Monday Night Raw – May 25, 2015: It All Comes Crashing Down

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 25, 2015
Location: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T., John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s Memorial Day and also the last Raw before Elimination Chamber. The two Chamber matches are set and we also have the World Title match ready to go, leaving just the details to be added to the matches to make things fully ready. There’s also the issue of Owens powerbombing Cena last week and standing on his US Title. Let’s get to it.

We open with the traditional salute to the veterans who have passed away serving their country. In the arena, we have a moment of silence and a ten bell salute. WWE always does a great job with these things.

Here’s the Authority in full to open things up. After a look at the ending to last week’s show, Seth talks about Ambrose coercing the Authority into giving him a title at Elimination Chamber last week. That’s not how the Authority operates because it’s not best for business. Therefore, couldn’t the Authority just take away the title match or fire Ambrose right now? Well they could and they considered it, but Rollins asked them not to.

HHH has a contract ready for Ambrose to sign so here’s Dean to the stage. Dean thinks there might be something wrong with him because he’s been having trouble sleeping lately. He’s tried counting sheep but he would rather count the times he punches Rollins in the face. It’s the closest thing to happiness he can have and that’s what he got last week. He always enjoys beating Seth up, but next time he wants it to be for the World Title.

Once he becomes the new face of the WWE, there are going to be some changes. The Stooges can go barefoot like some respectable hobbits and Kane can just wear a collar like the lapdog that he is. That leaves Rollins to drunk dial Selena Gomez like the Justin Bieber that he is.

Rollins shrugs off the Justin Bieber chants by actually defending him, saying the fans all want to be Bieber, just like Ambrose wants to be like Seth. He talks about Ambrose being a loser all his life and asks him to sign so he can lose one more time. Really good back and forth segment here with the Authority just being in the background while it happened. Ambrose comes to the ring but here’s Reigns to have his back. Stephanie gets on the mic and says Dean can sign the contract until the end of the show, but until then, it’s Reigns/Ambrose vs. Rollins/Kane right now.

Seth Rollins/Kane vs. Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns

Kane slugs Ambrose in the corner to start but Dean punches and chops up against the ropes. Off to Reigns who takes Kane down with a suplex before Rollins comes in to do the same to Ambrose. It’s quickly back to Reigns for a Samoan drop on Seth but he goes outside to chase the Stooges off, only to get caught in a chinlock back inside. A lukewarm tag brings in Ambrose for shots in the corner and a clothesline to put Seth outside, setting up the suicide dive. The good guys stand tall and we take a break.

Back with Rollins stopping a Dean comeback and getting some nice applause from the Stooges. A big time clothesline puts Rollins down and the hot tag brings in Reigns. Roman cleans house for a bit until a Kane boot puts him down. That earns him a Superman Punch and the top rope elbow from Dean for two with Rollins making the save. The springboard knee to the head gets two for Seth (that looked good) but an enziguri knocks Dean into the ropes, only to have him bounce back and grab a backslide to pin Rollins at 13:25.

Rating: C-. The wrestling was fine but it was really hard to care about this one. It’s almost the same match we’ve seen a dozen times with one or two pieces being changed without anything really changing. Ambrose getting the pin is the right idea for this match to set up Sunday, but these tag matches are almost impossible to get up for these days.

After a break, Ambrose says he’ll get the contract signed later in the night. The Stooges come up and say they have the contract but Mercury forgot it. Noble: “Well slap me upside my head and call me Sally!” Always the gentleman, Ambrose does just that and beats up the two of them before punching a cameraman by mistake. Dean looks upset by what he did to the innocent guy.

Video package on Kevin Owens’ career.

The cast of the movie Entourage arrives and don’t get much of a reaction.

Rusev vs. R-Truth

Rusev is officially Bulgarian again. Truth gets in a few shots but the Accolade wraps things up in 59 seconds.

Post match Rusev says he and Lana need to talk so please get down here. He stays in the ring waiting for her through a break asking her to come out and talk to him. Come on man. At least have a giant boom box. Lana finally comes out but won’t let Rusev hold the ropes open for her. Rusev knows she cares about him, even with all the mistakes she’s made and that he makes sure to list off.

It’s not her fault though. She’s a woman, and all women make mistakes. He talks about the dreams they had back in Bulgaria and asks her to take his hand….which she eventually does. Rusev wants to hear three magical words though: “I was wrong.” That’s too much for Lana though as she shoves his hand away and leaves, saying Rusev quit. Rusev: “YOU NEED TO KNOW YOUR PLACE WOMAN!” Lana calls him a liar and a quitter. No one earns her, especially Rusev. She leaves yet again and here’s Ziggler for another kiss.

So yeah, remember the last year plus of Rusev being a monster who beat Cena by knockout at Fast Lane? Well screw all that because we need to put him in a stupid soap opera style story because EVERYONE is a character like that who needs to have depth and emotions and all that nonsense.

HHH and Rollins come into Ambrose’s locker room and have the cameraman say that Ambrose hit him, despite thinking someone pushed him. Dean is arrested (“Yeah I’ve heard this before.”) and HHH smiles.

Post break the Stooges laugh at Ambrose as he’s taken away.

King Barrett vs. Ryback

Ryback still has bad ribs coming in. Barrett is thrown around to start and planted with an early powerslam but he rolls outside. Ryback follows but takes a hard kick to the ribs to give the King control. Back in and some kicks to the ribs followed by a middle rope elbow get two. Wasteland gets the same as Barrett wisely stays on the ribs. The Bull Hammer takes too long to set up though, allowing Ryback to hit a spinebuster and the Shell Shock for the pin at 3:56.

Rating: D+. So Barrett just spent the entire match working on the ribs and then Ryback hit his power moves like he was perfectly fine. Nothing to see here other than yet ANOTHER Barrett loss, which just keep coming and coming and coming. This was another match designed to set up the Chamber but with no time to get there because we need more stupid soap opera nonsense.

The cast of Entourage comes in to see the Authority and name drop people cameoing in their movie. They bring up Rhonda Rousey making Stephanie scream at Wrestlemania and are politely asked to leave.

Tough Enough videos.

Stardust vs. Neville

Stephen Amell of Arrow is in the front row. Neville vs. Bo Dallas is official for Sunday. Stardust goes after the bad knee to start as the announcers talk about Stardust and Amell feuding on Twitter. As Stardust puts on a half crab, Bo Dallas slowly walks to the ring to cheer for Neville. Stardust can’t hit a superplex as Neville kicks him down and nails a tornado DDT, setting up the Red Arrow (after some slaps to the bad knee to wake it up again) for the pin at 3:19.

Rating: C-. The match was nothing special, but this is the kind of match I like: a guy with a pay per view match having a bit of a sweat before beating a guy with a nice resume. We don’t get these nearly enough. It sets up the match on Sunday and keeps Neville from having to waste a big match. Good booking but not a great match.

Post match Dallas tells him to Bolieve and kicks the knee out again.

The Entourage guys hit on the Total Divas, creating a massive vortex of indifference. Zack Ryder comes up and asks them to come into his dressing room because he has an idea.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus

Cole incorrectly says the Intercontinental Title is the only title Sheamus has never held (Tag Team Titles being the other). Sheamus runs him over to start as the announcers talk about Lana and Rusev. We’re already in the chinlock with Sheamus talking a lot of trash at the same time. They head outside with Dolph ramming him into the announcers’ table, only to get kicked in the knee back inside.

A Cactus clothesline puts both guys on the floor but Sheamus powerslams him outside, drawing Lana to the stage to watch. Back from a break with Sheamus getting two off a neckbreaker but Ziggler fights up with a bunch of forearms. The Fameasser gets two and Ziggler escapes White Noise and ducks the Brogue Kick. Ziggler’s superkick gets two and here comes Rusev to the ring for a distraction, allowing Sheamus to hit the Brogue Kick for the pin at 10:20.

Rating: C. And we’re DONE with the Intercontinental Title preview matches. This is one of those ideas where WWE does one match and then just MUST do the exact same idea three times in one show with no one looking good coming out of it because none of this matters for Sunday. Decent match but my goodness this show has killed my interest.

Rusev puts on the Accolade to make Ziggler look at Lana. “KISS HIM NOW!”

It’s Open Challenge time. Fans: “JOHN CENA SUCKS!” Cena to the camera: “I guess the remix is still a popular song.” Cena says in the last ten years, the WWE Universe can be summed up in five words: “Let’s go Cena, Cena sucks.” He thanks the fans who believe in hustle, loyalty and respect but has to stop for a WE WANT RYDER chant. Those people have had his back for years and he thanks them from the bottom of his heart.

That brings him to the other group of fans, who have been begging for someone to get in this ring and knock him down. Name after name have tried to do just that but all of them have failed. Last week he met Kevin Owens, who broke the internet last week and then broke his best friend Sami Zayn in half.

Maybe that’s why the fans think Kevin Owens is the man that can put Cena down for good. This Sunday those fans that chant CENA SUCKS can instead chant FIGHT OWENS FIGHT. Owens can fight all he wants because it doesn’t mean WIN OWENS WIN. Last week Cena found out that Owens knows how to start a fight and this Sunday he’ll find out if Owens can finish one. That’s Sunday though, so let’s get to tonight. The Open Challenge starts right now.

Cena is ready and here’s the cast of Entourage. Cole: “Really?” Thankfully they’re just here to introduce the man taking the challenge.

US Title: John Cena vs. Zack Ryder

The Entourage cast is at ringside. Some early suplexes get two for Cena to start but Ryder comes back with the middle rope dropkick. Cena avoids the Broski Boot and starts his finishing sequence, only to have one of the Entourage guys get in for a distraction. A quick rollup gets two on Cena but Ryder counters the AA into a Killswitch for two. Now the Broski Boot gets two and the Rough Ryder gets the same. Zack goes up top but misses a 450 of all things, setting up the AA for the pin at 4:05.

Rating: C+. At the end of the day, it would have been cool to see Ryder get the big win to close out the building but you can’t do something like that to Cena here. Ryder looked good here and hopefully gets some more TV time out of a good performance like this. The 450 wasn’t half bad either.

Cena, Ryder and the Entourage guys get to pose in the ring for a nice moment. Cena poses on his own but turns around for a Pop Up Powerbomb from Owens, now wearing a FIGHT OWENS FIGHT shirt. Owens stomps on the US Title again for good measure.

The Authority recaps the Ambrose incident.

Now the announcers recap the Ambrose incident.

Tamina vs. Paige

Bellas are on commentary. Tamina knocks her to the floor to start and slaps on a neck crank. A quick rollup gets two for Paige followed by her three clotheslines and a dropkick. Nikki gets in a quick cheap shot though and Tamina’s Samoan drop is good for the pin at 3:52.

Rating: D-. Oh sweet goodness really? This is the best thing they can do? We’re six days before the Divas title match and the #1 contender just got pinned by the enforcer in less than four minutes. I know Tamina is Jimmy Snuka’s daughter or whatever, but that doesn’t make her the slightest bit interesting. Bad match here and even dumber booking.

Here’s the New Day to say it’s preposterous and ridiculous that they’re being persecuted for being positive. No one wants to see them lose their titles! Just ask the WWE Universe! Cue Kane to say that the Chamber is fair, but the following match isn’t quite the same.

Cesaro/Tyson Kidd/Los Matadores/Lucha Dragons/Prime Time Players/Ascension vs. New Day

10-3 handicap match and joined in progress with……never mind as all ten come in for the big beatdown and the DQ at 49 seconds. Yes, the HEELS are in a big handicap match and were put there by a heel. I guess logic and the Curb Stomp can chill together on the banned list.

We get the big brawl with the Dragons diving on most of the other people at the same time. New Day stands tall, only to have Cesaro and Kidd come in and clean house.

Preview of the preview of the Daniel Bryan documentary airing on the Network tonight.

We get a second angle of Ambrose punching the camerman (from the WWE Youtube channel because of course it is) because Rollins shoved Ambrose into him. This really doesn’t change anything as Ambrose still turned around and punched him, but this show is a sitcom instead of a wrestling show.

Here’s the Authority for the big stupid ending to this stupid, stupid show. Yeah there’s a video, yeah there’s evidence saying Ambrose is innocent (he isn’t) but there’s no time. Therefore….cue Reigns before HHH can say it’s too late. The brawl is on, Reigns gets beaten down, Ambrose shows up in the police van and wearing police gear, and the big brawl allows Ambrose to sign just in time. CUE THAT LAUGH TRACK AND END THEME SONG!!!

Overall Rating: F. Yeah it failed. I was miserable watching this show as they took a huge leap backwards from all the good stuff they had been doing in the last few weeks. Instead of the fun matches and high energy, this was ALL about the backstage stuff and in ring segments with the Authority being on screen WAY too much. Look at some of the things they were doing out there and tell me they were segments we needed to see. The Entourage guys were on TV like four times and added nothing. They certainly weren’t bad, but have them out there once and stop showing them otherwise.

