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WWE Raw TV Report 5-18-15: John Cena/Kevin Owens confrontation, Seth Rollins Appreciation Night

by Jeff Hamlin,

Kevin Owens

The Big Takeaway: With another Special Event coming up and little time to build up for it, they rushed Seth Rollins vs. Dean Amrbose onto the main event spot for the Elimination Chamber show. Kevin Owens made his Raw debut where he jumped John Cena after tons of talk building up Wednesday's NXT Takeover show. Cena and Owens will tangle at Elimination Chamber, as well. Owens was treated like a big deal and the fans were familiar with him. 

HHH and Stephanie McMahon came out together for the first time since the night after WrestleMania. Stephanie put over Seth Rollins after his win at Payback as the future of the company and announced his three opponents from last night would go to the back of the line for title contendership.

Then they turned their attention to the Intercontiental championship, with Stephanie saying Daniel Bryan was watching at home on television, then corrected herself and said he was probably picking berries. HHH announced they would crown a new I-C champion inside the Elimination Chamber.

Sheamus came out and said they didn't need an Elimination Chamber match to crown a new I-C champion because he was the one who took Bryan out of action, so he should be rewarded. Rewarded for giving someone a legit concussion?

Ryback came out and put over Bryan, even talking back to Steph at one point. He challenged Sheamus to a match saying Sheamus would get to fight someone his own size. HHH agreed to let them fight. I hated how Bryan is portrayed as this underdog, Spike Dudley-like character. Still it was good to see the top heel in the company in the ring....with her husband. 

Sheamus defeated Ryback in 10:03

Match ended when Sheamus sold his eye for some reason. Referee forced Ryback to back off, giving Sheamus enough time to recover and deliver a Brogue kick for the pin. Ryback pressed slammed Sheamus onto the announcers table which had to be a rib on CM Punk. 

Stephanie and HHH were sipping champagne backstage when Kane walked in. Stephanie talked how HHH should host the "Architect of a Champion" tribute segment for Rollins tonight. Kane mentioned how he felt Rollins was finally starting to grow up. Rollins then walked in laughing offering everyone toasts of champagne and mentioned how no one deserved a toast more than Kane. He then threw in the jab that Kane would have lost his job if he hadn't won last night.

Dean Ambrose suddenly popped in and challenged Rollins for a rematch at Elimination Chamber since he needed four guys to help him win last night, while Ambrose beat Rollins in their last 1-on-1 match. HHH and Stephanie left while Rollins laughed off Ambrose's challenge, saying he doesn't know what going to the back of the line meant. Rollins left.

Ambrose told Kane he was nothing more than a glorified butler now and wondered what Paul Bearer and the Undertaker would say if they could see him now. Kane got mad and told Ambrose he would be facing Bray Wyatt later tonight. Ambrose stole a sip of Kane's champagne and told him he shouldn't be drinking on the clock. 

Neville came out for an interview with Renee Young, who brought up how he was the longest reigning NXT Champion ever. Bo Dallas came out and said he was once the longest reigning NXT champion. That sure put over the belt. Neville said he won the championship from Dallas. This led to Dallas attacking Neville's bad left knee from his match last night with Bad News Barrett. 

Bad News Barrett defeated Neville in 7:04

Dallas was on commentary. Almost a squash match where Neville sold his knee the whole way. Barrett won with the Bullhammer Elbow. Nothing like Neville elevating himself last week only to get pinned clean tonight. Even worse, Dallas attacked Neville's bad leg afterwards. So Dallas finally has a program again. At least Neville can go over a few times, but the nature of Neville's interview with Renee made it clear he's viewed as another undersized high-flyer who will join the company's legion of midcarders.

Rusev came out. The announcers got into an argument over whether Rusev said he quit against Cena last night. Rusev said there would be no Lana tonight, said he knows how to speak English and denied ever saying "I quit." Rusev had his Russian star.

