We kick off RAW with yet another big locker room cleanout, as the entire roster is out on stage, as Triple H and Stephanie McMahon make their way out. Interesting to see John Cena and Seth Rollins standing next to each other, yet The Authority walk between them. Sign of things to come? They start by badmouthing Daniel Bryan, saying he was a terrible champion and did not represent the company. They then hype up Money in the Bank, saying a Battle Royal will determine additional contenders to MITB. Triple H corrects Steph, apparently Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and John Cena are not allowed in the match. Cena will still have an opportunity to qualify for MITB, if he can win a Stretcher Match against KANE.
We kick off the wrestling potion of this evening with a “no one watched in on Main Event, so let’s do it on RAW” match between Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins. They had matches on Main Event, and on SmackDown which seven people watched, all agreeing should be a main event match, because Ziggles and Rollins put on one hell of a match each time. Bit odd how Rollins is still wearing the Shield gear to the ring. Ziggler and Rollins but on a counter-clinic, one involving a nice sunset flip powerbomb, and a reversal into a huge spike-DDT. Rollins was able to toss Ziggler not once, but twice for two consecutive Turnbuckle Powerbombs, then cracking Ziggler’s skull with the Curb Stomp finisher. However, Rollins did not win by pinfall, but by DQ as Dean Ambrose charged the ring and scared Rollins off. Ambrose demanded a fight, but Triple H then informed Ambrose that he is “afraid he’s got some BAD NEWS” as he does have a match, but against Bad News Barrett.
So we get right into the second match of the night. I will point out, the crowd popped HUGE when Triple H said the line and “God Save The Queeeeeeeen” echoed around the arena. Yes, we love ourselves a crazy Ambrose, but we love getting Bad New even more. BNB and Ambrose started off wrestling, but quickly broke down into a brawl. Ambrose took a sick bump, being clotheslined off the top turnbuckle, hitting the ring apron on the way down to the floor. Ambrose and Barrett put on an equally awesome match, back and forth, and Ambrose took some serious bumps throughout it. The end came, not in a way I had hoped, where Rollins distracted Ambrose, however the crazy guy dove through the ropes on both Barrett and Rollins. The fight went into the crowd, Barrett makes it back to the ring and wins by count out, but his celebration is cut short as Ambrose gives Bad News to Bad News Barrett by spiking him with the Dirty Deeds.
Awkward backstage segment between Roman Reigns and Vickie Guerrero. Reigns reminding the lackey her last name is Guerrero. He then distracts her, enabling him to spike the drinks she was bringing to Triple H and Stephanie. She suddenly sneezes.
Evi says: “I guess he (Reigns) did it for shits and giggles.”
Best line from Reigns: “Vickie… Guerrero… Doesn’t that name mean anything?”
Bray Wyatt comes out and delivers an uber-creepy promo about being ruler of the world after winning the WWE Championship, sounded like an old Sid Vicious promo, except, coherent. Sheamus interrupts and we get another brawl of a match, which is surprisingly fast-paced. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan attempt interference, but then the Usos come running in to even the odds. The match is even paces, until Sheamus counters Wyatt and sets up for the Brough Kick. The Family has enough, causing the DQ ending. Suddenly a ladder comes into play, and Sheamus holds it steady while the Usos RUN UP THE LADDER and leap onto the Wyatt Family standing dazed on the outside.
Backstage, Vickie delivers the spiked coffee, Steph grabs hers, but Triple H clumsily knocks into Vickie and his drink goes buh-bye. Later on, Stephanie tries doing an interview with Renee Young, but she doesn’t look so good. Guess that worked fast.
Paul Heyman thankfully shows up, and is just so damn funny. Makes fun of what could happen if Bray Wyatt wins the WWE Championship.
The sole survivor of 3MB, Heath Slater, in the ring, and out comes his executioner, Alexander Rusev. Once in the ring, Lana spews more political rhetoric, but no one cares because we’re all starting at her assets. Rusev then does his best Borg impersonation by telling America “Resistance is Futile.” To everyone’s shock, Slater grabs the mic and taunts back. The entire pre-match banter was triple the length of the match itself, as Slater was trounced in a minute. Poor guy. I guess WWE would have felt bad firing him right after becoming a father, so they just have him job.
Backstage, Stephanie is puking her guts out. Triple H tells her to go check, and as she opens the door Stephanie “throws up” on Vickie. Triple H takes Steph away and informs Vickie she is in charge for the rest of the night. She then screams like a hyena.
As this is slowly turning into the Vickie and Roman show, the Shield member then convinces her to put him in the Battle Royal.
