“Payback” is over with for now, and we are moving onto “Elimination,” particularly the Elimination Chamber WWE Network Exclusive show on May 31st. Already announced are two Championship Chamber Matches; one for the Intercontinental Title and the other for the Tag-Team Championships. Of course, New Day should be the ones defending their straps, but who will be the participants in the IC Chamber?
Also, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship will likely be on the line, so who will be wrestling in that bout? (I opt to not spoil the results of last night for those readers who did not watch the show [my Dad and I did] and are waiting for Raw tonight to find out.)
Since there are only 13 days until Elimination Chamber, the build better happen quick and hopefully we will find out all tonight!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for May 18th, 2015 – “A Celebration And Elimination”
Introduction Segment: Welcoming
The regular Raw video plays, but no pyro for the fans in Richmond, Virginia. Instead, we are immediately greeted by Michael Cole and The Authority – Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Cole says this is the first time we have seen the two of them together since WrestleMania.
Stephanie has the microphone first and wonders if we missed her. (Surprisingly, a good chunk of the crowd cheered!) McMahon is pleased with the results of Payback, where “the future” Seth Rollins retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H concurs, and backs up Stephanie’s statement on Rollins being “the future of the WWE.” They will put over Seth as the “Architect Of A Dream.” Stephanie says that Randy Orton, Roman Reigns (to a decently great pop) and Dean Ambrose (to the best pop so far) will have “move to the back of the line.”
The couple move on to the Intercontinental Championship and tell us what we already know, that it will be up for grabs inside the Elimination Chamber, and then we will have a new IC Champ. Sheamus interrupts and, after sucking up to Steph and HHH, insinuates that they don’t need the Elimination Chamber to decide a new IC Champ. Instead, he wants the title as a “reward” for putting Daniel Bryan out of action.
Before he goes on, Ryback marches out. He also agrees with the crowd when they tell Sheamus “you look stupid.” Ryback puts over Daniel Bryan for his passion about wrestling, then challenges Sheamus to a match. Stephanie interjects and announces they will be two of the combatants inside the Chamber, then Triple H makes Ryback’s request official; up next, it will be Sheamus taking on Ryback!
Match #1: Single – “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus VS. Ryback
The bell rings and Sheamus hits a quick punch to Ryback’s side. This gets Ryback amped up and he chases Sheamus around the ring, then Thesz-Presses him in the ring. Sheamus knees Ryback off a run, but Ryback chops back in the corner and powerslams him for a near-fall! Ryback stomps away, but Sheamus comes back with a backbreaker. On the outside, Sheamus shoves Ryback into the security barrier and kicks him hard. As Ryback tried to get back in the ring, Sheamus pushed him off the apron into the fencing.
Both men are now lying on the canvas as we come back from the break; they both then slug away, with Sheamus getting the better after ramming his shoulder into Ryback’s gut. He holds him against the ropes and hammers away with “1- Beats Of The Bowring.” Ryback catches him on one, then powerbombs Sheamus out of another run! Ryback catches Sheamus out of the corner with a spinebuster, but only getting two!
Ryback gears up for the Meathook Clothesline, but Sheamus rolls to the outside. Sheamus pushes Ryback into the ring apron, but Ryback press-slams him onto the commentator’s table! Sheamus keeps trying to escape, but Ryback gives chase. He runs Sheamus into the ring post, who holds his right eye after this. It seems to be a ruse, as when the referee held Ryback apart so Sheamus can rebound, Sheamus Brogue Kicks him and covers for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus
Later tonight, the rest of the wrestlers for the IC Elimination Chamber Match will be announced, and Seth Rollins’ celebrations for keeping the WWE World Heavyweight Championship will happen.
Segment #2: Office Promo
Stephanie and Triple H are discussing Rollins’ party, and ask Kane to help. The WWE World Heavyweight Champion himself walks in, with Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury by his side. He toasts everyone, including Kane, on his success at Payback, including helping Kane keep his job.
Dean Ambrose suddenly appears, and wants to challenge Seth Rollins for the title as he beat him last time they went one-on-one. Tripe H and Stephanie let Kane handle this; he tells both Rollins and Ambrose that it will be Rollins who decides.
Ambrose berates Kane for not being a “monster” anymore and asks him “what will Paul Bearer think? Your brother? (The Undertaker)?” Kane warns him not to mention his “family” again, so Dean takes the champagne and walks off.
Segment #3: Arena Promo
Rene Young is in the ring and asks us to welcome “The Man That Gravity Forgot,” “The New Sensation” Neville. She asks him how he feels about his time on Raw and Smackdown so far. Neville reminds us that while he is not the biggest man in the land, he feels that way whenever he’s performing his aerial attacks.
Bo Dallas interrupts and insults Neville, calling him “The Little Engine That Couldn’t.” Neville reminds Bo that it was him who he defeated to become the longest-reigning NXT Champion. Bo sweeps him up and the two get into a tussle before Neville’s official opponent, King Barrett, walks out. a referee is in the ring and the next match will begin!
Match #2: Single – “The Man That Gravity Forgot,” “The New Sensation” Neville VS. King Barrett
Neville headlocks Wade into the corner, then spins around him with a quick roll-up for two. Barrett gets Neville into the corner and kicks away, then pulls his knee against the ropes. He begins to dominate, working over Neville’s knee.
Barrett is still focused on Neville’s leg, chop-blocking him down, then stomping away again. Barrett scoops Neville up, but Neville drops out and moves as Barrett runs at him. Neville gives Barrett a jawbreaker, then kicks a couple times, but could not German-Suplex him. He tries a springboard move, but trips up on the rope because of his hurt knee. Barrett capitalizes with the Bullhammer to get the 1 – 2 – 3!
Post-match, Dallas enters the ring and Barrett leaves him to harm Neville’s knee more.
Segment #4: Arena Promo
Rusev, minus both Lana and the U.S. Championship, walks out. He is furious because Lana spoke for him in the I Quit Match at Payback, when he never said those words himself. He calls Lana “weak” for making the match end, then wants John Cena so the bout can begin again.
Instead of Cena, Lana walks out and wants to offer a reason. She says that Rusev is “not who you seem to be.” Lana tells us that Rusev is “misunderstood,” and that she has always had faith in him. She thought that he was the only wrestler to make John say “I Quit.” Lana couldn’t stand the pain he was in and says that he was yelling “I Quit” in Bulgarian. This infuriates Rusev even more, and he orders her to go away. Lana does so as Rusev keeps yelling at her from the ring.
Later tonight, The New Day – Kofi Kingston and Big E. – will defend their Tag-Team Titles against Cesaro and Tyson Kidd; only this time Xavier Woods is barred from accompanying The New Day.
Dean Ambrose makes his entrance and will be taking on Bray Wyatt, next!
Match #3: Single – “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose VS. Bray Wyatt
They lock up and shove into the corner to begin. Wyatt scoop-slams Dean, but misses a Senton splash. Ambrose follows with a clothesline and stomps on Bray’s stomach. He ties him up with a modified-deathlock, then a hammerlock. Wyatt starts a comeback, raking Dean against the top rope and kicking him in the back. He snapmares Ambrose out of the corner and headlocks him, then clotheslines in Dean in the corner. Ambrose hits one right back and goes for the suicide dive but is cut off with a slap. Ambrose is hung up on the middle rope, so Bray uses that position to suplex him to the floor!
Bray is in control with a front-facelock, and giving him a suplex that sends Dean to the floor. They both run at each other on the outside with a double-clothesline and the referee begins the 10-count. Ambrose and Wyatt stir, then slide in the ring at 9. Dean punches away and gives him a clothesline and bulldog out of the corner.
Bray is laying on the middle rope, allowing Ambrose to springboard from another middle rope with a legdrop! 1 – 2 – Wyatt gets his shoulder up! Bray runs at Ambrose who yanks down the ropes and Bray tumbles. Dean rockets through with the suicide dive, then rolls Wyatt back into the ring. Both attempt their finishers but are countered, then Ambrose tries a clothesline but Bray counters with one of his own! 1 – 2 – Dean lifts his shoulder!
Both slaps each other and Dean hits the slingshot-clothesline for another near-fall! He props Bray on the top turnbuckle and sets up for a suplex, but Bray blocks it with punches. Bray follows with a Senton Splash, but Dean moves!
Joey Mercury hops the apron, distracting the referee, and Noble pushes Ambrose from the top turnbuckle into Sister Abigail, which helps Bray take this one!
Winner via Pinfall: Bray Wyatt
Another Championship is going to be challenged for, as Nikki Bella will defend her Divas Title against Naomi later, and up next will be the Tag Team Championship contest!
Match #4: Tag-Team for the Tag-Team Championship – Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (with Natalya) (Challengers) VS. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E.) (Champions)
Cesaro and Big E. start out with an elbow/collar tie-up, then Big E. catches Cesaro in a press-slam off a run from the ropes. Cesaro knocks Kofi off the apron then drops E. with a stalling-suplex. Kidd now in and hurricanranas Big from the apron.
Big has Cesaro locked in an Abdominal Stretch, then plants Cesaro with a belly-to-belly suplex. Cesaro hops up as Big E. is running and catches him with a powerslam, then tags in Tyson who springboard-elbows Big. Both Kofi and E. are disposed of by Kidd; then he clamps on the Sharpshooter on Kingston. E. runs in and clothesline Tyson to break the hold; he and Kofi double-team Kid in the corner and get themselves DQ’d.
Winners via Disqualification: Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (with Natalya) (The New Day keep their Tag-Team Championships with the ruling.)
Post-match, as The New Day and Cesaro & Kidd go at it, The Lucha Dragons run out to enter the fray. Los Matadores also join, as do The Ascension and The Primetime Players. It is The Primetime Players who stand tall after everyone battles through each other, then it is made known all these teams will be the ones competing for the Tag-Team Championship at Elimination Chamber.
(Note: it was also made known that King Barrett, Sheamus, Ryback, Rusev, and R-Truth will be the ones in the IC Chamber, along with another competitor to be named later tonight.)
Segment #5: Arena Promo
John Cena cuts another American-pride promo and displays the United States Championship happily. He calls the title a “true symbol of excellence, sportsmanship, and opportunity.” He calls it “our championship,” then asks his newest challenger to come out. The person that answers is ….
Kevin Owens, the NXT Champion! (That was a surprise!) He introduces himself to John, and implements that he and everyone already knows who he is; if they don’t then they are “not worth my time in the first place.” Owens wants to relieve Cena of any wrongdoing in injuring Sami Zayn a couple weeks ago, because Kevin already did it, and he will do it again at NXT: Unstoppable on the WWE Network.
Cena informs Owens that he is wrong in telling the people they are a “waste of time,” and goes to give him some “veteran advice,” but Owens will not take it as he has more wrestling experience. Cena says that Zayn stood up to his injury and Cena and kept going, while Kevin looks like a “scared kid.” Cena tells Owens “you want some, come get some!”
Owens politely declines, as he says he already has a “prize” in the NXT Title, however threatens that they will meet again his way. Owens promptly kicks John then delivers the Pop-Up Powerbomb, slamming Cena to the canvas. He places the U.S. Championship by Cena, then stomps over it while holding the NXT Championship above.
After recap of Daniel Bryan relinquishing the IC Title last week and the announcement of the subsequent Chamber Match, Dolph Ziggler makes his entrance for a match next!
Match #5: Single – “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler VS. Stardust
Ziggler waistlocks Stardust to begin, but Stardust elbows out and hammers on Dolph’s back. He slams him down with a Side Effect, then punches him quick. “The Show Off” turns a CrossRhodes around into the Zig-Zag and a W!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler
Post-match, Cole asks him about Payback. Dolph is not pleased with losing to Sheamus, but is very joyful to learn he is in the Intercontinental Championship Elimination Chamber Match. As he says that he will take on anyone, Lana walks out. she has a smile on her face as she meets Dolph in the ring and smooches him. Ziggler is intrigued as the fans love it; Lana smiles and laughs again. The crowd wants another kiss, so Lana obliges for longer.
Rusev now runs out and beats down Dolph, then glares angrily at Lana. He yells at her in Russian/Bulgarian, and Lana responds with a huge slap! She crosses her arms as Rusev is irate; before he can do anything, Dolph Zig-Zags him from behind and walks away with Lana!
Kane is walking through the backstage area, telling crew what to do, and not wanting to see Adam Rose and Rosa making out.
Segment #6: Video Promo
“Something big is coming…” A montage of NXT is aired, plugging the Takeover: Unstoppable show this Wednesday on the WWE Network.
Match #6: Tag-Team – “Long Island Iced-Z” Zack Ryder and Fandango VS. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper
The former Wyatt Family members win this one with a Superkick/Full Nelson Slam combo.
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Divas Champion Nikki Bella and her sister Brie are walking through the hallway when Stephanie meets them. She says despite her words, she really does know what Brie is going through with her husband Daniel Bryan. She also is concerned for Brie’s own health, so she tells her to stay backstage and seek counseling instead of being ringside.
Match #7: Single for the Divas Championship – Nikki Bella (Champion) VS. Naomi (with Tamina Snuka) (Challenger)
Naomi takes frequent breaks as Nikki tries to get her hands on her. She finally does, flipping Naomi from the apron into the ring, then clotheslining her to the floor and following with a suicide dive on both her and Tamina.
Naomi now has a grounding rear chinlock clutched on Nikki. A doctor is checking on Tamina, who has appeared to hurt her right arm. Nikki counters with a knee-to-the-face, then double-boots Naomi out of the corner. She hits a couple clotheslines and a dropkick, then backdrops Naomi! She attempts the Rack Attack Drop, but Tamina Superkicks Nikki, causing a DQ.
Winner via Disqualification and STILL Divas Champion: Nikki Bella
Post-match, both Snuka and Naomi assault Nikki until another returning superstar runs down. Paige makes the rescue and thwarts off Naomi and Tamina. As Nikki gets up, Paige turns and drivers her to the mat with the RamPaige DDT! She holds up the Divas Championship and screams “this is my house!”
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
NXT Champion Kevin Owens is shaking hands with COO Triple H. Rene Young walks up and wonders that is about. He says that at Elimination Chamber, he will face U.S. Champ John Cena! He warns Cena to watch Takeover this Wednesday to see what he will do to Sami Zayn. Owens then says “the champ is here,” pointing to himself.
Segment #9: Arena Promo
The Authority – Kane, Triple H, and Stephanie – are in the ring, which is decked out in a red carpet. Stephanie invites “The Architect Of A Dream,” the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, to come out.
Rollins joins The Authority, along with J & J Security. “The Game” tells Seth they have “believed” since his debut in NXT. HHH compares himself to Rollins, and asks the crowd to give their approval to the WWE World Heavyweight Champ. He then gives the mike to Kane to speak about Rollins.
The Director Of Operations is not sure where to start and seems to have a little resentment. He tells him “I’m glad you’re still Champion, and you are truly ‘best for business.’” Rollins prods for more, so Kane thanks him for “saving my job,” then shows a highlight package of Rollins’ career.
After the video, Jamie tells Seth that is has been a “privilege” to serve him, and gives the mike to Joey. Before Mercury can get any words out, Dean Ambrose walks out. He joins the party and continues to want a WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match. Seth denies him, but Ambrose is adamant.
Stephanie gets in Dean’s face, then wants Rollins to “get him.” Seth actually does, and the two engage in a brawl. Ambrose backdrops Rollins over the announce table, then holds him over cinder blocks with a chair.. McMahon tells Ambrose to release Rollins and he’ll get his match; Ambrose agrees, then goes to whack Seth with the chair until Joey stops him. Dean leaps onto Kane, Noble, and Joey, then runs after Rollins again. He has to take out Mercury and Noble first, then clotheslines Kane. Rollins runs back in and pounds away on Dean, then Pedigrees him.
Rollins holds the WWE World Heavyweight Championship over Ambrose to an applauding Authority, as Cole says the match will be at Elimination Chamber to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was an action-packed Raw, both with in-ring action and promos, but I also feel some of it was rushed, mainly due to the quickness of the next Exclusive show coming up. Onto the particulars:
Excellence: Promos by Ryback, Rusev, Lana, Kevin Owens, John Cena, and Dean Ambrose. Ryback’s was pretty decent for the material, both Rusev and Lana have great emotion with their mike skills, as does Cena, and Owens seems very nonchalant but legit. Ambrose is totally random at times with his statements, but also makes you believe he is crazy.
Ryback/Sheamus was a great physical/brutal bout, as was Ambrose and Wyatt! While New Day/Cesaro didn’t live up to their Pay-Per-View/Network encounters, the big punch-up between the teams was cool; and glad to see Lucha Dragons and Primetime Players back in the hunt.
Also, Owens’ debut was a shocker, but definitely well-played. I am so thrilled they didn’t have him wrestle and instead wait for another time. I only wish that it wasn’t as quick as Elimination Chamber and they built towards when Owens will face Cena in a wrestling match.
Loving the new feud between Lana and Rusev; perhaps her aligning with Dolph Ziggler will bring out the American in her, and lose her accent? She is a great talent with facial/emotional changes/expressions.
Awesome to see NXT get so much hype, as it really deserves it and one will see why when (yes, you will if you have the Network) watch Unstoppable this week!
Bogus: as I stated last week, not a fan of another big show so soon, as it tones down how special they are supposed to be and produces rushed booking. The prime example is the quick-build to Ambrose/Rollins; I think they could’ve stretched out Rollins and Ambrose’s encounter to the June Pay-Per-View instead of having Elimination Chamber, for better storytelling. I also felt all the matches for E.C. were just made on a whim; why are R-Truth and Rusev in the I.C. Title bout when they’ve had nothing do to with it since at least Wrestlemania (Truth) or not-at-all (Rusev)?
Could’ve done without the Harper & Rowan/Fandango & Ryder match, as well as Ziggler/Stardust; both were predictable and a waste of time. Dolph’s should’ve just been the promo with him/Lana/Rusev. And, why aren’t Luke/Erick, who’ve been more prominent lately, in the Tag-Title Match? I can understand Lucha Dragaons (returning) and Primetime Players (video promos for the last while), but not Matadores who haven’t been seen since around WrestleMania! Harper/Rowan should be replacing them.
As much as I like Neville, he leaves a lot to be desired on the mike. It was the usual underdog-babyface promo, so it didn’t thrill me in reasons why I should care. In the ring though, he is fantastic and that’s when I care!
All-in-all, a pretty-good Raw, even though it was very rushed to promote Elimination Chamber. Hopefully, next week’s won’t feel that way, even with it being the “go-home” show. Until then, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!