Tonight we get the follow up to Extreme Rules, which I thought was an average show. Rumors are swirling that we will get to see a new “Paul Heyman Guy” tonight. If CM Punk and Brock Lesnar are staying off TV for a bit, it makes sense to utilize Paul Heyman by putting him with a presumably younger talent. My guess is Antonio Cesaro.
Ryback: Facts of Life Fan
RAW started with Ryback making an entrance via ambulance. Ryback stood on top of the ambulance and said there was no winner last night. And while John Cena walked away with the WWE Championship, he didn’t walk away, he was carried away. They showed footage of Cena refusing medical attention last night. Ryback said the next time they meet, Cena won’t refuse. Ryback said he didn’t give a damn about what people thought anymore. He proposed an Ambulance Match against John Cena at Payback. Ryback then began to rip on the crowd, calling them fat and weak and that they would skip an ambulance and go straight to the morgue. He called them pathetic for worshipping John Cena. Ryback said he would take John Cena to the morgue at Payback, and there is only one fact of life, “Ryback Rules.”
Segment Analysis: That seemed like a forced promo from Ryback. It was his attempt at getting some cheap heat. It worked a little bit but I just didn’t buy it overall. We now know we get another month of Ryback/John Cena. And once again, at least the WWE was smart and booked it as another gimmick match. Survey Says: 2.5/5
Character Regression 101
Tag Match: Wade Barrett and Fandango vs Miz and Chris Jericho. Barrett and Jericho started. Jericho ran into a Barrett elbow then tagged in Fandango. Fandango landed some punches then threw Jericho into the corner. Jericho then ran into a Fandango boot, then tagged in Barrett who didn’t like it. Back from break, Miz fought out of a Barrett headlock. He went for a Figure Four, when suddenly Fandango took the mic and started dancing to his music with Summer Rae. Everyone was distracted, mostly Fandango’s partner Wade Barrett. Jericho came in and went to work on Barrett. He hit the Lionsault then the Codebreaker. Jericho tagged in Miz who applied the Figure Four for the win while Fandango and Summer Rae continued to dance.
After the match Jericho and Miz surrounded Fandango and Summer Rae. Fandango bailed through the crowd as Jericho did a twirl with Summer Rae. He went for a kiss but put his hand in the way and walked off. Summer Rae was upset.
Match Analysis: That was just bad. If you want to get heat on Fandango and make us care about him, don’t turn him into a joke like you did with that segment. You can keep the goofiness to him if you want, but give him a serious edge too. Kind of like they showed last week. This was a step back for Fandango. And the match was just average. Survey Says: 2/5
Vickie Guerrero came out and said we could vote for Jack Swagger’s opponent on the WWE App: Great Khali, R-Truth or Randy Orton.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan said he felt naked without the Tag Titles. Kane pointed out that he was wearing pants and boots. Kane said they will get a rematch, and that they can’t show weakness. Daniel Bryan thought Kane implied he was the weak link of the group. They started arguing until Kofi Kingston calmed them down. They will face The Shield in a 6 man tag later.
Titus O’Neil vs Sheamus. Sheamus took O’Neil down with a shoulder tackle. O’Neil came back with a headlock and shoulder tackle of his own. Sheamus reversed Titus then threw him over the ropes. Sheamus caught him getting back up and hit his rope punches. On the outside, Sheamus tossed Darren Young into the barricade, but Titus took him out with a clothesline. O’Neil worked over Sheamus in the ring. Sheamus fought out of an armbar with some headbutts. Sheamus started his comeback with some axe handles then a high running knee. Sheamus dropped Titus on the apron, but Darren Young grabbed the leg of Sheamus to stop his shoulder tackle. Sheamus moved out of the way of a running O’Neil, then hit White Noise. Sheamus then hit the Brogue Kick for the win.
Match Analysis: It would have been nice to see an upset there, but it appears that they are building Sheamus back up to a World Title run. Too bad there is nobody for him to face until Ziggler is done with Del Rio. Titus did look good in the limited time he was in the ring. Survey Says: 2/5
BURIALS AT 9 PM SHARP!
Paul Heyman came out. He told the audience to boo him all they want. He said they won’t change the fact that last night, a true Paul Heyman guy in Brock Lesnar beat Triple H at Extreme Rules. History doesn’t record boos, it records wins and losses. Heyman said HHH had to tuck his sledgehammer between his legs and go home to his mommy. Heyman said that with Lesnar fulfilling his duties to the WWE, he decided to give the WWE audience something new. Something where history was made. Heyman said to start recording on the DVR. He introduced the newest Paul Heyman guy, Curtis Axel (formerly Michael McGillicutty). Heyman said that he told his client that he would get this reaction, just like he did when he introduced Brock Lesnar and CM Punk to the WWE audience. Heyman went on to talk about Axel’s heritage with his father Mr. Perfect and grandfather Larry the Ax.
Triple H came out. HHH told Axel that the grown ups were talking. He said he wasn’t embarrassed by his loss. He said they went to war and Lesnar was injured just like he was. HHH said that he was thinking about beating the crap out of Paul Heyman just because he could. Axel said that if HHH wanted to talk to Heyman, he should talk to him first. HHH slapped Axel to the ground, then said he was going to fight him later. And when he’s done, he is going to kick Heyman’s ass.
Segment Analysis: That was about as big a swerve as you could picture. Left for dead, Curtis Axel is brought back with Paul Heyman. I’m willing to give it a chance. Axel isn’t a great promo, but that can be changed by working with Heyman. If HHH doesn’t put Axel over later, then it is just a waste. I’m sure there are a lot of people disappointed. I still would have picked Cesaro. Survey Says: 2.5/5
No Instant Replay Now?
Alberto del Rio vs Big E Langston. Del Rio applied the armbreaker early but Big E got to the ropes. He still had it locked in as they went outside the ring, but Big E threw Del Rio into the ringspot. Big E dominated in the ring until Del Rio started his comeback. He hit a kick to the head that got a two. Big E ate an enziguri kick from Del Rio. A.J. then grabbed Ricardo’s bucket and threw it across the ring. It distracted the ref. Big E poked Del Rio in the eye, then hit his finisher for the win.
Match Analysis: Short match. But it was nice to see Big E pick up the win. Survey Says: 2/5
A.J. defeated Layla with the Black Widow.
Cody Rhodes made quick work of Zack Ryder. After the match, Ryback came out and hit the Meathook Clotesline, Powerbomb then Shell Shocked on Ryder. He then threw him in the back of the ambulance.
Why Does This Match Have To End?
The Shield came out for their match. Dean Ambrose said The Shield has brought power back to the Titles. Ambrose listed eveyone they have taken out again. Reigns said the hounds of justice run this yard, and they carry the collars that run this yard.
After commercial the match started. Kofi slapped Ambrose then applied an armbar. Bryan came in and hit some kicks. Rollins came in and Bryan took it to him too with more kicks. Kane hit his sitdown dropkick. Kofi came back in and applied an armbar. Rollins fought out with an elbow then a clothesline, but Kofi leaped out of the way of Rollins and ate a flying elbow. Rollins backed Kofi into the corner and tagged in Reigns. Reigns hit some kicks then applied a chinlock. The Shield took their turns working over Kofi. Rollins hit a nice faceplant into the turnbuckle. After Rollins taunted Kofi, he was able to make the hot tag to Bryan who went to work on Rollins. He hit a flying clothesline then some kicks. Rollins crotched Bryan on the apron and he tagged in Ambrose. Bryan knocked Ambrose off the apron and hit a missile dropkick. He applied the No Lock but Ambrose got to the ropes. Bryan knocked the rest of The Shield off the apron as the faces stood in the ring into commercial.
Back from break Kofi hit some punches in the corner, then Bryan came in and hit a dropkick in the corner on Ambrose. Rollins caught Bryan with a kick on the apron then came into the ring. He threw Bryan into the corner powerbomb style nad got a two. Reigns hit a clothesline then applied a headlock. Reigns caught Bryan with a knee for two. Ambrose came in and taunted Bryan, but Bryan caught him with a kick to the head. Reigns came in, but Bryan pushed him away and made the hot tag to Kane. Kane hit a sideslam but Ambrose broke up the pin. Kofi took him out. Bryan and Kofi hit suicide dives to the outside. Kane hit Reigns with a boot, but Ambrose and Rollins took out Kofi and Bryan on the outside. Kane caught Ambrose with an uppercut off the top. With the ref distracted, Rollins hit his flying knee off the top. Reigns hit the Spear on Kane for the win.
Match Analysis: If you are looking for the highlight of RAW, this will probably end up being it. Just a fantastic match. Everyone involved was great. The Shield continues to look strong as a group and are the highlight of RAW each week. I’m sure the match will continue to play into the break up of Team Hell No. Great wrestling. Survey Says: 4/5
Kaitlyn and Natalya tried to see if Cody Rhodes was Kaitlyn’s secret admirer, but he wasn’t.
Wait A Minute. More Good Wrestling? What Is This?
The audience chose Randy Orton as Jack Swagger’s opponent. Swagger applied a wrist lock but Orton got out and hit a dropkick. Swagger rolled to the outside and Orton hit a backdrop on the barricade. Orton hit a clothesline before throwing Swagger back into the ring. Orton hit a suplex for two. Swagger caught Orton with a chop block then a shoulder tackle. Orton fought back in the corner then hit a Lou Thesz press. Swagger bounced back and went to work on the knee. Orton ducked a charging Swagger and he went flying to the outside. Orton went for the DDT off the apron but Swagger shoved Orton into the barricade then into the apron. Swagger went back to work on the leg. Orton caught a charging Swagger with a kick. He went to the turnbuckle, but Swagger shoved him off.
Back from commercial Swagger continued to work over the leg. Swagger charged at Orton in the corner but Orton moved and Swagger went right into the ringpost. Orton hit a superplex for two. Orton hit some uppercuts but Swagger caught him on one and hit a belly-to-belly. Swagger went for a Swagger Bomb but Orton caught him with a kick to the gut. Orton went into ORTON MODE, but Swagger got out of the DDT again with a front slam. Orton escaped an ankle lock attempt and hit the backbreaker/neckbreaker comob for two. He finally hit the middle rope DDT. Swagger ducked an RKO attempt and applied the Patriot Lock. Orton got out of it with a kick to the head of Swagger. Orton then caught Swagger with the RKO for the win.
Match Analysis: Two good matches in a row? What is this? And Randy Orton was involved in it? Orton and Sheamus seem to be in the same spot right now. They both finished off their feuds at Extreme Rules, but neither man has anything to do right now. Swagger appears to be out of the World Title picture after taking another loss. If I had to guess, Orton and Sheamus face off in a #1 Contenders Match at Payback. Of course, with the Chicago crowd, they could get the same treatment they got the last time they wrestled. But a solid match. Survey Says: 3.5/5
Sorry HHH, But HBK Sold It Better
Main event time. Hunter caught Axel with a clothesline then tossed Axel to the outside. Hunter chased Axel away. Axel caught Hunter coming back into the ring with some kicks and punches. Hunter recovered and hit some of his own. Axel caught Hunter with a dropkick. Axel hit some elbows then an elbow off the top for two. Hunter got out of a headlock by backing Axel into the corner. Hunter hit the knee to the face then a spinebuster. Hunter threw Axel to the outside. The announcers sold that there was something wrong with HHH as he sold the effects on his head. HHH clotheslined Axel. Hunter sat down and asked for water. Hunter got up but he stumbled. He tried getting up again but he fell to the ground as doctors and WWE officials tended to him as the show went off the air.
Segment Analysis: Well, that was different. I’m assuming HHH was selling some kind of concussion from last night. What was the point of even putting Axel in that match if it was going to end with him as a complete after thought? My guess is this keeps HHH off of TV for a while, leading to either a retirement or heaven forbid, Lesnar/HHH 4. I don’t think that’s possible, but I just don’t know what this leads to down the line. Survey Says: 2/5
I thought this RAW was a mixed bag. The first two hours didn’t have anything special. Fandango regressed as a character overall, and Wade Barrett took another loss. Ryback’s opening promo was okay, but it seemed a bit forced. I’m still surprised the WWE decided to go with Curtis Axel as Paul Heyman’s new guy. He’s been an afterthought his whole WWE career and now they want us to believe he is the next big star in the WWE? Like I said, I’m wiling to give it a chance but they have some work to do, especially after how RAW ended with the focus on HHH and not Axel. The highlight of the show was the two matches in the second hour. The Shield continues to impress, and Orton looked good in the ring against Swagger. I’m giving the show a 5.
Until Next Time,
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Tags: Brock Lesnar, extreme rules, john cena, Paul Heyman, Raw, ryback, The Shield, triple h, WWE