Kevin Hart segment. No one cares. Except for Adam Rose who tries getting Hart on the Rosebud party train. Awkward. Gets no better as he comes out to join the commentary team as Fandango and Layla take on the team of Adam Rose and Summer Rae. At least the live audience combines Fandango’s dance moves with Rose’s theme music for some strangely good entertainment. Match is over faster than Slater being squashed by Rusev. Kevin Hart then joins the party train as JBL pleads with him not to do it. I would have listened to JBL. Only time I ever would.
We get the Battle Royal to determine the next entry into the WWE Championship ladder match, bunch nobodies, mid-carders, and a few guys who actually have a slight chance of winning, except we know Roman Reigns is in there. Thankfully Rusev eliminated the biggest threats early, being Xavier Woods and Santino. It’s always a shame when you realize a guy like Dolph Ziggler has the same chance as Santino. I honestly did not realize RVD was in the match until towards the end. I think Damien Sandow was first to be tossed. Match came down to Rusev and Reigns, and boy, did the crowd go bat-shit crazy. Chants for both Rusev and Reigns. Rusev was way over, and they had a nice little sparring session before Reigns Superman Punched his way to victory. We knew Reigns was going to the title match, but, Michael Cole rips off a line from Clerks, “but he wasn’t even supposed to be here tonight!”
So now, that leaves one spot left which will go to either John Cena or Kane. Cena, cuts a backstage promo with Renee Young. In the words of Bill Bodkin from our weekly RAW banter, “Cena, was a complete and utter tool.”
Paige vs. Cameron, and it looks like the Funkadactyls dance to their own tune since Brodus Clay got the boot, and they all seem to have turned heel. Paige wins via awesome submission hold.
Well, once again we have yet another chapter in the “My name is Goldust and I can’t beat Rybaxel” saga. We get, as promised, a brand new wrestler with whom no one has seen before… STARDUST! Who is Stardust? It is Cody Rhodes donning the black and gold paint, and he looks like the goddamn Joker, and not the cartoony one, but the goddamn creepy one. Cody takes center stage, and with his brother confuse Ryback and Curtis Axel senseless, winning the match with the Diamond Dust. Pretty damn awesome, but a little weird and creepy. Bill and I needed hugs.
So, now we have the so-called main event of the night, John Cena vs. Kane. I do not have much to say about this one, except Michael Cole again has to remind us should Cena go ahead and win the title at Money in the Bank, he will become a 15-time World Champion. I do NOT want to hear that. That will put him one away from clinching with Ric Flair. Anyway, we got ourselves a sloppy brawl, mostly with Kane trying to roll Cena up the ramp. The chants for CM Punk and Daniel Bryan were more entertaining. I dare say, sometimes I think Cena suffers from Goldberg’s Disorder, you know, starts to sell a move but then forgets and suddenly acts like nothing ever happened. You can hear how fake Cole sounds when he tries to hype up a big move from Cena. Hell, the announcers cannot believe how Cena can carry Kane on his shoulders. Oh, I don’t know, he does it to Big Show or Mark Henry when he hits the Attitude Adjustment! Hey! Seth Rollins and Randy Orton appear! But they were ineffective! Ambrose takes out Orton and Rollins, but eats Chokeslam by Kane. Kane is then sent to the outside, and John Cena does his Donkey Kong impersonation and HURLS the ring stairs, clobbering Kane. Cena rolls the stretcher to the top, but before he can cross the line, Kane rises and goes for a Chokeslam, but Cena turns it into the AA, throws Kane back on the stretcher, and wins the match. Sigh.
I would have preferred for Stephanie to come out and puke all over Cena, preventing him from winning. Well, we should have seen that coming. I will say, RAW was very fast paced from the beginning, some pretty awesome matchups. Sheamus and Wyatt was a solid match, Barrett and Ambrose killed it in the opener.
WWE has some really solid players right now, I hope they can keep it up and not blow it.
All photos (except Think Like a Man Too Poster) credit to WWE
Michael Dworkis is a man of vast talent and industry. A former writer and corporate assistant of World Wrestling Entertainment, “MSD” is the Wrestling Columnist for Pop-Break, as well as contributing columns related to comics, movies, pop-culture, and of course, anything Transformers. He recently completed and obtained his Masters degree in Mental Health in Counseling, and recently became licensed to practice as an LAC by the National Board of Certified Counselors. If you need either a therapist or your wrestling fix, come to this man. Michael also is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Media, and previously managed an internet retail company. He blames Bill for having so much wrestling on the site and pleads with his superiors to create a feature on his very own Transformer Collection and to subdue Michael Bay for a serious talk. Michael is still searching for a Japanese Grand Maximus or any Japanese Generation 1 exclusives. See more of Michael at MichaelDworkis.com and follow on Twitter @Omegax80.