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.

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.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Review – 6/8/2015

Well, all
right…after my hernia surgery, I am surprisingly good enough to
finally sit at a laptop and write. I don’t think I’ve used a computer at
all except for just now. Everything’s been on my phone.
In any case, hope you’re all well.
We
have a Going Home Show coming tonight and there have been rumors
ranging from a Reigns heel turn to Lesnar showing up at Money in the
Bank to have some sort of impact on the big ladder match.
Let’s roll…

We are LIVE(!!!) from New Orleans, Louisiana for WWE Monday Night RAW!!!
Michael Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton are the guys at the desk.
John
Cena starts us off which is a welcome change which, I suppose, might be
the lesser of two evils. He basically gives a mini version of what he
said last week, pandering and yelling at the top of his lungs about how
he’s gonna prove himself because he’s “the face blah blah blah”. This
brings out Kevin Owens who the announcers kinda shit on. Owens says that
the fans are tired of Cena and his Open Challenge. Instead, they should
have an NXT Title Open Challenge. (DANIELLE: Isn’t challenging for, and possibly winning, the NXT Title a step backwards
for a WWE superstar? I’m just saying. It’s like watching a Major League
Baseball team challenging their minor league affiliate for a division
title. It’s hard to be excited for the result.)
John
Cena condescends and then says he accepts Owens’ challenge. Owens says
that Cena’s delusional. They won’t fight tonight. Cena says that it’s
kinda weak that Owens won’t accept just anyone’s challenge. He rants and
raves about the situation. Owens: “Ok…so, we’re just gonna ignore all of that…and let’s let the person coming from the back decide which title he wants.” We wait for that Superstar and it’s…
Neville.
Neville has the mic and tells Cena that they’ll fight again someday.
Neville says that Owens likes to mock the fans and the other Superstars.
He can’t let that stand. So, he chooses to take on Owens.
Cena is gonna join the guys on commentary for the love of god…
MATCH #1: Kevin Owens (champion) vs. Neville (challenger) for the NXT Championship
The
fight immediately starts outside the ring. Neville chases back in, then
hits a nice Hurricarana, tossing Owens outside. Neville dives outside,
knocking Owens down. Neville rolls him back in the ring and pins for a
one count. Owens goes on the attack, hitting a short-arm clothesline.
Neville fights back but Owens shoves Neville in the corner and hits a
splash as well as a Cannonball Splash. Two count. Owens flips Neville up
and drops his stomach on the top rope. Owens hits a headlock as John
Cena won’t shut up about himself and even compares himself to Babe Ruth.
Neville punches away at Owens but Owens catches him and drops Neville’s
stomach right on his knee. Two count. Owens chokes Neville against the
bottom rope, then hits a Side Suplex for two. When we come back from
breaks, Owens has Neville on his shoulders but Neville counters with a
nice DDT. Owens rolls out of the ring. Neville dives at him and the
fight continues. Neville rolls him back inside the ring. A couple of
counters and Neville hits a Springboard Missile Dropkick. Neville tries
to hit a high kick but Owens counters with a Pump Handle Slam and a near
fall. Neville comes back, kicking Owens in the face on a whip, then
hits a German Suplex for two. Neville goes for the Red Arrow but Owens
gets to his feet. Neville knocks him down with an Enzuguri and tries the
Arrow again. He misses. Neville lands on his feet, then hits a
Superkick. Another Red Arrow attempt fails as Owens gets up, knocks him off the top buckle, then hits the Pop-Up Powerbomb to retain at 13:53.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Kevin Owens via Pop-Up Powerbomb
RATING:
**3/4. Not a bad match. Was slow to start, then picked up. Neville
didn’t get a whole lot of offense and this match could have been light
years better if they had worked to their potential.
Post-match, Owens invites Cena into the ring. Cena obliges but Owens leaves the ring, bragging about how he’s NXT Champion.
Cole, JBL and Byron all talk about the situation with Ambrose and Rollins. We get a long segment detailing Elimination Chamber.
AT MONEY IN THE BANK: Ambrose vs. Rollins for the WWE Title.
Ambrose has been walking around New Orleans with the title.
Triple
H and Steph are backstage. Rollins interrupts and he’s so disgusted by
Dean Ambrose! Just DISGUSTED! ACTING!!! They mock Rollins about not
needing help from The Authority. Steph tells Rollins to deal with this
shit and they tell Rollins to pick an opponent to face to prove that he
can handle himself.
We
review the idiotic “Twin Magic” spot the Bellas pulled last week. On
Smackdown, Paige ridicules the Bellas for “always using that trick”.
Renee
Young brings in Nikki Bella. Nikki says that Paige is projecting her
frustration. She thinks that Paige is, like, so ny-eve! Like OMG! Nikki
says that this IS Paige’s house…but she lives in the Bellas’ world.
Next, Summer Rae vs. Nikki Bella.
MATCH #2: Summer Rae vs. WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella (non-title)
Nikki stiffly slams Summer, then does push-ups because that’s what she always
does during matches. Summer comes back with a forearm and a Cobra
Clutch. Nikki breaks because that shit only works if you’re Ted DiBiase.
She somehow knocks Nikki down and gets a two count. Summer chokes Nikki
against the buckle. Nikki comes back and hits the Rack Attack to get
the win at 2:18.
WINNER: Nikki via Rack Attack.
RATING: DUD. (Danielle: Oh, come on. Nikki’s entrance music was longer than that match.)
Cole can’t even be bothered to recap any of that. Instead, we take a look at Roman Reigns running the Gauntlet last week.
More Instagram photos of Dean Ambrose just hanging out in various spots in New Orleans.
Roman
Reigns is out here to talk. He says that he hated the MITB case and the
contract because it was tied to a guy he detests. He says he’s gonna
make history when he climbs the ladder and gets the contract. Aaaaaand
here comes Kane to dead silence. Kane says that he believes that anyone
else stands a better chance than Roman. He says that Reigns is full of
weakness, not strength. Reigns just invites Kane into the ring and he’ll
show people how to break a jaw. That brings out Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler
says that Kane can’t do a thing unless The Authority pulls his string.
He says that Kane is a human hardware store because he throws “wrenches”
into peoples’ plans and “hammers” things out and “screws” people and
he’s a “tool” because he “tools away”. Oh, jesus, please cut away to
anything. He says he has a hot Russian chick and he’ll win the MITB
case. Kane goes with the “tool” thing. He says that Ziggler and Reigns
better watch their mouths because the MITB foes will be in singles
action tonight.
That
brings out R-Truth as this segment just takes a turn. Kane: “What are
you doing out here? You’re not even IN the match!” Truth: “I’m not? You
sure? This one’s on me. My bad.” Oh…fuck. Wow. Truth leaves. 
Then
The New Day shows up. They insult Kane. Kofi says that when he wins
MITB, all of The New Day will be the winners of that case. Kane
interrupts their chant again — only to bring out Sheamus. Sheamus says
that the thought of winning the MITB case brings a smile to his face.
More ranting. Kane interrupts again and says that everyone’s forgetting
about Neville and Randy Orton.
Orton’s music hits. (DANIELLE: So…we had to sit through all that, plus R-Truth, just so Kane could introduce Randy Orton?)
When we come back, it’s Orton and Sheamus… 
MATCH #3: Sheamus vs. Randy Orton
The
match starts outside but continues inside with Randy Orton hitting a
back breaker and Garvin Stomp. Sheamus rolls outside to recover but
Orton attacks with a clothesline, then rolls Sheamus back inside.
Sheamus attacks with shots in the corner but Orton hits uppercuts and a
headbutt. Sheamus hits quick uppercuts. Orton fights back and knocks
Sheamus down. Sheamus rolls out of the ring again. Orton goes outside
and shoves him back in. Orton whips him into the corner but Sheamus
elbows him on a charge, then hits a short-arm clothesline for two.
Sheamus puts on an armbar but Orton breaks it and hits a dropkick.
Sheamus comes back with some shots, then puts Orton outside. When we
come back from break, Orton breaks a headlock only to see Sheamus
powerslam him for two. Orton fights back as the two men trade punches.
Sheamus knees Orton in the gut and whips him to the ropes. Orton comes
back with a knee to the gut and clothesline along with a Powerslam in
Stride. Sheamus regains momentum only to fly into the corner post. Orton
hits a leghook suplex and goes for the Vintage Orton DDT. RKO attempt
by Orton goes awry. Sheamus tries a Brogue but misses and Orton
clotheslines him outside. It’s a brawl as Sheamus tries to toss Orton
into the table. Orton manages to fly over it and lands on his feet.
Sheamus grabs a chair but Orton punches Sheamus, then hits Sheamus in
the stomach with the chair for the DQ at 13:09.
WINNER: Sheamus via DQ
RATING: **. This was the same match we saw last week. Still, these guys put on a great brawl.
Post-match,
Orton’s in a bad mood and decides to beat the holy hell out of Sheamus,
putting him into the steel steps. He rolls Sheamus into the ring and
hits the RKO.
Rollins
is on Instagram, looking at more of Dean’s pics. J&J come by and
say they know that Rollins said some things he didn’t mean. Rollins says
he meant every single word. He calls them morons. Noble’s had it. He
says that they’ve had Rollins’ back for a long time and that he wouldn’t
continue to be champ if it wasn’t for them. Rollins says that he’s
gonna prove how awful they are — because he wants to take them on in
tonight’s main event. He laughs at Noble, then slaps him in the face.
Noble slaps him back. Rollins lunges but Mercury gets in his way and
says that they’ve defended Rollins — but, tonight, they’re gonna kick
his ass.
MATCH #4: Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane
Whoa, we haven’t seen this
match before. I can hardly wait. Ziggler hits a dropkick, sending Kane
into the corner. Ziggler goes for a splash but Kane belts him in the
face. Lana, meanwhile, stands halfway down the aisle as Kane hits
uppercuts. Long headlock spot with Ziggler finally hitting a chinbreaker
to escape. Kane grabs him, however, and it’s a Side Suplex for two.
Kane punches Ziggler in the corner and then hits a hard knee to
Ziggler’s head. Kane hits a scoop slam for a one-count. Ziggler comes
back, kicking Kane in the head but Kane picks him up and hits a Sidewalk
Slam for two. When we come back from a commercial, Ziggler hits the
Fame-Asser and gets a near fall. Ziggler tries the Superkick but Kane
catches his foot and goes for the Chokeslam. Ziggler counters and does
hit the Superkick. Both men go down…and here comes Rusev on crutches
because, oh yeah, Lana’s still out there on the ramp in case you care.
Lana takes a weird fall off the ramp and does something to her ankle.
Kane grabs Ziggler on the distraction and hits a Chokeslam to end this
bullshit at 9:46.
WINNER: Kane via Chokeslam
RATING:
1/2 a *. A match that served no purpose and that ended because Ziggler
was concerned about his new g/f with whom he has no chemistry
whatsoever. 
Post-match, trainers and Ziggler tend to Lana as Cole acts like Lana took a dive off the Titantron.
Meanwhile, Ambrose is still on Bourbon Street, touring New Orleans.
J&J are talking backstage. Noble and Mercury agree that Rollins is getting cocky.
NEXT: MizTV starring Ryback and Big Show.
A bunch of people resembling models and bodybuilders are the Top 40 Tough Enough finalists.
Backstage, trainers tend to Lana backstage.
Miz
is in the ring, dressed like a Muslim woman and welcomes everyone to
MizTV. He recaps last week when Big Show clocked him and robbed him of
an IC Title shot. Ryback hits the ring and says that HE was robbed of a
chance to beat up Miz. Miz does his “how dare you” spot. Ryback
interrupts him and says that he thinks he’s big but Damien Sandow
outclassed him the entire time they were together. Ryback says that, had
they wrestled, Ryback would have taken years off Miz’s career. Miz
calls him “ugly” and says there’s only one pretty face and it’s Miz.
They argue over crowd chants until Big Show shows up. The crowd chants
that the chair Show’s sitting in is gonna break. Show tells them that
the chair won’t break. He talks up his own strength and says he can
break whatever he wants and can take whatever he wants. Ryback says that
he has no issue with fighting Show. He’s not afraid of him…unlike
Miz. Ryback stands and so does Show. Miz tries to get them to fight.
Show tells him to shut up or else he’ll shut Miz’s mouth. Miz attacks
Show. Show nails him, then tosses Ryback into his chair. He clotheslines
Miz out of the ring. Ryback comes to and hits Shell Shock on Show to
end the segment. Crowd liked that.
MATCH #5: Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando) (w/ El Torito) vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan
The
announcers talk about Rowan and Harper as if they’re the most awesome
tag team in the entire universe even though we’ve seen them twice on RAW
in the last month or so. Harper and Rowan beat up on one of the
matadors. Harper hits a huge boot to the face and it’s Rowan’s turn.
Rowan hits a Warrior Splash for two. Torito gets up on the mat to cheer
his team but Rowan knocks him off. Diego goes to take care of Torito as
Harper and Rowan hit 3D to win it at 2:18.
WINNERS: Harper & Rowan
RATING: n/a – squash
Crowd
chants “3D” as Harper grabs a mic and says that the time for everyone
to pay for their sins is coming. Rowan says it’s ok to be afraid.
Everyone should be.
Backstage,
Kane laughs at Ambrose’s Instagram and mocks Rollins. Rollins isn’t
happy. Kane says that Rollins is in a no-win situation. If Rollins wins
on Sunday, Kane’s gonna come down the aisle with the MITB case. Rollins
says he’s gonna teach J&J a lesson — then Ambrose — then Kane.
Kane says that he’s interested to see if that will happen…because he’s
gonna be in J&J’s corner tonight.
WWE congratulates itself for having more followers than ESPN, HBO — and GATORADE!!! SUCK IT, HYDRATION!!!
Ambrose is on his way to the arena. He has a ticket to tonight’s show.
Cole plugs “Ted 2” and we get a fucking trailer.
MATCH #6: Big E (w/ Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. Titus O’Neil (w/ Darren Young)
Holy
shit, this crowd is asleep. E puts Titus to the mat, then punches at
him. He kicks Titus, then claps in his face. More punching and an
Abdominal Stretch. Another kick to Titus’s ribs and more clapping. Titus
finally fights back, then punches at E in the corner. He slaps E’s
chest, then just throws E across the ring and hits shoulderblocks. Titus
puts E in the corner and more punches. Titus hits a huge shoulderblock.
Woods starts shoving Young outside. Titus grabs Woods by his hair. Kofi
hits the mat. E grabs Titus and hits the Big Ending on the distraction
to end it at 3:10.
WINNER: Big E via Big Ending
RATING: 1/4 of a *. Not even a match and makes the challengers look horrible heading into MITB.
The New Day celebrates as Roman Reigns’ music hits. He heads to the ring. He takes on Kofi after break. 
MATCH #7: Kofi Kingston (w/ Big E & Xavier Woods) vs. Roman Reigns
Kofi
hits a headlock. Reigns escapes and hits a shoulder tackle. More hot
headlock action but Reigns escapes again and flips Kofi to the mat and
outside. Kofi, Woods and E huddle. They surround the ring and Reigns
just stands there and falls for it like a giant dope. Kofi attacks and
puts Reigns in the corner, hitting shoulder rams while Woods rants. Kofi
runs at Reigns who grabs him for a Samoan Drop. Kofi kicks out but
Reigns hits a HUGE clothesline and then sends Kofi out of the ring.
Reigns follows him and tosses Kofi’s head into the announce table.
Reigns hits the Sitting Dropkick and gets back into the ring. He goes
for a Suicide Dive at the entire New Day but they move out of the way.
Reigns runs at them from another angle and ends up nailing Woods. Kofi
hits a missile dropkick from inside the ring. When we come back, Kofi
hits a dropkick to Reigns, then kicks him in the back, getting two.
Reigns escapes a headlock but Kofi trips Reigns, knocking him to the
mat. Kofi goes top rope with a nice Double Axehandle for two. Reigns
gets to his feet and hits clotheslines, then puts Kofi in a corner. He
rushes and splashes Kofi. Reigns hits a Gut Wrench Slam for two. Kofi
kicks at Reigns and tries the SOS but Reigns counters with a Sitting
Powerbomb for two. Reigns goes for a Superman Punch. E interferes but
Reigns sends him off the mat. Woods attacks but backs off. Kofi tries a
roll-up with a handful of tights but Reigns kicks out. Kofi goes top
tope but Reigns counters with a Superman Punch on the way down to win
the match at 12:07.
WINNER: Roman Reigns via Superman Punch
RATING:
**. Kofi really carried this match with pure physicality and Woods with
his verbal shenanigans and trolling. Other than that, this match was
so-so with Reigns suddenly popping up and winning.
Post-match,
Reigns grabs a chair at ringside and waits…Dean Ambrose arrives to
take a seat at ringside. Reigns hands him the chair so he can sit down.
Triple
H and Steph watch this backstage. Rollins approaches them. Steph asks
if Rollins needs something. Rollins says nothing even though he wants
to. He walks off for his match.
When we come back for break, it’s the Handicap Match and we’re two minutes into the overrun. Lovely.
MATCH #8: Seth Rollins vs. J&J Security (Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) (w/ Kane)
Mercury
and Rollins start. Rollins puts Mercury in a wristlock but Mercury
reverses it. Rollins counters that and Noble tags in. Ambrose barks at
Rollins. Already, this has gone on too long. Noble eats a shoulderblock
and Rollins tosses him and Mercury out of the ring as the crowd maps the
quickest way out of the building. J&J surround the ring with Kane
on the other side. J&J swarm Rollins and clothesline him out of the
ring as the crowd kinda wakes up. Rollins ends up next to Ambrose who
dumps popcorn on Rollins’ head. Rollins gets back into the ring and runs
into a Mercury dropkick and an armbar. Rollins counters with a
short-arm clothesline, then knocks Noble off the mat. Rollins tosses
Mercury into the crowd barrier outside, then stomps a mudhole in
Mercury. He tosses Mercury into the barrier in front of Ambrose, who
gives not one shit. He drinks soda and laughs at Rollins. Rollins is
furious and rolls Mercury back into the ring.
He
splashes Mercury, then taunts Noble. He stomps at the hands of Mercury
as part of the crowd half-heartedly chants for Joey Mercury by default.
Rollins locks Mercury in a chinlock as Ambrose pounds the barrier in
front of him to fire up J&J. Rollins misses a top rope attack, then a
corner splash and Mercury makes a hot tag to Noble. Noble hits a lariat
and then just crashes into Rollins. He hits a Swinging Neckbreaker and
NEARLY gets a fall. Noble goes top rope but Rollins knocks him off.
Rollins tries a suplex but Mercury grabs Rollins’ leg. Noble falls on
him for a two count. Chaos on the ring with a ton of counters before
Rollins puts Mercury to the mat. He goes for a Buckle Bomb, tossing
Mercury into Noble. Rollins slaps at Noble’s face and goes for a
Pedigree but Ambrose pops out of his seat, then tosses the title at
Rollins. Rollins grabs it. Mercury rolls Rollins up to win it at 9:00.
WINNERS: J&J Security
RATING:
**. This was your basic overbooking nonsense with the underdog heroes
getting the unlikely win. Of course, that means Rollins is gonna close
this sucker at MITB.
Post-match,
Rollins hoists the belt, bragging in Kane’s face — but Ambrose attacks
him and hits Dirty Deeds, taking the title away from Rollins once
again. Ambrose grabs a ladder and climbs it, holding the title up while
Rollins glares.
OVERALL:
**. Ok RAW. I didn’t expect much but I figured there was going to be
more to this than what I just saw. The whole Lone Wolf Rollins angle is
pointless as hell — especially when we all know it isn’t going
anywhere. Money in the Bank is not something I’m looking forward to.
Bayless is on the same line of thought. There’s nobody there I’d like to
see pull down the case and the status quo is going to continue with
Rollins keeping the title, even though he jobs as much as Barrett does.
I’ve actually really enjoyed Ambrose having the Championship. It’s
really too bad they didn’t convince much of anyone that Ambrose should
stay the “champion”. Even if it’s not Ambrose, the whole “Authority
controls who’s champion” angle needs to die soon. It weighs down
everything.
And, of course…the Best of Monday Night Open Mic:
Regarding Neville and the “Man That Gravity Forgot” thing:

Er…that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap – 5/11/2015

We
are coming off of one of the better RAW shows in recent memory. The
Payback main event is shaping up to be a nice one — featuring Dean
Ambrose, a guy who should have been a part of this picture a long time
ago if WWE hadn’t been booking him to job to Star Wars holograms and
exploding TV sets. The tag team division has The New Day leading the way
and is looking strong with Kidd and Cesaro and Lucha Dragons in the
background. John Cena leads the mid-card (I can’t believe I’m saying
that) while simultaneously dominating it. And Sami Zayn’s injured. And so
is Hideo Itami. Despite this, the Giant Wrestling Company That Did chugs
along on this, the “going home” show, despite the fact that we really,
only, have two official Payback matches set up. So, I guess we’re gonna
book the other 6 or 7 tonight and on Smackdown.

Let’s move…
We are LIVE(!!!) from Cincinnati, Ohio!!!
JBL, Cole and Booker are the usual guys.
Triple H starts us off, declaring that “Daddy’s home”. He says that when he comes home to his kids and says “Daddy’s home”, (DANIELLE: They boo me!), they’re happy. But he’s not happy with Kane and his bullshit booking because he’s Triple H and there’s no way for him to stop his employees from doing stuff he doesn’t want done or reverse the main event booking. He tells Kane to come out here — but here comes Rollins instead.
Rollins
rants about Kane and reviews all the bullshit Triple H just said and
all the shit we’ve gone through in the past few weeks while the crowd
chants Ambrose’s name in several different variations. Rollins tells
Triple H that Kane isn’t the same person and it’s time to “take the old
dog out back and put him out of his misery.”
That’s enough of that. Kane shows up — and actually gets a pop.
Kane says that he’s older than Rollins and with age comes wisdom. He
wants to strangle Rollins right the fuck now. They bicker back and forth
and Triple H gets between them. Triple H says he respects Kane — but
Kane needs to get on the same page as The Authority. He says that he
knows Rollins is irritating and you just wanna punch him in the
face…but you don’t. He says that Kane’s job is on the line. If Rollins
doesn’t leave Payback as champion, his services won’t be needed. 
Kane
says that’s a shame…but it’s all worth it to eviscerate Rollins.
Rollins argues again and Triple H tells him to shut up. Triple H says
that Kane should speak up because this is the point where a break would
be “amicable”. Kane is quiet. Triple H accepts the silence and says that
the Fatal 4-Way will go on — and they’ll all see action tonight. So,
tonight he wants to test Kane. Tonight, it’s Kane vs. Reigns. He orders
Rollins to take on Randy Orton. Rollins is furious.
Then,
Jamie Noble decides to get brave and criticizes Triple H, telling him
that he’s just some rich guy who rides in limos and watches a big
screen. Triple H mocks Noble and Mercury, saying that he “didn’t know
they were still around”. He gets into Noble’s face, taking care to,
mockingly, kneel down to match Noble’s height. He puts Noble and Mercury
into a handicap match…against Dean Ambrose.
Triple H tells Kane and Rollins to come with him as Ambrose makes his way to the ring.
MATCH #1: Dean Ambrose vs. Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Ambrose
manhandles Mercury who tags in Ambrose. Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds
but Noble escapes and the fight continues outside. Mercury and Noble
double team Ambrose until Ambrose puts both guys over the announce
table. Back in the ring, Ambrose tries to go top rope on Mercury but
Mercury pulls him down. It’s a couple quick tags as Noble puts Ambrose
in an armbar. Mercury comes in and hits a dropkick and headlock. Ambrose
breaks and the two men collide and butt heads. Tag to Noble. Ambrose
gets up and works him over, hitting a couple mean tackles. He goes for a
bulldog but Mercury pulls Noble outside the ring. Ambrose hits the
Flying Psycho and puts Noble back in the ring, hitting a flying
clothesline. Mercury makes the save. The boys beat on Ambrose, who hits a
Double Rebound Clothesline and Dirty Deeds to finish it at 5:17 as
Booker, frustratingly, says “We have a new champion!”
WINNER: Dean Ambrose via Dirty Deeds
RATING:
*3/4. Better than expected, but big deal. Why are we wasting Dean
Ambrose on these guys when Ambrose is main eventing Payback? Quick
action and no commercial break for a change, so there’s that.
TONIGHT: Daniel Bryan is here.
When
we come back from break, Ziggler is out here, dressed like what white
80’s TV Execs thought gang members looked like. Sheamus is at ringside
with the guys, doing commentary. Cole welcomes Sheamus to commentary
and, because he just can’t let it die, continues to berate him for not “kissing Ziggler’s arse” three weeks ago. 
(WHYG Writer Jared: “Hey, folks, welcome to our third PPV,
WEDGIEMANIA! John Cena will defend the United States Championship
against Rusev again — but this time, in a No Holds Barred WEDGIE MATCH!”
JBL: “A wedgie match?!” COLE: “That’s right, John! In order to win the
match, you have to give your opponent a WEDGIE!”)
Barrett
gets on the mic and gives a speech that just isn’t the same without the
“bad news” gimmick. He tells the ref to ring the bell.
MATCH #2: Dolph Ziggler vs. King Barrett
Ziggler
hits a Superkick and nearly gets a pin. He hits an elbow drop for
another two count and dropkicks Barrett outside. When we come back from
one RAW’s much-needed commercial breaks, Barrett’s in control with a pin
and a headlock. He elbows Ziggler on the back of the head but Ziggler
charges up and hits the Fame-Asser for two. Ziggler goes for another
Superkick but Barrett grabs his leg and goes for Wasteland. Ziggler
breaks it but Barrett knocks him down with a knee to the gut. Barrett
sets up the Bullhammer but misses. Sheamus gets involved, distracting
Ziggler. Barrett hits the Bullhammer to finish up at 5:52.
WINNER: Barrett via Bullhammer
RATING: **. Nothing going on here except to build up the Sheamus feud.
Post-match, Sheamus kicks at Ziggler. Ziggler fights back with a press but Sheamus hits a Brogue and leaves.
TONIGHT:
  • Kane vs. Roman Reigns
  • Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins

MATCH #3: Erick Rowan (w/ Luke Harper) vs. Fandango
It’s
the Suddenly Evil Because Reasons Eric Rowan vs. The New and Improved
Fandango You Know What Nevermind. JBL, Cole and Booker argue over how
fast Rowan will win, guess 2 minutes or under because this is a thing
now. Rowan destroys Fandango and hits a Full Nelson Slam for the win at
around 36 seconds.
WINNER: Erick Rowan
RATING: n/a – squash. I didn’t care about Rowan before. I don’t care for him now. As a tag team, Rowan and Harper can kick a whole lot of ass. Let’s do that instead of 15 straight solo squashes week after week. Anyhow, this whole match has an Island of Misfit Toys feel, starring a bunch of WWE’s failed experiments.

Post-match, it’s a Rowan/Harper beatdown.

NEXT: Cena will beat a mid-carder.

LAST WEEK: Bret Hart introduced Sami Zayn who lost to John Cena, got injured and won’t return to WWE for weeks to come. 

Cena
graces us with his presence and is thrilled because the arena seems to
cheer for him. He talks up the Franklin Mint United States Commemorative
Championship and lists all the people he’s beaten to keep it. The Cena
U.S. Open is…uh…open…and the challenger is…

Neville. To almost no pop.

MATCH #4: John Cena (champion) vs. Neville (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
The
two men exchange holds and wrist locks and armbars for the first couple
of minutes. Cena hits a shoulderblock and side headlock as JBL says
that Cena “could have anyone…like Harper and Rowan”. Neville breaks
the hold and sends Cena outside. When we come back, NOBODY IS IN
CONTROL! Cena hits Move #1 but Neville kicks out of #3 and sends Cena
out of the ring, following with a nice Baseball Slide Kick. Neville
follows that up with a beautiful Springboard 450 Splash. Back in the
ring, Neville gets a two count. A few counters later and Cena hits #3
and goes for the 5KS, hitting it. He goes for the AA but Neville kicks
free and kicks Cena in the face. Neville hits ANOTHER beautiful 450
Splash but only gets a near fall. The two men exchange punches and
Neville hits some quick low kicks before Cena grabs Neville for a nice
Michinoku Driver for two. Cena sets up the AA again but Neville counters
into a pin for two. Cena puts Neville in the corner. Neville jumps over
Cena and does some backflips. He hits a cross body but Cena counters
into an AA which Neville counters. Neville hits an Enzuguri and NEARLY
gets another fall. He goes for the Red Arrow but Cena counters into the
STF. Neville counters that and nearly gets another fall. Cena
gets to his feet and hits a quick clothesline and both men are weary.
Cena rushes at Neville but Neville dodges and kicks Cena. Cena grabs
Neville anyhow and hits an AA. 1…2…NO. Both men are on their backs
and struggle to get up. Cena is on his feet first as Neville rolls
outside the ropes. Cena grabs Neville and puts him on his shoulders,
climbing to the second buckle…but Neville counters into a Falling
Powerbomb! 1…2…NO. Neville gets up and goes for the Red Arrow and
hits it…and Rusev fuck this entire thing up by interfering for the DQ
finish at 14:42. Fuck this fucking show.
WINNER: Neville via DQ
RATING: I’ll go ***3/4. I hate run-in finishes but that fit. This would have been an easy ***** on any PPV.

Post-match,
Rusev stomps a mudhole in Cena and puts him in the Accolade and Neville
doesn’t do a thing about it because he’s dead some place. Meanwhile,
the crowd chants “WE WANT LANA”.

STILL TO COME:

  • Kane vs. Reigns
  • Orton vs. Rollins

Kane
and Reigns make their way to the ring. Kane immediately attacks Reigns
as he gets over the crowd barrier and just beats him up, slamming his
head into the steel steps. When Kane tosses Reigns into the ring, Reigns
hits a Sagat-like Tiger Uppercut and goes back outside to deal with
Kane. Kane regroups and tosses Reigns between the edge of the mat and
the crowd barrier. Reigns is left laying on the floor and starts taking
apart the announce table. Reigns gets up and fights back, trying the
Superman Punch, finally hitting it after a few counters. He hits a Spear
that was obviously meant to break the announce table but it didn’t and
Cole’s forced to hold his orgasm. Reigns awkwardly climbs the announce
table…and does nothing. His music hits and Kane is still down, having
proved…something to Triple H, I guess.

NEXT: Daniel Bryan is here to talk about his neck.

LAST WEEK: Tamin Snuka made an arbitrary return due to overwhelming demand. Her and Naomi beat up the Bellas, who are heels, kinda.

MATCH #5: Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella) vs. Tamina Snuka (w/ Naomi)
Cole
plugs the WWE App, telling us to tune in so we can see what the Bellas
think about Naomi. Tamina gained some weight during her off-time and botches a punch to Brie’s gut.
Tamina hits a clothesline and gets a one-count as Nikki says
inspirational stuff like, “C’mon, Brie, fight”. Brie regains composure
and hits a nice missile dropkick for two. Brie hits a running knee
against the ropes but can’t hit a second one, which she always tries for. Tamina blocks her and hits a Superkick for the win at 3:34.
WINNER: Tamina Snuka
RATING: 1/4*. 

TONIGHT: Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins

Curtis
Axel is waiting for Damien Sandow. They’re fighting because Axel
imitated Hulk Hogan and Damien Sandow imitated Randy Savage. It’s like two drag queens jockeying for stage time.

MATCH #6: Curtis Axel vs. Macho Mandow
*Sigh*.
Sandow is out with Savage’s theme music and costume — and Cole has a
HASHTAG FOR IT. Sandow points like Savage. Axel rips off his shirt but
Mandow hits shoulderblocks and goes top rope for the big elbow…but The
Ascension shows up because why the fuck not? Viktor says that this
isn’t entertaining. Konnor takes the ironic route and says that
“dressing like a legend doesn’t make you a legend”. They rush the ring
— but Sandow dumps Konnor and slams Viktor to the mat. Axel hits a
Hogan Legdrop. And this is DOA. JBL, Cole and Booker sit there, stunned,
saying, “Well…that was…something.”
WINNERS: No contest
RATING: DUD. The Ascension was just buried by Curtis Axel and Damien Sandow imitating Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage while they, themselves, imitate the Legion of Doom. My brain is gonna short circuit.

Post-match, it’s a Pseudo Mega Powers handshake. Yay?

Daniel
Bryan is out to speak and looks none too happy. He says that he’s had a
bunch of doctor visits in the last two weeks. He is sick of that and
wants some energy. He says that he needed to come out here and get his
usual reaction. He recalls when Steph stripped him of the World Title
last year…and she was right to do it. He says that the fans deserve a
fighting champion — and that’s why he’s out here tonight. He says that
he had an MRI and that the doctors are telling him that he’s out
indefinitely. Despite that, he says the fans deserve somebody fighting
for the IC Championship — and has to invoke the name of Dean Ambrose in
order to get fans cheering. Tonight, he is giving up the
Intercontinental Championship. He thanks the fans and leaves the belt in
the center of the ring. The crowd chants “THANK YOU, DANIEL” and Bryan
rewards them by leading a YES chant to finish that segment.

Cole, JBL and Booker are depressed and discuss WHAT JUST HAPPENED.

The
New Day’s music hits but the crowd is dead. Eventually, it’s a “NEW DAY
SUCKS” chant that brings them back. The three men talk about the tag
teams in contention for the titles and try another “NEW DAY ROCKS”
chant. It doesn’t work and Cesaro and Kidd interrupt with Nattie’s Giant
Bewbz already having been there for 20 minutes.

MATCH #7: Big E (w/ Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston) vs. Cesaro (w/ Tyson Kidd & Natalya)
JBL
continues calling Cesaro and Tyson “Tyson & Kidd” as Cesaro hits a
HUGE slam to start things off. Cesaro hits an uppercut and huge
crossbody off the top rope for two. Cesaro beats E in the corner with
kicks, then clotheslines him from the ring. After a commercial break,
Cesaro fights out of an Abdominal Stretch only to fall victim to another
one. Cesaro counters with a Gut Wrench Suplex but E hits a Spinebuster.
He misses a Warrior Splash but hits ANOTHER Warrior Splash and gets
two. E hits a shoulder tackle for two. Cesaro comes back with a
Springboard Uppercut and two German Suplexes, followed by a dangerous
looking Belly to Belly that sees Big E landing on the back of his neck.
Cesaro goes for a Spin. Woods jumps on the mat and him and Tyson Kidd
fight each other. Finally, Woods trips Kidd and taunts Cesaro. E tries
to clothesline Cesaro but Cesaro counters an hits a neat cradle pin for
the three count at 8:54.
WINNER: Cesaro
RATING:
**. Good power match here. Cesaro just continues to look impressive,
even if you think you’ve seen everything he’s had to offer.

WWE Network is free for the month of May…so tune in to see Macho Mandow and Curtis Axel take on The Ascension.

If you think that’s fucked,
OMG, another PPV has been added this month: Elimination Chamber, live
from Texas on Sunday, May 31st. Shouldn’t that have been Fastlane? Yeah.
This isn’t desperate at all.

THIS THURSDAY: Roman Reigns vs. Kane because the match nobody wanted to see in the first place MUST HAPPEN.

The
Prime Time Players imitate D-X because we haven’t had enough of this
tonight. Parts of the crowd sadly chant along with the old D-X shit.

Bray Wyatt time. Wyatt comes to the ring and goes Alex Jones nuts,
talking about Climate Change and economic collapse and global war. When
he’s done with the Coast 2 Coast nonsense, he trashes Ryback for
reading The Secret and fighting against injury to “come back”. But
Ryback has never seen anything like Bray Wyatt. He says that,
sometimes, the bad guy wins. He does the Raven…until Ryback shows up
and heads to the ring. Ryback hits a Spinebuster and clothesline and
Wyatt is dispatched outside. We go to break with Ryback standing tall.

