June 22, 2015
From Indianapolis, IN
Your hosts are Byron Saxton, JBL, and Michael Cole
The show starts with Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar coming to the ring as we see a replay of last week when HHH named Lesnar as Seth Rollins' opponent at Battleground. When that ends, Heyman, who seems to have added an additional chin, welcomes us to Lesnar as he talks him up like he always does before showing us a replay of Lesnar's last appearance from the RAW after WrestleMania 31 as he destroyed Michael Cole and a cameraman as Stephanie McMahon suspended him. After that ends, Heyman tells us that for Lesnar to return, he had to issue a public apology tonight or else he would not be able to return to the WWE. Lesnar pauses as the crowd starts a "suplex city" chant before shaking hands with a nervous JBL. Lesnar then he steps behind the announcers table and offers Cole a handshake then immediately puts him in a noogie and messes with him before he sits down. After that ends, Heyman hypes up Lesnar, saying him wrestling is what's "beast for business" before telling Rollins he will get first-class accommodations to Suplex City and that Lesnar will be the next WWE World Champion. I thought this was a really lame segment. They have a limited amount of Lesnar appearances and they wasted it around an apology to the announcers while Heyman cut the same promo that he always does when hyping up Brock.
Dean Ambrose is shown walking backstage as he heads to the ring for his match against Kane.
Dean Ambrose vs. Kane
Kane beats on Ambrose to start. Ambrose fights back with a forearm smash then chops Kane against the ropes. They knock each other down then the action spills outside where Kane hits him. Back inside, Ambrose leg drops Kane, who was draped over the middle rope. Ambrose then leaps outside where Kane boots him down then tosses him into the steps as we go to break. When we return, Kane has Ambrose in a chinlock. Ambrose escapes then hits a DDT in a goofy spot where Ambrose was hunched down forever waiting to take the move. Kane roughs up Ambrose until he gets hit with a neckbreaker. Ambrose then fires away and hits a missile dropkick as the crowd very slowly gets into the match. Kane charges and spills outside after Ambrose pulled down the ropes. Back inside, Ambrose blocks a chokeslam then hits a rebound clothesline as the crowd awakens. He goes for the Dirty Deeds but Seth Rollins' music plays and he comes out. Ambrose escapes another chokeslam then takes out Rollins with a dive. Ambrose heads up top but Seth distracted him, allowing Kane to finally hit the chokeslam, a poor excuse of one at that, for the win (11:20) *1/4.
Thoughts: About as good of a match as you will get out of Kane nowadays. The ending also pushed the story of Rollins trying to get everyone in the Authority back on his side for help against Lesnar.
The announcers hype up the John Cena vs. Kevin Owens match at Elimination Chamber as a "Match of the Year" candidate. They also let us know that Cena will be here tonight.
Rollins and Kane are backstage. Rollins tells Kane that when they are in sync, they cannot be stopped. Rollins tries to tell Kane that they need to get back together as Kane doesnt fall for that and calls Rollins out for being afraid of Lesnar and needing all the help he can get. Rollins then offers a handshake after attempting to act sincere but Kane just walks away.
The announcers talk about the Money in the Bank match and how Bray Wyatt cost Roman Reigns the match. We then get a replay of his segment with Bray Wyatt from RAW last week and match against Sheamus from Smackdown.
Titus O'Neill is shown winning a Celebrity Dad of the Year award.
Prime Time Players vs. The Ascension
This is a non-title match. We also learn that the New Day will get a rematch against the PTP's at Battleground. Titus floats over Konnor then catches him with a slam. The PTP's then hit some double-team moves then Titus and Konnor engage in a chop battle as the New Day watches backstage on the monitor. Viktor tags and works the arm as the Ascension take control. Young breaks up a pin attempt. Titus comes back with a spinebuster then tags Young, who runs wild on Viktor. He gets a nearfall with a Northern Lights suplex then after a bit, puts Viktor away with the Gut Check (4:07) 1/2*.
Thoughts: The match was really bad when Titus and Konnor where in their together. Young's hot tag was the only thing decent here. The Ascension are a lost cause at this point but it was a harmless segment to put over the tag champs.
Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns
Match starts with both guys fighting over a lockup. Reigns strikes Sheamus with a right hand then hits a Samoan Drop as Sheamus ducks out for a breather. Sheamus gets booted in the side of the head trying to pull Reigns outside. Back inside, Reigns roughs up Sheamus before taking him down with a clothesline. Sheamus rams Roman into the corner then hits a kneelift. He then runs into an elbow but is able to snap Reigns' head off of the ropes. Sheamus now takes control as he beats down Reigns. He hits Reigns with the Irish Curse as we head to break. When we return, Reigns fights back. He hits a few clotheslines before wailing away on Sheamus in the corner. He tries the apron dropkick but gets clotheslined in midair as he dumps to the floor. Sheamus regains some strength then whips Reigns into the barricade. Back inside, Sheamus applies a chinlock then hits three more Irish Curses but can only muster a two count. Sheamus tries to apply the Cloverleaf and eventually gets it after a third time. Reigns is able to fight out but gets knocked down. Sheamus targets the back again but Reigns fights back with elbow strikes then a back suplex as both men are down. The crowd gets behind Reigns, who gets up first and hits another back suplex for two. Reigns clotheslines Sheamus to the floor and spills out with him. Reigns then hits a flying clothesline that sends Sheamus on top of the announcers table. He rolls back inside then we see Bray Wyatt on the screen, having a tea party. He is talking to someone off camera, acting as if it is Reigns' daughter. Reigns sees this and runs backstage as the camera shows that no one was with Wyatt as we see a kid's rocking chair go back and forth. The match is ruled a no-contest (16:30) ***1/4.
Thoughts: Good, hard-hitting match. Sure it was slow-paced but the psychology was tight. The ending was lame, although predictable. I understand they want to protect both guys and that Wyatt's gimmick is to fuck with people during their matches. However, having this happen during such a long match does seem like a waste and the manner in which it was done was almost insulting to the fan base, children included. No one is buying this stuff in 2015.
Back from break, we see Reigns running backstage. He then enters a room as he hears a recording of Wyatt's voice signing "I'm a Little Teapot" with "Anyone But You" painted on the wall with photos of Reigns that had his eyes and mouth cut out. Wyatt is now like a 21st century version of Papa Shango with this garbage. This stuff is too hokey for the 1990's, nevermind 2015 WWE.
A replay of Heyman's promo from earlier this show.
J&J Security are getting coffee backstage. Rollins comes in and tries to get them to be on the same page. Noble reminds Rollins that he paid them back after all their help by making fun of them. Rollins tries to rationalize his behavior by saying they are family and that is what happens as he also tells them he needs them not because he is scared of Lesnar but because they are all a huge part of the Authority. However, J&J Security does not buy this and they walk away.
Neville vs. Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods & Big E
The crowd starts up the "New Day sucks" chant as the match begins. Neville takes control of the match early as Woods talks up a storm. He is great in his role. Neville gets dumped but speeds back into the ring as he was about to get attacked. Back inside, Kofi beats on Neville in the corner. Double axe handle gets two. Xavier then takes a photo of Kofi as he has Neville in an armbar in a hilarious spot. Neville fights back and takes Kofi down with a headscissors. He follows Kofi out but the PTP's come out to chase off the New Day. However, the ref tosses the PTP's then Big E & Woods, who are flipping out. Back to the match as Neville takes Kofi down with an enziguiri then gets the win with the Red Arrow (4:29) *1/2.
Thoughts: With all the losses the New Day have been piling up since they dropped the belts, you would have to assume that they would be winning them back quickly. As far as Neville is concerned, they are making sure to hype up the Red Arrow as a finisher but other than that, he does not have much direction. At least he is being kept relatively strong though.
Replay of Kevin Owens attacking Machine Gun Kelly on RAW last week.
Also, Mark Henry vs. Ryback for the Intercontinental Title will happen tonight.
A plug for the July 4th show from Tokyo that will air live on the WWE Network at 5:30am.
Zack Ryder vs. King Barrett
We get an insert promo from R-Truth, who is still pretending to be the king, as he declares Barrett to be a "royal jackass." Ryder takes control of the match early. He hits some punches in the corner but Barrett knocks him down then destroys him in the corner. Barrett gets two with a clothesline as the crowd is silent. You could probably hear a pin drop. Barrett grabs a chinlock as Ryder fights out and hits a mat slam as both men are down. Ryder hits a missile dropkick and manages to get the crowd into the match for a bit but Barrett bails before a Broski Boot attempt. Ryder heads back up top but Barrett cuts him off then takes him down with the Bullhammer for the win (3:19) 3/4*.
