June 1, 2015
From San Antonio, TX
Your hosts are Booker T, JBL, and Michael Cole
The show starts with the entire Authority heading down to the ring as the announcers talk about how Dean Ambrose has not been seen or heard from since leaving the Elimination Chamber show with the WWE World Title belt. Steph welcomes us to our champion, Seth Rollins, and reaffirms that stealing a title does not make you a champion. She even talks about Dean Ambrose being a kleptomaniac for stealing the Money in the Bank briefcase from Rollins in the past as well. Steph then asked the crowd what they should do and maybe how they should get rid of him altogether. HHH then asks Ambrose to return the title so they can discuss what happens and after that as the crowd starts a “Justin Bieber” chant aimed at Seth. HHH tells the crowd to shut up then screams for Ambrose to come out but instead we get Roman Reigns, who tells the Authority that they do not seem happy to see him but “San Antonio” is as the crowd applauds. Roman then tells then Authority that Dean wants a ladder match for the title at Money in the Bank. Steph tells Roman that they will not negotiate with a low-life like Ambrose or even himself as Roman reminds them all that Ambrose pinned Seth cleanly. Seth flips out about how he was never beaten as the crowd chants “you got beat” at him. Roman adds more fuel to the fire by reminding him that both Ambrose and himself have beat him then suggests that Seth might be the worst WWE Champion ever. Seth wants Roman to tell Ambrose he has his rematch and then goes nuts as he tells the Authority that he will prove to everyone that he does not need any help, even calling Kane a “seven-foot piece of crap,” before walking off. When he leaves, Steph asks Roman who he thinks he is but HHH interrupts and calmly reminds Roman that Seth ended his title hopes and dreams at WrestleMania by cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase contest and if he wants to stay in the MiTB match this year, he will have to win his match tonight as if he loses, he will be out at MITB. HHH then orders Roman to stay in the ring for his match. Very good segment here. Seth was great at playing the pissed-off spoiled brat, Steph and HHH were awesome in their roles, and Reigns carried himself well and came off good here too. Plus, it was much shorter than last week’s never-ending opening segment.
Roman Reigns d. Wade Barrett with a spear (14:07) **1/2
Barrett took control early as he got two off of a suplex and grabbed a headlock. Reigns fought back with a boot to the face then hit a corner clothesline. Barrett rolled away from the apron kick but ended up getting clotheslined to the floor. Barrett catches him with a kick to the gut outside the ring as he regains control of the match. He poses in the ring as we go to break. Barrett has Reigns in a headlock when we are back from break. He switches to a surfboad but Reigns escapes then hits a clothesline. He drives Barrett in the corner and hammers away as the crowd counted along. Barrett catches Reigns with the Winds of Change for a nearfall then signals for the Bullhammer but Reigns ducks the move then powerbombs him after pulling him up during a rollup attempt then shortly after that puts him away with a spear. Solid match but after Barrett has been losing to everyone and having an unimpressive showing last night, Reigns should have plowed through him. Tough to buy Barrett as a threat here and as a result, the match didn’t have the heat it should have.
Video stills of Kevin Owens beating John Cena last night at the Elimination Chamber.
Byron Saxton is with Nikki Bella. Byron forgot to put the mic in front of her face at the beginning. Nikki talks about facing all challengers as Paige walks out and says that after winning a battle royal last month for a title shot and seeing that Naomi is now “out of the picture”, she should get a match. Nikki said that Paige sounded just like Naomi, who lost, and then challenges her to a match tonight. Man, they sure buried Naomi in this segment. Both divas did fine here.
Ryback is welcomed to the ring. He tells the fans that no one wants to see him emotional but he is proud to be the new Intercontinental Title holder and how the crowd in San Antonio reminded him who he was when he returned from injury. The crowd reacted well to Ryback. This ends in a “feed me more” chant as we then learn that he will defend his title against the Miz. No idea what Miz did to earn a title shot here.
Miz vs. Ryback ended in a no-contest due to Big Show’s interference
This started after the break. Big Show made his return by walking into the ring and squaring off against Ryback but instead knocked out Miz with a punch. Show then walked over to Ryback and told him he has nothing on him when it comes to being a big guy. They had a staredown until Show walked away. Nothing memorable here and just a way to start a Ryback/Show feud. It looks like the IC Title is back to being little more than a prop.
Kevin Owens is in the ring. He goes over his NXT and WWE history to remind us how when he says he is going to do something, he delivers. He then says that he should be on top of the world after last night but he is not because after calling home, he spoke to his son. He said that like every other kid who is a WWE fan, his son is a John Cena fan. Funny moment as the crowd booed as Owens reminds them that his son is just a kid. Owens goes deeper into his frustrations, which is that Cena is portrayed as a hero with all sorts of colors and catchphrases and while honing his craft all over the country and world, his son grew up idolizing Cena, who became “Super Cena.” The crowd starts the “Let’s Go Cena, Cena Sucks” chant as he reminds them he beat Cena last night. Owens then says that at their Money in the Bank match, he will make sure his kid watches the match and gives advice to all parents to do the same as they can see a real model, who does not rely on catchphrases and marketing, deliver.
