July 27, 2015
From the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK
Your hosts are Byron Saxton, JBL, and Michael Cole
After a video package highlighting the confrontation between the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar last week, HHH, Stephanie, and Seth Rollins head to the ring. HHH welcomes us to the show and says he has a “massive” announcement. First, he says the show will be four hours long while Stephanie plugs the Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker rematch. Next, the Authority tells us that we will get Big Show vs. Dean Ambrose, Paige vs. Sasha Banks, Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton, Alicia Fox & Nikki Bella vs. Becky Lynch & Charlotte. HHH put over Owens and Stephanie made it a point to mention the “Diva Revolution.” Rollins then reminds us he was the first to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase at the WrestleMania main event and how he did exactly what he said he would by walking out of Battleground as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He then demands the crowd stand up and tell him how he will go down as the greatest WWE Champion of all time but John Cena’s music interrupts. Cena comes down and gets into the ring and calls Rollins a “jackass” for claiming to be the greatest Champion ever. Cena then calls Rollins out for dodging his challenge for a match last week before letting the crowd know that tonight is the night of firsts as he issues another challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight title. Rollins tells Cena to do us all a favor and “shut the hell up” and how unlike the U.S. Title, you have to earn a title shot. However, Stephanie interrupts and asks the crowd if they want to see these two wrestle tonight for the title and they go nuts while Stephanie smiles and even joins in on the “Yes” chant only to say no to the match because Cena has to earn that right. HHH says no one wants to see the World Title defended tonight on RAW so his solution is that they have a match but for the U.S. Championship because that is best for business. This segment was fine in given us a preview of the show and to set up a potential World Title match. They also made it a point to say “for the first-time ever” several times here and more throughout the broadcast.
We get a plug for the “Stone Cold Podcast” with Steve Austin as he will have Paige as his guest as that will air after RAW goes off of the next week on the WWE Network.
A replay of the Big Show putting Dean Ambrose through the announcers table two weeks ago on SmackDown.
Dean Ambrose vs. Big Show
The Miz has joined us on commentary. Ambrose lays into Show but ends up running into a shoulder tackle as Miz says they should strip Ryback of the IC Title. Back to the match as Ambrose flies outside and takes out Show with a tope. He climbs up top but gets caught coming off of the top as we head to break. We return with Miz running down Ryback for having a staph infection while Show stretches out Ambrose. Miz keeps talking about Ryback being a baby for having a staph infection while Ambrose jumps on Show’s back and applies a sleeper. Show ends up dumping him outside but Ambrose fights back from the apron. Show catches Ambrose as he came off of the top then alley-oops him for a nearfall. Show sets up for the chokeslam but Ambrose counters that with a DDT as both men are down. The crowd is behind Ambrose as he is chopping Show. Ambrose tries his rebound clothesline but Show hits the chokeslam this time for a nearfall. Show hits another chokeslam as Ambrose rolls outside. Ambrose rolls in just before the ten count but gets kicked through the ropes. Show spears Ambrose then heads back inside as the ref counts. Ambrose tries to get up and once again just beats the ten count but yet again, gets sent back to the floor as the announcers put him over for being crazy. Ambrose mounts a brief comeback and tries for another tope but gets caught with a punch as he headed through the ropes and is unable to beat the countout (11:20) **. After the match, Show stares down Ambrose then as he got up again, tries for a spear but Ambrose moves out of the way while Show crashes through the barricade.
Thoughts: Not bad for a TV match. They were trying to get Ambrose over as a guy who refuses to give up or back down and this segment did a fine job at that. I have no idea if this means that Ambrose is in the Intercontinental Title mix or not as there is no official word on when Ryback was coming back. Speaking of Ryback, Miz was blasting him for getting a staph infection and the infection in general. Wonder if someone was feeding him lines
Fandango vs. Neville
The announcers talk about Stardust and his feud with “Arrow” actor Stephen Arnell. Fandango blocks a hurricarana then takes Neville down with a clothesline. Fandango puts Neville in the Gory Special but Neville escapes and hits a jawbreaker. Neville then flies out with a dive then shortly after that puts Fandango away with the Red Arrow (1:52) 1/2*. After the match, Stardust is shown on the screen as he talks about everyone wanting a story with superheroes but then gets pissed over no one wanting to talk about the unknown. Stardust then tells Neville there is nothing he can do to stop him after he spouted off a bunch of nonsense.
Thoughts: As with a majority of Neville matches of late, no one cares until he is about to hit the Red Arrow. The post-match stuff with Stardust was garbage. The crowd was silent and it all came across as senseless jibberish rather than a feud you want to care about.
