Monday Night Raw – May 27, 2013: In Memory Of The Days When WWE Was Interesting
Date: May 27, 2013
Location: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler
The main story tonight is what happened last week with HHH collapsing. Tonight we’re likely to get an update on his condition, meaning we’re likely to hear from Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel about what they did to him. There’s also a good chance that Cena will be back from the beating he received at Ryback’s hands. Let’s get to it.
We open with the traditional moment of remembrance due to Memorial Day which is always classy.
Recap of the end of the show from last week and Ryback’s challenge to Cena.
Here’s Cena to open the show. He talks about the ending to the last man standing match being controversial and about how Ryback called him out for an ambulance match. After stopping for a WE WANT BRET chant, Cena makes the counteroffer of a 3 Stages of Hell match, with stipulations of a lumberjack match, a tables match, and then the ambulance match. Cue Ryback who calls himself Beelzebub because of where he tried to take Cena. I’m assuming that means the match is on.
After Ryback leaves, here’s Heyman to introduce Cena to Curtis Axel. He talks about how Axel “beat” HHH last week and proposes Cena vs. Axel for later tonight. Cena says that Axel has guts but says he needs to stay away from Heyman. Axel isn’t impressed and wants a fight, so Cena says it’s on.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Big E. Langston
Langston pounds Del Rio into the corner but gets caught by a quick dropkick. Del Rio low bridges him to the floor and hits a suicide dive as Cole runs through the list of networks that carry the show in different countries. Big E. drops Alberto face first on the steps for two back in the ring as Cole is now plugging the WWE App and we get a quick partial interview from Ziggler on him wanting to come back.
A backbreaker puts Del Rio down but he avoids a charge into the corner, sending Langston into the post. There’s the Backstabber and a hard kick to Langston’s head for two but the armbreaker is countered into a belly to belly. Langston pulls the strap down but AJ gets on the apron and takes off a turnbuckle pad. The armbreaker goes on but Langston lifts him up into the air to counter. Del Rio gets to his feet and shoves Langston chest first into the exposed buckle, allowing him to get a rollup for the pin at 4:18.
Rating: C. These two have some chemistry together but this existed for the angle with AJ. It seems like they’re wanting to split Langston off from Ziggler and AJ which would be one of the best things they could do for him. The match here wasn’t bad and I could see these two having a much longer match in the future.
Post match Langston is upset at AJ and walks away from her.
Kane and Bryan are in the back with Bryan pacing back and forth. Bryan is muttering about the weak link until Kane yells at him, saying that only Bryan thinks he’s the weak link. If they want to beat Shield tonight, Bryan needs to pull himself together. Bryan interprets this as Kane calling him the weak link.
They get into the yes/no argument but stop because Bret Hart is here. Bret calls them one of the best combinations he’s ever seen, so Bryan asks Bret if anyone ever saw him as the weak link in the Hart Foundation. Hart says not really and leaves. Kane wants to know why that means something from Bret and not him. Bryan says because he’s Bret Hart and you’re Kane. I love how simple that is.
US Title: Kofi Kingston vs. Dean Ambrose
This is another rematch because of Shield interfering in the one on Smackdown. Kofi starts with a quick armbar but gets pounded in the corner by the champion. Ambrose ducks a quick Trouble in Paradise attempt and bails to the floor as we take a break after less than two minutes of action and less than three minutes after the end of the last commercial.
Back with Ambrose getting two off an elbow drop but Kofi fires off some elbows of his own to recover. A cross body out of the corner gets two but Dean rolls away from the Boom Drop. They trade near falls in a string of rollups before the SOS gets two for Kofi. Orton and Sheamus are watching the match on the WWE App as Kofi gets two off a springboard clothesline. Ambrose trips Kofi up and sends him off the apron into the steps, allowing the bulldog driver to end him clean at 8:23.
