We kicked off Raw this week with The Authority addressing the majority of the locker room. This was your standard, “Everyone but Cena, Reigns and Ambrose get a chance to get into the Money In The Bank ladder match. Oh and Daniel Bryan is a B+” promo. They announced a battle royal with everyone but Cena and the Shield for a spot. Then they announced Cena vs Kane in a stretcher match for the final spot later in the night. This promo wasn’t bad, but not really anything we haven’t seen before.
Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler
This is the third match these two have had in a week. Normally, I’d be bored by that but these guys are the exception to the rule. Their chemistry in the ring is pitch perfect. It was a great back and forth match that saw both of them hit some really incredible moves. The finish came right after Rollins nailed his curb stomp(nastiest movie in WWE right now, hands down!). He went for the pin, but Dean Ambrose assaulted Rollins before the ref could get to three. Thus, we got a DQ finish. DQ finishes tend to annoy me, but this led to an immediate match between Ambrose and Bad News Barrett. That’s not a bad thing.
Dean Ambrose vs Bad News Barrett
Two of my favorite wrestlers in the same match is always a treat. Mixing Barrett’s hard hitting, smash mouth style with Ambrose’s near psychotic rage led to one of the best matches of the night. These guys went all out. Seth Rollins appeared and lure Ambrose out of the ring which became a countout victory for Barrett. After the match, Ambrose came back in the ring and laid Barrett out with Dirty Deeds. This may not have had a true finish, but I think it worked out for the best. Neither of these guys came across as weak. It sold Ambrose’s rage towards Rollins and not seeing Barrett(the IC champ) take a pinfall kept him from looking like a paper champion. Works for me.
Sheamus vs Bray Wyatt
This was my favorite match of the night. Both Sheamus and Wyatt brought both of their hard hitting styles into what amounted to a brawl. Sheamus continues to impress me as one of the more under appreciated talents on the roster. The guy is seriously great to watch. The match turned into a no contest because the Wyatt Family and the Usos got involved. The brawl with a ladder that took place after was fun to watch. Seeing the Usos leap off a ladder at the Wyatts and then Sheamus slinging the thing at them was fun and brutal. Just too bad we didn’t actually get a finish. I understand, as both are in the MITB ladder match so they want them to look strong. Still though, it would be nice to get a finish tonight.
Rusev vs Heath Slater
Yeah okay, now I get a finish. Rusev crush Wendy. Next.
Adam Rose and Summer Rae vs Fandango and Layla
While I’m a big Adam Rose fan, I wish he’d get a more meaningful feud. This match was short and sweet, with Rose picking up the win. The highlight was watching Adam Rose party with Kevin Hart after the match. Yep, that’s about it.
Battle Royal for a spot in MITB
Roman Reigns snuck his way into this match by putting something in Steph’s coffee that caused her to puke all over Vickie Guerrero. He then manipulated Vickie into putting him in the match after HHH took Steph to the hospital. Much like the Royal Rumble, he was again the MVP of the match. Reigns’ improvement in the ring is astounding and watching him tear through the people was a treat. The final two were Reigns and Rusev. To his credit, this was the best I’ve seen of Rusev. Unfortunately for him, Roman Reigns simply wouldn’t be denied. He won with the Superman Punch you see above, knocking Rusev out of the ring. Adding Reigns to the MITB match has created a lot more intrigue in the match and I for one can’t wait to see it.
Paige vs Cameron
I adore Paige. I firmly believe she is the future of the Divas division. She has the skills, the charisma and the pedigree to become one of the all time greats. Unfortunately, not even she can get a good match out of Cameron. Now that Aksana is no longer with the company, Cameron is simply the least talented Diva in WWE. Her one big move in the match? A slap. Seriously. She has no business being anything more than a valet if she isn’t going to put the time in to improve.
Goldust and Stardust vs Rybaxel
I’ve been intrigued by this match since last week. A lot of possibilities were out there for who Goldust’s partner was going to be. The result was far better than anything I could have imagined. Cody Rhodes debuted a new character, Stardust as his partner! He wrestled a completely different style, far more like his brother. And he was every bit as bizarre as Goldust. Stardust picked up the win for his team with a Diamond Dust. It was a short match, but Stardust made it so much more than I had expected. I can’t wait to see more of this.
John Cena vs Kane in a Stretcher Match
Well this was a fun bout, with a lot of hard hitting spots. Unfortunately, it was as predictable as you’d think. Yep, Cena got the win. The best thing about it was when Cena was attacked by Orton and Rollins, Dean Ambrose came out and made the save. I dug that. Other than that, yeah, this match really didn’t do much for me.
Overall Raw Grade: B+