TV Recap: RAW is (Battle) Royal

We are not talking about KENTA tonight, we are talking about Monday Night RAW! No one worry, we will get to KENTA. We know he is signed to a contact with WWE and is heading to NXT.

Daniel Bryan, poor guy. He might be out forever.

For some very strange reason, decided to switch the heads of wrestlers with cats. Because clearly they had nothing else better to do. I was paid a lot less and worked harder than that.

Teased is United States Champion Sheamus, having entered the Battle Royal for the Intercontinental Championship, looking to win and unify the two titles. Could be an interesting development.

Let’s get to it. Shall we?

John Cena opens the show with his usual crap, which is corked when Roman Reigns interrupts with a “Get to the damn point.” They start bickering, and interrupted by Dean Ambrose on the Titantron who attempts to calm them down. Fail. Kane, Randy Orton, and Seth Rollins arrive and beat the hell out of him. My guess is Cena and Reigns, like everyone else, just sat there and watched, except they cut to commercial so we do not know.

Our first match turns out to be surprisingly epic between The Miz and U.S. Champion Sheamus. Miz, still doing the arrogant “don’t hit my face bit” and now calls his face “The Moneymaker” and proudly displays his PR photo on the ‘Tron for the duration of the match. Great match, and during the bout the announce team hype up the Battle Royal. They hype it so much, they run a visual showing all the other participants, DURING the match! Really? REALLY? I often wonder what they are thinking in the production truck, clearly, not a heck of a lot if they run a visual during a big match.

Post match: My wife reminds me that “The Moneymaker” is referred to someone’s caboose.

Backstage: Orton, Kane, and Rollins pat themselves on the back for beating up Ambrose. Orton says the plan is to get him the WWE Championship at Battleground. Kane then says he wants the title. Rollins suddenly transforms into Triple H who reminds them to work together and simply bring the title back to The Authority. Kane and Orton leave, Stephanie arrives and makes smoochie with The Game. Blarf.

So far, a lot of hype for the Intercontinental Championship battle royal and the WWE Network. They are pushing the hell out of this. Still not making any money, huh?

Next up, a match between Fandango and Dolph Ziggler. Sounds good, right? This really is because Layla and Summer Rae have decided to dump Fandango. Despite this, the match is incredibly fast paced and entertaining. The end came when Layla and Rae arrived to dance on the announce table, and JBL may have enjoyed himself a little too much. The distraction allowed Ziggler to hit a mid-air Famouser for the win. Layla and Summer Rae then make with the smoochie to Ziggler as Fandango sobs in a corner.

More plugging for the WWE Network.

Backstage, Damien Sandow is dressed as a Sonic busboy, and steals a platter from the waitress. Before he can enjoy his tasty whatever, Adam Rose and his Rosebuds interrupt and try to take the food away. Forced comedy as the Rosebuds boo Sandow and cheer Rose. Stupid, terrible segment which concludes as Rose puts over Sonic. Once again, no wrestling for Rose, but another commercial. He is done folks. Back to the drawing board.

The Usos come out for their match, but the intro is interrupted by Luke Harper and Erick Rowan who make mincemeat out of the Samoan duo. The Usos will defend the Tag Team Titles against the Wyatts in a Best 2-out-of-3 Falls match. That, will be awesome.

To confuse everyone, we get a “summit” or “forum” for Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger to officially challenge Alexander Rusev to a match at Battleground. Confusing, because we thought the match was already made. Lana is dead-on gorgeous, but dead-on with heeling it up as she constantly calls America stupid in a teasing, taunting manner which garners massive boos. The question was simple enough, will Rusev face Swagger? A long drawn out political debate ensued, in which once again Lana plugs Vladimir Putin. In response, Colter puts up a picture of Obama, which gets a mixed reaction. Fail. In any event, Lana slaps Colter following a loud “We the People” chant from the crowd, resulting in a brawl between Rusev and Swagger, in which Swagger gains the upper hand. Okay, Jack Swagger is being built up huge for his match with Alexander Rusev. It is possible this could be huge building for Rusev to defeat Swagger, but right now Swagger and Colter are just as over as they were over a year ago.

Michael Cole takes center stage:

1) Plugs WWE Network

2) Speculates Dean Ambrose will not compete tonight as he was taken to the hospital

3) Plugs WWE Network

4) Plugs Intercontinental Battle Royal

5) Plugs Battleground

6) Plugs Ric Flair

7) Plugs… You guessed it! WWE Network!

Alberto del Rio makes short work of Rob Van Dam and looks like a million bucks doing it. I have never seen RVD job as much as he does now. Not even when he got in trouble a couple years ago after getting busted follow his WWE and ECW Title win at One Night Stand.

Nikki Bella is out for an announced tag match. Stephanie McMahon comes out and informs her that since Brie quit, this is now a handicap match. So, wait. Nikki’s tag partner was someone not even with the company? Or did the ring announcer screw that one up? In any case, the team of Alicia Fox and Cameron defeat Nikki. Waah.

The greatest video game promo ever. If you pre-order WWE 2K15, you get… STING. Full on promo with an orchestra playing his WCW theme and Sting is there, full gear. I got chills.

Backstage: Randy Orton tries to complain about Kane to Triple H. We learn Kane is merely a pawn for The Authority for Randy Orton to win the title. However Orton then asks Triple H about not needing “Plan B” anymore and Triple H hesitates.

Awesomely creepy backstage segment with Goldust and Stardust. Cody Rhodes IS the damn Heath Ledger Joker in gold and black facepaint. He is dammit.

Big E. Langston picks up a solid win over Antonio Cesaro. Cesaro opened the match by launching Big E. with a German Suplex. Good mat-based match which ended when Cesaro lost his mind, started chucking chairs around but was distracted by Kofi Kingston, allowing Big E. to spike him with the Big Ending for the win. Now, what was most interesting was the absence of Paul Heyman. The announce team sparks a “fired” rumor however nothing was confirmed during the match.

Lots of promos for a special on the WWE Network tomorrow night, the CM Punk: Best in the World story.

Recap of SmackDown where Randy Orton defeats Chris Jericho thanks to a distraction by the interrupting tone of The Wyatts.

Chris Jericho is out. Cuts an awesome promo about having seen it all, from Three-Minute Warnings to Five Second Poses, from Michael Hayes to Lord Alfred Hayes. He talks about being both the first Undisputed WWE Champion and the reigning WWE Musical Chairs Champion. He covers some good history in brief, but turns his attention to someone never before encountered, Bray Wyatt. Jericho promises he might “get a little crazy” in their match at Battleground. Bray Wyatt then comes onto the Titantron, and for the first time ever, I hear a “boring” chant from the live-crowd. This worries me. Jericho and Wyatt cut good promos, and in the end Harper and Rowan ambushed Y2J, who narrowly escapes. The boring chant threw me off and that could have set off some alarms in the WWE production truck.

Paige is on commentary as AJ Lee trounces Eva Marie. Plays up the whole “competitive friendship” thing and they have an awkward moment post match when a conversation through the headsets go south.

Backstage: Kane is angry and hates Randy Orton. The Authority explains to Kane it is just business and just deal with it. Plus Flo-Rida is going to be on RAW next week. Crap.

BUY THE GODDAMN NETWORK or Michael Cole will NEVER shut up about it. Tomorrow night is the CM Punk story!

JBL gets way too serious when Bo Dallas is in the ring. Dallas talks about facing off against El Torito, and hopes his opponent tonight has just as big of a heart as the little bull. In a completely predictable moment, Khali comes out. Khali owns the match until Dallas hits a surprise Bo-Dog on the outside, and wins the match via countout. His post-match pep-talk is interrupted when Khali clobbers him.

Michael Cole once again reminds us the free preview for the WWE Network ends tonight, so we should all stop watching RAW right now, and go order it. Not even making this up. At least backstage, Seth Rollins and Triple H discuss Plan B. However, after Rollins leaves, Paul Heyman arrives and informs Triple H and Stephanie that should Plan B fail, he is in possession of Plan C. I think we all know who that is… Brock Lesnar anyone?

Guess what tomorrow night is? A special on the WWE Network tomorrow night, the CM Punk: Best in the World story.

Renee Young introduces Ric Flair, who then seduces her in front of the live crowd. She then asks Flair who he thinks will win the WWE Championship at Battleground. I was more entertained by the seducing. Flair, then says he believes it will be John Cena who wins the match. Roman Reigns makes his way out. Ric Flair shakes his hand and leaves the ring, but Cena comes out and hands Flair the World Title in tribute. Still gets me nervous. Cena is one reign away from a tie with Flair.

We get on with our main event tonight. Cena and Reigns start out dominating, but then the power of Kane and cunning of Orton take over the contest, while Rollins seems to smartly bide his time. During commercial we are told about some sort of special on the WWE Network about a guy named CM Punk. Heard of him? Back to the match, Reigns tags out to Cena, but he is immediately ambushed by all three opponents. Orton just looks bland. Rollins sells everything. The match inevitably descends into chaos. Rollins ditches the match, while Kane and Orton beat up on Cena, and then Reigns inadvertently spears Cena. Ref calls for the DQ but Kane and Orton continue the assault. Orton then plants Kane with the RKO. Shock. Reigns returns and spears Orton. Bit of an awkward anticlimactic end result, but the message was clear. Reigns is being shown as the favorite to win. But don’t get your hopes up.

Notes from tonight’s RAW:

  • They do not even say Battleground is available on pay-per-view anymore. It is now live on the WWE Network. The cable companies must love that.
  • AJ Lee = CM Punk chants. CM Punk tweets about watching television, internet goes “ZOMG! He’s coming back!”
  • We get two Divas matches per RAW, but Sandow and Adam Rose have to do fast food commercials.
  • Solid hype for Battleground, and in a nice change, the undercard seems to get more attention than the main event, because the undercard looks amazing. Usos/Wyatts, Battle Royal, Swagger/Rusev? This looks like a solid event. I would call it a pay-per-view, but not even WWE uses the term anymore.
  • Why in the hell did the announce team tease that Paul Heyman was fired, then later in the show he shows up backstage. Did they want to try and break the internet, or did they all botch their lines and that it was Cesaro who “fired” Heyman?
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