Thoughts: Talk about two guys who are at the lowest points in the WWE. Winning the King of the Ring has been a disaster for Barrett and Ryder is now part of a Tag Team with Mojo Rawley in NXT. Nothing more than filler.
We see clips of Micheal Cole's WWE.com interview with Kevin Owens, who tells us he was born to be in a WWE ring and how disrespected he felt after Cena "hogged" the spotlight by saying he belonged here. After that, they hype Cena's return tonight.
A video package hyping up the Lesnar vs. Rollins title match at Battleground with comments from both guys.
Cena comes out to the ring, smiling. He raises up his U.S. Title and calls it a "symbol of excellence and opportunity." He then says that he is proud to be the U.S. Title Champion before putting over Owens as being "white-hot" and for trying to destroy him. Cena then calls out Owens for assaulting Machine Gun Kelly and thinks he is a "garbage" human being. He then says if he accepts Owens challenge, he might be signing up for a fight that he might not win. He asks the crowd what he should do then weighs his options. He then tells Owens that he is a fighter and if he wants some, to come get some.
Owens music hits as he comes out with the NXT Title draped over his shoulder. He tells Cena that he is not upset about what he just said because he does not put much value into other people's opinion. He then goes on to say he has been called "out of shape," "slob," and a "dirtbag" but that he beat him at Elimination Chamber. He then says that Cena cares about what the people think where as he cares about winning titles. Owens says he wants the title and agrees with Cena that it is a symbol of excellence and in order for that to happen, he has to give him a title match. Owens says he will give him something he craves for that match, is the approval of the fans as he guarantees him the crowd will cheer for the "mighty John Cena" and boo him, the "evil foreigner." Owens then speaks in French and another language.
Cena then calls Owens a "disrespectful suckbag" as he speaks in French, Chinese, and finally English as he agrees to fight Owens at Cena, declaring that he will kick his ass. Not bad but compared to their other segments, it paled in comparison. The rubber match at Battleground should be one for the ages though.
After the Cena/Owens segment ends, Stephanie and HHH are shown watching on the monitor as they talk about Owens getting under Cena's skin. Rollins then enters as he tells them about trying to get the rest of the Authority back together. Stephanie asks if he considered apologizing but Rollins thought she was thinking they should apologize to him. HHH then tells Rollins that they invested a lot in him and that a smart man would have backup and to do that, apologize to everyone. Rollins then asks what will happen if Lesnar shows up as HHH taps the belt on Rollins' shoulder and asks him how bad he wants this "family." It sure seems like the Authority will be turning on Rollins sometime soon. Also, with all these mentions from the Authority about Owens, you'd think he will be part of them at some point. After all, Owens says that he cares about Championships and the best way to do that is to get backed by the Authority.
Naomi & Tamina vs. Bella Twins w/ Alicia Fox
Fox is now dressed like a Bella. The match starts with Brie getting attacked in the corner. Tamina hits a Samoan Drop as the crowd is silent, probably because there is no reason to cheer anyone involved in this match as they are all portrayed as heels. Brie pulls the ropes down on Naomi, who yanks Nikki off the apron to prevent a tag. Brie finally makes the tag and hits a few clotheslines on Naomi before knocking Tamina off of the apron. Nikki gets a few cheers during this then the match breaks down. Naomi hits Brie with the Rear View but accidentally hits Tamina after that then gets hit with the Rack Attack by Nikki as that finishes the match (3:43) 1/4*.
Thoughts: This whole division is a trainwreck, filled with unlikable characters. Actually, the Diva's Division as a whole is at its lowest point. Its fucking brutal.
WWE Intercontinental Title Match
Mark Henry vs. Ryback (Champion)
Big Show is on commentary. Ryback works a hammerlock but Henry shoves him away. Big Show warns Miz the best thing he can do is to stay away as the action heads outside. Big Show cheers on Henry, who rams Ryback against the ring apron. Back from break, Ryback runs into a clothesline. Henry tries the World's Strongest Slam but Ryback floats over and hits the meathook. Ryback then climbs up top and hits a splash for the win (6:23) *. After the match, Show gets inside and yells at Henry, who shoves him away. Show then stares him down before leaving.
