CZW Only The Strong: Scarred 4 Life 05/02/2005

Part two of Maffew Defends CZW 2005, click here to read the January show or don’t and just wing it. Commentators are John House and for whatever reason, Rick Feinberg (a horrible parody of Rob Feinstein). They’ll be yelling into their bass-filled headsets like Gordon Cole in Twin Peaks for the next three hours.

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Nick Mondo’s The Trade

Because I posted an old CZW show review on here (and important people read the Blog of Doom) the company behind ‘Sick’ Nick Mondo’s film The Trade sent me a review copy to have a look at, which is terribly nice of them. I watched Mondo’s earlier documentary Unscarred years ago but that was produced by people still in the mid-2000s mentality of STITCHES ARE FOR BITCHES, WEAR THE SCAR YEAHHH so let’s see what mature film-maker Matthew Burns (the man behind the sickness) can make for himself.

(Note: The subject matter is death matches, so if you’re not up for a bit of the old ultraviolence then don’t click.)

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CZW Gen Z: New Blood 08/01/2005

Combat Zone Wrestling gets a lot of shit from people for being a death match based company, but there was a time in 2005 when their shows were great. Don’t believe me? Well let’s re-visit this magical time and see if it lasts under the scrutiny of actual re-watching and not retro goggles. CZW builds it’s story-lines to come to an end at the annual December megashow Cage of Death, so January is the perfect starting point. In relevant news from Cage Of Death VI the previous month:

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ECW on Sci-Fi #48 05/15/2007

Another ECW on Sci-Fi, another dramatic recap of Lashley getting beat up by The McMahons and Umaga on Raw. This one turns into a Cannon Films production as Shane escapes by jumping on top of a limo as it drives away, only for Lashley to turn around and get struck down by Vince McNinja.

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ECW on Sci-Fi #23 11/14/2006

We’re in Manchester, England (looks like the 02 Arena but by the time you’ve read this it’ll have changed it’s name again. Probably the Angry Birds Arena by now). Tazz is recovering from knee surgery so Elijah Burke joins Joey Styles on commentary. It’s where he’d end up ten years later and it means he’s not wrestling so good call.

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ECW One Night Stand 2006

ECW One Night Stand 2006

Cold open into a rabid-arse crowd, just like the good old days. The Hammerstein was perfect for One Night Stand, seeing as how 2000-era ECW would do a better job hyping house shows at this venue than their own national PPVs.

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Matt’s Monday Night RAW Review – 7/6/2015

We start with The Price is Rollins from last week and, even for a two minute recap, it runs too long.

We are LIVE(!!!) in Chicago, Illinois for Monday Night RAW!!!

Cole, JBL and Saxton are the guys at the desk.

Brock is here with Paul Heyman to start us out. Paul does his usual intro and calls Brock “The Night Mayor of Suplex City”. Heyman says that Rollins and his “band of merrymen” still think Brock’s in Japan. He says that Rollins lucked his way into the championship. He says that Brock is the king of retribution: he destroyed and conquered The Undertaker’s streak and took Cena to Suplex City. He didn’t respect Cena at all — and he doesn’t respect Rollins. He says the only way that Brock could be beaten was because he succumbed to the pack of hyenas that was Rollins and his guys — but they left Brock alive and breathing — and that’s a mistake. He says Brock will take the title back at Battleground. The fight may be in St. Louis, but the beatings and suplexes begin tonight. He calls the All-State Arena “City Hall of Suplex City”. He says that Rollins will be here tonight and they will have their retribution. “The beatings begin TONIGHT.” Brock leaves the ring with Paul and they go backstage.

Cole and the guys talk about this and, hey, Kane’s in Hawaii and, holy shit, we get Kane with “pictures” showing him in Hawaii. Hoaxers who fake UFO and alien photos are more convincing than this.

And with irony firmly propped up and showing off, Big Show comes out for a match.

And when we come back, The Miz is at ringside and he has a mic. Am I seeing things or is this exactly what happened last week?

MATCH #1: Big Show vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback (non-title)
Immediately, Miz starts barking at the two of them. Show shoves Ryback to begin. Ryback comes back with a headlock but Show shoves him into the corner again. Show nails him with a chop to the chest and Miz cheers him on, getting the crowd into this. Miz tells Show to do it again. Show lunges at Miz and Ryback fights out of the corner. Ryback hits a press and kicks at Show but Show belts Ryback and begins beating on him in the corner. He lunges at Ryback but misses a body splash. Ryback climbs the buckle and punches at Show but Show grabs him and drops him on his face. Show has Ryback in a leglock when we come back from a break. Miz continues to yell and it’s at this point that I hope Brock Lesnar is serious about “beginning the beatings”. Ryback attacks Show who confronts Miz but Show STILL manages to fall on Ryback after his legs give out. Irish Whip by Show and Ryback clips Show’s knee. Ryback punches at Show and then tackles him. Miz tries a distraction but Ryback chases him off, spears Show and hits a big splash. Ryback misses a splash off the top rope and Show hits a Chokeslam. Show hits an elbow from the second rope — but Miz is here to fuck the whole thing up at around 10 minutes.
WINNER: No contest
RATING: *1/2. The same as last week — only long, with a commercial break. Thanks for that.

Post-match, Show and Ryback gang up on Miz. Ryback hits Shell Shock. Show hits a Chokeslam, then gets taken out with a forearm by Ryback.

TONIGHT: United States Open Challenge with John Cena

Cole plugs Total Divas and calls it “the most controversial season ever”. I don’t even know anyone can tell one episode from the other.

J&J drive around in their new car. This, after we see pics of Kane in Hawaii.

And, now: a Bellas match just in case you were debating on this vs. Tanked on Animal Planet.

MATCH #2: Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox) vs. Paige
Paige roughs up Brie in the corner. Brie elbows out and tosses Paige outside the ropes, then drops her neck on the ropes. She tosses Paige back in and a two count. Meanwhile, Naomi and Tamina watch backstage because they matter in this intense Divas Division. Paige breaks an armlock by pinning Brie for two, then clotheslines Brie on a charge. Brie backs Paige into Nikki and Fox who attack Paige with impunity. Brie runs at Paige for the running knee but misses and hits Nikki and Fox instead. Fox rolls her up for two, then hits a Superkick. She sets up for a PTO but Brie breaks out and it’s a fight in the corner. Brie misses her Missile Dropkick and Paige goes for the PTO again. Fox gets on the apron, so Paige tosses Brie at her, then kicks Nikki. Brie grabs Paige and hits the Bella Buster for the win at 3:13.
WINNER: #BELLASWINLOL
RATING: *1/2. Same as the last few weeks. We’re just trading wins and losses at this point and hoping for a “story” to come to fruition.

Post-match, it’s Fox kicking Paige and Nikki hitting the Rack Attack.

We get a montage of the whole Reigns/Wyatt feud and Reigns hits the ring.

MATCH #3: Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus
Reigns runs Sheamus over so Sheamus goes outside to regroup. After getting back in, he drops some shots over Reigns and puts on a side headlock. Sheamus hits a knee to Reigns’ gut and drops a knee to his head. He goes second rope but Reigns gets up and pulls him to the mat, then clotheslines him out of the ring. Reigns chases Sheamus and hits a nice forearm to his head. He puts Sheamus’s head into a barrier and rolls him back into the ring. Sheamus gets up and hits a Running Kneelift. The two exchange blows until Roman is knocked out of the ring. When we come back from a break, Sheamus has Reigns in a headlock, so the crowd gives us our first “CM PUNK” chant in about four months. Reigns breaks and hits falling faceslam. Sheamus runs at Reigns and flies out of the ring. He gets back in but Reigns clotheslines the shit out of him. Reigns goes for a Samoan Drop but it’s a series of counters as both men exchange move attempts. Finally, Reigns sends Sheamus to the bottom rope and hits the Hanging Missile Dropkick, then a Samoan Drop. He goes for the Superman Punch but Sheamus blocks and hits a backbreaker. Two count. Sheamus goes to the top rope and Reigns hits the Superman Punch on the way down. Spear attempt — and wouldn’t ya’ know it? Another Bray video spot because this act never gets old. Reigns isn’t waiting to get his ass handed to him and he attacks Bray on his way down to the ring. But it isn’t Bray. It’s some guy wearing a Bray wig, because now the backstage crew not only helps him with his video clips, they willingly dress up like Bray to get their asses kicked. Bray appears on the big screen saying, “Anyone but you, Roman,” then the ref counts out Reigns because  and we’re done around 12 minutes.
WINNER: Sheamus via countout
RATING: *1/2. Bored of this feud. Both this one and the fight between Sheamus and Reigns.

Post-match, Orton’s music hits and he beats the holy hell out of Sheamus, puts him in the ring and hits the RKO. He celebrates. That makes it all better, I guess.

Cole plugs the Network.

Rollins and J&J show up backstage and talk to Triple H. Triple H wants to talk to Rollins alone. Triple H wants to know what Rollins is gonna do about Lesnar. Rollins has no idea. Triple H says he wants to see Rollins be the champ after Battleground. Rollins says he has it in the bag. Triple H says that Rollins is cocky but he should do something nobody expects. Rollins says he doesn’t know what that means. Triple H says Heyman gave him a hint with the 11th Commandment: “Never intentionally antagonize The Beast”. Rollins says he’s gonna call out Lesnar and then he’s gonna beat up Lesnar which makes sense if you’re high.

Rusev is in the ring with Summer. Rusev would like to apologize about what happened last week. He calls Lana a “blonde snake” and for how much time he wasted with her. He calls Ziggler a weasel. Summer tries to help Rusev out but Rusev tells her not to waste her time. Out comes Ziggler with Lana. Ziggler says that he knows Rusev’s leg is broken but says his brain must be broken, too. Everything he’s gotten has been because of Lana. He says that Lana was the one who gave him everything. They make out. Summer is pissed and confronts Lana. Rusev blocks Summer. Ziggler holds Lana back. Suddenly, Rusev attacks with his crutch and beats Ziggler senseless and hits a Superkick. He removes the ankle boot from his right foot (DANIELLE: He’s healed! It’s a miracle! Man, JBL needs to study Heenan-isms.) and stomps at Ziggler. Ziggler fights back but Rusev clubs him with the crutch and then drops his throat on it. Refs and medics get into the ring but Rusev just keeps clubbing.

After the break, Cole shows us clips of Rusev’s wrath and informs us that Ziggler was wheeled to the back on a stretcher.

Bo Dallas hits the ring. He says that the attack on Ziggler was terrible. It just goes to show that bad things happen to BAD PEOPLE. Good things happen to good people. Good people, like him. All you have to do is BO-LIEVE!

MATCH #4: Bo Dallas vs. Dean Ambrose
Crowd is hot as Bo Dallas attacks and locks in a headlock. Ambrose breaks but gets clotheslined. He does a victory lap and tries for a kneedrop. He misses. Ambrose gets up and clubs away. He hits lariats and a Bulldog. He goes top rope and hits an elbow drop. He tries a neckbreaker and Bo shoves him for the requisite Rebound Clothesline, followed by Dirty Deeds for the win at 3:00.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose
RATING: N/A – squash – I can dig keeping Ambrose strong but he needs a real feud. Even against Dallas, though, the crowd is white hot for him.

