Monday Night Raw begins with a video package from Money in the Bank, showing John Cena pulling down the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The Authority comes out when the video is over and Stephanie says that this feels like a homecoming since she was born in Hartford. This elicits some boos and a random CM Punk chant.
They both say that they saw history last night when Seth Rollins won the Money in the Bank contract. Also, John Cena, an A+ player, became a 15 time WWE Champion, which is historic. If my math is right, he’s just one title reign away from tying Ric Flair’s record.
John Cena comes down with both belts hanging off his neck like a doof. The Authority is in the ring applauding him. Cena tries to get the crowd in his favor by telling Daniel Bryan that he’s giving him a title shot when he gets back, and he starts a “Yes” chant.
Stephanie announces that John Cena will be the cover boy for the new WWE 2K15 video game. A mock cover rolls down from the rafters. John Cena says that this isn’t right, and The Authority is being way too nice, because when MITB ended Triple H and Randy Orton looked concerned. Stephanie says that she was worried about Randy Orton’s health, especially after he had to get stitches to cover a huge gash in his head.
Triple H then goes into the worst homeboy impression I’ve seen since Will Smith tried to impress that one snooty rich girl on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and he got dissed big time. Triple H drops the act and says that Cena needs to show some respect because “all of this can easily go away.” And that he either needs to do things the hard way or the easy way. Cena chooses the hard way. Triple H announces that John Cena will defend his title at Battleground in a Fatal Fourway match. He says that two of the guys in the Fatal Fourway Cena will face tonight, Randy Orton and the Demon Kane. Also, Cena will have a partner, a partner that he will also face in the Fatal Fourway, Roman Reigns. My first thought is why is The Authority doing any favors for Roman Reigns? I thought they hated him. Seriously, they tried to keep him out of Money in the Bank Championship.
Triple H calls out to John Cena as he walks off. He says that if Cena survives the Fatal Fourway, there is always a plan B. Seth Rollins suddenly comes out holding his briefcase. He jumps in the ring where The Authority hold up his arms in victory. Michael Cole says that Seth Rollins is in action next.
After commercial, Rob Van Dam is halfway down the aisle. Finally, he slips in the ring where Rollins is holding his gold briefcase. An RVD chant begins as the two men lockup. Then the chant changes to ECW, which is okay since it’s a WWE property. When they do it in TNA it’s a no, no. Just to note, Rollins is dressed like an X-Men member again. During the match Van Dam puts Rollins in a unique leg lock, and Seth has to shimmy his body to the ropes. I haven’t seen Van Dam try to submit someone since maybe 1998.
After a Golden Chick commercial, we come back to see Rollins has the upper hand over Van Dizzle. Rollins does an amazing leg take down then puts Van Dam in a half crab. Lots of submission moves as of late, wow! Van Dam builds momentum with a storm of quick kicks, which he punctuates with a little Rolling Thunder. Cole says that both competitors are off by a step from being in the MITB match last night. Okay, I’ll buy it. Cole also says that Rollins should have an asterisk by his name after last night’s win, since Kane helped him out.
Van Dam goes up high for a Five Star Frog Splash, but Rollins rolls out the ring. Van Dam turns it around and splashes Rollins on the outside. The ref count gets up to 8 before both men get back in the ring. Somehow Rollins gets Van Dam twisted up in the ropes after attacking him on the apron. Rollins capitalizes on that maneuver and delivers his finisher the Curb Stomp, getting the 1-2-3 in the process.
Renee Young tries to interview Seth Rollins in the ring. He says that if she is going to interview him she needs to introduce him properly. “That’s Mr. Money in the Bank, toots!” He says the briefcase is his golden ticket, and that he gets a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, anytime, anywhere. Ambrose appears on the Titantron and addresses Seth Rollins. He says that this isn’t over between the two and that every time he thinks about even cashing in that contract he’ll be there, and he’ll haunt him. And that the briefcase doesn’t have a contract in it, it has TNT, and that it is going to blow up in his face. Michael Cole says that all of Ambrose’s threats have come true thus far.
We come back to Rusev and Lana coming down to the ring. Lana says that Rusev’s last opponent was a complete failure, but that’s okay because America is accustomed to failure, and it is woven in their culture. She mocks the USA chants and tells the crowd to shut up. “You teach your children it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about participating. You lie to your children!” Then we see another Vladimir Putin image. “Who will be America’s next failure?” Lana asks. Just then I expected Hacksaw Jim Duggan to come out. Rusev begins to speak, and the crowd gives him non-stop “WHAT” chants.
Just then, Jack Swagger, the Real American, or whatever he is called this week, comes down. Possible face turn for Thwaggy and Uncle Zeb. Zeb says that he is tired of Rusev coming out week after week and slamming our country, and to shut the hell up. Zeb says that Lana can do that because we have freedom of speech. He calls Lana and Rusev “Boris and Natasha.” And that Zeb could not do that in their country, because his country could not do that. Zeb says that Swagger can beat Rusev, then leads the Hartford crowd in a rousing “We, the People.” A “Let’s go Swagger” chant begins, which is the first time that has happened in the history of ever.
The crowd suddenly gets jacked when Swagger and Rusev collide, and Rusev gets tossed out of the ring. For the first time ever, Rusev retreats. I really, really loved this segment. Good job, WWE, for making me cheer for racist ol’ Uncle Zeb. Wait, did I just type that? As a lifelong wrestling fan, I just had one of those rare mark out moments. It was very reminiscent of Lex Luger owning Yokozuna on the U.S.S. Intrepid on the fourth of July 1993, and also when Luger knocked Yoko out with his “loaded” forearm at Summer Slam 93.
The Usos and Sheamus come down after the commercial break. They are going to tag team against the Wyatt Family, which simply bores me to tears. Didn’t we see this last night? Why is this happening? Apparently you don’t need to see the PPV’s, because they have the rematches the night after. Also, the sea of lit cell phones makes me sick. The Wyatts are supposed to be bad guys! You don’t cheer bad guys!
So, match, match, match. High spot, high spot, high spot. I’m letting my fingers rest during this match. Have I told you how much I dislike Sheamus? He’s awful. He’s becoming another default go-to champion, just like John Cena and Randy Orton.
Talking about Sheamus is a much better use of my time instead of writing about this match. So, Sheamus, one of Triple H’s first pet projects, was okay at one point. Then 2012 happened, and the feud that would not end, Sheamus vs Del Rio was in full swing. Seriously, I think they wrestled each other five pay-per-views in a row. When Randy Orton and Christian had their long summer series it was at least entertaining and we got some good matches out of it. Sheamus vs Del Rio was Vince McMahon and creative telling us that they had nothing else for either man. Another thing, Sheamus’ actions when he is a good guy are downright villainous. For example, that time he stole Del Rio’s car and trashed it. That’s not something a good guy would do. Okay, the match is finally over after Harper gave Uso number whatever a killer clothesline that nearly took his head off, then got the pinfall. Great match!
Nikki Bella is interviewed backstage. Nikki says that she didn’t think it was a mistake to bring her sister along to MITB. Stephanie then interrupts and says that she and Brie have a match against the Dis-Funkadactyls tonight, then she catches herself making the mistake of thinking Brie still worked for WWE. She then makes the match a handicap match, and it’s next!
A limo is shown backstage. Michael Cole says that it’s a former champion making his return, a cross-media superstar! If it isn’t David Arquette I am going to be very disappointed. I’m just saying.
Bo Dallas comes out and asks the crowd to join him in 60 seconds of silence for two superstars who are not able to compete because of injury, Daniel Bryan and #BNB. He then gets down and Tebows for 60 seconds. “I think he bo-zed off,” King says. “I was the voice of inspiration last night for Daniel Bryan. I was also the bigger man.” Bo says. Then we see a video package from last night’s MITB pre-show. After the video Bo says “Don’t stop… Bo-Lieving!”
Nikki Bella comes out for her match. The Funkadactyls do the same. The bell rings and we are underway. Cameron starts off against Nikki. Michael Cole says that Cameron would now like to be known as “Bomb Dot Com.” Naomi tags her self in and nails Nikki with a side kick to the head before getting in. Naomi plants Nikki Bella to the ring with a nice devastating move and gets the victory. After the match Cameron gets in Naomi’s face and the two shove each other. Cameron walks away alone and I guess that’s the end of The Funkadactyls. So sad.
The commentary team announces that the Intercontinental Championship is now vacant since Wade Barrett cannot compete because of injury. And at Battleground there will be a battle royal for the title.
Paul Heyman comes to the stage. He says that he is the 1 in 21 and 1. He earned the distinction when his client Brock Lesnar conquered Undertaker’s streak at Wrestlemania. He says that his other client, Cesaro, is the next Intercontinental Champion, since he won the over the top battle royal, thus making him the number one seed in the Battleground battle royal.