He said he made John Cena pass out last night, but then Lana quit because she's weak. He challenged Cena to come out to restart the match. Lana came out instead to explain herself. She called him the Bulgarian Brute. Wasn't that gimmick 14 months ago? She said she had walked with Rusev every step of the way and said she was trying to protect him last night because she cared for him. Rusev called her pathetic and disgusting. She said she did the right thing for him and for them. She said she heard Rusev scream in Bulgarian "I quit" over and over. Rusev called her a liar, saying he didn't need her or anyone and ordered her to go back to wherever she came from. Lana took a long walk to the back while Rusev posed. So Rusev is Bulgarian again, I guess. But he was still out there with the Russian flag.   

Bray Wyatt defeated Dean Ambrose in 13:26

J&J Security interfered at the end when Ambrose went for a move to the top rope, but Joey Mercury distracted the referee and Jamie Noble pushed Ambrose off the top into Wyatt's Sister Abigail.  They're trying to get over Wyatt using a senton off the second rope as a new setup move. Good match, though at one point Ambrose did a tope that Wyatt largely blocked, sending Ambrose into the barricade, though Ambrose didn't sell it. Rollins came out with champagne and toasted J&J Security over Ambrose's loss. 

Another batch of Tough Enough tryout vidoes. One person had a truck run over their foot while two contestants had the same gimmick of doing promos inside their parent's house. Remember when superstars were supposed to be larger than life?  

The New Day went to a no contest with Tyson Kidd and Cesaro in a match for the WWE Tag Team Titles in 5:51. 

Big E. and Kofi Kingston did prematch micwork upset over defending their tag belts against five over tag teams in the Elimination Chamber. Michael Cole kept saying superstars would be released from their Elimination Chamber pods at "regularly scheduled interviews." Or intervals. Hey, I'm a play-by-play guy so who am I to talk about speaking mistakes? Terrible finish. Kidd had the sharpshooter on Kingston when Big E. broke it up. Big E and Kofi started putting the boots to Kidd...and the bell just sounded.

Xavier Woods ran down to help the New Day. It led to the Lucha Dragons coming down and flying onto Kingston and Woods. Los Matadores came in and did a tope onto Big E.. Then the Ascenion ran in and gave Kidd the Fall of Man. Next in was the Prime Time Players, with Titus O'Neal giving Kingston a backbreaker and slung him down. Lucha Dragons did stereo somersault topes onto the entire crew at ringside. Darren Young hit the Gut Check on Woods. All of these teams will be in the tag match at Elimination Chamber. 

John Cena meets Kevin Owens

Cena came out with JBL comparing him to Lionel Messi winning another La Liga championship. That's the most current sports reference he's made in years. Largely cheers for Cena. Of all people, Kevin Owens came out with the NXT Championship. Cole built up the NXT Takeover show where Owens defends against Sami Zayn. Crowd was familiar with Owens. Cena had to tell the crowd who Owens was. Owens took credit for injuring Zayn before Zayn wrestled Cena in Montreal, and Owens vowed to finish what he started against Zayn on Wednesday. They engaged in micwork that was focused on building up NXT Takeover on Wednesday but teased a match between the two down the line. Owens kicked Cena and delivered the pop-up power bomb on Cena. There were "Fight, Owens, Fight" chants after that. Owens stomped on the U.S. title on Cena and gave him the "You can't see me" sign. Excellent segment to make Owens seem like someone. Now can they sustain it? 

Three other men werre announced for the I-C Elimination Chamber match: Barrett, Rusev and R-Truth. 

Dolph Ziggler defeated Stardust in 1:26

Dolph Ziggler's stitches were shown after his head butt on Sheamus last night.  Ziggler won quickly with the Zig Zag. Cole did an in-ring interview with Ziggler, where it was announced that Ziggler will be the final man in the I-C Chamber match. 

