Tonight’s Raw was live in the Times Union Center in Albany, New York. In the aftermath of Extreme Rules the COO Triple H started tonight’s Raw off with Dean Ambrose defending his United States title in a 20-man battle royal. With the odds strongly against Ambrose to retain his title in the end that’s exactly what happened. After eliminating multiple people during the match, and even taking out Ryback and Curtis Axel at the end; Ambrose was knocked out by a brogue kick from Sheamus. Sheamus ultimately throws Ambrose over the top rope and is the new WWE United States champion. Both Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins were at ringside during the entire battle royal, but both played no part in the match. Following the match all three members of The Shield are in the ring as HHH comes out to inform them that their night is not done as they will compete in a six-man tag against the Wyatt Family. Ambrose gets the privilege to work double duty tonight with him being in the main event after losing his United States title. With Ambrose losing the belt it helps the WWE focus on letting the current champion Sheamus defend the belt on a regular basis unlike when Ambrose had the title. While plenty of WWE fans wanted to see someone else win the battle royal; Sheamus is still a big name, and this could be the start of what ends up being a heel turn for the Celtic Warrior.
Following an Adam Rose vignette showing us that he make his debut tonight; We head backstage to Daniel Bryan, and Brie Bella in a room when Stephanie McMahon comes in. Stephanie informs Bryan that his match with Kane last night only angered the monster even more. Stephanie also tells them that she has no control over Kane, and for their own safety they need to stay in that room all night until his match later on. Stephanie is on top of her game when it comes to her part in the storyline between Bryan and Kane. She is the perfect person who can keep the audience’s attention all while she is being the biggest jerk to the number one guy fans love. Stephanie leaves the room, and we see Kane’s mask hanging from the back of the door. While his standing with the fans is nowhere near what they were at the beginning of his career, but Kane has been someone booked very good with his monster persona along with him having the ability to play mind games with Bryan. This short run rivalry should be ending at this upcoming “special event”, but in the end it could help the underdog nature Bryan has created for himself.
In a minor feud that has gained some steam over the last few weeks had a match tonight as Rob Van Dam went one-on-one against Cesaro with Paul Heyman at ringside. With the history between RVD, and Heyman playing a small role in this feud it helps the budding star Cesaro work with someone who is a very well established vet. Cesaro still seems to be a fan favorite with the fans, and he should be and once this feud comes to an end the WWE Universe should expect to see big things from Heyman and Cesaro. The match between these two comes to an abrupt end as Cesaro gets disqualified for not stopping on the referee’s five count. Aside from CM Punk, and Brock Lesnar the last two “Paul Heyman Guys” have been failures in the eyes of the Universe. Both Curtis Axel and Ryback did not live up to what their potential could have been under Heyman, and that trend stops here with Cesaro. Cesaro has the wrestling ability along with the size and strength plenty of fans and WWE officials like to see. Cesaro has the crowd attention when he wrestles, and Heyman on the mic is gold every time. It is just a matter of time until Cesaro is in the title picture, and also has gold around his waist.
After the weirdest ending to a match in recent memory Bray Wyatt and his family come on out to the ring and Bray cuts another stellar promo. While sitting in his rocking chair Bray says he is doing this for the children, and that the children should stand with him as he will never leave them. Bray ends his amazing promo by singing “He’s got the whole world in his hands” with members of the audience joining with him. Bray is on top of his game when it comes to promos, and he is easily in the top 3 of WWE Superstars that can cut a promo and keep the attention of all the fans. This feud with John Cena has done two things for the WWE. One is help push a few young stars with the main one being Bray Wyatt. The second thing is that it’s planting the seeds for the heel turn of the century and that’s Cena becoming the anti-hero. The character of Cena has become stale and a lot of fans in the WWE Universe have voiced their displeasure with the hopes of change coming soon. The boos are becoming more and louder whenever Cena makes his way to the ring, and during his matches. The time is now for a full force heel turn for Cena.
In a match that barely any fans care about the Universe saw Ryback take on Cody Rhodes. In the end Ryback hits his finishing move and beats Cody. After the match we go backstage where Daniel and Brie are still in the room, but the lights go out and they abandon the room and run into Stephanie. Stephanie continues her ways of trying to help Daniel and Brie. Daniel and Brie’s car will be brought to the building for them to leave as soon as possible. In a Cinco De Mayo celebration Los Matadores along with El Torito are in the ring with a pinata throwing out candy to the fans. Of course 3MB comes out and the joke of the segment gets worse. They all end up fighting each other as El Torito and Los Matadores celebrate in the ring as 3MB make their way up the ramp and they are not happy.
Although NXT star Adam Rose is debuting tonight the Universe gets more Bo Dallas vignettes, but still no timetable for his debut. Next up is the Ravishing Russian Lana who continues her praise for Vladimir Putin. In another squash match for Alexander Rusev he got to face Kofi Kingston this time. With Kingston being able to have a little bit of offense during the match the WWE continues to put Rusev in a no win situation. Rusev has the size and speed of someone who can wrestle, but these matches don’t showcase that. Lana and Rusev have a different combination compared to anyone else in the WWE and could be good for a very long mid-card run if his matches start to change. We get one more Bryan and Stephanie altercation as Stephanie informs Bryan and Brie that their car is here and that they can leave, but after his match which is next. Bryan is going one-on-one against Alberto Del Rio. Who has completely fallen off the WWE Universe’s radar as he has become a jobber. In a match that actually went back and forth between the current Heavyweight champion against a former Heavyweight champion. The most exciting part of the match was what happened after the match following a Bryan win; Bryan and Brie are celebrating in the ring as flames go off and Kane’s music hits. Bryan and Brie leave the ring and head into the back to get into his car. The car doesn’t start as Kane appears in the backseat. This moment in time Brie has horrible acting as all she is doing is screaming and is annoying everyone. Bryan and Kane fight back and forth until Bryan is able to get into the car and drive away. Kane falls off the top and lays motionless as Bryan looks on. Kane does his usual sit up which freaks Bryan out, and he runs back into the car and drives away. The mind games being played by Kane is working and making him a monster once again. But this feud between these two if stretched out could be going nowhere fast and this upcoming PPV needs to be the end. After this feud with Kane; Bryan will be able to focus on different competition that not only make him better, but will also keep the WWE Universe’s attention, and will also make them pick a side.
Bad News Barrett defends his new Intercontinental Championship against the man he defeated for it last night at Extreme Rules Big E. With Big E invoking his rematch the night after shows me they have no plans for Big E at the moment, and could have big plans for Barrett. While the Universe wants Cena to make his heel turn it looks like someone is about to be making that turn as in Big E. With Barrett successfully defending his championship tonight the question now needs to be asked who will next feud(s) be. Plenty of mid-card names come to mind Dolph Ziggler, Alexander Rusev, Damien Sandow, but only time will tell who it will be. While the opponents are not determined my impression is that Barrett will be holding onto the title for awhile as his Bad News gimmick seems to be a big hit with the fans. Multiple different things used to fill time as Michael Cole announced that John Cena will be on Main Event tomorrow night, they take a look back at Sheamus winning the United States championship, and even an early Mother’s day message from Mr. T.
We finally go back to the ring as Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger come to the ring and they have a nice “Zeb’s deportation list” with them. Cesaro, Paul Heyman, Santino Marella, Emma, Sheamus, and Paige are all on the sign, and Colter gets ready to mention one more name, but is interrupted by the debut of Adam Rose. In a very lackluster debut all Rose did was dance around with his groupies, and told Colter “Don’t be a lemon, be a Rose bud”. It leads to Rose tossing Swagger out of the ring and the dancing continues. Not exactly what I was expecting when it comes to someone’s debut, but the only positive that can be taken from it is the fans were chanting along to his theme music. Hopefully next week on Raw Rose will be able to show off his in ring ability and maybe even his mic skills.
The main event is here and it’s the safest move the WWE can do when needing to get the fans full attention in a main event. The Shield vs The Wyatt Family in a six-man tag match. Tons of back and forth action with The Shield and The Wyatt Family all showcasing what they do best. The action really picks up when Seth Rollins starts jumping over the rope and then Dean Ambrose joins in to take out Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. Leaving Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt in the ring. The match looks to be going The Shield’s way, but then all of a sudden Evolution’s music hits. All three members of Evolution, Triple H, Randy Orton, and Batista make their way to the ring to fight The Shield. Rollins and Ambrose both fly over the top rope to take out Harper, Rowan, Orton and Batista. Which leaves HHH to sneak attack Reigns, but that didn’t work because Reigns hits the superman punch on him. While The Shield took out Evolution the match was still going on and Bray takes down Reigns and then hits Sister Abigail on Reigns and gets the win. Following the match Evolution beat down all three members of The Shield. Orton took care of Rollins, Batista took care of Ambrose, and HHH took care of Reigns. After an RKO and a Pedigree on Reigns; Evolution gave Reigns a taste of his own medicine by giving him the triple powerbomb.
Tonight’s Raw gave plenty more clarity to what direction these storylines are going. Bryan vs Kane get one more match against each other. The Shield could be going up against Evolution one more time, but that all depends on what is going on with Batista. Bray Wyatt seems to continue to be going up against John Cena until he has finally show the WWE Universe the real Cena. It appears Adam Rose could be in a feud with Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter. Tons of potential great matches could be made for Payback in June and tonight’s Raw was just the beginning of what we have to look forward for that PPV.
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