The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 5/11/15: The Man That Health Forgot

Pre-show notes:

Real life stuff update!

If you’re interested in seeing the best pro wrestling card in Texas all spring (and possibly all year), Inspire Pro Wrestling’s ‘In Their Blood 2’ happens in Austin on 5/31. It’s the same day as the Elimination Chamber, sure, but we didn’t schedule ours on a whim Monday afternoon. Also, Ricochet and Joey Ryan and Candice LeRae and a ton of other awesome people are gonna be there, so if you stay at home watching a show that’ll be on demand the second it ends, you’re gonna have a bad time.

If you’re interested in seeing Meet Me There on a big screen before our DVD/VOD release, your last chance is June 7 in New York City at the Anthology Film Archives. If this is your first time hearing of it, it’s a horror movie I made with Goldust and a bunch of awesome independent wrestlers, so in addition to being this emotional, tense thing about the horrors of sexual dysfunction it’s also a ‘Where’s Waldo’ for people who recognize Blue Pants or Evan Gelistico. Go see it! I’ll probably be there!

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And now, the Best and Worst of WWE Raw for May 5, 2015.

Worst: Daddy’s Home

Motivation. That’s what Triple H needs.

When he’s motivated, he’s the best guy on the show. H has a wonderful Batman brain for pro wrestling; he’s a student of the game, he knows his history, he respects where the sport was and has evolved from and sees a vision for its future. It’s not perfect, and it certainly doesn’t line up with everybody else’s perspective, but it’s strong and true. As a performer, the Triple H that has a point to prove — “hey CM Punk, check out this feud and match you could’ve had at WrestleMania 30” as a random example — is one of the very best. He understands WWE’s brand of storytelling, timing and emotion on a Neo-seeing-The-Matrix level. He gets it. He controls it. He can stop the bullets in mid-air, or whatever.

When he’s not motivated, he’s everything bad about WWE. He’s this lazy “cool heel” who gets to be the smartest and strongest and best person in the room at all times. He can manipulate the babyfaces behind their backs, but he can also do it to their faces and if they have a problem with it he can also beat them up. Imagine if Attitude Era Vince McMahon and Brock Lesnar were the same dude. That’s monstrous, unmotivated Triple H. The worst part is that he can’t just f*ck with the faces … he also has to make sure the heels who follow him around know he’s the coolest and best and smartest, and be cruel to them and put them in matches they don’t want to teach them lessons and prove points. This would all be well and good if it built to him getting shit-kicked and getting his comeuppance, but for one reason or another that never really happens. Bryan can beat him at WrestleMania, sure, but it’s prefaced by 9 months of H winning and followed by 3 of him pretending he won anyway, rubbing it in and then actually still winning. He can be embarrassed by Sting at Survivor Series, but it’s almost immediately followed by him defeating all the negative consequences and getting his job back via Deus Ex Prototype, then BEATING STING AT WRESTLEMANIA. It’s insanity. It’s the pessimism and complaints and horror we all feel as WWE fans congealed and formed into one big, smart, cool, strong guy.

Last night’s Raw featured the unmotivated H, the guy who has been on vacation for an unspecified amount of weeks and returns just to call everyone children and point out how nothing goes right without him around. He punishes his own subordinates, but stays cool and funny enough to get cheered for it. He’s the bad guy, but he’s gotta wink at you and nudge you in the ribs so you can notice what he’s doing and tell him how good he is at being bad.

Sometimes being about to see The Matrix makes you a hero, and sometimes it makes you a really boring dude who sits in a room full of televisions and delivers boring, 20-minute speeches when the camera’s on him.

Best: Jamie Noble

All that said, Jamie Noble stepping in with a frank “HUNNER~” and real-talking Triple H about the situation was the best non-wrestling part of the show. Noble’s always been pretty great, but now every time he talks it’s an event. I keep fantasy booking Noble and Mercury into sitcom situations, but I think what I want most is for WWE to book its lead heel stable around the guys from ‘King Of The Hill.’ Triple H is Hank, obviously, and Noble can be his Dale. Mercury is Boomhauer and what, Kane is Bill? That works, right? That makes Stephanie McMahon Peggy and Seth Rollins Bobby. Imagine H doing the BWAAA scream when he saw Seth’s leaked nudes.

