Monday Night Raw – April 20, 2015: The Post European Blues

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 20, 2015
Location: Times Union Center, Albany, New York
Commentators: Booker T., John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole

We’re six days away from Extreme Rules and the card is all set. The main event will be Seth Rollins’ first title defense as he takes on Randy Orton in a cage match with the RKO banned for Orton. As for tonight, one of the major stories will be Kane’s continuing issues with the Authority, as the monster has been having issues with his bosses in the last few weeks. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Orton and Rollins earning the right to pick stipulations for the title match on last week’s show.

Here’s Randy Orton as a cage is lowered. He thinks Rollins screwed up with his choice because the RKO isn’t his greatest weapon. Orton’s best weapon is the ability to hurt people in any way that he possibly can. This Sunday, he’s going to break Rollins’ jaw so he can’t run his mouth anymore. Then he’s going to stomp Seth’s ribs until they break. After that, Rollins is going to be sent into the cage so many times that every bone in his body hurts. Then and only then will Orton leave the cage as the new WWE Champion.

Cue Rollins and the Stooges with what sounds like some new music. He talks about Orton having anger issues but Randy cuts him off and says that his issues are with Seth Rollins. Seth laughs it off and says he plays this game of human chess better than anyone because he can outmaneuver anyone inside that ring. He’s the best at everything here and just that much better than Orton. Seth tells him to get it out of his system and Orton thinks that’s a good idea. After this segment is over, he’s going to go backstage and RKO everyone he can find, including Rollins himself.

Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper

You would think they would save this for Sunday. Harper actually talks on the way to the ring, saying Ambrose will fear him after tonight. The brawl is on fast to start with Harper getting caught in a bulldog, only to superkick Dean down and hammer him in the back of the head. Dean takes him outside and sends Harper into the apron and announcers’ table, only to be tossed over the barricade and into the crowd. They keep fighting up the ramp and the match has been thrown out at somewhere around 2:00.

Harper loads up a powerbomb off the stage but Dean escapes and sends Harper running.

Orton and the Stooges are checking for Orton around every corner when the Prime Time Players sneak up and do the dog bark to scare them out of their wits in a funny bit. O’Neil and Noble have a quick exchange with Noble being called a Smurf before Rollins yells at a production guy. They run into HHH who says he’s been hearing from Kane as he’s been preparing for Tough Enough. Kane will be here later and Rollins requests some more security. HHH says Orton is just one guy and leaves.

Lucha Dragons vs. New Day

#1 contenders match. Kofi and Cara get things going with Woods on the floor as usual. Both guys tag before anything happens and grabs Kalisto, who tries every spin he can but eventually settles for a kick to the head. A headscissors works a bit better and it’s quickly off to Cara for a springboard forearm to the head for two. It’s quickly back to Kofi vs. Cara and they actually do something this time with Cara armdragging Kingston but getting sent to the floor for a baseball slide to take over.

Back to Big E. who runs Cara over as we take a break. We come back to see Kofi dropkicking Cara in the face before handing it off to Big E. for some clubbing shots to the face. Cara dives over Big E. and makes the tag to Kalisto to clean house, including the headscissor driver to Kofi for two. Kofi gets backdropped to the floor, setting up stereo moonsaults to take New Day down again. Everyone tries to get back in but Woods holds Cara’s foot to send New Day to Extreme Rules via countout at 9:34.

Rating: B-. This really got going at the end and Woods interfering was the right idea. It’s going to be interesting to see heel vs. heel on Sunday but the match should be entertaining. Good stuff here though and a good showcase for the Dragons, who only lose due to the interference and the numbers game.

Post match Orton comes in and RKOs Woods and Kingston (with a slight botch as Kofi wasn’t ready to be thrown into the air, so there goes his push again). Big E. runs away instead.

We recap Rusev attacking Cena to set up the Russian Chain match on Sunday.

Recap of Big Show attacking Reigns last week on Raw and his speech on Thursday to set up the Last Man Standing match on Sunday. Maybe their solution to the ratings issue is to have Big Show put everyone to sleep so they can’t change the channel.

Fandango vs. Curtis Axel

Speaking of don’t change the channel. Axel dances a bit to start but takes too long tearing off the shirt, allowing Fandango to roll him up for two. A Falcon Arrow plants Curtis and the Last Dance is good for the pin at 1:16.

Here’s HHH to talk about the return of Tough Enough. A year ago, the Authority was at a crossroads. They needed to find that one man to carry the company for the next ten years and they found that man in Seth Rollins. Now it’s time to find the next Seth Rollins. That search will begin right here on USA with the return of Tough Enough on June 23. Who hasn’t dreamed of walking down the ramp in front of 76,000 people with the WWE Championship hanging above your head? Right now is your chance to fulfill that dream and you can do that on Tough Enough.

HHH walks us through the application process but gets cut off by Kane. “You’re a little bit seasoned for Tough Enough.” Kane asks why HHH hasn’t responded to the voicemails, texts and emails but HHH says he’s just been letting Kane cool down. It’s been an honor to be Director of Operations, but Kane can’t deal with the disrespect of Seth Rollins so this is his official two weeks’ notice. HHH tries to talk him down but here are Rollins and the Stooges to interrupt. Kane and Rollins start arguing again despite HHH telling them to cool it.

Kane shouts that Rollins is only champion because the Authority decided he was going to be. Would it have been different if they had recruited Dean Ambrose or El Torito? That’s finally enough for HHH (a big Torito fan I guess) who makes Kane guardian of the cage door on Sunday. Seth isn’t cool with this but HHH says the two of them need to get along. A tense handshake ends things.

We recap Paige winning the Divas battle royal but getting attacked by Naomi after the win.

Kane and Rollins are already arguing in the back but HHH comes up and says Kane has lost the hellfire and brimstone. Kane is going to prove him wrong tonight. Rollins smirks a bit but HHH rips him apart, saying the title doesn’t make him the man. Therefore, tonight it’s Rollins vs. Ziggler with Rollins getting to prove himself. Rollins likes the idea, despite almost cowering before HHH.

Naomi vs. Brie Bella

No dancing this week. Naomi’s inset interview talks about how many times she’s had to beat a Bella to get her shot but constantly being told to wait her turn. Nikki sits in on commentary and talks about still being champion as Naomi slides across the mat and kicks Brie in the face. Naomi nips out of a headscissors and Nikki says she’ll fight anyone anytime. Some kicks to the ribs sent Brie to the floor and the show to a break.

Back with Naomi holding a front facelock and slowly stomping Brie around the ring. We hit a chinlock before a double clothesline puts both girls down. Brie fights up and does a face comeback with a middle rope dropkick getting two. Naomi misses a high cross body but hits the Rear View for the pin at 10:01.

Rating: D. They’re turning the Bellas face aren’t they? After all the nonsense we’ve had to put up with from them over the last year and most of the roster wrestling circles around them, now we’re supposed to cheer for them for reasons that have yet to be explained and likely never will be explained. But they’re STARS so that’s what matters right?

Heath Slater tells Erick Rowan that he’s accepting the open challenge for the US Title tonight. Rowan walks away and Slater is RKOed through his salad. Orton even eats some lettuce.

Here’s Roman Reigns to address what happened last week. He wants to fight right now so get out here Big Show. Instead he gets Bo Dallas, who quotes Yoda from Star Wars Episode I, saying that hate leads to suffering. Reigns is suffering after losing at Wrestlemania and is kind of a bust. Despite being Captain Kevlar, Reigns is the Tim Tebow of the WWE: constantly getting chances and screwing up every time. The Superman Punch and spear destroy Dallas as you would expect. Reigns is going to take Big Show out on Sunday, and you can bo-lieve that. I forgot how much I liked Dallas.

Sheamus vs. Zack Ryder

Sheamus says ring the bell and kicks Ryder in the face at three seconds. He slowly turns him over and says that’s too easy. Ryder deserves more than a five second match so Sheamus slowly beats him up in the corner while talking trash on the mic about how the people in this crowd don’t belong in his ring.