Thoughts: Ryback has done a great job as the IC Champ. This match wasnt that bad at all considering Henry was involved. Based off the end, I assume that Henry will end up backing Ryback if he gets double-teamed by Miz & Show at some point but they are doing a good job at creating animosity between all the competitors of the triple threat match.
The announcers plug the return of Tough Enough, which starts tomorrow night on USA at 8pm EST. We then get a brief look at the final 13 competitors. They really plugged the Tough Enough App here.
Ryback is backstage with JoJo, who asks him about facing the Miz and Big Show in a Triple Threat match at Battleground.. Ryback tells us he will face all challengers and puts over the IC Title and how him winning the belt even got his parents together for 18 years and how its means everything to him. Big Show interrupts with some sarcastic clapping as he makes fun of Ryback, who calmly no-sells it then starts hammering away. They brawl all over the place until Ryback knocks down Show. Good promo from Ryback and the brawl was fine as well.
Adam Rose w/ Rosa Mendes vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Lana
Rose is now sporting new facial hair as he tells us we do not understand real art, passion, or real love, like what he has with Rosa. He then gives eskimo kisses to Rosa before the match but walks into a dropkick. Rose takes control as Rusev watches on a monitor backstage. Back to the match as Rose hits a bunch of elbow drops as Lana looks worried outside. Rose then applies a sleeper hold but Dolph breaks out and hits a few clotheslines then a neckbreaker. Rose fights back and hits a corner clothesline. Dolph sidesteps a charge but gets caught with a spinebuster. Rose then heads up top where Dolph catches him with a super kick for the win (3:03) *. After the match, Dolph and Lana kiss in the ring as Rusev goes nuts and tosses hits crutches. He then falls down and flips out as a tall blonde girl, I assume it was Summer Rae, hands him one of his crutches.
Thoughts: Rose got in way more offense than you would think and didnt look that bad to be honest. The Dolph/Lana pairing continues to flounder though. And Rusev being paired with Summer isnt the worst thing in the world, either. Summer is a useful heel valet. But Rusev did look like a dipshit when he flipped out backstage. And no, I am not saying he is buried or any nonsense like that but he looked like a clown falling down after tossing his crutches.
Backstage, J&J Security are with HHH and Stephanie. Noble tries to tell Steph that they are more like Yoda than "Dumb and Dumber." The Authority remind them that there is a lot of pressure on Rollins for being the champion and that all they have to do is go out to the ring and hear out Rollins' apology. They even said that Rollins was scared of Lesnar.
An anxious Rollins heads out to the ring. He tells us sometimes in life it is easier to pretend you are right than admit you are wrong. So, he is going to admit that he was wrong and asks Kane and J&J Security to come out to the ring for an apology. They come out as Rollins says a team is only good as it's foundation and that they are the foundation. Rollins then says this has nothing to do with Lesnar, who he will beat again at Battleground, but rather about family. The crowd chants "Suplex City" as Rollins gets angry. Rollins apologizes to each man individually as the crowd now starts a "Justin Bieber" chant. He then asks for them to be a family again as the three guys look over Rollins, who is now begging at this point. All of a sudden, Lesnar's music hits as he comes out with Heyman. Lesnar paces before getting on the apron and when he does, everyone flees, leaving Rollins alone. However, Kane attacks Lesnar from behind/ J&J Security help out but get tossed as Lesnar comes into the ring. Rollins tries to attack him but ends up getting suplexed a few times. He hits an F-5 then Kane attacks Lesnar after he tried it again. Rollins then wraps Lesnar's leg around the post as Kane and himself target that for a while as Mercury joins in on the fun. This beatdown lasts for a while until Rollins hits a Pedigree then celebrates. The beatdown went on for too long here. It was effective in the sense that it gave Rollins the advantage with Lesnar's leg now messed up but the show open and closed with apology segments. I wonder what happened in WWE Headquarters this week for that to occur?
Final Thoughts: Poor show tonight. They did okay at building up the World Title match, IC Title match, and Owens/Cena III but the rest was bad. The Wyatt/Reigns stuff was flat-out embarrassing and has no place in 21st century wrestling. The Diva's division is still a directionless mess and the midcard stuff is uninspiring to say the least. Battleground is still a few more weeks away so they can build up more to that but this was easily one of the weakest editions RAW's of the past few months.