WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day def. Randy Orton & Roman Reigns
I felt this match came as a surprise to everyone especially to kick off the show but that’s one positive WWE has maintained since Wrestlemania 31 with a strong kick off for most shows. A system that has its ups and downs. But this match was great it had a great length considering it was a 3v2 handicap match. I always felt in the back of my head that The New Day would steal a win like they have done over the past few weeks that made them WWE Tag Team Champions. If they lost it put a negative light on the tag team division especially when the no.1 contenders to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship were down a man as well. But all they wanted to do was strain the relationship of Randy and Roman and they did that with Reigns delivering a spear ‘accidently’ to Orton. But it was a nice set-up that lead into Kane setting the two up for the main event.
Ryback Addressing Bray Wyatt
I was truly surprised by this whole piece. I thought Ryback dominated on the microphone and you could really see more to the man and the character instead of being this drone like monster that just shouts ‘FEED ME MORE’. I recently listened to CM Punk’s famous podcast with Colt Cobana about his decision to leave and he really ripped into Ryback’s unprofessionally. I was curious because you could tell Punk was being honest. I then listened to Ryback’s response on a radio show a month before Wrestlemania 31 and you could really see that maybe Punk blew it a bit out of proportion or maybe pointed the finger in the wrong direction, and I absolutely love CM Punk so it took a lot from Ryback to convince but you could see really he is very sensitive and just a general guy. But back to Raw I was not convinced by this rivalry they had set up but each week it is slowly convincing me more and more.
Cesaro & Tyson Kidd def. The Ascension
Considering the normality of a tag team match that was set-up I was again surprised by this match up and it delivered a lot more than I expected. The ascension are stuck in this sort of limbo where they won’t get the real chances but they will continue to float around the tag team division until they are deemed good enough to split up I think. But Cesaro & Kidd were strong fighters in this one. Cesaro again showing how he would be such a great fighter to be thrown into another title mix but for now he can just keep throwing those European uppercuts that nearly ripped Viktor’s head off and finishing with the giant swing tag team move for a perfect dropkick from Kidd for the win.
Dean Ambrose def. Seth Rollins to earn a spot in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match at Payback
This was great decision for this match it just adds a little more spice to the main event at Payback. To have the whole former members of the shield in that fight as well. It is just perfect. This match did really deliver at the same time. It went back to the old rivalry of the two at NXT and after the Shield split up. I did have to agree with JBL on commentary where I can’t imagine Dean Ambrose WWE Heavyweight Champion but he does deserve it after having the Money in the Bank match last year being ripped away from him by Kane and then Kane being the one to create this match it was a nice twist.
Rusev def. Fandango
I’m liking the WWE showing Rusev’s brutality and strength again because I feel like after the two defeats to Cena he has become too ordinary not the Bulgarian Brute that he needs to be. I did also enjoy the comedic factor with Rusev’s matches at the same time with Lana being ejected for taking in the Universe’s love for her. Especially when we see her start doing the Fandango dance. But a good match for both. I have been loving Fandango’s recent popularity rise and I hope he does get q low card match up at Payback or a future PPV because he does deserve it.
Stardust def. R-Truth
A very comedic match that I did enjoy for the five minutes it lasted. A repeat of the King of the Ring quarter final from last week. Two mid-card wrestlers that just need matches. But to exploit R-Truth’s great arachnophobia with a big bag of spiders was brilliant and just a fun match to watch.
U.S. Champion John Cena def. Sami Zayn
This was amazing to see another debut from a wrestler that has been dominating NXT for a long time. It was unfortunate he picked up that injury early on but he carried on and that showed Zayn’s spirit to perform in front of his home crowd and give John Cena the face of WWE a real challenge. But this open challenge matches I had a big problem with this time round. Purely because they are all just ‘LOLCENAWINS’ every time and it’s just not fun anymore. Leading up to Extreme Rules I believe it worked and they were incredible matches. But to carry it on leading into Payback they have become too obvious and trying to trick us that Cena would lose the title before he goes into a title match is just stupid. But I can’t argue when it gives Superstars like Sami Zayn the platform to perform at the highest level.
Naomi and Tamina attacked The Bella Twins
I could not care less at the moment about the Diva’s division. I do love it and the match at Wrestlemania was brilliant. They want to give Diva’s a chance but they can’t create a decent storyline to keep people interested long enough so they are just stuck at a crossroads at the moment. Why after AJ Lee leaves for her own reasons you would decide to put the next best fan favourite Diva Paige to film a bad Christmas film with The Miz I do not understand. I could not care any less about Naomi and her heel work because it’s boring and pathetic.
A great start to his reign as King of the Ring of Barrett. The heels needed the win here otherwise WWE was making a joke out of them. I do like this rivalry between the two bullies and the underdogs but I can’t see where it’s going. One problem I still have is Sheamus hasn’t paid for his stipulation at Extreme Rules. They can’t allow superstars to do this otherwise it makes every hair vs hair match or mask vs mask completely pointless if the heel can turn around and just say ‘no’. Anyway a strong match leading up to the main event.
Roman Reigns def. Randy Orton via Disqualification
Turns out Kanes secret plan was to just try and beat the hell out of Randy and Roman when they came down to the ring for the main event and interrupted the match to give Roman a pointless DQ win. It started a fun brawl but the numbers caught up to Reigns and Orton but they were saved when the Lunatic Fringe came out to save them Dean Ambrose helped clear the ring of the authority but then three competitors that were going to compete against Seth Rollins for the Championship were left in the ring. Randy delivered an RKO out of nowhere to Roman but then received Dirty Deeds from Dean to leave him the last man standing at the end of Raw. A great main event that finished off a strong show with a few ups and downs but should lead into Smackdown nicely.