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The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 04/20/15

Live from Albany, New York this is the Raw Deal for episode #1142. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner and shoutout to him for the birth of his second son born last week: Austen Wyatt Melo. I think he’s already been called the Stone Cold Face of Fear among other nicknames! Congrats buddy.

There was a video package to summarize the Randy Orton/Seth Rollins feud from last week where they picked stipulations for Extreme Rules.

The Steel Cage is hanging above the ring since the Extreme Rules main event is a Steel Cage match for the WWE Title with Orton’s RKO banned. The announce team of Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Booker T welcomed us to the show.

When Orton got inside the ring, the cage was on the ring as it will be on Sunday. Orton called Rollins a dumb bastard for banning the RKO and that’s a mistake because Orton says his greatest strength is unleashing pain on people that deserve it. Orton said he’s going to break Rollins’ jaw so the people don’t have to hear him anymore. He also talked about kicking Rollins in a rib and potentially breaking a rib. He also told Rollins that he would ram him into the steel cage repeatedly. He claimed that once the beating is over, Rollins’ reign as champion will also be over.

The WWE Champion Seth Rollins appeared on the ramp with J&J Security at his side. Rollins told Orton he had an anger problem and Orton said that he’s got a Seth Rollins problem, so he’s going to make sure that problem goes away. Rollins called the fans losers for eating up Orton’s promo. Rollins said he plays the game of human chess as well as anybody and in the ring he can out-maneuver everybody while outside the ring he can out-think everybody. Rollins confidently said that he’s the best at it and that’s why he’s standing there with the title to prove it. Rollins said that as good as Orton is, he (Rollins) is that much better. He told Orton that he will not be walking out as WWE Champion at Extreme Rules and that’s a promise.

Orton talked about how after this segment is over he’s going to RKO every son of a bitch. He told Rollins that he’s going to RKO Rollins before the night is over and that’s a promise.

Analysis: Solid promo work from both guys. Orton sounded motivated and confident. Sometimes in his promos he’s not sharp, but he was on his game this time. The crowd loved everything he said including the promise of more RKOs later. Rollins did a good job of getting heat for his comments. He’s right when he says he’s the best in the business too. It didn’t really set up anything for later except for some random Orton appearances. It was fine for an opening promo segment.

Triple H is back on Raw with a Tough Enough announcement. The announcers talked about how they’re excited about it.

Dean Ambrose entered for a match against Luke Harper. That’s after the break.

(Commercial)

There was a replay of Harper’s past with Ambrose including the Powerbomb onto a ladder at WrestleMania and then a Powerbomb on the announce table at Smackdown three weeks ago.

Harper walked out with a microphone. He wondered why Ambrose wasn’t afraid of him, but after tonight he will be.

Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper

In the battle of the jeans, Ambrose hit a clothesline and then a bulldog. Harper came back with a superkick to knock him down. Ambrose shoved him out of the ring and then Ambrose hit a dive between the top/middle ropes. Ambrose cleared off the announce table, but Harper ended up tossing him over the barricade at ringside. They brawled into the crowd. They went back to ringside. Ambrose hit a clothesline. The ref apparently rang the bell at one point, so it’s a double countout. It went about three minutes.

Match Result: Double Countout

They fought up by the stage. Harper sent Ambrose into the LED boards. Harper wanted to Powerbomb Ambrose off the stage, but Dean fought it off. Harper ended up shoving Ambrose off the ramp although it was just done to get Ambrose off him. Harper managed to escape backstage.

Analysis: * That ending was pretty weak. I like both guys, but it was too rushed to just break out it into a brawl. A few more minutes of action before it would have helped. It was more of an angle to set up a future match between them. I assume the match is at Extreme Rules and we’ll find that out later.

Backstage, Rollins was with J&J. The Prime Time Players scared Rollins. There was a dude with a headset backstage that was laughing about something. Rollins asked what was funny to intimidate the guy who walked away. Triple H was there and he looked like he shaved his head. Rollins asked about Kane. Hunter told him that when Kane gets there they will talk. Rollins asked about Randy, then quietly told Hunter he could use more security. Hunter just told him “Seth, it’s one guy.” Then he left.

Analysis: I guess that means we’ll get more nervous Rollins backstage segments all night long.

The Lucha Dragons entered for a match.

(Commercial)

This is a match to determine the number one contenders for the tag team titles. Fans were chanting “New Day…sucks” for the newly turned heel group.

Lucha Dragons vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) w/Xavier Woods

Big E started with Kalisto, which led to Kalisto hitting a quick kick to the face as well as a headscissors to take him down. Tag to Sin Cara, who hit a cross body block. The tag champs Kidd & Cesaro were backstage with Natalya watching the match. Nice exchange by Sin Cara with Kingston ending with an arm drag by Cara. Bridging suplex by Cara for two. Kingston sent Cara outside the ring and hit a dropkick to knock him down after Woods distracted. New Day did some quick tags to work over Sin Cara including a corner dropkick for Kingston. There were “New Day sucks” chants. Huge clothesline by Big E on Sin Cara as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

The heels worked over Sin Cara in their corner. I’m still getting used to heel Kingston. Sin Cara broke free and tagged in Kalisto, who hit a cross body block of the top. Corkscrew plancha by Kalisto and then a headscissors into a DDT for two, but Big E made the save. Kalisto kicked Big E to send him out of the ring. Back body drop sent Kingston out. Tag to Sin Cara as both Cara and Kalisto hit moonsaults to take out Kingston and Big E. Woods crawled under the ring, then grabbed the leg of Sin Cara to prevent him going into the ring. That meant The New Day won via countout after 8 minutes.

Winners by countout: The New Day

Analysis: **1/2 Good match for the time given. Once Kalisto got the hot tag he was on fire and as exciting as anybody in WWE. Love that guy. I figured Lucha Dragons were going to win, so it was definitely a bit of a surprise to see The New Day get the win. I didn’t mind the finish, though. Some people may complain about the countout, but it was a cool way to put over a new heel team that needs wins like that. I assume Kidd & Cesaro will be cheered at Extreme Rules, so the match on Sunday should be fine with the champs retaining.

After the match, Randy Orton showed up to break up the celebrating with a RKO for Woods and then he hit a RKO on Kingston too. The crowd loved it as Big E backed away from the ring to avoid it.

Analysis: It was nice of him to wait until after the match is over. What a nice guy. Good spots. Crowd loved it.

The announcers plugged WWE Network as they said it’s the one night of the year where WWE goes extreme. The TLC PPV is pretty much the same with stipulations, but they don’t like to remind you of that.

There’s a John Cena US Title open challenge coming up later. Up next is talking about Big Show vs. Roman Reigns.

(Commercial)

There was a summary of Big Show’s issues with Roman Reigns including full highlights of his attack on Reigns last week, which is leading to a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules. This feud bores me.

The newly turned babyface Fandango entered on his own along with his original theme song. Curtis Axel was even mocking the dancing in the ring.

Fandango vs. Curtis Axel

Dropkick by Axel, who is wearing his #AxelMania shirt and then he ripped it off to a decent pop. Fandango came back with a dropkick. Cole mocked Booker for saying Fandango wrong. Fandango hit a suplex into a slam. To the top, Fandango hit a flying leg drop for the win after two minutes.

Winner: Fandango

Post match, Fandango was leading the crowd in dance. A lot of them were doing it, but not as much as in England last week.

Analysis: * It was just a short match to put over Fandango as a babyface. Nothing wrong with it. It’s just hard to get somebody over with a crowd in a two minute match when there’s not much of a comeback.

Miz vs. Mizdow later and Triple H up for a promo to start hour two.

(Commercial)

Triple H entered for a promo at the top of hour two. He spoke about how a year ago The Authority was at a bit of a crossroads, but now they have found the man that can lead WWE for the next decade and it’s clear that Seth Rollins is that guy. Now it’s time to find the next Rollins.

He spoke about how on June 23 live on the USA Network it’s the return of Tough Enough. Hunter asked if we have dreamed to be a WWE superstar. He did a long winded promo about fans dreaming about wanting to be a WWE superstar and said that actually being a superstar is better than a dream. Hunter said all you have to do is show the world that you are Tough Enough. He said you can go to WWEToughEnough.com starting right now and you can be one of the ten men or five women that will compete in the reality series to determine one man and one woman that can be WWE superstars. He said it will be determined by WWE decision makers as well as the WWE Universe.

Analysis: Good job plugging Tough Enough. All the info is already on WWE.com and social media, so it’s not like this was some new announcement. I have liked Tough Enough in the past and look forward to the new version of it.

Kane’s music hit and he walked down to the ring in a suit. Hunter made a joke to Kane that he’s too seasoned to be in Tough Enough. Kane said that he tried to contact Hunter all week and Hunter said that he didn’t reply because he just wanted Kane to calm down. Kane told him that he couldn’t deal with Rollins anymore, so he was giving him his two week notice. Hunter told him to think this over.

Rollins walked out with J&J Security while Rollins told Hunter that if he wants to quit then he should let him quit. Rollins got in his face while Kane reminded him that Rollins didn’t say that last week when Kane had his hand on his throat. Rollins summarized what happened last week. Kane said that Rollins was champion because they picked him and that if they wanted to they could have picked Ambrose or even El Torito! That was funny. The crowd was chanting “yes” for Kane’s speech and Hunter calmed everybody down.

Hunter talked about how there has nobody more loyal to The Authority than Kane. Hunter added that Kane will be the guardian of the gate for the match at Extreme Rules. If anybody wants to go in or out of that cage they have to go through Kane. That led to Kane shaking Hunter’s hand. Rollins was upset. Hunter told Rollins that it means that Rollins has to get on the same page as Kane really fast. Kane extended his hand. Rollins shook it and walked away angrily.

Analysis: I’m not sure why there needs to be a “guardian of the gate” because if you escape the cage you win the match, but I guess the idea is that we don’t know if Kane will help Rollins win or if he will cost him the WWE Title. I guess they just added it because it adds some intrigue as to what might happen in the match. Rollins will probably retain with Kane doing something to help him in the end. I liked Kane’s promo about how they could have made El Torito the champion too. That was a good line.

Later on Raw we’ll hear from Roman Reigns and John Cena is in a match.

There was a summary of Paige’s battle royal win from last week and then she was attacked by Naomi. They said Paige is out of action “until further notice.” Naomi was shown walking to the ring for a match.

Analysis: Paige is actually getting ready to film a WWE Films Christmas movie with The Miz, so that’s why she has been written out for about a month.

(Commercial)

Writing Plug Time: We’ve got reviews of Smackdown, plus TNA Impact and plenty of news stories on TJRWrestling.net and my NXT review is there as well…My WhatCulture archive always has new content with the weekly Q&A, there’s a piece about some of Kane’s craziest attacks in his career, some of the biggest heel vs. heel matches and plenty more.

Triple H was backstage with Kane and Rollins. Hunter told Kane he’s known him for like 20 years, he added that Kane is corporate now and that Kane is no longer hellfire and brimstone. Kane told Hunter he still is. Then he left. Hunter did a pep talk speech to Rollins telling him that he’s going to face Dolph Ziggler. That was the match Rollins was supposed to have last week. Rollins said he’s going to destroy Ziggler and then the entire world is going to know what he’s all about. Rollins: “I’m no longer the future, I am the man!”

Analysis: Rollins vs. Ziggler? Yes. That’s always great. I liked Rollins’ confidence at the end of that.

Naomi entered and did a pre-taped promo about how she’s not a good girl anymore. Maybe she should get rid of the Funkadactyl music now that she’s a heel.

Brie Bella vs. Naomi

Nikki is on commentary. Naomi was aggressive early on with a kick and then a forearm shot. Brie hit a flying clothesline. Naomi hit a forearm shot, Brie came back with back elbows and Nikki sounded like a babyface on commentary talking about how she’ll face anybody. Knee to the ribs by Naomi sent Brie outside the ring as the match went to break.

(Commercial)

Naomi tossed Brie down by the hair. Booker was rambling about how he thinks Naomi can be the greatest diva of all time. Naomi attacked with some punches and the ref had to break it up. Chinlock by Naomi. They did a double clothesline spot. Brie did a comeback with a dropkick, then a running knee against the corner and a dropkick off the middle ropes. Naomi gave Brie a bulldog that sent her head first into a turnbuckle. Naomi missed a cross body block and Brie covered for two. Naomi hit a forearm shot and then hit the Rear View for the win after 9 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Naomi

Post match, Nikki held up the Divas Title at ringside and Naomi pointed at her.

Analysis: *1/2 It was nice to see them get more than the usual three minutes for a divas match although it really didn’t get to a point where I would call it an exciting match. They needed better nearfalls to get the crowd into it. There was no angle for the Bellas face turn. They are just faces now. You could tell from the commentary by Nikki and the way that Brie was working. I like them more as heels, but they need face divas at the moment. It’s not clear if Naomi will get a title shot although that seems to be where they are headed.

There was a shot of the catering area. Heath Slater was shown talking to Erick Rowan. Slater said he was going to challenge for the US Title. Slater asked Rowan what he was eating, then Rowan left. Randy Orton showed up and hit a RKO on Slater through the table. Orton ate something off the plate and said “that’s three” meaning three RKOs. The crowd cheered.

Analysis: Thanks for the reminder that Heath Slater is still around.

Up next is Roman Reigns.

(Commercial)

Roman Reigns entered as they did ANOTHER recap with highlights of Show attacking Reigns on Raw last week. Yes we know. You already showed it. Move on.

Reigns did a promo to say he doesn’t feel like talking. He said he feels like fighting and told Show to bring his ass out here right now.

Bo Dallas showed up with a goatee and his Bolieve shirt. We haven’t seen him in several months. There was barely a reaction to him even though I like the guy. He came out to tell Roman that he was kind of a bust. He called Roman the “Tim Tebow of WWE” because he gets chance after chance and he fails every single time. Dallas got into the ring to tell Roman that one day he can be WWE champion one day…all you have to do is Bolieve. Reigns nailed Dallas with a Superman Punch and then he hit a Spear.

Reigns said that on Sunday he’s going to bring the fight to Big Show and he will be the Last Man Standing. Reigns said you can “believe…” then he paused and said “you can Bolieve that.” Well, that was clever.

Analysis: It was all about making Reigns look strong after he got beat up last week. Good to see Dallas back. He was cleared for action months ago and has been working live events for a while, but this was his TV return. It looks like he’s still in the comedy heel jobber kind of role. I like him. I hope they find a storyline for him soon.

Dolph Ziggler was shown getting ready for the match against Rollins later.

(Commercial)

Sheamus entered for a match. He’s in a Kiss Me Arse match against Dolph Ziggler at Extreme Rules. I think that’s a terrible stipulation, but good luck to them. Zack Ryder is his opponent.

Sheamus vs. Zack Ryder

Sheamus told the ref to ring the bell and looked like he had more to say, but he hit Ryder with a Brogue Kick. He picked up Ryder to say he deserved more than a five second match. Sheamus did a promo complaining about WWE has all these losers like Ryder as he hit him with knee lifts to knock Ryder down. Sheamus told Ryder he doesn’t belong in his ring and then Sheamus tossed Ryder over the top to the floor. Sheamus complained about how he’s a real superstar while others looked stupid like Ryder. Another Brogue Kick by Sheamus outside the ring. Back in the ring, Sheamus asked: “Are you not entertained?” He set up Ryder in the corner, called for a Brogue and here comes Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler was able to hit a Zig Zag on him. Sheamus left up the ramp while Ziggler checked on Ryder. It was announced as a disqualification win for Sheamus and it went about five minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Sheamus

Analysis: It’s weird DQ finish, but it’s the right call since Sheamus did get attacked, so he’s the winner that way. I wasn’t a huge fan of the running commentary during the match. I guess it’s WWE’s way of putting over Sheamus as a bully that also talks trash. It makes him easy to hate. Ryder looked like a loser, but that’s not a surprise since he is barely on TV anymore.

Cena is up next as we wrap up hour two.

(Commercial)

Talk is Jericho returns with Stephanie McMahon on April 30 on WWE Network. It’s a Thursday night, so it’s at 10pmET after Smackdown. The WWE Network has a free preview until April 30, so I assume that’s why they are doing it that day.

Cena talked about this Sunday at Extreme Rules on WWE Network it’s not about the rules, it’s about the revenge. Cena talked about how he handed Rusev his first loss at WrestleMania and he knows that Rusev cringes (just like the fans) every single time Cena says “The Champ is Here.” He spoke about how Rusev doesn’t want a normal win – it’s why he chose a Russian Chain match. He summarized the rules by saying the winner had to touch the four corners consecutively, so it’s like a strap match. Cena said that as long as he’s breathing and has life he’s going to fight to win. Cena said that Rusev has a plan to win, but the problem is that for ten years he’s proven that he always gets back up. He went on to say that WrestleMania was no fluke – it was a statement. He ended it by saying that this Sunday he’s going to shove that chain up Rusev’s ass.

Cena talked about his US Title open challenge and how he was focused on the match of his life and he’s not there to lose. Does anybody believe the “match of my life” stuff? No. His challenger is Kane.

US Title Match: John Cena vs. Kane

Kane was aggressive early on with a vintage sidewalk slam. Hard whip into the corner by Kane and Cena rolled out to the floor. Kane whipped Cena into the barricade at ringside. Rollins was shown watching backstage along with J&J Security. Suplex by Kane. Kane hit kept Cena as the dueling chants for Cena started up. Cena tried a comeback, but Kane decked him with an uppercut punch. Kane missed a corner splash, so Cena hit the spinning slam on him. Kane choked Cena during his hand taunt and Kane hit a Chokeslam for a two count. That was a very good nearfall. Cena slipped out of a Tombstone, hit the Attitude Adjustment and that was enough for the win after seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: John Cena

Analysis: *3/4 It was a short match, which is fine with me because we’ve seen this match so many times over the years. I was a little surprised that it ended so suddenly because Cena was barely on offense. I figured it would go another minute or so with Cena getting some more offense in, but apparently not.

Rollins vs. Ziggler later.

(Commercial)

Kane was backstage and Triple H was there. Kane just left angrily without saying anything.

The Miz was interviewed by Renee Young. She said “The entire Miz brand is on the line” for his match against Damien Mizdow later. Miz did a promo about how great he is while also plugging The Marine 4 DVD. Renee Young said she was being told that Byron Saxton was standing by with John Cena. Miz was upset about it.

Analysis: That’s pretty rare to do that, but it’s a way to make Miz angry and I guess that’s what they’re going for. Miz thinks he’s a really big star even though he really is not. What a backwards way to promote a movie.

The camera cut to another part of backstage with Saxton interviewing Cena. It was short with Cena ready to say “the champ is here” when Rusev showed up with a chain. Rusev hit Cena with a chain from behind. Then Rusev applied the Accolade and put the chain across Cena’s face in a painful looking hold.

Analysis: For a guy with all that experience, Cena is terrible at anticipating the most obvious attacks by his rivals. Cena’s winning on Sunday. Biggest lock at Extreme Rules.

(Commercial)

It’s time for “The Winner Wins The Rights To The Miz Brand” match. Damien Mizdow has Summer Rae with him and she looks as good as ever in those jean shorts. Their promo from Smackdown aired to set up this match.

When The Miz entered, they showed clips of The Miz as a Tough Enough alumnus in 2004.

The Miz vs. Damien Mizdow

The Miz was aggressive in the early going with some work in the corner and then a boot to the face. Mizdow caught Miz and hit a backbreaker/neckbreaker combo. He hit a corner clothesline, neckbreaker and a Miz-like DDT for a two count. Miz slipped out of a Skull Crushing Finale, then got a rollup with tights for two. During another exchange, Mizdow’s head was up against the ropes. Summer gouged Damien in the eyes, then Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale for the win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: The Miz

Analysis: * Hopefully that’s the end of the Mizdow name and he can go back to the Sandow gimmick. Summer turning heel was a bit of a surprise, but she’s been a heel for most of her career. She’s starring with Miz in The Marine 4, so it makes sense.

Post match, Summer went in the ring and celebrated with The Miz. They were smiling. Miz said: “I’m The Miz and I’m…” nope, he couldn’t finish. Randy Orton showed up with a RKO for Miz, so that’s the fourth of the night.

Analysis: Good spot for Orton to show up out of nowhere on a heel that people don’t like. Easy way to pop the crowd.

The announcers summarized Extreme Rules matches:

– WWE Title: Rollins vs. Orton (No RKO for Orton and in a Steel Cage)

– US Title: Cena vs. Rusev (Russian Chain Match)

– IC Title: Bryan vs. Barrett with them saying if that match takes place because of Bryan’s health

– Last Man Standing: Show vs. Reigns

– Kiss Me Arse: Ziggler vs. Sheamus

– Chicago Street Fight: Ambrose vs. Harper

– Tag Team Titles: Kidd/Cesaro vs. The New Day on the Kickoff Show.

No Divas match announced yet, but Nikki vs. Naomi is likely.

Rollins vs. Ziggler still to come.

(Commercial)

The WWE Network won some Cynopsis Sports Media Award so they bragged about it and also their social media excellence as well.

Bray Wyatt did a promo backstage. It was another vague promo about somebody he was talking about and we have no clue who it is. I think it’s going to be Randy Orton or Daniel Bryan, but I really have no idea. It was less than a minute long.

Ryback vs. Adam Rose

They showed Ryback on Tough Enough in 2004. Rose had his Exotic Express with him at ringside. There was a bit of Ryback offense, but not a lot. Ryback hit a slam, then the Meat Hook Clothesline and then Ryback hit Shellshock for the win. It went two minutes.

Winner: Ryback

Post match, the guys dressed like a hot dog and banana tried to attack Ryback. He hit each of them with clotheslines. Then he picked both guys up and hit Shellshock on both of them. Ryback: “What did the banana say to the hot dog? Nothing, because their asses just got Shellshocked.” Rosa Mendes went into the ring to check on Adam Rose because I guess she likes losers.

Analysis: No rating for a basic squash. It was just done to put over Ryback because they had time in this very long show.

Kane was walking backstage when Renee Young tried to interview him. She read a Tweet from J&J Security mocking Kane saying he needed denture cream and Depends. Kane went into the dressing room with Rollins, Hunter and J&J to complain about that tweet. Rollins wondered how he heard about that. Everybody looked at Noble. Kane was mad at them. Rollins said that he was sorry and he knows that Kane helped him, but it embarrasses Seth when Kane says it over and over again. Rollins walked off saying Kane was the bigger man literally and figuratively. Rollins walked off with J&J Security while Orton showed up on the screen with the show going to break there.

Analysis: Now it looks like all is well with The Authority, but is it really? You never really know.

(Commercial)

Seth Rollins (w/Mercury & Noble) vs. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler was on fire early on with a clothesline and he got a dropkick for a two count. Suplex by Ziggler. Rollins sent Ziggler into the top turnbuckle with a slingshot, which Ziggler sold by going over the top to the floor. Time for a break two minutes into it.

(Commercial)

Rollins was in control and hit a back suplex. Rollins broke free, then hit a back elbow and Rollins missed a corner splash as both guys were down. Ziggler comeback with a clothesline and corner splash, but Rollins stopped him with a knee to the gut. Ziggler hit a jumping DDT for a two count. Rollins came back with a rollup for two and then he connected with an enziguiri kick to the head for two. Ziggler slid out of the corner Powerbomb with a rollup for two. Ziggler came back with a perfect superkick for two. Sheamus showed up to distract Ziggler. Rollins capitalized on the distraction with the Powerbomb into the corner and then he hit a modified DDT for the win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins

Analysis: *** Any time Rollins wrestles Ziggler I like it because they’re two of the best performers in WWE. It was a very good match for the time given, but I didn’t like the finish. It was too simple of an ending. There really was nothing that creative about it. I liked that there were a lot of good nearfalls towards the end although then it ended too quickly after. Regarding the finish from Rollins, there was a story earlier on Monday that said that WWE was banning the Curb Stomp because it wasn’t considered safe and apparently it’s true because Rollins went with a different finisher.

Post match, Rollins grabbed the microphone to talk about how great he was. Triple H’s music started up. Hunter introduced Rollins as the man that will beat Randy Orton this Sunday at Extreme Rules. He said that this Sunday he’s going to prove that it’s his WWE when he pins Orton’s shoulders to the mat for the three count. Rollins said he’s going to render Kane useless as the guardian of the gate.

Here comes Kane. He was stopped by Triple H and J&J Security outside the ring. The cage lowered around the ring. With The Authority a few feet outside the cage, Orton was able to sneak in because heels are idiots. Rollins tried to climb out of the cage. He was on the top rope, then Orton yanked him off the ropes and hit the RKO on Rollins to end the night. He promised a RKO on Rollins and he hit it. Kane was actually laughing about it.

The replay of that RKO off the top was very impressive. Orton celebrated his successful night. They plugged WWE Network to end the show.

Analysis: When The Authority guys argued up the aisle you could see the finish coming a mile away with the cage coming down and Orton sneaking in. It worked because the crowd was into it. Rollins will retain at the PPV, so it makes sense for Orton to get the advantage. It’s the classic “look strong on TV, lose on PPV” booking that WWE usually does. The ending sent the fans home happy and Orton looked like the smartest guy in the building all night long.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Seth Rollins

2. Dolph Ziggler

3. Randy Orton

 

The Scoreboard

5 out of 10

Last week: 6

Last 5 Weeks: 6, 4.5, 7.5, 6, 6

2015 Average: 5.5

2015 High: 7.5 (March 30)

2015 Low: 4 (Feb 9)

 

Final Thoughts

I’m giving it a 5 out of 10. That’s right around my average for the year.

It was one of those shows where I can say that I appreciated all the work in the ring and the storyline development. However, there was nothing that compelling or exciting at any point.

The only above average match was the main event. It could have been a lot better with more time as well as a more creative finish. I liked the Lucha Dragons/New Day match too. The rest was mostly forgettable.

In terms of promos, it sure felt like there were a lot of them. Some of the matches felt rushed so they could get to more promos or show more replays of Big Show’s attack on Roman Reigns.

I hope Daniel Bryan isn’t hurt too badly. Hopefully he’ll be ready for Sunday.

There’s a lot of talent in WWE. It’s just that the booking seems flat right now. It’s been this way for a long time.

—–

That’s all for this week. The Extreme Rules PPV preview will be up likely on Friday or Saturday. On Friday I’m taking a trip to Chicago, so taking a bit of writing break although will still write close to my usual. I will be at Extreme Rules, so may not get a preview done until Monday or Tuesday. I’m probably going to be at Raw too, so that will be posted a few days later as well.

Check out my feature column archive that’s exclusive to WhatCulture.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton –mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter@johnreport

Personal FacebookandTJRWrestling on Facebook

 

 

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