The Linus Report: WWE Raw, 27/07/2015

Hey, it’s WWE Raw! It’s that show that tries to make sense of a nonsense situation by not really addressing it.

Despite the Twitter chatter of all the WWE superstars being ordered to assemble on the ramp at the start of the show, the show started with The Authority coming down to the ring. HHH, Stephanie McMahon, and WWE World Heavyweight champion Seth Rollins are all they’ve got now – a step down from when they had Orton, Big Show, Kane, and J&J Security, too.

HHH said Raw was going to start with a massive announcement, and said that, for the first time, Summerslam would be four hours long, just like Wrestlemania. Stephanie hyped the main event – Brock Lesnar versus The Undertaker – and said it was seventeen months in the making. Okay.

HHH said that Raw would also be epic because, for the very first time, it would have Dean Ambrose versus The Big Show. My dictionary has a different definition of epic. Stephanie said that we’d also get Paige versus Sasha Banks. HHH one-upped her by booking Randy Orton versus Kevin Owens, another first time match-up, and Stephanie threw in Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox versus Charlotte & Becky Lynch. This all seemed very WCW Nitro, where they’d list the card at the top of the show.

Seth Rollins interrupted and said he’d like to talk about some firsts, too. He said he’d cashed in the Money In The Bank in the main event at Wrestlemania for the first time, and said he’d walked into Battleground as champion, and walked back out again, still as champion. He told everyone in the audience who agreed that he was the greatest WWE champion of all time to stand up.

This brought out John Cena, who said he didn’t mean to interrupt The Authority, but he did mean to interrupt Rollins, who he called “an arrogant jackass.” Cena said that Rollins was a joke, disrespecting past champions, and then said that – if tonight was about firsts – they needed to do what’s best for business and find out if Rollins can become a man. He wanted Rollins versus Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight title.

Rollins told Cena to do everyone a favour by shutting up for the first time ever, and then said that this wasn’t the US title open challenge, but the WWE World Heavyweight title.

Stephanie interrupted. She said they needed to put it to the people, and asked them if they wanted to see a WWE World Heavyweight title match. They chanted “Yes!”, and Stephanie joined in. Then she said, “nooooooo!” and told Cena he had to earn a title shot.

HHH said that they’d still see Rollins versus Cena, but that it would be for the WWE US title instead, because that’s what’s best for business. They left the ring, laughing, as the announcers claimed it was so unfair to Cena, despite being exactly the reverse as he’d demanded from Rollins…

They hyped the next guest on Steve Austin’s series of live podcasts after Raw – Paige. Whut?

Hey, it’s The Miz! He joined the announcers for commentary on the opening match, Dean Ambrose versus The Big Show. The Miz was funny here – as was Titus O’Neil later in the show – and yet they still continue with JBL & Saxton. Baffling.

So Ambrose and The Big Show had a match and it wasn’t a bad match, but it had The Big Show in it, you know? They went back and forth early doors, with Ambrose taking The Big Show down with a DDT counter to the chokeslam, before The Big Show hit two chokeslams, which almost saw Ambrose counted out.

The Big Show took Ambrose outside again and left him lying, and went back inside to get him counted out again, but – again – Ambrose made it back in. The Big Show went outside again and Ambrose tried a tope suicida but The Big Show met him with the knock-out punch and Ambrose failed to make the count.

After the match, The Big Show went back after Ambrose but walked away when he saw him still down. Ambrose got to his feet and The Big Show went to spear him into the barriers but Ambrose moved and The Big Show went crashing through into the timekeeper’s area. Ambrose stumbled around as The Big Show lay laying in a heap, so I guess he kind of won?* (* he didn’t win).

After a break, Fandango was in the ring – no entrance, no Rosa Mendes. Then Neville came out, all superhero-y, and they had a short, but decent match, which Neville won with the Red Arrow. One day they’ll find a use for Fandango and I will be happy. That may only happen in my fantasies but that counts, right?

