Roman Reigns runs a gauntlet to keep his position in the Money In The Bank ladder match, Seth Rollins blows up in front of The Authority, and the rivalry between Kevin Owens and John Cena becomes personal – it’s Monday Night RAW!
The Authority send a message to Dean Ambrose
Continuing the trend for most episodes of Raw, The Authority kicked off the show with a promo. This one wasn’t as excessively long as they sometimes end up being and got to the point rather quickly, which was deciding a suitable punishment for Dean Ambrose after Sunday’s Elimination Chamber. This prompted Roman Reigns to enter the fray as a mouthpiece for Ambrose who apparently was not in San Antonio tonight. Furthermore, he delivered a message that Ambrose wants a rematch for the WWE Championship with the stipulation of a ladder match at Money in the Bank. This greatly angered Rollins who blew up in the face of all Authority members as they were hesitant to give into the demand. Most notably, he called Kane a 7 foot piece of crap before dropping the microphone and leaving. This was a fun opening promo that didn’t drag and felt like a natural evolution to the rapidly growing cockiness of Rollins. The only real setback were some technical issues with the microphones.
1. Roman Reigns vs. Wade Barrett
As the promo concluded, HHH made it clear to Roman that if he lost his match tonight he would lose his spot in the Money In The Bank ladder match that will emanate from Columbus, Ohio in two weeks. That’s fine, but why send out Wade Barrett to job to him? Winning championships and other various accolades seemingly do nothing to elevate his career because the writers just put him on a losing streak afterwards. The match itself was your standard Roman match, as Barrett pretty much carried him throughout a fairly boring match that spanned across a commercial break. There was one cool spot where Barrett kicked the steel steps into Roman, but for the most part there is nothing of note. The finish came when Roman ducked a Bullhammer and countered with a Spear.
Next up were a pair of backstage segments, with the first being HHH telling Roman that he will compete again tonight, this time against Mark Henry, with the same stipulation as before. Cameras then switched to an awkward Divas interview between Nikki Bella and Paige. The delivery on Nikki’s lines were terrible as usual, and Paige even made a botch saying she became number one contender a few weeks ago when it was actually months ago. Nevertheless, the championship will be on the line tonight.
2. Ryback vs Miz – Intercontinental Championship
This match never actually got started. Ryback cut a promo thanking fans for their support, meanwhile Big Show suddenly returned and delivered a KO punch to Miz. Show then threw down a challenge to Ryback, which is a feud that realistically none of us probably want to see. This whole segment fell flat and introduced a rivalry that isn’t the least bit enticing.
Owens and Cena get personal
Kevin Owens came out and delivered one of the best promos WWE has seen all year, revealing that his hatred for Cena stems from the fact that while he was always on the road working the independent scene, he didn’t become a role model for his young son. Instead Cena did, because of the marketing machine agenda that the company pushes on its fans. Owens also acknowledged that the Internet typically calls him Super-Cena, proudly proclaiming that last night at Elimination Chamber he defeated Superman in his debut. Finally Cena had heard enough and joined into the promo, but as usual he somewhat ruined it by acting silly towards the beginning, and then making illogical claims like Owens doesn’t deserve the NXT Championship. Last time I checked he won that title clean. He then started rambling about never giving up, but there was a genuinely touching moment where he acknowledged a young girl with a sign in the crowd that said “I’m beating cancer”. Then it got silly again with Cena claiming that Owens isn’t a real man, because apparently he makes fun of the way people look; something I didn’t notice at all but okay. They teased a brawl before Owens left. He is a prizefighter and will grapple again with John one week from Sunday.
3. The New Day vs Dolph Ziggler and The Primetime Players
This one originally started out as just Dolph against Kofi in a fast-paced match full of high-impact moves. These two have always had great chemistry together so no surprise there. The finish came when Kofi tried to roll up Dolph grabbing a handful of tights, which was countered for the win. New Day then put a beatdown on Dolph until The Primetime Players made the save. Suddenly everything escalated into a six man tag match that saw Darren Young get beat down for most of the match, eventually making a hot tag to Titus. He hit a number of power slam type moves while hitting some double-team moves with Dolph. Together they got the crowd into the match and picked up the victory, which means they will probably lose their actual championship match next Sunday.
4. Roman Reigns vs Mark Henry
The second Roman match of the night, and unfortunately this one was even worse because Mark isn’t exactly the guy that can carry a match. It was pretty boring as Roman once again got destroyed until miraculously getting back into things with an admittedly impressive Samoan Drop on the 500 pounder. He eventually would win via countout.
Roman made the mistake of walking down that same hallway as HHH said that he would compete yet again with the same stipulation, this time against Bray Wyatt.
5. Nikki Bella vs Paige – Divas Championship
This wasn’t as dreadful as last night’s triple threat match, but it was still a very short rushed match. Nikki controlled most of the match until Paige fought back into it, even hitting her Rampaige finisher from the top rope. Nikki then rolled out of the ring as Brie rolled in for the cheap twin magic rollup victory. This spot shouldn’t exist anymore considering Nikki has both a boob job and different hair color. What a dumb finish. But then we should expect nothing less from the booking of women on main programming.
6. Randy Orton vs Sheamus
It was nice to see Randy Orton return to television after being absent for some inexplicable reason, especially considering he and Sheamus usually put on entertaining matches. This was no exception but didn’t have a traditional finish as once the fight spilled to the outside Sheamus hit Orton in the gut with a steel chair. This was a satisfactory segment and was simply meant to build some hype for the Money In The Bank ladder match that both of these wrestlers will be a part of.
7. Bo Dallas vs Adrian Neville
By now the show was really starting to drag and a rematch for something no one cared about last night wasn’t the remedy. If I wasn’t lazy I could probably just cut-and-paste everything Luke wrote about this match last night and call it a day. Adrian Neville wins with the only notable aspect being that Bo was more aggressive and screaming at Neville frequently.
8. Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt
To be brutally honest by this point I was tired of seeing Roman on my TV so I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have, which is essentially a sign of really bad booking. The crowd were seemingly with me too as they were pretty silent for both men. No one needs three matches in one night with a roster this diverse. Towards the end before the DQ finish there were some nice exchanges here and there to the point where I did eventually find this match watchable. As Roman was getting assaulted by The Authority the music of Ambrose hit as he helped out his buddy. There was also a really funny spot were Ambrose tossed the championship to Rollins but not before giving him Dirty Deeds and reclaiming the gold.
Truthfully this was a boring episode that was strong on promos but not on good wrestling or interesting matches. Outside of the heated promo between Owens and Cena, the show didn’t do much to hype up Money In The Bank which is only two weeks away. It also doesn’t help that the card looks utterly predictable.
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. Follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook