Happy MLB Opening Day to everyone.
I apologize for the lateness of this recap. We had a late night and got in and pretty much fell asleep from a long day…so…
We are LIVE(!!!) from Austin, Texas for WWE RAW!!!
Byron Saxton is in for the pretty-much-dead Michael Cole and he’s joined by JBL and Booker.
JBL: “I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS THIS WEEK!!! I HAD SURGERY AND I’M HERE!!!” (LONG, VERY uncomfortable silence as the other announcers realize that they could be next.)
Seth Rollins is in the ring with Kane and J&J Security. Big Show joins them. Crowd won’t stop booing. Big Show reminds us that this “our champion”, the guy who got a huge pop just because he was beating up Roman Reigns. Rollins says that the biggest takeaway from WrestleMania wasn’t the large attendance or the Twitter “trend” record. It was that they always wins. He reminds us that Triple H and Show both went over at WrestleMania. He tries to pump up Kane by saying, “Kane was THERE!” Show pumps up Rollins as the new champ, then kisses his ass. Rollins tries to talk up Kane again, but Randy Orton interrupts.
Orton’s here to remind everyone that he BEAT Rollins at WrestleMania. He wants the Championship and asks Kane to grant the match. Kane says that, tonight, there will be a Triple Threat Match to determine the #1 Contender for the match at Extreme Rules. It will feature: Roman Reigns, Ryback for some reason and Randy Orton. But, Orton’s got another match…against him. Rollins isn’t happy at all.
The clicking sound you hear is everyone switching to Better Call Saul.
MATCH #1: Kane vs. Randy Orton
Orton hits a couple clotheslines in the corner, then puts Kane in another corner, but get gets sent outside by a Kane uppercut. When we come back from break, Kane boots Orton and pins him for two. He clotheslines Orton in the corner, beats on him and hits a Sidewalk Slam for two. Kane hits a suplex and gets two. Kane tries a Chokeslam but Orton breaks the hold and kicks Kane outside the ring. He goes for the Elevated DDT and hits it. Orton goes for the RKO but Kane leaves the ring. Orton chases and beats Kane against the barricade…so, Kane retaliates with a chair and it’s a DQ at 9:01 which didn’t feel that long at all thanks to five minutes of Popeye’s ads and commercials for 5 Gum.
WINNER: Randy Orton via DQ
RATING: 1/2*. Arbitrary, pointless and DOA and went nowhere before an abrupt, shitty end. What do Kane and Big Show have on Triple H and Vince right now? Why did Orton not go over here?!
Post-match, both guys almost hit their big moves, then break away from one another.
Speaking of pointless and arbitrary:
TONIGHT: Ryback faces Luke Harper
ALSO: Roman Reigns vs. Big Show
Byron and the guys address AJ’s pregnancy “retirement”.
Backstage, Brad Maddox is talking to Kane who yells at Maddox. Then Rollins shows up to yell at Kane because Kane’s not the “Director of Operations”…? Anyhow, Rollins is tired of Kane “not getting it”: they’re supposed to be protecting Rollins. Kane reminds Rollins that Rollins wouldn’t even be champion without his help at Money in the Bank. Kane says that it’s his job to book Rollins against a “viable opponent” at Extreme Rules. Rollins says it’s probably time for Kane to step down from Director of Operations and that Triple H and Steph would agree with him. Kane says that Triple H and Steph are on vacation in the “South Pacific with no internet or cell phone connection”. What, did they travel to Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific? Rollins says that Kane will answer for his bullshit when they get back. Kane retaliates and says that Rollins is in a match…NEXT!
Well, not really “next”. Byron has to talk with JBL and Booker about Brock Lesnar going into Hairless Wookie Rage last week and then we get clips of it.
Seth is out for his match — NEXT!
Oh, wait, now we get a commercial break. So, like, after that.
When we come back, Seth’s opponent is…Neville?! We’re already ready to job Neville?! Jeebus in a canoe, this show…Rollins sarcastically introduces him to the audience and has Neville introduce himself. Neville doesn’t talk, so Rollins pretty much calls him chicken shit and tells him to sit this out. Neville kicks him instead.
