WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 1/13: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Big show-closing angle involving Daniel Bryan, Hall of Fame, Rumble hype, more
Jan 13, 2014 - 10:08:17 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
January 13, 2014 - Episode #1,076
Live in Providence, R.I.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
WWE Raw started with the Wyatt Family video interruption. The video cut to Bray Wyatt rocking in his rocking chair in a barn as Bray laughed to himself about Daniel Bryan now hearing his words.
Live in the arena, the Usos were already in the ring. The Wyatt theme then interrupted to bring out Bray Wyatt in his rocking chair, Erick Rowan, Luke Harper, and Daniel Bryan in his garbage collector get-up. The crowd tried to get Bryan out of his funk by chanting, "Yes!" before Bryan hit the ring to start the opening match advertised last week.
1 -- DANIEL BRYAN & BRAY WYATT (w/Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) vs. THE USOS
A brief "Daniel Bryan" chant started up, but died out. Bryan then Yes!-kicked Jey Uso in the corner before Bray tagged in and continued Bryan's work. On commentary, Michael Cole and JBL set the stage for this show before Jerry Lawler chimed in after missing last week's show due to a health scare. Another Bryan chant picked up, prompting Lawler to note the audience doesn't want to see this - Bryan with the Wyatts.
Methodical pace by Bray and Bryan, who took apart Uso with repeated kicks. The crowd again tried to pick up a "Daniel Bryan" chant, which Lawler again acknowledged. But, Bryan returned to a methodical pace working on Uso. Jey finally broke free with a kick to Bryan before tagging in Jimmy. Jimmy worked on Bryan to boos, then Bray got tossed to the outside. Bryan tried to back up his new partner, but Jimmy dumped him to the floor, too. The Usos then delivered stereo splashes on the outside.
Back in the ring, the Usos wanted a top-rope splash, but the Wyatts hit the ring to attack the Usos, causing a DQ. Post-match, the Wyatts continued to assault the Usos until Jimmy broke free, smashing Bryan in the process. Jimmy and Jey ran over Bray's rocking chair on the way out, recovering to the stage.
WINNER: Usos via DQ at 5:38.
Back in the ring, the Wyatts checked on Bryan, who sold being in a bad place mentally. Bray demanded that Bryan come to his feet as the crowd shouted, "Yes!" Bray then whispered something in Bryan's ear, smiled, and backed away. Bryan extended his arms to "No!" chants before kneeling down beneath Bray. Bray then scooped up Bryan, kissed him on the forehead, and delivered Sister Abigail. Bray shouted down to Bryan that this is for them. He told Bryan to come with them.
Harper and Rowan dragged Bryan out of the ring, then up the entrance ramp as the announcers described this as a weird indoctrination. "What the hell was that?" JBL asked rhetorically. Bryan then slowly walked up the ramp toward Bray as Lawler confirmed a DQ loss for Bray and Bryan, who was being blamed for the loss. The Wyatt feed cut off the segment.
Up Next: A graphic displayed that John Cena is in action next. Cole said it will be Cena's first TV match of 2014.
[Commercial Break at 8:12]
[Q2] Back from break, Lawler hyped the WWE Network announcement as Damien Sandow posed in the ring. Cole said it has been a miserable few months for Sandow, then Cole flashed back to October when Sandow tried to cash in his World Title MITB briefcase on Cena, but Cena fought off Sandow to retain the World Title.
After the replay aired, Cole said Sandow has lost sleep ever since that outcome. John Cena was then introduced on-stage to face Sandow. Cena bounced up and down before storming the ring to face Sandow, who angrily paced in the background. Cole hyped Randy Orton vs. Cena for the WWE World Title at the Rumble in two weeks before the bell sounded.
2 -- JOHN CENA vs. DAMIEN SANDOW
Of note, Cena changed up the attire he wears underneath his shorts to red & yellow - a not-so-subtle Hulk Hogan reference. In the ring, Cena and Sandow traded control before Raw cut to an early break.
[Commercial Break at 8:22]
Back from break, Sandow was working on Cena's right shoulder. They got the "back from break" cue and Cena quickly entered comeback mode. Five Knuckle Shuffle, then a teased AA, but Sandow reversed into a sit-out slam for a two count. Sandow then blocked an STF attempt before applying his new "Royal Arch" submission placing pressure on Cena's back. It's easily escapable, though, which Cena only required a few moments to make happen. Cena followed with a reverse neckbreaker for a close two count.
Cena and Sandow went up-top, where a "Sign Styles" sign was visible. It was quickly removed by security, though. Cena tried the AA again, but Sandow blocked again. Sandow then delivered a bit of a spinning facebuster for a two count. Reset. The crowd picked up a dueling chant for and against Cena, who blocked "You're Welcome" and flowed into the STF center-ring. But, Sandow reached the bottom rope for a break.
At 10:00, Sandow dropped Cena to the mat for an STF of his own. Cena made his "determined look" facial expression, then powered Sandow on his back from a near-squat position. Cena then dropped Sandow with the Attitude Adjustment for a three count as the announcers heralded Cena's display of strength.
Post-match: Cena left the ring to embrace his father, John Cena, Sr., who was at the show since they're near Cena's hometown. What are the chances of Orton confronting Cena, Sr. tonight? WWE replayed the high points of the match, then cut to Cena saluting the crowd on-stage.
WINNER: Cena at 10:28. More competitive than expected, but for good reason to give Sandow some shine in defeat and give Cena a hill to climb in his tune-up match before facing Orton at the Rumble. (**1/2)
[Q3] Tonight: A repeat of Smackdown's main event with C.M. Punk and New Age Outlaws vs. The Shield. Lawler called it a re-match from Smackdown. Also, more WWE Network talk.
[Commercial Break at 8:31]
Back from break, Cole hyped celebrities tweeting about WWE Network. Cole, Lawler, and JBL were then shown sitting ringside to introduce a video package on the Network. The voice-over announcer called it a "revolution in television." Despite the Network not being on television. The main hype points in the video were every monthly PPV available, the tape library footage, $9.99 monthly price tag, and February 24 launch date. WWE did not say where the Network is available, apparently not wanting to overload the audience just yet.
Backstage: DOO Kane and Raw GM Brad Maddox were shown standing around awkwardly. Brad said Raw is already in chaos with the Wyatts thanks to Kane. Kane replied that Brad should enforce rules. So, Brad booked the Wyatts vs. Usos in a steel cage re-match. Kane said that's a good idea, but he thinks they should have a steel cage with the door chained and locked. And, he will be the only one with the key.
In-ring: Big Show's music played to bring out Show dressed in a zipper sweatshirt as JBL hyped a steel cage match tonight. Ringside, Show unzipped his sweatshirt and handed it to a ringside fan. Cole said Show faces Brock Lesnar in two weeks at the Rumble and Show will be in action next.
[Commercial Break at 8:40]
Back from break, the Real Americans's music was playing. In the ring, Zeb Colter held up a sign warning Big Show about him being part of the problem. WWE then went to a replay from Old School Raw last week of Big Show confronting and manhandling Brock Lesnar after Lesnar took out Mark Henry.
3 -- BIG SHOW vs. JACK SWAGGER (w/Antonio Cesaro and Zeb Colter)
Show dismantled Swagger early on, including landing a big corner butt bomb. Show followed with a toss across the ring before teasing the chokeslam. Swagger turned around and ate the chokeslam, which was good for the pin and the win.
Post-match: Antonio Cesaro thought about going after Show, but Cesaro bailed from the ring and bailed into the crowd. Show stared him down from ringside, then noticed Zeb in the ring checking on Swagger. Show stalked Zeb, who suddenly felt Show's presence. Zeb slowly turned around to find Show staring at him as the crowd sat somewhat quietly, almost feeling sorry for what was to come to the grandfatherly Zeb.
Show grappled Zeb, but let go when Cesaro tried to attack him. Show scared off Cesaro, then grabbed Zeb again. Show did a big wind-up for a KO Punch, teased hitting Zeb with it, but stopped and smiled. Show milked this for a long time, winked, and KO Punched Zeb. Show's music then played for Show to exit the ring.
WINNER: Show at 1:19. So, is the message that Big Show is now a bully? Zeb did nothing to provoke Show here, so this was odd. And, it distracted from the presumed objective to hype Show vs. Brock Lesnar at the Rumble.
[Commercial Break at 8:50]
Video Package: Batista returns next week. His gameplan: destroy everyone. And become champion again.
Back live in the arena, the New Age Outlaws's music played to bring out Billy Gunn and Road Dogg getting another week of TV following Old School Raw last week. Road Dogg talked on the way down to the ring, then tried to get the crowd to wake up once in the ring. Dogg shouted out to the Dunkin' Donuts Center for an easy pop, then warmed up for their usual ring introduction. Gunn then took his time milking his one-line finishing sentence. Back to Dogg, who gave an intro for a contemporary star, C.M. Punk, who drew a loud reaction coming out to the ring. Punk then entered the ring and horsed around with the Outlaws before Shield's music interrupted.
U.S. champion Dean Ambrose led the trio through the crowd and over the guardrail, followed by Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Cole noted Reigns beat Punk last week on Raw, declaring himself the new "Best in the World." Of note, ring announcer Lilian Garcia introduced Ambrose first "along with" Rollins and Reigns.
[Q5 -- second hour]
4 -- C.M. PUNK & NEW AGE OUTLAWS (ROAD DOGG JESSE JAMES & BILLY GUNN) vs. THE SHIELD (U.S. champion DEAN AMBROSE & SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS) -- six-man tag match
As the match started, Cole hyped WWE's TV partners in the U.S., Mexico, and Japan. Gunn and Rollins started things off as JBL said someone forgot to tell Gunn to age. Wrong timing for the line, as WWE zoomed in on Gunn's prominent receding hairline right at that moment. Dogg then tagged in and worked on Ambrose. As Dogg slowed the pace, Cole took a moment to hype the Network and re-live the Attitude Era. Or, as Pat McNeill tweeted, it came across as: "When WWE Network launches, you can go back and see episodes of Raw that are better than the current episodes." Cole then hyped Jake "the Snake" Roberts returning last week and putting his snake in Ambrose's face.
The match eventually built to Reigns tagging in, drawing a reaction from the crowd. Punk stopped and glared at Reigns, who slowly approached him for a mid-ring confrontation. Punk threw the first blow with a forearm, setting off a standing exchange. But, Reigns won with a Superman Punch to Punk's gut. Reigns couldn't follow up, though, and Punk cleared him to the floor. Punk followed with a suicide dive taking out Reigns on the outside. Raw cut to break with Punk standing tall over Reigns.
[Commercial Break at 9:05]
Back from break, Punk ran over Rollins with a shoulder tackle. Neckbreaker for a two count, then Rollins made a tag to Reigns, who smashed Punk with a running double-foot kick to the head as Punk rested on the bottom rope. Two replays were required to capture the blow. Meanwhile, Cole called Rollins the "architect" of the Shield and Ambrose "the fox" and the "wild card" as the heels began tagging in and out trying to wear down Punk.
The vocal males tried to pick up a "New Age Outlaws" chant as Shield continued to wear down Punk. Meanwhile, JBL name-dropped The Undertaker as not being seen since Shield took out Taker last year. Back to the match, where Rollins tried to give Ambrose some instructions, but Ambrose did his own thing and lost control of the match. Punk tried to tag in an Outlaw, but Reigns pulled him away and mocked the NAO with a crotch chop in their faces. But, Punk kicked Reigns when Reigns turned around.
[Q6] Punk made his way to the face corner, then the Outlaws suddenly dropped off the ring apron, stunning the crowd. Dogg and Billy walked straight to the back with stern looks on their faces as the announcers said they have no idea why Punk's partners walked away. Punk sold the effects of the match and being bailed on, then turned around to face three-on-one odds. Punk fought off Rollins and Ambrose, but turned around to take a spear from Reigns for the three count.
Post-match: WWE replayed the high points of the match, then returned to Reigns calling his buddies back into the ring for Shield's speciality. The trio delivered a triple powerbomb, then stood tall over a fallen Punk as the announcers continued to try to figure out why the Outlaws bailed on Punk.
WINNERS: Shield at 15:38. Apparently this means New Age Outlaws will be around for more than a few nostalgia appearances. Later, it was suggested that the Outlaws bailed on Punk as an assist to Triple H, creating another layer for Punk to navigate as WWE keeps building to a Punk-Hunter encounter. Overall, the match wasn't particularly good outside of Reigns's impressive double-foot dropkick on the outside.