MATCH #8: Randy Orton vs. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins (non-title)
No
J&J “flank” for this match. After some back and forth, Rollins hits
some shots to Orton’s head and gut. Orton responds, tossing Rollins to
the mat and into the corner. Orton knocks him down and drops a knee for
two. He misses the next one but hits a backbreaker. He rushes Rollins
but Rollins trips him and sends him outside. When we come back, Rollins
is in control while Cole recaps what might happen in a Fatal 4-Way in
case you haven’t watched wrestling since the late 90’s. Rollins tosses
Orton into the corner and runs but Orton dumps Rollins over the ropes.
Rollins recovers and goes top rope but Orton trips him up. Orton hits a
Superplex but both men are hurt. When they get to their feet, it’s
“boo/yay” shots. Orton tries a Powerslam in stride but Rollins holds the
ropes. Rollins leaps at Orton from the top rope and Orton hits the
Powerslam anyhow. Two count. Rollins dazes Orton and hits a flying knee
from the top rope. Two count. Rollins tries the Buckle Bomb but Orton
counters it. There’s a series of counters and Orton finally hits a
Fisherman’s Suplex throw. Orton goes after Rollins but Rollins kicks
Orton and hits a Suicide Dive to the outside. For some reason, eight
guys in the crowd chant, “THIS IS AWESOME”. Back in the ring, Rollins
tries to splash Orton in the corner but misses. Orton misses an RKO.
Rollins rolls him up for two, then hits a low Superkick for two. Both
men struggle to theri feet. Rollins gets to feet first. He rushes Orton
but Orton sends Rollins outside the ropes for a Vintage DDT. He sets up
for the RKO but J&J Security are here to fuck this up at 15:19.
WINNER: Randy Orton via DQ
RATING: **. Just have J&J at ringside if you’re gonna end it like that.

Post-match,
Rollins and J&J put Orton to the mat. Kane’s music hits. He goes
for a chair. Rollins & J&J stomp a mudhole in Orton. Ambrose and
Reigns show up, tossing J&J from the ring. They surround Rollins.
Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds. The three Fatal 4-Way competitors turn to face
Kane. Kane does nothing. Ambrose picks up Rollins and holds him for
Reigns. Reigns hits a Spear. Kane still stands there, watching. Ambrose
and Reigns pick Rollins up for Orton who hits an RKO. Kane still doesn’t
move…so Reigns hits a Spear on Orton. That means Ambrose gets to hit
Dirty Deeds on Reigns and Ambrose stands tall as we go off the air.

OVERALL:
**. Blah for a “going home” show. Nowhere near as good as last week
with a bunch of shit matches and a brilliant Cena/Neville match. That
one match does not, a good show, make.

And, of course, it’s the best of Monday Night Open Mic…

Er…that’s it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Er…that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap – 4/27/2015

Extreme Rules was absolute flaming dogshit and highlighted much of what I’ve been going on about for the past few months.
Those
who still disagree with me about the product WWE is putting forth, in
all likelihood, will never be convinced of this fact. That’s ok. I mean,
you guys have some real resolve. Maybe I’m wrong and Extreme Rules and
RAW have been exercises in brilliance. Let me review to see if we
watched the same show here (and, if you don’t wanna sit through this,
just skip to the review portion):

  • Another shitty Divas match where, suddenly, we’re supposed to care
    about Nikki (even though she’s a heel) or Naomi (who’s suddenly a heel
    because…she wears glowing tennis shoes which are evil as fuck, I
    guess) in a match that’s a placeholder until Paige returns. 
  • Lucha Dragons? Over with the crowd, everyone seems to love them. Nope. Oh, and those guys who used
    to be tag champs, who were far more talented and who everyone loved?
    Fuck them, too. NEEEEW DAY for some reason. At least they didn’t get the
    titles off a distraction roll-up. Oh, wait. Yes, they did.
  • A Chicago Street Fight that spilled out on the streets — except we
    never saw that bit because WWE thought it would please the fans more to
    have Ambrose and Harper drive off in a car and vanish for a half hour.
    And, by the way, anyone care to explain how the car returned without so
    much as a scratch on it? Weren’t they fighting in it the whole way?
    Shouldn’t the car be totaled and/or beat up? Goldust vs. Piper, this was
    not.
  • Cena and Rusev’s “chain match”. When I think “chain match” and
    “extreme rules”, I think of dudes beating the fuck out of each other with a fucking chain.
    Not running around, trying to tag turnbuckles while chained to one
    another like they’re contestants on MXC. What pretentious crap.
  • Sheamus vs. Ziggler. Dolph wins. Ziggler kisses Sheamus’s “arse”,
    anyhow. It’s bad enough that we even had this match in the first place
    (along with Lawler’s vomit-inducing pontification in which he wondered,
    aloud, if either guy had “washed their asses” prior to the match, which
    was so awful, he shut himself up), WWE couldn’t even follow
    through with the stipulation. This just confirms my suspicions that the
    match only existed for the purpose of seeing how many times WWE’s
    various announcers and on-mic staff could say the word “arse” in a given
    amount of time.
     
  • And speaking of stips that didn’t matter, a Steel Cage match that
    was designed to keep The Authority out…but didn’t. With the added
    stipulation that the RKO was banned…but we saw it twice. And
    what was supposed to happen if the RKO was used? Wasn’t it a “No-DQ”
    Steel Cage match? Then how do you DQ somebody for breaking a rule? We
    all know Rollins will either play the semantics card and say that Randy wasn’t allowed to use it. Either that, or he’ll claim to have hit a Diamond Cutter and not
    the RKO. Honestly, I’m not putting anything past Creative at this
    point. At least not since Kane asked us to imagine a dark, ominous world
    where El Torito was WWE World Champion a couple weeks back. What, you
    think that wasn’t a threat?

So, we did watch the same show. Just checking. The same one where Reigns and Show actually turned out to be the best match on the card? Yep. Sounds like the same show to me.

Is this what it’s come to? We look up at all that and say, “Eh…acceptable”?

Readers
wonder why I watch the show. I watch it because it’s been better than
this…and because I write for this and two other blogs and they expect
some sort of output concerning the subject. I know most of you know that
what we’re being given is aggravating as it is frustrating. I also know
that most of you know it’s hard to admit that what you’re watching
sucks “arse”, if I may.

BTW…if Bray Wyatt acknowledges that Bo Dallas is his brother, as has been rumored, just remember who the fuck suggested that shit.

Let’s go…

We get a video montage of King of the Ring, a tournament that’s SO important, it took a five-year hiatus!

We are LIVE(!!!) from Green Bay, Wisconsin!!!

JBL, Cole and Booker are the guys on the mics.

Cole gives us our KOTR ladder:

  • Dolph Ziggler vs. Bad News Barrett
  • R-Truth vs. Stardust
  • Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus
  • Neville vs. Luke Harper 

Seth Rollins leads us off, followed to the ring by J&J
Security and Kane. Everyone is friends despite Kane chokeslamming the
shit out of all three guys he’s standing next to. Rollins says that
Orton learned what everyone has known for a long time: you cannot
outsmart Seth Rollins. He built and destroyed The Shield and he cashed
in the MITB case at the right time to become champ. He’s a fighting
champion, a valiant champion. The crowd tries a “WHAT” chant and, also,
“YOU SUCK”. But, hey, they graduated from “YOU SOLD OUT”, so that’s
good. Rollins takes all credit for his win. Kane looks incredulous.
Rollins says he hit an “SKO OUT OF NOWHERE”, much to the amusement of
his kiss-ass security guys. Most of all, he’d like to thank Kane for
being the “Crypt Keeper”. He stutters and says he didn’t mean to say
that. Kane isn’t a “relic”. Rollins says he did a good job guarding
stuff.

Kane isn’t happy and says, without him,
Orton would be champion — especially since Rollins cheated and used the
banned RKO to win the match. And there’s WWE’s giant middle finger to
the fans. They exchange un-pleasantries — until Orton shows up at the
top of the ramp.

Orton points out that even Kane says
that Rollins cheated to win last night — so that means that Orton
should get another shot at the title. Orton appeals to Kane — who says
that Orton has a point.

Reigns interrupts for more
talking, walking down the first and only deck of this tiny little WCW
Saturday Night-sized arena. Rollins wants to know why Reigns is out
here. Reigns says that Rollins is missing his “giant” — and that’s
because he put him through a table and dumped another table on top of
him. He says it’s HIS turn to get a title shot. Crowd’s not happy about
that. Rollins does a sarcastic cheer and says that both Reigns and Orton
lost to him — so neither guy deserves a shot at the title.

Kane
clears his throat to interrupt. He says that both Orton and Reigns make
compelling arguments. So, hold on a second, playa! Tonight, it’s
Rollins and Kane vs. Orton and Reigns — and the fans will decide who
Rollins defends the title against at Payback.

Kane’s music hits and I’m half-hoping the REAL Kane comes out to trash everyone involved with this mess of an opening segment.

NEXT: Ziggler vs. Barrett in the first match of the KOTR tourney.

MATCH #1: Dolph Ziggler vs. Bad News Barrett (1st Round of the King of the Ring Tournament)
Ziggler
attacks but Barrett trips him up, kicking Ziggler in the legs. He beats
Ziggler in the corner, then hits a running elbow off the ropes. He
drops an elbow and stomps at Ziggler and whips him into the ropes.
Ziggler kicks Barrett and dropkicks him. Barrett rolls out of the ring.
After a break, Barrett has Ziggler in a headlock. Ziggler breaks and
fights back with clotheslines and a Stinger Splash in the corner. Barrett
catches Ziggler in mid-air on a follow up but Ziggler rolls him up for
two. Barrett goes for the Fireman’s Carry of Doom but Ziggler counters
into a DDT for two. Barrett comes back, slinging Ziggler into the
corner, then hits the Wasteland. Two count. He misses a Bullhammer and
Ziggler counters with a Superkick. Close two count. Sheamus shows up in,
what I’m sure, is the first of many screwjob finishes. He yells at
Ziggler to remember last night when Ziggler kissed some “arse”.
Distraction. Bullhammer. Done at 8:17.
WINNER: Barrett via Bullhammer
RATING:
**. Nothing special, plus it’s really getting hard to rate matches
positively when they’re interrupted with loads of commercials.

Sheamus grins as he realizes that his mission is accomplished.

TONIGHT: The tag team match with Kane and Rollins vs. Reigns and Orton

NEXT: The New Day.

The
New Day are out, feeling great. Nobody cares until Woods declares them
champs and thanks all his “clappers”. Woods tries to transform “NEW DAY
SUCKS” into “NEW DAY ROCKS” but the crowd isn’t buying it.

MATCH #2: Big E (w/ Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston) vs. Tyson Kidd (w/ Cesaro & Natalya)
Initial
back and forth sees Kidd kicking E in the head and hitting a
Springboard Missile Dropkick. E bails from the ring. Kidd chases and
kicks E in the face. He tosses E back in and runs at him. E hits a weak
clothesline — and WINS?! Are you fucking serious? Wow. Talk about your
major falls from grace. Time was 1:21.
WINNER: Big E
RATING:
DUD. I’d say that this was a squash and shouldn’t count but seeing as
though these guys were major competitors and opponents as of just last fucking night, that’s just complete bullshit.

LAST NIGHT: Cena and Rusev played Slap the Turnbuckles and Rusev lost. ‘Murica!

AT PAYBACK: John Cena vs. Rusev for the United States Championship because Russian Chain Matches don’t solve anything.

TONIGHT: Cena invites another mid-carder to job to him.

NEXT: Ryback in action. 


When we come back, Bo Dallas is introduced as Ryback’s opponent. Dallas
says that Ryback’s actions at Extreme Rules were “reprehensible”. He
calls the Wisconsin fans “cheeseheads” and says that Ryback can walk
away right now in order to clear his name.

MATCH #3: Ryback vs. Bo Dallas
Ryback
mandhandles Dallas. Dallas trips him up and beats on him, laying the
ring’s side matte over him. Headlock by Dallas. Ryback breaks. Dallas
goes to a buckle and flies at Ryback, who catches him in a Spinebuster.
Ryback hits a Meathook and Shell Shock to complete the squash at 2:17.
WINNER: Ryback via Shell Shock
RATING: n/a – squash

Bray
Wyatt’s video edit hits and the arena goes dark. Another edit and
Bray’s standing behind Ryback. Ryback turns and runs at Bray, who
catches him and hits Sister Abigail in one deft move. He does the Raven
as we go to commercial.

NEXT: Cena wants somebody to beat him. Please?

John
Cena’s out to yack a bit. Cena says he beat Rusev last night and the
CHAMP IS HERE — just in case anyone missed Extreme Rules. He calls the
chain match “brutal” when it was anything but. He says that Lana somehow
got another match out of The Authority. Then he basically says that
Rusev has a “pimp hand”. Nobody reacts. Cena says that he “kids” about
spousal abuse. Anyhow, he’ll never surrender and all that. You’d think
that would be it but, no. Cena hits the cheap pop with a Vince Lombardi
reference. The challenge is open and the person taking the bait challenge is:

Heath Slater. I need more fuckin’ wine. This beer isn’t doing shit.

What’s
more? SLATER WANTS TO FUCKING TALK. Slater says he’s going to take
advantage of a “crushed John Cena”…yet, if Slater wins here, it would not surprise
me. He says he’s better than Aaron Rodgers. Rusev comes in out of
nowhere and knocks Slater down, then Superkicks him…soooo, we’re not
having the match then?

Lana shows up and SHE has a mic.
Rusev grabs the mic and tells her to back off and go backstage. She
does. Crowd wants Lana as Rusev screams at everyone and tells them that
they’re all quitters. At Payback, Cena will quit, too. After Payback,
he’ll be saying “I Quit”. Oh, and there’s the Russian flag.

Backstage,
Kane’s pacing. Rollins shows up and he wants “clarification” about the
“fan decision”. Kane says it’s gonna be the WWE App that settles
everything. Rollins asks if Kane’s out of his mind. Kane gets in
Rollins’ face. Rollins says that Triple H and Steph will have something
to say about this. Kane says that Rollins carries himself like he’s “the
man”. Kane says that he thought Rollins could handle himself, no matter
what. The choices are:

  • Randy Orton
  • Roman Reigns
  • Or both at the same time

Rollins yells some more.

MATCH #4: R-Truth vs. Stardust (1st Round of the King of the Ring Tournament)
Truth
hits a quick flipping cover for a one count. Star comes back with some
stomps, then kicks Truth in the head. Two count. Star kicks Truth in the
head after laying down. Star claws at Truth’s face and yanks at his
arm. Truth breaks but Star tosses Truth to the ring and does a
cartwheel. BOOKER: “What was that?” COLE: “Cartwheel.” BOOKER: “I know
that, but, WHY?!” Star yells at the crowd. Truth hits a kick to the
Star’s head. Two count. Star hits a Russian Legsweep. Two count. Counter
pins for a couple two counts. Star goes for the Disaster Kick but Truth
counters with the Lie Detector — and wins?! What alternate universe am
I in here?
WINNER: R-Truth via Lie Detector at 3:14
RATING:
1/4*, if that. Look, I get that the mid-card is supposed to be
supporting the show but don’t give me raw cookie dough and tell me that
this is fully cooked.

STILL TO COME: The big tag match

MATCH #5: Adam Rose (w/ Rosebuds) vs. Fandango
Some
running around and Fandango hits a dropkick. Rose bails from the ring,
then trips Fandango when he chases. Rose gets back in and chokes
Fandango on the middle rope. Rose taunts the crowd with the Fandango.
Fandango hits chops and tosses Rose from the ring. He hits a NICE
flipping splash, nailing Rose and landing on his feet. Impressive. Oh,
but, Rosa’s there to distract Fandango so that Rose can hit the Party
Foul and win the match at 1:49. Right when you thought Fandango had
escaped this bullshit and started to climb the ladder back into
contention. Here we go again.
WINNER: Adam Rose via Party Foul
RATING: DUD. Are you surprised?

Post-match, Rosa taunts Fandango, drifting around some sort of pseduo-accent. She makes out with Adam Rose.

Renee
Young is backstage with Brie Bella. Brie talks up Daniel Bryan and how
he would compete at anytime. WWE cares about Daniel Bryan. Naomi shows
up and pops Brie in the mouth, then declares that WWE doesn’t care about
Brie or Bryan. Mm-k.

MATCH #6: Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella) vs. Naomi
Brie
hits a couple presses and the two women yank at each other’s hair.
Naomi comes back with a forearm, then stomps at Brie. She bulldogs Brie
into the buckle and hits a backbreaker. Two count. Naomi chews gum as
her evil  LED SHOES OF DOOM change color. What is this gimmick supposed
to be anyhow? Naomi hits a Legdrop and covers for two. Chinlock of Doom
is put on. Bie finally breaks and tosses Naomi into the corner. Brie and
Naomi fly at each other and do…something. Both women are down. They
get up. Brie hits a clothesline and dropkick, followed by a knee to the
gut. Brie hits a knee to the face and missile dropkick. Two count. Naomi
elbows Brie in the jaw and rolls her up for the win at 3:37.
WINNER: Naomi
RATING: 1/2 a *. At least it was short.

STILL TO COME: The tag team match.

ALSO: Vote for the main event at Payback.

Dean Ambrose is out for a match as Cole reminds us that Harper and Ambrose stole a car last night.

MATCH #7: Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus (1st Round of the King of the Ring Tournament)
The Kiss Me Arse match is over and I’m still
hearing the word “arse” about six times too many. Ambrose and Sheamus
exchange lock-ups and headlocks and holds and, finally, Sheamus hits a
shoulderblock. Ambrose tries to trip Sheamus and ends up putting Sheamus
into a leglock. He locks Sheamus into an armlock but Sheamus fights
out. Sheamus hits an uppercut. The two trade shots until Ambrose puts
Sheamus into the corner, clotheslining him. Ambrose tries a Bulldog but
Sheamus counters it. Ambrose knocks Sheamus out of the ring and tries
for the Flying Psycho but Sheamus evades that. After a break, Ambrose
breaks a headlock, but Sheamus hits a knee to the gut. Sheamus taunts
Ambrose with kicks to his head. Finally, Ambrose manages to hit the
Rebound Clothesline, but both men are down. After getting up, it’s a
fistfight with Ambrose getting the best of it. Sheamus finally grabs
Ambrose and slams him to the mat. Sheamus calls for the Brogue but
misses. Ambrose rolls him up at two.

Sheamus rushes
Ambrose, but Ambrose sidesteps and Sheamus leaves the ring. Ambrose hits
the Flying Psycho, then tosses Sheamus back into the ring. Ambrose goes
top rope but Sheamus evades, then grabs Ambrose for a shoulderbreaker
for two. Sheamus goes for White Noise but Ambrose counters. Two count.
Sheamus hits the Cloverleaf — but Ambrose forces a break. Ambrose is
outside the ring ropes. Sheamus goes for the Ten Beats but Ambrose
fights out and drops Sheamus’s neck on the top rope. Ambrose hits a nice
elbow off the top rope, NEARLY getting the fall. Sheamus rolls out of
the ring and Ambrose chases. The two men fight outside with Ambrose
killing Sheamus with ringpost shots. Sheamus hits the Brogue. So Ziggler
suddenly shows up to attack Sheamus, sending him to the next round at
12:34, which makes no fucking sense, but that’s par for the course as of
late.
WINNER: Sheamus via DQ
RATING: **3/4. Would have been *** if it wasn’t for the ill-timed DQ spot.

Post-match, Ambrose is furious.

TONIGHT: The big tag match.

ALSO: Vote for the Payback main event.

Damien
Sandow is in the ring. He goes into old school Sandow mode and begs the
crowd’s indulgence. He says he’s not gonna lie to anyone. He came out
here in a blue bathrobe and that ended badly. He was told he wasn’t
“entertaining”. That’s when he started to imitate people. He settled
into Miz-dow. That caused him much disrespect and, ironically, respect
with the WWE Universe. He thanks the fans for their support and says
that, without them, he wouldn’t be there today. He asks what’s
next…and Curtis Axel shows up.

Aaaaand, he has a mic.
He insults Sandow for trying to be somebody else. Axel imitates Hogan.
Miz-dow imitates Axel imitating Hogan, then imitates Axel. The crowd is
amused by all of this. Axel tells Sandow to leave the “Axe-man’s ring”.
Sandow imitates that, too. Boy, this went south quick. Axel attacks.
Sandow fights back and then does the Hogan “ear” move. He goes for the
Atomic Legdrop but does the People’s Elbow instead.

ON SMACKDOWN: Cesaro and Kidd take on The New Day for the WWE Tag Team Championship in a rematch.

Bray Wyatt does a needless promo, seeing as though we already know who he attacked.

THIS WEEK: WWE Network has stuff that nobody in their right mind would watch.

ALSO: Dweebs send in their videos, hoping to be Tough Enough hopefuls.

MATCH #8: Neville vs. Luke Harper (1st Round of the King of the Ring Tournament)
Neville
hits a nice Hurricarana to throw Harper from the ring. About 37
counters later, Neville hits a nice Frankensteiner. Neville goes for a
dropkick but Harper blocks it and covers for a two count. After a four
minute break, Harper is in control which is broken. Neville tosses
Harper out of the ring but rushes back in. Neville evades his boot in
the corner and hits a Springboard Moonsault, tosses Harper back in the
ring and gets two following a Standing Shooting Star Press. Harper takes
over again and goes for the Sitting Powerbomb but Neville counters into
a German Suplex in stride. Neville tries a Frankensteiner but Harper
counters with the Sitting Powerbomb for two. Harper picks Neville up but
Neville fights back with a punch to the face. Harper beats Neville in
the corner. He puts Neville on the top buckle but Neville fights out and
kicks Harper in the face. Neville hits a nice Super Powerbomb and hits
the Red Arrow for the win at 10:12.
WINNER: Neville via Red Arrow
RATING: ***. Good match.

TOMORROW ON THE KING OF THE RING SPECIAL:

  • Bad News Barrett takes on R-Truth
  • Sheamus takes on Neville

PLEASE VOTE: The Main Event at Payback

MATCH
#9: Roman Reigns & Randy Orton vs. Kane & WWE World Heavyweight
Champion Seth Rollins (w/ J&J Security – Jamie Noble & Joey
Mercury)

Reigns and Rollins start. Several arm bars and
counters later, Rollins is taken down and he rolls outside the ring.
Rollins gets back in and Reigns hits a Tilt-a-Whirl Slam. Orton tags in
and drops Rollins on the top rope. After some stomping, Reigns
tags back in, putting Rollins on his shoulders. Rollins escapes and
bails, tagging in Kane. Reigns drops Kane to the mat.  Orton tags in and
Kane beats on him, then drags him to the heel corner. Rollins tags in,
stomping at Orton. Rollins dumps Orton to the outside of the ring. After
a break, Rollins has Orton in a headlock. Orton fights out but Rollins
clotheslines him to take him down for two. Rollins picks Orton up and
clotheslines him a couple times. Kane applauds because their friends
again. Orton comes back with a belly to belly suplex. Hot tags on both
sides. Reigns takes Kane down with clotheslines and ten punches in the
corner. Clothesline off the top rope. Samoan Drop to Rollins who tries
to run interference.

The fight spills outside and Kane
regains control, shoving Reigns into the ringpost. Both men get back
into the ring. Kane whips Reigns into the buckle and tags Rollins.
Rollins stomps at Reigns. Reigns fights back but Rollins hits a kick and
Reigns goes down. Two count. Tag to Kane. Sidewalk Slam for two. Bear
Hug but Reigns breaks. Kane kicks him down. Two count. Tag to Rollins.
Mudhole stomps. Tag to Kane and him and Reigns trade shots. Hot tag to
Rollins who nails Reigns and tries to splash him in the corner. Reigns
evades, slams Rollins to the mat and it’s a hot tag to Orton. Orton
misses the first powerslam but hits the second one. Kane comes in and
tries to Chokeslam Reigns. Reigns breaks it and dispatches Kane. Reigns
hits a Superman Punch on Joey Mercury. All hell breaks loose with Orton
hitting the Elevated DDT on Rollins. Orton goes for the RKO but Rollins
rolls him up for two. Orton gets up but Rollins hits a kick to Orton’s
head. Everyone ends up outside except for Rollins. Rollins leaps at
everyone and hits J&J and Kane. J&J involve themselves. Kane
beats up J&J and then uppercuts Rollins, rolling him back into the
ring. Reigns hits a Superman Punch and Orton finishes Rollins with an
RKO to win this thing a 18:40.
WINNERS: Randy Orton & Roman Reigns
RATING:
***. The main flaw was that the match didn’t need to be anywhere near
20 minutes long. There is a nice satisfaction, however, of Rollins
eating an RKO to end this thing.

Post-match, Kane reveals that Rollins will face:

Randy Orton & Roman Reigns in a Triple Threat Match. Surprise. 

Rollins is not happy. Reigns hits a Spear on Rollins. Everyone goes home happy as we go off the air.

OVERALL:
**1/4. Not a bad show. The first half of this thing was junk but it
recovered which is ironic, since RAW never seems to do that. The thing
that’s missing is that each episode doesn’t appear to be “about”
something. It has no personality past being a bunch of matches with a
couple marquee bouts. 

Er, that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap – 4/20/2015

Warriors and Pelicans are on…and it’s a good game. Shame I can’t flip back and forth seeing as how all my DVR spots are taken.

On
the RAW side of things, we already have the pre-show guys saying
idiotic things like, “Sting is gonna answer Cena’s challenge tonight!”

I’m not saying RAW and WWE have been anemic…but I didn’t even know Extreme Rules was this Sunday.

Let’s get moving.
We
start with clips of last Monday when Orton and Rollins both won their
“stipulation” matches and then picked stipulations that aren’t useful in
the slightest.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Albany, New York for Monday Night RAW!!!
Orton
starts us off with the steel cage surrounding the ring. He calls
Rollins a “dumb bastard” and says that Rollins thinks that he took away
Orton’s greatest weapon, the RKO. He says that he doesn’t need the RKO
to win. That would be too quick and easy. He’ll break Rollins’ jaw so
nobody has to hear him talk. He talks about the severe, brutal, gory
beating Rollins will take at his hands — and he will have the
championship.
Rollins’
music cuts him off. He says that Randy’s got an anger issue. Orton says
he doesn’t have an anger problem. He says he has an issue with Rollins
and, at Extreme Rules, that problem will go away. Rollins says that
Orton just rants and he missed a lot of it. So, he recaps what Orton
says, making fun of it along the way. He says that he’s the greatest
champ of all-time. He can outmaneuver anyone, both inside and outside
the ring. He says that he’s not taking anything away from Orton, calling
him “one of the greatest of all-time”…but Rollins is THAT much
better.
Orton
says, after commercial break, he’s gonna get all his anger out of his
system: he’s gonna RKO everybody he sees — and he’ll finish with
Rollins by the end of the night.
TONIGHT:
Triple H is coming out to make an announcement about Tough Enough’s
return…by, presumably, announcing Tough Enough’s return.
Ambrose is out for a match as we go to commercial.
When we come back, Harper talks and says that, after tonight, Ambrose will “be afraid” of him.
MATCH #1: Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper
Brawl
to start. Press by Ambrose off a run. Ambrose all over Harper in the
corner with a running forearm. He tries for Dirty Deeds but Harper
evades and hits a kick to Ambrose’s stomach. He punches Ambrose but
Ambrose fights him off and shoves him outside. He follows with the
Flying Psycho and goes after Harper with punches. Harper gets up and
tosses Ambrose outside into the crowd. Ambrose tosses Harper back into
the ringside area and hits the Rebound Clothesline when Harper tries to
toss Ambrose back into the ring. Apparently, this match is over,
according to Cole, even though there wasn’t a bell but, ok.
WINNERS: No contest.
RATING:
1/2 a *. I didn’t even know these two were on the card for Extreme
Rules. Apparently, they are. If only I had paid attention to the
brilliant build-up to this classic post-WM PPV. I really hope Ambrose
goes higher in WWE.
Post-match,
Harper and Ambrose fight to the entrance ramp. Harper dings Ambrose’s
head off the giant LED board and then tries to toss Ambrose off the
stage. Ambrose counters with Dirty Deeds but Harper just grabs Ambrose
and tosses him to the ground. Ambrose lands and rolls like Samus in
Metroid, then looks up to see that Harper’s fully retreated to the back.
Backstage,
Rollins is freaking out. J&J is tailing him. The Primetime Players
scare the holy shit out of him and mock him. J&J tell Young and
Titus to back off. They do. Rollins bumps into a stagehand and bullies
him for laughing. Triple H bumps into Rollins, scaring him as well.
Triple H asks him Rollins is afraid of Orton and the RKO. Rollins says
he isn’t. He just wants extra protection from Orton and the likes of
Kane.
MATCH
#2: Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) vs. The New Day (Big E &
Kofi Kingston) w/ Xavier Woods for the #1 Contender’s Spot for the WWE
Tag Team Championship
Crowd
gives New Day the usual hell and it’s Kalisto and Big E to start. Big E
whips Kalisto into the ropes and eventually eats an Enzuguri and a
highly improbable Hurricarana, but E goes down. Kofi and Cara in. Cara
hits a beautiful Springboard Arm Drag Takedown and chops Kofi in the
corner which the crowd can’t even bring themselves to “WOO” at. Cara
hits a quick Tornado DDT and gets two. Cara tries a dropkick but Kofi
moves and Cara flies out of the ring. Woods distracts Cara and Kofi hits
a nice dropkick. Cara is rolled back into the ring and the New Day are
all over him with quick tags. Cara tries a tag. E stops him and then
hits a monster clothesline. We go to break.
We’re
back. Kofi dropkicks Cara and punches at him. Tag to E who drops a
forearm and claps to mock Cara who kicks at E and tags Kalisto. Tag to
Kofi from E. Kalisto hits a bad-ass spinning moonsault. Kalisto kicks
Kofi in the head. Both of the New Day end up outside, so Kalisto and
Cara do incredible flipping moonsaults off the top buckles — which
culminates in a goofy ending where Woods is hiding under the ring
(because that’s what Woods does) and holds Cara’s leg so he can’t
re-enter the ring. New Day wins at 9:30. (DANIELLE: They can flip and twist out of every single move but they have no counter for a dude holding onto a leg?)
WINNERS AND #1 CONTENDERS: The New Day
RATING:
**1/2. Not a bad match, really. I guess Vince is still delaying the
Lucha push. Still, it makes no sense that New Day, who has no identity
whatsoever, is getting a title shot due to seniority or something.
Post-match,
the Luchas aren’t happy. And, suddenly,
ITSORTONOUTOFNOWHEREWITHRKOSOUTOFNOWHERE!!! He takes out Kofi and Xavier
with ease. Big E tries to get involved, but ditches his teammates.
Orton celebrates. We’ve probably got 7 more matches ending this way
tonight.
TONIGHT: Another Cena mid-card job.
ALSO: We recall the time when Big Show beat up Roman Reigns on top of a car.
When we get back, we get the video montage of Reigns and Show that will probably run before their DOA match at Extreme Rules.
MATCH #3: Curtis Axel vs. Fandango
Axel
dances to Fandango’s music before the match starts. Axel hits a
dropkick after an initial mix-up, then rips his Axelmania t-shirt.
Fandango nearly wins with a Distraction Roll-Up, but Axel thankfully
kicks out. Fandango hits the Sitting Suplex and his Flying Legdrop for
the win at 1:17.
WINNER: Fandango via Flying Legdrop
RATING: N/A – squash – Welcome back, Fandango. Hopefully, they find something to do with him after his first go-round.
TONIGHT: Who ever wins Miz vs. Miz-dow gets the “Miz Brand”. Between that and “Bella Brand”, I can hardly handle the suspense.
Triple H is out to do his Tough Enough “announcement”, where he, presumably, calls out Maven for WrestleMania 32.
He
says that the Authority had to make a decision in the face of chaos:
the Authority was at a crossroads — so, they chose Seth Rollins to lead
them. He says it’s time to find the next guy like Rollins, the guy who
becomes Champion, then has his move banned.. That starts June 23 on USA.
Tough Enough returns. Crowd puts down nachos and mildly applauds,
kinda. He asks the crowd if they’ve ever dreamed of being a WWE
Superstar. Nearly nobody responds. He asks them to imagine what it’s
like to be a champ in WWE. DEAD. SILENCE. He says that dreams become
reality tonight. He tells fans that they can apply for the show via
video and tells the crowd to show that they’re truly…tough…enough.
Kane’s
music hits and he gets about the same response as the Tough Enough
return announcement. Triple H mocks him saying that he’s “too seasoned
to be in Tough Enough”. Kane says that he’s done nothing but send Triple
H angry messages all week about Seth Rollins’ complete lack of respect.
He says he helped Rollins win and he’s not dealing with Rollins
anymore. Kane is giving his two week’s notice. Triple H doesn’t want
that and wants to talk backstage.
Rollins
interrupts and we finally get the 20-minute talk-a-palooza WWE had
deprived us of an hour ago. He says that Kane should quit. They bicker.
Triple H tells the two of them to back off. Kane says that Rollins has
been GIVEN everything, including the MITB case AND the belt. He says
they could have made El Torito champion. Triple H gets between them and
tells them both to shut up. He says that Kane has been nothing but loyal
— so, at Extreme Rules, Kane is gonna be “The Guardian of the Gate”.
Kane will stop anyone from entering or leaving the ring who isn’t
supposed to enter or leave, making me wonder if Orton meant to pick Hell
in a Cell instead.
Rollins
doesn’t like this at all and says that Kane isn’t gonna play fair.
Triple H: “That’s why you need to get on the same page as HIM.” Kane
puts his hand out. Rollins shakes it and storms off. 
(Good
segment here. Ironically, it worked when Kane went on his rant, getting
in Rollins’ face about the silver spoon treatment of Rollins.)
We get clips of last week’s classic “Divas Battle Royal” where Naomi “turned heel” after losing.
NEXT: Naomi’s in a match…but, ‘member: she’s evil now!!!
Rollins
is backstage, arguing with Kane. Triple H interrupts them and tells
them to shut up. Triple H tells Kane that he’s Korporate Kane now, not
the Devil’s Favorite Demon. He tells Triple H that he IS the Demon…and
he will prove it. He storms off. Triple H tells Rollins that he’s only
champ because of people like Kane. That doesn’t make him champion.
Proving that he’s champion means fighting night after night. Tonight,
Rollins faces Dolph Ziggler. Rollins isn’t happy. Triple H tells him to
show the world what he already knows. Rollins says he’s gonna destroy
Dolph.
Naomi
doesn’t dance down to the ring. She walks. The heel turn’s in full
swing. On the plus side, that means a possible moratorium on the
Funkydactyl music.
MATCH #4: Naomi vs. Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella)
Oh,
look. The Bellas are faces by default. Cole awkwardly hits on Nikki as
Brie and Naomi fight in the corner. Naomi hits an uppercut and a snap
mare. Side headlock by Naomi. Brie breaks and hits a clothesline, but
eats a Nikki-style forearm from Naomi. Naomi knees Brie in the head and
Brie sends her out of the ring. When we come back from break, Naomi’s
beating on Brie in the ring with her “aggressive new attitude”, which is
pretty much the same exact Naomi. Nikki: “This is the same Naomi
you saw last week.” Naomi stomps at Brie and tosses her to the mat,
beating on the back of her neck. Headlock by Naomi. Brie breaks and the
two rush at each other as Nikki yells “C’MON BRIE” over and over and
over. After a mutual clothesline, Brie hits the running knee and Brie
Mode Drunken Dropkick of Doom. Two count. Naomi hits a Buckle Bulldog,
but misses a crossbody. Brie knocks her down and gets two. Naomi hits
THEREARVIEWOUTOFNOWHERE and gets the win at 9:09.
WINNER: Naomi via Rear View
RATING:
*1/2. A match that went on far too long. On top of that, the reverse
turns don’t work. It’s hard to hate or love either of these women. Both
the Bellas were calling Paige “Casper” a couple weeks ago and, now,
we’re supposed to buy Nikki “feeling bad” for Paige? And we’re supposed
to believe Naomi’s a heel — even though Creative has her coming out to
her fun disco music?
Heath
Slater and Erick Rowan are eating salads backstage. Rowan leaves. Orton
RKO’s Slater, eats a tortilla chip, then says, “That’s three.”
Roman Reigns is out to talk. Or not. He just wants Big Show NOW.
And
that brings out Bo Dallas for a massive bump. He quotes Yoda in “the
greatest Star Wars movie ever made: Episode I”, then says that Reigns is
“a bust” and the “Tim Tebow of WWE” as this segment is now as painfully
ironic as it gets. He does the Bo-lieve shtick, then takes a Superman
Punch and Spear. He will beat Big Show — and he can BO-lieve that.
STILL TO COME: Rollins vs. Ziggler
AT EXTREME RULES: A “Kiss Me Arse” Match. Oh…no…
MATCH #5: Sheamus vs. Zack Ryder
The
bell rings. Sheamus has a mic. He hits a Brogue and tells the audience
he could pin Zack Ryder for three. He asks where the fun is in that.
But, where’s the fun in that? Instead, he continues the beating and puts
Ryder on the buckle, then knees him in the chest. He tells Ryder that
he doesn’t belong in the ring with him. So he dumps Ryder outside, which
WWE’s video crew just has to show again in slow-motion. Another
kick for Ryder, then he rolls Ryder into the ring and mocks the New York
crowd, asking where their city’s spirite is. He puts Ryder in the
corner for another Brogue — but Ziggler shows up to save the day.
Sheamus misses the Brogue on Ziggler and takes a Zigg Zagg, rolling out
of the ring. DQ at 3:32.
WINNER: Sheamus via DQ
RATING: DUD. Sheamus doesn’t care what people think of his hair. He’s all-in on this gimmick. 
WWE Network is free all month. Again. Does this thing EVER bring in money?
NEXT: Cena Open Challenge
Out
comes Cena for his match and asks Albany why they seem to be fading. He
wants them cheering. They do. This Sunday, they go EXTREME. He says
that Rusev seems to have fans where ever they go, which is funny, since
Cena beat him at WrestleMania. Crowd is suddenly caught between their
alliance to king and country and their hatred of Cena. Cena outlines
Rusev’s “plan”, which consists of “using the chain a lot”. But Cena’s
got life and he breathes, so, whatevs. He calls out a challenger…and
this week it’s…
Kane.
MATCH #6: John Cena (champion) vs. Kane (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
Kane
knocks Cena down, then beats him up in the corner. He whips Cena, hard,
into the opposite corner, then kicks Cena out of the ring. Rollins and
J&J watch the whole thing backstage. Kane goes outside with Cena,
beating on him, then rolls him into the ring. Cena goes for his usual
moves but Kane catches him and hits the Sidewalk Slam. Cena leaves the
ring again. Kane goes after him, but Cena fights back, punching away.
Kane tosses Cena into the crowd barrier and Cena just happens back into
the ring at seven, which Kane just allows, which tells you how serious
Kane is about that coveted title! Kane covers him for two. Kane works on
Cena’s arm, pulling at it. Cena falls. Kane pins for two. Cena fights
back, hitting Move #1, but Kane immediately hits a big uppercut. Cena
goes down. Cena comes back and hits Move #3. He goes for the 5KS but
Kane reaches up, grabs his throat and hits a Chokeslam for two. Kane
signals for a Tombstone but Cena kicks out and hits the AA for the win
at 6:21.
WINNER: Cena via AA
RATING:
**. Meh. Again, I don’t believe any of these guys are gonna beat Cena.
On top of that, these matches are just two guys going through the
motions. 

