Battleground is this Sunday and that, of course, means that we’re about to see the “Going Home” show. We’ve got a great feud with Lesnar and Rollins heading into this thing…let’s see what we’ve got tonight…
We begin with clips of the war between Brock Lesnar and J&J Security’s car.
And we are LIVE(!!!) from Atlanta, Georgia for Monday Night RAW!!!
Cole, JBL and Saxton are on the mics.
For some reason, the wrecked car is here and, unless Lesnar suplexed it and F5’ed it to hell, it looks even worse than it did last week.
Brock and Paul start us off as the crowd starts a loud “SUPLEX CITY” chant. Paul pumps up the crowd, calling him an “ass-kicker”. He says his heart is pounding through his chest — and not because he’s fat. He’s excited to see The Beast enter the ring as a “challenger”. He describes what Brock did to The Rock, Randy Couture and John Cena at SummerSlam and how he destroys anything he touches. He says that Lesnar would still be champion had Rollins not stolen the title like a thief in the night. He says that Brock will NOT leave as a “challenger”. He says that Rollins is gonna get beat up and get his ass kicked. He’ll be suplexed, F5’ed and pinned by Brock Lesnar.
Rollins’ music hits and out he comes with Kane. Rollins talks tough and says he’ll wipe the smile off Lesnar’s face. He calls Lesnar a coward and says that he’s shaken up and pissed at what Lesnar did to J&J’s car. He says that Lesnar likes to use the destroyed car as a symbol of what will happen to him at Battleground. Rollins says he’s gonna go to Suplex City burn it to the ground. Lesnar: “I can take you to Suplex City tonight, bitch.” Crowd pops. (DANIELLE: So, they can say “bitch” live but it gets censored otherwise?) Kane smooths things out and says that there’s gonna be a contract signing for the match at Battleground. He warns Lesnar not to spoil the signing.
Heyman’s incredulous and says they’re about to be threatened by The Undertaker’s “baby brother” which, of course, the crowd chants in abundance. Kane stares a hole in Heyman’s head and Heyman quickly apologizes for saying any of that being that “he’s not supposed to mention that the two are related” — then mentions when Lesnar beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania. He stops there and says that Brock won’t do anything at all — but warns Rollins not to do anything to provoke Lesnar or else Suplex City will come early tonight.
Cole and the guys discuss all this.
- Dean Ambrose takes on Bray Wyatt. Let the jokes begin…
- Randy Orton & Ryback vs. Sheamus & Big Show which Cole somehow ties to the All-Star Game.
The Miz is out for commentary…AGAIN.
MATCH #1: WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback & Randy Orton vs. Sheamus & Big Show
Ryback and Sheamus start and it’s quick back and forth before Ryback flies at Sheamus outside the ring — and we go to an immediate break even though we had on 5 minutes ago. When we come back, Orton is all over Sheamus, tossing him into the corner buckle while JBL warns Miz not to piss off Ryback and Big Show. Orton hits ten punches on the buckle and hits a Garvin Stomp and tags in Ryback. Ryback goes for a suplex but Sheamus blocks and knees him in the stomach. Ryback comes back, whipping Sheamus into the corner and stomping away at him. Sheamus goes outside and Ryback gets his neck dropped on the ropes. Miz yacks about being tough because he was “in the Marine 4”. Cole: “That was a movie…” Tag to Show who stomps at Ryback’s back and it’s another tag to Sheamus. Ryback lifts up Sheamus and tags Orton who hits a dropkick. Sheamus goes outside. Orton chases and hits a Side Suplex into the barricades. Sheamus gets up and fights back and the two re-enter the ring. Sheamus hits a knee into Orton’s stomach, then hits a kneelift and forearm. When we come back from another break, Sheamus hits an Irish Curse Backbreaker. Two count. Show in on the tag. He steps on Orton’s stomach, then uses the ropes to splash his chest. Show signals for a Chokeslam but Orton counters into a DDT. Tags on both ends and Ryback runs over Sheamus, then hits a press. Ryback splashes Sheamus in the corner and tries it again. Sheamus boots Ryback but ends up in a Spinebuster. He sets up the Meat Hook but Miz leaps on the mic. Ryback nearly gets rolled up. Ryback kicks out and puts Sheamus down again, setting up for a Shell Shock — but Show grabs Ryback and goes for a Chokeslam. Miz distracts Show. Ryback fights back but Show leaves the ring and confronts Miz who backs off. Ryback reaches for Show who just KO punches him and runs after Miz. Meanwhile, in the ring, Sheamus gears up for a Brogue — but Orton makes the save with an RKO out of somewhere. Ryback hits a Big Splash off the top rope and we’re done at 15:10.