Backstage: The Wyatt video interruption played. Backstage, Bray Wyatt tried to talk into Daniel Bryan's head, giving him instructions about being locked in a cage with the Usos tonight. Bray used the cage as a metaphor for his life, then vowed to find redemption and absolution tonight. Bryan finished his speech, then Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:19]
Back in the ring, Cameron and Naomi were dancing to Brodus Clay's theme music. A.J. Lee's music then interrupted to bring out the Divas champion and her bodyguard, Tamina Snuka.
5 -- Divas champion A.J. LEE & TAMINA SNUKA vs. CAMERON & NAOMI
Before the bell, Cole noted A.J. is five days away from tying Maryse for the all-time Divas Title record. WWE then cut to a "crowd shot" of Emma from NXT, who JBL pointed out. Emma was on the weekend house shows and will apparently be introduced into main roster storylines soon. In the ring, A.J. dominated early on. She continued to dominate before pinning Cameron.
Post-match, Tamina entered the ring to give Cameron a beating, but Naomi made the save and cleared the heels from the ring.
WINNERS: A.J. & Tamina at 2:50.
Backstage: WWE World Hvt. champion Randy Orton was shown frantically walking around looking for Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Did he just arrive at the building looking for The Authority? Cole said Orton wants to (again) give Hunter and Stephanie a piece of his mind.
Still to come: Wyatts vs. Usos in a steel cage re-match.
Up Next: First 2014 WWE Hall of Fame inductee.
[Commercial Break at 9:28] [...Q7]
[Q7...] Back from break, Kane was shown texting on his phone in the authority figure office. Randy Orton jumped into the scene demanding to know where The Authority is. Orton said he's being put in a re-match with John Cena, Brock Lesnar wants a piece of him, and Batista is coming back next week. Orton said he needs more protection. Kane shouted back that he's aware of his situation, then booked him in a match against Kofi Kingston to take out his frustrations. Orton calmed down and said it will be his pleasure.
Network hype: WWE flashed through some favorable quotes about the Network from various media outlets.
Back to the announcers. Cole hyped tickets going on-sale this Saturday for the 2014 Hall of Fame ceremony in New Orleans. WWE then introduced a video package on ... Ultimate Warrior as the first inductee. Included in the video package were WWF clips of Warrior vs. Ted DiBiase, who has been most outspoken against Warrior's potential inclusion in the HOF. Back live, Cole said Warrior will return to WWE for the first time in 18 years. Cole then listed a ton of adjectives to describe Warrior, then JBL sarcastically said, "I can't wait for that speech."
Backstage: Renee Young brought in Paul Heyman to discuss Big Show taking out Brock Lesnar last week. Renee asked Heyman how his client plans to prepare for Show. Heyman insulted Renee, then said Big Show tried to impress Lesnar by knocking out an "elderly gentleman," Zeb Colter, tonight. Good save by Heyman describing Zeb, a heel manager, as a saint to distract from Show's unprovoked KO Punch on Zeb. Heyman said he is neither intimidated, nor impressed. And, neither is Lesnar, the self-proclaimed #1 contender to the WWE World Title.
Back in the ring, Randy Orton was introduced for his Rumble warm-up match.
[Commercial Break at 9:41]
6 -- WWE World Hvt. champion RANDY ORTON vs. KOFI KINGSTON -- non-title match
Back from break, Cole said that Kofi Kingston has entered himself into the Royal Rumble match. Also added are IC champ Big E. Langston, The Miz, R-Truth, and Xavier Woods. Cole added that Orton is worried about Cena, Lesnar, and Orton, continuing to plant seeds for the likely participants in the Elimination Chamber main event in February.
In the ring, Orton dominated Kofi, taking his time to glare into the crowd. On the outside, Kofi stopped Orton's momentum and bounced Orton's head off the announce table a few times. But, back in the ring, Orton cut off Kofi. Orton then slowed down the pace with stomps and kicks before pausing to pose. Orton tried to smash Kofi on the outside again, but Kofi again blocked and landed offense. Kofi stood tall in the ring as Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:50]
Back from break, Orton was in a foul mood still dealing with Kofi after thinking this would be an easy win. Orton took Kofi to the outside again, and this time he inflicted punishment to Kofi. Back in the ring, Orton stalked Kofi before delivering a swift boot to the head. JBL said Kofi just won't die in this match. "Maybe he should," JBL quietly said. Orton then quieted the crowd from 1 to 0 applying a mid-ring reverse chinlock. There was a hint of noise, prompting Orton to shout toward the crowd to shut up.
