The Linus Report: WWE Raw, 22/06/2015

Hey, it’s WWE Raw! It’s that show that liked the way Smackdown threw random shit at a booking sheet and copied it!

The show started with Brock Lesnar coming down to the ring, accompanied by a gleeful Paul Heyman. They showed footage from last week of The Authority bringing back Lesnar to “put pressure” on their champion, Seth Rollins, at Battleground.

Lesnar was wearing his new Suplex City t-shirt, and I wondered how many they made of each one, given that they’re city-specific. Seriously, that’s how my brain works.

Ladies and gentlemen, Heyman introduced himself and then his client. The crowd liked that. Heyman introduced a video that, for those who didn’t know, where Lesnar had been these last few weeks, and then they showed footage of his rampage on the Raw after Wrestlemania, when he attacked the announcers and a cameraman, before being suspended by Stephanie McMahon.

Heyman said that the big question was how he negotiated Lesnar’s return, and one of the demands from The Authority was that he apologised in public, on Raw. If he did not apologise to Michael Cole and JBL – fuck Booker T, I guess – then he would not get his title shot at Battleground.

The crowd did not want him to apologise and chanted “Suplex City”, but Lesnar eventually acquiesced and shook JBL’s hand at the announcers’ desk. He walked over to a nervous Michael Cole and offered his hand, but when Cole went to shake it Lesnar pulled him into a headlock, and gave him a noogie. He asked Cole if they were good and Cole said they were.

Lesnar got back in the ring and Heyman said they had completed the conditions of his return. He cut a talky on Seth Rollins, noting he had been protected in NXT, The Shield, and The Authority since day one. Heyman said that Lesnar conquering Rollins was what was “beast for business” and that Rollins thinks he is flying into St Louis for Battleground but he’s actually got a first class ticket to Suplex City.

Backstage, Dean Ambrose was shown walking down a corridor. This isn’t last week’s NOT The Linus Report, so no boners were sprung.

After a break, Ambrose was in the ring for a match. I can pretty much watch Ambrose against anyone on the whole roster, he’s that good at – oh, FFS, it’s Kane.

So Ambrose and Kane had a match that appeared to be wrestled in treacle. Man, was it slow! And it went on FOREVER. And ended with a distraction finish. And Kane won. I haven’t said it in a few weeks but FUCK THIS SHOW.

They showed a video re-cap of the John Cena-Kevin Owens feud and then plugged Cena’s return to Raw after having his back ouched at Money In The Bank.

Backstage, Seth Rollins spoke to Kane. He wanted Kane’s back-up again, after telling him he didn’t need him for the past few weeks, because Lesnar was back. And Kane saw right through it and chuckled and walked off. You know what that means.

They showed a video re-cap of the Roman Reigns-Bray Wyatt feud, complete with I’M A LITTLE FUCKING TEAPOT.

Hey, it’s The Prime Time Players! They came down to the ring for a match and the show went to a break. After that break, The announcers told the story of Titus O’Neil winning MegaDad of the Year again, and then The Ascension were in the ring, so I guess that’s your match. Non-title, apparently, because The Ascension are not MegaDads.

I’ve seen worse matches, especially given the participants, and I really don’t mind Viktor and Darren Young, or Khonnor all that much, truth be told. The Prime Time Players got the win, when Darren Young hit his Gut Check move on Viktor. The Prime Time Players will fight The New Day – who were watching backstage – for the titles at Battleground.

Because this show is all over the placer, while The Prime Time Players were still celebrating, Sheamus’s music played and he came out, passing them on the ramp, and got in the ring with his shitty little gold suitcase. Then they went to a break. Huh.

After the break, Sheamus was still in the ring with the case and Roman Reigns’s music played and he came from his usual spot (ha, you were a week early/late last week, Sheamus!) down to the ring. Sheamus wanted to fight him as soon as he stepped over the barrier but the referee made him wait until they were in the ring. Because RULES.

So these guys had a SIXTEEN minute match. One six. And after all that time, of them slogging back and forth, doing their thing (which most people like but I don’t care for), Bray Wyatt appeared on the big screen. He was having a tea party which what we were supposed to think was Reigns’s little girl but was actually a tiny, empty rocking chair. Little Sister Abigail? Reigns freaked out and ran up the ramp and I guess Sheamus won by count-out?

Backstage, and after a break, Reigns was checking rooms, trying to find out where Wyatt cuts his talkies from. Eventually he found the room, and the walls were covered with pictures of Reigns, with the eyes and mouths cut off, and the words ANYONE BUT YOU written in blood/red paint on the wall. So Wyatt is the voice of the IWC?

Also backstage, but in a different bit of backstage, Rollins approached J&J Security, about “getting the band back together”. He tried to tell them that The Authority would be hurt if they didn’t join back up with him but they blew him off and walked off.

Hey, it’s Neville! He came down to the ring for a match and they went to a commercial break. STOP DOING THAT. Neville’s opponent, once the people that make things had tried to sell them to us, was Kofi Kingston, accompanied by Big E & Xavier Woods. Woods was in great form at ringside. I’d buy a CD of his “bants”. Well, I’d download a torrent of it.

So Neville and Kingston had a match, kinda. A short while into it, The New Day surrounded Neville and The Prime Time Players ran out to even the odds. The referee sent The Prime Time Players to the back, and then did the same to Big E & Xavier Woods when they wouldn’t stay out of the match. They were apoplectic!

Kingston was still ranting his displeasure at that decision when Neville kicked him in the head and then hit the Red Arrow for the win. These feuds must continue!

The announcers talked about Kevin Owens, and they showed footage of him powerbombing Machine Gun Kelly off the stage on last week’s Raw, which was HILARIOUS. They noted that Owens had half-apologised on Twitter.

They showed a commercial for the WWE Network special on July 4th, live from Tokyo, Japan. They’ve branded it The Beast In The East, so they obviously put a lot of stock in the Brock Lesnar versus Kofi Kingston main event. What a weird WWE it is lately.

After a break, Michael Cole hyped up the new show Mr Robot. Domo arigato, indeed!

Hey, it’s Bad News Barrett! He came down to the ring in full king regalia for a match with Zack Ryder. Yeah, they found someone lower than R-Truth for Barrett to fight.

Barrett won, as the announcers discussed his feud with Truth (so that’s a thing), with a sweet looking Bullhammer as Ryder was trapped on the turnbuckles. The crowd did not care.

They showed clips of Kevin Owens’s sit-down interview with Michael Cole on WWE.com. Three fucking hours on TV and they put this stuff on the website?

Hey, it’s John Cena! He welcomed the crowd to Monday Night Raw, so the first two hours must have been a terrible, horrible dream. He cut a talky on Kevin Owens, putting over the US title and calling Owens a dirtbag for assaulting a 95lb musician on last week’s show. “He’s a great wrestler, but he’s a garbage human being,” he said.

He noted Owens had challenged him to a US title match at Battleground and that he could say no. Then he’d still be champion but champion of what? He said if he turned down the challenge he’d end up being exactly what Owens said he is – a product of corporate suits. But he was a fighter and so if Owens wanted some, he should come get some.

Owens’s music hit and he came out to the top of the ramp. He said he didn’t care what Cena had said about him because he didn’t care about other people’s opinions. He said if he did he might not look like he did, and he’d been called an out-of-shape slug his whole career. But the out-of-shape, slug dirtbag beat Cena at Elimination Chamber and left him lying at Money In The Bank.

He said that Cena hadn’t agreed to put the title on the line at Battleground and then challenged him in French to do just that. The idea was obviously to get people to hate Owens because he’s foreign because Cena said that people didn’t hate Owens because he spoke a different language, but because he was a dirtbag. He then accepted the challenge in French, in Chinese, and in American, like that’s even a language. Great stuff again from this pair.

Backstage, HHH & Stephanie were watching the Cena-Owens bit in their office, and hinted that Owens had been brought in to get rid of Cena. Seth Rollins walked in and moaned that Kane and J&J Security didn’t go for his advances. Stephanie said an apology might help and Rollins said, “you think they’d apologize to me? Because that would really help.” Funny.

