michael dworkis is always raw …
Happy Memorial Day folks. WWE begins the show with one of their amazing tribute packages. I will say, no one can touch the stuff they produce. Great way to show tribute and support to our American Heroes.
Tonight, Raw is live… from Canada.
We begin with, John Cena. Thankfully, he gets right to the point about Ryback and the challenge for an ambulance match. His speech is interrupted by a “We Want Bret” chant. I agree. Cena instead offers a counter-offer for a Three Stages of Hell match. Best two-out-of-three falls. First, a lumberjack match. Second a Tables match. Should we go to the third, then Ryback can have his widdle waaaaaambulance match. Of course, Ryback shows up to “Goldberg” chants and some “Boring” chants. Accurate.
Just when we think this segment is over, the Rabbi of Wrestling, Paul Heyman interrupts. He brings out Curtis Axel and… oh, they changed his entrance theme? Awww, I liked the Hennig tribute. Heyman challenges Cena to a match with Axel. I am warming up to the name, but that beard has got to go. He should stay off the mic though, leave the talking to Heyman.
Alberto del Rio vs. Big E. Langston
Yep, we are getting this match again after one last Raw, and just days later on Main Event. I can live with that, they put on a great performance. Del Rio scores with a suicide dive early on, but the big Langston powers back quite quickly. Ziggler still out of action, but thanks to a clip off the WWE App (boy, they are really pushing this thing), we hear that “the cure” is more Big E. beatdowns. Huh. Catchy. Del Rio and Langston go back and forth as Del Rio gains the advantage with a backstabber, leading to a superkick. AJ Lee ripped off a turnbuckle pad while Langston was tied up with Del Rio. Del Rio locks Langston into the Cross-Armbreaker, but Langston powers out, lifting the Mexican Aristocrat. Del Rio then shoves Langston into the corner, disorienting the big man and allowing Rio to roll him up for the win.
Backstage: Kane and Daniel Bryan arguing backstage until Bret Hart steps in a psychs them up for their upcoming title rematch.
Cole, Lawler and JBL hype the Bret Hart Appreciation night… exclusively on the WWE App. Wow, they are really desperate to get people to download the app.
Dean Ambrose retains the United States Championship against Kofi Kingston
We get a very loud “let’s go Ambrose” chant. He deserves it. This match was way too fast to om call. Both men speeding around the ring hitting moves then getting up and going at it again. Reminds me of a Billy Kidman vs. Psychosis match from WCW. In any event, Kofi hits the SOS but only a two count. Kofi hits a ton of high flying moves, but unable to earn the pinfall. Kofi goes to the apron, only to get tripped by Ambrose, whacking his face on the ring apron. In the ring, Ambrose plants Kofi with a gorgeous Frontbuster DDT for the win.
Geezuz, they are REALLY pushing the WWE App. It is getting annoying actually, constant interruptions during matches to talk about what is going on backstage or what happened during commercial. Who cares?
Anyway, Ambrose does not get to celebrate for long as Team Hell No rushes the ring, saving Kingston from a beatdown, and beginning their tag team title rematch.
The Shield retains the Tag Team Championships against Team Hell No
This match is incredible. Youtube it or something. The action, way too fast to call, both teams going completely all-out, putting on one of the best tag matches I have ever seen. Kane winds up taking the double-team beatdown, until clotheslining Rollins inside-out, hot-tagging to Bryan who then hits a charging dropkick to Reigns, sending him crashing to the floor, and then LAUNCHING Rollins clear across the goddamn ring with a HUGE German Freakin’ Suplex! Following a Tree-of-Woe, Bryan and Rollins then fight on the turnbuckle, where Bryan takes the co-champion down with a top-rope Back Suplex! Then we get, GET THAT APP OFF MY SCREEN! I do not care about the Prime Time Players! SCREW THE APP GET ME BACK TO MY MATCH!! Thank you, Bryan looks crazy with all this shaggy hair of his. Reigns turns the tables, stopping the rampage. Rollins then puts Bryan into his own Mexican Surfboard, but somehow, and I wish I could explain it, but Bryan stands up on Rollins knees, breaking the hold, kicking the tar out of him. Good lord this match is AWESOME. Nice exchange between the former Ring of Honor champions, Rollins ending it with a front-facebuster into the corner. Reigns growls and yells a lot. Too loud. Kane gets a hot tag, mauls everyone. Bryan goes after Reigns, but Kane tries getting Bryan back to the corner to assist, but instead choose to continue going after Reigns, but is caught and taken down. Kane, distracted, eats a flying knee rush from Rollins and winds getting pinned.