STILL TO COME: Ziggler vs. Rollins

HOLY CRAP: Rock n’ Wrestling is after RAW on WWE Network! 😀
When we come back from break, Kane is limping backstage. Triple H bumps into him. Kane winces and walks off.
Renee
Young has Miz. He says he’s the A-List Superstar and he’s also the
reason Miz-dow has a job anymore. Renee Young cuts him off like it’s the
Oscars and we go to John Cena.
Cena’s
with Byron Saxton. Cena brags. Rusev hits him with a chain and locks in
the Accolade with the chain across Cena’s face. Would have been even
better if Rusev had made the Russian flag appear from the backstage
ceiling.
MATCH #7: Damien Miz-dow (w/ Summer Rae) vs. The Miz for the “Miz Brand”
Miz-dow
tries to roll up Miz but Miz kicks out. Miz tries the back/neckbreaker
but Miz-dow stops him and hits a Backslide for two. Miz rolls out of the
ring. Miz-dow chases. They both get back into the ring. Miz takes over,
kicking at him in the corner. Miz kicks Sandow in the head and gets
two. Miz goes for the Miz-line but misses. Miz-dow hits the
Miz-back/neckbreakaer and gets two. Lots of countering and SCF attempts
by both men but, wouldn’t you know it? Summer turns heel and gouges
Miz-dow in the eyes. Miz hits the SCF and we’re done at 2:45.
WINNER: Miz via Skull Crushing Finale
RATING: *. THAT is how you blow this whole thing off? Poor, poor Miz-dow.
Post-match, Miz eats an RKO like he’s trying to hit a quota before Extreme Rules.
Bray gives another dumb promo that means nothing, goes nowhere, and will probably screw somebody over at Extreme Rules.
MATCH #8: Ryback vs. Adam Rose (w/ Rosebuds)
Ryback CA-DUSH!!! Beating, Meathook, Shell Shock, done at 1:31.
WINNER: Ryback via Shell Shock
RATING: N/A – squash
Post-match,
two of Rose’s Rosebuds — a hot dog and banana — attack Ryback and get
a Shell Shock. Then Ryback tells a joke: “What did the banana say to
the hot dog? Nothing. Their asses got Shell Shocked!” Then, Rosa Mendes
appears out of Bumfuck, Nowhere, to align herself with Rose in the most
surreal segment on this show.
Renee
Young stops Kane and says that Rollins and J&J Tweeted about him.
They said they wanna give Kane a gift in denture cream and Depends. Kane
busts into the CFO Suite of Doom and forces Rollins to apologize —
and, surprisingly, he does. He says he’s “on edge” due to Orton lurking
around, RKO’ing everyone (if, by “everyone”, you mean 1/500th of the
dressing room) and he doesn’t wanna burn bridges. In fact, he’s
dedicating tonight’s match to Kane. Yes, pour it on. Sigh…they shake
hands and Rollins heads to the ring.
Orton watches Rollins in the hallway and we go to break.
MATCH #9: Dolph Ziggler vs. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) (non-title)
Rollins
beats on Ziggler in the corner. Ziggler fights back and beats Rollins
the same corner, hitting a neckbreaker and elbow drop. Ziggler
clotheslines him from the ring. Ziggler follows and punches away.
Rollins kicks Ziggler in the stomach as he re-enters but Ziggler hits a
dropkick for a one-count. Ziggler hits a suplex but Rollins kicks out at
one. Ziggler goes for a dropkick but Rollins grabs his legs and slings
him into the buckle. When we come back from break, Ziggler tries to
fight out of a headlock but Rollins puts him to the mat as Cole
continues to plug the “Kiss Me Arse” match just so he can say the word,
“arse”. Rollins hits a Side Suplex, getting two. Another headlock by
Rollins. Ziggler hits a chinbreaker to get out of it. Rollins tries to
hit a splash in the corner but eats the buckle instead. Ziggler counters
a Side Suplex and hits a quick lariat and corner splash. He rushes
Rollins again, only to get kicked in the stomach, but comes back with a
DDT, getting two. Rollins tries a schoolboy, but Ziggler kicks out.
Enzuguri by Rollins. Two count. Rollins goes for a Buckle Bomb. Ziggler
counters and rolls him up for two. Ziggler hits a Superkick and NEARLY
gets a fall. Ziggler gets up — and here comes Sheamus to interfere.
Rollins grabs Ziggler for a Buckle Bomb and his new move to avoid a head
injury to superstars, a DDT…HUH?!
WINNER: Seth Rollins via DDT at 11:32
RATING:
**. Eh. This was another Rollins/Ziggler match with an OK finish.
Nothing special. The Curb Stomp needs to be put back into play if a DDT
is “OK”.
Post-match, Rollins celebrates and tells the crowd that he’s gonna beat Orton to retain the championship.
Triple
H interrupts and congratulates him — but Rollins interrupts, ripping
the mic out of his hands. He wants to “finish his thoughts”. He mentions
Kane — who shows up. J&J try to get in his way, then Triple H gets
in his way as well. Seth calls for the cage to be lowered — and it is
— except Orton is in the ring with Rollins. Rollins tries to escape but
Orton RKO’s him ON HIS HEAD (OH NOES!!!) and stands tall as we go off
the air — oh, but wait — Cole has to plug Hulk Hogan’s Rock n’
Wrestling, that great, groundbreaking moment in animation! Jesus…
OVERALL: **. Decent show with your usual two hours of filler.
And I present the return of The Best of Monday Night Open Mic:

Er…that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap – 4/13/2015

The Giants lost their home opener.
I don’t care. 
Three championships in five years? I’m still buzzin’.
Anyhow, me and Danielle, we had a helluva party this afternoon. Great BBQ and beer and snacks.
Helluva thing.
Let’s get moving…

We are LIVE(!!!) from the O2 Arena in London, England!!!
JBL, Booker and…MICHAEL FUCKING COLE?!? What the actual fuck? Can somebody tell me the name of the doctor he’s got?
JBL
wants to know how his neck is and Cole says he’ll “get to that later”
which is wrestling speak for “don’t you worry your pretty little head”.
He shows us a Mac OS X slideshow of London as if it’s right outside.
John
Cena starts us out. London hates him. So Cena does his best to suck up.
He says that London deserves WrestleMania. “London” agrees. He tells
everyone that it’s The Authority’s choice. They chose to make everyone
wait. He puts out another challenge for the United States Championship
and…it’s Bad News Barrett out to a huge pop.
Barrett
thanks London for their support and says it’s nice of them to cheer,
but that he hasn’t done anything yet. He says, ideally, he should face
Daniel Bryan for the IC Title, but he wants to beat Cena…TONIGHT!!!
THIS IMPORTANT TITLE DEFENSE IS COMING UP…uh…next, after Popeye’s introduces you to Ghost Pepper Lip Balm or something.
MATCH #1: John Cena (champion) vs. Bad News Barrett (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
Cena
applies a headlock. Barrett breaks and kicks him out of the ring.
Another Cena headlock. Barrett breaks and hits a big boot to the head.
Two count. Cena hits Move #1 but misses #2. Barrett takes over, kneeing
him in the gut, then booting him out of the ring. Barrett hits an elbow
drop off the mat, then tosses Cena into the ring for two. Cena comes
back with a dropkick and goes top rope with a Crossbody for two. He hits
#3 and goes for the 5Ks…but Barrett rolls out of the ring. Cena
chases but Barrett makes him eat the steel steps, then rolls him into
the ring. Two count. Cena hits #3 and the 5Ks. He goes for the AA but
Barrett kicks out and hits Winds of Change for a close fall. He puts
Cena on the buckle. Cena goes for the Tornado DDT but Barrett lands on
his feet and hits a suplex. Two count. Barrett hits a high kick. Two
count. The two men get up and exchange BOO/YAY shots because it’s been
SEVEN WHOLE GRUELING MINUTES. Barrett hits the AA and NEARLY gets a
fall. He sets up the Bullhammer but Cena catches him and hits an AA —
but only gets two. Cena goes for another AA but Barrett breaks and hits a
Bullhammer and nearly gets a fall. Barrett tries another but misses and
eats a Springboard Stunner and AA for the loss at 9:39.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: John Cena via AA
RATING: **. Once again, nobody believes Cena is gonna lose any of these matches. And, now, Barrett loses. In England. So, what makes us think anyone will beat Cena for the next few weeks?
Post-match,
Lana comes out to say shit to Cena. Rusev attacks Cena, knocking him
out, and the match at Extreme Rules will now be a “Russian Chain Match”
which is Russian for “No-DQ with a chain”, I’m guessing.
TONIGHT: Randy Orton faces Cesaro while Dolph Ziggler jobs to faces Seth Rollins.
The Bella Twins are out for a match. We go to commercial.
NEXT WEEK: Triple H is gonna make a huge announcement about Tough Enough, a show nobody really cares about!
MATCH
#2: Alicia Fox, Naomi, Summer Rae, Emma, Rosa Mendes, Cameron, Natalya
& Paige in a Divas Battle Royal to determine the #1 Contender for
the WWE Divas Championship
Fuck,
this is actually happening. And the Bellas are on commentary. I thought
last week was a half-joke. Summer and Natalya are out first which makes
no sense as Summer outlasts her. Anyhow, she gets dumped along with
Rosa a few seconds later. Alicia fights with Summer and hits a lame
Enzuguri to boot Summer. Fox and Cameron beat up Paige and try to dump
her but Paige resists that. Naomi hits a Rear View on both women and
they’re gone, too. Paige tries to eliminate Naomi but Naomi blocks and
hits a high kick. Both end up near the ropes but Paige knees Naomi in
the face/boobs/stomach from the outside ropes, which makes so much sense in a match where you’re supposed to avoid that area. Paige eventually just kinda boots Naomi out of the ring at 3:55 to win this “Battle Royal” and we’re done.
WINNER: Paige
RATING: DUD. #StopPretendingWWEIsGivingDivasAChance
TONIGHT: Roman Reigns will talk about stuff for the first time since WrestleMania.
When
we come back from break, Paige is still in the ring. Byron “I Announced
RAW One Time” Saxton is with her. Paige is happy to have won in front
of her home audience. Naomi attacks her and, suddenly, she’s a heel. 
Bray Wyatt yacks about love and how fear is strong than love. 
MATCH #3: The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) vs. Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto)
The
Ascension beat up on the hapless Sin Cara with tags back and forth. Sin
Cara tries to escape Viktor and eventually makes a tag because Viktor
and Konnor can’t keep Sin Cara in the corner. Kalisto comes in, does
flippy shit and hits Salina Del Sol on Viktor while Sin Cara does a
Flipping Reverse Senton to finish it at 2:17.
WINNER: Lucha Dragons
RATING: n/a – Squash
MATCH #4: Randy Orton vs. Cesaro (w/ Tyson Kidd & Natalya)
Orton
and Cesaro exchange headlocks after exchanging pedestrian moves. Cesaro
breaks. Orton nearly hits the Elevated DDT but Tyson interferes and
Orton wins at 2:25. Exciting, huh?
WINNER: Randy Orton via DQ
RATING: DUD. 
But hold on a second, player! Kane
appears, post-match, and says that The Authority isn’t here tonight,
ensuring that nobody’s gonna continue to tune in. He’s in charge and he
can’t end the last match in a DQ. This match will re-start as a 2 on 1
Handicap Match.
MATCH #5: Randy Orton vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Tyson Kidd (w/ Natalya) (non-title)
The
two guys beat up Orton and we go to break because this match is
pivotal, ya’ know? When we come back, Orton nearly hits a DDT but Tyson
hits a NECKBREAKER OUTTA NOWHERE for two. The two team up on Orton and
it’s a mean uppercut by Cesaro for Tyson for two. Tyson tags in but
finally eats Orton’s VINTAGE DDT. He goes for an RKO but Cesaro pulls
Tyson out of the ring. Orton chases them out of the ring but the two men
gang up on him and Tyson knees him in the face. Orton gets rolled back
into the ring. Tyson takes over after a two count. He tries a legdrop
and misses. Cesaro runs in and attacks but Orton hits a powerslam in
stride. Tyson flies at Orton from the top rope and he gets an RKO for
his troubles. Orton wins at 9:15.
WINNER: Randy Orton via RKO
RATING:
DUD. Why didn’t they do this in the first place? We saw all of four
minutes of this thing and it was disjointed and boring with two
interruptions.
NEXT: Reigns talks!
Booker
is running this interview, apparently. The London crowd hates him as
Booker demands to know about his mental state. Reigns says he’s cool. He
went to Suplex City, he felts it and survived it. He said he’d hit The
Beast in the mouth and he did that. He says he could have beaten
Brock if it wasn’t for Seth Rollins. He says that Big Show cost him a
re-match at Extreme Rules because he’s Seth’s “giant bitch”. Big Show
appears on the Jumbotron and says that Reigns is making excuses for his
failures and then says that he’ll knock Reigns out himself. Reigns says
he’s being threatened by “The Jumbotron” and he isn’t scared because
Show can’t even come out to the ring. He says Show has no balls and he
will be beaten.  Reigns leaves and goes to the entrance ramp —
and Show finally shows up to kick the crap out of him, tossing him into
the electric signage and into the car sitting on the ramp. The beating
takes forever as Show Chokeslams him on top of the car. Can’t wait to
see this at Extreme Rules. Yaaaaay.
Backstage,
Seth’s not happy because he’s Seth. He says that he isn’t facing
Ziggler tonight. He wants to face Jamie Noble and Noble will lie down.
Noble says that it’s not his fault that everything’s gone wrong. It’s
Kane’s. Rollins realizes that Noble’s onto something. Rollins tells Kane
that Kane will lay down for him tonight. He doesn’t disagree because
Kane only selectively has balls.
MATCH #6: Adam Rose (w/ Exotic Express) vs. Dean Ambrose
From
chasing the MITB contender to Bray Wyatt to United States title…to
Adam “I Haven’t Been Relevant in Weeks” Rose. Way to go, Creative.
Ambrose chops at Rose who comes back with a Spinebuster and quick
elbows. He drops a fist and locks in a headlock but Ambrose fights out.
Ambrose hits lariats and a bulldog, then goes top rope but Rose bails.
So Ambrose hits a Flying Psycho to the outside. Back in the ring,
Ambrose hits the Rebound Clothesline and Dirty Deeds for the win at
2:11.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose via Dirty Deeds
RATING: n/a – Squash
Kane
is backstage. Show finds him and asks if he remembers Survivor Series.
He says that Kane needs to do WHAT’S BEST FOR BUSINESS™.
MATCH #7: Fandango (w/ Rosa Mendes) vs. Stardust
Holy
shit, what a card. Stardust hits a falling reverse suplex but Fandango
comes back with a heel kick. Legdrop misses. Dust hits the Disaster Kick
for the win at 1:07. Yawn.
WINNER: Stardust
RATING: n/a – Squash — but it’s a DUD, no matter what.
Post-match,
Fandango actually gets a mic spot. He says he realizes what the problem
is. He’s been sharing his “gift of dance with Rosa” when he should have
been sharing it with everyone else. Then his old music hits. Everyone
does the Fandango.
Kane
is STILL BACKSTAGE. Daniel Bryan shows up. Kane asks him to go away.
Bryan asks what happened to Kane. He says that Kane shouldn’t lay down.
He needs to be a man. Kane yells LEAVE real loud. Daniel Bryan does.
Earlier
tonight. John Cena challenged people. #CENAWONLOL, surprise, surprise.
Rusev attacked him. So, at Extreme Rules, he’ll face Rusev in a Russian
Chain Match.
Seth Rollins is out for his match.
MATCH #8: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury vs. Kane (non-title)
Kane
strips out of his jacket, shirt and tie for the first minute, then it’s
yacking with Rollins for the next 30 seconds. Kane goes to lay down.
Rollins comes over and pins and it’s a two count. J&J comes into the
ring. Kane grabs them by the throat and tosses them both out. Rollins
isn’t happy and Kane jacks his jaw. He sets up for a Chokeslam and
Rollins begs off with all the power he has in him and tells Rollins to
lay down. Kane gets on one knee…then gets up and hits a Chokeslam. He
starts to call for the Tombstone…but stops, lays down, and pulls
Rollins on top of him for the pin at 4:35.
WINNER: Seth Rollins
RATING: DUD.
So, now, both guys pick their “stipulations” for the match? Why didn’t they just have them fight one another?
Damien Miz-dow is walking backstage.
We get flashbacks from Miz-dow’s fight with Miz.
MATCH #9: The Miz vs. Damien Miz-dow (w/ Summer Rae)
Miz
takes half a minute to take his sunglasses off. Miz-dow does the same.
Then they take match time to remove their jackets. WHAT IS THIS, MAGIC
MIKE?! WRESTLE ALREADY. The two trade the same moves and Sandow rolls up Miz at just over 2:00.
WINNER: Damien Miz-dow
RATING: DUD. This is an awful fucking night.
The
Prime Time Players mock Los Matadores. WWE Creative supplies audio of
crickets chirping which is fitting since nobody in the arena responds
either.
MATCH #10: Ryback vs. Luke Harper
Scrum
in the corner and Harper kicks Ryback in the face — but only gets two,
which is surprising given the tonight’s booking. Harper hits a Gator
Roll which serves to “disorient opponents” according to Cole. Ryback
picks up Harper by the neck and drops him. He goes for a Meathook but
Harper ditches the ring. Ryback follows and Harper uses the announce
booth to clock him in the face — and we’re done?! Fuuuuuuck.
WINNER: Ryback via DQ at 1:47
RATING: DUD.
Ambrose comes out, post-match, and beats up Harper cuz’, ‘member? Ambrose got beat up by him.
EARLIER TONIGHT: Naomi beat up Paige.
Byron
is backstage with Naomi. She says she lost her cool, then laughs and
calls Byron an idiot. She says this whole thing is about her. Naomi
doesn’t even know why we had a Divas Battle Royal tonight. This is
surreal as fuck.
Dolph
is out here and criticizes Kane for laying down and calls him “The
Devil’s Favorite Dumbass”. Ziggler wants ANY SUPERSTAR IN THE BACK since
Seth has already done his thing tonight. Neville responds because who
wants a United States Title? 
MATCH #11: Dolph Ziggler vs. Neville
Neville
escapes an armbar and applies one on Ziggler. Neville flips around
after the break and hits a standing moonsault as the crowd finally
starts to wake up. Ziggler comes back with a quick DDT and gets two.
After commercial, Neville fights out of a headlock and tosses Ziggler up
into the air and to the mat. The two roll out of the ring. Neville hits
a flipping moonsault outside, then rolls back into the ring. He goes
back outside, walks along the edge of the crowd barrier and does a 450 Splash on top of Ziggler. Back in the ring, it’s a two count.
The two counter each other’s moves and Ziggler gets hit with an Enzuguri
for two. Ziggler comes back with a BIG Superkick and he gets two. Both
men get up. Ziggler tries an elbow but misses. Neville tries the Red
Arrow but Ziggler moves. Neville lands on his feet and lunches at
Ziggler. Ziggler sidesteps and Neville hits the post. Ziggler hits the
Zigg Zagg for the win at 9:08.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via Zigg Zagg
RATING:
**1/4. Not a bad match. Could have been longer and should have been the
main feature. But, the booking staff has their heads up their asses
tonight, so what can you do?
Post-match,
Sheamus comes in out of nowhere and hits a Brogue on Ziggler. Ziggler
comes back fighting, getting some nice licks in, but Sheamus hits
another Brogue and stands tall.
ON SMACKDOWN: Big Show WILL BE THERE!!!
NEXT: Randy and Seth make their match decisions!!!
Seth
and J&J hit the ring and sit back in nice sofa seats. Rollins says
that the crowd can boo him all they want but that doesn’t change the
fact that he is the future of WWE. He’s also the greatest because he
beat Reigns and Lesnar in the same night. He says that Kane has relieved
himself of his duties as Director of Operations and, now, Rollins can
make his stipulation. He invites Orton out.
Orton
shows up and tells Rollins that everything is being needlessly
complicated. He wants to clear out the chairs and he wants to fight
right now. Rollins says that he loves “complicated”. He has power and he
will wield it right now: the RKO is banned. Rollins tells him that The
Authority always wins. Orton says that he was thinking along the same
lines: his stipulation is fighting inside a steel cage “where nobody can
help Rollins”. You know, because that’s always worked.
Orton
says that’s that, then attacks Rollins and his stooges. Rollins escapes
but the stooges absorb Orton’s wrath and Orton stands tall as we go off
the air.
OVERALL:
1/2 a * tonight. This was a lazy, boring show with nothing going for it
except a so-so beginning and a decent end match.

Er, that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap – 4/6/2015

Happy MLB Opening Day to everyone.

I apologize for the lateness of this recap. We had a late night last night and we got in and pretty much fell asleep from a long day. In any case, I will hand the thing off next time. I really, honestly, thought I would be awake enough to get it done as I usually do.

LET’S GO…

We are LIVE(!!!) from Austin, Texas!!!

Byron Saxton is in for the pretty-much-dead Michael Cole and he’s joined by JBL and Booker.

JBL: “I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS THIS WEEK!!! I HAD SURGERY AND I’M HERE!!!” (LONG, VERY uncomfortable silence.)

Seth
Rollins is in the ring with Kane and J&J Security. Big Show joins
them. Crowd won’t stop booing. Big Show reminds us that this “our
champion”, the guy who got a huge pop just because he was beating up
Roman Reigns. Rollins says that the biggest takeaway from WrestleMania
wasn’t the large attendance or the Twitter “trend” record. It was that
they always wins. He reminds us that Triple H and Show both went over at
WrestleMania. He tries to pump up Kane by saying, “Kane was THERE!”
Show pumps up Rollins as the new champ, then kisses his ass. Rollins
tries to talk up Kane again, but Randy Orton interrupts.

Orton’s
here to remind everyone that he BEAT Rollins at WrestleMania. He wants
the Championship and asks Kane to grant the match. Kane says that,
tonight, there will be a Triple Threat Match to determine the #1
Contender for the match at Extreme Rules. It will feature: Roman Reigns,
Ryback for some reason and Randy Orton. But, Orton’s got another
match…against him. Rollins isn’t happy at all.

The clicking sound you hear is everyone switching to Better Call Saul.

MATCH #1: Kane vs. Randy Orton
Orton
hits a couple clotheslines in the corner, then puts Kane in another
corner, but get gets sent outside by a Kane uppercut. When we come back
from break, Kane boots Orton and pins him for two. He clotheslines Orton
in the corner, beats on him and hits a Sidewalk Slam for two. Kane hits
a suplex and gets two. Kane tries a Chokeslam but Orton breaks the hold and kicks Kane outside the ring. He goes for the Elevated DDT and hits it.
Orton goes for the RKO but Kane leaves the ring. Orton chases and beats
Kane against the barricade…so, Kane retaliates with a chair and it’s a
DQ at 9:01 which didn’t feel that long at all thanks to five minutes of
Popeye’s ads and commercials for 5 Gum.
WINNER: Randy Orton via DQ
RATING:
1/2*. Arbitrary, pointless and DOA and went nowhere before an abrupt,
shitty end. What do Kane and Big Show have on Triple H and Vince right
now? Why did Orton not go over here?!



Post-match, both guys almost hit their big moves, then break away from one another.

Speaking of pointless and arbitrary:

TONIGHT: Ryback faces Luke Harper

ALSO: Roman Reigns vs. Big Show

Byron and the guys address AJ’s pregnancy “retirement”.

Backstage, Brad Maddox is talking to Kane who yells at Maddox. Then Rollins shows up to yell at Kane because Kane’s not the
“Director of Operations”…? Anyhow, Rollins is tired of Kane “not
getting it”: they’re supposed to be protecting Rollins. Kane reminds
Rollins that Rollins wouldn’t even be champion without his help at Money
in the Bank. Kane says that it’s his job to book Rollins against a
“viable opponent” at Extreme Rules. Rollins says it’s probably time for
Kane to step down from Director of Operations and that Triple H and
Steph would agree with him. Kane says that Triple H and Steph are on
vacation in the “South Pacific with no internet or cell phone
connection”. What, did they travel to Rogers and Hammerstein’s South
Pacific? Rollins says that Kane will answer for his bullshit when they
get back. Kane retaliates and says that Rollins is in a match…NEXT!

Well, not really
“next”. Byron has to talk with JBL and Booker about Brock Lesnar going
into Hairless Wookie Rage last week and then we get clips of it.

Seth is out for his match — NEXT!

Oh, wait, now we get a commercial break. So, like, after that. 

When we come back, Seth’s opponent is…Neville?!
We’re already ready to job Neville?! Jeebus in a canoe, this
show…Rollins sarcastically introduces him to the audience and has
Neville introduce himself. Neville doesn’t talk, so Rollins pretty much
calls him chicken shit and tells him to sit this out. Neville kicks him
instead.

MATCH #2: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) vs. Neville (non-title)
Neville
hits a nice arm drag and rolls Rollins up for a one count. Rollins
comes back, knocking him to the mat with a shoulderblock. Rollins stomps
at him as JBL talks about “having surgery” for the 47th time. Neville
does his gymnastic flip routine and kicks Rollins in the face, then
sends him outside and leaps at him with a flipping splash. J&J tries
to attack but Neville gets back into the ring. After a break, Neville
and Rollins fight in the corner and Rollins trips him, sending him,
face-first, into the buckle. Two count. He chokes Neville against the
bottom rope as the crowd tries to pump Neville up. He makes a short
comeback but Rollins just whips him into the buckle and drops some knees
for two. Side headlock on Neville but Neville gets to his feet and
breaks. Series of counters and Rollins hits a quick Enzuguri for two.
Rollins hits a knee to the gut against the ropes as Booker says that
“Neville is a winner no matter what happens tonight.” Rollins punches
Neville in the face a bunch of times and it’s another headlock. Neville
fights out and hits a chinbreaker. Rollins whips him to the ropes and
Neville hits a lariat and kicks. Rollins comes back with a huge running
clothesline which flips Neville in a complete circle. It’s another two
count. The two trade shots but Rollins goes for the Buckle Bomb. Neville
counters it and goes for his finisher — but J&J get involved.
Neville manages to kick Mercury away from him but Rollins manages to get
up, grab Neville for the Buckle Bomb and Curb Stomp to close it at
12:01.
WINNER: Seth Rollins via Curb Stomp
RATING: ***. Not a bad match but Neville barely seemed to have any offense for most of it.

Post-match, Rollins & J&J beat up Neville and taunt him because fuck the new guy.

TONIGHT: Triple Threat Match between Randy Orton, Roman Reigns and Ryback.

ALSO: John Cena REEEEEALLY doesn’t want the Franklin Mint ‘Murica Commemorative Plate Belt anymore! PLEASE TAKE IT!

Furious 7 is #1 at the Box Office this week. No surprise there.

Out
comes John Cena for the “Open Challenge”. Cena pumps up the crowd, hits
a cheap city pop, brags about beating Rusev, CHAMP IS HERE, etc. He
says that Rusev wants a rematch with him at Extreme Rules. Cena says he
wants to have a Championship Match RIGHT HERE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS!!! He
says he’s not gonna just cough the belt up, though. He tells somebody to
come out and get some…and it’s fucking Stardust. The crowd reacts by
hitting the snack bar. Wow. Shouldn’t Neville have been booked here
instead?

MATCH #3: John Cena (champion) vs. Stardust (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
Crowd
chants for Cody who screams at them and tells them “IT’S STARDUST!”
Some heavy countering and Dust hits a Sunset Flip for two. Cena sends
him out of the ring but Star holds the top rope and flips back in. Cena
slams him and drops punches. He hits Move #1 and stops. Star backs off
and goes into a corner. Cena just tosses him around like a rag doll,
then hits a VERY delayed Vertical Suplex for two. Cena clotheslines
Star’s head off and gets two. Headlock by Cena. Star breaks but runs
into Cena’s shoulderblock which must be like running into a wall.
Finally, Star just rolls out of the ring and addresses the crowd. After a
break, we’re back to the latest Cena massacre. He has Star in the AA
but Star actually escapes, hits a buckle and dropkicks Cena, getting
two. Cena runs at Star in the corner but gets a boot to the face and can
barely pretend that hurt. Two count by Star. Star leaps at Cena again
and Cena counters with a sitting Powerbomb of sorts for two. Another AA
sees Star landing on his feet and hitting a quick Alabama Slam for two.
Star sets up his finisher but Cena comes back with a Falling Body Slam
for two. Cena sets up for the AA AGAIN but Star escapes for the third
time and hits a Sunset Flip for two. Cena gets up and hits Move #3. He
goes for the 5KS but Star kicks him and hits a DDT for two which we
recap about two or three times because NOBODY EVER DDT’S CENA! Star hits
a nice splash off the ropes and NEARLY gets a fall. Star runs at Cena
but Cena grabs his leg and hits the STF. Star escapes and hits Cross
Rhodes — NEARLY getting another fall. Cena instantly gets up and hits his brand-new movie, that goofy Springboard Stunner plus an AA to retain at 13:16.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: John Cena via AA
RATING:
***. Complete mis-match on paper which translated to a crappy first
half. Got way better as it went along. The problem is that I really
didn’t believe, for one second, that Cena is in any danger.

STILL TO COME: The Triple Threat Match

TONIGHT: Reigns vs. Big Show

ALSO TONIGHT: Ryback vs. Luke Harper

MATCH #4: The Bella Twins (Brie Bella & WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella) vs. Naomi & Paige
Paige
and Brie start. They lock up and Brie slaps Paige who comes back,
pissed, clotheslining Brie. Paige charges the ropes but Nikki distracts
her. Brie knocks Paige out of the ring. She kicks at Paige and puts her
back into the ring, hitting the Drunken Knee or Brie Mode or whatever
we’re calling that. Brie puts on the CHINLOCK OF DOOM. Paige breaks but
gets tossed to the mat. Brie tags Nikki and the twins hit a double
suplex. Nikki puts Body Scissors on Paige, then breaks the hold and
struts around the ring. She slams Paige against the buckle, then runs at
her and misses. Hot tag to Naomi which gets nothing from the crowd.
Naomi works over Nikki, then knocks Brie off the mat. Naomi misses an
attack off the ropes and hits the fucking stupid Ass Bump. Brie comes
into the ring to help. Paige kicks Nikki’s head off, then ejects Brie
from the ring. Naomi hits a Leg Scissor DDT which, again, gets nothing
from the crowd. That seals it up at 5:14 as JBL says “FUNK IS ON A ROLL”
so many times, even my neighbor Tweets WWE to tell them to take JBL off
the air.
WINNERS: Naomi & Paige
RATING: 1/2 a *. I’m all for giving Divas a chance…but there’s nothing going on with them. We went from Nikki feuding with her sister to Brie suddenly not giving a shit about
her sister’s abuse to Nikki winning the title to Nikki feuding with
Paige to Nikki feuding with both AJ and Paige to…constant tag team
matches. I have a feeling this is the status quo until Total Divas
restarts.

The Primetime Players cut a promo about how awful The New Day is.

MATCH #5: Ryback vs. Luke Harper
Ryback
beats up Harper in the corner but Harper comes back with a quick
dropkick and uppercuts. One count. Ryback hits a Falling Press Slam but
runs into a Superkick on a failed Meathook attempt. JBL: “FEED ME MORE?
YEAH! THROUGH A STRAW!” Ryback falls outside and Harper goes after him,
beating up on him. He rolls Ryback into the ring but misses the
Clothesline From Hell. Ryback runs at him and Harper hits Winds of
Change for two. Harper hits a Crossface but Ryback breaks it and hits a
suplex. Shell Shock and we’re done at 2:34.
WINNER: Ryback via Shell Shock
RATING: *1/4. Routine squash.

The New Day is backstage with Renee who FINALLY acknowledges
that the fans are saying, “New Day sucks”. Kofi: “It hurts that they
say that…but we clap…or we SNAP…” Uh. Wut. Big E talks about
signing autographs. Because he can clap. Then they clap.

MATCH #6: The New Day (Xavier Woods & Big E) (w/ Kofi Kingston) vs. Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto)
Kofi
still does the New Day clap. The crowd does the New Day Sucks chant.
So, this is the Painfully Ironic Day now, I guess. The New Day beats up
Cara in the corner with no mercy whatsoever. Woods puts a chinlock on
Cara but Cara breaks. Woods immediately hits some kicks to his gut and
gets a two count. Big E gets in and continues the beating. Cara manages
to flip over E and tag Kalisto who destroys Woods. E tries to attack but
Cara dumps him.. Woods tries a cheap roll-up but only gets two. Kalisto
hits his finisher, then dives at E and Kofi. Tag to Cara who hits the
Flying Reverse Senton for the win.
WINNERS: Lucha Dragons
RATING: **. Short match, but effective. Kalisto and Sin Cara are an impressive team.

NEXT: Roman Reigns vs. Big Show

MATCH #7: Roman Reigns vs. Big Show
My
feed cut out for part of this. It continues with Show choking Reigns
against the bottom rope. Reigns comes back with punches but Show just
grabs him and tosses him out of the ring. Show continues the beating
outside but gets tossed into the ringpost on a counter by Reigns. Reigns
dropkicks him in the head but Show comes back with a Spear. After break, Show has Reigns in the ring and hits a Side Suplex. Reigns gets to his feet because Show just walks around and/or stands there.
Reigns comes back with a kick in the corner but Show grabs him and hits
a Sidewalk Slam. Show goes for a Vader Bomb, hitting it perfectly. He
gets two. Reigns gets to his feet and Show kicks him out of the ring
again. Show follows, beats on him some more, then stands there and waits
for Reigns to wake up and get back in the ring again. Show grabs him by
the hair and just kinda stands there, looking at him. Reigns punches
him, then hits three Superman Punches and Spear and we’re done at around
ten minutes.
WINNER: Roman Reigns via Spear
RATING: *. Big, dull, boring — just like the other two matches involving the #1 contenders. Aren’t you glad we have to sit through another match with all three of them?

Kane
is leaving a message for Triple H and Steph — despite the fact they’re
on Gilligan’s Island. Natalya, Summer, Cameron and Alicia come in,
squealing over Kane. They all want a “battle royal” to determine who the
real #1 Contender should be for the Divas Championship, despite the
fact that three of the four of them don’t do anything remotely meaningful. 

Renee Young stops Reigns and wants to know his next move. Reigns holds up his fist and tells her wait and see.

Sheamus has new music to match his new look. It’s not bad at all. He
wants everyone to know that he is what a “real man looks like”. He says
grown-ups are speaking now. He says that the little go-getters don’t do
much at all. He says that people criticize him for bullying smaller
guys…but there aren’t really guys his size, so he has no choice. Mark
Henry’s music hits and out he comes to job.

MATCH #8: Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
Sheamus
isn’t having this and leaves the ring. He tells Henry not to waste his
time — so Henry grabs him and tosses him back into the ring. Sheamus
isn’t happy and tries to kick Henry. Henry grabs his leg and knocks him
down. Sheamus fights back and clubs Henry across the neck. Henry blocks a
move and dumps Sheamus from the ring. Henry chases and Sheamus just
hits him in the face. Back in the ring, Sheamus tries for Ten Beats but
Henry stops it at four. Sheamus knees him in the gut until he goes down.
Sheamus picks him up again but Henry goes for the WSS, which Sheamus
escapes. He hits the Brogue and we’re done.
WINNER: Sheamus via Brogue Kick
RATING: N/A. This was your typical semi-squash. 

MATCH #9: The Miz vs. Damien Miz-dow
Miz-dow (who is still Miz-dow
despite breaking free of Miz) immediately attacks Miz and it’s a brawl
that spills outside the ring. Miz-dow runs Miz’s head into the mat, then
picks him up and knees him in the head. Miz-dow kicks him in the
corner, then chokes him. He tries to rush at Miz but Miz kicks him in
the head and starts wailing on Miz-dow, kicking him in the head after a
flurry of punches. Miz chokes Miz-dow against the middle rope and works
him over in the corner. Miz-dow comes back and beats up Miz in the
corner, nailing him with hard elbows. Miz-dow hits a quick suplex and
drops an elbow. Miz gets to the ropes but Miz-dow won’t let him go,
hitting him with hard knees. Miz finally drops out of the ring. Miz-dow
chases him back in and Miz is on him, kicking away. Miz-dow regroups in
the corner and Miz climbs up on him, grinding his face into the buckle.
Miz-dow stands up and puts Miz on his shoulders, hitting an Electric
Chair Drop. Miz-dow gets up and headbutts Miz who rolls out of the ring.
Miz drops Miz-dow’s neck on the ropes and comes back in, rushing.
Miz-dow quickly hits a clothesline, then a back/neckbreaker combo. He
goes for the SCF but Miz blocks and it’s more brawling before Miz
manages the cheap roll-up pin to end it.
WINNER: The Miz
RATING:
***1/2. This was the match of the night. These two fought with
incredible intensity. Great stuff. Why they couldn’t wait until Extreme
Rules is puzzling, but it’s fine.

NEXT: The main event…

MATCH
#10: Ryback vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns in a Triple Threat Match
for the #1 Contender’s Spot for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Ryback tries Shell Shock on Reigns but that doesn’t happen. Orton
and Reigns dump him, then fight int he corner. Ryback comes roaring
back into the fight and clotheslines Reigns who comes back with his
leaping clothesline, getting two. Orton and Reigns trade shots and Orton
hits a clothesline out of the corner. Ryback dumps Orton out of the
ring and goes to work on Reigns…and, suddenly, the Authority is out in
force on the entrance ramp. Ryback puts Reigns in the corner, then hits
a powerslam. He attempts the Meathook but Orton comes in and hits
clotheslines on both guys, then hits twin powerslams in stride. He goes
for the Elevated DDT on Ryback but Reigns leaps up and clubs Orton in
the head. Two count. Reigns hits about a half dozen clotheslines in the
corner but Orton interferes. Reigns hits a Superman Punch on Orton.
Ryback hits a Spinebuster on Reigns. Ryback goes for a Meathook, nailing
Reigns. Nobody cares. Orton tries an RKO but Ryback fights out and hits
a Spinebuster on Orton. He goes for Shell Shock but Orton escapes.
Reigns hits a Spear on Ryback and rolls out of the ring. The Authority
approaches the ring, so Reigns dives at all five guys. Rollins gets
involved and fights off Reigns. Show hits a KO Punch to finish him off.
Orton grabs Rollins’ hair and drags him in the ring, then hits an
Elevated DDT. In comes J&J and Ryback hits them with Spinebusters.
Orton hits an RKO and he’s the #1 Contender.
WINNER: Randy Orton via RKO.
RATING: **. So, The Authority hates all three guys, books them all in the same match, then interferes for zero reason whatsoever, enabling Orton (who Seth didn’t want to face) to win the match? Anyhow, this wasn’t that bad…it’s just stale. 

Post-match, Rollins hits a Curb Stomp on Orton and stands tall as we go off the air.

OVERALL: **1/2. Nobody cares about any of the Main Event guys and it’s really weighing things down.

Er, that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap – 3/30/2015

I’ve had a hell of a weekend.

It’s not quite real to me yet. The rest of the pics and recaps are coming.
In
any case, I was actually AT RAW tonight and…well, it was insane. The
crowd went from nuts to batshit crazy gradually — but when the fans
lost their shit, I’m honestly surprised the show wasn’t delayed. I
really thought it would be by the time Seth Rollins began yelling at the
crowd during The Wave.

Yes. Somebody actually decided to start a Wave.

That was just the beginning.

For those who got to hear the audio team fucking with the audio on the show, you might have missed these gems:

  • “YOU
    SUCK CENA” (No…they didn’t say this to Cena…they said it to Nikki
    Bella during the Divas match, causing Nikki to point her finger to the
    ceiling and say something to Nattie. They high-fived…so the crowd
    decided to pick on Nattie…)
  • “YOU SUCK TYSON” (And Nattie grinned or…something…)
  • “YOU SUCK PUNK” (To AJ. Barely lived because everyone who chanted it suddenly realized that they’re supposed to like CM PUNK, hence the stupid, endless “CM PUNK” chants.)
  • “WE DON’T LIVE HERE” (When Lillian Garcia advertised the tickets for the next San Jose RAW event.)
  • “ASSHOLE” (When Miz attacked Miz-dow
  • “WORSE THAN CENA” (To Roman Reigns)
  • “PLEASE RETIRE” (To Big Show, who just shrugged it off and kept moving without missing a beat.)
  • “LESNAR’S GONNA KIIIIIL YOOOOU…” (To Seth Rollins when he came out to face Lesnar)
  • “WE’RE SO AWESOME” (The Smark crowd, patting themselves on the back)

That’s off the top of my head. There were several more.  

Let’s move…

We are LIVE(!!!) from my hometown in San Jose, California!!!

JBL, Cole and Booker are the guys on the mics.

Brock
comes out to a huge pop (I mean, HUGE…the roof practically blew off)
and has Paul Heyman with him. Heyman calls Lesnar “the biggest
ass-kicker of the PG era”. He says that Lesnar did nothing but suplex
the shit out of Reigns. The Smark crowd starts their first chant:
“SUPLEX CITY”. Heyman corrects them: “Or…as my client said — Suplex
City…BITCH!”. He recaps how Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank
contract and stole the title. He’s pissed and says that the rules
weren’t clear and that he can go down to Sacramento, go to the 7th
Circuit Court, have the decision reversed, and hold WWE up in litigation
for months. But, he doesn’t wanna do that because Lesnar thinks all
lawyers are scumbags. So, that’s not happening. Instead, all Lesnar
wants to do is move on and invoke his rematch clause…and that’s
happening TONIGHT.

Steph comes out and recaps how great
WrestleMania was tonight. The crowd chants “Ronda Rousey”. Steph tells
them if they want the re-match, they should all shut up. She insults
Lesnar and says that Rollins kicked him around, too. She says that
Rollins will be here soon — and when he gets here, Lesnar and Heyman
will find that he’s up for the challenge.

Heyman says
that he has a prediction: Lesnar will destroy Rollins and Lesnar will,
once again. be the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE World Heavyweight
Champion.

TONIGHT: John Cena issues an open challenge for anyone who wants the U.S. Championship, the Christmas fruitcake of the WWE Championship case.

ALSO: Daniel Bryan defends the IC Title against Dolph Ziggler.

MATCH #1: Dolph Ziggler (challenger) vs. Daniel Bryan (champion) for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
The
crowd inside the Shark Tank was already blowing the fuck up. The first
minute is, basically, the two of them trying to lock up and get a grip
on one another while the crowd tries a LET’S GO BRYAN/ZIGGLER chant.
Nothing happens for the next 30 seconds and the crowd is already
yelling, “THIS IS AWESOME” when it clearly isn’t “awesome” at all yet,
so this is the type of crowd these guys dealt with. Bryan hits the
Surfboard, prompting Cole to name-drop Half Moon Bay because that’s a
place where you can SURF, BRO. When we come back from break, Bryan nails
Ziggler with a running dropkick. The two brawl in the corner and Bryan
manages to hit a Super Side Suplex from the top rope. Two count. Yes
Kicks but Bryan misses the Roundhouse. Ziggler rolls him up for two. The
two fight for a backslide pin and Bryan ends up heading into the
turnbuckle. Ziggler hits a Superkick, countering the Flying Knee. He
NEARLY gets the fall. Both men get up and do the mutual headbutt spot
from last night. Bryan eventually knocks Ziggler away and hits the
Running Knee at 11:52 for the win.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Daniel Bryan
RATING: **. The match was better when it wasn’t interrupted. There was more to it than this.

Post-match,
Barrett gets in the ring to beat up Daniel Bryan — but Sheamus comes
out, sporting a mohawk and beard dreadlocks. He fights off Barrett and
checks on Ziggler. The crowd doesn’t care and they shit all over him and
this spot. Sheamus dares Barrett to get in the ring — then attacks
Bryan because, surprise, he’s a heel. He takes out Ziggler with the
Brogue as the crowd chants, “YOU LOOK STUPID”. Sheamus just feeds off it
and tells them bring more. He grabs a mic and says, “I’m back.” Then he
leaves.

COMING UP: Brock Lesnar faces Seth Rollins. 

ALSO: A look at how Arnold and Nash were more important than Randy Savage.

AND: Sting will show up and spin the fact that he lost at WM 31 is a good thing.

When we come back, we run through the Hall of Fame stuff and it’s on to the next match…

MATCH
#2: The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods) &
Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara) vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Cesaro
& Tyson Kidd (w/ Natalya) & The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor)
in an 8-Man Tag Team Match

Sin Cara and Cesaro start off and
Sin Cara tries to flip all over Cesaro, only to end up in a Flipping
Backbreaker. Tag to Kalisto and he flips all over Cesaro like a fucking
stripper pole, tossing him across the ring with a Hurricarana. Crowd
lost their shit over this and starts chanting “NEW DAY SUCKS”. Kofi and
Konnor get in and battle. Kofi knees him in the gut and it’s back to Sin
Cara with an “NXT” chant as if they’re just going down some sort of
“chant list” handed to them at the door. When we come back, Cesaro is in
the ring while the crowd does the “Ole” soccer chant. He beats on Sin
Cara and tags Konnor who eats an Enzuguri. Tag to Kofi and the crowd
shits all over him as he goes A-House-A-Fire on Konnor. Tag to Tyson and
he gets hit with a Cross Body. Two count. Cesaro nails Kofi with an
uppercut. Viktor tags himself in and that pisses off Cesaro. Kofi tags Kalisto who flips around like Mary Lou Retton on Jolt, nails Konnor and
gets a two count. Cesaro saves the pin and it’s Spot-a-palooza by every
single guy until Kalisto ends it with the Salina Del Sol for the win at
10:04.
WINNERS: The Faces.
RATING: ***. Actually, this was good because Lucha Dragons looked like the only team that wanted to be there.

Brock
comes out for the championship rematch. Rollins is out next — and he
actually taunts Lesnar with the belt. Lillian announces them…but when
the match is about to begin, Seth bails from the ring. He says he’s
feeling jetlagged, which makes sense since Levi’s Stadium is about 5
miles from SAP by freeway. He’s pulling the rematch. Lesnar doesn’t
accept. He grabs Rollins and tries a German but Rollins lands on his
feet and runs again. Lesnar chases and tries an F5 but J&J save him.
Rollins gets away. Lesnar flips the announcer desk on top of Cole, JBL
and Booker. He destroys some ringside staff, then grabs Cole as Cole
runs for his life. Heyman begs Brock to let him go but Brock’s
inconsolable and hits an F5 on Cole, much to the delight of the crowd.
He grabs a camera guy next and goes for an F5.

This
prompts Steph to run out and stop Brock. Brock doesn’t listen and F5’s
the camera guy. Steph suspends Lesnar and walks off. Crowd chants
“BULLSHIT” as this entire segment was worth the show. We see the damage
Brock has left behind as EMT’s hit ringside to help a dead Booker and
JBL.

When we come back, Cole is being loaded on a stretcher while Booker is waking a bit. JBL is still out.

We get clips from MOMENTS AGO when Brock unleashed hell following Rollins’ escape.

Backstage,
Steph is walking. Renee interrupts her and wants her to explain why she
just suspended Brock Lesnar. Steph says that Lesnar’s still an employee
and he will get his rematch. She says that he’s just suspended — and
she’ll fine him, too. She says Brock isn’t going back to MMA, either.
He’s under contract and she owns “that summabitch”.

TONIGHT: John Cena begs someone, ANYONE to take his new toy belt. Seriously, he’ll lay down and let them have it.

When we come back, Byron Saxton is all that’s left of Brockpocalypse. He’ll be doing commentary solo from here on out.

MATCH #3: Stardust vs. Damien Mizdow
Mizdow is still “Miz”-dow despite turning on Miz? Mm-kay. Miz-dow
takes his sunglasses off and clotheslines Stardust. Miz-dow basically
runs through Miz’s moveset until Stardust kicks at him and hits a Front
Suplex. Crowd chants “CODY” and cheers Miz-dow — though Miz-dow’s
fandom is noticeably diminished. Star goes for a backbreaker but gets
hit on a counter by the SCF. Miz-dow wins at 2:23.
WINNER: Damien Miz-dow
RATING: DUD. And, now, we find out if the fans truly care about Miz-dow.

Post-match, Miz attacks Miz-dow and hits the SCF. He yells in Miz-dow’s face.

FOLLOWING RAW: Sting is interviewed.

LAST NIGHT: The Rock and Ronda Rousey confronted Steph and Triple H at WrestleMania. Highlights from that next. 

We get the clips we’re promised, then a nice media package showing our local print and television media covering WrestleMania.

Curtis
Axel is in the ring. Axelmania, this. Axelmaniaxs, that. Ax-streme
Rules is also now a thing. Neville debuts in case you wanna get to the
part you care about. The match doesn’t even begin and Neville attacks
him, tossing Axel from the ring and flying right on top of him.

MATCH #4: Curtis Axel vs. Neville
Once
back in the ring, Neville hits some flying lariats and some quick
kicks. Crowd loves it. The Red Arrow wins it at 1:11. “Wow,” says Saxton
with all the excitement of a Speak n’ Spell.
WINNER: Neville
RATING: DUD, but Neville’s badass.

NEXT: John Cena faces the guy who reluctantly wants to try for the goofy ‘Murica belt.

We
come back from break and Byron explains that Brock is the reason we’re
hearing him instead of JBL and Cole arguing about Frodo.

Out
comes Cena as the crowd boos him back to the Stone Age, singing “JOHN
CENA SUUUUUUCKS”. We take a look at clips of Rusev and Cena at
WrestleMania last night. Cena says the crowd will hear about
WrestleMania Moments all night long. Cena says that the crowd in San
Jose is the best audience of the year. They actually pop. He calls them
all, “budding musicians”. This prompts the crowd to sing his theme song.
He tells them that, if they believe that, they’re gonna have an issue
with this next one: THE CHAMP IS HERE! He says he’s “dressed like Johnny
Cash” (he’s wearing all black, so that’s valid, folks…he’s just like Johnny Cash) and he puts out his challenge.

And out comes…

Dean Ambrose!

MATCH #5: John Cena (champion) vs. Dean Ambrose (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
Ambrose
and Cena trade a couple of spots and, instantly, Byron sends us on our
commercial break because we didn’t want to see this match anyway. When
we come back, King’s with us because Byron’s about to break down in
tears and, suddenly, this is CNN live from New Orleans following
Hurricane Katrina. If anyone can explain why the desk is still on its
side, please let me know. And somebody get these guys chairs. My fucking
feet hurt watching them stand up. Cena hits moves 1 through 3 and
Ambrose kicks him. He tries the Rebound Clothesline but Cena ducks and
hits #3 again. He hits #4 and goes for an AA which Ambrose breaks from
and counters with a Sunset Flip for two. Ambrose hits a horribly delayed
and telegraphed Rebound Clothesline but Cena, being the good guy he is,
eats it anyhow. He tries Dirty Deeds but Cena stops it. The two trade
BOO/YAY punches, then end up in the corner where Ambrose hits a Tornado
DDT for a two count. Cena ends up outside and Ambrose nails him from the
top buckle. They both roll into the ring and, suddenly, Super Cena is
up and hitting an AA for two. The two end up fighting near the corner
and Ambrose botches a Falling Sunset Flip. He pulls Cena down but Cena
counters and hits the STF. Ambrose breaks it, so Cena goes for an AA.
Ambrose breaks that and hits a pseudo-STF. Cena tries for the ropes so
Ambrose breaks the hold and pulls Cena back to the center of the ring.
Cena kicks at Ambrose and tries another AA. Ambrose counters with Dirty
Deeds and NEARLY gets the pin. Cena and Ambrose trade shots again. About
7 AA counters later and Cena finally hits an AA, retaining at 14:20,
after countering a crossbody by Ambrose.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: John Cena via AA
RATING: ***. Not bad…but can we stop pretending Cena’s suddenly a little indie mid-carder?

Post-match, Ambrose isn’t happy. He gets up, though, as Cena goes for the RESPECTFUL POST-MATCH TRIPLE H HANDSHAKE. Ambrose accepts, kinda, and we move on.

LAST NIGHT: It was Suplex City, bitch, hefore Seth Rollins cashed in and won the match.

Renee
Young speaks with Seth Rollins backstage. He thinks that Brock Lesnar
is out of control. He got what he deserved. Orton shows up and reminds
Rollins that he beat Rollins at WrestleMania last night. He wants
Rollins’ title…but Kane and Big Show show up to stop this noise real
quick. Rollins says he’ll face Orton — in a tag match. He wants Orton
to find two guys to face the three of them at the end of the night.
Orton doesn’t look happy.

AJ Lee heads to the ring as we go to break.

MATCH
#6: AJ Lee, Paige, & Naomi vs. Natalya & The Bella Twins (Brie
& WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella) in a 6-Diva Tag Team Match

Nattie
and Naomi begin the thing. Nattie escapes head scissors which looks
like it would hurt if Naomi held on tighter to Nattie’s neck. Naomi hits
a sitting dropkick after rubbing her ass in Nattie’s nose (DON’T DO
THAT TO NATTIE! IT’S ALL SEXUAL AND FLIRTY AND STUFF!!!) Tag to Brie as
the crowd chants for Paige. Brie puts Naomi in an armbar, then arm drags
her to the mat. Naomi escapes and tags Paige. Paige hits headbutts and
dumps Brie to the mat. Two count. Brie calls Paige a “loser”, so Paige
dives at her and both girls are outside the ring. It’s a standoff
between the remaining Divas as we go to commercial. It’s Nattie and AJ
when we come back. AJ breaks a submission move but Nattie kicks her and
suplexes AJ for two. Nikki comes into the match and puts a chinlock on
AJ who the crowd actually gets behind instead of mocking. AJ breaks the
hold and runs to her corner but Nikki blocks her and dumps her to the
mat. Two count. Naomi and Paige scream for a tag, so Nikki nails Naomi
with a forearm and goes back to work on AJ with a Crosslock. AJ breaks
and Nikki runs at Naomi and Paige, swinging with forearms. She gets to
Paige but misses Naomi. Hot tag to Naomi and she hits Nikki with a high
kick and crossbody. Nikki manages to counter a head scissors off the
buckle and dumps Naomi to the mat. Paige saves the pin and it’s a melee
as Nattie hits SUPLEX CITY BITCH on Paige. The ring clears with Naomi in
between Nikki and Brie. Nikki goes for her forearm — but hits Brie
instead. Naomi hits the Rear View to get the win at 13:07.
WINNERS: The faces
RATING: **1/2. Not a bad Divas tag. They’re finally starting to take that roster seriously.

MOMENTS AGO: Brock destroyed everyone and everything.

Orton is backstage. Ryback shows up and he wants to be a part of Orton’s team. Orton accepts.

THIS THURSDAY ON SMACKDOWN: Dolph Ziggler & Daniel Bryan face Sheamus and Bad News Barrett.

ALSO ON SMACKDOWN: Orton, Cena and Reigns will all be there.

Michael Cole apparently has a “cervical fracture”…so treasure these brief weeks when we won’t hear him speak.

MATCH #7: Goldust vs. Rusev
No Lana. Kick, wham, Accolade anyhow, and we’re done at 2:18.
WINNER: Rusev
RATING: DUD. So, Rusev fights — but it isn’t for the title? Ok. 

NEXT: The big 6-Man Tag Match.

MATCH
#8: Kane, Big Show, & WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins
vs. Randy Orton, Ryback & Roman Reigns in a 6-Man Tag Team Match

Kane
and Ryback start out. Ryback eats a boot in the corner. Rollins gets
involved and he gets sent outside. Break again, even though we’re
nearing the end of the show. Orton is beating on Kane, then tags Ryback
as the crowd is insanely restless at this point, chanting ANYTHING that
comes to mind. Rollins tags in and he’s all over Orton with kicks in the
corner. He sends Orton into the other corner but Orton comes back with a
clothesline and punches at Rollins in the other corner. Crowd begins a
“BREEZE IS GORGEOUS” chant and then a “HOW YA’ DOIN'” chant. Tag to Show
and the crowd chants “PLEASE RETIRE”. Show laughs and just drops elbows
on Orton. He slaps Orton’s chest and tags Kane. Kane hits a snapmare as
the crowd chants “SAN JOSE”, then “WE WANT RYBACK”. Orton beats on Kane
but then runs into a boot. The Wave starts in the crowd and Rollins
cannot believe his eyes. The cameraman follows the wave around, making
the entire audience fucking seasick and, finally, the match continues.
Rollins splashes Orton in the corner, then yells at the crowd. A “CM
PUNK” chant begins as Rollins grabs Orton’s neck in the corner. Orton
fights out as the crowd chants, “WE ARE AWESOME”. Reigns gets the hot
tag and he hits a Samoan Drop on Kane. He takes out Show, then
clotheslines Kane in the corner. Reigns goes for a neckbreaker, then
changes his mind and hits Kane in the head. He goes for the Superman
Punch. Show grabs him instead. Reigns escapes and hits a Superman Punch.
Show runs over Reigns. Ryback hits a Shell Shock on Show. Curb Stomp to
Ryback by Rollins. The ring clears and it’s Reigns behind Rollins.
Reigns goes for a Spear. Rollins dodges it and runs. Kane attacks
Reigns, only to eat an RKO from Orton. Reigns gets the pin at 13:00 and
we’re done.
WINNERS: The faces.
RATING: **. The crowd killed most of this.

Post-match, it’s a heel/face staredown as we go off the air.

OVERALL:
**1/2 stars. Brock signs a new contract and he’s probably not gonna be
on much. Meanwhile, it was just a “pile of bodies” show with 20 people
involved in three decent matches. Everyone seems so misused lately. 

Unfortunately, no best-of-Monday Night Open Mic this week. Too much to recap. See you next week.

Er, that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap – 3/23/2015

After this show, WWE departs for my neck of the woods as Santa Clara/San Jose is the final stop on The Road to WrestleMania.
Despite
all my carrying on, I’m actually stoked to be going to this event, to
WrestleMania — if Dougie hasn’t shown up yet to clue you all in that
“I’m paying for WrestleMania” yet.
There. You can stop trolling the threads now, Dougie. Lol bro. Or whatever.

Anyhow,
I love wrestling and WWE despite what everyone may or may not think. I
love covering it. And, judging by the multitude of readers who read and
comment across three blogs, you love clicking on the recap and seeing
what the hell I care about watching some dude pretending to be Russian
and representing Rusev.

I am excited about WrestleMania because I believe this stuff can be GREAT again. 
THIS is the “going home” show before WrestleMania…let’s see if WWE can get some last-second buys…
We are LIVE(!!!) from Los Angeles, California for WWE RAW!!!
Cole, JBL and Booker are the guys on the mics.
TONIGHT:
  • Brock and Roman go face to face.
  • Bill Simmons and Snoop Dogg are here.

Sting starts us out. At least I think this is him. Michael Cole hasn’t freaked out about the arena suddenly going dark yet. Crowd
loves him. He yells outloud for them. He says that, when he was with
WCW, he watched Triple H rise and bury WCW. He’s not here to fight for
WCW as that would be pointless. He’s here to take Triple H down.

Out
comes Steph. She calls him “WCW’s last holdout”. Finally, he knows what
it’s like to be in the “big time”. Sting calls her a spoiled little
brat who thinks she earns what she’s gotten. Then he condescends to her:
“But it’s nice to finally meet ya’, Steph.” She says that Sting was a
minnow in a tiny pond when he was in WCW. She says he’s loyal…like a
dog. Dogs are stupid. She doesn’t wanna call him a dog. She says that
Sting lost everything. His integrity and pride are gone. And the rest of
him will be gone when he loses to Triple H at WrestleMania. She calls
him a “face-painted freak”.

Sting whoops at the
audience. Steph tries to slap him. He blocks it. Triple H comes out to
the ring, loosening his tie and tossing it away. He approaches the ring,
asks Steph if she’s ok, then takes off his jacket and rolls his sleeves
up. Crowd chants “THIS IS AWESOME” as Steph goes for a sledge from
under the ring — but Sting has his baseball bat — and he invites
Triple H into the ring. Sting, off-mic: “You got a sledgehammer. I’ve
got a bat. C’mon, make a move!”

Instead, Triple H
chickens out and walks back to the aisle. Sting removes his coat and
drops the bat. He tells Triple H to get in the ring. Triple H starts
to…but Steph eventually holds him back and the two heels back off and
retreat.

PLEASE live up to what you guys just kicked the show off with.

TONIGHT: We get to choose Randy Orton’s opponent. Will it be Big Show, Kane or Seth Rollins & his Security Goofs?

Backstage, Paige and AJ yack.

MATCH #1: Dean Ambrose & R-Truth vs. Luke Harper & Stardust
Holy
shit, a spot where Truth wrestles and doesn’t steal anything? I’m not
used to this. Truth starts with Star as Barrett is on commentary. Star
gets tossed from the ring, then yells at Barrett that the belt is “his”.
Cole just can’t leave well enough alone and calls Star “Gollum-like”.
Tag to Ambrose and a tag to Harper and the Battle of the Wife Beaters
commences as Ambrose puts him in a wristlock. Harper breaks it but
Ambrose hits a nice flying lariat off an Irish Whip. Ambrose hits a
sitting dropkick and Crucifix Pin for two. He hits a bulldog and Star
gets into the ring. Truth and Ambrose dump him, then toss Harper. We go
to break.

When we come back, Star has Ambrose locked in
a cross armlock. Ambrose fights out but Star counters with an Alabama
Slam for two. Tag to Harper and he works Ambrose’s eyes with a gouge. He
slings Ambrose’s neck into the middle ring ropes and gets two. Ambrose
tries a rush but Harper hits a Spinning Sidewalk Slam for two. Tag to
Star. He tries a Superplex. Ambrose tosses him to the mat. Star quickly
gets up and tags Harper. Harper nails Ambrose, then goes outside to
taunt Ambrose. When he comes back, he runs into Ambrose who rolls him
back in the ring.

Ambrose hits a Tornado DDT, then
hits a hot tag to R-Truth. Truth takes out both men and hits a Sitting
Suplex Bomb. Ambrose gets into the ring and hits a Comeback Clothesline
on Harper who bails. Flying Psycho by Ambrose. Star freaks out and
watches. He turns around and runs right into What’s Up? Truth gets the
pin at 10:39.
WINNERS: Truth & Ambrose
RATING:
**1/4. Not bad. As excited one can be for a match featuring three of
the four weakest stars on the roster. At least Cole didn’t end every sentence in “izzle”.

Renee Young has this year’s Special Olympics candidates.

We get a response from Roman Reigns via TV interview backstage. Aren’t we supposed to have a Face-to-Face meet?

Apparently, JBL and Bill Simmons “don’t like each other” because of passive aggressive tweets.

Also,
The Miz and Damien Miz-dow interviewed Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell
where Miz acts like an arrogant jackass and Ferrell and Hart like
Miz-dow better. They show a minute of it which is about a minute too
long. Then they offer the rest “on the WWE App”.

MATCH
#2: The Miz, Damien Miz-dow, The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor), &
Adam Rose vs. Titus O’Neil, Darren Young, Ryback, Erick Rowan and Zack
Ryder in a Ten-Man Tag Team Match

Bill Simmons joins the
commentary team. Miz and Titus start off, Crowd doesn’t care and chants
for Miz-dow. Titus hits backbreakers and tosses Miz backward. Tag to
Young. Titus suplexes him on top of Miz. Miz hits a chinbreaker to gain
momentum. He teases a Miz-dow tag but Rose gets it instead. Young hits
an inverted Atomic Drop and swinging neckbreaker. Tag to Harper who
beats Rose up in the corner. Harper puts Rose in the corner and tags
Ryder. Rose hits a clothesline and it’s a tag to The Ascension soo they
can get their licks in. Young saves a pin. Miz-dow gets a tag. Miz tells
him to stop it and tag him back in. Miz-dow does. Ryder drops Miz’s
head on the mat. Ryder hits the hot tag to Ryback. Press to Miz and a
Spinebuster. He goes for the Meathook. Rose comes in to interfere.
Ryback drops him. Ascension in. They get dumped by Ryback. Miz boots
Ryback and kicks at him bur Ryback hits a clothesline and Shell Shock
and we’re done at 5:48.
WINNERS: The Faces
RATING:
*. This was just a bunch of guys waiting for Ryback to outshine them.
It’s weird to see a bunch of vets in singles matches — and the rest of
the card relegated to “piles of bodies” matches. 

LAST MONDAY: Orton was gonna be attacked except Sting showed up.

Randy Orton comes to the ring. Booker says that Orton’s opponent is…

Seth Rollins with 77 percent of the vote. At this point, the remaining 23% who voted for Show and Kane have got to be trolling.


MATCH #3: Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins, Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury in a Handicap Match
Mercury
starts this thing out. Orton drops him to the mat, face-first, then
demands Rollins get in the ring. Mercury tags Noble instead. Orton just
shoves him to the mat and stomps at his shins. He throws Noble out of
the ring like a bag of meat and goes after Rollins. There’s a brief
scuffle and Rollins kicks Orton in the head. Noble stomps at Orton and
drops elbows. Orton retaliates with a clothesline, then takes out
Mercury. He tosses Noble out and powerslams Mercury in stride. He hits a
Double Rope Drop DDT on both men as Rollins just glares. He calls for
an RKO. Rollins runs into the ring for a Curb Stomp but he misses. Orton
nearly hits an RKO but Rollins counters and shoves him into Mercury,
who gets clotheslined outside. He turns back to Rollins, who bails.
Noble tries to sneak up on Orton who just RKO’s him into next week and
gets the pin at 3:19.
WINNER: Randy Orton via RKO
RATING: *1/2. Other than that, build-up was nice. I just expected more from a handicap match.

John Cena was interviewed in the Barbara Walters Room of Doom.

TONIGHT: Swagger takes on Rusev.

AJ
approaches Paige about the Divas Title match tonight. They argue over
who should fight against Nikki — only they offer each other the title
shot. Paige calls her “crazy” for passing up on the opportunity. This
doesn’t sit well with AJ.

We go to break.

MATCH #4: Paige (challenger) (w/ AJ Lee) vs. Nikki Bella (champion) (w/ Brie Bella) for the WWE Divas Championship
Initial
lock-up goes nowhere. Paige charges Nikki, then headbutts her. She
knees Nikki in the chin/neck/boobs/not sure because of the editing, then
says this is her house. Nikki gets back in the ring tosses Paige to the
mat and does push-ups. Paige attacks her and Nikki rolls out of the
ring. Paige isn’t through with her and flies at her with a knee. She
rolls Nikki back into the ring but Nikki comes back, smashing Paige’s
face with her knee. When we come back from a break, Nikki has Paige in a
headlock. Paige breaks but Nikki puts Paige down with a Spinebuster.
Two count. She taunts Paige with slaps to the head, so Paige kicks her
and the two women rush at each other. They both eat a clothesline and
hit the mat. Paige hits clotheslines and a dropkick. Two count. Paige
rushes Nikki who elbows her and dropkicks her. Two count. Nikki sets up
the Forearm but misses. Paige hits a Crescent Kick for two. Paige gets
up and goes for the Ram-Paige but Nikki counters with a Small Package
cradle for two. A series of counters and Nikki hits an Alabama Slam for a
CLOSE fall. Nikki goes for the Rack Attack but Paige fights out and
hits the Ram-Paige. TWO COUNT. Paige can’t believe it. Crowd is big-time
into this. Paige tries to pull Nikki to the center of the ring. Paige
flies out of the ring with her. Brie tries to get involved, so AJ takes
her out. Paige goes to thank her and eats an AJ elbow for her troubles.
Nikki rolls Paige into the ring. Rack Attack and Nikki retains at 10:41.
WINNER: NIKKIWINSLOL via Rack Attack
RATING: **1/2. At this point, I’m convinced Nikki’s not just sucking Cena off.

Post-match, Paige attacks AJ. And we’re going back down this route, I guess.

ON SMACKDOWN: Bryan jobbed to Dolph Ziggler. Tune in next week, when he jobs to Zack Ryder.

TONIGHT: You get to help overbook tonight’s match choose the special guest referee in the match between Ziggler and Bryan by voting on the WWE App.

NEXT: Snoop Dogg.

Lilian
Garcia introduces Snoop Dogg. This oughta give me time to scope out the
Best of Monday Night Open Mic. Oh wait. Curtis Axel has a problem with
Snoop Dogg. He says that he doesn’t like “SnoopMania.” Snoop doesn’t
care. The only important “Mania” is this one:

Hulk
Hogan appears for, like, the sixth time in a year, which is like five
more times than The Undertaker. He doesn’t know about AxelMania. He asks
what Axel’s been smoking. Axel tears off his shirt and attacks Hogan.
Hogan hits him and Snoop tosses him out of the ring. They pose for about
80 minutes.

