It’s a crazy game / tell me who’s to blame, I’m kind of curious +++ I ain’t a betting man +++ I’ll just stand here quietly complaining +++ Speak my language +++ It’s love, brother love +++ Stamp your ticket, John +++ Here’s my gun for a barrel of fun +++ You have somebody else I think we imitate +++ I have missed you, Johnny, great to know you by my side
Before I really start to talk about this episode of RAW, here is something special for you to enjoy reading even more: inspired by some referencing song lyrics into his promos, I’ve decided to do the same like Dean Ambrose. So, within this review there is a soundtrack hidden. Two songs you already got through Dean Ambrose’s promos but there are a couple of others hidden in the following text. When you are finished reading you should have a list put on together with some titles. You can find the soundtrack right at the end of this review. But don’t cheat, alright? Fine! Now enjoy reading.
It’s a crazy game / tell me who’s to blame, I’m kind of curious
We kicked off RAW in an always good way: with a promo by Dean Ambrose inside the ring. What he had to say, you can re-read under Ambrose Promo no.1 in the caption above. He talked in length about his still growing ambition to get Seth Rollins at and inside Hell In A Cell when he was interrupted by John Cena once again. He thought that Dean Ambrose needed some veteran advice and I always gnashing my teeth when someone calls Dean Ambrose a rookie or try to make us believe that he only wrestles since he came to FCW. I mean, if you call someone a rookie who already does something for twelve years – okay. But then we’ve got two definitions for the term ‘rookie’ here. Anyway, it was good that Dean Ambrose was allowed to give an appropriate answer to this. Somehow, this was the starting gun for John Cena to pour praise over Dean Ambrose again. I think, he also means that in real life but storyline-wise he maybe tried to make Dean Ambrose weak like the man takes the praise really to heart and lose focus over his main target. So, in the end John Cena told Dean Ambrose that he should stop acting crazy and use the two remaining weeks for training for his most important match of his life.
I ain’t a betting man
Both guys and the whole WWE Universe obviously still believed that their match was about to happen at Hell In A Cell. And also The Authority only came out now to laugh about the great chemistry between John Cena and Dean Ambrose. To prove a point and to have more fun with some betting on both guys, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon made up a triple threat tag team match between Dean Ambrose & John Cena, The Usos and Goldust & Stardust. And this match happened to be the first match of the evening.
I’ve read in some tweet that Dean Ambrose and John Cena had better teamwork in this match than both brother teams. And this somehow was the truth. After their verbal encounter this looked quite illogical in any sense. But you can also say that Cena’s pep talk to Dean Ambrose worked for these almost fourteen minutes. At the end of the match they even hit their respective finishers, the Attitude Adjustment and Dirty Deeds 2.0, at the same time on Goldust and Stardust. Cena was the legal man, so he got the pin and the win for his team with this move. As you could already see, there was also some flying action during that match. But all in all it was just a mediocre match without any story telling in it. Because Cena and Dean Ambrose just worked together so well. A bit of tension between these two would have been more believable. There was also a period in the match when The Usos and Goldust & Stardust only had this match between each other. Certainly this was done on purpose to not overuse Cena and Dean Ambrose this night since they still had another match to fight.
Because after the tag team match The Authority came out again. It turned out that Stephanie won the bet between her and her husband. Their ‘usual bet’ was for one dollar – PG version of betting apparently. But still, Triple H was a bit angry about the loss and guessed that both Cena and Dean Ambrose might have lacked motivation to tear each other apart. Consequently, Triple H couldn’t wait to see both men going after each other once again and he announced that their match for Seth Rollins’ head would be the main event this night.
For the showdown itself, this match-up obviously isn’t best for business. Because to weaken Seth Rollins’ opponent, it would have been the best to indeed let this match happen at the beginning of Hell In The Cell. So, Triple H yelling at both men that they would tear each other apart tonight for the match against Seth Rollins is a strange saying. Because after tonight the one guy who gets Seth Rollins has two weeks to recover unless there are some beat-ups to the winner by The Authority until Hell In A Cell actually takes place. But in favour of Triple H I say that he was slightly out of his mind because he was just so fed up with Cena and Dean Ambrose winning in quite impressive fashion.
