Tonight’s Raw was — as always — an exercise in sifting through the bad to find the good. The good is stuff like Dean Ambrose being the central focus of the show for the last few weeks and that continuing on this week, while the bad is stuff like Cena vs. Orton being pushed as the Hell in a Cell main event. It’s being billed as a “double main event” but let’s be honest here, one of the matches will go on last and that match is also a #1 contender’s match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
That match is not Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins.
I’m on the fence about it being a good thing or a bad thing that Brock Lesnar has been left off of WWE TV since the last PPV. Monthly PPVs have been a slog for a very, very long time now and we very rarely get any mystique built around champions in the WWE anymore. The idea of saving Brock Lesnar and the championship for big occasions is actually a fresh concept at this point. If done correctly they can add value to the title by making it seem that much more important.
The Champion only comes down from his mountain when a worthy challenger presents himself. Of course, this “worthy challenger” is going to be John Cena again so the whole thing kind of falls apart anyway. It falls apart because the last match ended in a DQ where it looked like Cena had Brock pinned, Brock looked to kick out in time but it didn’t matter because Seth Rollins ran in to interrupt the match. Oh well, no one is perfect, right?
The PPV is this weekend and they just announced the rest of the card before Raw tonight, which just seems kind of weird. On the one hand the two main events have more build, on the other hand we all knew what the other matches would be, why hold back? We already knew, guys. The cat was out of the bag.
Let’s get on with it.
Damian Mizdown Delivers Again
Seriously, I harp on this every week but Damian Sandow is just too good for this world. He’s a stunt double, so when Miz was pegged for a six-man tag team match teaming with the Dust Brothers against the Usos and Sheamus of course Miz sent Mizdow in there instead. It was perfect, it made perfect sense and it meant that we didn’t have to see Miz wrestle. Hell, Mizdow even picked up the win, crazily enough!
The Wyatt Promos Continue
Bray Wyatt along with Luke Harper and Eric Rowan are some of the most over dudes in the company right now. Part of the problem is that as over as they are they kind of became the utility players on television to be the dastardly heels that the heroic babyfaces would overcome week after week. It was essentially like having three mid-00’s Kanes.
The fans love them no matter what and I’m not sure that they needed to be pulled from TV and have the reset button hit on them, but the company is showing a commitment to the characters and these promos are incredible. I really haven’t been talking about these for the past few weeks on here, but they are tremendous.
Paul Heyman is Back on Our TVs and the RKO Goes Viral
John Cena and Randy Orton were talking about how all of a sudden they were vying for a shot at Brock Lesnar when we were saved by Paul Heyman. I say saved because, well, we just don’t care about John Cena cutting promos on Randy Orton in long pants anymore. There has been very little mention of Lesnar or Heyman over the past few weeks so this was a welcome change of events.
Even better? WWE capitalizing on the fact that the RKO has become a viral video sensation. WWE has always been good with this kind of stuff.
Mick Foley Sets Everyone’s Expectations SUPER High
Dean Ambrose came out with a dummy dressed up like Seth Rollins before he started hacking away at it with tools in what was an oddly endearing, yet kind of weird promo. They gave him some really awful material to work with and he really did pretty well with it, all things considered. It kind of felt like a late 90’s Mick Foley promo in a way, which made a lot more sense when both men were arguing in the ring and Mick Foley came out and cut an awesome promo about the Hell in a Cell and how it changed his life.
He implied that Rollins and Ambrose have a lot of pressure to deliver in Hell in a Cell because everyone thinks so highly of them, including him. Foley draws parallels between himself and Ambrose and dear god, they aren’t going to throw Ambrose off of the Cell, are they? The only problem with this promo is that they’ve planted that seed into the minds of fans, or that this match could somehow be more memorable than that match, which is almost impossible to live up to. I know that they were trying to help, but damn.
Of Course the Cell Came Down
The Cell was hanging around all night, so of course during the “Handicap Street Fight” (that somehow still saw rules regarding tag ropes abided by) the Cell mysteriously came down and locked all five (six counting the ref) men into the ring to finish out the match. They did that thing that WWE is prone to doing where matches before a PPV end with everyone hitting their finisher on everyone else, one guy gets pinned that is probably going over (Ambrose) and then someone stands tall.
The man that stood tall was Rollins. Orton hit the last of the finisher exchange with an OUT OF NOWHERE RKO on Dean Ambrose who was doing his rebound lariat spot, only for Rollins to Curb Stomp Orton, then scale the Cell and stand tall at the top while the show faded out.