TV Recap: WWE Monday Night RAW

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Monday Night RAW is Zzzzzzzzzzzz

Jerry Lawler is out with illness, so we get the unintelligible Booker T in his place, and tonight Eden makes her RAW debut as ring announcer. We also realize JBL is the wrestling fan who hates modern wrestling and years for the “good old days.”

We kick off the first WWE Monday Night RAW as the entire roster is in and around the ring as John Cena delivers a sincere apology to everyone for giving in to the demand of Seth Rollins to save Edge. Cena’s apology is interrupted by The Authority, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon who gloat at being brought back, righting the wrong done by the “face-painted clown” to what they believe was a sinking ship. They’re referring to Sting, in case you thought they meant Doink. They bring out the prodigal son, Seth Rollins, who still gets “you sold out” chants even though it has been months.

Triple H then made a shocking announcement. Changing the WWE Championship match at Royal Rumble 2015 to a Triple Threat. That is right folks, Brock Lesnar now defends against John Cena and Seth Rollins. Blam. This just got exciting. Stephanie announces tonight is John Cena Appreciation Night, mocking event of last week, and Triple H announces a new era, where everyone will “get what they deserve.”

First up, Triple H announces Dolph Ziggler will defend the Intercontinental Championship against the man who “never lost it” which is Bad News Barrett. I wasn’t sure how WWE would book him, considering last week he went babyface going up against Cesaro, but tonight it was made clear Bad News Barrett is back to a bad streak, losing to Ziggler via cross-arm rollup, then going postal and brutalizing the champion post-match. Crowd didn’t seem to mind seeing Ziggler flop and fly with some bigtime bumps.

Wait just a minute, Kane comes out and announces this is two-out-of-three falls! Now that was unexpected. Prior to the announcement, Michael Cole continually mentioned how no officials were running down to stop Barrett, who splatters Ziggler and wins the second pinfall. Medics rush the ring they go to commercial break. We come back as Ziggler plays underdog-hero by waving off the officials and medics, demanding to continue the match. They did this for a month at the end of 2014, just because it is a new year does not mean everyone suddenly forgot, or did we? It’s like a Brock Lesnar shirt. Eat, Sleep, Get Beat Up, Wave Off Medics, Repeat.

In any case, we get a fast-paced third fall bout which sees both exchange big moves, Barrett missing a Bull Hammer and eating a superkick for it. However, Kane opted to interfere, and he earned a superkick for himself. The distraction allowed for Wade Barrett to score with the Bull Hammer and reclaims the WWE Intercontinental Championship for the fifth time. I’m happy!

We get a promo showing Cena’s first match, against Kurt Angle, which also shows us Cena could actually wrestle pre-five moves of doom.

Promo hyping the feud between Roman Reigns and Big Show. It’s only been two weeks, but they treat it like two months. Reigns equates himself to Superman, using all of the Kryptonian’s clichés such as “faster than a speeding bullet” and “faster than a locomotive.” Argh.

Really creepy promo from Bray Wyatt, promising a gory conclusion to their feud. I am a bit disappointed the feud is coming to a close, but with an Ambulance Match, this could get very entertaining.

So, the Ascension come out, insulting Demolition and the Road Warriors (Legion of Doom). Guess they acknowledged the chants from the past week, even defeating a pair of no-name jobbers, much like during the era of Demolition and the Legion of Doom. JBL immediately trashes Konnor and Viktor, stating “they couldn’t carry their bags.” Uh, someone tell the announce team you are supposed to put over the new talent, not bury them? I am guessing when JBL legitimately does not like someone, he just downs a few beers under the table and lets loose. The Ascension cut a promo to get heat, and while live crowd went for it, the announcers completely no-sold it for the at-home audience. Bad move WWE.

Sorry, I spent most of the time during the Big Show/Roman Reigns match surfing Yahoo Japan Auctions for some Japanese G1 Transformer auctions. I perked when I heard someone say “he loves to fight” and thought for a moment Fit Finlay showed up, but I was disappointed. Heard a clunk, a thud, and the bell. Show clobbered Reigns with the ring stairs for the DQ finish. Great, another Stairs Match on the menu? Reigns hulks up and spears Show to close the segment. Man, this show tanked fast. What the hell WWE?

Aw crap. Divas match. Time for a snack. Natalya pins Nikki Bella after Paige interferes, beating up Brie Bella, which distracts Nikki. Ah. Okay. More garbage.

