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The WWE NXT Report 06/03/15 – Balor vs. Rhyno, Breeze vs. Rose, Vaudevillians, Carmella vs. Bliss, and more!

This NXT coverage was submitted by Ring-Rap contributor Dru Atanacio.  Interested in contributing for Ring-Rap? Please email us at either dkoscelek@ring-rap.com or bwentz@ring-rap.com!

The opening video of shows clips and highlights of the Kevin Owens vs. John Cena match from Elimination Chamber. Towards the end of the promo, the blend in nicely Owen’s promo from Raw saying  “Anybody that didn’t know me yet, wasn’t worth my time… well now, everyone knows who Kevin Owens is… I’m the man who started a fight with John Cena and I’m also the man who FINISHED the fight. John, I have some veteran advice for you, your time is way up and my time is now… BECAUSE THE CHAMP IS HERE!!!” Highlight ends with Kevin Owens holding the NXT title.

Overview of the crowd shows and a graphic shows William Regal has an announcement tonight.

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Around The Ring With Ring Rap 6/2/2015 – Samoa Joe’s WWE Status, ROH on Destination America, Hits and Misses for WWE Raw and Elimination Chamber, and More

iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS | MP3

It’s the return of Around the Ring!  After a long hiatus, the short-form audio show returns, with Senior Writer Bill Wentz sitting down to give his thoughts on a few things in pro wrestling, and display the Pro Wrestling Bicep (but you can’t see it!).  Topics in this podcast include:

  • WWE Elimination Chamber hits and misses
  • WWE Raw hits and misses
  • Samoa Joe’s WWE status
  • …plus more!

For those of you looking for the traditional Ring Rap Audio flagship show that has been recording every Tuesday, don’t fret.  We’ll be bringing it back once we make our schedules play nice and get a day set to record.  In the meantime, we’ll keep your audio needs met with these shorter shows.

We welcome your feedback!  Let us know what you like and what you’d like to hear!

Be sure to check out our weekly show, Ring Rap Audio! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

Follow all of us on Twitter as well: @RingRapAudio and @RingRap.  Bill is on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan.  Matt is on Twitter @bigmat75.  Drew is on Twitter too @PsionStorm.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Google+!

 

Music credit: “Gearhead” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

 

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WWE Raw LIVE Coverage 06/01/15 – Elimination Chamber Fallout, Ambrose Has the WWE Title, The Authority Reacts, Cena/Owens, New IC Champ, and more!

WWE Raw comes at us LIVE starting at 8pm Eastern, and they are in San Antonio, TX.  Elimination Chamber ended with a bang last night, with Dean Ambrose beating Seth Rollins via DQ.  The title didn’t change hands, but that didn’t stop Ambrose from taking the belt anyhow!

Also, we have a new Intercontinental Champion, after Ryback survived the Elimination Chamber.  It’s his first title run.  Who will be his first challenger.

Plus, Kevin Owens defeated John Cena in a very hard-fought bout last night.  The rematch is already set for Money in the Bank.  How will John Cena react?  I’m sure Owens will have a few choice words…

Join me starting at 8pm as I make a triumphant return to covering WWE Raw live after a six-month work-induced break.  Join in the fun on Twitter too!  @RingRap!

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WWE Elimination Chamber 05/31/15 “Virtual Time” Coverage – Rollins vs. Ambrose for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Cena vs. Owens, Two Elimination Chamber Matches, plus more!

WWE Elimination Chamber comes at us LIVE on the WWE Network starting at 8pm EST.  Unfortunately due to outside commitments, neither Bill nor myself will be able to cover the show live, but we WILL have coverage sometime in the hour after the show has finished.  Follow-up on my thoughts on the show as it happens (for me) but as it already happened (for everyone else).

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WWE Monday Night Raw Live Report for 5/25/2015 – Memorial Day Edition, Go Home Show for Elimination Chamber, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose Hype Their Title Match, John Cena Has Words for Kevin Owens, More

On this Memorial Day (here in the United States), it’s the “go-home” edition of Raw as we get ready for Elimination Chamber this Sunday on WWE Network.  On a very short turnaround, we’ve seen Dean Ambrose rise to challenge Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship.  He forced his way into the picture last week, roughing up Seth Rollins during the “Architect of a Dream” segment that closed the show.  How will these two hype what should be a good in-ring match?  Kevin Owens, the NXT Champion, got the better of John Cena last week.  Word is that John Cena has words for Owens – what will he say?  Nikki Bella prepares to defend her Divas Championship against two competitors, the Intercontinental Championship contenders square off, and much more.

Show Open, Live from the Nassau County Coliseum on Long Island, NY

The show opens with a Memorial Day tribute video (that you may have seen earlier in the day as it was publicized).  Eden Styles is in the ring, and asks for fans to please rise and observe a moment of silence in honor of those lost.  The bell rings ten times.  They move on to the standard Raw open and Cole welcomes us in.

The familiar “King of Kings” refrain hits, and here comes The Authority to open the show with a talking segment.  They run footage of last week’s closing segment.  Rollins asks for a round of applause for Ambrose, but gets “you sold out” chants also.  Rollins says this isn’t about him, but it’s about Ambrose.

Rollins says that The Authority made a decision to give Ambrose his title match under duress.  Rollins says that Ambrose didn’t earn, nor does he deserve, a title shot.  He encourages Hunter and Stephanie to take the title match away.  “In fact, given your position you could even fire him.”

Rollins calls himself a benevolent human being, and says that Ambrose isn’t on his level.  “To be honest, he was riding my coat tails the whole time we were in the Shield.”  He says it was obvious why they picked Rollins over Ambrose to be a part of the Authority.  Hunter says that it was an easy choice.

Hunter goes on and says that they have something verbal, but they need something “a little more concrete.”   Hunter tells Ambrose that if he wants his world title shot, all he has to do is come down to the ring and sign a contract.  Booker says “yeah, Ambrose, come down to the ring and get your brains beaten in.”

Ambrose’s music hits and he makes his way to the stage to a good cheer.  He says that there must be something wrong with him, because he can’t sleep.  He says that instead of counting sheep, he counts how many times he punches Seth Rollins.  Once he gets to about 200 punches, he sleeps like a baby.

Ambrose talks about becoming the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion and face of the company.  He says that J&J Security will be barefoot like respectable hobbits.  He says Kane will wear a collar like any good obedient lap dog.  He adds that Rollins will drunk dial Selena Gomez, since he “will always be our little Justin Bieber.”

That draws a “Justin Bieber” chant.  Rollins yells at them to shut up.  Rollins praises Bieber for being rich, famous, and needing to fight off women.  Rollins calls Ambrose a cockroach, and says they can survive a nuclear holocaust.  He says that cockroaches never win.  They never thrive, they just survive.

