michael dworkis gets RAW …
Earlier today WWE.com shared some “Breaking News” that Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman came into WWE Headquarters in Stamford, CT. That was not the news. The news was Brock destroying the office belonging to Triple H.
News, huh? So, no media coverage except … Paul Heyman posting on Twitter? I am very disappointed. This was the best WWE creative could come up with? They try so valiantly to make it sound like this was some invasion or a criminal act of breaking and entering. Except, it was not, and is not, and just plain lame to show a broken desk, magazines strewn about, and the dreaded plastic garbage pail tipped over. No fists through walls? No fallen employees? No secretaries screaming in sheer terror? Hold Stephanie hostage?
This little stab at drama-building felt like something out of 1991. Not even Attitude-Era worthy. It felt half-assed to be bluntly honest. Only people looking at WWE.com would have noticed, and quite frankly, I doubt anyone gave attention to it. Sorry if this was harsh, but WWE, I really expected better.
Onto hopefully a good Raw show. Last week, was a good show, but lacking in the main event developments. This week we begin with highlights from Cena losing in the six-man tag match last week, and the Paul Heyman tweets about Brock Lesnar rampaging the office of HHH. John Cena cuts a weird promo, talking about Ryback breathing heavy and doing some Yes and No impersonation of Daniel Bryan. Crowd seemed confused also. Thankfully we are interrupted by Vickie Guerrero. She tells us that this PPV will not be an ordinary pay-per-view, but an Extreme one. Uh … it is called Extreme Rules, but maybe she forgot. Since there is one match in a cage, another featuring a ladder. So the WWE Championship match will also have some sort of stipulation. Vickie brings out Ryback, and it will be up to them to choose the match. Cena cuts a humorous promo making fun of both of them, maybe have a Whine-Off with Ryback, or Vickie’s Granny Panties on a Pole match. Ryback getting better on the mic, until he says that “Cena’s Achilles heel is his Achillies heel.’ Yeah. Great. Fast forward and Ryback chooses a Last Man Standing match for the WWE Championship. He leaves with the parting words, “Ryback Rules.”
I was hoping for an eating contest.
Randy Orton defeats Damien Sandow
Sandow is awesome. Demanding silence from the crowd so he could his own version of the Orton theme song. It was genius. Calling Orton boring and lame. He is. Orton beat Sandow last week on SmackDown, and now the second match of their feud. Orton dominated majority of the match, and to be honest, Sandow could not salvage the match, but the incoherent blather from JBL mocking Michael Cole served to entertain. We get an excellently executed Elbow of Disdain from the Duke of Decency. We get the usual moves from Orton, and Cole is all too happy to say “Vintage Orton” while Lawler and JBL mock him. Orton won this one cleanly, a little too cleanly if you ask me. Made Sandow look weak in my opinion, and we all know that greatly displeases me.
Post match, Big Show jumps out behind the entrance ramp and decks Orton with the WMD KO Punch. Yay!
Fandango vs. R-Truth
Chris Jericho comes out to mock Fandingleberry … Fandumbo, FandaRamaDingDong or whatever, pretty funny. Jericho says he has put together a panel to judge Fandango on his performance tonight, it will be Jericho, Brodus Clay, and Tensai. JBL says catering needs a refill, and starts getting incoherent again. I think JBL is up to seven beers. Jericho and Tons of Funk hold up 1s and 2s for his entrance. R-Truth makes his way to the ring, and Michael Cole then announced “Finally! Someone who can sing and dance!” I now wonder if Cole has been drinking during the show. Truth dominates from the get-go. Fandango retreats, losing by count-out while Truth dances, earning a 10 rating from the judges. While the judging panel was funny, mostly to Clay losing his numbers.
Backstage: Josh Matthews asks Daniel Bryan how he feels. Bryan issues another challenge to The Ryback, who just so happens to be breathing heavily behind him. Ryback says no because Bryan is half the man Ryback is… Kane arrives in the face of the Hungry Hippo and issues a challenge of his own. Ryback leaves Kane with two words: “Ryback Rules.” Noticing a theme here? Anyone?
Alberto del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
Now here we go! Ziggles and Rio put on another classic. We even get a classic snap-over Suplex from Ziggler. Both stars trade holds and moves until Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter make their way down to the ringside, Swagger taunting Big E. Langston while Zeb joins on commentary. Colter is a mad scientist on commentary, while Ziggler and Del Rio just put another another main-event quality performance. Ziggler strikes with a huge dropkick worthy of comparison Hardcore Holly. They go back and forth, back and forth. Del Rio misses a corner enziguri, Ziggler counters into a swinging neckbreaker, these guys are perfect. Yes, I go on and on, but if you watch their matches, you will believe what I am describing. Both men go up the turnbuckle, but Del Rio trips up Ziggler, sets him up backwards … REVERSE VERTICAL SUPERPLEX! Del Rio with a superkick! Good lord ONLY these two guys can do this. Del Rio locks in the Cross Armbreaker, but Big E. pulls out Rio and throws him into Jack Swagger, causing the DQ ending. Swagger goes nuts, flooring everyone, and then pulls out a ladder!!! He decks Ricardo, and then clobbers Ziggler and Del Rio in the ring! This is the best set-up for Extreme Rules yet.
Winner by Awesome Chaos and DQ: Alberto del Rio
What they did to end this match was pure awesome. You have three men who have put on a fantastic performance and I for one believe this will be the show-stealer at Extreme Rules. Cena, Orton, Ryback, nor Brock could tell the incredible story which Swagger, Ziggler, and Del Rio have told in build-up for Extreme Rules.