(Also, Katie Vick is Lenore. AND NIDIA IS NANCY.)

Best: If You’re Gonna Do Handicap Matches, At Least Let Them Be Fun

This week’s opener is one of those things I’d normally hate — a handicap match where the heels are being punished by a heel and get beaten up by one guy they outnumber — but it worked, mostly because the personalities involved are strong enough to rise above what they’ve been given.

Ambrose is really great right now, because they’ve taken a step back and refocused on what made us like him in the first place. He’s crazy and unpredictable, but not in a stupid way. He’s the guy who will run at two opponents with his arms flailing and drop elbows on people who are standing up. He’ll run and jump off tables or interrupt a tense contract signing argument to jump to the inevitable conclusion. He’s that guy. He’s not a guy who’ll wander away in the middle of the show like he’s Eugene Levy in A Mighty Wind and come back wielding ketchup and mustard bottles. He’s not a guy who’d try to hit you with a plugged-in television because he doesn’t understand how cords work, then have it blow up in his face. He’s not a guy who’s gonna stand and stare at a spooky ghost lantern, he’s the guy who’d see a spooky ghost lantern, kick it over with his boot, shrug at the crowd and run screaming at the guy who put it in front of him. Do you get the difference? One is “YEAH, DEAN AMBROSE.” The other is “Jesus, Dean Ambrose.”

Noble and Mercury are great, too, because they’re wrestlers, but not really “wrestlers.” We know they’re both good in the ring, but as their current characters they’re just baby businessmen who are competent enough to be allowed to throw punches, but not strong or competent enough to win any fights. They’re expendable. Foot Soldiers. They’re basically Hornswoggle split into two dudes. If you’re gonna have one face beat up two heels, there’s got to be a Ryback-to-Stansky Importance Differential. I wouldn’t want Ambrose beating up Kidd and Cesaro by himself, but Noble and Mercury? Sure. Why not? There’s nobody better at getting beaten up and stumbling around like a goober.

Although man, I really wish this had ended with Noble Tiger Bombing Ambrose and pinning him clean, just to see how everyone would react. Instead of “Old School Raw” or “Raw Reunion,” they should do an actual Bizarro Land Raw where everything’s super nihilistic and counter-productive. It’d have people talking more than this weird 3 years of jumbly non-finishes we’re living through.

Worst: Dolph Ziggler’s Mid-Life Crisis

I feel like every week Ziggler’s trying to look a little more like Kurt Russell, and accidentally looking a little more like Blossom. I mean, they both like to do handstands for no reason.

There’s just something concerning going on psychologically. Dolph was essentially unchanged for years, but then Sheamus shows up looking all weird and different and bothering him. Giving him an inferiority complex. So they have a match where one’s supposed to kiss the other’s butthole or whatever and Ziggler wins, but Sheamus ignores the stipulations and makes HIM kiss HISS butthole. Now Dolph’s suddenly wearing too much makeup and doing his hair differently and getting into fussy arguments with a guy dressed like a cartoon king. Remember last week’s picture-in-picture thing? Dolph’s experiencing some kind of trauma-induced disorder, and I feel really badly for him.

Worst: Another Night Of Bad Finishes

Anyway, I want to be able to write excitedly about how Dolph Ziggler vs. King News Barrett was this crazy barnburner with a hot finish, but nope, it’s just Sheamus dressing like a colorblind Newsies character and sitting at ringside until it’s time to distract somebody. Ziggler gets distracted, Barrett hits a Bullhammer for the win and JBL spends at least 5 minutes yelling ROAL BULLHAMMAH over and over because he thinks it’s funny. There’s nothing worse than when JBL decides he wants to get a phrase over. We already live in a world with “Alabama Slamma,” isn’t that enough?