Cena’s music hits as he shows the “Never Give Up” towel to the camera and says that it is not a catchphrase. Cena hits the ring and says that Owens is a “jackass” and wants him to shut his mouth. Cena tells Owens to “act like he has been there before” and goes on about everyone praising Owens and their match last night as a mild “you got beat” chant breaks out. They really hammered home the idea that Owens debut was the best of all-time. Cena then says that he was going to hand him the US Title but he does not deserve it as he is so concerned about being a role model that he cannot put jealousy aside. He then mocks Owens for saying how the “WWE Marketing Machine” influences his son by bringing up past failures. He says that his “catchphrases” were not that of suits in a boardroom but rather the words that define his life. Cena even pointed out a kid in the crowd with a sign that read “I’m Beating Cancer.” Cena also told the kid later on to never stop fighting before focusing on Owens on how those words can effect people’s lives and how instead of “Fight, Owens, Fight” it should be “Never Give Up” and in two weeks he will have to explain how a “really good wrestler” got his ass kicked by a “real man”. Owens then walked off instead of fighting him as Cena fired up the crowd. Both guys did a great job here. The end I didn’t care for much as Owens did not have a chance to really respond to Cena the way it was done. I don’t mind that Cena used a poor kid suffering from cancer in his promo at all, it probably made their day and that is more important than any of this, but it also kinda proved Owens point he made about Cena in his promo. Some may only view that as exploitative but when it comes to a kid being happy, I cannot see it that way. I love how they are treating Owens as a star. They want everyone to know that he beat Cena and did so in his debut. However, I don’t love that they are doing a rematch in two weeks as that does not have to be rushed so quick. They can easily milk that feud for a while.
Dolph Ziggler w/ Lana d. Kofi Kingston w/ Big E & Xavier Woods with a rollup (3:15) 3/4*
Before the match, The New Day got heel heat by telling the crowd that Tim Duncan was old and should retire. Dolph did his usual stuff, which means running and jumping around for 90% of the match, until Kofi booted him down then grabbed a headlock. Dolph fought back with a neckbreaker then screamed in an attempt to get the crowd into the match but they did not care. Ziggler got a nearfall with a DDT as well. Kofi used a rollup but Ziggler reversed that for a win. After the match, Big E & Xavier ran in and beat on Ziggler until the Prime Time Players made the save. Match was heatless and Dolph just might be the stalest act on the roster. No one seemed to care about him. And his pairing with Lana has been a bust. They have no chemistry together at all. Its almost as bad as the Ted DiBiase, Jr. & Maryse pairing.
Prime Time Players & Dolph Ziggler d. The New Day when Titus pinned Xavier with a pumphandle slam (5:33) *1/2
Match started during the break. When we came back, the PTPs were beating on Woods. Kofi tripped up Young as that allowed Big E to hit a belly-to-belly suplex then the New Day all beat on Young in the corner. They continue to work over Young until he fights back and makes the hot tag to Titus, who cleans house. The crowd reacted well to Titus here, who was tossing around Kofi and Xavier. Ziggler even hit a super kick on Kofi in a messed-up spot, and then Titus barked before getting the win with the pumphandle slam. As the guys were celebrating, Lana was shown smiling on the ramp. Speaking of Lana, she was an afterthought in both matches. And Ziggler was an afterthought in this match. Shows you how great that pairing is doing at the moment. Also, the PTPs vs. New Day feud appears to be in the works and that is fine by me.
Roman Reigns d. Mark Henry via countout (3:46) 1/4*
Henry slammed Reigns early on for a nearfall then raked his eyes across the top rope as the announcers played up that Reigns had an eye injury that would jeopardize his standing in the MiTB match. Henry raked the eyes for a bit then Reigns fought back with a couple of clotheslines and a Samoan drop. Henry rolled outside but Reigns followed out and got rammed into the post but came back with the Superman Punch and rolled inside just in time to beat the ten count. After the match, Henry came in and hit Reigns with the World’s Strongest Slam followed by a splash. Match was bad and the crowd was not invested. Henry seemed like he was unable to do anything in the ring.
After the break, Steph and HHH walk past Reigns, who is clutching his ribs. They sarcastically applaud him then say that he should lace up his vest real tight and “follow the buzzards.”
We see the Megapowers, New Day, and Big Show doing outtakes plugging the new shakes at Sonic. Not bad and the New Day were hilarious.
