WWE is in Brooklyn, NY one more night for WWE Raw, and with Summerslam airing just 24 hours prior, it’s looking to be a hot show with plenty of follow-up. The main event with Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker ended with a controversial finish. The Undertaker clearly tapped out, but the referee declared Taker the winner after Lesnar passed out. What will Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar have to say?
Plus, Jon Stewart did the unthinkable and attacked John Cena with a steel chair, costing him his United States Title during his match against Seth Rollins. Now Seth is dual-wielding both the US Title and the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Will he be forced to relinquish one of the titles? Can we expect him to defend both at Night of Champions?
All this, plus lots more starting at 8pm Eastern. Tune in and join us for all the fun!
WWE’s main roster has their work cut out for them tonight at the Biggest Party of the Summer. “Little Brother” NXT blew the roof off the Barclays Center last night at “Takeover: Brooklyn” so tonight’s show will really have to deliver. But, as we previewed on Ring Rap Audio yesterday, this does seem to be a solid card from top top bottom. Will Undertaker get his revenge on Brock Lesnar for breaking The Streak and crowing about it so much? Who will take all when Seth Rollins and John Cena clash? Will actor Stephen Amell and Neville put an end to Stardust and King Barrett? The card is as follows:
The Prime Time Players (c) vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito) vs. The New Day vs. Lucha Dragons; WWE Tag Team Championship
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
Team BAD (Naomi, Tamina, and Sasha Banks) vs. PCB (Paige, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch) vs. Team Bella (Brie and Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox); Divas Elimination Match (one member of the team pinned or submits, that team is out)
Arrow (Stephen Amell) and Neville vs. Stardust and King Barrett
Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper vs. Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose
Dolph Ziggler (w/Lana) vs. Rusev (w/Summer Rae)
Ryback (c) vs. Big Show vs. The Miz; WWE Intercontinental Championship under Triple Threat rules
John Cena (United States Champion) vs. Seth Rollins (WWE World Heavyweight Champion); “Winner Take All” Championship match (winner will claim both the US Championship and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)
They show fans entering as Renee Young welcomes us to the event. She’s got Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Booker T riding shotgun. Saxton sings “Let’s Get it On.” Ugh. They immediately cut to Tom Phillips in the social media lounge. He hypes Stardust and Stephen Amell joining him later on, taking fan questions.
The panel hypes Jon Stewart as the host of the event tonight. They feed it into a video package to hype up Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose facing Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper. Back live, the panel discusses the match and offers predictions.
They go backstage, and Jon Stewart is with John Cena. He volunteers to help Cena given his history with Seth Rollins. Stewart asks for Cena to autograph something for his son, who is standing there. Cena asks if he should personalize it, but Stewart says no. Cena walks off, and Stewart tells his son he is going to hock the autograph on eBay. “Daddy’s retired and needs the money,” he cracks. Funny.
They run a hype video for Rollins vs. Cena, then the panel talks about the match. Booker says that Cena is fighting for his legacy, while Rollins is the now. Graves says that Rollins doesn’t get enough respect and that people are acting like a Cena win is a foregone conclusion. Graves notes that Cena can tie Ric Flair’s title reign record and points out that Flair is Triple H’s hero. Saxton says that Hunter has given Rollins a chance to win both titles simultaneously, which no one has done before. Young mentions Cena’s nose injury and Graves says that it should not be forgotten how it was shattered.
They run a video highlighting the mainstream media attention SummerSlam has gotten.
They move on to talking about Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro. Booker says Owens is jealous of Cesaro. In walks Kevin Owens to disrupt the conversation. Owens asks what he should be jealous of. He says as great as Cesaro looks and as hard as he works, he is the complete opposite and yet he’s here. Owens takes issue with Saxton for saying Cesaro will win. Owens says he will turn the Cesaro Section to the Silent Section. “Do you dig that!?” Owens yells at Booker before leaving.
Nice surprise but uneventful really. I would liked to have seen Owens rough up someone a little bit or something.
They run a video package highlighting the Divas Triple Threat match. Saxton talks about Owens taking his Kickstart can and thanked someone for bringing him another. Renee Young noted that they’re trying to get Stephanie McMahon to conduct an interview a bit later.
They move on to talk about the Tag Team Championship match. Byron and Booker get dorky on the “New Day Rocks” chant and claps. They then move on to the Intercontinental championship match, then on to Randy Orton vs. Sheamus. Rich Brennan talks to Sheamus backstage. He says Randy Orton took his dream away by preventing him from cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase.
JoJo interviews Stephanie McMahon backstage. She talks about how women are taking over sports, noting Serena Williams and Ronda Rousey. She says she can’t wait to see what the Divas do tonight. JoJo asks for a prediction, and Stephanie says she doesn’t think she should because she is a member of the Authority, but says to the victor goes the spoils. With the panel, Booker says that you have to give credit to Stephanie for “masterminding this whole thing” about the Divas Revolution. UGH!
To the social media lounge we go, and Tom Phillips interviews Stephen Amell and Neville. Amell says he’s trying to remember the ring has four sides, the ropes hurt a bit when you run into them, and mentions something about turnbuckles. Phillips asks if Neville will appear on “Arrow” but Amell says he doesn’t handle casting. Phillips asks if Amell is nervous and he says they aren’t at a house show but at the Barclays Center for SummerSlam. “Of course I’m nervous, I’m always nervous in a positive way.” He says he knows it will hurt regardless of what he does. He also talks about the next season of “Arrow” and says that fans of season one will appreciate some aspects of the new season.
The panelists talk briefly about Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler then focus on Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar. Graves says Lesnar will win, while Saxton says that Lesnar won’t win over Undertaker twice in a row. Booker says Lesnar will win. Young feeds it into a Lesnar vs. Taker video package to end the pre-show.
WWE “SummerSlam,” Live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY:
Lilian Garcia introduces Jon Stewart as the host of the show. Stewart is already in the ring. He plays to the fans, and they don’t give him much of a response initially. He says that the difference between WWE and politics is that the WWE actually respects their audience. Really? He runs through a list of talent names, greeted by “what?” after each. They did cheer Seth Rollins, Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, and booed John Cena.
Stewart says he’s still angry about Lesnar ending the streak. He says that he wants to talk to Lesnar, but he needs a friend as backup. Enter Mrs. Foley’s bouncing baby boy Mick, who gets a good reaction from the Brooklyn fans. Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry Lawler all check in on commentary.
Foley talks, saying how he couldn’t hear Stewart during a phone conversation and thought that Stewart wanted him to help him interview The Rock, not Brock. Foley says the conversation wouldn’t even be happening if he knew it was Brock. Stewart asks Foley if he is afraid of Brock Lesnar. “That’s exactly what I’m telling you. I’m terrified of Brock Lesnar.”
Stewart mentions Foley getting tossed off of Hell in a Cell by Undertaker. Foley says that was 17 years ago, and the one place he hasn’t gone is to Suplex City. He tells Stewart he is on his own, and Foley exits.
Nice to see Foley, but this was a tough spot for Stewart. The live crowd didn’t want to see him. Stewart is a legit wrestling fan, and it was a good get for WWE. The fact that there was no action on the pre-show other than interviews may have made some fans restless.
They run an opening video package that focuses around New York City and the event. Pyro goes off, and it’s time to get underway.
Match #1 – Randy Orton vs. Sheamus:
As Orton comes to the ring, the various foreign announce teams are introduced. Sheamus gets some heat during his entrance. Early on, Sheamus gets “you look stupid” chants. He goes to ringside and stands on the announce position and gets a mic. He tells them he doesn’t look stupid, they do. Orton goes out after him and attacks, and the action moves back inside.
Sheamus takes over with a top rope knee drop for two. Sheamus goes on offense, and the crowd kind of settles in to watch. They sing the “Ole” song at one point, but Orton starts to fire up on offense and that draws a response.
At the ropes, Orton teases the elevated DDT. Sheamus counters, and tries to set up his rolling senton, but Orton counters back again and hits an exploder suplex to the floor. Ouch. Back in the ring, Orton mounts the corner and pounds Sheamus, but Sheamus comes back with a slam for a near fall.
JBL teases that Sheamus might become a 4-time World Champion tonight if he cashes in. Sheamus locks on the Cloverleaf, but Orton drags himself to the ropes to break the hold. Orton’s got a cut above his left eye. Sheamus tries the Brogue but Orton ducks and hits his scoop slam for a two count.
Sheamus goes for a move in the corner but Orton avoids it. Sheamus ends up top rope and Orton hits him with the elevated DDT from there. Orton’s hearing voices, and the fans chant for him. Orton coils for the RKO but Sheamus rolls to the apron. Sheamus gets him there and starts to hit the Ten Beats but Orton fights him off.
Sheamus launches himself for the Battering Ram but Orton nails him with the RKO. Sheamus rolls to ringside. Orton goes out to retrieve him. Orton waits rather than covers, then backs up for the Punt. Orton misses and Sheamus hits White Noise for a near fall.
Sheamus stumbles toward the corner as Brooklyn tells him he looks stupid again. Sheamus calls for the Brogue as Orton gets to his feet. Orton sidesteps it and tries for the RKO, but Sheamus shoves him away. Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick in the corner, and Orton stumbles out of the corner into a second. Sheamus gets the win. The broadcasters recap it for us as Sheamus poses.
Winner – Sheamus.
If Sheamus lost, I could have guaranteed a cash in later. Now, I’m not so sure. I still think it’s in play, but with this win I think it’s not as iminent as it would have been otherwise. The match was good overall, but nothing really all that memorable. We’re not seeing the end of this feud, more than likely either.
They show a Draft Kings segment where two fans won the opportunity to have a SummerSlam experience.
“Awww, Brooklyn, don’t be sour…” Big E bellows out and it’s time for the Tag Team Championship. Xavier Woods asks for a moment and he says he knows how Brooklyn is used to feeling dirty and disgusting, so they brought positivity. He touts their new gear and says “look how good we look.” Kofi says they will teach them about hip hop, because New York knows nothing about it.
Kofi says it goes like this. They do a pitch pipe moment and sing a song putting themselves over the other teams. This is actually kind of funny. “New Day, New Champs.” they end. Introductions for the remaining teams take place.
Match #2 – The Prime Time Players (c) vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito), The New Day (Xavier Woods, Big E, and Kofi Kingston) vs. Lucha Dragons; WWE Tag Team Championship
Cole mentions it’s been ten years since the titles have changed hands in New York. Early, Big E and Kofi try to pin each other to end it fast. Titus breaks up the pinfall. It settles in to the Lucha Dragons working with Kofi. Sin Cara monkey flips Kalisto into Kofi for a two count.
Big E tags in, and he works with Kalisto. Kalisto springs off the ropes and hits an enzugiri, and Big E tags out to Darren Young. He and Kalisto work some offense,which draws a round of applause from the crowd once they back off and stalemate. Kofi tags in. At the ropes, Young hits a big forearm on Kofi and he slides out of the ring. Young reaches through the ropes to grab him, but Big E squashes him with a splash on the apron.
Young sells for the next several minutes for other opponents. Woods keeps yapping at ringside. Young starts to fire up with chops but Big E runs him over with an elbow. Xavier runs on at ringside about tricep meat. Young fights out of the corner, drapes Big E over the ropes, then catches a springboarding Kofi with an atomic drop. Young gets the hot tag to Titus.
Titus goes on a run, taking out everything in his path. He hits one of the Matadores with repeated backbreakers, seal barks, then splashes a Matadore and Kofi in the corner. He takes out one of the Matadores off the top but Sin Cara breaks up the cover.
Action starts to pick up and get fast and furious. Xavier Woods gets in the mix, causing a distraction. El Torito tries to splash him but Woods catches him and plants him face first. Woods jumps on the apron and Young grabs him and hits a back suplex on the apron. Big E follows with a spear to Young. Bodies everywhere and I’ve lost track of the call here.
After a lot of chaos, Matadore is up on the rope. Lucha Dragons join them, and they set up a big spot out of the tower of doom. Titus comes into the fray and hits one armed powerbombs on the Dragons. Late, Titus hits Clash of the Titus, but somehow Kofi tags himself in and covers to get the win.
Winner – The New Day to win the WWE Tag Team Championship
This turned into a fun spotfest. The New Day antics are fun, and the right team went over here. I called it on Ring Rap Audio when I said that New Day would cover someone other than PTP to get the win to protect PTP for future feuds. Now, we need to get a meaningful tag team going in order to start reasonable feuds.
Backstage, Jon Stewart is talking to Neville and Amell. Stewart says he’s there for Undertaker and says they’re friends. The lights go out, and Taker’s sihloutte wanders by. Stewart gets nervous and asks the two to sign his son’s shirt.
Back with the commentary team, they set up Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev with a video package.
Match #3 – Dolph Ziggler (w/Lana) vs. Rusev (w/Summer Rae)
Lana is wearing denim this time. Good lordie. Summer Rae has a sparkly business suit. Never will come up with an entrance like that tank at Wrestlemania. We’re off and running early with Ziggler being the aggressor, hitting a big drop kick and strikes.
Rusev takes control in the early going. Dolph tries to mount a comeback, but Rusev spin kicks him to end that. He gets a two from it.
Rusev hoists Ziggler up for a gorilla press, but Ziggler counters with a DDT that dazes Rusev. Both men sell but get to their feet. They exchange strikes mid ring, then Ziggler ducks a corner charge and goes on a flurry, hitting a clothesline, a corner splash, and a neckbreaker. All of that and an elbow drop gets Ziggler a one count.
Off the ropes, Ziggler slides between Rusev’s legs and gets greeted with a heel kick for two. Rusev goes to the corner and goes up top. Ziggler meets him and face plants Rusev for two.
Rusev cues up for a thrust kick. Ziggler avoids it and hits a sunset flip for two, then locks on a sleeper hold. Rusev gets to the rope but stumbles away. JBL rants about the official not breaking it. Rusev backs into the corner and breaks it but Ziggler comes back with a Fameasser for a near fall.
Ziggler bounces off the rope but gets face planted by Rusev. “Rusev, crush!” He locks on the Accolade. Lana begs for Dolph to not tap. Summer runs over and gets in Lana’s face, but she gets slapped. Rusev breaks the hold and rants at Lana. The fans chant for her, and Ziggler rolls to ringside.
Rusev barks at Lana, and Summer Rae plants her from behind. Dolph manages to hit a superkick that lays Rusev out across the announce position. Dolph tries to beat the count, but can’t. The match ends in a double count out.
Afterward, Rusev roughs Dolph up, but Dolph takes him down and beats on him. Summer Rae jumps in and beats on Dolph, and Lana gets in and takes it to Summer. Dolph and Rusev pull the women apart, with Summer and Rusev exiting and Dolph and Lana staying in the ring.
Winner: Match ends in a double count out, no winner
Brooklyn hated this finish, and I did too. I guess it’s no surprise they’re trying to continue this story but right now I’m not looking forward to seeing this unfold. Rusev is better, as is Ziggler. The ’80’s Rocker Chick look for Lana isn’t good either.
The announcers talk about it briefly, saying this feud isn’t over.
They move on to talk about Stephen Amell and Neville vs. King Barrett and Stardust. They roll a comic-book themed video package for the tag match.
Match #4 – Stephen Amell and Neville vs. King Barrett and Stardust
Barrett is wearing the Cosmic King shoulder pads. Stardust is in sleeveless body gear. Amell is in black shorts and wrestling boots. After some initial offense from Neville, they tag in Amell. Stardust shoves him down and taunts. Amell kips up but Stardust takes control of him.
Stardust sets up a back body drop but Amell lands on his feet and delivers a decent looking arm drag. Stardust is shocked and tags in Barrett. Amell leapfrogs but Barrett hits a back kick. Barrett and Stardust stomp on Amell and control him in the heel corner.
The heels continue to control Amell. JBL mentions that it’s time to tag in the stunt double but there isn’t one to tag in. Stardust and Barrett continue to control him, but Amell hits an enzugiri. Both men sell as the fans rally behind Amell.
Hot tag to Neville and Barrett. Neville fires off with rapid fire kicks on offense, then a splash and a kick in the corner. Neville fires off a 450 splash and covers but Stardust breaks it up. Neville dumps both heels to ringside, then Amell hits a cross body.
Back in the ring, Barrett is in position and Neville hits the Red Arrow to get the victory. JBL gives Amell credit for getting in the ring. Stardust sells disgust at ringside as the announcers go back to recap highlights.
Winner – Stephen Amell and Neville
Stephen clearly took this seriously, worked hard to pull some things together, and presented himself well here. He looked good. This match was solid, with the expected result of the celebrity team going over. The live crowd was receptive to it as well, especially when Amell showed off his athleticism.
They roll a video package highlighting all the various WWE-related events that went on during SummerSlam week.
Match #5 – Ryback (c) vs. The Miz vs. Big Show; WWE Intercontinental Championship
Big Show comes out first, then The Miz, then the champion Ryback. They run highlights of the three men roughing each other up on Raw a couple weeks ago. Ryback gets a decent reaction as he plays to the fans. The announcers debate if the infection will have an effect on Ryback tonight.
The big men battle early with Ryback hitting shoulder blocks and Show slapping him down. Miz gets in a cheap shot from the floor, then slides in the ring. Show goozles both men, but Ryback and Miz team up to try a suplex. Show suplexes them instead and says “I’m a giant!’
Show goes second rope and hits what looks like a senton on Ryback. Miz sneaks in for the cover but it gets broken up. Show slaps Miz in one corner, then runs back and forth with splashes. Ryback hits a spear on Show’s leg, then slams Miz for two.
Ryback follows with a splash off the ropes but walks right into a chokeslam from Show onto Miz. That gets Show a two count. Ryback struggles to his feet and Show cues the WMD Punch. Ryback ducks, hits a spinebuster, then splashes Show. He sets up the Meathook, but Show goozles him. Ryback counters and hits Shellshock.
Miz sneaks in, hits Ryback with the Skull Crushing Finale, then tries to pin. Only gets two. He covers Show, and only gets two. He tries multiple pins but none work. Miz gets confronted by Ryback, and ducks out, then Show hits the WMD Punch on Ryback. Near fall that Miz breaks up.
WMD Punch from Show to Miz. Show tries to load another one for Ryback, but he ducks. Ryback clotheslines Show over the ropes and covers Miz to get the victory. The announcers recap it for us, and Ryback leads “Feed Me More” chants.
Winner – Ryback to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
The crowd liked the near falls, and they responded to Ryback, which is shocking because it’s a New York Crowd. The senton from Show was just bad. Painless, and hopefully the end of the line for these three together.
The announcers say that Jon Stewart is about to talk to Lesnar. He knocks on the door and Paul Heyman greets him. He wants to talk to Lesnar, but Heyman says it’s not a good time. Stewart tells a story about relating Christmas to how Heyman and Lesnar broke the Undertaker’s streak. He asks Heyman what he has to say about it, and Heyman responds “Glory, glory, Brock Lesnar.” Heyman says “I guess they couldn’t get David Letterman to host the show.” Heyman retreats to the locker room where you can hear him telling Lesnar about the exchange.
Amell is more over than Stewart is tonight, I am afraid to say.
Match #6 – Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper vs. Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose
Wyatt cut in strikes, and here comes the Wyatt Family into the sea of cellphone lights. Wyatt blows the lantern out and the announcers reset how the story got set up between these men. Ambrose gets his entrance, then Reigns makes his way through the crowd. He gets booed fairly heavily, even though he’s the face.
Early, Ambrose and Reigns jump out to the early advantage. The match settles into a pace, and Bray yells “Look how mad I am!” at ringside. Reigns greets him and they brawl. Reigns gets the better for a moment but Wyatt hits him with a one armed slam against the apron. Harper follows with a suicide dive.
Ambrose follows up with a dive on the heels, but the Wyatts catch him and hit him with a slam against the apron. Reigns takes a superkick and is done for a bit. Ambrose is left to fend for himself. Harper and Wyatt dominate Ambrose, ripping his shirt off and suplexing him on the floor. Harper hits a boot to the face.
Harper sends Ambrose into the ropes. The live crowd starts a “Roman’s Sleeping” chant while he sells at ringside. Funny. Reigns makes his way back to the corner for Ambrose to make the tag.
Reigns fires up, getting the better of Harper. The Wyatts set up a double team that Reigns counters, then he and Ambrose set up a double team of their own. They hit a version of the Doomsday Device. Harper goes at Ambrose and Reigns punches him. They team up on Harper for a double powerbomb.
Wyatt gets to his feet and tries to get Ambrose with Sister Abigail, but Ambrose counters and hits Dirty Deeds. He covers for the clean victory.
Winner – Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns.
Surprising that this ended so decisively. I am expecting that this story goes on, but how does it when you have a finish like this? Wyatt is fast becoming the guy who talks a lot but never backs it up. A shame for such an amazing character.
At the announce position, Cole says it has been a great night. He moves it into a hype package for John Cena vs. Seth Rollins and the “Winner take all” match which is coming up next.
Wow, not a co-main event. Interesting. Also leads to a dirty finish or other shenanigans, not wanting to send the crowd home unhappy.
Match #7 – John Cena (United States Champion) vs. Seth Rollins (WWE World Heavyweight Champion); Winner Takes All Champion vs. Champion Match
Cena comes out first, and he gets jeered by the Brooklyn faithful. Rollins has white gear on this night, and gets the “adult male” pop as he makes his way to the ring. Lilian gives us our ring introductions for this one. Big moment here as the crowd lights up with different chants.
Early lockup and they back off. Dueling Cena chants in full throat now. Another lock up that leads into a hip toss takedown with Cena in control. After some rope running, Rollins hits an arm drag and a drop kick. Rollins mocks the “You can’t see me” wave. Cena punches him, Rollins backs off, then Cena controls him again.
The action slows down as the announcers discuss Flair and his title reigns and the chance for Cena to make history. Rollins ducks a corner charge and hits a neckbreaker, following it up with a trio of suicide dives to the outside. Rollins throws Cena in.
Cena starts to fire up with his traditional shoulder blocks, but he counters the side slam and gets a two count. After selling, Rollins charges but Cena flips him to the apron. Rollins tries a springboard but Cena catches him and goes for the STF. Rollins immediately scampers to the ropes to break it, but Cena comes back with the side slam. He motions that “You can’t see me” but Rollins kicks him.
Cena tries to load the AA, but they back into the corner. Rollins hits a Thesz Press off the ropes then follows with a running moonsault for two. Rollins splashes Cena in the corner then perches Cena up top. Rollins sets a move up but Cena elbows him off. Rollins returns and hammers on Cena, setting up a tree of woe spot. Rollins motions “You can’t see me” and hits a double stomp off the top for a near fall.
Rollins talks to the official, and Cena crawls to his feet. Rollins jaws at Cena, but Cena loads the AA for a two count. Both men sell as Cole talks about how Rollins wants a statue if he wins tonight. The two men exchange strikes mid ring, then Rollins sets up the Pedigree. Cena counters and whips Rollins toward the corner but Rollins hits the brakes. Cena ends up setting up the electric chair and dropping Rollins on the mat for a near fall.
Cena goes up top. He hits the leg drop off the top for a near fall. Rollins has lost his belt off his White Power Ranger gear. Both men sell, then Cena scoops Rollins up and perches him on the top rope. Cena tries for the AA off the second rope but Rollins slips away. Rollins ends up loading the Buckle Bomb on Cena and hitting it.
Rollins goes up top this time. He hits a splash (like Eddie Guerrero) for a good near fall. Cena picks up Rollins out of the lateral press and loads the AA and delivers. Rollins lands on his feet and hits an enzugiri. Cena hits a cross body but Rollins rolls it through and picks Cena up and hits it with his own AA for a near fall.
Rollins goes back to the ropes again. He looks for the Phoenix Splash, but Cena rolls out of the way. Rollins rolls through and Cena gets him into the STF. Rollins counters and tries to set up the Pedigree, but Cena ends up countering again and locks on the Figure 4. The announcers go crazy, saying Cena will win his 16th with Flair’s move.
Rollins rolls it over successfully, and Rollins yells “TAP!!!” at Cena. Cena struggles into the ropes to get the break. Both men sell the action. Cena is on the apron getting to his feet. Cena throws a straight right, then goes to the top rope.
Rollins goes up with Cena and hits a superplex for a great near fall. Rollins goes top rope again for the Phoenix Splash. Cena rolls away, and Rollins bumps. Cena loads the AA but the official gets bumped. He hits the AA, but there’s no official. Cena goes over and tells the doc to tend to the official. Rollins hits Cena with a knee to the face just like the one that broke his nose.
Jon Stewart runs to the ring with a steel chair. He looks indecisive about all of this. He baits the idea of hitting Rollins with a chair, then turns on Cena and hits him. He throws the chair down for Rollins, who hits the Pedigree on the chair. Rollins disposes the evidence, covers, and the official recovers. He counts three, and he is now the double champion. Rollins celebrates.
Winner – Seth Rollins to become the WWE United States Champion and retain his WWE World Heavyweight Championship
This match was fantastic. This finish fucking sucked. I knew something was wrong the minute the official got bumped, and we got the worst possible moment that could have happened. I was fine with Rollins winning, but the way they got there was absolute garbage. What a way to put a damper on what was otherwise an amazing match.
They go to the panel to talk about the night so far. Corey Graves encourages them to be happy over history, but Saxton is disgusted. Booker gives it up to New Day for winning the titles back. Renee feeds it back into a video package for the Divas match.
Match #8 – Team BAD (Naomi, Sasha Banks, and Tamina) vs. Team Bella (Nikki and Brie Bella and Alicia Fox) vs. PCB (Paige, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch); Divas Elimination Match
If one member of the team gets pinned or submitted, the entire team is eliminated. The Bellas come out first, then Team BAD, then PCB. Cole recounts Sasha Banks losing the NXT Women’s Championship in a sensational match against Bayley last night. Steampunk gear for Becky Lynch. They talk about how Paige led the revolution alone until Stephanie changed things.
Brie starts off against Becky Lynch. King says it’s a good thing that SummerSlam is not in California, because this match will be so hot it will start another wildfire. Yawn, King.
Team BAD controls the early going, working on Becky. Charlotte spears Tamina out on the floor. Sasha and Naomi hit dives on Charlotte and Becky. The Bellas hold up fingers and wait for a reaction that never really comes, then they hit dives as well. Alicia goes second rope but Paige shoves her off. Paige follows with a flip off the ropes to the women at ringside.
The action moves back inside. Brie hits a second rope facebuster on Tamina, and that gets her to pick up the elimination. Team BAD eliminated. Brie holds up her hand and smiles, but there’s not a lot of reaction.
Nikki loads a forearm shot for Becky. Becky ducks, but Nikki loads the Rack Attack and hits it. She gets a near fall but Paige and Charlotte save the matchup. Paige gets the tag and goes to work on Nikki. She hits a fallaway slam but Nikki rolls out. Paige tries a baseball slide kick. Nikki hits an Alabama Slam outside the ring and rolls back in.
Paige barely beats the count into the ring. Team Bella continues to control Paige. Alicia hits a drop kick. JBL says this might be the end of the revolution right now and the Bellas are the cream of the crop. Nikki hits a suplex and covers for two.
Hot tag to Charlotte. She hits chops, a neck breaker, and a spear. She locks in the Figure 8, but Nikki breaks it up. She poses and Paige takes her down to ringside. A bit later, both Charlotte and Alicia go for the same move and collide. After some selling, both tag out to the fresh women.
Becky hits a snapmare into the corner but gets a boot on the follow up charge. Brie goes for a missile drop kick but Becky moves. She hits a pumphandle slam and gets the victory for her team. We get highlights, and they show the Bellas backing away slowly, not sure of what is next. Team PCB celebrates in the ring.
Winner – Team PCB (Paige, Becky Lynch and Charlotte)
Watching the Twitter traffic while I solved my network issues, a lot of people were down on this match. What I got to see of it, well, it was alright but not great. I guess I’m spoiled by what we saw last night from the NXT ladies. Add in all the storyline mess that surrounds this so-called revolution, and it just ended up being a dud. I don’t know what it will take to get this on track. I guess, if I had to, that Becky Lynch will get the next title shot?
We get a 2K16 ad featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The announcers talk about it briefly then discuss the show to this point.
Match #9 – Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens
Cesaro Section in full effect for this one as he makes his entrance. As Owens comes to the ring, they show highlights of Balor vs. Owens from last night, saying they’re not sure where Owens is physically for this match tonight.
They go right to work, exchanging strikes. Cesaro teases an early swing but Owens escapes. Owens comes back with a dive out onto Cesaro on the floor. Owens jaws at the announcers a bit, then Cesaro comes back with a spinning plancha of his own. Owens comes back with a cannonball on Cesaro, who was seated against the ringside barrier.
A bit later, Owens goes up top, and Cesaro greets him with an uppercut. Off the top rope, Cesaro hits a gutwrench suplex. After some selling, Cesaro tries to load the Neutralizer but can’t. After some strikes he tries it again but Owens counters with a backdrop. Cesaro charges him but Owens hits an uppercut and a springboard tornado DDT for a two count.
Owens sets Cesaro up and goes top rope. He tries a moonsault but Cesaro rolls out of the way. Cesaro charges and hits an uppercut, then whips Owens across. He charges but gets a superkick instead for a near fall. Owens is frustrated.
“This is for you, that’s it.” Owens tries to set up the pop up powerbomb, but Cesaro holds on. He tries for it again, but Cesaro springboards off and hits an uppercut instead. Owens rolls out and Cesaro runs around the ring and hits a running uppercut. Back in the ring, Cesaro calls for and hits the Swing.
Cesaro locks on the Sharpshooter, middle of the ring. Owens drags himself to the ropes and gets there successfully to break it. Back to the top, the two fight. Owens knocks Cesaro off, but he comes back with an uppercut. They set up a suplex spot but Cesaro fights it off, then comes back with a big jumping suplex.
Back to the top, but Owens crotches Cesaro on the top rope. Owens comes back with a suplex off the ropes, and Owens follows with the pop-up powerbomb for the win. The announcers talk about how it was a character win for Owens. We get highlights as Owens plays to the fans.
Winner – Kevin Owens
That was a solid match. The fans responded to the various spots favorably though they weren’t on fire for all of it from what I could tell. It could be that the fans liked both guys and were content to see a good match and weren’t all in for one man over the other. I hope they don’t use the reaction against either guy.
They run an ad for Night of Champions, which comes to us on September 20. Back with the announcers, they set up the main event, a match “too big for Wrestlemania,” Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker. They feed it to a video package to recap the story.
Match #10 – Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)
Lesnar is the first one out, no pyro for his entrance except at the ring. Cole says that Lesnar has not been submitted or pinned since Wrestlemania 29. JBL runs down his accolades. The gong sounds, and here comes the Deadman through the fog. JBL notes how Taker has destroyed a lot of men, but has not beaten Lesnar.
Lesnar doesn’t wait for the theatrics to finish and attacks Undertaker before he even gets his coat off. Lesnar momentarily gets the better of it, but Undertaker hits a big boot and sends Lesnar tumbling up the aisle. Lesnar paces around the ring then gets in. The bell rings quickly, and the two go after each other again. Brock lands elbows but Taker lands a straight right.
Taker works the arm and sets up Old School, but Lesnar counters by loading an F5. Taker counters out and locks on a chokeslam but Taker gets away. In the corner, Lesnar tries to advance but takes a boot. Taker ends up getting a belly to belly suplex, followed with a German suplex. “Suplex City, bitch!”
Lesnar drives Taker to the turnbuckle face first. A bit later, Taker hits Snake Eyes and a big boot. Lesnar rolls outside and Taker goes out to pursue. He drives Lesnar into the barrier, then into the ring apron. Lesnar is busted open above his eye. He sets Lesnar up and hits the leg drop on the apron. Cole says that Undertaker is pulling out all the stops. Fans chant “you still got it.”
Lesnar is on dream street and Taker jabs. Lesnar fires back, but Taker goozles him for a chokeslam. Brock slips out and hits a pair of German suplexes. On ramp to Suplex City, just ahead. Taker pulls himself to his feet. Another German suplex, and Lesnar does his war dance.
Taker rolls out to the floor. Lesnar gives chase but Undertaker was waiting. Taker rips the announce table apart and sets up for a Last Ride through the table. Lesnar counters and hits the F5 through the announce table. JBL calls this a war of attrition. The count begins as Lesnar gets back in the ring. Taker just beats the count.
Lesnar says “I’ll kill you, you son of a bitch.” Taker struggles toward Brock as he smiles. Taker says “you’re gonna have to” and blasts Lesnar with a chokeslam. Taker loads the Tombstone and hits it. Lesnar kicks out in 2-1/2. They recap the sequence in split screen as both men sell.
Lesnar laughs, and Undertaker sits up. The two men exchange shots from a seated position, then they get to their feet. Lesnar turns it around and lands shoulder blocks, then locks on the Kimura from the second rope. JBL yells for the official to break the hold. Taker hits the Last Ride out of the corner for a good two count.
Back to their feet again, and Lesnar hits the F5 again. A good near fall, again. Lesnar isn’t happy about it. They point out that Heyman is “uncharacteristically quiet” at ringside. To their feet again, and a third F5 from Brock. Another good near fall, and Brock is in disbelief.
Undertaker sets Brock up for the Gogoplata (Hell’s Gate). He’s got Lesnar stuck mid ring. Lesnar muscles out and goes for the Kimura lock. The official counts because Lesnar’s shoulders are down but the bell rings. Heyman jumps in the ring in disbelief, thinking Taker tapped out. The official demands to know why the bell was rung because he never called for it.
Undertaker hits Lesnar with a low blow from behind. Heyman exits, and the match continues. He locks on Hell’s Gate again after the low blow. Brock flips Undertaker the bird, then eventually fades out. Undertaker gets the submission victory. He exits the ring and makes his way up to the stage.
After the match, they show a different angle of the situation. The official is on the wrong side to see that Taker did indeed tap out to the Kimura hold. JBL notes that the timekeeper can’t go into business for himself though and that’s why the match continued. They point out that the match has ended in controversy but Undertaker is the official winner tonight.
Heyman walks over to the timekeeper’s area and rings the bell repeatedly. He gets a mic and says “no, no, no, no, no.” He says that he saw it, and everyone else saw it that Undertaker tapped out. He declares Brock the winner by “tap out submission.” Lesnar’s music plays, and Cole gives us a final send off to end the show.
This was another good match that ended up being kind of squashed by a weird finish. I thought that it ended up being a letdown to an otherwise entertaining match. I guess this is one way to keep Lesnar looking strong because the finish was not clean, and the re-start ends up making Taker look a bit heelish. I don’t know how that plays off going into the future, especially if there’s plans for a third match at Wrestlemania 32 in Dallas, which is Taker’s home state. And yes, I’m calling it now: Taker vs. Brock III in Dallas.
Overall show thoughts: Well, this was entertaining for the most part. I really felt like there was a lot of good on this show (I know someone’s on Twitter saying I hated everything about the show…not necessarily true). The undercard was solid, and the work of the matches for the most part fun and entertaining, but nothing there came off memorable or “wow” for me. I would liked to have seen at least one of the two big matches end clean though. I think the Undertaker/Lesnar finish ended up taking a bit of an edge off the show. They put on a good match and this was how the show ended? Kind of annoying.
Drew has your Monday Night Raw coverage tomorrow night, then Around the Ring on Tuesday where he will discuss this show, NXT, and Raw among other things. I’ll be back on Thursday with my Around the Ring cast, and other news and notes along the way. Thanks for watching along tonight.
Bill Wentz makes his triumphant return to Ring Rap Audio, and sits down with Drew Koscelek and Dru Atanacio to hash out predictions for WWE Summerslam, which airs tomorrow Sunday, August 23rd, 2015. All matches announced on the card are discussed, in-depth, including a lengthy look at the Divas Revolution and what that means for the Tag Team Elimination Match.
Dive right in and listen, and let us know if you are on board with our picks!
***** Continue reading
It’s the go-home show heading into SummerSlam in Brooklyn, NY this coming Sunday. Tonight, WWE stops in Minneapolis, MN as the last stop before the biggest party of the summer. Seth Rollins has challenged John Cena to a “winner takes all” match pitting the United States Champion against the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Will Cena show up, and will he accept the challenge? Also, Minneapolis’ own Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker are supposed to be under the same roof at this show. We saw what happened between them the last time, will another crazy brawl break out, or will they stay apart until the big show?
All this and more as we bring you the Raw report starting around 8PM EST right here on Ring-Rap.com. Also join in the conversation on Twitter @RingRap.
Editor in Chief Drew Koscelek is back for another episode of Around the Ring with Ring Rap. Today’s topics include:
- WWE Raw Thoughts and Reactions
- WWE’s current Summerslam card
- …plus more!
We welcome your feedback! Let us know what you like and what you’d like to hear!
WWE rolls into Everett, WA tonight at the XFinity Arena. On their social media platforms, WWE announced that Daniel Bryan will be on the show to appear in a Miz TV segment (likely to promote his book?). But beyond that, Stephen Amell will be there – the actor who plays “Arrow” – and he might confront Stardust. Is that a scene we will see again at SummerSlam? Seth Rollins issued a “winner take all” challenge to John Cena last week. He proposed a title-vs-title match at SummerSlam – will Cena accept this challenge?
Also join the conversation on Twitter @RingRap.
Show Open, Live from the XFinity Arena in Everett, WA
We get the Raw opening video package, then Michael Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton introduce the show. They shill the segments previously advertised, as well as Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper for tonight.
Seth Rollins’ music hits, and here comes our WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The fans tell him he sold out, but Rollins isn’t bothered. “So what?” Rollins asks why John Cena hasn’t responded to his challenge yet and wonders what he’s so busy with. He asks if he is listening to Dr. Dre’s new album or trying to revive his rap career.
Rollins says that Cena is “Straight outta action” because Rollins broke his face with his knee. Rollins says if Cena doesn’t want to show up on Raw and respond like a man, he can go to Brooklyn and forfeit the United States Championship. Rollins says that either way, he will be the first man to hold both belts simultaneously. He says the funny thing is that Cena is rumored to show up on Tough Enough tomorrow night (he is advertised). Rollins wishes that Cena had the guts to show up. He stops momentarily, acting surprised that someone at ringside that yelled Cena was there.
Rollins tells that person that he is mistaken and Cena will appear via satellite. They show Cena’s face with the broken nose on the Tron, and Rollins’ mouth runs the commentary. Rollins then turns to Neville, saying that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a champion or the man in WWE.
