I showed up a bit late and turned on the show to see Reigns and Kane brawling, with a whole bunch of refs coming down to try and pull the two apart. One of the trainers (Finlay?) shoved Reigns in the corner and got in his face, so to nobody's surprise, Reigns proceeded to toss one guy across the ring and level Finlay(?) with a Spear. Kane eats a Superman Punch but no-sells it. Am I the only one who thinks Kane looked a lot better with the old full-face mask?
Our first match is yet another match between the Wyatt Family and the Usos, but these guys work so well together I can't really complain. Harper really is one of the most underrated superstars the WWE has right now ... that was a VICIOUS freaking power bomb he landed, the Uso bounced almost a foot back into the air. I'm not sure if the ring was unusually springy or if the bomb was just that stiff, but it looked awesome. Wyatts win and put themselves back in line for a title match. I hope they win it one of these days ...
RVD actually managed to get a pretty decent match out of Rusev, giving the Bulgarian Brute his biggest challenge yet (in a non-PPV match anyway), but it wasn't enough and he still ended up tapping to the Accolade. Yosemite Sam cut in during the middle of the match to issue a challenge at Battleground. I doubt Swagger will be the one to end Rusev's streak, unless they're planning on giving him a big face push ... which I REALLY hope isn't going to happen ...
Randy Orton and Dean Ambrose have an awesome rematch from Smackdown, if their first match was this good I'm kinda sad that I had to leave early for the pyro. Also, I can't believe JBL fucked up Bret Hart's finisher. It was *Flair* that used the Figure 4, you Texan doof. Hart used the Sharpshooter. While he may have occasionally used a Figure 4, he certainly didn't use it as his signature finisher. Anyway, great match between the two, that ended with a surprise win by Orton via RKO.
Del Rio vs Ziggler was up next, and it opened up with an innovative use of the ring apron to trap Ziggler's legs and set him up for Del Rio's attack. WWE continues to bury poor Dolph and Fandango distracts him so Del Rio can get the victory and another title shot against Shaemus' US belt ... in a match that we just saw Friday. Main Event seems to be nothing but matches we've already seen elsewhere.
Also, Fandango was surprisingly entertaining on the mic, tho he needs to speak up more. He says he's the WWE version of the Fonz. Eeeeyy!
The Dust Brothers continue to be one of the most entertaining parts of the show, though they should really be chasing the tag titles or something. Much as I love their backstage segments, they're not really going anyway at the moment.
Bret Hart comes out, leading me to wonder who's going to come out to interrupt. Agh, it's poor Damien Sandow again, this time dressed up in Bret's old ring gear and calling himself 'Bret SandHart'. He insults Bret and Canada in general for awhile before Bret clocks him, then Shaemus comes down to give Bret a hug and have a match against Damien.
How old IS that picture they're using of Hart, anyway? WCW era? He doesn't have any gray at all in his picture, yet he's solid gray in reality. Even SandHart had a steely gray wig.
The match starts during the commercial break in yet another cheap attempt at getting people to download the App. Sandow gets screwed again! At least he got to have an actual match this time instead of jobbing in 5 seconds to a giant lug who can't wrestle. Still ends up doing the JOB though. Thanks for coming, Damien!
Y2J vs the Miz was a pretty solid match, with nary a grain of ring rust between the two of them. To my surprise JBL made up for his screw-up with Bret Hart's finisher by remembering that Jericho was the very first Undisputed Champion. Jericho's been dominant this entire mini-feud so it's no surprise he ends up winning with the Walls. Then the lights go out, and Bray Wyatt is sitting in his rocking chair on the ramp, cutting another rambling promo on Jericho. Y2J advises him to "Shut ... the HELL ... up!" and offers to come kick his ass for him, then the lights go out again and the rest of the Family has appeared behind Bray. Jericho reconsiders his options as we go to commercial.
The Funkadactyls squared off against AJ and Paige in a surprisingly good match, probably because Cameron did nothing except come in to lose to a Paige Turner. I did have to chuckle at her pulling out some polish and touching up her nails, then refreshing her lip gloss while her partner was getting beat up by both faces. Afterwards the Funkadactyls explode and have an old-fashioned catfight. Not really the team I expected to fall apart after that match, but I guess Paige is still doing the 'way too nice' act. Soon, AJ, soon ...
20 minutes into the 3rd hour and they decide to shove in two more matches before the main event! First Cesaro faces Kofi in a rematch from last week, and it ends the same way, with Kofi winning via a quick roll-up and Cesaro starting another beatdown, only to get cut off by Big E running to the rescue. Odd that Cesaro jobs to a relative nobody like Kofi two weeks in a row; I mean, I love the guy for his high-flying moves, but he's been loitering at the bottom of the midcard for awhile now.
El Torito vs Bo Dallas ... ugh, really? The puns are strong with this match. Torito hits a low bull-ow on Dallas early on, but after that it's pretty much all Bo. Bo does his Running Bo-dog on the 2nd rope to accomodate his tiny opponent, then knocks the little guy over on his victory lap. Stay classy. 13-B0.
John Cena and Seth Rollins are our main event, putting on a pretty solid match before it ends in a massive screwjob. Oddly, they never bother to actually ring the bell, tho it's clear Cena wins via DQ after Kane and Orton both run in and put the beat down on Cena. Reigns comes to the rescue, but Rollins uses the briefcase to knock out both Cena and Reigns, then summons his referee to once again try and cash in. Ambrose, naturally, shows up to foil this idea, and chases Rollins backstage. The other two heels get ready to attack Cena, but Reigns recovers and gives a Superman Punch to everyone except the champ. After clearing the ring, the face and the pseudoface take turns raising each other's arms and smirking at one another.
Not a bad show, I'm enjoying the continuing drama with the briefcase and Ambrose continually being a thorn in Rollins' side. I have a feeling we're going to see a match between the two of them at Battleground, possibly for the briefcase. I'm also curious to see how long Paige is going to string along AJ before she sets off her trap. I know it's coming, it's just a matter of when and where ...
Originally posted by Blind_GuardianRandy Orton and Dean Ambrose have an awesome rematch from Smackdown, if their first match was this good I'm kinda sad that I had to leave early for the pyro.
I thought this match was miles ahead of their Smackdown contest, not that the Smackdown match was bad by any stretch. Ambrose is really establishing himself as the standout worker of the SHIELD, even if Roman Reigns and his power moves are getting the main even spotlight right now.
Reigns going from Cena sucks cheerleader to holding his hand up at the end was annoying. It would be nice to see them give a face an edge of Fuck Cena, I am going for the belt as well. Instead we get a mysterious HHH tweet about whose side he is on. Even when they are not there, HHH and Steph find a way to go with the least interesting storyline.
Jericho gets a win! Our long national nightmare is over. I do hope his match with Bray goes to some insane no decision to have a hardcore match at SummerSlam maybe with some juice. We can all pass the hat around for that fine.
I feel bad for AJ and Paige, because what they have around them is awful. I am all already bored with Rusev, Rose and Bo. Ziggler. I know TNA is close to bankruptcy and Global Wrestling looks bad, but this guy needs to get out of this company.
Originally posted by lotjxReigns going from Cena sucks cheerleader to holding his hand up at the end was annoying. It would be nice to see them give a face an edge of Fuck Cena, I am going for the belt as well.
They had a backstage segment where they did exactly that.
Originally posted by Blind_Guardian Randy Orton and Dean Ambrose have an awesome rematch from Smackdown, if their first match was this good I'm kinda sad that I had to leave early for the pyro. Also, I can't believe JBL fucked up Bret Hart's finisher. It was *Flair* that used the Figure 4, you Texan doof. Hart used the Sharpshooter. While he may have occasionally used a Figure 4, he certainly didn't use it as his signature finisher. Anyway, great match between the two, that ended with a surprise win by Orton via RKO.
JBL tried to fix it by saying it was a submission move and Bret is known for winning by submission. Now, if Dean Ambrose did the figure four on the ring post, that would be homage to Bret. I don't know how they are going to make Dean a legit threat to Rollins if he keeps losing. Lost MITB. Lost to Kane before that. Lost to Randy twice in 2 shows. Right now Kofi has a winning streak and Dean is losing all the time! And what was up with Dean jumping off the top rope and hitting nothing. Randy was looking the opposite direction. The commentators tried to save that sequence by saying Ambrose didn't know what he wanted to do when he did it or Randy dodged it... I think they should've just ignored that it happened.
Somehow, I completely missed this last night. This is incredible, thank you!
Originally posted by oudomAnd what was up with Dean jumping off the top rope and hitting nothing. Randy was looking the opposite direction. The commentators tried to save that sequence by saying Ambrose didn't know what he wanted to do when he did it or Randy dodged it... I think they should've just ignored that it happened.
I was wondering about this too, and I think what happened was that Orton was out of position or not looking where he was supposed to, and Ambrose had to bail on the spot so that he didn't kill him.
Originally posted by JustinShapiroHey remember when Steve Austin was first getting hot and they had him lose a clean but competitive match to Faarooq, Dominator in the middle, since Faarooq was getting a PPV title shot. Yeah.
I don't think we quite get that Roman Reigns > Dean Ambrose yet. It needs to be reinforced more. Next time Rollins tries to cash in, Kane's pyro needs to hit and Ambrose needs to run scared into the crowd, where he bumps into Roman Reigns and he Spears both of them. Then, Ambrose should kiss his feet.
Solid RAW. Kind of treading water. I don't mind the Cena/Reigns pairing for this week. It's still early in the month and I'm sure they're just putting them together so they can take them apart as the PPV draws closer.
I find it somewhat strange that every major WWE storyline seems to revolve around the question of "who's in charge?," then The Authority takes the week off and it's no big deal.
