Big E v Damien Sandow
Damien Sandow should have some kind of role on Raw, Monday, with Hugh Jackman and Dolph Ziggler after a veritable Twitter skirmish over the last few weeks. And given that Big E is the IC champion and is awaiting the winner of the tournament to find out who he faces at Extreme Rules, this match made sense! It’s always a bonus when WWE Superstars is made to feel relevant.
Big E dominates the early going. He hits HUGE suplex and he then tosses Sandow around. Big E is so agile given his size, it’s really something else. He does his usual spot where he catches a cross body attempt and then hits three back breakers in a row. He gets a near fall as Sandow gets very little offense in during the early going.
Finally, Sandow dives out of the way of a charging Big E who tumbles outside. Sandow rolls him back in for stomps and elbows. He gets a two count goes to a rest hold, rear chin lock and we crash to the break.
Sandow is still in control when we return. He doesn’t seem to have any real plan in the ring, most of his stuff is a bit like Jinder Mahal: boring heel moves; stomps, kicks, elbows with a few set pieces scattered in between. It’s a shame because Sandow has some real finesse to the execution of some of his bigger moves; he’s a big guy and is quite the athlete – when you see him live in the flesh it, really shows.
After far too much stomping and rear chin-locking, Big E powers up, goes for Big Ending but it is scouted by Sandow who hits a neck breaker. Then off the ropes Sandow uses a really beautiful spinning neck breaker to earn a two count. More boots, stomps in the corner until Big E has enough and just kills Sandow with a huge clothesline. Straps down. Big Ending. Game over.
This very much followed the same pattern as his match from last week – Big E gets beaten up until he decides it’s time to end it.
They brought back the post-match Jerry Lawler interview this week which has dipped in and out of the show over the last few months. When asked by Lawler who he would like to face for the title at Extreme Rules, Big E says, “I want the best […] to be the best you have to want to beat the best.” Which got a “Woo!” from the crowd.
Winner: Big E via pinfall in 8:02
The Raw Rebound was all Shield and Evolution build-up. We get the in-ring promos from the Shield and the stare down with the heel roster filling the top of the ramp. God Dave looks good in a suit!
They were then going to show a video montage of Daniel Bryan’s beat down by Kane, but for some reason we saw the opening of it twice. A glitch on the Network? Anyway, they showed it.
Kofi Kingston v Titus O’Neil
A rematch from a few weeks ago. Kofi was all energy and pace early on, ducking out of everything, flying up to hit O’Neil with punches until he just gets launched into the air and thrown onto the mat. Titus then takes over and just beats Kofi down.
Botched spot. Kofi tries to slide between Titus’ legs but doesn’t have the pace and so stops under him. Titus, just working on the fly, just awkwardly lifts him up between his arm pits and kind of throws him over. Was really odd.
They then seem to just shoot on each other with slaps and clotheslines and punches. Titus absolutely slaughters him with one clothesline and Kofi just outright punches him several times in the corner. They brawl from corner to corner. Titus then does his back breaker spot and throws Kofi to one side. Kofi rolls out of the way of a leg drop and then ducks a charge when he gets up so that Titus falls through the ropes to the outside.
Titus rolls back in and takes a drop kick, spinning heel kick and spring board top rope cross body into a near fall. Then the momentum ends as O’Neil hits a scoop slam into a two count pin. Kofi kicks out and then gets up and hits the Trouble in Paradise from out of nowhere to get his win back.
Tom Phillips pointed out that this was a “very, very physical match.” I’ll say.
Winners: Kofi Kingston via pinfall in 4:14
The Raw Rebound to end the show was the Cena v Wyatts match from Monday. A good show this week – good wrestling, relevant and some great video packages and rehash.
– by James Cox | @wweukblog