Mike Tedesco’s RAW Review
June 10, 2015
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
Well the third go home show for a special event in the last five weeks is in the books, and I have to admit I’m completely burned out on these types of shows. This show had absolutely no special feel to it. With how bad the writing can be in WWE, it’s tough to get amped up for matches in general. It’s even tougher when they’re pumping out supposed “big matches” faster than the conveyor belt pumped out chocolates to Lucy and Ethel back in 1952. I can’t tell you how happy I am that the next PPV isn’t until the middle of next month. Let’s get back to the fundamentals of storytelling. I know in this society where instant gratification is demanded some people may like this. Well, I think if you listened to the crowd tonight and have been following the programming for the past five weeks, you’d be hard pressed to make a real argument as to how this is working well for the quality of their programming.
John Cena vs. Kevin Owens – Most anticipated rematch in history?
If you needed any help to see just how desperate, stupid, and ridiculous these two week builds for PPVs have been, look no further than the opening promo on RAW. John Cena, while cutting a decent hard sell promo for Money in the Bank, overreached by a country mile when saying that his rematch against Kevin Owens this Sunday is the most anticipated rematch in WWE history. In the 50+ years of WWE, this is the one. Well goddamn – I’ve been waiting forever for this day to come. This is way bigger than Hogan vs. André and Rock vs. Austin. Yeah, sure it is. Give me a break. I haven’t even had time to decompress from the match… which was a week ago! I haven’t even had time to anticipate anything.
I thought their match at Elimination Chamber was off the charts good. There was nothing wrong with it. In my mind, they worked the perfect match. The right way to book it would be Cena wants a rematch in an effort to prove himself and show what never giving up looks like only for Owens to deny him the opportunity. Have this go on for a few weeks and let Cena develop an edge where he begins to aggressively seek the rematch. Maybe he even appears on an episode or two of NXT to seek the rematch. That certainly wouldn’t hurt that show at all. Anyway, this all leads to the rematch coming at SummerSlam. It gives time to establish Owens even more and make a possible win in a rematch mean even more than the first one did. Instead, we’re getting it this Sunday with very little fanfare. I also get the sneaking suspicion that Cena will be getting the win despite the fact that Cena could lose every match for the rest of the year and it wouldn’t hurt his status in the eyes of the fans. Bottom line, instant gratification really spoiled the rematch and could really hurt Owens’ move to the main roster if he starts losing to Cena like every other chump has done. How did Cena’s latest program work out for Rusev? I think even if he didn’t break his ankle, Rusev’s position was really hurt. It made his entire year long undefeated streak seem like a complete and total fluke. I hope they handle Owens a little better than that. They have a real star on their hands here.
Anyway, Owens came out to offer a retort to Cena before saying he was going to issue an open challenge for the NXT Championship. Cena tried to accept, but Owens said they were fighting on Sunday so he wouldn’t give him the match. I was kind of bothered by the things Cena said after. Cena criticized him for issuing an open challenge for anyone but him, and Owens just stood there like a chump and took it. That’s why I hate these scripted promos. It leaves room for absolutely nothing to take place organically. Anyway, Owens wound just saying they should let the next guy who comes down the ramp choose which belt they want to fight for. Neville came down and chose to face Owens for the NXT Championship. They went on to have a very good match that was thankfully given some time. Owens went over as he should have, but Neville looked strong in defeat. About the only thing I didn’t enjoy was Cena on commentary with his monotone voice. Him and Byron Saxton would make a lethal combination to any broadcast. More on Saxton in a bit.
I must say that as much as I’ve been critical of the lack of build and certain little things about the segment, this was a solid open to the show. It was refreshing to see something other than The Authority cutting a promo to kick off the show. Yes, it still opened with a promo, but it wound up leading to a good match. Still, a wrestling match hasn’t opened up an episode of Monday Night RAW since September 2014. I’m sure there aren’t any women reading this, but you could’ve gotten pregnant and had a cute little baby in the time since. That’s far too long.
