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WWE RAW 5-4-15 TV Report: Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns, John Cena vs. Sami Zayn

John Cena vs. Sami Zayn
Photo: WWE.com

By Jeff Hamlin, Wrestling Observer.com

The Big News:

It was a very good show as the night belonged to two crowd favorites. Dean Ambrose claimed a spot in the Payback main event when he pinned Seth Rollins. It appeared that Ambrose would be the main of the night until Sami Zayn made his debut. In a piece of excellent booking, they had Bret Hart come out to introduce Zayn in a match against John Cena in Montreal. Zayn got an incredible response and was treated like a star before, during and after the match. 

Show Recap:

Randy Orton came out and said he would win the three-way match at Payback and if he ran over Roman Reigns to do it, then that would have to be the case. This brought out Reigns, who got a much more negative reaction. Crowd chanted "RKO." Reigns said if anyone was going to get payback on Seth Rollins, it would be him. Orton, who was a jovial as I've seen him, reminded Reigns that he was a 12-time world hevyweight champion, have been in 12 consecutive WrestleManias. Reigns has never won a world title and appeared in 3 WrestleManias. Reigns reminded Orton he beat him at SummerSlam.

For the sake of making the tag team titles even more meaningless, the New Day came out with Xavier Woods saying there was too much negativity in the ring, saying no one cared about their "Montreal Boo-Hoo Job." God, someone get Vince a shrink instead of hashing out over something that happened 17 years ago on national television already. The irony is Kofi Kingston then said "What's in the past is in the past." Big E. said told Orton that not only does Reigns have his number, he has it on speed dial. Big E. wanted them to clap with the New Day, which failed. New Day challenged them to this week's handicap match based on an order from Director of Operations Kane.

WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day defeated Randy Orton and Roman Reigns in a handicap match in 13:14

Good match where Orton was sizing up Kingston for an RKO, which he delivered on Woods. But Reigns tried to spear Kingston, only to miss and hit Orton. Kingston pinned Orton. The theme of the match was whether Orton and Reigns could get along as tag team partners. The problem is we just saw that routine with Rollins and Kane on the very last match that aired on Raw seven days ago. And guess who they faced? Crowd was quite flat considering the top two regular babyfaces were out there. 

Kane came out afterwards and announced Reigns would face Orton in the main event tonight.

Kane met with Rollins and J&J Security backstage. Rollins said Kane's order for Reigns and Orton to face each other was like a little boy who had been bad all year long, then behaved on Christmas Eve in hopes that Santa Claus would give him presents on Christmas. Rollins said he was going to tell HHH and Stephanie McMahon how Kane had been sabotaging him. Kane responded that when he was a child, instead of waiting for Santa with milk and cookies at the table, he was usually waiting for him in the chimney with a blowtorch trying to fry his chestnuts.

He said he made the matches with Reigns and Orton because it was what was best for business, then ordered Rollins to face Dean Ambrose with J&J Security banned from ringside. Rollins was furious because he's already beaten Ambrose. Kane warned him that he could face Ambrose with an arm tied behind is back or his back tied to a ringpost. Rollins left in a huff.

Ryback came out  for an interview with Renee Young that the fans just weren't interested in hearing. They chanted "Goldberg" at him. He tried to laugh it off, but the fans didn't react until he started the "Feed Me More" stuff. Wyatt appeared on the TitanTron and said Ryback wasnothing more than a scared little boy. Wyatt said everything that scares Ryback will fade away, and with time so would Ryback.

Tyson Kidd and Cesaro defeated The Ascension in 4:06

Crowd came alive when Cesaro did about 20 running forearms into the corner in a row on Viktor. Tyson Kidd did a somersault tope on Conner. Cesaro pinned Viktor after a giant swing into a Kidd dropkick. 

Rollins did a promo with Young where he said the match with Rollins tonight had no point and called Kane a moron. 

Kane came out before the match and said since Rollins said there was no point to this match with Rollins, he was adding a stipulation to this match that if Ambrose won, he would be added to the main event at Payback and it would become a four-way. 

Dean Ambrose defeated WWE Champion Seth Rollins in 14:30 to take a spot in the main event of Payback

Excellent match. They teased a countout finish after Rollins powerbombed Ambrose into the barricade. Ambrose beat the count for a big pop and hit a clothesline. J&J Security ran down, even though they were banned from ringside. Ambrose sent Joey Mercury into Jamie Noble, then pinned Rollins with a schoolboy cradle. Crowd popped huge and they were into Ambrose more than anyone on the show so far. Lots of good false finishes including Ambrose landing a flying elbow from the top rope and Rollins hitting a superkick that looked stiff on replay. Rollins got the Justin Beiber chants again.

Michael Cole popped off about how Rollins won the WWE title at WrestleMania in triple-threat rules. Didn't he cash in his briefcase in a singles match? This was only five weeks ago. I mean, I know having Vince scream at you for 20 years can impact your memory, but c'mon.  

Rollins screamed at Kane backstage about the Payback main event now being a four-way. Kane threatened to add more people to the match and said there was no reason for Rollins to worry because he had a plan. 

Lana did a promo with Byron Sexton. He asked her about the positive reception she has received from fans lately. She appeared uncomfortable and acted like she didn't know what Sexton was talking about. Fandango walked in and said you have to just let the positivity flow through your body. Rusev stomped in to yell at Lana.

Rusev defeated Fandango in 2:12

Main spot came when Fandango started doing the Fandango dance with Lana, who started dancing. That incensed Rusev, who ordered Lana to the back. Rusev won clean with the Accolade. 

A preview of the NXT segment on E60 aired. Based on the preview, they most pushed person in developmental in Xavier Woods. 

They showed some Tough Enough tryout videos. The highlights included a cheerleader from the Phoenix Suns who looked phenonmenal and someone dressed in a Captain America outfit that appeared to make Rosey look svelte. 

Stardust defeated R-Truth in 2:57

Well, they have to fill three hours. Stardust carried a bag down to ringside. R-Truth opened the bag, which was full of toy spiders. R-Truth acted scared and Stardust pinned him with a schoolboy, which was exactly the finish that started this hour. You could hear how ridiculous Cole felt the finish was.

John Cena came out to a standing boo. Fans chanted "Ole, ole, ole" after he tried to start his promo. When Cena asked if he should quit, crowd chanted "yes!" Cena said he never gives up and reiterated if Rusev wins the I Quit match at Payback, he won't ask for a rematch. Cena made the most of the hostile atmosphere, even pointing out a fan wearing a Quebec Nordiques jersey saying he never quit even though his team left for Colorado in 1996. Next it was time for the U.S. Championship open challenge.

Bret Hart came out to a standing ovation. Bret appeared a little emotional and said he was there to introduce a great wrestler. Before he could finish, Heath Slater came out. He got into the ring this week saying he was sick and tired of getting attacked out of nowhere. Bret then decked Slater, then introduced Sami Zayn. The place went bananas.

U.S. Champion John Cena defeated Sami Zayn to retain the title in 10:35

Cena won with the springboard stunner and the AA. Postmatch, Cena shook Zayn's hand and left the ring while Zayn got a standing ovation. The match protected Zayn more than they've protected Neville so far, even allowing him to kick out of the AA. Zayn got a near fall with a Blue Tunder bomb. Crowd was hot for Zayn, but you could also sense they felt it was a foregone conclusion he was losing. Zayn was dropped hard on his left shoulder on a back suplex spot, which caused the doctor to momentarily stop the match. It may have been done to give Zayn an out because the suplex didn't appear to be all that bad on replay. 

Young tried to get an interview with Zayn, but the New Day was still celebrating their victory from 2 hours ago. Cesaro and Kidd interrupted them and got the fans to chant "New Day Sucks." 

Nikki and Brie Bella made their entrance but were jumped by Naomi and Tamina, who now has a haircut straight from 1985. Naomi gave Nikki the rear view and said this was what family was all about. Cole explained Tamina and Naomi were cousing by marriage. My guess was this match was cancelled because the Cena segment went long. 

King Barrett came out with a septer and crown. He talked about a great week for the royal family with the birth of Queen Charlotte and the crowning of King Barrett. He teased his new catch phrase would be "All hail King Barrett." 

King Barrett and Sheamus defeated Neville and Dolph Ziggler in 8:37

Barrett pinned Neville with the Royal Bullhammer. Sheamus dumped Dolph Ziggler into the timekeeper's table, then distracted Neville as he was going for the Red Arrow. Yet another job for Neville. 

Roman Reigns and Randy Orton went to a no contest in 7:21

Before the bell sounded, Rollins, Kane and J&J Security came out. Noble announced himself as the guest announcer, Mercury as guest timekeeper, Kane as guest ringside enforcer and Rollins as guest commentator. No heat at all. Orton teased the RKO but Reigns hit the Superman Punch. Kane tripped Reigns and it turned into a beatdown by the heels on Orton until Reigns hit a tope onto Rollins, Kane & company. Rollins ran Reigns into the post. Crowd chanted for Ambrose, who came out and helped clear the ring. Rollins found himself surrounded by faces and got speared by Reigns. Then Orton gave Reigns the RKO. Ambrose responded by giving Orton Dirty Deeds.  

Final Notes:

They should have just ended the show after the Cena-Zayn match, which rivaled anything you'll see this year in terms of pure emotion. It's good to see the company can still make stars when they want to. Interesting that Ambrose gets added to the main event when he was the clear favorite of the fans tonight over Reigns. Perhaps he's just in the main event to do the job, but it's still upward mobility.