April 28, 2015 by Joey Keogh
Extreme Rules kind of sucked and we were all a bit underwhelmed by it, but will RAW compensate, or just drive the point home further that this product is becoming increasingly harder to get behind? (King Of The Ring is back, so that’s…interesting) Tonight’s show is sold out and, much like Texas, the Wisconsin crowd really don’t like Seth Rollins. Kane isn’t too impressed with him either, judging by the faces he makes as Rollins cuts a promo about how well he did last night while various shots of his match scroll across the screen (the best of which sees the champ, deliriously happy, kneeling on the floor and clutching his belt). The crowd chants that he sucks, and Rollins is loving it, bragging about how he did it all by himself (again, much to Kane‘s chagrin). Mercury and Noble are loving it though, and they particularly enjoy his reference to an “SKO”. An unflattering comparison to the Cryptkeeper – who is totally still cool by the way – finally leads Kane to grab a mic and point out how Rollins used an “illegal” move last night, much to the delight of the marky crowd. He also calls him the WWE version of Justin Bieber, a description Green Bay loves so much they consistently chant it throughout the night. Orton eventually strolls out and they pop hugely for him. Reigns then solidifies his position as Cena 2.0 by showing up and inserting himself into the angle for no apparent reason. Orton blows him a kiss, Reigns isn’t impressed, and then Rollins points out that he beat ’em both and also that Reigns is a neanderthal and blah blah blah they’re all going to be involved in a match later tonight and we’re off.
First Round of the King Of The Ring Tournament: Dolph Ziggler Vs. Bad News Barrett
Obviously, both of these guys are really great and they definitely know how to put on a show, even if it involves opening one (which they’re kind of above at this stage, especially when you consider one of them is a current titleholder). There are some great spots to enjoy here, and the near falls actually feel like near falls for once, which is always nice to see, but it all ends a bit stupidly as Sheamo shows up to remind Ziggler of the “full Irish moon” last night (er, it was his thigh and just barely his thigh at that) and Barrett takes full advantage of the distraction to hit the Bullhammer for the win.
Winner: Bad News Barrett
Tyson Kidd Vs. Big E
The New Day are so thrilled with their win last night that they’re willing to teach the completely un-supportive crowd a new chant, which predictably goes “New Day rocks”. Unfortunately, no matter how many times they try it, the fans just can’t seem to get the thing right, always messing up the last word. Anyway, this is a quick little exhibition match, the aim of which seems to be to drive home the idea that the lads in lime green are proper heels now, as Woods wins it for E by grabbing Kidd’s ankle so he can’t kick out of a pin. He and his team-mates then hurry off so Cesaro can’t catch up to them, like naughty school-kids who have been caught stealing sweets or something.
Winner: Big E
Ryback Vs. Bo Dallas
Bo scolds The Big Guy to start with, but we all know he isn’t winning this – especially not after referring to Green Bay as “disgusting cheese-heads”. It’s hard to get behind Ryback, though, as, apart from being pretty infamous for fucking up moves and injuring other wrestlers as a result, his move-set is dull and his in-ring agility non-existent. Bo manages to tie him up in the apron at one point, whacking his head over and over as he does so, but it’s about the only offence he gets in before he’s shellshocked into oblivion. However, immediately afterwards, Wyatt apparates into the ring, as he is wont to do, and hits the Sister Abigail on Ryback so maybe he’s finally going to get to do something soon.
Cena’s open challenge is supposed to happen next because apparently it’s never ending but before we can get to any more fighting, the man himself is here to remind us how SPOILER ALERT goddamn annoying he is. To put into perspective just how terrible this promo is, on the John Cena scale of terrible promos, he refers to Rusev as “big, stinky Rusev“. You know, like a spoiled little girl whose parents have just paid off the school so she can win the talent show in spite of being about as creative as a turnip. Slater turns up to liven things up a bit, but soon eats Rusev‘s massive elbow as the “Russian” shows up to bask in the glory of the upcoming I Quit match at the next PPV. Fun fact: Cena has never lost an I Quit match. So, if you’re thinking that Payback might be slightly more exciting than Extreme Rules, well, good luck with that. Speaking of the next PPV, backstage, Kane and Rollins are bickering over the fact that the stupid fans are choosing his opponent for the big night. Rollins shoots this entire promo in profile, which got me thinking about how he should dye half his beard blonde and work, like, a Two Face kind of thing opposite Ambrose’s Joker and Reigns’s, er, Superman.
First Round of the King Of The Ring Tournament: R-Truth Vs. Stardust
Some losers are totally into Truth’s entrance and it’s a bit sad. A Cody missing persons sign in the crowd is totally cool, even if the camera focuses on it less than the aforementioned dancing folks. Cole reminds us of Stardust‘s real name, just in case we’ve only just tuned into RAW. JBL tells him off for it, because nobody just tunes into this shit. This is another quick one, as the night is taken up mostly with trying to sell last night to those who may still be stupid enough to pay for it, and shockingly Truth wins it with the He Calls It The Lie Detector.
