Bray Wyatt opens and finishes RAW with singing the new WWE anthemn +++ Paul Heyman drops just another CM Punk reminiscence +++ Cesaro doesn’t want to shake hands whiter than his own +++ The fastest competitor of the Beat the Clock Challenge for an Intercontinental title match against Wade Barrett at Payback was actually the oldest +++ Layla und Summer Rae set the stakes for a mud fight on Payback – winner gets Fandango (if he wants or not) +++ Stephanie McMahon is about to award the Daniel Bryan title collection to Triple H +++ The Union Jacks a.k.a. 3MB can’t do anything against the Bulgarian brute Rusev who is (probably) paid by Vladimir Putin +++ Super Cena and The Usos doing a fun segment that wasn’t funny +++ Focusing on the actual match isn’t possible when Dean Ambrose is on commentary +++ Alicia Fox is able to act even more disgusting +++ Zeb Colter still can’t stand Adam Rose and his Exotic Express +++ JBL doesn’t like bunnies.
A few days before RAW happened in London The Shield had a little interview with MTV. And this wasn’t just fun in terms of what they had to say but also the way they put the information across. First Seth Rollins and Super Reigns were allowed to have a few sentences. But every time Dean Ambrose starts speaking he will do so until he thinks he’s finished. And that can take ages. Not that I mind, of course. That basically was a nice little teaser for RAW and what we could expect. Only with tiny shifts in meaning and presentation.
As for the show itself RAW was composed around Bray Wyatt singing with the London audience: it started with them singing “He’s got the whole world in his hands; and it ended that way. I just don’t know any more: as for the start of RAW I was quite bored because: it just happened again. Bray Wyatt singing; Bray Wyatt cutting a lengthy promo of him arguing about his past teacher who couldn’t see his potential; Super Cena had to come out to hit his Attitude Adjustment on Bray Wyatt. The only thing I liked here was the reaction of the London crowd. Normally chants towards Cena are: Let’s go Cena; Cena sucks. Here it was more like CENA SUCKS.
I really can understand that WWE desperately wants to keep Super Cena as face because he basically is the face of the company. He’s the one who does most of their promotion, charity appearances etc. So, he has to portray an allo over good character. It’s quite a dilemma really, the WWE is facing here. So, like I have already written in my report for last week’s RAW WWE rather tries to manipulate the masses with clips of Cena doing charity and today with sending out The Usos with him to cut short the booing. As for me it’s more likely that people will turn even more on him.
Like I said before I was quite bored with the same Bray Wyatt procedure as always recently at the start of RAW. But at least the finish offered something new and refreshing to the whole story: The main event was all about the match Super Cena vs. Luke Harper. And first of all they had one decent match of almost ten minutes before Erick Rowan caused disqualification with his interference on Cena. What probably has been slightly ambarrassing for the in-ring competitors was the Adam-Rose music humming by the crowd at several occasions during that match. I’d also read in the spoilers (because RAW happened to be in London it was taped for airing at “normal” RAW time in the U.S.) that there were “deafening” CM Punk chants, especially during the Stephanie McMahon promo inside the ring. Very much possible that these chants were filtered out because in the telly version I’ve heard almost nothing of said Punk chants. As for the end of the whole show, Super Cena had to eat Bray Wyatt’s Sister Abigail twice (please, don’t take that literally!); the second one up on the ramp and while Bray Wyatt was singing again, Luke Harper mocked Cena with counting to ten as a teaser for Payback.
Up next was Paul Heyman with his client Cesaro for just another hilarious promo. The audience was brilliant and reacted to every single word on Heyman. Up to the point when Heyman lay down on the back. For a second I thought he would do snow angels like CM Punk once did to do just another reminiscence to his good but still absent friend. Instead he just lay still and asked the audience who he might me. And of course he was acting like The Undertaker at Wrestlemania who was conquered by his other client, Brrrock Lesnarrr. That might be always the same information like this singing by Bray Wyatt. But Paul Heyman makes it interesting and entertaining. Every. Single. Time.
For the actual match against Cesaro, Sheamus came out to many boos. Given that he’s Irish being on a show in London, that wasn’t very surprising. But it’s stupid anyway. The match itself was a decent one, too: nine minutes and Cesaro did win in the end after distraction by Heyman on Sheamus. After the match Sheamus wanted to shake hands with Cesaro – yeah, always the polite Irishman with no hard feelings; this gimmick is that one-dimensional that it hurts – but Cesaro refused to accept. This will probably go on until Cesaro gets a title shot for the United States championship. Maybe that was the plan from the very beginning: to hand over Cesaro the belt, but given that him and Dean Ambrose are such good friends in real life the title was first handed to Sheamus. I know, WWE is just about characters and not the real guys behind these characters. It would be a nice touch anyway. Cesaro also wasn’t involved in any multi-men beat-up on The Shield in recent weeks. And I don’t think that was just an accident.
Then we got the first match of the Beat the Clock Challenge for the opportunity to get the Intercontinental Championship belt from Wade Barrett on Payback. I’ll summarize all three matches already; but in the show these were split from each other:
- Big E vs Ryback — 5:02mins.
I really can’t remember. The only thing important about this match was that all the hype about Big E is basically gone. Or is this just my impression? He did win this match but it was pretty sure that he wouldn’t be the opponent for Wade Barrett.
- Alberto Del Rio vs RVD — 4:17mins.
