Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Raw is Owens Review

Before the show, they hyped that Stephanie McMahon would be back, which she was. However, that means she's part of the Authority opening talking segment. They put themselves over before revealing the Intercontinental Title and saying that Daniel Bryan once again couldn't get it done. We'll crown a new champion in two weeks at Elimination Chamber. Sheamus comes out to put himself over as the guy who injured Bryan. Ryback interrupts because he doesn't like bullies. Both guys get put in the Chamber and are forced to wrestle right here. The match itself was fine as both guys kicked the shit out of each other. Sheamus won due to Ryback's taped up ribs. I didn't mind him losing because of that as it built sympathy, while keeping Sheamus looking good. Going backstage, the Authority celebrate Seth Rollins' win from the previous night. They all drink champagne, though if you recall the 2012 angle between CM Punk and Chris Jericho, you can't drink on the job while WWE Champion. Anyway, Dean Ambrose interrupts, only to get put in a match against a guy he seemingly can't beat...Bray Wyatt.

Renee Young came out to interview Neville. He talked about being the longest reigning NXT Champion, only for Bo Dallas to interrupt and attack his leg. This led into King Barrett vs. Neville. I know we get tons of rematches but this one makes sense due to the dusty PPV finish. The Bo attack focused on the leg, which played into Barrett winning. Bo was great on commentary, but I'm not sold on a Bo/Neville feud since Neville just squashed him on Smackdown recently. Next up, Rusev comes out to give us his reaction to losing to John Cena. He says he never said I Quit, so he should get a rematch. I'm just sitting here like...dear god no. Lana came out to say that she did what she did because she cares about him and explains that he said he quit in Bulgarian. This pisses off Rusev like crazy and he calls her all sorts of names before dismissing her. The road to Rusev becoming Marc Mero is unfortunately almost complete.

Now we get our Dean Ambrose/Bray Wyatt match which was similar to their feud last year. In other words, they showed pretty good chemistry but ultimately, Bray won. At least he only won because J&J Security got involved but I still tire of seeing Ambrose lose constantly. Fine stuff though. Our next segment is the first of three advertised title matches. New Day defends the Tag Team Titles against Tyson Kidd and Cesaro with Xavier Woods barred from ringside. Since this was a quick match, it didn't reach the level of their great PPV matches lately. It ends via disqualification due to New Day not letting up. This led to a brawl which also ended up involving the Lucha Dragons, Ascension, Los Matadores and the Prime Time Players. We get told that these six teams will compete for the belts in the Elimination Chamber which should be fun. I just wish we got Luke Harper and Erick Rowan instead of Los Matadores. Some good build here though and I'm glad the PTP are getting back to competing.

Every week, the United States Title Open Challenge has been fun. Here, after John Cena cuts his usual promo the challenge is seemingly answered by Kevin fucking Owens. He got on the mic, telling Cena that it was he who injured Sami Zayn so Cena shouldn't worry. Cena tried to give him "veteran advice" but Owens shut that shit down, saying he's been doing this longer than Cena. Fantastic. Cena wants him to accept the challenge, but Owens claims he already has a prize, the NXT Title. He declines the challenge, saying he'll fight Cena on his own terms. He then hit Cena with the popup Powerbomb and stepped on the US Title. This was masterfully done. Owens looked like a badass who wasn't intimidated by Cena, it built towards TakeOver and all just came off great. Best segment in weeks. Next, we get told that R-Truth, King Barrett and Rusev were added to the Chamber. Why Truth and not Neville or Stardust is beyond me. Speaking of Stardust, he gets squashed by Dolph Ziggler next. Dolph is then told he gets the final spot in the IC Title Chamber. Lana comes out for some odd reason...and kisses Dolph. Then she does it again. No reason why. Rusev is pissed and comes out to hit Dolph. He yells at Lana, only to get slapped. Dolph then hits him with the Zig Zag. His shirt doesn't lie...he really steals your girl. This came off as random and rushed. We just had a Lana/Rusev segment earlier in the show. I know that Rusev and Ziggler are both in the Chamber, but this could have waited until Smackdown or something.

In a throwback to the old days of Raw, our next match is a complete tag team squash. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper beat Fandango and Zack Ryder. Fine with me, but I still don't see why the former Wyatt Family couldn't be in the Chamber. Following that, Stephanie McMahon tells Brie Bella that she can't accompany her sister to the ring because of her mental state after what happened to Daniel Bryan. Nikki defended the Divas Title against Naomi, which ended via disqualification after Tamina got involved. They do the two on one beating until Paige returned. She saves Nikki, but remembers that Nikki was a total bitch to her, and lays her out too before holding up the title. She was the number one contender before she left. I know that a lot of people on the internet are upset because the Divas division tends to be focused on the Bellas and Paige but there's a reason for that. They're the most over Divas. It's the same reason why the top men are a focal point. Good to see Paige back and Naomi not as champion is great.

We find out that the Authority books Kevin Owens vs. John Cena for Elimination Chamber. Wow. Our Seth Rollins "Architect of a Dream" segment followed. It was basically just everyone putting him over, which is fine. Kane even plays a tribute video to him. They continue the running gag of Joey Mercury not talking as Dean Ambrose interrupts. He wants a rematch at Seth for beating him a few weeks ago, but wants a title shot. They decline but it leads to a brawl. Dean ends up taking Seth over to cinder blocks, busting out some rare continuity. He threatens to hit him with a chair into the cinder blocks if he doesn't get his match. Stephanie agrees before J&J and Kane get involved. The numbers game is too much and Seth plants Dean with a Pedigree. Good closing segment as Seth got to stand tall, but Dean was allowed to look good. Overall, don't look now but that's three straight really good episodes of Raw in a row. I'm all for this trend continuing. Every segment had a point, though one or two didn't make complete sense. Regardless, good stuff here. 8/10.