Cesaro’s music hits, and he comes out to a good pop. Cesaro talks about interrupting Rollins going “on and on and on and on…” Cesaro says that Rollins mentioned last week’s open challenge, and he’s there to challenge him tonight. Rollins says that he didn’t say anything about an open challenge, which draws boos. He says it was last week when he said that, and it was a one time thing. He asks Cesaro what he has done to earn a title shot.
Kevin Owens’ music hits and he cuts his promo on the way to the ring. He says Cesaro hasn’t done anything to earn a shot, but Owens has beaten Cena. He points out that Cena made Rollins tap out two weeks ago on Raw. He says that if anyone deserves a shot, he has it on good authority that it’s him. Rollins asks if they are deaf and dumb. He calls both men morons and says he said nothing about defending his title.
Randy Orton’s music hits and he starts to talk about the situation. Orton asks Owens if he has put on weight lately. “No,” Owens no-sells back. Orton says that he has it on good authority that he deserves the shot. Rollins says that he doesn’t care what the Authority thinks. He says Tom Brady has a better shot of getting a free meal in Seattle than any of the three “jerk-offs” have of getting a title shot on Raw. That brings out Triple H.
Triple H takes issue with Rollins saying he doesn’t care what the Authority thinks. He mentions Cena, saying that he is a “less than 50/50” for SummerSlam. He says that this turmoil leads to competition. He books Cesaro vs. Owens vs. Orton, with the winner getting a shot at Rollins later.
The commentators talk about the triple threat, then predict winners. They each pick different winners. They hype Miz TV, then the camera goes backstage where Team BAD is getting ready to face Team Bella after the break.
Rollins has done better on the mic than he did here, but this was still good. The highlight of the segment was setting up the triple threat match, with the winner getting a shot at Rollins. “Jerk-off” might get Rollins some heat, since that might be on the WWE “no-no” list. And I loved how Owens no-sold the fat joke too.
Match #1 – Team Bella (Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, and Alicia Fox) vs. Team BAD (Sasha Banks, Naomi, and Tamina):
They point out that Nikki is 35 days away from eclipsing AJ’s record for longest Diva’s Championship reign. Paige, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch are with the commentary team. Their faction name is now PCB – apparently “Submission Sorority” (which did kinda sound cool since they all have finishers that are submission holds) is tied up with a porno site. Cole hypes Becky Lynch vs. Bayley for the NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Slot on the NXT live special from Brooklyn.
In the early action, the Bellas are being treated as the babyfaces. They control the action in the early going as we head to break. Back live, Brie checks in and lands a series of kicks in her husband’s (Daniel Bryan’s) fashion. She gets what I thought was a really awkward cover on Tamina to get the win. Team BAD jumps the ring and attacks, so the PCB jumps in and fights them. Team Bella stands at ringside, staring at PCB when Team BAD leaves the ring. Cole hypes up that this is what the Divas Revolution is all about.
This is a mess. WWE has NO CLUE as to what direction they want to take this in. I recall Triple H talking about bringing people up with clear plans in place and clear creative, and that hasn’t happened here. Still no clear character development, three women on commentary that did a poor job, and no clear line of heels and faces? What a disaster.
Byron Saxton hypes up the triple threat match and the winner’s title opportunity later.
They show Steven Amell at ringside.
Match #2 – New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston, w/Xavier Woods) vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito):
Big E skips and claps to the ring. I gotta say I cracked up. The Prime Time Players watch the goings on from a backstage monitor, taking notes. Los Matadores and El Torito gang up on Woods at ringside. In the ring, Big E puts away Matadore #1 (because I haven’t a clue…) with the Big Ending for the win.
I can see New Day going babyface again because the heel gimmick is becoming entertaining to fans. The rest of the tag division is flat now without the Usos and Cesaro and Kidd, so that doesn’t help.
Cole hypes up Lesnar vs. Taker for SummerSlam, then says that various talent would be weighing in on the match.
Back in the day, like the early Wrestlemania days, they had talent do this – and it’s a good hype tool for these kinds of matches. Glad to see them pull this one out.
Back live, they show the PTP hanging out with members of the Seattle Seahawks (NFL team, for those not from the US).
Backstage, New Day is singing “Hey, we want some New Day.” Woods says they cemented their status as the new #1 Contenders. Renee Young tells them they will join Los Matadores and Lucha Dragons taking on the Prime Time Players in a four-way match at SummerSlam. They get Renee to do their dance.
Well, this is one way to get the belts back to New Day without having the Players lose, I suppose. And why on earth did Renee do their heel dance?
Backstage, Seth Rollins complains about defending his championship. Hunter tells him that Neville pushed Rollins to the brink, but he showed everyone who he is. Hunter tells him if he wants to be the man, he has to be the man every night.
The announcers feed it to footage of Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt on Smackdown. Cole hypes Reigns and Ambrose vs. Wyatt and Harper at SummerSlam. Saxton sells Ambrose vs. Harper for later on Raw, as well as the triple threat match.
Match #3 – Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton vs. Cesaro; Triple Threat Match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship Opportunity
No televised entrances for this one. In the early going, Owens ducks from the ring when both opponents attack him. He gets back into the match quickly. Owens runs Cesaro into the post, then clotheslines Orton using the top rope. Owens gets a two count. Orton follows up a bit later with the sidewinder backbreaker on Owens. Cesaro hits him with a cross body block for two.
Orton teases the RKO, but Cesaro counters to the crossface. Orton pulls himself to the ropes to break it, but there’s no breaks in a triple threat. Orton pulls himself out to the floor, then Owens sends Cesaro to ringside. Owens follows with a flip dive on both men down on the floor. Cesaro comes up favoring his leg.
It looked like Cesaro took the brunt of Owens’ weight, and on his right knee. He wasn’t planted, fortunately, but it had to have hurt unless he was just selling.
Back from break, Cesaro and Orton team up on Owens for a double suplex. Cesaro covers but Orton pulls him off and glares. Orton and Cesaro go toe to toe with strikes. Cesaro gets the better of it, then sets up the Swing on Orton followed with the Sharpshooter. Cesaro sees Owens getting ready to break things up, so he releases it. Owens sends Cesaro into Orton, trying to set up a collision spot but it came off bad. Orton hits both opponents with an elevated DDT off the ropes.
Orton tries for the RKO again, but Cesaro counters and sends Orton to ringside. Owens is there, and he hits Orton with a fallaway slam into the barrier. Cesaro follows that up with a twisting dive on Owens. The fight moves back in the ring, where Cesaro hits a springboard uppercut for a good near fall. The fans chant that it’s awesome, and in this case they’re right.
Cesaro takes over, controlling the action on Owens. Owens hits a superkick, then tries to set up the pop-up powerbomb. Cesaro floats over and Orton hits the RKO on Owens. Owens rolls to ringside, and Orton hits Cesaro with a second RKO to get the win. Afterward, they show Rollins snickering backstage.
This was fantastic. Good solid match with a unique finish sequence. They could easily tell a solid story of Cesaro losing all of these really great matches and have it go somewhere meaningful – but I’d really like to see the guy win some of these.
Backstage, Dean Ambrose cuts a promo about how it would have been nice to have a friend when he was growing up. Roman Reigns interrupts and says that Ambrose was trying to say that he’s the only friend he has ever had. Ambrose said “pretty much.” Reigns says that Wyatt can talk about family and how Harper would do anything for him, but the same is not true for Reigns. Reigns talks about liking his beer ice cold and says that they will put the Wyatt’s family ties to the test.
Saxton hypes a Lesnar/Taker segment with various wrestlers and Hall of Famers commenting on the match.
Cole feeds us to a video package hyping Lesnar vs. Undertaker. There are comments from various wrestlers about the Streak, and having faced Lesnar. There are also fresh comments from Steve Austin, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Big Show, JBL, Triple H, Dean Ambrose, and Paul Heyman talking about the SummerSlam match.
I thought this was pretty strong. At first, I worried that it might just be regurgitated comments, but the new material that talked about the upcoming match took care of that. A really effective piece of business here. Have to admit, Seth Rollins blowing them off would have been more true to his character though.
Cole hypes up that Lesnar and Undertaker will both be on Raw next Monday in Minneapolis. Dean Ambrose comes to the ring for the next match. Roman Reigns joins at ringside, making his entrance through the crowd. Wyatt and Harper make their way to the ring.
Match #4 – Dean Ambrose (w/Roman Reigns) vs. Luke Harper (w/Bray Wyatt):
Before the match, Harper chases Saxton from his chair so that Wyatt would have somewhere to sit. Ambrose hits a drop kick through the ropes then an elbow off the apron onto a standing Harper. Saxton is still standing, so fans chant “sit down Byron” at him. He says he wishes he could. Gee, aren’t there a million folding chairs under the ring?
Harper takes control of the match until Ambrose hits him with a DDT. He then gets a sunset flip for two. Harper tries for a powerbomb, but Ambrose slips out and slams him. The fight spills back to ringside. Ambrose throws Wyatt over the announce position. Wyatt recovers and goes after Ambrose, but he moves and Reigns hits him with the Superman Punch. Harper attacks Reigns, but Ambrose hits a dive. Ambrose gets tripped in the ropes and that lets Harper hit his discus clothesline for the win.
The action here was fine, but I think we’re closing in on the “three hour wall” where the live crowd is tiring out. If this match goes on an hour ago, it gets a much better live reaction than what I heard during this segment.
Cole hypes up Daniel Bryan being on Miz TV after the break.
The Miz is in the ring and he welcomes us to his show. He points out Steven Amell in the front row. He tells Amell to call him once Stardust is finished with him. He claims he will rebrand Amell and teach him how to act. He then introduces Daniel Bryan, who gets a huge hometown pop. The fans chant for him as he sits down. Miz welcomes Bryan to Miz TV and Bryan smiles as fans chant for him.
Miz holds his hand up and says when he does that, the fans’ mouths go shut. They stop chanting and boo him, but then start a “yes” chant. Bryan cracks that Miz wants them to shut up, so they need to be quiet. Miz does the hand bit again. Bryan asks the fans if they really thought he would miss Raw in his own home state. Miz tells the fans he is a Cleveland Browns fan. Bryan says Miz likes to take credit for his success and says Miz can take credit for the movie Santa’s Little Helper and his wardrobe.
Bryan says that his accomplishments are the result of hard work and the fans who have supported him, not due to the Miz. Miz points out that Bryan is still not medically cleared and is like the broken toy that no one wants to play with. Miz laughs and says he has never had an injury in WWE and wonders what it’s like to sit home and dream about the past.
Bryan talks about Mick Foley, saying he is at home writing a book that happens to be a New York Times best seller. Bryan says he is a judge on the greatest show in the history of shows, Tough Enough. He cracks a smile as he says it. Miz says Bryan didn’t dedicate enough of his book to him, and he is a judge on “the greatest show there is.”
Miz credits Bryan for doing the right thing when he got injured. He says Ryback should do the same by canceling the triple threat match at SummerSlam. Big Show interrupts, and asks if Miz thinks he will honestly win the Intercontinental Championship. Ryback then makes his entrance, wearing new merch. The leg looks much better. Ryback and Show stare at each other, and Miz and Bryan look on from ringside.
Bryan throws Miz in the ring between the two big men. Miz gets squashed and tossed by Show. Ryback gets the better of Big Show, hitting a clothesline. Bryan gets in the ring and points at Miz. Ryback hits Miz with a clothesline, and Bryan gives Ryback the IC Championship belt. They do the “Yes!” chant together.
This was fun. Bryan got a huge reaction and the fans loved him, and Miz’s schtick (which I normally puke at) worked here. Ryback got a decent return reaction, but let’s be honest, nothing would compare to the pop Bryan got unless it was someone like Austin or Rock. Ryback and Bryan celebrating at the end of the segment was important here.
Cole hypes up Orton vs. Rollins coming up later.
A “Before the Battle” preview of Undertaker vs. Lesnar is hyped up for WWE Network. Much of it contained comments from the earlier video package.
Cole announces Team BAD vs. Team Bella vs. PCB in a three-team elimination match that will take place at SummerSlam.
Match #5 – Rusev (w/Summer Rae) vs. Mark Henry:
Lana joins the commentary team for this. Henry carries an American flag to the ring and waves it before the match. Because ‘Murica! Anyhow, late in this one Summer causes a distraction which lets Rusev catch Henry with a kick.
Lana gets involved, attacking Summer. Summer rolls her in the ring where Rusev is standing. Summer attacks her from behind, and the bell rings for the disqualifcation (?). Summer slams Lana’s face into the match a couple times then puts her in the Accolade. Rusev has a flag drop that has his image on it.
If I had a girlfriend, and she spent half of the amount of time that Lana does in meddling in the affairs of her “ex-boyfriend”, it’d be creepy. Summer’s version of the Accolade looked like a legit submission hold, which is a plus.
The announcers talk about the angle. Saxton says Rusev needs to move on, which makes zero sense because it was Lana getting involved in his business.
