We are 24 hours removed from Money in the Bank and I liked the show.
In my review, I gave it 3 1/4 stars but my opinions were pretty much the same as Scott and Bayless. It had some major problems and some weird, arbitrary booking that made next to no sense.
The least of which is Brie Bella checking her own pubic hair to show Paige that her and Nikki are different. That match was actually decent up until that fuck-finish.
Sheamus won Money in the Bank for some reason after Bray Wyatt attacked Bray Wyatt for some reason and Renee Young is a platinum blonde for some--wait. No. Renee's hair color changed because Ambrose is just a lucky fuck who jobs to TV monitors but gets what he wants in private.
We got two really great matches in Ambrose/Rollins and Cena/Owens...but the rest of the show is a prime example of what's been driving WWE fans nuts.
Look, I get wanting to shake things up, but if we're gonna be random and different, give Kofi the case. Even that makes more sense than Sheamus grabbing it. Bray fucking with somebody else? Where's that gonna lead? Nowhere. It's gonna be eight weeks of Bray saying a bunch of cryptic shit in the middle of a room of Vick's Vap-o-Rub and then he'll lose three matches in a row.
So what was the point of any of this? I guess we'll see...
We begin with the Dusty Tribute from MITB followed by the video package.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Cleveland, Ohio for WWE Monday Night RAW!!!
Michael Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton are the guys at the desk.
Seth Rollins starts us off with a promo...and we're already on a break because of the first portion.
Hopefully, this isn't what's to come. Rollins welcomes us to "Monday Night ROLLINS". He says that he acknowledges Ambrose and how much of a fight he brought to the ring last night. But, he still beat Ambrose -- and he did it all by himself. He says that he knows he really hung on and won but he needs to recognize those who got him to the top. He thanks himself for his own win. Over and over and over again. But, wait...he'd like to thank Seth Rollins...and Seth Rollins...and Seth Rollins...and, wait -- he left somebody out. Seth Rollins. He says he can't thank J&J Security or "The Devil's Favorite Dinosaur", Kane. He didn't need Triple H or Steph because he's that good. He says that he should pretty much be in the Hall of Fame now. He says that Johnny Manziel and LeBron James aren't bringing titles to Cleveland. He says he's leaving town and bringing the title with him...
Dean Ambroses's music hit. He marches down to the ring and attacks Rollins, puts him in the ring, then clotheslines him out the other side. They fight over the Announce Desk and Ambrose kicks him away. Rollins retreats and leaves. Ambrose grabs a chair and a mic and gets in the ring. He says that he got beat last night because the title slipped through his fingers...but Rollins shooting his mouth off reminded him of how much fun it was torturing Rollins. He's gonna be in the ring until Rollins gets back into the ring.
After a break, Ambrose is still in the ring.
Backstage, Rollins bumps into Triple H and Steph. Triple H tells Rollins that things have been taken care of. Steph can't believe what Rollins is saying and says that Rollins doesn't need them. Rollins says that he wants to know what's next. Triple H says that they are making that decision. Rollins says that he should have a say and Triple H tells him that Rollins won all by himself, so Rollins should trust them to make a choice.
Meanwhile, Ambrose is still hanging out because we're 30 minutes into a wrestling show that doesn't need wrestling. Sheamus shows up and says that he's a winner while Ambrose is a loser. He says that The Authority told him to come down and kick Ambrose's head off his shoulders.
MATCH #1: Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus
Sheamus knocks Ambrose down, then starts kicking at Ambrose's injured knee. Ambrose comes back with forearms and a lariat on a whip. Ambrose puts Sheamus in a corner but Sheamus fights out and the fight spills outside. Once the match gets back inside, Ambrose hits a lariat. Sheamus quickly comes back and takes control. After a break, Sheamus is bending Ambrose's knee but Ambrose kicks out of it and fights back with some punches. Sheamus just clips his knee and tries the Cloverleaf but Ambrose escapes and tosses Sheamus away. Sheamus comes back at Ambrose who hits a Swinging Neckbreaker. Ambrose nails Sheamus with a corner forearm and follows up with a Bulldog. He goes top rope but Sheamus clips his knee, grabs him and hits the Rolling Senton. Sheamus locks in the Cloverleaf but Ambrose don't tap to nobody and gets to the bottom rope. Ambrose rolls outside so Sheamus starts hitting Ten Beats but Ambrose counters and returns the favor. Sheamus angrily elbows out of it and tries a BROGUEOUTOFNOWHERE but misses and Ambrose kicks him. Ambrose goes top rope with a flying elbow and nearly gets a fall. Sheamus comes back with a kneelift but Ambrose hits the Rebound Clothesline. He goes for Dirty Deeds but Sheamus rolls out of the ring and grabs the MITB case, leaving. All of the sudden, Randy Orton's music hits and he stalks Sheamus back to the ring. Ambrose grabs Sheamus, tosses him back into the ring and rolls him up for a highly unlikely Distraction Pin to win it at 10:50.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose
RATING: **. Your MITB "winner", ladies and gentlemen. Weak finish to a match where Ambrose practically no-sold everything Sheamus had to offer.
