One year go tonight, both Daniel Bryan and AJ Lee were on top of the company in their respective divisions and the most-over wrestlers, one being the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and the other the Divas Champion. How the year has changed! 365 days later, one is still the most-popular wrestler on the roster and now the Intercontinental Champion (which is just fine), while the other has decided to retire.
In a shocking move, AJ has left WWE! While the other women are either still great (Paige), or vastly improving (The Bellas), right now no women on either the main roster or NXT can match A.J. both on the microphone and in the ring. She really was the backbone of the division, especially lately when voicing her opinion and getting her comrades much-more airtime for their matches. A.J. will be missed and will leave a big hole until someone else proves they can step up and be that all-around diva (minus the cliché “eye candy”) to take over. (I’m looking at you, Charlotte!)
Now, onto my usual Raw intro! Following the post-Wrestlemania week, we get back to “normalcy” in the WWE as we move on to Extreme Rules. From the looks of last week, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins will be defending against his nemesis, Randy Orton. However, Roman Reigns is still in play, so will he fit into the match too? Also, Sheamus made a huge return, complete with new look, and is weaving his way into the I.C. Title picture; especially after the beating he gave Champion Daniel Bryan on Smackdown! Will there be a bout booked between them for the Pay-Per-View/Network Show, and/or are Dolph Ziggler and Bad news Barrett going to be involved too?
What does the future hold for Tag-Team Champions Cesaro and Tyson Kidd, as well as U.S. Champion John Cena? Speaking of the future, both Neville and Lucha Dragons from NXT made Raw appearances last week; was this a one-off or are they called-up for good? Read on to find out!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for April 6th, 2015
Introduction Segment: Welcoming
The regular Raw video plays, followed by the pyro. The first voice we hear is Byron Saxton’s, not Michael Cole as he is still injured from Brock Lesnar’s attack last week. John “Bradshaw” Layfield and Booker T. are back though, and all three review Triple H VS. Sting at WrestleMania. Saxton announces that Stephanie and HHH are on vacation this week.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
The rest of The Authority are in the ring. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, flanked by Kane, The Big Show, and J & J Security, talks (amid loud boos and “you sold out” calls) about how great WreslteMania was, thanks to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. He goes on to speak about The Authority’s accomplishments, including “The Game” beating Sting, Show winning the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, and Kane just being there. Show cuts in and puts over the WWE World Heavyweight Champion himself, calling Rollins “a champion of honor, dignity, and respect.” Seth reiterates that “the future is now, and the future isn’t just the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, the future, Seth Rollins is the greatest champion of all time!” Big continues to suck-up and tout Rollins’ huge accomplishment at ‘Mania. Rollins moves on to Kane, but struggles to find something he did. Kane takes the microphone and begins to say that The Authority did well at ‘Mania, but cannot continue because of Randy Orton.
“The Viper” walks out and congratulations Seth on his achievement, but reminds him that Rollins still fell to “the most spectacular R.K.O.” and he beat him. Rollins retorts, calling him a “whiny, little complainer.” Orton wants a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match and asks Kane for that contest. He insinuates that Kane still can’t make that decision without “mommy and daddy,” but Kane fires back, demanding “respect.” He announces that before Orton gets a one-on-one match, there are other wrestlers “worthy of consideration.” He makes a Triple-Threat match for the #1 Contender’s spot; Ryback, Roman Reigns (to a good loud cheer, finally!) and Randy Orton. He also books each of them in single bouts as well, with Randy taking on himself, next! For some reason, Rollins is not happy, so Show and J & J have to hold the WWE World Heavyweight Champion back! Orton approaches the ring as his contest begins!
Match #1: Single – Director Of Operations Kane VS. “The Viper” Randy Orton
Orton immediately kicks, punches, and clotheslines Kane into the corner, then punches away in the opposite corner. Kane counters with an uppercut (Thanks, Booker!), sending Randy tumbling to the outside for a break.
Both are locked up and slug it out now, with Orton getting the better. He runs off the ropes but is et with a big boot by Kane! 1 – 2 – Orton gets the shoulder up! Kane whips and clotheslines Orton into the corner, then plants him with a sidewalk slam. Kane stomps around on Randy, then gives him a suplex for a near-fall. Orton begins a comeback, catching Kane off the ropes with a powerslam and nailing a dropkick that puts Kane on the apron. He drops “The Big Red Machine” with the slingshot-DDT, then sets up for the RKO Kane rolls to the floor, but is met with a harsh clothesline!
Orton backdrops Kane on the corner barricade, but Kane hits back with a steel chair, causing the DQ.
Winner via Disqualification: “The Viper,” Randy Orton
Post-match, Kane tries a chokeslam, but Orton hops out and goes for the RKO Kane pushes off and backs away up the ramp.
Later tonight, Ryback will take on Luke Harper and Roman Reigns will face The Big Show.
Segment #2: Commentary
After thanking the WWE Universe for their support, Saxton, Layfield, and Booker thank A.J. Lee for her career in the WWE and show her tweet on screen.
Segment #3: Office Promo
Brad Maddox is complimenting Kane on his power, but Kane just barks at him. The WWE World Heavyweight Champion barges in and is ticked off at Kane for his match-making; he suggests that Kane should no longer be Director Of Operations. Kane lays down the law, informing Rollins that Steph and Triple H are unreachable, so he is in charge. He then puts Rollins in action as well!
Segment #4: Video Promo
Recap of Brock Lesnar’s brutal beating on Roman Reigns at WrestleMania, as well as his demolishment of ringside last week on Raw is shown.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins and J & J make their entrance for Rollins’ bout next!
Match #2: Single – WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins (with J & J Security [Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury] ) VS. ??? (Non-Title)
Rollins’ mystery opponent is … Neville, complete with new entrance and cool pyro! (Uh-oh – more on this in my “Bogus” comments) Seth is amused at first and condescending to Neville, since it is his first “big” match on Raw. He invites Neville to tell the fans who he is, but then pulls the mike away quick and tells him to “sit this one out, pipsqueak!” Neville responds with a spin-kick! Rollins gets up and the bell rings!
“The Man That Gravity Forgot” starts out quickly with an armdrag and roll-up, but Rollins soon against control with an elbow-block and punches in the corner. He chops Neville in another, then kicks him around on the mat and in the corner. He whips Neville into another corner, but as he chases, Neville hops over and somersault/handstands to the other! He boots Rollins, then hops over the ropes and runs from the other side, flipping Rollins to the outside with a hurricanrana and soaring over the ropes with a twisting-plancha! Rollins and J & J are frustrated!
Rollins catches Neville and flatlines him into the middle turnbuckle for a two-count! Seth is back in domination, choking Neville against the bottom ropes with his legs. He wears him down with a rear chinlock, but Neville soon ducks a clothesline and slides under; however he is connected to an enziguri running of the ropes. 1 – 2 – Neville gets his shoulder up!
Rollins whips him off the ropes a couple of times, but is caught with a sudden roll-up for two! The WWE World Heavyweight Champion gets a little more punchy now, then elbows Neville in the head twice. Neville makes a comeback with a couple flying-forearms and kicks, but is turned around with a clothesline! Rollins covers but still only receives two, and now has an irritated look on his face. He goes for the turnbuckle powerbomb, but Neville reverses it into a hurricanrana and kicks him hard! He ascends the top rope, but Joey distracts the referee, and Noble hops the apron. Neville kicks him off, then leaps over Rollins and victory-rolls him up! 1 – 2 – Rollins kicks out!
Neville goes for another hurricanrana, but the WWE World Heavyweight Champion counters into the turnbuckle powerbomb, then drives him to the canvas with the Curb Stomp for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins (with J & J Security [Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury] )
Post-match, Rollins Curb-Stomps Neville again, then holds the WWE World Heavyweight Championship over him, yelling “you can’t touch me.”
Segment #5: Arena Promo
United States Champion John Cena is out. He first puts over the city of Austin for making today “WWE Day.” He calls out “The Champ Is Here,” surprisingly to more ovations than jeers. Cena talks about both sides, then says the U.S. Title itself is a “symbol of opportunity.” He backs this up with his “John Cena U.S. Open Challenge,” which was a chance for anyone to “go face-to-face with ‘the man who runs the place’ and see if they can get their name in the history books, for them, for this (U.S. Title), for you.”
Cena moves on to his latest rival, Rusev. He tells us that the big-bad-man residing in Russia wants a U.S. Championship rematch at Extreme Rules, which is fine, whether it is Cena himself or another, because Cena is still willing to put it on the line, right now! “If you want some, come get some!”
Stardust’s music plays and “The Bizarre One 2.0” prances out.
Match #3: Single for the United States Championship – John Cena (Champion) VS. Stardust (Challenger)
They lock up and trade holds. Cena whips Stardust off the ropes and catches him, but Stardust reverses into a sunset-flip for a two-count! Cena gains control with repeated elbow drops, then hits a shoulder-block off the ropes. Cena holds Stardust up for a while with a stalling-suplex, then drops him for another near-fall! Cena continues to work over and wear down Stardust prior to the break.
Cena tries an Attitude Adjustment, but Stardust elbows up and hits the Disaster Kick from the top rope! 1 – 2 – Cena kicks out! Stardust drives Cena out of the corner with a flip-over facebuster for another two-count, then springs off the top rope but is caught with a powerbomb! Cena covers but only gets two!
Cena measures and goes for an A..A., but Stardust lands on his feet and plants Cena with the Alabama Slam! 1 – 2 – Cena powers out again! He grabs Cena from behind, but John reverses into an semi-Michinoku Driver! 1 – 2 – Stardust raises his shoulder! Stardust reverses another A.A. try into another sunset flip, but Cena squishes Stardust’s head to get out of it! Cena goes for the 5-Knuckle-DDT, but Stardust kicks and DDT’s him instead! 1 – 2 – John pushes off!
He now moonsaults onto John for another near-fall, then runs off the ropes but is trapped in the STF. Stardust grabs the ropes for a break, then suddenly drives John down with the CrossRhodes! 1 – 2 – Cena gets his shoulder up! He is irritated with referee Charles Robinson, which allows Cena to take advantage with a springboard-stunner (thanks, JBL!) and the Attitude Adjustment for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall and STILL United States Champion: John Cena
Up next, The Bellas will be in action!
Match #4: Tag-Team – The Bella Twins (Brie and Divas Champion Nikki) VS. Paige and Naomi (Non-Title)
Paige and Brie begin with a couple of elbow/collar tie-ups, then a double-slap! Paige hits back with a three consecutive clotheslines, but Nikki distracts her, allowing Brie to toss her out. Brie now distracts the referee, giving Nikki the chance to clothesline Paige on the mat.
Brie stomps on Paige against the ropes, then runs at her with a knee. She rips at her chin, then tags in her sister for a double-suplex. The Divas Champ is now in and continues to control over Paige. She wraps her legs around Paige’s stomach in a scissors position, then bumps her down. Nikki rams her shoulder into Paige’s gut against the turnbuckle, but misses a forearm splash!
Paige crawls, but is grabbed by Nikki on the ankle. Paige jumps just enough for the tag, letting Naomi come in and twirl Nikki around with a headscissors! She knocks Brie off the apron, but botches a landing off the top rope. Naomi manages to hit the Rear-View Bump and cover, but Brie breaks it up. She aids her sister, but Paige kicks Nikki down then tackles Brie out of the ring. Naomi drives Nikki face-first with a slow, short headscissors to complete this bout!
Winners via Pinfall: Paige and Naomi
Segment #6: Video Promo
The Primetime Players continue to rip on Tag-Teams in the WWE, making fun of both The New Day and The Ascension. They put themselves over, saying “if you want to have a good time, if you want have the best time, you’ve got to have a little ‘Primetime!’ Millions Of Dollars, Millions Of Dollars, Millions Of Dollars…”
Later tonight, The Miz and Mizdow will square off, but next is Ryback going against Luke Harper!
Match #5: Single – Luke Harper VS. “The Big Guy” Ryback
Ryback turns Luke into the corner, but Harper counters with a knee and dropkick! Harper hits an uppercut, but Ryback quickly press-slams him. He gears up for the Meathook Clothesline, but Harper catches a running-Ryback with a superkick! On the outside, Luke shoves Ryback into the steel steps, then teases ripping apart the announce table.
Luke gets back in the ring and plants Ryback with a Tornado-Slam! 1 – 2 – Ryback gets his shoulder up! He locks Ryback in a modified Rings-Of-Saturn/Crossface submission, then turns it into the Alligator Roll! Ryback lifts up and ropes Harper, then moves out of the way and drops him with the Shellshock Marching Samoan Drop for the quick success!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Big Guy” Ryback
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is with The New Day and wants to know their thoughts on the crowd’s negative response towards them. Xavier says that “it hurts,” while Kofi and Big E. put a positive spin on it because of their clapping.
Match #6: Tag-Team – The New Day (Big E. and Xavier Woods) (with New Day partner Kofi Kingston) VS. The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara)
Big E. and Cara start out, with Big splashing Cara. Woods is tagged in and stomps away. Both he and E. trade stomps in the corner on Cara, then Big whips Xavier, and he hits a front-dropkick. (Note: Tag-Team Champs Cesaro and Kidd, with Natalya, are shown watching on backstage.)
E. runs at Cara again, but Cara gets his boots up, then flips over Big and tags in Kalisto! The newcomer spring-board-tornado-splashes Woods, then rolls around and kicks Woods, and takes him down with a mat-hurricanrana! He is tagged out by Cara, but first slides under and plants Xavier with a flipping-reverse-DDT, then rockets over the ropes onto both Big and Kofi! Cara follows up with a Swanton Bomb on Woods for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall; The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara)
Post-match, the Tag-Champs are shown again, discussing the result above.
Up next, Reigns is going to taken on The Big Show!
Match #7: Single – Roman Reigns VS. The Big Show
(Note: we are definitely back to “normalcy” as Reigns receives a much-better, and deserved, face reaction for the first time in a long while!) Both hit-it-out early, with Roman quickly punching until he gets shoulder-tackled. Show scoop-slams, then tosses him across the squared circle! He stands on Reigns against the bottom rope, the chucks him to the floor! Show throws him into the barricade, but Reigns pushes him into the ring post and nails the running-front-dropkick against the apron! Show counters back with a spear and both are down!
Show is still dominating, backdropping Reigns back in the ring. he kicks Reigns down, but Roman sits back up. He hits Show with a few punches, but is caught with a sidewalk-slam. Show climbs the turnbuckle and springs off the second one with a splash! 1 – 2 – Roman kicks out! Show baseball-slides Reigns into the barricade, and subsequently heaves him into that same barricade.
Reigns suddenly gains momentum and fights back on the apron with fast punches! Show drops to the second rope, so Reigns hits him with a Superman Punch! He does this two more times in the ring, but is caught by the throat! Reigns jumps out of the Chokeslam attempt and Spears Show to finish this one!
Winner via Pinfall: Roman Reigns
Segment #8: Office Promo
Kane is telling someone on the phone to say to Stephanie and Triple H that Raw is going fine. Natalya, Summer Rae, Cameron, and Alicia Fox walk in. they convince Kane, who could really care less, to give them a Divas Battle Royal next week to determine the “real” number one contender to Nikki’s Divas Championship.
Up next, Sheamus will be out!
Segment #9: Backstage Promo
Rene Young interviews Roman Reigns about his win and the Triple-Threat bout. Roman tells everyone “like you just saw, Big Show couldn’t stop me. Wait ‘till you see what I do next!”
Match #8: Single – “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus VS. ???
(Note: Prior to the bout, Sheamus tells us “to appreciate what a ‘real man’ looks like. Chants of “you look stupid” ring out. He then chats about Dolph Ziggler, calling him an “insect that needs to be weeded out.” Sheamus wants to face people his own size, but can’t anybody. This is until his opponent walks out, “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry!)
Sheamus doesn’t want to take on Henry, but Mark pulls him from the apron to inside and the referee rings the bell! Mark knocks Sheamus around a few times, but Sheamus comes back and wears him down with an armlock. Henry uses his power to run Sheamus over the ropes and frustrate the Irishman. Sheamus pushes Henry into the ring post, then hammers him with fists on the apron. Sheamus repeatedly knees Henry, but is picked up for the World’s Strongest Slam! Sheamus hops out of it and chopblocks Henry, then nails the Brogue Kick for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus
It is announced that IC Champ Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler will face Bad News Barrett and Sheamus this week on Smackdown!
Segment #10: Video Promo
“Do you know who you are? I’m talking to you? Your entire life has revolved around dedication. But I’m here to tell you, that no matter how dedicated you are, you cannot compete with the forces of nature. You cannot compete with the power of the win, or the ocean. And you most certainly cannot compete with against greatest power of them all, fear. For it is not your drive for success that molds you; it is your fear of failure. And I know that deep, behind your skin, underneath your flesh and bone, holds the to your undoing. Do I have your attention now? Behold, ‘The New Face Of Fear,’” says Bray Wyatt.
Segment #11: Backstage Promo
Rene Young asks Ryback about the Triple-Threat match. He compares everything to Texas’ motto of “everything’s bigger in Texas.” He threatens Reigns and Orton that “’The Big Guy’s’ hungry for the WWE Championship.”
The Miz makes his grand entrance and will take on his former partner next!
Match #9: Single – The Miz VS. Damien Mizdow
Mizdow goes to take off his sunglass, but knocks Miz off the apron instead. He runs him into the apron and side-steps a running Miz from in the ring. Damien mudhole-stomps Miz, but is soon booted down. Miz pounds away with punches on the mat, then rips at his nose against the ropes. Mizdow makes a comeback with repeated elbows in the corner, then suplexes him in the middle. He pushes Miz to the floor, and chases him back into the ring, where Miz stomps away.
Miz is caught and dropped with an Electric Chair move, then is headbutted by Damien. Miz counters with a jawbreaker using the rope, but Mizdow fires back with a clothesline and drops him with a back and neckbreaker combo. Mizdow kips up and goes for the Skull Krushing Finale, but Miz elbows out of it. He tries a kick but is caught and swept up. Mizdow mount-punches on the canvas, but misses a running kick and is rolled-up to lose!
Winner via Pinfall: The Miz
Segment #12: Backstage Promo
Rene Young completes the trio, talking to Randy Orton. She says that is seems like Orton should’ve already been the #1 Contender as he defeated Rollins at ‘Mania. Orton agrees, but determines The Authority is making it harder for him instead. He vows to win tonight and then go on to the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at Extreme Rules.
He walks away and that match is next!
Match #10: Triple-Threat for the #1 Contender’s Spot to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship –“The Viper” Randy Orton VS. “The Big Guy” Ryback VS. Roman Reigns
All three go at it evenly for a while, with this being a typical triple-threat. The Authority walk out and watch on from the stage. In the ring, Ryback turns Roman around with an over-the-shoulder slam and winds up for the Meathook, but Orton cuts him off with a clothesline. He powerslams both Ryback and Reigns, then gets the fans fired up! He goes for the slingshot-DDT but is hammered from behind by Roman.
Reigns clotheslines Ryback in the corner, then Superman Punches Orton! Ryback plants Roman with a spinebuster and measures for the Meathook again. He hits it this time, but turns around into an R.K.O.-attempt. Ryback pushes off and gives Orton the spinebuster! He picks him up in a Shellshock, but Roman drops both with a Spear! All men are down as The Authority approaches the ring. suddenly, Reigns soars over with a plancha!
Show gets back up and knocks Reigns out though, but Randy gets his hands on the WWE World Heavyweight Champion! J & J pull him off, but Ryback breaks them up. He turns around into an R.K.O. as Orton picks up the #1 Contender’s Spot and the victory!
Winner via Pinfall and #1 Contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: “The Viper” Randy Orton
Post-match, Seth Rollins quickly Curb-Stomps Orton and poses over him with the WWE Championship to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Yes, we are absolutely back to “normalcy” as this week was just an average Raw. Unfortunately, there were more misses with storylines than matches. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: Promos by Seth Rollins, Sheamus, John Cena, Roman Reigns (short/sweet!), Primetime Players, and Bray Wyatt. Rollins put over The Authority’s victories at ‘Mania well, Sheamus’ new attitude is great, Roman’s back to confidence, Cena was superb at making sure that we know that the U.S. Title is important and prestigious, P.T.P. were entertaining, and Bray Wyatt is Bray Wyatt! I am intrigued on who he was talking about and his next feud will be with.
I’m glad they kept both Daniel Bryan and Dean Ambrose off to sell their unruly thrashings by Sheamus and Harper respectively from Smackdown! Same with Cole (although, I also think they should’ve had Layfield and Booker off as well, and replace them with Rene and/or Tom and Jerry. [No past-pun/reference intended!)
Great matches between Rollins/Neville, (however I don’t like that it actually happened; more below) Cena and Stardust, Divas, Ryback/Harper, and Show/Reigns.
Loving The Lucha Dragoons and happy they are connecting with the bigger audiences; as well, nice to see the Tag-Champs “focusing” on potential new opponents.
Bogus: Hated the idea of the three Triple-Threat competitors wrestling twice; there was no explanation as to why, so it didn’t really have meaning since they’d be wrestling already anyway. (I.E., if any don’t win, then they don’t get in the Triple Threat; at least that would’ve been a little more interesting.)
As awesome as Rollins/Neville was, I did not like the fact that this was Neville’s next match after his return last week. (To recall, he debuted on Raw last year in a quick bout, so I don’t call last week a “debut” in the traditional sense.) Neville should be built up a lot before facing the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, whomever he is, in a non-title match. Even though he wrestled really well, one should have a lot of matches and made to care/think that he can actually defeat a champion before just being thrown in there.
Also didn’t like Miz/Mizdow wrestling first; I was really hoping this was going end in a quick DQ or Count-Out, but they wrestled a full match and kind of took the steam out of a pretty-great feud for the last while. I don’t want to see them wrestle again. Made no sense.
And, if Naomi and Paige are feuding with The Bellas, why are the other Divas getting a shot right now? This also came out of no where and lost continuity. I hope that Naomi and/or Paige continue to get the title opportunity for the time being.
I think that Rusev should’ve been attacking Cena after his bout with Stardust, to continue their rivalry.
Lastly, really missed Paul Heyman. Even though Brock will be away for a while, a Heyman promo to put over the “suspension” is much-needed and would’ve been fantastic!
All-in-all, a so-so Raw. Here’s anticipating them to pick it up better next week! Until then, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!