– The music hits and the crowd goes nuts as Paul Heyman walks a battered Brock Lesnar to the ring. As the music turned off, the crowd was chanting “Lesnar” and went nuts as Heyman introduced his client. The crowd chanted “Suplex City!” to Lesnar’s pleasure.
Heyman proceeds to tell us that Lesnar wants to invoke his rematch clause right now, and the crowd goes nuts with “YES!” chants. Unfortunately, Stephanie McMahon comes out to some MASSIVE heat (and a “Ronda Rousey” chant). She says that Seth Rollins is still on a plane coming back from New York City, but she’s sure that he will accept the challenge (though not actually making the match official). Heyman then tells the world that for the first time in over a decade, Lesnar will wrestle live on RAW.
Very much a pro-Lesnar crowd and both Lesnar & Heyman were acting very babyface-esque. I like the change, as it actually greets the post-Mania RAW crowd head-on.
– The first match of the evening is an Intercontinental title match between new champion Daniel Bryan and the challenger, Dolph Ziggler (who is acting slightly heel-esque). Without even doing much, a “this is awesome” chant breaks out after two minutes of action. The story is that while both are babyfaces, there is definitely some bad blood between the two of them. I should also point out that Bad News Barrett is at ringside doing commentary…bitching and moaning about not being IC champ anymore.
These two men put on one hell of a good match. At one point both men were down, but the crowd gave them a standing ovation. The two men got into a sick battle of headbutts (reminescent of Bryan’s matches against Nigel McGuinness in ROH) before Bryan hit his knee finisher out of nowhere for the pin. Barrett then attacked Bryan afterwards before some familiar music hit.
Sheamus came back with a VERY unique look. Just when you thought he was going to chase after Barrett, he kicked Bryan’s head off before beating up on Ziggler. I gotta say…I am NOT a fan of Sheamus as a babyface, but I like the potential of this new look and a new heel run for him. Having said that, the crowd chanted, “You look stupid”…so maybe I’m alone in my impression of the look.
– We have an 8-man tag team match next, with Cesaro & Tyson Kidd teaming up with The Ascension taking on New Day (ugh) and the RAW debut of the Lucha Dragons. The folks go nuts for the Dragons, which is surprising to me because Sin Cara has been buried so much that I just don’t know how they can bring him back. Once he tags in, though, the crowd shows their appreciation for Kalisto…who ends up bringing the crowd to their feet. Big E tags in to a chorus of boos and a “New Day sucks” chant. I never would have thought I’d see the day where The Ascension isn’t as hated with a “smart crowd” as Kofi Kingston & Big E. It was a pretty entertaining match, but people went nuts just for Kalisto finishing off one of the two Ascension dudes for the pinfall. There was ONE star in the entire match, and his name is Kalisto.
– Brock Lesnar is told by Paul Heyman that Seth Rollins is in the building.
– They show a quick promo for Adrien Neville. Good to see him being called-up to the main roster. I don’t think he’s ready, though…but hopefully he can let his wrestling speak for him.
Rollins got on the mic and told the world that he was jet-lagged, his foot hurt a little bit from curb-stomping Lesnar, and after talking to Stephanie backstage he agreed to fight Lesnar…just not tonight. There was a quick fight between the two men before Rollins got away.
In one of the most entertaining segments in years, Lesnar then went NUTS. He took out J&J Security, he took out Booker T & JBL by flipping their table on top of them, he F-5’d Michael Cole right out of his damn shoe, and he F-5’d the cameraman…all to the delight of the crowd. Stephanie came out and told Lesnar that he was now suspended indefinitely. So that’s how you work part-time hours for full-time pay.
– Stardust was in the ring and prepared for his match. Surprisingly, Damien Mizdow made his way out to the ring by himself (to a pretty good pop). It’s weird, because he’s still acting like a stunt double for Miz…including the mannerisms, the in-ring gear, and the in-ring moves. Obviously, people are cheering for him and his every move…but it’s just strange that he’s still playing somebody else. Very odd. Anyway, this was a throw-away match that Mizdow won with Miz’s move. After the match, Miz came out and attacked Mizdow from behind. The post-beatdown verbal sparring with the crowd went on a little too long.
– Curtis Axel is out talking about #AxelMania when a new music hit and OUT. COMES. NEVILLE! (Gone is “Adrian”). The crowd is VERY familiar with him and give him quite the ovation. And surprisingly, Neville goes on to absolutely destroy Axel…finishing him off with the Red Arrow. A spectacular debut for “The Man That Gravity Forgot”.
– Out comes John Cena to massive “JOHN CENA SUUUUUUCKS!” singing by the hostile crowd on hand. He’s got an open challenge tonight. Who answered the challenge? Everybody (including Byron Saxton on commentary) expected Rusev to come out. Instead, Dean Ambrose came out to a massive pop.
At this point, Saxton had been absolutely DYING on commentary for quite some time. He just seemed completely lost trying to do anything by himself. After a commercial, Jerry Lawler came out to save commentary.
The match itself was quite entertaining. I remember the first time Ambrose took on Cena and that was a good match, too. Cena can still work an entertaining match when he’s challenged…and it’s the young guys like Ambrose and Rollins and Rusev that challenge him. Each man kicked out of the other man’s finisher, and the crowd was going INSANE by the time the match neared the end. Cena ended up winning after an AA, but he earned some respect from the crowd in the process.
– Seth Rollins did a backstage interview when he was interrupted by Randy Orton. Rollins gave Orton until the end of the night to find two partners to take on him, Big Show, and Kane.
– AJ Lee came out wearing what looked like a Bayley t-shirt (“I’m a hugger“) for her 6-woman tag match. She tagged with Paige and Naomi to take on Natalya and the Bella Twins. I’ll tell you…Natalya keeps looking sexier with age. And every time I see Nikki Bella, I feel like I shouldn’t have placed her so low in my Top 25 Hottest Women Wrestlers. Oh well…they were given time, so people can’t complain about that. The match was alright. Naomi got the win over Nikki by shoving her ass into Nikki’s face (really…that’s a finisher now?).
– Rusev destroyed Goldust next. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any Lana around. Bah.
– Seth Rollins, Kane, and Big Show made their way to the ring and waited for Randy Orton, Ryback, and the “secret partner”. Well…music hit and Roman Reigns made his way through the crowd to the ring. The crowd pretty much shit all over this match being the main event. They actually put on one of the best waves I’ve ever seen. In the end, Reigns speared Kane for the pinfall.
Aaaaaaaaaaaand that was it; a REALLY flat ending to an otherwise fun show.