Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 5/11/15: Daddy’s Home
– The early focus of this episode was Triple H’s return, you know, because he wasn’t on the show a few weeks back to hype Tough Enough. Did WWE even forget that segment? Well, doesn’t that say a lot.
– The first segment with Triple H, Seth Rollins, J & J Security and Kane did a few decent things: it set up the main event, finally allowed us to see come control between Rollins-Kane, and also paid attention to the Payback main event, hanging a statement over Kane’s head that his duties may no longer be needed if Rollins were to lose the Championship. The crowd was very vocal for the hometown boy Dean Ambrose and they got to see him in action, once Jamie Noble mouthed off to the COO. Not the worst, but not the best.
– The 2-on-1 handicap match with Ambrose-J & J Security was already helped by the big reaction for Ambrose, who milked it all in. The bout provided a platform for him to joke around, yet still show off his repertoire to build momentum for Payback.
– Sheamus joined the commentary team dressed like Michael Jordan from “Space Jam” for the Dolph Ziggler-King Barrett match. Barrett’s pre-match promo was more cliche banter that at least tried to hype the Ziggler-Sheamus and Barrett-Neville Payback matches. The action was short, but the weekly tradition of match interferences between Sheamus-Ziggler was kept up when Sheamus distracted Ziggler to get him caught with a Bull Hammer Elbow – another win for the King. The postmatch exchange that saw Ziggler laid out by a Brogue Kick gave the Irishman all the necessary momentum. You have to believe these four men are looked at as contenders to be the next Intercontinental Champion.
– The duo of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan came out together, which was a welcome sight. The Rowan-Fandango match had the smell of a squash. We can’t take Fandango seriously when even the broadcast team is taking bets on how long it takes until he’s pinned. The push was for the former Wyatt Family members as a new tag team is a good change, considering Kidd/Cesaro just turned face. Curious what Mr. Wyatt himself thinks of this reunion? Will they all work together at some point?
– The United States Championship open challenge match followed yet another strong John Cena promo, which hyped the “I Quit” match with Rusev at Payback in all its go-home glory. Rumors ran rampant of a return by Jimmy Wang Yang earlier in the day, but that’s all it ever was. Cena used the crowd to “vote” to have a match, despite being advised not to have one. Sending Neville out was a cool idea for the next challenge responder in that he’d be put over big time, but virtually had no chance to win. The match was spectacular as it progressed – Neville showed superhuman tendencies, kicking out of the Attitude Adjustment and came close to getting the pin after hitting the Red Arrow. Rusev’s attack on Neville at that point was perfect – as it showed Rusev wouldn’t let anyone else get to the title and it also opened the door for a potential Neville-Rusev match. Most notably, Neville never got pinned.
– The segment with Kane and Roman Reigns was a decent back-and-forth styled ringside brawl that put over Kane’s latest mission to please Triple H by showing signs of the old him, while Reigns overcame all that to lay Kane out with a Spear over the announce table, giving him momentum headed into the fatal four-way. We didn’t get a match here, but will surely get it on Smackdown in a “Must be a Winner” match. That should be lots and lots of fun. Wink, wink.
– What is Brie Bella’s new music? Gosh – it’s terrible. Anyways, the Brie Bella-Tamina match followed another decent Naomi/Tamina boxed promo, which preached family and an “early Payback.” The story here was that Tamina dominated most of the match and won with a sick-looking Superkick. But, please – can we get some sort of promo by the Bellas on the sudden change of heart? The longer we go without it, the worse it looks.
