A week after a RAW filled with returns and new storylines, RAW from Montreal this week featured storyline development and in-ring action.
The main angle for RAW revolved around the main event at Battleground, as John Cena, Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Kane danced around each other all night.
RAW started with Reigns coming down to the ring to cut a promo saying that he can be the one to stop Cena. He’s definitely been getting more comfortable on the mic as time passes, as he was able to control the crowd, and play to them, in the promo.
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Kane came out, and they had a quick brawl that Reigns got the better of before the agents in the back came out to break them up. Before the segment ended we got to see guys like Fit Finlay, Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury take shots from Reigns as he tried to get to Kane.
In the main event, Cena took on Seth Rollins in a nontitle match. Before too long, the match devolved as Kane and Orton came out to attack Cena, which brought out Reigns to defend him. After Reigns took out Kane and Orton, Rollins used his briefcase to lay out everyone involved.
He again tried to cash in his briefcase, and Ambrose again stopped him. After Ambrose chased Rollins off, Kane and Orton tried to get off, and Reigns again stopped them. The show ended with Cena and Reigns taking turns raising the other’s hand.
While the biggest storyline revolved around the main event, the rest of the show featured a lot of wrestling and building on last week. Last week, I had questioned what the WWE was going to do after expending most of their big tricks. The answer was fairly refreshing, as instead of trying to force the issue, they focused on the basics, expanding on last week, and in a bit of a twist, actually did it through matches.
Most of the matches were given time, and almost all the storylines that were introduced last week progressed. When it comes to Pay-Per-Views with short turnaround times, the WWE should do this more often.
The Rest of RAW:
- Randy Orton beat Dean Ambrose in a very strong TV match. This might have been the best singles match in quite some time for both wrestlers. They had some great psychology, particularly revolving around Ambrose’s shoulder. There was one fairly bad botch, but it was played off well both by the wrestlers and the announcing crew. Ambrose is doing so well at mixing standard wrestling with a “loose cannon” attitude, and it shows in his matches.
- Harper and Rowan beat the Usos in a nontitle match. The Usos and Wyatts have had a great series of matches. Part of it has to be attributed to their contrasting styles. So often, you see people need to have similar styles to work together well. But these teams have enough chemistry that the contrast actually makes the match better.
- Jericho beat Miz in a pretty solid match in the return to the ring for both of these two. Miz is starting a gimmick where he needs to protect his face (taken from NXT’s Tyler Breeze?). Jericho ended up winning, but Bray Wyatt came out after the match.
He referenced the “Save Us Y2J” slogan, saying that Jericho can’t save the world, and can’t even save himself. That’s a really smart way to go about this feud. Jericho started up the ramp, but Harper and Rowan came out to flank Wyatt and keep Jericho from coming too close. I wouldn’t mind a six-man match at Battleground between the Wyatts and Jericho and the Usos. After Battleground, you can get the singles match between Jericho and Wyatt at Summerslam.
- Paige and AJ teamed up to beat the Funkadactyls. There were a few interesting developments in this match (and who knew the divas division could be given so many different storylines at once). The first was that Paige and AJ were working together. They could go a few different ways with this. The first is that the two team together for a while before Paige turns heel and attacks AJ. That’s the most likely. I will say though, the idea of a “Two-Woman Power Trip” is also appealing, at least for a while. Also, after the match, the Funkadactyls imploded, as they attacked each other after losing.
- Kofi Kingston beat Cesaro for the second straight week. It looked like Cesaro was going to beat Kofi down postmatch again, but Big E came out to save Kofi. It looks like they’re going to start building a feud between Cearo and Big E, which I’m for. Not sure exactly what Kofi’s role is going to be in this, as he’s now been given two pretty high-profile victories.
- Bret Hart came out in front of the Montreal crowd. He was interrupted by Damien Sandow, dressed as Hart. After Sandow ran down Hart, and made fun of the Montreal Screwjob, Hart decked him. Sandow then lost to Sheamus in a quick match.
- Rusev beat Rob Van Dam. Like the Pay-Per-View match with Big E, this one was more competitive than many of the matches Rusev has had in his run so far. While I haven’t been the biggest fan of Rob Van Dam for quite a while, especially since his return to the WWE, I have liked the way he’s been used lately, and he’s been making his opponents look good.
- Alberto Del Rio beat Dolph Ziggler after Fandango, who was on commentary, distracted Ziggler.
- Bo Dallas beat El Torito
- Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox wrestled to a no-contest as the match never really started.