We get the Brock Lesnar video interview from last week.

ON THE WRESTLEMANIA KICK-OFF SHOW: The Fatal Four-Way Tag Team Championship between The Usos, Tyson & Cesaro, The New Day and Los Matadores.

MATCH
#5: WWE Tag Team Champions Tyson Kidd & Cesaro & Natalya vs.
Los Matadores (Fernando & Diego) & El Torito in a Six-Being
Interspecies Tag Team Match

Fucking hell. I skip this shit on
Smackdown, so WHY am I seeing it on RAW? Cesaro shoulderblocks Matador I
Don’t Care About #1. Matador #1 comes back with a body splash for a
one-count. Torito is in with Nattie who smiles because I’m convince that
the Botox has reduced her to that and “pissed off”. Tyson tags himself
in and evades Matador #2 or #1. Cesaro comes in for a short cover.
Meanwhile, the Usos and Naomi’s boobs join the commentary team. Cesaro
hits the Swing Kick. Tyson locks in a headlock. Matador breaks and Tyson
goes top rope, only to eat a dropkick. Hot tags on both sides. Matador
beats up Cesaro and tags in Torito who nearl pins Cesaro. Matador
dumps Cesaro from the ring. This leaves Torito, who pins Nattie with a
Sunset Flip. JBL just highlights how far Nattie’s fallen in WWE by
asking, “Has Bret Hart ever been pinned by a bull?”
WINNER: Matadors and El Torito
RATING: DUD.

Barrett
is backstage. Kane approaches him and says that he needs to collect
Barrett’s IC Title, so he can “dangle it above the ring”. Barrett is
reluctant, but gives him the belt.

NEXT: Rusev vs. Swagger

ON
SMACKDOWN: 8-MAN TAG MATCH featuring Roman Reigns, John Cena, Mark
Henry & Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt, Seth Rollins, Kane and Big Show

MATCH #6: WWE United States Champion Rusev vs. Jack Swagger (non-title)
JBL
reminds us that Rusev’s the reason we haven’t seen Zeb Colter.
Continuity! Rusev kicks at Swagger in the corner, then beats on him.
Swagger fights back but Rusev clotheslines him. He kicks Swagger
repeatedly, then puts on a clutch. Swagger finally fights out and hits a
Big Boot. He hits a huge clothesline, which knocks Rusev down. He
rushes Rusev but Rusev goes for a kick. Swagger catches him and tries
the Patriot Lock. Rusev kicks out. Rusev beats Swagger in the corner
again, then clotheslines him. Rusev hits a HUGE Superkick and the
Accolade for the win at 4:36.
WINNER: Rusev via Accolade
RATING: More of the same from Rusev.

Rusev
won’t break The Accolade, so here comes Cena to break his face. They
battle in the ring, then fight outside. Rusev gets the upper hand and
tosses Cena into the crowd barrier. He picks Cena up and shoves him into
the ringpost. He picks Cena up again and tosses him into the announce
table. Rusev picks up the Russian flag and waves it. A ref tends to Cena
who looks hurt. Rusev sees this and puts the flag down. He takes Cena
out with a Flying Superkick, then starts stripping the announce table.
He picks Cena up and slams him, face-first, into the table. He climbs
the table and locks in The Accolade until Cena passes out, while six
refs tug lightly at Rusev’s arms, saying “Stop it.”

MOMENTS AGO: Rusev kicks the shit out of John Cena.

Cole, JBL and Booker assess what just happened. Cole surmises that Cena “is no longer 100 percent”.

Bray
Time. He comes to the ring and says that everyone hates. That’s all
they do. They care only about money and hate who they are in life. They
lie to themselves. He’ll give them all the truth: The Undertaker is a
liar. He’s just like everyone else. He’s hiding the fact that he lost.
He says that angel wings are here to take him back to the other side.

We
hear rumbling and see lights flashing as the arena lights up like the
Tiki Room at Disneyland. He says that The Undertaker’s spirits are all
in Bray Wyatt’s control now, not The Undertaker’s. He says there will be
no redemption or shield. Sister Abigail’s Kiss will end him. Then, he
will take his rightful place amongst the gods as the new face of fear.
He says that once WrestleMania is over, The Undertaker will finally rest
in peace. Aaaaaand, still no ‘Taker. Even on the Raw before ‘Mania.
Sigh…

Diesel/Kevin Nash is the final inductee into the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame.

Nattie
is backstage, doing her make-up. Tyson is eating Burger King. He talks
to his food like he talks to her. Nattie smile-frowns through it, then
pretends to like what she’s eating.

Oh, look. Daniel
Bryan’s out here and he’s more over than Reigns. Funny that. So’s
Ziggler. Booker gives us our Special Guest Referee and it’s…

Dean Ambrose. Wonder how many people tried voting for Kane and Big Show.

MATCH #7: Daniel Bryam vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Special Guest Referee Dean Ambrose
Initial
lock-ups and quick back and forth to start. Then an actual Test of
Strength. Ziggler puts Bryan in a corner and beats on him. Big elbow by
Ziggler. One count. Ziggler puts Bryan in the corner and it’s a slap and
punch fight. Bryan flips over Ziggler in the corner, then ends up
outside. Ziggler chases and Bryan uses his legs to pull Ziggler outside
as well. Bryan misses a flying knee outside. Ziggler runs at Bryan and
takes him out. When we get back from break, Ziggler has a Sleeper on
Bryan. Bryan breaks it and goes for a Fame-Asser but Bryan rolls Ziggler
up fro two. Ziggler attacks and Bryan hits a German Suplex for two.
Bryan goes top rope but Ziggler knocks him off. He goes for a Superplex
but Bryan blocks it and punches at Ziggler. Ziggler falls to the mat,
then leaps up, grabbing Bryan by the head, and pulls him down into the
mat for a close fall. Ziggler goes for a Zigg Zagg but Bryan fights him
off and tries a Backslide pin. Ziggler reverses for two. Bryan kicks
Ziggler in the corner and then hits a rushing dropkick. Ziggler hits a
Superkick when Bryan comes rushing in and hits the Superkick for the win
at 10:54. Boy, that “special guest referee” gimmick really added to the match, didn’t it?
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via Zigg Zagg
RATING: **3/4. Got going late and never really got to the level of the match on Smackdown.

Post-match,
Dean predictably hits Ziggler with Dirty Deeds, goes under the mat for a ladder and
goes for the IC Title which is hanging above the ring CUZ REMEMBER KANE PUT IT UP THERE HIMSELF. Barrett stops him and the rest of the IC Title
fighters come out to join the fight. Bodies fly everywhere. Barrett hits
a Bullhammer on Bryan because he hasn’t been buried enough in two
shows. Ziggler hits a Superkick on Barrett. More fighting and the ladder
gets knocked over. Everyone’s down and…that’s that. Everyone’s down
and not getting up.

Backstage, Heyman knocks on the dressing room door of Brock Lesnar and tells him that “it’s time”.

Finally, at 11 PM PST / 2 AM EST, out comes Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman.
Heyman plugs Lesnar vs. Reigns. He says that either Lesnar is great like
he’s been saying — or he isn’t. The same goes for Reigns. He says that
Lesnar makes failures out of everyone who has stepped in front of him.
He says that everyone doubted Lesnar’s ability to beat The Undertaker
and John Cena. Both men were beaten. He says that people call Lesnar a
“mercenary”. The problem is that Lesnar actually enjoys beating people
up. He says Lesnar’s the type who will fuck wives and eat kid’s food.
Sheesh. Paul Heyman says that Reigns keeps saying “he will” beat Lesnar.
But Lesnar says he CAN’T…and he WON’T.

Out comes
Reigns. The two men face off, as promised. Lesnar holds the belt in
Reigns’ face. Reigns grabs it. Lesnar grabs back…and we go off the
air?! Ok.

OVERALL: **1/2. Not a bad “going home”
show…it’s gonna be an interesting WrestleMania. It’s time for WWE to
reap what they’ve sewn. 

That’s it for me for this week.

I
will probably be posting the WrestleMania Trip Report starting on
Thursday with Axxess. If you’re going to WrestleMania, feel free to find
me and talk me up. I’m not that much of an asshole in real life. 🙂

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

Er…that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap: 3/16/2015

We’re two weeks from WrestleMania iPod Touch Play Button…and nobody’s listening.  


Most of us wanted Daniel Bryan to win the Royal Rumble. Roman Reigns won it instead.

A
lot of people said, “All right, fuck us,” and expected Bryan to find
his way into the main event at WrestleMania — just like last year.
Nope. Roman Reigns vs. Lesnar.
The
remaining people who cared held out some sort of hope that Bryan would
kinda, sorta limp into the main event with what fan support he had left.
Nope. Next week, it’s Snoop Lion/Dogg/Lemur/whatever and Bill Simmons
from ESPN for some reason.
Meanwhile, Sting and The Undertaker barely show up and speak to their respective opponents via Jumbotron text message.
Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar don’t even cut promos together.
The fans throw their hands up and yell, “WE GIVE UP!”
“But, wait!” WWE said. “Come back…we’ve got one more surprise…”
The
fans turned around and, with the last faint hope welling up and showing
itself in the form of misty eyes — and with the Anti-Smarks folding
their arms and saying, “See, we told you they’d fix it,” WWE said, “LL
Cool J is gonna open WrestleMania. You can go. It’s cool.”
Let’s get moving.
We start with Michael Cole interviewing Randy Orton in the Barbara Walters Interview Room of Doom. He talks, seriously, about seriously attacking Seth Rollins in a serious manner.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Des Moines, Iowa! As “LIVE” as Des Moines allows one to be, that is.
Big
Show, Rollins, Kane and the two security mooks are neatly and
geometrically positioned in the center of the ring like they’re about to
take a bow after the final performance of Les Miserables. Rollins says
he was betrayed last week. Orton turned his back on him. The crowd
chants “RKO” as Rollins seethes. He says that Orton stalked him like an
animal and he got beaten up bad. He suffered. He says that what Orton
did was UNLIKE what Rollins did with The Shield. That was called for.
Orton’s behavior was borderline sociopathic.
Show
takes the mic and says he owes Rollins an apology. He says Rollins is
the biggest talent in the business right now. It’s more “Orton is evil/a
snake/an animal/horrible/etc.” Kane gets in on the sob-fest. Orton will
pay. He betrayed Rollins. Noble says that Orton’s a rat. Noble declares
himself “the secret weapon of The Authority”. (DANIELLE: “Does Rollins realize his bodyguards couldn’t stop El Torito yet? Why does he keep these guys around when they don’t do anything right?”) And, finally Joey Mercury has his turn. He cries into Big Show’s big, sagging boobs, the way you’d think of god’s as big.
Rollins
has the mic again. Orton did what he did with no consequences — but
it’s a new week and Orton’s never faced a guy like Rollins. He accepts
Orton’s challenge at WrestleMania which is cool because I had no idea
Orton ever challenged him. Rollins says there’s one condition for Orton:
he faces Rollins tonight on RAW. More Orton is
scheming/evil/snake-like/pretty awful — and, mercifully, Orton’s music
hits. 
Orton
says he isn’t the face of WWE. He’s the guy who made Rollins look like a
bitch. He says he “accepts Rollins’ challenge”. Wait…what? Who
challenged who here?!
Even still, that’s a more appealing match than the main event.
TONIGHT:
  • John Cena and Rusev go nose to nose when they sign a contract — for the United States Championship match at WrestleMania.
  • Brock Lesnar gave a really stern interview about Roman Reigns.

Paige and AJ head to the ring.

13 days until Danielle and I head to Levi’s for WrestleMania…

MATCH #1: AJ Lee (w/ Paige) vs. WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella (w/ Brie Bella) (non-title)
The
ladies lock up and AJ runs into a Bella shoulderblock. Nikki picks AJ
up and tosses her into the corner, then hits some shoulders. Nikki backs
off and does push-ups. AJ doesn’t like that and hits a nice flipping
pin combo. Nikki kicks out and runs into an AJ armbar. Nikki breaks it
and puts AJ into an armbar. AJ breaks and it’s Nikki in an armbar. Nikki
hits the weakest “clothesline” ever and gets a two count when AJ hits
the mat. AJ comes back with a clothesline of her own and it’s a side
headlock by AJ. Nikki breaks but AJ hits a Frankensteiner. Nikki flies
outside the ropes. AJ attacks but Nikki drops AJ’s arm on the top rope.
We go to break. When we come back, AJ breaks a headlock only to end up
on the mat for two. More hot armbar action as Nikki has AJ on the mat.
Crowd kinda cheers to move things along as they realize that Jay Leno
knew more moves than Nikki. AJ suddenly locks in an Octopus Hold but
Nikki backs her into the buckle. Nikki rushes at her but AJ kicks her
and hits a crossbody, nearly getting a fall. Nikki goes for a belly to
belly suplex but AJ counters into a Sunset Flip. One count. AJ rushes
Nikki and Nikki slings her out of the ring. Brie swarms like a vulture
and Paige is right there to defend AJ. Nikki backs both women off but AJ
tosses Nikki into the mat. Paige and Brie call each other names. Brie
tosses Paige into the ringpost. AJ is distracted, so she eats a Nikki
forearm and a Rack Attack for the win at 11:02.
WINNER: Nikki Bella via Rack Attack
RATING: A cautious **1/4. Decent action — and a brave move by WWE to start the night with a Divas match.

TONIGHT: 

  • Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler take on Stardust, Bad News Barrett and Luke Harper in 6-Man Tag Team action.
  • Something regarding Roman Reigns. Remember him? He’s in the main event with Brock Lesnar.

LL Cool J is going to WrestleMania.

LAST THURSDAY ON SMACKDOWN: Mark Henry got his ass kicked by Roman Reigns.

TONIGHT: Brock Lesnar spoke to somebody about Roman Reigns.

Renee
Young has Kane and Big Show backstage. Kane announces that Big Show
will be in Seth’s corner for tonight’s match. Show yells at Kane. Kane
yells at show. Does this count as a turn, or…? Seth shows up and says
that the two of them need to see the “big picture”. Kane suddenly admits
that they kinda enjoyed seeing him get beat up last week. So, Kane, for
one will not be at ringside. He tells Big Show to ditch Rollins as
well.

Ryback is out for a match as we are reminded how Ryback crushed Miz on Smackdown while Miz-dow (who is not really on tour with Wiz Khalifa, sucker) watched backstage, smiling.

MATCH #2: Ryback vs. The Miz (w/ Damien Miz-dow)
Miz
stomps at Ryback but Ryback tosses Miz outside. Ryback grabs Miz by the
hair and instructs Miz-dow to hit Miz. Miz-dow balls his fist but can’t
do it. Miz elbows Ryback and tells Miz-dow to un-ball his fist. Ryback
attacks Miz, rolls him into the ring, hits the Meathook and Shell Shock
for the win at 1:55. And, so this Miz/Miz-dow thing continues endlessly
on into the good night…
WINNER: Ryback via Shell Shock
RATING: DUD. 

Post-match,
Miz-dow gets into the ring and fans him with his cost. He helps Miz up
and Miz repays him with the Skull Crushing Finale. It just. Keeps.
Going.

Cole builds the United States Championship with more fervor than the actual main event at WrestleMania.

We get clips of the Cena/Rusev feud where Cena says that “Rusev doesn’t have the right to disparage America”. Well, that’s not exactly true, Cena…

NEXT: The contract signing for THE MOST IMPORTANT CHAMPIONSHIP EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THIS BUSINESS.

Cole
is in the ring when we come back from break. He welcomes John Cena to
the ring. Cena goes to sign the contract, then puts it down and hits the
‘MURICA button for about three minutes. Cena signs it after his rant.
Rusev is called out.

Rusev comes out, dressed in
Pronto Uomo like he’s guest-starring on Miami Vice. Lana’s conspicuously
absent and, instead, Rusev is lead to the ring by a guy who looks like
Ron Howard cos-playing Tyler Durden who sounds like a Yakof Smirnoff
imitating a Frenchman, imitating Yakof Smirnoff. I cannot even begin to
make this up. It doesn’t help that JBL is audibly annoyed by the dude
and calls out his horrible accent or that the dude loses his composure
and nearly laughs at his own horrible acting on live television.

He
says Rusev isn’t signing the contract because Rusev never agreed to the
match, himself. Anyhow, Rusev reaches into his coat to retrieve some
creative writing which is peppered with phrases like “stupid Americans” and
“stupid little country”. Rusev says American will die. Rusev signs the thing. Shit happens. The
table gets tossed and Rusev rolls out of the ring. Cena waves the contract at him. Russian flag falls again
because nobody ever bothers to piss Rusev off by loading up the American flag.

TONIGHT: 6-Man Tag with 6 of the IC title peeps.

ALSO: Randy Orton faces Seth Rollins.

New Day is in the ring as Big E shudders and shakes like he’s having a crack fit.

MATCH
#3: The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods) vs. WWE
Tag Team Champions Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (w/ Natalya) (non-title)

Suddenly,
Los Matadores show up as they’re getting the Roman Reigns Violent Push
treatement. Cesaro enters after Big E tosses Kofi into Tyson. He hits
some uppercutes. Kofi tries to come back with a dropkick but Cesaro
shrugs him off. He hits the Spin but something happens and Cesaro needs
to drop him. All hell breaks loose and Kofi catches a goofy-looking
uppercut to the back of his head. Cesaro covers for the win at 1:52.
WINNERS: Cesaro & Kidd
RATING: DUD. The build-up for the RAW pre-show, everyone!

Post-match,
Matadores and The New Day jaw at one another. Cesaro hits a neutralizer
on Kofi. Torito hits a physically-impossible Hurricarana on Cesaro and
so it goes.

LAST MONDAY: Bray taunted The
Undertaker who didn’t show up, yet managed to light a chair on fire with
worse VFX than what was seen in Sharknado.

TONIGHT: Bray does more freaky shit in order to draw out The Undertaker.

NEXT: Lesnar speaks.

We
get a nice shot of the outside of Wells Fargo Arena. I guess it’s as
good a time as any to point out that we’ve had 3 matches in 90 minutes,
totaling 15 minutes — and 11 minutes of that was a Divas match.

Rollins
is backstage as the Lollipop Guild argues with him about his fame.
Noble gets so pissed that he quits the Security team. Mercury quits,
too. So, naturally, Rollins will be booked to job to them next week in a
handicap match.

Cole sets up the Brock Lesnar thing
where Lesnar’s curse words get bleeped…except for “ass” which will get
bleeped next week when the censors suddenly decide it’s a curse word.

Erick
Rowan is wrestling Big Show when we come back from that. Months after
his face turn and, still, no fucks have been given. Show kicks the shit
out of him, then hits the KO Punch. He goes to the second rope and hits a
elbow/body splash. There’s no match here. But, nobody wanted one
anyhow, so…

THE NEWEST INDUCTEE INTO THE WWE HALL OF FAME IS…Larry Zbyszko!

STILL TO COME: That 6-Man Tag Match

When
we come back from break, Kane is in the ring with the WWE’s also-rans:
Zack Ryder, Fandago, Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Titus O’Neil, Goldust,
Jack Swagger, Adam Rose and Darren Young. He declares that he will win
the Andre Battle Royal. He will demonstrate that right now. So Mark
Henry shows up and he gets mic time because we haven’t had enough promo
spots. He says HE will win. Axel vacates. Dust, Swagger and a slew of
others eat the outside mat. Kane and Henry are the only ones left after
Kane dumps Titus. Kane hits an uppercut. Henry shrugs off his blows and
tries to dump him. He succeeds. In runs Axel, who tries to dump Henry.
Henry reverses that attempts. And that’s about as well as one could do
to pump that match up.

STILL TO COME: Orton and Seth.

After, yet, ANOTHER BREAK.

THIS THURSDAY: 6-Being Interspecies Tag Match on Smackdown…which is the reason I quit watching it.

Out
comes Paul Heyman to remind us that we’ve now had over 2 hours of RAW
with 15 minutes of actual wrestling. At this point, this has become so
tiresome, I can’t even enjoy whatever the hell this is supposed to be.
Everyone hates Reigns. Everyone loves Lesnar. Heyman gives a good promo.
None of this is working.

Roman Reigns
appears. He wants to beat up Paul Heyman but he has “respect” for him.
He’s here, instead, to speak to Brock Lesnar. Who isn’t here. So, he’ll
speak to the camera. He says he’ll kick Lesnar’s ass. Seriously. There’s
nothing here. I was in the kitchen, washing dishes during that entire segment
and I rewound the thing to write this, thinking I’d need to recap
something a lot more in-depth and sophisticated. Right now, it’s two
guys speaking to each other through lawyers. That’s it.

Anyhow,
when we come back, Renee Young catches Paul Heyman in the hallway.
Heyman states that Lesnar will be here to confront Reigns.

HOLY SHIT A MATCH.

MATCH
#4: WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett, Luke Harper &
Stardust vs. Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler & Dean Ambrose in a Six-Man
Tag Team Match

Just FYI: all three of the faces got a bigger
pop tonight than Reigns has had in weeks. Oh, by the way, here comes
R-Truth because he’s still in this shit but not white enough to compete.
Stardust does cartwheel but Dean grabs him and slams him. Stardust
comes back with punches in the corner. Ambrose whips him into the
opposite corner, then hits a suplex. Tag to Bryan and Bryan puts him
into a Surfboard, despite the fact that Stardust is completely mobile
and not at all tired. Bryan kicks at Dust in the corner. Bryan hits an
armbar and Ziggler tags himself in. Bryan argues with Ziggler. Stardust
gets in the middle of that, so he gets dumped from the ring. It turns
into a near-Pier 6 and we go to break.

We’re
back and Harper is roughing up Dean Ambrose in the corner. Ambrose hits a
nice Tornado DDT on a counter as “R-Trizzle” (because it’s 1995, see)
sits in on commentary. Tags on both sides. Ziggler hits a DDT on
Stardust but Dust comes back with a dropkick. Ziggler flies from the
ring and Barrett attacks after a tag. He runs Ziggler into the crowd
wall, then rolls him in-ring for a two-count. He puts Ziggler into the
corner and kicks him in the ribs. Two count. Tags to Star and Harper.
They rough up Ziggler. Barrett gets back in and kicks Ziggler, then hits
a nice swinging neckbreaker for two. He tosses Ziggler into the corner
and tags Harper. Harper tosses Barrett into Ziggler who evades. Harper
charge and he flies out of the ring. Dust attacks and he gets sent to
the mat.

Ziggler goes for a hot tag and completely
misses as the heels take out Ambrose and Bryan. Ziggler counters a
powerbomb and hits the Fame-Asser. Barrett saves the pin. All hell
breaks loose as everyone gets into a huge brawl in the ring. It ends
when the ring clears. Harper hits a Big Boot and a Sitting Powerbomb —
but Ziggler kicks out! Wow. After another break, Barrett has Ziggler in a
headlock. Ziggler starts to break it and hits a nice DDT. Ziggler gets
the hot tag to Brayn. He’s all over Barrett after taking out Dust and
Harper. Flying Goat to Harper as he tags Ambrose. Ambrose hits a splash
on Barrett. Two count. Stardust sends Ambrose into the ropes. Comeback
Clothesline. Everyone goes for a spot. Ziggler hits a Superkick on Bryan
by accident, then nails Harper. Barrett goes for Wasteland but Ziggler
counters and dives at both Harper and Stardust. In the ring, Barrett
sets up for the Bullhammer but Ambrose ducks and counters with Dirty
Deeds to get the pin at 17:00.
WINNERS: Ambrose, Bryan and Ziggler
RATING: ***1/4. A VERY welcome quality match.

Post-match,
Stardust tries to steal the IC title and run into the crowd but leaves
the belt behind. Truth grabs it but Harper gets in his way. Truth throws
it back into the ring. Bryan gets up and grabs it. So does Ziggler. The
two fight over it. Barrett comes into the ring and it’s like an episode
of Oprah: everyone gets a Bullhammer. He grabs his title, takes out
Ambrose with a Bullhammer, then takes out Truth, who also gets in his
way.

Steph and Triple H are having a moment
backstage. Seth interrupts. He wants to know what Steph and Triple H are
gonna do about things tonight. Steph says that it’s time for Rollins to
lay down in the bed he made. Seth blames Steph for what’s going on.
Triple H asks who Seth thinks he’s talking to. Seth goes nose to nose
and dares him to mess up the company’s future. Steph gets between them.
Triple H says that Seth should go before things go from bad to worse.

NEXT: Bray Wyatt talks.

LAST WEEK: Bray Wyatt talked. His chair was set on fire.

Bray Wyatt time. It’s another promo. It’s not in a ring. Doesn’t involve The Undertaker. So, who honestly cares?

NEXT: Orton and Rollins.

NEXT WEEK: Lesnar and Reigns go face to face. 

ALSO NEXT WEEK: Snoop Dogg & Bill Simmons are here.

Orton’s
out for the final match. Rollins is out for a promo. Rollins says that
Orton has made the Authority look like fools. Then he laughs because,
surprise, it’s a set-up that nobody, but the entire fucking WWE Universe saw coming.
He’s made a fool out of Orton. He brings out the entire Authority in
Triple H, Steph, Big Show, Kane, and J&J Security. Orton goes
outside to grab a chair. He stands his ground. Triple H mocks him. They
surround the ring.

Crowd chants for Sting.
Everyone gets in the ring. Lights go out. The sound of a crow and Cole
ruins the fucking moment by saying, “What in the world…?” Lights come
back up. Sting’s in the ring with the baseball bat. The faces clear the
ring out. Sting hits the Stinger Splash on J&J. Sting hits a
Scorpion Deathdrop on Noble. Orton hits an RKO on Mercury. Crowd is
INSANE right now, chanting Sting’s name.

We go off the air because OMGFANSWEREOUTTATIMEENJOYTHEFIFTHELEMENTONTHETBSNETWOR–..

OVERALL:
A LOT of build-up. I’d go ** for the decent Divas match, the IC tag
battle, and the Sting/Orton team-up at the end. There was a LOT of
filler here, however. 4 matches on a RAW card totaling in 35 minutes of
actual, recorded action? Not good. 

Before we go…the best of Monday Night Open Mic: 

 
Er…that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap: 3/9/2015

I
laughed my ass off at this week’s installment of BoD RAW, written, of
course, by the great Brian Bayless. He wrote my character a nice, juicy
Heyman-esque spot where I tell everybody why Everything Sucks™. 
That should, honestly, be the new name for the recap.
But, I digress…
Last
week, I got a lot of flack for shitting on a product that, apparently,
really touched the hearts of some the Blog of Doomers. Re-reading what I
wrote, I guess I was pretty cruel and the show was, really, some of the
best TV WWE has ever put forward.

Boy, was I wrong about things.
So, I’m totally gonna not shit on the show tonight. I’m gonna be POSITIVE! 
So, come at me, bro. Give me your WORST!
We start with a recap of PSEDUOHEELRANDYORTON and the match between Reigns and like six guys.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!!!
Harlem Heat, MIGGAL and JBL are the guys at the desk.
Orton heads out to the ring to do business with the Authority who applauds him inside the ring.
TONIGHT: a 2-on-1 Handicap Match will see Orton and Rollins facing Roman Reigns.
Kane
wanted to make a public announcement to show that everyone that Randy
Orton is part of The Authority. Kane and Orton shake hands. Big Show has
the mic and says that he sees the most talented, sadistic and
aggressive athlete he’s even seen. Jamie Noble isn’t convinced and
nearly pisses his pants, yelling that Orton can’t be trusted. Rollins is
ALSO THANKFUL ORTON IS BACK. Joey Mercury also gives a thumbs up.
Rollins says that, even still, there’s an elephant in the room: Orton
isn’t part of The Authority no matter what they say. Heels are already
telegraphing to ending. That’s not bad at all. That’s awesome. He says
that him and Orton are both proud members of The Authority. The crowd
chants “RKO”. He says that everyone is stressed out. And nobody needs to
be. He welcomes Orton home and shakes his hand. Rollins introduces
Randy Orton, who gets a pop, despite the fact that he’s been introduced
as part of The Authority. 
Orton
says that he’s touched but it left him thinking something: what the
hell happened to The Authority? They shouldn’t be kissing somebody’s
ass. He says that Kane was the Devil’s Favorite Demon. He’s gone from
kickin’ ass and takin’ names to kissin’ ass and makin’ coffee. Show
laughs and Orton tells Show that all Show does is mope and feel sorry
for himself. Orton gets to Noble and asks if his hostility stems from
not being able to ride anything at Disneyland due to his height. He gets
to Mercury — then skips him and goes straight to Rollins. He says that
he WILL strike Rollins. And he will make it count. Rollins will feel
every bit of it. Everyone’s looking nasty…but Orton bursts into
laughter and says he was joking the entire time. Rollins laughs and
settles things down. Big Show shakes hands with Orton — but Kane is
scowling in the background.
Rollins says that they’re gonna derail Reigns because that’s what’s BEST FOR BUSINESS™.
Cole and JBL and Booker are amused! It’s funny when it’s fun! 
TONIGHT: Wiz Khalifa is here tonight as Cole pumps him up by declaring him “PLATINUM RECORDING ARTIST WIZ KHALIFA”.
ALSO: Lesnar’s here.
The
IC Title Ladder Match will have six people. The final spot is STILL
somehow open, as if Creative is waiting for the last possible second to
let the fans down by including Daniel Bryan.
Apparently, Daniel Bryan had his hands on the IC Title on Smackdown in a recap brought to you by Swiffer Wet Jet. The tiny commercial in the bottom right-hand corner is more exciting than this. That’s leading to our first match.
Also, R-Truth’s at ringside, so you know this match will end clean.
MATCH #1: Daniel Byran vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett (non-title)
Cole,
Truth and JBL talk about potato farming, which is relevant to what’s
going on in the ring. Bryan has the initial advantage, but goes for the
dropkick in the corner. Barrett nails him with a clothesline and kicks
him out of the ring and we’re going to break. When we come back, JBL is
talking to Truth and adding “izzle” to every last word he says. Bryan
manages to break a hold by Barrett and get a Crucifix pin for two.
Running knee ends it at 7:06 as Barrett loses his 4th match in one
month. But, that’s cool. None of that is awful.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan via Flying Knee.
RATING: A commercial break in the middle of a 7 minute match. Maybe 1/2 a *.
Post-match,
Barrett hits the Bullhammer on Bryan and leaves. He leaves the ring and
here comes Dean Ambrose. He hits a forearm on Barrett and heads to the
ring. At least the IC Title didn’t change hands 8 times in 4 seconds.
R-Truth stays at ringside.
MATCH #2: Dean Ambrose vs. Stardust
Crowd
chants for Cody (who came in with the IC Title) as Truth keeps talking
about potatoes. Ambrose hits a sitting dropkick on Star against the
ropes, then tosses Star outside and into the announce table. Ambrose
retrieves him and the two go back into the ring. Ambrose hurts his knee
and, guess what? Break time. When we come back, it’s a half crab by
Star. Part of me is impressed that Truth isn’t mentioning how well
potatoes go with crab. Ambrose breaks, then hits a Bulldog. Ambrose goes
for a clothesline and it’s a series of counters that ends in the
Rebound Clothesline. Dirty Deeds by Ambrose finishes this at 7:28.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose via Dirty Deeds
RATING: DUD. It’s the same match with interchangeable guys.
Post-match,
Ambrose grabs the IC title. And here come all the guys vying for the
title. With all them beating one another up, Truth steals the IC Title
as JBL whines about it, ad nauseum. Everyone hits a finisher which ends
up with Barrett standing tall. He looks for the title and goes to Truth
for it. Truth gives him the potato sack with the belt in it. Barrett
retreats into the crowd and celebrates while Truth runs up the aisle.
Barrett pulls out the IC Title — but it’s the toy version. Truth has
the real one. Shyamalan would be proud.
Michael Cole pushes the next WWE Hall of Fame inductee under the category of the Warrior Award: Connor Michalek.
STILL TO COME: Brock Lesnar addresses his “future”.
When
we come back, Paul Heyman’s in the ring to put over both guys in the
Championship match at WrestleMania. We get a sizzle reel where Reigns
talks about honing tools and “believing in opinions”, which makes no sense since everyone has an opinion on something.
Heyman
isn’t impressed and introduces Brock Lesnar. He says he gets that the
fans loved the video but it was nothing but propaganda. He says the
truth is that, when Roman Reigns was nine years old, his father used to
take Roman and his cousins, and they would point out the football
players in a bar. They’d have to beat them all up or else they weren’t
allowed to come home. I’m pretty sure we won’t find the arrest records
on Google, so let’s move on. He says that Reigns can’t beat Lesnar. The
crowd agrees. 
He
says that nobody will screw Lesnar out of the title. Not Rollins, not
the McMahons, not anyone. If they do, Lesnar will pretty much commit
murder and kill anyone involved. He says that, after Lesnar wins,
they’ll say that Reigns took a beating like nobody else has seen. His
mic cuts out just like last week. When it comes back on, he tells
whoever it is cutting out his mic to come get Lesnar and take the
title. 
Heyman
gets weird and says that Lesnar may decide to go to Vegas to beat up
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. He says that the title belongs to
Lesnar — and he’s not giving it back. He says that Lesnar has done it
all. He even beat up the Undertaker badly, ending The Streak to the
point where Bray Wyatt has to resurrect him. 
Meanwhile, Reigns never shows up and we go to break after the Handicap Match teaser. 
Bray Time: WrestleMania is almost here. He has Undertaker’s urn and wants to know where he is. He asks ‘Taker to find him.
MATCH #3: Kane & Big Show vs. Erick Rowan & Ryback
The
fans are so excited, they stand there, blinking. Ryback starts with
Kane. Ryback runs him over and then hits shoulders in the corner. Press
by Ryback followed by a Warrior Splash and Spinebuster. He goes for the
Meathook but Kane kicks his head off his shoulders. Tag to Big Show who
spears Ryback hard and then stomps at him. He slaps Ryback’s chest a
couple times and tags in Kane. Big Boot to Ryback and some stomps.
Ryback finally gets away and tags Rowan. He splashes Kane in the corner
as the crowd goes…to the grab a beer. Kane counters a move and chokes
Rowan on the ropes. With the ref’s back turned, Show accidentally decks
Kane instead of Rowan. Rowan gets the pin at 3:26.
WINNERS: Ryback & Rowan
RATING: DUD.
Ryback
and Rowan look like deer in headlights, then leave. Show gets into the
ring and apologizes. Kane says that they had the match in control. Steph
interrupts. She says the represent The Authority and WWE and stuff. She
says Randy Orton may have been right: Show and Kane are probably
useless. She wants her monsters back. She orders them out of the ring.
Steph tells them to pack up and leave the arena. The two men argue with
her but Steph ain’t havin’ it and they walk backstage, hanging their
heads. 
Because EVERYTHING MUST BE RECAPPED, we get a recap of the Miz/Niagra ad. 
Miz
is backstage. He talks to Wiz Khalifa working on an album together. Wiz
isn’t so impressed and tells Miz that he signed “Damien Wiz-dow”. So,
that’s the end of the Miz-dow feud, right? Miz-dow declares that he’s in
the Andre match. Remember when Miz-dow was the arrogant, sophisticated
heel who hated crap like this? 
Sheamus is returning. Really. They swear he is.
Time to watch Wiz Khalifa rap, my television says. Nu-uh, says my DVR remote.
LAST
MONDAY ON RAW: Paige was gonna win the Divas Championship, but lost for
some reason. Then AJ showed up again to resurrect a dead horse of an
angle that died a few months ago. 
Anyhow, they’re next.
We
get a clip of the Bellas in the new WWE Flintstones flick, which cuts
away. No, come on. Bring that back. That’s infinitely more interesting
than what I’m watching.
The Bellas are gonna knock Paige and AJ “into the stone age” at WrestleMania. Yabba…dabba…do. Ha.
MATCH #4: AJ Lee (w/ Paige) vs. Summer Rae (w/ Eva Marie)
Eva’s
boob must be feeling much better for her to be out here doing valet
work. Summer barely walks through her move set as JBL is more concerned
about “Yabba Dabba Doo” trending. AJ hits a quick DDT and gets two.
Summer tries a slam and ends up hitting a roundhouse kick for two. AJ
comes back and hits the Black Widow for the win at 3:07.
WINNER: AJ Lee via Black Widow
RATING: DUD.
NEXT: We hear Sting TALK. Holy shit, my heart…
When
we come back, Sting is wearing a voice modulator that makes him sound
like Nailz doing phone sex and he talks about taking Triple H down —
something he’s waited 14 years to do, which is why he spent all that
time in TNA, wrestling a drunk Jeff Hardy and pretending to be the
Joker.
NEXT: Somebody jobs to Rusev. 
Cena
bumps into Rusev backstage. He says Rusev should be a hero. He has the
“right to free speech” but Cena has the “right to shut his mouth”. Huh?!
Apparently, Curtis Axel is gonna wrestle Rusev because he can imitate Hulk Hogan.
MATCH #5: Rusev vs. Curtis Axel
Beating. Superkick. Accolade. Done at 0:25.
WINNER: Rusev via Accolade
RATING: DUD.
Rusev
gets a mic. He says Cena lives in the past. Lana tells him that they
should leave. He says if America had a soul, he’d spit on it. 
Out
comes Cena and it’s a brawl. Cena knocks him down and hits the STF
until Rusev is knocked unconscious. WWE Security and some refs arrive
and Cena goes outside to get a water bottle. He pours water on Rusev to
wake him, then locks in the STF as Rusev taps over and over. Lana pleads
for Cena to let him go. Cena holds the move until Lana gives him the
match he wants. Cena grins in the most evil manner I’ve ever seen, which
just spoils any heat Cena was supposed to have obtained.
Bray Time: Bray be like “I want to fight, being dead don’t phase me…I’ve got your urn, so find me, maybe…”
Backstage, Rusev is getting checked out. Lana shows up. They loudly yell at each other in Russian.
MATCH
#6: The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) (w/ Kofi Kingston) vs. WWE
Tag Team Champions Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (w/ Natalya) (non-title)
Oh,
yeah…The New Day still exists. Xavier hits a Hurricarana on Tyson.
Big E tags in and tosses Xavier into Tyson in the corner. He hits
multiple backbreakers and it’s another tag to Woods. Two count. Tyson
comes back with an elbow and the heels nail some nice double team moves,
swarming Woods from all sides. Cesaro hits a huge uppercut and tags
Tyson who stomps Woods and works on his knee. Tyson locks Woods’ leg.
Tag to Cesaro, who comes in and stomps on Woods, then locks in a half
crab. Woods kicks out of it and Cesaro tags Kidd. Nattie
distracts…somebody, I guess. Tyson tells her to back off. Cesaro pulls
Nattie off the mat. Woods wraps up Kidd and drops Kidd’s head on the
mat for the win at 3:45.
WINNERS: The New Day
RATING: 1/2 a *. I don’t think we’re going higher than this all night, folks.
Post-match, Cesaro berates Nattie and the Usos and Naomi show up.
We go to break.
MATCH #7: Natalya (w/ Cesaro & Tyson Kidd) vs. Naomi (w/ Jimmy & Jey Uso)
What’s
better than a shitty tag match? A Divas match that arbitrarily stacks
on top of it like fucking Jenga! Nattie drops Naomi to the mat but Naomi
counters and there’s a bunch of pretty cool roll up pins. Nattie
finally puts Naomi to the mat and hits a dropkick to Naomi’s face.
Nattie goes for the Sharpshooter but Naomi counters and sends Nattie
into the buckle. Outside, it’s a brawl between the Usos and Cesaro. Back
in the ring, Naomi hits the Rear View for the win at 1:45.
WINNER: Naomi via Rear View
RATING: DUD.
Post-match,
Nattie grabs Tyson’s tag belt and tells Kidd that it belongs to her.
Then Los Matadores just fucking show up because why the hell not?
MATCH #8: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) (w/ Naomi) vs. Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando) (w/ El Torito)
Usos
and Matadors shake hands. Jey starts with one of the Matadors and we’re
going to break. When we come back, nothing at all has changed. I’m
pretty sure the same two guys are in the ring as Cole tells us “the big
news tonight” is that the New Day beat Cesaro and Kidd. JBL: “THAT is
the ‘big news tonight’? Did you not see John Cena making Rusev
tap and get his match at WrestleMania?!” Meanwhile, the Matadores fly
all over the ring. Jey and a Matador fly into one another. Tag to Jimmy
who hits a Crossbody for two. He goes for another move but gets DDT’ed.
Two count. The Matador goes off the second buckle but gets Superkicked.
Two count. Flying Uso by Jey to the outside. Jimmy hits Diego with a
Samoan Drop. El Torito gets involved and distracts Jimmy and a Yet
Another Distraction Roll Up Pin wins it for the Matadores at 8:04.
WINNERS: Los Matadores
RATING: **. The match of the night. Yes. It is.
Cole recaps the beginning stuff with Orton.
Rollins
is backstage with his case. Noble and Mercury warn Rollins about Orton.
Rollins tells them that he trusts Orton and that he wouldn’t just tell
everyone his plan.
NEXT: Bray Wyatt is here.
When
we come back, Bray’s in the ring, doing one of his goofy apocalyptic
rants. The buzzards guide him. Below them is a shell of a man. It’s the
mighty Undertaker. He won’t worship ‘Taker or do anything with ‘Taker
except walk over his bones. He’s the new face of fear. He says that
WrestleMania 31 will be the Undertaker’s final resting place as well as
his requiem. He calls out The Undertaker. He asks if the urn brings back
the dead. He opens the urn, pretends to be scared, then laughs his ass
off. He says the urn is empty…then the urn smokes and we hear thunder
and see lightning. Bray yells to “bring it”. The bell tolls and the
arena goes dark. When the lights come back, we see Bray’s rocking chair
in the ring. On the Jumbotron, the words “THE MAN COMES AROUND” (in
reference to the Johnny Cash song cover) appear. Lightning strikes it
and the chair burns. Bray thinks this is hilarious, which kills this
feud dead in a matter of seconds. Crowd is dead when they realize ‘Taker
isn’t really here.
MOMENTS AGO: Bray called out The Undertaker and The Undertaker’s voice from WWE ’12 answered him.
ALSO NOT REALLY MOMENTS AGO: Cena beat up Rusev and got his match.
ALSO ALSO NOT REALLY A FEW MOMENTS AGO: BROCKLESNARBROCKLESNARBROCKLESNARBROCKLESNARBROCKLESNARBROCKLESNAR…and he will beat Roman Reigns.

Surprisingly, they don’t show the “big news of the night”, which was The New Day, knocking off Cesaro and Kidd.
MATCH #9: Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton & Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Rollins
convinces Orton that he should go first. Orton agrees and Reigns knocks
the taste out of his mouth. Rollins sends him outside. Rollins goes
after him but the ref holds him back because that’s what refs do.
J&J go after Reigns but the refs back him off. Rollins finally goes
outside but Reigns uppercuts him and we go back in the ring. Rollins
takes him down for two. J&J start barking at Orton to help Rollins.
Orton knocks Noble down. Rollins orders the two of them backstage.
Reigns takes over and hits a clothesline. He tosses Rollins into the
corner but misses the clothesline. Reigns regains control and Rollins
goes to tag Orton — who moves his hand. He tries again but Orton puts
two middle fingers up. Reigns hits a Spear and wins at 4:08.
WINNER: Roman Reigns at 4:08
RATING: 1/4 of a *, if that.
Post-match,
Orton just glares at Rollins, then enters the ring at the pace of
drying paint. He lifts Rollins up and slaps at him, then sends Rollins
outside. Orton lifts him up and hits a running clothesline. He sends
Rollins into the crowd barricade, then into the steel stairs. He asks
Rollins if he’s stupid enough to believe that Orton would join The
Authority again and hits an uppercut. Orton grabs a chair and
sloooooowly stalks Rollins. He cracks Rollins across the back with the
chair, then slowly continues to stalk him again, hitting chair shots
every few seconds. He tells fans to “take a picture” and they whip out
their cameras. They get back to the barricades where Orton hits the
Vintage Orton DDT. 
Orton
picks Rollins up and just tosses him across the announce table like a
fucking javelin. Orton strips the table and sets up for an RKO into the
table and hits it beautifully. He yells into Rollins’ ear that he’s not
letting it go. 
Finally, we go off the air.
OVERALL: *. Boring as fuck with a pretty kick ass ending. Too little, too late.
And, of course, before we go…the best of Monday Night Open Mic:

Er…that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap – 3/2/2015

The main event at WrestleMania is still Roman
Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar. Rumors are flying that Lesnar’s unhappy with
his current contract and that he’s considering a UFC comeback and that
he may not even show up at WrestleMania.

Even if Creative had a “plan B” to fix that, that doesn’t make me feel any better.
We should have had an incredible WrestleMania in Santa Clara.
And look what we ended up with:
  • Daniel Bryan returning to WWE…and he’s buried in placed in mid-card hell. 
  • Ambrose is a comedy jokester, rubbing elbows with R-Truth. 
  • Bad News Barrett becomes IC Champion and loses all the fucking time, so why not put him in a Ladder Match so he can job to the rest of the dressing room all at once?
  • John Cena vs. Rusev where we’re all supposed to believe that Cena’s gonna win the United States Championship.
  • The Undertaker, held together with string and tape, to…do what again? The Streak’s over. Where’s the velocity?
  • Balding Sting vs. Slighty More Agile Scott Steiner
  • Rollins vs. Orton? Good idea. Just kidding, let’s have him feud against Jon Stewart from The Daily Show.
  • Something
    involving Kane and Big Show and J&J Security which has lead me to
    believe that they all have some serious shit on Vince.
  • Miz-dow/Miz, a feud that turns to dust if sunlight hits it.
  • And speaking of boring feuds involving the word “Dust”…

None of this is gonna get any better. I want to hold out some hope but we all know it isn’t gonna be fixed.

Let’s blindly stumble along, shall we?

We are LIVE(!!!) from Newark, New Jersey!!!

Cole, Booker and JBL are the guys still employed to announce this shit.

Seth
Rollins starts us off as we’re reminded that he’s in a feud with a dude
who’s retiring from a completely different show that has nothing to do
with wrestling. Apparently, Rollins invited him to RAW, so our prayers
for WrestleMania have finally been answered. Rollins says Stewart’s on
his way from a movie shoot. Rollins tells him to turn around and go
home. This whole thing gets worse when Rollins reminds us that he’s
holding the MITB case. He yells until Roman Reigns’s music hits to some
heel heat.

Crowd is TNA soft right now as Reigns looks
smug as shit. Reigns says he wanted to come out and hear the crowd yell
“YOU SUCK”. He tells Rollins to continue. Rollins says he can rap
better than Wiz Khalifa and out-eat Mark Henry and he can out-wrestle
Reigns, which delights the crowd somewhat. He says he will be the next
WWE Champion. He says Reigns can’t beat Lesnar, but he can. Reigns says
that Rollins can’t beat Lesnar. He already had a shot and failed.
Rollins reminds him that he could beat the survivor at WrestleMania —
or even the next night on RAW. He can even do when the champ “least
expects it” because now it’s the Hardcore Title.

Reigns
slaps the taste out of his mouth. Rollins bails. J&J attack but eat
a Superman Punch and Spear. Reigns stands tall as promo times have been
cut in half!

TONIGHT:

  • The Daily Show with Seth Rollins
  • Divas Championship rematch: Nikki Bella vs. Paige

That’s right. Your main features on tonight’s show are talking and a Divas match.

Ambrose is on the way to the ring from backstage.

Meanwhile, Rollins’ jaw hurts because Reigns punched him real hard and Rollins “forgot what that was like”. Holy
fuckballs, I wish I was making that up. He blames Security for failing
him even though they constantly fuck up. PSEUDOVIPER Randy Orton shows
up and also blames J&J. He wants Rollins to ask Reigns to
fight so he can prove that he can “wrestle and talk like Jon Stewart”.
Or something.

Ambrose faces Barrett because Ambrose
stole the IC Title. So did R-Truth. Then he gave it back to Ambrose.
Also, R-Truth is going to WrestleMania. Also, 4,200 WrestleMania seats
are available on StubHub. That can’t be coincidence.

MATCH #1: WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose (non-title)
Ambrose
is all over Barrett in the corner and beats him while he’s on the mat.
Ambrose gets up and takes over but Ambrose hits a forearm on a counter
and a Bulldog. He tries to go off the top rope and Barrett yanks him to
the mat, then boots Ambrose outside and we go to a break. When we come
back, Barrett is beating on Ambrose, then turns his attention to Truth,
who he shoves. Ambrose attacks on the distraction, hitting a dive, then a
flying elbow off the mat on the other side. Meanwhile, Truth rips off
the IC title. Back in the ring, Ambrose chops away at Barrett but
Barrett comes back with Winds of Change. Suddenly, Luke Harper shows up.
And he wants the IC Title, too. He takes it and walks away. Barrett
sets up the Bullhammer in the ring but gets distracted by Harper. Dirty
Deeds by Ambrose and Barrett loses at around 9:39. Again.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose via Dirty Deeds
RATING: DUD.

Post-match, Ambrose blames Truth for the belt getting lost.

ON SMACKDOWN: Miz yelled at Miz-dow backstage because he was filming a penis pill ad without his permission.

And
then he does it again tonight on RAW. We even get the actual commercial
with Miz saying how small and soft his penis is, which is what I totally want to see on a three hour RAW show. Miz is enraged and slaps Miz-dow. Miz-dow is pissed…but backs down.

Bray
comes out to the entrance ramp and there’s an empty coffin with him. He
wants to know what’s left of The Undertaker. He says he made a coffin
for him. Because that’s what Bray does now: he makes coffins. Also, Bray
likes lighting shit on fire because it destroys like he does. He pours
gas on the coffin, then lights it on fire. Undertaker never shows up and
we go to commercial. We’re in the home stretch and we’re imagining a
feud.

WWE Network is number on online over everyone. Except porn. Chyna finally gets one up on Vince.

MATCH #2: Cesaro, Tyson Kidd, & Natalya vs. The Usos (Jimmy &Jey) & Naomi
Cole:
“This match is something to smile about!” Jey uppercuts the shit out
Tyson but gets taken out on a double team by Cesaro. Jey hits a quick
Samoan Drop and tries the Rikishi Splash. Cesaro tags Natalya and bails
from the ring. Naomi tags on and it’s a series of counters before Naomi
hits a Sunset Flip fro two. Natalya injures her leg on a jump spot off
the ropes and tags Tyson. Jimmy gets the tag on the other end. He
manhandles Tyson and punches Cesaro. The Uso’s try a double Rocker kick
but Tyson tags his wife who gets pinned by Naomi at 2:53.
WINNERS: Usos and Naomi
RATING: DUD.

Post-matchm Nattie yells at Tyson for tagging her in. Tyson hugs her and Nattie cries like a wimp into his shoulder. Awwww.

TONIGHT: Seth Rollins is gonna take on Roman Reigns to prove he can talk on a talk show!

NEXT: Cena announces his plans for WrestleMania, which he totally controls.

Sheamus is still returning, btw. Eventually.

Out pops John Cena. He
shows us clips from last week. He says the people are probably happy
that Rusev beat him at Fastlane. He says that those people shouldn’t
stay happy. He will overcome. Get back up, etc. Fans aren’t buying it.
He says that Rusev is a marked man who he will face later. But, right
now, he wants to go to WrestleMania. And he will do so by going to the
Andre the Giant Battle Royal.

That brings out
Stephanie McMahon and she’s not happy that Cena is just declaring his
candidacy for that battle royal. She says that Cena being in the battle
royal is an insult because Andre was an icon who once held her when she
was a little girl. Or something. None of this makes any sense. Cena says
his past credentials should get him in. Steph says nope because
Survivor Series. Cena calls her a bitch, which is certain to win her
over now. Steph says that Cena’s got an ego like Hogan, Hart, The Rock
and Austin. They all left and thought WWE would sink. She says it’s time
to find somebody who can beat Rusev.

Out comes Curtis
Axel who the crowd is behind for some reason. He kisses Steph’s ass and
says he deserves a spot at WrestleMania because he also met
Andre as a kid. Steph thanks Axel and says that Cena can prove himself
worthy by wrestling Axel. Or, alternatively, convince Rusev that he
deserves a re-match. Either one. To top off this shit sundae, Axel
imitates Hogan’s “whatcha gonna do” spiel and rips his shirt off. Why
don’t we bring back Juventud Guerrera as “The Juice”, also? I don’t
think we’ve hit the floor yet. Cena’s had it. He grabs the mic and tells
Axel to leave the ring. If Axel stays, he’s not walking out.

We get ready to go and then go right to a commercial.

MATCH #3: John Cena vs. Curtis Axel
Axel
plays to the crowd and imitates Hogan some more. Cena just glares. Axel
poses. And poses. And poses. And poses. And poses. And points. Cena
hits a clothesline. Axel Hulks up and points at the WM sign, then gets
AA’ed and STF’ed and Cena wins at 2:02.
WINNER: John Cena
RATING: DUD.

Post-match, Axel leaves the ring just like Cena said he wouldn’t do. But, whatever. Rusev also appears with Lana. They mock him. Answer’s STILL no. Russian flag. 20 minutes just to get that.

Cole
segues into Triple H vs. Sting. He got an interview from Arn Anderson
and Michael Hayes who say that Sting was the “first to enter and last to
leave”. Booker says Sting never came to WWE all these years because the
“door was always locked”.

Triple H comes to the ring
and it’s time to settle in for more talking. Triple H reminds us of what
he offered Sting last week. However, Sting spat it back in his face.
Triple H says everyone has theories on why Sting never came to WWE until
recently. That includes Booker T, who he invites into the ring. He asks
if Booker really believes what he said a few minutes ago.

Booker
says that he knows Sting. He would have locked him out, too. He says
that Sting cannot be controlled. Hogan couldn’t and neither could the
nWo or Eric Bischoff. Sting’s here in the WWE and Triple H has to deal
with that. Triple H hears what he’s saying. He thanks Booker, then fires
him. Happy Black History Month. Then he says he’s just kidding because
he’s the boss and that’s what he can do. And he will use that to beat
Sting.

TONIGHT:

  • Daily Show with Seth Rollins
  • Divas Match
  • Seth vs. Reigns

After break, Cole is depressed that Triple H didn’t fire Booker T. And holy shit, we’re back and there’s a wrestling match.

MATCH #4: Paige (challenger) vs. Nikki Bella (champion) (w/ Brie Bella) for the WWE Divas Championship
Paige
beats on Nikki and tries the PTO but Nikki breaks using the ropes. She
falls out of the ring and, REALLY?! A fucking commercial?! When we come
back, Nikki is in control because stuff happened on the WWE App. She
hits a Spinebuster on Paige and tries to follow with a body drop but
Paige kicks her and rushes her. They both clothesline each other and hit
the mat. Paige hits Short Arm Clotheslines and a dropkick. Two count.
Paige goes for a PTO but Brie hops up on the mat. Paige charges her,
knocks Nikki down and hits the PTO again. Brie interferes for the
pointless DQ spot at 6:37.
WINNER: Paige via DQ
STILL CHAMPION: Nikki Bella
RATING: 1/4*. Ugh. No point to this. 


Post-match, the Bellas get ready to beat up Paige — but AJ Lee makes another comeback to WWE and saves Paige. Together, the two faces rid the ring of the Bellas.

Backstage, Paige kinda, sorta thanks AJ for her help. AJ is weird and awkward as usual. Hooray. Divas. Wooo.

Rollins
does The Daily Show. We get clips of when Rollins invaded The Daily
Show. He wants Jon Stewart…but Stewart doesn’t show. So, he tells a
bunch of lame jokes until he does. Stewart gets a bigger pop than
Reigns. Stewart and Rollins exchange goofy banter. Stewart calls him a
“SWAT Team Stripper with Lady Gaga’s hair,” then goes for the Mick Foley
city pop. Stewart says he doesn’t fear the Curb Stomp because that’s
how people from New Jersey say “good morning”. He name drops a bunch of
older wrestlers and says that Rollins is nothing but a poster that
people will get tired of and take off their wall. He says that The
Authority doesn’t care about him. If they did, he would be in the
main event at WrestleMania. He says that Rollins didn’t earn the MITB
case. Kane did it for him. Rollins has had enough. He and J&J
attempt to swarm Stewart. Orton’s music hits, Stewart kicks Rollins in
the nuts and rolls out of the ring, killing any heat Orton had to begin
with and making his appearance fucking pointless. Wow.

Renee interviews Jon Stewart who’s really nervous about Rollins finding him backstage. He runs off because he senses danger.

MATCH #5: Luke Harper vs. Daniel Bryan
Harper
brings the IC title with him. Harper just runs over him and slams him,
then punches at him in the corner. Finally, Daniel Bryan sidesteps
Harper’s attack and tries a dropkick but Harper grabs him and tosses him
over the top rope. Guess what? Commercial time! When we come back,
Bryan unloads YES Kicks and goes for the leapfrog off the buckle but
Harper catches him and hits Snake Eyes and a German Suplex for two.
Harper goes for the Powerbomb but Bryan counters and scoop pins Harper
for two. Superkick by Harper. Two count. Harper follows up but Bryan counters with the YES Lock for the win at 6:21.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan via YES Lock
RATING: *1/2.

Bryan
points to the WM sign, post-match as Barrett comes down to the ring to
re-claim the IC title. Ambrose attacks him and grabs the belt. Harper
boots Ambrose in the face and he has the title. Harper rests in the
corner, so R-Truth pops out of the fucking floor and steals the Hardcore IC Title from
Harper. Harper destroys Truth and he has it. Crowd chants for Ziggler,
the obvious choice, and he finally shows up and Superkicks Harper,
taking the title with him backstage. And Daniel Bryan watches Ziggler
with the IC Title. Bryan takes a long look at the belt on the big
screen, which is as insulting as it gets. They have a staring contest.

The next 2015 WWE Hall of Fame entrant is…Alundra Blayze & Madusa.

Backstage,
Seth Rollins is seething over Jon Stewart beating him up. Orton shows
up and says he saved Rollins and wants to help Rollins tonight against
Roman Reigns. Kane and Show show up and say they’ll be there. Orton
isn’t happy and wanders off.

Paul Heyman is in the ring
to address rumors. Lesnar will be at WrestleMania. He’ll be anywhere he
wants before and after that. He says that people need to believe in
Lesnar instead of believing in fairy tales like Daniel Bryan. The mic
keeps cutting out. He says that everyone “believes that” when it comes
to Reigns. He can beat every single Superstar ever in the history of
WWE. He goes on a huge rant about being conquered and beaten by Brock
Lesnar. Believe THAT.

Out comes Reigns for the main event.

NEXT WEEK: Rapper Wiz Khalifa is guest starring on RAW next week for some reason.

EARLIER TONIGHT: Roman Reigns hit Seth Rollins with the biggest punch ever in the history of punches.

MATCH #6: Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble, Joey Mercury, Kane and Big Show)
Reigns
attacks and Rollins rolls out of the ring. Once he regroups, Reigns
hits a couple of simple atomic drops. Rollins regroups again and tghen
gets back in. He tries kicking Reigns but Reigns grabs his foot and
uppercuts him. Reigns just manhandles Rollins, flipping him to the mat
and hammering his head. Rollins finally breaks Reigns’ offense with a
dropkick and begins punching away. He eventually tosses Reigns outside.
J&J jump Reigns but Reigns throws them off of him like Chozen in the
Karate Kid, Part II, then clotheslines Joey Mercury. He gets back in
the ring — and Orton’s music hits. We go to break.

When
we come back, shit, the match is still going. I was holding out hope
that somebody was pinned during the commercial. Rollins has taken over
and has Reigns in a Sleeper. Reigns breaks free, lifting Rollins up and
slams him to the mat while Orton looks smug at ringside. Rollins charges
but misses his corner splash. Reigns hits clotheslines and a
Tilt-a-Whirl Slam. He sets up for the Superman Punch but Joey Mercury
grabs Reigns foot which the ref just allows to happen. Reigns dumps him
outside and gets dropkicked by Rollins. Rollins goes top rope but Reigns
attacks and goes for a Superplex. Rollins breaks the hold and tries the
neckbreaker. Reigns counters.

Noble jumps up on the
mat and gets taken out. Rollins shoves Reigns to the mat and then hits
the Championship Kick That Won Alberto Del Rio the World Title for two.
Both men are down but get back up. Rollins rushes at Reigns but Reigns
tosses him out of the ring. Reigns dives at Rollins but hits Big Show
instead. He rolls Rollins back in the ring but Kane clocks Reigns with a
chair and rolls him into the ring. Two count by Rollins. Rollins goes
for the Curb Stomp and misses. Reigns hits the Superman Punch and goes
for the Spear but Orton grabs Reigns’ leg. Rollins rolls Reigns up for
like a a full ten-count, which is ridiculous, and wins at 15:32.
WINNER: Seth Rollins
RATING: **. Horribly overbooked. Do we really need five dudes at ringside with Rollins?

Post-match,
Reigns dives at the entire Authority. Show comes back in and gets taken
out. Rollins goes top rope but Reigns hits a Spear in mid-air. He
stands tall as we go off the air.

OVERALL: *, overall. That’s being generous.

THE TOP COMMENTS FROM RAW OPEN MIC ON SCOTT’S BOD:

Er, that’s it…

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap – 2/23/2015

Despite
the fact that Roman Reigns is Batista 2.0, despite the fact that Daniel
Bryan is beyond over with the fans, despite the fact that that Reigns
has three moves to speak of and gets winded after 5 minutes, despite the
fact that he’s dull and has no marketability at ALL, and despite the
fact that the main event at WrestleMania is, possibly, one of the
least-anticipated main events in the history of that pay-per-view (with
fans cheering for Brock Lesnar by default), Vince and WWE Creative don’t
give a shit what you think and they’re gonna make Roman Reigns the next
big star come hell or high water.


I’d
like to think that WWE has a grand plan…but this company just doesn’t
seem to give a shit about much of anything and makes booking decisions
just to run contrary to what people like to see. If I had to guess, I’m
estimating that nobody will believe that Daniel Bryan could take out
Lesnar and, so, Reigns and Lesnar battle it out which results in a
Rollins cash-in at WrestleMania with Bryan eventually getting the belt
back.

Of course, I don’t know what direction this
company is going anymore. I still can’t explain a guest spot by “Grumpy
Cat” or how Cole botched the name and called him “Grumpy the Cat”.

Anyhow, my head hurts…let’s move on…

We are LIVE(!!!) from Nashville, Tennessee!!!

JBL, Cole and Booker are the guys on the mics…

Randy Orton comes out to a nice pop which should tell you starved this crowd is for something. For anything.
Last night, he returned and hit about 73 RKO’s to every single
Authority member in the ring. He says he’s been out the last four months
and he won’t talk anyone’s ear off. He says that he’s pissed at Seth
Rollins — which brings us to clips of last November when Rollins hit
the Curb Stomp on the steel steps.

He says that last
night, he was just getting started. Rollins thinks he escaped last night
on Fastlane — but it was merely a stay of execution. He calls out
Rollins — and out comes Triple H, Steph, Big Show and Kane instead.
Steph congratules him for returning against all odds. Steph says that,
last night, she saw the killer instinct in Randy Orton that made him
what he was. Orton’s not having it. He wants to bash Rollins’ brains in.

Steph says that him and Rollins can co-exist. She wants Orton to come home. Orton: “I’d rather kick some ass than kiss
some ass.” Show grabs a mic and says he knows how Orton feels. He says
that he joined the Authority and it was the best decision he made. Face
turn? What face turn? Show wants Orton on The Authority’s team. Orton
isn’t selling out. Steph says he’s not a good guy. He wants to reap the
rewards of his behavior. He’s done some awful things. She says she can’t
force him. She says she wants to have a “business conference” so that
he can come back home. She asks him he’s interested. Orton stands pat.
Everyone leaves the ring except Triple H…but he leaves as well.

Orton
tells them to stop…he’ll meet with them. Triple H leaves to set up a
WebEx or maybe a nice Skype. I can’t even keep up with this bullshit.

TONIGHT: HAVE WE SEEN THE LAST OF JOHN CENA???

ALSO TONIGHT: We will hear from Roman Reigns.

Crowd sufficiently murdered, we now begin our slew of matches…

Bad
News Barrett comes out while Cole takes us back in time to reminds us
the Dean Ambrose was disqualified last night at Fastlane for wrestling when the ref didn’t want him to.
Then he took Barrett’s belt anyhow, so he’s pretty much champion
because that’s how it works now. Barrett isn’t happy and wants the belt
returned.

MATCH #1: WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler (non-title)
R-Truth
is doing commentary because something, something, he beat Wade Barrett
so he matters now. Can’t wait for Sin Cara to sit in during the next Miz
match. Ziggler tries an armbar and pays for it as Barrett beats on him
and hits a snap suplex. Ziggler comes back with a neckbreaker and elbow
for two. Barrett comes back with a kick to the mid-section and follows
with a knee to the gut. Barrett puts on a Surfboard. Ziggler breaks but
Barrett kicks at him and then snaps him hard into the corner, getting a
two count. Barrett tries a boot to Ziggler’s head, but Ziggler hits a
dropkick and Barrett goes flying from the ring.

Barrett
has Ziggler in a headlock when we get back from break. Ziggler breaks
it and chops at Barrett. He punches away at Barrett in the corner and
tries a DDT but Barrett catches him for Wasteland. Ziggler counters into
the DDT anyhow and gets two. Ziggler tries the Zigg Zagg but Barrett
kicks him in the stomach and hits a powerbomb. Two count. He sets up the
Bullhammer but Ziggler dicks and rolls him up for two. Ziggler tries
the Fame-Asser but Barrett counters into Winds of Change and NEARLY gets
the pin. Barrett kicks at Ziggler and won’t listen to the ref. Ziggler
comes out of the corner and rolls him up for two. Barrett charges,
Ziggler evades and hits the Zigg Zagg for the win at 11:07.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via Zigg Zagg
RATING: **1/2. Not bad. Got better as it went along.

Post-match,
Dean Ambrose hits the ring with the IC title and taunts Barrett with
it. Ziggler looks at him and at no time does Barrett get up and grab the
belt during the distraction. Mm-kay.

NEXT: A look at Sting FINALLY being called out at Fastlane.

LAST NIGHT AT FASTLANE: Triple H and Sting faced off. Now, they’ll fight at WWE.

TONIGHT: We will take a look at THEMANCALLEDSTING.

Randy
Orton is in his “business meeting” with the Authority. Rollins starts
telling Triple H to take care of Orton. Kane says he suggests a “more
direct approach” with Orton for everything he’s done. Steph tells him to
shut his Demon Whore Mouth. Rollins says they can’t trust Orton. Steph
says everyone can forgive Randy. She asks if he’s on board with them.
Orton shakes hands with Rollins. Yaaaaaay. Steph says that, tonight,
it’s Randy Orton and Seth Rollins vs. Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns.

Sheamus is back. Not right now, but he’s back.

MATCH #2: The Prime-Time Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young) vs. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor)
OMG,
Konnor and Viktor cut a promo, trash-talking the goddamn Bushwhackers. 
They beat on Young to start, hitting a double shoulderblock. Young
tries to escape and make a tag but Konnor pulls him away and then
attacks Titus. Finally Young tosses Konnor across the ring. The
Ascension just slams Young to the mat and it’s a two count as Titus
makes the save. Konnor takes him out of the ring. Young rolls up Viktor
for the win at 3:03.
WINNERS: The Prime-Time Players
RATING: DUD. Man…now The Ascension won’t get their title shot against the Bushwhackers!

Post-match,
the Ascension attacks Young. Then they cut a promo, trashing the Killer
Bees. That last part was a joke. Really. I don’t blame you for thinking
I was telling the truth.

The Rock was a presenter at the Oscars with Zoe Saldana.

Roman
Reigns heads to the ring and it’s a Cena-type crowd. Reigns says that
he had a Number 1 Contender’s Match — and he won. So he’s going to
WrestleMania. Crowd isn’t happy. He says that he gets it. They were
rooting for Bryan, but to all his doubters — hold that thought. Here
comes Daniel Bryan. He says that Roman won the Rumble and he deserves
his shot at WrestleMania. He says, however, that he didn’t feel good
inside and he is the biggest Roman Reigns doubter there is. Crowd
doesn’t like that too much. He says that people like Daniel Bryan
because he has heart — which is why they don’t like Reigns. He says
that, last night, he had the opportunity to go to WrestleMania. He came
up short despite giving it everything he had. He doesn’t regret
anything. They fought and he was beaten. All he has left to do is to
congratulate Reigns. He says he’s proud to team with Reigns tonight. He
just wants Reigns to beat Lesnar. Crowd isn’t buying this at all as
Bryan leaves.

Paul Heyman shows up and he congratulates
Reigns. He says that Reigns was impressive. He says that, usually, his
money would be on Roman Reigns. He says that if it was Reigns vs. Andre
in ’87, Reigns vs. Austin or The Rock or pretty much anymore, his money
would be on Roman Reigns. Crowd is REALLY not buying this. He continues
to talk up Reigns but then says he’s the right guy in the right
place…but at the wrong time. He says he isn’t fighting a man at
WrestleMania, he’s fighting a beast. He says that Lesnar is unbeatable.
At the end of the main event at WrestleMania, the ref will call Lesnar
the winner.

Reigns tells Heyman to stand in the middle
of the ring. Heyman does so. Reigns wants Heyman to repeat what he said.
Reigns says he already came face to face with Lesnar. He says when he’s
done with Lesnar, Lesnar won’t like him anyways. Whatever that means.

Cole says that WWE Network is celebrating its one-year anniversary and they’re having a marathon.

TONIGHT: Reigns & Bryan face Rollins & Orton

ALSO: The Usos are cashing in their re-match clause and will face the new champions.

LAST NIGHT AT FASTLANE: The Usos lost the Tag Titles.

MATCH
#3: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) (challengers) (w/ Naomi) vs. Cesaro
& Tyson Kidd (champions) (w/ Natalya) for the WWE Tag Team
Championship

Jimmy and Cesaro start and the action spills out
of the ring. It’s a bit of a brawl with Jey helping his brother. Tyson
gets into trouble and hides behind Nattie, which doesn’t make her happy
at all. Back in the ring, Cesaro puts Jimmy in a headlock but Jimmy
breaks and it’s tags on each side. Jey hangs Tyson in the Tree of Woe
and a flying headbutt for two. Jey tries to follow up and Tyson sends
him out of the ring. Jimmy helps Jey up. Tyson tries to fly at the two
of them but the the Usos catch him and throw him into the crowd barrier.
Back in the ring, Jey hits a crossbody on Tyson. Two count. After
break, Cesaro has Jey in a headlock. Tyson tags in after Jey breaks but
misses the flying springboard elbow. Jimmy tags in and it’s the Sudden
Stop for two by Cesaro and Kidd. They destroy Jimmy with some nice
double-teaming. Cesaro can’t hit the Superplex and Jimmy falls
backwards. Tag to Jey who hits a Superfly Splash but Kidd interferes
with an elbow off the top rope. Kidd gets rolled up for two. Jey hits an
Enzuguri but misses the Rikishi Splash. Kidd puts his feet on the ropes
for a two count. Naomi’s had enough and pulls Kidd’s feet off the
ropes. Nattie is furious and shoves Naomi, which causes a big pop. Jimmy
goes for the Superfly but Nattie channels her inner Elizabeth and pulls
him off the rope for the DQ at 10:27.
WINNERS: The Usos via DQ
RATING: **. Never took off.
STILL CHAMPIONS: Cesaro and Tyson Kidd

Mr. McMahon is the feature cover story of Muscle & Fitness.

