Reviewing the Review – Monday Night Raw: April 20, 2015

With just six days to go until Extreme Rules, WWE has a long way to go to get me interested in the show. It isn’t likely helping that they’re just back from the big European tour and are likely to be jetlagged half to death. The big story is likely to be more build between Rollins and Orton, who are loading up for a pretty lackluster title match. Oh and Kane because of reasons I don’t understand.

Orton opened the show in a cage, promising to hurt Seth this Sunday and take the title. Rollins and the Stooges came out and told him to get this out of his system now because it won’t work on Sunday. This sounds appealing to Randy, who promises RKO’s all night.

I really, really didn’t care for this segment as it’s more of the old standard walking you through everything they’re doing that night instead of doing anything that feels organic or natural. Why do they have to tell us everything they’re going to do instead of SHOWING US everything they want to do? Just have Orton start RKOing everyone backstage and let the fans go “oh that was cool” instead of sitting around waiting for it. Not a fan here but this story isn’t exactly one that inspires intellectual stimulation.

Ambrose and Harper had a quick non-match to set up their street fight on Sunday. These two could have an entertaining brawl if they’re allowed to just go nuts.

The Prime Time Players continued their recent awesome run by scaring the daylights out of Rollins and the Stooges, who are terrified of Orton attacking them. HHH popped up and laughed off their worries, as well as mentioned Kane because that’s the big story around here.

New Day, now fully heel, cheated to earn a title shot on Sunday over the Lucha Dragons via countout. Notice that they didn’t just have the Dragons get pinned here to kill their momentum. Instead, the faces (or faceless ones actually) lose because the heels cheated, keeping them strong and making the heels look like cheaters. That’s common sense booking and hopefully something that we see more often.

Orton came out and RKO’ed Kingston (with a botch as Kofi wasn’t ready to be thrown into the air, which looked really bad. He’s done) and Woods. This would be more of the theme that they made VERY CLEAR earlier in the night in case you were too stupid to figure out that Orton is RKOing everyone he can on a path to Rollins. That’s a bit too complicated for wrestling fans I suppose.

Fandango beat Curtis Axel in the weekly filler.

HHH announced the return of Tough Enough and most people didn’t seem to care. Could it be because outside of John Morrison, the most successful winner had a career highlight of eliminating Undertaker from the Royal Rumble and having the most amazing eyebrows in the history of wrestling?

Anyway the REAL story here was Kane coming out and tried to quit his job as Director of Operations because he’s tired of Rollins disrespecting him. Rollins came out and argued a lot as this story just won’t die already. HHH made them shake hands after Kane said the Rollins was just in the right place at the right time and anyone could have been made champion in his place. They kept arguing after a break and Rollins vs. Ziggler was made for later tonight.

Then the Bellas decided they were good now and Nikki shouted COME ON BRIE about 100 times to show off her new found goodness as Brie lost to Naomi. This would be the polar opposite of the “here’s what we’re going to do” booking as instead of showing you every step, they’re just at the end already without any real reason.

Think about it. The Bellas went from being full on villains to halfway down the spectrum in a week and for what? Mainly because WWE screwed up and turned almost the entire Divas division heel. I know I get on the Bellas quite a bit (which I still say they deserve a huge amount of) but the direction of their characters and sudden drastic changes to their characters have been some of the most jarring and worst ideas I have ever seen in wrestling. That being said, they don’t do themselves any favors with their average at best matches and BRIE MODE/COME ON BRIE!

Randy Orton RKOed Heath Slater into his salad. See, THIS is the kind of surprise moment they should have been going with all night instead of telling us the idea.

Roman Reigns wanted Big Show but got Bo Dallas. Superman Punches, spears and Reigns saying Bo-lieve that abounded in a fun little segment.

Sheamus massacred Zack Ryder until Dolph Ziggler came in for the save. This was fine to get the point across.

Cena issued the open challenge and had a horrible match with Kane to retain the title. Here’s a sign of Cena’s greatness: he has bad matches with Kane and Big Show, but name someone else he doesn’t bring up to a higher level. If there are only two people in his career where it doesn’t work, he’s roughly 100 steps above most other talent. Rusev would attack Cena later in the night to set up the title match Sunday.

Bray Wyatt talked about how his new target can’t lift his way out of this one. That makes me think Ryback, which could be a nice surprise or a disaster, though they’ve been treating Ryback like a monster again, which is certainly a good thing.

Miz beat Mizdow in less than three minutes when Summer Rae turned on Mizdow in one of the most obvious heel turns this side of Big Show turn #1894. So to recap, Mizdow takes forever to turn on Miz, loses the battle royal to Big Show after getting really close, then loses two out of the three matches to Miz. Why do I even bother getting behind someone when their big goal is to build someone up to sacrifice them on the altar of WWE Studios? Miz got an RKO to emphasize that the entire Miz vs. Mizdow story meant nothing.

Ryback mauled Adam Rose and then beat up a hot dog and banana.

Kane and Rollins bickered some more with Rollins offering an apology.

Rollins vs. Ziggler was every Rollins vs. Ziggler match you’ve ever seen. The cage lowered post match so Rollins could hide from Kane. If you don’t know what was waiting for him when he turned around to end the show, you haven’t been paying close enough attention.

Raw really wasn’t very good this week and so much of it revolves around how lame the main stories have been. Kane was the focal point of the show this week with this never ending argument with Rollins, which seems destined to result in Kane screwing Orton over on Sunday and the Authority revealing it was all a huge swerve that we never saw coming. The wrestling was nothing to see this week either and it made for a really weak three hours. Extreme Rules and these rematches need to be gone soon, as does Kane’s never ending main event run. He just isn’t interesting and it’s killing the rest of the card.

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