Kofi tried to fight back with an elbow, then ducked a clothesline and delivered desperation strikes, but Orton swatted away a dropkick. Kofi sold landing on his injured head, so Orton went back to stomping the head. Kofi suddenly gave the crowd hope pulling out a backslide for a two count, but Orton escaped, then slapped on another reverse chinlock, drawing frustrated boos from some of the crowd.
[Q9] At the top of the hour, Kofi fought to his feet, then knocked down Orton for the Boom Drop, but Orton moved and Kofi crashed to the mat. Orton screamed, then set up Kofi for the second-rope DDT, but Kofi escaped and nailed the SOS. Kofi covered Orton and scored a surprise three count, stunning Orton.
Post-match: Kofi took his win and bailed from the ring before Orton could do something to him. Kofi retreated to the stage, where he celebrated as Orton threw a fit in the ring. Lawler played it up with a sports-like feel that Orton let Kofi hang around too long and it cost him.
After Kofi's music played out, WWE cut to Orton for a reaction. Orton kicked the ring steps, complained to the ref, looked at the announcers, slammed the announce table, and asked if they think this is funny. Orton told the booing crowd to shut up, then had an IED moment. Orton clutched his head in frustration as Lawler suggested Orton just head to the back.
Suddenly, Orton grabbed John Cena, Sr. on the front row. There it is. Security intervened in time, but Cena, Sr. fell down on the front row. John Cena then stormed out and chased away Orton before medics checked on Cena, Sr. Cena asked the fans to back up a little bit as medics checked on Cena, Sr. WWE cut back to Orton, who paused mid-entrance ramp to contemplate his next move. WWE then cut back to Cena directing traffic as ringside medics fitted Cena, Sr. for a neckbrace.
WINNER: Kofi at 16:43. Great use of a loss to get heat on the heel champion. Just another tune-up win for Orton wouldn't have meant as much as Orton attacking the challenger's dad on the front row after an embarrassing loss, even if it was foreshadowed earlier in the show and has been done before so many times. One more KO for Cena, Sr. and they'll be in absurdity territory.
[Commercial Break at 9:05]
Back from break, John Cena, Sr. was shown wheeled out of the arena on a stretcher as John Cena followed close behind. WWE then cut to a replay of Kofi Kingston embarrassing Randy Orton, who then threw a temper tantrum before assaulting Cena, Sr. on the front row.
WWE then cut to a backstage shot of Cena, Sr. crying in pain as Cena followed close behind with his red and yellow Hulk Hogan colors on-display. Cena, Sr. was placed inside the ambulance and Cena hopped in for a ride. On commentary, heel announcer JBL wrote off Orton, saying he's not worthy of being WWE World champion with actions like that.
Back to Cole, Lawler, and JBL for reaction to the Orton-Cena developments. The Rhodes Bros.'s music then played to bring out the WWE tag champs for tag action. Cole said both men have entered the Royal Rumble, then Cole noted Goldust plans to eliminate Cody to avenge last year's turn of events. Ryback and Curtis Axel were then introduced as the tag champs's opponents.
7 -- WWE tag champs CODY RHODES & GOLDUST vs. RYBACK & CURTIS AXEL -- non-title match
Early on, Cole listed the early Rumble match participants: Del Rio, Batista, Kofi, Xavier Woods, Truth, Langston, Cody, Goldust, and Miz. Cole then referenced Ryback's "weird, crazy" Twitter rants as of late, playing up Ryback's character being out of his mind. Are they setting up a Ryback vs. Ultimate Warrior deal here? Axel then tagged in and Lawler referenced Axel's dad, "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, featured in AWA footage on the WWE Network.
[Q10] The vocal portion of the crowd filled dead air with light "Goldberg" chants as the heels continued to work on Goldust and the announcers cracked jokes. Goldust came back with a flying bulldog on Ryback, then reached his corner to tag in Brother Cody. Cody ran over Axel, who also tagged in. Meanwhile, Cole recapped events thus far, including New Age Outlaws walking out on Punk. That should be a headline item, but was treated as fourth or fifth important. Lawler then linked up Ryback's Twitter zaniness to Warrior's expected Hall of Fame speech.
