Did you skip Raw last night out of some misguided protest of John Cena winning his 15th world title? If so, you missed one hell of a show. The WWE writers took their Limitless pills sometime on Monday morning.
First of all – Dean Ambrose. Holy hell, here’s a guy on the cusp of being something special. He elicits such a genuine response from the crowd whenever he appears on-screen. The former United States Champion appeared on the Titantron early in the show to let Seth Rollins know that his MITB briefcase contained not a contract, but TNT; whenever the Authority’s… “Chosen One” would attempt to cash it in, Ambrose would be there to thwart the effort. Foreshadowing.
Rewind to the show’s beginning, which kicked off with the Champ telling the Authority that he preferred the “hard way” rather than being “in their pocket” like Orton, Kane, and Rollins. Trips then announced that Cena would defend his title at Battleground in a Fatal Fourway against Orton, Kane, and Roman Reigns. The faces would team against the heels in tonight’s main event.
The show’s grand finale was a great match, with the wrestlers seemingly fired-up by a crowd that had been hot all night. One of the main purposes of the match served to continue Reigns’ elevation to main-event status. Battleground will be his second consecutive show-closing match as a pay-per-view star. At Money In The Bank, it was in an eight-man match. Now, it will be a four-man match. He may not be ready to carry the show in a one-on-one capacity quite yet, but the end of Raw last night (keep reading…) showed that day is in the not-too-distant future.
The match’s ending was a means to an end. Kane hit Cena with a chair to cause a DQ as Orton and Reigns brawled to the back. The Demon tombstoned the Champ, at which point Hunter waved out Rollins to cash-in. The crowd popped, eager to see the special moment. However, the BIG pop came when Ambrose hit the ring and attacked Rollins, fulfilling his promise to blow-up the Architect’s spot. Crescendo… Kane raises a chair to hit Cena again, but was met with a Spear by Reigns. Roman let out his battle cry, and stared down Triple H from only a few feet away. For the first time that I can remember, the crowd chanted “This is Awesome!” as Raw faded to black.
Subtle note: Reigns sprinted back towards the ring. Orton did not. Do the math on who won the brawl.
Further – For those keeping score at home, the true stars of last night’s main event were Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins. Cena may have the belts, but he does not own the spotlight.