It had to be RVD, right? Just because Wade Barrett teased it for several shows now with his BNB mocking on the RVD signature gesture. So, the third match basically was irrelevant. But it was made thrilling anyway.
- Mark Henry vs Dolph Ziggler — (4:18mins).
Like I said: it was thrilling. At least at the very end when seconds ticked down, Ziggler had Henry covered but the ref could only count to one. Then the time was up and neither, Ziggler nor Henry, won or lost that match.
Finally the winner of this challenge, RVD, came out to present himself. And now it was the time for Wade Barrett to actually appear and greet RVD with his Bull Hammer. Of course, he also had some bad news for RVD and the American people on the telly. Referring to Greenwich Mean Time, he closed with:
Now, Rob, you may have set the time tonight but it is in fact the English who set the time for the entire world.
Plus, he is quite confident that he isn’t going to lose to “a bloody yank”. And to the music of Rule Britannia he strutted off the apron. Hilarious little segment!
On the next segment I am not at all proud of actually seen that coming: Layla and Summer Rae fighting over Fandango. Every additional word on that will be wasted.
Then there was Stephanie McMahon inside the ring to speak about Daniel Bryan again. Because of his surgery last week she was about to announce that he is to be stripped of his championships. She then thought about awarding these belts to Kane, Wade Barrett, Batista, and finally her husband Triple H. A new champ without a match? Yes, could only be awarded to a heel character. But Daniel Bryan wasn’t stripped off his belts in his absence but has to abandon them himself on coming RAW. Another Occupy RAW in the making? And like I’ve written before: if there really were CM Punk chants during that segment, it was really CM Punk and him walking off WWE who basically killed the Yes! Movement. Haven’t heard any Yes! chants that evening. Could be because it aired from London. Could also be the case that the WWE Universe already have enough of Daniel Bryan being in such a weak position as a champ.
Then there was supposed to be a match of 3MB a.k.a. The Union Jacks, I think. But they only came out; Heath Slater started speaking when he was interrupted by Lana; her talking about Vladimir Putin once again; Rusev came out, took out McIntyre and Mahal; Rusev made it into the ring together with Heath Slater and during the brawl the bell rang at some point to start the “match”. Rusev needed not even one minute to make Slater tap out.
Just as you might have already seen above: the next segment was a backstage promo by The Shield on The Evolution to mostly promote their match at Payback but also the second coming of Seth Rollins vs. Batista after a short (and not at all funny) segment. Dean Ambrose here already was in very good mood; maybe because he was excited being on commentary again after last December being the latest time he was allowed to do that.
So, DA once again didn’t get Batista. And since The Shield weren’t on the Main Event / Smackdown tapings, he still has to wait until coming Monday for the last episode of RAW before Payback. I somehow doubt that DA will get Batista then. Just because WWE know that this match would basically steal the show.
As for SR vs. Batista tonight I still have to watch it. Without volume. Because I’ve indeed already “seen” the video trice or so but couldn’t concentrate on the very match because of DA on commentary. He basically talked for the whole time of the match, i.e. almost eleven minutes (including the commercial break) with JBL, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler only at very few occasions able to threw in one or two words. Super Reigns also was supposed to be on commentary, and he indeed said a few words. But it tells you much about his spontaneity and creativity that DA even had to promote Reigns’ “nine stitches” just above his right eye that he needed to close a cut he’d suffered from Randy Orton just days before. Reigns might be decent in remembering a backstage or ringside promo but he isn’t creative and knowingly enough to do commentary. He just reacts to questions while DA talks on and on … and on and you never have the imagination that he would be ever short of subjects to talk about. If he’s in it with speaking; he’s in it. I can very much comprehend that.
As for the actual matters he talked about: I can’t speak about that here because this article would get another 2,000 words or so. Just watch the video above and enjoy. And then watch it again without volume to watch the actual match. I’m sure it was quite good. Until Triple H once again caused disqualification and a little brawl of around three minutes broke free. I should add that initially the rest of The Shield and Evolution were banned from ringside; and only match officials were allowed. So, first Triple H appeared to be the special ring announcer. And he brought with him Randy Orton as the special time keeper. And just before the match started SR announced that DA and Super Reigns would join the fun as the special commentators. If there are rules against you, you only have to stretch the rules to your advantage!
At the end Super Reigns hit a spear on Batista. But the latter could be saved by Orton from the Triple Powerbomb. So, basically that was just another win for The Shield over Evolution. If they win on Payback that needs to end with a Triple Powerbomb on Triple H inside the ring. Anything else would be a disappointment.
The only divas match was up next: Alicia Fox vs Paige in a non-title match. Within almost four minutes Alicia Fox won it. And if that wouldn’t be enough to disgust the audience, she even mocked the crowd, stole a soft drink and spilled it all over the first rows. I’m very glad I wasn’t there. Plus: she took Jerry Lawler’s crown to pretend that she was the Queen.
The last segment before the main event took place was an interview with Adam Rose inside the ring. Certainly the Exotic Express was present as well. It didn’t take much time for Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger to interrupt the party. Colter told Adam Rose his usual stuff but then too off his jacket in desperate need to finally sort it out with Rose. But Swagger attacked Rose before, there was a little brawl, the Exotic Express was attacked by Swagger but Rose saved them in the end. That wasn’t as funny as I’d have expected to be. But at least, JBL got me laughing again with his arguing about bunnies.