Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 5/18/15: Debut Owens Debut

WWE RawBy Nicholas Jason Lopez

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




(Aired 5/18/15)

Debut Owens Debut

– Given Stephanie McMahon’s return and building off the momentum from Payback’s stellar main event that saw Seth Rollins retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, it made sense for The Authority to open up the show with what we assumed would be a gloating promo, but the result was actually a nice change. Obviously, they put Rollins’ victory over and set the tone for the rest of the show in celebrating him, but the focus here was on the Elimination Chamber match for the vacant Intercontinental Championship at Elimination Chamber. Sheamus coming out to compliment The Authority fit his character, as did giving him the unofficial “title” of ending Daniel Bryan’s career with his last television match. You’d think Sheamus would benefit as an Authority henchman, but having him do his own thing also works. Ryback also fit in this segment well by standing up to Sheamus and defending Bryan to the crowd. This also effectively set up the opening contest, which was an obvious giveaway of these two being in the IC Chamber match.

– The Ryback-Sheamus match was pretty good while it lasted, not going on too long. Ryback sold his ribs really well and got in convincing offense, but wasn’t enough to overcome Sheamus, who faked an eye injury to take advantage with a Brogue Kick.

– The backstage segment with The Authority and Dean Ambrose provided solid hype for the “Architect of a Dream” segment. Rollins was great in his usual gloating, believing Kane should’ve been thankful for having his job saved. Ambrose interrupting fit his character and him wanting Rollins one-on-one for the Title at Elimination Chamber made sense. We knew Rollins wouldn’t accept it right then, as Kane gave him the decision. This also set up Ambrose-Bray Wyatt for later on with Ambrose getting under Kane’s skin by dropping an emotional bomb with names from his past. This also made us wonder what Roman Reigns would think of this match. With all the talk of the brief Shield reunion at Payback, would WWE give us a Title match with all three members? Reigns’ return was hyped for Smackdown, so we’ll find out soon.

– Neville’s in-ring promo was okay, as he put over competing in the WWE, before Bo Dallas interrupted and Neville quipped back that Dallas was the first guy he beat in his NXT reign. Their physicality was okay, as Dallas joined commentary. The Neville-King Barrett match was better than their PPV effort, but nothing special. Neville selling his knee the whole time gave him an out to lose and Barrett targeting it the whole match was smart. Dallas’ postmatch attack was typical heel behavior, but it was effective. Obviously, with all the emphasis on Dallas, you’d probably think a Neville-Dallas match is a go for Elimination Chamber.

– The Rusev-Lana segment built off their tension stemming from the “I Quit” match. Rusev got good heat when he mentioned Lana not coming out at first and it made sense for him to want a rematch. Lana got a big pop when she came out and defended herself well to keep the fans behind her. This was Rusev’s segment so he excelled in “dumping” her and soaked in all the boos.

– Like their previous bouts, the Ambrose-Wyatt match was excellent, getting plenty of TV time. J & J Security interfering to cost Ambrose the match hinted that Rollins saw him as a threat to the Championship, as Cole smartly pointed out.

– The Tag Team Championship match between Kofi Kingston/Big E and Tyson Kidd/Cesaro with Xavier Woods banned from ringside started with a typical New Day heel promo screaming of injustice. Good stuff. The match wasn’t long enough to be anything special, with the lame DQ ending as the Champs beat on the challengers for too long in the corner. Why even have the match? Could’ve told this same story without it. That said – the hype for the Tag Team Championship Chamber match was solid, as we saw The Lucha Dragons initially make the save, followed by Los Matadores, The Ascension and The Prime Time Players all attain curtain time. The ringside chaos will welcome with the high-flying spots. PTP getting to stand tall was interesting definitely.

– If anybody remembers anything from this show, it was the impression that Kevin Owens gave in his main roster debut. First off, John Cena’s pre-Open Challenge speech was well-delivered and set up the moment as good as you possibly can. Owens coming out definitely shocked some people and it immediately made us think of the TakeOver: Unstoppable live special, so this was a smart way to promote it. Was WWE going to give us an Owens-Cena match that saw Owens dominate, but come up short? Nope. They smartly held back and that made Owens look all the more better, as he spoke with confidence about injuring Sami Zayn and made it known things would be done on his terms. Cena berating Owens for calling some fans a waste of his time made sense from the veteran perspective. Owens came across as a brute badass in the way that he decked Cena with a cheap shot and laid him out with his finisher. Undeniably, the image of Owens lifting his NXT World Heavyweight Championship over a fallen Cena while blatantly stepping on the United States Championship was a great heat-grabber. How could you not hate this guy after seeing that?

– The Dolph Ziggler-Stardust match was a short squash match for Ziggler as Stardust remains an utter afterthought. Ziggler’s postmatch promo had him sell his injury and frustration of losing to Sheamus on an okay level, cleverly using his cut to push himself. The Lana-Ziggler stuff was random, but came across well. We knew this would upset Rusev and instead of holding off on that, they followed it up nicely with an altercation. We also got to see Lana finally slap Rusev, who also ate a Zig Zag for his troubles. With Lana at his side, it’s perceived that Ziggler would be the favorite to win the chamber, but Rusev also in there carries on this new feud and makes us think again about the winner.

– Kane always finds Rosa Mendes and Adam Rose making out. Funny, but now that most fans know of Rose’s real-life backstory, when will all this nonsense end?

– The Erick Rowan/Luke Harper-Fandango/Zack Ryder was an obvious squash from the get-go. Building these two heels as a tag team is smart, but you wonder why these two aren’t in the Tag Championship Chamber. This could be a good thing though. If they’re not seen as immediate champions, why set them up to lose so soon?

– Did anybody truly care that Brie Bella couldn’t accompany her sister to the ring? Given, this built off of the Bellas and Stephanie’s past and tied Bryan into things, but it was just meh.

– The Divas Championship match between Nikki Bella and Naomi followed another boxed promo from the heels that didn’t say anything new (or anything false – “People are so behind the Bellas?” Really now?) and the in-ring action offered nothing pleasing. The DQ finish was meh, but at least the bigger story coming out of this was Paige’s return, which couldn’t be better for the division. Also liked that she hit her finisher on Bella as well, making it obvious she was out for the Championship, as she actually still had a claim for a match.

– Liked the Owens backstage segment, as it showed him aligning with Triple H (NXT leader) and backed up what he said in the ring, hyping his match with Cena at Elimination Chamber wonderfully. We know it’ll be a good match and then we don’t know for sure if Owens has a minor role within The Authority or could work with them down the road. Is the plan for Owens to drop his Title to Zayn and go full-time on the main roster? Whether the United States Championship will come into play remains to be seen, but given Owens’ disrespect of the belt, it’d make sense for it to be. Great stuff here.

– The final “Architect Of A Dream” segment had Ambrose interrupting coming from a mile away, but the developments were good for what they were. The Authority portion of the segment was entertaining with the well-produced video package (someone hire Kane as their video producer, STAT) and the continuity of Joey Mercury staying silent was funny. Liked the cinder blocks coming into play once again, as Ambrose got his way through violence, like Rollins usually does. The “chaotic” feel of things came across well and Elimination Chamber is shaping up to be a great card already. Again – we’re left to wonder where Reigns comes into the equation. Elimination Chamber is a “special” PPV and this could be where we see the former Shield members in the same Championship match. Who knows?






– Sheamus def. Ryback via pinfall

– King Barrett def. Neville via pinfall

– Bray Wyatt def. Dean Ambrose via pinfall

– Tag Team Championships – Xavier Woods Banned From Ringside – Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (w/Natalya) def. Kofi Kingston/Big E (Champions) via DQ; New Day retains 

– Dolph Ziggler def. Stardust via pinfall

– Luke Harper/Erick Rowan def. Fandango/Zack Ryder via pinfall

– Divas Championship – Nikki Bella (Champion) def. Naomi (w/Tamina) via DQ to retain

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 May 19, 2015, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: