– The night is kicking off with a trip to Suplex City! WWE’s smart…they’re making individual shirts for each city that Lesnar shows up at. Last week it was Suplex City: Cleveland…this week it’s Suplex City: Indianapolis. It’s a great way to make the shirts sell out at each arena.
Paul Heyman introduces himself and Brock Lesnar to the capacity crowd’s approval. After a recap package that explained why Lesnar hasn’t been around in awhile, Heyman proceeded to tell the world that the only reason Lesnar was being allowed back on RAW was because he agreed to apologize to both JBL and Michael Cole for what he did to them the last time he was on the show.
Apparently, when Lesnar takes Seth Rollins apart at Battleground, it’ll be what’s “Beast for Business”. Heyman finished off a fantastic promo (as usual) and Lesnar, quite frankly, looked to be in better shape than he was three months ago. Definitely a great way to kick off the show. At least he apologized to Cole.
– “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose made his way to the ring to take on Kane. Yawns everywhere as even Ambrose couldn’t get a decent match out of a man who so very clearly needs to retire. Seth Rollins came out to distract Ambrose, and it resulted in Kane getting the win. Sigh…
– Next up is the new tag team champions, the Prime Time Players, taking on The Ascension. I don’t know about you, but the show has been on a steady decline since the opening segment. This whole match was a giant snoozefest. I mean, neither team are over in any way. The fans are barely behind the PTP and don’t find The Ascension to be any kind of credible threat at all. One “Gut Check” later and the champs come out on top.
Sheamus’ music interrupts the PTP celebration, and we’re about ready for our next match.
At this point I’m almost feelin’ what Missy Hyatt is feeling…
– Sheamus was ready to take on Roman Reigns, in what should be a hard-hitting match-up. Reigns comes out to a pretty damn good pop. You gotta give credit where it’s due…WWE has done a great job in re-building Reigns since the debacle that was the Royal Rumble. He’s not the #1 attraction on the roster yet, but he’s a main event player who is going to be the #1 guy in a very short period of time.
While I can understand the complaints about Sheamus winning the Money in the Bank contract, I’m a fan of the idea. I was never a fan of Sheamus before his latest run, but between his unique look and his above-average matches since his return, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think we need to see Sheamus as world champion again (hell…I think he should lose the briefcase in a stipulation match to somebody else in the next couple of months), but I have no problem with him getting the push.
The match went back and forth and these two guys beat the snot out of each other. Reigns has improve tremendously since the split of the Shield and, quite frankly, I’ve yet to see a bad Sheamus match since he returned from injury. He does a lot of little things extremely well. And credit where it’s due, the match went 20+ minutes and entertained the hell out of me.
Unfortunately, there was a slightly disappointing ending as Bray Wyatt appeared on the TitanTron to show Roman Reigns that he was having a tea party, insinuating that he had Reigns’ little girl with him. Reigns left the ring to go to the back and Wyatt showed he was talking to an empty rocking chair (Sister Abigail?).
Too bad…this match was really good.
After the break, they show Reigns backstage looking for Wyatt. He finds the room, but inside is an extremely creepy shrine…
– The leader of the “Altitude Era”, Neville, is now ready to pick things up by taking on Kofi Kingston. In a very unusual entrance, Kofi skips down to the ring clapping like the mom from The Nutty Professor going “Hercules! Hercules!”
In a weird turn of events, New Day were looking to team-up on Neville when the Prime Time Players came to his aid. The referee then kicked the tag champs out of the ringside area. New Day then got all up in Neville’s face, so the ref kicked them out, too. 20 seconds later, Neville hit the Red Arrow for the pinfall. The match was too short, but still entertaining.
– King Barrett is ready to battle Zack Ryder. At least Barrett’s in there against somebody he can beat. Well…it took a lot longer than it should have, but Barrett got back on the winning side of things. I just don’t get why WWE continues to shit on Barrett. They build him up just to bring him back down. So strange.
