag with him. Cole calls him Cody, so we’re off to a great start
here. Truth his a hard shoulderblock and tries for a suplex but Cody
breaks and hits a reverse suplex instead. Star keeps lunging for the bag
but Truth won’t let him get to it. Truth tries to access it but Star
attacks him and hits a legsweep. Crowd chants “CODY” as Star starts
slugging away at Truth. Both men fly at each other and collide, hitting
the mat. Truth comes back with dropkicks but the crowd couldn’t care
less. Truth hits a falling front suplex for two, then goes into Star’s
bag, only to find a bunch of plastic spiders, which prompts Cody to roll
him up like we’re in an Ambrose match for the win at 2:55.
WINNER: Stardust
RATING: DUD. First one of the night. Nobody was into this and this angle is lame as they come.
THIS
THURSDAY AT SMACKDOWN: All the participants in the Fatal Four-Way will
sign the contract for the main event. PLEASE LET THERE BE A SHIELD
REUNION AT PAYBACK…
The
Canadian fans welcome John Cena with the usual “John Cena sucks” chant.
Cena: “I quit.” The fans cheer. Cena talks about overcoming adversity
and how he always does. He actually asks the crowd to stop their OLE
chant — but says that’s not gonna happen. He asks the crowd if they’d
quit. They say “NO”. Cena asks some guy in a pink tank what he thinks
and that dude holds up a sign that says “PUSH ZIGGLER” and glares at
Cena like the Angry Miz Kid. TL;DR: Cena offers his usual
challenge…and it is…
Bret
Hart. Hart makes his way down. Hart says he’s not fighting…he’s here
to introduce a great wrestler…and that brings out Heath Slater. Slater
tries for the Foley Cheap Pop and can’t even get that across. Slater
enters the ring and Hart clocks him in the head. Hart introduces…
Sami Zayn!!!
MATCH #6: John Cena (champion) vs. Sami Zayn (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
Zayn
gets a MONSTROUS pop. Initial run around ends with Cena taking a
dropkick and rolling out of the ring. Cena gets Move #3 twice and gets a
two count. And, now, something’s not right with Zayn’s left shoulder
and a trainer comes in to examine him. After about a minute, Zayn
continues. The two raise their fists and, finally, Cena kicks Zayn in
the corner, then hits Moves 1 through 3. He goes for the 5KS but Zayn
rolls him up and gets two. Zayn gets up and hits a cross body, getting
two. Cena rolls out of the ring, so Zayn hits a Flying 360 Splash into
Cena’s face. Back in the ring, Cena hits the STF. Zayn gets to the ropes
and it’s a break. Cena attacks him but Zayn hits the Koji Clutch! Cena
counters with an AA but Zayn counters that with a German Suplex for two.
Zayn charges Cena but Cena clothesline Zayn, then tries an AA. Zayn
lands on his ass, not his back, then gets up and the two men run at each
other. Both of them clothesline one another and roll out of the ring.
Zayn runs at Cena, flies THROUGH the corner of the ring, grabs Cena, and
hits a Tornado DDT! Back in the ring, Cena grabs Zayn and immediately
hits an AA! 1…2…NO. Zayn kicks out. Zayn hits the Blue Thunderbomb
AND NEARLY GETS THE PIN. The two men start trading shots and Cena hits
the Springboard Stunner and AA to wrap this up at 10:43.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: John Cena via AA
RATING:
***1/2. A good debut for Zayn but the match just was really slightly
above Cena/Ambrose, post-WM. I understand why Cena won and I understand
why Zayn lost…but I see no reason why it couldn’t have been reversed.
The stipulation at Payback really overrides any title. It’s about pride
and guts, not so much gold. Either way, this was a really good match.
We’re being spoiled tonight.
The
Bellas are backstage and run into The New Day who’s lost their shit and
celebrating at the top of their lungs, lifting E up in the air.
Renee
Young is waiting for Sami Zayn — but The New Day interrupts and goes
nuts. The do the NEW DAY ROCKS chant. Cesaro, Kidd and Natalya shows up.
Cesaro points out that the crowd thinks they suck. Natalya says TND
only won because Roman and Orton hate one another. They fight over the
New Day chant and New Day takes off.
Nikki
and Brie come out to ringside…until Naomi shows up with WWE HALL OF
FAMER JIMMY SNUKA’S DAUGHTER, Tamina Snuka and, together, they ambush
the Bellas. Naomi and Tamina pick Brie up and bully her, slapping her
around. Naomi grabs the mic and says that “family” is what they just
witnessed. Nice to see that Tamina’s gone from being AJ’s valet to being
Naomi’s valet.
LAST TUESDAY AT KING OF THE RING: Barrett won the King of the Ring.
King
Barrett makes his way down to the ring with his “king” costume from
Party City. He says that he will “rule his kingdom with an iron fist”
and people who don’t obey will be the victim of a bullhammer. He says
there are only four words everyone needs to know: “ALL HAIL KING
BARRETT”. 
MATCH #7: King Barrett & Sheamus vs. Neville & Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler
and Barrett start things off. Sheamus distracts Ziggler and Barrett
hits a cheap shot from behind. Barrett sets Ziggler on the top buckle
and kicks him in the chest. He gets two. Ziggler comes back with a snap
DDT and two count. Sheamus tries to get involved. Sheamus tries to get
in the ring but Neville comes in. Stalemate and a break. After break,
Sheamus has Ziggler in a side headlock. Ziggler fights out but ends up
in the Irish Curse Backbreaker. Sheamus taunts Ziggler so Ziggler hauls
off and Superkicks him. Hot tags on both ends. Neville ducks out of
three moves, then hits a nice Hurricarana, tossing Barrett out of the
ring. Neville splashes him outside, then tosses him back in and hits the
Standing Shooting Star Press for two. Neville misses an attack. Barrett
goes for the Bullhammer but misses. Neville hits an Enzuguri and German
Suplex for two. Sheamus gets in the ring. Ziggler boots him out and the
two fight near the barrier. Neville knocks Barrett down and goes for
the Red Arrow but Sheamus distracts Neville. Neville kicks him and goes
up top but comes down and hits the Bullhammer. Done at 8:38.
WINNER: Barrett & Sheamus
RATING:
**. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. Nice to see Neville and
Zayn getting some work tonight. Neville is supremely impressive and I
can’t wait to see him progress through the ranks.
We
go straight from this to the main event — which is a good thing,
considering it’s 4 minutes from the scheduled end of the show. Before we
begin that, however, it’s Kane, dressed for battle. Rollins follows
behind him with J&J Security. Jamie Noble says he’s the “special
guest ring announcer” and says that Joey Mercury is the timekeeper. Kane
is an “enforcer”. Seth is a “guest commentator”.
In the words of Dwight in Sin City: “And everything was going SO well…” 
MATCH #8: Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton
Seth:
“I trust Kane.” Cole: “You TRUST him now?!” Reigns and Orton bickers
over current circumstances but finally start to brawl. Orton knocks
Reigns to his knee but Reigns comes back, tossing Reigns into the
corner. Orton comes back with a clothesline. Orton goes to pick Reigns
up but Reigns hits a Samoan Drop. Reigns dumps Orton outside as Cole
declares that he wants to see Buddy Rogers wrestle. This commentary is
DEATH. Noble gets involved. Reigns clocks him. Orton clocks Reigns and
tosses Reigns back in the ring. Reigns comes back with a quick
clothesline but can’t capitalize. Orton gets up and hits clotheslines.
He tries a powerslam but Reigns stops himself on the charge. Orton hits a
nice backbreaker and Reigns falls outside the ring ropes. Crowd is dead
for all of this. Orton goes for the Elevated DDT but Reigns drops
Orton’s neck on the ropes and hits the Missile Dropkick. Reigns goes for
the Superman Punch but misses. Reigns runs at Orton again and Orton
hits the In-Stride Powerslam, followed by the Elevated DDT. He calls for
the RKO but Reigns shoves him away and hits a Superman Punch. Orton
rolls out of the ring. Reigns goes for a dive but Kane trips him and all
four guys go to attack Orton. Ref calls for a bell but nobody’s gonna
ring it because Mercury doesn’t care about his post anymore.
WINNER: Reigns by DQ,  presumably.
RATING: **. Eh. Barely passable. A shame, considering what we’ve seen tonight.
Post-match,
the mudhole stomp continues until Ambrose comes out to save the day.
The three Fatal 4-Way guys surround Rollins until Reigns hits a Spear,
knocking him out. Reigns celebrates — until Orton RKO’s Reigns. Orton
celebrates and Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds.
Ambrose celebrates and we go off the air.
OVERALL:
WHAT. A. SHOW. Why can’t Creative do this more often? Even the mediocre
matches weren’t as painful. This is the kind of show WWE needs to churn
out on a regular basis. I will go ***1/4 here.
And here is the best of Monday Night Open Mic:

Er…that’s it.