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.
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.
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.