On top of that…..my goodness just make Rusev into the crying Zack Ryder when Eve left him. No it won’t be that bad, but my goodness man, what in the world is the point of this stupid love triangle story? What WWE doesn’t understand is there are some people who shouldn’t be like everybody else. Yeah Rusev is a human, but he needs to be treated like a monster. Let him just be the guy that got this far and stop trying to add dimensions to him. There are some people it’s ok to mess with, but Rusev isn’t that kind of character.

Then there’s the stupid contract signing deal, which comes off like a sitcom plot: it’s some wacky situation which JUST HAPPENS to work due to some master plan coming together, but it somehow manages to all unravel just as the show goes off the air with the Authority shouting that they’ll get you next time Ambrose, NEXT TIME!!!

I was livid sitting through this show as they just completely turned off the reality and made it into the biggest TV show schtick they could. That’s not even talking about the HORRIBLE booking choices of having three Intercontinental Title preview matches that went nowhere and barely set up the Chamber whatsoever. Horrible, horrible show here and wouldn’t you know it: it’s also the first show in a long time where Stephanie was a featured player. How about that.

Results

Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns b. Seth Rollins/Kane – Backslide to Rollins

Rusev b. R-Truth – Accolade

Ryback b. King Barrett – Shell Shock

Neville b. Stardust – Red Arrow

Sheamus b. Dolph Ziggler – Brogue Kick

John Cena b. Zack Ryder – Attitude Adjustment

New Day b. Cesaro/Tyson Kidd/Los Matadores/Lucha Dragons/Ascension/Prime Time Players via DQ when all ten attacked New Day at the same time

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete Monday Nitro Reviews Volume III at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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31 comments

  1. Crow says:

    Oddly enough, I thought even though it was a bad match kind of night, the show went pretty fast.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Actually I had that same feeling. Having two matches out of seven break five minutes probably helped.

    Eric Reply:

    Yeah it went fast, but that doesn’t mean it was good. Kind of glad I didn’t go.

  2. John says:

    Waiting for Jay to say how great this show was and defending it.

    Aeon Mathix Reply:

    That Jay guy is the real running joke of this site. Not that James Gracie dude.

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    Yup because god forbid I can still enjoy it for what is and not nitpick at everything like some of you do. Gee what a novel fucking concept that is huh? People like you and the goof above are the real big running jokes here.

    By the way #ThankYouNassauColiesum.

    WWEFan15 Reply:

    Shut up Jay and go give RAW a 10/10 like usual. Vince mark.

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    LMAO says the guy who’s name here is WWEFan15.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    At least Jay watches the show……

  3. Aeon Mathix says:

    I would like to point out that anyone who thought Rusev would have been something special and not just another Kozlov or whatever is in fact an idiot.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    So I’m an idiot?

    Eric Reply:

    To be fair bud, this is the type of guy that gets built up to lose to a top face. That’s the shelf life of a character like this. Where do you go after that with any of these basic characters?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    The midcard, not a lame love triangle that no one is asking to see.

    Aeon Mathix Reply:

    I would think you more than anyone would have known what was going to happen to Rusev once he lost a big feud.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    He was going fine when they announced him as part of the Chamber. Then tonight happened and he was basically standing in the ring with a big boom box begging Lana to come back.

    Heyo Reply:

    This, in a nutshell, is why the whole “guys will get a rub fighting Cena for the US title” argument doesn’t work: Seemingly everyone he works with not named Orton will get buried in the long term. The Cena feud is always what starts it.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    This wasn’t a burial because, as I’ve explained before, you can’t get buried in one night.

    Eric Reply:

    No burial at all. Just a character like that is made to lose to a Cena. That’s the ceiling. The ONLY thing I could foresee that MIGHT work is upping the anti-America stuff, maybe with a tag team partner. That’s about all I can see.

    Heyo Reply:

    Oh, I’m not arguing that Cena alone buried Rusev. More like it’s looking more and more like it marked the BEGINNING of his burial as a serious contender.

    Eric Reply:

    He was never going to be a serious contender. He was going to be a monster that eventually gets beat by a monster killer, which is what he did. After that, you have to find a different angle. As I said, maybe an anti-America group where he could be the muscle or maybe just a tag team with that sort of theme. That’s really all you can hope for with a character like that. If you thought this was a future world champion or something, that was never going to be the case.

