WWE Monday Night RAW – 5/18/2015

We had a good night last night at Payback…will it roll into a good show on Monday night?

Let’s go…

We are LIVE(!!!) from Richmond, Virginia!!!

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

Triple H and Steph start us off. Steph’s rocking a red dress from my Mom’s closet while Triple H is in a Michael Mann movie.

talks up Seth Rollins beating up three guys while Triple H says that he
told everyone that Rollins would win — and that he’s the future of
WWE. Steph says that the three guys who failed at Payback can now go to
the back of the line.

Triple H gives us a surprise: the
same Intercontinental Title which, for some reason, requires a full on
unveiling, complete with drumroll and velvet podium. They talk about how
Daniel Bryan’s body couldn’t hold up but that the show must go
on…and, now, we will see a new champ crowned at Elimination Chamber.
This gets a small music video of the Elimination Chamber lowering. Steph
continues to talk.

Sheamus interrupts the segment to a
semi-pop and rambles for the first minute, then claims that he ended
Daniel Bryan’s career. We get a glimpse of Sheamus legit-injuring Daniel
Bryan by botching a move which, on top of Steph’s bragging, is just so classy. He wants a shot at the IC Title because of it.

brings out Ryback. He comes out and calls Sheamus “stupid”, which seems
to take more energy from him than hitting the Meathook Clothesline.
Steph interrupts and Ryback tells her to shut up and says that Daniel
Bryan got injured doing what he loved. He doesn’t like bullies, which is
ironic. He wants Sheamus.

So Triple H makes the match happen…and it’s next.

MATCH #1: Sheamus vs. Ryback
two trade shots and Ryback chases Sheamus around the ring. Press by
Ryback, then he he puts Sheamus in the corner. Irish Whip sees Sheamus
hitting a kneelift but Ryback comes back, ramming Sheamus’s head into
the top buckle. Ryback hits a nice powerslam in stride for a two count.
Ryback stomps at Sheamus who gets to the ropes. The ref pulls Ryback off
and Sheamus grabs him, hitting a backbreaker. Ryback rolls out of the
ring, favoring his taped up ribs. He tries to get back on the ring but
Sheamus runs at him, knocking him off the mat. After a break, both men
are down. They get up and trade punches but Sheamus hits a shoulder to
the ribs and hits six of the Ten Beats before Ryback drags him in the
ring. Sheamus tries a Brogue but Ryback counters with a nice powerbomb.
Sheamus gets to the corner. Ryback runs at him but Sheamus kicks him. He
rushes Ryback who counters with a Spinebuster. Two count. Ryback sets
up for the Meathook but Sheamus escapes the ring. Ryback goes after him,
picks him up and press slams Sheamus into the announce table. The two
fight to the other side of the ring. Ryback rams Sheamus’s head into the
ringpost, then gets back in the ring. Back in the ring, Ryback tries
Shell Shock but Sheamus punches him in the ribs, then feigns an eye
injury. The ref shoves Ryback away from Sheamus — and Sheamus hits a
Brogue Kick to end it at 10:00.
WINNER: Sheamus via Brogue Kick
RATING: **3/4. Not a bad match to start. 

AT ELIMINATION CHAMBER: Sheamus and Ryback are in the EC match anyhow, so…

TONIGHT: Seth Rollins will be praised for retaining the title at Payback.

H and Steph are backstage, talking about the party. Steph says the man
who can add the final touches is Kane. Kane shows up and says that he
thinks Seth has really grown up. Seth shows up with glasses of
champagne. He praises Kane for his help and says that he’s the reason
Kane still has a job. Dean Ambrose appears with a huge, goofy grin and
says that Rollins only won because four other guys helped him. He says
that he beat Rollins the last time they went 1 on 1. He says that
Rollins never beat him last night. He says that he will grant Seth a
“re-match” at Elimination Chamber — as long as Seth puts the title on
the line. Triple H leaves and lets Kane handle things. Kane tells Seth
to decide. Seth says Ambrose isn’t in line for the title and leaves,
laughing. Ambrose calls Kane a “glorified butler” and tells him that The
Undertaker and Paul Bearer would be very unhappy with him if they saw
him now. Kane’s so pissed, he books Ambrose in a match with Bray Wyatt.
Ambrose happily accepts — then takes Kane’s champagne and drinks it,
telling him, “You shouldn’t drink on the clock.”

A good segment made great due almost completely to Ambrose who just does not give one fuck. Loved it.

We get an ad for Elimination Chamber.

Young brings out…Neville?! Whoa. Ok. He says that he’s competed
worldwide, but it’s nothing compared to WWE. Bo Dallas interrupts the
segment and says that there’s nothing like a great children’s story.
Neville’s story would be “The Little Engine That Couldn’t”. He says that
Neville think’s he’s going up — but that would be a lie. Neville says
that he BO-LIEVES that Bo Dallas was the one that lost to him to start
his career. Bo Dallas attacks but Neville dispatches him from the ring.

