Tonight, my world crosses with the world of the comic book geek as Stephen Amell guest-hosts. I’m not totally hating this move. It seems fun. Amell is a huge wrestling fan and seems to really enjoy being put into WWE’s spotlight. It’s also the perfect gimmick match for SummerSlam and recalls the days of WWE old when we used to have celeb handicap matches. As for the rest of the show, let’s see what we’ve got…
We are LIVE(!!!) from Seattle, Washington for WWE Monday Night RAW!!!
Michael Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton are the guys at the talking desk.
- An in-depth look at Brock vs. Taker
- Stephen Amell of WB’s Arrow is here to confront Stardust
- Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper
Seth Rollins starts us off. He comes to the ring while we take a look at the time Rollins broke Cena’s nose. Rollins looks smug as always. It’s MONDAY NIGHT ROLLINS, he says. He is “the man who broke the face that runs the place”. Part of the crowd actually does a “YOU SOLD OUT” chant because Rollins broke up The Shield yesterday, as we all know. Rollins says that nobody’s heard from Cena. Then he says that Cena’s probably home, licking his wounds. Either that, or contemplating his rap career. Because he’s STRAIGHT OUTTA ACTION! TOPICAL POP CULTURE REFERENCES ABOUND! He says that if Cena can’t get to SummerSlam, he needs to forfeit. He says that Cena hasn’t “responded to his challenge” (So, how can he “forfeit”?) — but he’ll be on Tough Enough. He’s not a man. Suddenly, one of the ringside guys tells Seth that Cena will be here via satellite. Seth calls him out — and we get a Conan O’Brien Syncro-Vox sketch from 1999 where it’s an image of Cena with a moving mouth.
This murders the crowd dead for three whole minutes until Cesaro shows up to point out just how long the sketch has been going. He says that he wants to challenge Rollins TONIGHT. Rollins denies him and says that the “open challenge” was last week and was a one-time thing. Rollins wants to know what Cesaro has done to deserve a shot at the title. Kevin Owens shows up next. The answer that Rollins is looking for is “nothing”. He says that nobody has beaten John Cena but HIM. If anyone deserves a shot tonight, it’s Kevin Owens. Rollins calls them “deaf and dumb” — and Orton shows up next. He says he’s the only one who gets a shot. Rollins tells all three of them that it isn’t going to happen. He says that Tom Brady is the only one with a shot at a free meal in Seattle than anyone has at the title. He tells them all to leave “his ring”.
And, finally, we’re at Triple H, nearly 15 minutes later. Triple H says that it’s interesting that Rollins would say those words. He says that doctors are saying that it’s 50/50 that Cena will make it to SummerSlam. That creates some turmoil — but that also churns out some competition. Tonight, it’s a Triple Threat Match with Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton. Who ever wins this match will be in tonight’s main event: a title match against Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship. Rollins looks worried and we finally end this segment.
TONIGHT: MizTV welcomes Daniel Bryan.
NEXT: Team B.A.D. vs. Team Bella
When we come back, the newly-named “Team P.C.B.” (which Cole pretends has always been the name and generically stands for “Paige, Charlotte, Becky”; oooo, so intimidating) are at ringside marking the 150th time we get this weird, obsessive angle where EVERY SINGLE DIVA has to be in the same place at the same time.
MATCH #1: Team Bella (Alicia Fox, Brie Bella & WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella) vs. Team B.A.D. (Tamina, Naomi & Sasha Banks)
The bell rings. Fox and Naomi are in first with Fox hitting a Spinning Backbreaker for two. Tag to Nikki who hits an armbar. The commentary is just scintillating:
Cole: “Becky, it’s been quite the ride for you: you actually knocked off Brie Bella on Main Event, your first one-on-one match here in the WWE.”
Becky (completely dry and quiet): “I did. I did. I put her in the Dis-Armer. (Long pause) And I, also, the night before…I put Alicia Fox in the Dis-Armer.”
