Lackluster RAW includes Baltimore pay per view announcement

September 09, 2014|By Aaron Oster

RAW continued the recent trends of rather bland shows on Monday night. However, those who were in attendance in Baltimore heard a special announcement and were witnesses to some potentially interesting debuts.

The main announcement that drew buzz at Baltimore Arena is that for the first time in more than three years, the city will host a pay-per-view. On May 17, Payback will be held at the Baltimore Arena. It will be the first pay-per-view held in Baltimore since December 2011, when TLC emanated from Baltimore.

It's been a long drought for the area when it comes to PPVs. The WWE didn't start to regularly hold PPVs in Baltimore until 2003, after WCW went out of business. After that 2003 show though, the city received a pay-per-vew in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011. This came after WCW held a pay-per-view in Baltimore every year between 1995 and 2000, except for 1997.

So, Baltimore has been no stranger to big wrestling shows, and the long drought was a bit odd for what's considered to be a strong wrestling area. When you consider that Washington, D.C., hadn't held a pay-per-view since 2011 either, it has been a long time between big shows for many local fans.

Walking out of RAW, the rest of the buzz seemed to be about the RAW debuts of three NXT talents: NXT champion Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn, and Tyler Breeze. The three all took part in a tag match that featured four wrestlers involved in the main event of NXT: Takeover on Thursday (with Tyson Kidd being the fourth).

While it was clear that NXT remains somewhat of a niche watch and the crowd did not respond early on, the four certainly won the crowd over by the end of match, which ended with Neville hitting his Red Arrow finisher on Tyler Breeze.

While the match itself wasn't overly notable (though it was one of the better matches of the night), the fact that these three talents made their debut was a nice surprise for the live crowd. Just over a year ago, the Wyatt Family made their debut in Baltimore, and while none of these three are going to be on the main roster immediately, it's not unreasonable to think that one of these three, if not all three, could reach the level that Bray Wyatt has.

All are immensely talented, and have the potential to reach main event status. It could be another situation where Baltimore fans can say “I was there when.”

The Rest of RAW:

-RAW kicked off with a cage match between Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho. It was a solid match overall, though what made it memorable was the dive by Jericho from the top of the cage onto Wyatt in the ring.

Wyatt won by writhing out the cage door as both competitors tried to escape. After the match, the Wyatts targeted Jericho's knee, which Jericho sold as an injury after that dive. Bray Wyatt slammed the cage door into the knee several times.

Later in the night, Jericho was shown getting treatment for the knee, when Randy Orton appeared out of nowhere and attacked the knee again. Orton gave no reason for the attack, other than saying “It's the season premiere.”

This might be the WWE writing off Jericho again, as his short run seems to be ending.

-Roman Reigns and Randy Orton faced off in the main event. The match wasn't a classic by any stretch, though I do believe it improved on their Summerslam encounter.

At the end of the match, Seth Rollins and Kane ran down to the ring. They started to lower the cage, but Reigns threw out both Rollins and Kane before the cage could be lowered completely. Reigns started to unload on Orton, including hitting a spear, but the Authority got the upper hand again when Rollins climbed the cage and dove off onto Reigns.

All three took turns beating on Reigns before Rollins eventually hit him with a curb stomp onto a chair.

It's hard to say exactly which direction this feud is going, but the fact that Rollins hit the two biggest moves, it very well could be moving to a Reigns/Rollins feud while Ambrose is away.

-Jerry Springer hosted a segment between the Bellas. Not a lot new came from this segment, just more of the same accusations from Nikki, and a lack of defense by Brie.

The one new wrinkle was the addition of the rest of their family, as their parents recorded statements on video, and their brother showed up. The end of the segment ended in a brawl between the two that ended up involving their brother, JJ, Stephanie McMahon, and Jerry Springer.

-John Cena and Paul Heyman had an encounter in the ring. Heyman said that in order to beat Lesnar, Cena would have to tap into his hatred, and forget about trying to be good guy John Cena.

He had to tap into his anger with how the crowd treats him. While it looked momentarily like Cena was giving it thought, he then launched into a tirade defending his good-guy persona.

He talked about how the kids look up to him, and even the parents that chanted “Cena sucks” respect him. He went on about the soldiers and Make-A-Wish kids he gets to visit.

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