The Authority was out in its complete form, throwing threats and ultimatums at Dean Ambrose. However Ambrose was nowhere to be found. Instead, we got Reigns, who came out as Ambrose’s personal spokesperson.
Roman played Seth well and tricked him into accepting Dean’s challenge for a ladders rematch at Money in the Bank. Rollins lost it. He pushed away the Authority and said he wanted to do it on his own. For once, he sounded genuine. Of course there’s always time to turn this around but Seth might be in the very early stages of dropping the Authority and turning face.
Reigns paid dearly for his involvement. His MITB spot was put up for defense once again.
Roman Reigns def. King Barrett
I’m impressed with the way King Barrett performed last night. Less than a week ago he lost clean to R-Truth. Now he practically owned Roman Reigns. WWE seems to have a very unstable opinion on what to do with Barrett. He’s way too good to be a jobber but he never seems to get a push.
Reigns also wrestled well last night, in all the matches to come. He put a lot of passion and emotion in his fights and it looked good. Telling the story in the ring is as important, if not more important than selling it on the mic.
Ryback vs. The Miz
Ryback cut a boring but mercifully short promo before having his first title defense against the Miz. The Miz is the type of guy who’ll always seemingly get a shot upon return, only to get eradicated the moment he steps in the ring. Big Show didn’t allow the match to start. He simply KOed the Miz and issued a challenge of his own to Ryback.
I have to admit that Big Show mocking Ryback over his “Big Guy” nickname was funny. This is one feud where I might be rooting for the Big Show.
Kevin Owens/John Cena
Both men delivered amazing promos last night. The plotline that Sami Zayn started on NXT was brought up to RAW – Kevin Owens is hurt by the fact that his son loves the faces of the WWE. Owens was undeniably right when he described every step of the artificial idolization of John Cena, created by the media. Bray Wyatt is the man who had come closest to spelling it out for the audience but Owens finished the job. He exposed Cena.
And at the moment when it seemed like Cena was beyond saving, he showed why he’s been on top so long. Cena delivered a speech on his moral principles and way of life in such a passionate manner that it got the crowd cheering. The positive reaction was overwhelming, especially knowing the contents of Owens’ promo.
This is the best feud in the WWE right now. It’s much more than simply a fight between two men. It’s an opposition of ideals and it’s the ascension of NXT.
Dolph Ziggler def. Kofi Kingston
Apparently Kof is in the MITB match and according to the New Day if he wins, they all win. That’s a very strange idea but in a hypothetical world it seems possible. After all, all three of them are tag team champions, although only two wrestled in the match.
The New Day tried to cheat and distract Dolph but their own game slapped them in the face when Ziggler rolled a roll and pinned Kofi. The New Day attacked him , which got the PTP involved and a new match was quickly organized.
Dolph Ziggler and The Prime Time Players def. New Day
Forget Ziggler. This match was made to demonstrate the new rivalry between the New Day and PTP. Darren Young carried the bulk of the match, being beaten in the heel corner. When Titus came in he wiped the place clean. This man’s strength really is impressive. Dolph did close to nothing but he was dragged in the middle to celebrate too.
Lana was there, staring loving at Dolph in the end. I don’t think Lana matches Ziggler at all. He’s a show-off, a womanizer. This is not an upgrade, even if it’s from a “brutish” man like Rusev. This won’t last long. In fact, when Rusev comes back, Lana might join him again. They are made for each other.
Roman Reigns def. Mark Henry
This match was more physical than the previous one. Reigns did a good job at showing signs of fatigue and struggle. He was almost desperate to survive. He told the story of the match brilliantly.
In the end, it was a very close count out that save Roman. Mark Henry was still in a better physical condition and very literally squashed Reigns after the match.
Let me remind you that all of that is happening in the name of protecting Ambrose. How long until Roman breaks and decides to turn on his friend? After all Ambrose was nowhere to be found when Reigns was struggling against the Authority a couple of months ago.
The Mega Powers are selling milkshakes now!? I don’t want to watch this. It makes me sick to the core to see Sandow thrown in the gutter again.
Nikki Bella def. Paige
This title match was much better than the one at Elimination Chamber. It just flowed better. There was nothing particularly flashy in it but the action was fast and fluid. In the end Nikki used Twin magic to win the match and retain. And that’s a heel move.
It’s pointless to discuss the rules of the WWE but since referees are allowed to revert their decision after the match, why don’t they ever do it when they see on the screen that they were wrong?
Randy Orton def. Sheamus (via DQ)
That match was never going to end clean. It’s Orton’s return. He can’t lose. They can’t give him a jobber because it wouldn’t build momentum but Sheamus is too hyped now to job to Randy. The solution was to have Orton dominate Sheamus until the Celtic Warrior snapped, attacked him outside and got himself DQed.
A rivalry between these two is healthy for the MITB match. It will be brutal and brutal is what the fans want to see.
Rusev delivered another great example of mic work. His acting always gets me. He looked down and out. He was distracted. His eyes were lost in the distance. He said he had lost everything, that he was a broken man. But then his anger, determination and hunger for success erupted in the tiny window of a few seconds when he claimed that he knew what he desired and that he was going to get it back.
I have faith in Rusev. He survived the loss to Cena and sold the Bulgarian rebranding with easy. He can be a brute but he can act out a love story. He’s fierce but he can also show fear. He can be broken but get reborn again. I cannot wait for his return.
Neville def. Bo Dallas
We saw a different Bo last night. For once, he wasn’t talking about Bolieveing and saving people. He wanted to hurt Neville. In a way, he did. Bo was more aggressive than the usual and fought with spite. However, in the end, Neville still came on top.
I’m worried about these two. Bo has character but he has no wins to give him credibility. Neville wins all the time and is gold in the ring but he has no personality.
Roman Reigns def. Bray Wyatt
The last man Reigns had to face was Wyatt. Roman seemed to be struggling to even breathe, let alone fight. Yet, he fought and it looked as if every move he executed hurt him more than it did his opponent. After a real struggle, Reigns won, barely
Rollins with Kane and J&J decided to attack him after the match and once Reigns was surrounded like a wounded animal, Dean Ambrose came to the rescue. Roman had been abused so badly during the show that Ambrose’s arrival was needed by the crowd as much as by Reigns himself.
The thing is, when Reigns wins the MITB, he’ll have to face Ambrose if Ambrose does defeat Rollins. But Rollins is already pushing away the Authority, so they might not stand by him after his loss. At MITB all three men will face a drastic character change.
What are your impressions from RAW? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!