4/20 RAW: Good build for Extreme Rules

Mike Tedesco’s RAW Review
April 22, 2015
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com

Extreme Rules is this Sunday. The lineup for the PPV leaves a little to be desired (A “Kiss Me Arse” Match, really?), so how did WWE do with the final real build for the event? Let’s find out!

Randy Orton wants to RKO the world

Randy Orton kicked off the show, which also saw a steel cage surrounding the ring. Orton talked about how he was going to destroy Seth Rollins in the cage this Sunday. Rollins came out and confidently put himself over. Rollins talked about how he’s the best inside and outside the ring. Rollins did a great job playing the cocky heel heading into the match. Rollins did this all night and kept letting his mouth get him into trouble. It’s a fun little flaw in his character. Orton promised that he was going to RKO anyone he sees and will finish the night off with an RKO on Rollins. Orton would wind up giving an RKO to Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Heath Slater, and The Miz before finally getting to Rollins. This was a good little segment that set the tone for the entire evening.

Kane saves Triple H’s shaky Tough Enough announcement

Triple H, who hasn’t been seen in some time on television, made his return to make an announcement about Tough Enough. Everyone figured he’d say who would be the trainers. Instead, he made some weird pitch about how anyone could be a WWE superstar before asking the crowd if they ever had that dream. That was essentially met with crickets. Triple H kept going on and on about it hoping for some type of reaction, but the fans sat on their hands. That was a trend for most of the night, though.

Kane’s music hit to pretty much save the day. The crowd wasn’t thrilled with his promo at first until he announced that he was giving his two week’s notice due to his dislike of The Authority’s pushing of Seth Rollins. Rollins came out and dressed Kane down a bit calling him a coward and such. Kane then came back with an epic tirade about how Rollins is a spoiled little punk and finished off with a great line about how The Authority could have made anyone a champion, even El Torito. It was easily the most entertaining Kane has been in months. The crowd really got into it as well. Triple H put over Kane’s loyalty to The Authority before announcing that he would be the gatekeeper for the cage match this Sunday. Rollins wasn’t thrilled with it before walking off. I have a bad feeling this is all a swerve with them all being on the same page, but I’ll hold out hope. While the matches won’t be great, I am interested in seeing Kane finally give Rollins what he’s got coming.

Roman Reigns: “You can BOLIEVE that!”

Roman Reigns made his way to the ring to address the beating Big Show gave him last week on RAW. Reigns was Chokeslammed on the roof of a car, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that this week. While the reaction Reigns got was subpar, how WWE handled him this week wasn’t. They did the right thing. They kept his talking to a minimum as he basically just called out the Big Show. Instead of the Big Show, he was met with Bo Dallas, who was quite funny as he talked about Reigns being a bust. Dallas even quoted Yoda from Star Wars: Episode I, which he also claimed was the best one of them all. Reigns wound up giving him a Superman Punch and a Spear before saying, “You can Bolieve that!” It was a good segment all around, even though the crowd wasn’t into him. If they had given him segments like this heading into the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania (and also not had him feud with Big Show the majority of the time) things might have turned out differently.

John Cena defends the US Title against a surprise opponent

John Cena came out around the beginning of the final hour of RAW and did his best to wake up the crowd, but even he had a hard time with it. Cena put over his match against Rusev at Extreme Rules before putting the United States Championship over big. Kane answered the challenge, and they had a match that was neither good nor bad. It was just a match. I think there was initial excitement to see Kane answer the challenge until they locked up. Cena beat him in relatively short order, and they cut to a reaction shot of Seth Rollins and J&J Security, which saw them laughing at Kane’s misfortunes. Cena would cut a promo a few moments later, but he was attacked from behind by Rusev, who applied the Accolade by wrapping a chain around Cena’s face. That was a really neat visual.

Damien Mizdow is officially back to where he was before The Miz

My goodness how the mighty have fallen. I guess this is Damien Mizdow’s final act of imitating The Miz. Like The Miz, who was at the top of the food chain in 2011 before his career collapsed, Mizdow’s career has also collapsed after being one of the more over acts in the company. How did it happen? Did they wait too long to turn him? Probably, but it should have happened at WrestleMania. Should he have won the André The Giant Memorial Battle Royal? It probably would have established him more as a legitimate guy, but that didn’t happen. Creative completely botched the breakup with The Miz. I don’t think Mizdow was going to become a major star, but he at least could have been a fresh face in the mid-card. Instead creative did what they always do with their babyfaces: make them look like idiots. Summer Rae turned on Mizdow and cost him his match against The Miz, which was for the rights to “The Miz” brand. The stipulation itself was a joke. Why would he want that brand? Then the Summer Rae thing, which a lot of people saw coming, made him look like a fool. Damien Mizdow, it was nice knowing you.

