Dean Ambrose collage

You’ve read it right: no “Dean Ambrose” in my headline for the newest wrestling article this time. You probably know by now that for a long time I just paid attention to The Shield and Dean Ambrose in particular. Just because I didn’t care about most of the other stuff the WWE threw at us.

What difference this latest episode of RAW made! If you haven’t seen it already: DO IT. It was great. Not just because of most segments but also because of the audience in New Orleans. They basically carried this show, interacted brilliantly with the wrestlers and the action around the ring and made this show hilariously epic. Words really can’t express how it actually was like. You have to witness on your own. Being a university teacher and part time library guide I know that interaction with your audience is probably the most important part of this job. If you have a dead crowd you just want to finish. But if you have people who are enthusiastic about you, hang upon your lips or your actions you simply want to be perfect for them. And exactly this happened at RAW.

But certainly it was mostly the great segments, story angles and possibilities for the future RAW had to offer. I don’t know what happened in the background: were all creatives fired for some new guys that actually know how to do it right? Did WWE finally paid attention for what the fans really want? I don’t really care about the real reasons; if this continues being great like that I’m in to watch the WWE shows more intensely from now on. But for now here I am with my breakdown from these best three hours of RAW for ages:

It started like I expected it would. And it wasn’t really surprising that Daniel Bryan came out with his two belts to open the show with a promo inside the ring. Triple H and Steph then came out but didn’t want to join DB in the ring. Instead Triple H announced a re-match DB vs. himself as the main event this night. And DB had to defend his titles. Then we got a backstage segment because both Randy Orton and Batista were not happy about it because they thought they deserved it more. But since Triple H was pretty sure about himself (and damn unsure about Orton and Batista) he didn’t give away. As for Orton and Batista he announced that the two of them would team up for a tag team match against The Usos for the tag team title.

Since the next match was about The Wyatts vs. Super Cena, Sheamus & Big E I wasn’t paying much attention to this until I’ve brought back into it by this fabulous crowd. Really: just listening to their reactions made me watch the second half of that match. In the end Bray Wyatt won it against Big E to a huge pop.

Then I was about to sigh because Fandango came out with Summer Rae by his side and sadly these days that means one meaningless match to a dead crowd. But not this time: Fandangoing was in full blast and Fandango marked out with a huge grin. The match was a mixed tag team match with them against Santino with Emma but not even Santino could kill that. It was a nice little fun match with Emma stealing the show once again with some of her great moves. And she won the match in the end with the Emma Lock. How about that as an advice for the Divas Division: leave Total Divas for the ladies who are just there for their looks and don’t bring them into wrestling matches. Instead get some NXT Divas who are actually great to join the WWE Divas roster and hand them longer matches with more meaningful storylines. It won’t hurt and it would be a great move in showing some respect to the ladies!

The next segment practically was something only Paul Heyman is capable of: he came out with Brock Lesnar who just killed the streak of The Undertaker but made it happen that. Every. Single. Person. In the audience and at home was in awe about his speech. This man is a genius. But I refuse to further kill this segment with my babbling about it. Just watch for yourself:

The before mentioned tag team match between Orton / Batista and The Usos wasn’t really about the tag team championship. Orton / Batista didn’t care about these belts. They just wanted to let out some frustration. And they did. Very soon disqualification was caused and then there was some beating up. Normal mid card match at best.

The return of Rob van Dam also wasn’t something I was really looking forward to. He had a match against Damien Sandow, won it within a couple of minutes and that was it. Nothing special really.

But the next match was another pleasant surprise: Rey Mysterio came out and then he awaited his opponent. Like the crowd as well. Because his opponent wasn’t announced until then. Then Wade Barrett’s music hit (I refuse to call him Bad News Barrett because I think it’s stupid to call him like that) and instead of delivering some bad news he actually went to the ring to have his first match for a long time. The funny thing about this match was that Barrett got all the pop and cheers from the audience while Rey Mysterio was treated like a heel. Plus: Barrett visibly enjoyed it being back in the ring interacting with such an incredible crowd. Great match and hopefully not the end of Barrett in the ring!

Then Alexandr Rusev finally made his match debut against a willing victim Zack Ryder. I don’t really like this guy but I think that’s intended. But somehow I love to hate Lana by his side. She’s got a good, non-annoying voice and exaggerates her Bulgarian accent brilliantly. I don’t like that Michael Cole / JBL / Jerry Lawler keep calling him being Russian when he actually is Bulgarian.

