Monday Night Raw TV Report for May 11th, 2015 – “Pondering Payback?”
Introduction Segment: Backstage and Welcoming
A limousine pulls up to the garage area and the mystery person is the returning COO, Triple H! The regular Raw video plays and “The Game” starts off the show. Michael Cole, John “Bradshaw” Layfield, and Booker T. greet us from Cincinnati, Ohio. They also announce that there will be another U..S. Championship Open Challenge, and another man will return tonight, as Daniel Bryan will make a statement on his future and the Intercontinental Championship.
Triple H compares leaving and coming back to WWE to his life at home, where when he comes back home, his and Stephanie’s children all behave better. HHH wants to settle the deal between WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins and Director Of Operations Kane. He asks them both to join in the ring, so Rollins obliges first.
Seth blames Kane for all the raucous that has gone on, and tells Triple H that he doesn’t think Kane should be the Director anymore. Kane now links up to this conversation, getting in Seth’s face until Trips breaks them up. He informs Kane that Rollins better walk out of Payback the WWE World Heavyweight Champion or else he may no longer have the DOO job. Triple H tells Kane to tell him if he can do it; Kane backs away at first and does not respond. “The Game” books matches with everyone involved in the Fatal-4-Way at Payback; Kane will face Roman Reigns, Rollins will go against Randy Orton, and Dean Ambrose will take on J & J Security, shortly! Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury stay I the ring while Kane and Rollins are order to follow HHH.
Dean Ambrose makes his way to the ring, to a loud ovation from his hometown crowd!
Match #1: Two-On-One – J & J Security (Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury) VS. “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose
Dean dominates most of this bout for the first bit until Mercury yanks him off the top turnbuckle. Noble and Mercury work over Ambrose, but both Dean and Joey headbutt each other. Noble is tagged in, but Ambrose is fired up with punches and a running shove. He hits a running-clothesline on Noble in the corner, then a suicide dive on both to the outside! He rockets off the second turnbuckle with an elbow drop, then kicks and clotheslines them both. He drives down Noble with the Dirty Deeds DDT for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose
Match #2: Single – “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler VS. “King Of The Ring” Bad News Barrett
(Note: “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus is on commentary and it is announced that he will face Ziggler at Payback; also Barrett cuts a promo telling us that he will matchup against Neville at Payback.)
Ziggler immediately superkicks “The King Of The Ring” for a two-count, then takes over.
Barrett now has Ziggler clamped in a rear chinlock, then pounds him down with an elbow. Dolph battles back with the Fameasser with the near-fall and Barrett plants the Wasteland! He winds up for the Bullhammer, but Ziggler counters with a dropkick and a roll-up for two! Sheamus distracts Dolph, allowing Wade to nail The Bullhammer and receive the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “King Of The Ring” Barrett
Post-match, Sheamus attacks Dolph, finishing off with The Brogue Kick.
Match #3: Single – Erick Rowan (with Luke Harper) VS. Fandango
Fandango starts off hot with flurries of hits until Erick flapjacks him to the canvas. He completes this bout with a Full-Nelson Slam very quickly!
Winner via Pinfall: Erick Rowan (with Luke Harper)
Post-match, Harper also assaults Fandango.
Following the break, John Cena will issue another U.S. Open Challenge
Match #4: Single for the United States Championship – John Cena (Champion) VS. ???
John Cena puts over the importance of the U.S. Title and his match at Payback with Rusev, then calls out his next opponent; the person to answer is …. Neville!
After formal introduction, they lockup and measure each other out. Cena holds Neville in a wristlock, but Neville flips out of it and over-head suplexes John. Both trade holds until Neville hits Cena with a jumping calf-kick, sending him to the outside for a break.
Cena hits a couple shoulder-tackles and goes for the spin-out powerbomb, but Neville flips over and German-Suplex-pins Cena for a two-count! Cena rolls to the outside, where Neville springboard-twist-splashes him! Back in the ring, Cena gives Neville the spin-out powerbomb and hits the 5-Knuckle-Shuffle, but Neville counters and sling-shots off the middle turnbuckle with a backwards-450-Splash!
Cena punches back, but receives a few kicks from Neville. He catches Neville running off the ropes and turns him around with an over-the-shoulder-sit-down-powerslam! Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment but Neville reverses into a pin for two! Cena catches Neville off the second turnbuckle this time with a A.A., but Neville drops to his feet and kicks Cena down for another two-count! Neville drags Cena to the corner, but Cena clutches him and traps him in the S.T.F. Neville rolls out of it for a near-fall, but then gets clotheslined hard! Both are a bit weary, with Neville kicking Cena in the head, but quickly getting driven to the mat with the A.A. 1 – 2 – Neville gets his shoulder up!
