clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (April 27, 2015): Mom, Vince is doing it again!

WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (April 27, 2015) from Green Bay, Wisconson with all the from this past Sunday's Extreme Rules pay-per-view (PPV) in Chicago.

I doubt there could be a night I was less hoping that Geno would need me to cover the longest running weekly episodic program in television history. As some of you know, I live in Baltimore, Maryland, and the city I currently call home did its best to self-destruct yesterday. While this isn't the time or forum for a discussion of the myriad of interconnected issues that lead to the heartbreaking and infuriating scenes broadcast from here to the world last night...I put it out there as an explanation for the somewhat slight and definitely distracted nature of what follows.

It's hard to focus on sports entertainment when you're also monitoring how close the latest reported car fire or looting incident is to your front door. wrestling everybody!

For a more detailed rundown of Raw, check in with BaconStrip's live blog here. And please, make my job easier tomorrow with some well-written counterpoints or better documented takes on tonight's proceedings!

There were three main stories or themes that I pulled from the April 27th Raw...

1) King of the Ring 2015 is just a frame to put the usual good and bad of WWE booking into for a couple of days

When WWE sprung their first main roster tournament in, oh, I don't know...FOREVER, on us with no notice and just a little more of plan than that, everybody kind of figured we wouldn't be getting an Austin 3:16 moment out of it.

Then the bracket came out and the biggest reaction I saw was "welp, at least Kane and Big Show aren't in it". That's what Pappa Rueter would call "damning with faint praise".

And while the four quarterfinal matches we got weren't without merit, they weren't great, either. Both the Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus and Bad News Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler bouts were your average ten-ish minute WWE mid-card showdowns. I'd be interested in seeing more of either program if they'd actually bother to book a program for the men involved. Instead, we got storytelling that tried to leave everyone a threat but succeeded only in making the good guys look dumb (the bad guys will lose to other good guys in the end, anyway).

Dolph fell for the old distraction job from Sheamus, who apparently wasn't satisfied with rubbing his butt cheek all over Ziggler's face last night. He then helped the Irishman advance in the tourney by attacking him not before or after his match with Ambrose, but during it. Dean should be pissed and ready to feud with The Show-Off, but he's CRAZY and probably just happy he broke his PPV losing streak last night.

There's nothing Cody Rhodes can do to get a push from the brass, and R-Truth will be lifted up so he can be knocked down whenever one of these gimmicks that require a bunch of guys like the Intercontinental ladder match or this come along.

Neville's rise was the one match and story they did right in round one. It sucks that it had to result in another loss for Luke Harper, but he's sort of a heel version of Ambrose here. At least he's a staple of the upper mid-card and his ring work will entertain you. It would be nice if The Man That Gravity Forgot was allowed to show some of the arrogance that gave his NXT character nuance instead of just cutting uber-babyface promos, but he's been presented as must see TV for weeks, and now he's starting to rack up wins.

He probably won't win the whole shooting match - I maintain that the King gimmick should go to a rudo, and I'm pretty excited for the Monarch of Bad News - but an upset win over Sheamus would help solidy him at a level almost unheard of for a recent call-up. Unfortunately, even if he gets that win it will probably involve a Ziggler run-in and some other shenanigans to keep the Celtic Warrior strong.

2) The Authority is so stale that even the babyfaces don't care about it any more

In a way, that's a good thing. Roman Reigns and Randy Orton are motivated by the title, not some 'Reality' Era nonsense about being the face of the company. But that being the case, why are we still being subjected to opening promos that dwell on in-fighting between Kane and Seth Rollins, and overbooked main events like the one at Extreme Rules and the one on Raw last night where as much time is spent figuring out how J & J Security is going to interfere or when The Architect will accidentally hit The Big Red Monster or when Kane will snap.

I spent a good deal of time during the main event wondering if we were on the cusp of a Kane face turn, and that is not something I should be thinking about when two guys you're banking on to headline the company over the next decade are in the ring together. At this point, they don't even need to come up with a kayfabe way to end The Authority's story. Nobody would miss it if the whole thing drifted away and left Jaime Noble & Joey Mercury as Rollins' stooges.

The other thing I wondered during the main and the other times the App vote story was on-screen last night was...did the Rumble backlash only delay Roman's ascendance by a couple of months? Vince McMahon can be a stubborn so-and-so, and a smart one. Denying Reigns at WrestleMania has bought them both a ton of goodwill, and combine that with the kudos The Big Dog has earned with his last several PPV performances, and the blowback from a title win at Payback would probably only be a fraction of what it would have been a month ago.

As great as Seth is in the ring, he's largely been booked like a chump who needs three different kinds of help to win. And The Authority's stagnation has also left his character in a rut.

I'm not making any predictions yet, but I'm saying I wouldn't be shocked to see Double-R get the nod on May 17th.

3) Giving Divas, or mid-carders, time isn't the same as giving them a chance

The women have been getting longer matches for a little while now. Last night saw scheduled bouts and or screen time for Ryback, Bo Dallas, Damien Sandow, Curtis Axel, Fandango and Adam Rose.

But outside of my big old soft spot for AxelMania, none of what they did moved me in any way.

Naomi's heel turn could be brilliant if she had a babyface with whom to feud. Her hair pull before the roll-up was a smart, heat-gathering wrinkle, but I'm also kind of happy to see it happen to Brie Bella, who's been a face and a heel and now kind of a face again over the last six months with no explanation given. Having her talk is never helpful, and having her give a no-update update on her husband was the worst kind of pandering. There are no shades of gray with the Divas, only shades of beige, and they leave the fans uninterested.

Of the men, I was most disappointed with Sandow. The blowoff of what could have been a nuclear feud with Miz was delayed for too long and then squandered, and the answer to "what's next?" is generic babyface who acts like a spoiled four year old? The crowd seemed to dig it, but I mostly found it cringe-worthy. Interacting with the Axe-Man isn't indicative of a direction either, since as much as I'm on-board with his gimmick (and particularly adored his line about not being able to stand guys who don't know who they are and try to be somebody else), he's basically a one-man 3MB at this point.

Trotting a bunch of people out to do the same old crap isn't going to make new stars. They need to write characters and stories instead of schtick.

Other stuff of note:

Bray Wyatt was talking about Ryback, and will now beat him for a month or two to get him prepped to start cutting cryptic promos about someone higher up the card that he'll lose to. I mostly just want to know if we're going to explore the Dallas-Wyatt connection...

- Rusev/Cena war of words was nothing we haven't seen before, and the lack of an explanation for why Lana now likes the crowd's attention is going to give me an aneurysm.

- Xavier Woods, Big E and Kofi Kingston are killing it as villains, and the obvious motivation they get from having something to do is a big part of it. I'm still bummed/worried that #BestTeamEver are being shuffled off to the side as The New Day get more and more over. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro get their rematch for the tag titles on Smackdown, which kind of smells like a blow-off to me.


That probably all sounds more negative than I actually felt about the show, partially for reasons I discussed at the top, but mostly because it was all so boringly average. Nothing stood out to get me excited or outraged about the product - instead eliciting the equivalent of a three hour shrug.

Grade: C

How was it for you?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats