Bayless’ RAW Rundown 5/25/15


May 25, 2015

From the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY

Your hosts are Booker T, JBL, and Michael Cole

Before the show starts, the WWE honors Memorial Day with a photo montage that included several Superstars and Divas giving thanks then Eden Stiles lead the crowd in a moment of silence to start off the show.

The show starts with the Authority coming out to the ring. Seth Rollins sarcastically thanks Dean Ambrose for extorting a title shot out of the Authority. He then talks about the ridiculousness of Ambrose being a role model for the WWE Universe as the crowd starts an “We Want Ambrose” chant. Rollins then talks about how the Authority can take Ambrose’s title shot away, and even fire him, but that he asked them not to do that before saying that Ambrose is not a threat or even “on his level.” HHH then holds out the contract in his hand as he tells Ambrose that he needs to sign in order to have a shot at the title. Ambrose comes out, to the delight of the crowd, as he tells us something might be wrong with him as instead of counting sheep, he counted “punching Seth Rollins in the face” as he talks about getting happy at the thought of beating up Rollins. He then says the next time he beats him up it will be for the WWE World Title. He then tells us when he wins the belt, he will make changes as he runs down J&J Security and give Kane a collar because he is a “lap dog.” Ambrose gets in a Justin Bieber reference aimed at Rollins as the crowd starts chanting for Bieber, as Rollins defends Bieber for being rich, famous, handsome, and the most successful artist of his generation. Rollins then tells the crowd they are jealous of Bieber like Ambrose is jealous of himself. Rollins tells Ambrose he is destined to be a loser as Ambrose finally heads down to the ring as the Authority look to pounce on him then Roman Reigns’ music hits as he comes through the crowd to stand by Ambrose. Stephanie then talks about how its cute to see these two inseparable but Ambrose needs to sign the contract before the end of the night. She also makes Ambrose & Reigns vs. Kane & Rollins and that will happen now. The segment went on for too long and some of the dialogue these writers come up with his pitiful. If it was shorter it would have been a lot more tolerable.

Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose d. Kane & Seth Rollins when Ambrose pinned Rollins with a rollup (12:53) **

The match started right after the commercial break. Ambrose & Reigns start the match by working over Kane. Rollins tagged in and works over Ambrose briefly as the announcers talk about the Nassau Coliseum as this will be the last WWE event to take place here as the building will be demolished. Reigns then comes in and hits Rollins with a Samoan Drop but gets distracted by J&J Security as he went for his apron kick and that allows Rollins to kick him down. Rollins grabs a chinlock on Reigns but breaks out then knocks Rollins down before tagging Ambrose, who runs wild. He hits a tope then Reigns and Ambrose stand tall as we go to break. When we return, we see that Rollins dropkicked Ambrose, who was in the tree-of-woe position, during the break to regain control of the match. Ambrose came back with a clothesline then tagged Reigns, who beats down Kane until he got distracted by J&J Security. Kane tried a chokeslam but that failed as Ambrose tagged in and dropped an elbow for two. Rollins tagged and hit Ambrose with a springboard knee smash for two. Rollins tried a kick then Ambrose rebounded off of the ropes, leading to a mini-reversal sequence that ended with Ambrose getting the win with a backslide. Not much of a match and there was a surprising lack of crowd reaction here too. The announcers kept on pushing the fact that someone as unhinged as Ambrose could be the champion at Elimination Chamber, which means that he will not be winning this coming Sunday.

Renee Young tries to interview Ambrose but J&J Security interrupts. They teased having the contract for Ambrose to sign but it turned out to be false so Ambrose smiled then slapped Noble, triggering a brawl. Ambrose accidentally knocked out the camera man as J&J ran away as Ambrose was freaking out.

We are shown a video package of Kevin Owens that showed him attack Sami Zayn and then John Cena, his opponent at Elimination Chamber.

The cast of “Entourage” pull up in a limo then walk backstage.

A replay of last week’s show with Rusev yelling at Lana, telling her to leave, then having Ziggler run out to hit Rusev with the Zig Zag as they walk away together.

Rusev d. R-Truth with the Accolade (1:00) 1/4*

R-Truth lands a few punches before hitting a back elbow smash. Rusev catches R-Truth with the super kick then stomps on his back before getting the win with the Accolade. A nothing match and why even bother having R-Truth in the IC Title Elimination Chamber match if he is jobbing in a minute on TV? Or better yet, have Rusev destroy one of the other geeks on the roster that barely get used.

After the match, Rusev grabs the mic and then begs Lana to come down to the ring so they can talk. Rusev begged throughout the commercial break as when we came back, Lana walked down to the ring. Rusev then tells Lana that she is doing this for attention as he talks about meeting for the first time in Bulgaria as a “USA” chant breaks out. Rusev then asks for her hand so all will be forgotten as they can conquer their dreams together and crush America. Lana accepts and grabs his hand as they parade around the ring for a bit. Rusev then wants her to say that she was wrong but Lana gets pissed off then walks away as Rusev tells her as long as she admits it was her fault everything will be back to normal. Lana then said that he was wrong as he did say “I Quit” as Rusev is now furious as he tells her that she needs to know her place and that he even owns her as he demands Lana stand by him. Lana tells Rusev he is a liar and a quitter, not to mention a coward who does not take responsibility for his action. Lana says he does not own her and will no longer listen to his “caveman” ways as she then walks away, with the crowd loudly cheering. As Rusev screams, Ziggler’s music hits, causing Lana to smile as they make out on the ramp, with Rusev losing his mind in the ring. Rusev was tremendous here. He has vastly improved over the past few months in all aspects of wrestling. I was really impressed with him here and hope he does not get lost in the shuffle after this is finished.

Ambrose is in the locker room with Rollins and HHH. He is expecting to sign the title match contract but instead the cameraman walks in with two police officers. He is asked if he wants to press charges but says no as he felt someone shove him from behind. Seth promptly tells the cameraman to shut up as the officers take Ambrose away, with Seth and HHH laughing it up. The arrest angle stuff is a tired trope in wrestling and really not much of a way to build heat in 2015.

Rollins, J&J Security, and Kane are celebrating backstage after watching Ambrose get hauled off.

Ryback d. King Barrett with the Shell-Shock (3:54) *1/2

Ryback is still selling the rib injuries he suffered from Bray Wyatt at Payback. Ryback takes control early as he slams Barrett around. Barrett ducked outside where he caught Ryback with a kick to the ribs. Back inside, Barrett continued to attack the ribs of Ryback then worked a surfboard briefly until Ryback backed Barrett into the corner. Barrett yanks Ryback off of the top then hit the Winds of Change but Ryback kicked out. Barrett set up for the Bullhammer then taunted Ryback, who immediately hit him with a spinebuster then got the win with the Shell-Shock. Match was fine for what it was and it looks like they are positioning Rusev and Ryback as the favorites for the IC Title.

Backstage, Stephanie & HHH are talking about Ambrose, who HHH feels will not get out of central booking. The cast of Entourage come in as they yuck it up with Kevin Dillon getting in a “SummerFest” dig at Jeremy Piven as Jerry Ferrara brings up his scene in the film with Ronda Rousey and how Stephanie knows about her from WrestleMania. Stephanie then tells them that their dressing room is down the hall as they quietly walk away, with the Authority staring them down. Fine for a celebrity cameo segment. The Entourage guys all seem happy to be there for the most part. Adrian Grenier was the exception.

A quick montage of “Tough Enough” audition tapes are shown.

Neville d. Stardust with the Red Arrow (3:18) *

Before the match, Stardust was getting into the face of actor Stephen Amell, who was sitting at ringside. It was also announced that Neville will face Bo Dallas at Elimination Chamber. Neville is still selling his left knee. Stardust takes control with a Dragon Screw after Neville build up some offense to start the match. Startdust hit a delayed gordbuster for two. Bo Dallas came out to the ring and shouted off words of inspiration to Neville, who fought back and hit a tornado DDT then got the win with the Red Arrow. After the match, Dallas came into the ring and told Neville he could pick himself back up as long as he Bo-lieved then he dropkicked Neville in the knee as soon as he got up and celebrated that with a victory lap around the ring. The crowd didn’t really seem to care about any of this but its a fine lower midcard feud and keeps Neville fresh until something better comes along.

Kevin Dillon and Adrien Grenier tell Ferrara that he has to watch out what he says then Kevin Connolly is shown with Zack Ryder as they go into their locker room while divas Summer Rae, Layla, Rosa, and Emma fawn all over the cast, who are all with Ryder behind closed doors devising some sort of plan.

An ad for “Money in the Bank,” which will take place on June 14th.

Sheamus d. Dolph Ziggler with the Brogue Kick (10:20) **1/2

Sheamus beats on Ziggler to start the match as the announcers talk about the situation between Ziggler and Lana. Ziggler gets outsmarted by Sheamus, who backed himself into the corner, but was able to come back with a dropkick. They spill outside where Sheamus catches Ziggler with a tilt-a-whirl slam to the floor as we go to break. When we return, Sheamus gets two with a backbreaker as the camera shows Lana standing on the ramp. Ziggler fights back and hits a jawbreaker. He then slugs away as Lana is shown smiling. He heads up top and hits a crossbody, followed by a Rocker Dropper for a nearfall. Rusev comes out and smirks at Lana as he walked by her then distracts Ziggler, who walks into a Brogue Kick as Sheamus gets the win. After the match, Rusev beats on Ziggler and puts him in the Accolade as Lana looks on as she stares straight ahead. The match was nothing new, it’s been like ten times over the past month or so, but the post-match stuff with Rusev and Lana was intriguing at least.

A replay of last week’s “U.S. Title Open Challenge” when Owens attacked John Cena.

Cena comes out for the Open Challenge. He first addresses the “Let’s go Cena, Cena Sucks” chant then says how some fight with him while some fight against him as the crowd starts up that chant. Cena then pauses so the crowd can finish their “We Want Ryder” chant as he goes back to more or less the same promo he has been cutting for years with regards to the crowd reaction. He then tells us those who chant that he sucks are the same people for Kevin Owens and his actions, like injuring his friend. Cena then tells the crowd “Fight, Owens, Fight” might replace the “Cena Sucks” portion of his chant then talks about tonight and who will answer his open challenge. The theme song to “Entourage” hits as the cast comes out. Connolly tells Cena they are here to introduce a superstar that is from Long Island as they welcome Zack Ryder, who gets a nice hometown reaction. Cena is easily the best at working the crowd on the current roster and even gave them a new chant to use for his Elimination Chamber match.

John Cena d. Zack Ryder with the AA (4:05) *1/4

The cast of “Entourage” sat at ringside. Cena took control early until Ryder got his knees up on a charge. Ryder came back with a missile dropkick but Cena eluded a Broski Boot attempt then hit a shoulder tackle. He went for the Five Knuckle Shuffle then Kevin Dillon got into the ring and teased going after Cena but eventually left as Ryder got a rollup for two. Ryder finally hit the Broski Boot as the crowd was digging the comeback. He hit the Rough Ryder for two but missed a 450 splash then fell victim to the AA. After the match, Cena raised the hand of Ryder as the cast of Entourage joined them all then left but when they did, Kevin Owens appeared and hit Cena with the pop-up powerbomb as he stood over Cena with his NXT Title, while stepping on the US Title. As far as the match, I felt happy for Ryder as this is likely the last time he will get a reaction like he had tonight as the building is closing. He looked genuinely ecstatic too. Also, he just turned 30 years old over a week ago, which is nuts as he has been here for about nine years. Unfortunately for him, he has been cemented as a job guy here and is just not that good of a wrestler. The post-match angle with Owens was great as they are really putting him over strong for this match, which is one that I am really looking forward to this Sunday.

Backstage, Stephanie tells HHH that she is impressed by him and that he is scary as Rollins tells them he knows Owens but not to get carried away as he is still the present and the future. Renee Young interrupts to ask Stephanie about Ambrose and the World Title situation as she says they will decide about the title at the end of the night.

