Angelic Heel Once Again…
Tensions hit a boiling point in New Orleans, LA as the WWE presented the last RAW before the Money in the Bank pay per view (which can be seen on the WWE Network FREE for the month of June). The WWE World Heavyweight Champion’s frustrations continued as the Lunatic Fringe gallivanted all over Nawlins with the stolen title, Kevin Owens continued his crusade against the delusional John Cena, and much much more. Did you miss it? No worries, I’ve got you covered!
John Cena Open Challenge….Or Is It??
This exciting installment of RAW began with the United States Champion, John Cena’s Open Challenge. And just like every challenge before it, the face that thinks it runs the place gave a long winded speech that we’ve heard a million times before in one form or another. This time, the WWE Universe was rescued from too long of a diatribe as NXT Champion, Kevin Owens interrupted and gave a verbal lashing to the leader of the Cenation.
Of course, Owens also had an amazing idea. That instead of a John Cena open challenge for the US Title, how about a Kevin Owens open challenge for the NXT Championship. The man I wish we could not see conceded that it was a far superior idea and then attempted to accept the open challenge. Kevin reminded Cena that they had a match on Sunday and that he was not eligible to accept the challenge.
Cena attempted to use the refusal as a way to prove that he was a better champion than Owens but Kevin chose to ignore the propaganda that Cena was spouting and instead said, that who ever came down the ramp, would get the choice of which title to fight for. John agreed and the two men waited.
Who would accept? Why The man that gravity forgot, the new sensation, NEVILLE! The history between Neville and KO is a rich one as the last time the two faced off down in NXT was the last time the NXT Universe saw Neville in an NXT ring. The Englishman came down to the ring and said that one day he and Cena would fight again, but tonight, he wanted to take on Kevin as he believe that Owens was not worthy to hold the NXT Championship.
Kevin Owens vs Neville
NXT Championship Match
Winner: Kevin Owens
This match began fast and furious as Neville exploded with his unique offense all over Kevin Owens. Multiple times the champion rolled from the ring to regroup against the former NXT Champion only to be pursued relentlessly. The high flier used his speed and quickness to keep Owens on the defensive for the first half of the match. On more than one occasion he flew over the top ropes and onto a dazed Kevin Owens. But the current NXT champion did not get there by mistake and eventually he turned the match around and began to bring the fight back to the man that gravity forgot.
A brutal Cannon Ball in the corner kept Neville down for a time but Owens nearly lost it all when he took the time to mock Cena (who was doing commentary for the match) and Neville countered an Attitude Adjustment attempt into a tornado DDT. Set up to hit the Red Arrow, it looked as if Neville would become a 2 time NXT Champion until Owens recovered enough to avoid the move and toss the smaller man into the ropes to hit the Pop Up Powerbomb for the 3 count. After the match, Owens invited Cena back into the ring. John slid into the ring only to watch as Kevin Owens removed himself from the ring and made his way to the back.
Such a fun match. As stated before there is a history between Neville and Kevin and it played into the match. Neville knew more of what to expect and while he lost, he was not destroyed in the same manor that he was the last time he faced off against Owens. It appeared that he had a chance to win and perhaps might even get the win the next time they face off.
The drama unfolding between Kevin and John is a bit of fun. Finally the WWE Universe has someone who is willing to stand up to the likes of Super Cena and call him out on his mental instabilities and delusions of grandeur. Sure Cena has done great things in the past, but his time is up and he needs to five knuckle shuffle his way on out of the spot light. Kevin Owens is the man to see the deed done one pop up powerbomb at a time!
Summer Rae vs Nikki Bella
Winner: Nikki Bella
In response to Paige’s words from Smackdown, Nikki Bella decided to give a diva a chance and face her in the ring. The Diva she chose: Summer Rae. This match was quick and saw Nikki dominate most of it. Sure Summer got in a little offense but it made no difference since she isn’t that great in the ring any way. Nikki hit a Rack Attack and that was all she wrote.
It is not often you will see me cheer for a Bella. But since I despise Summer more than Nikki, I found myself cheering for the Diva’s Champion. Only really good thing about this match is that it was over quickly. Though I will give Nikki props, she has become better in the ring and her hard work is showing progress. That and it was enjoyable to watch Summer Rae get her ass handed to her. Always makes my night to see it.
Randy Orton vs Sheamus
After a confusing opening that began with Roman Reigns coming out and addressing the WWE Universe and getting interrupted by Kane, who then got interrupted by many many more people (including R-Truth who isn’t even involved in the Money in the Bank ladder match, he apologized though so it’s all good) we get a rematch between Randy Orton and Sheamus!