Ambrose says that he would rather be a cockroach than the wrong end of the Authority’s centipede.  He ponders his options, and says that he might be crazy, and he might be stupid, but it might be worth a shot.  “I guess there’s only one way to find out.”  Ambrose drops the mic and makes his way down to the ring.  JBL says that Ambrose is walking to the gallows.  Roman Reigns’ music hits, and he makes his way down through the crowd.

Reigns jumps the barrier, and Stephanie says that it’s so cute that the “Shield boys” get together and that everyone loves it.  Stephanie tells Ambrose that he has until the end of the night to sign the contract, but in the meantime she is going to book a match.  She sets up Reigns and Ambrose vs. Kane and Rollins as the main event.  “And you don’t have to wait for the end of the night because that match will happen right now.”

Good move to label it as a main event, but have it happen right after the break.  The live crowd didn’t seem to like it, but when Steph said it would happen right away, they cheered. 

We’ll see how this goes tonight.  They have work to do to get to Elimination Chamber, so they might not mail this show in tonight.

Match #1 – Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins (w/J&J Security) and Kane

Early on, Booker makes a comment that if Ambrose doesn’t get the title shot without signing the contract is a case of the Authority being an “Indian giver.”  The heels get the better of the faces in the early going.

That’s a pretty shocking line from Booker.  Who is producing him?

Reigns and Kane get the hot tags after the break.  Reigns goes to work, beating Kane down.  In the corner, Reigns stomps Kane down but Mercury gets involved.  Reigns takes him out, cues the Superman Punch, but unloads it on Jamie Noble instead who got on the other apron.  Reigns runs into a big boot, then Kane sets the chokeslam. Reigns fights out of it, backing into the ropes where Ambrose tags him  Reigns hits the Superman Punch and Ambrose comes off the ropes to hit the flying elbow.

Later, Ambrose takes a flying knee from Rollins.  A bit later, Ambrose sets up Dirty Deeds.  Rollins counters out, hitting an enzugiri.  Ambrose staggers backward into the ropes, then sets up his pendulum clothesline.  Rollins ducks and hooks him at the same time, looking for a move.  Ambrose turns it into a backslide and picks up the win.

Rollins is shocked, and protests to the official that it was only a two count.  JBL  puts over how he can’t believe this happened and hopes it doesn’t on Sunday.

Logical to have Ambrose go over on Rollins here.

The announcers hype a free month of WWE Network and also the Entourage stars appearing tonight.

Backstage, Renee interviews Dean Ambrose.  She congratulates him on his win and says he still has to sign the contract.  He says not to worry, and by the end of the night he will have a signed contract.  J&J Security appears and says they have the contract for him to sign.  Mercury pats himself down.  “Well slap my head and call me Sally, he forgot it.”

Ambrose laughs, calls Noble Sally, then slaps him.  The three men scrum, with Ambrose letting them lying.  Unfortunately, a camera man also got tagged.  Ambrose checks on him.  JBL points to it as a case of Ambrose being completely unstable and shouldn’t be the champion.

Cole switches gears to talk about the John Cena open challenge from last week.  He says there was no challenge but Cena had a run-in with Kevin Owens.  They run a video package highlighting Kevin Owens.  Back live, the announcers hype Cena vs. Owens for Elimination Chamber.

Here comes Rusev for the next match.  He’s no longer Russian, apparently as he brings the Bulgarian flag to the ring.  He will be in action, next.

They show the cast of Entourage getting out of a limo backstage.

Match #2 – Rusev vs. R-Truth

Back live, they show the Intercontinental Championship on a table at ringside.  R-Truth makes his entrance and gets a few early shots in, but Rusev locks Truth in the Accolade for the submission win.

Afterward, Rusev gets a mic.  “Lana!  Lana!  We need to talk.  Lana, can you please come to the ring, we need to talk.”  Rusev says he won’t leave until Lana shows up.  Back from break, Rusev is still pleading with Lana to come to the ring, breaking between Bulgarian and English.  Lana has her own entrance now and she comes to the ring.  Rusev holds the rope, but she uses the opposite corner.

“You asked me to come, I came.  Now I’m waiting.”  Rusev says he knows Lana cares despite her actions at Wrestlemania and mistaking his “I quit” at Payback and because she kissed Ziggler.  He says he knows why she’s doing all these things is to make him pay attention.  She says that all she has done is because she cares.  He says “I know you want to crush America and the American spirit as bad as you do.”  That draws a “USA” chant.

Rusev asks her to take his hand, and all will be forgotten.  “We can make America fall down before Rusev, and his Ravishing Lana.”  Booker says he’s lying.  The fans chant no.  Lana takes his hand and the fans boo, but Rusev and Lana hug.  Rusev and Lana pose in the ring.  Rusev says “all I need you to say is the three little words – the three magical words – ‘I was wrong’.”

Lana shoves him off and walks to the apron.  He says all she has to do is admit it was her fault.  “I was not wrong, you said ‘I quit’.”  Rusev says she’s a liar and she needs to know her place.  “I own you, so get back in here now.”  Lana gets back in the ring.

Lana gets in Rusev’s face.  “You’re a liar and a quitter.”  She says she won’t listen to his “cruel, caveman, brutish, thick headed, moronic mouth again.”   Lana leaves the ring.  Dolph Ziggler’s music hits and he makes his way to the stage.  He motions at Lana, then the two kiss.  Rusev flips out in the ring as Ziggler smiles with Lana.

The only woman who could have taken all of the steam off of Rusev better is Stephanie McMahon.  Was waiting for her to come out  and continue the abuse.

Backstage, Ambrose is sitting in his locker room when Triple H and Seth Rollins walk in.  “Let me guess, you two brought me my contract, or are we trying to do this the fun way.”  Hunter says there’s no fun in what’s about to happen.  In walks two officers and the cameraman from earlier.

Hunter asks him if this is the man who assaulted him earlier.  “Yes, but I could have sworn I felt a shove from my side.”  Rollins tells him to shut up, and says Hunter asked a question.  The man looks at the floor and says “yes.”  The officers arrest Ambrose and read him his rights.  As he’s led away, Ambrose says “I guess we’re going to do this the fun way.”  Hunter and Rollins laugh.

Back from break, Ambrose is led to a waiting police vehicle.  Rollins, J&J, and Kane mock Ambrose and say that he’s not good enough for jail and should be taken to the zoo.  As the vehicle drives off they laugh and celebrate.

Remember the Corporation days with Austin?  Yup, exact replay.  Yawn.  Fuck this booking.

Match #3 – Ryback vs. King Barrett

Barrett is in the ring already, eyeing up the title belt.  Ryback still has taped ribs.  Early on Ryback hits a Thesz Press and controls the offense.  He slams Barrett then teases the Meathook clothesline.  Barrett rolls out and Ryback gives chase.  Barrett takes a shot at Ryback’s ribs, then throws him into the barrier.  On the apron, Barrett runs Ryback into the corner then delivers shots across Ryback’s ribs as he lays on the buckle.

Barrett hits Winds of Change for a near fall.  He cues up the Bull Hammer, but Ryback’s not getting up.  Barrett bad mouths, and Ryback pops up.  He hits Shellshocked for the win.  Ryback plays to the fans, then looks at the Intercontinental Championship and chants “Feed Me More.”

Backstage, Triple H is on the phone.  He thanks whoever he’s speaking with then hangs up.  He tells Stephanie that Dean Ambrose is on his way to central booking and probably won’t make it back to sign the contract.  Stephanie says that Rollins won’t have an opponent.  In walks the cast of Entourage.  They share greetings

They ask if Ambrose will be on the show.  “Turtle” talks about getting his ass handed to him by Ronda Rousey and says Stephanie can relate.  He asks if her arm is okay and thought it might have gotten snapped in a couple places.  Stephanie didn’t care for the humor and sent them to their dressing room down the hall.

They run an ad for Steve Austin’s interview with Paul Heyman on June 1 after Raw.  They then show Tough Enough tryout videos.

Stardust is making his way to the ring back live.  He spies Steven Darnell at ringside (star in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and mocks him.  The two exchange words.  Neville makes his way to the ring for the next match.

Match #4 – Neville vs. Stardust

As Neville comes to the ring, they hype that Neville will face Bo Dallas at Elimination Chamber.  As the match starts, there’s NXT chants.  After some early jockeying, Stardust drapes Neville’s knee over the ropes.   He holds Neville up for a delay vertical suplex, then focuses on the knee.

Bo Dallas makes his way to the ring.  Neville starts to deliver shots, but Stardust attempts a belly to back suplex.  Neville sells the knee as he lands on his feet.  Stardust perches him on the ropes and tries a superplex.  Neville fights out then hits a tornado DDT.

Neville sets up the Red Arrow.  He delivers for the win.  Dallas gets in the ring and says “come on buddy, you can pick yourself back up.  All you have to do is Bo-Lieve!”  Dallas hits a low drop kick to the bad knee and leaves.  Dallas takes a victory lap.

Fine enough and got some hype on Dallas going into the match with Neville on Sunday.

Backstage the Entourage guys are talking about their faux-pas with Stephanie earlier.  They come across Divas, and start playing to them.  One of them is talking to Zack Ryder, which gets a mild pop from the hometown crowd.  He says “you gotta do it, bro, this is the last time WWE is going to be in the Coliseum.”  The others introduce him to the ladies, and Ryder says “really bro?”  The Entourage cast convenes with Ryder and tells the ladies they will see them later.

Dolph and Lana are shown, and he’s up next against Sheamus.

Back live, they show the history surrounding Seth Rollins and Money in the Bank.  They hype the Money in the Bank pay per view on June 14.

Match #5 – Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler is playing to fans and the announcers recap his history with Money in the Bank.  Sheamus comes to the ring next and the announcers hype that he has never held the Intercontinental Championship.

Sheamus controls the early going.  About 3 minutes in, Ziggler clotheslines Sheamus to the floor and both men tumble to ringside.  Ziggler tweaks his knee a bit and Sheamus hits a tilt-a-whirl slam on the floor.  Lana makes her way to the stage for a look at the action.  Sheamus yells “Are you not entertained!” as we go to break.

Later in the match, Ziggler hits a superkick for a near fall.  Rusev comes out.  He smiles as he passes Lana, but Ziggler sees him.  Ziggler hits a superkick, but the distraction lets Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick.  Sheamus wins.  Sheamus leaves the ring and eyes Rusev.  He motions toward the ring and Rusev gets in.  Lana heads to the ring.

Rusev eyes up Lana then knees Ziggler a couple times in the head.  Lana watches on stoically.  Ziggler starts to fight back, but Rusev cuts him off, stomps on him then locks him in the Accolade.  Rusev taunts Lana, yelling “kiss him now!”  He jumps out of the ring and walks away as Ziggler sells.

Fine enough again, but Sheamus and Ziggler have worked so often that I sort of checked out.  It’s not the guys in question – I like what both guys are doing, but the fact is that they’ve worked too often and it takes a lot off the match.

Cole moves right on to hyping the John Cena US Open Challenge, up next.

I wonder – Zack Ryder?

They recap last week’s US Open Challenge segment, where Kevin Owens interrupted John Cena and hit him with the pop up powerbomb.

The John Cena US Open Challenge:

Cena’s music hits and he makes his way out.  He says “apparently the remix is a popular song” as the fans sing “John Cena Sucks” along with his song.  Cena charges the ring as the announcers hype Owens vs. Cena at Elimination Chamber on Sunday.  They’re calling it “Champion vs. Champion.”

“For over ten years now, you, the WWE Universe, can be summed up in five words – Let’s Go Cena, Cena Sucks.”  He says there are fans who fight with him, and fight against him.  He pauses to listen to the various chants that solidify into “Let’s Go Cena, Cena Sucks.”

He addresses his supporters, saying they believe in what he believes in – hustle, loyalty, and respect.  He says that they believe that no matter the odds they never give up.  Over ten years they have shared in the agony of defeat and the triumph of victory.  “Most importantly…”  Cena waits out a “We want Ryder.” chant.  He says over ten years they have formed a bond that allows them to survive an atmosphere no matter how hostile.  He thanks those who support him.

He then addresses “the others” who chant “Cena sucks” among other things.  He asks why, and says that for ten years they have clamored for someone to knock him down and keep him down.  “Here is where the story gets difficult for those who chant Cena sucks.”  He says name after name has tried and failed.

He says he was forcefully introduced to “the newest hopeful” last week on Raw, referencing Kevin Owens.  He recounts Owens debuting, breaking the internet, then going to the NXT special and breaking Sami Zayn in half.  He says that those who chant Cena Sucks believe that Kevin Owens is the man to create change around here.

He says on Sunday they will be able to chant “Fight Owens Fight.”  He says for the first time you  might not hear “Let’s Go Cena – Cena Sucks” but you might hear “Let’s Go Cena – Fight Owens Fight.”  He says it doesn’t promise “Win Owens Win.”  He says Owens proved he knows how to start a fight, but let’s see if he can finish one.

He moves on to talking about Monday Night Raw, hyping the final WWE event in the Nassau County Coliseum.  He says it gives him great pride to put the US Championship on the line on Memorial Day.  He says Long Island is the place to be, and by looking at the hardware John Cena is still the man to beat.  “You want some, come get some.”

The cast of Entourage makes their way out.  Cena eyes them up then introduces them to a chorus of boos.  He tells them the challenge is open to anyone and asks who it will be.  One of them speaks up and says that as much as they would like to fulfill a childhood dream, they’re there to introduce a superstar, “a Long Island Boy, just like me,” Zack Ryder.

Match #6 – John Cena (c) vs. Zack Ryder; WWE United States Championship

Back live, the match gets underway.  The commentators talk about the history of Nassau Coliseum with the Nets and Islanders.  Ryder cues up the Broski Boot but Cena escapes.  Cena hits his shoulder blocks, the side slam, and sets up the Five Knuckle.  Someone on the movie cast gets in the ring and Cena turns to him.

Ryder uses the distraction to roll Cena up for two.  A bit later, Ryder hits the Unprettier for a two count.  He comes back with the Broski Boot for two, then hits the Rough Ryder for another two count.  Ryder goes up to the top and goes for a 450, but Cena rolls out of the way.  Cena hits the AA and picks up the win.

Cena gets the belt back, but hands it back to the official.  He helps Ryder up and raises his arm in the ring.  the two men play to the fans, then the movie cast gets in the ring and also plays to the fans.  Ryder and the movie cast exit and Cena plays to the fans a bit too.

Kevin Owens pops up through the fans.  He hits the ring and kicks Cena, throwing him off the rope and hitting the Pop Up Powerbomb again.  Owens stomps on the US Championship and poses with his belt.  The adult males cheer for Owens, the women and kids are silent.  Booker says Owens is good at taking the cheap shot but he’ll have to face Cena eye to eye on Sunday.  Owens struts up the ramp and poses with the belt again.

Ryder got his moment and it was fun for the hometown fans and I’m sure for him since it’s the last time in Nassau Coliseum for WWE.  They missed a chance to make some money with Ryder when he was hot and that’s a shame.  WWE beat us into submission with the way they handled him for him getting himself over.  The Owens angle was a simple rinse and repeat from last week.

Backstage, Stephanie says that Owens is impressive and it’s scary.  Rollins says that he is great, but no one should get ahead of themselves, because he’s still the present and future of WWE.    Renee Young asks for an update on Ambrose.  Stephanie says that he will have every opportunity to come to the ring and sign the contract by the end of the night.  Renee asks if it’s a formality because they had Ambrose arrested.

Rollins speaks up and says that Ambrose got himself arrested.  “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”  At the announce table, Cole feeds it to a recap of the story through the night.

The Bella Twins’ music hits and they head to ringside for the next match.  Tamina will take on Paige in a one-on-one match.

Jobber entrance for Tamina, who is waiting in the ring.  Paige gets an entrance.  They recount Naomi and Tamina beating Nikki down before Paige made the save.  Paige then turned on Nikki and hit the RamPaige.  Cole hypes the three ladies facing off in a triple threat.  Nikki says she’s ready for it.

Match #7 – Paige vs. Tamina (w/Naomi)

Tamina throws some shots at Paige.  Cole talks about the counseling that Brie got sent to last week. Brie says Bryan is in good spirits and the counseling was good for her.  Tamina controls the offense on Paige in the early going while the announcers talk about Tamina and Naomi “taking over” the Divas division.

Paige fires up with strikes, and hits a kick off the ropes.  Naomi gets on the apron but because of the distraction Tamina ends up getting rolled up.   Paige hits a drop kick, then a senton off the apron to a nice reaction.  Coming back in, Tamina throws some shots.  Naomi backs Tamina off, and Naomi  hits a cheap shot.  Tamina hits a Samoan drop to get the win.  Booker says it reminds him of Twin Magic, and Nikki says it’s not as good.

Naomi and Tamina pose in the ring and the Bellas stand up, with Nikki holding the belt up.

The announcers hype Elimination Chamber and say the WWE Network is the only place you can see the event in the US.  Big E’s voice rings out and he says to not be sour and tells us to clap for the tag team champions.  Nassau greets them with “New Day Sucks” chants.  They’re up next.

Back live, the announcers hype The Rock’s new movie, San Andreas, and his moment at TCH Chinese Theater.  San Andreas opens May 29.

New Day complains about having to face five other teams in the Elimination Chamber.  Kofi says the fans don’t want to see it and the fans chant yes.  Big E says that even the fans in this decrepit old building that is about to be torn down can recognize champions.  They make fun of Long Island for losing their hockey team and calls them losers.

Kane comes out.  He says that all the teams have a 1 in 6 chance of winning, and that’s very fair.  What’s not fair is the match he books for him next.  He sets up New Day against the other competitors of the Elimination Chamber on Sunday.  Each team gets an entrance, then we go back to break again.

Match #8 – New Day vs. The Ascension, The Prime Time Players, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (w/Natalya), Los Matadores (w/El Torito) and The Lucha Dragons; 10-on-3 Handicap Match

Woods is controlling Kalisto in the early going.  He talks trash at the other teams, and they jump the ring and mug him.  That’s the end of the match right there.  It breaks down into a full on brawl, with The Ascension hitting a double team move.  The teams end up out on the floor, and Lucha Dragons hit a big dive on the remaining men on the floor.  New Day climbs back in the ring to celebrate winning by DQ.

Tyson Kidd and Cesaro attack them, hitting their swing into kick move on Woods.  Kidd, Cesaro, and Natalya pose in the ring.

Cole again hypes Elimination Chamber, then sells a Daniel Bryan special airing on WWE Network tonight after Raw.  He feeds it to preview.

Miz TV will return on Sunday at Elimination Chamber, and his guest will be Daniel Bryan.  Cole feeds it to a recap of the segment where Ambrose accidentally roughed up the cameraman (by Rollins pushing the cameraman in the way) and shows the footage of another worker showing Rollins shoving the cameraman into the mix.

In-Ring Segment:

“King of Kings” hits again and here comes Triple H, Stephanie, Rollins, Kane, and J&J.  JBL tries to defend what Rollins did.  Rollins says what some idiot did with a cellphone doesn’t matter and Ambrose was justifiably arrested earlier tonight.  Rollins calls him a common thug and says he takes pride in the Lunatic Fringe nickname.

He says that it sometimes pays off, and it almost got him a shot at his championship.  Instead, he finds himself behind bars.  Stephanie gets on the mic (AAAHHH!) and

Roman Reigns’ music hits, and he makes his way to the ring.  He attacks Rollins, but it quickly turns into a five on one beatdown by J&J, Rollins and Kane on Reigns.  Reigns hits one Superman punch, but Kane chokeslams him.  Sirens ring out.

Dean Ambrose is driving the paddywagon from earlier, a la Stone Cold driving a Zamboni.  I know there’s nothing new in wrestling these days, but geez.  He drives the paddywagon out into the arena then gets out, wearing a cop jacket and hat.  He heads to the ring with billy clubs in hand and the fight is on.

He and Reigns work together to clear Kane and J&J out.  They each have clubs, so they take turns jabbing Rollins in the gut with them.  J&J and Kane hit the ring again, and Rollins escapes.  They scrum some more, with Reigns hitting a double spear on J&J.  Kane throws Reigns out, and Reigns hits him with a Superman punch at the ropes.  Ambrose hits a wobbly Kane with Dirty Deeds.

Reigns gets back in the ring with the contract, smiling.  Rollins, Vin…errr, Triple H, and Stephanie stand on the stage with disgust.  Reigns laughs and hands it to him.  JBL says “quick, end the show” but Ambrose signs.  He plays to the three of them as Rollins grabs his head in disgust.  Cole gives a final sell for Elimination Chamber as the show ends.

Well, all we needed there was Jim Ross yelling “STONE COLD! STONE COLD!  STONE COLD!” and a legitimately hot crowd.  Ambrose has a unique character that is fun and interesting and something I really like.  But they’re booking him in a way that is a total rehash of the Corporation angle from 1998.  This was just not inspiring at all.

This show killed my interest in Elimination Chamber.  Nothing felt important – it was “just okay” at best.  I thought the Owens/Cena angle was decent enough, but it was a repeat more than it was something fresh.  I think Elimination Chamber will be good, but this show didn’t do it any favors at all.

Drew and I will be getting together tomorrow night to talk Elimination Chamber, Raw, and everything else wrestling on Ring Rap Audio.  Be sure to comment, and ask your questions for discussion either in the comments, on Twitter @RingRap, or on our Facebook page.  Thanks for watching along tonight.

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WWE NXT Takeover: Unstoppable LIVE Coverage 05/20/15 – Owens vs. Zayn, Banks vs. Lynch, Balor vs. Breeze, plus more!

WWE’s NXT is going LIVE this evening starting at 8pm Eastern, for NXT Takeover: Unstoppable!  We will have live coverage of the show starting at 8pm, and potentially some pre-show coverage as well, if I can convince the love of my life to put up with more wrestling than she does.

Here is the card, as listed on WWE.com.

  • Kevin Owens (c) vs. Sami Zayn for the NXT Championship
  • Sasha Banks (c) vs. Becky Lynch for the NXT Women’s Championship
  • Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady for the NXT Tag Team Championships
  • Finn Balor vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Hideo Itami* for the #1 Contendership to the NXT Title
  • Dana Brooke & Emma vs. Charlotte & Bayley
  • Baron Corbin vs. Rhyno

*Hideo Itami is out with a shoulder injury and will not be wrestling, however per Triple H, he will still have a role in the show.

Join us starting at 8pm for all the fun, and follow along on Twitter @RingRap as well!

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Ring Rap Audio: 05/19/15 – WWE Payback Review, A Look at Raw, Notes on TNA and NXT, plus NXT Takeover: Unstoppable In-Depth Predictions, and more!

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There’s a lot of WWE product in a short amount of time this week.

WWE Payback was mostly a hit.  In the ring?  Solid.  Story-wise?  Unnecessary.  Bill and Drew has the show out in great detail and offer their thoughts on the night, plus a look at WWE Raw as well.

NXT Takeover: Unstoppable is happening this Wednesday 05/20/15, and Drew and Bill have an in-depth preview of the show!  Who will win?  Who will lose? Where do they go from here?

All this, plus notes on the NXT Training Staff, TNA changes time slots, and more!

Follow all of us on Twitter as well: @RingRapAudio and @RingRap.  Bill is on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan.  Matt is on Twitter @bigmat75.  Drew is on Twitter too @PsionStorm.

Be sure to tune in to our shorter, more frequent solo audio show, Around the Ring with Ring Rap! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

You can also follow us on Facebook and Google+!

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WWE Smackdown Results for 05/21/15 (Spoilers)

WWE Smackdown is being filmed this evening in Norfolk, VA, for airing on Thursday May 21st, 2015.  Below are the spoilers from the show.  Refresh for the most current updates as they come in.

If you are attending live, and would like to contribute, please contact me at dkoscelek@ring-rap.com.

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WWE Monday Night Raw Live Coverage for 5/18/2015 – Payback Fallout, Nikki Bella Defends the Divas Championship, John Cena’s Open Challenge, Stephanie McMahon Returns, and More

It’s the night after Payback, and all of the buzz on social media today seems to be about….Stephanie McMahon returning.  Steph has been away for about a month and now she will make her first appearance on Raw since Mania.  What does she have to say about the recent goings on?  Also, WWE is advertising that Nikki Bella will defend her Divas Championship against Naomi.  Naomi pinned her last night – will she be able to get the job done in a singles match?  Also, John Cena has promised that he will issue another open challenge on the fallout show last night.  Who will answer?

Show Open, Live from Richmond, VA at the Richmond Coliseum:

Editorial Note:  First hour is very much “Cliff’s Notes” version as I wipe the grease and dirt from my hands.  Truck show season is rapidly approaching.

Raw open hits, and Cole, JBL and Booker T check in on commentary.  Eden introduces Triple H and Stephanie to the ring, where there’s a table with what looks like a belt covered up on it.  Stephanie asks if the fans missed her.

Steph talks about being a winner, and says the fans can’t relate.  Seth Rollins, though, can as he beat three other men at Payback.  Hunter says that Rollins has proven to be everything they say he is.  They begin to address the belt on the table, and Stephanie asks for a drum roll.  She uncovers the Intercontinental Championship.

Stephanie mentions Daniel Bryan, which makes her pause for a “Yes!” chant.  Stephanie tells the fans that Bryan doesn’t own a television and “is picking berries or chopping wood or whatever it is that you do.”  She says Bryan has proven her right, having to give up two different championships because his body couldn’t hold up.  “How heartbreaking,” she mocks.

Hunter says they will crown a new IC champion who will be the most resilient and durable champion in history because the champion will be determined in Elimination Chamber.  The announcers mention the match briefly, with JBL saying he hates it because there is no part of the structure that doesn’t hurt.  Booker mentions that if he walked out, he felt like he won.  Hunter again sells how brutal and unforgiving the chamber is.  He say that six men will enter and one will leave as the new IC Champion.

Sheamus’ music hits and he makes his way to the ring.  He apologizes for interrupting, then responds to a “you look stupid” chant, saying that the fans have no taste.  Sheamus says there’s no need for the match, because he ended Bryan’s career.  They roll footage of his match with Bryan on Smackdown.  Sheamus basically asks the Authority to hand over the title to him.  Ryback’s music interrupts, and he comes to the ring.

Ryback’s ribs are taped to sell from last night.  He tells Sheamus he looks stupid, then says Bryan has more heart, determination and passion than Sheamus could ever have.  He waits out a “Yes” chant.  Stephanie makes a comment about predictability, but Ryback tells her “big guy has the microphone, big guy is talking, Steph.”  Ryback talks about how Bryan nearly ruined his body to become IC champion.