Seth Rollins isn’t doing well on his own
As I just said, it was nice to not have a huge Authority presence at the start of the show. In truth, there wasn’t a lot of Authority storyline at all. Usually their stuff dominates the show, but it was kept to a minimum with some backstage segments and then a spot in the main event. I don’t really count the stuff that Kane did for the Money in the Bank build as Authority stuff just because he’s in the match. The storyline centered on Rollins being upset that Dean Ambrose was posting Instagram photos with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on his shoulder going down Bourbon Street. If they knew where he was all day, why didn’t they send a contingent out there to grab him? I went to New Orleans last year for WrestleMania XXX. Believe me when I tell you, you could walk to Bourbon Street from the Smoothie King Center.
Anyway, that’s just a little nitpick for some fun. Rollins was left to his own devices to handle Ambrose and pick his opponent for a tune up match. Rollins wound up choosing J&J Security after a pretty decent little segment backstage. Jamie Noble came in to talk a little sense to Rollins, but he shot them down. Noble then snapped on him and they exchanged blows before Joey Mercury finally spoke. For months they’ve been talking about how Mercury doesn’t speak and is a sensitive sort. Mercury said they’d kick his ass before the two of them left. That was the big payoff. Was it earth shattering? No, but it was good enough to set up the main event.
The main event was once again dead with the crowd. They tried to build it up like one of those classic upsets when J&J went over on Rollins, but it just never had that feel. Noble and Mercury had some fun flurries, but this wasn’t like when The Brooklyn Brawler pinned Triple H or The Lightening Kid pinned Razor Ramon. The crowd really hurt it, but that’s to be expected after a three-hour show (and it was a three-hour show by that point because the main event started after 11 PM EST). They got some help from Ambrose, who did get a nice pop, but it wasn’t enough to save the segment.
I never thought I’d write this, but I missed Booker T on commentary if only so Byron Saxton wouldn’t be there. At least Booker adds some funny lines at times. Saxton added nothing to the broadcast and was frequently run over by the other two morons. He’s so far away from being ready for a live broadcast and shouldn’t be using RAW to learn on the fly.
The build for the Money in the Bank match was pretty crumby. The Roman Reigns promo was kept short. Then Kane came out to interrupt, which led to a lame line from Reigns about breaking jaws. This led to everyone but Neville coming out to say why they’ll win. It was really redundant and lazy. I did like R-Truth coming out confused and thinking he’s in the match. That was pretty funny.
Dolph Ziggler had an awful night. Ziggler came out during the aforementioned segment and did some terrible comedy. Then he had an awful, awful match against Kane. Lana was on the ramp and was confronted by Rusev, which caused her to fall off the ramp and twist her ankle. Ziggler then did some awful acting and emoting after that. That injury with Lana was probably done to get her off the road until Rusev is healed. Real life relationships don’t usually survive these types of storylines.
I still don’t know what the hell is going on in the Divas division. Are the Bellas the ones that are heels? Is Paige? Does anyone care?
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus for the second time in a row was a boring offering that had the exact same finish as last week, only this time it was Orton doing it to Sheamus. It was what it was.
That Miz TV segment was pretty bad. Ryback was fun, but the Big Show and Miz stuff was death. I don’t understand at all why Ryback would give Big Show the Shell Shocked before the PPV unless Big Show is winning the title. Why give away the big finish?
Are Luke Harper and Erick Rowan using the 3D to set up a program with The Dudley Boys? They had some interaction on Twitter afterward, which definitely piques my interest.
Big E and Titus O’Neil had a match. Yeah.
Roman Reigns and Kofi Kingston had a match with little drama and the finish was never in question. Just like the Ziggler/Kane match, this one went two segments. In both cases, it was way too long.
This was another boring show with too much content to build up a PPV that didn’t have time to build up properly. Next week hopefully things will get back to normal with a more traditional build for the next PPV. I know I always point out the fact that the show is three-hours and it kills the crowd, but I think the crowd was dead last night because there’s nothing to really sink your teeth into. These quick, ADD storylines don’t give you any substance. It’s just “wham, bam, thank you ma’am.” I can’t wait for next week.
Bump of the Night: Neville’s nearly missed moonsault to the outside!
Match of the Night: Kevin Owens vs. Neville ** 1/4
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.
Check out my recap of this week’s RAW here. Please check out my live recap of RAW every Monday at 8 PM EST.
Also be sure to check out my predictions column for WWE Money in the Bank, which will be up this Sunday afternoon.
Thanks for reading!
Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Monday Night RAW for Wrestleview.com.