Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 3/30/15: Ringside Annihilation

WWE Raw“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.




(Aired 3/30/15)

Ringside Annihilation

– The first segment with Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman and Stephanie McMahon was a perfect open to the show. Lesnar was understandably angry and him coming out with Heyman in his fighting gear sold that he meant business. Heyman was on fire on the mic and knew exactly what to say to get the crowd fired up, demanding a WWE World Heavyweight Championship rematch right then and there. He had them in the palm of his hands. Who knew “Suplex City, Bitch!” would catch on the way it has? The chant even had Lesnar cracking a smile. McMahon coming out arguing for Seth Rollins’ case, saying he’d probably be up for the challenge was a good hook into the much-chaotic second hour.

– The Intercontinental Championship match between Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler was their best effort to date. Both guys turned it up a notch in front of a hot post-Mania crowd and they loved every second of it. Bryan was more over, but both guys were cheered heavily. Utter all-out war. Only criticism with this was that they never clarified why exactly the match was happening and what Ziggler did to earn yet another shot at the Title. They could’ve had this later in the show with a segment explaining the reason for the match, but this happening out of the blue after a killer first segment was an obvious way to please the diehard fans. Bad News Barrett being out on commentary bringing up his rematch clause was good stuff and he looked solid in his postmatch attack on both men. It was also a nice set-up for Sheamus’ return, who teased making the save for Bryan/Ziggler, only to brutally attack them instead. He came roaring down the ramp with a new aggressive, bad-ass look that the crowd ripped on with their “You Look Stupid!” chant, but as a heel, it works for him. He was the same boring face character for about five years. We can welcome this change and their tag match hyped for Smackdown should be a good follow-up to what went down here.

– WWE carried the momentum on with the much successful debut of The Lucha Dragons as they participated in an eight-man tag match, teaming with Kofi Kingston/Big E to take on The Ascension/Tyson Kidd/Cesaro. The presence of NXT rained all over this match and with good reason. The NXT-bred luchadors shined all over the match – Calisto’s sequence on Cesaro particularly, which got the crowd on its feet, was memorable. The New Day continue to get negative reactions and it should be telling, but Creative is stubbornly sticking with their lame “Three positive Black men” gimmick that borders on stereotypical racism. Something needs to happen with them and soon. Woods kept tapping the mat, starting the “New… Day-Sucks!” chant from the crowd, which only grew louder as the match progressed. For that matter though, it was all Lucha Dragons and it was the right decision to have them pick up the pinfall.

– The Neville hype video was short, but summed it up perfectly with a slow-motion of him in mid-air, delivering his Red Arrow finisher. Clever placing right after the previous match.

– The first hour rolled right along with a hot show and little did we know just what would happen at the top of the second hour. They teased a rematch between Lesnar and Rollins, until Rollins expectedly backed out of it and tried to run away, causing Lesnar to get his hands on him and beat him down, but still failing to deliver a satisfying F5. This caused Lesnar to get so angry he utterly annihilated the ringside area in ways not seen since the Nexus debut- let’s see: he flipped the announce table onto JBL and Booker T, Irish-whipped J & J Security onto the adjacent announce table, took Michael Cole into the ring and F5’d him, then put his hands on the cameraman, which caused McMahon to come out pleading for sanity. Lesnar’s actions escalated with every minute, creating utter chaos and unpredictability. Once he F5’d the cameraman, it made sense for Steph to take disciplinary action – indefinitely suspending him. This will likely keep him off TV until the rematch, but they can pick this up at Extreme Rules or even hold out until SummerSlam and they got everything they needed here. It was utter WTF chaos, but completely awesome to watch go down and that’s the way you send Lesnar out.

– McMahon’s comments made sense from her character’s perspective, defending the company in a corporate role. Her comments about Lesnar re-signing with WWE and that she “owned that son of a bitch” was for shock value, but worked.

– Byron Saxton out as a makeshift replacement commentator sold the moment of ringside chaos as well. For a little while, there was no commentary and just graphics and segments. The Stardust-Damien Mizdow match was about Mizdow getting his moment and we expected Miz to beat him down after. That was solid, though the crowd wasn’t nearly as hot for it as past segments. Keep in mind they were coming down from all that chaos.

– Curtis Axel was over with these fans, but they forgot all about him once Neville came out and their match was a quick squash for Neville. All eyes were on him as he performed the Red Arrow, his beautiful finisher. So, essentially he dropped the Adrian and he gained a cape, a unique addition to his look.

– John Cena’s United States Championship open challenge segment had him deal with the hostile crowd and Dean Ambrose was a pleasant surprise challenger. Their match was good and competitive – almost a test for Ambrose, but it’s like we were waiting for Rusev to come out the whole time and couldn’t truly enjoy the match. Despite that, it was a good effort.

– The backstage segment with Rollins, Big Show, Kane and Big Show was decent in letting Rollins cut a promo saying Lesnar got what he deserved and put himself over as a genius for his cash-in and Orton brought up his logical case for a World Title shot. Hyping the sudden tag match main event was on the lame side. Are we supposed to think Orton has no friends? That main event was treated like, “Oh yeah, we need one for the show! Oops.”

– The AJ Lee/Paige/Naomi-The Bella Twins/Natalya match provided just the right amount of good stuff with lengthy time (nearly 15 minutes) to deliver for the Divas, a welcome change. The finish left a little to be desired, but that can be overlooked for the effort to raise efforts in these matches.

– Oh, look at Orton backstage. He has no friends. Oh, wait… here comes Ryback. Oh, he hates the Authority too and wants to fight them? What a shocker.

– Rusev picked himself back up again by squashing Goldust, though the crowd obviously wanted more of Lana. Either way, they do a solid job of making him a threat without her present, maybe even more so, as she is his voice of reason. The placing of this on the show was bad though, as things went from hot to mild.

– What a dud of a man event, huh? That’s what you give the hot post-Mania crowd? Of course they were going to hate Roman Reigns as the third guy. How lame could it get? Granted, you could argue that Reigns earned his main event status in the Mania main event, but why send him out in front of a hostile crowd that hated everything about him? Not to mention, he didn’t even look like he sold the beating from Lesnar all too much. Creative must be scared that the crowd rooted more for Ryback than anyone in the match.





Quick Results

– Intercontinental Championhip – Daniel Bryan def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall to retain

– Eight-Man Tag Match – The Lucha Dragons/Big E/Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) def. Tyson Kidd/Cesaro/The Ascension via pinfall

– Neville def. Curtis Axel via pinfall

– United States Championship – Open Challenge – John Cena def. Dean Ambrose via pinfall to retain

– AJ Lee/Paige/Naomi def. The Bella Twins/Natalya via pinfall

– Rusev def. Goldust via submission

– Roman Reigns/Ryback/Randy Orton def. Seth Rollins (w/J & J Security)/The Big Show/Kane via pinfall

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on March 31, 2015, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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