Rating: C. Not much to see here and the ending was more abrupt than I was expecting. Thankfully though that was a definitive ending and we don’t have to drag out the rematches anymore. Dean won cleanly and looks like the better man, which is exactly what Kofi was there to make happen. Not a great match, but it was the perfect way to go about things here.
Post match Shield celebrates until HELL NO come out to start the tag title match after the break.
Tag Titles: HELL NO vs. Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins
This is joined in progress after the break with Bryan being double teamed. Rollins stays in and gets caught in the ribs by a running knee before Bryan fires off kicks in the corner. Kane tags himself in and Bryan isn’t pleased. A slam gets two for Kane and there’s a Hart Attack by the challengers (not that the announcers make note of it or anything). Back to Bryan who fires in elbows to the jaw before dragging Seth into the corner for a tag to Kane.
The big man loads up a chokeslam but Rollins counters with a LOUD enziguri. Off to Reigns who pounds Kane down while showing no problems with his ankle from Smackdown. Roman hooks a chinlock on Kane to slow things down a bit before getting two off a slam. It’s back to Seth to stomp away at the ribs and put on a chinlock of his own. Oh wait: WE GET SOMETHING ELSE FROM THE APP! This time it’s the Prime Time Players watching the match. Why would I want to get that thing if that’s what I’m going to get?
Anyway Kane fights back and clotheslines Rollins down, allowing for the hot tag to Bryan. He cleans house on the Shield, hitting a wicked German and a running dropkick to Rollins for two. Here are the rapid fire kicks to the chest and one to the head for two more. Seth loads up a superplex but Bryan slips underneath him and puts Rollins in the Tree of Woe for more kicks to the chest. Bryan belly to back superplexes him down as we take a break.
Back with Rollins working over Bryan and putting him in a surfboard, only for Bryan to counter. Reigns gets the tag before Bryan can do anything else though and the beating continues. Roman gets two off a shoulder and it’s back to Rollins for the downward spiral into the buckle while calling Bryan the weak link. Back to Reigns who gets caught by a running kick to the face, allowing for the hot tag to Kane.
The big man cleans house as he is known to do, getting two off the side slam to Rollins. Reigns makes the save but gets dropkicked down by Bryan. The referee tells Bryan to quit beating on Reigns on the floor but he dives off the apron into a spinebuster anyway. Rollins uses the distraction to hit the springboard knee to the head of Kane for the pin at 18:40.
Rating: B-. This was a pretty good tag match and hopefully now we don’t have to see these guys fight anymore. Not that the matches have been bad or anything, but WWE has a really bad tendency to pound matches into the ground and make the fans loathe them no matter what. Just like earlier though, Shield looks good here and they get the rub they needed.
We recap the opening segment.
We recap the end of last week’s show and get some post show stuff with HHH saying he doesn’t remember any of the matc.
Apparently the injury took place from the sledgehammer shot to the head from Brock, meaning that Axel’s offense had no extra damage. HHH could be back next week.
You can vote as to whether Miz should be guest commentator, ring announcer or referee for Wade Barrett vs. Fandango.
After the break, Miz is going to be guest referee by a huge margin. I’m as shocked as you are.
Wade Barrett vs. Fandango
Fandango hits a quick chop to take over and pounds the champion (this is non-title) into the corner. An elbow to the jaw gets two but Barrett pounds away to put Fandango down for two. Barrett hits the boot to Fandango in the ropes, only to have Miz lay out Wade with the Skull Crushing Finale. Fandango gets the pin at 2:43.
Post match Miz kicks Fandango in the head as he and Summer are dancing, knocking Summer on top of him. Miz counts three because he can.
Shawn Michaels pops in to see Cena and says Cena is crazy. Cena thinks he’s doing what Shawn would do and leaves.
Tons of Funk/Great Khali vs. 3MB
This is over a destroyed birthday cake apparently. Khali destroys McIntyre with chops to start before it’s off to Tensai for his cannonball attack in the corner. The rest of the Band interrupts to take over but it’s quickly back to Brodus. A splash in the corner and a powerslam get two on Slater as everything breaks down. The splash finishes Slater at 2:53.
Apparently it’s Natalya’s birthday so Khali sings Happy Birthday to her.
Video on Cena’s patriotic stuff to celebrate Memorial Day.
Time for the Highlight Reel with guest Paul Heyman. After sucking up to Calgary, Jericho brings out Heyman for some insults as only Jericho can do. He talks about Heyman developing talent which Heyman agrees with, such as Chris Jericho. It was Heyman who gave Jericho his first break which Jericho agrees with. “Yeah and you still owe me money.” Heyman says he’s going to do the same thing with Curtis Axel tonight as Axel beats Cena later in the show.
Jericho would rather talk about Heyman’s other client and Heyman goes into his schtick about Lesnar. Instead, Jericho wants to talk about CM Punk, who has been gone for a month and a half. We get a clip of Punk walking out back in April and the fans chant for Mr. CM. Jericho talks about Heyman having the same suit and look on his face in both the clip and right now. Apparently Heyman was surprised to see Punk leave, but Heyman says he’s wearing the suit out of respect for Jericho.
That’s not enough for Jericho but Heyman doesn’t know what Chris wants. Heyman goes into his usual schtick about Punk’s accomplishments but Jericho cuts him off and asks where Punk is. Heyman says a statement is coming soon but that’s also not good enough for Jericho. Jericho says that Punk can’t be called the best in the world after being gone this long, but wonders if Punk will be at Payback in Chicago. Chris thinks he’s the best in the world which ticks Heyman off. The challenge is issued by Jericho but Heyman laughs at him. After more goading from Jericho and the fans, Heyman accepts for Punk and that’s that.
Bella Twins vs. Kaitlyn/Natalya
We’ll say Nikki starts with Kaitlyn and a lot of choking ensues. Off to a chinlock for good measure until Kaitlyn fights up and makes the tag off to Natalya. Sharpshooter goes on for like 30 seconds but there’s no tap out. Instead Brie comes in and breaks it up, only to be speared down. Kaitlyn spears Natalya by mistake, giving Nikki the pin at 3:45.
Rating: D. Whatever. That is all.
The Bellas sing Happy Birthday to Natalya.
Bret comes in to see Axel and advises him to dump Heyman. Axel says no one gave him the time of day before last week but Heyman finally did. He’s completely right but we’re supposed to be offended I guess.
Bray Wyatt video. He and his Family are coming soon. For those of you NXT fans, you know why this is awesome.
Randy Orton/Sheamus vs. Rhodes Scholars
Orton and Rhodes start things off with Randy running him over. Off to Sheamus with the slingshot shoulder for two before Sandow and Orton come in again. Damien pounds him down in the corner and brings Rhodes back in, only to have him caught in a suplex. Back to Sheamus who is stomped down in the corner before coming back with a neckbreaker for two. Sheamus goes up but gets slammed down by Sandow as we take a break.
Back with Sandow choking on Sheamus before it’s back to Rhodes for a body scissors. Back up and there’s the Irish Curse, allowing for the tag off to Orton. Both Scholars walk into powerslams and there’s the Elevated DDT to Sandow. We head to the floor with Rhodes and Orton colliding before Sandow throws Orton in for two. Cody hits the front suplex before it’s back to Damien with the Wind-Up Elbow for two.
Back to Cody who walks into the t-bone suplex, allowing for the tag to Sheamus. House is cleaned and there are ten forearms to Damien. Cody hits the Disaster Kick on Sheamus for two, only to have Sheamus escape the Terminus and hit White Noise. Brogue Kick and we’re done at 15:40.
Rating: D+. The match was fine but DEAR GOODNESS I never want to see any combination of this match again. Sheamus and Orton have beaten the Scholars for what feels like 10000 times each and I’m just over it. It’s not entertaining, it’s not fun, it’s never in doubt and there’s no part of me that wants to watch it ever again. Find ANYBODY new for Sheamus and Orton to beat up, please.
Curtis Axel vs. John Cena
Cena hits a quick hiptoss and we’re already at a break. Back with Axel in control on the floor before heading back in for more pounding. A snap suplex gets two as the fans are looking at something in the audience. Axel wisely goes to an armbar until the fans are paying attention again. Back up and Axel clotheslines him in the back of the head for two as the fans are paying attention again. Cena fights up and hits the shoulders and ProtoBomb.
The Shuffle connects but Axel pops out of the AA and hits a dropkick for two. A middle rope ax handle connects but the second one misses, allowing Cena to hit a standing powerslam for two. Axel channels his Papa with a Hennig necksnap and a kick in the face for two. The PerfectPlex is escaped into an STF attempt but Axel escapes again. The AA is countered into a PerfectPlex for two but Axel misses a splash in the corner. Cue Ryback with the ambulance and Cena walks towards it, earning a countout at 11:54.
Rating: C-. Cena didn’t beat him, Cena didn’t hit the AA, Cena didn’t get the STF, Cena didn’t kick out of Axel’s finisher, Cena was barely on offense at all. This is how you give someone a rub, unlike last week where it was ALL about HHH. This is a great showing for Axel and something that should have happened last week.
Ryback jumps Cena from behind because he isn’t in the ambulance. He tries to ram Cena through the set like at the PPV but Cena escapes. The AA off the stage doesn’t work either and Ryback bails. Important point: Axel is announced as the winner and poses with his music playing to end the show. Cena even applauds him as we go off the air.
Overall Rating: C-. The show wasn’t bad here and there were some good matches, but there was nothing that made me want to see more. That’s the problem with WWE right now: there’s nothing really interesting and everything feels like it’s warmed over stuff that we’ve done a dozen times before. It’s just like we’re killing time to get to something else but there’s no indication that there’s a plan for what that is. I do know however that I can watch people watching the same match I’m watching if I download the App so at least there’s that.
Alberto Del Rio b. Big E. Langston – Rollup
Dean Ambrose b. Kofi Kingston – Bulldog Driver
Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins b. HELL NO – Springboard knee to the Head
Fandango b. Wade Barrett – Skull Crushing Finale
Tons of Funk/Great Khali b. 3MB – Splash to Slater
Bella Twins b. Kaitlyn/Natalya – Spear to Kaitlyn
Curtis Axel b. John Cena via countout
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my book on the History of the WWE Championship from Amazon for just $5 at:
See that seems patronizing. Shouldn’t he be mad that he lost? I get that’s he’s in a go nowhere feud with ryback. It would just make more sense if he was pissed, you know like it bothers him slightly.
Perhaps in the mind of someone that prefers not to attribute depth to a character and wants everything blatantly fed to them.
So why did Cena applaud the guy who beat him? Isn’t that kind of patronizing?
No. It’s saying “well done. You got me.”
Wow seeing a show live makes the grade so much higher. Match of the night was definitely the one in the stands.
I was wondering what was goin on. I thought it was something more detrimental by the way WWE was keeping the shot on Axel/Cena extremely tight.
The fight was in the front row and involved 3 drunk dudes and a ton of security. Kudos to WWE for the camera work if you didn’t see anything.
A 3 hour show and yet there’s SO MUCH content we need an app for……?
Well you were right KB,it was Brock that did damage to HHH and Axel had nothing to do with it. I admit I was wrong but I can’t hate on HHH at the same time.
Solid RAW tonight and I did watch the Bret Hart stuff on the App which was nice. Some good Matches like Cena/Axel,the Tag Title/US Title bouts,ADR/Big E was pretty good also.
Wtf? a B- for Team Hell No vs The Shield? That match was freaking awesome. Best tag team match I’ve seen in a while.
Cena did a great job of putting Axel over and making it look like he belongs on that level. Decent show tonight, but it would have been miles better if it was 2 hours.
I like that you added match times this week!
I’ve done that for months dude.