[This fabulous Gif set was brought to your attention by pathfindertifa] || Another good RAW episode already went by in front of my eyes because of work issues I only had the chance now to see it. But it was definitely worth the wait (for the best part of it) and I somehow got the idea that WWE might have taken one or the other glance on the internet to see what the fans really want.
So, we got some kind of a creepy start with a Super Cena promo inside a steel cage ring. He even promoted the WWE app and that already 11M users have downloaded them. The rest was all about whining about these fans having voted him into this 3-on-1 handicap match against the whole Wyatt family on last RAW. Then he moaned a bit about the fans not following him but believing the manipulative Bray Wyatt. Around this time Cena was hit by the usual Wyatt interruption cut but when the lights went on again there was a very unusual scenario: a choir of children standing on the ramp, singing “He’s got the whole world in his hands”. Given that little children are Cena’s target audience that was some magnificent little piece of genius. The icing of the top just was when the lights went out again, then went on and these children now surrounded the steel cage with camel… erm… lamp masks on their faces. And Bray Wyatt was sitting in his rocking chair, laughing at Cena like a lunatic, with one child besides him.
Later on the interviewer backstage needed two attempts to get some words out of Super Cena and after that I’m not entirely sure what will happen with him from now on: 1) whether he turns heel (and the WWE finally reacts to the fact that there are now more “Cena sucks” chants than “Cena rules” chants) or 2) he turns crazy – I still won’t care for him. Just one thing: the “crazy heel” gimmick is still reserved for Dean Ambrose when The Shield will finally split … perhaps in 25 years or so…
First match of the night was for the Tag Team Championship between The Usos and Rybaxel. I was quite surprised that this match lasted for almost twelve minutes. But in the end there wasn’t any surprise at all: The Usos retained their belts. Even less surprising given the fact that Rybaxel together with Alberto Del Rio were in a fatal four way match for Dean Ambrose’s United States Championship belt at the following SmackDown (that was taped yesterday).
We then got a little backstage promo when Paul Heyman promised Cesaro that he would take all his clients to the top. And the next match – if I should call it that way – was supposed to be Sheamus vs. Titus O’Neil. The latter attacked Sheamus already on the ramp, beat him up all the way inside the ring just to force the referee to ring the bell, i.e. start the match. The beat up continued just until Sheamus somehow got a Brogue Kick right into O’Neil’s kisser and that basically was the match. Finished after 37 seconds.
On the next segment I didn’t had great expectations: Dolph Ziggler together with Hugh Jackman inside the ring to promote the new Wolverine movie. But I’d already seen pictures from Damien Sandow in a very poor Magneto costume. So I was afraid it could have been even worse. But it was not. I just laughed all the time about Damien Sandow. The guy is too funny with his SILENCE! screams and non-impressed expressions. He usually looks very smart but in this costume smartness vs. foolishness were a poisoned mixture. Hilarious! Sure, the finish with the magnetism that didn’t work was a bit lame. But again: this “Behold the power of gravity” phrase got me laughing again.
Also the next segment was a hilarious one: Paul Heyman doing a promo for Cesaro from the ramp. He wasn’t satisfied with the hate he got, stating that all in all he was quite a nice and fun loving guy. And that resulted in him telling a joke:
Paul Heyman: “Knock, knock.”
Audience: “Who’s there?”
Paul Heyman: “Mike.”
Audience: “Mike, who?”
Paul Heyman: “My c… lient Brock Lesnar conquered the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania.”
And after a lot of boos he finally promised not to mention the streak again. Then Cesaro came out to have a very short match with Jack Swagger. He won it after a slight distraction caused by Paul Heyman on Zeb Colter on ringside. This bridging fallaway slam (I think that’s what it’s called) quite certainly had some remarks to the bridging hold Dean Ambrose some weeks ago did on Erick Rowan (and also back on FCW on Seth Rollins). It’s so obvious that these two train together when they have the time.
Another short match between Alberto Del Rio and Cody Rhodes went by (with Goldust on ringside just to see his brother losing again). And then we first had a little backstage glance on Heyman / Cesaro conspiring with us being unable to understand any of their words. And later on Colter / Swagger did the same thing after Colter failed to get RVD into his boat against Cesaro.
Between this we had another short “match” between Alexandr Rusev and Xavier Woods with R-Truth on ringside. Just when Rusev was about to win R-Truth caused DQ with an attack on Rusev and a little brawl broke free to hype their 2-on-1 handicap match at Extreme Rules. I very hope that it will last for at least five minutes or so.
Then Los Matadores w/ El Torito vs. Drew McIntyre & Heath Slater (of 3MB) w/ Hornswoggle was all about hyping the match of the two little men against each other at Extreme Rules. Today Slater won it for 3MB but after El Torito basically cleared the ring, the bullfighters stood tall inside the ring. All that lasted for around three minutes.
The next segment lasted for a while longer because Stephanie McMahon came out inside the ring with her ambition to apologize for Kane’s attack on Daniel Bryan. The man together with Brie Bella finally came out, but repeated a few times that he’d still think that these apologizes by Steph were crap. As some kind of a gift for peace Brie Bella got a title match for the Divas Championship belt and that was up next. Paige and Brie Bella showed a few good moves with Paige once again was the more impressive one with her great selling and getting mad at times. She has got a strong voice that is indeed heard, unlike these squeaks by Brie Bella. But it just took two minutes for Kane’s entrance music to be heard. The arena fell into red light and after some moments Kane appeared through the ring mat and tried to get Brie Bella back down with him. He failed when DB attacked him. Then Kane went for Paige but she was able to flee as well.