When we come back from a break, R-Truth is wearing his bed sheet and has a plunger. Him and Barrett are gonna face off because this feud is just red velvet on a stick.

MATCH #5: King Barrett vs. R-Truth
Truth hits a beautiful body scissors pin off an Irish Whip. Barrett kicks out and the fight spills to the corner. Barrett beats on Truth and yells “BOOM”. Truth retaliates and sends him over the top rope. Truth chases and Barrett runs Truth into the edge of the mat, then tosses him into the ring post. Barrett isn’t content and whips into another one, then rolls him into the ring for a two count. Barrett beats on Truth, then puts him in a side headlock. Truth fights out and kicks Barrett in the head. He charges again but Barrett just runs him over with a big boot. When we come back from a break (yes, even Truth’s matches get breaks now), Barrett puts Truth in a Surfboard. Truth breaks and hits a lariat. Barrett charges Truth in the corner but Truth hits a series of clotheslines and kick to the gut. He hits a Scissors Kick and Barrett just escapes a pinfall. Truth hits a splash in the corner and tries a suplex but Barrett counters. Truth pins Barrett for two but Barrett kicks out, kicks Truth and tries for the Bullhammer, missing. Truth rolls him up for a two count. Truth goes top rope but, on the way down, it’s a ROAL BULLHAMMER OUTTA NOWHERE MIGGAL to win this thing at 8:41.
WINNER: Barrett via Bullhammer
RATING: **1/4. This is the match of the night thus far. Beautifully wrestled for what it was. Both guys looked good with none of the corny “King” bullshit or prop warfare getting in the way. I enjoyed this.

Backstage, Rollins and J&J walk to the ring.

Cole recaps Rusev beating the snot out of Ziggler earlier tonight.

Seth Rollins hits the ring, carrying an axehandle. J&J drive out in their Cadillac. Can’t imagine why. They also have axehandles. (DANIELLE: Brock’s out there. It’s a trick. Get an actual AXE.)

Rollins says that Lesnar was chosen to be his opponent at Battleground because they know that Rollins is the man and the Future of WWE — something the crowd “doesn’t understand”. He says he even proved it last week when him and The Authority beat up Brock Lesnar. Then Rollins shows us an actual montage which is confusing when he can just explain it. Rollins says that he has beaten everyone in his way and he will walk out of Battleground the champion. He tells Brock that he’s right there in the middle of the ring as the crowd chants “JUSTIN BIEBER”. He calls Brock “Paul Heyman’s bitch”, then stands tall.

Brock’s music hits as the heels stand there with their weapons and egg him on. Brock slowly approaches the ring…then stops and backs up to the car. He motions to Paul and Paul rolls a production crate over. Lesnar reaches into the crate and grabs an actual goddamn axe. He grins and “accidentally” backs up into the car, then starts wrecking the shit out of the car. He bashes all the windows and the crowd loves every second. He starts swinging at the rear of the car (DANIELLE: Oh shit…that’s the gas tank…and everyone’s afraid to tell Brock he’s about to die and take everyone in the entire first section with him…) and then takes the driver’s side rear door, rips it from the hinges and tosses it away, fan safety be damned. J&J come down to face him. Brock kicks Mercury, then puts him in the Kimura Lock and “breaks his arm”. Noble attacks but Brock just beats him and tosses him into the car’s front windshield. Rollins tells Brock to bring it on so Brock runs to the ring and hops in. Rollins bails from the ring and runs into the crowd. Brock gets into the ring and holds up the title belt that Rollins left behind. The crowd eats this up

TONIGHT: John Cena’s Open Challenge

TOMORROW: Both Tough Enough and Total Divas are on…jesus…and I thought I’d get some sleep.

MOMENTS AGO: Lesnar Street Fighter II’ed J&J’s new car.

The Prime Time Players are on the commentary side of things for the net match.

MATCH #6: Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) vs. The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w. Xavier Woods)
The New Day looks at the damage inflicted by Lesnar and dances down to the ring anyhow. Kofi and Cara starts off. Cara avoids a corner splash by Kofi and tags Kalisto. Kofi punches him and it’s E in on the tag. Kalisto hits a beautiful shoulderblock off an Irish Whip. Too bad E practically no-sells it. E is pushed from the ring anyhow. Kofi comes in but he’s sent from the ring. They go for a dive but Xavier gets in the way. They dropkick his ass, then do twin dives off the buckle. We actually get a commercial break after that. After the break, Kalisto breaks a hold by Kofi. E tags in and he takes out Cara, then belly to belly suplexes Kalisto. Abdominal Stretch by E and it’s a tag to Kofi as the commentary gets weird with Titus telling JBL he’s smarter than JBL. Hot tag to Cara and Cara knocks down Kofi and hits a springboard moonsault for two. Kofi tries to fly at Cara who grabs him and counters into a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Cara dumps Kofi from the ring and the two dive at the New Day. Cara misses and E hits a belly to belly on Kalisto. Back in the ring, it’s the 11th Hour for the win at 10:17.
WINNERS: The New Day
RATING: **. Not bad at all. New Day and Lucha Dragons look great here.

New Day and PTP taunt one another after the match.

Cole plugs Dusty’s special on the WWE Network.

NEXT: John Cena’s Open Challenge

Out comes Cena. He stops to look at the destroyed car and smiles. Cole gives us clips of Beast in the East where Finn Balor beat Kevin Owens to become NXT Champ. Cena basically asks the crowd, “U MAD BRO?” after mentioning Owens losing the NXT Championship. He praises the Chicago crowd and says he wants them nice and loud. He issues the challenge and out comes…

KEVIN OWENS.

Owens says the worst part of RAW is when Cena comes out and talks. He’s sick of it, so he’s ending it. He needs the United States Title because, that way, Cena will finally shut up. He says he was content on waiting for Battleground but, no longer. As they’re about to get started, Cesaro’s music hits.

Cesaro says that nobody wants to see Owens whine about losing in Japan. He says that Cesaro is the only person who deserves the title shot. He says that he had Cena ready to tap out last week and Owens screwed it up. He did it because he was jealous. Owens wasn’t able to beat Cena at the last PPV and he won’t be able to do it at Battleground. He tells Owens to leave the ring or else the two of them will have a problem. Owens leaves.

MATCH #7: John Cena (champion) vs. Cesaro (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
Crowd is white hot for this match. After a break, Cena hits a side suplex and goes for the 5KS but Cesaro gets up and knocks him down, then taunts him. He hits a dropkick and tries to charge Cesaro but Cesaro moves and hits a Delayed Standing Suplex, showing off by squatting while holding him up. He tries another suplex but Cena counters and puts Cesaro on his shoulders, hitting an Electric Chair Drop. The two trade shots until Cena tries the AA. Cesaro counters with a DDT. Cesaro locks in a Cobra Clutch. After a break, Cena starts hitting shoulder tackles but Cesaro catches him in a backbreaker. Cesaro tries a splash in the corner but Cena moves and hits the Side Slam. He goes for the 5KS but Cesaro gets up. Cena grabs him for another Side Slam and another 5KS but Cesaro counters with a Crossface. Cena breaks it and locks in the STF but Cesaro breaks the hold with the bottom rope. Cesaro gets up and walks over to Cena who hits a back body drop. Cena goes for a suplex but Cesaro hits three straight Gut Wrench Suplexes. Two count. Cesaro hits uppercuts in the corner and then goes for the Swing. Cena pulls himself up, grabs Cesaro and hits a DDT to counter. Two count.

Cena goes top rope but Cesaro hits a dropkick, sending Cena out of the ring. Cesaro walks outside, then hits a running uppercut. Cesaro tosses Cena back into the ring and goes top rope with a cross body but Cena catches him and goes for the AA. Cesaro lands on his feet. Counter after counter and Cena hits a Frankensteiner and a Reverse Sitting Suplex. Two count! Cesaro gets to his feet and hits an uppercut! Two count! Both men are outside the ring ropes and Cesaro nearly powerbombs Cena to the outside. Cena kicks out but Cesaro pulls him into the barricade. Cesaro runs at Cena but Cena ducks and sends him into the timekeeper’s pit. Cesaro escapes and Cena rolls him into the ring. He goes top rope but Cesaro jumps up and hits a mean uppercut. Cesaro tries a Superplex but Cena breaks out with headbutts, then hits the Flying Legdrop for a close fall.

Cena runs at Cesaro but Cesaro pushes Cena up and hits the uppercut! Close fall! Cesaro calls for the Swing but Cena stands up and hits an AA for two. Cena runs at Cesaro but Cesaro hits the Swing, getting about 10 rotations before letting go. Cesaro hits a Sharpshooter and Cena starts dragging him to the ropes, so Cesaro drops the Sharpshooter and hits a Crossface. Cena rolls over but Cesaro keeps it locked. Finally, Cena kicks out and hits the STF. Cesaro gets to his feet and counters into a suplex that looks like it wrenches his neck. He gets two. Cesaro slings Cena into a corner but Cena tries the Stunner. Cesaro counters into the Neutralizer! Two count! Cena goes for a Tornado DDT but Cesaro counters into a Crossface! Cena drags Cesaro to the ropes and breaks the hold. Cena rolls outside the ring ropes — and Cesaro suplexes him back in as Cena stands up, getting two. Cena hits a Sitting Powerbomb on a rush and HE nearly gets a fall. Both men get to their feet. Cena hits some punches and puts Cesaro on his shoulders, climbing the buckle. Cesaro elbows out and goes for the Neutralizer but Cena punches out of it. The two exchange shots but Cena grabs Cesaro for an AA to retain!
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: John Cena via AA
RATING: *****. What a match. Beautifully wrestled by both guys and a hell of an effort.

Post-match, Kevin Owens attacks Cena but Cena fends him off and hits an AA. Owens flees. Cena celebrates as we go off the air.

OVERALL: Another show that started awful and got better as it went along. It’s nice to see the fans getting a payoff for sitting through Rollins giving gifts like it was Christmas. Brock destroying the car and the Cena/Cesaro epic were the reasons to watch and I can’t believe I’m gonna say that R-Truth and Barrett was a match worth watching.

This week’s Best of Monday Night Open Mic has some of the funniest comments I’ve ever read. Either that or I had too much wine last night:

 

 

Er…that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Review – 6/29/2015

We are two weeks from Battleground and it looks as though The
Authority is on the same page as Seth Rollins as he looks to defend the
title against Brock Lesnar. Smackdown proved to be a fairly solid show
which is ironic since last Monday’s RAW was a dud.

Let’s see if RAW recovers…

We begin with clips from LAST MONDAY, scored by Emotional Theme #87 From Full House.

We are LIVE(!!!) from Washington, D.C. for Monday Night RAW!!!

JBL, Cole and Saxton are your guys on the mics.

Rollins
comes out to the ring with Kane and J&J Security. Rollins says that
Washington is obsessed with power. He says he took power last week when
he conquered “The Conqueror” last week. John Cena and The Undertaker
couldn’t do that, he says. He burned Suplex City to the ground. He says
that Brock isn’t here tonight. He’s going to Japan for the big WWE show.
Rollins says that Brock injured Jamie Noble by breaking three of his
ribs. But Jamie’s here with us tonight because he’s braver than everyone
in the arena and he wouldn’t miss any of this for the world.

