Raw Recap – May 11th, 2015


raw

Image Credit: WWE

Raw is live tonight from the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio

Monday night was the sendoff Raw before WWE’s Payback Pay-Per-View on Sunday, May 17th (which you can see for just $9.99 on the WWE Network! *cheap pop, cheap pop, cheap pop*)

Daddy’s home! Raw started off with COO Triple H coming out to say that he leaves for a few weeks to run the company and things turn to hell while Director of Operations Kane is left in charge of Raw. However he places the blame on Seth Rollins almost as much as Kane. He calls out Rollins and tells him that he and Kane need to work together for the good of The Authority. Rollins takes some shots at Kane about his age, etc., prompting him to come out and threaten Rollins. After some jawing back and forth, Triple H tells Kane that if Rollins doesn’t come out of Payback as the WWE champion, then he night need to find a new Director of Operations. I really feel (hope) that they’re building back to a masked/demonic Kane. He used to scare the hell out of me when he first debuted 20 years ago even before he was Kane (Isaac Yankem, D.D.S. anyone?) but the demon is who he should have always been. If Taker wasn’t 50, I’d say bring back the Brothers of Destruction for a run! HHH then announces matches on Raw for all of the members of the fatal 4-way match at the PPV, starting with the Lunatic Fringe.

Dean Ambrose vs J&J Security (Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble) – Nothing too special here, short match for Ambrose. He does his thing in front of his home crowd, J&J put up little fight and Ambrose gets the win going into Payback after hitting dirty deeds on Noble. He’s so over with the crowd lately, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get the strap on Sunday.

Nikki Sixx Dolph Ziggler vs 2015 King of the Ring Wade Barrett (with Sheamus as a guest commentator) – Two super skilled wrestlers, I really would have liked to see this match go a little longer than it did. Ziggler seemed to be in control when Sheamus climbed up on the ring apron, distracting Ziggler. Dolph would turn around and fall victim to the Bull Hammer from Barrett, who would pin Ziggler for the win. After the match, Sheamus would inflict further pain on Ziggler. I for one love Sheamus as a heel. He’s done it so well for years and it really helped him during his first championship run with the company, only 6 months after making his debut. That being said, I don’t like this current feud with Ziggler. Ziggler needs to be in the ring with another fast guy to really help raise each other shine. Sheamus also needs to be in with someone more his style (powerful brawler, super strength). Not really looking forward to their rematch at Payback.

Erick Rowan vs Fandango – Total squash win for Rowan. This one was over in about 30 seconds. Luke Harper came out to the ring with Rowan. It was nice to see Rowan and Harper back together. They could be a real force in the WWE tag team division. Fandango is back to his fandangoing, but it’s nowhere near as popular as it was a year ago.

John Cena vs Neville for the WWE United States Championship – great, great match. I love Cena giving the NXT guys a chance to shine during the mid-card spot on Raw (Sami Zayn last week, Adrian Neville this week). This was back and forth the whole way through. Crowd was super into this one the whole time. Neville even kicked out of Cena’s AA at one point. Neville appeared to be on the verge of victory after hitting Cena with the Red Arrow, but Rusev interfered, giving Neville the win by disqualification (but no title changed hands). Rusev then beat down on Cena for a bit, putting him in the accolade and causing him to pass out. Crowd started a “We want Lana” chant (who doesn’t?) which just annoyed Rusev. I get the feeling that Lana is going to be making a move to the divas division as a wrestler soon, and the fans will love it (present company included).

Kane vs Roman Reigns – This match never even officially got started. Reigns was making his way to the ring when Kane ambushed him (come onnnnnnnnnn Demon Kane revival!!). The two would trade blows outside the ring, culminating with Reigns spearing Kane onto the announce table.

Brie Bella vs Tamina Snuka – Decent match for these two. Tamina ends up being too much for Brie and gets the win. Nice to see Tamina back from injury, continuing her family’s legacy (Super, Super, Superfly!). WWE seems so lost with their direction for the Divas division. They have so many technically sound wrestlers (Nattie, Paige, Naomi to name a few) but they keep the title on Nikki. Nikki’s transformation over the last few years has taken her from a diva to what would be a perfect manager for someone. There really need to be some shake-ups done here, in my opinion.

Axelmania (Curtis Axel) vs Macho Mandow (Damien Sandow) – The 2015 version of the “Mega Powers” start off facing each other in a singles match, but they are interrupted by The Ascension. The Ascension say that these two are imitating the past in the hopes of jumpstarting their own careers, which is ironic coming from a crappy Legion of Doom knock-off. Conor and Viktor storm the ring, but quickly retreat as Axel and Sandow start to get the better of them. Axel and Sandow then shake hands in the ring and the Mega Powers are truly united once again! Funniest part of this match was JBL referring to Macho Mandow and Man Cow the entire time. #Mancow everyone, get it trending!

WWE showed a Tough Enough promo in preparation for the season premiere on June 23rd. Looks like Jericho will be the main trainer (taking Stone Cold’s place) with 6 additional trainers: Paige, Booker T, Daniel Bryan, Billy Gunn, Lita, and the Immortal Hulk Hogan. I’m kinda excited for this to come back, hopefully the winners will fare a little better than Andy Leavine did back in 2011. He made two appearances on Raw in June 2011, never wrestled, went down to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW, now known as NXT) and was released by WWE less than a year later

tough

Image Credit: WWE

Daniel Bryan came out to the ring for the first time in about a month to speak. He started talking about a year ago when he needed his neck surgery and had to vacate the World Heavyweight Championship he had just won at Wrestlemania XXX. Now a year later, it appears he’s had an MRI on his shoulder and the doctors aren’t sure if/when he’ll be able to wrestle again. Heartbreaking stuff for a guy who’s been the top draw with crowds for 3 years now. He finally gets over and fulfills his dream, only to have his body break down on him again. If you weren’t YESing along with Daniel Bryan, even while watching at home, you might not have a soul.

Big E vs Cesaro – New…Day Sucks! I really don’t like this faction at all. Kofi is perfect for the IC title picture, Big E is green, but he’s huge and if he could sharpen up his mic skills, he could be a top guy. Before the match, New Day announce that at PayBack, there will be a 2 out of 3 falls match at Payback for the tag titles. Cesaro dominated Big E early, showing off his impressive strength. Big E takes over during the commercial break as the match slows down a bit. After some attempted interference by Kofi and Xavier Woods, Cesaro is still able to get the surprise roll-up on Big E for the win.

Elimination Chamber is back! Only 2 weeks after Payback, Elimination Chamber will be on May 31st, only on the Network.

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Image Credit: WWE

Prime Time Players cut a promo in the style of the New Age Outlaws. These guys seem to work really well together, hopefully they start having matches again soon and not just this shtick.

Bray Wyatt comes out and cuts a promo ahead of his match against Ryback at Payback. Bray’s promos are things on beauty and his ring skills are great also. It’s no surprise given who his father is former WWE Superstar Irwin R. Scheister (IRS) and his brother is everyone’s favorite motivational speaker, Bo Dallas! A professional wrestling family, through and through. After the promo ends, Ryback runs in, nails Wyatt with a spinebuster and then the Meat Hook before Wyatt rolls out of the ring.

Main Event – Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins – Glad to see Randy back in the title hunt. The third generation superstar has been a favorite of mine for quite a while.

Some nice back and for the between Orton and Rollins before Randy gains the upper hand. He does his signature appendage stomps and then hits a nice backbreaker on Rollins. Rollins catches Orton off-guard, slams his head into the turn buckle and gives Orton a high knee to the back, knocking him out of the ring.

A little later Rollins goes to the top rope but gets crotched by Orton in the corner and then Orton nails Rollins with the superplex (one move that had to do as much damage to the receiver as the giver, in my opinion). Orton and Rollins trade blows in the center of the ring. Rollins goes up to the 2nd rope for a maneuver that’s countered into a powerslam by Orton, but only a 2 count. Rollins gains control, throwing Randy over the top rope, kicking him in the head, which knocks him to the mat outside and then Rollins dives through the ropes and nails Orton. Rollins goes for the pin and gets a 2 count, then he nails Orton with a superkick (shades of HBK) before another kickout by Orton. Orton is able to power back and nails the rope-hung DDT on Rollins (vintage Orton, per Michael Cole).

Orton sets up for the RKO when J&J come in and assault Orton, causing the DQ. Orton fights them both off, but Rollins picks himself up and lays out Orton. Kane’s music hits and he makes his way out to the ring. Rollins/J&J continue to beat on Orton while Kane grabs a chair but stays outside of the ring. Ambrose and Reigns come out to make the save for Orton. Ambrose hits dirty deeds on Rollins, leaving him laid out in the middle of the ring. Kane just watches on. Ambrose picks him up and Reigns nails Rollins with the spear. Kane isn’t moving from his spot. Reigns and Ambrose pick Rollins up for Randy to hit him with the RKO. Randy does it, Kane still stands outside the ring with a stone look on his face. Reigns then spears Orton, followed by Ambrose hitting dirty deeds on Reigns, leaving him as the lone man standing in the ring, with his opponents on Sunday all laid out. Ambrose’s music hits and Raw goes off the air.

 

– Erik Steckis

TWITTER: @ESteckis