Backstage,
Miz is using a lint roller to clean his jacket. He berates Miz-dow,
then says he’ll win the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania,
which is happening, I guess. Miz-dow is pleased to announce that he’s
getting calls left and right to star in stuff. He thanks Miz for all his
inspiration. Miz can’t believe it…then tells him to use the lint
roll.

LAST NIGHT: Bray Wyatt called out The Undertaker.

Bray
is backstage with a coffin. He wants to know what the Undertaker thinks
and feels when he closes his eyes. He says that Undertaker’s end
started last year when he lost to Brock. He tells Undertaker to find
him.

Stardust is out for action and Cole “reminds us” what happened last night as Dusty Hill of ZZ Top is show in the stands.

MATCH #4: Stardust vs. Jack Swagger
Swagger
isn’t happy Stardust and tweeted that Stardust is un-American because
he has no family or something. So, that’s why he’s here. Wrestling.
Right now. Like R-Truth. Star gets the early advantage as the crowd
chants “CODY”. This drives Star nuts and he stomps Swagger. Swagger
spears Star in the knee but misses the Swagger Bomb. Star tries the
Disaster Kick but Swagger locks in the Patriot Lock on a counter. Cody
quickly breaks. Goldust shows up. Swagger wins with the Patriot Lock on
the distraction.
WINNER: Jack Swagger via Patriot Lock
RATING: DUD.

Post-match,
the crowd chants for Cody as Goldust just shrugs at Star and points, which I thought was illegal this month, unless it was at a WrestleMania sign.

LAST NIGHT: Cena lost to Rusev.

NEXT: Cena tells us what’s up.

WrestleMania hits my ‘hood in 34 days…

Out
comes Cena. He says that Music City is riled up. Last night, he has to
give Rusev props: he took Cena to his limit. He got stuck in the
Accolade. He didn’t give up and he was “the first” to break that move.
Riiiiiiight. He says that he has no issue with losing. His issue is with
Rusev. Huh? He says that Rusev is a coward. Just to recap: Rusev’s
awesome and he won fair and square, which makes him a coward. Also, Cena
was the first to break the Accolade and he has no problem with Rusev
beating him and has a problem with Rusev.

Out comes
Rusev and Lana. Lana says that they told Cena he’d lose. Lana says “we
told you so” is her favorite American phrase because no other country
uses common phrasing. Lana says Cena let his country down. He gave up.
He was beaten by a superior athlete. Rusev shoots his mouth off and Cena
tell him to watch his mouth. Lana says that Cena gave up. Cena says
that he always gets up when he gets knocked down. He says that he will
beat Rusev and bring the U.S. Championship  back to the States. He wants
Rusev at WrestleMania. Rusev sneers and says Cena doesn’t deserve a
re-match and says that’s not happening. They walk off.

EARLIER TONIGHT: Randy Orton turned heel again. He just needs about a dozen more turns for the record held by Big Show.

Orton’s
backstage. Rollins shows up with Security. Orton tells them he doesn’t
want J&J there. Rollins tells them to leave. Orton says that he
doesn’t hate Rollins. They’re on the same page because that’s what’s
Best for Business™. Orton and Rollins shake hands.

NEXT: A look at Sting.

But, also next: Paige in action.

Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt is here and gets more heat than Roman Reigns, so there’s that.

And, now, a look at Sting.

MATCH #5: Paige & Emma vs. WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella & Brie Bella
You mean Emma and Paige just stood in the middle of the ring this entire time?!
Brie and Emma start. Brie cheap shots Paige, knocking her off the mat.
Brie hits the Bella Buster for the win at 30 seconds. Wasn’t it worth
the wait?
WINNERS: The Bella Twins
RATING: DUD.

Post-match,
Paige attacks Brie. Nikki gets Paige off of Brie and the two leave. We
also get to hear the Bella theme three times. Ugh.

NEXT:
Cole reveals the next Hall of Fame entrant who we already know are the
goddamn Bushwhackers thanks to the 50 texts, Tweets and Cole, himself,
already telling us who it is.

Anyhow, we get that reveal which Cole claims is “from a report from a magazine” as if he had NO idea.

Curtis
Axel is in the middle of the ring to continue his AxelMania gimmick.
Ryback interrupts for a squash. But, first, he needs to yell into a mic.
Ryback says him and Curtis go way back. RybAxel was one of “the
greatest tag teams of all-time”. He’s gonna take Axel to Smashville
after “turning his upper lip south”. What in the holy hell is with the
monologues tonight?

MATCH #6: Curtis Axel vs. Ryback
Beating. Shellshock. Done at 0:46.
WINNER: Ryback via Shellshock
RATING: DUD.

NEXT: Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton & Seth Rollins

AT SMACKDOWN: The Fired Three vs. The Authority (Rollins, Kane, Show) because the three newbz haven’t been embarrassed enough.

Seth Rollins is out to fight and we get clips of his feud with Jon Stewart of The Daily Show. He introduces Randy Orton.

MATCH
#7: Seth Rollins (w/ J&J Security – Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury,
Kane, & Big Show) & Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns & Daniel
Bryan

Bryan and Rollins start. Series of counters and Bryan
knees Rollins in the gut on a whip. Bryan sets up for a Surfboard and
Reigns tags himself in. Rollins manages to tag Orton but Reigns hits a
running clothesline and tags Bryan. Orton drops Bryan, stomach-first, on
the top rope while Show, Kane and J&J applaud every few seconds
like they’re on Family Feud. Rollins gets into the ring and Bryan
dumps Rollins from the ring. He goes for a Flying Goat but Orton pulls
Rollins away. Orton pulls everyone in for a huddle and we go to break.

We’re
back and, despite the Authority totally telegraphing that they had a
plan, Reigns fell into it anyhow. Orton beats up Reigns, then tags
Rollins who punches away at Reigns. Reigns overcomes Rollins assault and
its a hot tag to Bryan who is all over Rollins. He hits a running
clothesline and some YES Kicks, but misses the Roundhouse. Bryan manages
to hit the YES Lock but Orton interferes. Orton and Reigns battle and
both men fall out of the ring. Bryan ejects Rollins from the ring and
hits a Flying Goat. Bryan goes top rope but Rollins stands up and knocks
him off.

Rollins tags Orton who throws Bryan into the
corner. Orton props Bryan up on the buckle. Bryan knocks Orton off but
misses the Flying Headbutt. Both men go for tags and both hit them.
Reigns knocks Rollins over with a clothesline as a fan starts a YOU
CAN’T WRESTLE CHANT. Reigns beats Rollins the corner and hits a Samoan
Drop. He sets up for the Superman Punch, hitting Joey Mercury who goes
for the distraction. Rollins hits an Enzuguri. Reigns and Orton trade
blows and Orton hits a powerslam in stride. Orton goes for a Rope DDT
but Rollins tags himself in. Orton hits the DDT anyhow, then leaves,
saying he’s done. Rollins set for the Curb Stomp but misses and Reigns
hits a Superman Punch. He sets up for the Spear but Bryan tags himself
in. Running Knee wins it at 16:12.
WINNERS: Bryan & Reigns
RATING: **. More of the same. 

Post-match,
Bryan and Reigns celebrate. Orton is outside, pissed as hell. Orton
gets into the ring and stalks Rollins. He lunges at Rollins and Noble
interferes, then eats an RKO. Orton helps Rollins up and nobody knows
what the fuck is going on. Orton just leaves.

Crowd is just dead as we go off the air.

OVERALL: **. A dull show. This show could have been so much more. WrestleMania SHOULD be more than what it already is. The card is a massive fixer-upper.

Before we go, these were the best quotes from the RAW Open Mic:

Er…that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap – 2/16/2015

So, I have
to say, before we begin: I really like the new RAW Pre-Show hosts.
Mainly, I love the way they play off one another and I love David
Otunga. Which is something I never thought I’d say.

He had some really goofy lines tonight that were quick-witted and pretty funny:
  • “Right now, Sting is trolling Triple H like a 14-year-old on the Internet.”
  • “[The
    Cena/Rusev feud] is much like The Lion King. If you remember, Simba had
    to conquer [Scar] in order to take over the kingdom.”
  • “My bold
    prediction is that John Cena’s doctor is gonna tell us…that John Cena
    has learned to exercise his eyeballs and is gonna strengthen his eyes to
    overcome his scratched cornea.”

His commentary is
actually pretty brilliant stuff and makes light of the bullshit we’ve
been witnessing from WWE Creative (Sting’s mastery of Final Cut Pro, the
arbitrary Cena/Rusev feud, etc.) and that’s a relief.

Of
course, you may feel free expound and tell me I’m full of shit in the
comments. As you all know, I look forward to that and I hope we have
some good conversation.

Let’s move…

We start with the titles.

And we are LIVE(!!!) from Orlando, Florida!!!

Michael Cole, JBL and Booker T are the guys manning that one desk with the mics.

We
start with John Cena who, I swear, has the booing built into the his
music at this point. He says that we’re only a week away from Fastlane.
He says the crowd will be rockin’, but he likes what he sees tonight as
ORLANDO IS RAW. But he has something to show us from last week. We get
clips of the Rusev beatdown from last week.

Cena says
NO MORE. He’s been told that Rusev is unstoppable. He doesn’t agree.
This Sunday, he’s gonna beat Rusev. He says that he’ll save everyone the
trouble of thinking about it and he’ll tell everyone how to do it. He
says he’s been doing this for years and he loves it when the fans boo
(they boo) and cheer (they cheer) and that’s what RAW is all about. (DANIELLE: Because I get paid either way, assholes!) He
says that there won’t be any high fives, just five fingers balled in a
fist. He will be the first WWE Superstar to beat Rusev. This Sunday, he
will win the United States Championship. The more he pounds the
Championship angle, the more he’s convincing everyone he’s gonna lose.

That
brings out Rusev and Lana. Lana says Cena just delivers the same tired
rhetoric. She says that Cena’s cup is half-full. Her and Rusev live in
reality. He’s the greatest United States Champion. Rusev is even better
than Cena: the man who never gives up. This time, however, there isn’t
any coming back from what Rusev is going to do. Rusev grabs the mic and
he’s gonna destroy Cena’s body, spirit and his “little will to live will
be crushed”.

Cena tells Rusev that Rusev has never
had his ass kicked. So, stay there. He’s coming down to kick Rusev’s
ass. Cena runs down the ramp and tackles Rusev, punching away, then
clotheslines him. Referees come out to stop Cena, but there’s only two
of them as the rest are in the middle of a good round of Texas Hold ‘Em.
Cena tells them to back off and they do. Cena just belts Rusev in the
face. Rusev is laid out and Cena yells, “EVERY MAN CAN BE BEAT” into his
face.

MOMENTS AGO: Cena beat up Rusev.

Cole
praises SNL’s 40th Anniversary…and, apparently, Dean Ambrose tried
out for Weekend Update. Ha. Cole shows us a clip of Ambrose in a suit,
announcing that he’s taking on Bad News Barrett at Fastlane in a sketch
that aims to be “funny” and fails.

MATCH #1: Luke Harper vs. Dean Ambrose
Initial
back-and-forth sees a Harper shoulderblock and Ambrose headlock
followed by a wristlock. Harper breaks it and puts Ambrose in the
corner, slapping at him. A whip sees Ambrose hitting a cross body and
flurry of punches. Ambrose follows up, beating Harper in three of the
first four corners, then hits a nice Reverse Flying Elbow off the second
buckle, followed by a Flying Ambrose through the ropes to the outside.
Harper somehow no-sells that and boots Ambrose in the head. When
we come back from break, Harper has Ambrose in a headlock. During the
break, Cole tells us that were saps for not having the WWE App. If we
had it, we would have seen Harper slapping Ambrose in the mouth. Ambrose
finally breaks the hold and dumps Harper outside. Harper leaps back
into the ring but ends up in a Tornado DDT from the turnbuckle. Harper
gets to his feet but Ambrose bolts to his feet as well and punches away
at Harper, hitting a nice running sitting dropkick. Ambrose hits a nice
Flying Clothesline which JBL calls the “Air Psycho”. He gets two, then
goes top rope again. He leaps and flies over Harper, who hits a
Superkick for a close fall. Harper tries a powerbomb but Ambrose breaks
it only to fly right into a Twirling Side Slam by Harper for another
close fall. Harper tries the Clothesline from Smell but misses. Harper
ducks a move and boots Ambrose into the ropes for the Rebound
Clothesline from Ambrose, then Dirty Deeds for the win at 11:04.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose via Dirty Deeds
RATING: **3/4. Really decent match to start off. 

Cole talks about the Rhodes brothers having issues. Dusty is here, tonight, to help settle things.

TONIGHT: Triple H will respond to the time he called Sting out and got punked.

ALSO OMG WE’RE SWITCHING WRESTLERS IN THE FEUDS THAT WON’T DIE:

  • Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan
  • Roman Reigns takes on Kane

Triple
H is talking to Kane. Show shows up. Kane and Show don’t like each
other because of what happened on Smackdown. Triple H gets in the middle
of them but the two keep arguing. Triple H says that, when they argue,
they make him look like an ass. Show: “You mean, how Sting made you
look?” He takes it back when Triple H glares at him. Triple H says he’ll
take care of Sting but that he’s looking for solutions.

Bray Wyatt time. He has a nail for a coffin. He says that he’s not afraid of who he used to fear…in fact, it’s coming…

Star
and Golddust are backstage. Dusty interrupts and he’s not impressed
with Cody’s Stardust thing. He says that the three of them share common
blood. No matter what goes down, he loves them both. He says that they
are gonna take care of business tonight. Gold asks Star if he’s ready to
go tonight. The two shake hands and hug.

MATCH #2: The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (w/ Big E) vs. Gold & Stardust
Big
E drums the mat which doesn’t work. At all. Woods knees Star in the
stomach but Star manages to get a tag to Gold who gets hip tossed to the
mat. Gold manages to put Woods in the corner and the Rhodes brothers
tag in and out. Woods hits an Enzuguri to Gold and gets a tag to Kofi
who attacks Star and kicks Gold. He hits a clothesline and legdrop. He
sets up for a move and ends up hitting a crossbody. Some
miscommunication, however, leads to Gold getting kicked in the face by
Kofi, who pins Gold for the win at 3:00.
WINNERS: New Day
RATING: DUD.

Post-match, Star helps Gold up — then hits Cross Rhodes and leaves. Hooray. Good job, Dusty, you fixed it.

Byron
interviews Roman Reigns backstage. He’s focused on WrestleMania. He
says that Seth Rollins tried to find a way to worm his way into their
match. He says that he’s going to WrestleMania. Believe. Dat.

Meanwhile, at ringside, Daniel Bryan comes out to do commentary as Reigns is due to take on Kane.

After
a break, Dusty confronts Cody backstage. Cody says a bunch of bullshit,
then denounces his father, telling him that, like Cody, Dusty his also
dead to him.

And, like 9 minutes later, people are still yelling YES at Daniel Bryan.

MATCH #3: Roman Reigns vs. Kane
Daniel
Bryan: “I have one less title defense than Brock Lesnar.” Nice. Reigns
suplexes Kane as Reigns looks on. Kane puts Reigns into the turnbuckle
on the distraction and it’s a headlock as Daniel Bryan suddenly starts sounding like a fucking heel.
Reigns fights out but runs into a Kane elbow. Reigns tries a top rope
attack but Kane uppercuts him. Kane hits a Sitting Dropkick. Two count.
Reigns comes back with clotheslines and a Samoan Drop. Bryan starts
another YES chant and Reigns is distracted — then runs into a Kane big
boot. Kane goes outside and tears the announce table apart. Kane
grabs Reigns and tries a Chokeslam but Reigns hits a Spear. Kane is
counted out at 6:20.
WINNER: Roman Reigns
RATING: 1/4*. PLEASE. STOP. THIS. FEUD.

Post-match, Bryan taunts Reigns with the YES chant.

TONIGHT: Daniel Bryan faces the Big Show.

ALSO:
Triple H calls out Sting because he didn’t like the way Sting reacted
to being called out the first time he was called out.

Backstage,
Renee Young wants to know what Bryan’s thinking about Sunday. Bryan
says that Reigns is gonna need to get used to the YES chant.

Bray Wyatt. Again. He has a hammer this time. He says that his opponent is in limbo…and he’s waiting.

Byron 
is waiting outside the Diva’s locker room and actually gives us a
reason why he’s there. The Bellas come out and they have Paige’s gear.
They say that Paige will have to wrestle naked tonight. You know,
because wrestlers don’t have more than one costume. Paige flies out of
the dressing room and says her gear’s been stolen. She asks Cameron if
she can borrow her gear. Cameron says she can but it won’t look good.
Girl, bye. Then Adam Rose’s Special Bus People shows up. Paige yanks the
candy plum fairy one into the dressing room and we go to break. Way too much thought is going into this…

MATCH #4: Summer Rae vs. Paige
Paige
looks hotter than hell in a skirt and stockings and boots. Summer mocks
her and Paige just clotheslines her with the top rope. She knees Summer
in the face and screams. Summer comes back with a Leg Scissors
Surfboard. Nice move. Paige counters with a pin that gets two. Summer
breaks and hits a legdrop but Paige moves out of the way of the
follow-up. Clotheslines to Summer and the PTO for the win at 2:45.
WINNER: Paige via PTO
RATING: 1/4*. 

Post-match,
Nikki has the mic and insults Paige’s outfit. Paige says she doesn’t
care. All she needs to do is win. And she will at Fastlane. Nikki storms
off.

NEXT: Seth Rollins faces Dolph Ziggler

Sheamus is returning…

Seth
Rollins and J&J Security hit the ring. Rollins says that today is
President’s Day where they honor the great leaders of the past. But
that’s a waste of time since the future is standing in front of
everyone. He says he can do what he wants when ever he wants. He can
even be the new host of The Daily Show. The crowd, who isn’t smart
enough to watch the show, doesn’t know whether to boo or cheer.
H=Rollins says that he has to deal with with people who are far beneath
him like Ryback, Erick Rowan and Dolph Ziggler.

Ziggler
comes out to interrupt. He asks Rollins if he had a bad Valentine’s Day.
Maybe his Security team got him the wrong chocolates? Maybe Triple H
failed to explain the birds and bees. Rollins interrupts and calls him
and his career pathetic. Ziggler agrees and says that Rollins is right.
He’s nothing compared to Rollins. He’s not a whiny douche like Rollins. He tells “the Hobbits” to leave the ring so he can kick Rollins’ ass. Cole: “Yeah, Frodo and Bilbo! Leave!” Sigh…

MATCH #5: Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler
is tossed from the ring. Rollins distracts the ref so Security can
attack Ziggler but the ref is hip to this and tosses Security out of the
matc. Rollins is furious and goes after Ziggler, pushing him back into
the ring. Ziggler quickly rolls him up for two. Rollins kicks at Ziggler
and puts him in the corner but misses an attack. Ziggler hits a corner
splash. Big Elbow Drop gets two. Ziggler tries a Buckle Bomb but Ziggler
rolls him up for two. DDT by Ziggler gets two as well. Ziggler tries a
Zigg Zagg but Rollins breaks and hits a dropkick for two. Rollins kicks
at Ziggler, then goes top rope but Ziggler leaps up to grab Rollins.
Rollins shoves him and it’s a series of counters. Ziggler hits the
Superkick and Zigg Zagg but Security’s here to fuck up another match at
around 6:30.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via DQ
RATING: **1/4. Why bar Security from the ring if you’re gonna have them do the run-in DQ spot anyway?!

Post-match,
it’s Yet Another Mudhole Stomp until Rowan and Ryback come in to even
the odds. They miss Mercury and Rollins but they do get a piece of Noble
as Ryback hits a Spinebuster.

FASTLANE KICKOFF: MizTV will have special guest Paul Heyman

Out
comes Triple H to “react” to Sting as we get clips of Sting trolling
him last week. The crowd chants “WE WANT STING”. Triple H has heard a
rumor saying that he’s afraid of Sting. He says that it takes more than
mind games to get under his skin. At Fastlane, WCW will stand there and
face WWE–.

Then Ric Flair just shows up
because why the hell not? Triple H holds the ring ropes for him as he
gets in the ring. Flair says he’s out here because he loves and respects
Triple H, so he doesn’t wanna be cussed out “like you guys do to all
the other guys each week”. Triple H interrupts him and says that if
Flair’s here to sing the praises of Sting, he says Flair should save his
breath. Flair says not to take Sting lightly. He tells Triple H not to
put himself in a position to fail. Triple H says he knows how good Sting
is. He says that he watched Sting get in the ring for 60 minutes at
Clash of the Champions. He’s seen him win titles and stand tall. He was
an icon and one of the greatest. He was WCW.

Triple H says
he admires all of that — but then Sting disappeared. That was the
right thing to do. He says that if Sting showed up after all that,
Triple H would have run him out of WWE. He says that Sting built his
reputation on Flair’s reputation. Flair tries to interject but Triple H
stops him and says that he is WWE. Flair says that he’s right: Sting is
already getting to him. He says people have stopped him and asked “Ric,
who is the greatest?” Flair says Triple H is always the greatest. Flair
says that he doesn’t want Sting to sneak up on Triple H.

Triple
H says that he’s not Ric Flair…but…when it comes to kicking Sting’s
ass, Flair’s no Triple H. Flair looks hurt and says, “Do me a favor:
when I tune in Fastlane, don’t let me catch you sittin’ on your ass like
you did last time. Fair enough?” Triple H isn’t please and shoves Flair
to the mat. He says that if Flair thinks he’s gonna let Sting take WWE
from him, he’s mistaken. He will make sure that Sting never shows his
face here again. He leaves the ring. Flair’s music hits even though he
was humiliated. But, it’s cool.

EARLIER TONIGHT: Cena attacked Rusev.

AT FASTLANE: Cena will face Rusev for the U.S. Championship

TONIGHT: Daniel Bryan faces Big Show

MATCH #6: Darren Young & Some Guy vs. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor)
The
announcers can’t even be bothered to name Young’s partner but it
doesn’t matter. It’s a mudhole stomp — until Titus O’Neil interrupts.
The two men clean house…and we’re not having a match, I guess.
NO CONTEST. Why not just have The Ascension take on Young and O’Neil?!

Post-match, Titus celebrates with Darren Young

Backstage,
Miz tells BNB to knock Miz-dow down a few pegs in the ring. If BNB does
that, he’ll take care of Ambrose. BNB says that he wants Miz’s people
to call HIS people.

MATCH #7: Damien Miz-dow (w/ The Miz) vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett (non-title)
Miz-dow
puts Barrett in a side headlock but Barrett puts Miz-dow in the corner,
clubbing away at him. Miz-dow gets the upper hand again but Miz rings a
bell and tells Miz-dow it’s time to stop. He wants Miz-dow to clean his
shoes, then tells Miz-dow to watch himself after Barrett knees him in
the gut when he’s distracted. Barrett rolls Miz-dow into the ring and
gets two. Headlock by Barrett but Miz-dow breaks and hits the
Miz-breaker Combo. He goes for the SCF but Miz tells Miz-dow to stop
again so Miz-dow can clean his sunglasses. Barrett hits the Bullhammer
on Miz-dow on the distraction for the win at 2:31.
WINNER: Bad News Barrett via Bullhammer
RATING: DUD. PLEASE. TURN. MIZ-DOW.

Post-match,
Ambrose attacks Barrett, then zip-ties him to the ringpost. Ambrose
holds the contract in Barrett’s face and tells him that the contract
will be signed. Ambrose gets a pen, grabs Barrett’s hand and makes him
sign. He taunts Barrett, yelling in his face, telling him he’ll see him
at Fastlane.

Bray again. He’s putting a nail
in a coffin. You know, just in case you haven’t guessed that Bray’s
opponent is gonna be The Undertaker. He says that his opponent has
nowhere left to go. He wants this guy to find him…or Bray will find
him.

We get a mixed tag match with Jimmy and Naomi taking
on Nattie and Tyson because of ruined date 2 weeks ago during Smackdown.
It’s darkly ironic that Jimmy calls Tyson “ignorant” while pronouncing
the word as “ig-nint”.

MATCH #8: Jimmy Uso & Naomi (w/ Jey Uso) vs. Tyson Kidd & Natalya (w/ Cesaro) in a Mixed Tag Team Match
Jimmy
and Tyson start. Tyson’s so scared, he tags in Nattie. Naomi gets in
and she arm drags Nattie and applies a side headlock. Nattie counters
into head scissor. There’s a series of counters and a tag to Jimmy.
Tyson’s not happy about this but gets into the ring, applying a headlock
to Jimmy. Tyson kicks Jimmy, then turns tail and runs, tagging Nattie.
JBL: “That’s a great strategy! You slap your opponent, then tag your
wife! I’ve done that for years!” Nattie tosses Naomi to the mat and
wants to tag Tyson who’s too scared to get back in the ring. Naomi rolls
Nattie up after a series of roll-ups and gets the arbitrary win at
2:56.
WINNERS: Uso and Naomi
RATING: DUD.

Post-match, Tyson berates Nattie for losing the match. Cesaro tells Tyson to calm down and separates the two.

Cole reminds us that February is FREE on WWE Network.

EARLIER TONIGHT: Reigns beat Kane.

Bryan walks to the ring from the backstage area. At ringside, Reigns comes down to the ring to hang out.

THIS THURSDAY ON SMACKDOWN: Ziggler faces Rollins with J&J banned from ringside. That worked wonders the last time.

MATCH #9: Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show
Show
tries to corner Bryan but Bryan doesn’t fall for it and kicks at Show’s
legs. JBL: “This is like Jack and the Beanstalk…except the beanstalk
fights back.” Show finally manages to grab Bryan and slaps his chest.
Headbutt and chest slap to Bryan. Bryan comes back with kicks and works
on Show’s left knee. Show shoves him to the mat again, grabs him and
headbutts him. Show slams Bryan, then kicks at him, taunting him. He
misses a huge clubbing blow and Bryan slaps and kicks Show. Show moves
and chest slaps Bryan. Show picks Bryan up and goes for a press slam but
Bryan counters and puts a Sleepr on Big Show. Reigns gets up out of his
seat, then goes to a fan. He asks the fan for his sign, gets a Sharpie
and starts signing autographs. Show breaks the hold but Bryan kicks
Show. He misses the big Yes Kick. We go to commercial.

Reigns
is sitting back down after signing a bunch of autographs. Show has
complete control of Bryan in the ring and stomps at Bryan. Show slaps
Bryan’s chest, then headbutts him. Show stands there, I swear, for a
full minute, not doing anything, while the fans give him shit and the
match unnecessarily passes the ten minute mark. Finally, Bryan gets up
and kicks him. He leaps at Show but Show catches him in a Bear Hug.
Bryan counters and manages to toss Show from the ring. Reigns, though,
is up and tossing t-shirts into the crowd. This means something to Bryan
for some reason. Bryan tries a Flying Goat. Show catches him and tosses
Bryan into Roman Reigns. The two men shove one another. Show hits a
Spear on Reigns by accident, then kicks Bryan and rolls him back into
the ring.

Bryan hits the trio of dropkicks but Show
grabs him on the third one and goes for the Chokeslam. Bryan counters
into the YES Lock but Show gets to the ropes, breaking the hold. Bryan
hits YES Kicks, hitting the roundhouse this time. He gets a close fall
and then goes top rope but Reigns runs in and hits the Superman Punch to
end this at 14:39.
WINNER: Big Show via DQ
RATING: *. The match picked up at the end but this feud is so beyond stale.

Post-match,
Bryan hits a sitting dropkick on Reigns from the top rope. Reigns comes
back, punching and it’s a brawl culminating in Reigns tossing Bryan
from the ring. Bryan’s not happy and flies back into the ring. It’s a
brawl that goes back and forth. Both men roll out of the ring and it
continues. Reigns tosses Bryan into the ring barrier. They get back into
the ring but referees show up and break them up as the crowd chants LET
THEM FIGHT. The two calm down, shake hands, turn their backs on one
another…then charge each other and it’s another brawl that spills out
of the ring. It goes into the crowd and Bryan gets a hold of a chair. He
whacks Reigns with it but Reigns comes back with a HUGE forearm shot.
The brawl continues and spills behind the announce desk with Reigns
hammering away on Bryan. Everyone and their mother comes out to hold the
two men back and we finally go off the air.

OVERALL: **1/2. That final bit pushed the show back up — though I really hope that WWE is not turning Bryan heel. If they are, I don’t think the crowd realizes it.

Er, that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap – 2/9/2015

The rumor is that the main event at WrestleMania is changing and that Daniel Bryan is going to be added.