That’s a good idea actually as he throws Ryder to the floor and keeps talking about how he’s the real superstar. There’s another Brogue Kick on the floor and Sheamus asks about the New York fighting spirit. He loads up another Brogue Kick but Ziggler runs in for a Zig Zag to send Sheamus running. It’s a DQ win for Sheamus at 3:14 despite the lack of a bell. No rating for obvious reasons.

There’s going to be another live Talk Is Jericho on April 30. The guest: Stephanie McMahon. Just in case you thought the Cena interview was WAY too company friendly.

Here’s Cena for the Open Challenge but first he needs to explain the rules of the Russian Chain match on Sunday. He’ll never give up you see. Rusev is trying to kill the fighting spirit of America but Cena is going to get back up every time he gets knocked down. This Sunday, he’s getting his hand raised and dropping the American flag to prove that Wrestlemania was a statement. As for tonight, someone can come get some but know it’s going to be against a Cena who is ready to fight.

US Title: John Cena vs. Kane

Kane throws Cena around to start and hits the VINTAGE side slam. He kicks Cena to the floor for a nine count and slowly stomps away back inside. Kane follows up the slow stomping with a slow uppercut for two and an elbow gets the same. Cena finally comes back with the ProtoBomb but as is his custom, Kane grabs him by the throat as Cena loads up the Shuffle. Chokeslam gets two but Cena counters the tombstone into the AA for the pin at 6:18. Rollins and the Stooges chuckle in the back.

Rating: D. I’ve seen sparklers with more fire than Kane was showing here. This was five and a half minutes of slow punching before they did the finishing sequence. It doesn’t help that Kane is one of the few people that can bring Cena down to a level that almost no one else can. Bad match here and hopefully the last time they use the open challenge for another story.

Bray Wyatt asks if people want money, power or respect. Most of the time it’s everything, just like whomever he’s talking about. That person can lift all the weights in the world, but he can never lift the weight of his personal failures. After that moment, he’ll see Bray’s face looking own at him. At that moment, the person will learn that everything he has done has been for nothing. Behold the new face of fear.

Post break Kane walks past HHH and snarls.

Miz says the only thing that matters is his new movie and the fact that he did it without a stunt double. Renee cuts him off and says we need to go to John Cena.

Cena was surprised by Kane answering the challenge but says the champ will be here on Sunday. Rusev jumps him with the chain and puts him in the Accolade with the chain around Cena’s face.

Miz vs. Damien Mizdow

The winner gets the Miz brand and Summer Rae is with Mizdow. Mizdow goes for the rollup early on but Miz gets away just in time. Cole talks about someone saying the Miz brand is useless. He doesn’t disagree with the statement of course and just keeps going with the commentary.

Miz gets two off a small package and stomps away in the corner to take over. Mizdow comes back with the Reality Check and a discus clothesline in the corner. The low DDT gets two on Miz but neither guy can hit the Skull Crushing Finale. Summer rakes Mizdow’s eyes, setting up the Skull Crushing Finale from Miz for the pin at 2:47.

Miz loads up his catchphrase but eats an RKO. JBL: “He wouldn’t do that to Brad Pitt!” Booker: “He’d do it to Lorenzo Lamas!”

We run down the Extreme Rules card. Daniel Bryan vs. Bad News Barrett is subject to Bryan’s health. Also added is Ambrose vs. Harper in a street fight.

Bray Wyatt asks if people want money, power or respect. Most of the time it’s everything, just like whomever he’s talking about. That person can lift all the weights in the world, but he can never lift the weight of his personal failures. After that moment, he’ll see Bray’s face looking own at him. At that moment, the person will learn that everything he has done has been for nothing. Behold the new face of fear.

Adam Rose vs. Ryback

Rose gets in some shots before Ryback’s two move combination ends this at 1:30.

The hot dog and the banana attack Ryback post match so it’s a double Shell Shock. Ryback: “What did the banana say to the hot dog? Nothing because they just got Shell Shocked!”