A recap of the events that led to Ambrose getting arrested.

The Bella Twins come out to join us on commentary before the break for the Paige vs. Tamina match.

An ad for Smackdown, plugging a match between Ryback and Rusev

Tamina d. Paige with a Samoan Drop (3:35) -* 

Before the match we got a replay of Paige returning to attack Tamina and Naomi before hitting Nikki with the Rampage. We also learn that Naomi vs. Paige vs. Nikki will take place at Elimination Chamber for the Diva’s Title. Tamina booted Paige to the floor after a brief exchange. Back inside, she worked a neck vise as the Bellas are talking about last week’s events. Paige fought back and got a rollup for two. She hits a few clotheslines and a dropkick then takes her out with a senton from the apron. Tamina cuts off Paige then distracts the ref, allowing Naomi to cheap shot Paige then she gets the win with the Samoan Drop. Tamina was dreadful in this match and wrestled like someone who does not belong on NXT TV, nevermind Raw. The Bellas were grating on commentary as they rambled on throughout the match.

The New Day head out to the ring before the break.

Back from break, the New Day tell us that they are being persecuted against for being positive as they are forced to defend against five other teams inside of the Elimination Chamber. Big E riled up the crowd by dissing the New York Islanders. The crowd starts a “New Day Sucks” chant until Kane interrupts. He tells them they have a 1 in 6 chance of winning so that is fair but what is not fair is the match tonight as they will be facing the other five teams in the EC Match

New Day d Tyson Kidd & Cesaro w/ Natalya & Prime Time Players & Los Matadores & Ascension & Lucha Dragons by DQ (0:49)

The match started during the break. Xavier hit Kalisto with a clothesline then taunted the other teams, who all ran into the ring and that triggered a brawl that saw everyone attack each other until the New Day were the last team standing. However, Kidd broke that up with a springboard dropkick then Cesaro put Woods in the giant swing. They certainly made sure to have New Day and Kidd & Cesaro as the top teams in this match as the others all came off looking like spare parts.

A plug for the new Daniel Bryan DVD, including a sneak peak on the Network

Daniel Bryan will be a guest on Miz TV as part of the Elimination Chamber Kickoff Show.

Another replay, courtesy of YouTube, of Ambrose hitting the cameraman as we clearly see Rollins push him forward, putting him in danger.

The Authority come out to the ring as Stephanie tells us that the cameraman who got assaulted has triplets as she uses a lot of vague corporate terms to describe the situation as HHH tells us all Ambrose had to do was sign a contract. He is about to announce the title match plans but Roman Reigns’ ¬†music hits as he attacks Rollins but is soon outnumbered. As Reigns gets beaten down, Rollins puts the contract in his face then we hear sirens as a police wagon driven by Ambrose appears at ringside. Ambrose comes out with a pair of nightsticks as he runs into the ring and cleans house. Reigns grabs a nightstick from Rollins and beats him up with that then spears both members of J&J Security at the same time. Ambrose then stares down the Authority and Rollins, who are on the ramp, as Reigns hands him the contract that he signs then jaws with Rollins as the show goes off the air. A predictable and uninspiring ending to the show. Although I thought that Stephanie was entertaining.

Final Thoughts: Overall, this show was mediocre. It was nowhere near as good as the past few weeks. I understand that being on Memorial Day this show will not draw as high of a rating than normal so they are not going to pull out the big guns but the show-long Ambrose storyline was a really lame idea. It was nice to see him standing tall at the end but how they got there was not too exciting. I also thought they took a step back in building the tag team division as they made everyone but the New Day and Kidd & Cesaro look like scrubs here. And the Diva’s Division is a trainwreck at the moment. The main storyline is a jumbled mess. There were some positives here as Rusev/Lana did good work and the Cena/Owens build has been fantastic. The Entourage stuff was harmless and inoffensive. Elimination Chamber should have a few decent matches on paper and I want to see how they can pull off the Tag Team Match and I think they did an okay job at building up that show tonight. I suspect that next Monday they start more angle advancement and planning than they did here.