MATCH #2: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) vs. Neville (non-title)
Neville hits a nice arm drag and rolls Rollins up for a one count. Rollins comes back, knocking him to the mat with a shoulderblock. Rollins stomps at him as JBL talks about “having surgery” for the 47th time. Neville does his gymnastic flip routine and kicks Rollins in the face, then sends him outside and leaps at him with a flipping splash. J&J tries to attack but Neville gets back into the ring. After a break, Neville and Rollins fight in the corner and Rollins trips him, sending him, face-first, into the buckle. Two count. He chokes Neville against the bottom rope as the crowd tries to pump Neville up. He makes a short comeback but Rollins just whips him into the buckle and drops some knees for two. Side headlock on Neville but Neville gets to his feet and breaks. Series of counters and Rollins hits a quick Enzuguri for two. Rollins hits a knee to the gut against the ropes as Booker says that “Neville is a winner no matter what happens tonight.” Rollins punches Neville in the face a bunch of times and it’s another headlock. Neville fights out and hits a chinbreaker. Rollins whips him to the ropes and Neville hits a lariat and kicks. Rollins comes back with a huge running clothesline which flips Neville in a complete circle. It’s another two count. The two trade shots but Rollins goes for the Buckle Bomb. Neville counters it and goes for his finisher — but J&J get involved. Neville manages to kick Mercury away from him but Rollins manages to get up, grab Neville for the Buckle Bomb and Curb Stomp to close it at 12:01.
WINNER: Seth Rollins via Curb Stomp
RATING: ***. Not a bad match but Neville barely seemed to have any offense for most of it.
Post-match, Rollins & J&J beat up Neville and taunt him because fuck the new guy.
TONIGHT: Triple Threat Match between Randy Orton, Roman Reigns and Ryback.
ALSO: John Cena REEEEEALLY doesn’t want the Franklin Mint ‘Murica Commemorative Plate Belt anymore! PLEASE TAKE IT!
Furious 7 is #1 at the Box Office this week. No surprise there.
Out comes John Cena for the “Open Challenge”. Cena pumps up the crowd, hits a cheap city pop, brags about beating Rusev, CHAMP IS HERE, etc. He says that Rusev wants a rematch with him at Extreme Rules. Cena says he wants to have a Championship Match RIGHT HERE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS!!! He says he’s not gonna just cough the belt up, though. He tells somebody to come out and get some…and it’s fucking Stardust. The crowd reacts by hitting the snack bar. Wow. Shouldn’t Neville have been booked here instead?
MATCH #3: John Cena (champion) vs. Stardust (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
Crowd chants for Cody who screams at them and tells them “IT’S STARDUST!” Some heavy countering and Dust hits a Sunset Flip for two. Cena sends him out of the ring but Star holds the top rope and flips back in. Cena slams him and drops punches. He hits Move #1 and stops. Star backs off and goes into a corner. Cena just tosses him around like a rag doll, then hits a VERY delayed Vertical Suplex for two. Cena clotheslines Star’s head off and gets two. Headlock by Cena. Star breaks but runs into Cena’s shoulderblock which must be like running into a wall. Finally, Star just rolls out of the ring and addresses the crowd. After a break, we’re back to the latest Cena massacre. He has Star in the AA but Star actually escapes, hits a buckle and dropkicks Cena, getting two. Cena runs at Star in the corner but gets a boot to the face and can barely pretend that hurt. Two count by Star. Star leaps at Cena again and Cena counters with a sitting Powerbomb of sorts for two. Another AA sees Star landing on his feet and hitting a quick Alabama Slam for two. Star sets up his finisher but Cena comes back with a Falling Body Slam for two. Cena sets up for the AA AGAIN but Star escapes for the third time and hits a Sunset Flip for two. Cena gets up and hits Move #3. He goes for the 5KS but Star kicks him and hits a DDT for two which we recap about two or three times because NOBODY EVER DDT’S CENA! Star hits a nice splash off the ropes and NEARLY gets a fall. Star runs at Cena but Cena grabs his leg and hits the STF. Star escapes and hits Cross Rhodes — NEARLY getting another fall. Cena instantly gets up and hits his brand-new movie, that goofy Springboard Stunner plus an AA to retain at 13:16.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: John Cena via AA
RATING: ***. Complete mis-match on paper which translated to a crappy first half. Got way better as it went along. The problem is that I really didn’t believe, for one second, that Cena is in any danger.