Lana came down in the middle of the interview staring at Ziggler and then kissed him.  Crowd chanted "Yes." They had this awkward hesitation and then kissed again. Ziggler looked around for Rusev, who finally ran down and beat up Ziggler easily. Rusev acted upset with Lana, who slapped Rusev to a big pop. Rusev started screaming, but Ziggler gave Rusev the Zig Zag. Some fans at ringside started doing the Florida State Seminoles warchant, clearly familar with Lana's background. Lana left with Ziggler.

The soap opera didn't end there as Kane walked backstage past Adam Rose and  Rosa Mendes kissing. 

Luke Harper and Erick Rowan defeated Zack Ryder and Fandango in 3:26

Crowd still chanted for Zack Ryder after all this time. Erick Rowan pinned Ryder with a full nelson slam after a kick from Luke Harper. 

Stephanie met Nikki and Brie Bella backstage. She half heartedly told Brie she was sorry about the injury to Bryan. In fact, Steph was so worried about Brie that she scheduled therapy sessions for her. Some bad segments on the herizon. Stephanie also told Brie that she didn't want Brie accompanying Nikki to the ring tonight. 

Nikki Bella defeated Naomi by DQ to retain the Divas Title in 6:29

Naomi did an inset promo and you have to hear her try to do an evil cackle. Great unintentional comedy. Nikki did a tope on Naomi and Tamina Snuka early. Finish was Nikki going for the rack attack but Tamina ran in and superkicked Nikki for the DQ. Paige made her return to make the save and clear the ring. Paige gave Nikki the Rampage and posed with the title.   

They replayed Owens' attack on Cena from earlier. They cut backstage to Owens shaking hands with HHH. Renee talked with Owens, who announced he would face Cena at Elimination Chamber. 

The cast of Entourage will be on Raw next Monday. 

HHH, Stephanie and Kane came out for the main event segment for the Architecht of a Dream tribute for Rollins. HHH said Rollins reminded him of the Cerebral Assassan when he won with the pedrigree last night. HHH asked kane to say some words in tribute.

Kane said there were so many things he would like to say to him right now, but finally said Rollins was best for business. Rollins asked Kane if there was something else he would like to say. Through clinched teeth, Kane thanked Rollins for saving his job, then showed a video package that Kane supposedly had put together for him.

The package showed Rollins with the Shield, breaking up with the Shield, winning the Money in the Bank and the WWE Heavyweight title. Noble spoke up and said it was an honor to be back in the ring to protect Rollins. Mercury looked at Rollins like Norm MacDonald looked at David Letterman on Friday night, tearing up.

Then Ambrose came out, got in the ring with the entire Authority still in there. Ambrose said he was looking for the perfect Justin Beiber album for Rollins. He asked for another opportunity against Rollins for the WWE Heavyweight title at Elimination Chamber. Rollins said he was at the back of the line again. Rollins said he was a line jumper or else. Stephanie spoke up and told Rollins to get Ambrose.

It led to Ambrose putting the punches to Rollins, laying out J&J Security and sending Rollins over the barricade. Ambrose backdropped Rollins over the announcer's table, then unveiled a stack of cinderblocks. He threatened to hit Ambrose over the head with a chair. Stephanie said if Ambrose let him go, he wold get the WWE Championship match. Ambrose didn't listen, but Mercury grabbed the chair. Kane got involved, but Rollins threw Noble into him. Kane came in and tried to choke slam Ambrose, but Ambrose broke free and clotheslined Kane. Rollins attacked Ambrose from behind and gave him the Pedigree.  The match with Ambrose and Rollins is on for Elimination Chamber. 

SUMMARY: I can't come up with one reason why Ambrose had to be laid out at the end of the show. In fact, why should the fans care about him getting the title shot when he jobbed to Wyatt tonight? They've already gone to the Ambrose-Rollins well too often. Suddenly the WWE feels like UFC in 2014 where they don't have enough big stars to headline an excess amount of shows. The Owens segment was the highlight of the night, hands down. First hour was forgettable.