Fandango Vs. Adam Rose
Up next, it’s Fandango versus Evil Fandango. Evil Fandango gets a jobber entrance because he’s bad and has a paedo beard. In all seriousness, there’s a nice fluidity to this match, with Fandango gliding under his opponent’s attempts to deck him and hitting a cool dropkick early on. After diving out to tackle the Rosebuds, he discovers one of them is Rosa (Rosabud?) in disguise and ends up losing the match as a result. Someone then gives Rosa a mic and it goes about as well as you might expect. There’s gross kissing (the ultimate heel move, just ask Trips and Steph) and JBL coos about “true love”. Meanwhile, backstage, Renee interviews Brie about her husband’s debilitating medical state and it also does not go well. Brie’s inflections are always weirdly off, it’s like she’s been learning English as a second language in the back of a strip mall. Naomi shows up and knocks her over, telling Brie simply “no one cares”. And it’s true because no one does unless it involves Bryan and you can tell us properly without yelling BITCH at the end.
Winner: Adam Rose
Divas Match: Brie Bella Vs. Naomi
The ladies have a match now, as luck would have it, and the more talented Bella, eager to retain some of the spotlight, is all about the earrings tonight. She does the usual “come on Brie” with about as much commitment as she can muster, but it’s to no avail as Naomi annihilates Mrs. Daniel Bryan in spite of her screeching “Brie Mode” to nobody in particular and everyone in general. Quick question; do any of Brie’s moves ever connect, or do the chicks just fall really convincingly for her?
First Round of the King Of The Ring Tournament: Dean Ambrose Vs. Sheamus
“Hide your wallet” JBL quips as Ambrose enters. Is that a thing now? Is Ambrose supposed to be like the Hamburglar? If he can be Kawaii Dean then anything is possible. The crowd are totally behind him because they don’t cheer for mean ol’ heels, but this is Sheamo’s match and he decimates his opponent from the get-go. A clothesline turns it around for Ambrose slightly, and he manages to dodge the Brogue Kick and a shoulder tackle soon after, launching Sheamo into the turnbuckle as a result. He escapes the Cloverleaf and hits a crazy flying elbow, but eats a Brogue Kick as Ziggler shows up to intervene, leading to Sheamo winning by DQ. And nobody is more shocked than Ambrose (except maybe this guy over here ->).
Winner: Sheamus (by DQ)
Sandow shows up next, to address us in his normal, civilian clothes, which is nearly always a bad sign. He goes through his career thus far and expresses his gratitude to the fans for putting him over when he was Mizdow. It all starts to get a bit too real but luckily Axel shows up to make it funny again and Sandow wastes no time in mocking the hell out him. They’re soon trading blows and Sandow gets rid of Axel by dropping some elbows. He also has new music, which is cool. Elsewhere, Wyatt is still talking to himself in a storage closet somewhere.
First Round of the King Of The Ring Tournament: Neville Vs. Luke Harper
Neville killed it last night, particularly considering he was drafted in late, and he more than holds his own here opposite the comparatively huge Harper. There are some mad dives, decks and digs but he eventually wins it with the Red Arrow. These two should definitely feud. It makes no sense but it should happen. Also, more of Neville‘s Geordie Shore audition tape, please.
Main Event: Tag Match: Roman Reigns & Randy Orton Vs. Seth Rollins & Kane
The crowd are still amusing themselves with the Justin Bieber chant as the Main Event kicks off, with Rollins and Reigns facing up against each other for the first time in ages. There’s a nice bit of chain wrestling before it devolves into the usual overly polite tag-in, tag-out bullshit. A DDT from the second rope almost breaks Rollins’ neck, but it’s nothing compared to the bump he takes when Kane rolls out of the way as he dives out to tackle him, following a misunderstanding with a dropkick, meaning Rollins smashes head-first into the announce table. Orton wins it with the RKO and a breathless Kane happily announces that it’ll be a triple threat match at the PPV. Reigns celebrates by Spearing Rollins because, as noted earlier, he’s the new Cena and has to make everything about him at all times.
Winners: Roman Reigns & Randy Orton
Considering last night was such utter bullshit, this week’s RAW, although disjointed at times, mostly hit its marks (no pun intended). Although the decision to air the rest of the King Of The Ring on the goddamn Network instead of stretching it out over the coming weeks was a bizarre one, the tournament was at least a welcome new addition to the same ol’, same ol’ aesthetic to which we’ve become so sadly accustomed. Cena and Reigns are still dominating the proceedings, but talented mid-carders like Ziggler, Harper, Ambrose and now, perhaps most crucially, Sandow are edging their way closer and closer to the top and, as we move towards Payback, it’ll be their angles that are most involving, their warm-up bouts that are most enthralling and, hopefully, their PPV matches that are the most anticipated.
Also, shout out to this lady who had more fun than the rest of the arena combined. LISH MOOOOOOOOOOOOOODE.