After the match, Stardust appeared on the TitanTron and sarcastically congratulated Neville, saying he’d saved the day once again. He said everyone wanted heroes, especially those who wine and dine with kings and queens (you know, like Oliver Queen), but Neville couldn’t stop him. He told Neville to “be my hero”, while Neville had a confused, constipated look on his face.

Backstage, Paige was with Charlotte and Becky Lynch. Paige hyped the Divas division and then Team Naomi walked in for a confrontation. They traded insults and then Naomi led her team away. Paige said things were getting “bad” around here.

Hey, it’s Paige! We just saw her! She came down to the ring, with Charlotte & Becky Lynch, and they went to a commercial break. During the break, they did some callisthenics or whatever that stuff is called.

After the break, Sasha Banks came out, with Naomi & Tamina. Its Paige versus Sasha Banks, and Michael Cole said this was the first time. It was on Raw but surely we’re not ignoring NXT now?

They had a really good match, and how weird is it to type that in a Raw review? It wasn’t perfect but it was good enough for a TV show, and the crowd were suitably engaged by it. While the two girls fought in the ring, their entourages clashed outside, and the referee threw them all to the back. Banks got the win, with the Bank(s) Statement, in just shy of fourteen minutes. They’re actually giving Divas a chance…

Backstage Renee spoke to Seth Rollins about his match with John Cena later in the show. He got upset that she said he could only potentially walk out with the title and said that he was going to show Cena that the future of WWE had passed him by.

Somewhere else backstage, Rusev and Summer Rae walked down a corridor, and the announcers said Rusev had a surprise for her in the ring, next.

After a break, Rusev was in the ring with Summer Rae. He said it was a woman’s job to obey but a man’s job to give gifts. He gave her a big present and inside was a ratty little dog. Rusev said he’s a terrible dog – he’s neutered and pees on himself – so they should call him Dog Ziggler. Comedy, ladies and gentlemen.

He had another present for her, a headless fish. Rusev said it was a cold fish so they should call it Lana. This brought out Lana, and the glorious return of her “Shut Tup!”, and she said she was tired of Rusev lying about her and trying to humiliate her. Summer Rae said that Rusev now knew what it was like to cuddle up with a real woman and then Lana attacked her. She rubbed the fish all over Summer Rae’s face, and Rusev gagged. Lana then slapped Rusev and left, leaving Rusev ranting in Bulgarian. I don’t even know anymore.

They showed video footage of The Undertaker’s return last week and then hyped Brock Lesnar for next week’s Raw in San Jose.

Hey, it’s The Lucha Dragons! They came down to the ring and they went to a commercial break! During the break, Kalisto & Sin Cara spoke to some Oklahoma City locals about the best places to get a steak afterwards. The Cattleman’s Steakhouse, apparently.

After the break, The Prime Time Players had joined the announcers for commentary and Los Matadores were in the ring for a match. So The Lucha Dragons and Los Matadores had a match, while The Prime Time Players rambled on about Puerto Rican matadores and The New Day and this whole thing is just odd.

It got odder when The New Day came out, and mocked The Prime Time Players. This somehow gave The Lucha Dragons a distraction win because I really don’t know why. This stuff is just confusing.

Anyway, leaving all that behind, and after the announcers had $hilled some stuff, Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper came down to the ring. Wyatt cut a long talky about family, lies, the truth, and a pet he once had. True story. Then Luke Harper said some stuff and Wyatt said it all came back to family.

He said Harper would go through anything for him, and that brought him to Roman Reigns. He said Reigns claimed to care about Dean Ambrose but if he did he would tell Ambrose to walk away because danger. He said that this was Reigns’s burden to bear and hill to die on and then said, “Roman Reigns, we’re here!” Roman Reigns did not seem to care because they just cut away to plug the rest of the show. What an odd segment.

