I have to say that the WWE really dropped the ball with RAW this week. I thought Extreme Rules was a stronger PPV as a whole than we've seen from B PPVs in a long time, but they dropped the ball with the follow up. Certain segments of RAW were strong, but as a whole, the show was lacking in a huge way.
20 Man Battle Royal > A-
Ambrose showed us why he's destined to be a WWE WHC someday. His reign as US Champ has been absolute crap, but the man behind the strap has a huge future in the WWE. Ambrose is such a throwback, and each time he's in the ring, he steals the spotlight. There were great moments in this match, but my eye kept going back to Ambrose, except when something huge was going down – specifically Big Show and Henry. I also have to say that Ziggler kept my attention through much of this match, but it goes without saying that he should be higher on the roster than he is, and it's partially his fault with his big mouth.
When this match was announced, I told Stacy that Sheamus would be winning the match, the US Title, would be turning heel, and joining Evolution to help elevate him. Stacy was shocked when Sheamus won this match, kind of looked at me all googly eyed. At least one of my predictions for RAW came true! I just hope they don't completely drop the ball with Sheamus now that he's strapped.
Winner – Sheamus (15:42)
Stage Segment > B+
When I see Trip with a mic these days, I get worried that we're in for another 20 minute Trip segment, but he kept this one short, sweet, and to the point. This is who most of Trip's segments should be, as he comes off so much better when he's not hogging the show.
Backstage Segment > D-
This should have been where Sheamus went all out heel, yet he was blah. I know Sheamus has heel in him, but this segment didn't show me heel or face, it showed me nothing! Both Sheamus and WWE creative are better than this. Wow, I can't believe I said that about WWE creative, but I guess it shows how bad this segment was, and how it really missed the mark.
Backstage Segment > B+
Steph is suddenly heavy handed? Yeah, right. Also, when Steph tells you to stay somewhere for your safety, I think it's time to run. Brie played things really well here because it was a quiet creepy, and much hugging of her hubby. I thought this segment worked quite well and laid the foundation for what was to come.
RVD vs Cesaro > B
Heyman was great on mic, but I have to say that I wasn't overly thrilled with this match. RVD has always been either really great in the ring, or marginal. At Extreme Rules, RVD was on point, but in this match, not so much. He looked quickly gassed, much more quickly than I'd expect from RVD, and looked almost purple as he struggled through the match. Cesaro looked incredibly strong here, but not overly exciting. I did like how the match ended. That Cesaro let his emotions take hold is a very heel thing to do, and something new for Cesaro. Looks like he is taking steps toward being heel, but doing so in an organic way. I'm liking it.
Winner – RVD via DQ (11:55)
DEP! > A
I cannot get over how great Bray is on mic. The fans are in love with him, and for good reason. The man is fantastic, and I can completely understand why Cena has been backing him for so long, and why he wanted to work with Bray in this storyline. While it's time for Cena to change up his character, it's great to see him letting Bray go over. Okay, he could have let Bray go over cleaner, without the needed help of Harper and Rowan, but in the end it's the small child singing that the fans will remember from Extreme Rules. All in all, I'm blown away with Windham and the work he's done since repackaging. The sky is the limit for him.
Ryback vs Cody > C+
I'm really burnt out on the work between The Brotherhood and RybAxel. Yes, they're two of the bigger tag teams in the WWE right now, but they've done so much together, as teams and singles matches, that I'm beyond bored. It's time they shake things up, put different wrestlers into these matches. It's not like the WWE doesn't have enough wrestlers on the roster to shake things up.
Winner – Ryback (5:58)
Backstage Segment > B
This was another solid segment for Bryan and Brie. There was more of that quiet creepiness, with a bit of screaming working its way in there. I love how Steph tried to come off as so helpful, but Bryan wasn't buying a bit of it. This continued to set up for what was to come, but I don't understand how why Bryan thought he could suddenly leave when he knew he had a match, and why Steph said he could leave. While some might see this as shady, I see it as bad writing and serious plot holes.
