Jason Powell's WWE Raw Live TV Review from DOT NET for an alternate take.
The opening segment worked for me in part because I've just accepted the fact that these things are going to last for 12-15 minutes without fail. Seth Rollins and The Authority toying with Dean Ambrose worked for me, in part, because it telegraphed Roman Reigns coming down to help his boy. I liked that aspect of it and I liked them launching into Reigns/Ambrose vs Rollins/Kane after the commercial. While I don't love the idea of your champion taking the fall here it worked for a couple of reasons a) the crowd ate it up and b) Reigns laughing at Rollins while he protested was hilarious. Watching Ambrose and Reigns get over on Rollins is always a good time. It would seem that Ambrose and Reigns will need to split at some point, possibly even Elimination Chamber. I don't mind the idea that they don't pal around constantly, but I do not care for the idea that one will turn on the other. To me, that would be completely unnecessary. Anyhow, the upshoot here is that Dean Ambrose has to sign the physical contract before the end of the show in order to get his title shot. Ambrose got arrested in a convoluted angle where he hit a camera man. I didn't mind that, but then they felt the need to show that Rollins shoved the camera man into Ambrose. It was fine the way it was without putting the flashing sign up that says "DEAN AMBROSE IS A GOOD GUY!" Anyhow, the ending of the show gave us the hilarious visual of Dean rolling back into the arena in the ambulance dressed like an officer. Him and Reigns take care of business so that Dean can go on to get his title shot at Elimination Chamber. The last segment sounds kind of hokey, but with Dean Ambrose it worked. I still dig the idea that Reigns and Ambrose are hanging around again. Like I already said, I hope they don't split them, but I fear it's coming.
Rusev CRUSHED R-Truth, but that was just a way to get him out there so he could equal parts beg Lana to come back and belittle her. This was another one of those scenarios where I didn't particularly like Rusev behaving like that, but his performance actually made it work to a degree. The whole thing was a bit of a mess, but you can see what they're doing. Like most fans I'm a bit concerned about where this whole split will leave Rusev. At one point (Fastlane) it seemed like he would avoid the Bray Wyatt treatment from John Cena, but now I'm not nearly as certain about that.
John Cena cut a promo that didn't seem like it would ever end. Honestly, I tuned it out and I wasn't terribly excited about the prospect of Zack Ryder challenging for the US Title at the behest of the Entourage cast, but that's what we got. The match was fine and I like the US Open Challenge concept. Ryder did bust out a pretty sweet 450 splash attempt. The Entourage cast was fairly inoffensive I figure. As Cena celebrates his victory Kevin Owens arrives to destroy him. The visual of him stepping on the US Title while holding the NXT belt over his head was impressive especially on Memorial Day.
Neville vs Stardust was fine. Stardust mixed it up with Arrow's Stephen Amell before the bell. Neville gets the clean win and sold a bad knee while Bo Dallas showed up and delivered a dropkick to that same knee. This was pretty cool. We get the victory lap out of Bo as well which is always a good time *THUMBS UP*.
Ziggler and Sheamus mix it up yet again. This was where my attention started to get diverted in large part because we've seen this so many times. Sheamus gets the win via Brogue Kick while Rusev attacks Ziggler to show the watching Lana his worth.
Speaking of more acts on the Midcard Treadmill, King Barrett and Ryback was fine as well. It was a mild surprise to me that Ryback got the win here, but again it's the Midcard Treadmill deal so you never know.
The most perplexing move of the night was The Authority's Kane putting New Day in a handicap match. That's right kids, the heel champions were booked into a handicap match by the heel Director of Operations. Even weirder, they won. Now they won via DQ, but the whole thing was bizarre. Of course it featured all the participants from the Elimination Chamber. Typical, WWE weirdness.
Tamina continued to look dominant in beating Paige and the Bella Twins especially Nikki looked incredible at ringside. I really like Nikki as Divas Champion, but I can't really get into this Naomi feud right now. I don't know what it is.
I feel this is repetitive at this point, but this was another solid episode of Raw that wasn't spectacular. As a go-home show you might expect more, but then again Elimination Chamber was kind of shoehorned in here right after the last show anyway. All that said, I'm looking forward to Elimination Chamber this Sunday.
Of note, this was the last WWE event in Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.