Wade Barrett shows up and this is a match with Bo Dallas on commentary.

MATCH #2: Neville vs. King Barrett
and Barrett circle before Neville rolls him up for two. Barrett works
him over in the corner and starts attacking Neville’s injured knee from
last night. He stomps at Neville and gets a one count. Barrett gets out
of the ring, smashes Neville’s leg into the mat, then grins. After a
break, Wade’s still working on Barrett’s knee with elbows, kneedrops and
leglocks. Neville finally gets out and retreats to a corner. Barrett
tries to hit a big boot but Neville moves and Barrett hits the buckle.
Neville kicks at Barrett and tries a German Suplex but his knee buckles.
Wade rushes him and it’s an Enzuguri by Neville. Neville tries a
Springboard maneuver but just falls off the top rope from the pain.
Barrett hits the Bullhammer to win at 7:05.
WINNER: Barrett via Bullhammer
RATING: *1/2, at most. Kinda sad that Neville’s going from a decent mid-carder like Barrett to the bottom of the barrel with Bo Dallas, but I look forward to seeing what both guys can do in a feud.

Post-match, Dallas gets in the ring and attacks Neville, working over his knee and wrapping it around the ringpost.

We review what happened between Cena and Rusev at Payback.

TONIGHT: Cena’s Open Challenge.

ALSO: Rusev will react to last night.

is out to speak as Cole argues about how “translators from out there”
say that Rusev quit. Rusev says that there is no Lana. (DANIELLE: ONLY ZUUL!) The
crowd chants for Lana as Rusev says he never quit. He tells the crowd
to shut up. He says he beat Cena badly. Cena passed out and Lana quit.
He says he wants the match to restart and tells The Authority to get out
here. Lana shows up and walks to the ring. Rusev’s furious. Lana says
that Rusev isn’t who he seems to be. She says that Rusev is
“misunderstood” and that she believes in him. She says that she thought
Rusev would make Cena say he quits — but he couldn’t do it. That’s
life. She says loses her accent twice, but finds it on the floor and
adopts it like a puppy. She says that Rusev just screams all the time.
Last night, he screamed “I QUIT” over and over. He tells Lana that he
doesn’t need anyone. Only he matters. He tells Lana to leave. She does.
Rusev stands in the ring, scowling.

(Incredible segment that brings a human element to an unstoppable monster and the woman behind him. I really enjoyed this.)

We go over last night’s Fatal 4-Way.

TONIGHT: The Tag Team Championship Rematch. Xavier Woods is banned from ringside.

MATCH #3: Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt
hits a slam after a lock-up but misses the Reverse Senton. Ambrose hits
an elbow and kicks Wyatt in the stomach. He locks Wyatt’s left arm and
puts the right arm in an armbar. Hold is broken and Wyatt slaps the
taste out of Ambrose’s mouth. Ambrose tries to hit a cross body but just
bounces off of Wyatt’s chest. Wyatt runs and kicks him. He tosses
Ambrose in the corner and hits a big clothesline but Ambrose comes back,
hitting a running forearm. Bray bails from the ring. Ambrose tries a
Flying Psycho, but Bray hits him coming out, then just DDT’s him out of
the ring. After a break, Wyatt’s in control because he flew at Ambrose
real fast. Wyatt kicks Ambrose in the head, then just tosses Ambrose
across the ring and out. Bray goes for a clothesline but Ambrose nails
him too. They both get back in the ring at nine as Ambrose gets to his
feet, looking pissed. The two trade shots as the crowd chants for
tables. Ambrose hits a flying cross body off an Irish Whip, then hits
the Running Bulldog. Bray rolls outside, so Ambrose locks his arms on
the top rope and hits a missile dropkick and flying legdrop. Ambrose
pins for two. A series of counters and Wyatt flies at Ambrose, missing.
He goes outside and Ambrose hits the Flying Lunatic. Back in the ring,
the two men trade finisher attempts but both fail. Wyatt shoves Ambrose
who goes for the Rebound Clothesline but Wyatt hits the clothesline
instead. Wyatt hangs upside down and sets up for Sister Abigail. Ambrose
just slaps him. Wyatt punches him and Ambrose hits the Rebound
Clothesline for two. Ambrose puts Bray on the top buckle and goes for a
Superplex but Bray breaks it and goes for the Reverse Senton. He misses.
Ambrose climbs the buckle…but J&J show up, distract Ambrose and
Bray hits Sister Abigail for the win at 13:27.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt via Sister Abigail
***1/2 for this. Finish is a touch annoying but Ambrose isn’t really
done any harm for it. This is the match of the night so far.

Backstage, Triple H and Steph smile as Bray does The Raven.