Rollins
says he has gifts for each one of them. He lifts a red velvet blanket
off a table and there are three Apple Watches. They all wear them.
Rollins asks them what they think. Noble’s totally stoked. Rollins says
that he “broke Lesnar” and asks for #BrokenBeast to trend on Twitter
which even JBL has trouble repeating. Rollins says he is giving Kane
something special for all his hard work all these long years: a trip to
Hawaii. He calls down a hula dancer and a dude playing the ukelele. (DANIELLE: What is this, “The Price is Right”?!) Kane
is totally thankful and says he’s always wanted to relax on a beach and
think of what animal he’d like to toss into a volcano. Rollins says
that they’re gonna send Kane off in style tonight with a great tag match
for the ages. (DANIELLE: Doesn’t Kane outrank Rollins? Isn’t he a director? Why is he giving his boss permission to go on vacation?)

But,
there’s more, which is GREAT since I wanted to watch 10 more minutes of
whatever the hell this is supposed to be. Rollins says that J&J are
going to travel in style from here on out. He points to some random
blonde chick in a black dress. She ushers in a brand-new Cadillac CTS.
J&J give Rollins a group head as we get a modified version of The
Dating Game theme. Rollins follows them down the ramp and describes how
awesome this car is. Rollins goes over the specs which includes a nice
engine, leather interior and (DANIELLE: “…uh…technology and stuff…”) a sun roof which Mercury puts his body through.

Rollins thanks Kane and J&J as Rollins screams how awesome the last 17 minutes has been. J&J honk the horn loudly.

Big Show’s music hits…and…I guess we’re having a match after ALL of that. Mark Henry heads to the ring.

MATCH #1: Big Show vs. Mark Henry
Miz
is on commentary because, remember? He’s still a part of the
Show/Ryback feud for some reason. Show boots Henry in the head and
punches him in the corner. Henry kicks at Show and knocks him down with a
huge clothesline. Henry boots Show to the mat and headbutts him. Henry
hits a weak-looking Warrior Splash and gets a two count. Henry kicks at
Show but Show stands up and nails Henry with the KO Punch to win this at
1:24.
WINNER: Big Show via KO Punch
RATING: DUD. The review speaks for itself.

Post-match,
Ryback runs down to the ring and attacks Show, knocking him from the
ring. Miz attacks Ryback right after this and then runs away when Ryback
chases him. Ryback says they have a match later but he wants Miz in the
ring NOW.

Commercial.

MATCH #2: The Miz vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback (non-title)
Miz
runs away which never fucking gets old. Ryback chases him back into the
ring and slams him to the mat which Miz half-sells and nearly snaps
himself in half. Ryback beats him in a couple corners before Miz regains
control with fists to his head. Ryback goes for a delayed suplex and
holds Miz upside down for nearly a minute. Ryback marches around and
finally drops him, getting two. Miz bails from the ring and tries to go
into the crowd but Ryback grabs him and tosses him into the crowd
barricade. Ryback drags Miz into the ring and Miz quickly hits a DDT,
getting two. He hits a running boot to Ryback’s face, getting two.
Neckbreaker. Two count. Miz kicks at Ryback who grabs the foot of Miz
and then just runs him over twice, hitting a Spinebuster after two
shoulderblocks. Ryback tries for a Meat Hook but Miz runs off and…ok,
the match just stops at a count of like 5 because The Miz isn’t even
worth a full countout these days. Mark it at 5:26.
WINNER: Ryback via countout
RATING:
*. A 20-minute QVC spot followed by two matches featuring a weak feud
that’s so vaporous, it makes Reigns and Wyatt look important. This is
gonna be a long night. That said, Ryback is over as he’s ever been, so
that’s good.

Oh lord…the fucking Bellas are in the ring and we didn’t even get the Nikki twirl to make it worthwhile.

MATCH #3: Paige vs. Alicia Fox (w/ Brie Bella & WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella)
Paige
hits a couple of Snap Mares and an arm bar. Page hits a drop toehold
off a whip. Fox comes back with a slap to Paige and punches. She rams
Paige into the buckle. Paige comes back and punches Fox who dashes from
the ring. Paige chases but gets distracted by THEBELLABRAND™. Fox
wallops her from behind and — a BREAK?! For THIS match?! After the
break, Fox is “complete control” of this compelling feud. She kicks
Paige in the head and gets two. Long headlock and Paige breaks, hitting a
Spinning Backbreaker for a fall that Paige botches by kicking out late.
Fox elbows Paige in the head and it’s another headlock spot. Paige
busts free and hits a running knee, followed by several others in the
corner. Paige hits clotheslines and a Superkick. Two count. The Bellas
have had enough and try for a distraction. Fox rolls her up for the pin
— but Paige reverses to get the win at 9:35.
WINNER: Paige
RATING: **1/4. Match of the night if you can believe it. Fox and Paige are perfectly matched here.

TONIGHT: Ambrose & Reigns vs. Rollins and Kane in a No-DQ Match.

John
Cena comes out to the ring, saying that the Open Challenge is on — but
Kevin Owens’ music hits. Owens gets in the ring as Garcia starts to
announce the match. Owens goes outside and grabs a mic. He says he’s
gonna wait until Battleground. He promises to beat Cena…but, maybe,
somebody else will be first…and Cesaro’s music hits.

MATCH #4: John Cena (champion) vs. Cesaro (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
We
get a headlock by both guys as Owens joins the commentary team. Cesaro
hits a powerslam in stride. Two count. Another long headlock spot. Cena
breaks but Cesaro his a backbreaker for two. Gut Wrench by Cesaro gets
two. Cesaro puts on another headlock but Cena breaks. Cesaro counters,
punching away, then hits an uppercut. ANOTHER headlock which Cena
counters with a pin for two. Cesaro whips Cena into the corner but Cena
comes back with a dropkick. Cena misses a running elbow and Cesaro
stomps Cena’s chest after he falls. Cesaro punches at Cena and hits an
elbow drop from the buckle. When we come back, Cesaro has a two count.
Cena comes alive and hits his first few Moves of Doom but Cesaro hits a
MEAN clothesline as Cena goes for the 5KS. Two count by Cesaro. Cesaro
goes for the Swing but Cena counters with a Springboard Stunner after
Cesaro converts it to a Slingshot. Two count. Cena goes for the AA but
Cesaro lands on his feet and hits a sloppy Euro Uppercut for a near
fall. Cena comes back with the STF but Cesaro counters with a
Sharpshooter. Cena gets to the ropes to break. Cesaro puts Cena up on
the buckle for a Superplex for another near fall. Cesaro hits a Running
Uppercut. He tries again but Cena boots him in the head and hits a
Bulldog for a VERY close fall. Cesaro hits a Cross Body but Cena
counters with a DDT for a close fall. At around 17 minutes, Kevin Owens
stands up and tries to take a swipe at Michael Cole who looks legit
pissed off. Meanwhile, Cesaro dropkicks Cena off the turnbuckle and goes
outside, hitting a running uppercut for two. Cesaro goes for the
Neutralizer which we haven’t seen since 2012, I think. Cena counters
into a Sunset Powerbomb, getting two. Cena sets up for the AA but Cesaro
kicks out and hits the Neutralizer for two. He can’t believe it and
starts uppercutting Cena. He hits a big one, then the Swing, getting
nine rotations. He goes for the Sharpshooter after that but Owens gets
into the ring and attacks Cesaro, ending 20 minutes of this in a DQ.
WINNER: No contest
RATING:
***1/4. Good match here, even with a crap ending. Even still, it’s the
most logical ending, keeping Cena, Cesaro and Owens all red hot. Still a
shame it had to end the way it did.

Post-match,
Owens hits the PUPB on both Cesaro and Cena and then says Cesaro won’t
get the title tonight because Owens will be the only one with the title. 

TONIGHT: Ziggler and Lana “go public” with an IPO or something.

ALSO: The No-DQ Tag Match brought to you by Terminator: Stretching the Premise.

We get a recap of The Authority vs. Brock.

Then
it’s another Wyatt segment right as this show was beginning to regain a
pulse.. He talks about his Dad and how he’s making IRS proud. Wyatt
says that Reigns won’t succeed. He won’t let Reigns succeed. Run.

The Rock showed up in Boston once to beat up Bo Dallas. Yay?

MATCH
#5: Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) & WWE Tag Team Champions
The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young) vs. Bo Dallas
& The New Day (Xavier Woods, Big E & Kofi Kingston)

Woods
and Kalisto exchange counters and armbars before Woods belts Kalisto in
the head. Kalisto comes back with chest slaps and a goofy armdrag
involving the top rope as a Springboard. Tag to Sin Cara who punches at
Woods. Woods tags in Dallas and Cara puts him in an armbar. Tag to Young
who knees Dallas in the gut. One count. Tag to Titus who sends Young
into Dallas’s stomach, then he tosses Dallas across the ring. Tag to
Kalisto and Dallas works him over with kneedrops. Dallas comes back
with a short-arm clothesline and a front facelock. Kalisto shoves Dallas
into the Face corner and it’s a tag to Young again. Young gets knocked
down by Dallas but nobody in the crowd cares. Young comes back, hitting a
Sidewalk Slam on the mat outside. We go to break as it nearly turns
into a Pier Six.

When we come back, Woods has Kalisto
in a Million Dollar Dream. Kalisto breaks and ends up in Belly to Belly
by E. Kalisto lands on his feet and rolls over to tag Sin Cara who goes
Flip City, knocking E around the ring. Tag to Young who elbows E in the
head. E breaks out of a hold and goes for a tag. Young picks on E again
but E just tosses him out of the ring. Dallas attacks Young outside,
then rolls him back into the ring for a mudhole stomp in the heel
corner. Kofi hits a dropkick and the ref finally gets involved, pulling
Kofi off Young. Young escapes the hold but Dallas catches him in a
headlock. Young breaks and chops at Dallas’s chest. Both guys run at one
another and collide. Both men make a hot tag with Titus and Kofi the
legal guys. Titus takes out the heels, then clotheslines Kofi. Chaos
hits as everyone’s in the ring. The Luchas help Titus clear the ring,
then they dive at the remainder of The New Day. Kofi flies at Titus who
counters with Clash of the Titus for the merciful end at 14:29.
WINNERS: Luchas and PTP
RATING:
**. Not bad, not good and hey, look: Luchas because reasons! Match was
overlong at near 15 minutes. Dallas and the Luchas are DOA after
building up massive heat. 

LAST WEEK: Summer hit on Rusev, kinda.

Out
comes Dolph for a long promo which pretty much tells you the state of
the roster this week. Ziggler explains making out with Lana as if that
needs an explanation. Lana takes over. She says Rusev isn’t a real man
because Ziggler’s that man. This goes on two minutes too long until
Rusev emerges with Summer in tow. Lana doesn’t look happy as they head
to the ring. Rusev says he doesn’t care about Lana anymore. He never
did. He calls Lana a “cold fish”. Ziggler stops him and says that
Rusev’s a scumbag. Ziggler says Lana belongs to him. Ziggler tells Rusev
that he blew it. He says that he can arrange the breaking of Rusev’s
other ankle. The two face off with the crowd finally deciding that
Ziggler’s a face, they guess. They start chanting “USA” even though
Bulgaria is a NATO ally. ‘Murica! Summer calls Lana a gold digger and
says that Rusev cared about Lana. But this whole thing proves that Lana
is a phony. Summer slaps the taste out of Lana’s mouth. Lana’s furious
and lunges at Summer. The two fight. Ziggler separates them and — oops,
there goes Lana’s skirt. Summer escapes the ring. So, I guess we’re
getting a mixed tag with these four in the near future.

