Cena’s calendar is out of date +++ Reigns has never stolen from Randy Orton +++ What are you doing for one hour hiding in a birthday present? +++ The most stupid angle in WWE history +++ Cesaro is a real competitor again +++ Super Cena is standing in Brock Lesnar’s living-room +++ Heath Slater wins again +++ Kevin Nash is still alive
Cena’s calendar is out of date
Here we go for the last RAW review before the next PPV that is SummerSlam. It’s really strange how fast time flies by when you cover every single WWE show, Dean Ambrose is involved. The PPVs seem to come faster than before the time I did write about them. Why I’m telling you this? Because it was SummerSlam 2013 when I actively started watching wrestling again. And it was this match between Brock Lesnar vs CM Punk that kept me watching it. Despite everyone in WWE ignoring this match right now, this was the one: it was intense, it was interesting, it was mind-blowing. Lesnar vs Super Cena won’t top this match, as much as WWE hypes it right now and will praise it after it happened. Lesnar vs CM Punk will always be that match that made this very blog, that was just one random private one, basically into a wrestling blog. I only started writing about the shows later on in November when I felt slightly comfortable with all the characters but with watching wrestling again, SummerSlam this year makes my first anniversary. Leave your congratulations down there in the commentary section!
Right from the start of this episode of RAW, several red and yellow birthday presents filled the ramp because as the main event somehow, Hulk Hogan’s birthday was celebrated. One huge red present was already there, that huge that one human being could easily hide within it. That will be important later on.
But the show was kicked off by Paul Heyman and his client Brrrock Lesnarrr. It’s always funny to me when Paul Heyman tries to sell a supposed loss of Super Cena as something bad. Somehow, I can sense some sarcasm in his voice when he tells us something like that. And since Paul Heyman is neither deaf, nor dumb he exactly knows how his words and intonation is understood by the audience. So, him mocking Cena with some rap by Heyman himself, that included these lines of gold:
“You say, your time is now;
Brock says, your calendar is out of date.”
made me chuckle at once and bow in awe at the other time. Heyman also knew that he could only create some heat against his client with mentioning some well beloved characters of WWE history who already had some encounter with the Beast Incarnate. So, Heyman came up with the whole armada of The Undertaker, Dwaaayyyne Johnson, and Hulk Hogan to make sure that not too many people will cheer for Brock Lesnar. It didn’t work for me. But that’s not Paul Heyman’s fault. He was brilliant. I just don’t like Cena (the character!) and I desperately hope, that Brock Lesnar’s new shirt tells us the truth. Would be interesting to see what happens when Seth Rollins cashes his contract in against Brock Lesnar. I really want to see that!
Reigns has never stolen from Randy Orton
With the next segment, you almost got me, WWE, because this 2-on-1 handicap match between Roman Reigns and Rybaxel was surprisingly good (despite the very slow start of it). Reigns at last showed some facial expressions that actually fitted the very moment and Curtis Axel especially did his best to make an annoying mocking character. The match itself was quite entertaining and with almost ten minutes that says something about the improvement of Reigns. BUT: I still don’t like his ever winning character. It’s annoying really that he, of course, finished off Curtis Axel and Ryback and this looked quite easy. A spear to Axel got him the win and afterwards he was interviewed inside the ring to basically tell everybody that he just has no single fault or Achilles’ heel: he had never stolen from Randy Orton, so the beating he got was unjustified. But at SummerSlam he’ll take everything from Orton – and he will, because that is basically one meaningless match without any title on the line.
A little backstage segment was up next with Randy Orton mocking Kane about his failure to finish off Reigns and hang up his mask again afterwards. As an answer, Kane put Orton into a match against Sheamus later that night but says it’s for some kind of training reasons, and The Authority, of course, always knows what’s best for business.
What are you doing for one hour hiding in a birthday present?
The next match was Rob Van Dam vs Seth Rollins. So, finally RVD got the opportunity to indeed have his match against Rollins that was cancelled a week ago, so Heath Slater could get the win over Rollins. The match lasted for a decent seven and a half minutes and because both men aren’t shy about high-flying action, it was a decent match. And without distraction by Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins got the win here with his Curb Stomp.
You always know that something still is about to happen when cameras are on someone with no particular reason. So, here the cameras were on Seth Rollins when he very slowly made his way back to the ramp. When he arrived the birthday presents, he all of a sudden went suspicious for the huge red one. He watched it intensely, even tried to move it, then changed direction to have a look from another angle. But after a few moments, when nothing have happened, he told himself that his behaviour was ridiculous and started to continue his way backstage. And this was the sign for Dean Ambrose to come out of this big red present. Probably everyone was wondering if he had hidden himself for a whole hour inside of it. Like the pictures suggest, the present was open at the back, so Dean Ambrose could have made his way inside of it just some minutes before. But, to make sure that it’s also a surprise to the audience, Dean Ambrose indeed could have made waiting there for actually one whole hour. If I had the opportunity to interview him, this would be my first question: “What did you do the whole hour inside this Hulk Hogan present?”
Of course, after Dean Ambrose had freed himself from the present, he went straight after Seth Rollins, beat him right to the ring just to push him outside of it over the top rope again. Seth Rollins then was just this much faster over the barricades to flee through the audience. Dean Ambrose instead, made his way back inside the ring to cut a short promo. It’s always interesting to see the state that Dean Ambrose is in when he doesn’t have a match on the very show. It always looks like he’s extra pissed and hyped and pushed and anything boiling over in the short segment that he is given. So, adrenaline had to come out in these few minutes and you could sense it during this short promo. I can’t wait for the match at SummerSlam, that’s for sure! Or maybe he was just dissatisfied with the fact that his pre-show interview was cut off:
EDIT: Yes, the full pre-show interview was indeed found and put on the fabulous Dean-Ambrose-appeciation-site. And because I have transcribed every single Dean Ambrose promo since he went solo, I’m adding it here (just keep in mind that this promo took place before the other short one):
“I’m an old school guy. I’m an honest man. But I’m sure not an innocent man. And something about a ring surrounded by lumberjacks that have no love lost for Seth Rollins or me, lumberjacks that will make us pay for our sins together, something about that I really like. There’s something so ugly and nasty and beautiful about two animals in nature being forced to rip each other apart. But that’s SummerSlam. Before we get there, last week I’d a little fun at the expense of Seth Rollins’ briefcase and maybe I took it a little too far. He got really mad. He took that really, really, really to heart. So, tonight I promise to make it up to Seth Rollins. It’s important to have respect for your opponents on the field of battle. And tonight, I make amends.”
Side note: seems like Dean Ambrose went back to his affair Barbed Wire Belt, leaving his girlfriend Earring at home. Plus: he continues his promotion work for the WWE Network that he started on Superstars last week.
The most stupid angle in WWE history
The show continued with a promo inside the ring with Stephanie McMahon and one supposed physio therapist named Megan Miller. I refuse to talk about it in length because this is probably the less believable angle, some creative minds backstage have ever created. I mean, would you really believe, Daniel Bryan is the type of a cheater? I could probably imagine almost everyone out of the WWE roster being that way but no way Daniel Bryan. So, this Megan Miller was clearly bribed by Stephanie McMahon, so Brie Bella would come out, slap this Megan, so the woman could file a case and finally bring Brie Bella to jail, at least for a few hours. This whole segment made me feel very uncomfortable. Not enjoyable at all.
Cesaro is a real competitor again
Thankfully, the next match was a good one of just over nine minutes, so I could almost forget about this previous embarrassing and painful to watch promo. There were just two points that I didn’t like about Jack Swagger vs Cesaro: 1) Cesaro was already inside the ring, so we didn’t get to hear his entrance theme (maybe because of the new arrangement with the European ambulance siren?), and 2) Cesaro again had to loose against his former tag team partner. At least, he wasn’t made a weak victim like last week; actually the match was quite even and Cesaro only tapped out to Swagger’s Patriot Log. So, I was okay with that.
After the match, Zeb Colter had to talk about being in “Deportlandia”. I don’t get it how this gimmick is able to work for heel and face. You probably need to be US-American for that. Thankfully, Lana and Rusev interrupted him at some point.
Super Cena is standing in Brock Lesnar’s living-room
The next segment happened to be backstage as a private meeting between Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho. It was actually taped before, i.e. not live aired. Michael Cole was there to announce what was about to happen but then was sent away by Bray Wyatt. For almost the whole time, Bray Wyatt talked about Jericho couldn’t save himself (from what?) and he, Bray Wyatt, would have the key to the universe. Maybe, Stardust should meet Bray Wyatt very soon, because he’s still in search for it. Actually, I would really looking forward to any conversation between Stardust and Bray Wyatt! At the end, Chris Jericho told his opponent that at SummerSlam he would be the first wrestler who will silence Bray Wyatt. Hopefully, Y2J, hopefully!
Then, AJ Lee had another match against Eva Marie, when Paige interrupted the scene and skipped her way around the ring. Because of the distraction, AJ Lee lost this match after just over one minute. And that consequently means that Eva Marie did win a match against AJ Lee. I think, this recent push for Eva Marie is some kind of punishment for the WWE / NXT universe that booed Eva Marie recently. The happy winner then blew kisses into the crowd but moments later she was seeing holding her neck in pain (?), so AJ Lee knew where she should hit her? I was quite a bit confused about this finish.
Then, we had to stand a promo of just over eight minutes by Super Cena inside the ring. He called out Brock Lesnar because he was standing in his living-room – twice. I was glad when it was over.
Heath Slater wins again
Some kind of a streak created Heath Slater with winning against Dolph Ziggler up next. Sure, that happened due to distraction by Mizzz who was on commentary, Ziggler beat him up, almost up to the ramp when he finally didn’t make it in time back inside the ring. But a win is still a win. Later one, during the ongoing birthday party for Hulk Hogan, Heath Slater got the opportunity for another fun moment with Titus O’Neil. So, that’s some kind of a push, right? Despite the Zig-Zag he had to eat from Ziggler when Slater refused to shake Ziggler’s hand after the match.
Kevin Nash is still alive
The last match of the evening was the already mentioned one between Randy Orton and Sheamus. But despite lasting for almost thirteen minutes, I can’t remember much of it except for a lot of Orton posing. Nothing memorable here for me. Orton did win, of course.
And then, there was the last segment: the birthday party for Hulk Hogan. Mean Gene (Okerlund) introduced him and after watching a tribute video about the birthday Hulkster, very soon he was joined by other old rivals of his past: The Old Woo Girl Ric Flair (except for his wooing – what was he there for?), Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff, Rowdy Roddy Piper (always a joy seeing him appearing like some impressed little kid) plus Kevin Nash & Scott Hall from the old New World Order. Scott Hall then told Hogan that he would look sweet in his yellow & red shirt but that he would look better in the black nWo shirt. So, Hogan ripped his red shirt to present the black nWo tank already being there on his body. Kevin Nash then started singing the Happy Birthday when Brock Lesnar’s theme hit the roof for him to come out together with Paul Heyman. Lot of staring and slight shoving followed when finally Super Cena saved the evening.
But in the post-show the birthday party continued with a whole lot of confetti. I’m still not sure what exactly Michael Cole and JBL were laughing at that hard. Maybe you’ll get an idea while watching it:
PS. Just notice Dean Ambrose standing next to Cesaro, permanently moving like always.