They recap Rollins vs. Neville from last week using the comic book theme to be consistent with Neville’s character. They also include Stardust. They show Steven Amell at ringside, shaking his head about Stardust being shown. Cole hypes Neville up, and asks if the Green Arrow will get a front row view of the Red Arrow.
Match #6 – Neville vs. King Barrett:
This doesn’t last long. Cole says that Stardust can’t come to grips that Amell plays a character and isn’t a real superhero. Meanwhile, Neville puts Barrett away quickly with the Red Arrow.
Afterward, Stardust runs in and puts the boots to Neville. Stardust sees Amell and approaches him. He pie faces Amell, and Amell hops the rail and attacks Stardust. Security breaks them up. Cole points out that Amell is a guest who entered a WWE ring “and that’s not good no matter who you are.” Security backs off, and Amell holds his arms up. The follow him out of the ring as the show goes to break.
The live crowd did enjoy this angle.
They air an ad for NXT, then recap the angle from the previous segment.
Backstage, Triple H asks Amell if he’s alright, and he says he’s fine. Hunter says he’s lucky he walked out of there because he’s not a participant. Neville says that Stardust has started this. Hunter says he will deal with Stardust. “Let us deal with Stardust,” says Amell. Hunter says he is not now and will never be “one of us.”
Amell says he gets it but he’s an actor and a man. He says if someone puts his hands on him, he will fight back. He asks Hunter to let “the two of us” take care of Barrett and Stardust. Hunter asks if it will be Red Arrow and Green Arrow. Hunter was reluctant at first, but Amell insisted, saying he would sign anything the lawyers wanted signed. Hunter smiled and asks if he wants to play tough guy. He tells Amell the papers will be in his hands tomorrow and he is washing his hands of it. Hunter books it officially as Stardust and Barrett vs. Neville and Green Arrow for SummerSlam.
Amell came off believable here, and they really did a good job of selling how Amell was putting himself in harm’s way working a match against professional wrestlers. A decent segment that led to a match we all sort of saw coming.
Cole hypes up WWE Network, calling it the equivalent of Netflix, “Only a better value.”
JoJo interviews Sheamus backstage. He talks about the main event and says that when the time is right he will become WWE World Heavyweight champion. He says the right time “may be tonight.”
Randy Orton makes his entrance, then they cut away to the footage of Lesnar and Taker brawling a couple weeks ago. Cole wonders what will happen when the two are in the building together next week on Raw. Seth Rollins then makes his entrance.
Match #7 – Seth Rollins (c) vs. Randy Orton; WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Lilian gives us the in-ring introductions. Rollins stalls in the early going, but Orton bounces him to the outside. Coming out of the commercial break, Rollins takes over control of the match.
Orton mounts a comeback. Rollins tries to exit but gets clotheslined and slammed into the announce position. Orton slams Rollins on the table again then rolls him in the ring. Rollins shoves Orton toward the official, but Orton stops short. Rollins rolls Orton up for two. Rollins hits a superkick on a kneeling Orton, then goes top rope. Orton cuts him off and hits a superplex.
Rollins goes for the Pedigree, but Orton counters. Orton tries a hanging DDT, but Rollins counters out and hits a kick. Rollins tries his own version of the hanging DDT and connects. Rollins mocks Orton, hitting the Viper pose then kicks Orton. He sets up the Pedigree again, but Orton counters. Rollins ties a springboard move, but Orton hits him with the RKO on the way down.
Orton has the cover, but Sheamus runs out and pulls Orton to ringside. That causes a DQ. After the match, Sheamus roughs Orton up, then gets in the ring. He hits Rollins with a Brogue Kick then attempts to cash in his MITB briefcase. The bell never rings, and Sheamus turns around into an RKO from Orton. Cole reminds us that because the bell didn’t ring, the cash-in didn’t happen. Orton poses as his music plays to end it.
This was fine. I thought they did a good job of making Rollins look vulnerable, yet not the guy who needs someone to run out and save him at the slightest bit of trouble. The teased cash-in was done well too and keeps the briefcase in play, which it hadn’t been since Sheamus won it. I still think giving it to Sheamus was wrong (there were better choices) but I think if he keeps doing things like this tonight, he’ll be fine with it.
All in all a good show. They’re doing a nice job of pacing out the SummerSlam match announcements so they can focus on them and give them good attention every time they announce one. They’re clearly putting some effort into the show, and so far it seems to be shaping up pretty well.
Drew will be by tomorrow with an Around the Ring podcast, breaking down tonight’s show in more detail and talking about other things pro wrestling. You’ll hear from me again on Thursday with an Around the Ring segment, as well as other print stuff along the way. Thanks for reading along tonight.
WWE Raw airs live from San Jose, CA, starting at 8pm Eastern. We will have coverage of the show, including results, reactions, and snarky comments, as the show airs. Refresh this page for the most up-to-date info, and follow us on Twitter @RingRap to join in the fun there as well.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are expected to appear to address The Undertaker. Plus, will John Cena appear this week after Seth Rollins broke his nose in convincing fashion? Also, what will be the next step in the Divas Revolution?
All this plus lots more starting at 8pm!
Raw rolls into Oklahoma City tonight at the Chesapeake Energy Arena as the road to SummerSlam continues. The Authority lost control of things last week when Undertaker and Brock Lesnar broke down into a pier six brawl. How will they regain control of Raw? Also, Diva Faction Warfare continues as Team BAD, Team Bella, and Team Paige interact. Who gets the upper hand? John Cena made a number of statements last week about Seth Rollins – is he right about the WWE World Heavyweight Champion?
Show Open, Live from the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
They open by recapping the angle between Undertaker and Brock Lesnar from last Monday, including the big pull-apart brawl.
Michael Cole welcomes us in and like clockwork at the top of the hour we get “King of Kings” ringing out. The Authority makes their way out, this week being Seth Rollins, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon. Cole says Rollins benefitted the most from Undertaker coming back because Taker cost Brock Lesnar the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Hunter welcomes us to the show, calling it a huge night and a night of firsts. He says it will start with a huge announcement because in a few weeks it will be SummerSlam. He hypes that it will be bigger than ever and “three hours just won’t cut it.” Hunter says SummerSlam will be a four hour “monumental event.”
We posted the press release on this earlier. Check that for all the details.
Stephanie hypes that it will be headlined by Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar. Hunter says that for as big as SummerSlam is, Raw also will be because it will be a night of firsts. Hunter books Big Show vs. Dean Ambrose, and Stephanie books Paige vs. Sasha Banks. Hunter adds that Kevin Owens will face “for the first time ever” against Randy Orton.
Stephanie continues, hyping Alicia Fox and Nikki Bella going against Becky Lynch and “wooooo!” Charlotte. Seth Rollins interjects, saying he knows a thing or two about firsts and recounts cashing MITB at Wrestlemania. Rollins addresses Lesnar, saying that he and Lesnar went one on one for the first time ever and he did what he said he would. “I walked in WWE Champion, and I walked out WWE Champion.”
Rollins continues, and says that to cap the night of firsts off it involves the fans. He says he wants them to acknowledge that he is one of the greatest WWE World Heavyweight Champions of all time. John Cena’s music hits, to a decent reaction. Hunter looks a big smug as Cole puts Cena over as a 15-time world champion. Cena gets a mic.
Cena says he doesn’t mean to interrupt Hunter and Stephanie but does mean to interrupt Rollins. He calls Rollins an arrogant jackass. “All of the hall of famers that held that title, and you call yourself the greatest?” Cena calls Rollins a joke.
Cena tells Rollins to not worry and adds that he wouldn’t ask Rollins to do anything about it because last week he tried and Rollins ran. Cena tells Hunter and Steph that he knows how they feel about him, but he knows they also care about what is best for business. He says it’s time to see if Rollins can become a man by booking him as the challenger to Rollins for the title on Raw.
Rollins tells Cena to do everyone a favor “for the first time ever” shutting the hell up. Rollins tells Cena that his title is the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and everyone has to earn a shot at it.
Steph interrupts, saying that it needs to be put to the people. She says it was deafening a few minutes and asks again if they want to see the match. Big reaction, including “yes!” chants. “Then for the first time ever, I say no. I say no to you, John Cena, and to all of you.” She says there will be no match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. “Seth’s right, you’ve gotta earn it.”
Hunter says the idea is valid, adding that no one wants to see Cena face Rollins for the title on Raw. He says that Cena will face Rollins, but instead it will be for Cena’s US Championship instead. “Because that’s what’s best for business.” Cole and Saxton say that Rollins has nothing to lose tonight, and JBL says that Triple H made a smart decision as a good boss.
The “first time ever” talk was really pushing it. That all said, I think they did a good job of hyping matches and giving the show a direction and a sense of importance. Let’s see if this keeps people watching. Big Show vs. Ambrose certainly isn’t must see TV for me.
The announcers recap some of the matches, saying Ambrose vs. Big Show is next. They also run an ad for the Stone Cold Podcast for next Monday. Austin’s guest will be Paige.
Paige isn’t the “big name” get for Austin – though there are so few of those yet to get. Her story is interesting though, so I’m looking forward to what she has to say.
Back live, Miz has joined the commentary team. He looks like Obi-Wan Miz, and he’ll be sitting in for the first match.
Match #1 – Big Show vs. Dean Ambrose
Ambrose gets a good reaction when he comes to the ring. Miz rants early on about how Ryback is ducking him for the Intercontinental Championship. Ambrose hits a dive on Show outside the ring, then tries to follow up with an elbow off the top but Show chops him.
Back live, Show controls the offense. Miz makes fun of Ryback for having a staph infection. Show locks on a leg hold but Ambrose unties his boot. Ambrose locks on a sleeper hold. Show fades out, but flips Ambrose off his back. After an exchange by the ropes, Ambrose tries a top rope move. Show catches him and flapjacks him to the mat for two.
Show calls for the chokeslam but Ambrose counters into a DDT. Ambrose gets a flurry going, but Show cues a chokeslam. Ambrose fights out and goes for his tilting clothesline. Show hits a chokeslam that Ambrose kicks out of. Show hits a second, and Ambrose rolls to ringside. JBL says Ambrose will get counted out but he gets back in on eight. Show hits him with a kick, then goes out and hits a spear.
Ambrose struggles to his feet out by the announce table as the count proceeds. On nine, Ambrose slides in, but he staggers around and falls back out of the ring. Show hoists him in, but Ambrose kicks Show then sets up a suicide dive. Show lands the WMD Punch. Miz says “those are the mistakes I don’t make.” Ambrose stirs but can’t make the count.
Cole puts Ambrose over for the effort, but JBL says it was “sheer lunacy.” They run highlights. Back live, Ambrose is leaning against the wall, and Show eyes him up. Show sets up a spear, but Ambrose slips out of the way and Show crashes and burns. Ambrose smiles, then staggers up the ramp.
This was fine – even though I’m not big on seeing Big Show anytime. Ambrose came off resilient, and Show came off dominating. The post match stuff wasn’t really all that necessary. I would rather have seen Show just walk away after eying up Ambrose. Instead, they decided to give Ambrose the last laugh.
The announcers recap the announcement of SummerSlam being extended to four hours. Saxton calls it a “Wrestlemania like” SummerSlam event. They hype Luke Harper being officially brought back to the Wyatt Family tonight, and Neville will be up next.
Match #2 – Fandango vs. Neville
Fandango is in the ring dancing as we come back, and Neville gets his entrance. They talk about the recent interactions between Neville and Stardust. Fandango hits an early clothesline, then stretches him out with a move. Neville mounts up a short comeback with some quick strikes, then a dive to the outside.
Action moves back inside and Neville sets up the Red Arrow. Neville nails it and grabs the win.
Stardust appears on the Tron and says the man that gravity forgot saves the day again. Stardust says that everyone wants a feel-good story and a story filled with heroes. He says no one wants to talk about the unknown. “Fear not, WWE Universe, I will rescue you from overprotective do-gooders.” He tells Neville there’s nothing he can do to stop him. “Be my hero.” Neville just shakes his head.
A quick win for Neville and it looks like they’re heading toward Stardust vs. Neville. Will they bring in “Arrow” (Stephen Arnell) for SummerSlam, giving some life to the Stardust/Arrow thing? It doesn’t help Stardust when Neville is just shaking his head at the bad guy. Why should I care about Stardust when his opponent doesn’t?
The announcers hype up the “for the first time ever” matches yet to come tonight between Kevin Owens and Randy Orton, Paige vs. Sasha Banks, and Los Matadores vs. Lucha Dragons, as well as the match between John Cena and Seth Rollins.
Gee, guys, you’re wearing out the “first time ever” stuff and it’s barely an hour in. Save that stuff for the big moments.
Backstage, Paige, Becky Lynch and Charlotte talk. Paige says the fans love where the Divas division is headed these days. Sasha Banks, Naomi and Tamina enter. Banks says that Stephanie brought them up and made the revolution happen. More back and forth, with Charlotte wooing at them.