Cesaro comes out for his match against a limping Kofi Kingston. It’s a pretty good match as the two competitors are a couple of amazing talents. Cesaro tries to ground Kofi with a series of locks and blows to the body. There is a weak “We want Ziggler” chant in the crowd. Cesaro can give some vicious body slams, by the way. He then calls for one of his patented swings. But instead of giving the crowd what they want, he stomps the crap out of Kingston. King explains that Cesaro knew the crowd wanted it, so he said he didn’t want to please any of them. Kingston gets a near fall at one point. Before the commercial a CM Punk chant begins.
During the commercial break Kofi Kingston defeated Cesaro. I didn’t care to use the app so I completely missed it. Cesaro attacks Kingston after the match, and he begins to toss him around the outside area. Kingston gets some licks in, but ultimately, Cesaro’s brutality gets the better of the Jamaican from Ghana. Cesaro tosses Kingston into the crowd and then drags him by the hair back into the ringside area. All this while Heyman sits in one of the announce chairs enjoying the violence.
I’m not even gonna acknowledge the Twisted Tea spot with Adam Rose and Santino.
Damien Sandow comes down as Vince McMahon. He welcomes everyone to Monday Night Raw in Vinny Mac fashion. He does his impression and enters himself in the Battleground battle royal for the Intercontinental Championship. He then fires the crowd, Vince McMahon style.
Stephanie McMahon then appears on the Titantron and admonishes Sandow for his impression of her father. She puts him in a match against the Great Khali. Again, what did Sandow do to deserve this harsh treatment? The match is quick as Khali chops Sandow and pins him. Khali is a relatively young man and he is given the Hulk hogan treatment of having 3 second squash matches, not because he’s great, but because he figuratively has the body of an 80 year old man.
The mystery former champion comes out. He is… The Miz. Two weeks ago I prayed to the wrestling gods not to bring back The Miz. I said I’d do anything, even if it meant having to sit through 80 hours of old Continental Wrestling Federation tapes, and every episode of Wrestling Society X featuring Matt Classic and El Hombre Blanco Enmascarado. Miz comes out and babbles for several minutes. Apparently WWE is trying to catch lightning in a bottle for a second time, as The Miz is ripping off The Rock when he came back as Hollywood Rock in 2002. This is awful! Miz doesn’t have any of The Rock’s charisma and isn’t nearly as likable. The reason The Rock worked is because people were captivated by him and wanted to see him perform. That was awesome. This is not.
This is awful. We need someone to save us.
Someone. Save us.
Save us… Y2J!
Yes, Chris Jericho is back! I’d just like to point out that Chris Jericho looks more and more like Chef Gordon Ramsey the older he gets. The Miz chides Y2J for depriving these people of his greatness. Before he can go any further, Y2J gives him a Codebreaker out of nowhere, and the crowd erupts. He says he has been waiting a long time to say the words “Welcome to Raw is…” He is then interrupted by the notorious Wyatt Family in the ring. “Business is about to pick up,” as Jim Ross would say. The Wyatts assault Jericho and make short work of him. For the first time in a long time the crowd actually boos the Wyatt Family. This is great!
Fandango is in the ring, and we see a recap of last night’s match that left Summer Rae heartbroken. His opponent is the amazing Dolph Ziggler, the man who should be carrying the Money in the Bank briefcase but isn’t. There are some “Let’s go Ziggler” chants during the match, and Ziggler is really taking it to Fandango. Summer Rae suddenly walks into the ring during the match and lays a wet one on Dolph Ziggler, much to the dismay of Fandango. To make matters worse for Fandangler, Dolph smooches Summer back. This leads to a wicked Zig Zag by Ziggler, and he gets the 1, 2, 3. Leyla is not amused. Summer and Dolph give each other that longing loving look as she backs her way up the ramp. This is great. But all I know is that this had better not wind up being a weird love-pentagon like the AJ Lee scandal from 2012.
Next we see a Dust Brothers vs Rybaxel rematch. This is unnecessary. Stardust pins someone and we’re moving on, please.
Paige comes down to the ring. She says she’s a woman of a few words and her actions speak for her. She says there are people out there that think she shouldn’t be champion and that she should go back down to NXT. She says that she deserves to be in WWE and that she has proven that she is there to stay.
Just then, AJ Lee surprises everyone when her music hits. She skips down the aisle and into the ring. The stupid CM Punk chants begin. AJ says that Paige is right, and that she proved her wrong by doing what no woman in a year could do. She said she should have been nicer and shouldn’t have been the evil person she was. She said Paige gave her the slap she needed, and that she is going to return the favor, and she congratulates her. Paige said she isn’t stupid, and that AJ is doing the same thing to her that she did when she beat her. The CM Punk chants start again. Ugh.
AJ says that she thinks the WWE Universe should decide whether or not Paige should give AJ her rematch tonight. Paige finally gives in after saying she won’t.
A ref gets into the ring and the match begins. The two women get in some vicious blows on each other. Paige is weirded out that the crowd is chanting for AJ. Paige taunts AJ and says this is her house now. AJ slaps her, then uses the shock to roll Paige up for the victory. Once again, your WWE Divas Champion is AJ Lee.
This is awful. Immediately, AJ goes back to the laughing, cackling witch that she was. Perhaps they’ll let this be a lesson in humility for Paige. Who knows? While I am a fan of AJ, her holding the title for as long as she did really was a snooze that didn’t get interesting until the last two months because that’s when everyone was trying to knock her off. I really liked Paige as champion. Yes, she was really young, and at times her inexperience really showed, but she had some spunk in her, and she looked like a champion. AJ looks like a 12 year old girl. While both ladies can wrestler, AJ held that belt for a very long time and did nothing with it. Paige’s title run brought life to the championship.
This could all be for naught if this is just a set up to give the championship to Naomi, who clearly deserves it.
Triple H is sitting ringside for the main event.
For awhile I forgot what the match was going to be, since the same group of people have been regurgitated over and over for the last few months. It’s as if the creative team puts names and types of matches in a hat and just draws from there.
Okay, okay. The match is Orton and Kane vs Cena and Roman Reigns. Oh, look, someone in the crowd has a Linda McMahon campaign banner. After two commercial breaks, and one minute past the hour, the match begins to get hot and heavy. Orton stomps a crawling Reigns, stopping him in his tracks so he can’t tag Cena. He quick tags Kane who continues the punishment on Reigns. Kane tries to go for a Chokeslam, but Reigns powers out, giving him a Samoan drop before finally tagging in John Cena.
Cena comes in like a house of fire and whips on both men. He does the Five Moves of Doom, but Orton fights out of the AA and tags Kane. “Even Kane can’t see John Cena,” says King. Orton slides in and RKO’s Cena. Reigns answers with a Superman Punch on Kane. He and Orton fight all the way up the stage and into the back.
Back in the ringside area, Kane tosses Cena into the ring steps. He hits Cena with the ring steps and the referee calls the match. Triple H tells Kane to finish it, and Kane tosses Cena in the ring, calling for the Tombstone. He delivers his brother’s sick finisher, knocking John Cena out. Triple H then continues to direct him as the crowd chants “One more time!” However, the doctors intervene, checking up on Cena as Triple H jumps into the ring and feigns concern for John. He then motions to the back, and here comes Seth Rollins with his briefcase and a referee.
He hands the case to the referee, and Mr. John Cone eventually relents after a few moments. Just as the match is about to be announced, Dean Ambrose comes out and goes to work on his former tag team partner, as they fight all the way into the back of the crowd, and go out into the concession stand. All while Triple H calls John Cone an idiot and has Kane grab a chair. Before he can continue his assault, Roman Reigns returns and spears the hell out of Kane.
That’s when we get a stare down between Reigns and Triple H as the crowd bursts out with a “Yes” chant. Triple H, holding the gold briefcase and standing on the apron, points to Reigns and words are exchanged. The crowd now chants “This is awesome!” Triple H steps down off the apron, staring down Reigns, and we fade to black. Excellent show.
I have nothing bad to say about this episode, except for Adam Rose, but that’s already a given. The returns were surprising to me, especially since I don’t read any of the dirtsheets. Jack Swagger and Uncle Zeb’s turn was imminent, as the crowd has been really into him as of late, and the guy has a really cool T-shirt for sale in the ShopZone. The possible Summer Rae and Dolph Ziggler pairing could work if done right. But where does this leave poor Leyla? This Raw was a shining example of how to handle a post-PPV show. Also, they did some great storytelling near the end and left us wanting more. The cool thing about this is something that not many people think about, Seth Rollins, a former ROH guy, and Dean Ambrose, a former CZW guy, were involved in the main event of Monday Night Raw, along with their former Shield partner Roman Reigns. I find that to be truly awesome.