Dean
Ambrose hangs out with some T-800’s from Terminator backstage BECAUSE
WE HAVEN’T HAD ENOUGH PRODUCT PLUGS TONIGHT. Reigns approaches him and
wants to know if Ambrose is ready. Ambrose asks the same question.
Reigns looks pensive. Ambrose says Reigns SHOULD be angry and tense.
That’s the way he likes Reigns. They leave for the ring as LOOK AT THE
ROBOTS AND GO SEE TERMINATOR 7 or whatever this one is.

We come back — and get a commercial for the new Terminator flick.

MATCH #6: Neville vs. Sheamus
Neville
and Sheamus fight into two corners until Sheamus snapmares him to the
mat. Neville breaks but Sheamus punches him. Neville flips around and
hits a Frankensteiner. He tries again but Sheamus catches him. Neville
counters and they both spill out of the ring. Neville goes for a dive
but Sheamus runs. When we come back, Neville is in control for a change.
He runs at Sheamus but Sheamus tosses him over the top rope. Neville
lands on his feet and jumps at Sheamus who catches him and hits the
Rolling Senton. He kicks at Neville and then hits a nice suplex throw.
Sheamus hits a headlock. Neville breaks but Sheamus kicks at Neville in
the corner. The ref shoves Sheamus off of Neville but Sheamus won’t
listen and lunges repeatedly until Neville flies out of the corner,
forcing Sheamus to eat a Superkick. Neville tries to follow up but
Sheamus grabs him and gives him a trio of Irish Curse Backbreakers.
Sheamus slaps Neville and Neville returns the favor and hits his set of
roundhouse kicks. Sheamus lunges at Neville and Neville sends him
outside, then hits a Springboard Moonsault to the outside. Neville hits a
sitting dropkick and then it’s a series of counters. Finally, Neville
catches Sheamus in the head with a high kick and goes for the Red Arrow.
Sheamus manages to get up and kick at the ropes which knocks Neville to
the mat. Sheamus sets up for the Brogue but misses. Neville rolls up
Sheamus for a near fall but Sheamus kicks out and hits the Brogue anyhow
to win this at 12:42.
WINNER: Sheamus via Brogue Kick
RATING: ***. A much better showing for Sheamus than last week’s march through apathy.

Backstage, a worker shines J&J’s car.

Hulk Hogan’s in Sports Illustrated. Wonder if they’ll mention the ‘roids and weird family life.

Holy shit, it’s Jack Swagger! Barrett says that all his opponents will bow down to him.

MATCH #7: Jack Swagger vs. King Barrett
Swagger
chases Barrett around the ring. Barrett exits and re-enters, only to
get slammed by Swagger. Swagger beats him in the corner, then tosses him
across the ring. Swagger goes for the Patriot Lock but Barrett is next
to the ropes and escapes the ring. Swagger chases and he tosses Barrett
into the barricades. When the fight gets back in the ring, it’s the ROAL
BULLHAMMER MIGGAL to finish this at about 90 seconds or so.
WINNER: Barrett via Bullhammer
RATING: DUD. Barrett’s character is pointless…and wasn’t Swagger supposed to bow? Oh well. Never mind that.

NEXT: The No-DQ tag match.

MATCH
#8: Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Kane & WWE World
Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins (with J&J Security – Jamie Noble
& Joey Mercury) in a No Disqualification Match

Chaos to
start. Ambrose knocks Rollins out of the ring and dives at him while
Reigns and Kane fight in a corner. Ambrose joins the fight and the two
hit a double suplex. Ambrose goes for a top rope move but Rollins knocks
him off. Rollins lures Reigns out of the ring and back in so that Kane
can kick his head off when he gets back in. Ambrose gets tossed into the
barricade. When we come back from break, it’s Rollins with a headlock
on Reigns. Kane is tagged in but Reigns comes off the top rope with a
clothesline as, suddenly, we’re in a tag match with rules. Ambrose tags
in and he stomps the shit out of Rollins and hits a Bulldog. Kane goes
for a distraction but Ambrose knocks him off the mat, then dumps
Rollins, then dives at two of them AND takes out J&J. Ambrose
marches after Noble who runs. Ambrose grabs Rollins instead and then
clotheslines him. Ambrose rolls Rollins into the ring, then goes for a
table under the ring. He slides the table in but J&J pull the table
back out. Rollins hits a high kick to Ambrose after a cheap roll-up and
gets two. Reigns saves the day and powerbombs Rollins, then clotheslines
Kane. Mercury gets into the ring with a Kendo Stick and attacks Reigns
who no-sells it. He grabs the stick and destroys Kane with it and breaks
it over Mercury’s back. Reigns Superman Punches every single heel he
sees and goes for a Spear — but Wyatt Cut to fuck up another
match in a feud nobody gives a shit about. Wyatt beats up Reigns and
hits Sister Abigail into the announce table. The refs send Bray away despite the fact that this is NO-DQ.
Meanwhile, Ambrose is alone in the ring. Kane grabs him for a Chokeslam
but Ambrose breaks and hits the Rebound Clothesline. A series of
counters ends with a Chokeslam by Kane and Pedigree by Rollins and we
are done at around 12 minutes.
WINNERS: Kane and Rollins
RATING:
***. Entertaining match for the most part but the shit finishes
involving Bray are becoming irritating. The crowd really liked Reigns
here.

Post-match, the Authority tries to put
Ambrose through a table but Reigns attacks. The Authority disposes of
him. Rollins taunts Reigns who comes back to life and clears the ring by
himself. The Authority swarms the ring again and Reigns gets his ass
kicked again. Reigns fights back and prevents a Chokeslam.
Rollins hits a horribly botched “knee clip” spot and it’s a mudhole
stomp. Rollins tells his guys to pick Reigns up. They do and it’s a
Buckle Bomb into the table in the corner. Reigns aiin’t through and
actually struggles to get up and we’re STILL on this. Rollins hits
another Pedigree.

And we go off the a–

Oh.
Nope. Bray Wyatt is back. He re-enters the ring and hits Sister Abigail
just in case you haven’t had enough of Wyatt getting involved. He yells
“FOLLOW THE BUZZARDS” as we finally go off the air.

OVERALL:
Better than last week by far and a solid show to boot. It somehow
survived a weak opening and a horrible Ziggler segment to finish with
some decent matches. I’m still not a fan of Reigns/Wyatt but I do like
the idea of Rollins and his guys all being back together and on the same
page. It sets up a nice payoff at Battleground. 

And, before we go, we have this week’s Best of Monday Night Open Mic:

Er…that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Review – 6/22/2015

Just so you all know, there’s breaking news: WWE Network interviewed the Music Legend of All-Times, Machine Gun Kelly and he’s totally fine. I know you all care.
I don’t know why but I feel like it’s been forever since the last RAW.
Maybe
it’s because we didn’t have two PPV events in three weeks and I don’t
watch Smackdown or NXT but it feels like a long time.
There
are three major feuds in WWE right now: Roman/Sheamus/Wyatt, Cena/Owens
and, now, Rollins/Lesnar. For those of you looking for an update on
Machine Gun Kelly vs. Kevin Owens, go elsewhere.
Let’s go…

No
mention of “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel as we begin. That’s right. WWE
updated you on Machine Gun Kelly’s health and didn’t memorialize Buddy.
We are LIVE(!!!) in Indianapolis, Indiana for WWE Monday Night RAW!!!
Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton are at the table tonight.
Brock
Lesnar and Paul Heyman start us out to a huge pop and we get clips from
last week when Seth and Lesnar went face to face last week. 
AT BATTLEGROUND: Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins
Heyman
introduces the official return of Lesnar. Heyman says a lot of fans are
wondering where Brock’s been and what happened to him. Heyman gives us
clips from the RAW following WrestleMania 31. After we come back, we
learns that Lesnar’s only back if he apologizes to Michael Cole and JBL.
Brock looks sheepish and the crowd chants “Suplex City”. He steps out
of the ring and then approaches the desk slowly. Brock extends his hand
to JBL and JBL shakes it. Cole tells Brock he doesn’t have to apologize,
then tells Brock he wants no trouble. Brock extends his hand. Cole
takes it — and Brock grabs him a headlock — only to give him a noogie.
Brock laughs and shoves Cole back into his chair, then taps him on the
shoulder and says he’s sorry. Cole: “We’re good! WE’RE GOOD!”
Brock
gets back into the ring. Heyman says Brock has done what he’s been told
to do and asks if Cole has accepted Brock’s apology. Heyman mocks Cole,
yelling, “YES, MR. HEYMAN! I DO!” He says the next order of business is
taking care of the sneaky little guy known as Seth Rollins. Rollins
will end up a resident of Suplex City, bitch. 
TONIGHT: Roman Reigns will fight Sheamus
Dean Ambrose walks backstage and he’s on his way to the ring. He will face Kane…next. 