Paige (after a LONG pause): “Our team is the most dominant team out of every single one of these Divas.”
Meanwhile, it’s still Naomi in the ring. Nikki hits a weak Spinebuster for two. Naomi tosses her into the corner but Nikki comes back with an Enzuguri. After a break, it’s Banks running Nikki over and hitting a forearm on Brie, knocking her off the mat. With the ref’s back turned, Tamina knees Nikki in the face and Banks gets a two count. Finally, Nikki breaks and it’s a tag to Brie who hits YES Kicks and a dropkick off the top rope. She goes for Brie Mode but Banks hits a tag to Tamina on the way to the ropes and Brie eats a clothesline. Tamina knocks the rest of Team Bella off the mat and tries a Superkick but Brie ducks and rolls her up for the win at near 9:00.
WINNERS: Team Bella
RATING: 1/2 a *. Jee-zus. Long and boring with god-awful commentary from PCB on the mics. Somebody needs to show Becky how to give a decent promo or at least sound like she’s into what she’s doing. The three-team thing has got to stop. It’s just not working, especially considering what happens next…
Team B.A.D. gangs up to stomp a mudhole in Brie. Team PCB enters the ring, as does Team Bella and it’s a Pier Six with BAD and PCB clearing the Bellas out. They all stare at Nikki who holds the title above her head so little kids can’t reach it or something. Then they glare at one another. Who’s good? Who’s bad? Who gets a title shot? Does anyone give a damn? Break the damn teams up already. It’s telling that they can’t even come up with clever stable names.
STILL TO COME: The Triple Threat Match
Stephen Amell is at ringside tonight.
MATCH #2: Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando) (w/ El Torito) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) (w/ Xavier Woods)
Fernando starts with Kofi. They run, leap, counter and flip until Fernando hits a dropkick and Frankensteiner. E tags in and shoulderblocks Fernando, then it’s a Mudhole Stomp in the corner. PTP watch from the back. Kofi punts Fernando and locks in an armbar. E tags in for a Warrior Splash. Fernando counters a side suplex and sends E into the corner post. Tags on both sides. Diego clotheslines Kofi and hits a 360 Senton off a springboard. Diego does OLE! to Kofi, then puts him on the ropes. Outside, El Torito attacks Xavier and flings him into the barricade. On the distraction, E and Kofi hit the 11th Hour for the win at 3:58.
WINNERS: New Day
RATING: *1/2. Eh…this feud is getting old. I could have sworn Los Matadores were the “#1 Contenders” a while back, but what do I know?
The New Day are backstage, dancing and celebrating, singing a parody of 2 Live Crew’s “We Want Some Pussy”. Renee Young says they will face PTP at SummerSlam — and also Los Matadores and Lucha Dragons because nobody in Creative can decide which tag team is out front. They pretend to be happy and celebrate some more.
Rollins hangs out with Triple H. Rollins is pissed that he has to be in a title match tonight. Triple H says that his opponent will be exhausted. He has faith in Rollins because Rollins beat Neville after Neville pushed him to the brink. Rollins nods and says anything Cena can do, he can do.
LAST THURSDAY ON SMACKDOWN: Reigns challenged Wyatt to a match at SummerSlam. Wyatt accepted.
AT SUMMERSLAM: Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns face Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper
TONIGHT: Ambrose vs. Harper
NEXT: The Triple Threat Match
MATCH #3: Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton in a Triple Threat Match to decide who faces Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Orton and Cena beat up on Owens who bails from the ring. Cesaro and Orton battle until Cesaro slides out of the ring. The fight moves outside but Owens rolls into the ring after Orton clotheslines him. Cesaro fights off Orton and gets back in the ring. Cesaro tries a Swing but Owens kicks out. Cesaro stomps his chest and gets two. Cesaro hits some corner uppercuts but Orton runs in with a T-Bone Suplex on Cesaro, then one to Owens. Orton goes for Vintage Orton on Cesaro but Cesaro falls off the ring ropes. Owens pulls Cesaro out and it’s Owens and Orton. Owens mocks Orton’s show-off move (arms up) but Orton shoulderblocks him. Cesaro gets involved again and the fight spills out of the ring. Orton tosses Owens into the barricade, then tries to toss Cesaro into Owens. Owens moves. Cesaro grabs him. Owens drops him on the barricade. Orton side suplexes Owens on the barricade as well.
