Kashin In: The Thank You Daniel Bryan Edition (May 11th 2015)

Bryan

Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of Ka$hin In with Keila Ca$h. Tonight’s episode of Raw emanated from the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s the go-home show for Payback. Yes, there is a PPV this Sunday and I completely forgot about it. Did WWE have the hype machine in full effect in order to sell me on the PPV? Or did they simply go through the motions by delivering a ho-hum show? The answer to these questions can be found throughout this blog. Without further ado, let’s dissect tonight’s episode of Raw in no particular order.

• Jamie Noble is a brave, dumb man.

• The opening segment was filled with lip service and whining from Seth Rollins and Kane. Triple H played the role of Daddy Dearest by laying down the law on both men. He put Kane in the tough position of guaranteeing that Rollins walks out of Payback WWE World Heavyweight Champion. If he failed, he would no longer be Director of Operations. Kane noted how destroying Rollins would be worth the risk while Triple H put him on the spot by offering to amicably part ways if Kane couldn’t do his job. Cooler heads prevailed and Hunter decided to book tonight’s show by pitting Kane vs. Reigns, Orton vs Rollins, and Dean Ambrose vs. J&J Security in a two-on-one handicap match.

• The segment went a bit long and the crowd REALLY wanted to see Ambrose as they let their feelings be known by chanting his name over and over again. Rollins took a few pauses during his promo which dragged things down a bit. Maybe the crowd got to him, but one must power through a promo despite the countless chants and jeers from the live audience. It’s daunting sometimes, but it’s something that even the most seasoned wrestler must deal with from time to time.

• The Dean Ambrose Exhibition was a rousing success. He soundly defeated J&J Security by hitting all of his signature spots to the crowd’s delight. It was filled with a little comedy as J&J tried to escape certain doom, but Ambrose eventually picked up the win by nailing Jamie Noble with his Dirty Deeds finisher. It was simple, effective, and entertaining. Can’t go wrong with that.

• Heel Sheamus wearing the fashionable casual threads looks so unnatural. He’s done it in the past, but he didn’t braid his beard back then to compliment his outfit. Odd combination. This concludes the shallow portion of Ka$hin In. We now resume regularly scheduled blogging.

• Sheamus with slicked back hair is even more bizarre. It’s quite the sight. He looks like badass bartender ready to pour beer in an Irish pub.

• It looks like Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are back together. Harper is awesome as a solo star, but he hasn’t been treated as such by WWE Creative. Rowan has also been directionless since splitting with Bray Wyatt last year. Harper has a bigger upside than Rowan from an in-ring standpoint, but they make quite the formidable duo. At least they are being utilized effectively for a change. It’s better than floundering in the mid-card.

• Until Rusev interfered, John Cena and Neville had a very good match for the United States Championship. The open challenges have ranged from good to great and this match fits the bill. Cena and Neville have very nice chemistry and their near falls were good. Once again, both men kicking out of each other’s finishers irked me a bit, but it heightened the drama of the match. Neville is not only great high flyer, but he is quite strong as well. Every move he makes is smooth like butter. It’s effortless and absolutely beautiful to watch. Cena brought it in terms of power and strength. However, he wasn’t afraid to get some stiff shots in on Neville. It was a nice balance that hooked the crowd from start to finish.

• Rusev ruining the match didn’t bother me at all. Neville didn’t lose the match outright because he apparently had the win in hand after he hit Cena with the Red Arrow. It left the crowd pissed off because they wanted a decisive conclusion. I thought it was wise of WWE to protect Neville from eating a loss to Cena. It leaves the door open for a rematch down the line which will give both men a chance to build on their first bout and give us a satisfying finish to boot.

• Rusev attacking Cena was expected. I liked how they have been separated from each other because you never know when a sneak attack is coming. The only drawback is that Rusev had Cena in The Accolade and maintained the submission hold until Cena passed out. The U.S. Champ can’t say “I Quit” while he is unconscious. If this was a Last Man Standing Match, he would win hands down. It’s trickier when you are trying to illicit a verbal response from your opponent and he’s taking a nap. Maybe Lana will spell out the rules for Rusev prior to Payback.

• WWE spared us from seeing Kane vs. Reigns. A ringside beat down was much more appealing and Reigns got the upper hand by nailing Kane with a Superman Punch and Spear. It was a nice way to make Reigns look strong heading into Payback while Kane is bound to get mocked by Rollins. Tension, tension, tension.

