This week’s WWE Monday Night Raw eminated live from the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.
Last night featured The Authority proving that they CAN run the show without the boss in the building. John Cena’s open challenges continued and Sheamus was really, REALLY dislikeable.
Immediately following Raw, United States champion John Cena was interviewed by Chris Jericho on the WWE Network. The WWE Network is free for new subscribers for the month of April, which includes this month’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view.
Here is how it all went down:
Without Triple H & Stephanie McMahon at Raw, There is Dissension in the Authority
The entire first hour of the show has been non-stop Authority.
Raw kicked off with The Authority in the middle of the ring without the co-owner and COO. Seth Rollins declared that The Authority always wins, which was followed up with Big Show and Kane singing Rollins’ praises as they’ve been doing the past few weeks.
After eight minutes, Randy Orton finally crashed the party and mentioned his Wrestlemania 31 win against Rollins, which would put him in line for a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Kane announced that the main event of Raw would feature Orton, Roman Reigns and Ryback in a triple threat match to determine the No. 1 contender who will face Rollins at Extreme Rules for the WWEWHC. Kane also announced that each of Orton, Reigns and Ryback would have to compete in singles matches throughout the course of the night before the main event.
Kane announced Orton’s match was next against him. After a short back-and-forth match, Kane got himself intentionally disqualified and tried to use a chair to take advantage of Orton by attempting to soften him up for later in the night. It didn’t work and Orton was able to regain the upper hand and chase Kane away from the ring.
Kane and Rollins were backstage shown getting an argument again. Rollins was belittling Kane, and in response, Kane decided that Rollins would have a match next.
The 1st NXT Champion vs. The Longest-Reigning NXT Champion
Seth Rollins’ opponent was Neville, who debuted last week by defeating Curtis Axel. Rollins was NXT’s first champion and Neville was the brand’s longest-reigning champion.
In a great back-and-forth match, Rollins picked up a hard-earned victory.
Neville had a nice showing with some creative counters and trademark aerial maneuvers. The ending was when Rollins power bombed Neville into the top corner turnbuckle, setting him up in the middle of the ring for Rollins’ finish move, the Curb Stomp.
THE CHAMP IS HERE!!!!
John Cena has openly acknowledged that as long as he is the United States Champion, he will defend the championship once a week. He will put the Championship on the line again tonight. His opponent is….
Cody Rhodes, eh, STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARDUST! *exhales violently* Cena’s weekly championship matches will use the #USTitle on Twitter.
Since his successful feud win over his half-brother Goldust, and most notably over the last few weeks, Stardust’s appearances have been scaled back more and more. He’s been largely around, but not winning matches or doing anything of note. Cena won using the Attitude Adjustment in a match where both guys traded their finishers towards the end. Cena is also anticipating that Rusev will challenge again for the U.S. Championship at some point, but that my be being saved for Extreme Rules.
Miz and Mizdow Finally Came to Blows
The “Awesome” A-list superstar got the better of his former stunt-double Damian Mizdow by the way of a rollup with a hand full of tights. Mizdow dominated most of the match, and it was the 2nd time in Miz’s career that his protege had upstaged him in a match — the first time against Alex Riley at Capitol Punishment 2011.
Mizdow seemed frustrated after the match was over, but that paled in comparison to the Miz’s typical overreaction, and this time it was a winning effort! Miz proclaimed that Mizdow’s five- minutes of fame are over, but that’s doubtful.
The Big Guy vs. The Weird Guy!
It’s feeding time! Luke Harper has consistently been impressive in the last few months and looks to be feuding with Dean Ambrose, potentially ending in a gimmick match at Extreme Rules.. Ryback is slowly regaining his 2012-level popularity.
Ryback defeated Harper in a short, but hard-hitting match.
A New Day! For Real…
New Day has been getting booed since they each re-debuted, despite the group acting cheerfully. The Lucha Dragons have quickly emerged as a popular, on-the-rise tag team. The New Day have also been called out by the Prime Time Players too.
