Happy Memorial Day to all of you. Tonight on RAW we get the beginning of another Triple H retirement storyline. And John Cena will be back. But the biggest question of all: Who was driving Ryback’s ambulance last week? Hopefully tonight we find out.
Ryback is Satan?
After the usual Memorial Day video package, and our first recap of the night, John Cena came out. Cena came out and said there was a lot of unrest in the building. He said there was also controversy after Extreme Rules, since neither man could answer the referee’s ten count. That means both men have a right to the WWE Championship. And last week Ryback wanted to solve that dilemma with an Ambulance Match. Cena said that at Payback, it is going to be a Three Stages of Hell Match. The first stage is a Lumberjack Match, the second a Tables Match, and finally an ambulance match. Cena said after he wins the first two falls, the ambulance from the third stage would be used to drive Ryback out of the building.
Ryback came out. He said payback should be hell. He said at Extreme Rules, he put Cena through hell. Ryback said say hello to satan, say hello to Lucifer, say hello to Ryback.
As Ryback left, Paul Heyman came out. He introduced his newest client, Curtis Axel. Heyman said John Cena is a fighting Champion, and he wouldn’t back down from a challenge. He proposed a match with Curtis Axel. Cena told him to stay away from Paul Heyman, and he is full of more crap than the stables after the stampede. Axel said they didn’t ask for his opinion, they asked for a fight. Cena agreed to the fight.
Segment Analysis: I can see why they went with a Three Stages of Hell Match. Each guy gets some kind of fall during the match. I don’t know if these guys can go for over 20 minutes without them getting gassed, especially with no rest spots. They really are pushing Axel to the moon right away. But how will they really give him a clean win over John Cena? Sub-par opening segment. Survey Says: 2/5
Way To Overdue A Match In One Week
Alberto del Rio vs Big E in the rubber match. Del Rio hit a dropkick, knocking Big E back. Big E charged at Del Rio but he ducked, and Big E went over the rope to the outside. Del Rio hit a suicide dive to the outside. Big E recovered and dropped Del Rio on the steps. Big E hit some backbreakers on Del Rio. Big E charged at Del Rio in the corner but he Del Rio moved, and Big E went into the post. Del Rio hit a backstabber then a kick to the head. Big E blocked a cross armbreaker attempt and hit a belly-to-belly. A.J. took off the turnbuckle cover. Del Rio applied the crossarmbreaker but Big E powered out of it. Del Rio then threw Big E into the exposed turnbuckle and scored a roll up pin for the victory.
After the match A.J. screamed at Big E and he walked off.
Segment Analysis: Of course they over did one match in the span of a week. Nothing much to it. Looks like they are already planting the seeds to a Big E/Dolph split down the line. Del Rio is still treading water as a face. Survey Says: 2/5
Backstage, Daniel Bryan was once again freaking out over being the weak link of the team. Bret Hart came in and told him to calm down. Kane asked why he listened to Bret. Bryan said it was because it was Bret Hart, and he is just Kane.
United States Championship Rematch between Kofi Kingston and Dean Ambrose. Kofi landed some early kicks then a spinning heel kick. Kofi went for an early Trouble in Paradise but Ambrose ducked out of the ring. Back from break Ambrose had a headlock applied. Kofi escaped and catapulted Ambrose into the turnbuckle. Kofi started his comeback hitting a dropkick and a reverse crossbody off the top for two. Kofi hit the SOS that also only got a two count. Kofi hit a springboard clothesline. Ambrose rolled to the outside, then took Kofi’s feet out from under him and Kofi went face first into the steps. In the ring, Ambrose hit his finisher for the win.
Match Analysis: Another short match between these two. Wish they could get more time. About half of the match took place during commercial. Ambrose retains, and Kofi is probably back to mid-card purgatory for the time being. Survey Says: 2.5/5
Team Hell No came out and went after The Shield. Back from break the Tag Title match had started. Bryan landed some kicks on Rollins in the corner. Kane tagged in and told Bryan to calm down. Kane took out Rollins then tagged Bryan in again and he hit a dropkick. Bryan hit some more elbows. Kane came in and went for a chokeslam but Rollins countered and hit a kick to the back of the head. The Shield worked over Kane for a bit before Kane hit a suplex on Rollins. After more dominance by The Shield, Kane finally clotheslined Rollins then tagged in Bryan. Bryan dropkicked Reigns off the apron then hit a dropkick on Rollins, followed by some kicks. Rollins crotched Bryan on the apron, but Bryan countered again and dropkicked Rollins in the corner, then hit a backdrop off the top rope.