Last week the two men battled viciously, but the bout ended when Sheamus used a chair and got himself disqualified. This week, the Viper and the Celtic Warrior once again faced off and attempted to destroy one another. It was a brutal back and forth bout that saw the two men exchange devastating punches and kicks that would knock lesser men into next week. Orton attempted to land an early RKO but the move was countered and Sheamus rolled to the outside. He was pursued by the Apex Predator, but Sheamus had anticipated it and went to attempt the same trick with the chair as he did last week.
But Orton turned the tables on the Irishman and instead used the chair on him, forcing the disqualification. The beating did not stop there as Randy continued his merciless attack that did culminate in a wicked RKO to the former United States Champion.
There is no love lost between these two and this match was a slobber knocker of a match. It is always fun to see to guys beat the ever loving day lights out of one another and this match delivered just that. These two bring power and strength to the ladder match in a way that the other competitors can only dream of. They are both no stranger to the this type of match and know exactly what they are getting themselves into. Though I gotta wonder about making a Randy Orton drinking game. Powerslam, take a drink, pose, take a drink, stick his tongue out, take a drink. see so simple and yet everyone would be trashed half way into the match. Oh the fun to be had when watching a Randy Orton match.
Dolph Ziggler vs Kane
The Show Off found himself in singles competition against the Corporate Demon, Kane. At first it looked like Ziggler would have things well in hand as it appeared that Kane was reeling from the frantic offense delivered to him by the Zigman. But things quickly turned around for the Devil’s favorite Demon with a huge right hand that knocked Ziggler from the air and straight onto his back. But it was not enough to keep him down for long as he once again rallied and took offensive momentum back and weathered the powerful onslaught of Kane’s offensive maneuvers.
The end came for Dolph in the form of distraction. Lana, who was watching from the ramp, was confronted by a hobbling Rusev. As she attempted to walk away from the Bulgarian Brute, she slipped and fell from the ramp and injured her ankle. Ziggler, attempted to see about going to the Ravishing Russian’s aid, but was thwarted by Kane and caught a chokeslam for his troubles. Kane pinned the Show Off and that was all she wrote for the match.
I am now convinced that Lana is cursed. Well to have her at ring side is a curse anyway. First she kept on costing Rusev matches and now she is beginning to cost Dolph matches. Sure it’s fun to chant “we want Lana,” but at what cost will it be? The person she is rooting for now has a nasty habit of getting defeated all because she is such a distraction. Perhaps Rusev was on to something when he insisted that she remain in the back? It wasn’t because he disrespected her, but because she is a distraction and winning is more important, especially if you are wanting to go for gold.
Miz TV with Ryback and The Big Show
Miz TV was interesting to say the least. First of all poor Miz had to deal with an extremely disrespectful guest in Ryback who came out before his introduction and then used the crowd to constantly insult and interrupt the Awesome one. Then he had to deal with the Big Show who also came out to insult Miz on his own show and tell him how much he despised him as a tag team partner.
Ryback then insinuated that the Miz was attempting to use him as a way to get back at the Big Show. Ryback stated that it would not work and that Miz could fight his own battles. But he was not afraid of the Big Show either and would gladly fight him for the Intercontinental Championship. Miz in his frustration, attacked the Big Show only to be smacked down. But it was Ryback who got the last laugh as he delivered a Shell Shock to the giant!
Can we say triple threat in the mix? Miz is upset at Show for ruining his shot at the IC title, and Big Show wants a shot at the IC title that Ryback holds. Yep, I’m sensing a triple threat is on the horizon. I feel sorry for Miz, this is gonna hurt for him… A lot…
Luke Harper & Erick Rowan vs Los Matadores
Winner: Luke Harper & Erick Rowan
Wyatt knew what he was doing when he paired Luke Harper and Erick Rowan together. These two are a destructive force of nature who work amazingly well together. And together they destroyed Los Matadores. The bull fighters were not even a threat and were easily defeated by the two larger men. It was kinda sad actually. But even an easy win is a win!
So… any one else think that Harper and Rowan’s finisher looks a little familiar? Any one else have the urge to yell to a certain someone to “get the tables?” Yeah… Me too.
Big E Vs Titus O’Neil
Winner: Big E
The two powerhouses of their teams squared off in singles competition. The WWE Universe got to witness a sample of what it can expect on Sunday at Money in the Bank. Titus O’Neil appeared to have things well in hand against Big E. But the New Day used number to their advantage. As Kofi and Xavier looked to team up against Darren Young on the outside, Titus took his eye off the prize. This distraction allowed Big E to rally back and land a Big Ending to gain the pin fall victory over one half of the number one contenders for the WWE Tag Team Titles.
This match didn’t really have much in the way of too much excitement or drama. Which is a shame because it had so much potential as both Big E and Titus are both talented men. However, the most entertaining part of this match was listening to Xavier Woods at ring side as he yelled out encouragement and jut generally didn’t shut up. He’s so enthusiastic and powered by the P.O.P. Truly inspiring. How is this going to play out at Money in the Bank? Well, one would have to figure that the Prime Time Players will use this defeat to fuel an even more impassioned response on Sunday than what the WWE Universe got to witness in this match.
Roman Reigns vs Kofi Kingston
Winner: Roman Reigns
Immediately after Big E scored the victory, Roman Reigns’ music hit and it was now Kofi Kingston’s turn in the ring against the Big Dog. New Day once again attempted to use the number game in their favor and for a time it worked as Kingston had Reigns on the defensive. But in a show of resiliency,f Roman powered his way back and showed Kofi what it meant to be in the ring with him. At one point he clotheslined Kofi right outside the ring to land at the feet of his New Day Brothers.
As Reigns followed the high flier to the floor, he eyed the other two members of the New Day before delivering brutal punishment that included being slammed against the announce desk, the ring apron and then drop kicked in the face. The beatings continued in the ring and the two men exchanged blows and moves in an effort to gain the upper hand. For a moment it looked like Kofi might be closing in on a victory as he scaled the top rope to deliver his signature high flying offense, but Reigns countered with a Superman Punch that plucked Kingston from the air to land roughly on the mat. Roman pinned the tag team champion to earn himself a win going into Money in the Bank.
This was just a feeder match of let’s get two guys from the MITB ladder match in the ring together. It felt a bit odd. These two have never faced off before and while the match didn’t suck, it was also forgettable. I love Roman and I am a fan of Kofi, but I expected better from both of them. But in the end Roman picked up a win and the momentum going into Sunday.
Seth Rollins vs J & J Security
2 on 1 Handicap Match
Winner: J & J Security
Everyone has an off night. Especially when one’s main rival who stole the WWE World Heavyweight title is sitting ringside. Oh and when they also have had everyone questioning their ability and when they are getting disrespected at every turn. Of course our beloved champion would have an off night. The whole world seemed as if it was out to get Seth Rollins. Our poor champion felt that it was needed to put the up start J & J Security back in their place as he took both of them on in a 2 on 1 handicap match.
And for most of the match, it went according to plan. Except for a few flurries of offense, Rollins had everything well in hand as he delivered punishment to the disrespectful duo. Not even having Kane in their corner could keep the undisputed future from showing Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury why he was the Champion and that No, he didn’t NEED them in the slightest.
However, the constant distraction of the Lunatic Fringe was the Savior of the WWE’s undoing. As he set up one half of his security team up for the Pedigree, Ambrose jumped the rail and threw the stolen title into the ring. Of course Rollins went to retrieve his stolen property, but this allowed Joey Mercury to roll up the champ and pin him! While this was bad enough, it appeared to have a silver lining as once again, the Architect held his hard earned gold. But Dean had other ideas as he hit Dirty Deeds on Rollins and took the title back into his possession.
No one knows how difficult it is to be Seth Rollins. Our beloved champion has no one that he can count on anymore. But that’s okay. He is the Architect and he will take this humiliating loss and use it to fuel the fire that will consume the Unstable one. Sure I adore Ambrose, but Rollins is the future of the WWE. Rollins is the new standard barer and face of the WWE. Rollins is the superior wrestler and he has said and I have echoed, that he does not need anyone to help him. At Money in the Bank, he will climb that ladder (after beating Ambrose to a pulp) and reacquire the title that was stolen from him.
Oh, the match… It wasn’t a bad match. Many moments of fun. I enjoyed it. But J & J and Kane all need to learn their place. They are there to support the Champion. He doesn’t need them and they need to quit being all butt hurt when he states this. Sure, their help was appreciated, but he didn’t NEED it. He could have done it on his own, but having tools to aid in a victory is the epitome of working smarter, not harder. It’s a shame when the tools think they are bigger than the Architect. Not that it will matter come Sunday. Seth Rollins will walk out of Money in the Bank as the WWE World Heavy Weight Champion.