I’ll just stand here quietly complaining
With the next segment the feud between AJ Lee and Paige continued. And I’m really sorry because I like Paige but I couldn’t care less anymore with this storyline until something different happens. I mean, we will get just another match between AJ Lee and Paige for the Divas title at Hell In A Cell and we got another unrealistic AJ Lee dominance tonight. This time her tag team partner was Layla and right before the match AJ Lee had told her that she was the one who she would like the least from the Divas roster. Consequently, Layla dumped her during the match when AJ Lee actually wanted to tag. But after not even two minutes, AJ Lee won anyway by pinning Alicia Fox. During the match, AJ Lee also chased the two heads taller Paige around the ring while Paige had to act like she was afraid of AJ Lee. And after the win, AJ Lee went after Layla to beat her down as well. What comes next? An 11-on-1 handicap match, AJ Lee beats down all eleven divas plus all men from the roster who came out to help plus the commentary team plus every man and woman of the WWE Universe inside and outside the arena? Hey, what about this: AJ Lee beats Vladimir Putin in riding, ice swimming and chopping wood to become president of Russia. Then she will marry Rusev and starts a feud with Lana. I could go on but, really, this is some stupid feud already. Don’t make it worse but finish it, please!
Backstage we then met up with Triple H and Stephanie. Randy Orton strolled by to complain about Seth Rollins stealing his spotlight at Hell In A Cell. He still wasn’t part of the Pay-Per-View, so he suggested getting ‘the other guy’ who doesn’t get the contract for the main event in two weeks. Side note here: WWE avoided the term ‘loser’ for the actual loser of the match between Cena and Dean Ambrose, so they could sell ‘the other match’ as a main event, too. I guess, Randy Orton was complaining for real and there are rumours that he wants a part time contract after ‘Hell In A Cell’ that guaranties him several main events. He’s probably fed up that he isn’t one of the top guys any more. Now, Triple H and Stephanie thought this was a fabulous idea, so they granted Randy Orton’s wish. But Triple H only did so because ‘competition’ within The Authority can only be good for his own power.
Speak my language
The last word by Triple H, Randy Orton didn’t hear any more because he was already on his way to the arena for his match against Dolph Ziggler. Cesaro was on commentary and was greeted by JBL with “Wie geht’s meinem Freund?” (“How is my friend today?”). For some reason I like Cesaro on commentary. He could be a bit more confident with his voice and he’s too funny for a heel unfortunately. He tried to threaten Dolph Ziggler a bit but I really can’t take Cesaro seriously with it. I also find him very funny even when he verbally threatens his opponents. The match itself was quite good, mostly because of Randy Orton. His RKO out of nowhere to finish the match after just over 17 minutes made it to the social media after the show with Gifs of this very RKO in random everyday scenes, e.g. Randy Orton saves a child on a playground that was just fallen from a climber. Very funny.
It’s love, brother love
Almost at half-time, Seth Rollins went to the ring to watch his older brother. Randy Orton was a little distracted but still won the match. But then Seth Rollins came inside the ring to mock Randy Orton with curb stomping Dolph Ziggler.
But somehow Seth Rollins was out there for a reason because his match against Jack Swagger was up next. It also lasted for quite a long time, i.e. just over 16 and a half minutes. Seth Rollins was mocking his opponent for most of the time and his high flying in-ring action was cut very short. Also here, at around half-time into the match, Randy Orton came out to watch his younger brother. He talked to him; there were even ‘Let’s go, Orton!’ chants. Still, Seth Rollins survived a Swagger-Bomb, a Patriot Lock and finally could get the win via counter. Not a very strong win that hopefully points towards a clear Dean Ambrose win at Hell In A Cell. To demonstrate how to really win a match, Randy Orton hit Jack Swagger with a RKO. And a little stand-off between Seth Rollins and Randy Orton closed this segment. A face-turn of Randy Orton, maybe at Hell In A Cell, is inevitable.
Stamp your ticket, John
Up next was a backstage interview with Dean Ambrose. He was asked what to expect from him. And since he never knows himself, Dean Ambrose told her what everyone shouldn’t expect. You can re-read this promo under Ambrose Promo no.2 at the usual place right at the start of this review. And like I already told you, this was a highly inspiring speech, since he included two song references into it. Did you get all the songs I have added so far in here?
Here’s my gun for a barrel of fun
We got another backstage interview with Tom Phillips and Big Show who told us that he will finally beat Rusev today. And this match was up next. But first we got another promo by Lana who actually told us the truth about Christopher Columbus. But still the WWE Universe booed her, of course.
At the start of the match it really looked like the Big Show could gain something that night. But the match went longer and longer and at some point Rusev got the upper hand with a great dropkick to the head of Big Show. From there on everything went down the stream for the big man. So, his friend Mark Henry came out to distract Rusev when he had Big Show already locked in his Accolade. The first time, Rusev let go of Big Show to hit Mark Henry off the ring. But when Rusev had Big Show again in the Accolade, Mark Henry made his way inside the ring to hit Rusev for a disqualification. So, Rusev won again and Big Show was angry with his friend for a little moment. They still got the upper hand over Rusev on ringside when Rusev went for Mark Henry and Big Show hit him hard on his chin. But really, the world’s largest athlete and the world’s strongest man couldn’t beat Rusev? When you now send The Great Khali after him, I’ll probably die laughing from pain.
You have somebody else I think we imitate
Backstage Sheamus explained that there is only one thing worse than The Miz: two Mizes. And at one point I think he said: two Mizeses or he meant Misses. I’m not sure. But the next match was between Sheamus and The Miz with Damien Sandow on ringside, of course. I’m really sorry that I can’t say much about the actual match that lasted for just over five minutes. But Damien Sandow imitating almost everything The Miz did was a huge distraction. It’s like the guys of The Wrestling Compadres Slamcast (link at the end of this review) suggested: WWE need to do a pic in pic screen view for Miz / Sandow matches, so you don’t need to do all these cuts. Or they should just show Sandow alone. The almost usual ‘We want Sandow’ also suggest that the man is doing his job right. The finish of the match was also perfect: The Miz and Damien Sandow wanted to hide under the ring. Sheamus got one back to notice that is was the wrong guy. So, he hit Damien Sandow with a Brogue Kick. The Miz in the meantime was crawling to the other side and made it back inside the ring for the win. Because the referee had just reached ten for the count-out. Sheamus was left baffled a bit but he was still smiling because, yeah, he’s Irish and he can see the bright side in every evil thing that’s thrown at him.
We then got a bit of Divas bitching backstage that lead to a 6 divas tag team match between Cameron & Summer Rae & Nikki Bella vs Natalya & Naomi & Brie Bella. There was a special guest called NeNe Leakes. I have no idea who she is and I don’t want to know. So, I haven’t searched for her. She was at ringside with Rosa Mendes and tried to act like she would care. This lasted for three and a half minutes, Brie Bella got the win over Nikki Bella and that was it. How exciting.
I have missed you, Johnny, great to know you by my side
Backstage, Dean Ambrose got even more praising from John Cena when Cena was interviewed. Cena called Dean Ambrose ‘the brightest young star of the WWE’ and he will now face the man that runs the place. No, we’re still talking about John Cena, not Vince McMahon or Triple H.
The main event, i.e. the ‘No holds barred contract on a pole’ match was up next. We got a very long entrance sequence of just over seven minutes when Triple H and Stephanie came out first to take their seats on ringside. Then John Cena and Dean Ambrose came out for the match. And finally Seth Rollins, Randy Orton and Kane came out to watch from ringside to have some fun.
Now, the match itself only lasted for six and a half minutes. It was very clearly cut short and it lacked real excitement. The main criticism was about Dean Ambrose having several chances to grab the contract. But he decided to go after Cena instead. Michael Cole on commentary insisted that this happened because Dean Ambrose was crazy and unstable and you always should expect the unexpected from him. So, because it was a ‘No holds barred’ match, both guys needed to go onto the ramp to justify that a count-out wasn’t possible. And at some point, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton and Kane needed to get involved to justify that disqualification wasn’t possible. At least we got the only possible outcome of this match: Dean Ambrose standing on the rope, grabbing the contract, mocking John Cena with his ‘You can’t see me’ gesture and finally taking off the contract. This episode of RAW closed with a stare down between Randy Orton and John Cena and most of all Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.
Now it’s time to tell you about the soundtrack I referred to in this review. It’s ten songs and I’ve tried to put them all together in “Spotify”. But I only got nine. The link is hidden under the following caption. And you can find a sample of the missing song under the specific link right in the list. Enjoy listening!
- Supertramp, “Crazy”
- American Aquarium, “Betting Man”
- Wakefield, “Quietly Complaining“
- Laurie Anderson, “Speak My Language”
- Neil Diamond, “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show”
- David Allan Coe, “The Ride”
- AC/DC, “Highway To Hell”
- Iron Maiden, “2 Minutes To Midnight”
- No Use For A Name, “Stunt Double”
- Paddy Goes To Holyhead, “Johnny Went To The War”
And I’ve got another gimmick to add: “The Wrestling Compadres Slamcast, ep. 39” brings to you an almost 18 minutes long phone interview with Dean Ambrose. It starts at 1:14:28h but I recommend to listen to the whole piece. It’s real fun and there are some interesting thoughts innit as well.