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The Raw Report – Monday May 18th, 2015

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Kevin Owens’ Time Is Now (image via WWE.com)

The post Payback Monday Night RAW aired live from the lovely city of Richmond, VA. There were lots of issues coming out of Payback, and RAW did a fair job of dealing with them and moving us towards Elimination Chamber. The Authority was back in full force, Cena put his US Title on the line again, against a NXT star and Rusev seems to have pushed Lana into the arms, and lips of Dolph Ziggler. All that and more took place, and we’ll look at the highlights, lowlights and those who should not see the light of day.

The Good

HHH/Stephanie: Love them, or hate them, they are pretty damn entertaining. Stephanie is gold on the mic, and these two are very necessary if The Authority is going to stick around. Without them, it truly is a rudderless ship, and Kane isn’t able to captain the ship alone. HHH/Steph opened the show, and had another quality segment with Rollins to end the show.

Dean Ambrose/Bray Wyatt: Dean Ambrose might not have gotten the job done at Payback, but he’s entertaining the fans like none other right now, and he and Wyatt had a great match. I think Ambrose is going to keep being pushed, and I would not be surprised to see him booked with Rollins more for the World Title. As for Bray Wyatt, he is past due in terms of getting involved in a big angle, and he’s ready for a world title run. He and Seth Rollins would have absolute classics.

Kevin Owens/John Cena: Owens showed up and answered the US Open call, but opted to not wrestle Cena, but rather make a speech and cheap shot the US Champion. All in all it was a solid segment and introduction for Owens, who will meet Cena at Elimination Chamber. As far as Cena goes, it seems he is happy in his new role, holding down the US Title, and putting over the new talent. Cena is the right man for the job, and is showing himself to be pretty selfless in the process.

Cesaro: Cesaro can flat-out work. He and Kidd are my favorite team in the WWE, and I dig both as individual wrestlers as well. He out muscled the massive Big E, and looked great in doing so. He and Tyson Kidd should be back on their way to Tag Team gold, but the New Day is also picking up steam, and the teams could be set for a lengthy rivalry, which would be fine by me.

The Bad

Rusev: For the second week in a row, Rusev makes the list. I am just bored with his angle with John Cena. Rusev no longer has that aura of invincibility and without Lana, he’s becoming really uninteresting. Not sure what the plans for him are, but a loss to Cena would just about bury him at this point. He is slipping, fast.

I really liked where Rusev was heading into Wrestlemania. He had been built into a dominating force, with the amazing Lana in his corner. Now, he’s dropped three consecutive PPV bouts to John Cena, any air on being unstoppable is gone, and now, they’ve taken Lana from him as well. Not sure where Rusev goes from here, but he needs an interesting build and hopefully Ziggler will be able to help him out. Unless he gets it turned around quickly, the WWE might well have taken their beast, and made him average.

Tag Team Situation: The WWE basically took a great 2 out of 3 falls match at Payback and ruined it with the swerve ending. So are The New no like the Bellas and can be inserted for each other without anyone knowing the difference. I’ll ignore the racial overtones of that and move on. The tag team Elimination Chamber match will probably be fun from a chaos since, but the current teams involved are not great. The New Day is average, Sin Cara and Kalisto are average, Los Matadores are average, The Ascension is horrendous and The Prime Time Players are horrible as well. Cesaro and Kidd are far and away the best of the lot, and they’ll likely continue to be bested by The New Day’s 3 man trickery. Ugh.

Divas: How many times can we see The Bellas lose to the combo of Snuka/Naomi? The only time we see Nattie now is during matches with Cesaro and Kidd. Paige came back, and that’s awesome, because the Divas division is dying on the vine right now. Four ladies does not a division make. The division needs help, NOW.

The Ugly

R-Truth: Why in the hell, is R-Truth in the Intercontinental Elimination Chamber match? Why not Neville? I am so tired of haphazard booking in the WWE. Truth has done nothing to be in the title picture, and he’s little more than an afterthought in this match.

RAW Awards

RAW MVP: Dean Ambrose

Worst of RAW: Divas/Tag Fiasco

More please: Lana/Ziggler and NXT stars

Less Please: Kane, Rusev, and R-Truth

Where They At?: Randy Orton and Roman Reigns

Dan has been writing about the sport of MMA for the last 15+ years. During this time, he's met amazing fighters, and awesome friends sitting cage-side covering MMA. The memories and relationships are payment for his passion. Dan got his start as a featured writer for Sherdog.com and now serves as owner and co-host with Evan Shoman and Dion Harrison of The Crimson Canvas Podcast, on the Fight Booth Podcast network. Dan is also a part time contributor to FightBooth.com with pro wrestling, and MMA articles. He thanks Dave Reno for the opportunity and for years of friendship and support.

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