Kashin In: The Introducing Kevin Owens Edition (5-19-2015)

RAW

Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of Ka$hin In with Keila Ca$h. Tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw emanated from the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia. Last night’s Payback PPV was a sleeper show that exceeded expectations. There were several matches that stood out and the crowd was hot most of the night based on several reports and video clips I have seen online. I didn’t watch the show live because I felt WWE did a poor job promoting the PPV. I didn’t have an emotional investment in any of the matches despite the faith I had in the performers to overcompensate for the lukewarm booking and storytelling. Would the fallout give me a justifiable reason to look forward to the Elimination Chamber or would I be numb to it all once again? The answer to that question can be found throughout this blog. Without further ado, let’s dissect tonight’s episode of Raw in no particular order.

• The opening segment was good as Stephanie McMahon made her triumphant return to Monday Night Raw. She was gloriously condescending as she talked down to Daniel Bryan as she took credit for being right about his long-term durability. It was a great way to get under the crowd’s skin.

• Ryback also had a moment to shine as he put over the courageousness of Bryan and putting Sheamus in his place when it came to picking on someone his own size. He even ribbed Stephanie without getting emasculated which was an added bonus.

• Stephanie announced that both men would be in an Elimination Chamber match to determine the new Intercontinental Champion. Triple H liked the tension both men shared and booked them in a one-on-one match as the segment came to an end.

• This was a nice way to spotlight the Intercontinental Championship. The segment didn’t overstay its welcome and everyone generated cheers and jeers for the right reasons. Mission accomplished on a job well done.

• Ryback vs. Sheamus was solid. Things started off slow, but the action picked up after the commercial break. The match got very physical as both men displayed feats of strength to weaken each other. Sheamus suffered a faux eye injury which enabled him to slow the pace down and nail Ryback with a Brogue Kick to pick up the win. For the time they were given, Ryback and Sheamus worked hard and had an entertaining match. It wasn’t flashy, but it got the job done in terms of telling a compelling story with some high power offense to boot.

• Bye, bye Bo Beard.

• That was quite the Russian soap opera scene between Rusev and Lana. Rusev denied saying that he quit and called Lana a liar. Lana refuted his claims and noted how she was only trying to protect him. Therefore, she quit on his behalf when he shouted the words “I Quit” in Bulgarian. Rusev flipped his lid and dumped Lana. She walked away dejected as he shouted at her in his native tongue. I thought Lana and Rusev were strong in terms of their performances. Lana sounded sympathetic while suppressing her true feelings for Rusev. Rusev played the dastardly jerk to perfection and generated great heel heat in the process. I hate to see these two break up because they are better off as a duo, but Lana is pegged for a major babyface push. Maybe this is all a swerve and they will reconcile, but I highly doubt it. The twosome had a good run while it lasted, though.

• That was an insane counter by Bray Wyatt as he beat Dean Ambrose to the clothesline by hitting one of his own. Sickening.

• J&J Security strikes again by distracting Ambrose which allowed Wyatt to pick up the win via Sister Abigail. Until the interference, I thought Wyatt and Ambrose had a good match. They have had a lot matches against each other dating back to late last year. I became desensitized to their hardcore bouts because they verged on being campy instead of vicious. However, I thought both men delivered this time around by wrestling in a straight up match without the fixings. It was hard hitting and physical. The near falls were believable and the crowd slowly got sucked into the action towards the end. I do not need to see them wrestle each other on a regular basis going forward, but this was a nice callback to their earlier matches before they became repetitive in nature.

• That was a cool melee to promote the WWE Tag Team Championship inside the Elimination Chamber in a couple of weeks. The Lucha Dragons, Los Matadores, The Ascension, The Primetime Players, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, and The New Day will be vying for the championship. It should be a fun match. A couple of the teams are staler than milk, but everyone should deliver the goods in-ring wise.

• R-Truth gets a spot inside the Elimination Chamber to compete for the IC Title? What a joke. Let’s hope for quick and painless elimination.

• Holy Shit! Kevin Owens in is the building!

• Major statement made by Owens. Big time moment for him as he dropped Cena with a wicked powerbomb. Plus, he talked a little trash in a way that came off as smug, yet confident. This was a great firing shot for a future match down the line. Perhaps Cena will take a trip down to Orlando and make his presence known at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable on Wednesday during the Owens vs. Zayn match for the NXT Title. Hmm…

• Well, well, well. It looks Lana has found her new client. By way of kissing, no less. Dolph Ziggler is a lucky man who is about get destroyed by Rusev.

• Booker T took the words right out of my mouth. “Somebody’s going to die.” How poetic. Best line Booker has had in months.

• I guess Raw is make-out central with all the lip locking and tonsil hockey going on backstage between Rosa Mendes and Adam Rose.

• That was quite The Twilight Zone segment between The Bella Twins and Stephanie McMahon. It makes Brie and Nikki’s de facto face turn even more perplexing considering what went down last summer between them and Stephanie. Logic loopholes galore.

• It’s nice to see you again, Paige. I was about to slap her through my television screen when she came out to save Nikki. Thank goodness she took the Divas Champion out with the Ram Paige. Smart lass.

• To quote Good Ol’ J.R., “Business has picked up.” Owens vs. Cena is set for the Elimination Chamber PPV. That is a big time match that I can’t wait to see. This is brilliant booking on WWE’s part and I am digging the NXT crossovers leading up to the Takeover special on Wednesday. It’s great synergy which gives rabid fans something to truly sink their teeth into.

• Dean Ambrose was granted his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Seth Rollins. He threatened to smash Rollins’ head against a stack of cement blocks, but Stephanie promised him a title shot if he let Rollins go. He agreed to the terms at first but vowed to finish The Champ off anyone until Jamie Noble made the save. Ambrose took out J&J Security and Kane, but Rollins got the upper hand and laid out Ambrose with a Pedigree. The show went off the air with Rollins standing tall as The Authority gave him a big round of applause.

• The main event segment ran a little long, but it was good for the most part. The video package pimping the greatness of Rollins was wonderful and he is still a self-centered jerk who tends to bite off more he can chew. It is only a matter of time until The Authority gets fed up with him and call a certain someone to take care of their problem. I’m not naming names, but the writing is on the proverbial wall.

• Overall, I thought this was a decent episode of Raw. The in-ring action was on the skimpy side with the exception of a couple of matches. WWE did a nice job highlighting the Payback PPV from last night. Most importantly, I liked how the company put a lot of emphasis on the Elimination Chamber PPV in terms of hype and build. I still don’t like how the show was thrown together at the last minute, but the pieces are coming together nicely. It should be a fun show that I actually have an emotional investment in for a change. WWE has their work cut out for them as the go-home show for the PPV is next week. Add in the Memorial Day holiday and we have the makings of trying to drum up interest with a few less eyeballs tuning in. However, the prospect of seeing Owens vs. Cena, Ambrose vs. Rollins, and the Elimination Chamber matches with the Intercontinental and Tag Team Titles at stake should tide fans over for the most part. It’s shaping up to be a must-see show to wrap up the month of May. Let’s hope WWE drives that point home next week.

On that note, this wraps up another edition of Ka$hin In with Keila Ca$h. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be back next week with a brand new blog. I shall leave you with “A Moment with Oz.” See you later, boys and girls.

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