Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 6/8/15: Bourbon Street Blues
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Bourbon Street Blues
– Starting a Raw with a John Cena promo? How incredibly 2007. However – this was only a good thing nowadays since it obviously tied into NXT Champion Kevin Owens. Good call to start things with the United States Championship Open Challenge. We also knew we were strapped in for yet another enthusiastic “go-home” style promo for Money In The Bank. This stayed away from the usual though once Owens came out and made his “delusional” claims and hung right there with Cena in a decent exchange, not like their first one though. This showed Owens being a coward, but also logically explained his actions, like we’re used to. Neville challenging Owens was clever because it’s relevant on the main roster and also tied into NXT, where Owens had taken out Neville previously. Neville stood his ground decently as he claimed Owens didn’t deserve the title he had.
– The NXT Championship Open Challenge match between Neville and Owens with Cena on commentary was a strong match that got better by the end. Neville had a performance that teased us well with almost hitting The Red Arrow several times, but Owens cleanly won with sharp ring alertness. Strong way to hype the MITB encounter, while also letting Neville look like a fighter in the process.
– Can WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins really do it all on his own? That appeared to be the theme of the night and if nothing else, it was entertaining to see the egotistical Champion get a taste of consequences from his words and actions as of late from those he trusts the most in The Authority, namely Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, as we saw in the backstage segment. Also paid attention to here was Dean Ambrose partying on Bourbon Street with Rollins’ title, which Trips/Steph disapproved, but made clear Rollins was on his own in trying to get back. This also gave us a hook that Rollins would get to choose his own opponent for later in the night to prove he could be Mr. Independent. We knew what this would lead to and this was a good way to set it all up.
– Oh, those Divas. What’s really hurting the division lately is the fact that there are no clear heels or faces other than Naomi, who has been off of TV for a few shows now. Divas Champion Nikki Bella seems to be a heel now based on her resorting to “twin magic” to beat Paige last week and her backstage promo came off heelish the way she talked all high and mighty, but then she came out slapping hands with fans on her way to the ring, so who the hell knows anymore?
– The Rae-Bella match was a basic squash that had the Champ remain strong. “Twin magic” would’ve worked as a way to get Bella over as heel but that wasn’t the goal here, we guess. Is she heel or face? If fans don’t know how to react, they just simply won’t. Does WWE realize that?
– The “MITB” in-ring segment that we’ve come to know all too well where most-to-every competitor comes out and stakes their claim to be the winner was only a matter of time, but we got it here on this show, with the theme going for stand-up comedy after interrupting Kane rather than anything truly serious. If anything, Reigns came off comfortable on the mic and besides the chuckle-worthy moment of R-Truth coming out “by mistake,” there was nothing tangible here to come away with, rather than setting up the upcoming Sheamus-Randy Orton match. It’s interesting that Orton was the only MITB competitor to not say anything during the night.
– Just how many TV matches have Sheamus and Orton had together? You might need the hands and toes of 20 people to count them all. This was pretty much a replay of their encounter last week, with Orton using a chair to get disqualified this time. At least Orton had a clear moment of dominance, standing tall, though he most likely won’t win the match come Sunday.
– The J & J Security-Rollins implosion segment backstage was probably one of the highlights of the show, as we saw things break down from Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble forgiving Rollins to Rollins lashing out again, causing an almost-brawl, that saw Mercury finally break his silence with a statement that lingered about kicking Rollins’ ass later. At the time though, this was hard to buy since we’ve been swerved by turns amongst The Authority too many times, but it at least set up the main event match and made us want to stick around to see it.
– The Dolph Ziggler-Kane match was ultimately nothing special besides the Lana ankle injury up on the ramp caused by Rusev that distracted Ziggler enough for Kane to take advantage of. One has to wonder just why Lana wouldn’t just run to the ringside area instead of heading back up the ramp once approached by Rusev there? It’s quite easy to get away from a man with crutches, albeit a vengeful ex.
– The MizTV segment with Intercontinental Champion Ryback and The Big Show was at least entertaining in terms of exchanges between the three men. Miz was good in his complaints of not being IC Champion due to Show’s actions and soaked up crowd heat with his words and ridiculous wardrobe. Ryback was also over with the crowd, which helped things here. Also established was Miz’s fear of Show, trying to rile up Ryback enough to take him out for him. Show also held his own on the mic, like you’d expect. The true memorable moment of the whole thing was the impressive Shellshocked on Show after Miz attacked Show from behind with a mic, which sparked the entire physicality. Will Miz work his way into the IC Title match at MITB?
– The Los Matadores-Luke Harper/Erick Rowan tag match was an obvious squash for the heels. One new aspect is the use of “The Way” aka the 3D. Looked a little less polished than its originators, but still stood out. Harper and Rowan’s promo after the match wasn’t anything memorable, but was well-delivered.
– Rollins and Kane always have entertaining exchanges and we got more of that here with Kane pointing out Rollins was in a lose-lose situation that he could easily flourish off of for himself while keeping to Authority standards. Rollins continued to claim his independence and this also set up the main event well.
– The Big E-Titus O’Neil match was mostly unimportant filler that saw The New Day mates assist Big E to help him finish off O’Neil. We can probably expect the number one contenders to score some kind of win to get momentum back just before MITB.
– The Reigns-Kingston match was the second match in about ten minutes, which felt incredibly rushed. The action was okay, but was also predictable in that Reigns was obviously going to overcome the other two guys outside the ring and pin Kingston. That said, the Superman punch delivered to Kingston while he was mid-flight was impressive, even enhanced by the power of instant replay. The image of Ambrose coming down stairs with popcorn, soda and beads gave off a hilarious, careless attitude while Rollins was seemingly desperate for help backstage from Trips and Steph, who continued to goad Rollins about needing anything from them. Funny.
– The 2-On-1 Handicap match with Rollins-J & J Security provided probably the most unique main event of the WWE year thus far and was actually a competitive match on both ends. Rollins had his moments of toying with his opponents, sending a direct message to Ambrose seated in the front row and was about to get his moment until the Pseudo-Champ came and distracted Rollins for Mercury to score a surprise pin. A fun moment in the match was also provided by an offensive flurry by Noble at one point. Either way, this was a different way of going about the feeling that Rollins is on the brink of losing everything and cannot do anything on his own. Ambrose continues to look good and the buildup for their match has actually been better than what it was heading into Elimination Chamber.
– NXT Championship – Open Challenge – Kevin Owens (Champion) def. Neville to retain
– Nikki Bella def. Summer Rae via pinfall
– Sheamus def. Randy Orton via DQ
– Kane def. Dolph Ziggler (w/Lana) via pinfall
– Luke Harper/Erick Rowan def. Los Matadores (w/El Torito) via pinfall
– Big E (w/Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston) def. Titus O’Neil (w/Darren Young) via pinfall
– Roman Reigns def. Kofi Kingston (w/Big E, Xavier Woods) via pinfall
– 2-On-1 Handicap Match – J & J Security (w/Kane) def. Seth Rollins via pinfall
Posted on June 9, 2015, in WWE and tagged Big E, Byron Saxton, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, J & J Security, JBL, John Cena, Kane, Kevin Owens, Kofi Kingston, Lana, Michael Cole, Money In The Bank, Neville, Nikki Bella, R-Truth, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Ryback, Seth Rollins, Sheamus, Stephanie McMahon, Summer Rae, The Big Show, The Miz, The New Day, Titus O'Neil, Triple H, Xavier Woods. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.