STILL TO COME: The Triple Threat Match
TONIGHT: Reigns vs. Big Show
ALSO TONIGHT: Ryback vs. Luke Harper
MATCH #4: The Bella Twins (Brie Bella & WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella) vs. Naomi & Paige
Paige and Brie start. They lock up and Brie slaps Paige who comes back, pissed, clotheslining Brie. Paige charges the ropes but Nikki distracts her. Brie knocks Paige out of the ring. She kicks at Paige and puts her back into the ring, hitting the Drunken Knee or Brie Mode or whatever we’re calling that. Brie puts on the CHINLOCK OF DOOM. Paige breaks but gets tossed to the mat. Brie tags Nikki and the twins hit a double suplex. Nikki puts Body Scissors on Paige, then breaks the hold and struts around the ring. She slams Paige against the buckle, then runs at her and misses. Hot tag to Naomi which gets nothing from the crowd. Naomi works over Nikki, then knocks Brie off the mat. Naomi misses an attack off the ropes and hits the fucking stupid Ass Bump. Brie comes into the ring to help. Paige kicks Nikki’s head off, then ejects Brie from the ring. Naomi hits a Leg Scissor DDT which, again, gets nothing from the crowd. That seals it up at 5:14 as JBL says “FUNK IS ON A ROLL” so many times, even my neighbor Tweets WWE to tell them to take JBL off the air.
WINNERS: Naomi & Paige
RATING: 1/2 a *. I’m all for giving Divas a chance…but there’s nothing going on with them. We went from Nikki feuding with her sister to Brie suddenly not giving a shit about her sister’s abuse to Nikki winning the title to Nikki feuding with Paige to Nikki feuding with both AJ and Paige to…constant tag team matches. I have a feeling this is the status quo until Total Divas restarts.
The Primetime Players cut a promo about how awful The New Day is.
MATCH #5: Ryback vs. Luke Harper
Ryback beats up Harper in the corner but Harper comes back with a quick dropkick and uppercuts. One count. Ryback hits a Falling Press Slam but runs into a Superkick on a failed Meathook attempt. JBL: “FEED ME MORE? YEAH! THROUGH A STRAW!” Ryback falls outside and Harper goes after him, beating up on him. He rolls Ryback into the ring but misses the Clothesline From Hell. Ryback runs at him and Harper hits Winds of Change for two. Harper hits a Crossface but Ryback breaks it and hits a suplex. Shell Shock and we’re done at 2:34.
WINNER: Ryback via Shell Shock
RATING: *1/4. Routine squash.
The New Day is backstage with Renee who FINALLY acknowledges that the fans are saying, “New Day sucks”. Kofi: “It hurts that they say that…but we clap…or we SNAP…” Uh. Wut. Big E talks about signing autographs. Because he can clap. Then they clap.
MATCH #6: The New Day (Xavier Woods & Big E) (w/ Kofi Kingston) vs. Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto)
Kofi still does the New Day clap. The crowd does the New Day Sucks chant. So, this is the Painfully Ironic Day now, I guess. The New Day beats up Cara in the corner with no mercy whatsoever. Woods puts a chinlock on Cara but Cara breaks. Woods immediately hits some kicks to his gut and gets a two count. Big E gets in and continues the beating. Cara manages to flip over E and tag Kalisto who destroys Woods. E tries to attack but Cara dumps him.. Woods tries a cheap roll-up but only gets two. Kalisto hits his finisher, then dives at E and Kofi. Tag to Cara who hits the Flying Reverse Senton for the win.
WINNERS: Lucha Dragons
RATING: **. Short match, but effective. Kalisto and Sin Cara are an impressive team.
NEXT: Roman Reigns vs. Big Show
MATCH #7: Roman Reigns vs. Big Show
My feed cut out for part of this. It continues with Show choking Reigns against the bottom rope. Reigns comes back with punches but Show just grabs him and tosses him out of the ring. Show continues the beating outside but gets tossed into the ringpost on a counter by Reigns. Reigns dropkicks him in the head but Show comes back with a Spear. After break, Show has Reigns in the ring and hits a Side Suplex. Reigns gets to his feet because Show just walks around and/or stands there. Reigns comes back with a kick in the corner but Show grabs him and hits a Sidewalk Slam. Show goes for a Vader Bomb, hitting it perfectly. He gets two. Reigns gets to his feet and Show kicks him out of the ring again. Show follows, beats on him some more, then stands there and waits for Reigns to wake up and get back in the ring again. Show grabs him by the hair and just kinda stands there, looking at him. Reigns punches him, then hits three Superman Punches and Spear and we’re done at around ten minutes.
WINNER: Roman Reigns via Spear
RATING: *. Big, dull, boring — just like the other two matches involving the #1 contenders. Aren’t you glad we have to sit through another match with all three of them?
Kane is leaving a message for Triple H and Steph — despite the fact they’re on Gilligan’s Island. Natalya, Summer, Cameron and Alicia come in, squealing over Kane. They all want a “battle royal” to determine who the real #1 Contender should be for the Divas Championship, despite the fact that three of the four of them don’t do anything remotely meaningful.