Ryback says that Sheamus likes picking on little guys, and challenges Sheamus to a match.  Before they come to blows, Stephanie says both men will be in the Chamber match.  Hunter says he likes the vibe and they will let the two men to fight.

When I heard Stephanie would be back on this show, I immediately thought “long talk segment to start the show.”  This wasn’t as long as I expected, but of course they had to trot her out there right from go.  She had some good lines, and Ryback did a nice job of standing up to her.  They did a decent job of making the IC Championship match feel important and got to the opening match logically.

Match #1 – Sheamus vs. Ryback:

Cole discusses the rules of Elimination Chamber.  Sheamus hits Ryback with a backbreaker.  Ryback shoves him off and yells “dammit!” as he rolls to ringside.  Sheamus follows and kicks him in the ribs.  After commercial, Ryback hits a powerbomb and sells his ribs.  He hits a spinebuster then sets up for his Meathook but Sheamus runs to ringside.  Ryback goes out after him, catches him and gorilla press slams him on the announce table.

In the ring, Ryback loads Shellshocked, but Sheamus throws a punch in the ribs and Ryback drops him.  Sheamus grabs his eye, and Ryback attacks.  The official pulls Ryback back, but Sheamus blasts him with the Brogue kick to get the win.  Sheamus sells the eye for a moment, then acts as if he recovered miraculously.

Right call to have Sheamus win.  He and Bray Wyatt could be those upper-tier heels with winning streaks that WWE needs right now.  Ryback has the out of Sheamus’ shenanigans and his ribs being hurt.

They show a graphic of the IC title match for the Elimination Chamber, with Sheamus and Ryback filled in and four open slots.  The announcers hype Seth Rollins’ “Architect of Dream” segment.

Backstage, Hunter and Stephanie praise Kane for what he did at Payback.  Kane says that he thinks Seth Rollins has grown up.  Seth enters with J&J Security to boast about his win and hand out champagne.

Dean Ambrose enters and tells Rollins they are tied at 1 win a piece against each other.  He say he will grant Rollins a rematch if he puts the title on the line.  Hunter and Stephanie exit, and Rollins asks if Ambrose has heard of the back of the line.  Kane backs up Rollins, and then Rollins leaves.

Ambrose tells Kane it’s sad to see him neutered and asks what Paul Bearer or his brother (The Undertaker) would think.  Ambrose calls Kane a glorified butler, which Kane doesn’t like.  He books Ambrose against Bray Wyatt.  “Okay.” And Ambrose takes a drink of Kane’s champagne.  He tells Kane he shouldn’t drink on the clock.

Looks like we’re going Ambrose vs. Rollins at Elimination Chamber.  I wonder if they somehow get Reigns in the picture, since he didn’t really lose either last night.  If they go Shield triple threat, they should save it for something like SummerSlam.

In-Ring Segment:

Renee Young interviews Neville.  Cole says that King Barrett wanted nothing of him at Payback in order to sell the count-out.  Booker says he would have done the same thing if he were Barrett.

Young asks Neville about his debut after Wrestlemania.  Neville says he’s been fortunate enough to compete all over the world, but nothing compares to being in WWE.  He says he’s not the biggest guy and has his share of doubters, but he enjoys proving the doubters wrong.  He says when he flies through the air, he is ten feet tall and invincible.

Young asks him about going from NXT Champion to main roster but Bo Dallas interrupts.  He talks as he comes to the ring, and Neville points out that he beat Bo to start his record breaking NXT Championship run.  Bo attacks Neville at the knee, and Neville catches Bo with a kick to send him to the floor.

King Barrett’s music hits and he comes to the ring for a match.

Match #2 – Neville vs. King Barrett:

Bo sits in on commentary and complains about how he was trying to help Neville.  Barret controls the offense, working Neville’s knee.  After break, Barrett stays on offense and works over the knee.  Neville tries to hit a suplex but sells his knee buckling.  He tries a springboard and does the same.  Barrett hits the Bull Hammer for the win.  Afterward, Dallas gets in the ring, smiles at Barrett, then attacks Neville by going after the knee.  He wraps it around the ring post a couple times.

Dallas in the IC match?  Possible.  At least he got rid of the scraggly goatee.

They acknowledge that Titus O’Neil won the Mega Dad of the Year award.

In-Ring Segment:

Rusev comes to the ring to cut a promo, without Lana.  He tells the fans that there is no Lana, and she needs to learn her place.  The fans chant for her and he yells “There is no Lana, shut up.”  Rusev says he crushed John Cena to the point that he passed out.

“And then Lana quit.  Lana quit because she’s weak.”  Rusev demands that Cena come out and the Authority come out to restart the match from last night.

Lana comes to the ring, and Rusev chastises her for disobeying.  She says that Rusev is misunderstood and she believes in him.  She talks about their history, saying she has been with him every step of the way and believed that Rusev could be the man to make John Cena say “I quit.”  She says it didn’t happen.  She says that she quit because she cares for Rusev.  Lana says that she did the right thing “for you, and the right thing for us.”

Lana says that Rusev was screaming “I quit” in Bulgarian, which draws “you quit.” chants from the live crowd.  Rusev calls Lana weak, and says she makes him weak.  He tells her to go back to where she came from and get out of the ring.  Rusev yells at her in Bulgarian or Russian as she leaves, and Cole calls Rusev a horrible human being.  JBL says Rusev needed to cut the deadwood.

This angle was good, but the announcers and show format did nothing to help it.  This is a perfect time for heel JBL to say that heel Rusev went too far and act outraged by what he saw.  Also, they really should have gone to break and let the impact of this moment sink in but instead they rushed on to the next thing.

The announcers move on to talking about the Payback main event, and Dean Ambrose makes his entrance for the next match.

Match #3 – Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt:

Wyatt controls early on.  I’m eating dinner, and it’s really good.  Anyhow.

Ambrose starts a comeback after break, and sets up a suicide dive.  Wyatt punches him and hits a suplex from ring to floor going to break again.  A bit later, Wyatt and Ambrose exchange punches, then Ambrose hits Wyatt with a running cross body block.  He follows with punches and a  bulldog.

Wyatt charges, but tumbles to ringside when Ambrose holds the top rope down.  Ambrose hits a suicide dive, and the announcers make some comment about Wyatt trying to counter.  In the ring, Wyatt and Ambrose jockey for position and tease finish sequences.  Ambrose tries his running clothesline but Wyatt connects with one of his own for two.

Ambrose slaps Wyatt, and Wyatt fires back.  Ambrose leans into the ropes and hits his clothesline.  Ambrose slams the mat after getting two, then gets Wyatt on the ropes for a superplex.  Wyatt fights him off and knocks him down.  Wyatt tries a second rope senton, but Ambrose rolls away.