Both climb the ropes, with Cena going to try another A.A., but Neville reverses into a sit-down powerbomb for another close-call! Neville ascends the turnbuckle again and soars off with the Red Arrow Tornado Splash, but Rusev interrupts and stomps on Neville, causing the DQ.
Winner via Disqualification: Neville
Post-match, Rusev turns his attention to Cena (who is still the U.S. Champ) and rips at him with The Accolade. He holds the Championship above his head and the Russian Flag propels from the lighting rig above the ring.
Match #5: Single – Director Of Operations Kane VS. Roman Reigns
Kane attacks Reigns immediately, before he can even get fully through the fans. The bell has not rung as Kane continues to punch and kick away. He rams Roman into the ring apron, then slams his head off the steel steps. Kane rolls Reigns into the ring, but Roman punches back and shoulder-rams him into the barricade repeatedly. Kane hurls him back-and-forth between the apron and the barricade, then flying over the steps.
Kane removes the cover of the announce table and sends Roman over the steps again. Roman leaps back with a Superman Punch try, but Kane catches him in a Chokeslam position. Reigns fends him off and Superman Punches, then Spears Kane right over the table! Reigns stands tall!
Winner: None due to no official start
Match #6: Single – Brie Bella (with Sister and Divas Champion Nikki Bella) VS. Tamina Snuka (with Naomi)
An elbow/collar tie-up starts out, then Brie punches away on Tamina. She quickly gets taken down and worked over for a while. Brie elbows back out of the corner then rockets off the middle turnbuckle with a missile dropkick,. She sets Snuka up against the bottom rope, then gives her one running-knee. She goes for a second, but Tamina shoves her off and nails a superkick to take this one!
Winner via Pinfall: Tamina Snuka (with Naomi)
Match #7: Single – “Axelmania” Curtis Axel VS. Macho Mandow
(Prior to the contest, a video is shown of Axel diminishing Damien Sandow for mimicking people. Sandow joins him and goes into “Macho Man” Randy Savage [R.I.P.] promo-mode, and challenges him to this match.)
Mandow is in full control, but as he goes for the Flying Elbow Drop, The Ascension walk out. They rip on Axel and Sandow for acting like wrestlers from the past, while they claim they are the future. Conor and Viktor charge the ring, but are quickly dispensed of by Mandow and Axel.
Damien and Curtis then act like Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, shaking hands and teaming up as this century’s Mega Powers.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Intercontinental Champion Daniel Bryan enters the arena to a pop. He puts over the fans for their constant approval, then talks about wanting to have been a “fighting champion” with the IC Championship. However, he cannot, as he does not know how long he will be out of action or if he can ever return. Bryan gives up the IC Title, then thanks the fans for all the support. He places the title in the middle of the ring and walks away to “Thank You, Daniel” chants. At the top of the stage, Bryan leads the fans in a “yes” chant.
Match #8: Single – Tag-Team Champion Big E. (with New Day Tag-Team Champion partners Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston) VS. Cesaro (with Tyson Kidd and Natalya)
Cesaro dominates for a while, hitting a big boot and high crossbody off the top rope. He mudhole stomps Big E. in the corner, then clotheslines him into New Day’s side.
Big E. has Cesaro locked in an Abdominal Stretch, but Cesaro turns it around with a gutwrench suplex. Cesaro punches away, but is side-slammed. Big E. misses a splash, but slams Cesaro down again with one arm. He cover, 1 – 2 – Cesaro raises his shoulder! He runs into Cesaro shoulder-first in the corner, then clotheslines him harshly for another near-fall.
Cesaro hits back with an uppercut and springboard twisting uppercut! He German suplexes twice and overhead belly-to-belly suplexes E., then uppercuts him repeatedly in the corner. He goes for the Big Swing, but Kofi hops the apron. He is kicked down by Tyson, then Cesaro combo-pins Big for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Cesaro (with Tyson Kidd and Natalya)
It is announced that a WWE Network-exclusive Pay-Per-View, Elimination Chamber, will take place on May 31st from Corpus Christi, Texas.
Segment #3: Video Promo
The Primetime Players are dressed like The New Age Outlaws (Titus O’Neil as Road Dogg and Darren Young as Billy Gunn). They parody NAO’s signature catchphrases to promote themselves as “future Tag-Team Champions of the world.”
