Tuesday, May 26, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - May 25th, 2015

1) Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins & Kane
This was a fun tag match as you'd probably expect. Some great exchanges between Ambrose & Rollins, Reigns did his schtick, and Kane's work was minimal so this was solid. There were also a few surprising nearfalls that I didn't expect from this. Speaking of surprises, Ambrose picked up the win over Rollins. Huge victory!

Match rating - ***

2) Rusev vs. R-Truth

Squash match. Complete waste of time and waste of R-Truth.

Match rating - DUD

Rusev asks Lana for an apology

Awful is the only word that I can think of to describe this segment. I had already nearly fallen asleep after that squash and this didn't do anything to help. Rusev did a solid job and so did Lana, but this entire thing got way too corny. Ziggler comes out and has this weird smiley staredown with Lana before they kiss again. The Hollywood/movie writers HAD to be who wrote this segment because it SUCKED.

Dean Ambrose gets arrested
IT GETS WORSE. This may not seem bad on paper however it didn't come across as enjoyable as you may think. The "officer" read Dean his rights via a script in plain sight. Dean did the "I know I've heard this before, this isn't my first time" cliche bad guy schtick. Too stereotypical for my liking.

3) Bad News Barrett vs. Ryback
Ryback's ribs are still taped and BNB targets them from the get go. After a minute or two of being worked over, Ryback mounts some offense only to get shut down again. BNB slaps him around and recieves a spinebuster out of nowhere. The crowd comes alive as Ryback hits his finisher for the victory. Not a bad match albeit pretty short.

Match rating - **1/2

4) Neville vs. Stardust
This started with a bad taste in my mouth as Stardust has a little staredown with some actor in the crowd. This show has been majorly Hollywood influenced and it's just as annoying & bad as you'd expect. Neville is revealed as Stardust's opponent which gets me in a good mood because I've been wanting to see them face off. They deliver some fun exchanges although the match doesn't last long and surprisingly has no interference despite Bo Dallas coming down to ringside. Neville with the Red Arrow for the win.

Match rating - **1/4

5) Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus

Pretty solid contest here. As if you'd expect anything less from these two. Basic story with Sheamus dominating early on before Ziggler starts fighting back and hitting his stuff. Lana comes out and from that point on I knew what would happen. Rusev runs out and gets a superkick from Ziggler. Ziggler turns around and eats a Brogue Kick. Sheamus comes out on top.

Match rating - **3/4

6) John Cena vs. Zack Ryder - United States Championship Match

Cena delivered a great pre-match promo that did an awesome job of building up his match Kevin Owens. Then he puts out the open challenge and it's answered by the cast of the TV Show Entourage. They've annoyed me thus far tonight, but then they introduced Zack Ryder to face John Cena in his hometown arena that is shutting down soon. How can you not love this? Ryder mouths "I've been waiting too long for this!" as he comes to the ring for his first big match since like December of 2011 when he was teaming with CM Punk & Daniel Bryan as United States Champion. That's another little thing I love about how this was set up considering Ryder is a former US Champ. The match wasn't anything out of this world although it was memorable as Ryder got all of his signature moves in with a hot crowd behind him. Cena kicks out of them all and Ryder resorts to the top rope - 450 SPLASH ATTEMPT! Ryder misses and my mind is blown after seeing him go for that. Cena takes advantage and hits the AA to retain his title. Cena, Ryder, & the cast of Entourage celebrate after. Cool moment & match!

Match rating - ***

Kevin Owens attacks John Cena

Cena is celebrating when KEVIN OWENS HITS THE RING FROM THE CROWD! Owens with the knee to the gut, he sends Cena to the ropes, POP UP POWERBOMB! The crowd is hype and so am I! This made me jump out of my seat just like when Owens debuted last week. Kev is looking strong heading into Elimination Chamber.

7) Tamina vs. Paige
I was actually enjoying this one until the poorly executed finish. Paige got a pretty big pop when she came out and delivered here with a variety of sick kicks and even a cannonball dive off the apron. The ref clearly sees Naomi brush Paige even though he wasn't supposed to. Tamina takes advantage, if you can call it that, and gets the win.

Match rating - **

8) Cesaro, Tyson Kidd, Sin Cara, Kalisto, Titus O'Neil, Darren Young, The Ascension, & Los Matadores vs. Big E, Kofi Kingston, & Xavier Woods

Yeah, this happened. It was pretty much just a rehash of last week's brawl as the match got threw out once a massive fight broke out with all the teams. Cesaro & Kidd are surprisingly who stand tall which was a sweet visual. Them & Lucha Dragons got the loudest reactions. The tag team title Chamber is going to be something else.

Match rating - N/R

Dean Ambrose returns to sign the contract for Elimination Chamber

Just like all the other Ambrose stuff on this night, it was fun as he's extremely over however I couldn't fully enjoy it because it felt so staged. Dean Ambrose is Dean Ambrose, not Stone Cold Steve Austin 2.0. I think the problem with WWE in recent years is that they try to make new stars by rehashing past angles and I don't like it. Ambrose got popular for being himself and I just hope he doesn't completely lose his own unique rebellious identity in favor of always doing things like this that we saw during the Attitude Era. That's a minor, personal complaint although it did hinder me from caring about the finish to this show. I knew he'd come back and sign the contract in some wild form and it happened. Reigns helps out for some reason and The Authority gets knocked on their ass. Simple enough closing segment, but not the most intriguing thing by any means.

Overall thoughts: As you can tell, this was not a good show. The ONLY highlight was John Cena's Open Challenge and the aftermath. It's crazy that in 2015, John Cena is the best part of Monday Night Raw. Just goes to show the longevity of his character. I didn't realize/admit it for a long time, but at this point in the game, it'd be dumb not to. Ambrose's stuff was fun if you're into that sort of thing. I just didn't get anything out of it due to it being complete rehash and with all the soap opera garbage on this show in the form of Lana/Rusev/Ziggler, that was the last thing I wanted to see. Kayfabe was killed with the corny Rusev/Lana stuff then I see Ambrose "getting arrested" right after which makes it even harder to get into. In all honesty, I'd skip everything here except the Cena Open Challenge because if you're not already sold on Elimination Chamber, this go-home show certainly won't do the job. If anything, it made me less interested.

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