After one of the most talked-about matches in WWE history, how will RAW respond tonight?
– The Authority makes their way to ringside and they are NOT happy campers. Triple H gave Dean Ambrose until the beginning of RAW to give the WWE World Heavyweight Championship back to the real champion, Seth Rollins. Instead of Mr. Ambrose, though, Roman Reigns made his way to the ring. On behalf of Ambrose, Reigns issues a challenge for a Ladder Match at the Money In The Bank PPV (in TWO weeks!!).
Reigns proceeded to provide a list of reasons of why Rollins is the worst champion of all time. At this point, Rollins went nuts. He proceeded to tell off The Authority and accept the match without any outside interference to prove that he’s the champion that he says he is. He then stormed off and left everybody in the ring with Reigns.
Triple H then told Reigns that if he wanted to be in the Money in the Bank briefcase match, he’d have to win his next match.
– Out came King Barrett as the man personally chosen to beat Roman Reigns tonight. Y’know, the guy who got beat by R-Truth twice within the past week. Yeah…THIS GUY is gonna beat Reigns tonight. Thankfully, Barrett knows how to at least put on a decent match.
Oh…and Booker T continued to show why he’s the brilliant man that he is.
As the match went on, the action was okay. The crowd was fairly hot and were decidedly pro-Reigns (which is a nice change of pace, actually). I didn’t think Barrett sold nearly enough, though. I mean, Reigns at least does a great job of selling (maybe too much, actually)…but Barrett was popping back up after a beatdown like he was John Cena or something. I didn’t care for it. Thankfully, one spear is all it took for Reigns to win and solidify his spot at the PPV.
There is just so much in-ring improvement by Reigns that it’s not fair to currently say he’s not ready for a main event spot. He’s far from perfect, but he’s entertaining and improving all the time. I think he’s earned a title run at this point, but I see how WWE is re-building him.
– Backstage, Triple H and Stephanie told Reigns that he’s in the Money in the Bank match ONLY if he can beat his NEXT opponent, Mark Henry.
– Ryback is ready to defend his Intercontinental championship for the first time against The Miz. Great…the two most unlikeable characters in the company are facing each other. #SlowClap
That’s right, Ryback…we can’t believe you won, either.
Anyway, this is the first time I’ve actually rooted for Miz to win. I like his new look and I think he works best as a cocky heel, not the over-the-top chicken-shit heel that he was with Mizdow by his side. Unfortunately, Big Slow came out and walked down to the ring. He threatened to punch Ryback, but instead knocked out Miz. He grabbed a mic and told Ryback and if ANYBODY was going to beat him for the IC title, it would be him.
And coming up next…
– It was now time for Kevin Owens and his first big-time in-ring RAW promo. And as expected, he delivered.
– This brought out John Cena to confront Owens. A typical “you’re not a good person” promo by Cena. Blah blah blah. Nothing new…same ol’ Cena “I’m hot and I care” promo. Just as Cena was about to start a fight, Owens jumped out so he could fight another day.
Good goddamn…Cena needs to shut the fuck up, already. The ONLY thing he did that was awesome was point out this kid and made his entire life:
– Dolph Ziggler (with Lana) took on Kofi Kingston.
Ziggler pulled off the quick pinfall and was attacked by the New Day before getting saved by the Prime Time Players. I smell a 6-man tag match coming up after the commercial break…
…and I’m right. There wasn’t much to the match until Titus O’Neil made the hot tag, at which point he absolutely cleaned house. The crowd was popping and were quite happy to see him pick up the pinfall. Obviously, they are setting up a PTP vs New Day feud…but I think it’s just a “hold-over feud” until the Lucha Dragons get their shot. The Dragons need to be protected because New Day is too hot to drop the belts right now.
– Mark Henry came out to face Roman Reigns for a slot in the Money in the Bank PPV. Because Henry is so slow and plodding, the match itself wasn’t that great. I enjoy the work of Reigns, though. He can sell and still makes his offense believable. After delivering massive hits to each other outside on the floor, Reigns just barely beat the count back into the ring to win by countout. Henry attacked him from behind, hitting the World’s Strongest Slam and a big splash before walking away.
– Triple H and Stephanie met-up with Reigns backstage (again). They told him to “follow the buzzards” before walking away. Yet another massive test for Reigns.
– Paige is ready for her WWE Divas title match with Nikki Bella. If there ever was a time to switch champs, it’s now. Naomi obviously failed and Bella’s boring and NOT over with the fans, so let’s bring Paige back into the mix. In addition, it might be the ideal time to introduce an NXT ladies faction of some sort. I guess we’ll just have to see what happens.
Just as you would think Paige was about to win, Nikki switched out with Brie (who was hiding under the ring), who then used a small package to pin Paige. Then Nikki jumps right back into the ring and acts like she wasn’t even in a match. Like…she no-sold a 2nd-rope “Paige Turner” DDT just a minute before. I fucking hate that.
WHY ARE THE BELLAS BOTH HEELS AGAIN??????
– The next match-up is Randy Orton taking on Sheamus. This is intriguing because Sheamus deserves to be in the main event tier and Orton is slowly being displaced as a top babyface to the likes of Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Either way, this should be a good match.
As the match went on, a very distracting thing happened. They thought it was a good idea to put a Money in the Bank PPV graphic. No big deal, right? Well…it was a FULL SCREEN GRAPHIC. It wasn’t in the corner, it wasn’t on the bottom…in the middle of the match the graphic took up the entire damn screen.
The match itself was solid. It was an extremely physical contest that saw momentum go back and forth. In the end, the action spilled to the outside and Sheamus used a chair on Orton, which resulted in his disqualification. Sheamus went to brutalize Orton and left him laying on the outside. It was the strongest he’s looked in a very long time.
– Rusev appeared for an interview. He said that he has lost everything…his title, his health, his career, his woman…but he will get it all back. Good acting by Rusev and a nice little promo from him.
– It’s time to BO-LIEVE!!! Bo Dallas came out and had a stern look on his face. He said that he tried to help Neville before, but now he just wants to hurt him. VERY different promo from Dallas. Neville came out and I’m really looking forward to this match.
Dallas dominated early. In fact, I began to suspect an upset at one point. Unfortunately, time was not on their side. A couple of VERY quick moves resulted in Dallas basically laying down completely unconscious. One Red Arrow later, and Neville scored the quick pinfall victory.
– Time for the main event, with Roman Reigns wrestling in his third match of the night against Bray Wyatt. Wyatt dominated and was systematically tearing Reigns apart, but Reigns continued to fight back as best he could. Out came Seth Rollins, J&J Security, and Kane to watch the match underneath the TitanTron.
If you were hoping for a good match, you’d be disappointed here. Not because of the lack of chemistry or talent, but because of the storyline involved. I understand the story, so it didn’t bother me so much.
As the match built to a climax, Reigns hit the Superman Punch. This brought The Authority all down to ringside in a hurry. As they surrounded the ring, Kane stood on the apron to distract Reigns. Wyatt tried to hit him from behind but was thrown into Kane instead. That slight distraction was all Reigns needed to hit a spear and get the pinfall to again solidify his spot in the Money in the Bank match. Again.
This obviously upset The Authority. They surrounded Reigns and were about to take him out when Dean Ambrose showed up. The two of them cleaned house and escaped through the crowd with Rollins’ WWE title, much to the shagrin of Triple H and Stephanie, who came out to show their displeasure.
Overall, this was an up-and-down show. I don’t know if I fully enjoy the rushed storylines to set up their next PPV in two weeks time, but they did a good job of telling stories so I shouldn’t complain.