In Ring Segment > B-
Hornswoggle as a heel is a lot of fun, and he sells wonderfully without saying a word. What I didn't like was the way Cinco de Mayo was used for two guys from Puerto Rico. Okay, El Torito was born in Mexico, but this is not a widely celebrated Mexican holiday. Eddie and Orlando were solid, if a bit boring, as Primo and Epico, but at least they had less of this type of craziness. I know, it's sports entertainment and I need to get over it, and I have, I just needed to get this off my chest.
Personally I'm loving this feud. Hornswoggle and El Torito work really well together, and have proved that that they're a lot more than just jokes. Yes, there's always some silliness in their matches, but they also work really hard, and show some serious moves. It's also a great way to get both teams into the ring and working on a regular basis. I've been high up on Slater, and seeing him here just continues to prove my point that he's better than being a bottom of the barrel jobber, the way he has been. Hopefully this feud will help push both team further up the ranks.
Kofi vs Rusev > D+
I understand what they're trying to do with Rusev, but it's been done before, and hasn't worked in almost twenty years. The best thing about Rusev at this point is Lana, and that's only when she's not talking. This whole thing is a bloody mess, and if they don't do something soon, Rusev's career in the WWE will be irreparably destroyed. The squash matches are a joke, so it's time for Rusev to get into a feud with someone – Henry, or Big Show? Maybe if there's something more than squashing the little guys, we might actually care. Honestly, the best part of this match was the moves that Kofi were able to hit, if it wasn't for those, I'd have failed this match.
Winner – Rusev (2:57)
Backstage Segment > B-
So Bryan not competing is a breach of contract, but Steph telling Bryan he can leave, but then threatening him when he tries to do just that isn't? Again, plot holes you an drive a truck through. And then there's Bryan caring more about the strap than his wife's safety, but Brie was right there with him for heading to the ring. Brie got a little louder here, and that's not a good thing. Also, the camera in the back of the car was a bit much, but that's the WWE for you.
ADR vs Bryan > B
I wasn't thrilled that ADR could so easily beat down Bryan after Bryan won the way he did at WrestleMania, then came back from the attack by Kane on RAW to beat him at Extreme Rules. To me that ADR came off so strong, and took Bryan down the way he did was horrible booking. Much of this show was rough, but I'd expect better booking for the WWE WHC. I guess he fell to the mess that was the RAW after Extreme Rules. Luckily his heart and his ring, as well as ADR working harder than usual, saved this match from being a total debacle.
Winner – Bryan (15:37)
Backstage Segment > B
There's been a lot of talk about this segment. Even my beloved Foley came out bashing this segment, saying it was exactly like when Kane was working against Ryder and Eve. Personally, and this hurts to say, I completely disagree with Foley. When I was watching this segment, I was sent back to days of the Brothers of Destruction, and the terror they wrought all over the WWF. Back in the days when Kane and his brother, as well as other wrestlers, depending on the storylines, would terrorize each other, kidnap people, jump out where least expected, lurk in cars, hide in trunks, and attack each other while trying to get away. Again, and I say this each week (lately) it might be that I've been watching a lot of AE PPVs on the WWE Network, and have been hoping for a while now that the WWE would step away from the goody-goody side of the PG Era. Some will say the PG Era is dead, and it's heading in that direction, because even though the WWE is still PG, they're not the goody-goody mess they once were.
Yes, there were problems with this segment, the first being Brie's unbelievable constant scream. Some variation in tone, and reaction would have helped this segment a lot. Second, a lot of people thought Bryan was being a total wuss by running away from Kane. I say, he was taking care of his wife, doing the smart thing for her. On the other hand, some people thought it was horrible that Bryan stopped to go back and check on Kane when he could have just driven away. I have to refer back to the long running relationship between Bryan and Kane. They hugged it out for how long, and now Bryan is supposed to race away, not caring if he's killed Kane?
I think this segment was a solid combination of caring – for Brie and Kane – fear – of Kane and for Brie – and Bryan's need to stay strong – for Brie and his WWE WHC. There was a lot here, and if the writing continues with Kane and Bryan, we will see this feud going on for quite a long time, and being quite a roller coaster of good and bad, as it's been between them all along.
IC Championship Match > B
So, my joke about Barrett looking naked on the podium fell flat, I get that. Bad News Barrett has started winning me over, a bit. It's his work in the ring. Barrett's ring work is strong, but beyond that, it's the way Barrett stays in character and works the crowd as he works his opponent in the ring. Barrett is finally taking off after a number of starts and stops. Hopefully this will be the start of something great for him.
I also have to mention how the WWE had truly dropped the ball on Big E. That man has HUGE personality, charisma, and comedic timing, yet they rarely let him show it, and cut him off at the knees more often then not. It's time the WWE let Big E be who he is, and he will be over like Rover! They let Austin, Rock, Foley, and Cena be who they are, and look where they went with it! Not saying Big E will be as big as those guys, but who knows what he might achieve if they don't let him try?
Winner – Barrett (10:51)
Video > A
I will admit that writing the Live Results for the WWE Hall of Fame this year was extremely hard, and Mr. T made it that much harder, and Sam fell asleep in the middle of his speech. I didn't think about it at the time, but the WWE did a wonderful job cutting it all together for Mother's Day. I thought it was great.
In Ring Segment > D+
I have to say I was hoping for so much more from Adam Rose's debut on WWE TV. Zeb was not up to his best when he was talking about who should be deported, not the Zeb I'm used to seeing on mic, and really looked ridiculous with the Exotic Express party dancing around him in the ring, and he could barely stand. Zeb knows how to stand in a wrestling ring, no matter who's bouncing which way. Yes, he's getting older, but he's not feeble!
And then there's Rose. He stayed in character and did as well as he could with what he was given by creative, but that wasn't much. I do have to say that the fans were all into singing Rose's music, and I'm ready for a feud between Rose and Fandango, the fans will never sit down and be all over singing and dancing to the entrances. I guess only time will tell for Rose, but I hope things get better than they were here.
The Wyatts vs The Shield > A-
Finally we get to see The Wyatts facing The Shield! We've been wanting this for so long, and it was so good. Now I want more! Honestly, I worry that The Wyatts will be so over with the fans that they won't be truly heels, therefore a feud between the two of them wouldn't make much sense. But what we saw in this match was great. I love both teams, and they all left it out there for the fans. The thing I didn't like was that it looked like The Wyatts couldn't go over without the help of Evo. On the other hand, I'd feel the same way if The Shield couldn't obviously go over clean. Individually, each of these guys have their strengths and weaknesses, and I'd have to say that The Shield has stronger wrestlers who are going to go further in the WWE, with more star power, as Rowan is the weak link in The Wyatts, but as teams, it's hard to decide which team is stronger and should go over.
I know that Evo had to cost The Shield the match, as it continues their feud, but they just barely lost. I find it interesting that Reigns was the one to take the pinfall here, but he was the one who got the pinfall the night before, so I guess he's still ahead after two matches.
Winners – The Wyatts (17:57)
In Ring Segment > B
I figured that Evo would beat down The Shield after the main event was over, it's the way of Evo, and I don't see as they've changed in any way. Hopefully this will work out to being an even and fun feud, with The Shield coming out on top in the end. If they don't what was the point of this feud?
Hopefully the WWE will bounce back from this mess of a show. Maybe creative was asleep at the wheel, but they need to do something to shake things up. Some of these feuds are great, others are asleep at the wheel. It's time to throw a wrench into things, give us a big bang, something unexpected in the midcard, make it interesting again. The fans chant during those matches for a reason, and it's time the WWE do something absurd and unexpected to shake up the storylines and the fans. Please, they need to do something ludicrous for us!
Queen of WNW