MATCH #1: Dean Ambrose vs. Kane

Kane
boots Ambrose, then hits a Side Suplex but Ambrose kicks out of the
pin. Ambrose fights back, chopping Kane in the corner but Kane just
uppercuts the shit out of him, then kicks at him while he’s down.
Ambrose comes out of the corner with a forearm and punches away at Kane.
Kane comes back and knocks Ambrose down and covers for two. Ambrose
comes back with a press, but Kane escapes and rolls out of the ring.
Ambrose goes outside and tosses him back in. He hits a nice legdrop off
the buckle but Kane pulls him outside. After break, IT’S BEEN ALL KANE!
But Ambrose comes back with quick jabs. He runs at Kane who catches him
for a Sidewalk Slam for two. Kane goes Brie Mode with a Chinlock of
Doom. Ambrose breaks it but Kane hits a Running DDT for two. Kane beats
Ambrose in the corner, then beats him in the other corner. He tries a
third corner but Ambrose elbows out and hits a Neckbreaker. Dane hits a
Missile Dropkick and tries a Bulldog but Kane shoves him away. Dean
comes back and rolls up Kane but Kane kicks out at two. Kane runs at
Ambrose but Ambrose pulls the top rope down and Kane flies outside.
Ambrose follows and it’s a brawl with Ambrose hitting the Rebound
Clothesline. He rolls Kane back in and hits another one off of a counter
to the Chokeslam. Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds — but Rollins’ music
hits. Ambrose ain’t falling for it and runs at Rollins, knocking him
down. Kane attacks Ambrose who fights back. Ambrose climbs the top rope
but Rollins leaps up to grab his leg. This should be a typical fuck
finish but referees no longer care about interference these days. Kane
grabs Ambrose and hits a Chokeslam so weak, Ambrose actually lands on
his feet before he hits the mat. Kane takes this at 11:21 because he
needs protection being a rookie and all.
WINNER: Kane via Chokeslam
RATING: *3/4. Another boring Kane match. I’m not sure Ambrose has any heat left.
Post-match, Rollins gives a thumbs-up to Kane, signalling that he stands with Kane. Kane looks confused.
After
break, Rollins walks with Kane backstage. Rollins tells him that they
should be on the same page like the old days. Kane sees through this and
says that Rollins is sucking up because he needs back-up for when
Rollins faces Lesnar at Battleground. Rollins denies this and says that
this is about family. He wants to make amends and offers his hand in
friendship. Kane shakes his head and walks away, leaving Rollins looking
worried.
Cole reviews MITB when Wyatt cost Roman Reigns the case and how he used his daughter’s photo in his promo spots.
AT BATTLEGROUND: Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
ALSO AT BATTLEGROUND: The Prime Time Players fight The New Day in a re-match for the tag titles.
MATCH
#2: WWE Tag Team Champions The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil &
Darren Young) vs. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) (non-title)
Titus
slams Konnor and does the Gator Bark. Tag to Young who splashes Konnor.
Another tag to Titus and he takes care of Viktor who flies into the
ring by slinging him across the ring. Konnor and Titus gets into a heavy
slap fight which Konnor wins and tags Viktor, who stomps a mudhole in
Titus. Viktor works him over in the heel corner and the two tag in and
out. Konnor applies a headlock. Titus breaks it with a Side Suplex. Hot
tags on both sides with Young punching at Viktor and clotheslining him.
Suplex by Young and running clotheslines in the corner. Northern Lights
Suplex gets two. Konnor comes in and Titus hits a Spinebuster. Viktor
boots Titus from the ring and Young hits Viktor with the Gut Check to
win this at 4:06.
WINNERS: The Prime Time Players
RATING: *1/4. Eh. At least the PTP looked a little better here.
PTP celebrates…and Sheamus’s music hits as we’re on to match #3…
MATCH #3: Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns
Sheamus and Reigns grapple for the first minute as Cole is so sure
that “people will be chatting about this on social media”. Reigns
ejects him from the ring, then kicks him in the head. Back in the ring,
it’s a Reigns clothesline and a running elbow. Sheamus drops Reigns’
throat on the top rope and he starts his attack. Short-arm Clothesline
gets a one-count. Sheamus goes for Ten Beats but only hits four before
Reigns has had enough. He elbows out of it but misses a running attack.
Sheamus hits the Irish Curse Backbreaker and both men just look beyond
gassed already. After a long break, Reigns breaks a headlock and hits
clotheslines and a huge flying lariat. Reigns hits several clotheslines
in the corner and Sheamus falls across the bottom rope. Reigns goes for
the Missile Dropkick but Sheamus counters with a nice clothesline.
Sheamus goes outside and tosses Reigns into the crowd barrier, then
rolls him back into the ring. ANOTHER headlock. Reigns breaks and hits
three huge Irish Curse Backbreakers for a two count. Sheamus goes for a
Cloverleaf but Reigns fights his way to the ropes. Sheamus slingshots
him into the bottom rope, then locks it in. Reigns breaks it and kicks
out. Sheamus just runs him over with a lariat. Sheamus punches Reigns in
the back but Reigns comes back with elbow shots and a side suplex.
Another side suplex gets two. Roman runs at Sheamus and both men end up
outside. Roman hits the Running Missile Dropkick and then hits a massive
clothesline into the announce table. Reigns gets back into the
ring…and we hear Wyatt humming about a tea party. And there he is,
drinking tea with a toy tea set and candles. Reigns runs off to find
Wyatt and just fuck all this. Time is 16:43.
WINNER: Sheamus via countout, presumably.
RATING: *. Holy. Shit. A slow, clunky, plodding match that went on far too long with a guy who has a very small moveset and ending in a shit finish to resolve some sort of “feud” nobody cares about. Thanks for that, WWE.
When we come back, it’s a recap of what we just saw.
Backstage,
Reigns walks backstage and finds the “tea room” that has a bunch of
photos of Reigns with his eyes gouged out and “ANYONE BUT YOU” painted
on the walls in red.
We get a look at Lesnar and Heyman from earlier tonight.
Rollins
approaches J&J backstage at the coffee dispenser. J&J ain’t
happy, man! Rollins says that he was just joking. That’s what “family”
does. He calls them both family and friends. Rollins says it has nothing
to do with Lesnar. He can face Lesnar and beat him. He wants to know if
they’re cool. J&J walks off.
John Cena was on The Today Show plugging Tough Enough.
MATCH #4: Neville vs. Kofi Kingston (w/ Xavier Woods & Big E)
Neville
hits a quick Northern Lights Suplex while Woods threatens to “call
gravity”. Neville locks Kofi’s arm but Kofi breaks and punches away at
Neville in the corner. Kofi hits a Flying Axe Handle and gets two.
Armbar by Kofi but Neville breaks and hits a Frankensteiner and then
dropkicks Kofi from the ring. Neville goes to beat on Kofi but the New
Day is there to harass him. PTP shows up but the ref tosses them from
ringside, then does the same for New Day. Kofi’s pissed. Neville hits an
Enzuguri at Red Arrow to get the win at 4:28.
WINNER: Neville via Red Arrow
RATING: *. A match that was actually hindered by Big E and Xavier Woods yelling the entire match. How many times does Neville have to look over his shoulder as Woods and E yell really loud? It just made for a slow, boring match.
LAST MONDAY: Owens beat up MUSIC LEGEND MACHINE GUN KELLY!!! OH NOES!!!
TONIGHT: John Cena returns, having only been out of action for like a week.
ALSO TONIGHT: Ryback fights Mark Henry
Then we get a peek at Mr. Robot for no reason. 

MATCH #5: Zack Ryder vs. King Barrett

Barrett
hits a shoulderblock but Ryder comes back, dropping Barrett on his
face. Ryder tries to punch at Barrett in the corner but Barrett escapes
and trips him, then beats the crap out of Ryder in the corner, finishing
with a hug short-arm clothesline for two. Ryder comes back with a big
clothesline and a nice Missile Dropkick. Running Elbow hits the mark but
Ryder misses the Broski Boot. Barrett rolls out of the ring. Ryder
climbs the buckle but Barrett trips him and hits the ROAL BULLHAMMER for
the win at 3:21.
WINNER: Barrett via Bullhammer
RATING:
*. Barrett finally wins a match, so I guess he stopped fucking around
backstage or whatever the hell it was he was doing.
NEXT: John Cena.
Cena joins us and calls the United States Championship a “symbol of excellence”. You know, only when he
wears it. Otherwise, it’s the title that R-Truth could win at any
moment. Cena recaps what Owens did to him at MITB and says that Owens
wants to win the title. Cena calls him a great wrestler but a garbage
human being. He says that it’s gonna be hard to deal with if he loses
the United States title and says that, maybe, he has signed up for a
fight he can’t win. He says he could tell Owens “no” like Owens told him no a month ago. He says he will fight because that’s what champions do.
Owens’
music hits and he comes out to the entrance ramp. Owens says that he
isn’t upset by what Cena just said. Owens says he doesn’t put value in
what people think. He says he’s been called lazy and out of shape. He
says that Cena even called him a “dirtbag”. He says that this lazy, fat
dirtbag beat him. He says he doesn’t care about pride. He cares about
winning titles. He wants to win the title that Cena has as we continue
to pretend that the U.S. Championship is the top prize in WWE Because
Cena. He says he will make the crowd boo the “evil foreigner” and starts
speaking French like he’s in a Lady Gaga song. He wants to hear what
Cena has to say.
Cena
says that the people dislike Owens because he’s a disrespectful
“suckbag”. Then he speaks French. And Chinese. Then, he says he’s gonna
spell it out in good ol’ English: he accepts Owens’ challenge. And he
will kick Owens’ ass. 
Backstage,
Triple H and Steph hang out. Rollins shows up. Steph asks if Rollins is
letting Brock get to him. Rollins says he’s not afraid. Rollins says
he’s pissed at J&J. HHH says that Rollins doesn’t need them. Rollins
says that he’s afraid that J&J and Kane will never align with him
again. HHH tells him to cut the crap. This is all about Rollins being
afraid of Brock Lesnar. He says that a smart man has back-up and a “Plan
B”. He says that a smart man apologizes to those he pissed off. That’s
surreal. Rollins wants to know what happens if Brock shows up. HHH asks
Seth how much he wants the title.
LAST MONDAY: Paige tries to get the other girls behind her but they all left.
MATCH #6: The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie) (w/ Alicia Fox) vs. Naomi & Tamina
Brie
and Naomi start out. Naomi kicks at Brie and tags in Tamina who just
tosses Brie to the ring and punches at her. Tamina tosses Brie into the
corner and elbows her, then it’s a nerve hold while Fox pounds the mat
because she’s totally with the Bellas now. Tag to Naomi and the
Bella Beating continues. Naomi hits a Bulldog into the buckle, then
tosses Brie into the ringpost. Naomi runs at her but Brie holds down the
second rope. Naomi flies out — but gets up and attacks Nikki. Nikki
eventually gets a hot tag and dropkicks everyone, plus Tamina. Alabama
Slamma gets a two count. Tamina gets involved and lunges at Brie. The
ref, however, can’t get out of the way and Tamina trips the fuck over
him in a horrible botch. Naomi hits the Rear View on Brie and goes to
nail Nikki with one but, nope. She hits Tamina. Rack Attack. Done at
3:45.
WINNER: #BELLASWINLOL
RATING: DUD. This division needs an overhaul. Shit the episode needs an overhaul.
We get a commercial for Terminator Genesys. Also, it’s just like WWE. Because editing. 

NEXT: Ryback vs. Mark Henry

Big Show’s at ringside for commentary as we learn that…
AT BATTLEGROUND: Big Show vs. Miz vs. Ryback in a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

MATCH #7: Mark Henry vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback (non-title)

Mark
Henry just knocks Ryback over as Show buries Miz on commentary. Ryback
comes back with a shoulderblock and kicks Henry out of the ring. Ryback
follows him and it’s a brawl. Ryback gets tossed into the crowd barrier.
We actually get a fucking commercial break. When we come back, Ryback
has broken a hold and is punching Henry in the corner. Henry knocks him
off and runs at Ryback who counters with a Spinebuster. He tries the
Meat Hook but Henry counters with a big boot. Henry goes for the WSS
which, as we all know, now includes tossing his opponent up in the air
before doing it. Ryback escapes and knocks Henry down, then hits a Big
Splash off the ropes to win the match at 6:22.
WINNER: Ryback via Big Splash
RATING: 1/4 of a *. This is horrible stuff.
Post-match,
Show gets into the ring and lectures Henry who shoves Show. Show leaves
the ring, irritated as Henry falls to a knee.

Cole, JBL and Saxton promote Tough Enough.

