Opening Segment – The Authority (Stephanie and Triple H) with a big announcement
The show kicks off with the husband and wife coming to the ring, all happy with an announcement to make. As expected it is about the WWE World Heavyweight Title, we hear from his doctor who says he is not cleared to return to action this month. Stephanie announces in her awesome smug way Daniel Bryan can not compete at Money In The Bank, calling him a B+ player. The cockiness of the Authority is absolutely fantastic, the crowd are eating it up, who doesn’t love that? They officially strip Daniel Bryan of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, to the crowd screaming NO NO NO. It is disappointing, and I do wonder what will happen but his health has to come first and I am sure he will be back soon anyway with a battle ahead of him.
They have some choice words for Daniel Bryan and Brie, and then announcement that the Money In The Bank ladder match will be for the vacated title. So far the first entrant as seen last week is Alberto Del Rio (yay). Triple H announces a second person, to no surprise Randy Orton. They promise a new Champion will be crowned, and continue the verbal assault about Daniel Bryan, and announce he isn’t there. I actually really love the verbal assault, and naturally they bring up Seth Rollins adapting (in reference to his turn). They play the video package of the turn from Seth. Triple says he believes in Seth Rollins (as do I), and he says that the remaining Shield members will face all three members of The Wyatt family. They need to find a partner for the match so good luck, it will probably be a handicap match. He promises The Shield will be extinct.
Qualifying MITB Match: US Champion Sheamus vs. IC Champion Bad News Barrett
A natural pairing here, although it is hard to predict who will qualify because both in my eyes are more than deserving. Naturally because I have been behind Bad News Barrett, I want to see him go through. Barrett comes out to deliver some bad news, claiming he will win the MITB match and his rise to the top will keep him there. The crowd as the match starts are chanting ‘Bad News Barrett’, who is perhaps the most over heel (Wyatts aside), and I love it. This match progresses very quickly into a brawl, with Barrett even doing a bit of a high spot outside the ring. The match progresses actually very even handed, the crowd seem to be chanting for Sheamus as GRRR we head to commercial. By the time I turn on my app and it loads the commercial break is over, so I don’t even bother, wish WWE would understand it is kind of a pain.
After the break Bad News Barrett has firm control over the match, but Sheamus is fighting back. So far the match has been solid and entertaining. The crowd are now torn between both men, makes things a lot more interesting too! Sheamus does a hulking up bit, which doesn’t really suit him to be honest. The match has a lot of suspense because it is very even between the two, I still can’t predict who will win! A great element for the show is the title belts are hanging above the ring, Barrett and Sheamus look up showing that there is a lot at stake, a really great thing to add because it gives the match a lot of importance. What they are fighting for is right there. Barrett tries to get a count out victory as he knocks Sheamus on the outside, but he gets in at the 9 count. Barrett gets a close 2 count, the suspense is high in the air, with a close 2 count from Sheamus now. A truly great match to open the show, I am very impressed. There is a lot of viciousness from Barrett, but Sheamus brings out the brogue out of no where and pulls off the victory.
This brings the MITB WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match competitors to three with Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton and Sheamus. Another 4 places are open for the match.
Wyatt promo with Luke Harper talking, and I am creeped out because he is talking about urges from a deep dark place. Their leader Bray is back and he talks about The Shield, hyping their match later on. Again you can’t really describe a Wyatt promo, it needs to be seen. Erik Rowan with his mask just says ‘follow the buzzards’ to end the segment, brrrrrr! Creepfactor 10.
Rusev vs. Zack Ryder
Out comes what I am sure will be the only enjoyable part of this Lana, and she talks her usual talk, it is getting a little old already but she can deliver it well. Although to be honest I am getting a bit sick of seeing the same promo again and again, it doesn’t really build up Rusev, just heat, which I don’t think is what this man needs.
Ryder doesn’t even get an entrance on TV, and he’s out to get squashed again. Seriously WWE, Ryder is a talented guy and he is much better than just a jobber once or twice a month. Blows my mind he hasn’t up and quit. As expected this match was short and Ryder got his ass handed to him. Honestly aside from seeing Lana, this was a waste. I have lost interest in Rusev because this is a terrible gimmick that gets used on and on … Also has his feud with Big E just been forgotten about?
Seth Rollins will break his silence tonight, in an exclusive interview or so we are told. Since he didn’t really reveal much on Smackdown, and does he have a match tonight?
Ryback and Curtis Axel vs. Goldust and R-Truth
Is this all we will see every week? Goldust just looking for a tag partner against these two? I guess if it gets these guys TV time, that works? I am already sure Ryback and Axel will win, because I honestly can’t see R-Truth and Goldust working as a team. The match does start off with R-Truth and its even, Goldust gets in and hands out some punishment to Axel. It isn’t one sided so far, with a fired up Goldust. Axel gets the win over Goldust, there was only one tag between him and Truth. A short match and I keep wondering if it will lead to the brothers feuding.
To be honest this was a Smackdown match held on Raw.
Backstage with Layla in the make up chair, making fun of Minnesota. Summer Rae spills milk on her and backstage brawl. This feud hasn’t been forgotten about it seems.
The Shield Segment
3MB are out and Heath Slater says The Shield were meant to be out to talk, but behold their music hits and Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns head out through the crowd. There is a brawl with 3MB trying to take them out, but soon it is clear that The Shield aren’t in a good mood and aren’t going to put up with 3MB. I can’t say I am disappointed to see 3MB get beaten up, and Slater getting a spear from Reigns. The Shield are proving that one man down isn’t going to stop them and the crowd are clearly behind Reigns and Ambrose.
The Shield will now break their silence about last week and the Rollins turn. Ambrose is clearly ready to snap, which we all love. He says they will go down in the history books as one of the best teams in history, he calls Rollins a cancer. He says history is full of back stabbers and sell outs, and he says that he will rearrange his face when he gets the chance. Ambrose is absolutely killing his promo, and Seth Rollins is watching backstage in a suit. Ambrose says they will listen to Rollins tonight and then beat the hell out of him. Reigns gets the mic, calls Seth scum who is smiling backstage. He digs into Orton and Triple H, and I am sure we will see Ambrose vs. Rollins and Reigns vs. Orton at MITB. A promo delivered as only they can, with the added views of Rollins watching.
The Usos vs. Fandango w/Layla and Damien Sandow
Layla is all messy and Sandow comes out dressed as a gymnast? I don’t know but he’s in a leotard that leaves nothing and I do mean NOTHING to the imagination. I am at a loss with what is being done with Sandow, man deserves better. A match that is being played for laughs and the crowd are chanting ‘Lets Go Sandow’ yes show your support for the man who deserves better. Gotta hand it to him, he’s going at this full swing. Usos win in a match that was confusing and I have no idea who it was meant to benefit.
More hype for the Rollins interview as we head to break.
Xavier Woods vs. Bo Dallas
I think it is absolutely amazing and fantastic that Bo Dallas seems to get uglier every week, I don’t mean this as an insult either. This guy has a good gimmick that he can really use well and to his advantage. The guy we love to hate and he just smugs his face up even more every week and it’s awesome. Nice to see Xavier Woods on Raw and not against Rusev. He really is lost in the shuffle as so many are with such a loaded roster. Bo says that Daniel Bryan has to BOlieve to get better, ha!
A fairly decent match between these two, with the smuggness of Bo Dallas being the MVP. It kind of distracts me from his wrestling ability, and he makes me laugh with his smug encouragement during the match “He’s doing his best”. The match has lost the crowd a bit who chants CM Punk, guys get over it, he quit, he needed out. Bo wins with his finisher, this was a Smackdown match but I like seeing Bo Dallas, who continues his winning streak. He’s slowly finding his place on the main roster.
LOL post match he tries to hug a fallen Xavier!
Qualifying MITB Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro w/Paul Heyman
Dammit I want both these guys in the MITB match! As I said I want to see Cesaro take out MITB, although it is for the titles so is he ready? He has been ready for awhile but since Wrestlemania they have had him a bit all over the place with his pace. The booking has not been the best and I can’t understand why. In saying that I do want to see him win over RVD and be put into the match. Paul Heyman kicks things off, and you know what he has to say and you love him for it! If I were to have anyone introduce me it would be Paul Heyman, so Heyman call me! Also I want that King Of Swing jacket Cesaro is wearing!
Michael Cole accidentally calls Paul Heyman, Brock Lesner, lolz. The match starts off with great back and forth action, the crowd are slow to start being heard, which is weird because these are two of the most exciting competitors. They take it to the outside pretty quickly and then a commercial break and I scream NOOO! Back from the break with RVD having the upper hand, but that doesn’t last long as Cesaro shows his amazing strength. The match is being kept grounded, which have the crowd mostly quiet until they rally behind RVD. Cesaro is keeping the pace slow, because that is his advantage and I can appreciate that.
I love how vocal Heyman is on the outside, he is just so awesome. Cesaro gets a near fall with his upper cut, the suspense is now kicking in. Another near fall and things are getting tense, Cesaro shows the frustration. Now RVD gets a few near falls, so it is anyones game. Cesaro does as Paul Heyman says and he makes it his time and wins the match.
There are three most spots left for the MITB match, curious to see who else competes. They show Randy Orton’s tweet about being on vacation, so he isn’t at Raw.
Seth Rollins Segment
Michael Cole is in the ring with the interview set up. Out comes Seth Rollins to his own music, I am assuming it is new. Lots of Rollins Sold Out signs, naturally. He makes his way to the ring taking his time, serious look on his face and he is decked out in a black suit. He is definitely selling the heel side well already and he hasn’t said anything. The crowd wont even let Seth talk, they are so heated towards him. Seth says he doesn’t understand the controversy and says last week wasn’t a big deal, it was best for business, his business. He claims he created The Shield and that he has the right to destroy his creation, he calls himself the architect. He calls Ambrose a lunatic and Reigns a golden boy. The Shield are watching backstage as Seth claims they are nothing without him.
Seth is sure The Shield will have their last hurrah, as he is sure they can’t function without him. They conquered the world, they beat Evolution in a clean sweep, and he learned from Evolution that success in this business is about evolving and adapting. The crowd chants YOU SOLD OUT. He says he bought in to the evolution of Seth Rollins. Brilliant mic work by Rollins, heel as can be but staying true to himself in the process. He calls The Shield just his business partners, and that he severed a business relationship, ouch! He says everyone better start believing in Seth Rollins. He throws the chair aside and says that Ambrose and Reigns can come get him now he’s said his piece.
The Shield then come out and Seth takes his jacket off. The Wyatts then appear (Luke and Erik) and gets back in the ring, it looks like The Shield may get their hands on him but Bray shows up. Seth leaves, as he would. Then Cena shows up and fights Bray and the others. So it looks like Cena is going to team with The Shield to face The Wyatts.
Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler announced for Main Event.
Paige vs. Alicia Fox w/Aksana
Looks like they are picking up on the pairing of Alicia Fox and Aksana now, I am already preparing for madness from Fox. Fox and Aksana bang heads outside thanks to Paige. Fox then takes control of the match, and I am pretty sure those smarks out there can no longer call the divas match a bath room break time. Even with a fight out from Paige, Fox still has control of the match. The announcers basically discuss Fox and her crazy, as they would right? Fox is trying to keep Paige grounded, showing off her cockiness but Paige hits a reversal to send Fox outside the ring.
Paige is getting vicious and she screams at Fox, she now gets the upper hand on Fox. At this point I am shocked Aksana hasn’t interfered. Although she is yelling at Paige and then Alicia bangs her head on Aksana and Paige puts in the PTO and Fox taps out. So Aksana basically helped Paige win the match by accident, I really didn’t see that coming. I was expecting a Fox win. Post match Aksana tries to revive Fox and the commentators are scared of what Fox will do. She slaps Aksana and starts taking out her anger on her. Is this pairing over before it has begun? Fox grabs pop corn and drinks from ringside to pour on Aksana. Fox tries to feed Aksana pop corn, and wants her to say she is sorry. This is just getting weird …. Aksana looks confused.
Promo for the Season Finale of Legends House, I can’t wait!
Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter vs. Santino
Zeb has a deport Santino sign, and Santino comes out without Emma. They run a short Santino promo, and the match begins. Santino does his usual schtick, which seems to get the better of Swagger early on. Zeb slaps Swagger for his frustration, and Swagger unleashes the fury. Swagger is sort of lost on the roster, there isn’t much direction for his character and there should be with Zeb in his corner.
Santino tries to go for the cobra but Swagger counters and gets the pin. Yet another Smackdown caliber match …
We are backstage with Goldust, and Cody comes along and tells him he has found a tag partner for him. He said he has found someone he hasn’t seen before. And says they will join him next week, I am guessing someone from NXT (my boy Sami Zayn maybe?).
Stephanie and Triple H are backstage and Stephanie says that John Cena is interfering with business. Vicki Guerrero shows up to celebrate that there is no more Brad Maddox or Daniel Bryan, and Stephanie threatens to fire her.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro announced for Smackdown.
The Shield and John Cena vs. The Wyatts
It is odd to see Cena and The Shield together teaming, but hey it works for this situation. Will it be the last time we see The Shield in action? I am thinking not at this stage but we shall see.
Crazy action to begin the match, once things settle Ambrose gets in the ring and just unleashes his madness. He tags in Reigns, who quickly gets his own upper hand against Harper. Ambrose back in and so far no tag for Cena yet. Ambrose puts in a half crab submission on Harper, he’s aiming on the knee. Harper gets the upper hand and tags in Bray. As we are told the reborn Bray Wyatt, who uses his psychology to mess with Ambroses head. Rowan gets in and the beat down continues for Ambrose. The Wyatts have Ambrose in their corner and keep up with the beat down.
The crowd are chanting their usual for Cena, as Ambrose is trying to fight out of the Wyatts hold. And commercial break…. AJDUHSHUDVHDVJHD. Back from the break and my anger has a chance to subside, the Wyatts still have the upper hand. Things are not looking good for The Shield at this point and JBL comments that they need the architect to function. Ambrose gets in a solid move, the suspense hits but Bray puts him down. Reigns gets in to save the match, the referee tries to get order. A very good match so far with good storytelling and the usual take one guy and dismantle him in the match. Ambrose finally gets the tag to Cena and the crowd erupts. Cena tells Bray that “you can’t see me” and Cena does his usual thing but Rowan smacks him out. Looks like his momentum is gone, Rowan is a damn power house.
Cena and Wyatt go at it, or rather Wyatt just takes control over Cena. Wyatt plays conductor until Cena gets in a drop kick. The Wyatts are easily keeping the upper hand and teasing the dismantling of The Shield. Cena hasn’t gotten in any offense for awhile and when he does he gets shot down. Bray dances with Cena, its weird. Cena finally tags Reigns who cleans house. Ambrose joins in the fun. Reigns and Harper are legal and Rowan gets involved. Cena evens the odds but meets Sister Abigail. Reigns cleans house again and Ambrose with a dive to the outside. Harper gets a near fall, the suspense, man this is great! THIS IS AWESOME chants from the crowd. Reigns hits a spear and 1, 2, 3! The Shield lives through the match. Cena gives is approval as Triple H and Rollins watch backstage, not impressed.
This has been a very solid Raw, a lot of great moments and some good matches, mixed with some matches that you would see on Smackdown. A mixed bag at times but thankfully the good outweighed the average.
OVERALL RATING: B+