– John Cena comes out to deliver a promo about the U.S. title and not giving up and blah blah blah. Rinse, lather, repeat. Thankfully, Kevin Owens came out to deliver a few words of his own.
Basically, Owens wanted to confirm that his challenge to Cena for the United States title was being accepted. What’s interesting is that they flipped to backstage to show Triple H and Stephanie casually talking about Owens. Foreshadowing? Perhaps…
Rollins talked with The Authority about getting “the band” back together. Triple H delivered a nice motivational speech that helped explain why they made the match with Brock Lesnar to begin with. He said that in order to rejoin Kane and J&J Security, he’ll need to publicly apologize in the middle of the ring for being a douchebag. Well…maybe that wasn’t an exact quote but you get the drift.
– So Naomi & Tamina Snuka were in the ring to wait for the Bella Twins (with Alicia Fox). I’m flabbergasted at this point. Why in the blue hell are the Bellas (HEELS) playing the babyface team against Naomi & Tamina (HEELS) in this match??? If I don’t know who to cheer or boo, why should I give two shits about anybody in the Divas division??? This really is ridiculous. Whoever is running the book for the Divas on the main roster needs a swift kick in the balls. This is ridiculous.
Awwwww…FFS…is it bedtime yet?
Apparently Big Show and Mark Henry had a “falling out” after the match was over. Wait…wasn’t their last storyline together a feud? Oh well…
Backstage, Ryback and Big Show got into a fight that ended with Show eating concrete. Ugh.
– Dolph Ziggler made short work of Adam Rose. I appreciate the fact that WWE gave Rose a microphone to promo prior to the match. I don’t hate the idea of Rose & Rosa Mendez together, either. I just think that the gimmick can still be tweaked (a LOT) so he’s going to continue to flounder around as enhancement talent.
Afterwards, however, while Ziggler was kissing Lana in the ring (they eased up on her make-up tonight, so she looked a LOT better…as if you could even improve upon perfection), Rusev was shown watching the whole thing on a monitor backstage. He got pissed and threw his crutches away before slipping on the floor. As he looked up, he saw the incredible physique of Summer Rae in a tiny micro-mini dress. She gave him a crutch back, said “Lana’s not worth it”, and walked away to end the segment.
To me, this does three things:
- This gives Adam Rose even LESS chance to get over now that two other superstars (main event performers, at that) have valets in a major storyline.
- This gives Summer Rae something to do, which I thought may have happened with The Miz but, obviously, they’ve got bigger plans for her now. She’s a gorgeous woman who can talk and get physical, if need be. Is she a fit with Rusev? That’s impossible to say right now but at least they’re giving her an opportunity.
- This gives the whole Ziggler/Lana/Rusev love triangle a HUGE boost in terms of what they could do with the storyline. This reminds me of old World Class storylines with Chris Adams, Steve Austin, and Jeannie Adams…at least a little bit, anyway. Regardless, this is a “real” storyline that doesn’t seem to over-the-top and could hook a lot of female viewers for the soap-opera-esque way it’s being presented. Very smart storyline by WWE.
– Seth Rollins entered the ring. He got Kane and J&J Security to come down and stand in front of him so he could apologize publicly.
He asked if they would take him back. As he offered his hand, the Authority members were very hesitant. Then came Brock Lesnar’s music.
Lesnar began to dismantle Rollins, hitting German suplexes while the crowd went absolutely ape-shit.
The Authority, however, decided to help out Rollins.
At the end of the day, however, even Lesnar couldn’t overcome the odds. After a couple of chokeslams from Kane and a knee to the head from the top rope by Rollins, the WWE champion decided to provide the exclamation point by hitting the Pedigree. When we faded to black, The Authority were standing tall.
Well…most of the Authority, anyway. Unfortunately, Jamie Noble got destroyed during the melee and ended up going to the local hospital.
All in all, it was an up-and-down RAW tonight. Some things were really intriguing, where others were snoozefests and showed extremely lazy storyline writing and booking. WWE can certainly do better.