WWE Monday Night Raw
-We begin with the scheduled dance off between Chris Jericho and Fandango. Chris Jericho is wearing an odd wifebeater and black pants combination. Maybe he’s going to dance to some John Mellencamp. Both get some time on the microphone to start. After Fandango’s dancer goes down with an injury and Jericho tries to check on her, Fandango attacks, eventually hitting Jericho with a piece of the wooden dance floor to put him down. Michael Cole did not declare that Jericho was floored. And, as it turns out, the injury to Summer Rae was all a heelish ruse. This took twenty minutes.
Zack Ryder vs. Ryback
Zack’s hair grows rather fast. Also, he has gone back to wearing long tights. Ryback charges into the ring, and runs through Ryder. The WWE App is more prominent in this segment. The clothesline and Shell Shocked finish this match quickly.
Final Thoughts: Just a squash.
-We get the first of many video recaps of the feud between Lesnar and HHH.
Tons of Funk vs. Prime Time Players
Young and Tensai start with Tensai doing his senton into Darren seated in the corner. Titus tags in and puts Tensai into the corner with a few strikes. Tensai ducks a charge and tags in Clay. T-bone suplex puts Young in the corner and Clay follows up with a splash. Young strikes Clay before he can hit the big splash, and Titus rolls up Clay for the upset win.
Final Thoughts: There was nothing in this match. At least Prime Time Players picked up a win and may get a renewed push.
-Teddy Long comes out to the ring to address Dolph Ziggler’s concussion and the future of the title. Swagger and Zeb run out onto the ramp. Zeb is stumbles over his words as he begins to speak. Langston and AJ come out in response to Zeb saying that Jack should become champion without a match. AJ thinks that Swagger should be fired for concussing Dolph. Swagger faces Del Rio at Extreme Rules in a number one contender match with I Quit rules. There’s a very awkward plug for the WWE application to vote for Big E’s future opponent for the evening. I think that is turning into a theme for tonight.
Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow
Sandow refuses to sing this week. Sandow takes control in the early going, working the midsection and dropping The Elbow of Disdain for two. Kofi reverses an abdominal stretch into one of his own. Kingston hits a couple of chops, and then a dropkick and flying clothesline that set up the Boom Drop. Kingston misses the crossbody from the top and Damien gets a neckbreaker for two. A suplex is reversed into the Trouble in Paradise for Kofi and he picks up the win.
Final Thoughts: There was some good energy, but way too short to be memorable. The most important thing we learned during this segment is that Dean Ambrose is getting a shot at the U.S. Title at Extreme Rules.
-WWE reminds people how a strap match works here, with Henry using Josh Mathews to demonstrate. Mark drags Josh around the ring to touch all four corners. Of course, Sheamus stays in the back until after they can teach the masses of how this crazy match works. Henry challenges Sheamus to enter the ring, and Sheamus finally enters, but with his own strap. After some clobbering with the straps, Mark retreats from the ring. This was a decent way to promote the match, but Sheamus should have come to Josh’s aid and not simply been called out.
-I refuse to talk much about the new flick from WWE Films.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton
We’ll see if Randy can go 100-0 against Cesaro with a victory in this match. They lock up to start. Orton takes control and begins to stomp and drag the boots on Cesaro. Antonio sneaks a headbutt in the corner and stomps away. Cesaro whips Orton into the opposite corner and rushes in with a European uppercut. He latches on with a chinlock. Orton fights out and hits an Exploder Suplex. After a series of clotheslines, Orton is able to hit the powerslam and sets up for the apron DDT. Cesaro escapes it and gets two with a roll up, but runs right into an RKO to finish the match.
Final Thoughts: This was far too short, but at least Cesaro and Orton delivered the RKO finish without it being too telegraphed. Cesaro’s push seems to be halted. I’ll take the beret over the yodeling, though.
Heath Slater vs. The Miz
The Miz returns tonight, and is also booked into the preshow of Extreme Rules against Cody Rhodes. There’s some circling at the start, and after a series of reversals, Miz hits a knee to the stomach and then a running kick to the chest. Miz gets two and then throws in his neckbreaker combo. Miz is distracted by 3MB and eats a leg lariat. Slater peppers in some jabs and gets a neckbreaker for two.
Miz powers out of a side headlock and hits a series of running strikes ending in a boot to the face. Miz hits the corner clothesline and follows with a double axe handle from the top. Slater grabs the ropes in response to a possible figure four. They fight at the top, but Slater winds up being launched outside into his bandmates. After a dropkick to the knee, Miz locks on the Figure Four for the win.
Final Thoughts: This was fine, and short, but nothing memorable. Slater did a great job of making The Miz look good, and selling the limited damage done to his knee. They keep putting up a picture in picture for the WWE application, and it’s distracting when you’re trying to watch the program.
Team Hell No & John Cena vs. The Shield – Elimination Tag Team Match
If I were a betting man, I’d say that this is the only reason to watch the show tonight. This really is the type of match that needs to be hyped for a week for a week or two, though. Ambrose and Kane start the match. Kane and Ambrose brawl it out with Kane getting control and tagging in Bryan. He immediately goes to the kicks in the corner and then stretches him out on the mat. Ambrose gets Rollins into the ring. Cena comes in and a bulldog gets two on Rollins.
After the commercial break, Bryan sets up Ambrose for the surfboard. He locks it in tags in Kane. Kane hits the running dropkick and gets a cover for two. Another quick tag brings in Bryan, but Ambrose powers Bryan to the other side and in comes Rollins. After some strikes, Reigns enters and uses his power advantage. Why does WWE tell people to get on their application while the main event match is happening??
Bryan fights back but takes a clothesline for two. The Shield chain together their running dropkicks for two, and Daniel is the face in peril. Rollins puts on a chinlock and the crowd gets behind Bryan once more. Ambrose is back in and hits the elbow as Mutoh would. He stomps down at Bryan and gets some revenge for the surfboard from earlier. They trade knees and in comes Kane with the hot tag. He’s a house of fire, hitting clotheslines in the corners and a sideslam before he knocks The Shield from the apron. The running DDT gets a two count on Rollins. Kane hits the clothesline from the top and has the chokeslam broken up by Rollins. Kane takes them both out of the ring and follows them to do some damage. Reigns slams off of the announce table before Kane begins to tear it apart. He slams Ambrose with JUST the announce table fringe, and gets booted out of this match. Lame.
After the commercial break, Cena kicks out of an Ambrose DDT that gets two. Reigns is in and powers up, by planting a hand into the mat. Then, Roman leaps up and hits a superpunch for two. It looks good. Cena blocks a suplex and gets one of his own. In comes Rollins as Cena struggles back to his feet. The knee from the top gets two, and Rollins is upset about this. Rollins locks on a sleeper with body scissors, but Cena rises back to his feet and walks Seth around the ring, looking for the tag. Bryan gets into the ring and hits a double dropkick on Reigns and Ambrose, sending them flying. Bryan backflips out of the corner leads to a spirited dive to the outside. He nails Rollins on the way back in and sends the crowd into a frenzy with the front dropkick from the top. That gets two. Bryan kicks the crap out of Rollins, and works for the NO Lock. Blind tag to Ambrose and then he hits the headlock driver. This match blows, now.
ELIMINATED: DANIEL BRYAN
Here’s the rest of the match before it happens….Cena defeats two guys from The Shield before Ryback distracts him and causes him to lose. There was no Kobashi tribute from Bryan tonight, either. Anyways, a bunch of quick tags and Cena is pummeled but fights back with the shoulder blocks and hits the fistdrop and FU to put down Rollins.
ELIMINATED: SETH ROLLINS
Reigns disobeys Chioda and spears Cena when he wasn’t legal and gets tossed.
ELIMINATED: ROMAN REIGNS
Cena kicks out of the spear. Ambrose begins to taunt but gets caught in the STF. The rest of The Shield return to beat up Cena, and get DQ’d before Ambrose can tap. Hell No are nowhere to be found as Cena gets hit with the triple powerbomb. I guess Kane needed to use the bathroom after all of that stress. Cena still beat The Shield in the match, and that shouldn’t be forgotten. Terrible and worse than my prediction Ryback comes out….and thinks about beating up Cena A LOT before finally doing it, pummeling him in the lower leg with a steel chair. He should have given him the Pillmanizer, just so that John Cena’s victory is even more epic.
Final Thoughts: This could have been a MOTY candidate. The Shield technically lost to John Cena. Team Hell No didn’t return to help Cena. And then Ryback shows up and gives Cena another hurdle to surely overcome. The booking sucked and the crowd had the life sucked from it after Ambrose beat Bryan.
Instead of what happened, let Kane be disqualified for something more severe, let Bryan pin Rollins after a top rope headbutt and then have Ambrose pin him as was. Cena can dispatch Ambrose and Reigns picks up the win after some Ryback interference. THEN, a four on four pull apart brawl takes place as Hell No reenter the fray with Kofi Kingston. Boom, show is sold and passionate wrestling fans aren’t seething.
-Ryback is backstage and complains about not being champion yet. He’s been on TV for a year and already, they gave him the label of a choker.
Big E Langston vs. Jack Swagger
Swagger won the vote easily, would bodes terribly for Del Rio. Hopefully, Langston plays the face here. However, I feel that this TULSA crowd is going to be all about Swagger tonight, and not because he’s from Oklahoma. Stalemate to start with a lockup, and this crowd is somewhat dead. Swagger grabs a side headlock. They trade stalemate with shoulder blocks. Langston’s gear has ridden up.
