Warriors and Pelicans are on...and it's a good game. Shame I can't flip back and forth seeing as how all my DVR spots are taken.
On the RAW side of things, we already have the pre-show guys saying idiotic things like, "Sting is gonna answer Cena's challenge tonight!"I'm not saying RAW and WWE have been anemic...but I didn't even know Extreme Rules was this Sunday.
Let's get moving.
We start with clips of last Monday when Orton and Rollins both won their "stipulation" matches and then picked stipulations that aren't useful in the slightest.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Albany, New York for Monday Night RAW!!!
Orton starts us off with the steel cage surrounding the ring. He calls Rollins a "dumb bastard" and says that Rollins thinks that he took away Orton's greatest weapon, the RKO. He says that he doesn't need the RKO to win. That would be too quick and easy. He'll break Rollins' jaw so nobody has to hear him talk. He talks about the severe, brutal, gory beating Rollins will take at his hands -- and he will have the championship.
Rollins' music cuts him off. He says that Randy's got an anger issue. Orton says he doesn't have an anger problem. He says he has an issue with Rollins and, at Extreme Rules, that problem will go away. Rollins says that Orton just rants and he missed a lot of it. So, he recaps what Orton says, making fun of it along the way. He says that he's the greatest champ of all-time. He can outmaneuver anyone, both inside and outside the ring. He says that he's not taking anything away from Orton, calling him "one of the greatest of all-time"...but Rollins is THAT much better.
Orton says, after commercial break, he's gonna get all his anger out of his system: he's gonna RKO everybody he sees -- and he'll finish with Rollins by the end of the night.
TONIGHT: Triple H is coming out to make an announcement about Tough Enough's return...by, presumably, announcing Tough Enough's return.
Ambrose is out for a match as we go to commercial.
When we come back, Harper talks and says that, after tonight, Ambrose will "be afraid" of him.
MATCH #1: Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper
Brawl to start. Press by Ambrose off a run. Ambrose all over Harper in the corner with a running forearm. He tries for Dirty Deeds but Harper evades and hits a kick to Ambrose's stomach. He punches Ambrose but Ambrose fights him off and shoves him outside. He follows with the Flying Psycho and goes after Harper with punches. Harper gets up and tosses Ambrose outside into the crowd. Ambrose tosses Harper back into the ringside area and hits the Rebound Clothesline when Harper tries to toss Ambrose back into the ring. Apparently, this match is over, according to Cole, even though there wasn't a bell but, ok.
WINNERS: No contest.
RATING: 1/2 a *. I didn't even know these two were on the card for Extreme Rules. Apparently, they are. If only I had paid attention to the brilliant build-up to this classic post-WM PPV. I really hope Ambrose goes higher in WWE.
Post-match, Harper and Ambrose fight to the entrance ramp. Harper dings Ambrose's head off the giant LED board and then tries to toss Ambrose off the stage. Ambrose counters with Dirty Deeds but Harper just grabs Ambrose and tosses him to the ground. Ambrose lands and rolls like Samus in Metroid, then looks up to see that Harper's fully retreated to the back.
Backstage, Rollins is freaking out. J&J is tailing him. The Primetime Players scare the holy shit out of him and mock him. J&J tell Young and Titus to back off. They do. Rollins bumps into a stagehand and bullies him for laughing. Triple H bumps into Rollins, scaring him as well. Triple H asks him Rollins is afraid of Orton and the RKO. Rollins says he isn't. He just wants extra protection from Orton and the likes of Kane.
MATCH #2: Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) vs. The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) w/ Xavier Woods for the #1 Contender's Spot for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Crowd gives New Day the usual hell and it's Kalisto and Big E to start. Big E whips Kalisto into the ropes and eventually eats an Enzuguri and a highly improbable Hurricarana, but E goes down. Kofi and Cara in. Cara hits a beautiful Springboard Arm Drag Takedown and chops Kofi in the corner which the crowd can't even bring themselves to "WOO" at. Cara hits a quick Tornado DDT and gets two. Cara tries a dropkick but Kofi moves and Cara flies out of the ring. Woods distracts Cara and Kofi hits a nice dropkick. Cara is rolled back into the ring and the New Day are all over him with quick tags. Cara tries a tag. E stops him and then hits a monster clothesline. We go to break.