Orton beats up on Sheamus, post-match, whipping him into the crowd barrier and ringpost, then hits Vintage Orton. He goes for the RKO but Sheamus blocks it and rolls out of the ring with his case.
Backstage, Rollins bumps into J&J Security, calling them "Harry and Lloyd". He says that he hates to be the guy that says, "I told you so", but he's that guy. He calls himself "good" but, hey, if J&J want to tell him who his next opponent was, he'll have them back in his fold. Noble says it's Joey Mercury. Rollins mocks Noble and says he's busy living his "WCW glory days". Mercury says that Rollins is afraid to face him. Rollins scoffs at this but Mercury says it's the truth because he already lost to Mercury and Noble once and he's afraid of being embarrassed again.
Cole and the announcers pay tribute to Dusty Rhodes and we get clips of him in NWA.
R-Truth is out, dressed in a sheet and has a toilet plunger for a scepter. He's on commentary...but soon learns he's wrestling Barrett. Truth isn't happy at all, but enters the ring.
MATCH #2: R-Truth vs. King Barrett
Barrett kicks Truth's head off, then punches away at him. He sets up for the Bullhammer but Truth just rolls him for the win at 22 seconds.
RATING: Two fuck finishes in a row. Barrett is so beyond dead, it's not even funny.
Post-match, Barrett his ROAL BULLHAMMA MIGGAL then gets on the mic and still declares himself "king", because that's apparently still a thing.
Machine Gun Kelly is backstage and a bunch of Divas and Heath Slater pretend they like him. Paige interrupts the party and asks if she can see the Divas right now. Kelly walks off.
NEXT: Kevin Owens is here.
Kevin Owens is out for a promo and says that Cena's not here tonight but that he's insulted that Cena thinks that Owens needed his endorsement following his loss at Money in the Bank. He says that he KNOWS he belongs in WWE. He doesn't need Cena's approval. He says he isn't a sore loser, Cena's a horrible winner. Cena wanted to show Owens up by getting that "handshake" at the end. That's why he kicked the crap out of Cena. He says that he will always be the guy that beat John Cena...that's why he wants a re-match -- and he wants the United States Championship. Usually, Cena would come out and issue his challenge, but he can't. So, Owens issues his own "Open Challenge"...and it's...
Ziggler hits the ring with Lana and actually fixed his "Megadeth" jacket. Ziggler says that Owens made his night. He will never defend John Cena but Owens has some guts talking about sacrifice. Ziggler says he's been through hell to get where he is now. He says that he's gonna give Owens a fight right now. Lillian Garcia announces that the match is for the NXT Championship -- but Owens interrupts her and says this isn't a title match. Somehow, Ziggler's pissed off at this, which makes no sense at all since it would be like an MLB team challenging for a minor league championship, but whatever.
MATCH #3: NXT Champion Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Lana) (non-title)
It's a brawl to start, then we go to break. When we come back, Ziggler breaks from a headlock, but Owens puts him back to the mat for a Reverse Senton. He follows by dropping Ziggler's body on the top rope and gets two for that. He whips Ziggler into the turnbuckles, then stomps and taunts him. Ziggler gets back up and punches away, then sends Owens over the top rope. Owens get up first and tosses Ziggler into the timekeeper's pit. Ziggler struggles to get back in and barely makes it back into the ring. Owens attacks but Ziggler hits a DDT. After another break, it's another Owens headlock. Ziggler breaks free again but Owens just continues to mow him down. When Owens goes into the Cannonball, Ziggler counters with a Superkick and gets two. Ziggler goes for a Fame-Asser and hits it on the second try, getting two. Ziggler tries a corner splash but Owens hits Suplex City instead, then a Cannonball. Ziggler kicks out at two. Owens tries a Pop-Up Powerbomb but Ziggler counters into a Zigg Zagg, nearly getting a fall. Ziggler runs at Owens only to see Owens kick Ziggler and hit the Pop-Up Powerbomb to win this at 15:14.
WINNER: Kevin Owens via Pop-Up Powerbomb
RATING: ***. Not a bad match, but it didn't need two breaks. That really broke up the momentum of this thing for me.
The Divas hang out backstage and talk boys and take Selfies because they're CHICKS. Paige makes a huge speech about how awful the Bellas are. Summer shuts her up and says it's all about Paige. Alicia Fox agrees. Paige continues to rant. Naomi is also hesitant to trust Paige...and this goes on and on...and on...The Bellas interrupt and Nikki dares the Divas to side with Paige. They all stand around, apathetic, then leave, one by one. Then Paige leaves. The Bellas act cool and that's just...whatever. Seeing all the women backstage reminds me of how empty and vapid the Divas Division has become.
