I’ve thought about a couple of introductions and scrapped both of them. One will become a column. The other will remain on the scrap heap. So, let’s roll.
Bray Wyatt greets us during the Raw introduction with another rendition with “I’ve Got The Whole World..” I do dig his choice of Hawaiian shirts. After singing with him, the crowd starts “What?”ing him. Have they finally found John Cena’s equal in being able to split a crowd? Then after talking about his teacher lady more, they start singing again. Wyatt is evil. Necessary at that. He calls Cena a phony. Now a “Cena sucks” chant. Hold on, are they in Chicago again? I have a good picture set up for Stunt Granny. John Cena pulls some misdirection music and attacks Wyatt who was by himself after Luke Harper & Erick Rowan ran for the ramp. He AAs Wyatt and leaves the ring before they can attack. I’d love to know why they keep replaying Steph & Brie. It’s terrible acting.
Paul Heyman ends up insulting the crowd then patting himself on the back when defining what the crowd & stars roles are. Awesome. Oh, they’re in England. If there are spoilers out, I didn’t read them. He announcers a match between Cesaro and Sheamus for the US Title later in the night which ends up being right now. I wish this match had more build up. Does it make sense that they could be building up the US Title too quickly? Whatever, I’ll take this match. I have enjoyed their past slugfests. The match picks up after the break. Sheamus gets in the Irish Curse Back Breaker & Rolling Hills. He can only get two. Cesaro turns it around by tossing Sheamus into the corner face first. Sheamus gets caught with an uppercut as he jumped off the top. Sheamus power slams Cesaro. Heyman distracts Sheamus. Cesaro takes advantage and wins with a German Suplex. Nice. I like Heyman playing more of a role in Cesaro’s matches. Lesnar & CM Punk were well established and he enhanced them. Cesaro dodges the hand shake. Nice. I’m not sure Sheamus goes into Evolution if he’s going to feud with Cesaro.
Big E Langston is taking on Ryback in the first of a series of Beat The Clock Challenge for a shot at Bad News Barrett for the Intercontinental Title. I hate these challenges because the matches are inevitably short. Ryback is distracted by the clock. It’d be much better just to attack the person. You’re wasting time by looking at the clock especially in the first match. You’re setting the standard. It matters when the clock counts down after wards. Big E takes the Meat Hook Clothesline but kicks out three consecutive time. Big E gets tossed too far but pops up quickly. Big Ending at 5:02. Great, matches shorter than 5:02. My favorite kind. It reminds me of the Daniel Bryan interview with Chris Jericho. They both said that no matter how hard they worked, they were never satisfied with a three minute match. It wasn’t enough time to make it quality.
R Truth has the Funkadactyls. The English love Fandango and Layla El. Before the match starts, Summer Rae comes to the ring. She kisses Fandango and attacks Layla. So is that Summer’s music? Is she a baby face now? Truth, Cameron & Naomi become window dressing.
Stephanie comes out to Daniel Bryan’s music. Ha. She is at her mocking best. Stephanie is ready to say “Bad News” when they introduce Wade Barrett. Oh no, she just uses a video prop. She’s only contemplating stripping Bryan of the title. She then gives ideas for who should be champion. The crowd plays along with her games. She then demands he be at Raw next week. Where I expect him to say he can defend the title at the PPV.
The Union Jacks comes out. Nice of them to remember this gimmick. Heath Slater gets mic time for the first time in a long time. Lana comes out hoping not to laugh at herself again. Alexander Rusev shows up. He takes out Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre then Jinder Mahal. It appears as if Slater will have a match with him. The whole “Crush” thing is stupid. The Accolade. Great a short match even when there’s no clock to worry about. The Shield is in the back in some odd room as usual. Dean Ambrose thinks Evolution is scared of them and he doesn’t want that. He wants their best shot. Roman Reigns tells them they’re going to keep coming at Evolution. Seth Rollins admits to a mistake in his last match with Batista. He’s going to correct that mistake. Believe In The Shield.
RVD takes on Alberto Del Rio, who gets a terrible in set promo. He’s some smug crazy person now. JBL only plays up the angle more. Congrats, ADR, you have a gimmick again. RVD takes a Back Cracker with 2:30 to go. Del Rio wastes time and gets clocked. RVD misses the Frog Splash. 1:30 left. Del Rio rests entirely too much time. Van Dam rolls him up for the win with 47 seconds left. Great, matches shorter than 4:15. The announcers have to act excited about this development.
Renee Young interviews John Cena. He’s bringing the Usos with him again. I can handle this rub especially if we get an Usos vs Harper & Rowan match at Payback in two weeks. They do some silly heart pounding thing. HHH talks their group up. Randy Orton tries to continue it. Batista is going to do it all by himself. Let this not be a short match in this sea of short matches.
Seth Rollins comes to the ring. HHH makes himself an announcer and Randy Orton as the time keeper. He then introduces Batista. Mitchell Cool correctly questions JBL’s opinion. Rollins has a microphone for some reason. Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns come down as guest commentators. This just became stupid. Ambrose informs us that Brad Maddox made them official commentators. Why did Ambrose take us to break? Why am I laughing about it? Rollins barely touches the steps he’s supposed to crash into. He’s no John Cena who shoulder blocks those things into the ring barrier. Batista starts the ground and pound on Rollins back in the ring. I know why I laughed earlier now, because Ambrose is killing me. “Reigns’ momma hit him harder than that” about the nine stitches. Rollins fights off the superplex. Rollins nails a Block Buster. Rollins runs into a boot. Rollins drop kicks Batista thru the ropes. Suicide Dive by Rollins. “He didn’t do anything” after Orton at least attempted to grab Rollins leg. Order is restored. Rollins nails a spring board knee for a two count. The Game pushes Rollins off the top rope. Orton and Ambrose join the fun. HHH clocks Rollins which gets the DQ. Batista is the brunt of another spear. HHH distracts the Shield, Batista slips out. Why is Evolution the underdog after losing again? They need to out smart the Shield and soon to seem credible.
Alicia Fox is in the ring. Paige is her opponent. The crowd politely applauds. I go to get a beer, Sun King Brewing Fistful of Hops, which I picked up on an unexpected trip thru Indianapolis. My trip should really make it to air or print. Complete ridiculousness. Paige gets to learn about WWE policy mandating that you job in your home town. Alicia Fox wins. Luke Harper compares John Cena to a mouse. Bray Wyatt thinks Cena & the Usos are like dominoes in a mine. They all fall down.
Mark Henry is taking on Dolph Ziggler, who wants to show off quickly. Henry comes into the inset promo and laughs at him. If my boy wins this match under the time limit, I’d feel really bad for Mark Henry. That’s another thing about these beat the clock matches, the formula is predictable. It is usually longest match, shorter match, time limit match (this one) and winner of the challenge. Ziggler is recovering with 1:30 to go. A second drop kick takes way too much of a toll on Ziggler. Henry catches Ziggler and power slams him. Henry wastes time. Zig Zag but time runs out. Thanks for sticking to the formula and not making me look like an ass. It’s only three matches? Bad News Barrett lays out a celebrating RVD. The crowd is much more behind Barrett. He informs us that England sets the time for the entire world. I guess I’ll have to look up Bloody Yak like everyone else that isn’t English. (Next Day Note: It usually has penis attached to it according to the Urban Dictionary. I didn’t get amusement out of finding the answer.)
Adam Rose comes out with more action than Paige, less than Barrett. Renee Young interviews him. Sort of. She asks to know what a “Rose Bud” is. We’re not to be lemons. JBL cracks me up with Bunny hate. Rose just wants Zeb Colter & Jack Swagger to have some fun. The crowd cheers for them too. The Bigg Hoss still cracks me up. Colter tries to insult them but they keep up being Rose Buds. Zeb challenges Rose. Swagger sucker punches him. Swagger goes after someone in the Exotic Express. Adam Rose gets the jump on him. Colter & Swagger beat a hasty retreat.
I blow through the ring entrances for John Cena & Luke Harper. Just short of catching up. They cut to commercial early which I agree with. I can skip first gear. Cena takes too much time on the Shuffle. Harper misses a Mafia Kick then a clothes line. Cena gets in the Five Knuckle. Harper gives him a tilt a whirl face plant. This back and forth is too quick for my liking. Harper takes over and finishes it off with a suicide dive. Harper nails a super kick but Cena kicks out at two. Neck breaker by Harper only gets another two. Cena nails a clothes line. STF gets locked in. Harper breaks it. The Usos stop interference by Erick Rowan. Wyatt Abigails the Usos in the ring. Attitude Adjustment on Harper. Rowan blasts Cena for the DQ. Sister Abigail to Cena. The crowd plays sing along. Harper & Rowan attack Cena. Fall away slam onto the ramp. Sister Abigail on the stage. Cena loses a shoe. Sing along time, because we haven’t had enough of it. – Kevin