More hype about Brock and Heyman “invading” WWE corporate. The only thing real about this, are the photos were actually taken in the halls of the HQ of WWE.
The Shield defeated The Usos & Kofi Kingston
Last column, I did say I would like to see a member of The Shield go against Kofi for the U.S. Championship while the other two challenge for the Tag Team Championships. This might be a precursor for it. The Usos were somewhat impressive, showing they have quite a bit of talent, but this match was purely to boost the stock of The Shield heading towards Extreme Rules. This turned into a very good match towards the end with all six brawling and flying everywhere. Kingston took too long on the top rope, allowing Ambrose to stop him but he gets knocked down. Rollins provides the assist, allowing Ambrose to spike Kofi headfirst with a modified forward/side-headlock DDT variation. Beautiful finisher and convincingly looked crushing.
At this point in the show, I have stopped listening to commentary as all three, Cole, JBL and Lawler are likely to be over the alcoholic limit.
Antonio Cesaro squashes Zack Ryder
They first show clips from last week on Main Event, Cesaro hitting a superplex on Kingston from the ring apron, over the ropes and into the ring. Follow me though … Cesaro was standing on the second rope, and Kofi on the ring apron. Cesaro suplexes Kofi from the apron, over the ropes and into the ring, from the second rope. Incredible. Maybe I should start watching Main Event more often. Anyway, this was a squash with Ryder losing again. Cesaro gets on the mic, pissed off that all he gets is a guy like Ryder and nobody who is worthy of being in the ring with him. I do agree. However, Cole announces this Wednesday on Main Event, Antonio Cesaro will go one-on-one with Randy Orton.
Paul Heyman via Satellite, on behalf of “The Beast Incarnate”
He talks about how he and Brock decided to “tour” the WWE Headquarters. Sort of humorous and Heyman rolls footage of Lesnar intimidating various employees. They barge into the office of Paul Levesque. Heyman egging Brock on as he destroys various office equipment, including a few computers. Heyman, back on the tron says that after The Game hit him with the Pedigree on live television, he plans on allowing Brock to do whatever he wants, because he wants revenge on Triple H. Speaking of whom, comes to the ring to chat with Heyman. Triple H reminds Heyman that he lives Extreme, he invented DX, he was the headliner through the Attitude Era. Someone might want to remind Hunter is Paul Heyman invented a little company called ECW. The Cerebral Assassin says he is standing in his real office, the middle of the squared circle. Good promos from both.
Kaitlyn & The Funkadactyls defeated AJ Lee & The Bella Twins
Bellas ditched AJ, allowing her to get speared by the Diva Champ.
Mark Henry in the ring. Promises more pain for Sheamus. Shows clips of Henry mauling Sheamus backstage over and over. Sheamus interrupts with his own clips, of two consecutive Brough Kicks. Before the two men collide, the theme for Wade Barrett hits, and Michael Cole informs us (again) that Barrett is scheduled to face off with Sheamus.
Sheamus defeats Wade Barrett
Best moment of the match: Mark Henry yells at the commentary team to SHUT UP!
Second best moment of the match: Sheamus knocks Barrett to the floor, grabs Barrett to hurl him into Henry but feigns the throw, causing Henry to flinch and fall off his chair. Henry gets up and charges into a Brough Boot.
Good match actually, but Barrett predictably lost again. Barrett wound up for the Bull Hammer, but the Celtic Warrior countered the charge into the White Noise and the Brough Kick. Post match Henry beats Sheamus with a leather strap. We either get a strap-match or a belt-on-a-pole.
Barrett, again loses. We have a champion who is not a joke, yet a “true” champion gets treated like jobber fodder worse than Aldo Montoya.
Hype for next week: Chris Jericho vs. Fandango, one-on-one… In a Dance Contest. #Facepalm
Ryback pins Kane
Main event time! Not a bad match, power vs. power. Short match, with Ryback lifting Kane off the turnbuckle and hits the Shell Shock. Post match, The Shield comes through the crowd, and Ryback leaves, as John Cena comes down to help Kane and Bryan. Suddenly, Ryback returns with a chair in hand scaring away one Shield member, while Bryan dives on another. Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment, but Ryback shows his true colors as he beats Cena down with the chair as Raw goes off the air.
Well, still no Punk. I really wonder what is next for the greatest WWE Champion of this era. Jericho has a minimal performance tonight. Ziggler, Del Rio, and Swagger with an awesome show. Shield looking strong, Ryback looking boring. He really needs a manager, and this “Ryback Rules” cliché just does not work. Just let someone do the talking for him, because Ryback does his talking in the ring, which he does very well. Ryder getting squashed every week is just horrible. How about Khali or a member of 3MB taking over the role of being the modern-day Barry Horowitz? I am glad someone noticed Cesaro needed a change, and it looks like it began this week. Barrett needs to drop the Intercontinental Title, because he is fast becoming the most-defeated champion in history. The Big Show/Orton feud is tolerable, while Sheamus and Henry is entertaining.
Overall, a better Raw, due to proper hype and build towards the next pay-per-view. I do not feel anything is being rushed, although the undercard will likely see some last-minute planning since only the major matches have seen methodical construction. Cena/Ryback, Henry/Sheamus, Orton/Big Show, Swagger/Del Rio/Ziggler, Triple H/Lesnar and likely Team Hell No vs. The Shield. I am a little confused; the trio is now called The Hounds of Justice, yet still referred to as The Shield. Which one is it?
All photos credit: WWE