We had a good night last night at Payback…will it roll into a good show on Monday night?
We are LIVE(!!!) from Richmond, Virginia for Monday Night RAW!!!
Cole, Booker, and JBL are the guys at the desk.
Triple H and Steph start us off. Steph’s rocking a red dress from my Mom’s closet while Triple H is in a Michael Mann movie.
Steph talks up Seth Rollins beating up three guys while Triple H says that he told everyone that Rollins would win — and that he’s the future of WWE. Steph says that the three guys who failed at Payback can now go to the back of the line.
Triple H gives us a surprise: the same Intercontinental Title which, for some reason, requires a full on unveiling, complete with drumroll and velvet podium. They talk about how Daniel Bryan’s body couldn’t hold up but that the show must go on…and, now, we will see a new champ crowned at Elimination Chamber. This gets a small music video of the Elimination Chamber lowering. Steph continues to talk.
Sheamus interrupts the segment to a semi-pop and rambles for the first minute, then claims that he ended Daniel Bryan’s career. We get a glimpse of Sheamus legit-injuring Daniel Bryan by botching a move which, on top of Steph’s bragging, is just so classy. He wants a shot at the IC Title because of it.
That brings out Ryback. He comes out and calls Sheamus “stupid”, which seems to take more energy from him than hitting the Meathook Clothesline. Steph interrupts and Ryback tells her to shut up and says that Daniel Bryan got injured doing what he loved. He doesn’t like bullies, which is ironic. He wants Sheamus.
So Triple H makes the match happen…and it’s next.
MATCH #1: Sheamus vs. Ryback
The two trade shots and Ryback chases Sheamus around the ring. Press by Ryback, then he he puts Sheamus in the corner. Irish Whip sees Sheamus hitting a kneelift but Ryback comes back, ramming Sheamus’s head into the top buckle. Ryback hits a nice powerslam in stride for a two count. Ryback stomps at Sheamus who gets to the ropes. The ref pulls Ryback off and Sheamus grabs him, hitting a backbreaker. Ryback rolls out of the ring, favoring his taped up ribs. He tries to get back on the ring but Sheamus runs at him, knocking him off the mat. After a break, both men are down. They get up and trade punches but Sheamus hits a shoulder to the ribs and hits six of the Ten Beats before Ryback drags him in the ring. Sheamus tries a Brogue but Ryback counters with a nice powerbomb. Sheamus gets to the corner. Ryback runs at him but Sheamus kicks him. He rushes Ryback who counters with a Spinebuster. Two count. Ryback sets up for the Meathook but Sheamus escapes the ring. Ryback goes after him, picks him up and press slams Sheamus into the announce table. The two fight to the other side of the ring. Ryback rams Sheamus’s head into the ringpost, then gets back in the ring. Back in the ring, Ryback tries Shell Shock but Sheamus punches him in the ribs, then feigns an eye injury. The ref shoves Ryback away from Sheamus — and Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick to end it at 10:00.
WINNER: Sheamus via Brogue Kick
RATING: **3/4. Not a bad match to start.
AT ELIMINATION CHAMBER: Sheamus and Ryback are in the EC match anyhow, so…
TONIGHT: Seth Rollins will be praised for retaining the title at Payback.
Triple H and Steph are backstage, talking about the party. Steph says the man who can add the final touches is Kane. Kane shows up and says that he thinks Seth has really grown up. Seth shows up with glasses of champagne. He praises Kane for his help and says that he’s the reason Kane still has a job. Dean Ambrose appears with a huge, goofy grin and says that Rollins only won because four other guys helped him. He says that he beat Rollins the last time they went 1 on 1. He says that Rollins never beat him last night. He says that he will grant Seth a “re-match” at Elimination Chamber — as long as Seth puts the title on the line. Triple H leaves and lets Kane handle things. Kane tells Seth to decide. Seth says Ambrose isn’t in line for the title and leaves, laughing. Ambrose calls Kane a “glorified butler” and tells him that The Undertaker and Paul Bearer would be very unhappy with him if they saw him now. Kane’s so pissed, he books Ambrose in a match with Bray Wyatt. Ambrose happily accepts — then takes Kane’s champagne and drinks it, telling him, “You shouldn’t drink on the clock.”
A good segment made great due almost completely to Ambrose who just does not give one fuck. Loved it.
We get an ad for Elimination Chamber.
Renee Young brings out…Neville?! Whoa. Ok. He says that he’s competed worldwide, but it’s nothing compared to WWE. Bo Dallas interrupts the segment and says that there’s nothing like a great children’s story. Neville’s story would be “The Little Engine That Couldn’t”. He says that Neville think’s he’s going up — but that would be a lie. Neville says that he BO-LIEVES that Bo Dallas was the one that lost to him to start his career. Bo Dallas attacks but Neville dispatches him from the ring.
Wade Barrett shows up and this is a match with Bo Dallas on commentary.
MATCH #2: Neville vs. King Barrett
Neville and Barrett circle before Neville rolls him up for two. Barrett works him over in the corner and starts attacking Neville’s injured knee from last night. He stomps at Neville and gets a one count. Barrett gets out of the ring, smashes Neville’s leg into the mat, then grins. After a break, Wade’s still working on Barrett’s knee with elbows, kneedrops and leglocks. Neville finally gets out and retreats to a corner. Barrett tries to hit a big boot but Neville moves and Barrett hits the buckle. Neville kicks at Barrett and tries a German Suplex but his knee buckles. Wade rushes him and it’s an Enzuguri by Neville. Neville tries a Springboard maneuver but just falls off the top rope from the pain. Barrett hits the Bullhammer to win at 7:05.
WINNER: Barrett via Bullhammer
RATING: *1/2, at most. Kinda sad that Neville’s going from a decent mid-carder like Barrett to the bottom of the barrel with Bo Dallas, but I look forward to seeing what both guys can do in a feud.
Post-match, Dallas gets in the ring and attacks Neville, working over his knee and wrapping it around the ringpost.
We review what happened between Cena and Rusev at Payback.
TONIGHT: Cena’s Open Challenge.
ALSO: Rusev will react to last night.
Rusev is out to speak as Cole argues about how “translators from out there” say that Rusev quit. Rusev says that there is no Lana. (DANIELLE: ONLY ZUUL!) The crowd chants for Lana as Rusev says he never quit. He tells the crowd to shut up. He says he beat Cena badly. Cena passed out and Lana quit. He says he wants the match to restart and tells The Authority to get out here. Lana shows up and walks to the ring. Rusev’s furious. Lana says that Rusev isn’t who he seems to be. She says that Rusev is “misunderstood” and that she believes in him. She says that she thought Rusev would make Cena say he quits — but he couldn’t do it. That’s life. She says loses her accent twice, but finds it on the floor and adopts it like a puppy. She says that Rusev just screams all the time. Last night, he screamed “I QUIT” over and over. He tells Lana that he doesn’t need anyone. Only he matters. He tells Lana to leave. She does. Rusev stands in the ring, scowling.
(Incredible segment that brings a human element to an unstoppable monster and the woman behind him. I really enjoyed this.)
We go over last night’s Fatal 4-Way.
TONIGHT: The Tag Team Championship Rematch. Xavier Woods is banned from ringside.
MATCH #3: Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt
Wyatt hits a slam after a lock-up but misses the Reverse Senton. Ambrose hits an elbow and kicks Wyatt in the stomach. He locks Wyatt’s left arm and puts the right arm in an armbar. Hold is broken and Wyatt slaps the taste out of Ambrose’s mouth. Ambrose tries to hit a cross body but just bounces off of Wyatt’s chest. Wyatt runs and kicks him. He tosses Ambrose in the corner and hits a big clothesline but Ambrose comes back, hitting a running forearm. Bray bails from the ring. Ambrose tries a Flying Psycho, but Bray hits him coming out, then just DDT’s him out of the ring. After a break, Wyatt’s in control because he flew at Ambrose real fast. Wyatt kicks Ambrose in the head, then just tosses Ambrose across the ring and out. Bray goes for a clothesline but Ambrose nails him too. They both get back in the ring at nine as Ambrose gets to his feet, looking pissed. The two trade shots as the crowd chants for tables. Ambrose hits a flying cross body off an Irish Whip, then hits the Running Bulldog. Bray rolls outside, so Ambrose locks his arms on the top rope and hits a missile dropkick and flying legdrop. Ambrose pins for two. A series of counters and Wyatt flies at Ambrose, missing. He goes outside and Ambrose hits the Flying Lunatic. Back in the ring, the two men trade finisher attempts but both fail. Wyatt shoves Ambrose who goes for the Rebound Clothesline but Wyatt hits the clothesline instead. Wyatt hangs upside down and sets up for Sister Abigail. Ambrose just slaps him. Wyatt punches him and Ambrose hits the Rebound Clothesline for two. Ambrose puts Bray on the top buckle and goes for a Superplex but Bray breaks it and goes for the Reverse Senton. He misses. Ambrose climbs the buckle…but J&J show up, distract Ambrose and Bray hits Sister Abigail for the win at 13:27.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt via Sister Abigail
RATING: ***1/2 for this. Finish is a touch annoying but Ambrose isn’t really done any harm for it. This is the match of the night so far.
Backstage, Triple H and Steph smile as Bray does The Raven.
TONIGHT: Nikki Bella defends the Divas Championship against Naomi.
NEXT: The New Day defends the titles.
Kofi and E come out to the ring and Kofi stops the music. He says that Woods being banned from ringside is a conspiracy. E says that it isn’t fair that they have to defend their titles against five other teams at Elimination Chamber. They try the NEW DAY ROCKS chant but we know how that ends.
MATCH #4: Cesaro & Tyson Kidd (challengers) (w/ Natalya) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) (champions) for the WWE Tag Team Championship
E press slams Cesaro and chokes him against the ropes. Cesaro breaks and clotheslines Kofi off the mat, then hits a nice Delayed Suplex on E, tagging Tyson Kidd. Kidd hits a nice Frankensteiner on E outside the ring. After a break, E has Cesaro in an Abdominal Stretch. Cesaro breaks and E grabs him, hitting a belly to belly suplex. He goes for the Warrior Splash but Cesaro jumps up and hits a powerslam. Tag to Kidd who hits a Springboard Legdrop on E. Two count. Kofi gets the tag and Kidd is all over him with a kick and a clothesline. He goes for the Sharpshooter, locking it in but E runs in to save the match. Cesaro gets in the ring to help out Kidd but E dumps him. Kofi and E stomp a mudhole in Kidd without a care until they get DQ’ed at 5:51.
WINNERS: Cesaro & Tyson Kidd via DQ
STILL CHAMPS: The New Day
RATING: DUD. This never got started and had a shit ending.
Post-match, Xavier Woods comes down to beat on Cesaro. Lucha Dragons, Los Matadores, The Ascension and Prime Time Players all show up to join the party as this turns into a teaser for the EC Tag Match.
LATER: Seth Rollins’ party.
THIS THURSDAY ON SMACKDOWN: Roman Reigns returns…from wrestling YESTERDAY. Really?
John Cena joins us to pander to ‘Murica with patriotic fervor and passion and pointing to soldiers and what not. The Champ is Here…so come get some. And it is…
KEVIN OWENS OF NXT.
Holy crap. Owens makes his way to the ring and has a mic with him. He congratulates Cena on last night’s victory. He introduces himself — but Cena has to do it instead because reasons. He says that Sami Zayn was injured before he came in to face Cena last Monday — and he’s here to finish the job that Sami started. Cena berates him and plays to the crowd, telling everyone how important they are. Cena wants to give him some advice — but Owens isn’t having it because he’s been wrestling longer than Cena and only got his break just now. Cena says it’s time to warn Owens instead: Owens is a scared kid. Cena tells Owens that he should come get the title. Owens declines as he says he’s already NXT Champion — but that they will fight someday and it will be on Owens’ terms. Owens grabs him and hits the Pump-Up Powerbomb, then stands tall, stepping on the United States Championship and doing “U CAN’T SEE ME” in Cena’s face as he lays in the middle of the ring.
(NICE SEGMENT. Owens is already over as hell here. This feud needs to happen ASAP.)
LAST MONDAY ON RAW: Daniel Bryan has vacated the IC Title.
AT ELIMINATION CHAMBER: Rusev, Barrett and R-Truth join the IC Title match.
MATCH #5: Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust
Ziggler has a bad stitched-up gash near his right eye as Stardust makes it a point to target that area. He gouges Ziggler, then kicks him when he’s down. Star goes for Cross Rhodes but Ziggler counters with a Zigg Zagg for the win at 1:27.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via Zigg Zagg
RATING: n/a – squash.
Cole leaps right into the ring to interview Ziggler. Ziggler says that losing to Sheamus hurt worse than being cut open last night…but that it’s hockey playoff time and chicks dig stars. Cole and his new hair dye job announce that Ziggler’s the final participant in the Intercontinental Title Match at EC. Ziggler’s stoked…but here comes Lana.
Lana grins at Ziggler and Ziggler waits for her to talk. Instead, she kisses Ziggler and then smiles. Crowd loves this as Ziggler tries everything to he can to just hit that in the middle of the ring. The crowd wants another kiss. Lana obliges. Ziggler waits for the Rusev run-in and finally gets it. Booker: “Somebody’s gonna DIE.” Ziggler tries to fight him off but Rusev just pounds him into the mat. He turns and faces Lana, screaming at her. Lana just slaps him in the face. Rusev is furious and goes to lunge at Lana but Ziggler gets up and hits the Zigg Zagg. (DANIELLE: So, the end game is Lana in a five-man pre-match gangbang at EC?) Ziggler and Lana leave as Rusev gets up and yells.
Kane is yelling at the set-up crew for Seth Rollins’ party…and is immediately outdone by a spot where Adam Rose is making out with Rosa Mendes against a crate.