The Ultimate Warrior then came out inside the ring for a little promo after he was inducted into the Hall of Fame two days ago. It’s quite obvious that the WWE feel the need to make something up with this guy. And for good.

AJ Lee then was up next inside the ring for a promo. First I didn’t take too much notice because I expected the usual meaningless stuff. She talked about being Divas champ for 295 days and that she’d proved it that there wasn’t any competition for her. And this was the moment when Paige from NXT made her debut appearance for WWE. She’s from Norwich (which is spelled Nor-itch, not Nor-witch) and tweeted recently that she would be up for a match versus AJ. Now she came out to congratulate AJ on her win over basically all other Divas. But AJ made fun of her and even challenged her for a match with the title on the line. And then, a few minutes later, Paige indeed won it against AJ for being the next Divas champion. What a brilliant move to make this division all of a sudden meaningful and interesting again. Hopefully this leads to a Paige vs. AJ Lee feud with some longer matches like at NXT to make people care again about the Divas Division.

And if people thought that this was great it was just about to start being great. Because Hulk Hogan came out to officially present Cesaro with his Andre-the-Giant Royal Battle trophy. Zeb Colter was with Cesaro and after Hogan was gone Cesaro wanted to address the audience. But Colter took the microphone from him because as a real American himself he felt the need to talk for his client. He even called Cesaro a “Zeb Colter Guy” and this was the moment when Cesaro had enough. He took the microphone back and announced that he wasn’t a “Zeb Colter Guy” but a “Paul Heyman Guy”. He delivered his line perfectly and it really came as a big pleasant surprise. Paul Heyman himself a couple of days ago had announced that he’d signed a new client. But that it would be Cesaro I couldn’t even think about in my wildest dreams. It’s another stroke of genius and I am really looking forward to this partnership. Just listen to the reaction of the crowd and you know that I’m not the only one expecting epic moments from and with these two:

It really was like Christmas and Easter were happening together on the same day of the year. Cesaro’s now former partner Jack Swagger was kind of jealous, destroyed Cesaro’s trophy and then the two of them had a match against each other just for Swagger to flee it in the end and Cesaro won via count out.

Then RAW officially was almost over. There weren’t just two or three minutes left for the full three hours of airing. We headed backstage to a promo with Kane, Stephanie and The Shield to talk about plans for the upcoming championship re-match. Stephanie wanted everyone around the ring to make sure that her beloved husband Triple H would win the now Daniel Bryan belt collection. Kane and The Shield should bury their feud to jump back on the same page again. Like everyone might have felt: that wasn’t about to happen.

For the actual match Daniel Bryan came out first but wasn’t followed by Triple H. Instead The Authority’s new blood hounds, Randy Orton and Batista, came out and they beat up Daniel Bryan. Then Kane came out in a suit, gave Orton and Batista order to leave the ring only for himself to choke slam DB. And this finally was the moment when Triple H felt secure enough to be able to win over Daniel Bryan who now just laid on the ring floor. The referee first thought it wasn’t fair to start the “match” but Triple H forced him to ring the bell. And finally The Shield went out. First they had a stand-off with Batista, Orton, and Kane – both teams on opposing sides outside the ring. And Triple H tried his best for them not to attack each other. But The Shield made their way inside the ring anyway. Then Orton, Batista, and Kane also made their way inside and a brawl broke loose when Reigns speared Triple H. The crowd then basically begged for a Triple Powerbomb on Triple H but instead it was Daniel Bryan with a high knee who got rid of Triple H in the end. Kane then saved Triple H from further punishment while The Shield ended up with being with Daniel Bryan inside the ring to big Yes! chants.

That was the end of RAW but not the end of the story. Because at Backstagepass we got the after glow with a promo inside the ring with The Shield:

The hints are that we now get a feud between The Shield and The Authority, most likely Randy Orton, Batista, and Triple H. Triple H calls it a war. But my attention was slightly lead to another hint: at WrestleMania The Shield was announced as “The team of Dean Ambrose, joined by Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns”. DA recently went back for the leading role in The Shield’s promos. I think that doesn’t mean DA now plays the leader of The Shield again. It just means that The Shield indeed won’t break up very soon. The WWE just finally noticed that Roman Reigns isn’t ready yet to make his way on his own. It would be a nice idea to make Orton, Batista, and Triple H now go for DA’s U.S. Championship title just for him to retain it in three singles matches to finally become the longest reigning WWE champion ever. I’d really enjoy that.

PS. Once again I’ve read somewhere that Dean Ambrose could be the next CM Punk. But he is not. Because he simply is the one and only Dean Ambrose.

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