In a completely unexpected turn of events, Seth Rollins betrayed Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose to join Evolution in place of Batista, who quit the group earlier in the evening. The angle, which turned an uneven edition of Raw into a buzz-worthy event also set the internet ablaze with chatter.
To those decrying the move, I don’t have much for you. I loved it. When pro wrestling makes me feel something, be it joy, be it anger at a performer, it pulls me in like it did as a child for the first time. If you’re angry at Seth Rollins, it succeeded. Embrace it. You’ve been worked and so was I. Completely shocked. I love being surprised. I love losing myself in the story. Sitting up after Raw for hours wondering where the story will go next. Call me a mark but it’s exhilarating and tonight’s ending was just that. No one expected after last night that any member of the Shield would defect to the crew they spent Sunday night at war against. If they said they expected Rollins to turn especially, they were lying.
Whatever Evolution offered Seth Rollins to betray his comrades: cash, lifetime memberships to every Cross Fit in the USA, unlimited indie rock music on iTunes, a WWE Championship match; it was worth it. After Elimination Chamber, it appeared to be foregone conclusion we’d be losing our Hounds of Justice. They were bickering the cracks were evident. However, calmer heads prevailed and the group seemed more unified than ever over the last 3 months. That’s what made Seth Rollins’ turn such a gut punch.
Had they pulled the trigger back in February, would we have talked about the dissolution of the Shield with the same fervor that the internet has last night and this AM? I’m doubtful. At that point, it appeared the end game for dissolving the team was to launch Roman Reigns. This situation is a much more impactful launching pad for the singles careers of all three members of the Shield. With the unexpected turn of Rollins, Seth immediately gets elevated to the VIP villains section by hooking up with Triple H & Orton. By proxy, Ambrose and Reigns have a new challenge (Evolution WITH Rollins) and the contentious dynamic between those two can be explored without the calming influence of the Architect.
It remains to be seen if Reigns and Ambrose will seek reinforcements from NXT or if we’re looking at a 2 on 2 war at Money in the Bank, but moving forward long-term, the prospect of Ambrose vs. Rollins is real and Roman Reigns is one pissed off Samoan ready to rampage through the Summer. I just went from six to midnight.
As for the rest of the show…
- I mean this with complete respect for his craft. Batista is the best in WWE at on-screen quitting. The deadpan look, the royal wave. Character-wise he was also completely justified. He didn’t come back for Triple H. He came back for championships. I love Big Dave. Deal with it if you don’t.
- RVD & Sheamus defeated Bad News Barrett & Cesaro. With Cesaro abandoning Bad News, are they building to Cesaro versus Bad News Barrett? I may have to take a moment.
- “How dare you interrupt my display of mad skills?” Damien Sandow goes hard in the paint.
- Creative should have noticed they scheduled two Pacers digs in back to back segments.
- 4-BO! Bo Dallas defeated Kofi Kingston. Kofi turned away Bo’s sportsmanship afterwards. Don’t worry Kofi, you’ll get off this losing streak. Just Bo-Lieve!
- Stephanie announced the fate of the WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan defends the belt against Kane in a Stretcher Match at Money In The Bank; if he is unable the Money In The Bank match will be for the vacant title.
- Stephanie slayed in her segment with John Cena. Cena was back to his “hit the reset button/I don’t care if they boo me let’s have a good time” character. That grinds my gears after the brawl he went through last night.
- John Cena defeated Kane via DQ.
- Los Matadores defeated 3MB. Props to Hornswoggle for keeping his half-cut hair since Payback. I hope they work an Angle bit where he wears the wig with wrestling headgear to keep it from being removed. Or complete the skullet and make him Mini-Heyman.
- Alicia Fox and Aksana defeated Nikki Bella in a Handicap Match.
- Adam Rose defeated Jack Swagger. Noticed ROH’s Scarlett Bordeaux in the Exotic Express party last night. Apparently another former Hoopla Hottie was part of the entourage as well. Is Truth Martini far behind?
- The Wyatt Family (sans Bray) defeated the Usos once again in Non-Title action and perhaps the Match of the Night. Luke Harper is so good and Erick Rowan is perfect in his role. Hopefully the tag straps are coming their way soon.
- Alberto Del Rio defeated Dolph Ziggler in a Money In the Bank Qualifying Match. Obviously, the internet wanted Ziggler to win and I’m on board but not just because he’s a smark favorite. Del Rio’ a fine talent but in a Ladder Match, Ziggler’s the more entertaining play.
- Rybaxel defeated Goldust & Sin Cara. Cody Rhodes selected Sin Cara as Goldust’s partner. Back to the drawing board, Prince.
Rusev received an award for being a hero of the Russian Federation. Nikita Koloff is very proud.
Fantastic finish to a largely uneven show and “filler” heavy show. That said stars of the show tonight were Big Dave Batista, Damien Sandow, Stephanie McMahon, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, The Usos and Seth Rollins. They all did a fantastic job.
What did you think of the show? Sound off in the comments.