Langston takes control with clubbing blows before Swagger goes for the Patriot Lock. Langston escapes but eats a slam for two. We come back from the break….unless we have the WWE APPLICATION!! Anyways, Langston hits a powerful backbreaker for two. Dutch fires up the crowd for Swagger as Langston drives some shoulders in the corner.
Big E misses a charge and goes shoulder first into the post and moons the crowd. Shortarm clothesline with mustard is followed up with a Swagger Bomb for two. Big E gains control and puts Swagger on the top turnbuckle. A superplex from the top puts both men down. Langston rolls over and gets two. He pulls the straps down to signal for the finish. “Swagger” chants are making me slightly ill. Jack hits a dive into the leg and Langston makes it to the ropes following the Patriot Lock. Swagger charges and gets dropped over the top rope and to the outside.
Langston tosses Jack into the barricade but misses a charge and flies over the barricade and into the crowd. Swagger gets back in before the count hits ten. ADR runs in after the match. After Ricardo distracts Jack, ADR puts on the cross armbreaker. Swagger taps; of course he does. Langston knocks ADR off to get back at Swagger. Langston eats a kick from Del Rio. ADR turns his attention to Swagger and clotheslines him over the top rope and to the outside.
Final Thoughts: Instead of showing us what happens during the break, they want us to use their application, I’ve noticed. I don’t like that. The match was decent, with good shots delivered by both guys. Still, I’m starting to feel that Swagger is a bit dangerous in the ring. WWE’s insistence on protecting Langston like this bothers me, as they have the number two face in the company pinned cleanly in matches all of the time.
AJ vs. Natalya
Nikki and Brie are on commentary. So is Kaitlyn. Hornswoggle and Khali are also standing by. In the ring, Natty dominates with suplexes and slams while AJ begs off and tucks into the fetal position. AJ then runs away on the outside. AJ hits a kick to the guy and goes back in, but makes sure to taunt Kaitlyn. Knocked off of the apron, she plays dead for a legit minute and then uses an octopus submission hold to pick up the win. The commentary was terrible, as six people wore headsets. Kaitlyn got another gift and this was the main angle of this match. This could have been done in a backstage segment.
Final Thoughts: This segment gave me the beginnings of a headache. AJ is a coward who wins cleanly, making Natty look terrible. Everyone is talking over the match, and I think they even flashed a WWE Application video ad on the corner of the screen.
-Backstage, Chris Jericho puts on his serious face and reminds Fandango of who he is. Cool Dad is mad. He’s still doing his talk show on Smackdown this week! So much for not playing around….
-The real Cool Dad is here now, and his name is Triple H. We hit commercial as a steel cage descends over the ring. This is not an old school, blue barred cage, so feh. HHH reminds us that we’ve been doing this for a year. Not quite, but it sure feels like ten years. HHH promises that this Sunday, the feud will be settled. Thank goodness.
HHH, unlike Cena, has embraced the hate and that’s why he is strong. Oh, HHH claims to be at home here, too. Sorry, Jimmy Snuka. Brock comes out with Heyman. Paul says that the hate between the two men means that people should buy the PPV. HHH is going to hate facing his family after the match due to the damage Brock will do. HHH is going to hate losing this war.
Brock doesn’t fight for free, of course, and he starts to leave. HHH figures out why Brock won’t fight him. HHH puts himself over for winning at WrestleMania and says that Paul is worried that if and when Brock loses, Heyman loses money. HHH ruined Brock’s “mystique” long ago, and his threatening to do so now is funny.
HHH calls Brock a bitch and gets him to walk towards the ring. I’m not sure why the referees don’t want him to enter the ring. Heyman pleads with Brock to not enter the ring. Why should Brock fear HHH so much? He broke his arm twice and just moments ago HHH himself said that Lesnar isn’t scared.
Anyhow, there’s a German suplex from Lesnar after a few traded punches. Paul closes the door as HHH ducks a splash against the cage. HHH flings Lesnar against the door and Brock nails it, with Heyman still standing there for some reason. Lesnar falls to the outside and retreats after helping Heyman to his feet.
–It may have been watching the Bulls go down so easily to the Heat tonight, but this show tried my patience. There were so many worthless segments and bad booking decisions. Cena and HHH are the true stars here and nothing else really matters. That’s all that this show accomplishes. It’s just a phoned in show that did a poor job of selling the PPV coming up this Sunday. On the bright side, The Shield are going after some gold at Extreme Rules, and the Henry/Sheamus strap match has the potential to be a great brawl. Of the three hours of Raw, there’s thirty minutes of content to watch.
3:05 – Lesnar and HHH throw punches following a lot of talking – Slightly Recommended
2:20 – Swagger vs. Langston – Slightly Recommended
1:38 – Team Hell No/Cena vs. The Shield – Recommended
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