I
take most of what I hear about WWE with a grain of salt because, if the
rumor mills were right, CM Punk would have been back months ago and
Rollins would have been champion four PPV’s ago. 
The
reaction interests me: two Facebook pages who carried the report
(Facken Boolshet and The Botched Spot) have expressed a lot of
frustration. Just a few weeks removed from the Royal Rumble, I’m already seeing Bryan backlash. 
So, not only does Creative not know which way is up, I’m not even sure the fans do.
Let’s go…
We start with clips of last week’s show:
Triple H announces the big match on the Fastlane card between Bryan and
Reigns and the confrontation between the three men and Seth Rollins.
Titles…
And we are LIVE(!!!) from Ohio State University!!!
JBL, Cole and Booker are the guys at the Talking Desk of Doom.
Roman
Reigns’ music hits and Cole reminds us that Big Show actually beat the
top contender for the title at WrestleMania. We get clips from later in
the night when Reigns helped Bryan win the match against Seth Rollins.
Reigns
is mostly booed as he walks around the ring, grinning. One fan actually
has a sign showing Reigns as a cross-eyed goof with the word “DERP” on
it, so that’s telling. He says that he won the Royal Rumble match and,
when you do that, you get to fight for the big title. So, he gets to
fight Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. The Authority has different
plans and he says if he has to prove himself by winning the Rumble,
beating Bryan at Fastlane and then Brock at WrestleMania, so be it.
Bryan
comes out next and the crowd is firmly behind him. He says he’s here to
thank Reigns for his help last week. But, now, Reigns has an
opportunity of his own at Fastlane: the winner of their match faces
Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. I didn’t know that. Did anyone else know
that? Bryan says that Reigns his bigger and stronger than he is. In
terms of looks, they’re even…but, when it comes to wrestling, he’s
better than Reigns. That actually draws some heat.
And
out comes Triple H to book the requisite tag team match where they have
to “Get Along to Win!” Steph plugs Fastlane which is free. Also, Sting
will be there. Triple H says Sting is being called out. That’s right.
Triple H is calling out Sting tonight to see if Sting will accept “being called out” at Fastlane. I can’t even begin to make this shit up. 
Steph
says that Reigns and Bryan are angry people. Steph says that Reigns is
an ass for interfering last week. Reigns is proud of it. She says
Bryan’s sick for putting Kane in a dirty casket “where people are
buried”. You know, the one they booked? Thankfully, Bryan points this out for me.
Steph
says she doesn’t care. They went over the Authority’s head and, so,
they must pay. By being in a tag team match against Show and Kane. Next.
After the Flintstones/WWE teaser commercial and about 3 Popeye’s Chicken ads for shitty ghost pepper chicken strips.
MATCH #1: Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show & Kane
Triple
H and Steph are at ringside for this. Kane and Bryan start and Kane
flies out of the ring after a series of counters, ending in Bryan
ducking. Flying Goat to the outside, then a tag to Reigns who’s getting
booed because the East Coast has established that they aren’t allowed to
cheer him anymore. Reigns takes Kane down and Show is tagged in. Reigns
is a house-a-fire, punching and kicking him but Show just grabs him and
tosses him from corner to corner. Reigns gets up and fights back,
hitting clotheslines in the corner. He rushes Show but Show catches him a
Chokeslam. Reigns breaks it and counters with a DDT. Show gets to his
feet and kicks at Reigns, tagging in Kane. Kane beats on him in the
corner, then snap mares him to the mat, putting Reigns in a chinlock. At
this point, my USA feed freezes because, suddenly, I’m watching the WWE
Network. When it comes back 90 seconds later, Kane STILL has Reigns in a
chinlock, so I’m not missing much. Reigns breaks the hold with a
Sidewalk Slam and tags Bryan. Bryan takes out Kane and works on Show
with dropkicks in the corner. Yes Kicks but Show shoves him away. Bryan
comes back and take Show’s leg out, then kicks him repeatedly, finally
nailing him in the head. Show rolls out of the ring and Bryan leaps at
Kane and Show who catch him and toss him into the ring rops. Bryan
bounces off and hits the floor. Break time.
We’re
back and Show has Bryan in a headlock. The match is so ludicrously
boring, Cole can’t even bring us shit that happened during the
commercial. Bryan breaks and Show hits a Bear Hug, then drops Bryan and
tags Kane. Kane hits a Sidewalk Slam and gets a two count. Show back in,
hits a headbutt on Bryan and steps on his chest twice. He taunts
Reigns, then goes middle buckle for a Vader Bomb, missing by a mile when
Bryan moves. Bryan starts hulking up and crawls across the ring to tag
Reigns but Kane gets a tag first, runs across the ring and uppercuts
Reigns. Kane turns around and ends up in the YES Lock, but Show grabs
Bryan by the leg and drags him out of the ring. He tosses Bryan into the
timekeeper’s pit and the ref just rings the bell. This one’s over at
12:57.
WINNERS: Reigns & Bryan via DQ, I guess.
RATING: 1/2*. What’s better than two, shitty, repetitious feuds? Having both of them happen at the same time!
Post-match,
the heels gang up on Reigns but Reigns overpowers them. Bryan tries to
come in and help out but accidentally drop kicks Reigns. The heels,
Triple H and Steph all bail and watch the faces implode. Bryan
apologizes to Reigns but Reigns isn’t having it and shoves Bryan. Bryan
can’t believe it. Triple H mocks them for “getting along well”, then
tells them that they’ll team up again tonight against Kane, Big Show, Rollins and J&J Security. Sigh… 
Break.
Cole’s
all hip and congratulates Eminem for winning two Grammies last night —
including “Legacy”. JBL congratulates “Anne Lennox”. I just can’t.
MATCH #2: Ryback vs. Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury)
Rollins
beats up Ryback in the corner. Ryback gets to his feet and rushes
Rollins and Rollins flies out of the ring. Rollins distracts the ref and
J&J attack Ryback, slamming him into the crowd barricade. Back in
the ring, Rollins hits a neckbreaker. Two count. Rollins hits a front
headlock but Ryback counters and tries a suplex. Rollins blocks and
knees Ryback in the gut, then pounds Ryback with clubbing fists. Rollins
runs at Ryback but Ryback body drops him. J&J rush to Rollins’ aid.
Rollins gives them instructions. Noble leaps on the mat. The ref is
distracted. Rollins and Mercury attack but Ryback takes both men out,
then goes for Shell Shock on Rollins after a Spinebuster. J&J leap
into the ring and it’s already one of these fucking shows.
WINNER: Ryback via DQ at 2:55
RATING: DUD. 
Post-match, mudhole stomp, Curb Stomp and Cole pretending that multiple DQ finishes are completely foreign to RAW.
TONIGHT: Triple H calls out Sting so he can confirm if he can call out Sting at Fastlane so he can call out Sting at WrestleMania.
Sheamus is returning soon. Say what you will, I’m glad he’s ok. There were rumors that his career was over.
MATCH #3: Paige vs. Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella)
Paige
Superkicks Brie but Brie gets up and whacks Paige’s head against the
mat with her legs. Two count. Brie hits a running elbow, then hits a
running knee. Two count. Brie puts Paige in Head Scissors for a full
minute before Paige pins Brie for two. Brie goes for the Brie Mode
Dropkick and hits it. Two count. Brie takes a swing at Paige but Paide
ducks and the two women slap each other at the same time. Paige kicks
Brie in the head and goes for a Ram-Paige but Nikki goes for the
distraction. Paige sees it and shoves Brie into Nikki, knocking her off
the mat, then hits the Ram-Paige anyhow, winning it at 3:16.
WINNER: Paige via Ram-Paige
RATING: *. It’s the match of the night so far. Isn’t that sad?
TONIGHT: Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman will address the evolving main event situation.
When
we come back, out come Rusev and Lana with the mics giving feedback for
the eighth time tonight. Lana says they are proud to face John Cena at
Fastlane and Cena should also be proud to face Rusev. They recognize
Cena’s accomplishments and give us a montage that starts heoric and
devolves into all the time Cena took bumps or lost a match.
When
we come back, Lana wonders just how much longer Cena can go, calling
him weak and vulnerable and tired. Rusev gets on the mic and says that
the Cena everyone knows no longer exists. He’s nothing. Weak, Tired,
Etc. He’ll break Cena and ca-dush. 
Out
comes Cena. He says he’s not deaf. He says that Rusev loves to brag
that he’s unbeatable. He says that the only reason they do that is
because they know they’re full of crap. He’s been through hell and back.
Each time he gets knocked down, he gets back up. Rusev will learn
respect. Cena says that he’ll hurt Rusev so bad, the only thing Rusev
will be able to do is beg Lana to help him fix his “boo-boo spot”. He
says that he picked a fight with the wrong man. Rusev wants Cena to
bring it to the ring.
Rusev
says that Cena just talks trash and won’t back it up. He’ll crush Cena
at Fastlane. Cena says that Rusev has jokes — and Lana’s got the balls.
Rusev runs for Cena and two collide. They fight on the entrance ramp
and it’s even until Rusev eye gouges Cena in his sore right eye. He goes
for an Accolade but WWE refs show up to push him off Cena.
Break time.
MOMENTS AGO: Rusev beat up John Cena and nobody really gave a shit.
MATCH #4: Dolph Ziggler vs. Bray Wyatt
Ziggler
locks Wyatt’s leg, then converts to a front facelock. Bray breaks one
hold after the next, then finally slaps Ziggler in the face. Ziggler
responds with a nice dropkick. Bray gets up and rushes but Ziggler ducks
and goes for a clutch from behind. Bray breaks and kicks Ziggler. Bray
tosses Ziggler into the corner but bails when Bray charges. Ziggler hits
a Splash and Bray gets out of the ring. Ziggler dropkicks him off the
mat. After a break, Bray’s in full control because Bray beat up Ziggler
during a break. So download the WWE App so you can watch Bray club
Ziggler across the back. Ziggler fights out of a headlock but Bray takes
him down with a nice splash on a rush. Ziggler hits a chinbreaker when
Bray tries to get him to his feet. Bray rushes but Ziggler hits an elbow
and a beautiful snap DDT. Two count. Ziggler rushes Bray again but Bray
grabs him for Sister Abigail. Ziggler breaks and hits the Fame-Asser
and a Superkick and NEARLY gets a fall. Crowd tries to chant “THIS IS
AWESOME”, then quits after two repetitions because it isn’t that
awesome. Ziggler gets out of the ring and runs at Bray but Bray takes
his head off with a clothesline. He rolls Ziggler into the ring, goes
into Spider Mode, and then hits Sister Abigail for the win at 11:34,
which seemed to breeze by like 5 minutes.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt via Sister Abigail
RATING: **. Eh. You’ve seen it before.
Post-match,
Bray drags Ziggler out of the ring, then lifts up the floor padding.
Two refs meekly order Bray to quit attacking because this isn’t Rusev
vs. Cena. So, Bray does quit, then apologizes to Ziggler for beating him up.
Cole “switches gears” and pays tribute to Junkyard Dog for Black History Month.
TONIGHT: The 5-on-2 Match with Kane, Big Show, Seth Rollins, and J&J Security vs. Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns.
BUT, NEXT, AFTER POPEYE’S CHICKEN ADS: Brock Lesnar addresses stuff.
We are back at Ohio State University and get a shot of the big Championship Trophy the football team won.
Out
comes Brock and Paul Heyman. He says that there are people who
embellish the truth. Most people say Brian Williams of NBC News. And he
did embellish the truth. But he’s not the #1 liar: Roman Reigns and
Daniel Bryan are. Heyman says that if Reigns and Bryan are trying to
tell everyone they can win, they’re lying to everyone, including
themselves.
He
says that Reigns is scared. The “yellow stream” running down his leg is
not pineapple juice. He says that Reigns shouldn’t be afraid. That’s
natural. Heyman brings up Daniel Bryan and says that he’s the ultimate
liar. Look at Bryan and compare him to Lesnar. He asks the crowd if
Bryan has a chance. Surprisingly, it’s mostly “NO”. Heyman says he must
credit Bryan because Bryan makes up for physical prowess with wrestling
knowledge — but he can’t beat Lesnar. 
He
says that, if they believe they can beat Lesnar, they need to get on a
chopper with Brian Williams and they’ll find themselves getting taken
out of the air by a massive F5. They will find themselves beaten and
beat up by Brock Lesnar.
TONIGHT: Triple H calls out Sting so he can call him out at Fastlane.
ALSO: The 5-on-2 debacle nobody asked for.
LAST MONDAY: The Dusts were beaten by The Ascension and Not Cody wasn’t happy.
MATCH #5: Gold & Stardust vs. The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods)
Crowd.
Is. Fucking. Dead. Star and Kofi begin. Kofi puts Star to the mat with
an arm drag but Cody breaks in the corner and applies a headlock. Kofi
breaks with a Whip but Star shoulderblocks him. Tag to Gold and it’s a
couple of arm drags and an arm bar. Then Star just up and walks off.
Gold continues to fight, confused and tells Star to come back. Kofi
rolls Gold up for the win at 1:37 and thank the fuck christ for that.
WINNERS: The New Day
RATING: DUD.
EARLIER TONIGHT: Reigns and Bryan nearly come to blows and are told they have to fight another bullshit match.
Backstage,
Renee Young has Daniel Bryan. She wants to know if Bryan and Roman can
co-exist. Bryan says it was an accident. Reigns interrupts and says they
can team up against a common enemy — then take care of their own
business. 
NEXT: Triple H calls out Sting before he calls out Sting.
Backstage,
Gold confronts Stardust. Goldust says that he’s Dustin and Cody is his
brother. Cody shoves him and says Cody is dead. Hiss.
Triple
H is in the ring. He’s slaved to make things great. Except tonight’s
show. Triple H says that Sting is ruining things, you know, despite him
being on two shows in four months. Triple H says that Sting has no guts.
He says that Sting knew to stay away because Triple H would “expose
him”. For…? Triple H calls him a coward. Triple H says that he’s a man
and he’s calling Sting out at Fastlane. He wants Sting to agree never
to show his face again. Why doesn’t he just ask Sting tonight? He says
he wants an answer from Sting NOW.
We
get a single crow’s caw. The arena goes dark. Another one. A couple of
men in Sting outfits are seen in the arena halls. They vanish. A weird
Ring-like clip airs with Triple H talking to Cole about Sting. We see
Sting’s make-up appear over Triple H’s face in flashes. It’s intercut
with shots of Sting’s face and trees and deserts. The words, “TRIPLE H”
are shown over a pic of a scorpion. The arena goes dark again. When the
lights come back up, a guy wearing a terrible Sting wig and clothing
gets into the ring, completely missing his cue. Triple H falls
backwards, looking up at “Sting”. The lights go out and “Sting” is gone.
The Jumbotron lights back up with the words, “I ACCEPT”.
Well, that was pointless.
When
we come back, Michael Cole shows us what happened, earlier tonight,
between Cena and Rusev. Apparently, Cena has a scratched cornea.
MATCH #6: Cesaro & Tyson Kidd (w/ Natalya) vs. WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) (w/ Naomi) (non-title)
This
match is because Jimmy beat up Tyson at a “restaurant”. Nattie’s upset
because The Usos “ruined their double date”. I’m not even sure if this
was Smackdown or Total Divas. Jimmy and Cesaro brawl before Tyson comes
in. Jimmy tosses Tyson into the face corner and tags Jey. Jey knocks
Tyson down and gets two. Tag to Jimmy and it’s a Rocker Double Elbow
which we miss because the cameraman thinks Naomi, who even Total Divas
dumped, is more interesting. Tyson is tossed from the ring and
Jimmy leaps at him. Both men are down and, fuck this, we’re going to a
commercial. After a break, Jimmy breaks a hold from Tyson but Tyson tags
Cesaro who tosses Jimmy across the ring with a Gut Wrench. Tag to Kidd
and he puts a facelock on Jimmy. Tag to Cesaro and it’s more Uso peril
with Cesaro clubbing away. Finally, Jimmy kicks Cesaro from the ring.
Jey and Tyson enter on twin tags. Jey hits kicks and uppercuts, then
puts Kidd in a Tree of Woe, hitting a running headbutt. He tries the
Rikishi Splash but Kidd bails. Jey goes for a Flying Uso but Kidd leaps
up on the mat to punch him. Jimmy comes out of nowhere and hits a Flying
Uso on Cesaro. Kidd tries a Spingboard off the top rope but Jey
Superkicks him and NEARLY gets a fall. Jey misses the Rikishi and Kidd
rolls him, putting his feet on the ropes. The ref sees it and Jimmy
tells Kidd to stop cheating. Kidd yells at Jimmy and Jey Superkicks
Kidd. He goes top rope but Cesaro hits an Uppercut, knocking him out.
Kidd gets the pin at 10:34.
WINNERS: Kidd and Cesaro
RATING: **1/4. Not bad, really. Kidd and Cesaro are great together.
YOUR NEXT WWE HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE IS…RIKISHI. The Usos, who just lost, celebrate in the ring.
Miz-dow is on his way to the ring. He’s in action NEXT.
Cole plugs NXT RIVAL on WWE Network.
Miz sits at ringside with a microphone. Then he mocks Miz-dow “for doing it wrong”.
MATCH #7: Sin Cara vs. Damien Miz-dow (w/ The Miz)
There
are a bunch of counters and one-count pins to start. Miz-dow hits a
suplex and a stomp. Sin Cara gets up and rushes Miz-dow but Miz-dow
dropkicks him from the ring. Miz-dow rolls Cara back into the ring. Miz
demands Miz-dow get him a water. Miz-dow does. He asks Miz-dow to open
it. He does. JBL: “How is the ref not at a ten count yet?” Cara botches a
Frankensteiner once the match gets back into the ring. Miz-dow hits the
back-to-neck breaker on Cara, then goes for the Figure Four. Miz
demands Miz-dow cease using the move. Cara rolls him up. Done at 3:46.
WINNER: Sin Cara
RATING: DUD. Sin Cara has a streak due to this shitty gimmick. Go figure.
Another
Bray promo. He asks people where they think they go when they die.
Different people have different perspectives. He says that this world is
hell and they don’t belong here. He says he doesn’t fear the person
he’s calling out. He wants that person to find him.
Ambrose is walking backstage. He’s in action NEXT.
THIS THURSDAY: Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan will go face-to-face. Not like tonight, when they were face-to-face. Twice.
Curtis
Axel’s in the ring to wring the “I-never-lost” gimmick for every single
drop. He wants #AxelMania to trend. Ambrose’s music hits. JBL: “#UHOH.” 
MATCH #8: Curtis Axel vs. Dean Ambrose
Ambrose
pounds Axel in the corner, then slams him to the mat. Ambrose tries a
back bodydrop but Axel hits a kneelift. He hits axehandles on Ambrose
and rubs his face into the mat. He continues to punch at Ambrose while
taunting him but Ambrose fights back. Axel hits a dropkick but Ambrose
hits the Rebound Clothesline and Dirty Deeds to finish it at 2:31.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose via Dirty Deeds
RATING: 1/2*. This was pretty much the same thing we saw last week, only with a referee in the ring.
Post-match, Ambrose has Breaking News for Bad News Barrett: he says the IC Title belongs to him. Ambrose is so
much better than this. Bad News interrupts and says he has “breaking
news” of his own. He says that, just because Ambrose wants a shot at the
IC belt, it doesn’t mean he deserves one. 
NEXT: The Big Handicap Match
The heels surround the ring. Reigns and Bryan defend themselves but ITSTHENUMBERSGAME and a vicious double chokeslam to Reigns. Bryan is alone.
MATCH
#9: Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins, Big Show, Kane,
Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury in a 5-on-2 Handicap Match
Rollins
an Bryan start. Rollins hits a German Suplex and points to the
WrestleMania sign. Rollins hits another. Tag to Show and he hits a chest
slap on Bryan. Show slams Bryan, then tags Mercury who drops a quick
elbow and a lariat off a rush. Noble dances like he’s Shane-o-Mac and
beats Bryan in the corner. Bryan comes back with kicks and punches but
Noble puts Bryan into the heel corner. Mercury tags in but falls victim
to a YES Lock. Rollins interferes and Mercury tags Kane who knocks Bryan
down. Chokeslam but Reigns breaks the pin. Everyone gets into the ring
and Kane gets a hold of Reigns. KO Punch by Show and Bryan’s alone
again. Rollins tags and it’s a Buckle Bomb for two. Rollins yells shit
at Bryan and tells him he won’t make it to Fastlane. Show and Kane walk
over to the Announce Table and start stripping it down. Everyones’s in
as, apparently, DQ’s no longer exists. Here comes Ryback, Rowan and
Ziggler. It’s a Pier Six Brawl near the entrance ramp between the three
heroes and three big heels. Ziggler manages to knock everyone down and
it’s J&J vs. Bryan. They go for a Double Superplex but Bryan fights
them off and knocks them down. Hulk up time. Bryan goes off the top rope
with a Double Missile Dropkick to both guys. Bryan hits YES Kicks on
both Security guys, then knocks both out. Bryan sets up for the Flying
Knee — but Reigns gets on the mat, tags himself in, hits a Spear on
Mercury and gets the win at 7:39.
WINNERS: Reigns & Bryan
RATING: **. Enjoyable for what it turned out to be but, overall, a booking mess.
Post-match,
Reigns and Bryan argue. Reigns goes to leave. Bryan pulls him back in
the ring and tells him not to talk away. He shoves Reigns who hits a
Rebound Spear on Bryan.
Triple H and Steph watch on a TV backstage, laughing and liking what they see. Reigns stands tall as we off the air.
OVERALL:
*. A boring show with filler galore and terrible booking. I know this
should be par for the course. Maybe I still think this stuff can be good
again.
Er, that’s it.

Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap – 2/2/2015

“Well, it’s Groundhog Day…AGAIN…”

Andy
PG and my friend, Jared Patterson both take credit for the notion that we’re most
likely gonna get the same show we’ve been seeing for the past few weeks
— DESPITE Triple H’s “big announcement” that will shake everyone to
pieces and kill every puppy on the face of the planet.
The
speculation, of course, is that Triple H is gonna “fix” the main event
at WrestleMania because, even with the brilliant Heyman/Lesnar/Reigns
promo, it seems the majority of whatever’s left of the fanbase of this
heaping, flaming wreck doesn’t really wanna see Fabio Cena take on The
Incredible Hulk.
I’d
like to think that after making the same mistake twice, WWE will put an
upgrade patch on this thing — and that they’ll never repeat this ever
again.
Then
again, this is the company that continues to put Adam Rose out there in
hopes that we’ll somehow think he’s cool because he’s hanging with
Tyson Kidd and Cesaro — the latter character being one that they
completely mishandled despite him being completely over since
WrestleMania XXX.
Where will this all lead?
Well…it’s Groundhog Day…AGAIN…
We are LIVE(!!!) from Denver, Colorado!!!
JBL, Cole and Booker are the guys manning the desk.
Triple
H makes his way out to the ring with Steph next to him. Steph welcomes
everyone to RAW. She wants to talk about the Super Bowl and hails the
Patriots. They compare the ending of that game to the ending or the Royal Rumble because they’re totally the same thing.
Triple
H says that they really didn’t want to upstage the Super Bowl, what
with the #CanceltheNFLNetwork Movement. Steph says they listened to the
fans about the Royal Rumble and they wanna do something about it. 
We get clips of the mess from the Royal Rumble.
Triple
H says that Reigns and The Rock were “unsportsmanlike” like the
Seahawks. For some reason, the Denver crowd boos that notion. Triple H
says that everyone can cheer The Rock because he’s one of the best WWE
Superstars that ever lived. Triple H says The Rock abused the rules.
Triple H says The Rock got away with it and that he did it first at
Survivor Series with Sting. He says he is calling Sting out at Fastlane.
They will solve their issue there. 
The
crowd chants for Sting and Steph says they’ll see Sting at Fastlane for
$7.39. Triple H says that this brings us to Roman Reigns. Steph says
there might have been a different outcome if The Rock wasn’t involved. 
Steph says that Reigns won the Royal Rumble — but they’re not sure he
should face Lesnar at the Rumble.
That
brings out Reigns who comes down in the ring and gets right in Triple
H’s face. Reigns says that he won the right to face Lesnar at
‘Mania…and they’re not taking that from him. Triple H goads him into a
fight and tells Reigns to make a move. Steph gets between the two and
separates them. Steph mentions The Maivia Family Tree…
…and
that brings out Daniel Bryan to a huge pop. Steph welcomes him back.
Bryan apologizes to Reigns, saying that he had to deal with this last
year. Daniel Bryan says that the real controversy: he was stripped of
the title and wasn’t given a re-match. He wants that match. Triple H
says that there was nothing out of the ordinary, so fuck him. He says
that Bryan would have gotten his re-match had he not been so cocky.
Triple H says, however, that Bryan being in the main event is not out of
the realm of possibility.
And that brings out Rollins at the 17-minute mark…and we’re actually going to a commercial.
We’re
back and Rollins says that this is getting silly. He can’t believe
Bryan wants a match for the Championship. Rollins says that Lesnar would
eat him alive. He got stripped of the belt because he got hurt. Rollins
turns to Reigns and says that he wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for The
Rock. He says the only person deserving of going to the big match is
himself. Reigns tells Rollins to back off or he’ll get knocked into next
week.
Triple
H tells everyone to calm down. They listen to the fans. Steph says
they’re listening now. Everyone’s listening. Triple H says that,
tonight, it will be Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins. The winner faces
Reigns. The winner of that match will face Brock Lesnar at
WrestleMania. Reigns isn’t happy. Triple H says that he should just
accept this. Steph drops names on the Maivia Family Tree of Doom to make
Roman feel better.
Daniel
Bryan says he’s gonna win and tells Reigns not to listen. He wants to
get in the ring with Reigns and see who the better man is. Rollins says
that Reigns has no guts. Triple H and Steph tell him that it’s decision
time. Reigns says he’s ready to fight either guy.
Triple H declares that it’s official, then tells Reigns not to leave — because he has a match right now. 
Big Show’s music hits and it’s Reigns and Show. Again.
MATCH #1: Roman Reigns vs. Big Show (w/ Seth Rollins & J&J Security)
Show
has a bear hug on Reigns. Reigns breaks but Show headbutts him. Reigns
rolls out of the ring. Show grabs him but Reigns slings Show’s neck off
the ropes, then hits two big clotheslines. Corner splashes by Reigns and
then Reigns clotheslines him from the ring. Reigns hits the missile
dropkick and goes for the Superman Punch but the J’s distract the ref.
Again. Show hits a huge Spear but Reigns kicks out. Show goes for the
Chokeslam but Reigns breaks and hits a Superman Punch. He goes for a
Spear but all three guys manage to annoy Reigns without the ref seeing
one ounce of it and Reigns runs into a Chokeslam and loses at 2:43.
Again.
WINNER: Big Show via Chokeslam
RATING: DUD. I’m tired of that match. I’m tired of the interference spot which wasn’t remotely necessary.
Triple
H is backstage with Steph and says that “nobody knows they can’t take a
match away from Roman”. On camera. Again. They’re confident that
Rollins will beat Bryan tonight. Steph asks Triple H about his concerns
with Austin on the Podcast after the show on WWE Network (ONLY
$9.99!!!). Triple H says that he doesn’t care one bit what Austin asks
him.
And we go to our third break in 35 minutes.
TONIGHT, FOLLOWING RAW: The Stone Cold Podcast w/ Special Guest, Triple H.
Curtis
Axel is out here with something to say: he was never eliminated in the
Rumble match. He would have the match had he been in it. He wants
justice. He gets up on the second buckle and points to the WrestleMania
sign. He says he wants Lesnar. That brings out Ambrose who gets in the
ring, beats him up, and tosses him from the ring. Ambrose: “Now, you’re
eliminated.”
Ambrose
says he’s been reflecting on things. He says he looked at pics of past
WWE Champions. And he thought his face would look great amongst all
those pics. He says that he pinned Bad News Barrett and, now, he’s on
the Road to Fastlane — and wants a title shot.
He drops the mic, Axel attacks but gets a Rebound Clothesline and Dirty Deeds. Nice spot.
Cole gives us the beginning of Black History Month: we honor Ernie “The Big Cat” Ladd. Again. Just like last year.
TONIGHT: Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins to determine who will face Roman Reigns at Fastlane.
February on WWE Network is FREE.
MATCH #2: The Ascension (Konor & Viktor) vs. Gold & Stardust
Stalemate
to begin this with twin takedowns. Counters on the next salvo but
Viktor hits a huge clothesline. Gold comes in, attacks Viktor and drags
Star to his corner. He tags himself in and uppercuts Viktor. Konor tags
in but Gold hits a Reverse Atomic Drop. Konor takes over again and the
two heels gang up and hit Fall of Man at 1:49 for the win.
WINNERS: The Ascension via Fall of Man
RATING: DUD. 
JBL
STILL says they suck while Cole and Booker say they don’t. Post-match,
Star chides Gold and says that Goldust is dragging them down. He leaves
the ring.
NEXT: John Cena welcomes back the Fired Three for some reason, in a spot based on congratulatory Twitter entries.
Star
is backstage, murmuring to himself. Gold grabs him and calls him by his
real name. Star tells him never to call him “Cody” again.
Out
to the ring is John Cena. He says he’s beat up, blind, and half-broken
but he wasn’t missing RAW in Denver. He says that, tonight, Triple H has
to answer to Steve Austin — and Austin isn’t afraid of him. He’s gonna
make Triple H answer some questions. He says that he has questions of
his own. He says Triple H has a whole stable of guys ready to come to
WWE from NXT and take his spot. He says the one thing Triple H can’t do
is fire him because then he’d have to answer to the shareholders and
advertisers. He says, instead, that Triple H fired three guys he liked,
just to lower Cena’s spirit and make him quit. And, because of Sting, he
got Ziggler, Ryback and Rowan to come back. None of this makes any
sense, but let’s bring them out.
Cena
starts the back-patting. Steph interrupts and says she’s sorry for
doing so. Ziggler says she’s always happy to interrupt. Steph says that
she’s putting all three of them in matches:
  • Ziggler faces Bray Wyatt
  • Erick Rowan faces Rusev
  • Ryback faces Luke Harper

The latter starts after break…

MATCH #3: Ryback vs. Luke Harper
The
announcers act like this is the most anticipated match of the year.
Suplex and splash by Ryback. Splash by Ryback but Harper counters the
next one, then boots Ryback from the ring. Harper brings him back in and
slaps at Ryback’s chest. Ryback breaks free and charges and gets a boot
to his head. Two count. Harper hits a headlock but Ryback breaks the
hold and moves away from a corner charge. He rolls up Harper for two.
Ryback hits a press off a run and another Warrior Splash. Two count.
Harper comes back with Winds of Change or whatever for two. Ryback
ejects him from the ring but Harper gets back into the ring. Ryback
trips him up and lays him out on the mat. Ryback goes for the Meathook
but Harper greets him with a Superkick. Two count. Harper hits a front
facelock but Ryback counters with Shell Shock. Harper counters with a
Sunset Flip fro two. Ryback comes back with a Meathook and Shell Shock
and we’re done at 5:58.
WINNER: Ryback via Shell Shock
RATING: **1/4. Not a bad match at all.

TONIGHT: Dolph Ziggler vs. Bray Wyatt

MATCH #4: Cesaro (w/ Tyson Kidd & Natalya) vs. Jimmy Uso (w/ Jey Uso & Naomi)
During
the commercial break, there was some sort of “double date” set up by
Natalya. And now Cesaro is mad. Even though Nattie and Tyson are
“separated”. Or something. Cesaro chops at Jimmy after breaking an arm
lock. Jimmy slides across the ring on an Irish Whip counter. Jimmy
starts hitting chops of his own. Jimmy hits a back elbow and arm bar.
Cesaro breaks it but gets hit by an Enzuguri. Flying Uso at Cesaro but
Cesaro moves out of the way and starts yacking at Jey. Jimmy hits the
Flying Uso this time and tosses Cesaro back into the ring. Cesaro
escapes out the other end, then drops Jimmy’s neck on the ropes when
Jimmy chases. Cesaro hits a double axehandle off the ropes and hammers
away on Jimmy. The two counter each others moves after that and Jimmy
goes flying into the top buckle on a charge. Cesaro hits the Spin, then
hits a weak Half Crab to finish that off. Cesaro breaks and stomps on
Jimmy’s chest, getting two. Cesaro hits a nice powerbomb and gets two.
Cesaro tries to club Jimmy in the face but misses. Jimmy hits a
Corkscrew Splash and he gets two. Jimmy starts hitting clotheslines but
Cesaro catches his Superkick and flings him out of the ring. Tyson
threatens to attack Jimmy but the ref sees that. Cesaro goes outside and
runs Jimmy’s head into the announce table. He rolls Jimmy back in the
ring and goes top rope. He leaps but Jimmy catches him with a Superkick.
Rikish Splash time and the Superfly Splash — but Cesaro jumps up and
hits the Uppercut for the win at 6:21.
WINNER: Cesaro
RATING: ***. Pretty good match here. What’s with the decent booking?

Post-match, Tyson jumps the Usos inside the ring and then runs like a chicken. The heels celebrate on the ramp.

Cole plugs the February deal for WWE Network.

TONIGHT: Daniel Bryan faces Seth Rollins

The
Miz’s are backstage, hitting the craft table for fruit. Miz tells
Miz-dow what to scoop onto the plate. A producer wants an autograph. Miz
sends him away. He says he wants Miz-dow’s autograph and Miz-dow signs
it. Miz rips the guy’s paper up and tosses it away. Miz tells Miz-dow
that he doesn’t get it anymore. He made Miz-dow what he is today. Miz
says that he’s throwing everything away. He calls Miz-dow the worst
stunt double he’s ever seen. He fires Miz-dow and Miz-dow looks hurt.
Miz says he will give Miz-dow a NEW job: personal assistant. Miz says
he’s facing Sin Cara. Miz yells at Miz-dow to stop mimicking him.

Cena
sits in the dressing room, looking like somebody ran over his cat.
Rowan stops by and says he’s been treated like an animal and outcast.
Nobody’s stood up for him before. He thanks Cena. Rowan says he’s gonna
do Cena a favor tonight. Tonight, he takes on Rusev. Cena warns Rowan
about Rusev being dangerous and tells Rowan not to take him lightly.
Rowan nods and shakes Cena’s hand.

MATCH #5: Dolph Ziggler vs. Bray Wyatt
The
two are at each other’s throats, punching away at one another. Bray
gets the better of it and clubs Ziggler in the back. Ziggler comes back
but runs into a Wyatt lariat. Ziggler gets up and punches away at Wyatt
but Wyatt gets to the ropes. He hits a quick cheap shot on Wyatt, then
chokes Ziggler on the middle rope a couple times. Ziggler comes back
with a drop kick, then goes for the Fame-Asser but misses and Bray bails
from the ring. Ziggler applies a side headlock when Wyatt gets back in
the ring but Wyatt breaks and just slaps Ziggler, hitting the Reverse
Senton for two. Wyatt puts Ziggler in a nerve hold. Ziggler breaks but
Bray nails him in the back. He rushes Ziggler who hits an elbow and drop
kick. Wyatt rolls out of the ring so Ziggler chases him. Bray hits him,
grabs him and suplexes Ziggler out of the ring as we go to break.

Wyatt
has Ziggler in a headlock when we come back. Ziggler breaks but Wyatt
hits a hard running elbow and Ziggler’s down again. Two count. Another
long headlock and Ziggler breaks free again. Ziggler gets to his feet
but Wyatt hits the post on a corner rush. Ziggler tries to get to his
feet and does so, getting to the second buckle. Ziggler leaps but Wyatt
nails him in the jaw, coming down. Reverse Senton misses but Ziggler
can’t get up. Both men get up at the same time and Ziggler hits running
clotheslines, corner splash and neckbreaker. Big elbow drop gets two.
Ziggler rushes Wyatt again and Wyatt just knocks his head off with a
clothesline. Wyatt sets up for Sister Abigail but Ziggler counters into
the DDT for a two count. Ziggler misses a corner splash and Wyatt hits
one instead. He does the Hanging Spider, then sets up for Sister Abigail
but Ziggler counters. Kick to Wyatt’s stomach on a rush and it’s
another two count. Both men are down as the crowd chants that this is
awesome. Both men begin exchanging blows. Wyatt absolutely jacks
Ziggler’s jaw but Dolph hits the Fame-Asser. He goes for the Zigg Zagg
but Wyatt grabs him and hits Sister Abigail out of nowhere for the win
at 14:51.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt via Sister Abigail
RATING: ***1/2. Really good stuff here. Booking staff is pulling out their non-bullshit show tonight.

EARLIER TONIGHT: Triple H sets up tonight’s big match.

Backstage,
Rollins is with Triple H and Steph. He wants to make sure that Daniel
Bryan isn’t going to Fastlane or WrestleMania. Steph says they were
playing to the crowd. Rollins says he’s gonna use tonight to prove that
he’s the better competitor. He will stomp out the YES Movement.

ON SMACKDOWN: The Bellas beat up Paige because she was a pale-looking vampire chick. And, so kids, don’t be bullies.

Nikki and Brie are at ringside. Cole announces that Nikki will defend the Divas title against Paige at Fastlane.

MATCH #6: Alicia Fox vs. Paige
Nikki says if she
called the last play, the Seahawks would have won. This, coming from a
woman who “doesn’t know big words”. Alicia beats on Paige and hits a
Northern Lights Suplex for two. Chinlock by Fox and then a headlock.
Paige breaks and Fox grabs her, hitting a backbreaker. Paige just rolls
her over and gets an arbitrary pin at 2:43.
WINNER: Paige
RATING: DUD. Yes, the woman who got her ass kicked all match, then simply pinned Fox out of nowhere, is looking so strong.

Post-match,
Fox puts Paige in a Surfboard, which is totally unbelievable
considering Fox was as subtle as a Mack Truck doing it. The Bella Twins
spray Paige with tanning spray. Because she’s a goth chick.

Miz is on USA’s Sirens, playing a trainer. The director stiffly says, “Wow! Miz is funny! Ha ha!”

MATCH #7: The Miz (w/ Damien Miz-dow) vs. Sin Cara
Miz
removes his sunglasses. Miz-dow imitates Miz but Miz tells him to knock
it off. Miz puts Sin Cara in a headlock. Sin Cara reverses it, runs
around the ring and hits a diving body splash and Fallaway Slam. Cara
goes top rope but misses the flipping dive. Miz gets to his feet and
goes top rope. Miz-dow imitates Miz. Miz tells him to get down again.
Sin Cara attacks but Miz counters, dropping his neck on the ropes. He
runs back into the ring and just boots Cara in the head. Two count and
this match is already 2 minutes too long. Another boot. Two count. Cara
breaks and counters a side suplex. Miz hits a clothesline. One count.
Miz taunts Cara, kicking at him and then putting him in a chinlock.
Miz-dow just stands there, staring off into space. Miz converts to a
side headlock. Cara fights out and Miz hits the back/neckbreaker combo.
He celebrates and plays to the crowd. Miz-dow jumps on the mat and the
crowd cheers. Miz angrily tells Miz-dow to get down. Sin Cara grabs Miz
and rolls him up for his first win in months at 5:38.
WINNER: Sin Cara
RATING:
*. This was a long way to go, in order to get to no place at all.
Creative needs Sandow to turn face immediately. This act is long since
DOA.

Bray does another goofy promo and tells people to find him.

Rusev
attacks Rowan before he can get into the ring, then tosses him into the
ringpost. Finally, he tosses Rowan back in and hits a kneelift…so,
this match ain’t happening because the ref is waving it off. Rusev
stomps Rowan and chokes him with a boot. Rusev hangs Rowan off the
bottom rope, headbutts him and hits a Superkick. Elbow drop, stomp,
Accolade. Cole calls this a “message to Cena” and it’s a good thing
Cena’s out here to save his new bestie, isn’t it???

Rusev
breaks the hold and Lana grabs a mic. She invites everyone to a special
movie premiere. She says the movie will not only show the destruction
of Cena, but of UH-MEDI-KUH!!! We get a pretty swell movie trailer/promo
for Rusev.

Rusev celebrates with the Russian flag.

Backstage,
Reigns is hanging out with Daniel Bryan. Bryan says he doesn’t approve
of what Rollins did. Reigns says he saw it, too. He wants his revenge.
Bryan says that Reigns won’t get that chance, because he’ll be facing
Bryan, not Rollins, at Fastlane. Reigns asks if that’s a threat. Bryan
says it isn’t. Reigns says ITDOESN’TMATTERWHATITWAS!!! Only, kinda
quieter and far more reserved. He wants Bryan out of the locker room.
Bryan does.

MATCH #8: Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) vs. Daniel Bryan
Bryan
works on the left arm of Rollins after an initial back and forth. Bryan
hits a forearm and then hits a beautiful Cross Arm Breaker. Rollins
manages to get to the ropes. Rollins gets a hold of Bryan and flings him
out of the ring. Security jumps Bryan and Rollins hits a Suicide Dive.
Big Show comes to ringside during break and Rollins hits a neckbreaker.
Two count. Rollins beats on Bryan in the corner and then backs off. Show
makes for Bryan but the ref sees it and backs Show off. Rollins misses a
corner splash. Bryan starts hitting punches and uppercuts. He goes for a
rush but Rollins trips and Bryan hits his head on the middle buckle.
Rollins stomps Bryan in the corner and Security attacks Bryan when the
ref’s back is turned. Rollins climbs on Bryan and yells that it’s HIS
WrestleMania. Bryan escapes the corner and hits a running clothesline.
YES Kicks by Bryan and a nice running kick to finish it off. Two count.

Bryan
hits an uppercut and knees Rollins, then hits a sitting dropkick. He
sets Rollins up for a Frankensteiner but Rollins reverses it and rolls
Bryan up for two. Wow. The two men get up and hit shots at the same
time. Bryan locks the arm. Security climbs the mat and Bryan dropkicks
them both, then sends Rollins into them. Then he hits a Flying Goat on
Rollins, sending Rollins and the boys over the announce table. Bryan
rolls Rollins into the ring and goes top rope but Rollins knocks Bryan
off the top buckle. Rollins sets for a Superplex but Bryan wriggles out
of the corner and sets up for the Side Superplex, hitting it perfectly.
CLOSE two count. Bryan gets to his feet and goes for the Flying Knee but
Rollins hits the Buckle Bomb and Superkick. CLOSE FALL.

Crowd
is loving the match as Show yells at Rollins to finish Bryan. Rollins
picks Bryan up. Bryan grabs him for the YES Lock. He finally gets his
feet to the ropes and Bryan is forced to break the hold. Rollins rolls
out of the ring and Show consoles him. Reigns comes out of nowhere and
nails Show with a Spear. He tries to Spear Rollins but misses and hits
Mercury instead. Reigns distracts Rollins who gets back inside the ring.
Noble enters the ring with the MITB case but the ref sees it. With the
ref’s back turned, Reigns nails Rollins with a Superman Punch while
Bryan hits a Superkick on Noble. Flying Knee to Rollins wins the match
at 17:11.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan via Flying Knee
RATING: ***. The over-booking and screwball end ruined an otherwise spectacular match. 

Backstage, Triple H says he won’t comment on the match right now. He’ll only talk about it on Steve Austin’s podcast.

Cole runs in to congratulate Bryan who says he’ll beat Reigns at Fastlane.

Bryan stands tall as we go off the air.

OVERALL: **3/4. This was a decent show, though that third hour continues to kill the momentum.

Er…that’s it.