Hopefully, we've finally settled on theme music for Harper and Rowan. I actually liked it, as it felt like an early 90s tag team theme.
I had never heard of the Battleground sponsor, Takis, before I moved to Florida. All the kids in school love them so I had to try them to find out for myself. No thanks.
The Cameron-Naomi brawl was actually pretty intense and vicious, but it ended with a whimper.
As much as I love Dean Ambrose foiling every Seth Rollins cash-in attempt, part of me wonders why he doesn't just wait until the bell rings to start the cash-in, THEN attack for a DQ finish.
I don't know if it's worthy of a separate thread, but did anyone check out the Monday Night Wars preview on the Network after Raw? Some recycled MNW DVD stuff (mostly the Bischoff talking heads), but lots of new stuff as well.
@gregmparks - live Tweeting of Raw and Impact, wrestling thoughts and other slices of life.
Pairing Reigns with Cena is the smartest, most self-aware way to stave off the Reigns backlash that I'm frankly stunned they are doing it. The balancing act of "Roman Reigns is genuinely, naturally cool" vs. "WWE wants Roman Reigns to be cool" is tricky and almost entirely predicated on finding ways to keep Reigns away from Bryan, Ziggler and maybe Cesaro so people don't start putting things together. Cena is the classic "WWE wants this guy to be cool" guy and Reigns being vaguely threatening and condescening to Cena is the best way to harness Reigns' intrinsic coolness. Reigns just needs to be the guy to roll his eyes at all of Cena's usual schtick and call him out as corny in the most low key way possible if they want to give him the momentum he needs before Bryan returns so people don't remember that Reigns was probably always going to hijack Bryan's push. Also, no more putting hilarious shit powder in people's drinks, a move that was right out of the Cena/Sheamus "this is cool, right?" playbook.
The x-factor is, of course, Dean Ambrose suddenly being super over AND the best guy in the company*, which hasn't happened since...Daniel Bryan. This will surely fuel the conspiracy theories we'll all have about whether Ambrose is losing matches just to make Reigns look cooler. I dunno. Could be, but it's equally possible they don't know how to push more than one face at a time anymore. In either case, I think Ambrose trying to ruin the MITB cash-in for an entire year is probably the best angle they've come up with in the history of guaranteed title shots and it's SO perfect and SO obvious that it's hard to believe they didn't do it already in the past nine years. Dean Ambrose: Ultimate Inopportunist!
*We probably need a drastically revised "best guy in the company" order now that Daniel Bryan and Christian are dead and Cesaro is whatever they did to Cesaro.
Why were they storing like 6 folding chairs at the ring announcer/time keeper area so Ambrose can throw them all in the ring and not use any? Kind of shocking to see Rollins do head shots with the suitcase. I thought they don't do headshots any more in WWE!
Michael Cole going crazy with saying Randy Orton got staples to his skull and King and JBL trying to tell him they don't think the staples are actually in his skull. Cole comes back with: "I didn't say the staples were in his skull, I said he had 12 staples in his skull." Then talking about a "face lift surgeon" during the Miz/Jericho match. King told him he shouldn't just say anything that comes out of his head. LOL
Energy drinks are kryptonite for Bella's. I can't believe that wasn't common knowledge before this episode.
The referee can tie one hell of a knot, but obviously doesn't have kids. Those were amateur PSYCHE moves but they hilariously worked every time. Hilarious.
That picture of Putin is the one from Vince's bathroom, yes?
Watching a legit power lifter kick his legs like a baby for RVD's roll up attempt seemed slightly out of character. RVD looked like a guy who wandered into the crosswalk just after the light changed when Rusev bailed on Rolling Thunder. You used to be able to chalk it up to "But he did amazing for being so high." But now?
Doesn't Heyman have at least minor input regarding the story lines of his clients? If not, give it to him. If so, take it away from him. I'm amazed at how they have no idea what to do with Cesaro.
Can they help themselves from turning Bo Dallas into a comedy act? I don't think that they can do it, but I'm hoping the next step is his angry side.
Whelp, Santino did just retire and someone has to fill that spot.
If after a year plus Jack Swagger, while being under a experienced mic worker like Coulter, still has to have Zeb cut his promos for him, I think his face push much like all his other pushes is already doomed from the start.
I think Y2J's rust is not as severe as RVD's rust seeing as we saw RVD's rust begin in TNA several years ago and hasn't gone away. Just last year he was facing CM Punk at Battleground, carrying a blown-up Fandango at Wrestlemania and wrestling Ziggler on RAW for the match of the night.
Cole: "Yeah, thanks to Kane. You should buy Kane a Rolex watch for what he did for you."
Rollins: "Oh don't be silly, Kane doesn't wear watches."
My faves for gimmicks that outshone the wrestlers behind them: Papa Shango. Voodoo evil? I'm there. Gangrel. I love the idea of a vampire wrestler (bring back El Vampiro!), but it was the packaging that made it work.