  4. klunderbunker says:

    He’ll be fine if he is a monster in the Chamber. I don’t think anyone sane ever expected him to be a serious threat to the World Title or anything like that. For a guy like Rusev, the upper midcard is about as high as you can get. That being said, this drop is entirely on tonight’s stupid booking instead of Rusev or anything that he’s done.

    Heyo Reply:

    That’s more or less where I’m going with this. It seems like whenever or an up-and-comer feuds with Cena and he’s lost, really stupid booking on WWE’s end kicks in and he gets buried within the same calender year.

    This isn’t the case all the time(Bryan beat Cena clean in 2013 and later became a main event player) but it happens enough that it’s not encouraging.

    Vega Reply:

    Bryan, like Punk, defeated Cena, which is a very different thing. Orton traded wins so he’s a different case as well.

    Cena is the perceived glass ceiling, breaking it means you’re special, failing to do so means you belong to the midcard slump. There is no midcard structure, so you’re either as good as Cena or as good as everyone else. Those who haven’t failed against him (yet) are called main eventers. That’s why I don’t think a loss against Cena does anything for you, and a win often does a lot. It’s emphasized by my second point.

    Cena, the character, is incapable of change: He won’t come out of a clash different than he came in. This it true on a small scale with matches and on a larger scale with feuds. A victory doesn’t make him look damaged or weakened, it makes him look happy and unstressed. The end of a feud means square one. And Cena doesn’t possess the psychology of, say, Bret Hart to lose something in victory (and that’s not a knock).

    It doesn’t help that most of the time WWE isn’t satisfied with one loss and tries to drive the point of Cena being superior home over several months.

  5. Crow says:

    Never said it was good…but I’d rather it be bad and quick, than bad and exhausting.

  6. Jay H (the real one) says:

    That was the best RAW I’ve seen all year. Entertaining promos, and the matches were excellent. I am so pumped for the PPV on Sunday this is going to be the best PPV of the year.

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    So a couple things here.

    1.Pretty sure I didn’t call it the Best RAW all year.

    2.EC is not a PPV but a Network Special. Glad we could clear that up.

    3.Are we still doing this? 2012 called they want their gag back. As if it was ever funny to begin with.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    Is this the same guy who was doing all that NOT JAY stuff before?

    Jacob Jones Reply:

    I believe someone compromised Jay’s account. This joke is not funny and it must be stopped. :/

  7. james gracie says:

    Oh man how bad was that? So RAW is basically Smackdown now. Good God all this crap is filler. Why should I even bother watching? WWE doesn’t need Lesnar to put their whole fucking show on hold. They have Rusev and this Kevin Owens guy who they could easily book to be unstoppable monsters instead. But no, we need to be in a holding pattern every FUCKING time Lesnar takes his little hiatus’. BULLSHIT!

    I’m already getting tired of the Cena midcard challenge. I can do without the pre match promo every week, where he basically says the same damn thing. And another bites the dust after feuding with Cena. Good luck Rusev as you join Del Rio, Barrett, Sheamus, Ziggler, Miz and Wyatt as guys who peaked in their feud with Cena and will basically be in WWE’s usual 50/50 booking so no one ever gets over. Have fun. Hey Kevin Owens, you’re next!

    You make Daniel Bryan fake an injury and now give him a stupid highlight show? FUCK OFF!

    Awful show tonight and it looks like WWE is pulling old shows from the Network cause most fans don’t watch them. That’s right, I told you all that there is very little replay value in rewatching old shows but you all thought I was crazy. I mean there are cool moments like Scott Hall debuting, but do I need to watch the entire episode of Nitro to see that? In fact, I don’t even need the Network. I can just go on Youtube and watch the clip there. I mean WWE uploads the big moments on their Youtube channel. Seriously can’t wait for the Network to fail and go down so I can stop hearing about it 858757757757575758488393399 times on RAW every FUCKING WEEK! Complete boring filler til Lesnar returns, then leaves again and it will be filler til Royal Rumble. What a fucking disaster of a signing! #VinceIsSoftAndOutOfTouch #FireStephanie #SaveUsNewDay

  8. Vega says:

    So if Rusev is toast either way, why didn’t the rub go to someone who could be elevated by it? At least let it rest after Mania then. That’s what I don’t get a lot of the time. A potential Rock – Lesnar match would be the epitome of it (quick cash grab for making the roster look second rate for two years), but there are smaller instances like this where I just don’t get it.

  9. M.R. says:

    Triple H eating up too much screentime and ruining Raw? That’s new. Trips and Steph are no Vince when it comes to screen presence that’s for sure.