Renee Young stops Reigns and wants to know his next move. Reigns holds up his fist and tells her wait and see.
Sheamus has new music to match his new look. It’s not bad at all. He wants everyone to know that he is what a “real man looks like”. He says grown-ups are speaking now. He says that the little go-getters don’t do much at all. He says that people criticize him for bullying smaller guys…but there aren’t really guys his size, so he has no choice. Mark Henry’s music hits and out he comes to job.
MATCH #8: Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
Sheamus isn’t having this and leaves the ring. He tells Henry not to waste his time — so Henry grabs him and tosses him back into the ring. Sheamus isn’t happy and tries to kick Henry. Henry grabs his leg and knocks him down. Sheamus fights back and clubs Henry across the neck. Henry blocks a move and dumps Sheamus from the ring. Henry chases and Sheamus just hits him in the face. Back in the ring, Sheamus tries for Ten Beats but Henry stops it at four. Sheamus knees him in the gut until he goes down. Sheamus picks him up again but Henry goes for the WSS, which Sheamus escapes. He hits the Brogue and we’re done.
WINNER: Sheamus via Brogue Kick
RATING: N/A. This was your typical semi-squash.
MATCH #9: The Miz vs. Damien Miz-dow
Miz-dow (who is still Miz-dow despite breaking free of Miz) immediately attacks Miz and it’s a brawl that spills outside the ring. Miz-dow runs Miz’s head into the mat, then picks him up and knees him in the head. Miz-dow kicks him in the corner, then chokes him. He tries to rush at Miz but Miz kicks him in the head and starts wailing on Miz-dow, kicking him in the head after a flurry of punches. Miz chokes Miz-dow against the middle rope and works him over in the corner. Miz-dow comes back and beats up Miz in the corner, nailing him with hard elbows. Miz-dow hits a quick suplex and drops an elbow. Miz gets to the ropes but Miz-dow won’t let him go, hitting him with hard knees. Miz finally drops out of the ring. Miz-dow chases him back in and Miz is on him, kicking away. Miz-dow regroups in the corner and Miz climbs up on him, grinding his face into the buckle. Miz-dow stands up and puts Miz on his shoulders, hitting an Electric Chair Drop. Miz-dow gets up and headbutts Miz who rolls out of the ring. Miz drops Miz-dow’s neck on the ropes and comes back in, rushing. Miz-dow quickly hits a clothesline, then a back/neckbreaker combo. He goes for the SCF but Miz blocks and it’s more brawling before Miz manages the cheap roll-up pin to end it.
WINNER: The Miz
RATING: ***1/2. This was the match of the night. These two fought with incredible intensity. Great stuff. Why they couldn’t wait until Extreme Rules is puzzling, but it’s fine.
NEXT: The main event…
MATCH #10: Ryback vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns in a Triple Threat Match for the #1 Contender’s Spot for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Ryback tries Shell Shock on Reigns but that doesn’t happen. Orton and Reigns dump him, then fight int he corner. Ryback comes roaring back into the fight and clotheslines Reigns who comes back with his leaping clothesline, getting two. Orton and Reigns trade shots and Orton hits a clothesline out of the corner. Ryback dumps Orton out of the ring and goes to work on Reigns…and, suddenly, the Authority is out in force on the entrance ramp. Ryback puts Reigns in the corner, then hits a powerslam. He attempts the Meathook but Orton comes in and hits clotheslines on both guys, then hits twin powerslams in stride. He goes for the Elevated DDT on Ryback but Reigns leaps up and clubs Orton in the head. Two count. Reigns hits about a half dozen clotheslines in the corner but Orton interferes. Reigns hits a Superman Punch on Orton. Ryback hits a Spinebuster on Reigns. Ryback goes for a Meathook, nailing Reigns. Nobody cares. Orton tries an RKO but Ryback fights out and hits a Spinebuster on Orton. He goes for Shell Shock but Orton escapes. Reigns hits a Spear on Ryback and rolls out of the ring. The Authority approaches the ring, so Reigns dives at all five guys. Rollins gets involved and fights off Reigns. Show hits a KO Punch to finish him off. Orton grabs Rollins’ hair and drags him in the ring, then hits an Elevated DDT. In comes J&J and Ryback hits them with Spinebusters. Orton hits an RKO and he’s the #1 Contender.
WINNER: Randy Orton via RKO.
RATING: **. This wasn’t that bad…it’s just stale.
Post-match, Rollins hits a Curb Stomp on Orton and stands tall as we go off the air.
OVERALL: **1/2. Nobody cares about any of the Main Event guys and it’s really weighing things down.
Er, that’s it.