Tonight, RAW is Rollins.
Lots of crowd chants tonight for Seth Rollins, but we did not get the return of “The Architect.” [Editor’s Note: June 6th is his rumored return date.]
A lot of interesting segments throughout the show. Despite the League of Nations no longer existing, Alberto del Rio and Rusev appear to continue working together.
We also learned Emma will have to undergo back surgery from an injury suffered at a Live Event.
The show kicks off with banter between AJ Styles and Roman Reigns. As much as I like Styles, his promo skills need some polishing. Someone remind him WWE standards are a bit higher. Roman Reigns gets a little love from the live crowd, even with some heelish attitude towards the live crowd. Inevitably, The Club and The Usos come out a brawl is teased but only for a moment.
The first match of the night is our “This Could Be Awesome If They Allowed It” match, with Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro. Kevin Owens and Miz are at ringside, and of course, their antics take them from the announce table, into the ring and disrupts what could have been awesome. Crowd and internet collectively cry. Shane and Stephanie McMahon come out, pull a Teddy Long and book a tag team match. After some discussion, we get Cesaro and Miz vs. Zayn and Owens. Well, that is awesome. We get a great match, some nice spots, however not a clean finish as Cesaro and Miz wind up turning on each other, Cesaro laying out the Miz, allowing Zayn and Owens to win. Another segment ends in Owens standing tall after superkicking his partner out cold.
I’m looking forward to this match on Sunday. Could be incredible.
The “let’s kill it with fire” segment involves the return of Primo and Epico under Carlito’s gimmick as a team, as they trounce a pair of unnamed jobbers. The announce team did no favors either. After weeks of travel agent promos, this all led up to nothing. Nothing. What a waste.
Oh, and they are called The Shining Stars. Sigh.
We get crazy. We get Ambrose Crazy. He confronts Chris Jericho and Y2J is great at being livid. The guy just goes nuts. Ambrose challenges Jericho to a match at Extreme Rules, but it is a special match, The Asylum Match. A steel cage is lowered with a variety of weapons/objects hanging around. A straight-jacket, a barbed-wire 2×4, a mop, amongst other objects. I feel like anything Ambrose does turns to gold right now. His feud with Jericho is all awesome.
Dana Brooke has an odd look on her face as she struts around backstage before defeating Becky Lynch. Ugh, I have a bad feeling Lynch is sliding down to jobber level. I am starting to worry that the Women’s Division is getting a bit more crowded than normal.
A trend I do like, is seeing less of the skinny twig-type of bleach blonde in the ring.
Backstage: Shane and Steph get a bit confrontational backstage about booking matches, and the Dudleys show up and beg to be relevant again, you know, because they are from the Attitude Era. They want some local jobbers to beat up. Instead, one of them will have to prove they aren’t SAAAAAAWFT and face Big Cass.
So, Goldust and R-Truth have a match with Fandango and Tyler Breeze. The crowd isn’t sure whether to like this or not. Golden Truth lose. Backstage, Goldust contemplates calling it quits, but Truth begs him to try again. I’m not sure if the crowd is cheering or crying at how much time this is wasting. Breeze and Fandango are sore winners, prompting Goldust to continue teaming with Truth. Sigh…
The show is feeling like my stomach right now… up and down, up and down.
We finally get a real perk up with the appearance of The New Day and an absolutely hysterical promo involving Booty-Os, a Time Machine, Kofi reliving 2009, and a trip to a “bygone era” featuring Derrière Squares. I was laughing my tukas off.
Up next, The Usos face The Club with Roman Reigns and AJ Styles at ringside. Reigns sucks as a ringside guy. This was actually a good match, despite The Usos being very spot-standard. What I don’t like is how The Club is constantly being beaten down and looking very non-at-all-dominating with every match. Something just doesn’t feel right about where this gimmick is going. After the Usos win, a fight breaks out, chairs come into play, and AJ Styles splatters Reigns with the Styles Clash on top of a chair. Nice.
Big Cass is out and the crowd loses their minds. Even with being solo on the mic, he manages to get some legit crowd laughter by making fun of the Dudley Boyz, mocking Bubba’s ECW stutter and comparing him to Fred Flinstone while D-Von is likened to Steve Urkel. Dudleys try some underhanded tactics, fail, and Cass demolishes D-Von in minutes. Wow. They are really putting Cass over. I have no complaints.
Kalisto and Alberto del Rio have a great match, until backstage Rusev beats up on Sin Cara. Suddenly no one cares about the match and want to see more Lana. Thanks to the distraction, Del Rio hits the backstabber for the win. Yay.
Our main event features a contract signing between Charlotte and Natalya for the Women’s Championship match. Shane, Stephanie, Natalya, Charlotte, and Ric Flair are all in the ring. Natalya. Charlotte manages to turn the crowd against the Flairs, even with being in North Carolina. It was a good segment, Ric gets confrontational, gets slapped by Stephanie while Natalya then locks the Sharpshooter on Charlotte.
Here is my problem. Either Ric is seriously starting to lose his brains, or they want him to lose all sense of dignity. He was acting like a senile old man, flopping around like a chimpanzee. Charlotte even talked down to him during the segment. I get it, he is old, he is known for having a few screws loose, but this is getting out of control. Please let the guy retain some speck of dignity. Please.
In any case, it appears SmackDown will be the official go-home show for Extreme Rules.