Nikki Bella (c) d. Paige to retain the WWE Diva’s Title (5:50) *3/4
Match started with Nikki talking trash. Paige pie-faced Nikki off of a lockup then Nikki took her down and worked the arm then shows off by doing some push-ups. Nikki got two with a suplex then put on a surfboard. Nikki then hit a slingshot suplex before stretching out Paige, who is able to reach the ropes. Paige then knocks her down but Nikki rolls outside then performs crunches on the floor. Back inside, Paige uses a knee smash that showed an awful lot of light to get two then they trade moves until Paige takes Nikki off the top with some sort of DDT. Shortly after that, Nikki rolled outisde then Brie came from underneath the ring and went inside to catch Paige with a small package for the win. So, the Bellas are back to being heels again, despite doing nothing to turn face to begin with. And with Nikki and Brie not close to the same size anymore, this finish doesn’t work quite as well. The Divas division remains a complete mess. As far as the match, they both tried and it had some rough spots but fine overall.
Randy Orton makes his return as he will be facing Sheamus tonight.
Randy Orton d. Sheamus via DQ (12:55) **1/4
Lots of stalling from Sheamus to start. This match is wrestled at a snail’s pace as neither guy can gain the advantage. Orton then clotheslines Sheamus to the floor and heads outside where he suplexes Sheamus on top of the announcers table and heads back inside as we go to break. Back from break, Sheamus catches Orton in a powerslam for a nearfall then stomps away in the corner. Sheamus gets frustrated as he cannot put Orton away then grabs a chinlock as the crowd rallies behind Orton, who breaks the hold. He catches Sheamus with a pair of clotheslines and a powerslam after dodging a Brogue Kick. Orton hits a T-Bone suplex after a reversal sequence then gets the draping DDT as he tries to fire up the crowd. Sheamus sends Orton to the floor with a knee to the face. They brawl outside until Sheamus gets DQ’d for using a chair. After the match, Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick then beats on Orton until a few referees order him away. Sheamus stops, thinks for a bit, then runs over and hits Orton with another Brogue Kick. Not bad but more of a house show match than a TV match. The point of this was to build animosity between the Money in the Bank match participants.
Saxton is backstage with Rusev, who is on crutches. He tells us that he has a broken ankle, crushed spirit, and no woman but he will get back all of what he desires. Good stuff from Rusev, who has been excelling in his role.
A plug for Kevin Owens, hosting the NXT Championship open challenge this Thursday on SmackDown.
Neville d. Bo Dallas with the Red Arrow (3:10) *
Before the match, a dejected Bo tells us that he now wants to hurt Neville instead of helping him. Dallas took control of the match to start as the crowd started to rally a bit behind Neville, who fought back with forearm smashes and kicks while showcasing his tremendous speed, then hit the Red Arrow for the win. The Red Arrow is one of the more impressive moves in the company, he always seems to hit it perfectly, and this win seemed to have ended his feud with Bo so he can focused on as a competitor in the Money in the Bank match. The announcers also put over the Red Arrow as a deadly finisher too.
Roman Reigns d. Bray Wyatt with the spear (12:12) **3/4
Bray immediately beats on Reigns, who is selling his injuries from tonight. Seth, Kane, and J&J Security come out to the ring as Wyatt continues his assault on Reigns. Back from break, the Authority were clapping from the stage as Reigns was getting beaten down. Reigns came back with a clothesline then hit a DDT as both men are down. Reigns gets up and hammers away then knocks Wyatt to the floor, where Reigns hits the basement dropkick. Back inside, Reigns ran into a clothesline then Wyatt got two off of a senton. Wyatt starts slapping around Reigns, who slaps him right back. Reigns hits a Samoan drop then signals for the Superman Punch that awakens the crowd, who had been quiet since the Sheamus/Orton match. Wyatt blocks that and hits a chokeslam but Reigns fights back as the Authority now surround the ring. Reigns counters the Sister Abigail and shoves Wyatt into Kane, who was on the apron, then spears Wyatt off of the rebound and gets the win. After the match, the Authority surround the ring until Ambrose’s music hits. Rollins looks at the ramp but turns around and sees Ambrose taunting him with the belt on the announcers table. Reigns and Rollins take out the Authority as HHH and Steph are on the ramp. Ambrose and Reigns then left through the crowd. Good match and a real good showing by Reigns tonight. If they built him up like this last fall it probably would have worked with him getting the strap at Mania. He is doing fine in his role and the partnership with Dean against the Authority is working well.
Backstage, Paul Heyman is shown walking backstage looking pissed as he enters the set of the Stone Cold Steve Austin Podcast.
Final Thoughts: Not as good as the previous two weeks but still a solid showing. Reigns had a great night tonight and did well. It seems like they are building towards HHH vs. Reigns at SummerSlam too. They are doing well at building up their top feuds and the MitB match. However, the midcard stuff was forgettable and the Divas division is terribly booked. The Dolph/Lana stuff is just not working at all either. Nothing in terms of must-see matches but after Owens vs Cena last night, that is not a problem.