WINNERS: Orton & Ryback
RATING: **. Not a bad start but far longer than it needed to be (with two commercial breaks padding it out).
Cole talks about the newest Battleground match, Sheamus vs. Orton.
Rollins is pissed at Kane. Kane just takes it because corporate titles don’t matter. Kane has a plan to deal with Lesnar. Rollins isn’t happy and says he doesn’t want to provoke Lesnar because it won’t end well. Kane tells him that if Rollins keeps up his behavior, it won’t be good for “one of them”.
Bray comes out for his match with Ambrose — but Reigns shows up behind him when the lights come back on. Reigns destroys him outside the ring, then rolls him inside the ring where Reigns hits the Superman Punch. Wyatt goes outside and grabs the lantern. When Reigns chases, Wyatt clocks him and runs. Reigns is dazed enough for Wyatt to make a getaway…so this match isn’t happening, obviously. About time Reigns got his licks in after Wyatt practically dominated the feud. (DANIELLE: Sooooo…what happened to Ambrose? Did he just walk out and hit the nearby bar?)
When we come back, it’s Divas time with Nikki, Brie and Alicia Fox, the Arbitrary Bella. Nikki brags about being champion and says she’s the “Total Diva”. And, now, Team Bella runs wild — and no Divas can stop them…
Stephanie McMahon’s music hits and she comes out to the ring. Steph asks Nikki to clarify things. She says that Nikki doesn’t run the Divas Division or WWE. Steph does. Steph says that the Divas Division does lack a spark and works in UFC and Women’s Soccer. Steph introduces Paige as a “woman who is making a difference”. Nikki protests and calls Paige a failure while her music and entrance are in progress. Steph says that she wanted Paige out in the ring. Steph says it’s time Paige had back-up…and introduces Becky Lynch from NXT. Lynch shakes hands with Paige after her entrance. Steph invites somebody else out: CHARLOTTE.
Naomi and Tamina interrupt. Naomi’s pissed because she’s been “the only competition” Paige has had. Steph agrees — and introduces NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks. Steph says that Nikki has all the competition she needs and wants to know which Diva’s gonna take the opportunity to be the best. The Bellas confront all six women. Nikki blows them all off and tries to leave but Sasha Banks grabs her by the hair and whips her to the mat. It’s a Pier Six Brawl culminating in Charlotte applying the Figure Four on Fox, Lynch hitting a Cross Arm Breaker on Brie and Banks applying a Reverse Crossface on Nikki. Tamina and Naomi get back in the ring with Paige and the Bellas exit the ring. The new Divas celebrate. Kinda. Sasha Banks sides with Naomi and Tamina which makes no sense since this was supposed to be the NXT Divas “starting a revolution against the Bellas”. Then they play the face Divas out with the “Total Divas” show theme, ruining the ending.
Beyond that, nice segment that “reboots” the Divas Division — if not a touch messy. Steph really didn’t need to be there. Her presence made no sense seeing as how she came off as a face when she’s supposed to be an evil heel that runs The Authority. Then again, I’m not sure there are any heels or faces to speak of in the Divas Division.
The New Day is out to the ring. Xavier loves Atlanta because it’s his hometown. Big E mocks them for shutting down the city over snow — but they’re positive. Xavier mocks them for the Atlanta Hawks choking in the playoffs — but Atlanta is positive. They brag about getting the titles back at Battleground. Because New…Day Rocks.
MATCH #2: The New Day (Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston & Big E) vs. WWE Tag Team Champions The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young) & Mark Henry
Titus and Woods face off but Titus destroys him. E tags in. Titus knocks him down and drops Young on top of him with a Reverse Suplex Slam. The New Day attacks one at a time and they all get dumped by the good guys. After a break, New Day proceeds to stomp a mudhole in Titus in the corner. Kofi starts bragging. Titus rolls him up for two. Kofi hits a dropkick after kicking out and applies and armbar. Titus breaks but Kofi kicks him and tags E who hits a Warrior Splash, then mocks Titus with his Gator Bark. Tag to Xavier who puts Titus in a clutch but Titus gets to his feet and attempts to tag his partners which doesn’t work because Woods is somehow able to drag Titus backward despite having no leverage that would make that possible. Titus eventually knocks Woods down and Henry gets in. Chaos breaks out with everyone hitting a finisher. Woods gets a hold of Henry but Henry actually manages to hit the WSS which doesn’t include him tossing his opponent up in the air for a change. That’s good for the win at 7:52.
WINNERS: PTP & Mark Henry
RATING: *1/2. The break ate up most of the match time, so this basically felt like a squash, which is odd heading into Battleground.
Hey, remember the car from last week? It’s here and dead. So, let’s show that again.
TONIGHT: The contract signing.
MATCH #3: R-Truth vs. King Barrett
Truth runs Barrett over with a shoulderblock, then dances. Barrett misses a clothesline and Truth rolls him up for two. Barrett kicks out and kicks him in the face and hits a backbreaker. Two count. Barrett hits a clothesline and stomps Truth. Barrett hits a flying elbow drop and gets two. Barrett works him against the ropes and knees him in the stomach for two. Headlock by Barrett but Truth breaks and hits some uppercuts as well as a corner splash. Truth sends Barrett’s head into the buckle and hits the Lie Detector — and wouldn’t you know it: he wins at 3:15.
RATING: 1/4*. Safe to say that this is a step down from last week’s surprise sleeper match. Why this is still a feud is beyond me. Hopefully, this was the blow-off — but probably not.
Post-match, Truth goes under the ring and gets his “King” gear, dons it, then wanders off.
Cole recaps what happened to Dolph Ziggler last week at the hands of Rusev. Dolph’s “out of action” for the foreseeable future.
Cena makes his way out for the United States Challenge…and it’s…
RUSEV. He’s out with Summer and he declares himself the greatest U.S. Champion of all-time. He yells about breaking Ziggler and he’ll break Cena, too. Then, Kevin Owens comes out as well. Owens says that he wants to be the one to beat Cena. He wants that tonight and Cena can have a rematch. Rusev has a mic and starts stuttering through his lines so badly, he makes both the crowd — and Owens — laugh. Owens covers and tells Rusev and his “wannabe Lana” Summer to leave. The two bicker — and Cesaro shows up. Csearo and Cena go nose to nose. Owens interrupts. It’s a brawl between the two of them. Cesaro clears the ring of both Owens and Rusev. We go to break.
MATCH #4: Rusev vs. Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro in a Triple Threat Match for the right to face John Cena in the United States Title Match
Hold on a second, playa! It’s a Triple Threat Match with John Cena on commentary! Owens and Rusev gang up on Cesaro. They put him in a corner and it’s Owens and Rusev with Rusev getting the early advantage. Cesaro comes back and grabs Rusev for a suplex. Owens hits the Cannonball on Rusev. and Cesaro hits the uppercut on Owens. Cesaro tosses Owens into the buckle and hits another one. Rusev runs at Cesaro — and misses — then hits a Cannonball on Owens! Cesaro slams Rusev to the mat and gets a two count. Owens and Cesaro trade shots until Owens hits a chinbreaker. He slams Cesaro and goes to the top rope, hitting a beautiful Reverse Senton for two. But Rusev hits a Superkick and gets two on Owens. Cesaro saves the pin and also pins for two. Cesaro works Rusev over in the corner. Rusev reverses and tosses him opposite corner. Rusev hits a Side Suplex, getting two. Rusev stomps at both men and goes top rope but Owens attacks him and tries a Superplex. Rusev blocks it. Cesaro grabs both guys and powerbombs them all to the mat. Cesaro tries to cover both guys but gets two as the crowd chants, “THIS IS AWESOME!” Some flailing and counters and Owens hits a Tornado DDT. Owens covers for two as Rusev saves the pin by hitting an elbow off the ropes. Rusev gets twin two counts. Rusev and Owens trade blows. Both men try German Suplexes before Cesaro hits a ridiculously silly-looking German Suplex on both guys at the same time — and that only physically works because Rusev has to jump two feet in the air to complete the illusion. After some action outside (which includes Cesaro leaping at both men from inside the ring), Cesaro goes for the Swing but Owens hits a Superkick. Rusev dumps Owens outside and tries an Accolade on Cesaro but Owens rushes in and kicks Rusev. Owens tries a Powerbomb but Rusev counters with an ALABAMA SLAMMA MIGGAL! Another Accolade fails when Cesaro kicks Rusev. Cesaro puts Rusev in the Delayed Vertical Suplex and drops him after 7 seconds. All men get to their feet and Owens belts each and every one of them. He slaps both men across the face. They wake up and kick the shit out of Owens. Cesaro starts hitting uppercuts before Rusev clotheslines him, then dumps Owens outside. Rusev tells him to leave — and Owens does, going backstage.