HHH gave him a motivational speech about being a smart man who always has a back-up plan. He said Rollins should go to the ring and say he was sorry, and asked Rollins how bad he wanted the title…

Hey, it’s the Bella Twins! This show is really long! They came out to fight Naomi & Tamina, and the twins had Alicia Fox in their corner, wearing a Team Bella t-shirt.

So let me get this right: Paige wants to end the Bellas, and went to the other divas for help. Not only did they not join her, Alicia Fox actually joined the Bellas. And then, a week later, Paige is nowhere to be seen and Naomi & Tamina are fighting the Bellas? I give up.

Backstage, Brock Lesnar was standing with Paul Heyman. I want his job.

After a break, The Big Show was at ringside for commentary on The Ryback versus Mark Henry. The Ryback won and The Big Show shouted at Mark Henry after the match. That is all anyone needs to know, and even that’s probably too much.

The announcers hyped the return of Tough Enough. I haven’t decided if I’ll review it yet. I might die from snark.

Backstage, JoJo spoke to The Ryback about his Intercontinental title match at Battleground against The Big Show & The Miz. You know, all The Thes. He said his title victory had brought his parents back together for the first time in fifteen years – fucking hell! – and he didn’t care how many men he fought because the “Bigguy” was here to stay. Bless.

The Big Show walked up, clapping sarcastically. He said he was going to expose The Ryback as a fraud at Battleground. You mean that’s not his real name? They brawled and some tiny, tiny referees separated the two huge men.

Hey, it’s Dolph Ziggler! He came down to the ring with that woman who used to be Lana and used to be good. I don’t even know what she is now. He was fighting Adam Rose, who was already out there with Rosa Mendes.

Before the match, Rose gave Ziggler & Lana a lecture on true love and then made out with Mendes, and all I could think of was his lovely wife and poor children that were on that ESPN documentary. Then Ziggler and Rose had a match and it was a match. Ziggler won with a superkick and made out with Lana.

Backstage, Rusev watched on a monitor and then went a bit mad and threw stuff and fell over. Summer Rae walked up and handed him one of his crutches and things go from bad to worse for the poor Bulgarian.

Oh, that was your main event, by the way, because the rest of the show is all about Seth Rollins apologising to Kane and J&J Security. Yeah, that’s worth the overrun.

Backstage, Kane and J&J Security told HHH & Stephanie they didn’t want to support Rollins but HHH said that they should understand the pressure Rollins was under as WWE champion. Stephanie said Rollins was clearly asking for help so they should go down to the ring and hear him out.

After a break, Rollins came down to the ring and called out Kane and J&J Security. He said he was there to be the bigger man and said a team was only as good as its foundation. He sucked up to them, big time, and begged them to take him back.

Suddenly, out came Brock Lesnar, again with a gleeful Paul Heyman. Lesnar stalked all around the ring as Rollins looked agitated. Lesnar hopped up onto the ring apron, and Kane and J&J Security patted Rollins on the back and walked up the ramp, leaving him alone with Lesnar.

Lesnar was about to climb through the ropes when Kane grabbed him from behind. Lesnar shrugged him off, then did the same to J&J Security, throwing Jamie Noble really, really hard into the barriers. He climbed into the ring and hit three huge German suplexes on Rollins and then readied an F5.

Kane returned to the ring and tried to chokeslam Lesnar but Lesnar pushed him off and threw Rollins out of the ring. Kane attacked again and, this time, hit a chokeslam. Lesnar got up and German suplexed Kane across the ring. Rollins ran back in and Lesnar got him up for an F5 again but Kane clipped his knee and took him down. Kane & Rollins put the boots to Lesnar and smashed his knee around the ringpost. Lesnar tried to fight back but Joey Mercury joined the melee and they beat Lesnar down. Rollins hit a sloppy pedigree to finish the job and The Authority celebrated as the show went off the air.

This was a Poor Show. It was overlong, full of random shit that no-one really cares about, and any in-ring was either too short or too long. The final angle, designed to make people think that Seth Rollins has a chance at Battleground, instead took Lesnar and Rollins down a rung, which is almost impossible. Must do better.

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