TONIGHT: Nikki Bella defends the Divas Championship against Naomi.

NEXT: The New Day defends the titles.

and E come out to the ring and Kofi stops the music. He says that Woods
being banned from ringside is a conspiracy. E says that it isn’t fair
that they have to defend their titles against five other teams at
Elimination Chamber. They try the NEW DAY ROCKS chant but we know how
that ends.

MATCH #4: Cesaro &
Tyson Kidd (challengers) (w/ Natalya) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston
& Big E) (champions) for the WWE Tag Team Championship

press slams Cesaro and chokes him against the ropes. Cesaro breaks and
clotheslines Kofi off the mat, then hits a nice Delayed Suplex on E,
tagging Tyson Kidd. Kidd hits a nice Frankensteiner on E outside the
ring. After a break, E has Cesaro in an Abdominal Stretch. Cesaro breaks
and E grabs him, hitting a belly to belly suplex. He goes for the
Warrior Splash but Cesaro jumps up and hits a powerslam. Tag to Kidd who
hits a Springboard Legdrop on E. Two count. Kofi gets the tag and Kidd
is all over him with a kick and a clothesline. He goes for the
Sharpshooter, locking it in but E runs in to save the match. Cesaro gets
in the ring to help out Kidd but E dumps him. Kofi and E stomp a
mudhole in Kidd without a care until they get DQ’ed at 5:51.
WINNERS: Cesaro & Tyson Kidd via DQ
RATING: DUD. This never got started and had a shit ending.

Xavier Woods comes down to beat on Cesaro. Lucha Dragons, Los
Matadores, The Ascension and Prime Time Players all show up to join the
party as this turns into a teaser for the EC Tag Match.

LATER: Seth Rollins’ party.

THIS THURSDAY ON SMACKDOWN: Roman Reigns returns…from wrestling YESTERDAY. Really?

Cena joins us to pander to ‘Murica with patriotic fervor and passion
and pointing to soldiers and what not. The Champ is Here…so come get
some. And it is…


crap. Owens makes his way to the ring and has a mic with him. He
congratulates Cena on last night’s victory. He introduces himself — but
Cena has to do it instead because reasons. He says that Sami Zayn was
injured before he came in to face Cena last Monday — and he’s here to
finish the job that Sami started. Cena berates him and plays to the
crowd, telling everyone how important they are. Cena wants to give him
some advice — but Owens isn’t having it because he’s been wrestling
longer than Cena and only got his break just now. Cena says it’s time to
warn Owens instead: Owens is a scared kid. Cena tells Owens that he
should come get the title. Owens declines as he says he’s already NXT
Champion — but that they will fight someday and it will be on Owens’
terms. Owens grabs him and hits the Pump-Up Powerbomb, then stands tall,
stepping on the United States Championship and doing “U CAN’T SEE ME”
in Cena’s face as he lays in the middle of the ring.

(NICE SEGMENT. Owens is already over as hell here. This feud needs to happen ASAP.)

LAST MONDAY ON RAW: Daniel Bryan has vacated the IC Title.

AT ELIMINATION CHAMBER: Rusev, Barrett and R-Truth join the IC Title match.

MATCH #5: Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust
has a bad stitched-up gash near his right eye as Stardust makes it a
point to target that area. He gouges Ziggler, then kicks him when he’s
down. Star goes for Cross Rhodes but Ziggler counters with a Zigg Zagg
for the win at 1:27.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via Zigg Zagg
RATING: n/a – squash. 

leaps right into the ring to interview Ziggler. Ziggler says that
losing to Sheamus hurt worse than being cut open last night…but that
it’s hockey playoff time and chicks dig stars. Cole and his new hair dye
job announce that Ziggler’s the final participant in the
Intercontinental Title Match at EC. Ziggler’s stoked…but here comes

Lana grins at Ziggler and Ziggler waits
for her to talk. Instead, she kisses Ziggler and then smiles. Crowd
loves this as Ziggler tries everything to he can to just hit that in the
middle of the ring. The crowd wants another kiss. Lana obliges. Ziggler
waits for the Rusev run-in and finally gets it. Booker: “Somebody’s
gonna DIE.” Ziggler tries to fight him off but Rusev just pounds him
into the mat. He turns and faces Lana, screaming at her. Lana just slaps
him in the face. Rusev is furious and goes to lunge at Lana but Ziggler
gets up and hits the Zigg Zagg. (DANIELLE: So, the end game is Lana in a five-man pre-match gangbang at EC?) Ziggler and Lana leave as Rusev gets up and yells.

is yelling at the set-up crew for Seth Rollins’ party…and is
immediately outdone by a spot where Adam Rose is making out with Rosa
Mendes against a crate.

MATCH #6: Fandango & Zack Ryder vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper
starts with Fandango who gets knee’ed in the gut and sells it a year
later. Harper hits a shoulder tackle but Fandango comes back with a
dropkick. Harper goes outside. Fandango chases only to eat the crowd
barrier, courtesy of Harper. Back inside, it’s a tag to Rowan who hits a
big Body Splash and a knee drop. Harper gets back in and hits an
uppercut and Gator Roll as the crowd chants for Zack Ryder. Fandango
elbows out of Harper’s grip and hits a Tornado DDT off the buckles.
Fandango hits a one count and tags in Ryder. Ryder hits forearms and
knees Harper in the face off a counter. Big dropkick off the top buckle
but Harper just hits a Spinning Sidewalk Slam. Harper hits the Superkick
and Rowan hits a Chokeslam to finish it at 3:45.
WINNERS: Harper & Rowan
RATING: n/a – squash

bumps into the Bellas in the hallway. She apologizes to Brie for saying
what she said earlier about Daniel Bryan. She says Brie needs to really
vent about how she feels about the situation — so it’s probably a good
idea if Brie stays backstage during the Divas match. Nikki protests
with all the fury of a wounded sloth and we’re all supposed to pretend
that Nikki and Steph never had an alliance months ago that vanished into
thin air.

The Divas Match is your main event, folks.

MATCH #7: Nikki Bella (champion) vs. Naomi (challenger) (w/ Tamina) for the WWE Divas Championship
leaps into the ring and then chickens out, going outside the ropes.
Nikki’s pissed and pulls her back into the ring. Naomi comes back with a
knee to the head. Nikki answers with a slap to her face and then
clotheslines her out of the ring. Nikki dives at both women. We come
back from a break. Naomi’s in control and Tamina’s hurt with a trainer
looking at her right arm. Nikki fights out of a hold and bashes Naomi’s
face with a knee. Nikki gets to her feet and kicks Naomi in the chest.
Nikki hits clotheslines and a dropkick, then a back body drop. He puts
Naomi to the mat with a press and gets a two count. She goes for the
Rack Attack but Tamina shows up and Superkicks Nikki in the chin for the
DQ finish at 6:28.
DUD. Look…RAW was advertising “three titles on the line” tonight. We
got two — and the Kevin Owens reveal in place of the title shot was a
hell of a lot better than the Tag Title or Divas Championship matches combined. We could have easily dumped Ziggler and Stardust for more time in the tag team match…otherwise, this has been a good show.

it’s a mudhole stomp…until Paige shows up to chase them off. Nikki
gets to her feet and Paige grabs her, hitting the Ram-Paige, standing
tall with the Divas Championship.

Kevin Owens is backstage. Triple H congratulates him. Renee Young stops him. He says that he’s gonna face John Cena at Elimination Chamber.

we come back, Steph, Triple H and Kane are in the ring. Steph talks up
Rollins and invites him to the ring. J&J follow. Triple H just
verbally fellates Rollins for the next two minutes and announces him as
their champion, Seth Rollins. Triple H says members of The Authority
want to TALK about Seth now.

Kane says that he’s
taller than Rollins and that’s why they “don’t see eye to eye”. He says
he’s being serious when he says that he’s glad that Rollins is still
champion. Rollins wants more. So Kane thanks him for saving his job.
Also, he put together a Seth Rollins highlight video with the help of
the video crew.

After that, Jamie Noble begins kissing
ass. He forks the mic over to Joey Mercury and Ambrose FINALLY
interrupts this train wreck of a segment. He gets into the ring as Cole
loses his collective shit. Steph wants an explanation.

says that he was looking for the perfect Justin Bieber album for Seth.
Crowd chants for Justin Bieber which has to be the only time in history
that’s happened. Ambrose says he came back empty-handed. Instead, he
wants a re-match. Seth isn’t having it and says that Ambrose isn’t
getting another shot at the title and that he needs to get back in line.

says he’s a “line jumper”. He wants a title shot…or else. Steph says
Ambrose is crazy…but Seth never backs down…so, Seth: GET HIM.
Rollins goes after Ambrose and J&J follow. Ambrose fights Security
off and the fight spills outside. Ambrose dumps Rollins onto the
announce table, then reveals cinder blocks. He grabs a chair, steps on
Rollins’ head and tells The Authority to grant him the match. Steph
agrees if Ambrose lets Rollins go. Ambrose goes fro the chair shot
anyhow but J&J grab the chair. Ambrose beats the snot out of them.
Kane comes over to help. Ambrose takes them all out, then chases Rollins
into the ring. Rollins escapes but J&J face his wrath, as does Kane
with a Rebound Clothesline. Rollins jumps Ambrose and hits a Pedigree,
then yells that he’s the man.

We go off the air.

***1/4. Solid show tonight despite two awful championship matches and
two incredibly overlong Authority segments. WWE feels like it’s finally
finding its way again.

And, of course…the Best of Monday Night Open Mic:

Er…that’s it.