Dean Ambrose promo, promising to end Bray Wyatt’s life. Holy crap it was an awesome promo.

Erick Rowan and Luke Harper are set to go one-on-one, in a match which should get more hype, so you know there is a catch. Here comes Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury as the guest referees. Well, J&J manage to muck it all up for Rowan, allowing Harper to nail the Discus Clothesline for the quick win. Post match, J&J actually beat up Rowan. Wow, this has just gone to hell. We get it, The Authority is enacting revenge. We get it. Now give us a good match please.

Oh crap in a can, the worst segment ever between Naomi and Alicia Fox. I can’t even…

THANK PRIMUS.

We finally get a great match, fight, brawl, war, whatever… We have Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt beating the unholy hell out of each other for 20 minutes in the much-hyped Ambulance Match. Wyatt “injures” the leg of Ambrose early on, but it did not slow him down. We got drops off the stage, tables, brawl in the crowd, we got the match we wanted. The big spot of the night, saw Dean Ambrose leap off the top of the ambulance with an elbowdrop, plowing himself and Bray Wyatt through a table. Shockingly, Wyatt managed to recover, hitting Sister Abigail twice, once into the side of the vehicle, second onto the arena floor. The damage was too much, meter in the red for Ambrose as Wyatt dumped him into the ambulance, slamming the door and taking the win.

While the fan in me sorely wanted to see the Lunatic Fringe get the feud-ending victory, I was still satisfied with its conclusion. I do wonder what WWE has in store for both men, considering Ambrose racks up wins in mid-tier matches, yet is scripted the loser in the big ones. He lost at Hell in the Cell, and now loses again. This should hopefully not lower Dean’s stock, but this certainly made Wyatt look stronger than he has in the past.

Hard to come off that match, so we get The Usos and Naomi up against Miz, Mizdow, and Alicia Fox. Crowd goes wild for Mizdow, because what else do you expect at this point? Miz tags in Damien Sandow to crowd approval, but then immediately tricks him into getting tagged out, earning the showboat a “Miz, You Suck” chant from the live crowd. Too funny. Usos do their usual shtick, Naomi actually pulls off a Hurricanrana, but is no match for the trickery of Miz, as he gets rolled up by the Direct-to-DVD star for the win.

Promo for Total Divas, where Divas amp up the whining, and Marc Carrano shows up once again to threaten careers. Wish he would fire some while he’s there. You know, clear up some of this overcrowded roster. I don’t know what is worse. A promo for Total Divas or a preview for yet another Michael Bay movie, Project Almanac. Or… One better, a promo for the WWE Network, featuring a pop-style band singing “$9.99” over and over.

In our final match of the evening, but not the main event, we have Ryback going up against Seth Rollins. Before the match is underway, Kane returns, this time with his shirt off. Oh crap, it’s a handicap match. Turns out to be a decent one, mostly with Ryback overpowering the Authority members, however the two-on-one scenario was too much, as Kane saved Rollins from a Shell Shock, and wound up earning one himself. However Rollins quickly nailed Ryback down with two consecutive Curb Stomps for the pinfall victory. Good match.

Tonight is like a game of Chutes and Ladders, we now slide back down to silliness as Adam Rose takes on Big E. Langston of The New Day. Apparently this match was made due to Big E. “preaching” to the party groupies to take charge of themselves and not follow Rose’s orders. This one ends in DQ as two of the Rosebuds jump into the ring and assault Langston. Turns out it was Tyson Kidd and Cesaro in disguise. That was unexpectedly awesome, however they start celebrating with Rose and the Rosebuds, and I get a little nauseous. I was hoping for a double cross.

I really like Tyson Kidd and Cesaro together as a team. They’ll be hot for a while, kinda like Billy Kidman and Paul London, or like when Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne teamed up. They’ll get popular, win the titles, then lose them to the next team to get the big push.

I wonder why WWE opted to go with this as the final match of the night rather than their advertised main event of the Ambulance Match. Shrug.

Well, the final segment of the show really got strange. Triple H and Steph bring John Cena out and mock him relentlessly. They then bring out Erick Rowan, Ryback, and Dolph Ziggler, whom The Authority all intend to punish with various suspensions. As they discuss, the power hungry couple rush up to the stage and instead, decide to say two words to the three men, “You’re Fired!” All thanks to John Cena.

This is how RAW ends. Uhm. So, I’m stumped.