• And the battle over gimmick infringement has crossed over into Raw with Axel Mania and Macho Mandow joining forces to take on The Ascension (AKA The Road Warriors and Demolition 2.0). A part of me wants to roll my eyes and let out a deep sigh, but Sandow is so damn likeable. He is a great salesman which enables me to tolerate this nonsense. Barely…

• Heartbreaking news about Daniel Bryan. I typed those words last year and it’s tough to do it once again. He is out of action indefinitely with an undisclosed injury. He could be out for weeks, months, or never return to active competition. Bryan felt that the Intercontinental Championship should not be held in limbo. Therefore, he was relinquishing the title. The fans didn’t like the decision, but they respected it. Bryan kept his composure as he thanked the crowd for getting behind him when the machine wouldn’t. He left the IC Title in the ring and headed up the ramp to a nice round of applause from the live crowd. Bryan did lead fans in a raucous “Yes!” chant as he went backstage to end the segment.

• Injuries suck. Plan and simple. However, Bryan’s health comes first and I hope he is going to be okay. I don’t care if he ever competes in the ring again. I just want him to have a semblance of a normal life where he is healthy and pain-free. Every wrestler is entitled to that.

• That was such a fun match between Cesaro and Big E. Cesaro busted out a beautiful spinning uppercut in midair while Big E. continues to amaze me with his strength and agility. The outside interference didn’t detract from the match as Cesaro picked up the win via a unique rollup/pin combination. I like how the Swiss Superman is tweaking his in-ring style to make it more babyface friendly. He is incredibly skilled and I hope he can recapture some of the magic he had last year before his push was botch. He and Tyson Kidd make a good team and their 2 out of 3 falls match against The New Day at Payback on Sunday should be a crowd pleaser.

• Rollins vs. Orton was good while it lasted. They never fail to impress in the ring and this match was no exception. Things started off a bit slow, but things picked up down the stretch. As Orton was about to hit Rollins with the RKO, J&J Security interfere which led to an automatic disqualification. The 3 on 1 attack continued as Kane made his way to the ring. He didn’t get involved. He simply grabbed a steel chair and watched the action unfold in the ring. Ambrose and Reigns came to Orton’s rescue and quickly disposed of J&J Security. Rollins was a trapped rat with no place to run or hide. Kane watched on and didn’t move a muscle. Eventually, Rollins got taken out by a Spear and RKO. The trio of Ambrose, Reigns, and Orton then turned on each other as Reigns nailed Orton with a Spear followed by Ambrose laying Reigns out with Dirty Deeds to the crowd’s delight. The show went off the air with The Lunatic Fringe standing tall and soaking in the hometown cheers as Michael Cole did a final hard sale hyping the Fatal Four Way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Payback this Sunday.

• This was a nice way to end the show. Each man is out for himself regardless of how much they mutually hate Rollins. Kane continues to stick it to the Champ and it should be interesting to see how Rollins escapes the Fatal Four Way match with the title. Will Kane get involved? Will someone go into business for themselves and shock the world? We shall find out soon enough.

• Overall, I thought this was a decent episode of Raw. This show would have been mean and lean at two hours, but some fluff segments dragged things down a bit. The in-ring action was solid for the most part with Cena vs. Neville winning best match of the night honors. Everything else ranged from decent to good with a few sleepy spots sprinkled in for good measure.

• WWE did an okay job hyping the Payback PPV. For some strange reason, it didn’t feel like a go-home show. The show had no sense of urgency to hype a major broadcast on the network. The sudden return of the Elimination Chamber PPV at the end of the month doesn’t help matters because there is no time to take a breath between PPVs. Concept shows are being thrown together on a whim that creates a sense of indifference because there is no context behind it. It’s just a ploy to lure subscribers. I like how WWE is finally marketing the network in a savvy way, but they need to tweak their strategy in order to pack a heavier punch in my estimation.

• Payback should be a good show. It doesn’t seem like a major PPV event on the surface, but the talent will compensate by giving their all inside the squared circle. Fingers crossed!

On that note, this wraps up another edition of Ka$hin In with Keila Ca$h. I hope you enjoyed it and I will 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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