Another month, another main event with a botched finish, maybe that should be the WWE Network’s new slogan.
Last night’s biggest controversy involved the just plain weird conclusion to the uber-hyped confrontation between The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar. The Undertaker tapped out to Lesnar’s Kimura Lock, so the timekeeper took it upon himself to ring the bell proclaiming Lesnar the winner without the Referee calling it first. Something that NEVER happens. In the ensuing confusion the UT was able to once again hit Brock with a Johnny Cage style balls punch and then make him pass out with the Hell’s Gate. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeah. Finishes like this are highly insulting to the intelligence of fans who actually buy into WWE’s established rules and hope for their storylines to at least somewhat exist within those established parameters. But why would anyone expect anything silly like that?
Even more annoying to me was the finish of the John Cena vs. Seth Rollins title-for-title match for the United States and World Heavyweight Championships. Rollins looked like absolute gold in this one, putting more effort into his attack than he has in years while Cena pretty much just went through his usual motions (and botching a “springboard stunner” pretty horribly, seriously John, just listen to Austin on Twitter and leave that one alone). Rollins flew out of the ring and into Cena no less than three times in a row early in the match, and hit several big moves off the top rope, bringing to mind his high flying days as the face of The Shield. So WHY then could Seth only get the pin over Cena with the assistance of the night’s “host” (ugh) Jon Stewart? After the show Rollins put on he more than deserved to go over clean, but I guess in main roster WWE a heel is a heel is a heel, especially while Vince McMahon is still in charge.
The rest of the night basically played out like an extra-long (looooooooooooong at four hours) episode of Raw, snooze fests like Orton vs. Sheamus, Ziggler vs. Rusev and Miz vs. Big Show vs. Ryback making me want to marry the person who invented the fast forward button, and that Stephen Amell and Neville vs. Barett and Stardust thing… happened. The Tag Title confrontation was decent with New Day winning their belts back from an extremely strongly booked Prime Time Players, or should I say an extremely strongly booked Titus O’Neal, Darren Young was, uh… there. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper was entertaining though nothing we haven’t seen before and the Divas-revolution-in-name-only slogs on with great wrestling but little reason for it to exist. Come on, we know Nikki Bella isn’t going to drop the title until she beats AJ Lee’s streak, but she could AT LEAST put it on the line once in a while.
Which brings us to the match of the night: Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens. These guys are both absolutely foaming at the mouth for their spot and it shows. Cesaro truly is the best pure athlete in the business today, and Kevin Owens may be the best bump taker and seller of all time, not to mention his considerable offensive capabilities, outpacing men twice his size. These guys both deserved the W but it was nice to see Owens win and win clean, and remain in the main event picture despite rumors to the contrary.
What’s next? I doubt Taker or Lesnar will be at Raw tonight but Paul Heyman will be there, so… yay? No doubt that Paul E.’s a legend on the mic but nobody wants to hear the sizzle without seeing the steak. Rollins’ promo after the big win should be worth the price of admission alone tonight but again, how much sweeter would his bragging have been if he went over Cena clean? Will they unify the belts? Seems like a mistake with up and comers like Owens and Cesaro champing at the bit for an opportunity but it wouldn’t be the first supremely boneheaded decision made by WWE, and it surely won’t be the last.