RAW Thoughts

It is yet ANOTHER “go home” show as we are less than a week away from the Money in the Bank PPV. With new storylines beginning and others dragging on, how will RAW treat us this week?

– The show kicks off with John Cena making his way to the ring, fresh off a broken nose at the hands of King Barrett at a house show the night before. As usual, Cena delivered one of his “rah rah rah” promos. I’m bored of his schtick. I’ve been bored for years now. There’s no evolution or change to his gimmick or character. It’s not even about turning heel at this point; it’s about how repetitious his entire character has become.

Thankfully, Kevin Owens makes his way out.

Owens vs CenaHe immediately said what I was just saying…that the people are tired of watching John Cena open up RAW for the past ten years. Instead of a U.S. title open challenge, he wants to issue an NXT title open challenge. Cena steps up, but then Owens laughs it off because he’s fighting Cena on Sunday.

As an alternative solution, Owens says that how about the next superstar to make his way out to ringside decide which belt he wants to challenge for. Neville comes out. He says that he’ll fight Cena again one day, but as a former NXT champion he wants to teach Owens some respect.

Honestly, this is the best Neville has sounded on the mic since coming to WWE. He’s just reciting lines, but his delivery is powerful and doesn’t sound too forced. He’ll never be a master of the mic, but this was passable.

Neville vs Owens– The match was excellent. It started off a little slow and then built-up to a pretty impressive finish. I mean, this is the type of match you’d see in NXT or ROH or PWG. This was the type of match that indy fans are fairly used to seeing, but the New Orleans crowd were on their feet during the final couple of minutes. They aren’t used to this type of fantastic match, and that’s why fans like myself are loving what NXT is doing. In the end, Owens hit his pop-up powerbomb for the 1-2-3.

Even backstage, Owens was in full character…

– They recap the feud between Paige and Nikki Bella. Nikki then interviews with Renee Young. And again, Nikki is a heel OUT OF NOWHERE. And she says that while Paige likes to claim that it’s “her house”, she’s living in the “Bella’s world”. Can’t lie…that’s a great line.

Nikki Bella vs Summer RaeBella, it turns out, is facing Summer Rae…who is apparently A BABYFACE FOR NO REASON!!! Sigh…this is why people despise how Vince & Co. treat the Divas. No rhyme or reason to anything that they do. They think that throwing shit out there is good enough because they can then claim “Hey…we’re giving the Divas time out there. Stop complaining.” I want things to make sense. I want a reason to boo or cheer. I want good matches with well-trained performers. Right now, I’m getting none of those things with the Divas’s division. So I guess I’ll continue to focus my attention on NXT and just how incredible their women are being portrayed and pushed right now.

Anyway…Nikki won a quick match that sucked ass. Yawn.

Roman Reigns makes his way to the ring. He claims that he’ll win the Money in the Bank briefcase and then face Dean Ambrose when all is said and done. This brings out Kane, who says that anyone will win the match except for Reigns. This brought out Dolph Ziggler, who proceeds to call Kane a “tool”.

This brings out the joke of WWE, R-Truth. He starts saying what he was going to do in the match when Kane had to remind him that he wasn’t even in the match.

Silly…but it was funny.

MITB 2The New Day then came out. They said that when Kofi wins on Sunday, then all three of them will win. This brought out Sheamus, who simply said that he’d beat everybody on Sunday. Kane said that in addition to everybody out there, two more men were going to be part of the match: Neville and Randy Orton, who makes his way to the ring.

Sheamus vs Randy Orton 1– After last week’s really good match between Sheamus and Randy Orton ended up in a disqualification and an Orton beat-down, we’re treated to a rematch right now. The match, however, wasn’t quite up to last week’s match. The intensity wasn’t really there and the crowd was sitting on their hands for most of it (totally understandable, considering what they’ve been given since the opening match).

During the match, John Layfield actually predicted that Neville would win the Money in the Bank match. Scripted or not, it was an impressive endorsement for the young superstar.

This time around, Sheamus tried to use a chair again but Orton got it from him first. We ended up seeing Orton then decimate Sheamus must like he was decimated last Monday. The crowd seemed to enjoy the segment MUCH more than the match itself.Sheamus vs Randy Orton 2

– In a backstage segment, J&J Security tried to convince Seth Rollins that they wanted to be in his corner. Rollins ended up laughing them off and then saying that he would beat the two of them tonight in a 2-on-1 handicap match just to prove that he never needed them. Swerve or break-up?

Ziggler vs Kane– We come back from the break and Kane is in the ring taking on Dolph Ziggler. No introductions or anything. Weird. Anyway, the match was passable. It was Kane dominating with Lana at ringside looking on in a worried manner. Every once in awhile, Ziggler would hit a move or two to show his “fighting spirit”.

Rusev then came out and tried to convince Lana to come to the back with him. Lana tried to get away but tripped off the staging and hurt her ankle. Ziggler tried to get out of the ring to help, but Kane took advantage and choke-slammed his way to the 1-2-3.

Miz TV 2– It’s time for MIZ TV, as The Miz wants to figure out what’s going on between Big Show and Ryback. As soon as he says he was robbed of the Intercontinental title, Ryback comes out. After some ridiculous back-and-forth, Big Show came out to join the nonsense. Show smack talked Miz, Miz attacked Show, and Ryback picked-up Show and hit the Shell Shock.

Credit WWE for doing whatever they can to get Ryback over as a babyface. Will it work long-term? No…because as I’ve said multiple times before, Ryback is simply an unlikeable character. Period.

3DLos Matadores are taking on Luke Harper & Erick Rowan. This really should be a squash match because Harper & Rowan need to be pushed as a major force…BIG time. Aaaaaaand they were. A quick, dominant display. They hit their new finisher, the 3-D (called “The Way”), on both Matadores.

Then, after the match, both men gave a quick in-ring promo. This is EXACTLY how they should be pushed. LOVE it.

-The announcers begin to say that Ambrose is now at the arena because he purchased a ticket from a scalper outside.

Why in the HELL does Ambrose even need to buy a ticket? That makes ZERO sense. He’s not fired or anything, so why buy a ticket? Jesus.

– We come back from commercial to see Big E take on Titus O’Neil. After interference, Big E won. Yawn.Big E vs Titus O'Neil

Kofi vs Roman– Just as the New Day were beginning to celebrate, Roman Reigns‘ music hit and he made his way to the ring to take on Kofi Kingston. I was surprised that this was such a hard-hitting match. These guys really seemed to tear into each other. And in spite of the outside interference, Reigns hit a Superman Punch on Kofi as he was jumping from the top rope. A great spot to end the match.

Dean Ambrose enters the arena with a beverage, popcorn, and the WWE World Heavyweight Title so he can sit at “ringside” and watch the next match.

– With Kane in their corner, J&J Security make their way to the ring to take on Seth Rollins in a 2-on-1 handicap match.

Rollins vs J&J 1I thought this whole thing was a swerve, but a scientific beginning seemed to take a physical turn as the match continued. There were a couple of comedy spots outside of the ring between Rollins and Ambrose, but the match itself wasn’t much to watch. In the end, Ambrose distracted Rollins with the WWE title. Joey Mercury then rolled-up Rollins for the pin.Rollins vs J&J 2

Once the match was over, Ambrose gave Rollins Dirty Deeds and took back the title before celebrating to end the show.Ambrose vs Rollins

Sunday should be an interesting PPV. Does WWE take a chance on Ambrose and strike the iron while it’s hot? It’s possible, but where Rollins was completely abandoned and destroyed tonight, I say he walks out of the PPV with the title well in hand on Sunday night.

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