Monday Night Raw – May 26, 2014: We Get It Already

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 26, 2014
Location: Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tennessee
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler

It’s the go home show for Payback and the main story coming into tonight is the announcement of the future of the WWE Championship. You would think they would wait until either Payback or the night after so the focus wasn’t taken off the pay per view but it’s WWE and they would never do something stupid that would cost over a billion dollars in a day right? Let’s get to it.

We open with the traditional Memorial Day montage. That’s always cool to see.

Here’s a gloating Authority to open things up. Stephanie talks about how Bryan has to do the right thing. “Yes, you know he’ll do what he has to do.” The Authority wasn’t happy about what’s happened here and didn’t want to be right on this one. The fans want to see the champion defend the title every night but right now Daniel Bryan can’t do that.

HHH says Bryan needs to make the right choice and how there are people in every generation that adapt to become legends, but there are people like Daniel Bryan who just can’t do it. People that don’t adapt fail and those that do thrive, and that is evolution. This Sunday, the Shield will find out that you can’t stop Evolution. There’s a contract signing tonight and the Shield will have the chance to adapt and not show up on Sunday, or sign and perish.

This brings Stephanie to Brad Maddox who needs to come out here right now. Maddox finally comes out and HHH just rips into him. Last week, HHH said only official people could be out here, so Brad made the Shield “official” commentators. Brad implies that he was beaten half to death but Stephanie doesn’t want to hear it. Here’s Kane and HHH knocks Brad down. She tells Kane to teach him a lesson and after a few seconds, Kane plants Maddox with a chokeslam. A tombstone is added as a bonus and Stephanie fires him.

Cesaro vs. Rob Van Dam

Cesaro vs. Sheamus for the US Title on Sunday. It’s also now called Payback pay per view with Cole ramming that down our throats every two seconds. Barrett comes out before the match and says it’s officially summer and Van Dam’s is going to get off to a bad start. Cesaro jumps Van Dam from behind as Barrett sits in on commentary (“Look it’s me it’s me it’s BNB!”). A gutwrench suplex puts Van Dam down but he comes back with a clothesline to put Cesaro on the floor. The moonsault from the apron is caught in midair and Van Dam is dropped onto the barricade as we take a break.

Back with Cesaro covering four times in a row off something we didn’t see. Van Dam fights back with a kick to the face and Rolling Thunder for two as Heyman is getting nervous. Cesaro falls outside and gets caught with a dive but Van Dam has to kick Barrett in the jaw (looked awesome). Back in and Van Dam kicks Cesaro down, setting up the split legged moonsault for two. Barrett offers a distraction though and the German suplex is good for the pin on Van Dam at 9:34.

Rating: C+. The match worked but here’s my usual complaint about the booking: why would you have Van Dam take a fall here? Put Sheamus/Van Dam vs. Barrett/Cesaro and do a double countout or DQ or something like that. Don’t have anyone get pinned before the matches on Sunday so no one looks bad. Why is this so complicated? I will give them points for establishing the German suplex as another finisher.

Sheamus runs out for a Brogue Kick to Cesaro post match.

Eva Marie vs. Summer Rae

Eva takes over to start and blows kisses into the crowd. Summer hammers away in the corner but gets thrown down by the head. Eva is rammed face first into the mat a few times as the fans chant for Daniel Bryan. Cue Fandango and Layla to distract Summer, allowing Eva to grab a horrible rollup for the pin at 1:57. I had the entire previous sentence written other than the time as soon as Fandango’s music started.

Goldust and Cody Rhodes come into HHH’s office to find out why they’re not on the show tonight. They find Batista and Orton instead. Trash is talked and a match is made. HHH has another idea for the match but doesn’t say what it is yet.

El Torito vs. Drew McIntyre

Torito draws a line on the mat but crosses it himself. Drew tries to throw him into the air but gets caught in an armdrag. McIntyre easily slams him down and shoves Torito around the ring as this is one sided. Los Matadores break up a superplex and Drew gets slammed onto the buckle, giving Torito the fluke pin at 2:28.

Post match Horny goes after Torito’s mask but settles for his tail instead. JBL: “THE HUMANITY!” Torito runs away in shame.

After a break Torito gets an ice pack.

Here are the Wyatts (in Tennessee because they can’t say Knoxville for some reason) with a message for the Cenation. First up though, it’s time to sing. Those words have never been truer because the world really is leaning on him. He only wants what’s best for everyone, but sometimes that’s not the easiest path. In this life, we all have to make sacrifices. We do that every day, just so we can feed our children while someone else tells us who to be and how to act.

Someday everyone will realize how pointless that is and one day we have to receive the anti-vemon for that snake bite. Bray asks if he’s the poison or the cure. He’s the necessary evil that the world needs and in the end if you’re his brother or sister, you will stand right beside him. But if you’re his enemy, you will fall at his feet. John Cena is enemy to us all and at Payback, Bray will be the last man standing. However, Cena shouldn’t be the only man punished. A Cena chant starts up and Bray just laughs at it.

Bray says to get to the kings you have to go through the pawns. This brings Bray to Jerry Lawler of all people. “Come on Jerry. I don’t bite.” Jerry shakes his head so Wyatt sends the Family after him. Bray tells JBL not to play hero or he’ll be next. Bradshaw gets up anyway but Harper runs him over. Rowan shoves him into the discus lariat and Lawler is directed into the ring.

Jerry sits in a chair in the ring as Bray says Lawler is responsible for a lot of Cena’s fame. For years, Jerry has fed the fans all these lies about John Cena being a great man, but never once has Lawler questioned his morality. Bray asks if Lawler feels any remorse over this and it’s time to pay the penalty. The Family grabs Lawler and Bray leans over in the corner. Here’s Cena but Bray is holding Lawler in the corner. They get Cena down as Bray says he’s going to hurt Cena at Payback. First though, it’s Sister Abigail to Lawler, with Bray saying it’s all Cena’s fault. The Usos make the save before it can happen though.

Cena and company clear the ring and John grabs the mic. Bray shouts that he’s a god and Cena wants to know if Bray thinks about this stuff. He quotes Abraham Lincoln by saying you can test a man by giving him power. Bray has been given power and it’s made him sick. Wyatt tried to hurt a sick man because they don’t agree on something. That’s not a necessary evil but just pure evil. A Cena chant breaks out as Cena says he believes in what he does. If the Wyatt Family likes it or not, Bray Wyatt needs to be stopped. Payback is about being the last man standing and John will bring Bray to justice.

Lawler and Cole are on commentary by themselves now.

Zack Ryder vs. Rusev

Ryder brings out an American flag to make the squash all the more painful. Before the match, Lana talks about how American patriots are embarrassing and require disciplinary actions. Zack tries to hammer away but is taken down by a single shot. Lana almost immediately says crush and the Accolade ends Ryder in 36 seconds.

Big E. runs out for another save attempt but gets stomped down in the corer. This time though Big E. fights back with the running body attack and clotheslines Rusev to the floor. The Stars and Stripes are waived for the feel good moment.

Stephanie is talking to Alberto Del Rio about something we can’t hear.

Cody Rhodes/Goldust vs. Batista/Cody Rhodes

Batista drives Cody into the corner to start before doing the same to Goldust. Off to Orton who gets rollup for two before it’s back to Cody. Randy takes him into the corner with ease and hammers away before it’s back to Batista as Evolution takes over. A big elbow to the jaw puts Cody down but he escapes a powerslam and dives to the corner for a tag. Goldust tries to fight back but Randy gets in a shot from the apron, allowing Batista to nail a spinebuster for two.

Back from a break with Batista working on Goldust’s back until Goldie nails some right hands to both villains. Not that it matters much as Big Dave takes him down with a big clothesline for two. Goldust nails a cross body and makes the tag off to Cody as things speed up. A springboard missile dropkick gets two on Orton and Batista gets dropped as well, but Orton catches the Disaster Kick with an RKO to knock Rhodes silly. Another RKO is good for the pin on Cody at 10:05.

