By Long Shot contributor Tim Simko
At WWE Elimination Chamber, fans saw the unexpected. Kevin Owens stunned fans when he defeated John Cena in his main roster debut match, fans witnessed the first ever tag team Elimination Chamber match and Dean Ambrose defeated WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins in the main event but didn’t win the championship.
Will Ambrose earn another opportunity to win the championship? How will WWE promote Kevin Owens going into his second match with John Cena in two weeks at Money in the Bank? And who else will be announced for the upcoming WWE Money in the Bank match?
Once again, it is time to get RAW.
RAW started with The Authority in the ring as they recapped the previous night’s events. Dean Ambrose managed to pin WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins in the main event, however, it was later ruled that he won the match by disqualification. In the WWE, a championship cannot be won by disqualification.
Triple H of The Authority called Ambrose out but Roman Reigns came out instead. Reigns said that Ambrose isn’t in the building, but told The Authority that Ambrose wants a WWE World Heavyweight Championship rematch at Money in the Bank. He said that Ambrose wants it to be a ladder match so that there is no controversy.
They argued back and forth about the ending of Elimination Chamber. Eventually, Rollins lost his temper and agreed to a rematch. He said that he doesn’t need The Authority and at Money in the Bank he will prove who the real WWE World Heavyweight Champion is once and for all.
After Rollins walked out, Triple H told Reigns that he is finding an opponent for him tonight. He also announced that if Reigns loses his match on RAW, he will be removed from the Money in the Bank ladder match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship contract in two weeks.
They had a great match last night at Elimination Chamber and I am excited to see these two compete in a ladder match. With the push Ambrose has been getting in the last two months, either man could walk out as champion. This will be an exciting Pay-Per-View main event match for sure.
Following a commercial break, King Barrett came out to face Reigns in a match. The match started with a series of back and forth grappling. After awhile, Barrett and Reigns traded a series of headlocks before Barrett started to gain control.
Reigns hit Barrett with a kick and started to make a comeback. Reigns went for his Superman Punch but Barrett dodged it. Reigns knocked Barrett out of the ring and they fought back and forth outside of the ring.
Barrett threw Reigns into the steel steps and rolled back into the ring as RAW went to a commercial.
Barrett was still in control as RAW came back on the air. Barrett continued to beat Reigns around the ring as Reigns rolled around in pain. Reigns began to make a comeback as him and Barrett traded a series of punches. Reigns hit a clothesline on Barrett to regain control of the match.
After more back and forth, Barrett hit the Winds of Change for a two-count. Barrett signaled for his Bullhammer finisher, but Reigns countered and hit Barrett with a slam for a two count.
Barrett raked Reigns’ eyes and went for a bullhammer elbow but Reigns dodged it and countered with a spear for the win. Roman Reigns is still in the Money in the Bank ladder match.
This was a good match, and Reigns seems to be slowly winning over the crowd as time goes on.
Backstage, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon announced that Reigns would wrestle again with his Money in the Bank opportunity on the line against Mark Henry.
This is a good premise, as they will likely either continue this over and over until Reigns loses tonight, or he will come out of tonight’s RAW as a winner and be built up as a legitimate contender in the match.
The interview then went to Byron Saxton who asked Divas Champion Nikki Bella what is the next chapter. Paige interrupted her and challenged her to a one-on-one championship match. Nikki accepted the challenge, on the condition that they have the match tonight.
WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback made his way to the ring. Ryback said that he is proud to be the Intercontinental Champion and thanked the fans. The commentary team announced that Ryback will defend his championship against The Miz after the commercial break.
The announcer made official introductions for the match. As the match was about to begin, Big Show came out. Big Show teased a fight with Ryback before knocking out The Miz with a knockout punch. He declared that if anyone is going to beat Ryback for the championship it would be him. They had a staredown until Big Show left the ring as Ryback taunted him.
Big Show isn’t the most exciting wrestler to watch these days, but the idea of these two men feuding is intriguing. Seeing Ryback hit shellshocked on Big Show could draw some excitement.
Kevin Owens made his way to the ring as the commentators recapped how Owens beat 15 time WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena in the center of the ring in his first WWE main roster match.
Owens said that he always delivers on his promises, and his promise to beat John Cena was no different. He said that he should feel on top of the world, but his son asked him if John Cena is okay. He said that for the last decade, Cena has been portrayed as a real-life superhero. While Owens traveled the world and honed his craft, Cena was featured on WWE television. Owens said that Cena became the Owens’ son’s hero because he was portrayed as “Super Cena.” However, Owens beat Cena.
Owens said that he is going to beat Cena again, and that a real role model doesn’t have flashy T-shirts or catchphrases but a real role model delivers just like Owens.