Renee Young reads Kane some Tweets from Rollins and the Stooges about Kane being old. Kane goes into the Authority’s locker room and Seth actually says he’s sorry because that was supposed to be a private conversation. The Orton thing has him out of sorts so he’s going to dedicate the match with Ziggler to Kane. The camera follows Rollins and the Stooges out. Orton is watching them.

Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler

Non-title. Rollins hammers away to start but Ziggler grabs his neckbreaker and drops the big elbow for two. A Cactus Clothesline puts both guys on the floor but Ziggler quickly throws him back inside for a suplex. Rollins catapults him into the buckle as we take a break. Back with Rollins slamming Ziggler’s head onto the mat and stomping even more.

We hit the chinlock for a few moments before Dolph comes back with the running DDT for two. Rollins gets the same off an enziguri but the Buckle Bomb is countered into a sunset flip. Ziggler hits a sweet superkick for two more but Sheamus comes out for a distraction, allowing Rollins to hit the Buckle Bomb and a snap front DDT (think Christian’s layout reverse DDT but with Dolph facing down) for the pin at 10:35.

Rating: B-. Sheamus interfering made sense but I REALLY hope that isn’t the replacement for the Curb Stomp (which has apparently been banned due to the danger of head injuries). Ziggler is a good opponent for someone like Rollins as a loss to the champ doesn’t hurt anyone and he can make Rollins look good in the process. Good match here but they never hit a higher gear.

Post match HHH comes out and cuts on Rollins’ bragging. Seth takes the mic away and keeps talking about how he’s going to take care of Orton this Sunday. As for Kane, HHH needs to stop……something but an angry Kane cuts him off. Rollins asks the cage to be lowered and of course Orton is inside. Seth tries to run but gets pulled off the top into an RKO to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This show did its job of setting up Extreme Rules, but it doesn’t help that Extreme Rules isn’t the best looking show in the world. What is there on that show that I should be looking forward to? I’ll say this though: I thought the same thing going into Wrestlemania this year and was blown away so maybe they can nail it twice in a row. Tonight’s show wasn’t terrible but it really didn’t have much to keep me interested. Too many short matches or matches that build uninteresting angles. Hopefully Sunday is stronger, as this wasn’t the best show in the world, but the post Europe show rarely works.

Results

Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper went to a no contest

New Day b. Lucha Dragons via countout

Fandango b. Curtis Axel – Last Dance

Naomi b. Brie Bella – Rear View

Sheamus b. Zack Ryder via DQ when Dolph Ziggler interfered

John Cena b. Kane – Attitude Adjustment

Miz b. Damien Mizdow – Skull Crushing Finale

Ryback b. Adam Rose – Shell Shock

Seth Rollins b. Dolph Ziggler – Falling DDT

16 comments

  1. Strange vignette with choir singing says:

    *choir singing in the background*

    *lots of clapping*

    Oh a new day is upon us

    ♪ ♫ ♬ New Day is upon us ♪ ♫ ♬

    We gone do it for the day!

    ♪ ♫ ♬ Do it for the day ♪ ♫ ♬

    Even if we don’t wanna do it

    ♪ ♫ ♬ We wanna do it….we wanna do it ♪ ♫ ♬

    Praise be the New Day is almost here

    ♪ ♫ ♬ Oh the day….the new day is coming….oh the day….the new day is coming ♪ ♫ ♬

    A New Day is coming……April 27, 2015

    Michael Cole & JBL Reply:

    Cole: April 27th? That’s next Monday! What in the world does a New Day is coming even mean?

    JBL: Be patient Maggle we’ll find out next Monday

    Cole: Anyway, switching gears, the WWE Network is only….

    JBL: NAN NANTY NAN MAGGLE!

  2. Jay H (the real one) says:

    Definitely the weakest of the RAWs after Wrestlemania but I did enjoy Randy Orton’s RKO binge and the Seth Rollins/Kane stuff. Still looking forward to the PPV on Sunday.

    As for the Curb stomp I still think he will use it every now and again. I don’t see it being totally banned.