The RAW main event was actually given some time to build

I complained a few weeks back that it’s inexcusable on a three-hour show with a weak roster to get to a main event that’s been promoted all night and only give it five minutes because they’re out of time. Luckily that didn’t happen this week. Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler were given some time, and they pulled out a very passable match. The crowd wasn’t all that into it, but the action was solid. A lot of rumors and speculation fired up in the hours before RAW that Seth Rollins’ Curb Stomp was banned. Rollins did the turnbuckle powerbomb and didn’t do the Curb Stomp that normally follows after. Instead, he did a modified DDT that wasn’t all that impressive. I normally don’t put much stock in those rumors, but after watching RAW, it appears to be legitimate. I don’t get why they’d take it away from him. If they’re thinking the Curb Stomp could make the WWE look like they aren’t mindful of head injuries, then I don’t know how a DDT is any better. It’s probably one of those bizarre WWE things they just do, like not mentioning the names of the referees. Leading up to the finish, Sheamus ran down to distract Ziggler. Rollins capitalized on that.

After the match, Rollins cut a promo on Randy Orton and bragged about how he was going to beat him. Triple H tried to get him to go to the back, but Rollins took the microphone away from him. Rollins said something about Kane, which brought him out. Rollins got into the ring to escape Kane and had the cage lowered for extra protection. Wouldn’t you know that Orton got into the cage as it was lowered without Rollins knowing? Orton attacked Rollins and hit him with a cool looking RKO to finish off the show. This was a good final segment to go into Sunday.

Some minor points to be discussed

• I love the brawling with Dean Ambrose and Luke Harper. Their match at Extreme Rules could wind up being really good if they’re given time. I think finally, at long last, we’re going to see Ambrose pick up his first PPV victory since the collapse of The Shield.
• I liked the move to hold off on the Lucha Dragons facing Tyson Kidd and Cesaro. The crowd wants to see it, so make them wait a little longer. I’m not opposed to seeing the hated New Day face off for the Tag Team Titles in the meantime. Might as well strike while their heel heat is hot.
• Even though he had a very cool moment last week in England, Fandango isn’t going to advance anymore in the States. The crowd was dead all night, but I don’t think they’d have reacted to Fandango’s old music anyway. That’s so 2013 anyway.
• The divas division seems a little unfocused with the retirement of AJ Lee and Paige leaving to do a movie with The Miz. I guess The Bella Twins are faces now? They were acting like faces on Monday. Can they just establish turns with this division when it happens? The divas are always flip-flopping. At least Naomi had a legitimate turn. I’m glad to see her getting some time to shine, but I don’t buy her as a heel at all because of how nice she is on “Total Divas.” Yes, I do watch that show.
• Fun stuff with Sheamus channeling his inner-Jerry Lawler by doing his own commentary while having a match against Zack Ryder. I absolutely love him as a heel.
• Still no word from Bray Wyatt as to who the person he’s talking about is. My guess is Roman Reigns, which could be a good feud, but I’ve also heard it could be Ryback, which wouldn’t be that great. Wyatt’s promo preceded a Ryback squash match, so there is some credence to that latter rumor.

Overall impression

In spite of the weak roster, lackluster matches, and dead crowd, this wasn’t a bad final show heading into Extreme Rules. They touched on almost all the matches and gave them a good final build. This show was definitely missing Daniel Bryan. It’s a shame what’s going on with him. Hopefully he’s ok and is able to compete with no problems on Sunday. The guy really needs to protect himself more. I also would have liked to see Neville on this show, but that’s a minor thing. Overall, it dragged at certain points, but it was mostly a good show.

Bump of the Night: Randy Orton’s RKO on Seth Rollins
Match of the Night: Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler * 3/4

Final Rating: ** 3/4

Well those are my thoughts. Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know by commenting or using one of the other two options to get in contact with me.

E-Mail – MikeyT817@gmail.com
Twitter – @MikeTedescoWV

Check out my recap of this week’s RAW here. Please check out my live recap of RAW every Monday at 8 PM EST.

Be sure to check out my predictions column for WWE Extreme Rules, which will be up early on Sunday. Stop by Wrestleview.com all day Sunday for our fantastic coverage of the event, which will be highlighted with a live recap by the great Adam Martin!

Thanks for reading!

Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Monday Night RAW for Wrestleview.com.