As a light spoiler alert, the rest of the night is just more of the same. Raw had 9 matches. 4 of them were non-finishes and 2 of them involved outside distractions, leaving 3 with a straight-up finish. One of those was a handicap match with one guy beating two, one was a Divas match and the third lasted 37 seconds. So, uh.

Worst: Even The Babyface Announcers Are Burying Fandango

Fandango vs. Erick Rowan is 37 seconds long. The announce team spends all 37 seconds placing bets on how quick the match will be over, with JBL and Booker T picking somewhere in the ballpark of a minute and a half, and Cole picking just over two minutes. They all pick Erick Rowan in a squash, despite Rowan being one of the most useless and least effective members of the roster since November. His renewed relevancy began on Smackdown, which was what, three days ago? Even if we’re supposed to think he’s scary again and not a joke in the background of a Heath Slater segment, what’s he done to substantiate it? Stomp Fandango after he’d already gotten beaten up?

This is an example of two of WWE’s biggest problems:

1. WWE refusing to show their work and just deciding that pushes have started or stopped, regardless of what’s been happening on the show. Erick Rowan has been a comedy jobber for months, but since we want to push him now, the announce team and everyone involved suddenly backs him as an unstoppable monster. Fandango, a guy who has been winning a lot of matches recently, is suddenly helpless to stop him. There is nothing happening to earn this. Rowan’s friendship with a guy struggling to win matches in his own right has suddenly transformed them into killing machines, because WWE can arbitrarily decide when history has or has not happened.

2. The announce team just going along with everything and basically throwing the non-main-event WWE under the bus on a whim. They have no idea how much of their audience actually retains what they say. Five years later I hear Michael Cole talk about how gusty and great Daniel Bryan’s been since day one, and all I hear is three years of Cole calling him a nerd. The Ascension shows up and suddenly JBL likes them, because he’s supposed to. Cole’s like, “hey I thought you hated this guys” and JBL’s all, “NOW I DON’T I CHANGED MY MIND.” There isn’t a reason for him to have changed his mind, he just changed it because the voice in his ear told him to. The bigger problem is f*cking your own efforts in the ass on the reg, but the smaller, more manageable problem is the insincerity. A wrestling announce team should sound like it means what it says above all else, because they’re your eyes and ears and window into this fictional universe you have to at least imagine as Real Sports. If they aren’t paying attention and don’t care why they’re saying what they say, why would anyone?

Best: Mighty Mouse

Anyway, here’s something to get excited about: John Cena and Neville tore it the hell up and practically saved the show by themselves.

I’d recommend finding and watching this match, because it feels like such an anomaly. John Cena is wrestling PAC in a 15-minute match for the United States Championship on Raw, giving him tons of offense AND giving him a visual pin. Like, jump back three years in your brain and read that and see how many question marks you type. Even without jumping back, Cena’s spent the last two weeks putting over NXT talent like they’re Edge and Orton, and it’s f*cking insane. It’s what guys in Cena’s position are theoretically supposed to be doing, because Cena is magically bulletproof popular forever and could take clean losses to David Otunga for the next 10 years and sell a billion t-shirts, but it’s so weird that it’s happening. It feels like a thing we should always complain about but never get.

Here, let me put it another way:

Worst, But Not Really: Considering Cena

I’ve been trying to pay closer attention to Cena matches and pinpoint what drives people crazy about him as a performer, and I figured it out. There are two things Cena does that are objectively terrible: he talks too much, and when it’s time to do his moves he turns off the pain and emotion he’s been selling the entire match to do so.

The first one is mostly a problem with production. There’s gotta be a way to not zoom in on Cena’s face every time he’s supposed to be unconscious, because dude does not sell unconsciousness. He uses every opportunity he’s down to openly and obviously call the match, and for some reason WWE’s big on making sure we see it. It’s obvious enough when you’re in a crowd and can see him running his mouth, but damn, don’t you guys have 30 cameras on the ring at all times? By now couldn’t you have figured out that when Cena’s down and on his stomach, you should be shooting him from behind? Shoot him from the feet up or get a closeup on his opponent or something until he’s done jabbering, then jump back.

The second one is infuriating, but honestly adds a level of realism to his matches. Watch when Neville kicks him in the head and knocks him into the ropes. The idea is supposed to be that Cena rebounds and hits a desperation Attitude Adjustment, playing on that same “whoops, gotcha” thing Cena likes to do with the hurricanrana. His character is about perseverance and never giving up, so it’s believable that he’d get rocked and come back with these short, instinctive bursts of invulnerable energy. It’s the All Japan delayed sell. You suplex a guy, he pops up instantly and hits you with a lariat, then you’re both down. The problem is that Cena’s doing the Instinctive Burst without the pathos the instinctive bursts imply. Instead of looking like a guy digging deep and powering up, he looks like a wrestler who has to do his moves now. It’s like a video game animation. They can’t do 100 animations for every move to show wear and tear and tell the story of the match, so they have to just use the one. Cena exists in real life and COULD show all that stuff, but still does the one animation. When people kick out, it seems less like they survived to continue the match and more like we narrowly avoided a shitty finish. Does that make sense? It feels like a decision instead of something that actually happened. When played right, this can be brilliant. See Cena/Brock at SummerSlam, or some of the matches with Punk. You’re just like, OH HERE IT GOES, and then you feel relief that you were worked by a worked-shoot that’s too unintentional and phony to be a work OR a shoot. It’s just Cena. He’s his own brand, even when he’s falling down and rolling over.

He’s transcended “pro wrestler” and become a pro wrestling conversation. He’s an event, kind of. These United States Championship matches have been fascinating because we’re all obsessed with how and when and to whom he’ll lose, and he’s just plowing away tearing it up with randos every week in a way Hulk Hogan never, ever would’ve. He’s sincere and insincere. Real and fake. Work and shoot. He’s just this confusing, argumentative wrestling thing. It’s wonderful, and also the worst thing ever.

Best: Garbage Finishes With Purpose

The finish is Neville hitting a damn Red Arrow on John goddamn Cena and having him “beat.” The pessimist in me says Cena was still gonna kick out at 2.9, but we’ll say he had him beat. Rusev shows up and stomps Neville, then attacks both guys. That turns a disqualification into a No Contest, I guess.

Usually when a Raw match ends in a run-in or a DQ or a distraction thing, it’s frustrating as a fan because you wish they’d put more effort into booking their matches and not give you the same retread garbage for three hours every week. It’s an issue with how much you hate watching Raw, and how you wish it’d be better. When Rusev runs in here it works like f*cking gangbusters because the match he interrupted was exciting and entertaining and featured two fan-favorites, so instead of being frustrated at Raw, you’re frustrated at Rusev. WWE didn’t take something special away from you, RUSEV did. That’s how all the other terrible run-ins they book are supposed to work when they book them, right?

It makes sense, too. Rusev wants revenge on Cena, sure, but he also wants back the United States Championship. He keeps getting these pay-per-view matches against Cena, but in the interim Cena keeps giving random folks shots at the belt. Neville actually maybe-kinda-sorta had Cena pinned, so if Rusev simultaneously wants the belt AND Cena’s head, he’s gotta keep them together. I understand his motivations and they make sense AND I want throw a boot at his head for taking away NEVILLE PINNED JOHN CENA CLEAN ON RAW AND WON THE TITLE forever, and that’s the blue-eyed ever-loving point. Beautifully done.

Worst: Wouldn’t A Spear Onto The Announce Table Hurt Less?

Kane vs. Roman Reigns is supposed to happen again, and it’s kind of a nightmarish proposition so they just attack each other before it starts and never have the match.

They brawl a little and it culminates in Reigns spearing Kane onto the announce table. This is built up as devastating, but wouldn’t a spear onto the table hurt less? Think about it. When Roman spears you in the ring or on the floor, it’s a two-hit scenario. He’s ramming into you with his shoulder at full speed, and that knocks you backwards into the ground. Kayfabe it’s a whiplash effect, and it’s boom your stomach, boom your head. It’s why it “knocks you out.” You aren’t gonna go unconscious because you caught a running hug.

By spearing Kane on the announce table, you’re basically forcing him into a sitting position and sitting him on a flat surface. There’s no boom your stomach boom your head, it’s boom your stomach and like 10 seconds of awkwardly sitting and rolling over. If the table was propped up and you went through it, sure, Wrestling Pain! If you’re standing on the table and drive a guy into it — Reigns spearing Show from one table onto the next, for example — there’s a sort of downward motion that simulates the regular move and adds the impact of the table itself, and then the staggered fall. Hang on, I’ve got like 3,000 more words to write about this.

Furthermore, I believe that-

Worst: So I Guess We’re Doing Another Pay-Per-View This Month

“Hey guys, we aren’t desperate! WWE Network is great! Remember when we did a King of the Ring tournament on like two days notice, and it resulted in Bad News Barrett becoming a Rosebud for a month? Here’s our latest idea, which is bringing back the f*cking Elimination Chamber two weeks after Payback as a WWE Network Exclusive, because I guess some dope out there’s still paying 40 bucks to order pay-per-views! Don’t they know they can spend 10 bucks and also get LEGENDS HOUSE? Anyway, we aren’t desperate. The Raw between shows will be NON-STOP CONTRACT SIGNINGS! There’ll be a tag team championship Elimination Chamber! Don’t you want to see Viktor and Darren Young battling it out inside THE UNFORGIVING STEEL STRUCTURE? We aren’t desperate! Please pay $10 to watch this one since Payback will be a shit sandwich with fries. We’re sorry about Payback! Elimination Chamber, a thing you remember!”

Best/Worst: Tamina Refusing To Bump

Spoiler: Tamina hasn’t gotten any better at wrestling.

If you watched the match last night, rewatch it and pay attention to how vehemently Tamina refuses to bump. She’ll get clotheslined and just turn in place and put her palm against her neck. She’ll get dropkicked, stumble around and bounce her knee off the mat. Most of the time she’s just avoiding offense. Not countering it, just kinda ducking and pretending it doesn’t exist. Even when she bumps, she doesn’t bump. She drops to her butt and rolls backwards, like she’s a week into wrestling school. Tamina has been wrestling for SIX YEARS.

The reason she keeps getting positioned as Lady Diesel instead of being her own thing is because they can’t rely on her to BE anything. She’s got a good superkick, and when she jumps off the top rope it looks like somebody slipped and fell off a building. She is the formidable jobber obstacle.

Worst: The Mega Powers Of Secondhand Embarrassment

First of all, calling Curtis Axel “Axelmania” like that’s his name continues to piss me off. Nobody ever called Hulk Hogan “Hulkamania.” The joke was supposed to be that Axel was delusional about his fan support, so he adopted the most famously branded WWE example of fan support. He’d tear the shirt off and make reference to it, but he didn’t shoot think he was Hulk Hogan. But fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, WWE writers gotta create a joke, forget why the joke was funny and beat all the unfunny parts of it into the ground.

Second of all, Damien Sandow is the only person in the world who does a worse Macho Man impression than me.

Third of all, this is the saddest thing in the entire world. Maybe I’m a joyless prick for not vaguely remembering old wrestlers and cackling and clapping my hands like a toddler when other people do too, but “Macho Mandow” has got to go. What is the psychological reason for this dude? He’s just … broken. He dressed up as old Superstars for a while trying to get the crowd to like him, because he hated himself and didn’t believe anyone would like him for him. Then he gets into an abusive relationship with The Miz where he’s bossed around and controlled, but people start to see his talent and cheer for him. This empowers him, but he never stands up for himself. Eventually it’s THE MIZ who is the catalyst for the breakup, and Miz fires him and gives him a more demeaning job and treats him like trash. Eventually Sandow rejects the Miz and turns on him, but it’s in the middle of a match he doesn’t win, and only happens when Miz verbally and physically berates him for like two minutes. So then Sandow forces himself on The Miz’s movie co-star, fights The Miz for the right to call himself The Miz and loses because the girl he sexually harassed revealed the evil ruse that she didn’t like being sexually harassed. So THEN Sandow shows up on Raw and is like, “I was always sad about not being able to be myself, but you’ve let me into your hearts so I’m always gonna be honest with you.” A few weeks later he’s stunt doubling for a dead guy, and trying to get over using the style, moves and charisma of someone who can’t rise from the grave and tell him to stop. It’s psychotic. Damien Sandow is the most broken guy on the roster, and he needs some f*cking counseling.

