May 5, 2015 by Joey Keogh
This week we’re in Canada, eh, which means a super-hot crowd and absolutely no love for John Cena. Aw. But Montreal do have a lot of time for Randy Orton, who’s out here to bask in the glory of it all before he kicks some serious ass at Payback. Hey, Michael Cole, people don’t generally dip in and out of this shit, so chances are we know what happened on last week’s episode and don’t need it recapped by you every goddamn second. We also don’t want to talk about Payback on social media, in spite of how good those hashtags, that you keep mentioning, are. Orton knows what the definition of payback is and he’d like to share it with all of us (hint: it does not involve wearing pants). He’s really over as a possible champ. Roman Reigns, on the other hand, is not. In fairness, he does have previous with Roly Poly (possible new name for Rollins, don’t steal or I can’t sell to creative). At least, more so than Orton. But that doesn’t mean we want to look at him. Or that he should be given a mic. Orton is quick to point out that Reigns only has one victory over him, which is so sad he cries down his shirt, ruining his new iron-on logo. The New Day show up to complain about all the negativity (a reference to the Montreal “boo-hoo job” does not go down well) and to assure the two wannabe champs not to give up because they don’t suck that bad. Why did The New Day steal Bo Dallas‘s gimmick? Orton claps along with the chants about them sucking but pays for it dearly after a reference to someone having his number on speed dial hits him particularly hard, for reasons unknown. Anyway, it’s match time y’all!
3-on-2 Handicap Match: The New Day Vs. Roman Reigns & Randy Orton
The New Day dance their way to the ring because of course they do. The most shocking thing about this match – aside from the fact it lasts longer than thirty seconds – is that it gives Kofi Kingston the space to show off a little bit. The dude may be agile, but he can really pack a punch, too, and at least for a while it looks as though he and his brothers may kind of have it in the bag for real. As per usual, Cole spends the entire match wondering aloud how Reigns and Orton are going to CO-EXIST while the other commentators take turns making fun of him for being so stupid. There are some nice flashes of personality from The New Day, including when Xavier Woods, dragged away from the tag, screams like he’s in a horror movie. Reigns’s idea of personality is to nonchalantly chew gum on the apron like he’s pretending not to be waiting to be asked to dance at Junior Prom. It’d be much more satisfying to watch Reigns get his ass handed to him by Big E if we thought there was even the slightest chance of a clean win for the tag champs but naturally a quick turnaround by Orton leads to him “accidentally” being Speared by his partner, so Kingston can hit the small package on him and win.
Winners: The New Day
Up next, Sexy Voice Kane (all new from Mattel!) wants their attention. He also wants to exploit them in the Main Event, which sounds a bit saucier than perhaps intended. Reigns and Orton are going to fight each other at the end of the show, as a punishment to all of us for sitting through it. He then runs into The New Day backstage, who are celebrating their win, and they’re all like “We told you, Kane!” Mercury and Noble have matching gold ties to match Rollins’ gold. This is something that must be noted at every opportunity, because one day their ties will be black to mourn his title loss. Rollins thinks Kane is more spoiled than he is. Kane wants to murder Santa. This promo doesn’t go anywhere but suffice to say Rollins will be facing Ambrose later on. Back in the ring, Renee is here to introduce Ryback, who’s dressed like off-duty Brock Lesnar for the occasion. He isn’t the best talker, which is kind of annoying when it involves him cutting a long-ass promo about how hard he’s worked and how long he’s waited in the buffet line and shit. Wyatt is still hanging around in the smoking area, talking to drunk strangers about how Ryback is a little boy and how fear moulds us all. It’d be super deep if everyone weren’t so stoned from the second-hand smoke. Or if Ryback had remembered to eat a second lunch earlier.
Tag Match: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro Vs. The Ascension
There’s some nice camera-work during The Ascension‘s entrance, even if it worked better on NXT and probably involves them crouching on the ramp until their legs fall asleep. They get some offence in early on – at least, more than one would assume they would – with a cool elbow drop and some decent locks from the less Jerry Only looking one. Kidd and Cesaro soon turn it around, of course, and win easily with the Swing to a kick move thing they do that looks cool but has an unpronounceable name.
Winners: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro
Backstage again, Renee tries to corner Rollins so she can ask him what he thinks of her weird, diaper-like playsuit but all he seems to want to do is talk about how lame Kane is for not texting him back all those times. Oh, and how he’s totally ready for the match he has right now, of course.
Seth Rollins Vs. Dean Ambrose
Kane shows up to make it interesting by revealing that, if Ambrose wins tonight, then the PPV match will become a fatal fourway. Rollins calls bullshit, pointing to the sanctity of the App vote. Ambrose grabs the mic and is all like “Y’all want me included, right?”. Rollins steals it back and is all “Gimme that” like when that shark steals Woody’s hat and pretends to be him and it’s super offensive to both sharks and cowboys. Ambrose takes advantage of the distraction and kicks Rollins’ butt, delighting Tumblr. In all seriousness, though, it’s cool to see Rollins having a proper match without any outside interference for once (his security team were banned from ringside by Kane). Ambrose hits a crazy tornado DDT, before winding up his fist and then deciding to use the other one instead. The great thing about this bout is that every single near fall feels like it might be the end. Obviously, everyone is rooting for Ambrose to make it through and earn a spot at the PPV, but there’s always a chance that Rollins will get DQed or some shit. Mercury and Noble do manage to turn up and intervene towards the end, with Mercury getting caught up in the ropes and bouncing around for a bit rather hilariously, but Ambrose disposes of the two of them and utilises the distraction to roll Rollins up into a small package for the win, solidifying the fatal fourway at Payback.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
After the match has finished, Rollins rounds on Kane backstage again and his security team do their darnedest to hold him back. The whole time this is going on, Trips is smiling from the Power Series poster on the wall and the effect is a little disconcerting, to say the least. Anyway, Kane has a plan as always so whatever. Elsewhere, Byron is talking to Lana‘s cleavage about what it means to be loved by the fans when Fandango shows up to use the word “euphoric” in a very suggestive manner and encourage her to dance more. Rusev shoos them both away.
Rusev Vs. Fandango
This is a short one (obviously) but, much like the doomed Ascension earlier, Fandango doesn’t make a complete fool of himself here, managing to get a few blows in earlier on. The fans love Lana but she pays the price for dancing along with her man’s opponent by being banished from ringside yet again. Fandango capitalises for a bit but is soon tapping out of the Accolade, because the only man who can beat Rusev is that man we all hate (unless you’re American, in which case please carry on).
R-Truth Vs. Stardust
The short matches continue with this weirdness. As he enters, it quickly becomes clear that Stardust is in possession of the sacce magique. But where will he travel to with it? Brighton perhaps? It’s only three hours from London, after all. Truth spends the entire match trying to find out what’s in the bag but loses it upon discovering the thing is filled with rubber spiders. Stardust wins and Truth runs.
Cena’s Neverending Open Challenge: Sami Zayn
Cena pretends to love the ol’ “John Cena sucks” chants at first, but we all know he’s crying inside. Unfortunately, we end up suffering because he not only does a panto sad-face that is truly the stuff of nightmares, but also cuts a ten-minute long promo about his foot or his bagel or some shit (I dunno, I tuned out after the first thirty seconds or so and instead focused on who was making faces in the crowd behind him). Bret Hart shows up to remind us he’s not so good at remembering lines, and introduces Heath Slater as Cena’s opponent. Okay, not really, but Slater does come out to call everyone “incompetent” in French and get decked by Hart’s mic. The Hitman is really here to introduce NXT star, and hometown hero, Sami Zayn! The crowd understandably pop hugely for Zayn, who immediately gets to work showing off what he can do opposite the biggest star in the company. A shoulder injury derails his debut somewhat, but it’s still a hell of an introduction for him and, although he ultimately loses to Cena, he manages to look crazy strong with some gnarly spots and an innate in-ring awareness and charisma that just cannot be taught.
Winner: John Cena
Renee waits for Zayn backstage but The New Day crash her interview to tell her about how they’re really big fans of that one Nickelodeon show about the kids in the performing arts school, until Kidd and Cesaro show up and make fun of them for having shit taste and being stupid. Nattie even gets in on the act, dancing around the way only true heels can. Wait, aren’t The New Day supposed to be the heels here? Then why is Nattie dressed like an extra in Mad Max? They get another “New Day sucks” chant going and the poor lads storm off, with Woods yelling “this is our day!” as they do so.
Divas Match: Nikki Bella Vs. Naomi
There’s supposed to be a women’s match next but instead the Bellas get ambushed mid-entrance by Naomi and returning star Tamina, whose name Cole forgets, simply referring to her as “Fashmala” as he pretends to clear his throat. They wear black because they’re heels but the Bellas are heels too so this also makes no sense. “Your reign of evil is OVER” Naomi says, to nobody in particular. And, just in case you weren’t paying attention to these two minutes of unmissable television, we get an instant replay! Hooray!
Tag Team Match: Sheamus & Bad News Barrett Vs. Dolph Ziggler & Neville
So, we can get a million goddamn replays and yet this the first mention of Barrett as King Of The Ring 2015? He approaches the ring, resplendent in his new royal attire, to refer to everyone as “filthy commoners” before teaching them a new phrase even their puny, Canadian brains can understand; “All hail King Barrett”. As for the match itself, well, much like the Rollins/Ambrose bout earlier, it deserves Main Event status over Boring Pants/No Pants because everyone involved in it is hungry (like, proper hungry, not literally hungry like Ryback) and super fun to watch. Neville waits most of the match to be tagged in, and he nearly wins it for them with a Suplex but eats a Bullhammer as he goes for the Red Arrow.
Winners: Sheamus & Bad News Barrett
Main Event: Roman Reigns Vs. Randy Orton
Before the match can even get started, Kane, Rollins, Mercury and Noble show up and Noble announces from the announce table that they’ve all got bullshit jobs tonight that basically allow them to interfere in the match – like anyone even cares. Besides, this always happens. Every week. Rollins is on commentary, which at least alleviates the boredom slightly as Orton and Reigns take turns hitting their signature moves in the ring, practically yawning as they do so. As it winds down, Orton reverses the Superman punch into a powerslam, followed by a DDT, but Reigns then lands the punch, leading to lots of interference until Ambrose shows up to help, or to make his jeans stink even worse, or maybe both. Orton hits the RKO on Noble, Ambrose hits the Dirty Deeds on Orton and nobody wins so yay for us.
It wasn’t a bad RAW overall, but the reliably hot Canadian crowd definitely helped. Amrbose’s inclusion in the championship match the PPV is interesting, Zayn kicked major ass in his debut opposite Cena, in spite of an injury, the tag team division is finally getting exciting and Barrett, Ziggler, et al are doing a nice job of keeping the mid-carders in the spotlight somewhat. The ladies were kind of undersold tonight, but at the same time, a mid-entrance beat-down is something that is usually reserved for the lads so this may be a good sign in the long run. As mental as it sounds, next week is the go-home show for Payback so if anything is going to happen, we’d better get ready for it.