Backstage, Paige tells Charlotte and Becky about all of the attention they are getting are getting on social media. Sasha Banks, Tamina, and Naomi interrupt as Sasha reminds them that Stephanie McMahon made the revolution. Charlotte copies her father’s “Woooooooooo” chant and this leads to both factions arguing. I’ll say this, Paige, Charlotte, and Becky were definitely outclassed on the mic here. Not much of a segment though.
Paige w/ Charlotte & Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks w/ Naomi & Tamina
Before the match we are shown a video package of Sasha, which was very well done. And much better than the backstage segment that it proceeded. Match starts off with both women fighting over a lockup until they spill out to the floor. We then get a staredown involving everyone before the match heads back inside. Paige hits a running knee smash then gets a few nearfalls. Sasha comes back with a victory roll and works the arm then they end up in a standoff that is met with a mild applause. Paige blocks a cheapshot attempt by Sasha and yanks her down as that is met with much louder applause. Paige follows with a headbutt then gets two with a slam as Team Bella is watching backstage. Paige works the arm then dumps Sasha outside and proceeds to wipe out all of Team BAD with a plancha as we head to break. We return with Sasha in control. She places Paige across the corner and hits a double stomp then proceeds to mock her chants. Sasha uses a chinlock after hitting a clothesline as the crowd rallies behind Paige, who makes a comeback and hits a few clotheslines. They go back and forth for a bit until Sasha gets the win with the Banks Statement (13:56) ***1/4.
Thoughts: Good match. These two got time and delivered for the most part. When it comes to the girls that went through the NXT system, Paige seems to be behind the three recent call-ups in terms of skill but can still hold her own in the ring. Sasha has been the most impressive NXT Diva call-up so far as she can do it both on the mic and in the ring.
Renee Young is backstage with Seth Rollins, who decides to flip the script and ask Renee a few questions, mostly about how he has defeated Brock Lesnar among others. Rollins then talks about being sick about hearing of Cena. Not much different than the opening promo.
Rusev and Summer Rae are in the ring. Rusev gives Summer a gift, which is a puppy that is named “Dolph Ziggler” because he is small and neutered. He then gives Summer a fish in a box that Rusev calls “Lana” because its a cold, dead fish. Lana comes out and tells Rusev he fails to fool the crowd by dressing up Summer to look like her. Summer mocks Lana with the fish then Lana kicks her and takes her down while rubbing her face into the fish. It wasnt even close. Lana then slaps Rusev and walks out as Rusev tosses the fish down the aisle while Summer flips out. Rusev’s timing on the mic is great and he saves these segments, which are largely terrible.
Replay of the Undertaker/Lesnar stuff from last week.
Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadores
The Prime Time Players are on commentary. Winner of this will be in the Tag Title picture, from what we are told. Match starts with the Dragons working over Diego. Fernando makes a blind tag and takes Kalisto down with a knee lift then chops him in the corner. The PTP’s put over both teams as Kalisto is now working the arm. Sin Cara tags and hits a tope con hilo then works an armdrag spot that looked way messed up. Cara gets dumped as Fernando breaks him inside for a choke while Titus wants to know the origins of the “Puerto Rican Bullfighters.” Los Matadores stay in control as the crowd is silent. Even the commentators seemed to stop caring about this match. Cara finally makes the tag as Kalisto runs wild. The New Day then come out to interrupt as they skip down the aisle with Xavier and Big E holding a sign stating Kofi was the real “Mega Dad” of the year and while that happens, Kalisto gets the win with a rollup (8:05) *1/4.
Thoughts: This match was not good and almost fell apart when the Matadores were getting heat on Sin Cara as it was far too boring. The Tag Division is lacking at the moment are we are gearing up for another multi-team match, presumably at SummerSlam.
Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper are in the ring. Wyatt says he is not a betting man but would bet that everyone in the crowd has a family. He then asks if they love their family and if that will make everything alright. Wyatt tells the kids the truth and that is their parents do not love them and they can find it in their schools, government, and right out the front door. Wyatt then tells us about his childhood pet and how it was loyal but one day he told the pet he was curious and set it free. The next day, it came back and it had a scar and after that, never left his side as that day the pet learned the most valuable lesson, which is protect your family before they get you. Wyatt tells us that Harper was a damaged man and fixed him like a “broken toy” as he hands over the mic. Harper tells us one time he had no purpose in life or even understood why he was here but the family taught him. Harper credits Wyatt for saving him and getting stronger. Wyatt grabs the mic and tells us that Reigns doesn’t care about Ambrose because if he did, he’d warn him about being in danger. Bray then tells Reigns its his “burden to bear and hill to die on.” I actually thought this was the better Wyatt segments in a long time. It explained why Harper left and came back and put him over stronger than he has been in a long time. And besides that, it has made his feud with Reigns, which started off terribly, actually seem a bit intriguing.
Becky Lynch & Charlotte w/ Paige vs. Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox w/ Brie Bella
Nikki starts off by working the arm of Becky, who fights back. Charlotte tags in and gets some offense on Nikki. Alicia tags and works over Charlotte until she gets taken down. Charlotte hits a knee drop then gets distracted by Nikki, allowing Alicia to kick her in the face. Team Bella neutralizes Charlotte in their corner, mixing in a few nearfalls. Charlotte escapes from Alicia and makes the tag as Becky runs wild. The crowd is silent as Alicia is out of position for just about everything then get a bit louder when Becky gets the win via submission with the Disarm-Her (6:03) 3/4*.
Thoughts: Far less impressive than the singles match. Fox seemed to be out of position for just about everything and had an awful night in the ring.
We get a clip of Patrick getting eliminated from “Tough Enough” last week while they list off the remaining competitors. Team BAD is then shown as the guests for tomorrow night’s show.
Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens
Sheamus is on commentary. Both guys stare each other down before firing away. They head outside and brawl some more until Orton takes Owens down with a clothesline. Back inside, Orton works the leg. They head back outside where Owens rams Orton into the post then sends him into the barricade with a fallaway slam as we head to break. When we return, Owens stops a comeback then gets two with a senton. Owens mocks Orton’s pose but gets caught with a backbreaker shortly after that as both men are down. Owens hits Orton with a pair of clotheslines and a kneedrop before yelling at Sheamus. Orton rolls away from the cannonball then takes over. The crowd gets behind Orton, who hits an exploder then sets up for the draping DDT but Owens blocks that. Orton heads outside but Sheamus runs over and nails him with a Brogue Kick for the DQ (11:22) **1/2. After the match, Sheamus beats on Orton until Cesaro runs out for the save. Cesaro uppercuts Sheamus then flies out with a pescado to take out Owens. Cesaro fights off both guys for a bit but ends up walking into the pop-up powerbomb by Owens, who is left standing. He then walks up the ramp while mocking Orton’s pose, telling him that its not over between them.
Thoughts: Match was fine and it sets up for a tag match next week. It also seems like we will get a Cesaro/Owens feud and an Owens/Orton feud down the line. I thought this was a solid segment overall.
Renee Young is with John Cena, who tells Rollins that it is “put up or shut up” time and also says that he just might shock the world tonight and beat the World Champion.
Becky Lynch vs. Nikki Bella will take place on this coming episode of SmackDown.
WWE United States Title Match: Seth Rollins vs. John Cena (Champion)
The dueling Cena chants are starting up before the match. Cena takes control of the match to start. Rollins escapes from an A.A. attempt then boots Cena down as he goes to work. Rollins grabs a chinlock as we head to break. We return with Rollins hitting a pair of suplexes for nearfalls. Rollins stops a brief comeback short with an enziguiri but ends up getting caught in a Blue Thunder Driver. Cena hits a tornado DDT for two then tries for another A.A. but Rollins shoves him outside then hits a tope. Back inside, Rollins hits a flying knee smash for two. Cena fights back and they end up slugging it out until Rollins takes him down with a knee smash into the face as Cole speculates that Cena’s nose might be broken. And by the looks of it I think that is the case. Cena gets up and fires away at Rollins, who comes back with a turnbuckle powerbomb. Cena hits another flurry and tries an A.A. off of the springboard stunner but Rollins escapes and kicks Cena a few times. Rollins then hits Cena with a superplex and rolls through that to hit a Falcon Arrow but Cena is able to kick out of that. Rollins misses the Phoenix Splash as Cena puts on the STF and Rollins taps out (17:03) ***3/4. After the match, Cena thanks the crowd, who respond quite favorably.
Thoughts: Awesome match. More importantly, they are having Cena come off as a true babyface instead of just a “polarizing” guy with the crowds. He is now the fighting champion who busts his ass each week and guess what, the fans are cheering for him more than they are booing. And having him work hard with the busted nose made you want to cheer for him even more. Since WrestleMania, Cena has been in the zone. His mic work stands out and his wrestling has been really, really good. It appears that Cena has earned a title match against Rollins as this will certainly be addressed next week on RAW
Final Thoughts: Solid show this week for the most part. They are getting some direction and while not everything was great, it was at least building to feuds or continuing ongoing ones. They were smart to keep Lesnar and Taker off of TV this week too as they got more mileage out of the replays of their awesome brawl from last week. The Diva’s Division is getting favorable crowd reactions and besides the Stardust nonsense, nothing felt flat-out embarrassing or anything. Right now, SummerSlam should be a solid show.