MATCH #4: Randy Orton vs. Kane
Crowd is dead for this as Orton attacks. Kane fights back, then hits a big boot and headlock. A big, long headlock that sucks half the match. Orton counters with a side suplex but misses a knee drop. Kane hits a Sidewalk Slam for two. Kane puts Orton in the corner and Orton collapses after hitting the buckles. Kane slugs away. Orton fights back but Kane grabs Orton by the throat. A bunch of clunky counters later and Orton clotheslines Kane in the corner. Orton hits a Powerslam in Stride, then goes for Vintage Orton but Sheamus's music hits and he walks down to the ring. Kane grabs a mic and says that he is making this match a No DQ match. So Sheamus attacks. Kane joins. Big boot by Kane and we're done with whatever the hell that was at 4:26.
RATING: DUD. This match was fucking terrible. It's a shitty match involving Kane who's a shitty wrestler in order to push this weird Orton/Sheamus "rivalry" that has no heat whatsoever.
TONIGHT: We get "answers" about why Bray Wyatt interfered in the MITB match.
Backstage, Kane walks and runs into Seth Rollins. Rollins congratulates Kane on his victory tonight and rubs in the fact that he lost, so tonight's "victory" must have put him in a better mood. Rollins just rants about how cool he is and how much Kane sucks. Kane says that Rollins won one match. A true champ wins over and over, night after night. Rollins says that Kane's always needed help, whether it's from Paul Bearer or The Undertaker. Kane grabs Rollins and says to never mention his family again. Rollins tells Kane never to touch him again and says that he hopes that Kane is his next opponent because Kane needs to be put out of his misery.
DUSTY MEMORY: His Hall of Fame moment.
Ryback's at ringside to do commentary with the guys.
MATCH #5: Big Show vs. The Miz
Miz goes to take off his sunglasses. Show attacks. Miz bails and takes off his sunglasses. Show chases him around the ring. Miz escapes. Show chases again. Miz enters the ring. Show chases and then enters the ring, faking a leg injury. Miz attacks and Show pushes him in the corner as the crowd chants "THIS IS AWFUL" which part of the crowd somehow mistakes as "THIS IS AWESOME". Show slaps at Miz's chest, then whips him into the corner. Miz boots him on the charge but Show grabs Miz and tosses him out of the ring. He beats on Miz and tosses him into Ryback. Ryback isn't happy. Meanwhile, Miz slides back into the ring and it's a countout.
WINNER: The Miz via countout
RATING: DUD. This RAW has been a giant piece of shit in terms of actual wrestling matches.
Post-match, Ryback chases Show from the ring. Yay?
When we come back from break, it's Roman Reigns on the way to the ring as Cole announces...
AT BATTLEGROUND: Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns
Roman says he got very little sleep because of what happened at Money in the Bank. He says he wants Wyatt right now and tells him to get down to the ring. Instead, it's Wyatt, live from the Steam Room of Doom. Bray does his usual shtick. Roman's not interested and tells him to get down to the ring. Bray won't and says that the MITB case was supposed to be his. Instead, Roman ruined his chance. Bray rants and raves about how nothing is paradise and that him and Roman are "opposites". He has a picture of Roman and his daughter from that PSA that aired. He says that him and Roman are just getting started.
AT MITB: Dusty Finish with the Divas
MATCH #6: Paige vs. The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie) in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Paige tries to attack, but the ref holds Paige back. Finally, Brie tags Nikki and Paige just presses her, punching away. She chokes Nikki on the ropes but Brie trips Paige from the outside. Nikki pins for two. Tag to Brie for a Missile Dropkick. Two count. Another long chinlock spot. Paige finally breaks it and hits the running knee. Two count. Tag to Nikki and they double team Paige, dropping her on the mat, face-first. Two count. Nikki kinda apathetically kicks at Paige, then puts on Head Scissors. Paige counters with a Bridge Pin but Nikki kicks out and tags Brie who accidentally clocks her sister on a double team attempt. Brie gets up and runs at Paige. Paige kicks her and hits a series of clotheslines, then kicks at Brie's head. She tosses Brie into Nikki and hits the Ram-Paige. Nikki saves the pin, then tags in and hits a forearm and Rack Attack to win it at 5:34.
RATING: 1/2 a *. Too slow, and boring as hell. The match is uninteresting. There isn't anything left here.
TONIGHT: We will find out who Rollins' next opponent is.
NEXT: MGK performs! So, it's a good time for me to start dinner.
Anyhow, Machine Gun Kelly performs. Garcia says that he's "Cleveland's own" which is weird since nobody seems to care. The performance fucking sucks. Why is this person here? At the end, Kevin Owens attacks him after MGK shoves him and hits a Pop-Up Powerbomb into a part of the stage. He just stares, then walks off. Everyone tends to Machine Gun Kelly and we actually get a replay. PLUS, a "moments ago" thing when we come back from break.