Sasha boasts about being the NXT Women’s Champion. Paige says that she is the first Women’s Champion and a two time Divas Champion. Sasha tells Paige she is known for losing titles. Becky speaks up and tells Tamina to shut up. Team BAD leaves, and Charlotte says that if Naomi and Tamina get involved, things will get ugly. Paige says it already has.
It was really hokey that they were arguing but still looking toward the camera.
Paige makes her entrance with Charlotte and Becky for the next match before going to break.
Match #3 – Paige (w/Charlotte and Becky Lynch) vs. Sasha Banks (w/Naomi and Tamina Snuka)
Team BAD makes their way out after the break. They roll a Sasha Banks promo video as they make their way to the ring.
They needed to do that a couple weeks ago.
Early lockup between Paige and Banks as the commentators talk about the two ladies’ history. The lock-up rolls outside, where the respective teams face off. Back in the ring, Paige hits a press for a cover, then a quick takeover for another cover. Paige backs Sasha to the corner and hits elbows.
Banks uses a roll-over for a cover. Arm drag takeover from both women that they bounce up from, then they both go for drop kicks. Not sure if that was a botch or not, but the fans react to it as the ladies stare each other down. Paige hits a headbutt for two then a fallaway slam for two. The Bellas are watching backstage.
Paige focuses her offense on the left arm of Banks now while the announcers talk about how great the Bellas are. Sasha hits a couple knees, but Paige hits a kick that sends Sasha to the floor. Paige goes up top and dives on Team BAD. Going to break, Paige snatches Sasha up and throws her back in the ring.
Back live, they show that during the break Naomi, Tamina, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch were sent to the back. The Bellas are still watching backstage. Sasha takes control of the offense. She mocks Paige’s entrance routine on the apron to some heat. Paige rolls her up for a quick two count.
Paige starts to fire back with some kicks and knee shots in the corner. Sasha misses a clothesline and Paige hits a superkick. Paige hits a running knee for two. Sasha uses her legs to throw Paige face-first to the corner, then follows up with running knee splash for two.
Sasha sets Paige on the buckle but Paige counters out. She locks on a submission but Sasha gets into the ropes. Paige tries a slam but Sasha counters and locks on the Bank Statement to get the win.
I didn’t see this coming, but it is what it is. This match was solid and an improvement over the normal offering. I got into a conversation with Jake Barnett briefly of ProWrestling.net on Twitter, and agreed with him though that there is a lot of untapped potential here that isn’t getting utilized well.
Backstage, Renee Young interviews Seth Rollins. She says he could potentially walk out with the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and the US Champion. Rollins turns it around and asks her a series of questions about how he defended his championship. He says he has never needed help to win his matches.
Rollins says that every month he beats the best that WWE has to offer, while Cena defends his title against “the rest that WWE has to offer.” Rollins tells us that he is tired of Cena saying that the future of WWE goes through him. “We’ve seen enough and I’m going to show John that the future has long passed him by.
The announcers hype WWE 2K16, noting that Stone Cold Steve Austin is on the cover. If you pre-order, you can also get the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as a playable character too. They run a video to hype up Arnold in the video.
Rusev is in the ring with Summer Rae. He speaks in Bulgarian first, then says he is smitten. He says that his heart bursts for the woman who heals his soul. He says it is a woman’s privilege to obey, and a man’s privilege to reward her. He says he will show “you so called men” how to do it.
He offers Summer a dog, and she asks his name. He says because it’s ugly, with funny legs, and neutered, they’ll call it Dog Ziggler. He gives her a second gift. “it’s a fish,” Rusev says. He names the “cold fish” Lana.
Rusev continues to speak, but Lana says “enough.” She says everyone sees through Rusev. He says that he dresses Summer like her, and calls Summer an “unoriginal, pathetic, Lana.” Summer poses and says that “Rusev now has this.” Lana kicks her shoes off, then kicks Summer. She locks on an arm bar, then shoves Summer face first into the fish.
Um, did I just write that?
Lana leaves, smiling and waving to the fans. Rusev heaves the fish her direction, then helps Summer to her feet. Summer throws a tantrum over what happened to her.
I miss the Rusev that rode in on a tank at Wrestlemania. I hate what they’re doing with him right now, because I feel like there’s more there than this. Every week they do this love square thing, the harder it’s going to be to make Rusev seem like someone that could be in the main event picture.
The announcers recap the brawl between Undertaker and Lesnar from last week. They air the same video package from the top of the show. Cole hypes Taker and Lesnar for SummerSlam, then the fact that Lesnar will be in San Jose next week.
The Lucha Dragons get their entrance as they’re up for the next match. The Prime Time Players have joined commentary during the break.
Match #5 – Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito)
Kalisto hits a huracanrana then springboards into an arm drag. A rope running sequence sets Kalisto up for a knee lift. Matadores control Kalisto momentarily, then Kalisto hits a move off the buckle and locks on an armdrag. Sin Cara tags in and hits a senton. He tries a springboard cross body but gets caught.
Cara sends one of the Matadores to ringside and works with the other. He does a headstand in the corner but Matadore kicks him out of the ring. Matadore outside the ring uses the bull to help take Cara down. They continue to control the offense, working a double team move with a drop kick on Cara. The PTP and commentators talk about Puerto Rican bullfighters.
Hot tags each way. Kalisto hits a springboard DDT for two, then he hits a springboard enzugiri that’s a bit sloppy. Action continues in the ring, but here comes the New Day. They have a sign that says “Real Mega Dad of the Year” to taunt Titus. In the ring, Kalisto rolls Matadore up for the win.
It blew me out of the moment when Young asked “what’s going on?” The action was fine, but I hate to say it that the Los Matadores gimmick is terrible.
They recap Luke Harper assisting Bray Wyatt win against Roman Reigns at Battleground. He’s going to recommit to the Wyatt Family, next.
Back live, they recap the angle between Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Roman Reigns last week. Wyatt sounder hits, and it’s time for Harper to recommit.
Wyatt and Harper make their way to the ring through a sea of cellphone lights. Cole calls Wyatt a charismatic leader. Wyatt blows out the lantern and says he’s not a betting man, but if he were, it would be a safe bet to say everyone has a family. “Do you love them? Do you care for them? Do you hug them each and every day and tell them the world they live in is this wonderful paradise, and as long as you stay together everything’s going to be alright?”
He says that mommies and daddies have been force feeding lies all of their lives. “Your mommies and daddies don’t love you. If they loved you, they would tell you the truth.” He calls the truth a hard pill to swallow, shocking, and terrifying. He says it’s in the schools, the government, places of worship. The ones set to protect are the ones that should be feared the most.
Wyatt says the sooner that is realized, the sooner one can be set free. He says that freedom comes at a hefty price. He tells a story about his pet, saying he wasn’t the most charming but would give his life for Wyatt. He says he saw the curiosity was getting the better of his pet. He says he removed the chains and set his pet free. He says that his pet returned, but he had a scar. Wyatt knew his pet was changed, and it never ran away or left him. He says that his pet learned that the world has sharp teeth, and “you’ve gotta get them before they get you.”
“Luke Harper was a damaged man, but I picked him out of the dirt and I fixed him.” Wyatt talks about having to set Harper free because he would have to learn his own truth. He turns the mic over to Harper.
He says there was a time where he didn’t realize his purpose or why he was here. He says his family found him, and he showed him the truth. The truth is this is all of the fans’ fault. Each and every one made him who he is, and they shunned him. He says that Wyatt saved him. He says Wyatt opened his eyes and made him stronger than ever. “Now I know, when you pray for the rain, you best be prepared for the mud.”
He tells Wyatt “my life for you” and hands the mic back. Wyatt says it always comes back to family, saying Harper would go to hell and back for him. “But Roman Reigns.” Wyatt says he tried to warn Reigns it was only the beginning. He says that Reigns calls Ambrose brother, but if he cared he would tell Ambrose to turn and walk away, never to be heard of again.
He tells Reigns that it’s his burden to bear and his hill to die on. “Roman Reigns, we’re here.” He hits a knee and yells “follow the buzzards.”
I thought this was pretty solid. They had their own way of explaining the reunion and I actually liked the pet analogy. It all worked out pretty well.
The commentary team hypes up Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens, and Seth Rollins vs. John Cena for the US Championship.
Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Paige make their entrance for the next match.
Match #6 – Charlotte and Becky Lynch (w/Paige) vs. Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox (w/Brie Bella):
Lynch starts off with Nikki. JBL throws a line in there about talking to Becky about Velvet McIntryre. Charlotte gets an early tag and throws a one-handed cartwheel out of a wristlock. Fox hits a big boot off of a distraction to take control. Charlotte sells for the heels. Nikki hits Becky and clotheslined Charlotte.
Alicia and Nikki team up for a double suplex. Alicia follows it up with a bit of a surfboard. Charlotte comes back with a jackknife cover then tags in Becky. She comes in like a house on fire. Snap suplex, then a t-bone and into the cover, but Nikki breaks up the cover.
Charlotte comes back with a spear to take out Nikki. Alicia tries to roll Becky up, but she turns it into the Disarmer for the submission win. Paige and her partners celebrate.
Oklahoma City seems very tired. The match was good, it’s just that slump in the show. Also, these three were out earlier, so that usually doesn’t help for that second time out.
Cole sends it to a recap of the elimination from Tough Enough. Patrick got sent home. They run down the final eight left in Tough Enough. He also sets up footage of Big Show chopping on the various male competitors. Cole hypes that Team BAD will be on Tough Enough tomorrow night.
Split screen shot shows Kevin Owens and Randy Orton heading to the ring. “First time ever,” and next.
During the break, Sheamus has joined the commentary team. He will be sitting in on this one to eventually interfere and cost Randy Orton the match…err…never mind.
Match #7 – Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens:
Orton starts out fast with kicks and strikes. Owens takes a powder to the outside but Orton follows. He whips Owens into the barricade outside and follows it up with a clothesline. They fight back into the ring, with Orton maintaining overall control of the match. Owens powders to the floor again, but Orton follows and lands a couple uppercuts.
Owens runs Orton to the post, then hits a fallaway slam into the barricade. They go to break. After the break, Owens is controlling the action. Orton hits a backbreaker to get some separation, but Owens lands a knee. He chokes Orton in the ropes, yelling at Cole “Cole, Cole, how you calling the shot.”
Owens sets Orton up for the cannonball, but Orton moves. He starts his trademark run – hitting clotheslines then the scoop slam. Owens lands an elbow, but off the rope Orton hits a t-bone suplex. Owens rolls to the apron but JBL says he might be in harm’s way. Owens counters, but out on the floor Orton throws Owens to the barrier.
Sheamus gets up from commentary and lands a Brogue Kick on Orton. That ends the match. Sheamus yells “are you not entertained?!” Sheamus throws Orton in the ring and Owens joins him. Cesaro charges the ring, throwing uppercuts on Sheamus and diving out on Owens. He throws hands at Cesaro, then throws Owens in the ring.
Sheamus distracts Cesaro, but he kicks Sheamus away. He turns around and charges Owens, but gets a pop-up powerbomb. Sheamus holds the briefcase up, and Owens poses over Cesaro. As he exits, Owens tells Cesaro “Walk Owens walk? No…” and tells Orton “that’s not the end, Randy.” He strikes Orton’s pose then leaves.
This was a good match, but not a “wow” match like I went into it thinking it could be. I liked the Cesaro save at the end, and I think that feud between Owens and Cesaro could be very good. Here’s hoping they handle it the right way and give the guys momentum out of it. The Sheamus interference was expected.
Backstage, Renee Young interviews John Cena. Cena says it’s put up or shut up time, and he has tried to let everyone know that the US Championship is a symbol of excellence. He says he has defended the title on television twelve times, and tonight is his biggest test. He says tonight will prove it, and he is going against Seth Rollins. He says tonight will end the debate in that Rollins will prove he is who he says, or Cena will shock the world by defeating the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
It’s a shame that Rollins hasn’t been built up better. It would really feel like an upset if Cena wins. But because Rollins hasn’t been built right, that line from Cena rang hollow with me.
Match #8 – John Cena (c) vs. Seth Rollins (WWE World Heavyweight Champion); WWE United States Championship
Cena gets his entrance first, looking into the camera and holding up his towel saying “all day every day.” Rollins gets a pretty negative reaction when he comes out. Lilian gives us the old-school introductions for this title match. Split crowd chants get going early as the two start to lock up. Cena hits an early shoulder block that sends Rollins to ringside to take a powder.
Back in, Cena hits another shoulder block. In a rope running sequence, Cena throws Rollins down with a hip toss. He tries to load the AA, but Rollins counters out and lands a stiff kick. Rollins begins to take over the offense as they go to commercial. Rollins dodges a splash and gets two out of it. They go through a good sequence where Rollins ends up getting a roll-up for two, then follows with a nice kick for two. Cole pointed that the kick caught Cena in the shoulder. Must have been his angle, looked good.
Cena cues up the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Rollins boots him in the face. Rollins tries to follow with a corner splash, but Cena moves, then he follows up with a tornado DDT for a two count. A little later, Rollins shoves Cena and he ends up out on the floor and Rollins follows with a suicide dive. Rollins follows that up with a flying knee off the ropes for two. Rollins stalks then tries to set up the Pedigree, but Cena counters and tries for the STF. Rollins gets in the ropes so Cena pulls him away. Rollins lands on his feet, and Cena hoists him up in an Electric Chair then drops him on his face for two.
Strike exchange ensues with Rollins getting the better of it. Cena’s got a bloody nose now after a high knee by Rollins. Cena to his feet he charges Rollins and attacks. Rollins hits an enzugiri off the apron. They set up a superplex spot but Rollins turns it into a buckle bomb for two. JBL says the tide has turned and we might see Rollins win both titles.
Doctor stops the match to tend to Cena’s bloody nose. Rollins tries to get the Pedigree again, but Cena drops him out. He hits a sloppy springboard stunner and tries for the AA but Rollins lands on his feet. Rollins hits a kick for a good near fall. Oklahoma City thinks it’s awesome. Cena hits the AA outta nowhere for a good near fall.
More care from the ringside doctor. Cole says his nose is definitely broken. Cena goes up top and Rollins meets him for a superplex. Rollins hits a big front suplex off a superplex into a good near fall. Rollins goes Phoenix Splash but Cena moves out of the way. Cena locks in the STF, and Rollins struggles to the ropes. Cena pulls him back and locks it back down, and Rollins taps out.
JBL calls Cena “one tough son of a bitch” as they show highlights and talk about Cena’s broken nose. Cena plays to the fans as Cole talks about how Cena is polarizing, yet made the WWE World Heavyweight Champion tap out. “Big match John did it again.” Cena poses on the ropes for the fans as Cole shills “The Kliq Rules” on WWE Network and sends it home.
I really liked the near falls down the stretch. We all have that groaning sensation about kicking out of finishers, but this was dramatic. They do need to tone back on it overall though – it plagues all of wrestling. This booking makes total sense if they’re going to Rollins vs. Cena for SummerSlam – something I sort of predicted on Twitter.
This match-up overall has been overexposed, but one thing can’t be denied and it’s that the two put on some pretty good matches. I enjoyed this main event tonight and I think the two can do good business at SummerSlam. With Lesnar vs. Taker headlining, it almost feels like this should headline a different card, but if they throw a dirty finish in there I guess it can work out.
Not a terrible show tonight. With my last judged truck show of the year in two weeks, my mind is racing with a million things to do – but this kept my attention where a bad show would not have. I feel like I got beaten over the head with the “first time ever” stuff and the announcers needed to save that stuff for when it really mattered. I feel like WWE became aware of the complaints of fans who lamented getting the same pairings over and over and tried to shake up some things, and that’s to be commended.
Drew will drop by tomorrow with his Around the Ring segment, hitting his thoughts on this show as well as other items in wrestling. I’ll be back Thursday with my Around the Ring segment to hit my thoughts on TNA, NXT, ROH, and other things as well. Look for those audios and more here on Ring-Rap.com. Thanks for reading along.
It’s the night after Battleground. Last night became very interesting when Undertaker made his presence felt in the main event between Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins. Is he back for revenge on Lesnar for breaking the Streak? Is he back to go after Seth Rollins for belittling his brother, Kane? Or is he after both men? Also, John Cena successfully defended his US Championship against Kevin Owens. Will Owens try one more time? Where do those men go from here?
Show Open, Live from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO.
They open with a recap of the main event from Battleground last night. Undertaker’s familiar gong and music plays, and he makes his way to the ring. Michael Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton check in on commentary. They talk about Taker’s accomplishments and history, highlighting that Lesnar ended the streak at Wrestlemania 30.
Taker takes a deep breath into the mic and says “I stand here tonight a relentless, remorseless, cold-blooded, vengeful, grim reaper.” He says streaks are made to be broken, “that is the painful truth.” He says that Lesnar continuously, week after week, month after month, reminded everyone of Lesnar’s greatest accomplishment. “And now I say, enough.”
Taker talks about Lesnar taking what was smoldering ash and turned it back into a raging inferno. “Last night was my true resurrection. You see, Lesnar, you can’t kill what won’t die.” Taker talks about how the two of them have a new destiny.
“And I will challenge your mortality. I will conquer what has yet to be conquered.” Taker says that like all living things, man or beast, Lesnar will rest in peace. Taker’s music plays and he exits. As he leaves, Cole says that Undertaker has been thinking about the loss at Wrestlemania 30 every minute of every day. JBL says that “Wyatt Earp has returned to Tombstone.”
Taker was good here, and the live crowd reacted positively to him throughout the segment. I’m surprised that they didn’t talk about Lesnar attacking Kane, but they can build off of this. Small thing here though is that Cole’s commentary wasn’t lining up with the narrative Taker was telling. Taker had accepted the loss, but was irritated that Heyman and Lesnar were continually boasting over it.
Backstage, Triple H is watching on a monitor and he says he hasn’t seen that look in Taker’s eyes in a long time. Stephanie says that the SummerSlam main event has fallen into their lap, and she says she will call marketing. Hunter says that he wants to keep Taker and Lesnar apart, so he will call Heyman and tell them to not bother showing up tonight. The fans didn’t like that.
The announcers hype Cena, Orton and Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens, Rusev, and Sheamus for the main event, and Charlotte taking on Brie Bella to start the show.
Back live, Tamina Snuka, Naomi, and Sasha Banks have joined the announcers for this first match. Cole sends it into a recap of the segment from last Monday when the three ladies were introduced to the Raw audience.
Match #1 – Charlotte (w/Paige and Becky Lynch) vs. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox)
Early on, the commentary team talks to Team BAD. Naomi says that Tamina and she did not join Paige because while they want change and don’t like the Bellas, they want it on their terms. In the ring, Charlotte no-sells a chop from Brie, then sends her to ringside. She tries a follow-up dive, but no one is home.
Brie gets a run of offense in. She hits some kicks like Daniel Bryan does, but the crowd mildly chants no at it. She hits a two count off of a drop kick, then comes back with a kick attempt but Charlotte avoids it.
Charlotte fires up on Brie with chops and a running kick for a near fall. She sets up the Figure 8, but Nikki gets on the apron. Charlotte sends her to the floor and Brie tries to take advantage, but Charlotte is up to the task. Charlotte lands a spear, then locks on the Figure 8, and Brie taps out. Team BAD gives them credit but look unimpressed. The commentary team runs down the highlights.
They did a good job of establishing why the factions exist, but I don’t want them to. Establish the three NXT ladies as characters of their own rather than this group warfare stuff. That said, a good television match from the ladies again tonight.
The announcers hype that Lesnar vs. Undertaker is now official, and they show some storyboard work. Cole hypes that SummerSlam is sold out, then moves on to a WWE Network shill. Cole then moves on to hype Harper vs. Reigns.
Backstage, Triple H is on the phone with Heyman, telling him that the deal is done for Lesnar vs. Undertaker. Miz is trying to get a word in but Hunter ignores him and tells Heyman that it’s a lucrative deal. Hunter finally gets assertive, saying “grow a pair, tell your client not to come here tonight. Thank you.”
Miz gets Hunter’s attention and complains about being knocked out by Big Show last night. Hunter tells him he isn’t listening and doesn’t care, then books Miz against Big Show for tonight. “Now get out of here, Obi-Wan.” Miz leaves, complaining his face still hurts. Hunter gets back on the phone.
Match #2 – The Prime Time Players vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito)
Typical PTP match to start. Darren Young sells for the Matadores in the early going. He finally gets the hot tag to Titus, and he goes on his run of dominant offense. He clears the Matadores from the ring.
New Day interrupts. Xavier Woods says they are there to congratulate, and the power of positivity is found in the most unlikely of places. That lets Matadore hit a backstabber on Titus to get the win. New Day mocks the PTP “millions of dollars” dance and yells that they’re terrible.
I can’t help but think that we’re getting some sort of multi-team tag match at SummerSlam. And your champions losing to Los Matadores is not a good situation, even with the distraction.
Cole sells Reigns vs. Wyatt for later, and the six man tag match main event.
Match #3 – Big Show vs. The Miz
Miz is already in the ring when we come back live. Cole reminds us that Ryback is out of action due to an infection and recounts how Miz ran his mouth last night then again back in Triple H’s office. Show dominates the early going, rag dolling Miz around the ring and slapping him across the chest. Miz tries to fight back but gets body slammed for his troubles. JBL says Miz is out there unfairly.
Show sets up and hits a second rope elbow drop. “Oh no, stop the match,” JBL exclaims. Show hits the elbow drop for the win. The announcers recap it.
Show cuts a promo and asks Miz what he said last night. “Big Show’s been missing since the Attitude Era? Is that what you said? Can you feel me now? The only thing that’s missing is Ryback with my Intercontinental Championship.”
The fans chant “feed me more” and Show says he will feed him his fist and take his title. He says he doesn’t care where it is, he will take it. He hypes his appearance on Tough Enough tomorrow night and says he can even take the title there. “Because all of those little male wanna be’s, I’m going to see if they’re tough enough for this.” Show exits.
That’s not exactly creative work there. Show won’t be destroying anyone at Tough Enough either.
Backstage, Stephanie and Hunter are with Rob (the artist dude, I’m not sure of his last name) looking over a painting of John Cena. Stephanie asks if they he can do one of Undertaker and Lesnar for SummerSlam. He says he’d be happy to do one.
Hunter spots Heyman. “Heyman!” They walk over to Paul Heyman. He says that Lesnar accepts the main event of SummerSlam and he isn’t there tonight. He says that he is simply there to deliver a retort for Lesnar and he will be out of there. Hunter and Steph agree to let him deliver it. After Heyman walks off, Stephanie says Heyman can’t be trusted as far as one can throw him. “Yeah, and that’s not far.” Hunter says they need more security, and half the locker room.
Backstage, Hunter and Stephanie address the locker room. Hunter tells them they can’t let Taker and Lesnar destroy each other. “SummerSlam depends on it, which means we’re depending on it. That means your livelihood depends on it.” Hunter closes by saying “We’re not asking you, we’re telling you.”
Lilian Garcia introduces Paul Heyman, who introduces himself. He talks that Lesnar should be WWE Champion but he isn’t. He says it’s not because Seth Rollins out wrestled his client, or survived his trip to Suplex City. “My client, Brock Lesnar, is not the WWE World Heavyweight Champion because of the demonic resurrection of The Undertaker.”
He says that WWE Network viewers got to see history last night because Lesnar went face to face with Undertaker for the first time since April 6, 2014. He says the date is meaningful because Lesnar defeated the Streak on that date at Wrestlemania 30. The fans boo mildly and Heyman says that it bothers them but it obviously has the Undertaker pissed off.
Heyman asks why wouldn’t he brag about Lesnar conquering the Streak because it’s Lesnar’s greatest accomplishment. He talks about the names that have tried to end the Streak – Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Triple H, Edge, Batista, etc. He says that his client did not fail – he succeeded. “Now, the Undertaker comes back for his revenge.” He says that Taker picked his spot because Lesnar took the Streak away, so Taker took away Lesnar’s chance to claim the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
“So now it comes to this, SummerSlam 2015.” Heyman says since the Undertaker wants to make this personal, “my client, Brock Lesnar, conquered YOUR Streak at Wrestlemania.” He accuses Undertaker of selling his soul to the devil, “but your ass belongs to Brock Lesnar.”
The gong sounds and the lights go out. When they come up, Undertaker is in the ring with Heyman. Heyman begs off, yelling “I’m just an advocate.” Lesnar’s music hits and he charges the ring. This fight is on! The two scrum in the ring for a bit, then Hunter is seen on the ramp sending security by the dozens to the ring.
They momentarily get the two men pulled apart, but it doesn’t last long. They start brawling again as the ring now fills up with superstars trying to pull them apart. The fans want them to fight. Lesnar escapes the ring and runs to the other side, and the brawl is on again. Now there’s a “let them fight.” chant going. Hunter yells to “get him out” but Lesnar charges the ring again.
Kansas City thinks it’s awesome. Taker breaks free and he goes after Lesnar now. More people separate them. Lesnar yells “I’m gonna kill you!” and Taker retorts “you’re gonna have to.” Finally, a group of men get Lesnar backstage, and Taker slowly walks up the ramp as we go to break.
Backstage, a bunch of mid-carders are with Brock when Taker attacks him again. The brawl continues, with various talent trying to keep them apart, and failing. Finally, a bunch of cops surround Lesnar. “Don’t touch me.” He offers to have his hands tied and walks off willingly.
This was a pretty fantastic pull-apart. There wasn’t much contact between Lesnar and Taker, but the visuals were really impressive and made this rematch feel huge. The live crowd loved it and it was quite the spectacle. I’m not sure how you put the genie back in the bottle in terms of Taker getting a win back, or a good finish to this match, but none the less this WILL sell the match.
Back live, the announcers talk about the spectacle we just saw. Backstage, Stephanie asks why Lesnar was arrested. Hunter says he won’t press charges, but just wanted to get Lesnar to cool off. In walks Seth Rollins, and and he asks if both men are gone. Hunter nods.
Rollins says that he has a lot to say to both of them, but it’s probably good that they are gone. He says he doesn’t want to lose his temper. He says he has a lot to get off his chest, and asks if he can have promo time tonight. “Sure, it’s all yours.” Rollins smiles and leaves.
Wyatt cut in. They focus on a dartboard with Roman Reigns’ image on it, and it’s on Harper’s jacket. Wyatt says he is never alone because his family knows that he is more than just a man. He talks about how he is the revolution that sees through Roman’s lies. He says that “you all” chose Reigns, and will burn for it. He says that it’s just the beginning.
Harper interjects, saying that brick by brick they will take Reigns down until there’s nothing left. Wyatt closes by saying “anyone but you, Roman…anyone but you.”
Match #4 – Luke Harper (w/Bray Wyatt) vs. Roman Reigns:
Wyatt’s intro hits and here comes Harper with him. JBL says that the family is back together again. Cole recounts the promo that Wyatt cut moments ago, and Byron says that he will stop Reigns at every turn. Reigns makes his way through the crowd for this next match. Reigns stares down the duo as Cole plays stats, saying that Reigns hasn’t won by pinfall or submission since Wyatt cost him Money in the Bank.
Reigns jaws at Wyatt, then Dean Ambrose’s music hits to a big reaction. Now the sides are even. Wyatt and Harper regroup at ringside as Ambrose tells Reigns he has his back. Early offensive exchanges between the two men with kicks and punches. Reigns hits a suplex and Harper rolls to ringside to regroup going into break.
Back after break, the announcers focus on the Taker vs. Lesnar match and the brawl that we saw earlier. Harper focuses his offense on Roman’s left arm. Reigns beats a count-out, then Harper goes back after the arm again. Reigns gets in a flurry, but Harper cuts him off.
Reigns starts a comeback with a clothesline. He fires up on Harper, landing a series of kicks and punches, then hitting a Samoan drop with one arm. Reigns ends up out on the floor and he confronts Wyatt. He sets both of them up for a double “drive by” kick.
Reigns cues up the Superman punch, but Wyatt pulls him out. That throws the match out. Wyatt attacks Reigns from behind, but Ambrose runs over and joins the fray. Harper runs Reigns into the table, then Wyatt and Harper gang up on Ambrose. They dominate Reigns, and throw him in the ring.
Ambrose jumps Wyatt from behind, then takes out Harper. Wyatt tries for Sister Abigail, but Reigns hits a Superman punch. Wyatt and Harper exit through the crowd as Reigns and Ambrose stand tall.
A good match. Reigns wasn’t consistent in how he was selling the arm injury, but it’s a small nit-pick. Harper has some great moves for a big man, so the two ended up putting on a good time filling match.
Seth Rollins is walking backstage, and the announcers remind us that he wanted to talk to Lesnar and Taker but won’t get that chance. He will address the fans, next.
Back live, they recap the title match from last night yet again.
Seth Rollins comes to the ring with no one alongside. JBL says that Rollins was out there by himself, and we’ll never know if Rollins was good enough to beat Lesnar alone.
Rollins eyes up the title belt and smiles. He says it’s good to see Kansas City too but he has to ask. He asks how it feels to be wrong about Seth Rollins yet again. He tells them that they bought into Heyman’s bullcrap propaganda just like the rest of the fans did. He makes fun of the fans wearing Suplex City shirts and how the fans cheered when Lesnar took an axe to the Cadillac.
He goes on, saying they cheered when Lesnar took out J&J Security and Kane. He says that they all thought Rollins had punched a ticket to Suplex City and he’d be lucky if he got out alive, let alone with the WWE Championship. “Well surprise, I’m alive and well, and still the reigning and defending WWE World Heavyweight Champion.”
He puts over Lesnar’s accomplishments, talking about how he rag-dolled John Cena and conquered the Streak. He says he doesn’t give a damn about Lesnar and says he is the most underappreciated champion in WWE. He says he took everything Lesnar had and the fans still disrespect him just like they always did. He says they don’t understand what it takes to keep the title around his waist, and everything he does is centered around being champion.
“Since I won this title at Wrestlemania, I have faced every challenge put in front of me and walked away with my title.” He says people can talk about the means but the end is all that matters. He says that Lesnar’s past caught up with him last night. If he had half the brain that Rollins has, he would have gotten out of there when he saw the look in the Undertaker’s eyes.
He asks for Lilian to come to the ring. He says that one thing was missing from the match, and says there was an announcement that should have been made after his title match. She makes the announcement – “Your winner, by disqualification, Brock Lesnar, however still your WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins.”
John Cena’s music hits and he comes to the ring. He thanks Lilian but says she no longer has to put up with Rollins’ crap. “In fact, all of you don’t have to put up with his crap, because that’s all it is.” Rollins says he has no idea why Cena is out there and none of his business concerns him. He goes on to congratulate Cena on his big win over Kevin Owens last night.
“You’ve carved out a niche for yourself with that US Open Challenge. In fact, that’s what you’re probably here for.” Rollins gives the floor to Cena. Cena asks that he stay. He says that fans know when they see the US Championship they see excellence from challenger and champion. Cena calls Rollins a slimy, weasel-faced, suck-up sell out poor excuse of a champion.
Rollins laughs and says that Cena acts like the US Championship is a symbol of excellence despite defending it against any Joe Schmoe. He says people have to earn their shots against him. Rollins tells Cena to not talk down to him, because he isn’t a boy – he is the World Heavyweight Champion.
Rollins says that Cena does the open challenges to placate the fans that hate his guts. Rollins tells Cena that he can have his challenges, while he keeps being the WWE Champion. Cena tells him to keep running like he has ever since he became champion. Cena holds up his belt and says the champ is here. He says it’s not the title that makes the man, but the man that makes the title. He calls Rollins a joke and says “you ready to man up now, paartner?”
The two square off for a few moments, but Rollins smiles and backs off to boos. Cena calls him the champion and Rollins smiles and says “yes I am” from the ramp. Cena holds up the US Championship and yells “The champ is here!” Cena’s music hits as Cole says that it’s not the last we’ll see of Cena tonight. He and Byron Saxton hype the six-man tag main event.
It feels like they’re going to Cena vs. Rollins for SummerSlam, and I don’t like it. I think Cena is doing a good job of elevating talent and doing the US Championship challenges. It’s not time for him to enter the WWE Championship picture again, at least at the moment. If this is what they had in mind, perhaps Owens needed to win last night, somehow.
The Bellas are on commentary for the next match.
Match #5 – Becky Lynch and Paige (w/Charlotte) vs. Sasha Banks and Naomi (w/Tamina Snuka)
In the early going, Banks and Naomi control Becky Lynch. The commentary team chats with the Bellas about the revolution. Nikki says she welcomes it. Back from break, Lynch continues to sell for the heel duo while the announcers continue to hype Nikki up, and continue to talk about “the revolution.”
Sasha gets the tag and slaps Becky before covering for two. Becky continues to sell for the heels. She teases one tag but gets cut off by Sasha. Becky finally kicks Sasha away.
Hot tag to Paige. She goes off on a flurry against Naomi. Superkick, then she rolls Naomi over into the PTO. Sasha Banks breaks things up, but Paige dumps her to ringside. Tamina takes a forearm shot when she gets on the apron. Naomi gets the cheap shot by draping Paige onto the ropes. Tag to Sasha, she locks on the Bank Statement for the submission win.
The more they say “revolution” the less impact it has. The presentation is still a mess overall. That said, another good women’s match that was given time. I stand by my earlier statements though that they needed to give Lynch, Banks, and Charlotte individual introductions and characters. This faction thing isn’t working. They did a great job in the ring tonight, but it still seems like they’re just good hands in the ring and not stars. It’s week 2, so hence my continued skepticism.
Back live, they hype that Sasha and Naomi will take on the Bellas on Smackdown. They move on into a recap of the brawl between Undertaker and Brock Lesnar.
They move on to recap the attack by Rusev on Dolph Ziggler from two weeks ago. Ziggler has been out a couple weeks now. Renee Young is with Lana backstage, and she says that Ziggler is healing and is wating to be medically cleared. Summer Rae pops up, dressed similar to Lana.
She asks if Lana likes it, saying that it makes her look smarter. Rusev enters and tells her she looks angelic. He says his actions will speak louder though, and kisses Summer. He tells Lana she looks tired then laughs and leaves. Summer slaps her, and Lana cries.
Congratulations, WWE. You gave me my nightly “Zero Fucks Given” segment.
Match #6 – Cesaro, John Cena, and Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens, Sheamus and Rusev (w/Summer Rae)
Cesaro gets the first entrance and the announcers put him over for how he has performed of late. They also hype Orton’s performance from last night at the pay per view, calling it classic. Commercial break. Cena got his entrance during the break. After break, the heels get their entrance.
Cena and Owens start it off, but he immediately tags out to Rusev. Rusev teases a test of strength but they tie up instead. Rusev hits a fallaway slam on Cena. Rusev tags out to Owens, and he takes advantage of a downed Cena. Cena sells for Owens in the early going. Cena locks on the STF, but Owens is able to get out and create separation.
Owens tries for a cannonball after a DDT, but Cena moves. Tags out to Sheamus and Cesaro. Cesaro starts off with a cross body then unloads a series of uppercuts. He looks to go swinging with Sheamus, but Owens breaks it up. Cesaro back body drops him, then Rusev lands a kick. We go to break.
Back live, the heels continue to generally control the flow of the match. Cole points out that it’s Raw #1156. In the 3-hour format, it feels like Raw #11,156. Anyhow. Sheamus gets the better of Cesaro and asks the crowd if they’re entertained. They seemed to be. Cesaro hits uppercuts, but Sheamus cuts off the comeback and pushes him to the corner. Rusev checked and Cesaro puts him down. Owens tags in and cuts off Cesar from tagging.
Cesaro starts shoving back, and as a result Owens knocks Sheamus from the apron. Sheamus and Owens start arguing. “What the hell was that?!” They scrum momentarily, then Sheamus goes out and grabs his MITB briefcase and leaves. Cesaro and Owens scrum in the follow up with Owens getting the better of it, and Owens forcefully tags Rusev into the match. He makes a comment about a Lana wanna be. Owens and Rusev get into it momentarily, and Owens tags him with a superkick. Owens leaves the ring, and Rusev is on his own.
Orton gets the tag and he hits a couple of clotheslines, then a power slam. Rusev comes back with a knee but Orton tags him with an exploder suplex. Rusev’s on the apron so it’s Elevated DDT time. Orton is hearing voices, and he coils up for the RKO. Rusev shoves him off and kicks Orton.
Lana comes walking down the ramp, with purpose. She throws a shoe at Summer and spears her down. KC loves it, Rusev hates it. Lana smiles and fixes herself, then walks away. Back in the ring, Cena hits the AA, Cesaro sends him swinging, and out of a slingshot from Cesaro Orton hits the RKO to pick up the victory.
They show Summer selling the Lana attack as the faces celebrate in the ring. Cole hypes Undertaker vs. Lesnar one more time to send the show home.
I guess this is “Book Rusev Poorly” month. The guy goes from having what I considered to be a good feud with John Cena (even if he came up on the short end of it and it went one match too long) to having to face Cena in a title match after working a 20 minute qualifier match, then he gets left to the wolves here with his tag partners exiting like this. Very, very strange booking for a guy that I think has a lot of promise.
This had the feel of a dark main event, given the feel good ending. All the babyfaces got their finishers in, and they got a lot of shine at the end of the match. The live crowd loved all of it, and it was fine for what it was. I think at the core this show was about setting up Taker vs. Lesnar, and the rest of the show wasn’t nearly as important.
And yes, that was the highlight of the night. As I said earlier, the genie is out of the bottle for really recapturing the energy off of Lesnar taking the Streak from Taker, but I am definitely paying attention and interested in where they go with this and what kind of match they come up with. You’ll never get the Streak back, but I’m at least intrigued. I would presume we’ll see the card continue to come together over the coming week.
Drew will be by tomorrow night with Around the Ring – we’re flip-flopping nights – to give his thoughts on this show and talk other things pro wrestling and more. I’ll be by Thursday with my Around the Ring segment with more discussion of the week in wrestling. Thanks for following along tonight.
WWE Battleground airs live from St. Louis, MO on pay-per-view and the WWE Network starting at 8pm Eastern. We will have live coverage of the show, beginning with the preshow, later this evening.
The current lineup for the evening is, as always, subject to change.
- Seth Rollins (c) vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
- John Cena (c) vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE United States Championship
- The Primetime Players (c) vs. The New Day for the WWE Tag Team Championship
- Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
- Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
- R-Truth vs. King Barrett for the King of the Ring Crown (pre-show match)
There’s plenty of rumor and speculation surrounding this event too, so be sure to tune in and follow along with our coverage, as well as on Twitter @RingRap for live tweets throughout the night!