We're back. Kofi dropkicks Cara and punches at him. Tag to E who drops a forearm and claps to mock Cara who kicks at E and tags Kalisto. Tag to Kofi from E. Kalisto hits a bad-ass spinning moonsault. Kalisto kicks Kofi in the head. Both of the New Day end up outside, so Kalisto and Cara do incredible flipping moonsaults off the top buckles -- which culminates in a goofy ending where Woods is hiding under the ring (because that's what Woods does) and holds Cara's leg so he can't re-enter the ring. New Day wins at 9:30. (DANIELLE: They can flip and twist out of every single move but they have no counter for a dude holding onto a leg?)
WINNERS AND #1 CONTENDERS: The New Day
RATING: **1/2. Not a bad match, really. I guess Vince is still delaying the Lucha push. Still, it makes no sense that New Day, who has no identity whatsoever, is getting a title shot due to seniority or something.
Post-match, the Luchas aren't happy. And, suddenly, ITSORTONOUTOFNOWHEREWITHRKOSOUTOFNOWHERE!!! He takes out Kofi and Xavier with ease. Big E tries to get involved, but ditches his teammates. Orton celebrates. We've probably got 7 more matches ending this way tonight.
TONIGHT: Another Cena mid-card job.
ALSO: We recall the time when Big Show beat up Roman Reigns on top of a car.
When we get back, we get the video montage of Reigns and Show that will probably run before their DOA match at Extreme Rules.
MATCH #3: Curtis Axel vs. Fandango
Axel dances to Fandango's music before the match starts. Axel hits a dropkick after an initial mix-up, then rips his Axelmania t-shirt. Fandango nearly wins with a Distraction Roll-Up, but Axel thankfully kicks out. Fandango hits the Sitting Suplex and his Flying Legdrop for the win at 1:17.
WINNER: Fandango via Flying Legdrop
RATING: N/A - squash - Welcome back, Fandango. Hopefully, they find something to do with him after his first go-round.
TONIGHT: Who ever wins Miz vs. Miz-dow gets the "Miz Brand". Between that and "Bella Brand", I can hardly handle the suspense.
Triple H is out to do his Tough Enough "announcement", where he, presumably, calls out Maven for WrestleMania 32.
He says that the Authority had to make a decision in the face of chaos: the Authority was at a crossroads -- so, they chose Seth Rollins to lead them. He says it's time to find the next guy like Rollins, the guy who becomes Champion, then has his move banned.. That starts June 23 on USA. Tough Enough returns. Crowd puts down nachos and mildly applauds, kinda. He asks the crowd if they've ever dreamed of being a WWE Superstar. Nearly nobody responds. He asks them to imagine what it's like to be a champ in WWE. DEAD. SILENCE. He says that dreams become reality tonight. He tells fans that they can apply for the show via video and tells the crowd to show that they're truly...tough...enough.
Kane's music hits and he gets about the same response as the Tough Enough return announcement. Triple H mocks him saying that he's "too seasoned to be in Tough Enough". Kane says that he's done nothing but send Triple H angry messages all week about Seth Rollins' complete lack of respect. He says he helped Rollins win and he's not dealing with Rollins anymore. Kane is giving his two week's notice. Triple H doesn't want that and wants to talk backstage.
Rollins interrupts and we finally get the 20-minute talk-a-palooza WWE had deprived us of an hour ago. He says that Kane should quit. They bicker. Triple H tells the two of them to back off. Kane says that Rollins has been GIVEN everything, including the MITB case AND the belt. He says they could have made El Torito champion. Triple H gets between them and tells them both to shut up. He says that Kane has been nothing but loyal -- so, at Extreme Rules, Kane is gonna be "The Guardian of the Gate". Kane will stop anyone from entering or leaving the ring who isn't supposed to enter or leave, making me wonder if Orton meant to pick Hell in a Cell instead.
Rollins doesn't like this at all and says that Kane isn't gonna play fair. Triple H: "That's why you need to get on the same page as HIM." Kane puts his hand out. Rollins shakes it and storms off.
(Good segment here. Ironically, it worked when Kane went on his rant, getting in Rollins' face about the silver spoon treatment of Rollins.)
We get clips of last week's classic "Divas Battle Royal" where Naomi "turned heel" after losing.
NEXT: Naomi's in a match...but, 'member: she's evil now!!!
Rollins is backstage, arguing with Kane. Triple H interrupts them and tells them to shut up. Triple H tells Kane that he's Korporate Kane now, not the Devil's Favorite Demon. He tells Triple H that he IS the Demon...and he will prove it. He storms off. Triple H tells Rollins that he's only champ because of people like Kane. That doesn't make him champion. Proving that he's champion means fighting night after night. Tonight, Rollins faces Dolph Ziggler. Rollins isn't happy. Triple H tells him to show the world what he already knows. Rollins says he's gonna destroy Dolph.
Naomi doesn't dance down to the ring. She walks. The heel turn's in full swing. On the plus side, that means a possible moratorium on the Funkydactyl music.
MATCH #4: Naomi vs. Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella)
Oh, look. The Bellas are faces by default. Cole awkwardly hits on Nikki as Brie and Naomi fight in the corner. Naomi hits an uppercut and a snap mare. Side headlock by Naomi. Brie breaks and hits a clothesline, but eats a Nikki-style forearm from Naomi. Naomi knees Brie in the head and Brie sends her out of the ring. When we come back from break, Naomi's beating on Brie in the ring with her "aggressive new attitude", which is pretty much the same exact Naomi. Nikki: "This is the same Naomi you saw last week." Naomi stomps at Brie and tosses her to the mat, beating on the back of her neck. Headlock by Naomi. Brie breaks and the two rush at each other as Nikki yells "C'MON BRIE" over and over and over. After a mutual clothesline, Brie hits the running knee and Brie Mode Drunken Dropkick of Doom. Two count. Naomi hits a Buckle Bulldog, but misses a crossbody. Brie knocks her down and gets two. Naomi hits THEREARVIEWOUTOFNOWHERE and gets the win at 9:09.
WINNER: Naomi via Rear View
RATING: *1/2. A match that went on far too long. On top of that, the reverse turns don't work. It's hard to hate or love either of these women. Both the Bellas were calling Paige "Casper" a couple weeks ago and, now, we're supposed to buy Nikki "feeling bad" for Paige? And we're supposed to believe Naomi's a heel -- even though Creative has her coming out to her fun disco music?
Heath Slater and Erick Rowan are eating salads backstage. Rowan leaves. Orton RKO's Slater, eats a tortilla chip, then says, "That's three."
Roman Reigns is out to talk. Or not. He just wants Big Show NOW.
And that brings out Bo Dallas for a massive bump. He quotes Yoda in "the greatest Star Wars movie ever made: Episode I", then says that Reigns is "a bust" and the "Tim Tebow of WWE" as this segment is now as painfully ironic as it gets. He does the Bo-lieve shtick, then takes a Superman Punch and Spear. He will beat Big Show -- and he can BO-lieve that.
STILL TO COME: Rollins vs. Ziggler
AT EXTREME RULES: A "Kiss Me Arse" Match. Oh...no...
