Linus Report: WWE Raw, 26/05/2015

Hey, it’s WWE Raw! It’s that show that always starts with lots and lots and lots and lots of talking!

The show started with a minute’s silence in honour of Memorial Day. I’m mixed on stuff like this. I don’t mind it for those who’ve died fighting, and all that, but any kind of tribute to current troops is a bit ehhhhhhh. That’s just me, though, and it wasn’t as if they overdid this.

So after this, The Authority came down to the ring to do the lots and lots and lots and lots of talking. The whol gang was out there, except for the barely-missed Big Show. Seth Rollins spoke first, having to wait until the crowd had finished booing and chanting for Dean Ambrose. He said that Ambrose was a thief who had extorted and manipulated his way into a title shot at Elimination Chamber.

Rollins said that Ambrose did not earn and does not deserve a title shot, and that The Authority could take it away. He said that HHH could even fire Ambrose if he wanted to, and HHH had considered doing just that until Rollins told him not to. He said that he was a benevolent human being and that Ambrose wasn’t a threat to him, anyway.

HHH said that, while they had a verbal agreement for Ambrose to have the title match, they needed something more concrete. He said he had a contract and all it needed was for Ambrose to come down to the ring and sign it.

Ambrose came out to the top of the ramp and acknowledged the chants for him. He said that to get to sleep he thought about punching Rollins in the face, counting the teeth as they flew out of his mouth. He said he got a weird feeling of happiness when he beat up Rollins and he wanted the next time to be for the title.

He said that there was a good chance he could be the new face of the WWE come Sunday, and then he’d make a few changes, like making J&J Security go barefoot like proper hobbits, and making Kane wear a dog collar like an obedient lap-dog. He then made some Justin Bieber jokes about Rollins.

Rollins said that everyone wanted to be like Bieber, just like Ambrose wanted to be like him. He said Ambrose was a cockroach, who survives but never thrives, and then told him to come down to the ring to sign the contract. Ambrose thought it over and said he might be crazy and stupid, so he was going to do it.

He took off his jacket and walked down to the ring. He circled the ring as The Authority prepared to fight him, and then Roman Reigns’s music hit and he came out to join Ambrose. They bumped fists and stood together.

Stephanie said it was cute how The Shield boys seemed inseparable. She told Ambrose he had until the end of the night to sign the contract and then made a main event – Ambrose & Reigns versus Rollins & Kane. And then ordered it to start straight away.

So after a break they had a match. And it was a decent match. Nothing outstanding, and with the usual interference by J&J Security which is getting very old, but a decent match all the same. Ambrose got the win for his team with a backslide on Rollins to foreshadow the PPV on Sunday.

The announcers sold that the only way to see Elimination Chamber in the US is on the WWE Network. Buy buy buy!

Backstage Renee spoke to Dean Ambrose and noted that he still had to sign the contract. Ambrose said he’d get it signed and then J&J Security walked up to do some comedy. A fight broke out and, in the melee, a cameraman got knocked over by Ambrose, who thought it was one of the goons. They ran off as Ambrose showed concern for the cameraman.

Hey, it’s Rusev! He’s Bulgarian! He came down to the ring and then they went a commercial break. Bulgaria can wait!

Backstage, a limousine arrived and the cast of Entourage (minus the famous ones) got out and walked into the arena.

Back in the ring, Rusev watched a video package of the Lana/Dolph Ziggler action on last week’s shows, and then took out his anger on R-Truth, who he had a match with. It was a nothing match that Rusev won with the Accolade.

After the match, Rusev called out Lana, and said he wouldn’t leave the ring until she came out. They went to another commercial and that’s three segments for Rusev for a one minute match. Scheduling!

After the break, Lana came out and Rusev made his plea to her. He told he knew that she’d done everything because she cared for him and wanted him to pay attention to her. He said he knew she wanted to crush the American spirit as badly as he did.

The crowd started chanting “USA! USA!, and Rusev told them, “now is not the time for USA!” Gold. He asked her to take his hand and together they would conquer their dreams crushing this country.

Lana hugged him and he raised their arms together. He said all he wanted to hear were those three little words: I. Was. Wrong. She didn’t like that and started to leave. He said she just needed to admit she was wrong for this to be made right.

Lana said that Rusev did quit at Payback, and he screamed that he didn’t and that she needed to know her place – that he owned her. She came back into the ring and told him she was not his property and would not listen to him anymore. He ranted and raved in the ring as she walked up the ramp, where Dolph Ziggler came out, and they smooched again. Horrible, horrible angle.

Backstage, Dean Ambrose was waiting in locker room for HHH to turn up with the contract. Instead, HHH walked in with the cameraman from earlier and two policemen. The cameraman nervously admitted Ambrose had assaulted him but said he’d felt a push, and HHH shut him down quickly. The policemen arrested Ambrose and took him away as HHH & Rollins laughed.

Hey, it’s Bad News Barrett! He was in the ring for a match with The Ryback, staring down longingly at the Intercontinental title at ringside. These two men will, of course, do battle in the Elimination Chamber on Sunday, along with Rusev, R-Truth, Dolph Ziggler, and Sheamus.

So Barrett and The Ryback had a match and it was a match. The Ryback got the win with the Shellshock because Barrett can’t seem to buy a win these days. Never mind, eh, at least he’s the king.

Backstage, HHH was on the ‘phone with someone at the police station. He told Stephanie that there was no way Ambrose would make it back to sign the contract and that they’d have to find a new opponent for Rollins at Elimination Chamber.

The cast of Entourage (minus the famous ones) walked in and they all chatted and laughed. One of them brought up appearing in the Entourage movie with Ronda Rousey, and said they were just acting, not like when Stephanie got arm-barred by Rousey at Wrestlemania. It got awkward – mostly because the acting was terrible from all concerned – and then Stephanie told them their room was down the hall…

Hey, it’s Stardust! He came down to the ring and got in the face of that guy who plays Green Arrow on Arrow. Apparently they’ve been having a Twitter spat and please kill me now.

Stardust was actually out there to fight Neville, who came down with his knee taped. I hate worked injuries more than real injuries. Stardust and Neville had a match, and Neville sold the knee throughout. Bo Dallas came out onto the ramp to “encourage” Neville halfway through.

Neville got the win with the Red Arrow and then Dallas entered the ring and attacked him, working his knee. Neville versus Dallas has been added to the PPV on Sunday.

Backstage, some of the Divas tried to make small-talk with the cast of Entourage (minus the famous ones). They were blown out so that the cast of Entourage (minus the famous ones) could talk to Zack Ryder. They didn’t look impressed. Emma didn’t look impressed during the whole thing, to be fair.

In a different bit of backstage, Lana embraced Dolph Ziggler and he walked off to fight Sheamus. Again.

They showed a video package for Money In The Bank and when they’d finished Ziggler was already in the ring. Sheamus, sponsored by the Irish Tourist Board, came down and they had a match.

It was a decent match, although it’s getting to be diminishing returns with these two. Halfway through, Lana walked out onto the ramp to “inspire” Ziggler. Two matches in a row for that. Sheamus and Ziggler fought some more and then Rusev came out, walked past Lana, and down the ramp towards the ring. Ziggler, distracted, got hit with the Brogue Kick for a Sheamus win.

After the match, Rusev attacked Ziggler in the ring and locked on the Accolade. Lana came down to ringside, concerned, and Rusev released the hold and left the ring, shouting, “kiss him now!” I’m with Rusev on this one.

Hey, it’s John Cena! He came down to the ring for his US title open challenge, but first had some words about the divided fans, encouraging them to chant “let’s go Cena, Cena sucks!” He said the latter waited, week after week, for someone to come and knock him down, and the latest hopeful rather forcibly introduced himself last week.

Cena said that Owens had debuted on Raw, left him incapacitated, broke the internet, and then broke his best friend, Sami Zayn, two nights later at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable. Cena said that the chants on Sunday might be “Let’s go Cena, fight Owens fight!” He said that Owens knew how to start a fight but they’d find out if he knew how to finish one.

And then Cena threw out his challenge to the back and it was answered by the cast of Entourage (minus the famous ones). Cena asked which one of them was going to step into the ring but they said they were only here to introduce their man, “Long Island Iced Z”, Zack Ryder.

So this wasn’t great. And it was quite unlike recent Cena, kicking out of two of Ryder’s signature moves and winning the match in a little over four minutes. I guess Ryder’s not up & coming enough. Anyway, Cena won with the Attitude Adjustment.

After the match, Cena picked up Ryder and raised his arm as the cast of Entourage (minus the famous ones) applauded from ringside. Cena brought them into the ring to wave off the Nassau Coliseum (holding its final wrestling show tonight) and then they left, leaving Cena alone in the ring.

Suddenly, Kevin Owens appeared, and hit Cena with a pop-up powerbomb, before standing over him with the NXT title held high. He stepped on the US title again, kicked it towards Cena and then looked as smug as the smuggest man in the world. I fucking love Kevin Owens.

Backstage, Stephanie told HHH that Owens is a pretty scary dude and that HHH knew how to pick them. Seth Rollins said he’d known Owens a long time but that he was still the present and the future. Backstage Renee walked up and asked for an update on the title situation for Elimination Chamber. Stephanie said they’d got to the ring at the end of the night and see if Ambrose turned up…

Hey, it’s the Bella Twins! They came down to ringside and joined the announcers for unnecessary commentary on Tamina versus Paige. Tamina had Naomi with her and there was a match of some sort. You could go your whole life never once thinking about this match and live the fullest life possible. Tamina won with a Samoan Drop after shenanigans from Naomi. This fucking feud.

The announcers hyped the PPV some more and then out came The New Day. The cameramen actually found people clapping along to their music and the show went to a break.

After the break, The New Day did their talky bit. Xavier Woods said it was preposterous that they were persecuted for being positive by having to defend their titles in the Elimination Chamber. Big E said it would be chaos and they might lose their titles and Kofi Kingston said no-one wanted that to happen. Then they got some cheap heat and tried to get the crowd to chant “New Day Rocks, which did not work.

Suddenly, Kane’s music hit and he came out and said that the Elimination Chamber would be fair, because every team had the same chance of winning. Then he made a match which wouldn’t be fair – The New Day versus The Ascension, The Prime Time Players, Los Matadores, The Lucha Dragons, and Tyson Kidd & Cesaro. A heel making a handicap match for heels? How very fucking odd.

Well, this wasn’t much of a match. It didn’t even go a full minute as it broke down with all thirteen men brawling. The New Day were left at the end but were ran off by Kidd & Cesaro, who stood tall with Natalya in the ring at the end.

The announcers told us that there would be a special MizTV at Elimination Chamber, featuring Daniel Bryan. Zero buys.

Hey, it’s our main event! And it’s not a match! It’s not even a contract signing, because Dean Ambrose is in jail, right?

Before The Authority came down to the ring to wait out the rest of the show with Ambrose not arriving because he’s in jail (right?), Michael Cole introduced video footage from YouTube of another angle of the melee backstage. In this footage, Seth Rollins was clearly shown shoving the cameraman into Ambrose, who nonetheless still decked the fella. Apparently, this exonerated Ambrose? Okay then.

So The Authority came out and Stephanie & HHH said they had to create a safe working environment for their cameramen and that they had no choice to remove Ambrose from the main event at Elimination Chamber.

Roman Reigns’s music hit and he ran down to the ring and took on The Authority by himself. He did well until Kane hit him with a chokeslam. Rollins grabbed the title contract and the crowd chanted for Ambrose.

Suddenly, a police siren wailed and Dean Ambrose slowly drove the paddy wagon from earlier back into the arena. He got out of the cab wearing a police hat & jacket, so I assume he killed and skinned the policeman to get it. No-one can prove otherwise.

Together, Ambrose and Reigns took on The Authority and, when the dust had cleared, Ambrose was stood in the ring on his own. He was joined again by Reigns, who had the contract in his hand, and Ambrose signed the contract to make the main event for Sunday’s PPV. And that’s your show.

This was a Decent Show. It dragged a little and some of the angles aren’t quite there, but the main event for the PPV has been built well and they’ve finally found a decent role for Reigns as Ambrose’s sidekick.

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