At that point I was wondering if the name for this era, i.e. “Reality”, was the right way to call it. What about: “Hell Era” or “Fearsome Backlash Era” or “The Monsters Will All Come Back Era” or just “The Walking Dead Era”? Choose wisely next time.
Or maybe “The Swearing and Cursing Era” since Brie Bella at backstage called Steph a “bitch”, Cena wants to put a fist into Bray Wyatt’s “ass”… and you just get the imagination that Dean Ambrose and his Shield mates are the only ones with a decent choice of language. Given DA’s past this is really strange!
But finally we have reached my highlight once again: first Wade Barrett a.k.a. Bad News Barrett a.k.a. BNB a.k.a. The Evil Pink Floyd Teacher once again stood high up behind his pulpit to teach the audience that RVD was the THEN in the promotion of the WWE, when Barrett himself still had to wear diapers in the prime of RVD. And RVD would have to be forced wearing diapers again when Barrett would be finished with him. JBL always tells us that he “loves this guy” and I have to agree with him for once. I love his attitude. I love his evil fun. And I very much love his spiteful laugh. Seriously, WWE, bring Wade Barrett and Dean Ambrose together for a feud for the two championships when Barrett will have won the Intercontinental belt. And I’m sure he will. Anything else, i.e. the opposite, would be a shame!
Right after his promo the final between Wade Barrett and RVD for this spot against Big E at Extreme Rules started and it lasted for around eleven minutes. And even for the fact that I had to stand watching RVD it was a good match. Wade Barrett just interacts brilliantly with the audience. Plus he is entertaining during a match for every single second. At some point Cesaro and Swagger appeared to get their revenge on RVD. But first they went for each other. It was some distraction on RVD that Wade Barrett finally got the opportunity to hit his Bull Hammer on RVD to get the win.
Afterwards Cesaro did some “Ambrose stomps” on RVD – not quite as pacey as DA but the similarity was there again – but Swagger attacked Cesaro from behind. And at the end Swagger and RVD ended up getting some hands (and splashes) on Cesaro.
The main event of RAW was up next: first we had The Evolution standing inside the ring for a promo: Triple H basically praised The Shield for standing tall against eleven men on last SmackDown but then suggested that The Shield reminded him on themselves, i.e. The Evolution. It was only then when I recognized that Batista had grown a full beard recently and like to suggest some line for Dean Ambrose for him to use at any future promo if he feels like it:
“Batista has grown a beard recently to cover up his ugly face.”
Sunglasses on him were a must-have once again, of course. Only a cap was missing. But maybe that wouldn’t have been appropriate together with a suit. Then The Shield came out and we got a stand-up between the two factions inside the ring. But before something could have happened The Drunk Woo-Girl came out. And of course that was Ric Flair. I don’t really know if he was really drunk. Have heard he had some problems in the past that he probably tried to forget with some booze. But he indeed sounded heavily drunk. It’s just sad when I see something like this. And I can’t enjoy that kind of stuff. Because it’s also possible that he needed one or a few drinks before his promo inside the ring to be only able to do it because of nervousness or whatever.
So, since Ric Flair was one of the founders of The Evolution he told some praise and humble words but without actually mentioning “The Evolution”. And because of that he then could turn towards The Shield on the other side finally stating that he wasn’t talking about Evolution, but about The Shield. The very old turns on the old ones towards the young ones. How ironic.
The main event match however was between Randy Orton and Roman Reigns. First of all: the match lasted for exactly four minutes, when DA and SR attacked Triple H and Batista outside the ring. Inside the match went on for around fifty seconds until Reigns came out, too, and the referee decided to ring the bell to end the match for whatever reason. Now having seen these four minutes of Orton vs. Reigns I’ve finally given up that Reigns can still learn how to sell believable, how to tell matches, not to do this stupid arm pump without any reason, how to speed up a bit (also in thinking about his next moves). At some points I could almost see him thinking “what do I have to do next” or “please, Randy, help me”. Roman Reigns really is used best as the finishing enforcer; the one who wins the match in the end with one or two impressive moves. But he simply isn’t a match teller. And he won’t ever be a wrestler who can sell a decent 20-minute-match. If WWE have plans with him towards this direction: forget it. That won’t ever work. Just leave him together with Seth Rollins in a tag team. Seth hasn’t got the biggest aura around himself so he won’t take any off Reigns. Seth can tell and fight the longer distance of a match, get some beating, will do some great high flying action. And in the end Reigns can clear the match off. This would be both best used.
And for Christ’s sake: turn Dean Ambrose back heel and let him do his thing on his own. He is wasted in The Shield. He needs to be on his own, doing his own promos, doing his best in the ring without limits. Certainly there wasn’t any word on him now holding the longest United States Championship reign of WWE history, surpassing Montel Vontavious Porter exactly on Monday with 344 days then. In the all-time list for this title there are still Rick Rude with 419 days and Lex Luger with 523 days in front of him. And based just on days holding the title he’s currently on eighth position. I still haven’t watched SmackDown (although I know the results) but I hope that the announcers / commentators will there have lost some words on his record.
After the attack of DA and SR on Triple H and Batista, DA and SR had to suffer – with DA sliding over the announce table – Roman Reigns tried to help and after the match was abandoned also Randy Orton threw himself right into the mix. DA and Reigns then were thrown back inside the ring. But this time SR saved his mates from final beat-ups. And in the end The Shield stayed tall inside the ring while Triple H could narrowly escape from a Triple Powerbomb. I think that could actually happen at Extreme Rules.