Back in the ring, Orton pins Owens for two. Orton hits a suplex and gets a one-count. Orton and Cesaro trade uppercuts. Owens hits a couple of his own on Cesaro, then tosses him out of the ring. Orton hits a backbreaker. Cesaro flies in and hits Orton with a Cross Body for two. He and Orton trade uppercuts. Orton goes for the RKO but Cesaro locks in a Crossface on a counter. Orton gets to the ropes and falls out of the ring as there’s no legal way to break the hold. Owens gets into the ring and knocks Cesaro out of the ring. Then he follows it up with a 360 Splash to the outside, knocking both guys down.
After a break, Owens and Cesaro go at it with Owens hitting a Cannonball for two. Owens goes top rope but Orton flies in and punches at him. He tries for a Suplex. Owens headbutts him and knocks him off. Cesaro hits a dropkick and Owens is woozy, sitting on the top buckle. Cesaro and Orton go and grab Owens for a double Superplex. Orton and Cesaro trade shots and Cesaro knocks Orton down, hitting the Swing, then locks in the Sharpshooter. Owens runs in and Cesaro breaks the hold, trying to lock it on Owens. Owens kicks out and rolls up Cesaro for two. Owens runs at Orton who hits the Powerslam. Both Cesaro and Owens are outside the ring ropes, so Orton grabs them both for Vintage Orton. Orton goes for an RKO on Cesaro. Cesaro kicks out. Owens grabs Orton and pulls him out of the ring, hitting a Fallaway Slam into the barricade. Cesaro flies out of the ring and knocks Owens down and out. Cesaro rolls Owens back in and goes top rope, hitting a nice Cross Body! Owens reverses it and gets a two-count! Cesaro hits a Springboard Uppercut(!) and he gets two. Cesaro hits an uppercut in the corner. Owens tries to fight out. Cesaro tries the Super Gut Wrench but Owens kicks out and tries a Swanton. Cesaro counters and puts his knees up. Cesaro runs at Owens — who nails him with a Superkick! Owens sets up for the PUPB but Cesaro leapfrogs over him…and ORTON HITS AN RKO OUT OF NOWHERE ON OWENS! Cesaro attacks Orton — and HE eats an RKO! Orton wins! (Time at 18:07.)
WINNER: Randy Orton via RKO
RATING: ****. Marred only by a slow, clunky start. What a match.
Ambrose is backstage, saying how much he wanted a friend because he used to steal a lot of stuff. Reigns shows up and tells Ambrose to shut up and then says that Ambrose meant that Reigns is his only real friend. Reigns says he and Ambrose are family. Ambrose knows everything about Reigns. Reigns says that Wyatt would never go to bat for Luke Harper. They promise to beat the Wyatts.
Cole gives us a look at Lesnar vs. Taker in a nice video package.
MATCH #4: Dean Ambrose (Roman Reigns) vs. Luke Harper (w/ Bray Wyatt)
Harper hits mean uppercuts in the corner. Ambrose comes back with a clothesline and hammers Harper in the corner. Ambrose hits a Sitting Clothesline. He ties Harper up on the ropes and hits some shots, then rushes Harper who hits a Side Slam for two. Bray takes Saxton’s chair away from him and sits in it outside. Harper gets dumped outside and Ambrose hits a sitting dropkick and running elbow off the mat. After a break, Harper slings’ Ambrose’s neck into the bottom rope. Side headlock by Harper but the crowd is more concerned about Byron and yells for him to “sit down”. This amuses Bray, who turns to stare at Byron, daring him to come get his chair. Harper tries for Snake Eyes but drops Ambrose on the second buckle instead. Harper puts Ambrose into the corner but Ambrose counters and hits a Tornado DDT. Harper whips Ambrose into the ropes but Ambrose hits a Sunset Flip. A series of counters and Ambrose slams Harper to the mat. Ambrose tries a Bulldog but Harper shoves Ambrose off of him and into the buckle. Harper misses an attack and both men go outside. Wyatt gets involved, so Ambrose tosses him over the announce table. Back in the ring, Harper goes for the Discus Clothesline but Ambrose rolls him up for two. Ambrose goes outside where Wyatt misses a clothesline. Reigns nails Wyatt with a Superman Punch. Harper takes out Reigns and Ambrose takes out Harper with a dive. Back in the ring, Ambrose gets hit with a Discus clothesline and Harper wins.
