WWE Raw TV Report: Debuts, surprises, hair styles, capes, fans being rowdy, Lesnar being Lesnar
By Rob McCarron | Wrestling Observer
WWE returns to San Jose with the first WWE Monday Night Raw since Wrestlemania 31. The crowds of recent years have been hot and loud on these Raws, and tonight should be no different. Sasha Banks has teased a debut on Twitter, Rusev has lost his US Championship, Sid is nowhere to be seen, and we have a new World Heavyweight Champion. What surprises might we be in store for tonight on Monday Night Raw!? Follow along with us here at F4WOnline / Wrestling Observer for tonight’s live coverage of WWE Raw!
Angry Brock is Angry
Paul Heyman, with his client Brock Lesnar, opened Raw with a fiery promo about wanting to take WWE to court over Rollins’ cash in and victory for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship last night. Brock wouldn’t let that happen, however, as he just wanted his rematch for the title tonight on Raw. Paul was so great pandering to the easiest crowd of the year, as was Brock with his expressions throughout the speech. With Paul clamoring for Brock’s rematch tonight, and Brock ready and dressed to fight, they awaited Seth’s appearance. However, Stephanie McMahon came out instead. She said Seth hasn’t arrived back in California, yet, after going to the Today Show this morning. Steph did say that Seth would be up for the challenge, so Paul guaranteed us Brock Lesnar’s first match on WWE Raw in over ten years.
Daniel Bryan vs Dolph Ziggler
Wade Barrett sat in on commentary, giving analysis and scouting his eventual next opponent. We got some chain wrestling to start, but the pace quickened as Bryan got intense early. In fact, Bryan was goading Ziggler into matching his intensity for this fight. The two had an entirely hard hitting match, which the crowd loved, that Bryan won with a Baisuke knee out of nowhere to win. After the match, Barrett ran in and knocked out Bryan. The returning Sheamus ran in to make the save, or at least that is what it seemed. However, once Barrett was ran off, Sheamus gave the Brogue Kick to Bryan. He then wiped out Ziggler with White Noise. Sheamus had portions of his beard tied, and a spiked mohawk. The crowd chanted, “You look stupid” at him. After the onslaught, Sheamus told everyone that he was back, and Cole wondered why he gave no explanation for his actions. Patience, young Michael.
Lucha Dragons’ Real Debut
Kalisto pinned Viktor after the standing sliced bread #2 in an 8-man tag. The Lucha Dragons joined The New Day to take on Ascension, Kidd, and Cesaro. This was a showcase, really, for the Dragons, who had the crowd behind them big time. When the duo did their Lucha entrance, everyone knew to join in, and they did. It was a fun debut with the right setting.
Backstage, Paul Heyman told Brock that Seth was here.
A vignette for Neville aired, as he debuts tonight.
My apologies, there are storms in the area and I lost my feed for a bit, but am catching up now.
Brock Lesnar Gets Suspended
Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship was set to take place, but the jet-lagged Rollins wanted to back out. Lesnar wouldn’t let him easily, instead taking him to Suplex City in the ring. Rollins did manage to escape, eventually high tailing it through the crowd to get away. Lesnar, pissed off, flipped the announce table over, crushing JBL and Booker T. Michael Cole suffered a worse fate, getting destroyed by Brock with an F-5 due to the beast’s frustration. Cole’s bump looked sick. Heyman was trying to calm Brock down, but Lesnar wasn’t having it. Next, he set his sights on a camera man. With the camera guy up for an F-5, Stephanie McMahon walked out and told him to stop the rampage. Brock refused, so Stephanie responded with a notice of suspension, indefinitely. Brock responded by F-5’ing the cameraman one more time. Total destruction everywhere, with all three announcers laid out, a cameraman murdered, and no title match to be had.
Paramedics were working on Cole and the announcers after a break, and it looks like we’ll be getting a new set of voices for the rest of the show.
Renee Young asked Stephanie about Brock’s punishment. Stephanie said that she owns his ass, and she’s going to make him wait for his title rematch.
Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler are the announce crew for the rest of the show.
Stardust vs Damien Mizdow
Still Mizdow for whatever reason. Even wearing the Miz tights. Apparently, he enjoyed getting over as a Miz mimic over a future again as himself. Mizdow won with the skullcrushing finale in two minutes, but he was attacked by The Miz afterwards and laid out.
Curtis Axel vs Neville
Adrian Neville, going now just by his last name, debuted in victory over Axel in a quick, showcase match. Neville wore a purple cape to the ring, in addition to the name shortening. He won with the Red Arrow as the crowd flew right along with him.
Michael Cole has suffered cervical damage at the hands of Lesnar, so it looks as if he’s taking a vacation from this year’s European tour.
John Cena’s Open Challenge
John Cena came out to celebrate his victory, although the crowd’s “John Cena sucks” chants tried to dampen it. Cena issued an open challenge for his US Title tonight, and Byron expected Rusev to answer it. Instead, Dean Ambrose, to a huge ovation, answered the call. Cena and Ambrose had a very good match, with Ambrose getting a few very believable near falls that made him look like an equal tier player to John. This crowd certainly saw him on that level, as they were pro-Ambrose all the way. Cena did win with the AA.
Backstage, Seth Rollins told Renee that the focus in WWE should be on him, and not Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar. Randy Orton rolled in, reminding Seth that he won their Wrestlemania match last night. Kane and the Big Show showed up to get Seth’s back, and by the end, a 6-man main event was made for tonight.
No Sasha Banks
Naomi pinned Nikki Bella in a 6-Woman tag, as Paige & AJ & Naomi took on The Bellas & Natalya. The crowd chanted many things in support of the ‘Divas’, and loved most of what they did by the end after being tepid at first. Another really good match, as this show is matching Wrestlemania almost in match quality.
Backstage, The Ryback partnered up willingly with Randy Orton for the main event. They keep hyping up the fact that they may not find a third man, although it surely had to be Roman Reigns.
Rusev vs Goldust
Rusev squashed Goldust to start a new winning streak. No Lana tonight, and it was made clear that the Rusev – Cena program isn’t quite over, yet.
Orton & Ryback & Reigns vs Rollins & Kane & Big Show
Reigns was the ‘mystery’ third partner, of course. The crowd was hoping for a real surprise, but when Reigns’ music hit, they booed quite loudly. The crowd is chanting “Suplex City” and various things during the match, as the Roman entrance really let some air out of their balloons. This was actually a hot match, but the crowd never gave it a shot. They torpedoed this show, paying no attention to the match and doing whatever they wanted. They even did a wave, so big that cameras followed it and they acknowledged it on commentary. Roman pinned Kane after a spear to thunderous boos, and that was it.
A bit flat, would be an understatement. But honestly, not really that bad.
I’m out. Jeff Hamlin next week and on. It’s been real. Follow me on Twitter, say hi, or don’t. BYE~!