Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Raw Cincinnati Review

Like this is 1997 WCW Nitro, we open with a shot of a limousine arriving at the arena. Out pops Triple H, who opens the show with one of his usual promos. Seth Rollins and Kane get involved and bicker. Triple H does his thing where he wants to get cheered, so instead of being the heel he should be, he makes jokes that makes everyone look bad. It's so annoying. He books Kane vs. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton tonight. Jamie Noble steals the promo by getting in his face, so HHH puts J&J Security against Dean Ambrose.The crowd was extra hot for this since it was in Ambrose's hometown and J&J Security play their roles perfectly. Obviously Ambrose won and this was a fine choice to open as it entertained and was a lot of fun. As we got ready for the next match, we are informed that we get Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus II and Neville vs. Bad News Barrett III at Payback. King Barrett took on Ziggler here in a solid little match, while Sheamus was on commentary. The combinations between these four guys is getting a bit tiresome, so hopefully it's over after Payback but with some news that we got later, I highly doubt this. Barrett won following a distraction from Sheamus. Sheamus and Ziggler brawled after the match, which has been my favorite thing about their rivalry so far. It's intense and everything besides the Kiss Me Arse stipulation has been spot on.

On Smackdown, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper seemed to be on good terms again. Here, they came out together to Harper's theme and Rowan squashed Fandango. I was fine with this as I prefer them together than jobbing apart. John Cena issued his Open Challenge in the next segment, cutting his usual promo. Neville answered and we all knew we were in for a treat. Neville took Cena back to SUPLEX CITY BITCH, causing him to regroup. Neville became the next guy in a long line to kick out of the Attitude Adjustment. This was the best match of the night and the best that Neville has looked on the main roster. Not only did he kick out of the AA and hit a bunch of high flying moves, but he hit the Red Arrow and looked like he would win until Rusev hit to cause the DQ. I was fine with this finish as Neville looked excellent and was protected, while it built towards. Plus, it was the only non clean end to a challenge so far. Great stuff here.

We were set for Kane/Roman Reigns here, but Reigns was attacked before the bell. This lasted far too long and honestly, the crowd didn't seen to really care for it. Not the worst, but nothing really good. Moving on, Brie Bella came out to her putrid theme music to face Tamina. This was fine to help the build for Nikki/Naomi...which I think is happening at Payback. It was decent work and Tamina won with a superkick. Again, moving on, Curtis Axel and AxelMania took on Macho Mandow. After about a minute, the Ascension interrupted and cut a promo on them that commentary pretty much laughed at. They ran in and got taken out, leading to Mandow and Axel doing the Mega Powers handshake. I wasn't a fan of this. It was like a cheap LOD knockoff challenged Mega Powers knockoffs. It was meant to be fun, but came off as kind of awkward to me. Maybe I'm just a cynic. At least it didn't last too long.

Some Tough Enough videos air and we see submissions from the Big O and Scarlett Bordeaux which is cool. Daniel Bryan comes out to address the fans and he cuts an emotional promo. He says that we deserve to have guys like Ambrose, Neville and Barrett competing for the Intercontinental Title. He does a good job of putting over those guys and the title itself before saying that due to injury, he has to relinquish the belt. It was like deja vu unfortunately as it was nearly a year ago that he had to do the same thing with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I'm interested in seeing what they do with the title now that abeyance has another reign. As for Bryan, it's unfortunate but I get it. I'd rather he take a ton of time and heal up fully if he is ever coming back. Similar to Shawn Michaels in 1998.

In a perfect segue, we got from the sadness of Bryan's announcement to the upbeat New Day.
They tell the crowd to stop being sad about Bryan and chant New Day Rocks. This leads into Cesaro vs. Big E, which was a fun match that Cesaro wins. We also get told that these two teams meet in a Tag Team Title match at Payback, which will be 2 out of 3 falls. That should deliver. Bray Wyatt appears next for a talking segment. He said that he's going after Ryback because he's in his way, though they don't specify how exactly. He says that sometimes the bad guy just wins, which seems to be the case for Bray unless it's at WrestleMania. Ryback appears to take him out, allowing to get one over in the feud.

Before I talk about the main event, there were some other things to address. They announce the "Mega Powers" against the Ascension for the Kickoff Show at Payback. I'm not too fond of that. The Prime Time Players mocked the New Age Outlaws, which was great but they need to wrestle again. They also announce Kane/Reigns for Smackdown. Yay. The biggest news is that they announce another PPV for May. After Payback on the 17th, we get NXT TakeOver on the 20th and now, Elimination Chamber on the 31st. I'm not sure if they should add more PPVs since they can barely build the ones they have now, but a Chamber match or two will be fun. I think they should use the Chamber to crown the new Intercontinental Champion. Barrett vs. Sheamus vs. Neville vs. Ziggler vs. two other good midcarders would be great. Anyway, as for the main event, it was solid. Not bad but nothing we haven't seen before. It ends in the predictable DQ fashion, leading to appearances from Ambrose and Reigns. Seth Rollins eats every finisher before Reigns spears Orton. Ambrose is all like "DTA" and hits Dirty Deeds on Reigns, to stand tall for the second straight week. Not the best ending to Raw, but fine. I think this was a solid go home show. It wasn't as good overall as last week's, but Neville/Cena is must see. That's two good Raws in a row for the WWE. 7/10.