MATCH #5: Sheamus vs. Zack Ryder
The bell rings. Sheamus has a mic. He hits a Brogue and tells the audience he could pin Zack Ryder for three. He asks where the fun is in that. But, where's the fun in that? Instead, he continues the beating and puts Ryder on the buckle, then knees him in the chest. He tells Ryder that he doesn't belong in the ring with him. So he dumps Ryder outside, which WWE's video crew just has to show again in slow-motion. Another kick for Ryder, then he rolls Ryder into the ring and mocks the New York crowd, asking where their city's spirite is. He puts Ryder in the corner for another Brogue -- but Ziggler shows up to save the day. Sheamus misses the Brogue on Ziggler and takes a Zigg Zagg, rolling out of the ring. DQ at 3:32.
WINNER: Sheamus via DQ
RATING: DUD. Sheamus doesn't care what people think of his hair. He's all-in on this gimmick.
WWE Network is free all month. Again. Does this thing EVER bring in money?
NEXT: Cena Open Challenge
Out comes Cena for his match and asks Albany why they seem to be fading. He wants them cheering. They do. This Sunday, they go EXTREME. He says that Rusev seems to have fans where ever they go, which is funny, since Cena beat him at WrestleMania. Crowd is suddenly caught between their alliance to king and country and their hatred of Cena. Cena outlines Rusev's "plan", which consists of "using the chain a lot". But Cena's got life and he breathes, so, whatevs. He calls out a challenger...and this week it's...
MATCH #6: John Cena (champion) vs. Kane (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
Kane knocks Cena down, then beats him up in the corner. He whips Cena, hard, into the opposite corner, then kicks Cena out of the ring. Rollins and J&J watch the whole thing backstage. Kane goes outside with Cena, beating on him, then rolls him into the ring. Cena goes for his usual moves but Kane catches him and hits the Sidewalk Slam. Cena leaves the ring again. Kane goes after him, but Cena fights back, punching away. Kane tosses Cena into the crowd barrier and Cena just happens back into the ring at seven, which Kane just allows, which tells you how serious Kane is about that coveted title! Kane covers him for two. Kane works on Cena's arm, pulling at it. Cena falls. Kane pins for two. Cena fights back, hitting Move #1, but Kane immediately hits a big uppercut. Cena goes down. Cena comes back and hits Move #3. He goes for the 5KS but Kane reaches up, grabs his throat and hits a Chokeslam for two. Kane signals for a Tombstone but Cena kicks out and hits the AA for the win at 6:21.
WINNER: Cena via AA
RATING: **. Meh. Again, I don't believe any of these guys are gonna beat Cena. On top of that, these matches are just two guys going through the motions.
STILL TO COME: Ziggler vs. Rollins
HOLY CRAP: Rock n' Wrestling is after RAW on WWE Network! :D
When we come back from break, Kane is limping backstage. Triple H bumps into him. Kane winces and walks off.
Renee Young has Miz. He says he's the A-List Superstar and he's also the reason Miz-dow has a job anymore. Renee Young cuts him off like it's the Oscars and we go to John Cena.
Cena's with Byron Saxton. Cena brags. Rusev hits him with a chain and locks in the Accolade with the chain across Cena's face. Would have been even better if Rusev had made the Russian flag appear from the backstage ceiling.
MATCH #7: Damien Miz-dow (w/ Summer Rae) vs. The Miz for the "Miz Brand"
Miz-dow tries to roll up Miz but Miz kicks out. Miz tries the back/neckbreaker but Miz-dow stops him and hits a Backslide for two. Miz rolls out of the ring. Miz-dow chases. They both get back into the ring. Miz takes over, kicking at him in the corner. Miz kicks Sandow in the head and gets two. Miz goes for the Miz-line but misses. Miz-dow hits the Miz-back/neckbreakaer and gets two. Lots of countering and SCF attempts by both men but, wouldn't you know it? Summer turns heel and gouges Miz-dow in the eyes. Miz hits the SCF and we're done at 2:45.
WINNER: Miz via Skull Crushing Finale
RATING: *. THAT is how you blow this whole thing off? Poor, poor Miz-dow.