WINNER: Luke Harper via Clothesline From Smell
RATING: **1/2. Not a bad match, just really unremarkable with an overbooked finish. The clean finish at the end really didn’t help things.
NEXT: Daniel Bryan is on MizTV.
Miz welcomes everyone to MizTV and he points out Stephen Amell at ringside. He says that once Stardust has run him over, he’ll teach Amell how to act. Miz welcomes Daniel Bryan to the ring, YES chants abound as he does. The crowd just loves him and chants his name several times. The Miz finally tries to silence the crowd. Daniel Bryan says that Miz wants them to “shut up” so they “better be quiet”. The crowd won’t shut up. Bryan says that he wasn’t gonna miss RAW in his home state of Washington. He leads them in a SEAHAWKS chant. Miz talks up the Browns, which I don’t even think Browns fans did anymore. Bryan says that Miz’s stupid Santa Claus flick will probably be a “huge success”. Miz talks up the movie, then Bryan thanks all the fans. Miz says they will “agree to disagree”. One thing they can agree on is his medical status: that Bryan is not allowed to wrestle right now. He calls Bryan a “broken toy on the shelf that nobody wants to play with. He wants to know what it’s like to sit at home and do nothing but dwell on the past. Bryan says he’s kept busy — with a book that’s a New York Times Bestseller. He also hosts Tough Enough (which he says is “the greatest show on the history of shows” while keeping a straight face). Miz says he’s been there with him. Miz says he taught Bryan everything he knows — including integrity. So he wants to know if Ryback should have some integrity and cancel the Triple Threat Match at SummerSlam and just hand the title to Miz. Big Show shows up and says that Miz just talks and has crap coming out of his mouth. He turns to Bryan — and the crowd yells for Show to retire. Show starts yelling back, telling them to find somebody to “retire him”. Ryback’s music hits and out he comes. Miz gets out of the ring with Bryan. Ryback and Show go face to face. Bryan tosses Miz in the middle of them. Miz gets to his feet and looks at both of them. He begs off and Show tosses him into Ryback, then puts Miz in the other corner. Ryback attacks and clotheslines Show, who rolls out of the ring. Miz gets to his feet with Bryan leading the crowd in YES chants. Ryback hits a Meat Hook on Miz and everyone celebrates. Nice segment.
TONIGHT: The World Title Match
Cole gives us a video package about Charlotte.
AT SUMMERSLAM: All 9 Divas in a three-team “elimination match”. Yawn…BREAK. THEM. UP. This is SO boring.
Lana is out on commentary.
MATCH #5: Rusev (w/ Summer Rae) vs. Mark Henry
Mark Henry comes out with the American flag which still makes no sense since Bulgaria’s a NATO ally. Henry hits clotheslines and then one in the corner. Summer gets up on the mat. It doesn’t even matter. Rusev hits a Superkick. Lana gets up and grabs Summer, yanking her outside. Summer tosses her into the ring. Then Summer beats up Lana and the ref just says “fuck it” and asks for the bell.
WINNER: No contest
Post-match, Summer kicks at Lana and puts her in the Accolade. Then a bang and it’s the Bulgarian flag with Rusev’s face on it, which is so ridiculous, there are no words.
Cole points out Stephen Amell and we then take a look at Neville and his wild week where he almost won the WWE Title. Then we see Stardust getting in Stephen Amell’s face, which really had nothing to do with any of that, but ok.
NEXT: Neville is in action.
LAST THURSDAY ON SMACKDOWN: Stardust beat Zack Ryder and then taunted Stephen Amell and his appearance on RAW.
MATCH #6: King Barrett vs. Neville
Barrett kicks Neville in the corner and then hits a Backbreaker. One-count. Barrett tries to dump him outside. Neville lands on his feet and gets to the corner but Barrett beats him up there. Barrett runs at him. Neville knees him in the face and then hits the Red Arrow.
WINNER: Neville via Red Arrow
Post-match, Stardust attacks Neville, then goes outside to taunt Stephen Amell. He shoves Amell who jumps the barrier, gets into the ring, spears Stardust, and then just wails on him until WWE Security hops into the ring to separate them. Amell and Neville shake hands as Star and Barrett walk to the back, shocked.
Amell is backstage. Triple H is not happy with Amell. Amell doesn’t care. He wants a match with Stardust. Neville wants a tag match. Triple H laughs this off and tells him that he can go to the parking lot instead and drive away. Amell says he doesn’t care what Triple H says — he will have his lawyers contact Triple H to sign any match papers. Triple H begrudgingly agrees and tells Amell that he has no idea what he’s getting into. They shake on it — then Amell is escorted from the building.
JoJo has Sheamus backstage. He doesn’t know who to root for in tonight’s main event. This segment goes on far too long as Sheamus teases cashing in tonight.
MATCH #7: Randy Orton (challenger) vs. Seth Rollins (champion) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Rollins bails from the ring to start, so that’s great. Finally, Rollins beats Orton in the corner. Orton shoves Rollins into the corner and goes for an RKO but Rollins escapes and leaves the ring. After break, Rollins has Orton in a headlock. Orton breaks and Rollins clotheslines him to the mat or something. Looked like he missed a Bulldog or a botch. Rollins splashes Orton in the corner, then hits a neckbreaker. Orton comes back with clotheslines after Orton headbutts him. He misses the Powerslam but rolls up Rollins for two. Then he hits the Powerslam. Two count. Rollins is pissed and leaves the ring, going for his title. He tries to leave but Orton attacks him and drops him on the announce table. Back in the ring, Rollins tries to run again. Orton chases. Rollins elbows him and tries to toss him into the ref. Orton stops himself. Rollins rolls him up for two. He argues with the ref after the two count. Orton rolls him up for two. Rollins gets to his feet and superkicks Orton. Rollins goes top rope but Orton gets up and knocks him off. Orton gets up and hits the Superplex and NEARLY gets a three count. Rollins gets to his feet and goes for the Pedigree. Orton counters and goes for Vintage Orton. That gets countered and Rollins nails him with an Enzuguri. Rollins goes for Vintage Orton instead and he hits it. Rollins sets up for an RKO but doesn’t. Pedigree instead. Orton counters, then tosses him outside the ring ropes. Rollins lands on his feet and goes for a Springboard but Orton hits an RKO! He goes for the pin — but Sheamus grabs him and pulls him out of the ring for the DQ at around 13:11.
WINNER: Randy Orton via DQ
STILL CHAMPION: Seth Rollins
RATING: ***. Not bad, but a bit short, too routine and a horrible way to continue the lame Sheamus/Orton feud.
Post-match, Sheamus runs into the ring and tells the ref he wants to cash in his briefcase. This seemingly takes the referee 2 years to understand as Sheamus yells “CASH IT IN” about six times before the ref finally gets the case from him. Orton gets in the ring and RKO’s him, standing tall as we go off the air.
OVERALL: Not a bad RAW tonight. Nicely done. Stephen Amell’s Stardust angle is fun, the IC Title picture’s finally coming back into the spotlight and SummerSlam is shaping up to have a good card — provided everyone’s healthy and shows up.