JoJo
interviews Ryback who doesn’t wanna be called “Flyback”, even though
nobody was calling him that. He says he can beat anyone. The Big Guy is
here to stay. Show shows up and says he’s gonna expose Ryback for the
fraud he is. They mock one another and it’s a brawl backstage with
Ryback getting the better of it all. Ryback tells Show he doesn’t look
so big and walks off. Man, this feud really needs The Miz to make it “great”, doesn’t it?
MOMENTS AGO: Holy crap, we have to re-live that epic backstage battle.
It’s
not enough we have to watch Adam Rose wrestle, we have to hear him talk
and then make out with Rosa which isn’t much different than a bass
swallowing a goldfish.
MATCH #8: Adam Rose (w/ Rosa Mendes) vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Lana)
Ziggler
hits a dropkick but Rose comes back and copies all of Dolph’s moves
because he suddenly has no original moveset of his own. Ziggler hits the
neckbreaker but Rose puts Ziggler in the corner and beats on him.
Ziggler tries a Fame-Asser but misses. Rose hits a Spinebuster and
SHOULD have had three except Ziggler forgets to kick out and the ref
stops the count so he can. Anyhow, this ends when Ziggler Superkicks
Rose off the top turnbuckle at 3:05.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler
RATING: DUD. I didn’t even know Rose still existed.
Post-match,
Ziggler tells Lana to let her hair down. She does. Then they make out
while Rusev watches from backstage. Rusev gets so pissed, he tosses his
crutches away, then falls on his ass. Summer Rae shows up to pick up the
crutches and hands them to Rusev. Oh, the white hot passion.
J&J
complain to Steph about Rollins’ behavior. Triple H lays the law down
and Steph asks them to hear Rollins out. Kane & J&J agree.
Rollins
hits the ring and says that it’s easier to pretend you’re right then
admit your wrong and asks that J&J and Kane come to the ring. They
do. Rollins says that he has something to say. He says it isn’t about
Lesnar. He’s not afraid of Lesnar. He beat him before. He apologizes to
J&J and tells them that they’ve always had his back. J&J discuss
it so Rollins turns to Kane and says that Kane isn’t a Dinosaur, he’s
The Devil’s Favorite Demon. He asks Kane to come back and be a family.
The three men are incredulous. Rollins begs them to come back. 
Suddenly,
Lesnar’s music hits and he hits the ring. All four men wait for
Lesnar’s next move. Surprisingly, they stand with Rollins…then they
leave. Lesnar grins and goes to get in the ring — but Kane attacks.
Lesnar tosses him to the mat, then runs Mercury into the crowd barrier.
Lesnar gets into the ring. Rollins attacks but Lesnar hits two German
Suplexes. Crowd finally wakes up for this and yells “ONE MORE TIME”.
Lesnar obliges. He goes for an F5 but Kane gets back into the ring and
chokes Lesnar. Lesnar breaks it but then runs back into it. Chokeslam by
Kane. Kane goes for another but Lesnar breaks out and hits a German on
Kane. Rollins attacks but Lesnar goes for an F5. Kane clips Lesnar’s
ankle. Lesnar gets up and goes after Kane but Rollins attacks from
behind and the two beat on him, wrap his leg around a ringpost and hit
his knee with a chair. They continue their mudhole stomp. Lesnar tries
to fight back again but Mercury joins the fight and grapples Lesnar’s
legs. Mercury punches away and it’s a 3-on-1 mudhole stomp. They hold
Lesnar in place and Rollins completely botches a flying knee from the
top rope, overshooting it by five feet. Lesnar sells it anyhow and Kane
hits a Chokeslam for good measure. Rollins finishes with a Pedigree as
this drags on and on. Rollins holds up the belt and brags as we finally
go off the air.
OVERALL:
Ugh…this show was lazy with slow, boring matches and a bunch of
filler. The only bright spot was Brock Lesnar who has so much heat, he
can turn a funeral into a rock concert.
Er…that’s it.

WCW Road Wild 1999 Review

Hi Scott

I hope you and the family are doing well

I must be honest and say that I kind of wanted The Cav's to win the series,
as I liked the story of LeBron coming home and carrying an average team to
the title, but I enjoyed your goading in the recent Nitro thread 😉

LeBron's a bad Kopite anyway

My search to try and find a review style that works has led me to trying
this one out

I think this works a bit better than the previous style I used for New
Years Revolution 2005

Could I please ask you to post this to the blog so I can get some feedback
from the Doomers?

They really helped me out last time and I tried to take some of their
feedback on board and put it into practice

Not much of a show this one of course, but then WCW wasn't much of a
company by this point either. The writing was probably already on the wall

The first bit is me complaining about how rubbish WCW was at releasing
Videos in the UK (WCW being run ineptly

​​

in a commercial way? Perish the
thought!) but the rest I think is alright

Take care anyway mate

Mikey

http://thisandthatmikey.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/this-and-that-wcw-road-wild-1999-review.html

​God I hated the buildup to that show so much.  Nash loses the title and THEN puts his career on the line against Hogan, who's already won the title back?  Just so bad.  ​

The Princess Review on the Legends of Wrestling Roundtable: Texas Wrestling

One final Dusty-related piece from me:

First here’s Dustin’s eulogy: https://twitter.com/Goldust/status/611569470147031040
And here’s Cody’s eulogy: https://twitter.com/StardustWWE/status/611332890568327168/photo/1

And here’s wonderful obit/feature on Dusty and his time in Tampa: http://tbo.com/Obituaries/private-funeral-in-tampa-today-for-wrestler-dusty-rhodes-20150617/

And here’s my piece on Legends of Wrestling Roundtable: Texas Wrestling

Your panelists are: Jim Ross, Michael Hayes, Dusty Rhodes and “Cowboy” Bill Watts. With Mean Gene Okerlund moderating the conversation. Number of cowboy hats on the set are two but the “Cowboy” isn’t wearing one. Rhodes is the only actual Texas-born person on the panel.

— Ross starts out by saying Texas had five full-time territories and as an Oklahoma guy Ross says there’s no state that comes close to Texas for producing stars. He goes into the Dallas territory with the Von Erichs and from there with Paul Boesch in Houston, Gory Guerrero in El Paso, Joe Blanchard in San Antonio and Dory Funk Sr. in West Texas. Ross said guys could bounce from territory to territory in Texas and make a good living without leaving the state.

— Hayes talks about some guys could only draw in Texas and other guys could draw anywhere but Texas, making that area really unique.

— Dusty talks about the wrestling tradition on the West Texas State football team that included the Funk Brothers, Tito Santana, Ted DiBiase, Tully Blanchard, Bruiser Brody and of course Dusty himself. Dusty cracks a joke about Watts booking him nine times in a week.

— Hayes takes credit for making Dallas hot, which is somewhat true and somewhat of an embellishment. Hayes says the promoters in Texas weren’t often put over but the panel reminds him that Boesch was highly revered by the boys and promoters alive. Dusty says Boesch was the best payoff in the territory era.

— JR talks about the Von Erichs a little and how he came across them when Watts would book them for Mid-South TV. And then he talks about how strong the Von Erichs were because of their TV coverage. He makes the comparison of the old wrestling fan being like a NASCAR fan as they would watch all the different promotions they could on TV.

— Dusty puts over Texas as the greatest state in the union and the greatest football team in the union. And tries to talk about JBL but ends up telling a story about him hitting a home run against Abilene Christian. That’s Dusty for ya. Back to wrestling and Dusty says the Freebirds-Von Erichs encaptured the Dallas market and we see a long clip of a Freebirds vs. Von Erichs (Kevin, Fritz and Mike) in a street fight at Texas Stadium.

— JR says Dusty was the quintessential Texas wrestler because he went to every territory around and drew money everywhere. Ross said this is a bottom line business and Dusty proved his value. From a technical standpoint Ross said Dory Jr. was probably the best. And we saw a clip of the Funk Brothers absolutely destroying the faces in Florida, including breaking Dusty Rhodes’ arm. Fans were pelting them with trash. And more clips of Dory beating Thunderbolt Patterson in a NWA title defense in Florida.

— Hayes said Dusty was so good as drawing money he could get other wrestlers’ payoff…other wrestlers meaning Hayes himself of course.

— JR said for modern times Stone Cold is the man. Texas guy, born there, trained there and started in Dallas but in a bottom-line business no one sold more.

— Watts and Hayes put over the Guerrero family as a whole and then some of the great Latin talents that came from Gory Guerrero’s promotion in El Paso.

— Hayes and Watts talk about Dick Murdoch and how great the Dusty-Murdoch team was as the Texas Outlaws and how choatic their fights were. Dusty tells stories about Murdoch working for San Francisco and how he might have gotten into some weird stuff out there. We see clips of the Outlaws reuniting to take on Bob Roop and Harley Race in 1975 at the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. Roop and Race did damage to Rhodes’ throat and Rhodes recruited Murdoch to help him and as legend goes the card sold out in a few minutes once the match was announced. When Dusty piledrives Roop on the concrete the place goes absolutely ape shit. And back in 1975 if you got piledriven on the concrete, it was pretty much instant death. Rhodes and Murdoch just continue to beat the shit out of Race and Roop, who the medics are trying to take out on a stretcher. Rhodes is narrating this with Gordon Solie and getting hyped up more by the second. Amazing, wild stuff and it was cool to see the Outlaws be total heels in their actions but they were the faces and had the crowd eating out of their hands.

— Watts talks about Rhodes’ wife being a tremendous Tex-Mex cook and then they get deeper into the Latin talent like Jose Lethario and El Santo and of course Mil Mascaras. And when the real Mexican superstars came into the Texas territory for spot shots they sold big tickets. Ross talks about how the Mexican fans knew the Mexican stars from the Puerto Rican stars and would punish the promoters that tried to pull one over on that fan base and bring in a Puero Rican star and push him to the Mexican fans.

— Watts tells a Terry Funk story about him getting drunk and ribbing his ex-wife and her new boyfriend, who were shacking up in the house he lost to her in the divorce.

— Dusty talks about Terry Funk shooting out the traffic lights in those one-horse towns around the canyons. Dusty tells a tremendous story about him and Nick Bockwinkle trying to rib Terry but Terry caught on to it and ribbed Bockwinkle instead.

— Watts talks about Dory Jr. ribbing Hansen and making him tear out his shoulder trying to knock down a street sign after Dory did it with one he gimmicked.

— More Watts this time talking about the Von Erichs and how big David’s funeral was. Watts said Fritz never really understood the problem his sons had with substance abuse. He talks about how Kerry was so huge but he was caught up in drugs as was his brother Chris. The only one who generally avoided the hard drugs was Kevin, who is the only surviving brother.

— Hayes said the tragic part of the Von Erich story was that the great memories they left for the people in Dallas are often just a footnote. He says Fritz got a lot of flack for taking care of his boys but when they had the right opposition, like the Freebirds, he let things escalate and get huge.

— Dusty talks about the super shows and how Vince rn the showdown at Shea and Florida did the Tampa show at Tampa Stadium and Fritz did the shows in Dallas. Hayes said the Texas Stadium shows were the largest houses in Texas until the WWE had the Royal Rumble in 1997 and the two Wrestlemanias in Houston.

— Ross talks about Wrestlemania 17 and how much he loved the Astrodome and puts over how great of a show that was….and wrestling fans agree as it’s widely considered the best Wrestlemania and arguably the best PPV of all time. We see clips of the Rock-Austin main event from the Wrestlemania 17 card.

— The panel gives praise Shawn Michaels and Ross says he’s the best “big match” perform to ever grace the ring. This was taped as a lead-in to Wrestlemania 25 too so once again Shawn was about to deliver another classic (depending on who you ask). Hayes says he continues to get better.