MATCH #6: Fandango & Zack Ryder vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper
Harper starts with Fandango who gets knee’ed in the gut and sells it a year later. Harper hits a shoulder tackle but Fandango comes back with a dropkick. Harper goes outside. Fandango chases only to eat the crowd barrier, courtesy of Harper. Back inside, it’s a tag to Rowan who hits a big Body Splash and a knee drop. Harper gets back in and hits an uppercut and Gator Roll as the crowd chants for Zack Ryder. Fandango elbows out of Harper’s grip and hits a Tornado DDT off the buckles. Fandango hits a one count and tags in Ryder. Ryder hits forearms and knees Harper in the face off a counter. Big dropkick off the top buckle but Harper just hits a Spinning Sidewalk Slam. Harper hits the Superkick and Rowan hits a Chokeslam to finish it at 3:45.
WINNERS: Harper & Rowan
RATING: n/a – squash
Steph bumps into the Bellas in the hallway. She apologizes to Brie for saying what she said earlier about Daniel Bryan. She says Brie needs to really vent about how she feels about the situation — so it’s probably a good idea if Brie stays backstage during the Divas match. Nikki protests with all the fury of a wounded sloth and we’re all supposed to pretend that Nikki and Steph never had an alliance months ago that vanished into thin air.
The Divas Match is your main event, folks.
MATCH #7: Nikki Bella (champion) vs. Naomi (challenger) (w/ Tamina) for the WWE Divas Championship
Naomi leaps into the ring and then chickens out, going outside the ropes. Nikki’s pissed and pulls her back into the ring. Naomi comes back with a knee to the head. Nikki answers with a slap to her face and then clotheslines her out of the ring. Nikki dives at both women. We come back from a break. Naomi’s in control and Tamina’s hurt with a trainer looking at her right arm. Nikki fights out of a hold and bashes Naomi’s face with a knee. Nikki gets to her feet and kicks Naomi in the chest. Nikki hits clotheslines and a dropkick, then a back body drop. He puts Naomi to the mat with a press and gets a two count. She goes for the Rack Attack but Tamina shows up and Superkicks Nikki in the chin for the DQ finish at 6:28.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Nikki Bella via DQ
RATING: DUD. Look…RAW was advertising “three titles on the line” tonight. We got two — and the Kevin Owens reveal in place of the title shot was a hell of a lot better than the Tag Title or Divas Championship matches combined. We could have easily dumped Ziggler and Stardust for more time in the tag team match…otherwise, this has been a good show.
Post-match, it’s a mudhole stomp…until Paige shows up to chase them off. Nikki gets to her feet and Paige grabs her, hitting the Ram-Paige, standing tall with the Divas Championship.
Kevin Owens is backstage. Triple H congratulates him. Renee Young stops him. He says that he’s gonna face John Cena at Elimination Chamber.
When we come back, Steph, Triple H and Kane are in the ring. Steph talks up Rollins and invites him to the ring. J&J follow. Triple H just verbally fellates Rollins for the next two minutes and announces him as their champion, Seth Rollins. Triple H says members of The Authority want to TALK about Seth now.
Kane says that he’s taller than Rollins and that’s why they “don’t see eye to eye”. He says he’s being serious when he says that he’s glad that Rollins is still champion. Rollins wants more. So Kane thanks him for saving his job. Also, he put together a Seth Rollins highlight video with the help of the video crew.
After that, Jamie Noble begins kissing ass. He forks the mic over to Joey Mercury and Ambrose FINALLY interrupts this train wreck of a segment. He gets into the ring as Cole loses his collective shit. Steph wants an explanation.
Ambrose says that he was looking for the perfect Justin Bieber album for Seth. Crowd chants for Justin Bieber which has to be the only time in history that’s happened. Ambrose says he came back empty-handed. Instead, he wants a re-match. Seth isn’t having it and says that Ambrose isn’t getting another shot at the title and that he needs to get back in line.
Ambrose says he’s a “line jumper”. He wants a title shot…or else. Steph says Ambrose is crazy…but Seth never backs down…so, Seth: GET HIM. Rollins goes after Ambrose and J&J follow. Ambrose fights Security off and the fight spills outside. Ambrose dumps Rollins onto the announce table, then reveals cinder blocks. He grabs a chair, steps on Rollins’ head and tells The Authority to grant him the match. Steph agrees if Ambrose lets Rollins go. Ambrose goes fro the chair shot anyhow but J&J grab the chair. Ambrose beats the snot out of them. Kane comes over to help. Ambrose takes them all out, then chases Rollins into the ring. Rollins escapes but J&J face his wrath, as does Kane with a Rebound Clothesline. Rollins jumps Ambrose and hits a Pedigree, then yells that he’s the man.
We go off the air.
OVERALL: ***1/4. Solid show tonight despite two awful championship matches and two incredibly overlong Authority segments. WWE feels like it’s finally finding its way again.
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