I’ve had a hell of a weekend.
It’s not quite real to me yet. The rest of the pics and recaps are coming.
In any case, I was actually AT RAW tonight and…well, it was insane. The crowd went from nuts to batshit crazy gradually — but when the fans lost their shit, I’m honestly surprised the show wasn’t delayed. I really thought it would be by the time Seth Rollins began yelling at the crowd during The Wave.
Yes. Somebody actually decided to start a Wave.
That was just the beginning.
For those who got to hear the audio team fucking with the audio on the show, you might have missed these “gems”:
- “YOU SUCK CENA” (No…they didn’t say this to Cena…they said it to Nikki Bella during the Divas match, causing Nikki to point her finger to the ceiling and say something to Nattie. They high-fived…so the crowd decided to pick on Nattie…)
- “YOU SUCK TYSON” (And Nattie grinned or…something…)
- “YOU SUCK PUNK” (To AJ. Barely lived because everyone who chanted it suddenly realized that they’re supposed to like CM PUNK, hence the stupid, endless “CM PUNK” chants.)
- “YOU SUCK BRYAN” (To Brie.)
- “YOU SUCK USO” (To Naomi)
- “WE DON’T LIVE HERE” (When Lillian Garcia advertised the tickets for the next San Jose RAW event. Considering the above chanting, I’m GLAD they don’t live here.)
- “ASSHOLE” (When Miz attacked Miz-dow)
- “WORSE THAN CENA” (To Roman Reigns)
- “PLEASE RETIRE” (To Big Show, who just shrugged it off and kept moving without missing a beat.)
- “LESNAR’S GONNA KIIIIIL YOOOOU…” (To Seth Rollins when he came out to face Lesnar)
- “WE’RE SO AWESOME” (The Smark crowd, patting themselves on the back for their asshole behavior.)
That’s off the top of my head. There were several more.
We are LIVE(!!!) from my hometown in San Jose, California for WWE RAW!!!
JBL, Cole and Booker are the guys on the mics.
Brock comes out to a huge pop (I mean, HUGE…the roof practically blew off) and has Paul Heyman with him. Heyman calls Lesnar “the biggest ass-kicker of the PG era”. He says that Lesnar did nothing but suplex the shit out of Reigns. The Smark crowd starts their first chant: “SUPLEX CITY”. Heyman corrects them: “Or…as my client said — Suplex City…BITCH!”. He recaps how Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and stole the title. He’s pissed and says that the rules weren’t clear and that he can go down to Sacramento, go to the 7th Circuit Court, have the decision reversed, and hold WWE up in litigation for months. But, he doesn’t wanna do that because Lesnar thinks all lawyers are scumbags. So, that’s not happening. Instead, all Lesnar wants to do is move on and invoke his rematch clause…and that’s happening TONIGHT.
Steph comes out and recaps how great WrestleMania was tonight. The crowd chants “Ronda Rousey”. Steph tells them if they want the re-match, they should all shut up. She insults Lesnar and says that Rollins kicked him around, too. She says that Rollins will be here soon — and when he gets here, Lesnar and Heyman will find that he’s up for the challenge.
Heyman says that he has a prediction: Lesnar will destroy Rollins and Lesnar will, once again. be the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
TONIGHT: John Cena issues an open challenge for anyone who wants the U.S. Championship, the Christmas fruitcake of the WWE Championship case.
ALSO: Daniel Bryan defends the IC Title against Dolph Ziggler.
MATCH #1: Dolph Ziggler (challenger) vs. Daniel Bryan (champion) for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
The crowd inside the Shark Tank was already blowing the fuck up. The first minute is, basically, the two of them trying to lock up and get a grip on one another while the crowd tries a LET’S GO BRYAN/ZIGGLER chant. Nothing happens for the next 30 seconds and the crowd is already yelling, “THIS IS AWESOME” when it clearly isn’t “awesome” at all yet, so this is the type of crowd these guys dealt with. Bryan hits the Surfboard, prompting Cole to name-drop Half Moon Bay because that’s a place where you can SURF, BRO. When we come back from break, Bryan nails Ziggler with a running dropkick. The two brawl in the corner and Bryan manages to hit a Super Side Suplex from the top rope. Two count. Yes Kicks but Bryan misses the Roundhouse. Ziggler rolls him up for two. The two fight for a backslide pin and Bryan ends up heading into the turnbuckle. Ziggler hits a Superkick, countering the Flying Knee. He NEARLY gets the fall. Both men get up and do the mutual headbutt spot from last night. Bryan eventually knocks Ziggler away and hits the Running Knee at 11:52 for the win.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Daniel Bryan
RATING: **. The match was better when it wasn’t interrupted. There was more to it than this.
Post-match, Barrett gets in the ring to beat up Daniel Bryan — but Sheamus comes out, sporting a mohawk and beard dreadlocks. He fights off Barrett and checks on Ziggler. The crowd doesn’t care and they shit all over him and this spot. Sheamus dares Barrett to get in the ring — then attacks Bryan because, surprise, he’s a heel. He takes out Ziggler with the Brogue as the crowd chants, “YOU LOOK STUPID”. Sheamus just feeds off it and tells them bring more. He grabs a mic and says, “I’m back.” Then he leaves.
COMING UP: Brock Lesnar faces Seth Rollins.
ALSO: A look at how Arnold and Nash were more important than Randy Savage.
AND: Sting will show up and spin the fact that he lost at WM 31 is a good thing.
When we come back, we run through the Hall of Fame stuff and it’s on to the next match…
MATCH #2: The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods) & Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara) vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Tyson Kidd (w/ Natalya) & The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) in an 8-Man Tag Team Match
Sin Cara and Cesaro start off and Sin Cara tries to flip all over Cesaro, only to end up in a Flipping Backbreaker. Tag to Kalisto and he flips all over Cesaro like a fucking stripper pole, tossing him across the ring with a Hurricarana. Crowd lost their shit over this and starts chanting “NEW DAY SUCKS”. Kofi and Konnor get in and battle. Kofi knees him in the gut and it’s back to Sin Cara with an “NXT” chant as if they’re just going down some sort of “chant list” handed to them at the door. When we come back, Cesaro is in the ring while the crowd does the “Ole” soccer chant. He beats on Sin Cara and tags Konnor who eats an Enzuguri. Tag to Kofi and the crowd shits all over him as he goes A-House-A-Fire on Konnor. Tag to Tyson and he gets hit with a Cross Body. Two count. Cesaro nails Kofi with an uppercut. Viktor tags himself in and that pisses off Cesaro. Kofi tags Kalisto who flips around like Mary Lou Retton on Jolt, nails Konnor and gets a two count. Cesaro saves the pin and it’s Spot-a-palooza by every single guy until Kalisto ends it with the Salina Del Sol for the win at 10:04.
WINNERS: The Faces.
RATING: ***. Actually, this was good because Lucha Dragons looked like the only team that wanted to be there.
Brock comes out for the championship rematch. Rollins is out next — and he actually taunts Lesnar with the belt. Lillian announces them…but when the match is about to begin, Seth bails from the ring. He says he’s feeling jetlagged and that he’s pulling the rematch. Lesnar doesn’t accept. He grabs Rollins and tries a German but Rollins lands on his feet and runs again. Lesnar chases and tries an F5 but J&J save him. Rollins gets away. Lesnar flips the announcer desk on top of Cole, JBL and Booker. He destroys some ringside staff, then grabs Cole as Cole runs for his life. Heyman begs Brock to let him go but Brock’s inconsolable and hits an F5 on Cole, much to the delight of the crowd. He grabs a camera guy next and goes for an F5.
This prompts Steph to run out and stop Brock. Brock doesn’t listen and F5’s the camera guy. Steph suspends Lesnar and walks off. Crowd chants “BULLSHIT” as this entire segment was worth the show. We see the damage Brock has left behind as EMT’s hit ringside to help a dead Booker and JBL.
When we come back, Cole is being loaded on a stretcher while Booker is waking a bit. JBL is still out.
We get clips from MOMENTS AGO when Brock unleashed hell following Rollins’ escape.
Backstage, Steph is walking. Renee interrupts her and wants her to explain why she just suspended Brock Lesnar. Steph says that Lesnar’s still an employee and he will get his rematch. She says that he’s just suspended — and she’ll fine him, too. She says Brock isn’t going back to MMA, either. He’s under contract and she owns “that summabitch”.
TONIGHT: John Cena begs someone, ANYONE to take his new toy belt. Seriously, he’ll lay down and let them have it.
When we come back, Byron Saxton is all that’s left of Brockpocalypse. He’ll be doing commentary solo from here on out.
MATCH #3: Stardust vs. Damien Mizdow
Mizdow is still “Miz”-dow despite turning on Miz? Mm-kay. Miz-dow takes his sunglasses off and clotheslines Stardust. Miz-dow basically runs through Miz’s moveset until Stardust kicks at him and hits a Front Suplex. Crowd chants “CODY” and cheers Miz-dow — though Miz-dow’s fandom is noticeably diminished. Star goes for a backbreaker but gets hit on a counter by the SCF. Miz-dow wins at 2:23.
WINNER: Damien Miz-dow
RATING: DUD. And, now, we find out if the fans truly care about Miz-dow.
Post-match, Miz attacks Miz-dow and hits the SCF. He yells in Miz-dow’s face.