Segment #4: Arena Promo
Bray Wyatt saunters to the squared circle and “I feel sorry for all of you, I wish that I could just reach out and fix everything; I wish that I could wake you up from this nightmare but I can’t. Fear is all around you. Fear is all around you; it has engulfed this world like a wildfire. And if you need proof, it ain’t too hard to find. All you have to do is open up a newspaper or turn on your television set, and you will see being sold to you left and right. Fear of a crumbling economy. Fear of a crumbling economy that will never stop. Fear of a global conflict. Fear of a ‘dying earth.’ And yet, there are still those of you that refuse to accept this true power of fear. You have adopted ‘the man’s’ idea that if you work hard enough, you can overcome all the odds. Ryback must be such an inspiration to each and everyone of you. I mean, here’s a guy who shatters his ankle into a million pieces, and the doctor comes to him and says, ‘Mr. Ryback sir, I’m afraid to tell you this, but I don’t think that you’ll ever be able to compete again’ But The Ryback, he does not accept his fate lying down. No, The Ryback fights through his injury; he overcomes all the odds. And now, here he is today, doing what he loves once again; my hero. Then, along came the spider. And I understand that Ryback has gone toe-to-toe with fate and won. He has overcome all the odds, but he ain’t never seen nothing like me before. He hasn’t seen ‘The New Face Of Fear’ before. And I’m sure poor Ryback is asking himself right now, ‘Why me? Why me, poor Ryback, why me?’ The answer is simple; ‘he was in my way.’ Hey kids, do you want to hear something your parents will never ever ever tell you? These nightmares, they won’t stop. Sometimes, the ‘bad guy’ just wins.”
Wyatt gets on his knees, but Ryback meets Bray in the ring and the two brawl, with Ryback getting the better after spinebusting then clotheslining Wyatt to the floor.
Match #9: Single – “The Viper” Randy Orton VS. WWE World Heavyweight Champion “The Architect” Seth Rollins (Non-Title)
They exchange holds at first until Orton elbows Seth to the canvas. Rollins kicks and punches back, but is whipped into the corner and uppercut. Orton takes control for a bit and giving Rollins a neck/backbreaker drop. Seth counters with a flatliner into the middle turnbuckle, then regains his control.
Rollins still controlling Orton, wearing him down with a standing headlock. Rollins is crotched on the turnbuckle, then brought over and down with a suplex! Both slug it out then ….
Orton is put to the outside, as Rollins follows with a suicide dive. Rollins signals for a powerbomb (or piledriver), but is backdropped. Orton slingshot-DDT’s Rollins, then gears up for the R.K.O. As he goes for it, Noble and Mercury run out and attack Orton, causing the DQ.
Winner via Disqualification: “The Viper” Randy Orton
Post-match, Rollins and J & J continue the assails, Kane walks out and helps out. He grabs a chair and stands at ringside as Dean Ambrose runs to send J & J away. Rollins is surrounded by Reigns, Orton, and Ambrose, with Kane watching on. Ambrose Dirty Deeds DDT’s Rollins, then Roman Spears Rollins. They setup Seth for Orton, who RKO’s him.
Roman then Spears Orton, but is swung around into a Dirty Deeds DDT to leave Ambrose closing the show!
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was a really good Raw and final build up to Payback! It contained a lot of action, very little boring backstage segments, and promoted the pay-per-view very well. Only a few gripes (one major and one for real/genuine concern), and the rest was well done! Onto the particulars then my Payback preview:
Excellence: In-ring for seven-out-of-ten matches; Neville/Cena specifically was phenomenal! Loved the fact that most of this show really did focus on the squared-circle and the action inside of it!
Promos by Bray Wyatt, John Cena, Mandow, Rollins, and Kane.
Bogus: I thought that Ambrose should’ve just run over J & J, not giving them time to mount an offense. Brie/Tamina could’ve been a bit better, and Tamina should have her own music as she did last year! I was bored by the Rollins/Orton bout, as I have already seen them wrestle twice on the Network Pay-Per-View shows, so I needed not see it again tonight.
My biggest objection though is another Pay-Per-View in May. It is too much to have two in one month, as it waters the “specialty” of them down and leaves little time for booking/storytelling between the “big” shows. Plus, with his one being Elimination Chamber, it should’ve been a major announcement/storyline; not just a one-off by the commentators.
Payback Predictions: Cena to retain U.S. Championship; I.C. Title determined in Battle Royal and/or Tournament starts on Smackdown this week to crown at Payback or Elimination Chamber; New Day keep rolling with Tag-Straps (and use Freebird Rules!); Naomi wins Divas Championship to continue her push; Bray Wyatt defeats Ryback, perhaps with help of Harper/Rowan; Seth Rollins sneaks away with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Overall, a great Raw and looking forward to next week after Payback! Until then, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!