HomeTelevisionTV Recap: WWE Monday Night RAW - Hell Bound

TV Recap: WWE Monday Night RAW – Hell Bound

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I’d say start watching SmackDown more often, the closing segments are better than RAW lately. John Cena gets his revenge on Dean Ambrose. Remember, Ambrose spiked Cena with a Mick Foley-like Double Underhook DDT on RAW. So of course, Cena has to get his retaliation in. But on the B-show. B… for Blue. Blue Brand. Yeah…

We have Hell in the Cell just weeks away and two matches have been announced, which is really one big man with a crazy stipulation. John Cena versus Dean Ambrose, with the winner facing Seth Rollins in the Hell in the Cell match. I beg, I implore WWE to allow Ambrose and Rollins to tear the house down. Put these two former indy champions in a Hell in the Cell, and this would be watching CM Punk and Daniel Bryan put on the performance of a lifetime. In just a year’s time, we go from Punk/Bryan to being the top stars to Ambrose/Rollins. Both have “future” WWE Champion written all over them, it all depends on how much faith the company has to put the strap on either of them.

The after-RAW segment which aired on SmackDown between The Rock and Triple H was pretty damn funny. Rock/HHH at WrestleMania 31? I’d watch that.

We have not one but two celebrity, if you can call them that, celebrity guests for tonight’s show. Todd Chrisley and NeNe Leakes. Who in the hell has a name NeNe Leakes? Think about it? Any parents of toddlers out there? I read “NeNe” and it reminds me of what my twins would say before they leaked all over the carpet.

Bam!

Hopefully it won’t suck as bad as Hoda and Kathie Lee from last week. Their menopause leaked the crowd to the bathroom.

Bam!

Please bring back Bob Barker. I don’t care how. Do it.

Prior to RAW, I watched an NXT match where Titus O’Neal defeated Sami Zayn in a great solid bout. I do wonder why Zayn has been served a number of losses lately, but it is NXT, so it could just mean prep for the main roster. Also wondering why O’Neal can’t get any love on the main roster.

We kick RAW off with a recap of what I mentioned above, and the chainsaw motor theme of Dean Ambrose. Crowd in Atlanta goes crazy. Ambrose is bigtime over. Big. Time. Cena interrupts early and delivers “veteran advice” telling Mr. Lunatic to “Shut Up” and be patient. Ambrose doesn’t buy it, and Cena goes ballistic, flat-out telling Ambrose he’s out of his league and won’t survive a match against Cena. Triple H interrupts to calm everyone down and makes a joking bet with Steph. Putting Ambrose and Cena in a Triple Threat Tag Team match against The Usos and The Dusts, the bet is whether Cena and Ambrose will opt to beat each other up instead.

The most interesting part about this whole segment, is just how Cena comes off as degrading and condescending to Ambrose. Telling him he’s out of his league and to shut up mid-sentence? Wow, this smells like Cena made the heel turn without being blatant about it. Think about it, Cena went and bragged about “being on top of the mountain” 15-times while Ambrose in an unstable lunatic who will never survive a match against him. Cena didn’t need to pull the surprise physical assault, he went with a subtle verbal assault on Ambrose. In this situation, they are both painted as wanting to go after Rollins by any means necessary, however Ambrose is the obvious underdog while Cena is the veteran know-it-all who doesn’t think Ambrose has what it takes.

Ambrose/Cena and Usos dominated the ringtime, hysterical to hear massive “We Want STARDUST” chants from the live Atlanta crowd. It finally happens as Starry blind tags Ambrose as he scores a slingshot lariat, and the crowd pops huge. Love it. Once again, no matter how hard WWE doesn’t want us to cheer on the Dusts, we cheer even louder. Interesting to see both feuds meshing here. For a time we see the union of Cena and Ambrose tested, while for another portion the match is completely focused on the ongoing feud between Dusts and Usos. Nice consecutive top rope dives by everyone, in the end, dual finishers from Cena and Ambrose on the Dusts scored the win.

The Authority return to the ring and Triple H concedes defeat to Stephanie on the bet, and hands over one dollar. Awesome. He then orders tonight’s main event, the Hell in the Cell announced match, Cena vs. Ambrose, contract on a pole match. So, second month in a row a pay-per-view match is shown on RAW (last time it was Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton).

Next up AJ Lee has a new reluctant tag partner in Layla, since she dislikes her the least. Well, better than Emma last week who danced her way to a pathetic loss against Paige and Alicia Fox. This week, despite Layla’s sabotage attempt, AJ pins Alicia to win the tag match.

We go from boring to weird as a long promo for the reborn Wyatt Family runs. Love the creepy, hope this reboot pays off this time.

Backstage: Randy Orton wants a Hell in the Cell match, offering to take the loser of Cena/Ambrose. The Authority agrees, and gives him Dolph Ziggler as a present tonight. Orton promises total destruction. Orton takes a verbal cheap shot directed at Seth Rollins, who is not backstage.

Ziggler as always comes out to a huge pop. Shame WWE does not have faith in his ability to remain a main eventer. Tonight he outclasses the undeserving main eventer in Orton as Ziggler knocks Orton all over the ring. However, before Orton can decide whether to bail on the match, Seth Rollins shows up to taunt Orton. Please do not make him a face again, he sucks either way. Meanwhile, Cesaro is at commentary, staking claim to the Intercontinental Championship. Orton earns the win in this near 15-minute match after blocking a Famouser and catching Ziggler mid-fall with an RKO. Post-match, Rollins runs in and plants Ziggler with a Curb Stomp.

We roll right into the next match, where Seth Rollins and Jack Swagger have a standout match, certainly a reminder for everyone that Swagger is damn good in the ring. Rollins picks up the win, portrayed as a stolen lucky one with a rollup with his hands full of tights. Great spot where Swagger evades the Curb Stomp and cinches in the Patriot Lock. Post-match, Orton dives in and plants Swagger with an RKO in a sign of one-upmanship. Rollins and Orton have a tense staredown, but no fight.

I really hope Orton doesn’t go face from this. I do not want it.

Backstage: Ambrose sends warnings to Cena and Rollins. Well, duh.

Backstage: Tom Phillips talks to Big Show. The giant promises to shatter Rusev with a KO Punch tonight. Emphasis on his turn to carry the weight of all of America on his shoulders, just like Mark Henry did. So, every time someone loses to Rusev, that person has failed America. So, that means Zack Ryder has failed the country six or seven times already? I guess it also makes him the most patriotic out of everyone in the locker room. In the ring, Lana rips Atlanta a new one. She’s great. She’s gorgeous. Rusev is a lucky guy. Also is now allowed to speak perfect English since being beaten up by The Rock.

This is another match which should have been saved for Hell in the Cell. Sure, we might still get it, but it will be a rematch. After tonight, seems this will be the case. Show dominated early on, then Rusev took over and locked in the Accolade. Thanks to interference by Mark Henry, we get a DQ finish in favor of the Hero of the Russian Federation. However, post-match, Henry and Show cornered Rusev, and Show blasts him with the KO Punch. This feud is not over, wonder if Henry heel turns again?

Backstage: Sheamus ponders the plural of Miz.

Todd Chrisley or whatever his name is, gets interviewed by Tom Phillips as Sheamus makes his way down to the ring. Hoo boy. Miz and Mizdow make their way out. Sandow is just funny on delivery with mimicking the Miz. Crowd chanting for Sandow/Mizdow as Miz gets rearranged by Sheamus. Great match, mostly in part due to Sandow being a perfect stunt-double. Making pinfall attempts or elbowdrops on the floor. It’s like when Ric Flair snaps and attacks his suit jacket. Miz pulls of a hysterical win, when both he and Sandow try to crawl underneath the ring. Sheamus winds up with Sandow, who eats a Brough Kick. On the far end of the ring Miz crawls out and back into the ring, while Sheamus is counted out. Genius.

Genius becomes idiocy as NeNe Leakes spills out of her locker room and suddenly everyone talks street. Cameron rudely interrupts, and the conversation breaks down into repetitive unintelligible female street slang which I am unable to decipher. My wife is a speech therapist, and even she has no remedy for the flow of verbal diarrhea.  One thing I will say, she makes the Divas all look like midgets. Match nominated for Botchamania, even Michael Cole kept flubbing. Brie, Natalya, and Naomi defeat Nikki, Summer Rae, and Cameron.

More creepy Wyatt Promos. This second-life better work.

John Cena and Dean Ambrose comes out for the main event, but before Cena enters, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, and Corporate Kane arrive, joining Triple H and Stephanie McMahon who are already sitting comfortably at ringside. All eyes are on the Contract on a Pole match. Short match which saw just a fraction of what we may get in the future under a pure one-on-one stipulation. We got brawling in and out of the ring until The Authority got involved, and in the disarray, Dean Ambrose was able to grab the contract while Cena was busy with Kane. A little bit of a letdown, but with less than ten minutes in the show, and having introduced the inevitable interference, you had to know this wasn’t going to be the pay-per-view quality match we hoped for

In the end, we know the two Hell in the Cell matches at the event’s namesake, Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins and John Cena vs. Randy Orton. So, this is what a pay-per-view is like without its World Champion?

Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis has been a writer for The Pop Break since 2010. For over a decade he has contributed columns featuring Anime, Comics, Transformers, Television, Movies, and most notably, Professional Wrestling. Additionally, one of the key players in the original Angry Nerds column and a guest on one of Bill's various podcasts. When he is not grinding away at his next feature, or shouting expletives at the television while playing video games or watching wrestling, Michael actually has a full-time job,as a Mental Health Professional, working at a medical practice in New Jersey, and runs his own telehealth private practice. A family man through-and-through, requiring his three children to memorize all the Autobots and Decepticons on the collection shelves while also educating them in all things Marvel and Star Wars. You know, the stuff Disney owns.
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