This was the best tag team match in a long time. Notice how I do not talk much about Reigns? He is not special, and really needs to stop growling and yelling. Not intimidating, only strange.
My wife has proposed a new drinking game: Every time they bring up this goddamned App, we drink. This is bordering insane irritation levels. Done.
Wade Barrett vs. Fandango
The Miz is voted… by way of the WWE App to be a guest referee for Wade Barrett vs. Fandango. The other choices were commentary and timekeeper. All meaningless, all likely scripted to have the same result. It looks like Barrett has a new entrance, does that mean he might get a winning streak with that? Fandango and his cha-cha-cha theme still seems to have some novelty in Canada. Match does not go long, Barrett and Miz get into it, Miz drops Barrett with the Skull Crushing Finale, allowing Fandango to pin him. Miz then kicks Fandango in the head, Summer Rae falls on top, so Miz makes a second three-count, declaring Rae the winner.
Sigh… joke of a match, and Barrett… loses… again. WHY?! WHY?!
Backstage: John Cena staring off into space, until a familiar voice is heard, of Shawn Michaels! Geez, what is with the beards? Is this a requirement in WWE now? Everyone has to have a beard?! He does some pep-talk stuff.
Tons of Funk & The Great Khali defeat 3MB
This is a disaster. It is the New Oddities. We have Khali, Clay, A-Train, Hornswoggle, Natalya and the two cheerleaders at ringside. Hell, I would count 3MB as part of this ultimate loser squad.
Chris Jericho and the Highlight Reel with special guest Paul Heyman
Heyman reminds the crowd he gave Jericho his first big break in the U.S. (ECW), and then starts talking about Curtis Axel. However, Jericho wants to talk about his other client. Heyman starts blathering about Brock Lesnar, except that is not who Jericho is referring to. Mr. Jericho, and the WWE Universe want to know… Where is CM Punk? Heyman sputters out something about his suit, until Jericho interrupts with a barrage of blahblahblahblah blah blah blablablaaaaaaaa WHERE IS CM PUNK?! Paul Heyman says he will have an announcement soon. Jericho cuts a great promo on Heyman, and challenges Punk to a match at WWE Payback. Heyman deflects, and Jericho reminds him to be the “Best in the World at what I do.” Heyman then accepts the challenge. Yay!
The Bellas defeat Kaitlyn & Natalya
Backstage: Bret Hart cautions Curtis Axel with aligning himself with Paul Heyman.
Can anyone help me get old tape glue off my G1 Transformers board game without ruining the box? Having some difficulty here… Oh, is there a match going on?
Sheamus & Randy Orton defeat Team Rhodes Scholars
So I guess Rhodes Scholars is on the decline while Orton and Sheamus need a team name. Go on the WWE App, right? I feel like I should be interested in this match, but I see Orton, and my mind goes elsewhere. Sheamus earns the pinfall for his team. It was a decent match, Rhodes Scholar with a lot of action, while Orton and Sheamus resort to brawling tactics. Meh.
Curtis Axel vs. John Cena
At some point it was announced Bray Wyatt and the Family would debut next week on Raw. If you have watched NXT, then you know the awesome stuff coming. If you have not, you will get an old school NWA feel to what these guys do. Axel nails Cena with a Hennig-plex, but Cena kicks out. Unfortunately, the crowd is busy watching a fight in the stands break out and the ejections which followed. Sigh, first Triple H, now a crowd-fight. What else will rob Axel of attention? It is an ambulance driving into the arena! Cena leaves the ring to investigate and subsequently gets ambushed by Ryback. Michael Cole then says something you NEVER say… “We all forgot about Curtis Axel…” Granted, he was left high and dry in the ring, but still, you NEVER say that about someone trying to be pushed!
Winner by Count Out: Curtis Axel
Well, Raw was overall very uninteresting. The United States and Tag Team title matches were the standouts, as well as Alberto del Rio vs. Big E. Langston. The remaining matches seemed lackluster, and even the plot points to build up WWE Payback felt lacking. Wade Barrett lost. Again.