Ambrose goes top rope, but J&J Security runs out.  Mercury distracts the official, Noble shoves Ambrose off the ropes.  Ambrose lands on his feet but goes right into Sister Abigail and Wyatt gets the win.  J&J celebrates with Seth Rollins on the stage.

Good match, logical finish to protect Ambrose and give Wyatt the win.  Looks like Ambrose is heading to a match with Rollins, so you want to protect him.

The announcers hype up the Divas Championship, the Tag Team Championship match, and the US Open Challenge with John Cena.

Nice hook to keep viewers locked on the show by holding the title matches for the later part of the show.  And they’ve given some consistent hype to the matches, so that should keep people interested.

The announcers set up the Tough Enough hype, showing entry videos.  A graphic shows Hulk Hogan, Chris Jericho, Booker T, Paige, Daniel Bryan, Lita, Billy Gunn, and Daniel Bryan being part of the show.

Match #4 – Big E and Kofi Kingston of New Day (c) vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (w/Natalya); WWE Tag Team Championship

Xavier Woods got barred from ringside for his action last night.  Kingston calls it a “trumped up controversy” that got him banned.  Big E says the fans are “simple, illiterate people in this backwater state.”  Kingston says they will persevere through the power of positivity.  Early on, Big E gets held up in a vertical suplex.  Kidd hits a clunky hurancanrana on Big E as we go to break.

Kidd fires up and hits a cool clothesline spot, and locks in the Sharpshooter.  Big E breaks it up, so Cesaro and E trade punches.  All hell breaks loose with E tossing Cesaro to the floor.  Kofi and E beat up Kidd in the corner, so the official calls for the bell.

Kidd and Cesaro hold their own in the post match scrum until Xavier Woods comes out to help.  The Lucha Dragons run out and start beating on whatever moves.  Los Matadores, The Ascension, and The Prime Time Players also run out.  The Players clear the ring, then the Dragons dive on the remaining teams.  The Players drag Woods in the ring and rough him up.  Cole says the teams will be participating in the Elimination Chamber tag match.

The match seems to have been a no contest – c’mon, gimme a result.  The run-ins were a big hit with the live crowd it seemed.  I would liked to have seen Harper and Rowan involved here, but I guess if there’s no plan to put the title on them, no sense running them out there.

Cole hypes up Cena’s Open Challenge for next.  He also hypes the return of Roman Reigns for Smackdown.

John Cena’s US Open Challenge:

John Cena comes to the ring, and the fans chant USA.  He leads them in another round of chants.  Cena talks about how proud he is as an American, and points out some military members and says that they make the US Championship different.  “This is our championship, and the champ is here.”  Cena says it’s time to give the competition an opportunity.  “Richmond is the place to be, John Cena is still the man to beat, and the John Cena US Championship Open starts…now.  You want some, come get some.”

Kevin Owens’ music hits, and Richmond pops for him.  He has the NXT Championship on his shoulder.  Cole talks about Owens being self-centered, vulgar, cold, and vile as he makes his way to the ring.

“Hello John,” Owens says.  He congratulates Cena on his win at Payback, calling it impressive.  He says he would introduce himself, but Cena knows who he is.  He says if people otu there don’t know, then they aren’t worth his time in the first place.

Cena stops him  and says they have to do it right.  “NXT Champion, Kevin Owens.”  Owens thanks him and says it was nice.  Owens brings up Sami Zayn, saying that Zayn was injured going into the match against Cena, and he knows that because he was the one that injured Zayn.  Owens talks about the live NXT Takeover event on Wednesday and says he will finish what he started.

Cena calls it a fine speech but Owens has a lot to learn.  He tells Owens to listen closely, and says some of the people don’t know him but not a single person there should be called a waste of time.  Cena goes preacher man node and says without all of them, there is no Owens, no Raw, and no WWE.  “This is why we are here.”

Cena offers Owens “veteran advice” but Owens cuts him off.  He says “I may not have been in WWE, but I  have been doing this longer than you, so you don’t get to give me advice.”  Cena talks about Zayn again, saying he blew his shoulder up but fired up and gave his best shot.  He says he doesn’t see the same fire in Owens’ eyes.  He calls Owens a scared boy about to crap his pants after realizing he bit off more than he can chew.

Cena tells Owens that the US Championship Open is still open, and if he wants some to come get some.  Owens says he’s a prize fighter and he already has a prize in the NXT Championship.  “When it comes to your little US Open Challenge, my answer is no.  But trust me, you and I, we are going to fight some day, but it’s going to be on my terms, not yours.”

Owens starts to tell Cena that if he thinks he has him all figured out…then turns and boots Cena in the gut.  He throws Cena off the ropes and hits the pop up powerbomb on Cena.  He holds up both title belts, them drops the US Title and steps on it while posing over Cena and holding up the US Championship.

I thought for a moment that they would have Owens put on a game performance and lose here, but that doesn’t make much sense.  A good talking segment that got heat on Owens for what he did, and made a lot of casual viewers familiar with Owens in a hurry.  Great first impression for the NXT Champion.

They run footage of Daniel Bryan surrendering the IC Title again.  They update the match participants now, which are Sheamus, R-Truth, Rusev, Ryback, and King Barrett.  The last entrant will be named later.

Putting the IC Championship on Rusev is a good bounce back move.  I think they put it on Sheamus though, personally.  Why is R-Truth in this match?

Match #5 – Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust:

The announcers point out the stitches that Ziggler got as a result of his match with Sheamus last night.  Stardust points at his eye as a threat to Ziggler.  Dolph fights out of Stardust setting up his finish and hits the Zig Zag to win.

Afterward, Cole asks Ziggler how he’s feeling.  Ziggler talks about the stitches, saying it’s the NHL Playoffs and chicks dig scars.  Not much hockey love in Richmond, I don’t think.  Anyhow, Cole tells him he is the last man in the IC Championship match at Elimination Chamber.  Ziggler says it’s about time.

Ziggler says he will take on all comers if he wins the championship.  Speaking of all comers, here comes Lana.  The fans chant for her, and she smiles.  She pulls Ziggler in and kisses him.  The fans cheer, Ziggler and Lana smile, and the fans chant “one more time.”  Lana obliges.

Rusev storms out.  Booker says that someone will die.  Rusev gets in the ring and yells at Lana.  Lana slaps Rusev, and he’s not happy about this.  Rusev gets all bug-eyed like he plans to attack her, but Ziggler hits him with the Zig Zag.  Ziggler escorts Lana backstage.

I suppose they could turn this into an angle where Lana sucks in Ziggler like this to have her turn and help Rusev win the title at Elimination Chamber.  Then again, we said these same kinds of things about the match last night with Cena, and none of it happened.

Backstage, Kane barks orders about wanting something sparkling.  He sees Adam Rose and Rosa Mendes making out, because love is in the air on this show tonight.  He shakes his head and walks off.

Match #6 – Erick Rowan and Luke Harper vs. Fandango and Zack Ryder:

Harper and Rowan control this early.  There’s a brief chant for Ryder that Cole points out.  Ryder checks in but immediately eats a superkick and lands in Rowan’s slam.  Ryder takes the loss.

Backstage, the Bellas are walking down a hall when Stephanie shows up and applauds.  She wishes Nikki luck in her match, then tells Brie she is sincere in wishing Daniel Bryan the best.  She says that the health and well being of the superstars is of utmost importance to the Authority, so she sets Brie up with some counseling.  She says she doesn’t think that Brie should accompany Nikki to ringside.  The Bellas sell frustration, and the rest of us change the channel.

They show still shots of the Divas tag match from Payback before the next match.

Match #7 – Nikki Bella (c) vs. Naomi (w/Tamina); WWE Divas Championship:

Cole immediately points out that if Brie is banned from ringside, why isn’t Tamina.  Picture in picture promo from Naomi asks why the people are so behind the Bellas.  Tamina says the division belongs to the two of them now.  Eden handles the in-ring introductions.  The fans actually do respond to Nikki’s early offense, clearing Naomi from the ring.  Nikki hits a dive on Tamina and Naomi going to break.

Out of the break, the trainer is tending to Tamina.  Nikki finally mounts a comeback and takes control of the match.  She gets Naomi up for the Rack Attack but Tamina hits the ring and lands a superkick to cause a DQ.  The duo beat up on Nikki until Paige runs out for the save.  She hits clotheslines on the heels, then superkicks Naomi.  Paige grabs the belt and poses, then smiles at Nikki.  She grabs Nikki and hits her with the RamPaige and poses with the belt some more.

They recount Kevin Owens interrupting John Cena’s Open Challenge earlier in the night, and hitting him with the pop-up powerbomb.  They show Owens talking to Triple H, who pats him on the shoulder to congratulate him and walks away.

Renee Young gets a word with Kevin Owens.  She talks to him about attacking Cena, then saw him talking to the Authority.   He says that he would face Cena on his terms, and the Authority agrees.  He says that in two weeks at Elimination Chamber, he will go one on one with John Cena.  “And Renee, the champ isn’t there…the champ, is, here.”

Wow.  Owens on a roll right now.  I have no idea how they’ll book it, or if it’s a US Championship match, but I just hope it comes off with Owens looking good.  Always a concern going up against Cena.  The Elimination Chamber card looks fun, suddenly.

“The Architect of a Dream” Segment:

Stephanie McMahon, Triple H and Kane all are in the ring.  Stephanie gives the big over the top introduction for Seth Rollins, who comes out in a suit and is flanked by J&J Security.  Hunter tells Rollins he got the goosebumps when Rollins delivered the Pedigree on Randy Orton to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  Hunter tells Rollins the Authority was there for him.

Hunter says that the members of the Authority want to say a few words about Rollins.  Kane asks where he could possibly begin.  He says they haven’t seen eye to eye, “but what do you expect, I’m a foot taller than you.”  Kane says he’s kidding and says they wouldn’t be out there without each other.  Kane says he is happy that Rollins is still the champion, and he is best for business.

“That’s all you have to say?  There’s nothing else you’d like to say to me, Kane?”  Kane thanks Rollins for saving his job and sets up a video package that shows how sincere the Big Corporate Monster really feels.  After the video package, Jamie Noble talks about the cream rising to the top and says it’s an honor to protect Rollins and the most important title anyone can hold in WWE.  Mercury is too choked up to say anything.

Dean Ambrose’s music hits and he heads out.  Stephanie says he has a lot of nerve coming to the ring.  Ambrose apologizes for being late but was trying to find the perfect Justin Bieber outfit for Rollins.  That draws a Justin Bieber chant.  He says he is giving Rollins another shot at facing him in a title match.

Rollins tells Ambrose he’s dreaming if he thinks he is getting another shot.  He, Roman Reigns and Randy Orton are at the back of the line now.  Ambrose says  he’s a line jumper and he wants his shot, or else.  Stephanie asks who Ambrose thinks he is to enter the ring and make demands.

Stephanie says Rollins is a fighting champion who won’t be intimidated by threats.  “Seth, get him.”  Rollins looks shocked but Triple H assures him.  Rollins takes his jacket off, and Ambrose jumps.  He gets the better of Rollins but J&J jump him from behind.  Rollins and Ambrose fight to ringside.  Ambrose suplexes Rollins then takes out Security.

Ambrose backdrops Rollins on the table, then Rollins flips over and slams his head off the barrier.  Ambrose reveals a stack of cinder blocks.  He puts Rollins on them, then puts his foot on him while holding a chair.  Stephanie pleads with Ambrose to let him go, then gives him the title match.  Ambrose winds up for a chair shot, but Mercury grabs the chair.  Ambrose roughs up security while Rollins crawls off.  Ambrose chases Rollins into the ring, but J&J gets back involved again.  Ambrose clears them out.

Kane tries to choke slam Ambrose, but he slips out and hits his big clothesline.  Ambrose tries for Dirty Deeds, but Rollins jumps him and hits the Pedigree to put Ambrose down.  Rollins poses with the belt and talks smack to end the show.

Quick thoughts on the whole show – this was good, even admitting my sole focus was not as laser sharp on the show as normal.  There wasn’t a lot of filler – WWE came out with purpose because of the Elimination Chamber special in two weeks and they got to some newsworthy announcements for that show.  Kevin Owens showing up was the moment of the night.

This closing segment did nothing for me in terms of Ambrose vs. Rollins, but the two have a history of strong matches so I’m not concerned about it.  WWE did what they needed to do to put eyes on Elimination Chamber in two weeks in one night – so kudos to them.

Drew and I will talk Raw, Elimination Chamber, Payback, Kevin Owens, and NXT Takeover:Unstoppable tomorrow night on Ring Rap Audio.  Got questions or thoughts of your own?  Be sure to hit us up with them either here, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter @RingRap.  Thanks for watching along tonight.

 

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WWE Payback Afterthoughts for 05/18/15

WWE’s Payback hit the airwaves last night, bringing us three hours of pay-per-view goodness.  It was a mere three weeks away from the previous event, Extreme Rules, and two weeks from now, Elimination Chamber surprises us with it’s network-exclusive appearance.  Three pay-per-views.  Five weeks.  My goodness.

And, I’m not even including NXT Takeover on Wednesday.

Payback had it’s own set of special challenges.  Being the middle child in the series of three, and the only one without a major gimmick hook, the roster had to bring us a show that didn’t rely on “toys” or smoke and mirrors.  They needed to rely on the wrestling and the stories that were told.  So, how was the show?

I think the phrase that sums it up best is: Fine for what it was.

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