Cole plugs "Terminator: Genesys".
MATCH #7: The New Day (Xavier Woods, Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs. Neville & WWE Tag Team Champions The Primetime Players (Titus O'Neil & Darren Young)
Young and Woods start off and Young finally manages to hit a strike or two before Kofi tags in. Young kicks at Kofi who tags Woods back in. Young clotheslines him and tags in Titus who drops Young on top of Woods. Kofi flies at Titus. Kofi gets dumped across the ring. E attacks and Titus tosses him from the ring. Neville splashes everyone outside. After break, Woods has Young in a headlock. In and out tags as New Days works Woods over with kicks and a headlock. Tag to Woods and a double axehandle from the top rope. Two count. More Young peril. Young breaks a headlock and it's a hot tag to Neville who kicks away at Woods. Neville kicks him in the head, then dropkicks everyone in the heel corner. Woods and Neville counter one another until Neville puts Woods to the mat. Neville goes for the Red Arrow but it's chaos when guys come in to botch it. Titus hits Clash of the Titus. More chaos and Young hits a Gutbuster on Kofi and it's Neville to finish it with the Red Arrow to win it all around 9 minutes.
WINNERS: The New Day & Neville
RATING: *1/2. This wasn't terrible but incredibly disjointed. Neville didn't really fit here and the match really suffered after he became involved.
Post-match, we get a look at Cena/Owens and ANOTHER look at Owens destroying the idiot rapper. Apparently, Kelly was badly hurt.
Backstage, Dean Ambrose throws darts at a picture of Seth Rollins. Kane interrupts. Dean laughs and says he can't picture Kane as a champion. Kane says he's been champ, unlike Dean. Dean says that's true...but that was THEDEMONKANE, not kiss-ass Kane. Dean says that, in the end, Kane's just doing a job and he's loyal to The Authority. Dean says he lives for moments like last night. He says he liked getting a taste of the title at MITB and he says he won't stop until he finally has the title. Dean asks what Kane lives for. Kane stands there, a bit taken back.
NEXT: We find out who Seth Rollins will fight next.
DUSTY MEMORY: Dusty ranting a lot.
TONIGHT: Dusty Rhodes: Celebrating the Dream on WWE Network
The Authority hits the ring. Steph apologizes for what happened with MGK. Cleveland cheers the concept of MGK getting beat up as Steph says that Owens will be reprimanded. They are announcing who Seth will face next. Triple H says that a lot of WWE superstars feel as though they deserve a shot...but it won't be J&J or Kane or Dean Ambrose. Steph asks Triple H who it could possibly be.
Seth Rollins' music hits and he makes his way down. He shakes hands with Triple H and Steph and then gets a mic. He tells them that it doesn't matter who gets picked. Rollins says that they've been right about him all along. Nobody is capable of beating him. He's ready to beat his next opponent. He will make The Authority proud. Triple H says that might be true. Rollins has beaten everyone. He even beat Ambrose with no help. Steph says that she's proud of him, too, but that he's ripe for the pickin'. Plus, he's been testing their patience as well.
Triple H says that they invested a lot in the future and in him and, sometimes, you need to step back and check out your investment. Sometimes, you put pressure on a piece of coal. If it's worth something, it won't crumble, it will become a diamond. Triple H asks if he's ready for the pressure. Seth nods and smiles and says that he's ready...
...and Brock Lesnar's music hits.
Brock makes his way to the ring (with a brand-new shirt reading "SUPLEX CITY" - remind me to scoop that fucker up) with Paul Heyman. They get in and shake hands with The Authority. Seth can't believe it and just stands there in blinking disbelief, looking sick to his stomach. Brock and Seth just look at one another. Rollins backs up a bit with Brock matching his steps. Rollins gets out of the ring and leaves.
He slowly walks to the backstage area as Brock just stares a hole in his head from 50 yards out. Cole says that Brock Lesnar will face Rollins at Battleground.
We go off the air.
OVERALL: The Lesnar bit was a nice bookend to an otherwise blah show. It was basically Kevin Owens being used as sugar to coat the flaming dogshit that was the mid-card. Honestly, Sheamus with the case isn't compelling. Neither is his beef with Orton or Orton's match with Kane that took a left-turn into stupid. I don't buy the PTP as tag champs and the mis-match with Neville was just odd to me. The Divas division is a dumpster fire...I mean, you look at WWE and they're patching the ship's hull with Scotch tape they've bought in bulk. Even as good as Lesnar is, I'm kind of wanting to know how he went from being a casualty of Stephanie McMahon because he straight up murdered the crew of RAW to being a guy they can trust. Nothing on this show makes any real sense anymore.