New Day defeated Lucha Dragons by “cheating.” Seems like New Day are getting a slow-burn heel turn.
Roman Reigns vs. Big Show Part 78
Roman Reigns defeated the Big Show — not surprisingly considering that this match has been on television multiple times in the last three months. Reigns marched onto the main event triple threat match later in the night.
Sheamus Continued to Look Strong After Turning Heel
After returning last week, Sheamus attacked Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan, targeting them because of their size and fan popularity. Before this match, Sheamus cut a promo, continuing to call out Ziggler — this could possibly lead to a match between the two at Extreme Rules.
Sheamus took on “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry who doesn’t seem to win matches anymore. This is nothing new with these two.
Give ALL the Divas a Chance!
Kane announced that next week on Raw will be a Divas Battle Royal where the winner will be the No. 1 contender for the Divas Championship. This may also be a prime opportunity to debut a certain NXT Diva who has been tearing it up on Wednesday nights…
Randy Orton Is the No. 1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
In an entertaining Monday Night Raw main event, Randy Orton ended up defeating Ryback to earn the championship match with Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules. Each of the three men looked good, but were clearly slowed down by having matches from earlier in the night.
The crowd remained split on Roman Reigns, but the cheers have slowly been growing more in the last two weeks following Wrestlemania. Orton’s win received a big reaction from the crowd. The feud that got much television time on the Road to Wrestlemania continues to receive the most of it as we head into the first post-Wrestlemania pay-per-view.
In case you missed it, here is a detailed look at what happened on last week’s Raw.
With Brock Lesnar Suspended, Randy Orton Prepares to Challenge Seth Rollins
The dust has finally settled and the WWE is beginning to transition into its post-Wrestlemania summer phase.
Last week’s Monday Night RAW rode the incredible momentum of Wrestlemania 31 to its highest television rating in three years thanks in large part to how AWESOME Brock Lesnar is and the extra media coverage that the big event had received from ESPN.
The first 90 minutes of last week’s RAW was, arguably, the best 90 minutes of television the WWE has produced collectively in 10 years. From the opening minute to 9:30 p.m. Eastern, here is what went down:
– Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman opened up the show with a promo demanding Brock’s rematch with new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. Stephanie McMahon obliged and made the match for later in the night.
– Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler fought over the Intercontinental Championship – giving fans the match that both superstars tried pushing for on social media in January.
Bryan retained. Barrett got involved. Sheamus returned, turned heel and assaulted Ziggler. It was awesome. Sheamus also cut his first heel promo in over three years Thursday night on Smackdown, justifying his attack and… it was perfectly justified!
– An eight-man tag team match followed; Tyson Kidd and Cesaro and The Ascension vs. The Lucha Dragons and Los Matadores. The Lucha Dragons debuted to the right crowd and Kalisto looks like he could be the heir apparent to Rey Mysterio.
– Brock returned and f***ed everything up as seen above. Stephanie got pissed and, ho hum, suspended Lesnar indefinitely. She also fined him and proclaimed “The Beast” to be her “bitch.”
– Damian Mizdow came out and defeated Stardust. The Miz was not too far behind, and his sneak attack has finally kick-started the feud they have been building for months.
Neville debuted, John Cena had a solid match with Dean Ambrose while retaining the United States Championship, and the main event set up a potential long-term angle revamping the Roman Reigns character and making Ryback a big deal again by having him go against The Authority.
In the only negative from last week, the Divas Division lost A.J. Lee to retirement.
It seems like the Bella Twins are continuing to work hard in their current top spots. Nikki has improved vastly in the ring in the last year and Brie and her work well together as heels. Paige and Naomi, who is currently getting a push after the win last week on RAW, provide solid contenders for now and NXT’s Charlotte – Ric Flair’s daughter – and Sasha Banks aren’t far away.
In a special post-RAW interview on the WWE Network, Chris Jericho will interview John Cena for his podcast, and the interview, as Jericho hinted to, will be conducted outside of kayfabe, or in layman’s terms, a real interview that breaks the 4th wall.
It’s a good time to be a wrestling fan.