Cena came out and said that the whole world is talking about Kevin Owens. Cena said he was going to hand over his United States Championship, but that Owens doesn’t deserve it. He said that Owens couldn’t be a role model because he’s not a real man. Cena continued to berate Owens’ attitude and talked about respect. Cena said that Owens’ lacks respect, but that he never gives up. He said that he will beat Owens at Money in the Bank and they teased fighting, but Owens grabbed his NXT Championship and walked out.
Although I think Cena will end up winning their second match, a part of me wants to see Owens go 2-0 in this feud. This is the type of feud fans have wanted for years, as hardcore fans praise Owens heavily. While we have seen the likes of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan defeat John Cena, this feud has the potential to escalate even further than those feuds.
RAW came back from commercial as WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day were in the ring. They promoted Kofi Kingston’s participation in the Money in the Bank ladder match and tried to start a New Day Rocks chant before Dolph Ziggler came out, accompanied by Lana. Ziggler sent Lana to the back as he prepared to go one on one with Kofi Kingston.
The match started off with a lot of back and forth action, as Kingston and Ziggler traded a series of grapples. Ziggler began to gain control of the match and hit an elbow on Kingston for a two count. After a series of fast paced action, Ziggler hit Kingston with a DDT for a two count.
Xavier Woods tried to distract the referee and Kingston took advantage and tried to roll up Ziggler but Ziggler reversed it and held on to Kingston’s tights for the pin and the win. After the match, The New Day attacked Ziggler but the Prime Time Players made the save as RAW went to commercial.
When RAW returned from commercial, a new match was in progress. The Prime Time Players and Dolph Ziggler faced off against all three members of The New Day. The New Day isolated Young and made frequent tags. They continuously stomped him in the corner, and continued to beat down the incapacitated Young.
Young began to make a comeback, but the three on one advantage led to Young being beat down once again. Big E went for a splash on young but Young countered and began to crawl towards his tag team partners.
Big E tagged in Woods as Young tagged in Titus O’ Neil. O’Neil began to make a comeback for his team as he attacked each of the three members of The New Day. After a series of chaos in the ring with all six men, Titus O’Neil hit his finisher on Xavier Woods for the pin and the win.
This was a good match, as it made each competitor look good. The Prime Time Players were also built up as legitimate tag team competitors with their matches at Elimination Chamber and on RAW.
Mark Henry made his way to the ring for his match as Roman Reigns awaited him in the ring. The bell sounded and Reigns immediately started beating down Henry. Henry began to take control and beat Reigns in the corner.
Reigns began to make a comeback as he hit Henry with a series of punches in the corner. Reigns hit Henry with a Samoan Drop and Henry rolled out of the ring. Reigns went outside of the ring and Henry shoved him into a ringpost, but Reigns attacked Mark Henry with a Superman Punch. Reigns rolled into the ring at nine and Mark Henry was counted out at 10. Roman Reigns won the match and is still in the Money in the Bank Ladder match.
After the match, Mark Henry attacked Reigns with the World’s Strongest Slam and a splash before leaving Reigns writhing in pain in the ring.
Backstage, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon congratulated Roman Reigns and told him that he will face Bray Wyatt later on RAW with his spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match on the line.
The match was shorter than it could’ve been, but with Reigns competing multiple times tonight that is understandable. Too much of one wrestler on any given night will make the crowd go mild. As for Henry attacking him after the match, it is an excellent show of how The Authority continues to stack the odds against the heroes.
After a series of Sonic shake audition tapes featuring The Mega Powers and The New Day, Paige made her way to the ring for her Divas Championship match against Nikki Bella as RAW went to commercial.
As RAW came back from commercial, WWE Divas champion Nikki Bella made her way to the ring. They locked up to start the match, and after some back and forth Nikki gained the advantage. Nikki began to taunt Paige and continued to attack her. Nikki put Paige in a submission hold but Paige fought out of it and Nikki countered with a slam. Nikki put Paige in another submission but Paige went to the ropes. Nikki continued to taunt Paige but Paige made a comeback. Nikki raked Paige’s eyes and hit an Alabama Slammer for a two count. Paige hit her Ram-Paige finisher off of the tope rope, but Nikki rolled out of the ring. Brie Bella was under the ring and switched places with her twin sister to pin Paige and win the match.
I thought the match was decent, and the Bellas are showing signs of becoming villains once again, but the finish was questionable. The “twin magic” swap worked well a few years ago when they looked identical, but in 2015 they look very different. Brie wears virtually no makeup and is all-natural, Nikki wears a lot of makeup, has highlights in her hair, and had breast augmentation surgery a few years ago. With these noticeable differences, the “Twin magic” swap doesn’t work as well as it did just a few years ago because it is not as believable.
Randy Orton and Sheamus competed next one-on-one. The match started off with the two men locking up, as they fought back and forth. The match’s pace was slow, as it featured a series of back-and-forth grapples and lock ups. Orton began to gain the advantage and hit Sheamus with a series of uppercuts; Sheamus fought back and began to hit uppercuts of his own. The two men fought back and forth. The two fought outside, and Orton slammed Sheamus onto the announce table before hitting him with a clothesline. Orton went back into the ring as RAW went to commercial.
