The crew just got back from a very successful European tour and RAW is emanating from Albany, New York tonight. How will WWE continue to set-up their next PPV, Extreme Rules? Let’s find out…
– Randy Orton, the new #1 contender, kicks off the show by making his way to the ring. He pushed the boundaries of PG television while delivering a promo describing how he was going to destroy his opponent inside of a steel cage at Extreme Rules.
– Seth Rollins then came out and delivered a pretty damn good promo. I mean, let’s face it…Rollins is becoming better and better on the mic on a weekly basis. He’s an absolute joy to watch and the people are hating him, which means he’s doing his job.
– Once the segment FINALLY ended, “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose came out to battle Luke Harper. On the way to the ring, Harper actually delivered a short promo…which is something that he should do more of. I gotta admit: I’m really looking forward to this match. Ambrose is crazy and Harper is one of the best big men I’ve ever seen in my life…so the match should be great if given enough time. Unfortunately, the match got tossed out before it really got started and both men began battling all over the arena. At this point, I’m REALLY looking forward to their match at Extreme Rules. Great booking here…give the people a taste and leave them wanting more.
– To determine the new #1 contenders to the tag team titles, the super-hot Lucha Dragons are about to take on the lukewarm New Day. I gotta be honest…I wasn’t a huge fan of the Lucha Dragons in NXT. I was a fan of Kalisto, but not so much of Sin Cara #2. At this point, though SC2 seems to be clicking and showing a bit more life. Kalisto is proving himself to be everything I read about: a fantastic cruiserweight who has the legitimate potential to be the 2nd coming of Rey Mysterio. The two teams put on a nice little match. Once Kalisto tagged-in and began going off on Kofi Kingston, the crowd was eating it up.
In a surprise finish, Xavier Woods grabbed the legs of SC2 from underneath the ring and prevented him from beating a 10-count…meaning that New Day are meeting Cesaro & Kidd for the WWE tag team championships at Extreme Rules. Randy Orton then came out and RKO’d 2/3 of the New Day to the cheers of the crowd.
– Out came the newly-babyface Fandango, without a chick to hold him down. While now crazy over, there were still a number of people “Fandango-ing” in the crowd. He took on Curtis “AxelMania” Axel and quickly put him away with the Last Dance top-rope leg drop.
Let’s talk about Fandango for a second. I’ve been a fan of his for quite some time. The guy can wrestle, looks fantastic, and oozes charisma. He took this lame-ass gimmick and owned it. Now he’s at the point where he’s being given a new opportunity to shine and I really hope it takes off. He’s earned another chance and I think he could be the fun babyface that Adam Rose couldn’t. My only concern is his finishing move. I mean, it looks spectacular and he does it very well…but that’s going to catch up to him some day. Big time.
The following graphic hit the screen:
Oh dear god, yes…let the madness end.
– Triple H made his way to the ring next. He went on and on about the new season of Tough Enough before Kane made his way down the aisle. He gave Trips his two week notice, saying that he couldn’t handle Rollins. Seth Rollins then came out to start a verbal war with Kane, in which Kane delivered one of the best promos I’ve heard him give. In the end, Trips prevented a war from breaking out and named Kane as the “gatekeeper” to the door at the steel cage match between Rollins and Orton at Extreme Rules. Another interesting turn of events that has me intrigued for the PPV.
– Newly-turned heel Naomi takes on fellow heel Brie Bella next. All of a sudden, Nikki Bella was on commentary telling the world about how she’s a fighting champion and such like a babyface. I mean…why should anybody give two shits about this match-up? Two heels that aren’t over are fighting each other. Yawn.
At one point, Booker T actually said that he thought Naomi may just be the greatest diva of all time. I need some of what Booker T is smokin’ because…what the actual fuck? Naomi won…setting up a title match. Nobody cares.
– Roman Reigns made his way through the crowd and into the ring. He called out Big Show but, instead, BO DALLAS showed up!! He’s grown a goatee during his time off and, being honest, he looks a little goofy. I mean…goofier than normal, anyway. It doesn’t really match his character.
– Sheamus came out next. I don’t care what anybody says, I absolutely LOVE his new look and theme music. I mean, he looks like a new-age viking. The guy has an incredible presence about him now and looks unique and bad-ass. Zack Ryder came out and immediately got a book to the face. Instead of pinning him, though, he grabbed a microphone and continued to beat the snot out of him while doing commentary. This was the most entertaining Sheamus has ever been in WWE.
Dolph Ziggler came out to help Ryder and continue to set-up their “Kiss Me Arse” match at Extreme Rules. Ummm…really?
– It’s now time for the “JOHN CENA SUUUUCKS U.S. TITLE OPEN CHALLENGE”. I love this gimmick, to be honest. It’s giving us all new match-ups and showing people wanting to battle for the U.S. championship. I think this is great, in spite of the fact that it’s John Cena doing it. Regardless, it’s helping to elevate the title. Cena rambled on about how the Russian Chain Match works and how he was going to beat Rusev at the PPV.
Out came Kane for the open challenge. Kane, obviously, is out to prove that he’s not a corporate guy and still has fire and brimstone and blah blah blah. It was a decent little match where Kane dominated, but Cena whipped out an AA out of nowhere and Kane was immediately pinned.
– So now we’re finally getting Miz vs Damien Mizdow (accompanied by Summer Ray) to “the rights to the Miz brand”. I liked this idea more, though…
If Mizdow was smart, he’d just lay down and let Miz pin him. Does he REALLY want that “brand”? In a separate note, I’ll admit…Summer is lookin’ pretty hot tonight. What I’d like to see is Summer turn on Mizdow and join-up with Miz full-time. There’s a lot of fun that could be had with those two working together.
– #SteroidGuy lumbered his way to the ring to destroy Adam Rose. After he won, the cameras showed the crowd sitting on their hands in apathy. I mean, he can get the crowd to chant “Feed Me More“, but that’s about it. In an interesting turn of events, Rosa Mendes came out to see if Rose was okay. I like this idea…get rid of the dancers and have a valet help him win matches. If it can work for Miz (and it can), then it can work for Rose. WWE needs more valets and managers. And they need to DO something.
– Now it’s time for the main event with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins taking on Dolph Ziggler. The match was fine for what it was. I mean…Rollins and Ziggler aren’t going to give you a bad match at all. Sheamus distracted Ziggler long enough for Rollins to hit his new finisher (a front-drop-down DDT type of thing…no more Curb Stomp, kids) and get the pinfall.
There are definitely some storylines that progressed in a very positive way tonight. It wasn’t a bad episode of RAW by any stretch. Was it a great go-home show? No…not really. A slight thumbs up. The PPV should be interesting.