— Hayes mentions the other Texas guys that fell to substance abuse and brings up Gino Hernandez. Ross said Hernandez had the potential to be great and Watts said Gino’s attitude was that he wanted to work and he wanted the responsibility to be the man. And then somehow Watts goes back to putting Dusty over.

— Dusty tells a story about having to turn down a booking because his father died the same day Dustin was born. He barely had enough money to cover the funeral but Fritz gave him an envelope with money to cover the cost. Dusty said years later he was able to go back into Dallas and had the resources to give Fritz the money back and said he didn’t feel right until he did that.

— Hayes talks about Blackjack Mulligan and Dick Murdoch buying Amarillo territory from Dory Sr. Dusty said it included a “trunk factory” where they could make the wrestlers gear. He says the first trunks they sent him were too big and they misspelled “DR” on them. “I’m heavy, you know, but these would have fit Beulah the Cow.” Dusty said Blackjack and Dick were at gunpoint with each other from time to time and sold the territory within a year as only Dory knew how to make Amarillo work.

— Watts said he had Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen as a team but broke them up because he could see they were both going to be stars. Watts said Bruiser was a different type of talent as he would make a deal with a promoter and look at the house and then would hold up the promoter for more money. Watts speculates that was much of the reason he got murdered by Invader I in Puerto Rico.

— Dusty and Watts talk about Ernie Ladd and he was from Texas. Watts said when Ernie died he cried for four days. Ross said Ernie, like Dusty, outgrew Texas pretty quickly and became an international star.

— Watts tells a story about the time Brody didn’t want to sell for Danny Hodge because he didn’t think Hodge looked big and strong enough. Now Hodge, who’s badassedness is legendary, beats the fuck out of Brody and Brody starts screaming for mercy and Watts tells Brody to “show him your arms and big muscles!”.

— Okerlund puts over Watts for his Hall of Fame induction and the show closes.

The Bottom Line: The first 30-35 minutes were great and it slowed down a little after that. My main beef was that they spent very little time actually talking about the memorable angles run in the Texas promotions other than the Freebirds-Von Erichs from WCCW. Fun discussion though as Hayes tends not to be as overbearing with Dusty and JR on the same panel.

Sporting News: NXT in Review

I feel like the blog is a little thin on Wednesday Night Wars coverage.  Tommy and I both do NXT, of course, and Tommy also does Impact because he's a sadist or whatever, but ROH and especially Lucha Underground aren't getting any love.  Anyone want to take a crack at Lucha?  I don't have access to the show so I'm out.  

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Review – 6/15/2015

We are 24 hours removed from Money in the Bank and I liked the show.
In my review,
I gave it 3 1/4 stars but my opinions were pretty much the same as
Scott and Bayless. It had some major problems and some weird, arbitrary
booking that made next to no sense.
The least of which is Brie Bella checking her own pubic hair to show Paige that her and Nikki are different. That match was actually decent up until that fuck-finish.

Sheamus
won Money in the Bank for some reason after Bray Wyatt attacked Bray
Wyatt for some reason and Renee Young is a platinum blonde for
some–wait. No. Renee’s hair color changed because Ambrose is just a
lucky fuck who jobs to TV monitors but gets what he wants in private.
We
got two really great matches in Ambrose/Rollins and Cena/Owens…but
the rest of the show is a prime example of what’s been driving WWE fans
nuts.

Look, I get wanting to shake things up, but if we’re gonna be random and different, give Kofi the case. Even that makes more sense than Sheamus grabbing it. Bray fucking with somebody else? Where’s that
gonna lead? Nowhere. It’s gonna be eight weeks of Bray saying a bunch
of cryptic shit in the middle of a room of Vick’s Vap-o-Rub and then
he’ll lose three matches in a row.

So what was the point of any of this? I guess we’ll see…

We begin with the Dusty Tribute from MITB followed by the video package.

We are LIVE(!!!) from Cleveland, Ohio for WWE Monday Night RAW!!!

Michael Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton are the guys at the desk.

Seth Rollins starts us off with a promo…and we’re already on a break because of the first portion.

Hopefully,
this isn’t what’s to come. Rollins welcomes us to “Monday Night
ROLLINS”. He says that he acknowledges Ambrose and how much of a fight
he brought to the ring last night. But, he still beat Ambrose — and he
did it all by himself. He says that he knows he really hung on and won
but he needs to recognize those who got him to the top. He thanks
himself for his own win. Over and over and over again. But, wait…he’d
like to thank Seth Rollins…and Seth Rollins…and Seth Rollins…and,
wait — he left somebody out. Seth Rollins. He says he can’t thank
J&J Security or “The Devil’s Favorite Dinosaur”, Kane. He didn’t
need Triple H or Steph because he’s that good. He says that he should
pretty much be in the Hall of Fame now. He says that Johnny Manziel and
LeBron James aren’t bringing titles to Cleveland. He says he’s leaving
town and bringing the title with him…

Dean Ambroses’s
music hit. He marches down to the ring and attacks Rollins, puts him in
the ring, then clotheslines him out the other side. They fight over the
Announce Desk and Ambrose kicks him away. Rollins retreats and leaves.
Ambrose grabs a chair and a mic and gets in the ring. He says that he
got beat last night because the title slipped through his fingers…but
Rollins shooting his mouth off reminded him of how much fun it was
torturing Rollins. He’s gonna be in the ring until Rollins gets back
into the ring.

After a break, Ambrose is still in the ring.

Backstage,
Rollins bumps into Triple H and Steph. Triple H tells Rollins that
things have been taken care of. Steph can’t believe what Rollins is
saying and says that Rollins doesn’t need them. Rollins says that he
wants to know what’s next. Triple H says that they are making that
decision. Rollins says that he should have a say and Triple H tells him
that Rollins won all by himself, so Rollins should trust them to make a
choice.

Meanwhile, Ambrose is still hanging out because
we’re 30 minutes into a wrestling show that doesn’t need wrestling.
Sheamus shows up and says that he’s a winner while Ambrose is a loser.
He says that The Authority told him to come down and kick Ambrose’s head
off his shoulders.

MATCH #1: Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus
Sheamus
knocks Ambrose down, then starts kicking at Ambrose’s injured knee.
Ambrose comes back with forearms and a lariat on a whip. Ambrose puts
Sheamus in a corner but Sheamus fights out and the fight spills outside.
Once the match gets back inside, Ambrose hits a lariat. Sheamus quickly
comes back and takes control. After a break, Sheamus is bending
Ambrose’s knee but Ambrose kicks out of it and fights back with some
punches. Sheamus just clips his knee and tries the Cloverleaf but
Ambrose escapes and tosses Sheamus away. Sheamus comes back at Ambrose
who hits a Swinging Neckbreaker. Ambrose nails Sheamus with a corner
forearm and follows up with a Bulldog. He goes top rope but Sheamus
clips his knee, grabs him and hits the Rolling Senton. Sheamus locks in
the Cloverleaf but Ambrose don’t tap to nobody and gets to the bottom
rope. Ambrose rolls outside so Sheamus starts hitting Ten Beats but
Ambrose counters and returns the favor. Sheamus angrily elbows out of it
and tries a BROGUEOUTOFNOWHERE but misses and Ambrose kicks him.
Ambrose goes top rope with a flying elbow and nearly gets a fall.
Sheamus comes back with a kneelift but Ambrose hits the Rebound
Clothesline. He goes for Dirty Deeds but Sheamus rolls out of the ring
and grabs the MITB case, leaving. All of the sudden, Randy Orton’s music
hits and he stalks Sheamus back to the ring. Ambrose grabs Sheamus,
tosses him back into the ring and rolls him up for a highly unlikely
Distraction Pin to win it at 10:50.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose
RATING:
**. Your MITB “winner”, ladies and gentlemen. Weak finish to a match
where Ambrose practically no-sold everything Sheamus had to offer. 

Orton beats up on Sheamus, post-match, whipping him into the crowd barrier and ringpost, then hits Vintage Orton. He goes for the RKO but Sheamus blocks it and rolls out of the ring with his case.

Backstage,
Rollins bumps into J&J Security, calling them “Harry and Lloyd”. He
says that he hates to be the guy that says, “I told you so”, but he’s
that guy. He calls himself “good” but, hey, if J&J want to tell him
who his next opponent was, he’ll have them back in his fold. Noble says
it’s Joey Mercury. Rollins mocks Noble and says he’s busy living his
“WCW glory days”. Mercury says that Rollins is afraid to face him.
Rollins scoffs at this but Mercury says it’s the truth because he
already lost to Mercury and Noble once and he’s afraid of being
embarrassed again.

Cole and the announcers pay tribute to Dusty Rhodes and we get clips of him in NWA.

R-Truth
is out, dressed in a sheet and has a toilet plunger for a scepter. He’s
on commentary…but soon learns he’s wrestling Barrett. Truth isn’t
happy at all, but enters the ring.

MATCH #2: R-Truth vs. King Barrett
Barrett
kicks Truth’s head off, then punches away at him. He sets up for the
Bullhammer but Truth just rolls him for the win at 22 seconds.
WINNER: R-Truth
RATING: Two fuck finishes in a row. Barrett is so beyond dead, it’s not even funny.

Post-match,
Barrett his ROAL BULLHAMMA MIGGAL then gets on the mic and still
declares himself “king”, because that’s apparently still a thing.

Machine
Gun Kelly is backstage and a bunch of Divas and Heath Slater pretend
they like him. Paige interrupts the party and asks if she can see the
Divas right now. Kelly walks off.

NEXT: Kevin Owens is here.

Kevin
Owens is out for a promo and says that Cena’s not here tonight but that
he’s insulted that Cena thinks that Owens needed his endorsement
following his loss at Money in the Bank. He says that he KNOWS he
belongs in WWE. He doesn’t need Cena’s approval. He says he isn’t a sore
loser, Cena’s a horrible winner. Cena wanted to show Owens up by
getting that “handshake” at the end. That’s why he kicked the crap out
of Cena. He says that he will always be the guy that beat John
Cena…that’s why he wants a re-match — and he wants the United States
Championship. Usually, Cena would come out and issue his challenge, but
he can’t. So, Owens issues his own “Open Challenge”…and it’s…

Dolph Ziggler.

Ziggler
hits the ring with Lana and actually fixed his “Megadeth” jacket.
Ziggler says that Owens made his night. He will never defend John Cena
but Owens has some guts talking about sacrifice. Ziggler says he’s been
through hell to get where he is now. He says that he’s gonna give Owens a
fight right now. Lillian Garcia announces that the match is for the NXT
Championship — but Owens interrupts her and says this isn’t a title
match. Somehow, Ziggler’s pissed off at this, which makes no sense at
all since it would be like an MLB team challenging for a minor league
championship, but whatever.