Back from break Bryan nailed some kicks on Reigns, but Reigns recovered with an uppercut. This time The Shield took turns working over Bryan. Rollins applied Bryan’s own surfboard submission he uses. Bryan missed a punch and Rollins countered by dropping Bryan’s face right into the turnbuckle. Bryan caught Reigns with a knee to the face and tagged in Kane as Reigns tagged Rollins. Kane hit a backdrop but Reigns broke up the count. Bryan hit a missile dropkick then took Reigns out on the outside. Kane hit a boot to the face. Bryan worked over Reigns on the outside. Kane tried getting Bryan to go back to the corner, but Bryan didn’t listen. Reigns caught Bryan and backdropped him on the ground. The distraction allowed Rollins to hit his knee off the top rope, giving The Shield the win.
Match Analysis: That was a very good tag match and it was nice to see it get some time. The Shield looks to have closed out these two rivalries tonight, but where they go from here will be a matter of discussion. Especially for Rollins and Reigns, since there aren’t too many tag teams to challenge them. But a solid match that looks to further the break up of Team Hell No. Survey Says: 4/5
Triple H Update: He has a concussion and didn’t travel to RAW. He will be there next week.
The crowd voted for Miz to be the special guest referee in the Wade Barrett/Fandango match. Fandango hit some chops after Barrett argued with Miz about not breaking a hold in the ropes. Barrett regained the upperhand with some knees to the face. Miz broke the hold in the ropes, then checked on Fandango, blocking Barrett from hitting an elbow. Barrett threw Miz out of the way, then got back up and hit a Skull Crushing Finale on Barrett. Fandango pinned Barrett for the win. After the match, Miz kicked Fandango in the face and did a mock pin of Summer Rae (who fell on top of Fandango) and raised her hand. Just seemed like a filler segment.
Backstage, Shawn Michaels tried to tell John Cena he shouldn’t rush back from his injury.
Tons of Funk and Great Khali defeated 3MB. Afterwards, Khali and Co. sang Happy Birthday to Natalya.
Poor Jericho, He Can’t Even Afford Furniture For The Highlight Reel
Chris Jericho came out for the Highlight Reel with Paul Heyman. Jericho asked Heyman about his reputation. Heyman said it was him who gave Jericho his first break. Jericho said Heyman still owes him money. Heyman said that is why he is waving his fee for being here tonight. Jericho said he didn’t want to talk about Curtis Axel. Heyman then thought it was about Brock Lesnar and went on about him. Jericho told Heyman to shut up then said he wanted to talk about CM Punk, who hasn’t been here in six weeks. Jericho showed Punk leaving from six weeks ago. Jericho said Heyman is wearing the same suit from then. Heyman went on about the suit, then Jericho wanted to know where CM Punk was. Heyman said him and his client will have an announcement about his return in the coming weeks. Jericho said Punk can’t claim to be the Best in the World by sitting on his ass at home in Chicago. Jericho wanted a match with CM Punk at the Payback PPV. Jericho said he was the Best in the World at what he did. That got to Heyman, and he accepted the match at Payback.
Segment Analysis: They had to get CM Punk on the Payback PPV or risk three hours of CM Punk chants in Chicago. This is a presumably easy way to get Punk on the card. Some people will buy the PPV just to see Punk/Jericho, who put on some great matches last year. Now the question is whether Punk actually shows up at the PPV, or if it gets built into something bigger down the line. I could still see Punk not showing, then having Heyman leave Punk, setting up Punk/Lesnar at SummerSlam. Survey Says: 3/5
The Bellas defeated Kaitlyn and Natalya after Kaitlyn accidentally speared Natalya. The Bellas mockingly sang Happy Birthday to Natalya after.