Post-match, Miz eats an RKO like he's trying to hit a quota before Extreme Rules.
Bray gives another dumb promo that means nothing, goes nowhere, and will probably screw somebody over at Extreme Rules.
MATCH #8: Ryback vs. Adam Rose (w/ Rosebuds)
Ryback CA-DUSH!!! Beating, Meathook, Shell Shock, done at 1:31.
WINNER: Ryback via Shell Shock
RATING: N/A - squash
Post-match, two of Rose's Rosebuds -- a hot dog and banana -- attack Ryback and get a Shell Shock. Then Ryback tells a joke: "What did the banana say to the hot dog? Nothing. Their asses got Shell Shocked!" Then, Rosa Mendes appears out of Bumfuck, Nowhere, to align herself with Rose in the most surreal segment on this show.
Renee Young stops Kane and says that Rollins and J&J Tweeted about him. They said they wanna give Kane a gift in denture cream and Depends. Kane busts into the CFO Suite of Doom and forces Rollins to apologize -- and, surprisingly, he does. He says he's "on edge" due to Orton lurking around, RKO'ing everyone (if, by "everyone", you mean 1/500th of the dressing room) and he doesn't wanna burn bridges. In fact, he's dedicating tonight's match to Kane. Yes, pour it on. Sigh...they shake hands and Rollins heads to the ring.
Orton watches Rollins in the hallway and we go to break.
MATCH #9: Dolph Ziggler vs. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) (non-title)
Rollins beats on Ziggler in the corner. Ziggler fights back and beats Rollins the same corner, hitting a neckbreaker and elbow drop. Ziggler clotheslines him from the ring. Ziggler follows and punches away. Rollins kicks Ziggler in the stomach as he re-enters but Ziggler hits a dropkick for a one-count. Ziggler hits a suplex but Rollins kicks out at one. Ziggler goes for a dropkick but Rollins grabs his legs and slings him into the buckle. When we come back from break, Ziggler tries to fight out of a headlock but Rollins puts him to the mat as Cole continues to plug the "Kiss Me Arse" match just so he can say the word, "arse". Rollins hits a Side Suplex, getting two. Another headlock by Rollins. Ziggler hits a chinbreaker to get out of it. Rollins tries to hit a splash in the corner but eats the buckle instead. Ziggler counters a Side Suplex and hits a quick lariat and corner splash. He rushes Rollins again, only to get kicked in the stomach, but comes back with a DDT, getting two. Rollins tries a schoolboy, but Ziggler kicks out. Enzuguri by Rollins. Two count. Rollins goes for a Buckle Bomb. Ziggler counters and rolls him up for two. Ziggler hits a Superkick and NEARLY gets a fall. Ziggler gets up -- and here comes Sheamus to interfere. Rollins grabs Ziggler for a Buckle Bomb and his new move to avoid a head injury to superstars, a DDT...HUH?!
WINNER: Seth Rollins via DDT at 11:32
RATING: **. Eh. This was another Rollins/Ziggler match with an OK finish. Nothing special. The Curb Stomp needs to be put back into play if a DDT is "OK".
Post-match, Rollins celebrates and tells the crowd that he's gonna beat Orton to retain the championship.
Triple H interrupts and congratulates him -- but Rollins interrupts, ripping the mic out of his hands. He wants to "finish his thoughts". He mentions Kane -- who shows up. J&J try to get in his way, then Triple H gets in his way as well. Seth calls for the cage to be lowered -- and it is -- except Orton is in the ring with Rollins. Rollins tries to escape but Orton RKO's him ON HIS HEAD (OH NOES!!!) and stands tall as we go off the air -- oh, but wait -- Cole has to plug Hulk Hogan's Rock n' Wrestling, that great, groundbreaking moment in animation! Jesus...
OVERALL: **. Decent show with your usual two hours of filler.
And I present the return of The Best of Monday Night Open Mic: