Are the part timers really that big of a deal? No Lesnar, Triple H, Sting or Rock and the show was f**king dead. A sh*t crowd didn't help but they could hardly of been motivated by what they saw. I hope the Texas crowd for WrestleMania 32 are a bit better than the one we had last night though. The whole show was flat.
We kick off with the Authority, minus Triple H and Steph, opening the show. Seth Rollins is gold at this point. He's playing the cocky heel to perfection and I can't say enough how much I love Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. They just crack me up. Kane and Big Show though just sucked the life out of the segment. Even with Rollins mocking Kane, there was no life in the big man. It's looking likely though we'll get another face turn from Kane. And at this point of his career Big Show should not be anywhere near the top of the card. Just imagine if the Authority took on Luke Harper and Erick Rowan as their big bullies. It'd be fresh and possibly even more exciting.
Anyways, Orton interrupts the victory party and says he beat Rollins at WrestleMania (he did, I saw it) and wants his shot at the WWE Title. Kane says Orton will get his chance to become the number one contender in a triple threat main event against Ryback and of course Roman Reigns. But all three men would also be in singles matches before the night was out. Reigns would tackle Big Show for the millionth time...yippee. Ryback would take on Luke Harper which could be a good match. And Kane, himself, would handle Randy Orton. Didn't see that one coming.
Of course Orton, Ryback and Reigns are all gonna win but hopefully the matches will be good right? Nah.
Kane and Orton was dead, crowd didn't care and it didn't look as if either of those two did. Byron Saxton tried to care but Booker T and JBL just constantly talked over him and as if he wasn't there. They did that all night to. Orton eventually got the win via DQ when Kane hit him with a chair. That was a major injury to Orton apparently, or at leas that's how the commentary team played up to it. I reckon Orton has been hurt more when he's cut his hair but there you go.
Back from the break and Brad Maddox is sharing the screen with Kane. Brad f**king Maddox. When was the last time he was seen? Really didn't get the point of his involvement. He fucks off after about 5 seconds and Seth Rollins comes in to berate Kane. Kane responds by booking Rollins in a match next against an unknown opponent.
The opponent we find out is the extremely talented and extremely sh*t named Neville. JBL agrees on the daft name because throughout he was calling him Adrian Neville. Bit of a confidence boost for the Geordie like to be performing against the WWE champ on just your second appearance. I felt they could of let him have a bit more offence than they did but it was a good match. Those two will have monumental feuds in the future.
Rollins won with a curb stomp and then just to prove he's a heel, he hit another after the match. This though was as good as the show got and even this was nowhere near as good as it could of been.
We head to another break. Those yanks loves the adverts don't they? We return with them plugging the Rock's new film and applauding him for going to number 1 box office. Well done Rocky! What the f**k that has to do with the current WWE programming though I'm not sure. But hey ho, they never fail to try and get some mainstream attention do they?
Back in the ring and we've got Rocky's old foe, John Cena banging on about the US Title. However he seemed to go too far on how proud he was of America rather than the US championship. The USA/Russia feud clearly isn't over. He has another open challenge for the title before his bout with Rusev at Extreme Rules.
The fact he and Rusev is already announced kinda takes away any excitement in these open challenges because Cena has already won. Anyway this time the challenge was answered by Cody "Stardust" Rhodes. And again the fans were dead. There was no chanting for Cody and even the Cena chants sounded like they were doing it out of habit.
The match was decent enough but given we all knew Cena was gonna win, it never really excited. Cena's springboard stunner is sh*t to. Stardust looked better here than he did last week when he was comfortably beaten by Mizdow. But it's another loss as well as no further development on his storyline with Goldust or Dusty Rhodes. That just got dropped.
Cena wins and is building momentum for his showdown with Rusev. The US Title is being defended and showcased to. Decent but not great.
Back from another break and we've got the Bellas against Paige and Naomi. We were told the result before the bell rang when the announcers informed us of the roll Naomi has been on. Well there's your answer, Naomi will pick up the victory for her team. I think I know what is with Booker T I can't stand to. If you're black, he thinks you're boss. Naomi is the next Divas champ in his opinion, this was before the match had started and long before Naomi even has a Divas Title match.
Anyway, it went as expected, Naomi won the match for her and Paige. The match itself was still sh*t. They may be giving the Divas more time in the ring but it just means you don't have to rush in the bog when you f**k off for a break during their matches. The fact that the most gifted out of the lot, Paige, is the one who is the afterthought in this match shows how bad it was.
After the match we get some entertainment from the Prime Time Players. This would of been better if people still cared about them and if it was in front of the live crowd rather than a recording. But they mocked the Ascension in a rather childish way. It could of been good but it felt pretty sh*t truth be told. Oh and time for another break.
Up next is Ryback against Harper. The match that could potentially be good. It wasn't. It was forced and set up for a Ryback victory without giving Harper any sort of plus from the match. Before it they bigged up his vicious streak against Dean Ambrose, so they'll probably have a match at Extreme Rules, but this one here with Ryback was f**king useless. Even Ryback didn't come out of it looking strong. This is a fast forward part of the show if you've taped it.
New Day then have a segment backstage with Renee Young (who as always looked fit). She asked them about the negative crowd responses, so the fact WWE is mentioning it shows they're setting New Day up for a heel turn. Why they weren't heel from the start is anybody's guess. But for the time being they're still clapping because if they don't clap, they snap. Intimidating stuff that.
We then have yet another f**king break!
After it, New Day (Woods and Big E) take on the Lucha Dragons. The New Day Sucks chants are barely heard and even the Lucha chants are muted. I think though the production team were turning the volume up in the crowd to try and make it sound deafening but when you look round not enough people are chanting to make it sound that loud, that's how I know the crowd was dead.
Kalisto remains impressive and enjoyable. There was a kick from the illegal Kingston which caused a stare from Xavier Woods then a grin, there was no mention of this though despite this being the first drops of the heel turn. Why would the commentary team talk about what we need to know? Booker continued to love New Day of course. Sin Cara picks up the victory with a swanton bomb.
Lucha Dragons against Kidd and Cesaro (who were watching from backstage with Natalya) should be an entertaining match.
Advert number 4,823 came up next. And that was followed by an equally boring match between Reigns and Big Show. They played up Big Show being the best giant ever and him winning the Andre battle royal as a means to make Reigns look stronger. The truth is though fans don't care enough about Big Show any more to make those accomplishments mean anything and the fans don't like Reigns enough any more to actually wanna see him get "big" wins like this one. If anything, people would rather see the likes of Harper and Rowan beat Reigns to show their toughness.
Reigns won of course. I can't even remember how, it was that boring.
Kane is then hassled by the Divas for a battle royal to determine who the number one contender for Nikki's title is. Kane agrees it to next week. So I guess this is where Naomi finally earns her shot. Either that or they go the route of a "surprise" victory for Brie. We then get another ear piercing feud between the Bella Twins. Oh how I've missed that!
Reigns says something to Renee Young and then Sheamus makes his way to the ring to talk about his actions upon his return. Again, about five people chant "you look stupid" and the volume is amped up. Basically Sheamus says he's a bully. Fair enough, that's a good role for him to play. Mark Henry makes his way to the ring - of course he does, we're in Texas. That's about the only time you see him these days. Sheamus beats him relatively comfortably, even by running into the ropes twice to set up a particular spot that doesn't happen because both times he stops as soon as he hits the ropes.
I was hoping we'd see Erick Rowan here. Wasn't his breakout from the Wyatt Family all about hating bullies? And on top of that, two giant gingers colliding. It's money isn't it?
More talk about Rock and Rousey.
Bray Wyatt cuts one of his recorded promos. Why they can't have him do it in the ring, I don't know. Also why he can't get a big win every now and then to make his words sound like they're impressive is beyond me. He's lost a lot of his spark already. Reunite the Wyatt Family and make them a real force. His promo resolved a lot around dedication which makes me think they're putting him back with Cena, I don't know anybody else who relies on "dedication" in their character.
Then we have the match a lot of us wanted to see, Miz v Mizdow. This should of been a big deal. It wasn't. It was your typical RAW match. Why waste such a big moment in such a sh*t way? The fact Miz cheated to win suggests the feud will go on, probably into Extreme Rules and maybe beyond but they could of scrapped this match entirely. It added nothing to the feud, the action was sh*t, the fans didn't care (though as I've said they didn't all night) and if you didn't know why these two were feuding, you'd be at a loss to know this was part of the on-going feud. You'd think it was just thrown together for both wrestlers to have something to do on the night.
Orton and Ryback are in the ring, no entrance for them. Reigns makes his way through the crowd. Nice to see WWE showing us who the star is here right? A 12 time world champ or a fella who's done f**k all? You work it out.
Of course the Authority, with Kane, get involved. Reigns jumps over the top rope onto them all in an attempt to get the fans behind him. Big move on the heels, gotta work hasn't it? Nah, still nobody cared. Big Show then hit two knock out punches on Reigns to take him out of the match and yet again furthering their feud. My god that's a boring thought. Only this time if it goes on to Extreme Rules we might get another steel steps match right? Whoopty f**king do!
Orton is then attack by J&J. Ryback throws them off but turns right into an RKO. Orton wins. Shockingly surprising I know. F**k, we all knew this outcome as soon as the match was announced and we all knew it would be Ryback who took the fall.
Rollins hit a curb stomp as soon as the match finished to end the show standing tall.
All in all a very missable and miserable RAW. It doesn't help when you don't have Bryan, Ambrose, Ziggler, Wyatt, Rusev or Paul Heyman live in the arena. Six of the most over people they've got and none of them are there.
They're gonna have something big planned over the next few weeks to make anybody care about Extreme Rules.