MATCH #3: NXT Champion Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Lana) (non-title)
It’s
a brawl to start, then we go to break. When we come back, Ziggler
breaks from a headlock, but Owens puts him back to the mat for a Reverse
Senton. He follows by dropping Ziggler’s body on the top rope and gets
two for that. He whips Ziggler into the turnbuckles, then stomps and
taunts him. Ziggler gets back up and punches away, then sends Owens over
the top rope. Owens get up first and tosses Ziggler into the
timekeeper’s pit. Ziggler struggles to get back in and barely makes it
back into the ring. Owens attacks but Ziggler hits a DDT. After another
break, it’s another Owens headlock. Ziggler breaks free again but Owens
just continues to mow him down. When Owens goes into the Cannonball,
Ziggler counters with a Superkick and gets two. Ziggler goes for a
Fame-Asser and hits it on the second try, getting two. Ziggler tries a
corner splash but Owens hits Suplex City instead, then a Cannonball.
Ziggler kicks out at two. Owens tries a Pop-Up Powerbomb but Ziggler
counters into a Zigg Zagg, nearly getting a fall. Ziggler runs at Owens
only to see Owens kick Ziggler and hit the Pop-Up Powerbomb to win this
at 15:14.
WINNER: Kevin Owens via Pop-Up Powerbomb
RATING: ***. Not a bad match, but it didn’t need two breaks. That really broke up the momentum of this thing for me.

The
Divas hang out backstage and talk boys and take Selfies because they’re
CHICKS. Paige makes a huge speech about how awful the Bellas are.
Summer shuts her up and says it’s all about Paige. Alicia Fox agrees.
Paige continues to rant. Naomi is also hesitant to trust Paige…and
this goes on and on…and on…The Bellas interrupt and Nikki dares the
Divas to side with Paige. They all stand around, apathetic, then leave,
one by one. Then Paige leaves. The Bellas act cool and that’s
just…whatever. Seeing all the women backstage reminds me of how empty
and vapid the Divas Division has become.

MATCH #4: Randy Orton vs. Kane
Crowd
is dead for this as Orton attacks. Kane fights back, then hits a big
boot and headlock. A big, long headlock that sucks half the match. Orton
counters with a side suplex but misses a knee drop. Kane hits a
Sidewalk Slam for two. Kane puts Orton in the corner and Orton collapses
after hitting the buckles. Kane slugs away. Orton fights back but Kane
grabs Orton by the throat. A bunch of clunky counters later and Orton
clotheslines Kane in the corner. Orton hits a Powerslam in Stride, then
goes for Vintage Orton but Sheamus’s music hits and he walks down to the
ring. Kane grabs a mic and says that he is making this match a No DQ
match. So Sheamus attacks. Kane joins. Big boot by Kane and we’re done
with whatever the hell that was at 4:26.
WINNER: Kane
RATING:
DUD. This match was fucking terrible. It’s a shitty match involving
Kane who’s a shitty wrestler in order to push this weird Orton/Sheamus
“rivalry” that has no heat whatsoever.

TONIGHT: We get “answers” about why Bray Wyatt interfered in the MITB match.

Backstage,
Kane walks and runs into Seth Rollins. Rollins congratulates Kane on
his victory tonight and rubs in the fact that he lost, so tonight’s
“victory” must have put him in a better mood. Rollins just rants about
how cool he is and how much Kane sucks. Kane says that Rollins won one
match. A true champ wins over and over, night after night. Rollins says
that Kane’s always needed help, whether it’s from Paul Bearer or The
Undertaker. Kane grabs Rollins and says to never mention his family
again. Rollins tells Kane never to touch him again and says that he
hopes that Kane is his next opponent because Kane needs to be put out of
his misery.

DUSTY MEMORY: His Hall of Fame moment.

Ryback’s at ringside to do commentary with the guys.

MATCH #5: Big Show vs. The Miz
Miz
goes to take off his sunglasses. Show attacks. Miz bails and takes off
his sunglasses. Show chases him around the ring. Miz escapes. Show
chases again. Miz enters the ring. Show chases and then enters the ring,
faking a leg injury. Miz attacks and Show pushes him in the corner as
the crowd chants “THIS IS AWFUL” which part of the crowd somehow
mistakes as “THIS IS AWESOME”. Show slaps at Miz’s chest, then whips him
into the corner. Miz boots him on the charge but Show grabs Miz and
tosses him out of the ring. He beats on Miz and tosses him into Ryback.
Ryback isn’t happy. Meanwhile, Miz slides back into the ring and it’s a
countout.
WINNER: The Miz via countout
RATING: DUD. This RAW has been a giant piece of shit in terms of actual wrestling matches.

Post-match, Ryback chases Show from the ring. Yay?

When we come back from break, it’s Roman Reigns on the way to the ring as Cole announces…

AT BATTLEGROUND: Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns

Roman
says he got very little sleep because of what happened at Money in the
Bank. He says he wants Wyatt right now and tells him to get down to the
ring. Instead, it’s Wyatt, live from the Steam Room of Doom. Bray does
his usual shtick. Roman’s not interested and tells him to get down to
the ring. Bray won’t and says that the MITB case was supposed to be his.
Instead, Roman ruined his chance. Bray rants and raves about how
nothing is paradise and that him and Roman are “opposites”. He has a
picture of Roman and his daughter from that PSA that aired. He says that
him and Roman are just getting started.

AT MITB: Dusty Finish with the Divas

MATCH #6: Paige vs. The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie) in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Paige
tries to attack, but the ref holds Paige back. Finally, Brie tags Nikki
and Paige just presses her, punching away. She chokes Nikki on the
ropes but Brie trips Paige from the outside. Nikki pins for two. Tag to
Brie for a Missile Dropkick. Two count. Another long chinlock spot.
Paige finally breaks it and hits the running knee. Two count. Tag to
Nikki and they double team Paige, dropping her on the mat, face-first.
Two count. Nikki kinda apathetically kicks at Paige, then puts on Head
Scissors. Paige counters with a Bridge Pin but Nikki kicks out and tags
Brie who accidentally clocks her sister on a double team attempt. Brie
gets up and runs at Paige. Paige kicks her and hits a series of
clotheslines, then kicks at Brie’s head. She tosses Brie into Nikki and
hits the Ram-Paige. Nikki saves the pin, then tags in and hits a forearm
and Rack Attack to win it at 5:34.
WINNERS: #BELLASWINLOL
RATING: 1/2 a *. Too slow, and boring as hell. The match is uninteresting. There isn’t anything left here.

TONIGHT: We will find out who Rollins’ next opponent is.

NEXT: MGK performs! So, it’s a good time for me to start dinner.

Anyhow,
Machine Gun Kelly performs. Garcia says that he’s “Cleveland’s own”
which is weird since nobody seems to care. The performance fucking
sucks. Why is this person here? At the end, Kevin Owens attacks
him after MGK shoves him and hits a Pop-Up Powerbomb into a part of the
stage. He just stares, then walks off. Everyone tends to Machine Gun
Kelly and we actually get a replay. PLUS, a “moments ago” thing when we
come back from break.

Cole plugs “Terminator: Genesys”.

MATCH
#7: The New Day (Xavier Woods, Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs. Neville
& WWE Tag Team Champions The Primetime Players (Titus O’Neil &
Darren Young)

Young and Woods start off and Young finally
manages to hit a strike or two before Kofi tags in. Young kicks at Kofi
who tags Woods back in. Young clotheslines him and tags in Titus who
drops Young on top of Woods. Kofi flies at Titus. Kofi gets dumped
across the ring. E attacks and Titus tosses him from the ring. Neville
splashes everyone outside. After break, Woods has Young in a headlock.
In and out tags as New Days works Woods over with kicks and a headlock.
Tag to Woods and a double axehandle from the top rope. Two count. More
Young peril. Young breaks a headlock and it’s a hot tag to Neville who
kicks away at Woods. Neville kicks him in the head, then dropkicks
everyone in the heel corner. Woods and Neville counter one another until
Neville puts Woods to the mat. Neville goes for the Red Arrow but it’s
chaos when guys come in to botch it. Titus hits Clash of the Titus. More
chaos and Young hits a Gutbuster on Kofi and it’s Neville to finish it
with the Red Arrow to win it all around 9 minutes.
WINNERS: The New Day & Neville
RATING:
*1/2. This wasn’t terrible but incredibly disjointed. Neville didn’t
really fit here and the match really suffered after he became involved.

Post-match, we get a look at Cena/Owens and ANOTHER look at Owens destroying the idiot rapper. Apparently, Kelly was badly hurt.

Backstage,
Dean Ambrose throws darts at a picture of Seth Rollins. Kane
interrupts. Dean laughs and says he can’t picture Kane as a champion.
Kane says he’s been champ, unlike Dean. Dean says that’s
true…but that was THEDEMONKANE, not kiss-ass Kane. Dean says that, in
the end, Kane’s just doing a job and he’s loyal to The Authority. Dean
says he lives for moments like last night. He says he liked getting a
taste of the title at MITB and he says he won’t stop until he finally
has the title. Dean asks what Kane lives for. Kane stands there, a bit
taken back.

NEXT: We find out who Seth Rollins will fight next.

DUSTY MEMORY: Dusty ranting a lot.

TONIGHT: Dusty Rhodes: Celebrating the Dream on WWE Network

The
Authority hits the ring. Steph apologizes for what happened with MGK.
Cleveland cheers the concept of MGK getting beat up as Steph says that
Owens will be reprimanded. They are announcing who Seth will face next.
Triple H says that a lot of WWE superstars feel as though they deserve a
shot…but it won’t be J&J or Kane or Dean Ambrose. Steph asks
Triple H who it could possibly be.

Seth Rollins’ music
hits and he makes his way down. He shakes hands with Triple H and Steph
and then gets a mic. He tells them that it doesn’t matter who gets
picked. Rollins says that they’ve been right about him all along. Nobody
is capable of beating him. He’s ready to beat his next opponent. He
will make The Authority proud. Triple H says that might be true. Rollins
has beaten everyone. He even beat Ambrose with no help. Steph says that
she’s proud of him, too, but that he’s ripe for the pickin’. Plus, he’s
been testing their patience as well.

Triple H says
that they invested a lot in the future and in him and, sometimes, you
need to step back and check out your investment. Sometimes, you put
pressure on a piece of coal. If it’s worth something, it won’t crumble,
it will become a diamond. Triple H asks if he’s ready for the pressure.
Seth nods and smiles and says that he’s ready…

…and Brock Lesnar’s music hits.

Brock
makes his way to the ring (with a brand-new shirt reading “SUPLEX CITY”
– remind me to scoop that fucker up) with Paul Heyman. They get in and
shake hands with The Authority. Seth can’t believe it and just stands
there in blinking disbelief, looking sick to his stomach. Brock and Seth
just look at one another. Rollins backs up a bit with Brock matching
his steps. Rollins gets out of the ring and leaves.

He
slowly walks to the backstage area as Brock just stares a hole in his
head from 50 yards out. Cole says that Brock Lesnar will face Rollins at
Battleground.

We go off the air.

OVERALL: The Lesnar bit was a nice bookend to an otherwise blah show. It was basically Kevin Owens being used as sugar to coat the flaming dogshit that was the mid-card. Honestly, Sheamus with the case isn’t compelling.
Neither is his beef with Orton or Orton’s match with Kane that took a
left-turn into stupid. I don’t buy the PTP as tag champs and the
mis-match with Neville was just odd to me. The Divas division is a
dumpster fire…I mean, you look at WWE and they’re patching the ship’s
hull with Scotch tape they’ve bought in bulk. Even as good as Lesnar is,
I’m kind of wanting to know how he went from being a casualty of
Stephanie McMahon because he straight up murdered the crew of RAW to
being a guy they can trust. Nothing on this show makes any real sense
anymore.

Er…that’s it.