Hey, it’s WWE Raw! When it’s good, it’s very, very good, but when it’s bad, it’s HORRID.
The show opened backstage, with HHH stepping out of his limo. Oh, yeah, he’s back. The announcers welcomed us to the show and HHH came down to the ring.
He said that, while he’d been away, his “children” had been naughty. He called out Seth Rollins and Kane, and Rollins came out with J&J Security.
The crowd started chanting, “we want Ambrose!” and Rollins was not at all happy about that. Rollins told HHH that he felt that Kane had made it his personal mission to make him lose the WWE title. He said he got that Kane was HHH’s old pal, but that he’s broken and cannot be fixed. He said it was maybe time to put the old dog out of his misery.
That brought out Kane, who said that he may be old, but that with age comes wisdom. He vowed to chokeslam Rollins and HHH stepped in between them to stop them fighting.
HHH said that Rollins was irritating but he was also what was best for business. He said that, if Rollins did not walk out of Payback as champion, maybe Kane’s services are no longer needed.
Kane said it might be worth it to take out Rollins, and Rollins tattled on him for “direct insubordination”. HHH said they needed to know tonight whether they were all on the same page.
HHH booked matches for the show involving all four participants in the main event at Payback. To see if Kane was invested in the outcome, he booked him against Roman Reigns.
Seth Rollins got Randy Orton in the main event, and this brought Jamie Noble into play. He stepped up to HHH and ragged on him for making that match. HHH’s response was to book the final participant in the four-way – Dean Ambrose – against J&J Security. Starting right away.
Hey, it’s Dean Ambrose! He came out to a HUGE pop to fight Noble & Joey Mercury in a handicap match.
So this was all Ambrose. Noble & Mercury got a little heat at one point but Ambrose basically killed them. And it was a fun killing, because all three of them are great. Ambrose got the win, with Dirty Deeds on Noble.
After a break, Sheamus was on commentary with the announcers, wearing his dad’s clothes. They announced that he would face Dolph Ziggler at the PPV on Sunday. Michael Cole noted that Sheamus still owed Ziggler a kiss on his arse and I feel awkward even typing that.
Ziggler came down to the ring and was joined by King Bad News Barrett, and they had a match. It was a decent match, but you know the kind of match they have. Barrett got the win with the Bullhammer after Sheamus had distracted Ziggler. WWE superstars need mindfulness training.
After the match, Sheamus beat up Ziggler and hit him with the Brogue Kick. So Ziggler lost, took Barrett’s finisher, and took Sheamus’s finisher. Bad night, man.
Hey, it’s Luke Harper! He was in the ring after a break, and then Erick Rowan came out. These two are back together now. That’s not a terrible thing. Anyway, Harper wasn’t fighting, but Rowan was – against Fandango, who he’d attacked on last week’s Smackdown.
So this went thirty seconds, and the announcers were actually betting on how short it would go. Way to have faith in your talent! Rowan won with the Full Nelson Slam thing he’s using. Poor Fandango.
It’s time for the John Cena US title open challenge! They showed highlights of last week’s match, with Sami Zayn, and then Cena came down to the ring and cut a long, patriotic talky. You know the sort of thing.
He waited for his opponent to come out and it was… Neville! For a moment I thought we’d already seen this match, a few weeks ago in London, but then I realised I was wrong. I am old.
They had a GREAT match, and that’s two weeks in a row that Cena’s had the best match on Raw. Cena even hit a modified Michinoku Driver for a nearfall. With Nikki Bella using Misawa’s Roaring Elbow, I imagine the Cena household sitting down to Best Of Japan DVDs from the 90s.
Neville almost got the win with the Red Arrow, but as he made the cover Rusev ran in and broke it up. The official decision was a no-contest, and Rusev continued to attack Cena, applying the Accolade in the middle of the ring. He released it and picked up the title belt, standing under the Russian flag as it dropped. This feud must END on Sunday!
After a break, Kane came down to the ring for his match with Roman Reigns. Reigns came out and the Cincinnati crowd must have been being naughty because the sound was really low.
Before the bell could ring, Kane attacked Reigns on the outside and they brawled around ringside. Kane cleared the announcers’ table but got hit by a Superman punch and then speared over the table. Reigns stood triumphant as Kane lay, a little bit broken, amongst the detritus of the announcers’ belongings.
