After Brock Lesnar got suspended, some NXT guys made their debuts, and Sheamus made his unique-looking return on the heels of one of the greatest WrestleMania PPV’s of all time…what will WWE give us tonight?
– We kick things off with the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, along with Kane, Big Show, and J&J Security. Rollins delivered a great promo, playing with the crowd with the confidence that every WWE champion needs to have. I’m really enjoying his work lately, and not just his in-ring performances. After passing the mic around to Show and Kane…
– …Randy Orton made his way out. He reminded Rollins that at WrestleMania he delivered the greatest RKO of his career.
– Kane announced that Randy Orton, Ryback, and Roman Reigns would face off in a triple threat match to see who would face Seth Rollins in the main event of Extreme Rules, much to the chagrin of Rollins. The only caveat was that all three competitors would have to wrestle in singles matches before their triple threat match. And Orton’s opponent was going to be Kane.
– At this point I went and did some laundry, fed the cats, and grabbed a beer out of the fridge. I mean, how many times in the past decade have we seen Kane vs Randy Orton? Ugh. Kane grabbed a chair and used it to get himself disqualified. Yawn.
– Shockingly, the announcers mention the retirement of AJ Lee…
Saving face or an olive branch or a genuine “thank you”?
– Brad Maddox makes a quick appearance before Kane and Seth Rollins get into an argument backstage. The fallout being that Kane may not be Director of Operations for much longer and that Rollins is in a match against somebody after the break.
– Seth Rollins comes out with J&J Security and waits for his opponent…and holy shit out comes NEVILLE!!!
I can’t lie…I’m on the edge of my seat and judging by the live crowd, I’m not alone. The match goes back and forth before we head to commercial and if there was ever a reason to download the WWE App, I suppose this would be it. The story of the match was that Rollins was dominating, and every time Neville got a slight upper hand, Rollins would stop the momentum immediately.
As much punishment that Rollins would dish out, Neville would fight back. It looked like Neville might actually hit the Red Arrow and the crowd reacted accordingly, but J&J Security interfered…leading to a Curb Stomp and the pinfall. REALLY good match. They held back a bit, but they did a good job of making Neville seem to be a legitimate threat.
– John Cena came out and blah blah U.S. title blah blah Rusev blah blah open challenge blah blah. Out came Stardust. Here’s the thing…you KNOW that Cena is going to win, but this is still an opportunity for Stardust to try to get out of the “Goldust shadow”. This was designed to give us an entertaining match between two guys that we don’t see against each other very often. I’ll be perfectly honest…this was a surprisingly entertaining match. Cena made Stardust look credible and pulled out his working shoes. In the end, Cena won…but I don’t mind so much because it wasn’t a squash.
– Next up is Nikki & Brie Bella taking on Paige and Naomi (y’know…now that AJ is gone). I know that Naomi has a lot of skills, but I just don’t see the wrestling ability. She’s got “moves” and all, but still doesn’t really know how to string them together in an in-ring story. But I guess…with the Divas division, WWE only cares about spots anyway. And sure enough, Paige played the babyface in peril while Naomi waited for the hot tag. The crowd pretty much missed the tag and didn’t pop at all. Then there was some sloppiness by Naomi, who hit some type of finisher of a leglock DDT thing. The crowd didn’t pop for that, either. Sorry, Naomi…you just don’t have “it”. You tagged in and the entire match fell apart. It just goes to show that there is definitely room for NXT Divas on the main roster. Beautiful women who can actually wrestle and kick ass.
– The Prime Time Players came out and made fun of the New Day and The Ascension.
– Next up is Luke Harper taking on Ryback. I actually missed Harper last week on RAW, so I’m glad to see him back this week. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Luke Harper is one of the best big men I’ve ever seen. I’m looking forward to watching him carry #SteroidGuy to a decent match. Unfortunately, all of Harper’s offense didn’t look that great because Ryback didn’t know how to sell the moves properly. For everybody who complains about how Roman Reigns has been protected by WWE management, just look at this match. Ryback is TOTALLY protected and it’s silly because he is NOT that over with the crowds. And NO…he’s not “more over” than Roman Reigns right now. The comments I see online about the “lack of reaction for Reigns” just aren’t accurate. The crowd is reacting to him. They’re only doing the “chant” for Ryback.
– After a backstage segment with Renee Young and The New Day, it almost seems like they’re trying to become a new-age version of Honky Tonk Man. We know the fans hate us, but we clap to stay positive. Wait…what? #NewDaySucks
– The New Day is out and trying to get the crowd to chant “NEW DAAAY!!” to little response. Then comes their opponents, the Lucha Dragons. The crowd was solidly behind the Dragons. The story was that all along, Xavier Woods wanted things to change with his team (i.e. turn heel), but his partners wanted to stay positive. During the match, with Big E outside distracted, Kofi Kingston actually interfered in the match…much to the delight of Woods. It didn’t help them, though, as the Dragons scored the upset pinfall. Even though the announcers COMPLETELY missed the story, I really liked the match and the developments. New Day might be very interesting going forward.
– Roman Reigns came out to a pretty decent pop to take on Big Show. I mean…have we not seen this match enough already? YAWN. Anyway…Show absolutely dominated this match-up. Reigns looked NOTHING like a number one challenger for the WWE title. He looked like a bitch most of the match. He made a comeback and won with a spear. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
– Sheamus delivered an in-ring promo about how he can’t wait to squash the little insects like Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler. However, Mark Henry made his way to the ring instead. I gotta say…I’m actually a big fan of the new Sheamus look, which is weird because I’m not that much of a fan of Sheamus. I think it’s different and unique and memorable. It fits his new bad-ass attitude. Of course, not everybody feels the same way.
After a couple of minutes, one Brogue kick and it was over. Whatever…I still love the look.
– Bray Wyatt promo.
– The long awaited Miz vs Damien Mizdow match was next. My problem is that Mizdow came out to Miz’s music while still dressed as Miz. Mannerisms and all. I just don’t get where they’re going to possibly go with this. Something about this match, though, just didn’t click. At this point, they just didn’t have any in-ring chemistry with each other. I got bored REALLY quickly, which is odd because WWE has been slow-building this for months now. The pay-off just wasn’t worth it. Miz ended up winning with a handful of tights. What a huge letdown.
– The main event is finally upon us, with Ryback vs Roman Reigns vs Randy Orton for the chance of facing Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules. As the match started, The Authority made their way out. The match seemed pretty rushed to me, with each man hitting big move after big move with no pacing or rhyme or reason to anything. The Authority then interfered, with Big Show taking out Reigns with a Knockout Punch. The Orton hit an RKO out of nowhere on Ryback for the win.
We normally have another 10 minutes of show left at this point. Either the match was rushed or they REALLY want to get to the Chris Jericho interview with John Cena…because at two minutes past the hour, RAW goes off the air.
Wow…what an up & down show tonight. Some great stuff with some real head scratchers. At the end of the day, it could always be worse, I guess.