Actually we’re not done yet because this is an elimination match, meaning it’s now Batista/Orton vs. Goldust. It’s also no holds barred to make it even more fun. Goldust is surrounded on the floor but comes up swinging. That goes about as well as you would expect and Evolution starts taking their time. Goldust backdrops Orton to the apron but walks into a spear. The RKO lays Goldust out again and a Batista Bomb is good for the pin at 13:25 total.

Rating: D+. I thought they were going with the elimination rules here and it makes sense going into Sunday. Imagine that: making a team look good going into a match instead of having someone in the match get beaten six days before the big match. The Rhodes’ split seems to take a week off tonight as there were no issues at all here.

Bo Dallas vs. Sin Cara

JBL is back on commentary and says he’s never been hit that hard in his life. Bo takes over with a headlock and goes outside to celebrate. Back in and a hard whip into the corner gets two on Cara and some knees to the face lead to another celebration. An enziguri puts Dallas down and that snap Angle Slam looks to set up the Swanton. Bo is up quickly though and hits the Bodog out of the corner for the pin at 2:53.

Bo says you get satisfaction from trying and you all need to BOLIEVE!

We recap the opening segment.

Here’s Stephanie to say the future of the WWE Title has to be decided but first of all, we need Daniel out here to do the right thing. Bryan comes out with his neck in a soft brace as Stephanie says that Bryan needs to do the right thing. He can’t defend the title right now and that’s what the fans deserve, so do what needs to be done. Bryan says that winning the title means the world to him but Stephanie has a point.

The neck injury is worse than he thought and a large part of that is due to Kane. However, Bryan finds it interesting that Stephanie claimed she had no power over Kane but earlier tonight she was able to tell him what to do with ease. Bryan says he’ll be back and there’s no shame in handing the title over. However, Stephanie has been wanting to do this since he won the title and handing them over would just prove her right.

Daniel says it would throw everything he’s worked for out the window and be an insult to everyone who ever changed YES. Therefore, he says NO, he won’t hand her the title. Stephanie shows us a clip of Brie Bella shoving Stephanie a few weeks ago. That’s not ok with Stephanie, so if Bryan doesn’t surrender the title on Sunday, Brie is fired.

Alicia Fox vs. Emma

Fox is getting the title shot on Sunday. Emma sends her into the corner to start for the Emma Sandwich and Fox rolls outside. She says she doesn’t need this and goes to leave but nails Emma as she goes after Fox. Emma gets draped over the apron and caught by the ax kick for two. Fox misses a charge into the corner and gets pinned at 2:28. Well that happened.

Fox beats up Emma post match and shouts that she isn’t a loser. This week she rings the bell a lot and shouts about it again. A tech guy gets beaten up and Alicia rips his underwear up. This just kind of keeps going as Fox pulls some sodas out from under the ring. She shakes them up and a few drops get on the tech guy. Fox pours a soda on herself and kisses the tech guy she went after earlier.

Long video on the veterans.

Davy Crockett vs. Adam Rose

It’s Sandow for reasons that I really don’t care to know. This is Rose’s in ring debut in WWE. Sandow is wrestling in a coonskin cap and sends Rose into the ropes. Adam leans back and kicks his feet forward so Sandow can’t come near him. Here are Colter and Swagger, who have kidnapped the lemon from Rose’s party. The distraction doesn’t work though and Sandow gets caught in the Party Foul (Diamond Cutter driver) for the pin at 1:40.

Rose takes out Swagger post match.

Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio

Non-title. Sheamus takes over to start and gets an early one off a middle rope knee. There are the ten forearms to the chest and the fight heads outside. That goes nowhere at all so Del Rio catches Sheamus with a few boots as he comes back in and we take a break. Back with Del Rio jawing with the referee before Sheamus fights back with right hands. The running ax handles drop Alberto but Sheamus goes shoulder first into the post.

A hard kick to the head has Sheamus in trouble but he comes back with the Irish Curse for two. Del Rio kicks him in the head again but gets caught in White Noise. He loads up the Brogue Kick but stops to hold his head. Del Rio hits the corner enziguri and the low superkick (SICK) for two. The armbreaker is countered and the Brogue Kick is good for the pin at 9:20.

Rating: C. This is the annoying thing about Sheamus’ booking: this makes Del Rio look weak. He hit every huge move he could and in theory he should have won the match. That being said, it’s better to have Sheamus win to keep him strong before Sunday, but it’s still rather annoying to have him get the win with a single move.

Post match Heyman pops up and says that wasn’t an important win (but it was when Brock Lesnar conquered the Streak). Sheamus goes after him but Cesaro comes back and destroys Sheamus with hard shots to the head. Sheamus can’t even stand up and is finally kept down with the Neutralizer.

Here’s Shield for the contract signing. Ambrose says this isn’t going to be a normal contract signing as Reigns is throwing the chairs and table out of the ring. Evolution comes out and HHH reminisces about Shield signing their first contracts here. HHH thinks they shouldn’t sign because it’s their death warrant. Shield of course signs and throws the contract to Evolution who does the same. HHH says Shield is just going to be a statistic but Reigns shushes him. “Get in the ring and fight.”

The war is about to start but Shield easily sends them to the floor. Rollins hits his flip dive but Batista takes Ambrose down. That only gets him the Superman Punch but HHH gets in a sledgehammer shot to prevent the spear. More sledgehammer shots put Reigns on the floor and his teammates are put down as well. A TripleBomb puts Reigns through the table and Evolution stands tall to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This show was trying but you could feel the heavy hand of McMahon messing with things. It felt like a huge infomercial instead of a wrestling show and while that’s logical for a go home show, it got really annoying in a hurry. Between Cole saying “Payback pay per view” every 18 seconds to explaining EVERY SINGLE IDEA EVER and how so and so was the #1 TRENDING TOPIC IN THE WORLD and the World Title scene being about Stephanie (I’m shocked too), this felt like they were taking things too seriously again.

WWE does this time to time and it gets annoying. Sometimes it’s ok to lighten up a bit and they’re far from that at the moment. You have the concussion stuff with Sheamus, Fox losing her mind and everything else being the most important thing in the world on Sunday (again, not a bad thing to do). All of that makes it hard to stay with a show.

There was good stuff on here though. More than anything else, Payback got some much needed matches added to the card to really flesh things out. A lot of logical matches were added and I’d assume Big E. vs. Rusev is coming too. It’s definitely not a bad show but they really need to calm down a bit and stop with the taglines.

Results
Cesaro b. Rob Van Dam – German suplex
Eva Marie b. Summer Rae – Rollup
El Torito b. Drew McIntyre – Pin after Drew fell off the ropes

Rusev b. Zack Ryder – Accolade
Batista/Randy Orton b. Goldust/Cody Rhodes – Batista Bomb to Goldust
Bo Dallas b. Sin Cara – Bodog
Emma b. Alicia Fox – Rollup

Adam Rose b. Davy Crockett – Party Fowl
Sheamus b. Alberto Del Rio – Brogue Kick

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of on the History of Survivor Series at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KIK68OO

And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

7 comments

  1. Thriller says:

    Sheamus’ booking drives me nuts. His matches are fine, but I know that every single one of them is going to end with him hitting the kick out of nowhere after surviving all of his opponent’s offense. Why should I be interested in that?

  2. Hubcap Dave says:

    Soooo, he shouldn’t win by hitting his finishing move?

    Interesting to note that the crowd didn’t sing along with Bray tonight.

    Thriller Reply:

    Reading comprehension

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Huh?

    ted Reply:

    Hubcap Dave says:

    “Soooo, he shouldn’t win by hitting his finishing move? ”

    No it just shouldn’t be all he does.

  3. Jay H. (the real one) says:

    I agree about Cole repeating Payback PPV every time it was brought up. That got to be a little much by the end of the Show. Sheamus booking is what it is and I like the guy too,I think he gets some unfair crticism. Sunday though is looking like a good Show and I think we might see Vince pop during the Daniel Bryan/Stephanie/Brie segment.

  4. Jay H. (the real one) says:

    Oops I meant to say Vince might pop up during that segment.