After a break, it’s Rusev vs. Cesaro. Cesaro breaks a headlock and hits a Springboard Uppercut, knocking Rusev flat. Cesaro sends him into the corner and blasts him with uppercuts, then a dropkick. Rusev rolls outside the ring ropes. Cesaro goes for the upper body suplex but Rusev reverses it and nearly kills Cesaro who lands on the mat first, then out of the ring. Cesaro gets back in the ring and Rusev goes top rope but Cesaro hits uppercuts, then a dropkick. He goes for the big suplex again but Rusev tosses him across the ring. Rusev tries a splash and misses. Cesaro hits a Crossface but Rusev reverses with a Spinning Spinebuster for two. Rusev calls for the Accolade — but Cesaro counters and goes for the Sharpshooter. Rusev immediately kicks out and hits a Spinning Heel Kick, knocking him down. 360 Splash by Rusev and another Accolade attempts. Cesaro fights out immediately and hits the Swing — then the Sharpshooter. Rusev tries to get to the ropes and does — but there aren’t any DQ’s in the match. Instead, Rusev gets out of the ring, forcing the break. Cesaro hits a Suicide Dive from inside the ring, then hits a Running Uppercut. He tosses Rusev into the ring and goes top rope but Rusev tosses him to the mat and gets the pin to face Cena at 24:00.
RATING: ***1/4. Hell of a match. Got better after Owens left as the match became faster and more frantic. Definitely, the best match I’ve ever seen Rusev wrestle.
When we come back from break…
MATCH #5: Rusev (challenger) vs. John Cena (champion) for the WWE United States Championship
Cena taunts Rusev, bouncing around and kicking him. He puts Rusev in a side headlock. Rusev breaks and Cena hits a suplex for two. Another side headlock. Rusev breaks but Cena slams Rusev to the mat for two. Rusev gets to his feet and Cena hits two straight running elbows. Cena hits the first two shouldertackles and the Cena Slam. 5KS hits the mark and Cena goes for the AA and tosses Rusev in the air — but Rusev lands on his feet and counters into the Accolade! Cena gets to his feet and runs Rusev into the buckle — but Rusev won’t let go! Rusev puts him back into the Accolade — but Owens fucks the match with interference at 4:57.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Cena via DQ
RATING: 1/2 a *. This was pointless. 24 minutes of wrestling for a weak pay-off. I’m not saying you need to kill Rusev in another 10+ minute match, but the Triple Threat probably didn’t need to be almost a half-hour — especially since it dragged in spots. At least I don’t have to listen to Cena say “look at how good these guys are” every five minutes. There’s that.
After the match, Owens yells that HE will beat Cena. Great. Moving on.
Lita and the cast of Tough Enough are here. ZZ gets the most applause. Guess who’s winning? Not the audience.
We recap how Sheamus won the Money in the Bank case.
Another recap of Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt.
Stardust does a segment backstage and calls out Neville.
Neville vs. Stardust is next and it will be “fun” because it’s “like a comic book”. WWE emphasizes this with some not-bad comic art versions of both guys.
MATCH #6: Neville vs. Stardust
Neville shakes hands with Stardust. Stardust shakes hands — then kicks Neville and slams him to the mat. He kicks at Neville and tries to toss him outside. Neville hands on the top rope and hits a quick high kick to his head. Neville tries the Red Arrow but Stardust gets up and hits a nice Neckbreaker. Side Headlock by Stardust. Neville breaks and hits kicks and a forearm. Neville flips around the ring. Stardust charges. Neville counters into a sunset flip and a cradle pin for two counts. A roll-up pin is reversed by Stardust, who holds the tights for the pin at 4:07.
RATING: 1/2 a *. A weak “tribute” to Dusty where everything felt forced. You can’t have him come back as “Cody” because then it’s maudlin. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Neville’s starting to bore me. Hopefully, WWE does something with him soon because all I see is a slimmer version of RVD.
When we come back, it’s the Contract Signing.
Rollins has the mic and says he’s sick and tired of watching the footage of Brock Lesnar destroying the car he gave to J&J Security. He says it’s time to roll footage of how much damage HE can do. With that, we see Lesnar get ganged up on by Kane, Rollins and J&J from a couple weeks ago. Rollins says a man only has his word in this world. He says he is telling the truth when he says that he isn’t afraid of Brock Lesnar. He will wreck Suplex City and burn it to the ground — and he will come out of it as WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Brock and Paul show up. Paul grabs the mic. He tells Rollins not to take his eyes off of Lesnar. Paul says that he has wanted to see somebody get their hands on Rollins since he destroyed The Shield. So has the WWE Universe. He says that Brock has wanted to get his hands on Rollins since he broke the 11th Commandment and stole the title at WrestleMania. He says that everyone watching Battleground is paying to watch Rollins get his ass kicked. He says that every single person will get their money’s worth because Rollins will get his ass kicked. He’ll get punched, kicked, suplexed, F5’ed and pinned. On Sunday, Rollins will go to Suplex City and he will be dragged down there by Brock Lesnar. Mic drop.
Lesnar pushes the contract at Rollins who signs it. He pushes it back at Brock. Brock signs — and Paul tells Rollins to keep his hands on the table. Rollins begins barking at Heyman — until Brock rolls the table over, causing Rollins to back way off. He pulls an axe-handle out from underneath, flips the table back over and places it on the table. Rollins grabs it and Lesnar grins. Rollins goes for a swing, so Lesnar picks up the table and throws it at Rollins. (DANIELLE: Wow…Lesnar’s got a nice rising fastball…) He goes after Kane. Rollins jumps on Lesnar who hits a German and then dumps Kane out of the ring. Kane drags Lesnar out and it’s 2-on-1 outside. Rollins goes for the Pedigree on the steel steps — but Lesnar tosses Rollins into the crowd barrier. He flies at Kane who catches Lesnar for the Chokeslam. Lesnar counters and hits the F5. He turns to Rollins who runs the other direction and into the crowd. Lesnar goes to Kane and places his ankle on the steel steps, bashing it with the high steps. Lesnar goes back into the ring, grabs the title and holds it up in triumph, then goes backstage.
Rollins gets back in the ring and tosses the table across the ring, then starts tossing chairs around, pissed. He grabs a mic and says that Lesnar came in and thought he was untouchable. He says that, at Battleground, he will do what no other man has been able to do. He will prove that Lesnar isn’t a machine or monster. He’s human and he can be beat. He will rip Lesnar’s “sword tattoo” off his chest. Rollins says he will go down in history as the man who beat The Beast. Trainers tend to Kane. Rollins yells at him and asks if this was “Kane’s plan” the whole time. He tells Kane that his whole career has been a disappointment, just like this “plan”. He says that Kane is nothing without Rollins. He says that Kane’s a “never was” and says everything’s on him. Then he stomps Kane’s ankle, leaving him screaming.
We go off the air.
OVERALL: As has been the case lately, the last half of the show trumps the entire first half. Not bad tonight. I’m actually curious to see where Lesnar and Rollins will go on Sunday. I really don’t think Lesnar takes the title back but where else can you go with this? I am legally obligated, by my buddy Tania, to say that the Divas segment was SUPER COOL AWESOME. So there. Happy now? 😛 I kid, of course. I’m excited, for once, to see where the Divas Division goes.