– Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman kick off the festivities by making their way to the ring. It could be me, but Heyman seemed a little “off” during the beginning of his promo. He seemed to pick things up a little bit as the promo went on. It wasn’t his best promo ever, but the message was made to Seth Rollins…
– Ugh. Ryback vs Big Show is the first match of the night. I guess we can only go up from here, right? At least the Miz was doing live commentary at ringside.
What I enjoy about Big Show, even at this stage of his career, is that he knows people doubt him and his ability so he does what he can to put on the best show possible (no pun intended). The guy works his ass off to make his matches against smaller opponents look realistic. I appreciate and respect Big Show even if I don’t like watching his matches very often.
Once Show hit that huge elbow, Miz went into the ring to attack both men and cause a disqualification. After some pleading for mercy, both Ryback and Big Show hit their finishers on Miz before Ryback nailed a huge clothesline to knock Show out of the ring. Pretty big show-off from a guy who looked like he was about to lose CLEAN before the DQ took place.
I feel bad for Miz being stuck in this match at Battleground, but I appreciate everything he’s doing to entertain the crowd and get this match over. He truly is the star of this storyline.
– We’re about to see Paige take on Brie Bella. Despite the fact that the matches are beginning to get repetitive, this has been a great way to really put Paige over, to be honest…she’s going up against three people on a weekly basis. I’m very hopeful that we see an NXT call-up or two that help her out. But in the meantime, Paige is still HELLA hot…
Paige was kicking Brie’s ass all over the place before Nikki and Alicia distracted her, which allowed Brie to hit her silly finisher for the pin. Then Alicia and Nikki both hit their finishers on Paige for a nice power trip moment. I like the storyline, if I can be honest. I’ll be happier when there’s a payoff, though.
– Roman Reigns makes his way to the ring to take on Sheamus. I won’t lie…I’m looking forward to this one. Both of these men love the hard-hitting matches and will go out of their way to prove themselves as legitimate superstars to the WWE Universe who may think they’re not worthy of their spots. Give these two credit…they don’t lay back and phone it in.
Just as Reigns was about to hit the spear on Sheamus to end things…
Reigns ran outside to attack his foe. One Superman punch later and Bray Wyatt was down on the ground. BUT WAS IT?? Reigns picked up a handful of wig before Wyatt showed up on the Titantron to mock Reigns with…
We haven’t seen Orton in awhile, but he slowly walked to the ring. Sheamus went nuts and met him outside of the ring. The two then battled back and forth before Orton hit the RKO from out of nowhere!!
Listen, I’m no Orton mark but I’ve really been enjoying the matches these two have been putting on. I’m all about a heated feud and these two are holding nothing back. I don’t need 5-star high-flying technical matches when I can get a realistic, heated brawl between two very talented long-time superstars. Bring it on!
– Backstage, Seth Rollins was asking Triple H for some advice. Somehow, the segment ended with Rollins believing he should call out Brock Lesnar. Really?
– Rusev was in the ring for a promo, with Summer Rae by his side. I loved the little things that he did during the promo to feed the crowd. I mean, he would say things in Bulgarian and slightly drop the letters “USA” to ensure the crowd would begin to chant.
Then out came Dolph Ziggler with Lana. Ziggler basically said that Rusev lost the best thing he ever had before making out with his new gal. Summer Rae then got into Ziggler’s face before Lana stepped in.
Both women took off their heels and the crowd went nuts looking for a good old-fashioned catfight!
Ziggler tried to hold Lana back but Rusev hit him in the back with his crutch. He took a few shots at Ziggler before delivering a HUGE superkick to Ziggler’s face using his heavy protected boot.
Then RUSEV TOOK OFF THE BOOT!! Then SUMMER ATTACKED LANA and threw her out of the ring while Rusev continued to assault Ziggler with his second crutch. Ziggler ended up betting carried out by EMT’s.
Can I just say that this was one HELL of a hot angle!!! The payoff was EXACTLY what I hoped it would be. I popped HUGE for this whole segment.
– The super inspirational Bo Dallas came out to a pretty good pop. Unfortunately, he was simply being fed to Dean Ambrose. It’s a shame WWE Creative can’t get behind Dallas because the guy has a really fun gimmick and can “go” when given the opportunity (he’s not a former NXT champion for nothing). There was actually dueling “Let’s Go Ambrose” “WE BOLIEVE!!” chants going on for an extended period of time. LOVED that.
– King What’s Up vs King Barrett on RAW? Shouldn’t this be a PPV match? Ugh. Here’s the thing…I respect R-Truth for only really wanting to entertain people at this point in his career. Kudos, because people seem to love the guy. But Barrett deserves more. I thought being king would help him, but it’s turned him into a bigger joke than the “Bad News” gimmick was. I don’t understand, either. Barrett got all the tools: physique, in-ring, promo, and charisma. What’s the deal?
Oh…Barrett won. Thankfully.
– Seth Rollins came out with J&J Security, ready to call out The Beast. They all had big ax-handles that they carried with them, just to be “equalizers”.
After the culmination of a nice promo, the Architect threw out this line:
Ummm…nice knowing you, Rollins.
So Lesnar came out, but instead of rushing the ring…he backed up a little bit. He slowly backed up towards the $55K+ Cadillac that J&J Security was driving all around the country. Paul Heyman then rolled out a fire safety box (used next to the pyro), and then Lesnar took out two REAL axes. You can just imagine what happened next…
J&J couldn’t take it any more and tried to ambush Lesnar. Jamie Noble ended up with a “broken arm” and Joey Mercury took a belly-to-belly overhead suplex into the car windshield. Lesnar ran after Rollins, but he high-tailed it out of the arena.
Fun fun FUN segment. It was predictable, but still a great payoff.
– It was now time for some more action, as the New Day came out to take on the Lucha Dragons.
I’m just shocked to see Kofi Kingston still alive after the beating he received in Japan (pictured at right). He and Big E were the duo to face the Luchadores. The first segment of the match had Kalisto & Sin Cara II dominating. I’m already looking forward to the day that the Dragons break up, because Kalisto is going to be a big, big star…in spite of his small size.
This was a really fun match. What made it even more fun was that Titus O’Neal was on commentary jaw-jacking with JBL. It really looked like the Dragons were going to pull off the upset when Big E pinned SCII. Great stuff that doesn’t hurt the Dragons at all (who were SUPER over with the Chi-Town crowd tonight).
– The music hits, the man comes out, and the fans all start singing about how “John Cena suuuuuucks!!!”. I’m really intrigued as to who they’re going to have face Cena tonight. They showed a package with Finn Balor defeating Kevin Owens for the NXT championship, adding storyline to the “rubber match” at Battleground. Owens is going to be REALLY hungry for another title.
Kevin Owens came out and said that since he didn’t have the title anymore, he NEEDED to face Cena tonight. Then Cesaro came out to stop the proceedings.
In a really weird move, Owens simply backed out of the ring and walked away.
I’m not complaining about this rematch, but I’m shocked at how Owens just walked away without saying a word. My guess is that Cesaro ends up in position to win yet again, but Owens interferes…setting up a potential future feud between the two.
Can I just say that this match is ABSOLUTELY the Match of the Year at this point. I can’t even tell you just how good this match was. If you saw the match last week, which was awesome, then all I can say is that this was even better.
All in all, this was a fantastic episode of RAW. You got the bad match out of the way early, then delivered big matches and great storyline payoffs. I mean…just a great, fun, entertaining episode tonight. If anybody says that they didn’t like tonight’s RAW, then they should never watch WWE again because it doesn’t get a whole lot better than this. Top to bottom, an A+ show.