Fourth of all, Axel and Sandow vs. The Ascension could reach WeeLC levels of self-aware wrestling humor, but it’s mostly just going to remind us how fake and embarrassing wrestling is, and how none of these guys will ever matter. I mean, I could type “lol he dressed like the macho man,” but you’ve let me into your hearts so I’m gonna be honest with you.

Worst: The Raw Promo Room

The Prime Time Players are apparently trapped forever in that backstage Phantom Zone where you stand in a dark room and cut promos for three months. Goldust and Stardust lived in there for a while, Bray Wyatt took it over and filled it with smoke and now Darren Young and Titus O’Neil are locked in there with a Tickle Trunk until they say the funny wrestling joke that breaks the seal.

I hope it’s “make the gay guy an ass man and have him tell people to suck it.” That’s probably it.

Worst: Street Clothes Daniel Bryan Is Always A Bad Time

do we have to

I said I’d write more about this in today’s Best and Worst of Raw column and we’re like 4,000 words into that, so here goes.

Last night we saw another appearance from the scariest wrestler of all time: street clothes Daniel Bryan. When he shows up dressed like a non-confrontational lumberjack, you know something sad’s about to happen. He announced that he’d had an MRI and the doctors don’t really know what’s up with him or how long it’ll take him to get surgery and be back at 100%, so he’s relinquishing the Intercontinental Championship and gallop-yessing off into the sunset. He doesn’t know if he’ll be able to wrestle again. He points out the connection that WWE audiences have always had with him and how he feels like he doesn’t really deserve it, and my brain starts twisting up in this awful combination of depression and terrible jokes. “Brock Lesnar should show up and rip him in half vertically.” “Next year he should win the tag titles at WrestleMania, take a month off and then vacate the tag titles.” My defense mechanisms all fire at once because the reality of the situation is that my favorite wrestler, my favorite wrestler for most of the past 14 years and probably my favorite of all time, is standing in the ring on Raw saying he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to do it again. I may never have a chance to see Daniel Bryan Danielson wrestle again, in person or on TV or anywhere. He’ll exist as a thing of the past, like Guerrero or Benoit or Pillman or countless others we’ve lost. It’s not death, but it’s the death of the fictional version of him. The version we’ve always known. The only version we’ve known.

It’s been a long time coming, I guess. He’s been hurt for a while. When he came back we got our hopes up, but we still winced every time he fell down and grabbed his neck. When he got taken off the European tour, we knew this was coming. When news broke of him having health problems and missing Extreme Rules, we knew this was coming. When they announced he’d be on Raw to talk about this future, we knew it wasn’t gonna end with Ziggler showing up and dropkicking him and starting a cool new program. The end of the story is sadness. The end of every wrestling story is sadness. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier.

So all we can do is know that what’s happening is for the best, and that if the fictional version of him dies, at least the real life human that brought him to life for 15 years gets to live on and have a happy, normal life. He’s rich. He’s married to a model. He’s got books and DVDs and action figures. Back in 2005 he was a Bob Backlund-looking vanilla midget people didn’t trust to hold the Ring of Honor Championship. He was a guy who wanted to quit and go into MMA because he figured he’d done everything he could in wrestling. He ended up doing everything anybody could do in wrestling. You know, besides that one Royal Rumble.

Maybe Bryan will get the surgery he needs for real and the recovery time that goes with it, and come back stronger and better than ever. Shawn Michaels did it. His career was over, and he just magically sprang back into our lives and had a second career. Maybe this is the end, and Bryan Danielson gets to live in a house somewhere in Washington or wherever and play with his dogs, and stop getting kicked in the neck for a living.


I don’t want to write about this anymore.

Best: Hoss Fight!

Hey, here’s something I can write about: Cesaro and Big E taking that post-Daniel Bryan speech death slot and turning it into a suplex and head-drop party. I loved everything about it, from The New Day’s assistance at commentary (“Big E is strong! Kofi is agile!”) to Cesaro winning with a freaking Dos Caras clutch. Somewhere in Pennsylvania, Mike Quackenbush’s heart is beaming.

Here’s to hoping the 2-out-of-3 Falls match between The New Day and K-Swiss at Payback is as good as it should be, because I’m ready to kill my darlings and go all-in on this wacky-ass tag team division.

Worst: So Is Bray Vs. Ryback About The Economy Now Or What

The only thing interesting about this segment is that Ryback has apparently become Sy-Klone from He-Man. Bray Wyatt should dress up like Man-At-Arms, maybe then I’d be able to sit through five more boring, gaspy minutes about how he’s the Face of Fear.

I don’t think WWE’s conditioned me to instantly hate anything in my adult life like they have with these Bray Wyatt speeches. Holy shit, they make me want to flip a table. They want to make me rip my sink off the wall and go rampaging through the city in my underwear. Every time they write “five minutes of Bray Wyatt talking” on the dry erase board, they should erase it and replace it with “Ryback discusses a book that positively influenced his life, but it’s a real obvious one that housewives would read.”


Worst: And Now The Same Ending We Did Last Time

Remember how last week’s episode ended with Randy Orton getting attacked by The Authority during the main-event, leading to a post-match thing where Orton, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose fought them off and then did finishers to each other?

This week’s episode ends with Randy Orton getting attacked by The Authority during the main-event, leading to a post-match thing where Orton, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose fight them off and then do finishers to each other. I’m not kidding. The only difference is that the KANE INTRIGUE now involves a Payback stipulation where if Seth Rollins doesn’t retain the championship, Kane is super forever fired or whatever.

Are you excited that the PPV after Payback only gets two weeks to build, and that Money in the Bank happens two weeks after THAT? Hope you love this show ending, because we’re getting it five more times!

Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Night


“Just about every Superstar on the roster has retribution on their minds in the lead-up to WWE Payback”

Well, that’s lucky.

Kevin Nash Booked This

TV Guide Listings for Monday Night Raw:

5/11/15: Authority members Seth Rollins and Kane can’t get along!
5/4/15: Authority members Seth Rollins and Kane can’t get along!
4/29/15: Authority members Seth Rollins and Kane can’t get along!
4/22/15: Authority members Seth Rollins and Kane can’t get along!
4/14/15: Authority members Seth Rollins and Kane can’t get along!
4/07/15: Authority members Seth Rollins and Kane can’t get along!

Mr. Royal Rumble, TheCensoredMSol

Did Dolph kidnap Double Dragon’s girlfriend?


I missed the DeflateGate joke. Was it Nikki Bella representing an NFL ball and Brie Bella representing a Patriots ball?


Introducing, Adrian Neville of the House Neville: The First of his Name, The New Sensation, The Breaker of Chains, The Man that Gravity Forgot, King of the Ring and Father of the Red Arrow.


Ryback’s tights can also be used as a wildcard in Uno.

And now, the Intercontinental Championship Lightning Round!


From now on all IC title matches should start with the Tiki sound from the Brady Bunch.


Quick, while the IC title is just laying there, somebody get a priest and some holy water!


“During the commercial, on the WWE App, R-Truth ran out to the ring and took the Intercontinental title.”


[Gives up IC title]

“Huh weird, all of a sudden I feel a lot better. I feel like I could win a few matches now”

Thanks, everybody. See you next week.