Bret Hart tried to tell Curtis Axel to dump Paul Heyman. Axel said Heyman is the only guy who gave him a chance before last week.
A Bray Wyatt promo aired.
It’s Team “Buying Time Until Orton Turns Heel”
Sheamus and Randy Orton vs Team Rhodes Scholars. Orton gained the upper hand on Cody early with a shoulder tackle and clothesline. Sheamus came in and hit a battering ram over the top. Cody backed Sheamus into his corner and tagged in Sandow. Sheamus quickly regained control with a running powerslam and tagged Orton in again. Orton hit some punches on Cody. Sheamus came back in and did the same thing then hit a neckbreaker. Sandow tagged in. Rhodes tried knocking Sheamus off the turnbuckle but ate a boot, but Sandow successfully knocked Sheamus off. Back from break Sandow and Rhodes worked over Sheamus. Sheamus worked his way out of a Cody headlock and hit the Irish Curse backbreaker. He tagged in Orton who went into ORTON MODE on Sandow. Cody saved Sandow from the middle rope DDT but ate a clothesline for his troubles. Sandow then pushed Orton into the ringpost, but only got a two count. Sandow hit a side Russian leg sweep then the Elbow of Disdain for two. Cody came in but ate a headbutt from Orton then a suplex. This time it was Sheamus who got the hot tag. Sandow tagged in but immediately ate Sheamus corner punches. Cody caught Sheamus with a Disaster Kick. Orton took Cody out and threw him over the barricade. Sheamus came back on Sandow with White Noise, then the Brogue Kick for the win.
Match Analysis: Not a bad tag team match. It seems like Orton and Sheamus have been thrown together until they eventually break up and have Orton turn heel, leading to a match at SummerSlam. Action in the ring wasn’t bad, but I don’t know if Orton and Sheamus are as over as the WWE would like to think. But they will be decent opponents for The Shield in the coming months. Survey Says: 3/5
IS ANYONE ELSE CURIOUS ABOUT WHO IS DRIVING THE AMBULANCE???
John Cena vs Curtis Axel. Cena hit a hip toss on Axel and he took a break on the outside into commercial. Axel had control back from break and threw Cena into the steps. Axel worked over Cena with an armbar. Cena fought out and started his comeback, going into CENA MODE. Axel got out of an AA and hit a dropkick for two. Axel missed off the top and Cena hit a bodyslam. Axel caught Cena with a kick to the face. Axel blocked the STF and an AA attempt and hit a Perfect Plex, but only got a two. Cena clotheslined Axel. Suddenly, an ambulance came out and Cena went to investigate. Cena got counted out as Ryback attacked from behind. Ryback went to put Cena through the stage set up again, but Cena moved. Ryback eventually shoved Cena off the stage and walked away. The show ended with Axel having his hand raised.
Segment Analysis: Well, at least the show ended with Axel getting his hand raised. But it was still a weak ending to the show. You knew Cena wasn’t getting pinned so they had to come up with a finish like that. I still don’t think Axel is getting a proper push. I’m assuming next week he goes back to HHH with him returning. Ryback just pushing Cena off the stage and leaving was weird too. Survey Says: 2.5/5
Another average episode of RAW. There was one really good tag match with Team Hell No and The Shield, and Sheamus/Orton and Rhodes Scholars wasn’t bad either. Ambrose and Kingston got the short end of the time stick. I wasn’t a fan of the Ryback/Cena stuff this week. I have no problem with the Three Stages of Hell stipulation, I just don’t know if Cena and Ryback can pull off a match that long. Jericho vs Punk at the Payback should be good, if it does happen. As I said, I still think it is all building to Lesnar/Punk at SummerSlam. Who else is Lesnar suppose to face? The problem with RAW being three hours is that it is a lot of the same matches every week. It is tiring sometimes trying to stay awake for these three hour shows. Please go back to 2 hours soon. But I’m giving this RAW a 5.
Until Next Time,
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Tags: Bret Hart, Curtis Axel, john cena, Paul Heyman, Raw, ryback, The Shield, triple h, WWE