Meanwhile, the action broke down in the ring. Suddenly, Axel rolled up Cody from behind for a two count. Axel tried a neckbreaker, but Cody countered with Cross Rhodes. Cody covered for the pin and the win. As the tag champs celebrated, WWE flashed a graphic reading "Cena's Dad" trending on Twitter.
WINNERS: Rhodes Bros. at 6:04. Presented as a filler match while the announcers reset the show and tried to create witty banter.
Backstage: Rey Mysterio was shown walking down the hallway. Cole threw out a canned line about "WWE's biggest little man" in action next.
[Commercial Break at 9:20]
Video Package: Batista career retrospective. In 2010, Batista left. Four years later, he returns. Jim Ross's voice was included in soundbytes from the mid-2000s footage.
In-ring: Rey Mysterio's music played to bring out Batista's former tag partner and enemy. Suddenly, the cameras went haywire. Order was restored and WWE cut to an inset promo from Rey Mysterio talking about knowing what it takes to win the Rumble. Rey vowed to do it again, entering his name in the match. Alberto Del Rio's music then played to bring out Del Rio to face Rey in a match that should have received more hype than zero.
8 -- REY MYSTERIO vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO
On commentary, the announcers focused on Del Rio targeting Batista when he returns. In the ring, Rey scored early offense, then steadied himself on the top rope and delivered a big splash. Rey covered for a two count, then very slowly regrouped to continue his attack, but Del Rio cut him off. Del Rio then went to work on Rey's shoulder before snapping off a backbreaker. The crowd sat quietly as Del Rio went to work on Rey's shoulder, which Del Rio injured a few years ago for a storyline write-off. Del Rio tried to finish Rey with a corner attack, but Rey moved and Del Rio ate the ringpost.
[Q11] Del Rio crawled back into the ring, where Rey snapped off a head scissors into the 619. Rey wanted to Drop the Dime from the top-rope, but Del Rio got up and crotched him. Del Rio then stalked Rey for a standing superkick. Del Rio then called for the Cross Arm-Breaker and Rey was forced to tap out.
Post-match: Batista took the mic and shouted out toward Batista. He said this is what will happen if he shows up next week. Del Rio then vowed to throw out Batista in the Rumble match.
WINNER: Del Rio via submission at 4:57. After wasting away to end 2013, Del Rio continues to try to get in the same ballpark as Batista before Batista returns next week. Meanwhile, WWE apparently does not see value in Rey beyond enhancing other stars at this time.
Still to come: Bryan & Bray vs. Usos in a steel cage re-match.
[Commercial Break at 10:33]
Video Package: WWE Network announcement from CES in Las Vegas last week. They included the awkward DX "comedy" bits with Stephanie McMahon. Back live, a countdown clock filled up the screen hyping 42 days until the Network launches.
Backstage: Kane was shown on the phone in the office. C.M. Punk then walked in demanding to know where The Authority is. Punk said he's been dealing with The Shield for months and now he has to deal with Triple H's old buddies, the New Age Outlaws. Punk said if Triple H has a problem with him, then he should take it up with him. Kane cut off Punk, telling him that Punk could main-event WrestleMania. By winning the Royal Rumble match. Punk said he has no problem being in the Rumble match, but he has a problem with Kane.
Cole then fed to a hype video on The Usos, who spoke directly into the camera that they are completely prepared for the cage match tonight. Back in the arena, WWE showed the cage already lowered down to ringside. The Wyatt video interruption played leading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:43] [...Q12]
This Friday: New Age Outlaws get another match, this time against WWE tag champs Cody Rhodes & Goldust on Smackdown.
Ringside: Members of the New England Patriots were shown ringside. Included was Patriots TE Matthew Mulligan, who has been the object of Hulk Hogan video messages as of late.
Earlier Tonight: Randy Orton flipped out after losing to Kofi Kingston. So, he attacked John Cena, Sr. Back to the announcers, where Cole said Cena, Sr.'s "heart is okay" after initial concern. Cole said he might have an injured eye, though. That was a dramatic shift in the injury angle from a potential heart issue to an eye injury.