  3. Aeon Mathix says:

    Oh joy the main event of extreme rules is what is will kane obey orders or turn on Rollins? Obviously he wont and it will lead to about 3 more Orton vs Rollins main events because WWE is like a dog waiting for its owner to come back everytime Lesnar is gone. What a fucking joke.

  4. Steve says:

    KB, any idea who, if anyone Bray is talking about?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    My money would be on Reigns but Ryback and Orton would be interesting too.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    With the weightlifting reference, I’m voting Ryback.

  5. james gracie says:

    Oh man how bad was that? Get used to this cause we’ve got 3 more years of just waiting for Lesnar to show up around Summerslam and Mania season. The rest of the year WWE will be just like this, filler and directionless. What a complete waste this PPV is. Does anyone even give a shit? I mean the main event scene is revolving around Kane LOL! Will he or wont he turn on Rollins will be the theme of their match at ExLame Rules…..LET ME SUBSCRIBE TO THE NETWORK RIGHT NOW! And did you hear how the crowd could give 2 shits about Ziggler now? Congrats WWE, your buriels of Bryan and Ziggler are complete. You’ve buried them so bad that the crowd doesn’t even bother cheering them anymore. What a disgrace.

    They just turned Naomi heel and her first match is verse the Bellas? LOL this company is so stupid. They have no idea what is going on.

    And I thought for sure Evan Bourne 2.0 aka Neville was gonna be Cena’s opponent tonight. But I guess they don’t wanna expose him cause you can only flip around the ring so much before the crowd stops giving a shit.

    Awful show tonight and this company isn’t even worth 1 minute of my time. Oh and Booker T, Ricky Steamboat was never a character on Hulk Hogan’s Rock N Wrestling cartoon. I know cause I watched that show all the time and it’s AWESOME! That might be worth a Network subscription alone…..not really. If your announcers are gonna promote something, at least educate them on it Vince! Dumbass. #VinceIsSoftAndOutOfTouch #FireStephanie, #ImSorryWWEIsPretendingYouHaveAConcussionJustSoTheyCanKeepYouOffTVDanielBryan #OhManHowBadWasThat

    Jacob Jones Reply:

    As of now I’ ve already written you off as a class 3 wrestling fan (the people who complain about every single thing about wrestling.) and judging by what you said about Rock N Wrestling, you’ve probably proven to me that your nostalgia goggles are on way too tight.

    But you’re right about this….There was no Ricky Steamboat in Hulk Hogan’s Rock N Wrestling.

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    So they are pretending that Daniel Bryan has some kind of injury to keep him off TV? Im sorry but WTF are you talking about? I mean god forbid they look out of these guys and make sure they are ok.

    #jamesgraciehateswrestling

    Harry F. Reply:

    Seriously, why do you reply to him every week? Why do you care about someone who posts the same trolling comment every single Raw?

    Jacob Jones Reply:

    Basically, it boils down to the fact that he’s like a combination of Scott Stiener and a disgruntled wrestling fan. He shows up and tries to tell us “how bad it is” but no one really takes them seriously.

    Oh, and he thinks of us as “sheep” for WWE because we don’t give in to his opinions. Cute isn’t it?

  6. Bockwinkel's Class says:

    “But I guess they don’t wanna expose him cause you can only flip around the ring so much before the crowd stops giving a shit.”

    Hmmmmm…..may be THAT’S why the crowd doesn’t cheer for Bryan and Ziggler anymore rather than any supposed burial. I find it beyond ironic that you sing the praises of two spot-monkeys like Bryan and Ziggler then turn around and criticize Neville for being a spot-monkey. I guess consistency isn’t your strong suit…..but hypocrisy is.

    Eric Reply:

    Rey Mysterio made an entire career about flipping around a lot. Did him just fine for over 15 years. Neville will be just fine.

  7. Dmxfury says:

    Show is just boring, and three hours helps nothing. Not much else I can say, I was pleasantly surprised with WM but I don’t see the next PPVs hitting that gear (plus no Brock doesn’t help anything)

  8. M.R. says:

    I’ve done a complete 180 on Reigns and no longer enjoy him on my television. It’s the company’s fault more than his own though.