As RAW came back from commercial, both men continued to brawl. Sheamus managed to gain the upper hand and continued to beat down Orton. He hit a knee drop off of the top rope for a two count.
Orton managed to make a comeback as the fans cheered him on. Sheamus tried to stifle the comeback, but was stopped by a series of clotheslines. Orton hit a power slam on Sheamus and went for a DDT off of the ropes but was countered. After more back and forth Orton hit a T-bone suplex followed by a DDT off of the ropes. Orton began to signal for his RKO but Sheamus countered and hit him with a knee.
Both men started to brawl outside of the ring again, and Sheamus hit Orton with a chair. The referee called for the disqualification and Sheamus hit Orton with a brogue kick. Sheamus beat down Orton outside of the ring until the referees fended him off. Sheamus managed to hit one more brogue kick before he walked away. Orton won the match by disqualification, but was laid out by Sheamus afterward.
This match was a good brawl towards the end, but started off very slow. The beginning reminded me of a match from the 1980’s. A lot of people remember the good matches from the 80’s, but most of the matches were very generic with simple grapples and holds on the mat. The beginning of this match featured a lot of it and seemed to drag on. I also noticed that the crowd was quiet during this segment of the match. As the professional wrestling industry evolves, it is the duty of the powers that be to make sure that they can gauge the crowd in order to get the best reactions. With last night’s mishaps in the Intercontinental Championship Elimination Chamber match and the slow pace of tonight’s match with Orton and Sheamus, WWE officials need to be careful to avoid having a dead crowd.
Byron Saxton interviewed Rusev backstage. Rusev said that he is a broken man who has lost everything, but that he will get back all of it. He walked off as RAW went to commercial.
Bo Dallas went one on one in a rematch with Neville. As soon as the bell rang, Dallas beat down Neville and completely dominated him. Dallas hit Neville with a clothesline on the outside and screamed at him repeatedly.
Neville began to fight back, as he hit a series of punches and kicks on Dallas. Neville knocked Dallas down and hit the Red Arrow for the pin and the win.
This was a good short match, and showed that even though Neville has a hurt knee that he is still a contender in the Money in the Bank ladder match. I look forward to seeing his performance at the Pay-Per-View.
Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns made their way to the ring for their main event match. Wyatt continuously took advantage of the exhausted Reigns, beating him down repeatedly. Reigns showed signs of fatigue—favoring his ribs and his injured eye—as he began to make a comeback.
Wyatt his Reigns with a cross body and Reigns rolled out of the ring. The Authority came out and began to watch the match from the stage. Wyatt continued to beat down Reigns on the outside as the Authority applauded and RAW went to commercial.
Wyatt continued to beat down Reigns as RAW came back from commercial. Reigns hit a clothesline on Wyatt in the ring and both men were knocked down. Wyatt tried to attack Reigns but Reigns sidestepped him and hit a DDT. Reigns began to pummel Wyatt in the corner before knocking him out of the ring, and he dropkicked Wyatt in the head. Wyatt managed to hit Reigns with a clothesline and hit a splash. Reigns was at a disadvantage again but hit a Samoan drop. He went for a superman punch but Wyatt countered for a two count.
Reigns rolled up Wyatt for a two count and hit a superman punch on Wyatt, but Seth Rollins sent down J&J Security to distract Reigns. Wyatt went for his Sister Abagail finisher but Reigns countered with a spear for the win. Reigns is still in the Money in the Bank ladder match.
The Authority prepared to ambush Reigns but Dean Ambrose’s music hit and he came out with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Ambrose threw the title and Rollins caught it but Ambrose took advantage of the distraction and hit Dirty Deeds on Rollins. Ambrose walked out once again with the championship to end RAW.
This was a good match and built Reigns as a strong competitor. This also helped to further establish Ambrose as a main event player. I can’t wait for their ladder match in two weeks.
- I enjoyed seeing Reigns in multiple matches throughout the night, it was fun to see him in a must win situation.
- The Divas match was average but the ending wasn’t believable. With Nikki’s cosmetic surgery and the differences in appearance, they can’t switch as seamlessly as they used to.
- Ambrose has proved in the last few months that he deserves to be a world champion, and after his performance in the last two Pay-Per-View main events I hope that it happens for him one day.
- I found this clip while looking for photos and I thought this was amazing. http://www.wwe.com/videos/john-cena-welcomes-a-courageous-member-of-the-wwe-universe-to-the-ring-wwecom-ex-27456089
I will also be covering the Stone Cold Podcast with Paul Heyman tonight. For those who don’t watch this live, you can also watch a replay of it anytime exclusively on the WWE Network. They are offering the month of June free to all new subscribers, and those who are subscribed can also go back in the archives and see Stone Cold interview Triple H as well as Vince McMahon. I highly recommend trying the WWE Network if you are a fan, as it is well worth the $9.99 a month price tag.