In-ring: The Usos were introduced for the main event. Kane's music and pyro then filled the arena to bring out Kane wielding a chain. Kane locked the cage door, which made the rules pinfall, submission, or escape over the top of the cage.
9 -- THE USOS vs. DANIEL BRYAN & BRAY WYATT (w/Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) -- steel cage tag match
The bell sounded nine minutes before the top of the hour. No tags required for this Texas Tornado-style tag match. On commentary, Lawler described a non-PG cage match "ripping and tearing flesh," stopping short of saying those cage matches can be found in the Network tape library. One of the Usos tried to escape early on, but Bray pulled him back inside. Stalemate as Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:54]
Raw returned three minutes before the top of the hour with Bryan and Bray controlling the action. The Usos fought back as JBL talked about facing Eddie Guerrero in a cage match years ago. Of note, the "Daniel Bryan" and "Yes!" chants have gone away for Bryan's second match of the night in the Wyatt Family role.
[Q13 -- over-run] At the top of the hour, the Usos double-suplexed Bryan from the corner turnbuckle, but Bray broke up a pin attempt. Bray wanted Sister Abigail on Jimmy, but Jey superkicked Bray in the face to block. The Usos then picked themselves up and tried to climb over the top, but Rowan and Harper stood below ready to block. Bryan and Bray then tried to climb the cage, but Uso headbutted Bryan, who fell into Bray, knocking down both like bowling pins. The Usos then climbed the cage and Jey flew down onto Harper. Jimmy then jumped down to win the match for their team.
WINNERS: Usos at 10:50. And then the post-match...
Post-match: The Usos celebrated after knocking down Rowan and Harper. After Usos's music played out, WWE returned to a shot of Bryan and Bray alone in the cage. The crowd tried to get behind Bryan with "Yes!" chants before Bray leaned over to Bryan and told him to take his place. Bryan extended his arms to sacrifice himself to Bray, then knelt down. Bray smiled and approached Bryan for Sister Abigail, but Bryan shoved him away. "Yes!" chants followed from the excited crowd.
Bray then turned around and smiled toward Bryan, who stood his ground. Bray asked Bryan if he defies him. Bryan turned toward the crowd to get their input, which led to a loud "Daniel Bryan" chant. Bryan listened to the crowd as Bray told him not to listen. WWE zoomed out to show the crowd backing Bryan, who watched Bray kneel down and invite Bryan to do something. Bryan thought things over, then Bray called him a coward. Bray then went for a corner charge, but Bryan side-stepped and went full Daniel Bryan Mode with the running offense and corner kicks.
Bryan knocked down Bray, then kicked him in the gut as the crowd shouted along. Bryan delivered a big roundhouse kick to Bray's head, drawing big cheers from the crowd. Bryan then unzipped his garbageman outfit and returned to his wrestling gear. Meanwhile, Rowan and Harper were unable to get inside the cage because Kane padlocked it. Bryan then smashed Bray into the side of the cage, knocking down each Wyatt Family member hanging on the side of the cage.
Reset with Bryan in the corner leading the crowd in a slow-motion "Yes!" chant that increased in volume and pace before Bryan smashed Bray with his signature running knee. Bryan then climbed to the top of the cage and sat on top of the cage, leading the entire arena in "Yes!" chants. Bryan's music played again to loud cheers, then Bryan led the crowd in one more round of "Yes!" chants while sitting on top of the cage. Raw signed off eight minutes past the top of the hour with Bryan officially back in business.
FINAL THOUGHTS: They packed 3-5 weeks of Bryan-Bray developments into one episode of Raw, reflecting a sense of urgency to get through this short-term program before restoring Bryan to being Daniel Bryan again. And, because no one takes a gimmick from WWE like Michigan St. getting on SportsCenter doing "Yes!" chants last week. Now the question is where does this take Bryan's character after WWE took him off a strange Wyatt Family freeway exit on the Road to WrestleMania.
Before the show-ending Bryan developments, there was a lack of energy to the show, especially with a series of matches that were thrown out in succession without giving the audience a chance to really process what was happening. Next week, though, Batista is back and WWE should have a sense of urgency finalizing the Royal Rumble.
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
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PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**