WWE: All Hail! The King of the Ring Tournament is Back!

WWE Monday Night RAW Recap – April 27

SKO Out of Nowhere
As with most RAWs after PPVs we start the show with the fallout from the previous night’s main event. After Seth Rollins’ win at Extreme Rules it was good to hear a quick explanation of why his use of the RKO was allowed or not even really acknowledged in Seth’s successful title defense by calling it the SKO. It all seemed pretty silly regardless; the title doesn’t change hands with a DQ anyways.

What’s been great to see over the past few weeks is the emergence of Kane as the fearsome force we all know him to be. I’m all good with the Corporate persona but up until know he’s been laughable at best, just some fodder to feed to guys getting pushed or the butt of a joke here and there. The internal rivalry within the Authority brings a great dynamic to the faction that even helped carry the thus far brief Orton/Rollins feud. Here’s to the hope of one last hurrah for the Big Red Machine.

After Randy Orton and Roman Reigns both made their case for why they should be next in line for the champ, Kane decided to be indecisive and let the WWE Universe vote on who should be Rollins’ opponent for Payback. It would have been fun to see a vote between Orton and Reigns but alas, we’re given a third choice of a triple threat match. I wonder what the Universe will choose…

It’s tournament time baby!
What a welcome time to bring back the King of the Ring. There’s really no compelling feuds going on right now so I’m hoping the tourney will bring some excitement to RAW over the next few weeks with an catalyst for some new rivalries. Add to the fact we’ve got some great talent and fun potential matchups to dream about.

Round 1 : Dolph Ziggler v. Bad News Barrett
Could Dolph bounce back from being embarrASSed by Sheamus at Extreme Rules? Well that wonderful thought was shot down right away when we heard Ziggler say the magic word of the next PPV, “Payback” in his promo on Sheamus. Like a groundhog seeing his shadow, we’re in for at least 4 more weeks of this feud. Oh boy…

On the bright side of things, Barrett it was good to see him get the win. He has the personality and great mic skills that would make him a great King of the Ring. Not only that but it’d be great to see him get a real push and fun gimmick to run with. So while I was sad Dolph’s stuck with Sheamus I’m glad to see Barrett get the win here, though I wish these talented guys had a little longer to work.

We interrupt your interesting tournament for some clapping.
By sheer luck these guys developed some heat reminiscent of Kurt Angle’s “You Suck” chants but they sure are taking their sweet time to turn it into something interesting. That said their tag match against Tyson Kidd and Cesaro was one of the highlights of Extreme Rules and I’ll be just fine if this develops into more encounters between the two teams. I just hope they get more than the 70 second match (yes I counted) we were given. Though short it did give us our quote of the night from JBL, “So you got the clap?”

It’s feeding time!
As in, now is usually a good time to grab a snack. I really want to like Ryback, I do, I promise, there’s just nothing all that entertaining about him. He’s jacked, but he hasn’t done anything that we haven’t seen a dozen other guys do lately. He’s got a good story, but he can’t tell it very well. The character is okay, but he doesn’t really do much with it. He’s just flat. I don’t know. If Paul Heyman can’t get you over, I’m not sure there’s much hope from you.

Then again, maybe all he has to do is just BO-LIEVE! Or maybe follow the buzzards? After a serviceable match it was a nice surprise to see Bray Wyatt finally make his next target known. I feel like Bray made the most of his Wrestlemania build up and match with the Undertaker and hope to see him continue to grow. His unique in-ring ability and charisma may just raise up the aforementioned flat Ryback. If nothing else, Wyatt’s experience building up a match without present opponent should serve him well over the next few weeks.

The U.S. Open
John Cena is still the champ and has decided to continue his open challenge, or at least that’s what we thought before Heath Slater got kicked off the stage. No really, Rusev came out and kicked Slater back to the oblivion where he belongs. I love the idea of the Open Challenge and it’s unpredictability but it’s hard to suspend my disbelief when we already know that it’s Cena vs. Rusev for the title again at Payback.

Oh yeah, the tournament…
After all the build-up it felt like the King of the Ring was a mere after thought. R-Truth wins in a lackluster match over Stardust. Dolph interrupts a fun match between Sheamus and Dean Ambrose leading to a DQ win for Sheamus.
Then just as I’m about to lose all hope in the KOR tournament, along comes the Man that Gravity Forgot. Neville is just downright special and I’m thrilled to see him start putting some wins together. I’d be thrilled if he can win the tourney and feel like it’d be a great gimmick for him as he’s starting out. I mean, he’s already got the cape right?

Other Notes

  • Fandango and Adam Rose continue their “rivalry” with Rosa Mendez providing the distraction that gives Rose the win.
  • Naomi tried to gain some heat interrupting Brie discussing her husband Daniel Bryan’s injury, then beating her in a match.
  • Damien Sandow talked about how he’s going to find himself, and then proceeded to mockingly imitate Curtis Axel.

So who will get Payback on Seth Rollins at the next PPV?
You see what I did there? Get it? “Payback” because the next PPV is called “Payback.” If you just cringed you’re in for a long 4 weeks because WWE Superstars won’t be able to help themselves. First we’re treated to a pleasantly surprising good match. All four of these guys can go but so often when four people are thrown into a tag match the results are subpar. However, I felt they delivered quite well and liked that the finish further developed Kane’s struggle as a part of the Authority this time at Seth Rollin’s expense leading to him taking a Superman Punch followed by an RKO.

His night got worse when it was then announced that he’ll face both Randy Orton and Roman Reign’s at Payback in a triple threat match. I’m alright with WWE going that route as I think it gives all three of them the opportunity to step up and carry the ball for WWE heading toward Summerslam.

Slightly disappointed
I thought WWE had the chance to really start building some momentum for some upcoming feuds with the King of the Ring but felt they missed the mark a bit. Neville and Barrett winning were great but the other half of the field is disappointing to say the least. This could have been an opportunity to let Damian Sandow find himself rather than joke around with Axel. Stardust could have developed into an even more intriguing character. So many options and good young talent to develop and we’re stuck with R-Truth and Sheamus.

As for the title picture, I feel they’re making the most of what they have. Who else do you bring in at this point? Again, it’d be good to see some other guys get a run at it, but no one really has been built up for it right now. Hopefully we’ll get lucky and see Orton re-emerge as the force he can be or Reigns breakthrough like WWE has been waiting for. Then again, maybe this will continue to build up Seth Rollins into a big time main eventer. Whichever way it goes, I’m optimistic about what’s to come there.

Article by Bill Havican

Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.

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