Hey, it’s Charlotte & Becky Lynch! They came down to the ring with Paige and the show went to a commercial break! During the break, they – oh, just make something up. I do.

After the break, Team Bella came out, and it was Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox versus the NXT girls. This wasn’t anywhere near as good as the earlier Divas match – because Team Bella – but it was fine for what it was and Team Paige got the win when Lynch made Fox tap out to the Dis Arm Her armbar.

They re-capped last week’s Tough Enough, with a visit from The Big Show. He lined up all the fellas and chopped them in the corner of the ring. Because that’s learning. The announcers hyped Team Naomi appearing on this week’s show.

Backstage, Kevin Owens and Randy Orton were walking down different corridors, through the magic of split-screen. They went to a commercial break and both men stopped, maybe for a fag, before resuming their walk to the ring.

After the break, Sheamus was ringside for commentary, because Vince McMahon hates my ears. Randy Orton came out, and then Kevin Owens came out, and the announcers plugged an NXT discussion panel at Summerslam. Okay.

So Owens and Orton had a match and it was a good match, and they did a ton of stuff and didn’t even get to a finish because Sheamus interfered, the fucker. Before that, Owens made fun of Michael Cole, who tried to ignore him, because you shouldn’t give in to bullies.

After Sheamus had ruined the match, Cesaro charged the ring to get at Owens (Owens had powerbombed him on Smackdown). Sheamus distracted Cesaro and Owens hit another pop up powerbomb on Cesaro and then acted the big shot while his music played. If only Orton worked Tuesdays, we could have a tag match on Smackdown!

Backstage Renee spoke to John Cena about his match with Seth Rollins in the main event of tonight’s show. He said it was put up or shut up time for Rollins, and they would find out whether the real champ was here.

Hey, it’s our main event! It’s John Cena versus Seth Rollins, for the WWE Us title! Cena came out first, and then Rollins joined him in the ring, while Lilian Garcia formally announced the match.

They traded early and went to a quick commercial with Rollins holding Cena in a chinlock. When they came back from the break, Rollins was still on top. Cena made his comeback, and called for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Rollins kicked him in the face. Cena got a nearfall with a DDT, which got a pop from the crowd.

Rollins knocked Cena out of the ring and then hit a topé suicida. He threw Cena back in the ring and then hit the Drive By for a nearfall. They traded blows and then Rollins hit Cena flush in the face with a knee which BUSTED CENA’S NOSE WIDE OPEN. Cena dropped to the mat and the doctor came down to ringside but Cena shrugged it off and fought on.

Rollins grabbed Cena and hit a Bucklebomb, but Cena kicked out on two. The doctor entered the ring to check on Cena, who seemed a bit out of it, and Rollins kind of awkwardly carried on his offense, but seemed afraid to hurt the golden boy of the promotion any further. He laid in a kick and got another nearfall and the referee checked on Cena as more blood poured from his Bad News Barrett nose.

Suddenly, Cena jumped to his feet and hit an AA, getting a nearfall, while they were showing a replay in vision-in-vision. Dunnnnnnnn!!!!! Rollins recovered in the corner while the doctor worked on Cena’s nose, and then Rollins hit a superplex for a nearfall. He hit a kind of Michinoku Driver for another nearfall, and the announcers hyped Cena’s toughness.

Rollins went up top to hit the Phoenix Splash but Cena moved. Cena then locked on the STF and Rollins tapped to keep the US title in Cena’s hands. An odd, but enjoyable match.

After the match, Cena got checked on by the doctor and then celebrated as the camera zoomed in on the mess that used to be his face, and that’s your show!

This was an Okay Show. It was hyped at the beginning as a special episode but it was really just another show. Not a lot makes a lot of sense with their feuds at the moment, but they’ve still got a few weeks to tune that up, I guess. One thing’s for sure, it may be four hours but Summerslam feels anything but a second Wrestlemania right now…

 

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