FOLLOWING RAW: Sting is interviewed.
LAST NIGHT: The Rock and Ronda Rousey confronted Steph and Triple H at WrestleMania. Highlights from that next.
We get the clips we’re promised, then a nice media package showing our local print and television media covering WrestleMania.
Curtis Axel is in the ring. Axelmania, this. Axelmaniaxs, that. Ax-streme Rules is also now a thing. Neville debuts in case you wanna get to the part you care about. The match doesn’t even begin and Neville attacks him, tossing Axel from the ring and flying right on top of him.
MATCH #4: Curtis Axel vs. Neville
Once back in the ring, Neville hits some flying lariats and some quick kicks. Crowd loves it. The Red Arrow wins it at 1:11. “Wow,” says Saxton with all the excitement of a Speak n’ Spell.
RATING: DUD, but Neville’s badass.
NEXT: John Cena faces the guy who reluctantly wants to try for the goofy ‘Murica belt.
We come back from break and Byron explains that Brock is the reason we’re hearing him instead of JBL and Cole arguing about Frodo.
Out comes Cena as the crowd boos him back to the Stone Age, singing “JOHN CENA SUUUUUUCKS”. We take a look at clips of Rusev and Cena at WrestleMania last night. Cena says the crowd will hear about WrestleMania Moments all night long. Cena says that the crowd in San Jose is the best audience of the year. They actually pop. He calls them all, “budding musicians”. This prompts the crowd to sing his theme song. He tells them that, if they believe that, they’re gonna have an issue with this next one: THE CHAMP IS HERE! He says he’s “dressed like Johnny Cash” (he’s wearing all black, so that’s valid, folks…he’s just like Johnny Cash) and he puts out his challenge.
And out comes…
MATCH #5: John Cena (champion) vs. Dean Ambrose (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
Ambrose and Cena trade a couple of spots and, instantly, Byron sends us on our commercial break because we didn’t want to see this match anyway. When we come back, King’s with us because Byron’s about to break down in tears and, suddenly, this is CNN live from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. If anyone can explain why the desk is still on its side, please let me know. And somebody get these guys chairs. My fucking feet hurt watching them stand up. Cena hits moves 1 through 3 and Ambrose kicks him. He tries the Rebound Clothesline but Cena ducks and hits #3 again. He hits #4 and goes for an AA which Ambrose breaks from and counters with a Sunset Flip for two. Ambrose hits a horribly delayed and telegraphed Rebound Clothesline but Cena, being the good guy he is, eats it anyhow. He tries Dirty Deeds but Cena stops it. The two trade BOO/YAY punches, then end up in the corner where Ambrose hits a Tornado DDT for a two count. Cena ends up outside and Ambrose nails him from the top buckle. They both roll into the ring and, suddenly, Super Cena is up and hitting an AA for two. The two end up fighting near the corner and Ambrose botches a Falling Sunset Flip. He pulls Cena down but Cena counters and hits the STF. Ambrose breaks it, so Cena goes for an AA. Ambrose breaks that and hits a pseudo-STF. Cena tries for the ropes so Ambrose breaks the hold and pulls Cena back to the center of the ring. Cena kicks at Ambrose and tries another AA. Ambrose counters with Dirty Deeds and NEARLY gets the pin. Cena and Ambrose trade shots again. About 7 AA counters later and Cena finally hits an AA, retaining at 14:20, after countering a crossbody by Ambrose.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: John Cena via AA
RATING: ***. Not bad…but can we stop pretending Cena’s suddenly a little indie mid-carder?
Post-match, Ambrose isn’t happy. He gets up, though, as Cena goes for the RESPECTFUL POST-MATCH TRIPLE H HANDSHAKE. Ambrose accepts, kinda, and we move on.
LAST NIGHT: It was Suplex City, bitch, hefore Seth Rollins cashed in and won the match.
Renee Young speaks with Seth Rollins backstage. He thinks that Brock Lesnar is out of control. He got what he deserved. Orton shows up and reminds Rollins that he beat Rollins at WrestleMania last night. He wants Rollins’ title…but Kane and Big Show show up to stop this noise real quick. Rollins says he’ll face Orton — in a tag match. He wants Orton to find two guys to face the three of them at the end of the night. Orton doesn’t look happy.
AJ Lee heads to the ring as we go to break.
MATCH #6: AJ Lee, Paige, & Naomi vs. Natalya & The Bella Twins (Brie & WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella) in a 6-Diva Tag Team Match
Nattie and Naomi begin the thing. Nattie escapes head scissors which looks like it would hurt if Naomi held on tighter to Nattie’s neck. Naomi hits a sitting dropkick after rubbing her ass in Nattie’s nose (DON’T DO THAT TO NATTIE! IT’S ALL SEXUAL AND FLIRTY AND STUFF!!!) Tag to Brie as the crowd chants for Paige. Brie puts Naomi in an armbar, then arm drags her to the mat. Naomi escapes and tags Paige. Paige hits headbutts and dumps Brie to the mat. Two count. Brie calls Paige a “loser”, so Paige dives at her and both girls are outside the ring. It’s a standoff between the remaining Divas as we go to commercial. It’s Nattie and AJ when we come back. AJ breaks a submission move but Nattie kicks her and suplexes AJ for two. Nikki comes into the match and puts a chinlock on AJ who the crowd actually gets behind instead of mocking. AJ breaks the hold and runs to her corner but Nikki blocks her and dumps her to the mat. Two count. Naomi and Paige scream for a tag, so Nikki nails Naomi with a forearm and goes back to work on AJ with a Crosslock. AJ breaks and Nikki runs at Naomi and Paige, swinging with forearms. She gets to Paige but misses Naomi. Hot tag to Naomi and she hits Nikki with a high kick and crossbody. Nikki manages to counter a head scissors off the buckle and dumps Naomi to the mat. Paige saves the pin and it’s a melee as Nattie hits SUPLEX CITY BITCH on Paige. The ring clears with Naomi in between Nikki and Brie. Nikki goes for her forearm — but hits Brie instead. Naomi hits the Rear View to get the win at 13:07.
WINNERS: The faces
RATING: **1/2. Not a bad Divas tag. They’re finally starting to take that roster seriously.
MOMENTS AGO: Brock destroyed everyone and everything.
Orton is backstage. Ryback shows up and he wants to be a part of Orton’s team. Orton accepts.
THIS THURSDAY ON SMACKDOWN: Dolph Ziggler & Daniel Bryan face Sheamus and Bad News Barrett.
ALSO ON SMACKDOWN: Orton, Cena and Reigns will all be there.
Michael Cole apparently has a “cervical fracture”…so treasure these brief weeks when we won’t hear him speak.
MATCH #7: Goldust vs. Rusev
No Lana. Kick, wham, Accolade anyhow, and we’re done at 2:18.
RATING: DUD. So, Rusev fights — but it isn’t for the title? Ok.
NEXT: The big 6-Man Tag Match.
MATCH #8: Kane, Big Show, & WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton, Ryback & Roman Reigns in a 6-Man Tag Team Match
Kane and Ryback start out. Ryback eats a boot in the corner. Rollins gets involved and he gets sent outside. Break again, even though we’re nearing the end of the show. Orton is beating on Kane, then tags Ryback as the crowd is insanely restless at this point, chanting ANYTHING that comes to mind. Rollins tags in and he’s all over Orton with kicks in the corner. He sends Orton into the other corner but Orton comes back with a clothesline and punches at Rollins in the other corner. Crowd begins a “BREEZE IS GORGEOUS” chant and then a “HOW YA’ DOIN'” chant. Tag to Show and the crowd chants “PLEASE RETIRE”. Show laughs and just drops elbows on Orton. He slaps Orton’s chest and tags Kane. Kane hits a snapmare as the crowd chants “SAN JOSE”, then “WE WANT RYBACK”. Orton beats on Kane but then runs into a boot. The Wave starts in the crowd and Rollins cannot believe his eyes. The cameraman follows the wave around, making the entire audience fucking seasick and, finally, the match continues. Rollins splashes Orton in the corner, then yells at the crowd. A “CM PUNK” chant begins as Rollins grabs Orton’s neck in the corner. Orton fights out as the crowd chants, “WE ARE AWESOME”. Reigns gets the hot tag and he hits a Samoan Drop on Kane. He takes out Show, then clotheslines Kane in the corner. Reigns goes for a neckbreaker, then changes his mind and hits Kane in the head. He goes for the Superman Punch. Show grabs him instead. Reigns escapes and hits a Superman Punch. Show runs over Reigns. Ryback hits a Shell Shock on Show. Curb Stomp to Ryback by Rollins. The ring clears and it’s Reigns behind Rollins. Reigns goes for a Spear. Rollins dodges it and runs. Kane attacks Reigns, only to eat an RKO from Orton. Reigns gets the pin at 13:00 and we’re done.
WINNERS: The faces.
RATING: **. The crowd killed most of this.
Post-match, it’s a heel/face staredown as we go off the air.
OVERALL: **1/2 stars. Brock signs a new contract and he’s probably not gonna be on much. Meanwhile, it was just a “pile of bodies” show with 20 people involved in three decent matches. Everyone seems so misused lately.
Unfortunately, no best-of-Monday Night Open Mic this week. Too much to recap. See you next week.
Er, that’s it.