Hey, it’s the Bella Twins! They came down to the ring, smiling like babyfaces because phantom turns. Naomi and Tamina cut an inset promo as they came down to the ring, and Naomi vowed something something.
So it was Brie Bella versus Tamina Snuka and, boy, it stank. Tamina got the win with a superkick. I blame AJ Lee.
Skipping along, Curtis Axel was in the ring, and they showed a bit from the pre-show where Axel confronted Sandow about stealing other wrestler’s gimmicks. This made Sandow turn into Macho Mandow, and Jay Lethal wants some royalties.
So Macho Mandow came out, and he & Axelmania had a match. I feel embarrassed just writing about it. They were interrupted by The Ascension, who ragged on them in a knowing way for stealing other people’s gimmicks.
The Ascension went after Axelmania & Mandow, but the – *sigh* – Megapowers ran them off and, sadly, this feud must continue.
Hey, it’s Daniel Bryan! He came out, holding his WWE Intercontinental title and to a HUGE pop, and said that he’d had a tough couple of weeks.
He said he’d visited many doctors and they said they didn’t know when he’d be able to return to the ring. It might be weeks, it might be months, or he might not ever be able to fight again.
He said that the Intercontinental title should not be sitting in a physical therapist’s chair, so he was officially relinquishing the title. He left it lying in the ring, said “thank you” to the fans, and walked up the ramp, maybe for the final time. It was all a bit emosh, if I’m honest. Fucking Sheamus.
After a break, and with the announcers showing concern for Daniel Bryan, The New Day came out. They tried to get the crowd chanting “New Day… Rocks” but it just didn’t happen. Well, apart from one fella shown on the big screen and I presume he’ll get a ragging at work tomorrow.
They said that they believed everyone deserved a second chance, and just as they’d give Tyson Kidd & Cesaro a second chance at Payback, in a two out of three falls match, they’d give the Cincinnati crowd a second chance to get the chant right. It failed again, and out came Tyson Kidd, Cesaro & Natalya.
So this was Cesaro versus Big E. And Cesaro was great but Big E was a little off. His timing and positioning just wasn’t there, which is a shame because I’d love to see these two really go at it. Cesaro got the win with a whacky roll-up.
Michael Cole broke the news that they’d added a second May PPV, exclusive to the network – Elimination Chamber is back, on May 31st. Okay then. They also announced Kane versus Reigns for Smackdown, and there must be a winner! Ulp!
The Prime Time Players cut a promo, and it was the usual drizzling shits. This time they were dressed as The New Age Outlaws for some stupid reason.
Look, it’s Bray Wyatt! He came down to the ring to cut a talky on The Ryback. He mocked The Ryback’s gimmick of overcoming the odds and telling us all about it (he really should be called The Cryback lately). He said he was taking down The Ryback for no other reason than he was in his way.
The Ryback ran out and charged the ring. He hit Wyatt with a spinebuster and a clothesline, and Wyatt took a powder as the crowd chanted “feed me more”.
Hey, it’s our main event! It’s Seth Rollins versus Randy Orton! Orton came out first, and then Rollins joined him, but without J&J Security. Curious.
They were having their usual match until, around half-way through, Rollins hit a superkick which seemed (or was made to seem) like it knocked Orton a bit silly. After that, it felt a bit off.
Rollins mocked Orton by doing his RKO warm-up which fired Orton up, and he hit the draping DDT. He got ready to hit the RKO and J&J Security ran in for the DQ. Orton fought back but Rollins took him down. The crowd were expecting Ambrose or Reigns to make the save but Kane came out instead.
He grabbed a chair and stood at ringside. Rollins and J&J Security continued to put the boots to Orton until Ambrose & Reigns ran out. Rollins was surrounded by his three opponents and still Kane stood on the outside.
Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds, still no action from Kane. Reigns hit a spear, and still no action from Kane. Finally, Orton hit the RKO, and Kane remained unmoved.
Reigns then hit Orton with a spear, and Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds on Reigns, and the home-town hero stood over the wreckage going into the PPV, as Kane stared from ringside…
This was a Decent Show, but a Weird Show. The good bits were great but the bad bits were terrible, and there was precious little in between.