– So, let’s get this straight: Damien Mandow was still one of the most popular acts as early as this February. His feud with The Miz was supposed to propel him to the top. It followed that script, but cooled him off big-time in the process. They showed signs of fixing that with his “non-Kayfabe” promo that went downhill once he started imitating Curtis Axel – now known as AxelMania – but we thought it’d all end there. Nope. Suddenly, Mandow has picked up on paying homage to the “Macho Man,” from his ring attire right down to the Pomp And Circumstance theme music. We’ll admit it: even when Mandow first arrived on the scene, his overall look and mannerisms in the ring mirrored that of Randy Savage (Who remembered the purple tights?), but he had his own “Savior of the Unwashed Masses” gimmick. Now though? Mandow has given in to the madness and he’s once again caught in an identity crisis. That said, him joining forces with AxelMania in some sort of odd new age Mega Powers team has slight potential. What mad it work was the work that began in elevating The Ascension once again. This was actually a good time for them to cut a promo, ridiculing the two men for reenacting a Hulk Hogan-Savage match. The pre-show match scheduled between the four is probably exactly that: pre-show material.
– Daniel Bryan’s classy promo was probably the most memorable part of this show, and that’s because it doesn’t take too much work to remember what was most real. This felt like a genuine speech from Bryan, who’s a guy you just have to feel for, relinquishing Championship gold around the same time as last year, with an injury that leaves uncertainty for in-ring action. He put of other talent and the IC belt in the process and had the crowd in the palm of his hands by the end of his promo. What’s scary is this almost felt like a “farewell” promo. We still don’t know the severity of the injury or what it is, but if it’s enough to make doctors think he might not wrestle again, it has to be a big deal. Are they declining to mention the injury to give people hope of a return in the future? Also have to wonder what the plans are to crown a new IC Champion.
– The New Day drew good heat by loosely poking fun at the previous segment, a smart way to get it. Just to be sure though, Big E insulted Pete Rose, a Cincinnati savior. The two-out-of-three falls match for the Tag Titles announced for Payback should be a lot of fun. The Cesaro-Big E match decently hyped that, as things came unraveled outside towards the finish, which saw Cesaro pull off an impressive-looking pinfall maneuver.
– The announcement of a second May PPV with Elimination Chamber for May 31 is good for the match and Network itself, but is it PPV overkill? How do you hype a show that’s two weeks after this one? Given, this probably won’t be treated as a conventional PPV, but that’s how it looks on paper.
– Oh god, more Prime Time Players lameness. They should’ve stopped this 10 segments ago. Do they even wrestle anymore?
– So, Wyatt’s in-ring promo was well-delivered and he talked a good game of Ryback being an inspiration. The brawl was okay, but did Ryback need to have the advantage here? Wyatt has all the potential to be a big-name player and he continues to look like the guy who gets his ass kicked all the time after talking big.
– The Orton-Rollins match was an okay main event, nothing special. We’ve seen this match way too much now. Orton getting attacked by J & J Security before getting to hit an RKO on Rollins made sense. What saved it all was the rabid reaction for Ambrose especially by the end, but that got overshadowed by the faces performing their finishers on Rollins, as Kane stood outside with a chair the whole time, spectating. You almost feel like Kane is in the match too with the way it’s being built around him and what he will do. They’re teasing it way too much, though. He either needs to go all loyalty or go all out against The Authority. The flip-flop intrigue was good for Extreme Rules, but by now, it’s starting to show signs of spoilage.
– 2-on-1 Handicap – Dean Ambrose def. J & J Security via pinfall
– King Barrett def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall
– Erick Rowan (w/Luke Harper) def. Fandango via pinfall
– United States Championship – Open Challenge – Neville def. John Cena (Champion) via DQ; Cena retains
– Tamina (w/Naomi) def. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella) via pinfall
– AxelMania and Damien Mandow to a No-Contest
– Cesaro (w/Tyson Kidd, Natalya) def. Big E (w/Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods) via pinfall
– Randy Orton def. Seth Rollins via DQ
Posted on May 12, 2015, in WWE and tagged AxelMania, Big E, Booker T, Bray Wyatt, Brie Bella, Cesaro, Damien Mandow, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Fandango, J & J Security, JBL, John Cena, Kane, King Barrett, Kofi Kingston, Luke Harper, Michael Cole, Naomi, Natalya, Neville, Nikki Bella, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Ryback, Seth Rollins, Sheamus, Tamina, The Ascension, The New Day, The Prime Time Players, Triple H, Tyson Kidd, Xavier Woods. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.